Have you ever come home from vacation nearly 10-pounds heavier than you were before you left? Did you give yourself the “I’m on Vacation” approval to eat anything at anytime? I’ve been there and done that. Ate gluttonously for weeks, then returned home with little motivation to eat better and exercise. Now my daily diet isn’t about losing weight and looking pretty, it’s about being well. Nearly two years ago, on my first real vacation after I started eating clean, I challenged myself to enjoy my vacation while maintaining my healthy lifestyle. I also gave some thought on how to help my family indulge, just not excessively.
Now that I’m waving the clean eating flag, I have found many substitutions to satisfy sweet and savory cravings. However, I’m holding on dearly to my one splurge – red wine. Ask health professionals, doctors and super-fit friends their take on alcohol and you will find mixed reviews. In an effort to feel good about my wine tasting hobby and clarify some of the information on wine and health, here are my key findings.
When I was a little girl I used to garden aka pick weeds out of our vegetable patch. The constant swarming of mosquitos around my head on humid days in the garden made me less than a fan. It took years for me to ever consider growing my own plants, let alone food. Almost three years ago, I started researching the role nutrition plays in healing and preventing disease and found that my clean eating role models all garden. I wanted to try it again. However, I knew I needed to figure out growing food on my terms. My goal was to make it fun and not time-consuming so that my son would be inspired to eat more vegetables.
When I first started on my clean eating journey, I scrutinized medical journals and books looking for disease prevention ideas. While many of my doctors don’t believe in a superfood to cure cancer, per se, it was hard to ignore all the literature on the health benefits of using turmeric with black pepper. Used medicinally for thousands of years, turmeric has been widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties. The root of it, curcumin, has been a potent healing agent in ancient Chinese and Indian practices. Even today, integrated practitioners tout the possibilities of lessening the side effects of arthritis, joint pain, stomach pain and several chronic diseases with turmeric. So, I thought I’d try it.
I love to shop anywhere: small boutiques, big malls, online specialty sites and grocery stores. Over the past few years, with a focus on healthy living, I’ve found that I approach shopping differently. I plan (a little) more, occasionally pay (a little) more and focus (a little) more. The results…I now actually LOVE wholesome food and eating clean. Who would have thought that this former Diet Dr. Pepper, Hostess Snowballs and gummy cola bottle addict would snack on carrots and crave avocados?
As a child, my mother was loving, thoughtful and wise, though the absolute strictest in the neighborhood. So as a result, I was naturally a semi-rebellious teen. She also served home cooked meals most nights and made us drink a cup of milk at each meal. Just to make her mad, I pushed for eating Hungry-Man salisbury steaks and diet soda whenever possible.
Now that I’m a parent, I often think about how I can motivate my son to make healthy choices. How do I find a balance between being “that parent” that doesn’t allow her kid to eat any junk food to one that feels defeated and serves whatever the child claims they will eat?