I’ve got a special treat for you today, Internet!
It’s my pleasure to present a guest post by my bloggy friend Kristen of One Hundred Eighty Degrees.
Kristen works full time (out of the home, to boot!), takes care of her adorable daughter and husband, transforms old clothing into new items, makes delicious and healthy meals, and shares her delightful sense of style and humor on her blog. It’s no wonder I’ve got a bit of a blog crush on her. I can barely keep myself clean and fed. And, let’s face it, I’m not clean all that often.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy Kristen’s post today. Give her some love in the comments!
Today you can find me blogging over at One Hundred Eighty Degrees. Stop by and say hello!
— Mrs. Doctor
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My name is Kristen and I’m a healthy eater.
Whew. Huge admission. Not always popular in social circles — especially during office potlucks or holiday gatherings. In fact, I’m thinking about starting my own support group: HEA (Healthy Eaters Anonymous). Perhaps it will give more people the willingness to admit that they, too, have a problem…with 90% of what everyone else eats.
Seriously, though? Eating healthy isn’t hard. In fact, it’s incredibly easy and not at all difficult to maintain – I’ve been eating this way for so long that it’s something I rarely think about unless someone else points it out to me.
And the true shocker? I also stick to a gluten-dairy-free diet. So does the rest of my family – including our cat, though that doesn’t seem to help with his anger management issues (which is a whole other post in itself).
So what do I eat? A lot, really.
- Organic fruit and vegetables. I try to eat fruit and vegetables throughout the day. In fact, I miss them if I don’t have enough (my own subconscious quota, I think). We add spinach to smoothies and veggies to scrambled eggs. Fruit is easy-peasy: wash and eat.
- Local grass-fed beef, organic chicken and wild caught fish. We recently ordered a quarter of a cow from a local farm. Our cow had a great life, grazing on grass — free of steroids and antibiotics just as nature intended. Now our freezer is stocked with wonderful tasting beef in a variety of cuts
- Coconut milk/yogurt/ice cream. Non-dairy, super delicious and healthy!
- Brown rice and quinoa. Grains that are gluten-free are easy to digest and less likely to cause bloat or indigestion.
- Raw nuts and seeds. Perfect snacky food.
- Hummus. Lots and lots of hummus. I’ve yet to get sick of it. In fact, our daughter tried it back when she was about six months old and still loves it today.
Why did we start eating this way? A few years ago, my husband discovered his allergy to wheat (gluten) and also a sensitivity to dairy. He can tolerate goat milk and cheese, but our daughter (at least now) cannot, so we skip it entirely. At first he went it alone, nixing cereals, bread, cookies and other things containing wheat. I joined in for the most part because I am the primary cook of our household – it’s something that I enjoy and that I’m good at – so it made sense for me to adapt my recipes to his new diet.
Now, it’s pretty much ingrained in us. Eating healthy (and gluten-dairy free) can be pretty easy – especially if you are a planner like me. If we are heading out for a while (to run errands or go somewhere fun), I always take ten minutes to pack up a cooler full of snacks. This is really helpful when hunger strikes and we are nowhere near a grocery store or restaurant (that we’d want to stop at).
How can you revamp your eating?
- Start small. Take baby steps. We basically finished all the gluten-dairy items in our house (or rather, I did, since I didn’t have the allergy) and stopped buying them.
- Get rid of the pre-packaged dinners and junk food. Buy food as close to its natural form as you can possibly find it. It’s usually cheaper and way better for you.
- Look for local and organic. A great way to do this is by shopping at the farmers market (if you have one) or sign up for a CSA. Do your research – most communities have something like this or one close by. We took it a step further by researching and purchasing a quarter of a grass-fed-organic-humanely-raised cow.
- Read labels. Especially if you are changing your diet because of a diagnosed allergy. Wheat sneaks into EVERYTHING. So does soy, which is something we try to limit, but do not necessarily avoid altogether. Soy isn’t the super food everyone thinks it is.
- Plant a garden. Even if your space is limited, a few containers can do the trick. It makes us appreciate the food even more when we tend the plant that grows it.
- Read books, blogs, news articles. An educated person is a conscious person.
Eating healthy has become a hobby for me. I scope out new food blogs and add different books to my never-ending book list that usually relate back to this area. When my daughter began eating solids, it only concreted how important diet is to me. I believe in the old cliché, you are what you eat. So many people reach for food that is so far from its original form that they become that way, too: a shadow of what they truly could be.
By making the effort to change the way you approach eating and food, it soon becomes second nature. Soon, you won’t even realize that you are selecting the crispy organic kale over the limp iceberg lettuce unless someone mentions it. I swear.