March 10, 2009

Our Healthy Eating Plan

I got a couple of comments last week (which I have not replied to as of yet - sorry!) :0) about our new healthy eating plan, asking what we are specifically doing to eat more healthy. I have been planning to blog about this for some time now but it has been put off until today. Finally, a few spare moments to share with you what we are doing.

I'll start by saying that this has nothing to do with wanting to lose weight, although that is a nice side effect of how we have started to eat! This plan all stems from my desire for better overall health (I suffer a lot from sinus/allergy problems not to mention trouble sleeping and a few other things). It is also due to some problems my husband has, namely acid reflux. Lastly we aspire to eat better due to some food allergies we found out that our oldest daughter has which led to symptoms of colitis. We knew that based on all of this, that it was time to make some changes.

We never did eat BADLY, really. Just your average American diet. Maybe even better because I do like to get those veggies in there and I have always been health conscious as far as picking and choosing certain kinds of foods and ingredients that I feel are best for us and trying to buy organic whenever possible. But we have found that was not enough and we had to be extremely picky on what we eat for the sake of the health of our family.

To begin, the main plan we are using right now is The Sonoma Diet and The Sonoma Diet Cookbook. This plan works really well to help you get rid of sugar cravings and also helps you to lose weight if you want to. You don't have to exercise but of course it does help if you are after weight loss. After reading those two books I also read through The Maker's Diet and Eat Fat, Lose Fat as well as Nourishing Traditions. I've also been scouring the web for info and have read a lot about coconut products which we have added to our diet. You can read more on this here.

Basically, I have combined what I feel to be the best advice of the above three books with the Sonoma Diet stuff to fit within a few guidelines (our budget, what we like to eat and to address and specific health concerns we have). The basic idea is to balance your meals.

Breakfast consists of half protein and half whole grains (if we eat hot or cold cereal) or 25% whole grains and 75% protein if we eat say, eggs or meat. Lunch and dinner are broken down into 25% increments (25% veggies, 25% fruit, 25% whole grains and 25% protein or dairy. Sugar is not included at all the first 10 days of the diet, not even fruit and after that it is severely limited and has to be something like honey or Sucanat or molasses. Refined products like white sugar, white rice and white flour are not allowed not are pre-packaged, convenience type foods. Thanks goodness I like to cook because I spend A LOT of time cooking now, even more than before which was already a lot! :0) I may just have to go back to food blogging again, LOL! We've tried to go 100% organic as well. I'll share some recipes soon, I have been coming up with new ones like crazy to keep some variety in our diet.

So far it's all going really well. Around day 8 of the first phase (which is 10 days total) my husband had only had a problem with reflux maybe once. I'd lost about 12 lbs. (without exercise!) and I am now sleeping better with less allergy problems. I'm also not snacking late at night like I used to because honestly I am not hungry. This is great because I am really bad about late night snacking! My husband has lost a lot, his clothes are loose but he's not tracking his weight so we're not sure of how much he's lost.

I also picked up a couple books and DVD's by Jordan Rubin (Perfect Weight America book plus accompanying DVDs and The Vitamin Code) that Sprouts had for FREE if you buy one of his Garden Of Life products. We needed coconut oil anyhow and I always buy the Garden of Life brand anyhow so this was an awesome deal. If they still have those to offer, go pick them up they have some great info. (just try to look past how much he is trying to get you to buy all of his products on the DVDs and you will see he's got some good info there no matter what brand of products you purchase). :0)

Finally, we are incorporating into this plan my oldest daughter's food allergies. She is on a 90 day plan which avoids foods that she reacted to in a food allergy blood test. There are some pretty common foods she has reacted to so it has been a challenge to incorporate her plan into the diet as well. She can't have potatoes (white, sweet, yams, etc), peppers, citrus, eggs, cows milk or tomatoes... some of our favorite foods! Once the 90 days are up we are going to try to wean her back onto those foods again.

So, that is the long and short of it for now. I will try to post some updates soon.


Erika W. said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your plan. I love the fact that you didn't just pick up a plan and follow it to the letter- you've done some research and are incorporating other ideas into it, essentially making your own plan! So many times I've read a book on nutrition or diet, think it sounds good, but there are parts that don't sound good to me. I'll have to think on this, think about those books, pick up a few others and see if I can't come up with something that I can live with. Thanks for the ideas.

Shauna said...

I am new here! What an awesome blog you have :) ♥ Hugs!

vehementflame said...

hey, it's me again. I am sorry to hear your girl has the dreaded food allergies- our family is doused with them- just found out this week we have to add milk to the long list ...sigh... I hope your plan will help..

Michele said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the post Erika. It took so much time to do this but it was so worth it! We are loving the way we feel and now I am trying to come up with an exercize plan we can live with.

Shauna, please visit me here any time, I am so glad you dropped by!

vehementflame, yes those food allergies are awful but we are just so blessed that we are finding ways to live with it and to help her feel better.