I’ve always considered myself a healthy eater (most of the time) as well as a healthy person. My paternal grandmother, Clementine, was a health food nut way back when. (Is that not the most precious name? It’s her real name.) In the 70′s she worked part time at Brown’s Health Food Store in Ardmore, Okla. and shared her nutrition knowledge with my sister and me.
Clementine made us fresh vegetable juice with her big Omega juicer. Her candy was chewable vitamin C tablets. And we loved it. She gave us acidolpholus by the spoonfuls as she drank her tiger’s milk (I still don’t know what that was). I think she even introduced us to yoga.
Above all she told me that the banana flavor in my “Now or Later” chewy candy wasn’t really banana. “That flavor,” she revealed, “was made in a lab.” I remember being stunned by this and resisted the urge to believe her.
My sister and I lost our dear Clementine in 1999.
Those weekends of whole food eating and supplements with Clementine were gone before she passed but I still considered that I ate well.
Elaine is friends with one of my sorority sisters from the University of Oklahoma and the two of them completed a nutrition/exercise program a couple of years ago. I saw pictures of how they transformed their bodies with nutrition and exercise. My sorority sister, Kim mentioned she could have changed her eating to a whole food/plant based diet alone and she would have seen the results. The weight loss was a side effect of their whole food/plant based diet. Their descriptions of feeling amazing is what intrigued me.
Elaine’s before and after. Wow! Photo Courtesy of Elaine Morales and Not Just A Day Dream.
Early in November, Elaine called and asked if I’d consider participating in a pilot cleanse program before she kicked it off for others at the beginning of the year. There was a small fee for her coaching, plan and recipes. I agreed and she insisted, “you can do anything for 12 days.”
I did and it has changed my life.
Realistically, I don’t think my stubborn self would have changed my way of eating if I had not completed this cleanse and experienced my “ah-ha” moment. The cleanse was a process. I call it a process but I don’t mean it in a bad way. I had an enlightenment that opened my eyes to the U.S. food industry and how much processed food is pushed on us and what it does to our bodies. The cleanse wasn’t fasting. It was a cleanse from processed foods.
To be clear, I didn’t participate in the cleanse to lose weight, I participated to learn more about nutrition and become healthier. A secondary effect was losing so many inches that I dropped two dress sizes (I was a size 4 to begin with). I’ve lost 6 pounds which is a lot for a short person. I’m eating more than I had eaten before but I’m eating real food. I considered myself thin before the cleanse, but at about day 9 or 10 of the cleanse it was as if my body shrunk. Not like a weight loss but a healing from not eating processed foods. I don’t know how to describe this feeling but it was if I was swollen from the inside out and the inflammation healed.
Although, the cleanse is over, this is my Do Not Eat List:
- Foods with man-made or lab-made ingredients
- No fast food
- No sugar
- No refined flour
- No packaged foods
There are meals when I break these rules, especially birthdays or special nights out with friends or family. But 90 percent of the time, I am eating food with no ingredients made in a lab. I will also take food with me during the day.
- Better Sleep (this is a big deal for me)
- My skin is clear
- More energy
- Better mood
- I’m nicer (or people seem to like me better)
- I’m healthy (cholesterol & such)
- Mentally alert
- No bloating
Think I’m going back? Nope.
Living in a rural area where we don’t have many options for organic or fresh foods, I had to plan and search for the ingredients for the cleanse. The ingredient search was part of the process I talked about earlier. Kroger in Greenville, Miss. is beginning to carry more organic/health food type products and produce but it certainly isn’t a Whole Foods Market. However, I’m grateful for what they have.
Also, I will buy organic produce if it isn’t cost prohibitive. If the organic produce is ridiculously expensive compared to the non-organic version, I’ll buy the non-organic.
My friend Potter grows organic kale, cabbage, collard greens and parsley in his garden and he has been very generous in sharing his bounty. Thank you, Potter!
Potter still won’t drink this.
Mmmmm…a green smoothie with some Delta grown collard greens, banana, frozen cherries, almond milk and frozen mango.
I eat a lot of green smoothies. (Never in a million years would I imagine myself liking these but they are delicious, so filling and extremely nutritious).
If I’ve peaked your interest in Green Smoothies, check out the Green Smoothie Girl. Green Smoothies are now my fast food.
Tomorrow night the Green Smoothie Girl will be in Memphis and I have two tickets to hear her story in person.
Also, Potter introduced us to a woman in Monticello, Ark. who sells us organic free range chicken eggs. She has their organic feed shipped in from Virginia. What a difference in taste!
Interested in whole food / plant based eating? We can do it in the Delta.
Here are some documentaries to watch. These are all on Netflix.
Again, you can watch all of these on Amazon Video, Netflix or any other service you may subscribe to.
Elaine’s e-book, Why Delay Amazing: A Total Transformation Guide is available on Amazon and is free for Amazon Prime members.
Clementine (we called her Momma or Clemmie) would be so proud of me for eating real food.
What are your thoughts on processed foods? Have you ever had a green smoothie (one with kale, spinach or collard greens)?