Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Revisited ~ 12 Steps to an All-Natural Lifestyle - Foundation Laying *

Revisiting an Old Series

Not much has changed since I originally wrote this post in 2009.

Well. . . Bubbles did join our family and he brought about a diet free of dairy and gluten for both him and I, but that complemented my original goals rather than took away.

What hasn't changed is my desire for whole food eating nor the requests I still get to "teach me please, what you are doing."

When I began this series three years ago (oh my goodness, has it been that long?!) I never finished it. Pregnancy with extreme morning sickness ended it prematurely, on here and in my life, as I simply ate whatever sounded remotely good and that would either stay down or be easy as it made it's return. Once Bubbles was born, however, I picked it back up to a degree and have been progressively working to a full time whole food and raw lifestyle since then.

It hasn't been easy. An epic life adventure, life demands, and rising food costs often get in the way of eating the way I know I should. So do my tastes. Time is needed to eat correctly and so are the right taste bud desires. One can be cultivated, the other has to be managed. Both take self-control to do so. The food costs--those are an entirely different obstacle to overcome.

Where am I, today, on January 1st?
In better shape than before either of my pregnancies but with a determination to take this part of my life further than it's ever been, this coming year.

Much less addicted to sugar and caffeine than when I began this journey, and though these substances beckon to me once in a while, my taste buds now crave the good stuff more regularly than the processed stuff. This has been a huge victory for me.

Seven lbs lighter than I was pre-pregnancy with my son, as a result of eating "mostly" right the past two years, with high energy levels and a dosage of anti-depressants at 25% of the original prescribed dosage for severe post-partum depression.

Eating the right way a good 80% of the time, with a recent regression to some sugar and caffeine dependence over the holiday season.

Growing frustration at the difficulty to sustain whole and raw food eating in the winter with food prices--but a determination to keep walking the path despite this rather daunting obstacle. Which leads me here, as I revisit for myself, my original goals.

Some or the original steps be revamped and reshaped, made a bit more gradual than they were originally, but having the same end goal as three years ago.

Adding in to the personal "tweleve step" All Natural Lifestyle journey,  I will also be some sharing on another topic people ask me about--what am I doing for fitness? Until now, the simple answer would be yoga, pilates, and some Lindsay Brin's Boot Camp 2 DVD with Moms Into Fitness, recently adding Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred to the mix. I aim to conquer these current workouts and go beyond, in this coming year. As I go, I will share my own progress, probably in posts separate than the food posts.

It truly is a journey. Often ten steps forward, fives steps backwards, but always--always---moving forward. My position on the path is so much more advanced than it was when I began this way of living. I recognized it over Christmas. I stopped eating the cookies once they began tasting sickningly sweet. Years ago I would have never reached a "sicknengly sweet" point, nor would I have had the mental desire to quit munching them. I ate bigger salads with my holiday meals than I did the other foods available, not because of wanting to avoid fat and calories but because my body was craving the raw vegetables. This is progress, and considerable progress at that!

I still have a ways to go. I still fall back into the SAD at times, especially when tired from lack of sleep. I still find cravings for carbs and sugars, usually when very upset about something or very happy and "rejoicing" about something. I still find I lack energy to prepare the healthier foods some nights and reach for the Kraft mac-n-cheese or ramen noodles instead.  And I continue to struggle to how to make it all work with the budget I have and the cost of produce, nuts, and whole grains---not to mention I am also now needing to buy gluten free supplies for our baking and cooking. But. . . .  I'm getting there and I believe someday, I will have reached my ultimate 98% goal of all natural living and eating for both myself and my family.

So with all that written, here is the original post, written several years earlier:

Acquaintances are constantly asking me to "teach" them how to live a healthier lifestyle. I've even had one person ask if I'd consider teaching a class in my home. I laughed at them. "Me? Teach a class? I'm still learning myself!"

"But," they insisted, "you're farther along than other people. You need to teach us what you know!"

The idea intrigued me, but where would I start? If I had a class to "teach" all I know, that class could take a year. There is that much info! Not to mention, I'm constantly learning all the time, so it'd be the never-ending class. It's just not feasible.

So I figured I'd do the next best thing - -do a blog series on the subject. One that took things slowly and helped people make small, gradual changes that resulted in permanent lifetime changes. With 2010 quickly approaching, I figured this would be a great time to do this.

Instead of shoving a bunch of information at people and telling them the radical steps they need to take, I instead want to approach this the way I approached my own lifestyle changed - one step at a time. In the past, when I did it the radical way, I quickly gave up. It was too much to keep up with once.

For the past 1 1/2 years, I have done gradual changes, making one or two small choices weekly. The small changes were easier to get used to, weren't such a shock to my system (or my wallet), and have stuck with me. For me, the key I was looking for, for sticking with a healthier lifestyle was a gradual process and I believe that is the key for many other people as well.

 This isn't just for us personally. It's for our families as well. We're going to break the cycle of bondage to sugar and processed foods and all the sluggish, tired, worn down feelings that come with it. Not only that, but as we make changes we will begin raising our children to live a healthy lifestyle, and as as result, have much healthier lives than our generation has had.
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I am a stay-at-home-wife and mother, busy with home educating my children, doing daycare, and preparing our church-turned-home to embrace special needs and terminally ill children in need of a forever family.
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