One of the things that I kept coming across in my search for clean eating plans was the inclusion of sparkling water. Now I understand the need to stay hydrated. Water is essential for our bodies to function correctly. Because we are told that soda is bad for us flavored waters have flooded the market. When you start reading their labels, you will find that many flavored waters contain sugar substitutes and those are to be avoided on when trying to eat clean.
The clean eating movement has embraced sparkling water and we are being inundated with flavored sparkling water in every flavor you can think of and many more that you wouldn’t have come up with if it was up to you to do so. Even the soda companies, such as Pepsi and Coke are in the sparkling water business now. One of the reasons that people are drinking it is because the bubbles make you feel full and you don’t feel hungry if you are watching your calories. Others say that it is a replacement for soda and anything that moves you away from high calorie high sugar soda is a good thing.
My son has been a fan of sparkling water for the last year. He tried a few before settling on one that is grapefruit flavored. If you were to give him and actual grapefruit, he would not eat it, but water is different. We have purchased different brands of grapefruit flavored sparkling water, but he always says that he prefers the first brand. We have also purchased a variety of sparkling water in different flavors thinking that my husband and I would try them out to see if they would be something that we could drink. We have tried the following:
Grapefruit–My son’s choice (pictured)
Coconut sparkling water—Ugh no!
Plain sparkling water—No
Berry sparkling water—No
Tangerine Pomegranate sparkling water—No
Strawberry sparkling water—No
Watermelon sparkling water—No—and why does it taste like the green rind and not the sweet melon?
Orange Vanilla sparkling water—No
Cherry Lime sparkling water—No
The one thing that I just can’t get past is the amount of carbonation in the sparkling water. My son actually asked me why I was having such an issue with the carbonation since I do drink soda once in a while. I explained that usually a can of soda is rather flat when you open it, so there isn’t a lot of carbonation. Actually, the soda industry should look into why the sparkling waters are able to retain their carbonation while their sodas don’t. My husband has declared an end to the sparkling water experiment. My son will continue with the grapefruit flavor and I will continue with my plain water.
What do you think about the sparkling water trend?
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.
I didn’t plan on taking a break. So what have I been up to during my break? Hmmm, lets see, I left my job, decided to go back to school and hope to eventually find another job. Sounds like a lot right? And it was.
So lets start with the job. It hasn’t been a secret that I have not been happy with my job. I love the patients, and they will be what I miss the most, but what I won’t miss is the stress and lack of advancement opportunities. For me, the decision to leave my job was not one that was made easily or quickly. In fact, I realize that I stayed much longer than I should have, but that is on me. It is hard to walk away from a job that I helped to create and develop for my department. But when your husband tells you in a very frank and honest conversation that your job is making you a B@t&h, well you have to really take notice. And I did. And he was right.
What my husband saw was that I would begin withdrawing on Sunday evening. He said that it was like I was putting on my gear to go into battle and from Monday to Friday, I was withdrawn, sad and would come home and just curl up on the couch. He said the only time I would smile was on the weekends. But most of all, he said that he wanted his wife back. So when that conversation happens, you have to take notice and believe me I did.
The question then became what did I want to do? Did I want to stay in my job and hope things will change? Well, honestly, I have been hoping for that for more than two years and it still hasn’t happened. Or did I leave? And what did I want to do when I leave? More conversations with my husband and more conversations with myself led me to the decision to go back to school. And that is rather scary, but now is the time to make it happen. I resigned. Worked my final two weeks and left for career progression. And it felt absolutely wonderful!!!
Now if only I can decide what I want to be when I grow up.
As another year closes, I can see the remnants of our latest snow event. I noticed how the weather forecasters have stopped referring to them as snow storms. This year they are events. We have had 4 events so far with snow totals close to 10 inches. We have spent most of the week with temperatures below freezing and that is expected to continue for another week before we might get above freezing again. Tonight is supposed to be the coldest of the season, so it will be an evening in with a fire and something warm and yummy to drink.
Looking back at my 2017 New Years Wish List, I think there were some successes. Some that are still a work in progress and one or two that I didn’t achieve. I have completed several crochet projects over the past year, including making an afghan, two pillows for the couch and several cowl like scarves to wear with sweaters. I am currently working on another afghan which will be for my husband. I just hope to finish it while it is still winter. I admit that I stopped crocheting in the summer, so this year I will look for projects that I can do during the summer. It really is relaxing. So crocheting would be a success.
I wished to be healthier. This is definitely a work in progress. I feel that I have made big improvements in cooking healthy meals. I have cooked more and we have eaten out less. It’s been easier in a way since two restaurants that we enjoyed going to closed during the past year, so fewer options mean less dining out and more home cooked meals. I am always searching for healthy meals that are also something we would eat, quick to put together and doesn’t take a professional chef to cook. Not every meal would pass the healthy test for some, but I would say we have had more healthy meals than non-healthy this year.
In terms of drinking more lemon water…I’ve failed. I just can’t do it. Neither warm or cold. I just can’t.
As for my wish to say no to Dunkin…well this was successful for a while. Then my husband discovered their Vanilla Bean Coolata for a yummy, summer treat and of course, I had to find something for me. That was their Butter Pecan Iced Coffee. Mmmm so good. Of course summer is gone and so is the butter pecan flavoring, but did I mention they now have a Winter White Chocolate? So Dunkin is in the failure category.
My wish for a new job didn’t happen in 2017. And things at work haven’t gotten better. I have applied for several internal jobs, but we are required to tell our manager that we are applying for other jobs, and it appears that we are being blocked in our attempt to move to another position. Management wants to keep us where we are. I am trying to decide how much longer I will stay. My husband wants me to quit and says I’m not the same person I was when I started. He’s right. I don’t like the person I have to be at work.
For 2018, I wish to keep working on trying to get healthier. I want to find things that motivate me to keep trying and not give up as easily as I have in the past. And I want to end each day with something positive.
For all of you who stop in here, I wish you and your loved ones have a year of love, laughter and good health!!