It seems lately that I keep seeing posts on the social networks about one diet or another. Fad diets have always been around. I have found though that if you follow common sense, many diet issues can be avoided.
I come from a family with a history of health problems. My mother’s parents were both diabetic. Common sense would dictate that I limit sweets and the foods that cause diabetics’ blood sugar levels to rise too much. On both sides of the family there are problems with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Just as with the diabetic history, it is wise to moderate the amount of food that I eat that is known to affect blood pressure and cholesterol.
I began to really pay closer attention to the foods that I ate back in 2007. Little Miss was approaching her first birthday and I was having a lot of chronic pain and mobility problems. In fact, I was using a walker and when away from home used a wheelchair. I did a lot of reading online to find natural means to address the problems. I found that by eliminating processed foods, I was able to be pain-free and regain my mobility. Fast forward a couple of years and I was dealing with high blood pressure.
Since that time, I have continued to make adjustments to my diet that has had great affect on my health. My family has benefitted as well. The first change was to eliminate as much processed and refined foods as possible. the hardest to eliminate was foods containing high fructose corn syrup. I was dismayed at how many foods contain it. I remember hearing as a teen the idea that if you cannot pronounce or recognize the name of the ingredients in a food, then you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
Next step was to identify the foods that contribute to high cholesterol. In the simplest of terms, animal products are the culprits. If I stayed away from the animal products, then I wouldn’t have to be quite as concerned about my cholesterol levels getting too high. I found that it also had an affect on my blood pressure as well.
Today, my blood pressure has been under control and within the normal range for just over 3 years without taking any prescription medications. For a time, I was taking garlic capsules as a natural cure for high blood pressure. I also took cinnamon capsules to help control my blood sugar levels. Though not diabetic, I do have problems with low blood sugar from time to time.
Overall, our family eats whole foods, cooked from scratch, and eat lean meats sparingly. My husband, son, and I each have lactose intolerance in varying levels. We avoid milk most of the time. We use almond milk or a low-fat powdered milk to help reduce the lactose problems. I also cook eggs only when necessary. Instead of using eggs in my recipes, I substitute them with flax seed meal mixed in water. A tablespoon of the ground flax seed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of warm water equals one egg.
When using white potatoes, I peel, cut, and soak the potatoes in water overnight before using them. The potato water is cloudy and often thickened from the starch in the potatoes soaking out of the potatoes. This cuts done considerably on the amount of starch you eat. The starch turns to sugar in your body. For those with diabetes, this can cause a lot of problems. We also use sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes quite often. They are far better for you and do not have the starches that russet potatoes contain.
Our diet is based on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. For us, this is simply common sense. I buy the basic ingredients and cook as much from scratch as possible. We eat very little of the heavy sauces such as gravies. I keep healthy snacks on hand. We typically eat 5-6 times a day, including 3 light meals and 2-3 snacks.
For us, the way we eat make sense. It isn’t following any specific diet but it works for us. I am slowly losing weight. Yes, I would love to lose it faster, but a slow weight loss will last longer. The healthy eating habits we are developing will stick with us. They will become a habit. They will be a part of our daily lifestyle. Eating smaller more frequent meals/snacks each day will help maintain energy levels throughout the entire day. Come summer, when our garden is producing, the daily meals will include pickings from the garden each day.
Now, we eat very few packaged foods. I find us eating them less and less as time goes by. I also find that our grocery bill each month lowers even further with the whole food approach.