Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I’m on a spiritual awakening toward food bliss enlightenment.

Well…to put it another way I’z like healthy food. I want food to be my source of life and not depletion of it-in terms of making me sick, stomach aches, food allergies, feeling blue. We really are what we eat and in my case if I don’t try to eat good I pay for it in a number of ways. Doesn’t mean I don’t want the ole junk food all the time. I’m a Midwestern raised kid afterall. And I may or may not have had a corn dog on Sunday.

But I digress.

The reasoning behind this is two fold; My father died of congestive heart failure 10 years ago so I’m hoping to avoid this same fate being of his off’springage. I don’t hold any promises that I for sure can control that it’s all in the cards I’ve been dealt. but I’m sure gonna try. My pop was a meat and potatoes guy while I enjoy edamame, smoothies and brown rice dishes he probably would have stared blankly at. And the 2) reason is in my late 30’s I notice what I eat adversely or positively affects how I feel, physically and mentally. It’s really a no brainer (or should I say ‘whole grainer’ *nyuk nyuk nyuk ) And I find the whole thing very worthwhile like investing in my self. Like I’m my own Buick and I’m getting regular oil changes and taking care of the engine. A Thaddrolet, if you will.

I went to see a nutritionist in the fall, Dr Anthony. Great guy. I didn’t continue with the 4 months he originally proposed because my insurance didn’t cover holistic nutrition. But I wholeheartedly put to task everything he suggested. Seeing him, gaining his advice, reading the literature he offered has definitely lead me toward a more healthy feeling Thadd at least 88% of the time. And I look pretty good too if I do say so.That being said I’d like to offer some of my own personal pointers that I feel have made a huge difference in my ‘feeling good’ eating and living life. I don’t propose to be a doctor, nutritionist, expert, Dr. Oz, Oprah- so please no letters to the station chiding my uninformed ways. Each person is different and I think you have to find what works for you but I think nature and God has provided us with everything we need healthy eating wise without all the processed poop that is shoved down our throats literally and figuratively. So that being said, here are my top 10!

1) I drink rice milk or almond milk. Easier to digest and deeelicious. I use it on cereal, smoothies, oatmeal, pancake mix. Lessoning dairy has definitely decreased stomach problems I had without a shred of a doubt. And you don’t notice the difference really. Unless you’re making a tub of grandma’s thick and rich macaroni and cheese. Then maybe, not so much go for the real deal.

2) I’ve added more grains to my diet. I mean like A LOT more if left to my own devices. Brown rice, fibery cereal like kashi oat crunch, quinoa, barely, beans. Downstairs at my office deli they have the most unique and fiber rich salads like quinoa, lentil, cous cous mixes; Yummo. I try to sample them all and its just become part of my eating habits. And another pro' is….keeps ya’ regular. ;)

3) I don’t drink soda. Ok that’s not completely true I do once in a while. I drink flavored seltzer mostly. Trust me I loved soda growing up, happiness was Dr Pepper even in my 20's. Now when I do drink soda it’s like half a glass and that cuts the craving usually. I want the quenching’ness of water or seltzer overall now. Soda is just too sweet and syrupy. And lawd’ the chemicals they put in soda you might as well put brake fluid down your gullet. The body is a clear messenger of what it wants and what it doesn’t, I always notice my throat sort of closing up when I drink soda like its saying ‘NOOOOO Thadd ’. One exception I looooove is Maine Root flavored blueberry soda with pure cane juice. No high fructose corn syrup there and oh my gaaaaaaa it's so tasty *slurp.

4) Water water water. I drink it all day long. I try to drink it at room temperature too (research shows it’s better on the digestive tract) . And get this, the nutritionist also said don’t drink it WITH your meals it interferes with your digestive juices. Drink your liquids before and after meals. Isn’t that crazy? But it works! I’ve made the change and I notice a difference.

5) Exercise. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week. And when I didn’t have a membership I ran outside. You do what ya’ gotta do to get those endorphins flowing.

6) Avoid dairy. As a generality not something any of us can do all the time. I love cheese (Mmmm pizza) But are we really meant to be consuming things from animals teets? I dunnoooo. I notice when my dairy intake is low I feel easy digestion’. That is, I don’t feel anything. I’m pretty sure I’m lactose intolerant too so this is a good rule for me to strive for.

7) When I get salads, I make it healthier by having olive oil and lemon juice as my dressing. With a dash of salt and pepper too. Sometimes pesto deeeelicious.Regular dressings will seem too heavy once you have it this way. And I load up on the veggies and heart healthy dark greens & olives.

8) Read up a bit on Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India and Traditional Chinese Medicine. It provides guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines for your diet, behavior and the proper use of food, meditation, etc for your body composition. You take this test that shows what your body type is, called your ‘dosha’ and you make certain adjustments in your life from eating less spicey foods to oils and breathing. Life changing I tell you, google it right now.

9) Fruits and veggies. And fruits by themselves usually within an hour after or before eating. And almonds I try to have a handful of almonds or walnuts every day.

10) Eat slow and enjoy your food! This is your time to nourish and thank your body.

Thanks for reading this. I think writing this was very good for me. It reminds me I have made much progress in eating better (Even when I eat that cheese dog, and for the record that is my biggest weakness; salty meats like Hot dogs, salami, pastrami, ham. Ok now I’m craving it. And potatoe chips) And I fall off the wagon all the time. Sometimes I can trick my body and give it a soy cheese dog or tofu bologna with all the fixin’s. And my Thadd body will say ‘Thanks bud’. Then at times it catches on and says ‘ F’ UUUUUUUUUUU BITCH I WANT THAT HOT DOG NOWooooo !!!” Then I give in. I know I will never be able to eat healthy all the time but striving to is something that feels good…for my tummy and my soul.

Will my Thaddrolet engine keep churnin’? Stay tuned food mongers…

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