When I started this blog, I never dreamed it would grow to the size it is now. Since I get a lot of questions about how we came to be a whole food family, I thought I would share our story. I had been a vegetarian for 16 years prior to going vegan. If you had asked me to describe my eating habits at the time, I would have told you I ate healthy. Healthy to me at that time included Boca Burgers, Skinny Cow ice cream and processed cereals like Kashi.
We fed my daughter a lot of junk as well. Kraft Mac and Cheese was a staple in our house as were processed granola bars. I have always liked to bake, but the things I used to make were laden with too much oil and processed sugar. My husband drank a lot of Gatorade, snacked on chips and candy bars. His diet was heavy in meat and cheese. So I guess you could say we were not far off from the typical American diet. Once thing we never did, was eat fast food. We did, however, indulge on Starbucks every Saturday.
My husband was taking 2 medications for asthma and using an inhaler on a daily basis. He was told by his doctor that if he couldn’t get his cholesterol down, he would need to take meds for that as well. It was I, who was the one that decided to make the change. To be honest, with all the packaged food I was buying, I saw my grocery bill skyrocket. I was sick of all the waste it created as well. So I decided I was going to start making my own things from scratch. The first thing I made was granola bars and I was amazed at how easy to was. Much cheaper too. So from there on, I was doing all our baked goods from scratch. I would read health blogs like crazy to get ideas on how to eat and live better. That is when I started to read labels. THAT was my light bulb moment. Once I started googling some ingredients I was shocked to find out what kinds of chemicals and additives were in processed foods.
At that time, I was still using processed sugar for baking. Then one day I cut out sugar from my morning coffee. I am not going to lie, it was tough the first week, but now I like coffee better with just a bit of almond milk. Once I kicked sugar out of my morning coffee, I found I didn’t crave sweets as much during the day. So I set out to get rid of all our processed flours and sugars. That made a huge difference. We all found ourselves with more energy. We also lost weight without even trying! My husband lost 20 lbs and I lost about 5-7 lbs. Funny thing is, once we quit sugar and processed foods, we found no need to count calories or fat. When you eat whole foods, they will keep you full much longer than highly processed foods.
Once we saw the amazing results of eating clean, it kept us motivated to continue down this path. My husband and I stick to this because both of us want to be around for as much of our girls’ lives as possible.
So that is how we started. By about September of 2012, we were totally on board with clean eating and I started the blog in October of 2012. If you are just starting out, here are some links that may help you.