It’s been 3 months now since Tom and I made the decision to cut the added sugar, coffee and gluten from our lives. As well, we eliminated foods containing artificial ingredients. We reasoned that we need real food to make real people. Artificial food is good for making— well you know what I mean.
Now, before you fall off your chair and start making harsh judgments in your head, please continue reading.
No one loved coffee more than Tom, and no one loved carbs and gluten more than me. So if I’m sitting here, feeling so impassioned as to share this transformation with you…please consider that it may be worth it for you and your family.
I keep telling people, it’s really is so basic. Although it is hard for people in our modern society to believe. what you eat affects EVERYTHING on both a physical,mental, and dare I say, spiritual level. Here’s the thing, I used to start yawning every day around 2 pm. I would need multiple trips to the pantry for snacks, chocolate, usually coffee, (always coffee in the morning) and here’s a big one. I always woke up groggy. Very, very groggy and grumpy. No matter what time I went to bed. This was just life. I figured this was par for the course as a mom raising four active children.
I was blessed to have an excellent nutritionist that shared an office building with my chiropractor. I decided to meet with him, I suppose a prompting of the spirit nudged me. After relating to him about my strong religious convictions he said to me
‘So the food God put on the earth isn’t good enough for you? You have to buy manufactured fake food?”
Me: ‘It just costs so much more’
Him “But if you believe He created this incredible machine called your body, and that He put everything on the earth for you to sustain and keep it running, why then are you trying to change what isn’t broken?”
Then he pointed out that what’s really expensive is someone in the family getting sick and having to pay the those doctor bills or to have to take time off from work! Huh. Good point.
The nutritionist had my attention at this point. Soon, he probed my conscience further.
I started asking myself “Aren’t our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit? And doesn’t it only make sense if I consider myself a ‘religious’ person, that it should carry over into how I treat and care for my body… which is not only a GIFT but a TEMPLE to house of our living God? If “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” does that only apply to our kitchens and bathrooms and to the outside of our bodies? What about our insides? After all, they don’t call it junk food for nothing” and why would I bring “junk” into the one holy temple I was given dominion over by the Lord?
If the 5th commandment tells us to not commit bodily harm to ourselves shouldn’t that carry over to the way we eat? Can we continue to deny that eating poorly and cultivating poor eating habits in our children isn’t in fact doing harm? Especially in 2016 when we have so much scientifically proven facts that simply cannot be ignored. And importantly, since there’s a multitude of studies that show that good nutrition is one of the main pillars of physical and mental health?”
I honestly felt like a hypocrite. How could I prudently care for my soul and the souls of my children by carefully selecting nourishing, experiential influences in their daily life, while at the same time neglecting the REAL nutritional needs of our physical bodies? How could I put things into my body, that I know full well are not nourishing to it? It was all this that convicted me to try the experiment that was being proposed.
Part of me didn’t want to know the stats and the facts, I just wanted to run an experiment and see how I felt. But the thing is, thanks to my nutritionist and my own research I now know why the coffee, sugar, and gluten wasn’t doing it for me or Tom anymore.
The Turning Points:
1.Coffee is not your friend:
Because coffee mimics some of the natural hormones of our body, it does the job of stimulating the adrenal glands to produce a whole host of other activating hormones. When we bypass certain glands such as the pituitary and hypothalamus, which are normally responsible for adrenal stimulation, they get lazy and even atrophy. That’s why some people get so addicted to coffee. But coffee and caffeine are never as smart as the glands that do it naturally so the adrenals and all the others get confused and this leads to enormous emotional and physical stress.
It’s easy to get addicted to coffee and especially the caffeine portion of it. That’s why coffee feels so good but is so hard to get off of. The problem is when you try to fool nature you always wind up fooling yourself. If you do it routinely and often enough, your these vital glands may just decide they don’t need to bother producing those essential hormones anymore. This is a serious problem which may already be wreaking havoc in your body presently!
This explanation made complete sense to Tom, who was finding he needed more and more coffee everyday to make it through. He was up to 5 cups! While we may not be biological geniuses, we know the truth when we hear and feel it. Remember God intended our food to be real food, quoting Genesis 1:29
“God said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;and to all the wild animals, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the earth, I give all the green plants for food. And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good“
Now, please tell me how I could argue with that.
2. Sugar is Poison
Ok, but while Tom had become dependent on coffee, sugar was my drug of choice as it is for so many of us. I’m not talking about candy, but the cookies, granola bars, pop tarts, crackers. The added sugar that food companies sneak t into almost all packaged food can handicap your whole beautiful system of a body. Did you know when they put cancer cells under microscopes and introduce sugar, it grows? Yes. Sugar feeds cancer! It also is largely responsible for the obesity and diabetes epidemic our country now faces. Did you know that a recent UCLA study indicated that 50% of all American adults are diabetic or pre-diabetic? At the turn of this century that statistic only applied to adults over 55, now it’s just flat across the board for all adults 21 and over. Does this get your attention!?
That risk holds for all of us and especially the future of our younger generation as numbers continue to skyrocket. The reason food manufacturers sprinkle sugar into everything, even soups, salad dressings, peanut butter and pasta sauces, is because it’s so addictive . They know for sure that you’ll want to come back for more and more and more. Food manufacturing is one of the few industries that doesn’t seem to care if it kills off its own customers! If you think I’m exaggerating about sugar please Google CBS 60 minutes IS SUGAR TOXIC hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Click here to view it now! This act alone might save your life or of someone you dearly love.
Tom is friends with a woman who successfully beat breast cancer. All through natural means. And according to her, as a survivor, she won’t go near sugar ever again. That spoke volumes to me.
3. Modern Wheat is Nothing like Jesus’ Wheat
I used to think ‘But Jesus ate bread’ but no. Different wheat. So much better for you, (search: einkorn wheat)
My nutritionist turned me on to the book WHEAT BELLY in which the author Dr. William Dean explains that
“the original ancient wheat had 14 chromosomes, but now wheat has over 40 chromosome. That’s why some people refer to it as FRANKENwheat. The radical alteration of modern wheat and the gluten it contains makes it so much harsher on your digestive system, causes intestinal inflammation ( bloating, gas) and just as importantly inhibits your immune system and unnerves your nerves leading to increased risk of depression and anxiety. People with Crohn’s and Celiac disease usually respond very well to a gluten free diet. And oddly enough, IBS, Crohn’s, Celiacs, Diabetes… these are all 1st world problems. You aren’t seeing these cases in countries that eat mostly vegetables, fruits and meats or grains that haven’t been altered by a “better living though chemistry” philosophy that we’ve been duped into here in the United States. So, essentially between the gluten and the sugar and the caffeine and the added artificial ingredients the American diet is just Yuck and it’s reflected in the fact that America has been rated by the World Health Organization as the unhealthiest of all the industrialized nations“
Huh. So all the evidence leads me to believe, ‘shockingly’ that the food God gave us is in fact NO DOUBT the best we can put in our bodies.
4. If it wasn’t in Eden, don’t eat it.
Your pantry should be empty compared to your fridge. The fridge should be stuffed to the gills with fresh fruits, vegetables, REAL yogurt * , butter, cheese and fermented foods. Other than some rice and canned tomatoes, maybe dried lentils.. get the heck away from that pantry! And no cereal for breakfast! Those carbs just activate our bodies in a similar way as does caffeine, by spiking blood sugar. Then by noon of mid afternoon comes the crash, then more carbs then another crash. Having a breakfast loaded with healthy nutrients, including good protein, fats and a small amount of complex carbohydrates gets the day off to a good start. People who don’t eat breakfast are much more prone to obesity and diabetes. And kids who eat a healthy diet perform much better in school.
Grass Fed butter… liquid gold! Literally.
Eat more eggs!
*whole fat, grass fed Greek yogurt. Not pretend sugar loaded cultured milk. Yoplait or Dannon should not qualify as yogurt. Ever.
5. Transform your mind
It does take a total re-look at the way we approach nutrition. I mean we were all raised with that crazy Food Pyramid thing that says ‘GRAINS GRAINS GRAINS!’… of course I don’t have to go into that here. But if you read the book ‘Wheat Belly’ or “Grain Brain” by a leading neurologist, you’ll learn why the big pharma companies want you to eat more grains since it keeps the dollars from diabetes treatment flowing. I really love how Dr. Josh Axe puts it in his book ‘Real Food’,
” America’s Standard Food Pyramid recommends eating six to ten servings of grains a day. Umm, ok. Have you ever actually eaten 10 servings of bread in a day and not woken up in a coma or ten pounds heavier?? Eating six to ten servings a day is like eating 3 slices of pizza, 2 sandwiches, and a giant bowl of pasta all in one day! Does this really sound healthy to you?”
(To hear more from Dr. Axe listen to this free podcast here.)
But even with all the evidence piling up I still wasn’t convinced that a change in diet would really result in obvious changes to my family, but there was only one way to find out. That was to have the open-mindedness and courage to swim against the tide and make the changes that were recommended to me.
So now it’s 3 months later, and I’m totally loving how I feel. Perhaps I sound like an info-merical but the fact is, I can honestly say, I have never had this much energy or lack of anxiety in my whole life. My head is clear. I wake up ready to start the day. My previous lack of energy used to be very scary for me, especially on the days I got very little sleep and had a full day ahead for me. But now with my dietary changes in place I feel like I can manage and hold my life together even if on occasion I should get inadequate rest. Says the wise man, “A car won’t run if you put cement into it!” So now the fuel I put in my tank is high octane natural food with no fuel additives.
Lunch time for the kids. Sue me over the salami.
I don’t get cravings throughout the day or need a pick me up in the afternoon! I’m really stunned by this one. But the key point I learned is that if you are sustaining your body properly on health oils, fats and proteins, you stay full and it gives your body the stamina it needs to perform your daily duties effectively.
Isn’t that only a great way to honor the body God gave you?
I owe it to the Lord, who didn’t have to create me, but He did. I owe Him the honor of caring for this incredible machine, to the best of my ability. And I think you owe it to Him to at least do some research and run a little test of your own.
So for me it’s sort of a scientific thing but mostly a religious thing. I think morally and ethically speaking, I am obligated, as a practicing Catholic, to nourish my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. It has made me happier. It has brought me more peace between myself and my Creator. And I don’t even care how prosaic that sounds. I literally have more joy in my being, and it does help to FEEL awesome.
Don’t be intimated by it, it was so much easier than I originally anticipated. You can do it! I promise you the difference in your life, in your mental state, in your spiritual life is TOTALLY worth it. I won’t go back. I swear to you, it feels way too good. I will say though, all of this was done with the support of an excellent, knowledgeable nutritionist. If you have someone in your area that you know of than I highly recommend doing this under their supervision. Especially if you want optimal results. Obviously most of us are not that familiar with the foods we should and shouldn’t consume. It really helps to consult someone who’s an expert in the field but if you think you can do it on your own more power to you!
Look, you don’t need to settle for a fake Jesus to nourish your soul on Sunday (I hope not!) you go for the body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist.
So too, you shouldn’t settle for fake foods to nourish your gift of a body. (Which is only on loan to you!)
“Do not conform to this world…but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..” Romans 12:1-2