My Weight Loss Journey (part 3)

In my quest to make myself and my family healthier in all aspects of nutrition and housekeeping, I have found quite a few very helpful sites.  Not just buying and cooking the “right” foods are important. So part 3 of "My Weight Loss Journey" will detail the sites that have taught me everything I know!

I mentioned that My Fitness Pal was what helped me track my calories.  It encouraged me to keep logging my food and exercise.  Each day you log your activity, it records it and tells you how many days you’ve logged in a row.  I’ll admit, though, that I’ve been discouraged when I forget to log in just one day and the count that was close to 100 goes back to zero.  Recently, I received word about a new program, very similar to My Fitness Pal called Slimkicker!  I started an account, and plan to begin logging and using their site exclusively. 

Almost two years ago, a dear friend of mine switched her family (2 adults, 2 children) to raw milk, pastured eggs and grass fed beef.  I’ll admit…….I was intrigued.  Honestly, I was a bit disgusted by the idea of raw milk.  I was also worried about giving it to my children.  Is it safe?  What if they get sick?  How do I know it’s the right thing to do?  I trust my friend in that I know she would never do anything to endanger her family.  So I started researching.  I found two great sites in particular that gave me all of the information that helped me make my informed decision:  Weston A Price and Dr. Mercola.  Also, there’s a great site (set up by the Weston A Price foundation) with very specific information on “real” milk.  

The two most important points that helped me decide to switch to “real” milk:
1 – Raw milk is safe!  Conventional milk is pasteurized to get rid of dangerous bacteria.  The dangerous bacteria is there because the cows are not eating what nature intended them to eat (grass), and they are kept in absolutely disgusting conditions.  Those cows are so sick from their unnatural diets and conditions, and produce some pretty disgusting milk (pus and blood are in their milk!), so it must be pasteurized.  I would never drink raw milk from a “conventional” dairy farm as that milk would not be safe.  But, by knowing how the cows are kept and fed at my local farm, I am confident that I am purchasing milk that is safe for me and my whole family.  Please be sure you know the conditions your cows are in before buying raw milk.  Check your state laws as well.  Being informed is the best way to avoid getting sick.
2 – Raw milk is healthy!  I noticed a 5 lb drop in only 2 weeks after switching from fat free half & half to raw heavy cream daily in my coffee.  I did nothing else different (consumed the same calories and exercised the same) and my weight dropped quicker than the 1lb/week it had been.  Also, I’ve noticed our entire family seems to be healthier.  This is the first spring we have not suffered from allergies!  I used to have asthma and suffer from pretty bad allergies.  But now that we are eating healthier, combined with the great probiotics in our raw milk, we seem to have been spared this season!  Our immune systems seem much stronger.  The only evidence I can give is that when the bad stomach virus was going around, my kids only vomited once and felt sick for 6-10 hours when everyone else seemed to be vomiting ever 20 min and felt sick a minimum of 24 hours.

Another important point to note about milk in general is that it is one of the biggest causes of allergies and asthma in children and adults!  In my studies to become a certified nutritionist, I’ve learned it’s important to do a 14 day fast from dairy to see if allergy conditions improve.  If they do, you may have a milk allergy to some degree.  But from the research, most people who are lactose intolerant or have allergies, are able to handle raw milk.  (Please seek the advice of your doctor or allergist before consuming milk – raw or not – if you’ve been diagnosed with an allergy.)  The problem with “conventional” milk is that it is missing many of the beneficial probiotics your body needs to fight off allergens (the good bacteria is killed in the pasteurization process).  Also, the protein structures of the milk are changed when heated which is what many people have the allergic reaction to (allergic reaction can mean many different things, depending on the person and severity).    See this article here for more information.

Now, where do you get raw milk?  It’s difficult to find unless you know someone who is buying it.  Unfortunately, I can’t give detailed information on how to find it as farmers fear being shut down by the government.  My best advice is to go to the Real Milk website and search your specific area.  If nothing is listed, go to your local farmers’ market and start asking.  It all depends on the laws in your state.

Aside from the controversial “real milk” debate, I have found Dr. Mercola’s website to be extremely helpful in my journey to get myself and my family healthy.  He has educated me on many topics from how to get rid of cleaning chemicals in my home (and use natural essential oils) to how to cook foods properly to ensure the most nutrition stays in the foods we eat.

Usually when I find a topic on Dr. Mercola’s site, I go over to www.livestrong.com to check what they have to say about the same topic.  Many times, they are saying the same things, but this other site seems more “conventional” than holistic.  I think many people call the holistic movement “crunchy granola” or “a little crazy” but conventional sites like Livestrong seem better accepted by the mainstream population.   I would highly recommend doing research there for just about any topic you want to know more about.

I guess this site is the most obvious…..yes, I’m a Beachbody coach, so of course I would recommend our site!  But it’s more than just that.  I’ve found accountability there.  I’ve found information there.  And I’ve been challenged there!  Just signing up for a free beachbody account and logging your workouts in the Supergym (in real time) will get you entered to win $500 daily!  I have to admit, I get frustrated with myself when I’m not working out because I know I missed a chance to be entered to win real cash money.  If you become a Club Member, you also get the benefit of a discount on all products plus personalized meal plans and shopping lists.

The last website I’ll mention in this post (that is much longer than I anticipated!) is the college I’m attending online:  Global College of Natural Medicine.  After becoming more and more interested in understanding how natural foods can heal the body, I decided to become a certified holistic nutritionist.  So I started searching for programs available.  It would have to be something online and affordable.  There are many programs out there, but nothing seemed doable until I found GCNM.  And the fact that 80% of my tuition could go towards a bachelor’s degree, Holistic Health Practioner, really made the decision for me.  Now, not only am I learning all of these things to help myself and my family, but I will be certified to help others officially and plan to continue my studies all the way to get my phd!

I have learned more in my Nutritional Consultant course than anywhere else.  Although I have researched many topics on the other sites, I haven’t read through the scientific research explaining the experts’ various opinions until now.  It makes sense.  I see the science behind the information.  It’s shocking that the knowledge I’m gaining is not the mainstream information available to everyone.  I hope to be able to educate others, especially moms, in how to better provide nutrition and safe products in their homes.

Stay tuned for Part 4 when I will detail how I cleaned out our pantry!