I became interested in changing my diet for life when I realized that increasing my level of activity wasn’t enough to maintain a healthy weight and to lower my cholesterol. Heredity has shown me where I’m headed – my mother and her mother struggled with obesity following menopause. In my mid-50s, I know it’s now or never.
I started out with lots of questions about what this new phase of life means to my health. How are the natural changes that come with this biological shift affected by food? How do I determine if the information I’m using is backed by sound research? Where can I find organic produce and healthy meat, and can I afford it? Would this diet be beneficial to a diabetic or for someone recovering from a major illness?
The past 30 years we’ve seen some significant trends in diet advice. The cabbage soup diet, Atkins, South Beach and Scarsdale diets, raising your intake of fiber and lowering your saturated fats and carbs, cutting out eggs and red meat, fast food vs. home cooking, frying vs. broiling, I could go on and on. We have been given so many choices and some folks are driven to find the next big thing to help them stay young and slim.
What they are missing is this – healthy eating is not a trend, it is a lifestyle, a way of life.
The way our food is processed on the way to market has changed so much and it is overwhelming for the layman to understand what it all means. And I find it a bit frightening. Learning about what happens in processing food was a focus for me when my daughter was born in 1990. Growing up, she learned how to read a label in search of fat and salt content, and for what we called “pho” – partially hydrogenated oils. I read recently that 90% of what we find in our grocery stores has been messed with, if you will, and that is not comforting to me, at all. Frankenfoods? Not if I have a choice, and I do – so do you!
When a family member took up the paleo diet and had good things to say about the health benefits, I decided to look into it a bit more. I am also focused on learning more about organic food classification and sources. As a Master Gardener, I plan to research what to put into my own vegetable garden this spring and will share this with you.
As I go through my year of learning and regaining better health, I will share links to articles that I have read, whenever possible, and web sources, photos, interviews, and whatever comes my way that is helpful. I will never claim to be an expert because there are so many who have put endless effort into become experts and I’d rather we learn from them. If you have something that you want to share, send it along.
I’m doing this blog so I won’t be alone in my quest, and I hope you will visit often and feel that you aren’t alone on your path toward better health.
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