I learned about the Food Pyramid in middle school. In my family growing up we ate roast, chicken, vegetables, salad, and a good amount of fruit. I thought we ate pretty healthy. We had dessert for lunch and supper, especially a carton of ice cream always in the freezer. I knew of no hazards for your health associated with sugar. I was sick a lot as a child, bronchitis every year and the usual round of colds and stomach viruses. That was normal to me.
As a young adult mother, I had that food pyramid in mind as I prepared meals for toddlers and school aged children. I thought I was doing good, especially because by then I was becoming aware of the harm too much sugar could do…but like everyone else, I was pretty addicted. Translation: denial of the effect of sugar on the immune system. I taught my kids about too much sugar, but it was hard to tame the beast. In the Little House on the Prairie books I read a few years ago, sugar was a big item on the table every day in the family of the hard working Minnesota farmer family of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s husband. Still a good read!
Sugar addiction and nutrition ignorance are still with us. In the U.S. there are lots of obese people struggling to shed pounds. I feel a profound compassion for them, knowing that processed foods is all many people know to rely on.
We continued to eat some vegetables and fruits, lots of increasingly hormone- and antibiotic-laden beef and dairy, and whatever was touted as healthy—lowfat milk and yogurt, margarine. Over the years pesticides on lawns, crops, and chemicals galore in our personal care products, added to the weight of dangers stacking up against good health.
Even in 2010 when diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and a gluten allergy, I dug in my heels and refused to give up all my wheat treats. Wheat, genetically modified wheat, that wrecks your hormonal and digestive systems, is in nearly everything. At that point I had no comprehension of the scope of trouble for my body in continuing to entertain a food allergy that multiplied into other food allergies over the past few years…into leaky gut syndrome, LGS.
As I felt worse, I finally cut out gluten and dairy. At first I wasn’t aware of all the people with LGS out there creating fantastic recipes. I thought there were no healthy foods that were also fun. Wrong thinking! I’ve found a paradise of recipes, especially in the gluten free crowd who go the extra distance to cook healthy and tasty for family. I found delights like roasted Brussel sprouts with lemon juice and salt, “candy” made with a tiny bit of honey, carob powder, vanilla, almond butter, and coconut oil, and zesty, homemade fermented pickles! Way beyond tolerable! And thousands of recipes besides.
So I’ve been learning to clean up my diet. My plate is at least half full of vegetables in any given meal—yes, even at breakfast. More saturated fat, organic meats and veggies when we can, and fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut. I enjoy every morsel. If anything, I enjoy food more than I have my entire life of junk food feasting.
Once you get off processed foods, you really don’t miss them. Too many taste bud delights with Real Foods. I haven’t arrived at feeling great but better for sure. I’m on my way. Blessings on your health too!