My family has been on a journey many years in the making to better what we eat. It has taken me about three years to appreciate, tolerate and then love the new foods we eat. Rather, I should say the foods that humans have been eating for tens of thousands of years.
I was willing to help support my husband in his goal to eat more vegetables, meat (especially fish), nuts, and fruit even though a satisfying meal to me used to always mean fast food or pasta. I was young and my body was resilient and no matter how much bad food I ate, it usually didn't affect me. Late in college I really started noticing a change. No longer did the pounds melt off even if I worked out. I had hit my highest weight ever and didn't recognize myself in photos anymore. My husband and I decided in 2008 and 2009 to do P90X, a high intensity, 6 days a week, hardcore fitness program sold primarily on infomercials. We started following the accompanying diet plan and working out 5-6 days a week for close to 3 months. I dropped so much weight and packed on a lot of muscle. I was at my thinnest and fittest I had ever been in my adult life. Complete strangers commented on how great I looked.
Fast forward...past two babies and I'm finding myself at a point where exercise does not counteract the calories I eat no matter how much I work out. I found myself meticulously tracking my calories with fancy apps and logging my reps and cardio times. Nothing made sense. My body just would not change, especially after baby number two. I was on again, off again on the eating style my husband follows. Carbs just taste so good. About a year and a half ago I decided I needed to do something despite being tired and depressed about my new weird life as a stay at home mom. I love working and my time was so divided that I was lost. Although this is a completely summed up line describing months of hardship, heartache, and soul searching..."I began to balance my life better."
Eating right, eating Paleo was our primary focus in the kitchen. We both read and reread The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor and began working out together following his recommendations which were based on research from thousands of studies. Working out with my husband helped rejuvenate me. He was my spotter, my mentor, he pushed me but not too hard, and we were both sore and happy together. To this day, we work out only once or twice a week which is all that our body needs when we eat this way. My head for the first time in my life was clear. Whenever I fall back to lots of bread and sugar, my eyes hurt, my head aches and it's like I'm seeing through a fog. I only crave more of the food I was trying to avoid.
So together as a family we (for the most part) eat a Paleo Primal diet. Lots of meat, fish, nuts and some fruit as local and organic as I can manage with my busy life. We juice, we blend and we eat lots of leafy greens with almost every meal. On a weekly basis I buy upwards of 5 cucumbers, 10 carrots, 2 big family size bins of lettuce, 2 bunches of celery along with lots of other random veggies. I knew a lot of what I was buying wasn't local and I knew I could grow some of these vegetables at home. I gave myself time to start gardening because I knew I would burn myself out even more with an added daily responsibility.
So, I am proud to say, I have started gardening! In the last few weeks I planted some herbs and they actually stayed alive. I used to joke that I had a black thumb because I would kill every plant I ever tried to take care of. Little by little I planted more and more and so far, everything is still green and growing. Today was a big step for me. I went to a local nursery and bought good soil for a vegetable garden along with broccoli and spinach. Picked up a few gardening tools and got all of the oak leaves out of the fenced in bed I am going to use for my new babies. My thyme, basil, mint, rosemary, and sage are growing in half wine barrels. My lettuce is growing from seeds and I'm excited to see it sprout. My two new additions will go in my fenced in bed and I'll transfer the basil over since it's outgrowing its little pot. What a treat to use fresh herbs for our yummy dinners and homemade seasonings. I can't believe how far I've come thanks to the love and support of my family.