Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Class In Session

"Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." - Mark Twain

Everyone knows Mark Twain was a genius, and I particularly like his take on nutrition. However, I can admit that I eat poorly some/a lot of the time and while I wasn't all that concerned with changing it, I could start to see some of the repercussions of my grilled cheese sandwiches and sugar based meals. But, it tastes soooo good!

Nonetheless, after several years of my mother's subtle hinting I succumbed to taking the Lifewatchers class through Goodness Me! health food stores. I was dubious to say the least - like a stubborn child, I didn't want to change. But I'm 30 now, this is the decade we're supposed to be mature about these sort of things. Or so my favourite personal trainer tells me.

I dragged Tracy along with me as we'd had about a decade to get used to sitting next to each other in a classroom setting and passing notes without getting caught. Just like in school, the class had a bunch of keeners, a guy who is way too old to be there, the slacker burn-outs and a doofus idiot who loves to hear his own voice.

I felt like the teacher could tell I was faking it. While everyone else jumped right into all the principles and challenges (i.e. going 3 weeks wheat-free?!), I followed along and appreciated the lessons in theory, but went home and ate Wheat Thins and cookies. Who are these people who can make such drastic changes??

However, I was not a total skid, I did incorporate several changes to my diet and I learned so much. In fact, I couldn't stop talking about the class to everyone I met - I really do highly recommend it. Before the class, the few times I had thought about my diet and nutrition it was under the umbrella of my weight or shape, never about health. This sounds ridiculous to me now, but I never considered how the food I eat affects my overall health. And boy, does it ever.

The class on insulin freaked me out and convinced me that I am blissfully unaware that I am living the pre-diabetes years. I also learned that wheat is one of the worst things you can subject your body to, especially the modified wheat we have these days. Everyone should be aiming for 10 1/2 cup servings of vegetables every day. Also, fat is not the enemy, it's just all about healthy fats.

Each week, the instructor would make us recipes or let us try certain things and we had a healthy potluck on the last class. I was pleasantly surprised how many things were actually delicious...and colourful.

But then, of course, there was this smoothie sludge thing.

The class was 10 weeks each Tuesday from 6:30 - 8:00. Lorraine Caruso was the very knowledgeable and personable instructor. The class is offered at each Goodness Me! location around the city and I urge you to consider taking it. You'll learn so much.

My goal when I started the class was to be realistic and adopt 3 or 4 changes into my life since I knew that I'm not the type that can go cold turkey on anything. I reached my goals in the following ways:
- I've eliminated cereal from my diet completely and instead I have a healthy smoothie with Udo's oil each morning.
- I started taking magnesium after the insulin class - ask me in person and I'll explain why...it includes a doodle of a cell.
- I'm using almond butter instead of peanut butter.
- I'm cooking with coconut oil/butter ghee instead of other cooking oils.
- I cooked a recipe with kale. Twice.
- I'm trying not to drink liquids while I eat since they wash away the digestive enzymes you need to break down the food.
- I'm adding ground flax seeds to things.
- I didn't buy bread on my last grocery shop *major* And, in fact, I only did a perimeter shop of the store, where the most healthy things are anyway. Well, except for that quick detour to get some more Wheat Thins.
- I'm drinking a glass of water with lemon every morning, since after an hour, it has an alkalizing affect on the body.

Small steps, people.

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