Oct 7, 2013

health, wealth, and happiness. Day 1

I've always despised the word DIET. (shutter). Whenever someone says they're going on one I cringe on the inside. Mostly because a majority of them have a connotation of a quick fix and just another fad that doesn't really help that person gain a healthier lifestyle. To say Ryan and I are going on a diet would be completely off target. To say we are aiming for a healthier lifestyle... well yeah, that's more like it. And here's the short version why:

4 years ago Ryan developed some health issues. It was right after our one year anniversary. I remember when he first started getting the symptoms. It started off with one hand falling asleep at night, then his whole arm. We figured he was just sleeping on his arm wrong and it would eventually go way. But then his other hand and arm soon followed. Eventually the numbness and tingling went away but his joints became extremely stiff and lost some range of motion.

Within the next year it spread to his lower extremities and throughout his body. He wasn't able to make a tight fist or grip certain objects tightly. He wasn't able to extend his fingers completely straight or do a push-up because his wrists would barely bend.

We saw neurologists and rheumatologists. We even had a plastic surgeon do carpal tunnel surgery to see if the release would allow more movement in his wrists. The only thing the surgery did for him was leave a scar...

Tests after tests, no doctor or surgeon could figure it out. They knew something was wrong (OBVIOUSLY) but couldn't explain what (go figure). All the tests came back normal. The only vague diagnosis we were given from one neurologist, after a CT scan, was possible early stages of multiple sclerosis.... but even then he was still unsure. After a long summer of tests and stumped doctors, we stopped searching for answers.

And here we are 4 years later. Ryan's joints have not improved, but they haven't worsened either. We see this as a blessing. Although sometimes it can be hard, we focus on all the things that he is able to do still, which is more than not, by far.

Which brings us to food. I've always believed what we put in our bodies plays a significant role in our health so when Ryan came home from work a few weeks ago and told me he wanted to dedicate the following month to eating healthier and cleansing his body my jaw dropped!! I'm so on board!!

Our guidelines:
No meat, dairy, sugar, processed foods, soda, or fast food.

Wow. What the heck are we going to eat for the next month. A good ole' plant-based diet! And even though it may not look like a lot, there is A. LOT. Trust me.

YES WHOLE WHEAT BREAD/PASTAS and GRAINS
YES VEGETABLES
YES FRUITS
YES NUTS, SEEDS
YES BEANS, LEGUMES
YES to natural sweeteners- HONEY, AGAVE

I wanted to blog about this next month, share the simple healthy recipes I'm making, and keep everyone updated on what this month has done for Ryan. We will take it one month at a time, figure out what works best for us and keep aiming for a healthier diet. Yesterday was day 1 which consisted of juicing for breakfast, lunch, and a Black Bean Oat Burger and cilantro-lime sweet potato fries for dinner. Why would I venture to take on a challenge of a meatless burger for my first meal when my husband grew up on a cattle ranch??? The dinner could have gone two ways..... he could have been scarred after ruining his favorite food and dreading every meal to follow.......... OR..... he could have been left pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was and a glimmer of faith would start growing that eating healthier does taste good!!!!

Can I just say how proud I am of this meat-lovin', soda-drinkin', chips-and-candy-munchin' husband of mine? He even put brown spicy mustard, tomatoes, and avocado on the burger even though he hates all three. AND GUESS WHAT? he ate 3. Okay 2 3/4 but still, he was surprised and I was tremendously relieved!!! SUCCESS! to our HEALTH, WEALTH in blessings, and true HAPPINESS.

Day 1
B- Wheatgrass/ Juiced
L- Juiced
D- Black Bean Oat Burger and Cilantro Limo Sweet Potato Fries