Menu Monday

Menu Monday – Eat to Live 

It all started with this book.  Well… Maybe a little before this book, but this book is what has rocketed my journey forward.
For the past year I have been feeling pretty crappy.  Headache.  Sore feet that are so bad I can’t walk well.  Sore knees and hips.  Poor sleep.  Now I am not one for doctors.  I try to avoid a doctor at all costs.  However, I was feeling real bad… bad enough to go to the doctor.  That is saying something! The truth is that I was worried about my blood pressure.  High blood pressure is a thing in my family.  Many, if not all, of my siblings and my parents are on some kind of blood pressure medication.  For a few years I had Kaiser Permanente as family doctors and when I went to the dentist or to the doctor at Kaiser I’d hear, “hmmm… seems a little high.  We will watch that.”  But the headache for 4 weeks straight was getting to me.
Did I mention that I really don’t like doctors?
After great debate with myself, some prayer and some fasting, I decided to bite the bullet and find a doctor.  I had not seen one in the year that we had left Kaiser and were doctor roaming.
The thing is, I didn’t want to go to a doctor and hear one more time, “You need to lose weight.”
Thank you Captain Obvious.
I am not lazy.  I don’t eat all crazy.  Ok… I’m not that excited about exercise.  But I wasn’t making the stereotypical fat person choices either.  I had read hundreds of books on diet… and tried about 1/2 of them.  I had been told I was allergic to gluten, milk, soy and eggs.  I cut them out of my diet for 2 years, but the weight got worse!  I signed up for Curves.  I counted calories, macros and micros.  I was sick and tired… no, really… sick and tired.  Nothing worked and I was most tired of hearing the same line frm doctors and strangers alike.
I took a few days and researched doctors in the area that accepted my new-ish insurance. Only doctors with poor ratings were accepting new patients!  Gah!  No wonder I hadn’t gone to the doctor!  It’s nearly impossible to get into see one!
I was ready to give up.  In fact… I did give up.  I called John and told him I couldn’t find a doctor and ranted for a little while.  He called me back and said he found one. He had made me an appointment.
This was getting real…
The day came.  I swear I was sweating bullets.
No surprise.  My blood pressure was high… real high.
The kindest eyes looked back at me.  He smiled.  “I’ve been where you are.  Don’t worry.  I have a plan and I will help you.”  There was not, “You are fat.”  No, not even a, “You have to lose weight.  Good luck.”  Instead, he said, “It’s not your fault.  You have been lied to.  All those things that you have clearly tried diligently to do have only made the problem worse.  I have a solution.  Read this book.  I promise it will help you.  I promise that health can be yours again.”
I cried.
First of all.  This bean pole guy that was looking at me was just like me?  He was able to change his life around by reading a book?  Maybe all wasn’t lost.
He said he was putting me on blood pressure medication… a very low does, but that the goal was to get me off medication as soon as possible.  He got 10 points.  He said he would support me in my goals and help me, but that all choices were mine to make.  He got 10 more points.  He said I had to lose a ton of weight ( ok… a few points were lost there) but that he would not let me fail this time.  He would be there to cheer, help and be a shoulder to cry on.  He said he was interested in the healing of the whole me.  I was convinced.  This guy was cool.  To top it off, he belonged to my church and understood about some of my belief systems.  He understood why I wasn’t crazy about doctors.  He wasn’t judgmental.  He was compassionate, helpful, soft spoken and encouraging.
I agreed to read the book.
I headed home and got on line to order the book.  I was so ready to make a change that I even started reading the e-book first (although I started over when it came in the mail).  A few chapters into the book I realized that I owned a book by the same author, Eat to Live, that I had never finished reading.  So in a few days, when I finished reading the first book, I started reading the second book.
I committed that first day to do what it said in that book for 1 year before giving up… and I jumped in with both feet.  I haven’t looked back.  It’s hard to describe exactly what I would call this life style.  I guess the closest word would be “nutritarian.”
I don’t count calories.
I don’t count carbs vs. proteins vs fats.
I look at nutrients.
I learned that my health is predicted by my nutrient intake divided by my calorie intake.
I now consider, “What will give me the biggest nutrient BANG for my calorie buck?”
I don’t think I have lost tons of weight in the past 120 days.  However, my headaches have gone away, my hair grows like crazy, my skin looks better, my blood pressure is improving and my sleep is improving.  I still ache.  I still weigh too much and don’t have decent clothes that fit.  But I am hopeful.
It takes commitment.
It is a life long life style… not something I am doing until I lose a few pounds, but something I will for the rest of my life.
It takes committing to no junk food and processed foods.
It takes planning.
In a nut shell I eat the following:
A large salad every day as a main meal.
About 1 cup of beans a day.
A large serving of steamed veggies a day.
About 1 ounce of nuts and seeds a day.
Mushrooms and onions every day.
About 3 fruits a day.
I have limited animal products to the tune of no dairy, red meats, and I only eat 1 egg and maybe 3 ounces of fish a week.
At first it was hard.  Now, the only hard thing is finding time to prep food since I am so busy with CET.  I do end up eating processed bean/veggie burgers (I’ve been able to find Morning Star brands in my small town store) and prepared hummus.  I am hoping to get back to making it all from scratch as soon as CET is done in 2 weeks.  I had a little chicken on the 4th of July and it didn’t sit well with me.  That cured me of craving any meats.
Like I said… I feel better and that counts for tons of points.  Here on out I will share more insights into these books and the new way I am looking at food.  I will try to share menus and recipes too… in case people want to try it.  I have to say it is one of the best choices I have ever made for myself.
I think everyone should give it a try!
Here is a link to the book on Amazon.  Get it!  Read it!  Do it!

2 thoughts on “Menu Monday – Eat to Live ”

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