Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Reflections - REASONS Why I EAT Clean

Some days I can feel frustrated that even though I'm eating SO very clean I still have my ups and downs.

I still get tummy aches. This week I had a "stomach flu". I'm actually not sure if it was an actual flu, I had a pretty severe reaction to some new anti-fungals I started or I had some pretty severe Candida die off.  For the meantime, I quit taking the herbs and will try again in a couple weeks. On a day that I can stay close to home.

Over the summer I had severe bloating and discomfort which I finally (in August) realized was due to the Chicory root I was drinking. Sigh. Way to poison yourself girl.

My system is so sensitive that even "clean" foods can throw me out of whack. And I tend to overeat. I'm always hungry. But overeating clean foods is still overeating. And its still not great on a sensitive system.

So once in a while I do feel like throwing in the towel. Why bother with all this. Its so inconvenient. I spend sooooo much time shopping and in the kitchen (which I love but even I can get tired of). Why move mountains to eat this clean if I still don't feel great?

Pity party. Yep.

Luckily that mentality doesn't usually last long. Because I have lots of reminders of why I am doing this. And lots of memories of how bad I felt when I was abusing my body with caffiene, chocolate and that good ol' Standard American diet.

So if you feel like having a pity party and stuffing some Halloween chocolates in your belly, here are some of my top reasons for eating clean. Even if it is a pain in the ass:

10) Weight Control - I've have spent a good portion of the last 6 months trying not to lose any more weight. The fact that some people shuttered when they saw me and said "Dear, is everything okay?" was a pretty good sign that I wasn't at my ideal weight. There is apparently a fine line between looking fit and healthy and looking skinny and sickly. So I have now gained 10 pounds (and climbing) and am back to looking healthy. Now I'm worrying that the scale is going up pretty quick (3 pounds in one week?) and might not stop. I'm weaning baby and that means 500 calories a day that won't be freebies. But eating clean helped me lose the baby weight in the first place (fast) so I feel like, in the long run, if I keep eating clean I will stay at a healthy weight. It might be 10 pounds (hopefully not 20) heavier than I am today. It might mean I need to buy some new (bigger) clothes. But I feel pretty confident that it will be manageable weight. And that I will feel good at that weight. And I won't have to starve myself to stay there. But I will have to keep eating clean.

9) Cancer - I've had it. Melanoma. And I don't want it again. My Dad died, three years ago yesturday, from an unexplicable cancerous brain tumor. Random. I'm not so sure. I now think that he suffered from severe Candida for YEARS. Crazy cravings for sugar (like out of this world, eating multiple chocolate bars during the middle of the night, urges). Wild mood swings. Anger. This from a guy that was so cute the majority of the time that you just wanted to squish him and give him hugs. He was a great hugger. I would like to hug him now. Although he might not be visiting much now that I don't have any sugar in the house.

Anyway, I think it is too much of a coincidence that his tumor settled in the exact part of the brain where anger resides. Hmmm, interesting.  And my Candida triggers the same mood swings he used to get. Moods I had never experienced in my life until my Candida got out of control.

So I think theres a connection. Maybe I'm coo-coo but that's what I think.

And I also think a constantly out of balance body, and specifically for me a struggling digestive system, is a breeding ground for cancer. So I want to nip this thing in the bud. Long-term. And that means eating clean. Long term.

I could be wrong. But what if I'm right?

8) Labels - Sorry, but once you start reading lables there is just no turning back. I read food lables now. And I can't just pretend they are not there. And I can't just pretend a "food-like product" that lists a bizillion ingredients, half of which are chemicals, are good for me. Even if they taste good. Even if they kinda taste like food. There is no turning back. There is just the turning of can to read the label before stuffing things in my mouth.

7) Pride - I'm not too proud to say this - ha, ha. Now that I've put it out there that I'm eating clean. Now that I've challenged others to do the same. I kind of have to stay with it. It would be kind of embarrassing at this point to go back to the Standard American Diet. And no one would feel very sorry for me when I started feeling terrible again. I know better now. I can't plead ignorance when I stuff my face full of cheesecake and then feel sick. So yeah - I'm too proud to go back! Accountability can be a great thing. I guess blogging can be a great thing.

6) Creativity and Challenge - there is actually a really great sense of satisfaction you get from creating tasty and satisfying foods from only clean foods. From making dishes that your guests or kids can't get enough of.................especially when they are packed with super foods. It challenges your ability to get creative in the kitchen. To think outside the box.  And I love cooking. I love creating. I love a challenge. And I can't wait for my next experiment to turn out amazing..........and to convert someone else into eating clean, at least some of the time.

5) Immune System Strength - I used to get sick ALL THE TIME. Like my whole life I have been sickly. Colds, flus, ear infections, strep throat, eye infections, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. You didn't need to sneeze on me to give me your cold. I just had to be in the same building as someone sick, just had to breathe the same air, and I got taken down.  No more. Nuh, uh. Knock wood. But I'm not sickly anymore. I don't catch everything that goes around. Well, maybe the occasional stomach flu.

Did you know that 70% of your immune system resides in your digestive system? So if you feed it garbage how do you think its going to work?

4) Autoimmune Disease - I am genetically predisposed to autoimmune diseases. That sucks. I don't want any part of that life. This one kind of goes with #5. But in my case, I'm not only worried about your common cold. I don't want fibromyagia, arthritis, chronic pain, chroic fatigue, diabetes, etc, etc. No thank-you. And as I get older, I can feel some of the inflamation wanting to set in. I felt it in my shoulder. I feel it in my knee when my Candida is flaring up - when I start eating sugar again.

I've watched some of my family members SUFFER. For years. Frustrated. Tired. In pain.

It can be brutal.

I believe I can prevent autoimmune disease, or at least give it a pretty darn good fight, by eating clean. By trying to once and for all heal my gut.

3) Sleep - I have suffered from insomnia my whole life. CORRECTION: I used to suffer from insomnia. I don't anymore. I am cured. Praise the lord. Halleleuia. This is a life changer. A game changer. I am a different person because of it.

But I don't sleep when I don't eat clean. I get a belly ache. And then I don't sleep well. And a tired and sleep deprived Mama is just not the person I want to be. She is dull. She is impatient. Or she runs on adrenaline until she crashes. And then she is useless.

2) Energy - Again, this goes hand in hand with the sleep thing. But for the first time in years I have lots of energy. I have a bounce in my step. And its not an artificial bounce. Its not a caffiene or adrenaline rush that is keeping me going. I just feel energetic. I wake up rested. I don't feel like napping after lunch. I'm not tired.  I crave exercise. I can keep up with my kids. Do I feel like this every hour of every day. No. Do I feel like this more now that I have for the past 10 years. Yes. And its wonderful. I have three kids and I have more energy now that I did when I had none. Woo hoo! That's cool.

1) My kids, my husband, my family, my friends, me. I want to be the best version of myself. For all of us. And I have seen glimpes of that person this year. The sparkle is coming back into my eyes. Not from doing one individual thing. But from doing many things to change my health. To change my lifestyle. To heal my adrenals and my gut. And to calm my mind. But if I could pick the ONE thing I have done from many, it is eating clean that has had the most impact. And it is the one thing that I can't take a break from. I could go off supplements for a few days. I could stay up late for a couple nights. I could get stressed out over a situation. I would bounce back.

But if I went back to my old diet, the sugar would get hold of me. It would mess up my system. And when my system gets messed up it doesn't just "bounce back" in a day. It could take weeks.  And althougth I could start over from scratch it would be hard. And I don't want to.

So those are some of the reasons I'm eating clean. A good reminder because I cheated this week (GF pancakes and some GF scones - several times). And I don't want to head down that path. So this should keep me honest. And on track. Because there are just as many REASONS to stay the course as there are EXCUSES not to.



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