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I am going to be starting out on a new journey, both myself, and as the primary food preparer, my family as well.

A long time ago I heard the phrase "clean eating" being thrown around, but never really gave it much thought. It wasn't until I started poking around on the website of Paul Plakas (a famous Canadian personal trailer, best known for his appearances on the Canadian documentaries X Weighted and Taking it Off) and reading his articles on health and nutrition. He advocates eating wholesome, healthy foods that are high in nutritional content and low in calories.

Since Avery was born I have desperately needed to lose weight. While I have lost my baby weight (which looking in the mirror is really hard to believe) I have a lot more to go before we will be comfortable trying for another baby. I have lost so much of the muscle I once had. I am not sure why I have found it so much more difficult to lose weight this time around (after all, I have done it before more than once), but I do. Perhaps it is combined with being a mom and not having much time to myself, being sleep deprived and indulging in comfort foods, or perhaps it has to do with my desire to be the ultimate housewife and bake awesome cookies. Either way, something really needs to change, and it needs to be a change that I can make for my entire family (because really, our whole family could stand to lose a few pounds, and the most important thing is setting a good example for Avery and teaching her to fuel her body with the very best fuel available).

So I started to search online for information on clean eating. The basic plan I want to follow is to not buy anything processed. An analogy that Paul had on his website went like this: "Let's say you want to buy blueberry pop tarts. You would think there would be blueberries on the ingredient list, right? Think again. You will not find blueberries anywhere on that list. What you will find is a whole bunch of chemicals. Companies go to people called flavourists, whose job it is to combine certain chemicals together to make a desired flavour. These people could make pop tarts the flavour of fresh cut grass if they wanted to, but that wouldn't sell many pop tarts now would it?".

Gross!

My new motto? If I can't pronounce something on the ingredient list, it doesn't go in the cart.

So yesterday I set out for Costco with my new plan in mind. I could not believe the options there! A $450 bill later I came home with a pantry stocked full of wholesome, organic, unprocessed and natural foods. They had organic salsa, natural peanut butter, a huge bag of quinoa, unsalted nuts, organic tomato sauce, natural rice cakes and crackers, there were so many options and the total of my bill suggests just how much I purchased!

Blair has approached my new plan with supportive hesitation. He basically says he doesn't care "as long as it tastes good". Well, I think it will taste good! And I also believe that eating our food with the knowledge that what is going in is free of toxic chemicals and preservatives will help. Here are some photos of the recipes I got off of cleaneatingmag.com:

The opportunities are endless.

It is going to take some adjustment to my cooking techniques in order to make this work. But I also think I need to be realistic with myself about what I can accomplish. That is why I am thinking that this will be a 70/30 or 80/20 split. If we can eat clean 80% of the time I think that will be enough to hugely benefit my family and our bodies. That is 8 out of every 10 meals or snacks. Not bad at all.

I truly believe that this goes hand in hand with my parenting style. I want our family to eat the way humans, as mammals, were designed to eat. The way hunter/gatherers ate. They ate plants, nuts, seeds, and meats. They parented their children in an instinctual way. I highly doubt they were worried about sleep training their babies or thought that a baby or toddler crying was manipulative. I am sure they responded to their children and met their needs quickly.

But that is a topic for a whole other day!

Today I will focus on my new adventure, as I approach it with enthusiasm.
8/4/2012

Good luck with your new food path, Rachel! I think that once you get started, this will be easier than you think because you already like to cook and know your way around the kitchen. We don't buy much processed food at all, and while I still do a lot of baking cookies and stuff, the main meals we eat are made with whole, unprocessed food - and they taste better than pre-made stuff, so Blair doesn't have anything worry about ;). I think your 70/30 or 80/20 goal is great as well because you won't feel so overwhelmed about making a big change. I can't wait to hear about some of the dishes you come up with! :)

(Also, this is what I do for exercise (you might already know about it) - short, intense stuff that you could probably do while Avery is napping: http://www.youtube.com/user/ZuzkaLight)

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Becky
8/4/2012

So inspiring! Good luck with it, and I can't wait to hear what your new favourite meals are! I will check out the website for sure.

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