I had energy... until I had my first baby
Where it all began
“Really though, you want me to cut back on caffeine AND sugar? Do you even love me?” This was what my husband said to me seven years ago when I proposed our first-ever whole food detox program to him.
Since that time, we’ve done a bunch of cleanses and mini-cleanses. In fact, the way that we eat—and in particular snack—has changed, too. And my husband is often the one leading the charge. That’s because he knows how amazing and energetic he feels after a few weeks of cutting back on (or cutting out entirely) the most problematic foods like sugar and processed foods.
Welcome to my story
Hi, I’m Ashley, co-founder of The Mediterranean Movement. I wanted to share my story about why I’m so passionate about healthy eating for families and moms, and in particular for group nutrition programs like the one that we are running in January. It was a 3-week whole food cleanse like the one that we're running that really changed my life and my relationship with nutrition. (If you don’t know about the program, click here. It’s a 4 week, whole food detox program design to help you increase your energy.)
I had always considered myself a healthy eater
I have always considered myself a healthy eater. Like, many busy professionals, I had started grabbing a lot of convenience foods like granola bars, sweetened yogurt cups, and crackers. (Can anyone related?!) I felt good and I had good energy…. up until I had my first baby, that is. Before kids, I had the luxury of napping and sleeping in on the weekends if I was feeling tired. But once kids entered the picture, it was an early morning, every morning, regardless of the day or of how I felt. I found myself lethargic and kind of fuzzy-headed even after my daughter was sleeping through the night. It didn’t dawn on me that nutrition could have an impact on the way I felt until I watched my daughter eat birthday cake and have a sugar crash. I realize that maybe that same thing was happening to me when I was eating sugar.
The first time
This is how I started getting interested in nutrition and how it affected my body. I did a 30-day sugar-free, whole food detox program. It was SO eye-opening. I didn’t realize how much added sugar and processed stuff was in snacks like granola bars and yogurt and also things like salsa and pasta sauce. This was food that I thought was good, healthy, and wholesome. I learned to read nutrition labels to see where the sugar and processed ingredients were hiding. Without the luxury of extra sleep on the weekends. the nutrition choices that I was making were impacting how I felt in a big way. I learned how amazing I felt when I was eating real whole foods. My husband and I did the cleanse together, and he still says it’s the best he’s ever felt in his life.
Our life today
Since that time seven years ago, my husband and I have modified the way that we eat. In particular, we changed the kinds of foods that we snack on. Even so, a few times a year, we do a three- or four-week cleanse to remove all the sugar and other problematic ingredients. It’s amazing how that kind of food can really just creep into your diet, especially when you are feeding three kids who love snacks. I always feel energetic and clearheaded after a month of great eating. And it’s also a great reminder that even when I’m “off” the program, I want to be making mindful choices about what treats are really worth it for me. For example, sugar in my salsa or pasta sauce? So not worth it. A homemade apple pie for Thanksgiving? Definitely worth it. Those are the kinds of decisions that if we make mindfully, we can still meet all of our health goals and feel amazing-- while never, ever feeling deprived.