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I know… corny title, but hey, I have a fog machine in my brain and it is good at pointing out the obvious and that’s about it right now.  I have two things to write about today and I can’t decide between the two, so I’m writing about both.

First, I have to share this website with you.  Why Don’t You Look Like a Fitness Model? I have been seriously thinking about what a naturally capable and fit woman’s body should look like since I wrote the post on A Woman’s Perfect Body and Paleo women.  I found this website and article via a discussion forum I frequent and was really amazed by what this woman wrote and the pictures she posted on the site.  The pictures are of a variety of women athletes who competed in the Olympics.  As she states, you’re at the top of your game physically if you are competing at that level.  Their bodies were as varied as fingerprints and all ranges of gorgeous.  I highly suggest reading the article and looking at the pictures.  It isn’t about trying to achieve the look of someone from a magazine, but the look that is right for you.  There are a lot of factors that go into that.

And now… da ta ta ta… I present to you a new work of art by a blossoming new talent in the world of painting… Deladis Rose.

paintingShe is so happy when her daddy lets her have a piece of water color paper and turns her loose.  She will sit for hours, so focused and poised.  I’m amazed at how involved in her work that she becomes.  I’m thankful for her having the gift of focus.  I can’t wait to see what she does with that.  I’m a proud mama.

painter

It is a priority of mine to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 days a week.  It is my way of keeping myself fit no matter how much weight I’m carrying.  Exercise is a sure fire way for me to fight depression as well.  I have heard that is true for many people.  I’ve been someone who has exercised or been an athlete my whole life.  Since having kids, it has had to involve a bit more invention and planning.  The following are my suggestions on how to get exercise in when being the primary caregiver of small children.

  • For those with infants and small toddlers, purchase a mei-tai carrier.  I have mentioned where to find them in other posts.  This will allow you to at least walk or hike with your child in tow.  It is also good for increasing your fitness level because as the baby grows (weighs more) it provides more of a challenge as you will have the need.
  • Check out Spark People on YouTube.  There are several cardio exercises that last no more than 10 minutes each.  There are also strength training and toning exercises.  Do these either as interval work, or when you need a quick workout.  Keep in mind it is okay to break up your exercise time.  It is still beneficial.
  • Buy some Parent and Baby exercise DVDs.  There are two made by Parents Magazine that are excellent.  One is for Babies and one is for Toddlers/Preschoolers.  I also have really enjoyed Dance Baby Dance by Infantastic.  I don’t believe they are in business anymore, but you can still find the DVDs on Ebay.  Gurmukh Khalsa has a great postnatal yoga DVD as well.  My girls have enjoyed all of these DVDs.  Not only am I exercising, but I get some quality play in with them as well.
  • Ask your partner, friend or relative for help.  Making exercise a priority may also mean you need to ask someone else to entertain or watch after the children while you exercise.  My husband watches the girls once a week so I can do the 1 1/2 hours of Ultimate Taebo.

Mostly, I exercise while my girls are awake.  I have other things (like writing) to do while they are sleeping.  This is the way I get it done.  I don’t belong to a gym with childcare.  That is not in our budget.  I may never have a Madonna body, but that’s fine.  I get the results I want from my way of working out at home.  I am fit cardiovascularly, and I’m taking it up a notch with some strength training.  I am working on my first week of the 100 Push-Up Program.  I’ll report back on what that does for me.

*Now, I’m off to the fair city of Pikeville for Hillbilly Days.  Please check back in Monday to see my documentation of the festivities and our involvement in them.  It’s sure to be a hoot of a time.

Since I have researched where grocery store food comes from, how pre-fabricated (boxed) foods are made, and the foodways of cultures existing before industry changed food, I have learned to really embrace food.  As someone who has always dealt with weight issues, I had come to either be indifferent about food ( Ah, who cares what I eat.  It’s just going to make me fat, and I want to enjoy myself.) or fear food (I can’t eat anything I want.  It will make me fat.).  Eating with traditional foodways in mind has changed the way I view food.  Now, I can enjoy it without fear, have fun making it, and see it as healthy nourishment.  This is a lifestyle change and not a fad diet that I’ll be doing until I achieve some weight loss goal.  It isn’t some ridiculous recommendation of 1500 calories a day and 35 grams of fat.  I’m not going around hungry.  I don’t have to make a different supper for myself and another for my children and husband because I’m dieting.  I believe it was the way humans were meant to eat.  The way my family eats mirrors more and more the way the early Appalachians would have eaten in times of plenty.  I believe food manufacturers have changed food so much that the current “diet” recommendations are flawed and leaving our population starving for nutrients and unnaturally overweight.

For anyone wanting a change that is for health and not another fad diet that will leave you feeling hungry, tired, and deprived, I suggest you read the following two cookbooks – Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Eat Fat to Lose Fat by Mary Enig Ph.D.  I have went from a size 16 in December to a size 6/8 currently with using only the first book mentioned.  As I said in my previous post, weight loss came secondary to my other health goals.  I believe I lost weight because I am getting exercise and my body is stabilizing after years of eating “food like substances” instead of the foods my body was meant to eat prepared in the way that my body will most readily accept.

When looking at my typical daily food consumption you will notice that it isn’t like any recommendations you’ve probably heard Dr. Oz make on Oprah, or your doc make when telling you to lower your cholesterol.  Why?  Because I am not eating man created foods that are pre-cooked, freeze dried, corn syruped, or sugared down.  I’m eating foods that are whole, and cooked from scratch.  The rule of thumb for me is if my great great grandmother would not recognize it as food… it isn’t.

The General Rules for My Family

  1. No refined white granulated sugar or artificial sweeteners.  We only sweeten with the following: honey, sorghum, agave nectar, molasses, 100% pure maple syrup.  Yummy!  I know.
  2. No refined white flours.  We use only whole grain flours that are preferably sprouted and/or soaked before used in cooking.  When these flours are soaked you can hardly tell they are whole grain.
  3. No vegetable oils aside from olive oil.  We cook in bacon fat, real butter (no margarine), lard, coconut oil, sesame oil, palm oil, and olive oil.
  4. Make use of bone broths.
  5. Eat whole fat dairy products.  (Those who can afford it and find it should eat raw dairy products that aren’t pasteurized).  Of course, preferably organic and hormone free.
  6. Eat fresh produce when possible, next frozen, then canned.
  7. Eat fermented condiments.
  8. Soak rice, oats, and most beans.
  9. Eat meat free of nitrites and nitrates, free range, antibiotic free, hormone free whenever possible.
  10. No MSG!!!

My Daily Food Intake

  • Breakfast – 1 bowl oats soaked and sweetened with sorghum, banana, raisins, 2/3 pieces sausage or bacon, coffee with honey and half and half… alternating days I eat 2 eggs instead of oats and add a cup of yogurt instead of the fruit.  Oh, and I love butter in my oats.
  • Lunch – I stay full from breakfast for a long while so lunch is a bit light.  1 Babybel Cheese and 1/2 cup or more nuts… sometimes I eat dinner leftovers.
  • Dinner – 1 meat, 2 veggies, or soup and cornbread.  I eat an entire plate of food salted with sea salt and buttered.  Potatoes are yummy fried in lard with onions or baked and buttered and sour creamed.  I eat whatever meat I feel like eating that day.  I don’t worry about red or white.  When we don’t feel like meat we’ll have pinto beans (soupbeans) or something.  With fresh veggies coming soon, we’ll probably have a veggie plate here and there.  Oh, and more fish from my dad.
  • Snack – glass of dairy kefir when available to me, cheese, nuts, banana, cup of milk

I’m looking more into how traditional diets seasonally changed.  I know that there were periods of fasting and/or abstaining from certain foods either out of cultural standards or lack of availability.  The key is to listen to our bodies.  What do they want?  In winter I find myself craving meat and potatoes, heavy chili, and cornbread.  In summer, I love cucumbers and tomatos vine fresh, salads, and chicken.  Our foods should change with the seasons in order to get the optimal nutritional value from what is available.

So, I’m happy I’m not being fooled anymore.  I’m happy I won’t be on the drastic rollercoaster of up and down weight.  I want to share this way of eating with others who are fed up with the standard American diet and the results they are not getting from the recommended way of eating.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

November 2022
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