Friday, January 4, 2013

Tanner Health Makeover

2012 was a big year.  We bought a house (yay!), Will turned one (cutest baby in the world), I got cancer (what a downer), I was cured or went into remission or became cancer-less... (whichever it is), we tackled a lot of home projects (some manageable, some abandoned, all awesome), and we're really happy.

However with all the health crap we went through last year, (mostly my stupid migraines and cancer), we decided it was time for a change.  A big change.  We realized that if we want our bodies to behave for us, (ya know, not puke, or grow tumors, or cause massive amounts of pain at regular intervals...), then we need to take care of our bodies a lot better.

So we developed a three-prong plan (a little history major trivia for you in that sentence...).

One: Eat to provide our bodies with nutrients instead of eating to stave off hunger or boredom.

First, we made a list of things we wanted to eliminate (or significantly reduce):
     Refined sugar
     White flour
     White rice

And things we wanted to eat a lot more of:
     Fresh juice
     Green smoothies
     Whole foods
     Whole grains
     Fruits & Vegetables
     Organic food (when financially feasible)

Basically we want to live on a diet that is full of nutrient-rich food.  Sugar, flour, and rice fill your stomach and taste good, but what nutrients do they provide our bodies?

So we cleaned out our pantry.  Anything that didn't fit the bill was either donated, given to a neighbor, or went into food storage (because who's going to complain about the health content of Cheez-its during the zombie apocalypse?!)

Pantry before:

During the clean out:

An excited Grant:

And everything that was left.  Pretty pitiful.  Among items that went to the basement: Goldfish, Cheez-its, Pasta, Krusteaz, Crystal Light, Granola Bars, Cereal, and any canned foods that contained unrecognizable ingredients.

The only cans that made the cut.  Some of them had sugar or salt added, but if we hadn't kept those, I think we would have only kept 2 cans... (no, not toucans... although that would be an interesting pantry item.)

We then spent a long day at Ikea and Sprouts purchasing good food and containers to store it in.  Little Willister was quite the trooper even though he was clearly not excited about either trip.

In the end, our pantry looked like this (excusing the bad flash because it was taken at night).  In the glass canisters on the left are all of our whole grains and legumes: oats, quinoa, millet, lentils, beans, brown rice.  To the right of that are the nuts: walnuts, almonds and pecans.  And past that, hidden from this picture are the cereals: Kashi Go-Lean Crunch (fairly high in sugar, but great in whole grains, protein, and fiber, and high on the Will-rated food list), some muesli from Ikea, and Life (not whole grains, but we kept it for Will).  Then below we have baking & cooking ingredients, some vegetables, and also out of the picture, the snack bin: bread, crackers, herbal tea, etc.

Then last night we made a giant Costco run.  They have lots of organic stuff at good prices.  We came home with some organic stuff: canned tomatoes, kale, applesauce, apples, carrots, bread, spinach, coconut oil, pasta, and strawberry jam; as well as foods that weren't organic, but contained ingredients that fit the bill: broccoli, EVOO, crackers, cereal, almonds, oranges, and pesto.  

We also inherited a juicer from Grant's mom, deemed "The Mothership."  We have been making green juices (with celery, spinach, carrots, etc.), as well as fruit juices (with apples, oranges, lemons, etc.)  Super tasty.

Figuring out recipes that don't include white flour, rice, or sugar has been a challenge, but we're getting the hang of it.

Two: Find natural ways to prevent migraines and utilize them to prevent relying on prescription or over-the-counter medication (aka chemicals).

We did some research and decided to purchase Super B-Complex (Riboflavin, or B-2, is known to prevent migraines), Magnesium, and Coenzyme Q10.  We also purchased some kid vitamins for Will. We were frustrated that we couldn't find gummy vitamins for kids that weren't all sugar, but made the compromise anyway. Grant already has multivitamins that he takes.

And then three: Exercise regularly so that we feel good about how we feel, and feel good about how we look.

We purchased some workout flooring from Walmart, cleaned out half of our unfinished basement, and set up a workout zone.  Will has a toy corner, but prefers to find tools on the other side of the basement, which is currently Grant's work bench.

We've been doing some of the workout DVD's we've accumulated over the years.  We're partial to Jackie Warner and Jari Love.  While we live really close to one of the town rec centers, it's impossible for us both to go at the same time because of Will.  They do have a kid-care facility, it's only open certains ours and costs $4 an hour which would add up quick.  So for now, we can either trade-off to go to the rec center or just work out at home.  Working out at home has been easier so far.  

There are also other little parts of the plan: get plenty of sleep, be consistently growing spiritually, etc. but the main bulk of it fits in the three points above.

We also haven't figured out a schedule yet: How often to juice, (because the mothership is a beast to clean),  how often to work-out and when (because if desire determines consistency... then we're probably screwed), how to manage food preparation, etc.  But four days in and I haven't taken any pain medication.  That's certainly not indicative of a miracle cure, but I feel good and I feel good about feeling good! (Get that?!)


Paul Tanner said...

Good for you guys!! I've noticed my New Year's resolutions are the same every year for some strange reason?!?

Jill said...

Awesome plan! And opening that neat, organized pantry would make me want to eat healthy every day. Good luck!

Shawn and Nina Olsen said...

You are an inspiration!

Matt and Rachel Bowden said...

We are doing the exact same thing. I'm having a really hard time finding good recipes so let me know if you find anything.

Kimber said...

So inspiring! After a few months of bad habits (morning sickness + holidays, ugh)we are trying to get back into these same habits. Good luck!

Alyssa said...

Definitely inspiring Kelsey! I now feel like sorting through my pantry. :) A good blog to look at for recipes is 100 Days of Real Food, if you haven't seen it. It's the same idea - no white flour, refined sugars, etc. :)

Christina said...

We use Juice Plus Orchard and Garden Blend for our kids multi-vitamin. Not only does it have all the vitamins but it has all the fruits and vegatables too (kale, broccoli, carrot, beets, cabbage, spinach, tomato, oat bran, rice bran, garlic and elderberr). They are in gummy form and my kids love them. Way to go on eating healthier. You can also try some gluten free baking to help with getting away from white flour. Good luck and we miss you guys!

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