a different kind of perfect
i'm a mom...on a mission...to enjoy life everyday...appreciate the little moments...try not to get so easily annoyed...raise my kids with a faith legacy that leads them to continue to be amazing people...and to make my husband feel as special as he makes me feel.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
CF is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30k children and adults in the US (70k worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that both clogs the lungs and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. [www.cff.org]
Monday, March 11, 2013
Saturday, March 2, 2013
The past few years has been full of crazy research trying to figure out Cystic Fibrosis and stressing out over his nutrition and the fact that we need to cram him full of high-fat, high-calorie foods to optimize growth and get him stronger because he will burn more calories with his labored breathing during an illness or lung infection. Dean needs to take manufactured enzymes so his body can absorb fat, protein and fat-soluble vitamins. Then we worry about the stress this is causing to his pancreatic tissue and we know, we know, we know his cure is but a few years away so when this happens, we don’t want to run the risk of dealing with heart disease or other issues.
We also stress about our other three kids and their reliance on sugar to satisfy their cravings. We want them all to understand that God gave us what we need so let’s try to go back to the basics, retrain our palate and see if it makes us feel any different. So, all this reading, researching, talking, etc. continued to lead us back to a plant-based diet. Honestly it just didn’t seem feasible, didn’t seam doable, didn’t seem economical (I can come up with a boat load more of excuses) but we did come across one documentary that showd actually HOW to make this healthy eating work (The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue available on Netflix or Amazon Prime). So we took the 28 day challenge, started February 1st and decided to see how we feel. We kept cooking “normal” for the kids as we wanted to see how this would affect our bodies, how we’d feel, could we tell a difference? How did we feel? Could this be sustainable? Jim, being a vegetarian for 4.5 years was psyched I was willing to try as he knew there would be more food for him to eat, rather than the countless veggie stir fries or pasta and veggies (or butter) that I cooked. However, I personally anticpated clawing my way out of February and prepared myself for a month of pure torture.
I was unbelievably mistaken. Fascinated by the challenge and floored by the results.
- The majority of our recipes came from the Engine 2 Diet book. I found some others online (there are some great vegan sites out there).
- With our new Vitamix - the best appliance on earth, well worth waiting longer for my Apple (not necessary but super helpful)! The variety of things we were able to create using this blender helps to make the process a little more fun:
- Smoothies - used to get extra veggies and fiber-filled fruit into all 6 of us; used as a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth and a great way to get the kids involved while slaving away in the kitchen.
- Soups - yep, 6 minutes to a warm, yummy, blended soup.
- Sauces, nut creams and salsas to top our food and dress our salads.
- Nut butters to spread on the kids sandwiches and to mix on homemade granola.
- Homemade ice cream, applesauce, hummus, the list is endless!
- A simple rice cooker is another helpful appliance (we got ours years ago at Target for $15).
- We started a weekly delivery of organic produce from Timber Creek Farms (we did this because I was stuck in a rut when it came to buying veggies, always buying the same and I wanted to be “forced” to try something new)
- We were lazy in relying on convenient, chemical filled foods to feed our family and chose to limit the processed foods we brought into the house.
- We made what we could from scratch (sauces, vegetable broth, salsa, hummus, nut butters, etc.).
- We tried new foods: beets (yum), chia, hemp and flax seeds, parsnips, chard, kale and leeks.
- We spent a crazy amount of time in the kitchen; it was fun to create something so healthy that tasted so good. The tastes were A.m.a.z.i.n.g! Truly, once you let yourself taste whole foods, you will notice when you are tasting something full of chemicals.
The results are truly awesome! I lost 10% of my body weight; Jim lost 6% (remember he’s already been a vegetarian for almost 5 years). I am completely off caffeine (and did not experience the crazy withdrawal I have before when I stopped coffee). Our energy levels have never felt greater. The late afternoon crash we always experienced never occurred. Digestively, everything just feels better. I think I gained a few brain cells back and my temperament is a lot more positive (of course Jim never experienced a loss of brain cells or a bad mood so he can't comment on those). :)
- Getting to a point of trying this was a process for us. We were fairly healthy to begin with, our numbers (cholesterol, bmi, weight, etc.) were all in normal range when we started. Our main driver is to keep all our kids healthy for life. Plus we totally love challenges.
- Time is precious and fruits and veggies are expensive but so are medical bills associated with certain diseases that can be prevented by nutrition.
- When your kids start asking for carrots and celery and making smoothies instead of asking for oreo’s, you feel good and know you’re making a difference for them.
- Two aha! moments during Feb that made us know we were on track:
- During church one weekend while we were doing this challenge, we read a story about Daniel and how he challenged a guard to test his servants for ten days by feeding them only vegetables and water and at the end of the days compare their appearance with that of those that eat royal food. At the end of the ten days, the servants looked healthier and better nourished than the others who ate the royal food.
- During a parent meeting at the hospital, we heard a promising story of a patient in our center who has the CF mutations that the Kalydeco drug (released Jan 2012) fixes. She is nearly, virtually cured, reducing treatments and feeling better. We talked about nutrition then and how the mindset of CFers will have to change. When cured, it’ll no longer be eat, eat, eat, it’ll be eat healthy, you have a long life ahead of you. So again, for the second time we thought, ok, we’re on track.
So just wanted to share with you all. The food was delicious, our eyes were opened to what types of processed foods we were consuming and our kids, although complaining loudly at times, are starting to make better choices and understand that their life really depends on it.
Will we stick with it? In moderation, yes. We will continue to cook like this, we will continue to serve plant-based foods at home and continue to try new fruits, vegetables, grains, flours and new recipes. If you have any recipes you suggest us trying, please send them through! When faced with a date night out, being away from home for various events or when we host our annual rib cook-off on June 8th, we will, as with anything in life, practice moderation. For the kids, we will continue trying to get them to make healthier choices and pray they feel the "whole food" difference too.
Some recipes we tried and some pictures too!
|Parsnip and Sweet Potato Fries baked in a little grapeseed oil|
|To satisfy the need to snack|
|Veggie Stir-fry with beans and homemade sauce over rice (Jim's creation)|
|Veggie Panini (Engine 2)|
|Potato Enchiladas (Engine 2)|
|Beet & Cherry Smoothie|
Posted by team burns at 9:23 AM
- ▼ March (3)
- ► 2012 (18)