‘Cook your own food, Clean your own house’

This post is quite random–consider yourself warned.  This could have just as easily been entitled “Common Sense Saves Cents” or “The Case Against Organic Foods,” but I chose the title because of my more recent ponderings.

My niece and I were having a conversation regarding the weight issues that have plagued our family for years.   As we revisited some of the excuses/enablers that hinder many of us, she shared her own personal philosophy on weight control:

Cook your own food, clean your own house.

Of course, as these things go, the person who has never had a weight problem pipes up to speak wisdom, so I could understand why my sisters (including her mom) would bristle at her comment.    Personally, though, I was struck by the simple practicality of what she said, and how much truth there is to what she said.   It left me thinking for the past several days about common sense weight control.

For anyone who’s read my blog for a while, you’d know that one of my biggest sources of frustration in life is the inability to carve out time for a regular workout.   Whether it’s a misplaced sense of priorities, or (more likely) too many to do’s on my to do list, my workouts come far more sporadically than I can appreciate.   The fact that my eating habits don’t always aid the weight control process isn’t good, either (read desserts after almost every meal).    And lately as I age, I’m finding that I have to think more cautiously and carefully about moving about.   Did I mention that my back went into spasms for about a week after my last outdoor walk?  (You can read more about that here).    Can you say ‘excruciating pain’?   Every 15 seconds, for about 2-3 seconds, next to my spine–no fun.    I read something about spasms resulting from dehydration, which means for me that I have to be more intentional about packing water when I head out.   It wasn’t too long ago that I never thought twice about whether I had a bottle of water on me while outside.

Our Wii Fit lists chores as a source of fitness credits.   I never consciously thought about it, but I suppose housework is exercise in its own way.   There is a lot of standing, stretching, lifting, and isometric stretching involved in moving things around and keeping a house clean.   (Images of Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio are dancing in my head–“Wax on, wax off.”   LOL!!)  I have, for several years, added the estimated numbers of stairs I climb in a day onto my step count, but I always blew off the other activity that falls in the category of household management.

The transition to my natural hair has definitely made me think very consciously about the foods I eat.   In order to grow a brand new head of healthy hair, and to grow it as quickly as possible, I had to almost totally rethink my diet and my whole philosophy about food–it’s not just fun, it’s functional.

So, again, I became very intentional about water, but I also went out of my way to educate myself on different veggies (especially leafy green ones), and never-before-tasted items like flax seeds, aloe vera juice and almond milk.   I literally incorporated all of those good-for-your-hair items into our daily diet.   In the process, I got three kids to eat raw beets, kale, and spinach on a regular basis, including my two teens, who have no complexion issues whatsoever at this point.   Not bad, Mom.

Organics?  Not me.   I’d rather grow my own garden (if it weren’t so darn hot and dry this year).  Hang in there.   This is where my mind really began to churn, and I almost blew a fuse!

1) I have yet to see data that states conclusively that organic foods actually help increase the quality or longevity of your life over non-organically grown foods.

2) The data I have seen, however, speaks to the fact that organics are in such demand by some that companies have had to ship in organic foods from overseas.   Our standards in food are not the same standards of other countries.  This article is dated, but the issues it surfaces are not uncommon.   Furthermore, even if they were, I worked in the food industry for some portion of my pre-SAH/WAH mom days, and I know a few things about what the Food and Drug Administration considers an acceptable standard.   I’ll spare you in case you’re reading this over breakfast, but you know all the critters that crawl around trash cans, picnic tables, and other places where food crumbs exist?   Well, they creep through manufacturing plants, too.

3) Our bodies are divinely created to fight off toxins.   If you think about it, every vaccine you get puts a toxin into your body (chicken pox, meningitis, swine flu, etc.), which then allows your body to produce the white blood cells that fight it.   I’m thinking that somewhere in the almost 50 years that I’ve swallowed good old-fashioned pesticides, my body has developed its own customized prevention system.   I’ll tell you something else: I have a friend–a former member of the ‘in organics we trust’ club–who shared with me, following some of her own health challenges, that one of the problems with organics is that these new alternative food cleansers don’t necessarily kill all that those harmful chemicals once did.   Her medical doctor, who is well versed in natural remedies, suggested that some of her illness was actually due in part to her organic diet.    Is that a kicker, or what?

So, I clean my own house (with the family’s help, which takes away from my exercise potential), and I cook my own food, which is healthy, non-organic food about 80% of the time.   I work out formally when I make the time.    I’ll never be a size 3, but I should live longer, and live stronger–prayerfully.   Told you it was random, but hopefully it has you thinking, too.

What’s your secret to weight control?

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7 comments on “‘Cook your own food, Clean your own house’

  1. I think you’ve made some interesting points. As for me, I lost 30# last year after cutting out flour and sugar. I think retiring from homeschooling also helped; for the first time in 25 years, I actually had time to think about what I eat!

    BTW your comment about the imported organic foods was especially thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing!

    • Wow!! Unfortunately, we use lots of flour and sugar–breakfasts, mostly–because foods made with it (pancakes, waffles, breads, etc.) are the 1 entree that everyone eats with no complaints. Otherwise, I wind up cooking several meals for breakfast (like I do at breakfast and lunch). I embrace, based upon your comment about “retiring” from homeschooling, that this, too, is a season in my life. I’m not really looking to be a size 3 at this point, but I continue to strive for long-lasting health and well–being. Thank YOU for sharing!

  2. Dawn says:

    You always keep us thinking! I think I will remind myself that I am exercising the next time I clean the house. Maybe that will make it more fun. I would have to agree with the earlier commenter that a gluten free diet makes your weight go down or at least maintain (if you are at your ideal weight). I think homeschooling helps me stay slim because these kids keep me moving so much. The two story house helps too. Why is it what you need is always on the floor you aren’t on? As for organic ~ I will have to agree to disagree. I do agree that if we grew our own food and then prepared it, we would all be healthier. All that exercise again. Thank you!
    Blessings, Dawn

    • Hey, Dawn, I’m not up to speed on the gluten-free diet yet! In fact, I had to laugh the other day when the lemon extract I used to make bread listed itself at 88% alcohol. But then on the bottle was the boast, GLUTEN FREE! Really?? So I’m “tipsy,” but I don’t have any gluten!! Ha ha!! One thing about an opinion–everybody’s got one, so disagreeing is okay. Glad that whatever you do is working for you!

  3. Val says:

    Very thought provoking Belinda. I attempt to purchase organic produce as often as possible, but mainly based on the “dirty dozen” list, products that receive the most pesticides. And I buy conventional from the list of those products that receive the least.

    There is another side to this issue though. What about the farm workers in the fields with these chemicals? I agree that God has created our bodies to be able to fight off toxins, but what about the farm workers who are suffering from the negative effects of pesticides? I came across a couple of informative articles on the subject. I’d love to get your take on it.
    🙂

    http://foodispower.org/produce_workers.php
    http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/farmers-pesticides/

    As far as weight control, I’m finding that keeping a food diary and being accountable to a couple of trusted friends to be a great help at keeping the appetite in check! I love to eat and love to experiment with different recipes. Also, having a 90/10 perspective helps a lot.
    Meaning, basing 90 percent of my food intake on high nutrient raw and cooked vegetables(including beans, whole grains, etc) and fruits and the other 10 percent on “fun” foods. (fats, treats).
    I haven’t completely mastered it by any means, but I feel the difference when I come closer to the goal. A great book on the subject is Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat for Life.

    Sorry for being so wordy! lol

    • No problem on the wordiness at all–this was informative and I am learning, too! I want to read the articles you sent before I comment on the farmers; that way, I won’t add my jaded opinion having worked in foods myself for a number of years. THanks for the wisdom, my friend!!

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