Small Beginnings: Where Do I Start?" In each of the posts, different people have written their personal journeys into a real food diet. Today's post is written by Kelli, who also blogs at Hippie Status.
I’m an accidental hippie. I didn’t set out to be a hippie – it was an answer to prayer!
Sounds strange, huh? I’ll explain…
I was on birth control pills from the time I was 18 until 25 as a result of being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). When I decided get off birth control, I was discouraged to see physical symptoms returning. However, I noticed that I felt a million times better mentally and emotionally. It was sad to realize that I had come to accept mood swings and emotional lows as “normal” because it was the way I had felt for so long. I had forgotten what “normal” actually looked like. I didn’t want to go back on the pill but after almost a year of dealing with PCOS I wasn’t sure I had any other options. I was at a loss, so I started praying – hard.
One day while I was online, I read a post by Stephanie at Keeper of the Home that was linked to another blog. I browsed her blog a bit and noticed that she had a several posts labeled “PCOS.” I read through all of them and was blown away when she talked about controlling her PCOS through a traditional diet and natural lifestyle. I discovered links to other real food blogs and literally spent a whole afternoon devouring this new information, all the while wondering, “Could this be the answer to my prayers?”
I talked to my husband that night about everything I had learned, and asked would he be willing to try this with me, because I knew I would never follow through without his support. He agreed, and I began my quest to figure out this whole real food thing. (I later learned that the exact thought running through his mind at this time was, “Eating is going to suck for the rest of my life!”)
The way I chose to go about it was to focus on one category at a time. Once the changes within that category became comfortable, I moved on to the next. In a nutshell, we’ve worked our way through:
Grains – Bought a grainmill so we could have fresh whole wheat flour and learned how to soak our grains for improved nutrient absorption.
Fats – Switched from margarine to butter, and started using unrefined extra virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil
Sugars – Drastically cut our refined white sugar intake and started using more honey (raw honey for when it’s not being cooked) and palm sugar.
Eggs – Bought pastured eggs and adding more of them into our diet.
Meats – Started purchasing only grass-fed meat through a local food co-op.
Dairy – Went from skim milk to conventional whole milk, then conventional whole milk without added hormones. Next we transitioned to buying organic unhomogenized milk from grass-fed cows and pasteurized at a low temp, and finally, raw milk from grass fed cows.
Right now I’m focusing on adding more beneficial bacteria to our diet through sourdough bread products and kombucha.
We’ve also worked on taking OUT the bad stuff like cokes (I was a MAJOR Diet Dr. Pepper addict!) and MSG, as well as reducing our overall sugar and grain intake. Another area I’ve been focusing on recently has been finding more natural cleaning and personal products.
The Maker’s Diet has been a helpful resource as well as the stories and advice of many food bloggers. I received Nourishing Traditions as a Christmas present and I’m looking forward to digging into that as well.
This has been the perfect time for me to write this Baby Steps post, because January is the one year mark for us as “accidental hippies.” We’ve seen many positive changes as a result.
I’ve seen a decrease in symptoms from my PCOS, a big one being freedom from the acne I’ve battled my entire life. Both my husband and I have experienced weight loss and an increase in energy. We’ve still got a long way to go and much to learn, but I look forward to seeing the changes that are to come.
So where does the hippie part come in? My mom lovingly bestowed the title of “hippie” upon me after seeing our lifestyle changes. She jokingly begged me not to move to a free-love commune, give my future children names like “Flower”, and to please please PLEASE keep shaving my armpits! Needless to say I’ve been happy to comply. If you'd like to read more of my hippie accidents, you can read my blog.