Big Changes Part 2 – Our Diet

In part one of Big Changes for our family I shared about Jasper’s allergies and how we shifted to become a detergent-free home. The second largest shift we have had as a whole family is with our diet. And we have had some amazing results that I wanted to share.

The last weekend of February 2010 I decided to shift my diet to no meat, wheat or dairy for health reasons. And since this left mainly fruits and veggies I decided to try a 30 day raw challenge . It was amazing and I personally think everyone should give it a try – it is after all just 30 days. If you aren’t happy with the results then at the end of it you can go back to eating however you like. If you have any pain in your body, then you should try it and see if it makes a difference.

Thomas was very, very supportive of this change. The children and him immediately shifted to a “more” raw diet – eating some raw dishes through the day, but also eating meats, and cooked veggies. Nearly all processed foods were cut immediately from our diet – although there wasn’t very many to be honest.

After 30 days raw, I felt absolutely amazing. I had much more energy, my complexion looked better than it had in a decade, and I had lost 15 lbs. If you do any research on eating raw food, you will learn that there is a detox phase. The first few days on the diet I had caffeine withdraw – horrible headaches lasting the entire day. I also had about 4 days during the second week where I believe I was detoxing – mainly  swollen glands and a sore throat. I’ve come to recognize that I often get swollen glands in my throat when I eat foods that are processed. Even though Thomas still at meat and some cooked veggies, he also experienced some detox which I thought was very interesting.

After 30 days raw, I wasn’t quite ready to stop. And kept it up for about another 2 weeks – losing 20 lbs total.

I was right around this time Thomas directed me that he wanted to follow a paleo diet – meat, fruits, veggies, and nuts/seeds. This we both thought fit well with my raw diet, so the family as a whole shifted to a paleo diet with a large amount of raw dishes. All processed foods were cut out, and milk was cut out as well. The only thing I still have that has been processed in any form is the Cranberry Juice for the children which has been pasteurized.

As a general rule, this is what I serve during the week:

  • Fruit, Eggs or Lean Meat, Carrot Juice or Green Smoothie – For Breakfast
  • Large salad with mixed veggies with balsamic vinegar and olive oil – For Lunch
  • Lean meat, cooked vegetable dish, raw veggie dish – For dinner
  • Fruit, nuts, dried fruits, homemade coconut ice cream, dehydrated veggie chips – For snacks

My goal each day is to keep myself to about 85% raw, with just a little lean meat if any. Some days, especially now that I’m doing CrossFit, I eat a lot more meat than I intend to. This works well for us, because my husband and children always have the protein choices if they want them, but still have a lot of raw choices as well.

If you look closely at the menu list above you will quickly notice there is no diary and no grains. This has actually been much easier than I ever thought possible. We have nut milks instead of cow milk. And the children are actually managing just fine without grains. Some days Petra will ask for goldfish, something she only has ever eaten at church, but usually is fine when I offer her fruit instead. In fact, at a recent play date, while another child chomped away on cookies, Petra happily ate her apple.

And we cheat sometimes, but the results can be debilitating. We have gradually learned over time what we can cheat on and still feel OK with, and what we have to avoid. For instance, I have to avoid sugar. If I eat it, I am guaranteed a migraine the next day. The best thing about this is I’m actually scared to death to eat anything other than raw sugars.  So every time the idea of  a chocolate truffle crosses my mind, it is quickly followed by the thought of me lying in bed the entire next day in pain. Same goes with wine, one glass and I’m toast the next morning. We love popcorn, so this is usually our cheat food – made with coconut oil. And generally, we try to follow the diet at least 95% of the time. And it really isn’t hard because we feel so much better on it.

Since eating paleo I don’t feel as energetic as when I ate raw only, and my complexion is sill good, but I don’t feel as vibrant as before. Thomas also says he feels OK all the time on the paleo diet, but doesn’t feel great. But he even has had some amazing changes. He used to have horrible neck and head pain everyday, and would take pain medication every single day. His pain has completely stopped. I think he has taken medicine twice in the last 2 months, compared to every day prior to the change in our diet.

In summary, the results have been outstanding. Here is a quick run down of what we’ve experienced after just a couple months.

  • I’ve lost 25 lbs, Thomas has lost 30 lbs
  • Better complexion
  • Lighter feel, never bloated (except from popcorn or cheat foods)
  • Jasper’s eczema has finally cleared up!
  • Thomas’ neck and head pain is completely gone
  • My headache and sinus pain is completely gone
  • The runny nose I used to wake up with everyday is gone

*** UPDATE – JUNE 20, 2010 – Turns out an extra, amazing benefit is that I’m pregnant! (After 5.5 years of infertility) This is probably has a lot to do with why I didn’t feel as great the past month while eating paleo. This is of course the absolute best result we could have asked for! It is absolutely amazing and a gift from God.

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3 thoughts on “Big Changes Part 2 – Our Diet

  1. Wow! We eat gluten free and therefore avoid most processed foods, with the exception of chips and chocolate chips. But I’m always much too hungry to eat only vegetables; when I avoid grains I lose way too much weight and there’s not that much to lose.

    However, I’m going to be snacking on our garden produce more. And I’m planning to try to avoid the microwave and eat raw or steamed food instead.

    Annie Kate

  2. We are going to wean ourselves onto this diet…I’m hypoglycemic and Exclusivly Breast feeding my 7mo right now so we are going to ease into the diet…mostly easing off dairy as it is a large part of my diet right now…so I need to find good substitutes in the first few weeks. Where did you do your research on the Paleo diet?

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