In December 2011, Matt and I knew that we had to do something to get healthy. My weight had gotten so completely out of control that a trip to the dumpster at our condo complex with a garbage bag in hand would leave me breathless and cause my back to ache to the point that I would have to sit down and take a break just from that simple task. Matt’s MS was spiraling out of control. It was severely affecting his strength to the point that he couldn’t even sit up in his wheelchair for more than five hours per day, and even during that time, he felt like the room was spinning, he was completely exhausted, his eyes would “vibrate” (that’s how he describes the feeling), and he would spend most of the time napping in his chair.
We really had gotten to a place where not only were we in horrible physical shape, but mentally and emotionally we were spent as well. Both of us really wanted to give up. And we wallowed there together, in our misery and self-pity, until one day we came across this video…
That video sparked a hope in us that we hadn’t felt in months…maybe even years. It was like a light went off in our heads, and suddenly both had the urge to fight for our lives and our health.
At that point, even with our renewed hope and our determination, our addiction to fast food still had a strong hold. We decided to give ourselves until January 1, 2012, to eat whatever we wanted, but on January 1st, fast food would be a thing of the past for us.
It’s now been 66 days, and we’ve stuck to it. Since December 31st, we haven’t eaten at a restaurant–fast food or otherwise. We haven’t had even one single Dr. Pepper. Our diet was quite literally changed overnight. And the interesting thing? We don’t even crave fast food, junk food, or Dr. Pepper. That’s nothing short of a miracle!
So what did we start eating? Here are the details…
We cut out anything with sugar and flour/gluten. We basically got rid of any and all processed foods, as well as most dairy products.
We filled our refrigerator with fresh fruits and veggies (organic if we could find them), grass-fed beef, and free range chicken and eggs. We made sure that the beef and chicken that we ate were hormone- and antibiotic-free, and were NOT fed GMO (genetically-modified organism) foods. While we still kept a small bit of dairy products (such as cheddar and Parmesan cheese) in our diet, they were drastically reduced. At the beginning of this month, we decided to cut those out completely for Matt.
Here are the specifics of how we started eating…
For breakfast each morning, I started making a farmers omelet with four eggs (two eggs for each of us), mushrooms, green onions, red and green bell peppers, and tomatoes. I top the omelet with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a spoonful of fresh guacamole. Matt also adds hot sauce to his omelet. (He likes a bit of eggs with his hot sauce… )
Lunch each day consists of a large salad (piled high on a dinner plate) with green leafy lettuce, Romaine lettuce, spinach, green and red bell peppers, cabbage, green onions, broccoli, and radishes. If we use salad dressings, I make them from scratch so that I know what goes into them (no preservatives, no MSG, etc.). Then we also have four ounces of either a seasoned ground beef patty or a seasoned ground chicken patty.
Dinner each day is a freshly made juice drink that includes red cabbage, cilantro, apples, carrots, broccoli, Swiss chard, pineapple, and celery.
We end our day with a snack of fruit. What we eat varies depending on what we have, but in the past we’ve had grapes, apples, and cherries.
So that’s our new diet in a nutshell. We thought it would be really difficult, but in reality, it’s been quite easy for us. I think we were both just so ready for a change, and our bodies were begging for nutrition. And with our new diet, it didn’t take long before we started seeing dramatic changes in Matt’s health. More on that later.