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Q’s and A’s

March 24, 2011

About a week or so ago I received a great comment from a reader that had a lot of questions in it. I got in touch with the reader and asked if it was okay if I used it in a post and answered the questions that way. Permission granted.

Hey! Abby, so this is completely random, but I feel like I need to justify posting a comment on your page since the only reason I know you is through David  (because I was at a dinner with Philip one time at David’s house and you and James were there), and through your brother, because he led Sparta young life when I was in high school. Then I think after that night at David’s, I added you on facebook (because, yes, I’m person) and sometime recently my newsfeed told me about your blog. I love your blog. I am about to marry that same Philip, and when I read about the quality meal decisions you make, the way that you can adjust a healthy lifestyle around your cool family, and how you keep consistency every day, I am amazed and want to imitate some of your methods. Also I am FULL of questions. For instance, do you drink coffee, and if so, do you add sugar? I don’t even like coffee without sugar. And would you use whole milk, 2%, soy, skim, or almond milk? Also, how do you AFFORD so much food from whole foods? It’s so expensive! I’m a college student at UT and struggle to buy organic from Kroger. Also what if you’re on your period and seriously craving chocolate or sweets? Fruit simply won’t do then. Do you eat dark chocolate? And if you have that around the house, how do you not pig out? And what if you’re staying with people someplace or in a hotel for a couple nights…how do you eat healthy at restaurants? Do you eat fast food? (i try not to mostly because it’s gross, and nothing in my body feels better afterwards.) And second to last question, do you drink alcohol? How do you drink a beer and be healthy? They have so many calories. And lastly, since I’ve probably made you way more overwhelmed than you should be with your busy life, do you watch portions too, or mostly just focus on health content?

1. The coffee question. No, James and I do not drink coffee regularly. We do not own any type of coffee making device. I typically get like 5-6 cups of coffee drinks a year and the bulk of them are typically around the time that Starbucks has their pumpkin spice drinks. Fall in a cup. Why don’t we drink coffee? It is very acidic which makes a less favorable environment for your body to heal. Occasionally I will get a cup of black decaf coffee. Though it is still acidic I find that the less caffeine the better I feel.

2. We use coconut or almond milk for almost everything. Most cow milk products are pasteurized and through that process have been stripped of nutrients. It is also harder for the body to digest and creates a lot of sugar.  Raw cow’s milk is great but sometimes hard to come by. Coconut milk is the most nutritious. Almond milk is great too and some people (like me) prefer its taste.

3. Money….Well, I am not going to lie to you. Eating healthy is definitely more expensive than not. BUT IT IS SOOO WORTH IT! I would so much rather spend more money on groceries throughout my life than pay a bajillion dollars in medical bills and live a life not at my full level of health. We buy a lot of things at Costco. I feel like every time I am in there they are offering new organic or non processed items. They even sell Larabars in bulk there now.  In Franklin I used to go to the farmer’s market every weekend and got most of my produce cheap there. I have not gotten into the swing of that here so I do get a lot at Whole Foods. Like I have said in previous posts James and I make no money right now because we are both in school. Our family of four lives off of student loans and government assistance. The amount we are given in food stamps every month really helps out though it does not cover 100% of our groceries it does cover the majority. To save money we are choosy about what we buy organic. We try and stick to buying the dirty dozen organic. These are fruits and vegetables that are proven to test high for pesticides. I personally do not want chemicals, antibiotics or hormones in my food. Just saying.

I would go ahead and say just put all berries together on the dirty dozen list and also add carrots to it. Carrots have just recently moved on to the list as 82.3% tested positive for pesticides. Also, it is extremely important to buy high quality meat. If you are trying to eat healthy by having a meal with a protein and vegetables you better make sure that the meat is good for you. Buy organic meat. Grass fed for beef and free range for chicken. I truly truly believe that the meat we consume in this nation is linked to a lot of the illnesses we see.

4. CHOCOLATE!!! Funny, you should ask. Yes, I actually do keep dark chocolate in my fridge at all time. At least 72% cacao or above. I will allow myself to either eat 1-2 squares a day or so. Sometimes I will go days without craving it or eating it at all, but when the craving hits I am always happy to have it on hand. I also make some other desserts like Ezekiel bread with cinnamon and honey, quinoa with pure maple syrup, cinnamon, and fruit, black bean brownies, or chocolate yum cake. Sometimes fruit alone is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. Check out one of the top photos that came up when I searched Dark Chocolate on google images.


5. I am going to answer the next three questions all together. What do we do when visiting friends or family? Eat whatever is offered, BUT we are better not at managing our portions (which is also one of your questions). In the past when I would go home for Thanksgiving you would see about 3/4 of my plate taken up by my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese. These days no matter where I am I make sure to take up at least the majority of my plate with the healthiest things offered, then eat bits and pieces of the things I know will taste god but make me feel like poo in the long run. Or give me the runs (to be blunt, though to be even blunter, if you know me super well you will know that I actually kind of enjoy the runs) The point is that we aren’t out to prove anything to anyone who is hosting us. If you are being generous and hospitable I am going to eat what you are offering, but in all honesty I may do an extra exercise afterwards. If you are eating well almost all of the time your body will know what to do with the bad stuff the few times you do eat it. James and I don’t eat at restaurants often because we have no money. I however, LOVE eating at restaurants. We have found many healthy restaurants and enjoy going to those more than anywhere else. I will be doing a post soon about my favorite restaurant in the world so be looking out for it. But if our friends or family take us out we have to choose before we sit down at the table if we are going to pick one of the healthiest items off of the menu or if we are going to splurge. If we have not been out to eat in a while and someone is treating us, it is highly likely that I am going to order something that I would not normally eat. Again, my body knows what to do with it since it happens so infrequently. When it comes to fast food, I do eat Chick-Fil-A from time to time. Mainly because I have a bajillion free coupons. But honestly I try to only have fast food in extreme emergency situations. When James and I road trip we will pack tons of snacks and even meals if  we need to.

6. About alcohol. Yes we do drink alcohol, but rarely. I may have 2 drinks a week. We currently have 5 bottles of wine in our kitchen that have been in there for weeks. They do have a lot of calories and are super expensive which are two great reasons that keep us from consuming it often. We enjoy a glass of wine with a nice dinner every now and then or a cocktail with friends. We had to find the right balance for us. We typically only buy wine from Trader Joe’s because it is so cheap, at only $2.79 a bottle. Whole Foods recently started carrying a brand at the same price. We will compare and let you know what we think.I hope that answers some of your questions. Again, I am not an expert on anything. I just happen to know and follow a lot of people who are.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. mary permalink
    March 24, 2011 8:38 pm

    So you ARE human!?

  2. March 24, 2011 8:42 pm

    SOOOOO human. Definitely not one of those I haven’t eaten anything but veggies and wheat grass for last twenty years kinda health nut. Great for them, but just not my style.

  3. March 24, 2011 8:57 pm

    I am so glad you put this up. I feel like I could have been the one e-mailing you. Those are all questions I’ve been asking myself as I’ve timidly started a journey to better eating. Thank you!

  4. Nico Staples permalink
    March 25, 2011 7:00 am

    Abby! I love this post, way to keep it simple and real. This is going to help so many people!
    You are doing a really awesome thing, keep it up!

  5. March 26, 2011 3:09 am

    Thanks for sharing this! Also, that “dirty dozen cheat sheet” is cute! I was just thinking today that I needed to print out a list to bring with me to the store.

  6. April 4, 2011 7:05 pm

    Awesome info! I have been searching for something such as this for quite a while now. Bless you!

  7. April 19, 2011 3:37 pm

    I love the dirty dozen sheet! I do the same thing-I buy organic where I can. I mostly leave out meat though, because a lot of organic meat is still factory farmed. If I were able to get meat from a local farmer where I knew it wasn’t being pumped full of hormones and treated inhumanely, I would eat more meat.
    We have a Whole Foods in London and it’s gigantic but it’s SO expensive. I shop there every now and again as a treat 🙂

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