I've decided to chronicle my whole food lifestyle on a new food blog! I am very excited to start this blog and share my journey, recipes and tips with all of you.
A little bit about my food lifestyle:
I have been following the Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin. I do not work for JJ or any of her affiliates. I simply purchased her book in Target one night and after reading it, I decided this was the food lifestyle my family needed to live.
Yes, I said "food lifestyle". Haven't you noticed all the different ways people eat? There are so many different diets out there! I don't consider the way I eat a diet. Diets don't work. The word diet carries a negative connotation. I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that mommy and daddy were always on a diet. No! This is our food lifestyle.
If you aren't familiar with JJ's book, let me break it down for you. JJ suggest that we cut out 7 problematic food types from our lives for 21 days. If you start to feel better, lose weight, have more energy, clearer skin, etc. Then you know the 'diet' is working and it is safe to say that you probably have an intolerance to one or more of the foods you've just cleaned out of your diet.
The 7 eliminated foods are:
Sugar (basically everything except organic stevia, coconut sugar and xylitol
Got it? Yes, we cut out these 7 problem foods out of our diet for three weeks. I lost about 10 pounds and my husband has lost about 28.
We have gradually tested the problematic foods one by one (each one getting it's own test week) to determine with food we are sensitive to.
I am sensitive to soy, gluten and sugar so far. I haven't tested eggs, peanuts or corn yet. Dairy isn't a problem for me, but I still limit my dairy intake to just a couple of times per week.
My husband is sensitive to dairy, eggs, gluten and peanuts so far. Since we have different sensitivities we have decided to eliminate all the problematic foods (except some dairy) from our diets.
Yes, we slip up now and again. I have had a hamburger (and really bad stomach problems afterwards). We made cookies one night and ate a few )our stomachs paid the price later).
The point is is that we feel wonderful when we stick to not eating the 7 foods. When we slip up or give in to a craving, we always pay the price. Why would anyone want to be constantly sick because of the foods they are eating? Wouldn't you rather feel great, have energy and look better? Seems like a no brainer, but even for us, the change has been a hard one.
We are now buying only organic foods, not eating anything with preservatives and ingredients we can't pronounce. It is a hard food lifestyle to follow because even organic foods have gluten, soy, corn, peanuts, etc. We have to be very diligent grocery shoppers. We have to read every label of everything we buy. Which means that we really don't buy boxed or canned items anymore.
I will be sharing my tips for following a whole organic lifestyle, recipes and shopping tips.
Let me start the blog off right by sharing a recipe! We had a yummy one pot cabbage meal for New Years this year. We decided last minute that we would stick to our Southern roots and eat cabbage, ham and black eyed peas on New Years. I thought it would be yummy if we just cooked everything together and that is just what we did. The result was FANTASTIC and the recipe is definitely worthy of repeating!
I'm NOT a dietician so I couldn't tell you what the caloric intake of this dish is or even what the serving size is. All I know is that I made this delicious dish in a large skillet and we did have left overs afterwards.
Organic ham (precooked), we bought a half a ham
1-2 bags of organic shredded red cabbage (depending on how much cabbage you want)
1-2 can or organic black eyed peas (again, depending on how much peas you want)
1 handful of chopped organic green onions
1 tablespoon of organic apple cider
3 cloves of organic garlic finely chopped
8-12 large green or kalamata organic olives chopped (omit if you don't like olives. They were in our fridge so we thought, "What the heck")
Salt and pepper to taste
How Do I Cook It?:
- All you need to do is heat some olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat.
- Add the cabbage, ham, peas, apple cider, green onion, garlic, olives, salt and pepper.
- Once the skillet really starts to sizzle, turn it down to medium low heat, cover with a lid and let it cook until the cabbage is soft
- Seve and devour!
I really hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family did! It is a very forgiving dish so add what you want and omit what you don't. I have found that they key to sticking to a new food lifestyle is to re-work recipes to meet MY needs. Don't be discouraged if a recipe has an ingredient you have have. Just change it! make it work for you and this whole process will be so much easier!