Wanna know how to make your entire family sick?
Tell the whole world how healthy you are.
“Pride comes before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18
I eat my words more often that I care to mention, and this is another one of those awesome times when I am humbled and floored and reminded that we can only do so much to give ourselves great health.
Life happens – even if our diets are as close to perfect as we can get them.
I just finished a 50 day challenge to eat only foods from my hands. I started the beginning of January and completed it almost without any “cheats” and had a wonderful time. I learned to cook new foods. I explored new cook books. I lost weight. I felt amazing.
It lasted only 7 weeks and went by in a flash.
Week 7 all hell broke loose. It started with some crazy, unseasonable, warm weather. Warm weather in the middle of winter is a blessing and a curse. It’s a wonderful hint of spring and outdoors and exercise….. yet it brings with it an unseen evil.
Yes, we may all play, but we shall all be sick.
I don’t know if there are any actual scientific facts to back me up, but I really think that this mild, warm, unusual winter we are having in Kentucky is a breeding ground for illness. Is it because it didn’t get cold enough to kill all the bugs? Is it because the bacteria are living on every surface? Who knows?
I can’t even name the amount of folks I know who have had the flu (respiratory version). The stomach version of the flu has also been rampant in these parts.
So, we haven’t exactly avoided all the things going around town.
It’s a fallen world and as long as we’re on it, we are going to have to deal with the icky parts along with the good. There is no denying all the toxins we are being regularly exposed to. It’s in our food, our cabinets, our carpets, our beds, our homes, our furniture, our air, our vehicles, etc. We do what we can to avoid many of these things, but unfortunately, we will never avoid it all. Including germs…. ugh.
The 2 things we must do to live are the 2 things that are slowly killing all of us: eating and breathing.
So, unless we move into bubbles and find perfect food sources from perfect soil we are (probably) going to come down with something at some point or another. Even if it’s just the flu.
Aren’t I just a big bunch of optimism today?
In our home we got hit with some nasty strep throat. It began with my youngest waking up one morning both hands clasped around his neck looking longingly into his mamma’s eyes and crying, “Mommy, what’s wrong with my throat?” He was diagnosed with strep and on his way to recovery in 24 hours. God bless modern medicine.
If you are questioning my reliance on modern medicine, wondering what I think about antibiotics or pondering why I didn’t reach for a bottle of essential oils:
My poor baby had never felt this sort of razor blade-like pain in his little body before. Like any good mama, I ran him to the nearest doctor to take away his pain and suffering ASAP. No, I am not gonna make my little guy suffer through strep and beat it on his own. I believe in letting our bodies fight and win and strengthen through sickness. I keep my kiddos out of the doctors office through many, many ailments and nurse them and let them tough it out. But strep…. strep throat- sorry folks, I know all too well the incredible slicing pain that comes with it. My baby needed relief. We went for the big guns.
After 24 hours on medicine, my youngest was running around the house chasing his siblings with balls and Nerf swords.
About this time, my throat began to hurt.
I didn’t need a strep test to tell me what was going on. No congestion. No stuffiness. No cold. No flu. Nothing but a fever and a slicing, piercing, razor-blade throat.
I fought a hard battle. I ate garlic around the clock. I gargled with cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar and salt water. I toughed it out as long as a girl could. I didn’t eat any solid foods for 8 days!!!!!!!!!! Juice, milk and chicken stock for 8 days!!! It’s a darn good thing I got a juicer for Christmas.
I had to seek help – so I did.
Which nearly killed me. Not really, but I did wish I was dead about 5 times last week. I had a bad reaction to the medicine that was prescribed for my miserable, blistered, strep throat. An allergic reaction on top of strep throat is not fun.
- On Saturday I broke out in hives.
- On Sunday I couldn’t walk.
- On Monday I couldn’t move.
- On Tuesday I wanted to die.
- On Wednesday my joints swelled to the point that I thought my skin might just burst open.
- On Thursday the swelling began to go down & the hives started to clear up.
My poor, blistered throat is still not quite recovered – which is great if you want to fit into size 2 pants but horrible if you would like something to eat.
Even though we can’t avoid everything (like strep throat), I believe we can make healthy choices so we don’t get sick too often.
Here’s 3 Ways to Eat Healthier This Week:
- Plan a Garden
- Buy Quality Food
- Go Whole
Number 1 Way to Eat Healthier This Week: Plan a Garden
Even though you may not quite be able to turn over your dirt and plant seeds right now, you can start dreaming, planning and even get some seeds started in your house if you are really adventurous.
Growing some of your food is a great way to get healthier. Many folks eat organic. Many eat local. Many eat raw, fresh foods. If you grow a little garden you can do all 3! You’ll be eating organic, local, raw, fresh veggies right from your yard. It just doesn’t get much healthier than that.
In addition to all the good, nutritious foods you’ll be eating, you will be saving money, getting exercise and fresh air.
Number 2 Way to Eat Healthier This Week: Buy Quality Foods
What “QUALITY” food means to me:
- Food raised in healthy ways
- Picked at the right time
- That hasn’t been in refrigerated storage for a month (or more)
- And hasn’t traveled half-way across the globe
Food Raised in healthy ways: Organic
Organic foods are definitely a higher quality than conventionally raised foods. Especially when it comes to plants. Organic foods are going to have had less exposure to pesticides and herbicides and chemicals. Organic foods are also inherently better for you. They are higher in antioxidants and pack more nutrition overall than their conventional counterparts. To read more about why organic foods are superior and learn something that blew my mind go here.
Picked at the right time: Local
Anytime you can purchase foods that are grown in your own area you are going to be eating much fresher foods. Locally grown veggies aren’t being called to survive: 1.) the packing 2.) the shipping and 3.) the storage that grocery store sold plants go through. This alone will make local produce much more nutritious. When plants are picked at their peak they are bursting with all the nutrients you want out of them. This is not true if the fruit/ vegetable is picked prior to ripeness and allowed to “ripen” on a store shelf somewhere. Just think about all those fruits and veggies that come from the supermarket that say: “Product of Brazil” or “Product of China”
- When was it picked?
- Was it picked at the peak of freshness? (probably not)
- How far has it traveled?
- How long has it been in storage?
- How much nutrition is left in this?
- How much money was spent on gas to get this avocado from there to here?
If you have a farmers market, roadside stand, CSA or local grower near you – you should go pay them a visit. They are growing great foods just for folks like you (and me!). Many of them have greenhouses & are growing food now.
Number 3 Way to Eat Healthier This Week: Go Whole
This is my favorite way to eat. I don’t like diets that tell me I can’t eat things. I want to eat all the foods that God has given me for food. However, I think we need to eat those foods as God intended…….
We need to look at our food & think about what it’s natural state/habitat looks like and get back to that.
- I think pigs, cows and chickens should be in pastures soaking up sunshine.
- I think Fruits and veggies should be raised without the use of chemicals. Picked when ripe. And eaten soon.
- I think we should enjoy our food as it was made & not genetically modify it.
This list could go on and on….
This is so fun for me. Whole foods is my passion and my goal in eating.
What are whole foods?
That’s easy – whole foods are foods without ingredients… like these:
- Wheat berries
- All Fruits
- All veggies
- All Herbs
- All beans
- All legumes
- Maple Syrup
- All roots (potatoes, turnips, beets, carrots, etc)
- All meat
- Many raw cheeses have only milk & an acid
This list is not near complete – it’s just a quick list to get you thinking about what you CAN eat if you are on a whole food plan.
If a food has an ingredient list – it’s not whole.
When I want to eat a bread, cracker, pita, tortilla, casserole, dessert or something with many ingredients – I can make it myself with whole foods.
This “whole food” mentality is freedom. It is not restrictive. You can eat anything you want – as long as it’s whole. You can make anything you want to eat – as long as it’s made by you with whole foods.
I’m also not legalistic. There are days….. ya know? I buy bread products sometimes. I buy pasta sometimes. Sometimes I make a treat for Christmas that starts with Cheerios.
When I buy the treat, snack, or convenience bread product, I try to chose one made with whole foods that I recognize. I try to eat prepared foods made with ingredients I have in my kitchen. Ya know?
I’m not perfect – but MOST OF THE TIME I eat a diet of whole foods.
And I think it’s doable, and wonderful and a great way to get healthy.
What do you think? Do you eat whole foods?
Thanks to everyone who reached out to me on social media with love and prayers and kind thoughts last week. You mean so much to me!