Monday, July 5, 2010

Keeping Up With Jillian (and Charity!)

When I saw that Jillian Michaels had her own show (Losing It With Jillian), I just HAD to watch to see what crazy nut jobs would willingly let this mean, evil woman LIVE with them for a week.  I had watched Biggest Loser in the past and was a huge fan of Bob.  What a cutie!  I would work out with him any day.  But Jillian was a different story.  I couldn't stand her.  I wondered if those poor contestants got a choice of trainer or if they just got stuck with her.  This past year, John brought me home Jillian Michaels Wii game.  I made him take it back.  I told him I didn't want her in my house in any shape, form or fashion.

However.....I got quite hooked on her show.  I began to see that she really did care about people, and in a lot of ways she's like a realist therapist.  The technique is hard to swallow, but in the end it's very effective.  She knows that people are capable of far more than even they realize.  I respect that.  And the show puts her in a different light.  She may well have been just as compassionate on the Biggest Loser, but editing never really does justice to any reality TV personality.  She still screams and yells during the workout and pushes until the people cry or puke (which she loves!) but I was able to see why it works.

For whatever reason, and I don't remember exactly how it came about, but I came across her book Master Your Metabolism.  It caught my attention because it deals with the endocrine system and how food affects your hormones, and since I strongly believe MY hormones are not balanced, I decided to read it.

So here's the short version of the book:  Eat only what God made.  As Jillian says, "If it grows in the ground or has a mother, you can eat it".  The long version of the book?  Lengthy explanations of the variety of hormones that make up your metabolism, lengthy explanations of the things we eat (or in some cases use, such as plastic, cleaners, or cosmetics) that throw those hormones out of whack, and how to restore balance to your body by simply eating whole, organic foods. 

Now this is not new news to me.  I have been very interested in "going organic" for a long time now, but I didn't really feel that push to move that way because while it is most obviously the best way to eat, it didn't seem so harmful to just eat "healthy" and watch portions.  There are plenty of people in my life that choose to eat natural, organic food.  Reading the book even reminded me of a college art teacher I had that would fuss every time we brought candy, soda, chips, or "junk" food of any kind.  He would go off on a tangent about how it was all "poison".  He wanted us to eat healthy!  It was important that we not eat those foods with preservatives and additives because we needed to be fit so we could make art!  We always laughed at him.  Turns out, I guess he knew what he was talking about.  And it makes perfect sense.  The amount of chemicals and additives in the food we eat is pretty staggering.  And it makes perfect sense that eating that food is leading to all the health problems we experience. 

The book is not so much about losing weight (though you will, no doubt!) as it is eating properly to clean your body of toxins and restore homeostasis to the different hormones, thus improving your fat burning potential.  So I decided I wanted to give this a try.  I am on board with any program or information that reinforces what God has placed here for us.  I strongly believe God has given us EVERYTHING we need to live healthy lives.  He made our bodies and he provided the food to take care of them. 

Biggest obstacle?  Cost.   Isn't that the reason why more people don't eat organic?  (It's also quite time-intensive, but I'll get to that)  Since I'm really wanting to take care of my health (and lose wight) and since I strongly believe that this is solid, valid information, I sat down and calculated how much we currently spend on food in a month.  WOW.  Far too much.  I knew that I could cut down costs and start moving towards organic if I took the time to 1) plan meals, 2) cut coupons, 3) shop more often and spend less.  This is a particularly good time to start implementing this new way of eating as we have a Farmer's Market just down the road.  I haven't had a chance to get over there yet (it's only open 2 days a week) but I think that will help a lot.

So I got started this week.  I mentioned it to several people and they were wanting to know the information I was learning and see how it was working for me.  So now I am blogging about it.  I am about 5 days into it.  Here's how those days have gone.

Jillian strongly suggests that you go through and clean out your cabinets of anything that contains these ingredients :

Hydrogenated Fats
Refined Grains
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Artificial Sweeteners (interesting science behind this one!)
Artificial Preservatives and Colors
Glutamates (MSG)

Can I just say, that's like EVERYTHING in your cabinets?  Go look for yourself!  She encourages her readers to throw it all away.  She admits she has gotten flack for giving that advice as opposed to giving the food to a food pantry, but she feels if it's not good enough for you to eat (it's toxic) why would you give it to someone else?  I don't know how many hungry people show up at the food pantry looking for organic food, but that's beside the point.  Neither throwing our food out or giving it away was an option.  I was going to have to slowly make the transition. 

I decided that I would limit the amount I spent on food to $100 a week.  I didn't know how far that was going to get me if I was going to go organic.  First grocery trip, I spent $30. I got strawberries, blackberries, clementines, fresh green beans, a head of romaine, 2 squash, a gallon of soy milk, and 2 boxes of eco-friendly risotto.  I should mention that the only organic thing purchased in the above mentioned was the risotto.  It was a buy one, get one deal.  The reason Jillian pushes for organic is because of the pesticides and hormones used and how they affect our hormones.  Since I am wanting to be as toxin-free as possible, the price of organic was a little discouraging, but I am certain we will see an improvement in our health simply by cutting out the above no-no's.

That's as far as I have gotten in the book - what to cut out (and all the info on our hormones and all the bad things in our environment).  For those interested, she also suggests limiting (if not cutting out all together) the following:

Starchy root vegetables (aim for less than 2 servings a day)
Tropical fruit (5 servings a week)
Dried and canned fruits (treat like processed foods)
Excess soy (I don't need to explain that)
Excess alcohol
Full fat dairy and fatty meats
Canned foods - "Where do we live, in a fallout shelter?" LOL..she actually gives good reasons for avoiding these.

So now the big question - how am I doing with this change?  It is more time-intensive.  I REALLY have to plan meals and be prepared to wash, cut, dice, steam, opposed to opening a can.  But I'm okay with a little extra work for the health of my family.  Cost so far is not an issue - of course we're still eating what is currently in our cabinets, but the past two nights the dinner menu looked like this:

Seasoned chicken (done in crock-pot - no butter or broth)
Butternut Squash Risotto (eco-friendly, i.e. organic)
Fresh green beans

It was delicious!

Turkey burgers on whole wheat bread

Also very good- though I did use onion soup mix for the burgers.  Ssshh..don't tell Jillian!

I eat Special K with a banana for breakfast.  I should mention that Special K (though a "healthy" cereal) is a no-no as it contains high fructose corn syrup.  I've cut out drinking soda and tea completely.  I stick with water and limit myself to one glass of juice a day.  My appetite seems to have decreased.  I can barely get through lunch without feeling a bit nauseous, and I end up eating a later dinner.  By bedtime (like now) I'm STARVING.  Not sure why that is, but hopefully it won't last long.

I have decided to make my own whole wheat bread since we can't afford to buy organic whole wheat.  We get whole wheat bread with WIC, but it still has all those additives.  I figure I can make our own bread and know every ingredient in it.  I did go to the store today and spend $20, which got me wild Alaskan salmon, whole wheat hamburger buns, honey - which I did not get organic.  I couldn't understand how honey could be more organic that just plain honey and I decided not to spend twice as much to get it.  Whole wheat flour (once again - not organic to save money and yet still make a healthy choice), and onion soup mix.  I don't foresee needing anymore groceries this week, so I may get off with just spending $50 for the week, while providing my family with significantly healthier meals.  Well, I take that back.  I may need to figure out something for lunches.  The greatest part of my meal planning/shopping is for dinner.  Lunches, for me, seem to be the hardest part of going organic/natural.  What are you supposed to eat?  I think I did PB&J one day and a turkey sandwich the other with fresh fruit both times.  Not the best choices, but I'm not sure quite where to go with lunches - salads maybe?

As far as my weight - I don't know.  I did not weigh myself to begin with.  I will weigh myself tomorrow and post it for you  and I will let you track my progress with me (if you are so inclined).  As I continue reading, I'll continue posting information that I think you might find helpful.  I suspect the foods she is going to list will match up nearly identical to the foods found in "SuperFoods" a book by....someone..I don't know.  Once again, one of those books I bought because I believe it matches up quite nicely with God's design.  If you have questions, I'll try to answer them.  I wouldn't mind having a team of people join me on this journey!


  1. I'm anxious to see how it goes. Sorry, but nothing you've listed that you're eating sounds very appetizing to me. :( On the positive side, maybe I can help you clear out your cabinets of the "bad" stuff!

  2. I love what you are doing and would be interested, but as you can see from the above comment, your dad is a hard 'sell'. :) We'll be reading!!

  3. Woohooo, I'm totally on the team! I understand the completely natural/organic diet and that's fine. But don't 'beat yourself up' for making non organic yet still healthier choices right now. I'd say a dramatic change works for some, but not everybody. Also, it's not quite as easy a transition when you have a husband and two children to feed as well. I'm excited, I'll be keeping up. Oh, and I'm one that DOES want Jillian working out with me, which is why I have a DVD I intend to use soon!

  4. i think i will talk to josh and see about making some changes too, i know we both haven wanted to eat more healthy so it may not be hard to convince him pluuusss guess what, i started taking chelsea to an actual psych doc and he said we need to cut out all sugars and caffeine from her diet and umm..thats like everything lol she is tweaeking hard core cuz ya that means no chocolate!!! i feel bad hugely but if it will help her focus better and be easier to manage then im all for it so my point is that i feel bad cuz soo much we have in our cupboards is stuff she cant eat so that too is a reason for me or us anyways to chnage our diets, i mean i dont think its fair we all should get to have all that stuff in front of her ya know, but anyways so ill talk to josh and maybe we will hop on board!!! i miss u tons btw!!

    p.s. i didnt know jillian had a wii game, she is soo mean but id totally get the game just cuz i know she pushes ya lol

  5. I am so proud of you! I need to read that book. That is the way David and eat when we have a job, but not so much right now, except what we're getting out of the garden. You will feel a million times better and you're teaching your precious babes how to make healthful choices. The organic has something to do with a theory that chemicals attach to fat and therefore stick around in the body, not to mention, make you weigh more. I miss you.