Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Years Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

I received an email from my kids Karate teacher titled New Year's Resolutions - They Don't Work. The email talked about how most goals people make are never reached and the wanted changes are never made. The email went on to explain that if you want to make a change you need to first change your thought process (about whatever it is you want to change) and then the change will happen and the goal or resolution will be achieved. I'll quote a little bit from the email...

"Another popular aim is to quit smoking. Johnson himself was a three-pack-a day smoker until he celebrated a smoke-free New Year's sixteen years ago. "For over twenty years I had tried to quit many times using every tool and technique I'd hear about. But as long as I was trying to quit, I couldn't break the grip. Instead, I developed a dream to become a non-smoker. I fell in love with the idea of breathing clean air instead of smoky air, of my body and clothes smelling nice instead of smoky. I thought about how wonderful it would be to taste food again. I decided to start acting and thinking like a non-smoker, and when the thinking took hold I simply quit smoking. In all the years since, I've never wanted another cigarette, never even thought about wanting one."

After reading the entire email (the above paragraph is only a small portion) I thought about my goal to start exercising again. Somehow I had stopped being that girl who exercised every day to putting it as a last priority. I wondered how I could change my thought processes, then something happened over the weekend that truly helped me understand the above principle. It wasn't regarding exercise, but it was regarding the desire to eat "Healthy Foods" - which most people struggle with.

From my prior blogs, you will notice that I watched "Food Inc." with my family a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't thought much about what my children had learned from it until I was in St. George this weekend with my husband and children. Shane had gone with a work buddy on a mountain bike ride and I was left with the four kids - trying to keep them entertained as best as possible. When lunch time approached I thought about the healthy food I had back at the resort in the refrigerator...the kids were hungry...I then saw a Carl's Jr. not too far from us. It was the cries of hungry kids and seeing that fast food so close that I began to rationalize in my head...."would it be OK to just get them something from there" I thought. When I asked the kids if they'd like to eat at Carl's Jr., I was really surprised by the response from my 8 year old son. In a disappointed tone in his voice he made it clear that he did NOT want to eat at that place or any other fast food place. He wanted to eat healthy food. So I looked in the town coupon book I'd recently purchased (to save money on all the recreational activities) and found a page advertising a health foods store. It wasn't too far away and so off we went in search of a healthier meal. As I drove to the store, I sat pondering my son's response "I want to eat Healthy Food". I was a little surprised and bewildered. When had brought about this change? Then I thought about the Food Inc. DVD and realized that the thoughts and perceptions of the "Fast Food Industry" had changed for my little boy. My thoughts turned back to the email Mr. Bernard had sent to us and realized that I had just seen a perfect example of how changing our thoughts will change our actions. How do we change our thoughts? By reading the information people read that think the way we want to think, by seeing ourselves living like they do and understanding "why they eat the way they do" and "the what it is that motivates them".

I have a list of books on this blog site that I highly recommend reading - not the cookbooks, but the list of favorite books. I have tried to limit the books to ONLY the ones that have been most influential on my own life. The one that sticks out the most to me and has done the most good in my life is the book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Dr. Weston Price. When I saw the pictures of the people who ate the diet completely void of processed food and heard about their amazing mental, physical, and spiritual strengths I wanted that for my children. I had a complete change of heart towards God after reading that book. I no longer viewed him as this cruel father (as I had hidden resentment towards him when I saw the sickness and lack of health of the people in Chile who didn't have a knowledge of Dental Hygiene), but a kind and loving one who doesn't require his children to know about how to use a toothbrush - or use toothpaste, as long as they eat the foods as he made them.

Note: I'm completely for Dental Hygiene...it was just amazing to me to read about cultures of people in various parts of the world (in the early 1900's) who had space for their wisdom teeth and who died with a full set of (perfect) teeth in their mouth, cavity free- despite never brushing them.

When I was living in Kaysville I had a little girl that babysat my kids for us. She was a cute little ballerina - very petite for her age. One day I was making my gluten-free food and she watched in curiosity. I commented to her that "we like to eat really healthy". She didn't look impressed and said that she knew a lady who didn't feed her kids any sugar. I was caught a little off guard with the girls comment, but now I know what she knew. I no longer view the way I use to eat as healthy. I was eating gluten free foods, and pastas, and tons of meat, my salads at lunch, and thought I was eating healthy. I had a dentist one time who told me the teeth of my daughter was caused by the diet I had while I was pregnant with her. I was insulted and thought about how "healthy I ate" at the time he said that, but now that I know what I know, and after the books I've read, I completely agree with the Dr.

After reading the books I've read it was really easy for me to get rid of my table salt and replace it with sea salt, to throw out all the refined flours, and replace them with new and wonderful grains, seeds and nuts, to throw out all of my sugar (white and brown) and replace that with agave, molasses, stevia and if I buy brown sugar I buy it in the form called rapadura. I have tons of grains in my cupboards now I had never even heard of before, new sweeteners, and new vegetables and fruits that I hadn't thought of buying until I started venturing out to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our diets. I leaned heavily on the raw food experts to help me with that transition - and have loved the meals I have added to our families’ diet.

Just this morning I looked into my pantry and smiled when I saw my chia seeds, my buckwheat grouts, the amaranth, quinoa, the stevia, the agave, the raw honey, all of the nuts, the seeds, my sprouts etc. I thought of taking a picture. It feels good. I made the change because of the knowledge I gained from reading books recommended by those who had felt the change in their lives - and who had recommended the books I read. It was easy to desire for myself and especially my children the happiness and health I read about that others had experienced by changing their diet - especially the moral strength and courage of those people I read about in the early 1900's that Dr. Weston Price studied.

On a more somber note I have to mention that my father suffered most of his life from clinically diagnosed bi-polar depression. My Mother has told me that she would have never divorced my father if she would have understood his depression. My father finally divorced himself from his body by ending his life in 2001. After finding out I had Celiac Disease, several years later my Grandmother (paternal side) was diagnosed with Celiac Disease - she had the typical symptoms and so the Dr. caught if really fast and I also discovered that I have a Great Aunt (on my maternal side) who also was diagnosed with Celiac. When I prepare food for my kids I pray that I will be the link that stops the history of depression in my family. I watched my Dad suffer through some really strong bouts with Depression and he even admitted himself into a hospital several times to truly understand it. I strongly believe it was the food Dad ate that caused his depression. He was funny to watch as he scrapped the leftover food scraps off of all of his kids plate, onto his own plate, stirred it around, and ate it down. I remember how slowly he drove places...how hard it was for him to work at one job for very long. The longest job he had was one where he worked swing shift. That is the shift I also worked that I was most successful at when I was undiagnosed and struggling with fatigue.

Celiac is something people are more likely to get if they have a family history of it. It comes on - usually after a traumatic life experience. For me I received a shot of something that was supposed to be banned to missionaries because it caused "auto-immune illnesses". My mission president was extremely upset that the elders hadn't called him to get permission before the doctor gave me the shot that numbed my entire body and made me sleep for two days straight. The swelling from the bug bite in my arm (that had reached the size of a cucumber) was gone from my left forearm, but the numbness remained...and was possibly what triggered Celiac Disease for me. For my Grandmother, I believe it was the tragic death of her only living son that caused it for her....for another it could be a pregnancy...the stories vary greatly as well as the symptoms vary greatly from person to person. The incidence is higher in countries where processed food is readily available and used in greater quantities.

One day, hopefully someone - like my Dad - will somehow find my blog, read the books I've recommended and will have their life changed forever.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those who struggle with mental, physical, or spiritual health problems and are searching for answers... please read the books listed - starting first with "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Dr. Weston Price - who is one of those great men who've lived on this earth who I will run to and hug when I'm on the other side of the veil. I will also run to my Dad and weep. I pray that because of his story and mine - that individual will choose to live...and will feel alive again.

If you "want" to eat healthier, but can't seem to do it, and repeat setting goals over and over again, try doing what Mr. Bernard suggested. First, start thinking like those that DO eat healthy. To think as they do, begin reading the books they have read.

With much love,

Steffi E.

1 comment:

Breezy said...

Oh YES do take pictures of your pantry! I did...http://apeekatcoles.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/a-work-in-progress/ I need more guidance from you. how to sprout, how to use all the grains, some recipes, etc etc... Want to invite me over? ;) ;) hehehe