Friday, January 28, 2011

Try something new this year. It's good for you.

I love the old saying that goes, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you'll always gotten."  In 2010 our family decided to stop doing what we were doing and indeed we got something different than we'd been getting.

We made some big changes last year and we continue to make more.  Here's a rundown of some of the new things we adopted in 2010 and some of the changes we saw as a result.  (Warning....These are all random-off-the-top-of-my-head-thoughts.....)

We started eating clean.  We gave away all of our processed foods including all our favorites.  We switched from white bread to a hearty, and may I say expensive, multi-grain bread.  We stopped eating fast food.  We stopped buying snacks at the gas station and stopped "treating"ourselves whenever we felt like it.  As a result we're a lot more disciplined and a lot less spoiled.

We started taking vitamins, herbs, and natural supplements.  We started eating different types of whole grains in the morning.  We started sweetening our foods with natural, low-glycemic sweeteners.  We started drinking organic skim milk and almond milk.  We started cooking with coconut oil.  We went from having three, maybe four, spices on the rack to having over 25 different spices, most of which I had to google to find out what they were.  We started eating greek yogurt.  We discovered quinoa, the mother grain.  We bought oils and vinegars we'd never even heard of.  We started using butter instead of margarine.  We planted an herb garden and grew our own basil, oregano, mint, thyme, and rosemary.  We started shopping at the Boise Co-Op and even bought two of their reusable bags.  We started eating organic meat and organic fruits and vegetables even though they cost more we knew they would benefit us twice as much.

We purchased a bag of whey protein powder and a bottle of flax oil and started mixing them into our fruit smoothies.   We started making green smoothies toos and discovered that they are delicious.  We tried lamb burgers for the first time and liked them.  We tried a lot of things for the first time and like them.  We stopped eating on paper plates and started eating every meal on small 7 inch ceramic red plates.   Some of us (okay just me) started eating salad without any dressing.  We stopped skipping meals.  We took to eating steel cut oats for breakfast. We did a lot more dishes.  We did a lot more meal planning and grocery shopping.  We spent a lot more money on food.  We got fewer colds and sicknesses.  We got excited to try new things.  I got a lot less resentful of spending so much time in the kitchen and discovered that cooking wasn't so bad.

We began to look forward to dinner rather than despite and dread it.  We started finding pleasure in our healthy meals.  We felt good about praying over our food and asking the Lord to bless it to nourish and strengthen our bodies.  (Not true when you're praying over a bowl of Top Ramen to do your body the good that it needs).  We worked together as a team with the whole family on board with "this whole eating clean thing."

Then we extended clean eating to clean living.  We tossed out the old products, did the research, and started using all natural household products without harmful chemicals.  We bought all natural mascara, moisturizer, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner, soap, laundry detergent, hand soap, deodorant, toothpaste etc.  I swapped out my antiperspirant for this crystal salt spray stuff.  Hey, don't laugh.  We bought a shower filter.  We researched the idea of "earthing."   We've learned more about composting and organic gardening.  We learned more about our minds and bodies and holistic natural healing.  We discovered the uses of essential oils.  We bought house plants and salt lamps in effort to keep the air that we breathe cleaner.  Man, we've done a lot this year!

More of our firsts:  the farmer's market, organics, ginger root, tamari, hummus, garam masala, cilantro, tomatillos, parsnips, agave nectar, almond butter, natural peanut butter, real garlic,  kefir, apple butter, yogurt cheese, greek yogurt, sucanat, quinoa, brown rice, milling whole wheat flour, whole wheat pasta, spinach pasta, organic chicken breast, ground chicken breast, ground turkey breast, ground lamb, buckwheat flour, steel cut oats, irish scotch oats, organic eggs,  homemade vegetable stock, flax seeds, flax oil, lethicin, probiotics, CoQ10, vitamin, mineral, and herb supplements, chaste tree berry, spirulina, oat bran, wheat germ, sesame oil, prunes, dates, figs, acai berry, mango chunks, arugula, chard, beet tops, kale, wild Alaskan salmon, fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh mint, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, cardamom, sumac and garam masala (thanks to Emi for those)  and more I can't think of right now....Wow, what a year it's been!