Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Enlightened Homemaker 12 step program


My name is Shari and I have been clean for several years now. It hasn't been easy. I have strayed now and then. The temptations are all around me. The peer pressure is overwhelming. The world tries to convince me that I am the freak for being clean. I am the different one. But, my clean life helps me to think clearer, live better and help others. You too can come clean. You too can take the steps to live a better life, no matter what the world tells you is the norm.

I didn't come clean overnight. I get emails all the time, especially recently of how and where to start. It is all so overwhelming and not knowing where to start and where to get help keeps many from beginning the journey. So, my friends, I give you my 12 step program to living clean. (You know we are talking about clean eating, right?)

Some of you may be on step 3 or 4, others may not even be near step 1 but you are here, and you are reading so you must have some desire for an intervention. It is time. Pick whatever step you are on and continue up the ladder. Many of you read my blog and think that living this way is too much. I agree that if you tried to do it all overnight, it would be. I started my journey 20 some years ago and I am finally at a place where I think I should be. I am not an expert but it is working for us and it feels right. So, do not get discouraged , just trod along at a pace that is right for you. The important part is beginning, getting a support group and not wavering in your determination. Are you ready? Sure you are.

1. Make it personal. Why do you want to live clean? Why is it important for your family? What issues in health do you need to resolve? Make it a spiritual matter and make it important. Read! Study! Learn! Pick up "Nourishing Traditions" and study it. Understand how food affects us. Gain a testimony of nutrition.

2. Stop drinking soda! If this isn't your vice, skip step number 2. If you are a very occasional drinker, no biggie. Soda is the bane of our existence. It is the downfall of American health. You can't go anywhere without seeing half of the crowd , if not more with 44 oz. in their hand. It destroys the stomach lining. It makes us fat. It deprives us of nutrition, weakens our immune system, and decays our teeth and bones. Need any more reasons? And, please, oh please, keep it out of the house and away from kids. Limited special occasions probably won't kill us but it is the daily habits that do.

3. Get Naked in the pantry. Take a personal day and go through the pantry. Read labels. If it isn't real, get rid of it. If it isn't naked, unadulterated food; purge. Give it away. Do what you may but at the very least, don't buy it again. Start reading labels when you shop. You are a real person, you need real food.

4. Start saving and buying equipment. Add little by little important accessories for your new healthy lifestyle. You will spend money up front but in the end, they will save you time and money. You need a grain mill, a Bosch, a pressure cooker, a dehydrator and a juicer if you can. There are many great small gadgets as well to make life easier but focus on the big equipment first. You can't get the best out of food if you lack the tools to make it. Save. Hint for Mother's Day.

5. Read and collect recipes. If all your recipes call for "cream of" soups and pre-packaged items, it is time to refill the recipe box. Get a binder and start collecting and
printing recipes off the Internet. Put them in a binder in categories and sheet protectors. Have an arsenal to choose from and practice them! Tell your kids that there is a new sheriff in town and the law has just changed. They are free to leave if
they don't like it.

6. Start with a daily hot, whole grain breakfast. Breakfast is the most important part of the day. The body should never start the day off with sugary, artificial cold cereals and pasteurized milk. Poison. Wake up earlier, make something to feed the soul and mind. Whole grain muffins, waffles, pancakes, hot cereals. It doesn't take long and you can make extra and freeze for those hard mornings. Wholegrain toast and eggs also work great on those days you can't spare a moment.

7. Pack lunches. School lunches are horrible. They are dead and void of nutrition. Pack a healthy sandwich on wholegrain bread, fruit, veggies, healthy chips. Brain food. Get creative but keep it real.

8. Cut down on meat. Use more grains, veggies and beans. Replace some of the meat at first in recipes with something vegetarian. Chances are no one will notice. Your grocery bill will go down as beans are cheaper than meat. Your body will thank you.

9. Use organic as much as possible. Especially if the produce has thin skins. Find local farmers markets and co-ops to help lower the cost. Produce that sits in stores and on trucks looses nutrition. You want to get it as fresh and pesticide free as possible. Try to get raw milk also if you can. AZ allows it and there are a few places to get it. (email me if you want info)

10. Start adding in new grains and beans. There is way more to whole grains than wheat and oats. Way too many people are becoming allergic to wheat as we over consume. We need to rotate and get the benefits from all sorts of grains. Millet, spelt, barley, quinoa, kamut, teff, amaranth, etc. Read up and try something new. There are lots of beans so stray a bit from the pinto. Variety is a good thing. Flavors are wonderful.

11. Get cultured. Learn about the goodness in homemade yogurt and kefir. Probiotics are vital for a healthy body. Making it at home is easy and cost effective. Especially if you can get raw milk. You can go to Cultures for Health online to buy many of your cultures.

12. Sprout and soak. Learn the importance of pre soaking the grains before you cook to help them digest easy by enacting enzymes and reducing phytic acid. Read "Nourishing Traditions" to gain an understanding of how other cultures and our country in past prepared food and had little disease as a result. Start with one grain and go from there.

What is beyond step 12? Man. I hope not much more. I am just there now and although it seemed overwhelming at first, I have to admit, it is quite easy when I finally took the plunge and committed. I can't imagine doing anything more in the food area than step 12 except perfecting the art and understanding the concept more. But, then again, who would have thought even a year ago that I would be almost meat free and making kefir? Evolution. Step by step.

I will be blogging about my new adventures as I go along. I have much to share. When baseball season ends, I may get some quality posts out to you! But, my friends, for now, make the commitment. Improve wherever you are. If your family
doesn't share your joy, well.... you are the boss in the kitchen. Take control. Someday they will thank you. I promise.


Clairissa said...

I'm not sure if you remember my email to you a little more than a year ago - fresh off a nasty autoimmune diagnosis and desperate for healthy advice. You basically said this 12 step program in your response and I wanted to let you know that one year later my family and I are rockin in! We are awesome all the way down to No. 11, which will be a goal of mine to start soon. I've noticed significant, positive changes in both myself and my kids. Your blog was the turning point in making the change to take charge of my own health. Thank you, Shari!!

Shari Goodman said...

Way to go Clairissa! That is a long way to go in one year! You changed your life and your families; you have joined a rare club! Keep it up and keep sharing.

M&N said...

Thanks Shari. I love your advice. We started our quest for healthier eating just recently and I am so glad to have been lead to your blog. (Jayme Brown Stoker is my sis-in-law)

Whole Food for the Whole Family said...

Another great post, Shari!

More and more people are jumping on the healthy eating bandwagon. It's great to see that happening!

The Lees said...

Spelling it out like this makes it seem so much more attainable. I'm on the right track. Thank you, as always, for your example and advice!

Julie said...

I start with Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron, its a way to get your kids started right so they dont have to to the 12 step later they are already living it. My 13 month old has a "super" breakfast of 3-4 grains, loves homemade yogurt and eats all kinds of beans! and tone of fresh homemade/earthmade puree veggies

kamille said...

thanks for this! we have always tried to be healthy but have basically dived right in and made most of these changes in the last 6 months. i am kind of an all or nothing type girl so it hasn't been hard...because i have been educated and made up my mind that that is just how it will be! i need to do better with soaking/sprouting but know that it will come with time! can't wait to read more of your adventures!

Dallin and Ashley said...

my SIL just found out she has a (rather large) cyst on her ovary and read about how "eatting clean" can possibly shrink or completely get rid of it. Have you heard anything like this? Anyways, neither of us eat this way but are both really interested and want to start (slowly and surely) to clean up our eatting habits. This kinda gives us a place to know where to start. Thanks! Oh yeah, do you teach classes on soaking or making yogurt or anything like that??? or have websites you go to for "how to" steps?

Shari Goodman said...

I believe that you can change any issue you have in your body by cleaning up your act. You feed cancer and I am sure it is the same with a cyst. By cleaning up your food, you feed your health, not your disease. Cleaning up the yeast in your body is also very important. I am not teaching classes right now but my friend Kara Bagley is on these subjects in Mesa. Check out her link to the right on my blog. She has lots of great info and has her class schedule on her blog on the right side as well. I will be posting info on sprouting and soaking this next week. I have been practicing so I can blog how to do it just right and as easy as possible!

CandiShack said...

thanks for the steps! I have committed to 'going at it until I get there', and your twelve steps are a nice way to know when I've arrived!

CandiShack said...

Thanks for the list! I committed a while back to 'keep going until I get there', and your twelve steps are a nice way to gauge my success and know when I've arrived!

marion said...

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