Eric and Melissa Smith

Helena, Alabama

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Baby Steps

I just received Beeyoutiful's February newsletter.  Steve Tallent shares how his family has made some diet changes.  I'd like to share a few excerpts from the newsletter:

"I don't think that we've mentioned anywhere that we completely stopped eating high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and monosodium glutamate (MSG), and most food dyes. We had been limiting our intake, but one day we looked at each other, asked each other whether we were going to play around with this or really act like we believed what we said we believed, and we quit them all. We promptly cleaned out the pantry. We pulled everything out that had HFCS. Everything that had MSG. Most everything that had food dyes, especially Red 40, Yellow 5, and one of the blues. We either gave it away or threw it away. Now, you probably know that this is a big deal. HFCS is in just about everything sweet. We like sweet things. We like Dr. Pepper. I like Pepsi. I would have at least a couple of soda of some type per week, sometimes I could go through a case - or more if I got a fountain drink someplace. I guess that is a bit of a confession. Yes, I like junk food. Noelle my daughter LOVES junk food. MSG is in most all of that. But we had finally learned enough, that we were done. We sell 'Super' vitamins, but we are definitely not superhuman. This was tough, but we were resolved.

"So you might be wondering what it was like to do this and what the results have been. Well then, let me tell you a few things. First, I'm proud, and shocked, that we have stuck with it. There were some cravings. Not as many as if we had not already been limiting our intake, but there were some cravings. We were able to buy some sodas with sugar that we metered out over a month or so. At the grocery store, we read every label. A significant chunk of the goods at the store are off-limits. In a way, this has been kind of freeing. Where normally you would sit there and agonize over price, and quality, and stuff like that, trying to figure out which one to get, now the choices are much more limited, and often there is only one, and occasionally none. How simple is that? We still buy stuff with sugar, but nothing with HFCS. We are learning which of the mainstream chocolates use only sugar. We probably still get some stuff with MSG or another baddie sneaked in (small quantities don't have to be on the label). But if it is on the label, it doesn't go in the cart. When we are on the road it is harder, but many restaurants will give you a list of the foods that don't have MSG, and we just avoid most sweets. We also try to find 'slow food movement' restaurants - sometimes codenamed 'fresh food' restaurants.

"Overall, we have fewer cravings than ever. Having cut these things out, while we can eat some junk foods that are allowed within our scope of exclusion, we don't. We can, but we don't crave them so we choose to eat other things. We can eat a lot of sweet things, but we don't eat that many because we just don't crave them. We have had sniffles, but I don't think any of us have actually been 'sick' since we started this. Noelle's behavior is still a work in progress as there are some other food sensitivities, and triggers, and often a lack of desire to eat good foods, but overall it is improved.

"I don't recommend doing what we did. Our road is not the best road or only road. I'm not going to say, 'It's been amazing!' But I will say that it hasn't been horrible like I thought it would be. It is definitely a lifestyle change. Reaching for the homemade cookie in the buffet line at church rather than the Keebler, even though the Keebler is perfect in its shape and delectable in its presentation.

"I do believe that whatever you do needs to be done as a couple as much as possible, or one person will always be subverting and thwarting the other. And I would recommend that you start writing down the things that you believe from your research are bad. And eliminate those from your diet, one at a time, as you and your family can adapt. First might be no margarine. Just start using butter. An easy adjustment. Next might be replacing your vegetable oil. Maybe we need to do an article on baby steps and easy adjustments to a healthier lifestyle..."

I really hope Steve does write an article on baby steps and easy adjustments to a healthier lifestyle.  I need to read it!  While our family has learned a lot and made some changes, we have so much to learn--and so much still to change!  We are definitely still taking baby steps.  I'd love to hear from anyone who's a few steps ahead of me...

Click here for more current Baby Steps!
July 2017

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