Is Your Food a Hinderance or Help?

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Salmon, asparagus, and greens with balsamic vinaigrette

Several years ago, my daughter gave me a book,  “It All Starts With Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig for Christmas. At the time, I was searching for more information regarding a healthier life style.  I moved beyond processed foods and anything containing high fructose corn syrup, and adopted a more Paleo friendly diet.  I lost weight and kept it off for more than a year.  Then, through the last year’s holidays,  I found myself excusing small cheats, and gained 10 of my 35 pounds back.  Time to put on the brakes.

Although, I started reading the book, I couldn’t seem to move past Chapter 2.  In fact, I had picked it up several times over the two years, only to repeat the same action.  It was time to get serious and move beyond Chapter 2 of the book.  I was finally able to get to Chapter 7, and I’m glad I did.

I recognized some time ago, I was a sugar addict (you probably are, too, but don’t know it).  It wasn’t enough to follow a whole food diet until I fully understood why obesity is so difficult to fight.  Kicking sugar isn’t simply about eliminating desserts, sodas, or high fructose corn syrup.  It’s much more than that.  It’s psychological, as well.  The principal behind the Whole 30 is to teach us how foods affect our bodies, and then how to rewire our brains to promote overall health.  In other words, our food should be our medicine, not our demise.

Gaining an understanding about sugar and its affects on the body is far more advantageous than simply telling yourself you can’t have this or that (the reason diets don’t work).  In fact, it becomes much more easy to eliminate harmful foods, once you understand how they work. For instance, consider sugar substitutes. Have you ever noticed how they’re far sweeter than regular white sugar?  I always thought I was simply eliminating the harm white sugar had on my body, but I never realized sugar substitutes weren’t any better.  They elevate the body’s desire for sweet.   Now, I’m slowly learning to appreciate herbal teas.

Here’s what I made for Sunday’s dinner -

Salmon, fresh asparagus, and mixed greens.  The dinner was quick and easy.  I’ve been making my own balsamic vinaigrette to add to my salads.  It’s so good.  I had been making the vinaigrette with 1/2 teaspoon raw honey (according to the recipe).  In order to clean my system out, completely, I learned that foods such as pure maple syrup and raw honey are no exception to the rule.

1/2 Cup EVOO
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Herbs de Provence

The original recipe called for 1 C EVOO, but I reduced it and liked it better.  I don’t always include the lemon juice, either; and, it tastes just as good.

As I continue to read through “It Starts With Food”, I’ll share what I’ve learned and how it’s changing me.  My next step? To measure myself.

My advice to anyone wanting to change their eating habits is to read and get as much information as possible before you start, and during the process.  Understand what’s happening to your body through foods and overall lifestyle.  I can’t emphasize it enough if you’re expecting success.

5 thoughts on “Is Your Food a Hinderance or Help?

  1. All this time, I really thought I was doing myself a favor by using Truvia, as well as the Stevia I grew last summer. Never did I dream any sugar substitute was only feeding my sugar addiction. If your daughter gets the opportunity, I hope she’ll be able to get a copy of “It Starts With Food.” Thanks for reading, Kathleen.
    Shelley recently posted…Is Your Food a Hinderance or Help?My Profile

  2. Shelley You know my nature, photo happy hubby Pete, he has taken himself off sugar and he looks and says he feels alive. He started xmas day (of all days) and says now he does not crave fatty or sugar laced foods. I am proud of him. He used to drink 3 cans of coke a day…now none…We are using balsamic vinegars instead of cream based dressings. Lots of coucous, brown rice or quinoa as or sides with loads of mixed salads (easier in our hot summer). I still crave the odd Pizza slice and naughty chocolate but even then we can eat dark chocky and make our own healthy lamb pizza’s. I run up the hill in the mornings he rides his bike, we both use the ab-circle -pro….He is looking and feeling happier and so am I only I am not as consistent as he. look forward to more recipes.
    Minuscule Moments recently posted…Who’s the Meanest of Them All?My Profile

  3. I bought a book and for two years have never been interested enough to finish it. I am just tired of trying to change my health, my eating. But…I am not done yet. I will be interested to follow your journey. Kathleen wrote a piece on my blog once about giving yourself permission to eat. I better go reread it

    • Don’t give up, Christa. Like anything else, it’s a matter of finding which one works the best for you. However, I highly advise against sugar, regardless of what program you try. It makes a remarkable difference in everything.

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