Tuesday, January 17, 2012

To Real Food or Not?

I'm sure most of ya'll have seen or heard about eating "real foods".  Well, at first I thought this was a lot of nonsense and was kind of like the Atkins/Sough Beach craze.  And as it turns out, it is exactly like that.  But I'm not convinced that it's crazy anymore.

Back in the spring of last year I watched Food Inc. mainly because I'm a super nerd that actually likes documentaries.  I found it very interesting but I didn't really understand a lot of what I was watching.  So I watched it again with my more agriculturally minded(country boy and amazing) husband.  He was very helpful in teaching me more about what I was watching.  With that being said I began to research more in depth the foods that we have been eating.  I'm not going to start a campaign or try to convince anyone that this is right for them because basically it's a personal decision.

I slowly began to change how we were eating and began paying much closer attention to the foods that we eat the most.  The main reason I became obsessed interested had to do with Chad's diabetes.  Chad is a Type 1(what used to be called Juvenile diabetes) diabetic.  He has had an insulin pump for almost four years that has been an absolute life changer for him and us.  I did not know until I began to learn more about commercial food processing that we as Americans eat such large amounts of corn and other varying not great for us grains.  Corn is a carbohydrate(which in and of themselves aren't bad for us and are absolutely necessary.......in moderation).  Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels requiring more insulin to be secreted by the pancreas or by the pump whichever.  And again that isn't a bad thing because that is how God designed the body to work.  But if there are hidden grains in things like the proteins that we eat it so much harder to control ones blood sugar.

Very slowly we have started changing some of the things that we eat.  And in the sake of honesty we completely fell of the wagon last year and are having to retrain ourselves.  It's a never ending process with us Carswells.  And there are things that I am not yet ready to give up.  Mainly Dt. Mtn Dew.  I'm addicted.  And I'm OK with it.  For now.  It's a day at a time and one step at a time and one better decision at a time.

For now, I do my very best to buy whole grain foods that have ingredients that I can actually pronounce and that I know where or how they originated.  I do everything I can to buy meats that are hormone/steroid free and that are grass fed.  And if I can find local meat I am a happy girl.  We don't live near(like 100 miles away from) an Earth Fare or any other type of whole foods store.  We are fortunate to have some great grocery stores in our area that do have a very broad selection of whole foods.  Mom and I also discovered the beauty that is the Farmer's Market during the spring and summer of last year and I can't wait until they open back up and we can get all that fantastic fresh produce again.  A garden may be on the horizon for this year but I'm not completely convinced that I can accomplish this task.  I could kill a Chia pet in one day flat. 

I have learned to make some things that I would have never even tried before.  I make all of the chocolate syrup for Clayton's milk.  I make my own creamed corn and it is so much better than canned.  I make my own spaghetti sauce.  I make my own granola bars.  The list could go on and on.

The main reason for our change is to attempt to see a decrease in Chad's blood sugar levels.  And when we were very serious about the way we were eating we did.  And once we were less serious and fell off the wagon we saw those numbers increase.  I think that's enough of a reason for us to pick ourselves back up and try again.  One day at a time.  Our goal for the year is to continue to eliminate processed foods from our diets, to continue to learn more about the meats and produce we're eating, and to buy local as much as possible(tastier food and an economy booster....score!).  We can do this.  It's a process and we are learning.