Switching to a Healthy Diet Creates Positive Body Changes
By Onnie Sanford
If you have seen any of my live Facebook videos, which we have dubbed Thursday Throwdown in the Paleo Kitchen, chances are you have seen my kids participating. As much as they slow me down sometimes, I love to have them try new foods, get their hands dirty (don’t worry, they wear gloves) and help me create yumminess.
Most importantly, it makes them ask questions and helps them become aware of food. I asked my 8-year-old what I should write about, and she said, “How it changes your body.” I asked her to elaborate, and I had a proud Mommy moment. In the words of Nora, “It makes you look better, it makes you feel pretty or handsome, and it makes you feel like doing more things.” She gets it, I wish I had learned this sooner.
Thanks to the knowledge I have gained over the last four years, I was able to determine that gluten was really making Nora uncomfortable. We had already taken dairy out of her diet, but her stomach issues persisted. After school let out, my husband and I put her on a more paleo meal plan and deduced very quickly that gluten was the culprit. She went from having stomach pains for most of the day to complaining very rarely.
Now, I am not telling everyone to self-diagnose themselves or their kids. If you are unsure, please see a doctor. I am stressing that you should really start paying attention to the foods you and your family eat. Food allergies are at an all-time high, chronic illnesses are inundating American families, obesity is the worst it has ever been and the list goes on.
There are multiple types of food that cause inflammation in the body. Gluten, meaning glue in Latin, is essentially the glue that holds food together. Dairy is another highly inflammatory food. To keep it simple, a person’s level of intolerance is based on how well their body breaks down lactose found in dairy products. When we add the large amounts of dyes and processed foods, our body has a very difficult time deciphering what to break down and how to break these foods down.
What is the answer? Educate yourself on foods and what is good. When in doubt, get back to the basics.
Meat: At a minimum look for meat with no hormones and no added fillers.
Vegetables and Fruit: Get organic vegetables and fruit, if it fits into the budget. If not, soak and wash them in water and white vinegar. If you can’t get fresh, frozen is your next best option; try to steer clear of the canned veggies.
Carbohydrates: Rice and quinoa need to be washed before cooking it. Sweet potatoes are an easily digestible carbohydrate, and packed with nutrients so you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Sauces and Marinades: Most importantly, stay away from the pre-packaged marinades, sauces, seasoning packs and dressings. It is so easy to make your own, or at least read the label and the ingredient list should be short, and all the ingredients familiar! Try the recipe below.
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (Kroger makes a version with no sugar added to it)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Pour ingredients into a jar with lid, tighten and shake vigorously! Store in the fridge.