From DriveThru Mama to CaveGal

As I sit here sipping my bone broth, contemplating which flavor of Raw Slaw I will try next, I realize a momentous truth: I have made enormous strides on the nutrition path.  I’m talking HUGE steps.  Leaps, even.  But here’s an even more momentous truth: At some point, I was right where you are.Slaw

I say that because many of the messages and emails I receive come from those at The Beginning.  I, too, used to grab a granola bar and a bottle of “100% apple juice” at the gas station and pat myself on the back for my healthy choices.  I, too, used to blast through day after day of pure cardio, tallying my calories and fat intake (or lack thereof) with great pride.

I chuckle at my innocence the way we 30-somethings chuckle at our 20-something selves.  The steps were small at first.  So small, in fact, that as I sit here trying to remember what exactly they were…I can’t.  I do know that by the time we dove into Paleo, it was not a drastic change.  We had already come a long way.  Ditching the grains and dairy was not a difficult task for the grownups in our home.  (Our three-year-old randomly declares his love of bread – “I love bread” – multiple times in the course of the day.)

And the latest changes – juicing, bone broth, fermented veggies – are mostly mine.  I am forcing juice (real juice, vegetable-based juice, from our own juicer) as gently as I can on the rest of the family.  Baby steps.  Also, I don’t tell them exactly what I’ve put in the juice.  That way, when they drink their “apple-and-pineapple juice” the kale and spinach go down without a hitch.  They’ll thank me later.

So maybe not everyone embraces bone broth and fermented vegetables.  I can handle that.  I get it.  For now.  I choose my battles.  When juicing becomes old hat and simply a part of our regular routine…the Bone Broth Battle will commence.  One thing at a time.

Because even though I don’t remember how things began or in what order (did I begin oil pulling before or after the warm lemon water?  And when did I embrace fats and dismiss calories?  These are just some of life’s great riddles), I do remember that it wasn’t so long ago I had my own “regular” at McDonald’s drive-thru (actually, I had two, depending on my mood: the 2-cheeseburger or the Big Mac, but always sweet and sour sauce for my large fries and a strawberry shake to wash them down).  It wasn’t so long Thurp.ago that I could walk into the Sunoco and simply say “cigarettes” because they already knew my brand.  Those are true stories, friends.  I know where you’re coming from because I was there.

I do remember that we first took a serious look at food when Hubby and I paired up to do Jillian Michaels’ Making The Cut.  Then we discovered I was pregnant and the focus changed – understandably so.  Post-preggo and I began again, this time with TurboFire and ShakeologyBeachbody literally changed my life.  It was my launching pad and I am forever thankful.x3_ecard-headerI still faithfully drink Shakeology every day; it was approved for the new nutrition plan by my naturopath, and with her blessings.  Hubby and I begin our next challenge together on February 1 with P90X3.  The programs work – as long as you do.  Funny thing…simply buying the products is not enough.  You must actually use them consistently to get the results.

My point, though, is this: when I run my challenge groups, answer my messages and emails, or offer answers and advice, I know that it all seems daunting.  I know that many people think I’m some sort of fanatic with all the answers.  In all honesty, I am not.

Yes, I do follow a very clean diet now.  I am blessed to have found a naturopath that has forced me to comprehend the seriousness of CEBV and what a good plan now can mean for me later.  It’s a choice that I have made gladly and a choice I made based on my own personal health, not a body aesthetic.  The thing is, I thought I had a handle on my nutrition (and admittedly, she did say I had one of the best diets she’s seen), but it still wasn’t perfect.  I learned from her.  I will learn more in each subsequent visit.

Just like I learn when I watch documentaries like Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead or Food Inc.  Or when I read books about composting and homesteading and gardening.  Always learning.  And know what?  I love it.

I love learning all the ways I can build a healthier life for myself and my family.  I love sharing all of my new information with friends, followers of SweatItOut, and blog readers.  I love it.  Simply love it.

I look forward to our garden and our first CSA experience.  I look forward to my much-longed-for chickens and goats (fingers are crossed as I research this).  And I continue to feel blessed that we have land on which to create our little sustainable homesteading adventure.

In three years, we’ve gone from drive-thru meals to sustainability.  From exercising as a means of gaining that “bikini body” to fueling my body and working out to become the strongest and happiest version of me that I can be.  It’s made me a better parent.  In fact, the most exciting part of this journey is knowing what an impact this will make on my children.  I can only begin to imagine where they will be and what they will know when they are my age.

It’s been an eye-opening three years.  When you start, it’s slow going.  I am not so far removed that I don’t remember that.  But let me tell you this: you will find that moment in the roller coaster ride when everything speeds up and the changes come rapidly and easily.  That’s when it really gets fun.

pebbles_flintstone_by_reign05-d4njhi8Trust me.  As a former drive-thru girl and a present-day CaveGal.  I’ve been there.

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