Moving to Clean Eating
I wrote earlier that my husband and I were trying to eat healthier and one of the things we were looking at was clean eating. When I began searching for healthy recipes, I would read about how many of the foods we eat today are the causes behind many of the medical issues that people have been experiencing. For example, some people get red, itchy rashes after eating, but have no idea what food may have caused the rash. It can take days for your body to show a rash or another symptom because your immune system may be able to fight it off for a few days before the symptoms finally appear. So how do you know what actually caused the rash? I also read that some foods can cause inflammation and pain in your joints or cause your arthritis to become more painful. The more I read, the more I wanted to learn what I could do to find out if a food or seasoning was causing the problems I was having. Did you know that some seasonings that we cook with can actually make inflammation of your joints worse? I didn’t know that. I thought that a seasoning sprinkled on food while cooking would be harmless. This is because when we think of food we tend to think of calories and most seasonings are zero calorie, so it would be harmless.
When searching for recipes I kept coming across articles about Paleo and Whole30, which are based on the idea of clean eating. Now I am going to simplify things here. For a Paleo eating plan, the idea is to eat foods that are in season and eliminate processed food. Paleo ideology is that we should eat a diet that represents what our ancestors ate thousands of years ago. Basically this would be meat and whatever vegetables and fruits are in season. So, no chips or candy or anything processed.
Whole30 takes the idea of Paleo and expands on it. With Whole30, you are asked to eliminate foods that are known to cause issues for 30 days to see if they are foods that should be taken out of your diet forever. During the 30 days you may see that some of your symptoms have eased or gone away. Once you complete your Whole30, you will be able to reintroduce foods one at a time in order to see if your body reacts to it. If it does, that food needs to be gone for good. If you don’t have a reaction, you can choose to keep that food in your diet. Some foods, such as sugar and sugar substitutes, known to cause Leaky Gut, should be eliminated for good. Many people describe the Whole30 process as hard at first, but they say they feel better and sleep better as their body gets used to eating healthier.
During my research, I came across several websites where the person describes the severe medical issues that they were experiencing, how they saw numerous doctors, had multiple tests done and were not diagnosed correctly or the treatment plan just didn’t help at all. Two blogs that discussed how food helped them heal are The Castaway Kitchen and Whole Daily Life. Both of the bloggers discuss how they tried for years to figure out what was wrong with them, tried all types of treatment and it wasn’t until they began researching on their own to learn about healing themselves through food that they were able to manage their medical symptoms.
While I may not have the serious health issues that those women have, I can’t help but wonder if food is causing some of the issues that I do have. Is the arthritis that I have being made worse because I eat food that causes more inflammation? Is that why some days I can barely walk when I first wake up? Is that why my fingers or knees are swollen? I usually think that I must have taken in too much salt or walked too far the day before, but the reality is that food could be part of the issue.
So, I have started making changes to what I cook, usually meat, vegetables and a salad. We are trying not to purchase processed food and I am reading the labels more to look for hidden sugars and other unhealthy ingredients. Am I ready to do a Whole30? Not yet. I am not sure that I want to go for total elimination yet. I am more aware of what I eat and if I have a reaction. So far, I have discovered that chocolate may be an issue for me and I may have problems with more nuts than I first thought. Right now, I am having fun searching out recipes that I think my husband and I might like. This Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe by The Real Food Dietitians was a winner. I promise to update you as we go.
To learn more, click on the links below or do a search on your own.