Feelin' Chalky

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Proof is in the Pudding

Ahhh...THIS is the life!  For all you caffeine junkies, sugar babies, high-fructose-corn-syrup, salt lickin', hydrogenated oil slick'n, doughnut, french fry, big mac-a-saurus - chicken patty - join in my chorus...THIS is the life!  You don't know what you're missing!  Join the healthy movement and my feet you'll be kissin'.  I swear I wouldn't lie the grass IS greener on this side...and so are my smoothies...and they're recharging my insides.  (not really sure why I had to open this post with a "rap," but that's how it sounded in my head...so that's what you get!)

I'm not kidding folks!  We have been fooled for so long - SO long!  We've been believing the lies that we are dependent on prescription drugs and chemical "fixes" to thrive.  I am telling you RIGHT NOW it's not true!  Many people think that lowering their cholesterol or blood sugar lies in the hands of their doctor...their fate in a little white slip of paper...it doesn't have to be that way!

Change is hard.  I know.  We are all stubborn, stuck in our ways.  We can't see the light at the end of that Pepsi or the silver lining in our Ben and Jerry's!  I've been there!  I've tasted the stuff!  I know what it's like to eat an entire chocolate cake and be at the end of my rope and put all of my trust and my health in the hands of the Creator - not knowing where He would lead me.  Not easy.  But there is hope.  I promise you that!

We were meant to have more and be more than we ever dreamed.  But it all starts with taking good care of our insides - one good choice at a time.  It's not about finding that next diet or another quick fix - miracle potions or cleanses or energy shots with vitamins.  It's not about gym memberships or treadmills or special running clothes.  It's about getting back to the basics - what we all know but we don't want to face.

It's about real food.  It's about time!

The other day I had to have some labs done for our insurance.  I have to admit I was pretty anxious - not about the needles, but about the results.  It is easy for me to see my progress on the scale.  Numbers are concrete.  We get numbers...we can see them.  Our internal health on the other hand is harder to gauge.  I FEEL better than I have in years, but does that translate into health?  It has been almost 2 years since I started my healthy journey.  Can you believe it?  I can't.  I have lost over 100 pounds but I was scared that it still wasn't enough to make a real difference.  The proof is in the pudding...or in this case...my blood. ;-)

Before I started on my journey I was looking diabetes in the face, my gall bladder was full of stones, I was depressed, and I filled my diet with highly processed, packaged foods, sodas, fast food, and sweets.  My life revolved around my next "fix."  Now I eat a plant-based diet full of colorful fruits and veggies, beans, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and I use natural sweeteners in lieu of white sugar, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners.  Do I ever "cheat?" Yes but I don't consider it cheating.  I just make poor choices from time to time.  Sometimes it's sugar, sometimes it's dairy or even one too many cocktails, but every time I do I am reminded of why I made the changes in the first place.  My energy tanks, depression sets in, I get headaches and joint pain, my faces breaks out, I get jittery, scattered, and anxious.  It is like the ghost of Christmas past - a look back at a life I no longer want.

So you're probably wondering...how did my labs go?  :-) These numbers may mean nothing to most of you, but to me it is a gold star, an A+.  (I've always loved good grades!)  Here are the results (I apologize for the cheese factor but I am pretty jazzed):

HDL (the GOOD guys): with a normal range of 0-60 I scored a 48! SUPER!!!
LDL (the BAD guys): with a normal range of 65-185 I scored a 91! AWESOME!
Total cholesterol: with a normal range of 110-200 I scored a 157!!!! SUPERB!

Triglycerides: with a normal range of 0-149 I scored an 88!! YAY!

And lastly...the big one for me...

Hemoglobin A1c (a measure for diabetes): with a normal range 3-6% for non-diabetics...I scored 4.7!!!!

I did a happy dance all the way to the van!  It is just more solid proof for me that FOOD really does MATTER!  Healthy food can change your life!

Most of you probably know I started a Holistic Health Counseling practice.  I feel very passionate about teaching people about what healthy food is and how to prepare it.  I am getting ready to launch a 4-week intensive program called, "Get Fresh!" to help people learn the basics of good nutrition.  It will be 4, 1-hour sessions and the last session will include a grocery store tour to help people navigate which aisles to shop and which aisles to pass by.  Beyond that I also teach private (think girls night out with a private chef) and public healthy cooking classes which are super fun!  If you are looking for something more intense, I also have a six-month program that includes 12 one-on-one counseling sessions with me to help you reach your healthy living goals!

In the future I am hoping to start some mommy and me cooking classes (can't wait), pantry makeovers, and many other things.  But for now, and with 4 little ones, I will take what I can get! :-)

If you are interested in the "Get Fresh!" program, please contact me for more information.  I am planning on starting that toward the end of January and only have 9 slots left!