Thursday, December 13, 2012

Potatoes, not Prozac

As you all know if you've been following the blog, I've been trying to get back into shape after being very sick through horseback riding.  Really, starting this ranch was our family's way of becoming healthier.  We were just sick and tired of being sick and tired and we decided we didn't want to eat the so-called food that you buy in the store with all the GMOs and pesticides and poor farming practices (not to mention the cruelty often involved in commercial farming).

It's been quite the learning curve.  We weren't farmers when we started this experiment.  While I come from a line of farmers, my dad moved off the farm when he was a kid and we didn't move back until I was an adult.  So technically, I'm a gazillionth generation farmer with no farm experience whatsoever.  Well, I have a lot of farm experience now, but we're still figuring things out and we're still becoming healthier.

I recently re-picked up a book I have "Potatoes, not Prozac."  It's a step-wise plan to better nutrition.  Not a diet, but a way of changing your body chemistry to make proper nutrition easy.  It really looks into the physiology of the body for you to understand sugar cravings and hunger and hypoglycemia and all those problems that lead to poor nutrition.  The author states that before you can cut the junk food out of your diet, you have to make your body not want the junk food.  Hey, sounds good to me.

I actually have made some of my college students follow this diet when I teach Drug and Alcohol Studies as the author uses this diet to help addicts stop drinking (alcohol is basically sugar).  My students have reported huge successes with this-both with weight loss and just feeling plain better, and even addiction issues.  I've always felt a bit guilty because I have never really followed this plan, I mean I have, but never super religiously.  So I've decided if I make my students do it, and if they report it works so well, then why the heck aren't I doing it?

The very first step (there are seven) is to have breakfast every morning.  I have done this since the first time I read the book, so I guess I've been practicing this step for about seven years lol.  However, breakfast has to have both a complex carb and a protein.  I'm good with the carbs-too good-but I'm terrible at eating enough protein.  Protein is the precursor (in the form of Tryptophan) to serotonin which makes you feel happy.  So I am now practicing have protein with breakfast...and okay I'm skipping ahead to trying to put protein into all my meals and I had a potato before bedtime which is step 4 I think, but hey!  I'm on christmas break and not working so I figured what the heck.  But I'm not beating myself up if I don't do something that's past step 1-like I skipped lunch today.  Big no no!  But I had protein at breakfast and that's all that really matters for now.

Anyhow, I've had such success with the horse riding that I thought I should work on my nutrition as well.  I really feel so much stronger and riding horses is way more enjoyable now that I'm building up muscle (and technique).  I'm even thinking about competing next year.  I'm hoping that by spring when the garden is alive again that I will have my nutritional muscles and techniques built up and ready for all those farm-fresh veggies.

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