Our focus for this quarter at the Homestead is Food as Healer. I've been collecting stories about the radical changes people have made in their quality of life by switching to whole, real, clean foods. Wait until you hear this one.
I met Deborah Lee at one of the earliest workshops we put on at the Homestead. I believe it was a "Putting by the Harvest" class on preserving food. Deborah attended several other events and workshops out here and I kept up with her on Facebook. Recently I read online that due to some health concerns, she was about to make some serious changes in the way she ate. I wrote to her and asked if she would share her story. Last week she was reluctant because, although she had achieved success with weight loss, she hadn't yet been back to the doctor. Yesterday she got those results and this is what she sent me:
I knew I had some health problems but my routine checkup in June of this year was a real wake up call. I either needed to make the lifestyle changes I had been talking about for a long time or start taking medications that I really did not want to take.
I opted for the lifestyle route. It was NOT easy….no one loves fast food or pasta more than me! But I eliminated all fast food and most processed foods from my diet. I controlled calories but did not go on a super low calorie diet; I focused instead on controlling the amount of carbs and sugar in my diet. This meant reading every label and investing considerably more time in meal preparation and planning. I began to focus on the quality of the food I was eating and searching out local, fresh options. I found a very helpful blog and cookbook called The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther. I searched out healthy options from the local farmer’s market and experimented with foods I had never tried before. Meat and vegetables became the mainstay of what I ate, with occasional treats of fresh, local fruit.
Ten weeks later, I feel better. I’ve lost about 20 pounds. But the real test would be in the next round of blood work. Here’s what I found. In ten weeks with these lifestyle changes I dropped my glucose level by 20 points, my A1C by a full point, my total cholesterol by 108 points, my LDL cholesterol by 60 points and my triglycerides by 160 points. I still have some health issues that I’m dealing with but I feel I’ve made a positive step towards a healthier life.
I hope Deborah's story encourages more of us to make the leap. I think the hardest thing for my family was not knowing how to prepare real food, where to find it, or what to do with it. Our next retreat weekend covers exactly those skills. Marion Sansing is teaching: Nourish: A Weekend of Traditional Food. If you are interested in getting back to basics in your diet and kitchen, this is the weekend for you. This week I will be interviewing Marion on how she became a champion for real food and why she is so passionate about teaching others how to get back in the kitchen.
Congratulations Deborah! My family is enjoying the struggle right along with you! We have seen incredible results in our own health as well. Thank you for sharing your story.
If you have a real food success story, we would love to hear it! Share in the comments below, or send me a message. firstname.lastname@example.org