Friday, April 26, 2013

Getting Healthy, or Why We Started Eating All Natural/Organic

I look like a cow in this picture
Thom and I have never pretended to be examples of someone physically fit. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are overweight. For several years, we have both been saying that we want to lose weight, but we never did anything seriously about it. We joined gyms, but never went; started a diet, but cheated on it all the time. The intention was there, but the commitment was not. Enter our thirties, when everything starts to fall apart. To spare details, Thom has always had gastrointestinal issues, and things really came to a head in March of last year. He was referred to a gastroenterologist and had to go through several tests, but no real diagnosis was found. On a whim one day, I suggested that we try cutting corn syrup out of our diet. I had a friend growing up that had an intolerance to it, so I figured why not give it a shot. Within 72 hours, Thom's issues had disappeared. We found the culprit.

This led to research about corn syrup, specifically high fructose corn syrup. We learned that it was made through a chemical process that is currently unregulated through the federal government. We learned that it is related to intestinal issues, and it makes the body resistant to insulin. As well as some other really ugly facts about it, you can read for yourself here. What was even more infuriating was the fact that high fructose corn syrup is in everything; soda, cookies, candies, bread, crackers, ketchup, fruit juice, yogurt, the list goes on.

This caused a bit of a dilemma, how to we eat without poisoning ourselves? Our answer? Thank goodness for all natural grocery stores. In a matter of days we went from shopping at traditional grocery store to the all natural grocery store. I am so happy we made the switch. We are fortunate to have a Trader Joe's in town, so the switch actually saved us money. I can buy anything I want without having to worry about high fructose corn syrup or other nasty preservatives that we really just should not be eating. The best part? I get to fill up my cart with fresh veggies every week. Well, for now.

It turns out switching to all natural and organic food has caused a bit of a lifestyle change. Thom and I are quickly learning that when you eat better, you feel better. My own IBS has disappeared, our skin is clearer, we sleep better at night, and we have more energy during the day. To go along with this lifestyle change, we have joined a CSA for the summer. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Thom and I have invested in a local farm, and as a result we will get a portion of their harvest from June through to October. Fresh local veggies, I am so excited!

The additional energy has helped out too. Our Portland has hiking trails throughout the city, and now that spring has finally started to arrive, we have taken to after work hikes with the dog. It is a nice opportunity to spend time with Thom, take some pictures of the beautiful landscape around us, and, of course, get some exercise!

Our new, healthier lifestyle is yet another thing that I have to look forward to, and my jeans are definitely starting to get a bit looser by the day.


  1. Very interesting Jenny! My hubs and I have avoided HFCS for a few years now. I've learned that any processed foods and gluten are basic things we should cut out too in order to be healthy but they are everywhere so its so difficult. My chiropractor insists that the perfect diet/meal would consist of half animal/half plant and water and that it all we physically need.

  2. We have been cutting out processed foods as well, everything seems to taste better when it is made at home and then we know exactly what is in it. I have several friends that have also gone gluten free, I am not sure if we are ready for that just yet, baby steps! My acupuncturist says pretty much the same thing.

  3. i love how passionate you are about these new changes! i am an avid ingredients list reader (which comes from former years of being vegan) but sometimes you just never know how processed and chemical-filled foods are until you start avoiding them. there are so many ingredients i never even thought about being in food until i started working at a company that makes everything all-natural and preservative free! i've been paying close attention to what i eat lately and the difference you feel is just automatic!

  4. The number and types of chemicals that is allowed into our food is really infuriating. While I enjoy the definite difference in health after giving up processed foods, I also have to question the long term affects of these chemicals on the body. Keep up the label reading!

  5. We've been eating this way for a while and you really do feel better:)! Good luck!! I'll follow along on your journey:). Jess


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