If you know me at all you know I have my pet causes:
Natural birth awareness, nursing, cloth diapering, all that good stuff, and of course, being anti- vaccination. I am not going to talk about that here don’t worry, but I feel one key component of my opposition is relevant to the following topic, and that is the toxins that are present inside of vaccines, things that I don’t really want to inject into my child’s body. So being so anti-vax I got to thinking…. How can I be so against putting poison into our bodies and yet be content with eating food that has been processed beyond all hope of being nutritional anymore? The answer is, I can’t. Not to mention how sluggish and yucky and foggy I was feeling. Something had to be done! So I talked to Mr. Wright and we decided to make a huge change: No more eating crap. From now on, we and our children would only eat whole, non-processed (and organic if possible) foods. No more McDonald’s or Hardee’s or Sizzler (just kidding, I don’t actually know what Sizzler is) From now on, if we were going to eat it, we (ok I ) was going to make it.
I dug out the cookbooks and started immersing myself in whole- food culture. Things like alternative sweetners, and gluten-free grains, and egg replacements. We decided we would start eating a plant based diet. This didn’t seem hard since we don’t really eat a lot of meat anyway, save for the ribeye steaks I consume once or twice a week. What can I say? Mama likes her red meat!
Cutting out fast food was pretty easy since we really don’t have any of those places around where we live. What would be tough was the processed foods, aka the “boxes of crap” as Mr. Wright calls them. Those were going to have to go, and since our last mission to the grocery store was conducted on an empty stomach, that was a LOT! We decided that rather than waste food we paid for, we would just use up what we had while also making positive changes to our diets. The result? By day 2 the once delicious Texas Toast in my freezer tasted like cardboard dipped in Windex! Seriously! I could taste all the chemicals and preservatives in it and I didn’t even want to eat it! That along with a few frozen pies and burritos are still in the freezer and to be honest, I am not sure who is going to eat them!
Another thing we decided to do was juicing. We actually have two juicers. One we got about 6 months ago and one I got Mr. Wright for Christmas. The difference is this new one is a MASTICATING juicer. It works a lot slower and seems to get a lot more juice out. Also, little things like berries don’t clog it which is awesome. Mr. Wright drinks a juice that has green leafy vegetables in it because he is brave, and I drink one that has berries and pears because, well, I am not there yet. Baby steps……
The next thing I did was to create a Facebook group, consisting of all my friends who were on the same journey to health. Aptly named “Another one of AL’s annoying groups-clean eating edition” this group is chalk full of friends and family who are tired of eating crap. And as one of my friends, Sweet Bird put it, “it keeps us accountable.” Another friend, Flower Child had the brilliant idea of posting the food we make and that got me thinking… This would be a great place for us to share recipes we liked (and didn’t like) That way only one of us would have to suffer through a bad one! So that is just what we did! Two weeks later the group is still going strong! Even my baby brother has joined!
Though there have definitely been some challenges already, (like coming to terms with making every single meal at home) there have been some pleasant surprises too. The thing I was most concerned about when undertaking this clean eating thing, was not cutting out soda, or dairy, but chocolate! I have a serious chocolate addiction and I was sure that was going to be my undoing. I started reading up on “faking chocolate” but I wasn’t very hopeful, figuring it would taste something like wallpaper paste mixed with cow manure… After all that is the big concern with clean eating right? The real food never tastes as good as the “bad stuff.” I found a recipe for chocolate truffles that consisted simply of walnuts, dates, and cocoa powder but seeing as how I don’t like dates, I was pretty sure I was going to hate it.
Boy was I wrong. This mixture of mundane ingredients created the most amazingly decadent “chocolate” I have ever tasted in my life. Better than the real thing! I was shocked, but excited that I could eat these “truffles” to my heart’s content, and health! That made me want to find more recipes that substituted good things for the bad ones, and before I knew it I was cooking! French Toast, Chicken, tons of salads… the list goes on.. Things I made for us to eat that are actually GOOD for us! And.. while doing so I learned something really interesting.. I like to cook! In fact, I love it! It feels amazing to take a bunch of raw ingredients and turn them into something nutritious AND delicious! Granted the kitchen usually looks like a bomb hit it, but I am sure with time I will get better at cleaning as I go.
The only caveat I can see with clean eating so far is the price. Buying organic whole ingredients is much more expensive than buying the processed stuff. Which kind of makes no sense since you have to do more to something to process it right? Anyway, our grocery bill at this rate is going to look more like a car payment if I don’t tweak a few things. I still need to figure out meals that utilize most of the same ingredients rather than my meal planning list looking like the World Showcase at Epcot. We have also found a few “hidden gems” here in the neighborhood, like the food coop and a farmer’s market.
All in all, the clean eating thing is actually pretty easy so far. I haven’t had any cravings for yucky things, though I will admit I get hungry a lot more often.
I invite you reader, to comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to our group. If you think you want to try the clean eating thing, I implore you to DO it! I have never felt so energized, and clear- headed and so ready to chase a toddler around…