I have to change my routine so I can get my reading done. It is awesome.
Those who know me well know that I had a pretty healthy diet. I ate based on the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, and was much healthier for it. The food is delicious, and this quest set my husband and I on a path that led us to raising a lot of our own food.
At a WAPF potluck, hosted on our farmlet some time ago, I met a woman who was a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When I found out what she did, I peppered her with questions for the rest of the afternoon, and also followed up with several emails and phone calls. There was also a naturopathic doctor there, and another NTP student. All agreed that this training was for me.
They were correct. It was an amazing journey.
Early in the program, we paired up with fellow students to evaluate our current health status as it relates to nutrition. I was stunned to see that I needed a LOT of help nutritionally. How could that be? I was doing SO much to eat only nutrient dense foods, properly raised and properly prepared.
Well, it is not just about what you eat. It is also about how your digestive tract is working to assimilate those nutrients. Then there is the component of how stable your blood sugar is....this is critical to health and well-being. Mine was off the charts.....bad. With my great diet. I was stunned.
The digestive issues didn't surprise me, as I'd been struggling with this my entire life. Increasing food allergies, all to healthy whole foods, was my big concern. I wondered what I'd eat in my old age, as I was adding to my "do not eat" list every year.
The blood sugar thing....that was the shocker. I ate a diet pretty devoid of all sugar and white flour. Sugar was a rare treat, and was usually in the form of honey or maple syrup in very small amounts. By rare, I mean no more than once every other week or so. Considering most people today in the US eat close to a half pound of sugar a day, I was pretty stinkin' low on sugar. And someone else out there was eating a pound a day to make up for what I wasn't eating.
So why am I reading less and sleeping more? My blood sugar has stabilized. It no longer spikes up and down throughout the day. Did you know that the body can only handle one spike a day? And not every day? It wears the adrenal glands out. They freak out with every dip and spike. Add to that all the stress we are under, and add on top of that a nightly dose of stressful entertainment in the form of stress-inducing tv shows, movies, sports, and video games.
One of the best health changes that I can't ignore is my new-found energy and ability to sleep well. I used to read every night to fall asleep, often for a couple of hours. Then when I felt sufficiently sleepy, I'd reach over to turn off the bedside lamp. Many times, that simple action would wake me up fully and I'd have to turn the light back on and read for another hour.
For years, I got my best sleep in the morning. Since I couldn't get to sleep before 1 or 2 AM, I'd often sleep until 9 or 10 AM. If I didn't, I would not have energy to give to my evening clients. My husband referred to me as a diesel....you know, slow to start on cold mornings....or any morning.
Within a few short weeks of changing my eating habits to rest my adrenal glands and stabilize my blood sugar throughout the day, each and every day, I started to fall asleep rather quickly. I read for 5 minutes or so and fall asleep while reading. I can turn off that light and I'm back to sleep as my head hits the pillow....I finally understand that expression!
Best of all, I wake up naturally, well rested and refreshed and without an alarm clock. This happens between 6:30 and 7:30, but mostly between 6:45 and 7:20. Unless it is raining, then it will be closer to 7:30. I have energy to get stuff done, and you should see the projects that are getting completed here! The hubster has more energy, too, and the weight is melting off him.
The food is SO good, too, and not devoid of treats in any way. We had our first apple pie in a while this week. Instead of making a full size pie, I made two tiny ones, so we wouldn't overdo it. We won't be doing this every day, but it sure was good. For daily treats, we rely on chevre, black bean cake, and nut bombs. Soon, homemade ice cream will be added to this list. All of these treats are really small meals of nutrient dense, healthy foods. All stabilize, rather than spiking, the blood sugar levels.
I am also enjoying helping others adjust their lifestyles for improved energy and health with nutritional therapy. My clients have different healthy foods in their fridges and cupboards than I do, not having goats and chickens, but here is a peek into mine:
For convenience foods, see the soup and the jars of chevre with fruit, the nuts and the cheese.
The contents of my fridge change with the seasons and what is fresh and available. For the next few months, lots of space will be devoted to milk and cheese. There will be many trips to the cellar fridge with gallons of milk and finished wheels of cheese to make room in the kitchen fridge for daily foods.
Trust me when I say my fridge didn't always look this way. I'll confess....there was a time when Diet Coke was a main feature, as well as many packaged products, margarine, and lots of sugary snacks. It was a journey to change my habits and my tastes....and to get the hubby on board. He was on a different time schedule, but is fully on board now and enjoying the food and the weight is melting off him.
If this overwhelms you, you are not alone. Try adding one or two healthy foods to your fridge...and your diet....each week or each month, and eat/drink those first, before allowing yourself to have what you are used to. I weaned myself off Diet coke that way....I forced myself to drink water before I could have some Coke. I reduced my intake from 2 liters a day (hangs head in shame) to a can or two a day. Then someone told me of the connection between aspartame and macular degeneration, which I was diagnosed with at age 40...with no family history. I did a little research. The soda in my fridge and cupboards was poured down the drain, and I never had another sip again. Ever. It was just not worth going blind.
A great start in adding healthy foods is.....BACON! Yes, bacon from pastured pigs is a health food. Run, don't walk, to your local farmer's market or the local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation and find some in your area. You can thank me later.