Thursday, January 9, 2014
My Health: Before and Now
It's been about a year and a half since I started eating healthy and while I can't exactly tell you if I feel "better" or "different" than before, I can tell you some of my observations on my general well being and medical results. First, let me explain the health changes that I incorporate into my daily routines.
Breakfast: I used to eat refined bread with store-bought jam, margarine, nutella, and drank low-fat milk.
Lunch and Dinner: Although I considered myself quite healthy by eating fruits and vegetables and avoiding fried food, I used to use vegetable oils to cook, buy processed foods and used them for cooking, eat out more often at fast food joints, eat lots refined grains, and eat lots of unfermented soy.
Snacks: Usually in the afternoon I got hungry and snacked on white bread with jams or ate homemade jelly that I made using lots of white sugar.
Liquids: I drank water mostly but I also liked to drink store-bought sweetened tea, juice, soy milk, and occasionally soft drinks (although good thing I'm never a big fan).
Breakfast: I consume a serving of fermented cod liver oil and a tablespoon of coconut oil, along with soaked oatmeal and pastured whole milk for breakfast daily.
Lunch and Dinner: I eat brown rice, one pastured egg a day, and cook my meat and vegetables with coconut oil. I properly prepare and consume homemade bone broth almost daily. I no longer buy processed foods and limit soy consumption and I try to choose my food wisely while eating out.
Snack: I almost never feel the urge to snack now because I never feel hungry enough in between meals. When I do snack, I snack on fresh fruits or homemade jelly that I make with natural sweeteners.
Liquids: I mostly drink water, sometimes I add slices of lemon when I have some at home to help balance our body's pH level. I completely avoid soft drinks now, although once in a blue moon I still drink packaged tea and juice.
In a nutshell, I have been on a higher fat, lower refined sugar and carb diet this past one year and a half. Of course, when I go out or travel, I choose wisely what I order and if we're invited to a meal, I eat whatever is served, and I still enjoy the occasional treats that I love. I try not to be too strict or too hard on myself and live by the 80/20 rule where I try to eat as healthy as I can at home, and enjoy the food (or trying new places) and company while eating out as well. It's helped me from binge eating or craving a particular of food, where the outcome cannot be good.
What Health Changes Do I See?
I'm also as curious as anyone on what health effects I see after the changes in my diet. I didn't know if investing on a healthier diet and giving up unhealthy comfort food is worth it. But suffice to say, it is worth it. I've come to realize that nutritious food is foundational to health and goes a long way in preventing illness and maintaining health.
- I don't get cough/cold as often as before.
- My bowel movement is regular.
- I have maintained my weight even and actually lost a couple of pounds, even though I am still eating a lot, and not to mention, a high-fat diet.
- My eyesight has improved (from -4.00 to -3.75 on both eyes). I was pleasantly surprised.
- I used to get eczema on my right palm regularly. It was very itchy, I would scratch it until it the skin came off and hurt until it healed with the help on anti-itch cream. But it's never returned for a long time now since I started consuming fermented cod liver oil.
- My total cholesterol level, specifically LDL, has decreased. It just proves that being a high (good) fat diet doesn't increase cholesterol. I always had a high cholesterol (high LDL) partly because it is hereditary, but I'm certain my poor diet contributed to it as well. It's consuming the wrong kinds of fats that increases bad cholesterol.
Even though I'm not a nutrition expert, I know I am doing something right because I see the improvements in my medical results. It motivates me even more that I need to stay healthy because our condition affects our ability to care for our family, nurture our children, and serve the Lord.
Do you think living healthy is important?