Tuesday, 29 January 2013

My Food Journey

Born and raised in Canada I have been very active all my life.  Growing up my mom liked to cook from scratch at home and we always sat down to eat family dinners.

I have fond childhood memories of eating bacon, eggs and home fries regularly as well as 2 slices of toast dipped in a very, very chocolaty hot chocolate for breakfast.  Cereal was also very big in my house.  Bowls of chips and diet pop were a regular Friday and Saturday night treat.

As a kid I had lots of digestive troubles.  Chronic constipation combined with bouts of very painful diarrhea.  Diagnosed as lactose intolerance.  My skin has always been very dry, with bumps which I now know are keratosis pilaris.

I was a bit of an anomaly in my family in terms of exercise.  I was the only one that was good at pretty much any sport or exercise I tried and exercise has always made me feel really good.  As a teen I started smoking and drinking.  My diet was terrible, corn chips for breakfast and a burger and fries for lunch, a lot of junky fast food but in spite of that I never lost my love of sport.

I married young at 20.  I quit smoking and drinking and had my first baby at 21.  My daughter was born and at 6 weeks we were told she was blind.  Shocked but resilient I made the best of what life gave me turning the focus of my life to being as healthy as I can be.

I started cooking everything I could from scratch.  Luckily for me I have never believed all the low fat mantra.  I've always preferred to use real ingredients like butter over margarine, thank you Mom.

I went on the blood type diet for a while in conjunction with a 40/30/30 plan and it worked well for me.  I worked out out a few times a week lifting weights and interval running and got in great shape.  Then somehow I went off that eating plan, I can't remember when or why.  Probably because trying to keep track of the ratios proved to be a pain.

Fast forward 5 years and I was pregnant with my second baby, working at Tim Hortons (a coffee and donut shop) to make extra cash while my daughter was in school.  I gained quite a bit more weight with my second pregnancy than my first.  Damn you bagels and donuts!  I went from 125 to 160.

I lost most of the baby weight though and then after watching a few videos on the PITA website I decided to become a vegan for humane reasons.  Such a bad idea for me in retrospect, I was a horrible vegan and I gained 10 lbs in a year while still exercising at the same level.

For Christmas that year I was given Nourishing Traditions by my mother in law and a lot of what I read in the book made sense to me.  I was unhappy with my weight gain and constantly hungry on my vegan diet so I started sourcing out humanely raised, grass fed local dairy and beef and pastured eggs and chickens.  I wanted to eat meat because my body craved it, but it had to be from animals that were treated well.

So I started eating meat and dairy again.  I found and joined the website Sparkpeople and put myself on a restricted calorie diet to lose my extra weight and as someone who had never paid attention to calories before I was shocked to discover that breads, pasta and grains all contain a ton of calories. But not only that, the nutrition they provide in terms of vitamins and minerals was so low that to me they became not worth eating because I considered those calories wasted.

I guess I am considered low carb now, I usually eat under 100g of carbs a day.  Although I don't track my foods anymore.  I found not only was constantly tracking a huge time suck it also isn't necessary when I eat the way I eat. A whole food diet consisting of lots of vegetables, meats, fats and some fruit.  I have also come to discover that this way of eating is Primal/Paleo although I do make some treats for the family that are not 100% Primal/Paleo.  What can I say, kids like muffins and cookies (husbands like them too), so I make some tasty gluten free ones that have all real food ingredients to satisfy those needs.

So that has been my journey so far.  It feels really natural to eat this way and I am feeling so good right now I can't imagine changing how I eat.

Thanks for reading,

No comments: