I barely scratched the surface in my post about losing weight in our fifties (How I Ruined My Friend’s 50th Birthday!) A few of you fellow embracers expressed an interest in hearing more about healthful lifestyle changes. My healthy eating journey is unusual, for sure. But, I hope you find the information helpful in some way for your situation.
The first step for getting healthy is to eliminate all sugar and processed foods, especially foods from a box. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. That means skipping the processed food boxes and buying fresh green veggies, whole fruit, meat, and dairy items. (Although, I also skip the dairy section.)
Healthy carbs are good, but try to avoid starchy foods like white potatoes, white rice, etc. To prevent carbs from spiking your blood sugar, go further to avoid natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, as well. Extreme, I know! I returned to my dear friend Stevia as my main way to add sweetness when I HAVE to eat something sweet (and chocolate)! Do you get me? Who could do without sweet stuff occasionally without totally giving up and returning to Egypt ?
One day some worthless foreigners among the Israelites became greedy for food, and even the Israelites themselves began moaning, ‘We don’t have any meat! In Egypt, we could eat all the fish we wanted, and there were cucumbers, melons, onions, and garlic. But we’re starving out here, and all we have is this manna.’ (Numbers 11:4-6)
Funny that the Israelites had manna a-plenty (a sweet, cake-like substance), and they craved fish, fresh fruit and veggies. Many of us tend to crave the sweets, like manna!) It usually takes at least four days to break the sugar cravings – sometimes longer. Breaking the sugar addiction came easier than I expected – only a couple of days. It helps to focus on what you can eat rather than what you can’t eat. It’s not a short-term thing, so change your mindset as you change your eating style for life.
The Trim Healthy Mama (THM) book and cookbooks are valuable resources. I recommend ordering their eating plan book and both cookbooks since I needed all three. Once you get started, you’ll want all their wonderful recipes. If you’re also eliminating gluten, flour alternatives are easily substituted. Here’s the eating plan book Amazon link* to help you get started.
I highly recommend using THM’s “freedom of eating” plan while losing weight. I was stunned at how any extra weight fell away when meals were centered around a protein and gentle carbs or a protein and healthy fats. That’s the only “rule” you stick with while losing weight. No food groups are eliminated (except sugar), so it’s very healthy. Also, THM gives lots of information on healthy additions to your meals!
After only a month on THM eating style, I had eye problems that lead to a discovery. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which I’d apparently had for more than five years and is an autoimmune disease. I soon switched to an autoimmune diet.
THM food freedom as I’d known it was over for me. Again, I focused on what I could eat rather than what I couldn’t. I was already feeling so energetic and vibrant with my healthy eating habits, and the sudden autoimmune changes were a smooth transition. My resource for following an autoimmune diet was The Autoimmune Fix by Tom O’Brian, also from Amazon*.
During the initial MRI scans for verifying the MS diagnosis, a lung tumor was found. Yes, it’s lung cancer. (Don’t we all hate the “C” word? I’ve found that it doesn’t necessarily mean a death sentence. God is in control!) With chemo treatments ahead, I went to a functional medicine nutritionist for advice on staying strong during chemo.
Along with some supplements and protein shakes, he strongly recommended the Candida diet. The purpose of the candida diet is to get my immune system in balance again – for getting the MS under control. (Cancer treatments put MS treatments on hold.)
Ann Boroch’s* book has been so helpful with the Candida diet and healing my body of the MS.
The first ninety days are very restrictive, but after that point, it’s easier. I incorporate THM recipes again here and there (with minor substitutions). Healthy fats like MCT are found at Trim Healthy Mama , along with advice on using coconut oil for cooking and olive oil for salads. Organic eggs, grass-fed beef, deer meat, wild caught salmon, and organic chickens are healthy protein sources. Include lots of regular and green, leafy veggies – as much raw as possible, and organic.
I never knew I had a yeast (candida) overgrowth because I had no problems with yeast infections. But, I did have continual congestion, a cough and drippy nose for years – signs of candida I never knew about.
That’s a lot of health information for one post, eh? Sometimes ill health calls for lifestyle eating changes. Sometimes getting fit and healthy calls for doing the same. The time it takes for dropping pounds is different for everyone, especially during mental pause. Just be patient if that is your goal.
*Affiliate link. See disclosure here.