Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Healthier '08

Bocca Burger and BlogHer want to know how we are making a difference in our health this year. One of their essay requirements is keeping it to 250 words or less, too… which effectively excludes me from winning contest right off the bat (I am a tad on the wordy side - which you would know if you read my OTHER blog)… not to mention that I’m pretty sure they won’t allow my WHOLE 4 person family to come to San Francisco for BlogHer ‘08 anyway… and I’m not going without them… so here’s my essay regardless of winnability.

Honestly, HEALTHY LIVING is one of the resolutions that usually slip past my self control and end up on subsequent year’s lists. Up until recently, I didn’t think I could really pull off “living healthier” for any length of time. It wasn’t until I heard about my friend Amy nearly dying in her late 20’s from her allergy to wheat that I started thinking about making some REAL changes to my own diet. I share some of Amy’s milder symptoms that she had before she got involved with her new diet. Hearing about them made me wonder if eating more responsibly might help my own wellbeing… and in turn the health of my family (including my mom who lives with us part of the week and shares some of Amy’s symptoms, too).

I don’t do diets. Any change of mine will have to be a lifestyle change. My first goal is to stop eating so much bread and try and replace much of the wheat we eat with gluten-free or wheat-free products. My husband has already been using the bread machine and I have another buddy who’s son has a wheat allergy that has been giving me tips here and there on what grocery items taste edible that don’t include wheat. Amy is planning to email me a list of approved foods that her doctor has shared with her. She is feeling much better and has lost quite a bit of weight getting off of wheat. It was literally killing her!

Aside from less gluten, decreasing sugars, eliminating cokes and working to rule out any foods that contain wheat or artificial, refined or hydrogenated additives; my other big resolution is to REALLY, TRULY, FOR-REAL-THIS-TIME get outside and be more active. Notice how I didn’t bring up the word ‘e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e’. Sounds too much like exorcism to me and frankly, I hate exercising just to exercise. I'll never be one of those gym-people. Meat market is not my style. What I don’t mind is having fun. Fun includes walking (especially nature walks with my homeschooled kids), playing basketball with our co-op, playing laser tag when we can afford it, and going on field trips that require us to be up and about most of the day. We have already committed to “Green Hour” – ‘No Child Left Inside’ and are starting a nature blog for accountability. We plan to walk and explore each day killing many birds with one stone (figuratively, of course)… our nature walks are PE, science, photography, research (computer), typing and writing skills rolled in to one adventure… and let’s not forget vitamin D if it is sunny outside!

Sorry to disappoint you if you thought I was going to show you how to get thighs or abs of steel in as little as 10 minutes a day while watching Oprah. That just isn't realistic (especially not for me - since I don't do steroids, daytime talk shows, speed... nor do I have a death wish). If I do get out the Denise Austin or Pilates, I will effectively give myself extra credit for sweating in the living room… but I’m certainly not going to REQUIRE it of myself. After all these years (and the seven total times I have done video exercise tapes in my entire life), I know myself better than to resolve about something I have NO passion for what-so-ever. I DO have a desire to be fit… and to enjoy the outdoors with my kids. Finally I have gotten smart enough to channel my resolution for fitness through our Homeschool schedule. It won’t just be mom who is staying healthy, either.

... And I just might find out that NEXT year, I don’t hate exercise so much after all. Ya think? Maybe I’ll even be feeling good enough to fit in those size 6 pants that are stacked up in a pile in the corner of my closet? Nah – I’m not getting my hopes up!

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Mom2fur said...

It sounds like your friend had celiac disease. I was tested border-line positive for it a few years back. Turns out I don't have it, but I do have an ulcer that made me change my way of eating. Actually, I did try some of the gluten free stuff--the chocolate chip cookies are actually pretty good, LOL!
I think the biggest change I've made is avoiding store-made cookies and the like. Boy, the stuff they put in that to preserve it must take years off your life. I'm no health food freak (I think Boca Burgers are yucky), but I would say most of my diet is pretty decent. I like my fruits and salads. I'll tell you one thing...I've become a great label reader!
Good luck with your healthier pursuits this year.

Anonymous said...

Great Post!
My kids tested positive for celiac; I tested negative initially, but I still saw a dramatic difference in my well being when I removed gluten. I now feel better & more energized than when I was 18! Hope going GF helps you to feel better too!
Check out the Silly Yaks yahoo group if you can - they have great ideas, recipes, a huge restaurant guide to help when eating out....

Sprittibee said...

Haha "takes years off your life" - yeah, but when you die, you will stay looking good for 20-40 extra years!

I heard this guy once joking about how they dug someone up to do some dna sampling once for a crime - and the only thing different about him was a touch of mold on his nose! It has been at least a decade or more, too! Isn't that sad that we eat stuff that preserves us like that?

We are pickling ourselves!


I also read labels like crazy. That is one reason the JIFF pb in my house is on it's last visit to my shelves. We get natural peanut butter now... but we had three years worth of Jiff for various reasons I'm uncertain of now... and it is taking me forever to go through it because I can't bring myself to eat it after reading the label. Ignorance is sometimes bliss, and then you die! LOL


Jan - that is great about your gluten removal successes. I could USE SOME MORE ENERGY. Sorry for shouting! ;) I got really excited. Maybe I should feed a non-gluten diet to my man, too?!

THANKS for the tips on the Silly Yaks yahoo group. ;) Neat!

- Heather