Friday, January 29, 2010

How it all began...

Do you ever look at your life and wonder, "How did I come to live my life this way?  What chain of events led me to this point in time?"  I do. 

Just last night I was laying in bed thinking about how different I use to be, specifically before my son was born.  It's funny how you think you know things, but then you find out you don't.  I guess that's the beauty of life...we are always learning and growing.  I think keeping an open mind and accepting new ways of doing things create the most opportunities for growth. 

Anyway, I was wondering last night what led me to my slight obsession with eating the healthiest foods possible and living in a sustainable and eco-friendly way.  I think it all came about after Noah was born.  I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my future child, but I didn't know how important it really is and how much it impacts and changes you as a woman until I experienced it first hand.  I really think the fact that I chose to breastfeed Noah impacted my life for the better, in terms of health.  And I know that his birth made me just plain care more about the planet.  I'm not saying that whether one chooses to breastfeed or formula feed impacts all women in this way, I'm just saying that it impacted me.  I know of many women who formula fed and feed their children extremely healthily; I also know many women who breastfed and don't feed their children all that well.  For me, when I decided to give my child the healthiest start possible by breastfeeding him, I wanted to continue feeding him the healthiest foods possible when it was time for him to experiment with food.  I researched all the different ways, and realized that "child led solids" made the most sense to me.  I had followed my child's lead since birth by nursing on demand and other means, so I really wanted food to be on his terms as well.  This meant skipping the spoons, purees and baby cereals so that he could pick up real, organic food and learn how to eat it himself.  Of course some people freaked out about this, worried that he would choke.  But the reality is that baby's fine motor development (his ability to actually pick up food with is hand) matches his oral development (his ability to mash and chew the food with his gums and then successfully swallow it or spit it out).  So basically, if they can't pick it up and get it in their mouth, they are not ready to eat it.  This readiness takes place around six months of age, which is when most doctors recommend starting solids.  If you are interested in learning more about child led solids, follow this link. 

So we decided from an early age to feed Noah organic, whole foods and their derivatives.  No processed crap.  This of course carried over to how we ate as a family.  If you want your kid to eat healthy, you have to only keep healthy foods in the house.  I always thought I ate healthy until I started eating like my child.  The sticky part came when he wouldn't eat meat.  I worried he wasn't getting enough protein and/or iron so I began researching the best vegetarian diets to make sure I complemented his diet with proper nutrients.  In that quest for knowledge, I was seduced by all the vegetarian, vegan, and raw diet books and their claims of better health and a more sustainable planet.  So we all went vegetarian!  I even went near-vegan for awhile. I didn't worry so much about Noah because he had a pretty balanced diet and I was still nursing him.  But I started to just not feel "right" so I found a naturopath through a vegetarian support group.  She was suppose to be very vegetarian friendly.  She was, but do you know what she told me? That I shouldn't be a vegetarian!  She said I am a protein type and need animal based protein as the base of my diet.  I followed her advice and also turned to, Paleo diet websites, The Schwarzbein Principle, and eventually, found Mark Sisson's book, The Primal Blueprint.  All of these sources led me to the conclusion that I should only be eating what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate:  Meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, and their whole food derivatives.  I guess I had to turn vegetarian to meet a doctor who would tell me I should not be a vegetarian! 

So here we are, following The Primal Blueprint, and feeling more energetic, lean, content and satiated than ever!  Noah, by the way, grew out of his aversion to meat and loves it now.  But we don't buy just any meat...we always go for organic, grass fed meat.  I will detail where we purchase our meat in a later post.  I have never felt this good about my body and state of mind, and I have never had this much fun cooking and eating!  Giving up grains, processed foods, and sugar has been the best thing I've ever done for my health.  I know it sounds crazy, giving up grains especially, but I promise that once you start eating this way and trying some of the recipes I post, you will forget about all the grains you thought you couldn't live without.  And once you start noticing your body leaning out, you will be even more motivated to incorporate this lifestyle. 

Another important aspect of The Primal Blueprint is the way you exercise.  It is imperative to tone down your workouts by focusing on low-level cardio and a few strength training sessions a week, complemented with sprints every week or so.  Because when you overdo your cardio and engage in long workouts, you're just compromising your immune system and you're hungry all the time!  And what do you crave?  CARBS, but the kind you don't want like grains and sugar.  You want to focus on getting your carbs from fruits, veggies, and nuts.  And you also want to eat high-quality FAT.  That's right, I have lost weight by eating more fat and actually consuming more calories than I did before making this lifestyle change.  And I actually exercise way less than I use to, yet am better able to build and maintain muscle with the way I am eating.

So along with eating this way, we also strive to buy all our food in its freshest, most natural state.  That means buying organic and locally.  I will detail these specifics in future posts.  Eating this way naturally spills over to other areas of your life...from the products you clean with, to the products you put on your body.  You just want to live as close to the way nature intended which means going for natural products and materials.  If only I had known all of this long ago!  But that is why I am starting this blog...maybe some of the information here will impact others.  Please feel free to comment on any posts and enlighten me with information I have yet to gather!


  1. Great blog, Laura! I'll be following for sure :)
    Where is the link to your "Noah" blog? I didn't see it anywhere on here.....

  2. Thanks Lili! Noah's is at:

    I miss you guys soooo much and loved looking at all the pics on your blog:) Let's play soon!