I’m Laura. Welcome to The Green Forks! A blog that I created to document my family’s transition into a healthier lifestyle : ) I’m hoping that through sharing my experience others can see how truly possible it is to change their family’s eating habits- even with toddlers!
I am a stay-at-home Mom/Army wife and part-time blogger (for the low-down on me personally, scroll down). My first blog- Laura’s Sweet Spot- was all about baking and cooking (you’ll see some borrowed, applicable content from there on this site as well). It featured recipes loaded in butter, sugar, cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, eggs, meat… anything and everything with absolutely no real consideration for health. It wasn’t until very recently that I was struck with an epiphany. I was musing about my eating habits on an ordinary day and it was as though somebody came up behind me and smacked me in the head with a baseball bat. Suddenly everything that I had formerly thought to be okay, was absolutely NOT anymore. Why did I think my body was going to be un-affected by the 3 layer cake that I devoured in 6 days? Or the daily overdose of cheese and refined carbs that I partook in? I had been so deluded. I never ate much meat to begin with, but I rarely had fresh vegetables or fruit.
I was a complete Starch-etarian.
The way I was eating had become so habit forming that I was leading this lifestyle where I didn’t even consider what I was putting into my mouth and how it was affecting my health. The thoughts just never crossed my mind.
I was living my life completely the wrong way. I should have been thinking about how not only the foods that I eat, but the foods I feed my family, affect the human body. Our diets were so rich in toxic, processed, and nutrient poor foods that our overall health was suffering- physically and mentally. Tired, irritable, impatient, stressed, bloated (me), and lethargic were all words that described my family. We needed a change.
I know for myself that something just had to give. I wasn’t overweight or anything- I stand at 5’6″ and had a start weight of 118 lbs. I simply wasn’t functioning as the best version of myself. My eating habits had affected me in a lot of ways but these are some of the most burdening ones-
- I always felt like I was heavy- in the sense that it just took a lot of effort for me to move my body. Almost as though I was made of rocks. That coupled with a constant state of fatigue… I was left unmotivated to do much to say the least.
- My mood was terrible. I wasn’t depressed but I was so irritable and impatient. My whole body just felt so exhausted all the time that it left me with a poor attitude. At times I was short with my Husband and my daughter. Not to mention that I was very easily upset by my children when they would act out, causing me to react in the wrong way. I prayed on a daily basis for God to help me better my patience with my children. I wanted nothing more than to discipline my children without getting irrationally upset with them.
- I had candida throughout my body. Candida is a yeast that can easily overgrow in your body causing numerous health problems. I had no obvious symptoms so I was unaware I had this until my son was born with a terrible case of thrush. Because of my poor diet I had caused my son a lot of pain for the first few months of his life. Worst yet, the yeast wouldn’t go away because the breastmilk I was feeding him was promoting the growth. I had to make the switch to formula. The whole ordeal was so overwhelming and stressful for me. I still feel guilty about the situation at times. I refuse to let that happen to my future babies.
- My 2 1/2 year old had developed terrible eating habits. 99% of the time she would go everyday without a single vegetable. I still feel guilty about this since her eating habits were a direct reflection on my eating habits, so I had nobody to blame but myself.
ENTER: A lifestyle change!
I’ve been doing a lot of research and watching many different documentaries (Forks over Knives; Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead; Food Inc.), all in an attempt to see how I could better my family’s health. I am now committed to creating a more natural, whole-foods based life for us.
So, what exactly is my diet plan? That’s the thing. I don’t want to qualify our new eating habits as any sort of “diet”. There are just certain elements that I would like to cut out completely, others that I want to simply minimize, and some things that I want to actively promote. All of which will be centered around creating the most healthy and natural way of eating for the human body. (See Disclaimer)
- Eliminate ALL animal products (meat, fish, dairy, and eggs).
- Minimize the amount of refined sugars we consume (especially me).
- Reduce processed, packaged foods as much as possible.
- Make vegetables the MAIN part of every meal.
- Avoid all GMO products (corn, soy, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, peanuts, etc.)
- Purchase organic as much as possible.
- Buy from local farmers.
- Eat food as close to its natural form as possible.
I want to take my family from this-
I’ve got quite the challenge ahead of myself, but I am dedicated to see it through. Admittedly though, I will hit a few hurdles along the way. #1 hurdle- I hate vegetables. Particularly raw vegetables, including salads…ughhhh. I am going to have to be thinking outside the box to make this work. I can’t just eat salads for lunch and dinner and be okay with it. Because that’s just not okay with me. SO aside from salads, what can a newly devoted, whole-foodist eat? Well, we’re about to find out together! This is going to be interesting.
Basically, I am taking a sugar-addict (me), a meat-and-potatoes man (my Husband), and an all-around vegetable hater (my 2 1/2 year old) and teaching us to learn how to love plant-based, whole foods. The only one of us that poses any real hope is my infant who will be introduced to healthier foods right from the beginning. But my hope is that you will follow along with me as we make these changes and see how REAL it can be for you too!
And I refuse to make this change stressful. We are not going to be perfect with our diets by any means. There will be times where we will slip and I won’t allow us to feel guilty about it. We are human after all, and we make mistakes and succumb to temptation as part of our nature. As long as we put the effort in more consistently than we slip… I will consider this to be a success : )
Since eating this way for just a short time, these are the improvements I’ve experienced-
- I feel lighter! I have only lost 4 lbs, but in general I feel much lighter on my feet. I can more easily move my body. If that makes any sense, haha.
- The skin on my face has cleared up TEN-FOLD. I swear. And I have no sign of dark under-eye circles. I don’t think my face has ever looked so fresh and radiant without make-up before!
- My mood has been lifted considerably. I’m happy and cheery! I never could have imagined feeling this well : )
- Self-esteem is better.
- I’ve always had kind of a bloated looking belly. No matter how thin I was, I always had a tiny little pouch. Never was one of those girls with a flat, washboard belly. Well, guess what? No more bloat=flatter belly!
- I have found my patience! I guess it was buried beneath hoards of sugar and saturated fat. But now that I have found it, I never want to let it gooooo.
- My body is toning more easily and I have much better physical endurance. My runs are soooo much easier. They are even more refreshing afterwards! Loads of energy.
- For as long as I can remember I had these white bumps along the skin of my cheekbones (called milium). And now? Almost 100% gone! They just went away on their own. So cool.
- This one might sound weird… but my gingivitis has gotten better too. I am willing to bet that it will be completely gone soon.
A Short BIO
I hail from the great land of Upstate New York. Nothing interesting like an urban or rural upbringing. Just good ol’ US of A suburbia. I went to high school with my Husband, but we didn’t truly meet and get to know each other until later in life. We were married young (I was just 20 years-old) and only 12 months after we met. He was in the Army and for the sake of not being apart from him, like most marriages in the military, we had to fast-forward things a little. We moved to New Jersey for a short while, then to Alabama where I had my first daughter, Scarlett in 2010. After not quite two years there, we were sent to Germany where we currently live. I’ve since had another child here, my son Hunter in 2012.
I’m lucky enough to be able to stay at home with both of my kids rather than work and leave them with some sort of caregiver. However, it didn’t take me long before I realized I needed something for myself. Blogging was the answer for me. What a great personal outlet it has been. It has given me a sense of accomplishment and productivity outside of the everyday tasks of the stay-at-home Mom. To read more about where I have come with my blog, visit My Blogging Journey.
My journey as a blogger has been quite ironic. I used to study Nutrition in college. So to put it frankly- I studied the health behind food; dropped out before I got my degree to get married; started a very un-healthy baking blog; ate cakes, cookies, cupcakes, bars, etc. on a daily basis for 3 years; became inspired and decided to revert back to my pre-marital state when I was passionate about healthy eating habits. Yeahhhhh, call me crazy.