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Healthy Eating

Jim:  Jim’s hemoglobin is rising nicely which explains his “perkiness.”  He aerated the yard and installed a new faucet (so Sarah can easier reach the water), on Sunday.  However, his white blood cells are down to where they were in February.  Grrr – my hands are still tied as to what I can feed him.  His platelets are very slowly rising – 2 points in 2 weeks.  While we are surprised after every blood test, the doctors and nurses are saying this is comletely normal.  It’s such a waiting game.

Beckie:  I have recently watched the documentaries “Food Matters,” “The Beautiful Truth,” “Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat” and a few others.  “Food Matters” is by far the best.  However, all of them are very eye opening in regards to America’s agriculture, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

One time, back when I was GM for a groundwater district, I had a gentleman borderline yelling at me.  He summed up his tirade saying, “I don’t trust the government.  My instant response, “Neither do I.”  There are very good reasons for us to be sceptical of what we are being fed as everyday “food.”

How do we change this?  Change what you buy.  I vote because I am a big believer in democracy, but I am convinced that dollars speak louder than votes.  I just read Food Rules by Michael Pollan.  I laughed through most of it.  Here are 3 of my favorite rules: #13 Eat only foods that will eventually rot; #19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t and #57 Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.  These rules make sense, but our food system is not set up to be simple and healthy.  I’m having a hard time, and I’m shopping in Austin!

Sarah:  Random strangers tend to think she’s almost 3, not almost 2.  I find myself quickly telling them how old she really is, and their uniform response is, “Wow, she’s big.”  “Yeah, strong and pushy too (Taurus),” is what I feel like adding.  Not that that’s bad.  She has a healthy dose of athleticism from both sides, so fortunately she’s pretty coordinated.  Added bonus – she can easily sit in a booster seat.  Sarah is our little giant.  🙂

Categories: Jim
  1. Alice Glazner
    April 9, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I like your comments in Sarah. How cute! So what should we be eating and where should we be buying??

  2. April 14, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Oh, this was such a good question. I really had to think about the best way to answer you. Jim and I are following two bible-based diets. One is called the Hallelujah Diet, and the other is the Maker’s Diet. I lean towards the Hallelujah Diet because there is more emphasis on juicing and alive foods, but if we eat meat (which we do, but rarely now) then we follow the Maker’s Diet suggestions. Jim and I have become rather sensitive to what our bodies are wanting, so if we have a craving, we go with it. (This does not include the ice cream, chocolate or chip kind of craving.) I will emphasize, this is rather utopian eating and drinking, and we follow it as best as we can.

    However, for the average person eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), there are some basic changes you can make to feel much better.

    1) Stop consuming refined SUGAR. There are studies out there that say it is actually toxic to our bodies because of the way it is metabolized vs. sugar from fresh produce. I will write a blog shortly giving everyone the synonyms for the word “sugar” that the manufacturers use on labels to mislead us – among other things… If you need a sugar fix, buy some incredibly yummy organic Medjool dates (usually in the bulk section). As far as dried fruits go, it is high on the glycemic index. However, as a general rule, dates have no added preservatives or sugar. The pretty colors and sweetness of the other dried fruits aren’t normal – review the ingredient list.

    2) Stop consuming SALT. It encourages inflammation of everything, and that really hurts the body. Resist the urge to grab the salt shaker. (You know the feeling of mindlessly reaching for that shaker…) Start reading sodium levels on labels while paying close attention to the serving size – it’s shocking. If you need a salt fix, buy some high-quality lacto-fermented sauerkraut. If you have a ¼ cup serving, I believe the benefits outweigh the damages from the amount of salt consumed.

    NOTE: If you go cold-turkey, then this will be very hard the first couple of weeks because your body will go through withdrawal. It happened to me when my esophagus stopped working. All I wanted was soft, white bread. Then, it was as if I could taste the colors of food. I was so sensitive to the flavors of unsalted and unsweetened foods. It is an incredible reward.

    3) If you do the above two, that takes you away from the processed boxed and bagged food in the middle of the store, and leaves you at the produce and refrigerated sections of the store.

    a) Buy as much as you can in the produce section where the food is still alive – and buy organic. (Besides not being laced with toxic chemicals, organic tastes sooooo much better. As Jim said, “not only does it look like a banana, but it tastes like one too.”) Unfortunately, this does mean you have to go to the grocery store about twice a week. We eat our 3 servings of fruits (vitamins) and mostly juice our 5-7 servings of vegetables (minerals). Lightly steaming or roasting vegetables also breaks down the cell walls of the vegetables for easier assimilation in the digestive system.

    b) Meatless Mondays! This is the best and fastest way to start moving towards a healthier lifestyle. But, if you buy meat, you want it to have come from a well-fed, healthy animal. Look for labels that say, “no hormones, no antibiotics & not fed other animals.” Wild game and wild-caught fish are probably as good as it gets. If possible, you should still know what they are eating and drinking.

    c) I am not a fan of cow juice. I love the taste of milk, but I end up sluggish and not feeling good. Once I began breast-feeding Sarah, the saying, “Cow’s milk is for baby cows,” really hit home. What I do for all of us is diversify. I always have organic, no added sugar, soy milk, vanilla soy or almond milk & vanilla coconut milk. Sarah gets milk in her formula, but she starts hopping up and down when I get her soy milk out of the fridge. I sparingly use soy cheese. (It’s always found in the produce section – still trying to figure out why…) The flavors have become really good recently.

    This is important – make darn sure the carton says it’s a “Non-GMO.” Agri-business is able to fiddle with the molecular structure and DNA of these plants and we generally don’t know the consequences on the human or animal body. I say “generally” only because there are some people who turn out to be allergic to a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).

    d) If you want the benefits of orange juice, juice it with a juicer and drink it within 15 minutes. Most juices found in cartons loose much of their vitamins once the lid is opened and exposed to oxygen. Water: If you can, place a filter on your house or faucet, or buy quality water to drink. (Jim drinks Penta.) It is important to be sure you are never thirsty. Caffeinated drinks are bad because they make you lose water.

    e) The only items I buy boxed and bagged are whole grains (brown rice, barley, oats, etc.), 100% whole wheat couscous, whole wheat & multi-grain tortillas, Ezekiel brand cereal and occasionally whole wheat or brown rice noodles. The fewer the ingredients listed, the better.

    4) Where to buy healthy food… In central Texas, find an HEB that has high demand for organics so the turn-over rate is high and you have fresher produce. Central Market/Whole Foods are also options because they have good produce (but pricey) and as-healthy-as-you-can-get tortillas. I have a soft spot for Sun Harvest. They may not have great quantity, but they make up for it in quality and variety. Unfortunately, I have not been able to compare Lubbock’s Market Street vs. United vs. Sun Harvest. (Maybe someone could run a comparison, and leave what they found as a comment here?) We buy our multi-grain bread from the Great Harvest Bread Co. because they mill the wheat on-site, the day the bread is baked, and use honey instead of sugar. Fortunately, they often have a two for one coupon.

    Ok, so this was even longer than I expected, and I must climb down off of my soapbox now. Eating is definitely an on-going learning experience. Alice, thank you so much for asking.

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