My husband’s recent heart attack serves as a clattering, clanging, wake up call. Lifestyle matters. I’m not necessarily learning anything new with my research but rather I’m confirming and affirming things I already knew but chose to ignore.
This alarm bell doesn’t have a snooze button anymore. Honeybear and I are fully awake now. This isn’t just his health. It isn’t just my health. It affects my children. I wasn’t motived to start taking the little steps to eating better for me but now, realizing the impact on my husband and children, it’s time. One Little Step at time.
These Little Steps must be small and manageable because otherwise I’ll give up before we even start. Just thinking of how far backwards we’ve gone overwhelms me. How far backwards? What does that mean? It means that I used to do these things:
- grind my own grains (mostly white whole wheat berries but also some kamut and spelt)
- bake my own whole grain breads
- made whole grain from scratch biscuits, pancakes and sweets such as cookies and brownies
- made homemade pizza crust 100% whole grain (ok, Honeybear did that!)
- did not use vegetable oil or shortening and avoided all partially and fully hydrogenated oils (think Crisco)
- used butter and safflower oil to make “better butter” so we used butter and better butter but no fake butter or margarine.
- started experimenting with coconut oil.
- used olive oil
- avoided refined sugar using instead things like organic sugar (different levels of refinement), honey, and molasses
- bought less cereal and the cereal I did buy was whole grain and from the “health food section” (hey Enviro Kids Peanut Butter Puffs may not really be any healthier but at least it didn’t have refined flour and sugar :D )
- didn’t eat things like Doritos, Cheetos, Frito Corn Chips on a regular basis (not saying we ate all that much healthier because we bought Barbara’s Bakery Cheese Puffs and Bearito’s Corn Chips. They didn’t taste better but they were made with better ingredients)
- purchased beef from local farmers who did grass-fed, pastured beef with no hormones etc (as close to organic as possible but just not certified organic)
- avoided processed foods like boxed dinners, boxed mac & cheese, American singles
But now I don’t do those things. Well, not most of them. It took time to get to the point that we were at above and I can’t just jump back to doing what we were doing. It didn’t take as long to go backwards (going downhill is so much easier than going uphill!) and there are some things that we have continued to do or have started to implement before the heart attack:
- using coconut oil. Even before the heart attack we were using more coconut oil. Turtlegirl makes awesome chocolate chip cookies using coconut oil instead of butter, margarine, or Crisco.
- we still use olive oil as our primary oil (we have both extra virgin first cold pressing and light olive oil. There is strong debate over the light olive oil *sigh* but it has to be better than vegetable oil made from GMO soybeans right? assuming it really is olive oil *sigh*)
- buying whole wheat bread (no the store bought kind isn’t nearly as healthy and nutritious as homemade but I can pretend that it’s better than the store bought white bread right?)
- making our own homemade marinades for chicken and beef
- eating fish more often (we are not fish eaters so eating fish once a month is eating fish more often <grin> )
- eating more fresh fruit and vegetables
I plan to post about our new journey of little steps to better eating. I’ll need the accountability as well as the ability to look back and see that however small the step, we’re still moving in the right direction. Our first little step hasn’t been so little or rather doesn’t feel so little but for the last 3 weeks we’ve been working on sodium reduction but that’s a topic for another post. Have you recently made dietary changes? Do you take little steps or was it necessary to take a few giant steps as well?
Baby Feet Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net