Our real food journey started a long time ago. It really started with me just attempting a few healthy meals with basic ingredients in my kitchen in college. I had like only two meals I could make. They weren’t completely real either, still some minor processed food. But over the years, I moved more and more toward a complete real food journey.
I started with a meal service to really get me doing full meals with all fresh ingredients, from home. This really got me into the flavors and learning to cook, and then I cancelled it and really got into all my meals at home. I felt more confident in the kitchen and knew what to do.
When my son Parker was eight months old he started showing signs of an autoinflammatory disease. He was diagnosed at 18 months old with PFAPA. You can check out his journey here. This is when our house got really into real food, and really into real products (homemade and from known ingredients only).
Both myself and Parker were unwell. Child birth had knocked me down and flared my lupus, and I had to work to get control back again. Through diet, and movement I was able to work back to where I had been pre-pregnancy. I also needed to control the inflammatory agents going on and into our bodies. Real food and real products were the way to do it.
How has this changed our health?
The process of making this change from buying packages, boxes, pre-made meals, and more was a slow process. I was finding my way mostly alone, and without much support or help. The great news I am here for you if you are considering making a shift in your food!
I have been un-medicated for lupus for about the last 5 years. And prior to that I was also un-medicated for about 3 years before I had my son. I had a brief severe flare after giving birth (very normal) where I took medication to recover and get some control quickly and then eased off the medications again. I have more energy, more focus, feel better and I have lost weight. I worked hard on portion control, along with this way of eating to lose that weight.
As we were closer and closer to a clean real food diet, I was able to more self monitor. I focused on eating more slowly, self identifying feelings of fullness and knowing how to stay within a portion range for nutrients. Not overdoing high fats, and similar macro nutrients.
For those of you who haven’t followed much of our journey with Parker, he has his own story and blog over at It’s Not Just a Virus. He has an autoinflammatory periodic fever syndrome called PFAPA. Yes I know that is a lot of crazy words (and that is just the acronym). But long story short at eight months old he developed this condition related to inflammation and the immune response and we needed control. This was in the early years of my transition to whole food, and since then we had made bigger strides and as we did – his condition changed. He has fewer flare ups, and is symptom free about 6 months of the year. I attribute our success to our diet.
As a note here: He is a child and he is exposed to many more processed foods and due to being a kid, he will sometimes choose those foods. Our daily meals are low inflammatory and real food here, but when he goes to a friend’s house, or his grandparents or other trusted folks, he is exposed and chooses processed foods.
He was diagnosed with high cholesterol at age 24. He had lived a fairly processed food life, and the real foods he had were pretty high in saturated fats due to his body building lifestyle he led. His shakes were very high in fat and cholesterol, and not so healthy. His family has a history of high cholesterol naturally, so all the added foods weren’t helping.
This was at our very early stages of change in our diet, but within three months he was able to lower his cholesterol with diet and exercise. His cholesterol at age 39 is the lowest it has been in his life (and in normal range). Each year it improves with continued real food eating and exercise.
This is just our story of how real food living, and cutting out processed foods makes a difference in our life. It matters daily what we eat and do. If you aren’t really sure why it even matters, check out this post about real food eating, check out this post about the dangers of processed food consumption. What type of difference could it make for you?