Tuesday Things: How I’ve Changed

It’s crazy how much we can change over time, isn’t it?

When I think about it, most of the lifestyle changes I’ve made over the last several years didn’t happen overnight. Instead, they happened gradually… often with quite a few bumps along the way.

It’s a good reminder that change isn’t always linear. We may take two steps forward and one step back, but it’s still progress!

With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to share a few ways I’ve changed over the past few years.

1. I stopped drinking milk. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would even consider giving up milk, I’d have thought you were crazy. I was raised thinking that skim milk was the “perfect food”–> a good balance of carbs and protein, with no fat. (At the time I also thought fat was bad for me!) I would easily go through a gallon of skim milk every 3 days by myself, gulping it down by the glassful.

pouring almond milk into a glassIt wasn’t until I started dating Austin– soon after our college graduation– that I even considered giving up milk. He followed a vegan diet at the time, and was totally grossed out by my milk consumption. (I believe he used the words “cow puss” at one point… ewwwww!) After reading books like Skinny Bitch, UltraMetabolism and The Raw Food Detox Diet, my opinion on dairy changed and, thanks to the sudden abundance of soy milk products at the time, it wasn’t too hard to make the transition to non-dairy options.

Which brings me to my next change…

2. I stopped eating processed soy products. For much of my college career, I was a vegetarian. I lived off of convenience foods, like bagels spread with peanut butter, cheese pizza and breadsticks, and my “healthy” favorite–> soy burger patties! I would often microwave two soy burgers or “chik” patties, skip the bun, and consider it a healthy, high-protein meal. These types of meals didn’t help me lose my “Freshmen 15,” nor did they make me feel that great.

plate of Tofurky sliced(Up until recently, Tofurky was an exception to the rule–> we loved it!)

Again, it wasn’t until I read The Raw Food Detox Diet that my opinion on processed soy products changed, and I gradually stopped drinking soy milk (in favor of almond milk) and stopped purchasing the processed meat-substitutes.

Eventually, Austin and I also dropped our “vegetarian” labels… right before we got married!

3. I used to not care about eating organic. This was simply a matter of not being very informed. I didn’t think it mattered if I ate organic or not, so why spend more money on it?

I don’t even remember exactly how this change came about, but now I feel very differently. I believe there’s a huge difference between organic and conventional produce, and try to choose organic whenever possible. Not only does organic produce taste better, it also packs more nutrition per bite!

organic vs convential chart[source]

Of course, sometimes I’ll refer to the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list when choosing non-organic items, but for the most part, all of my leafy greens are organic, as well as any produce with edible skin (like berries, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc).

4. I no longer think of whole grains as a “staple” in a healthy diet. When I was a vegetarian, grains probably made up the majority of my diet. Oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, rice, and quinoa were all staples in my daily life. I gradually reduced my consumption when I started drinking vegetable juice each morning, but it wasn’t until last year, when I attempted my first Candida cleanse, that I even considered giving them up on a regular basis.

And to my surprise, I felt a lot better without them.

almond flour frosted sugar cookies on a plate[source]

That’s not to say that I’m done with grains forever, but I do think of them differently–> more as a special treat, rather than a daily staple.

5. I use olive oil to wash my face. Even six months ago I would have thought this was crazy.

I still remember the first time I tried it. I felt a pimple coming on, so I figured, why not try this ridiculous idea while I’m breaking out anyway? To my surprise, I woke up to a clear complexion! The oil managed to prevent my oncoming breakout! Since then, I’ve never looked back.

Nor, have I spent another dime on expensive facial creams or lotions.

pouring olive oil[source]

It’s an inexpensive makeup-remover, facial cleanser and moisturizer all in one!

For more on cleansing with olive oil, check out The Oil-Cleansing Method. (Note: I don’t mix oils as this author recommends–> I only use olive oil!)

That’s all for now! I can’t wait to see what changes are in store for the future.

Reader Feedback: What changes have you made in the last several years that surprised you? Any changes you’re currently working on?

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Comments

Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

Ooh fun topic! Like you, I’m not a big cows milk drinker – mostly almond for me! This was not really a nutritional choice, but mainly because I can’t get through a carton of milk fast enough by myself before it goes off. I also don’t really think of grains as a staple, and have experimented with a LOT more gluten free ones, as well as beans and legumes over the past couple of years. I have added more fermented foods (tempeh and kombucha are my besties!!!) and really dont eat a whole lot of tofu any more. I’m not vegetarian, but I still love a good vegan, vegetarian, or raw meal at least a couple of times a week. I’m going to try your olive oil trick!

Sam

I was vegan, raw vegan and now I eat kind of WAPΒ΄s diet. I have made opposite change like you from drinking almond milk to raw sheep milk(only in raw kefir form so only fermented kefir that I make myself). After I bought healthy baby code I do not longer give my little one almond milk but only raw sheep or goat milk. I blame myself to feeded her as vegan when I was vegan, but fortunatelly it was only several months with her (me 3years). Also I have limited my veggies intake becasue before I used to drink a lots of green juice green smoothie, many veggies like broccoli and it is not good because high oxalic acid and broccoli is not good for thyroid. After I feedmyself and her WAPΕ› diet she is happy healthy never ever sick no flue nothing, perfect teeth(no cavity it heeled)

Danielle

Always interesting to look back on the changes you have made! Over the past year and a half I’ve gone vegetarian, gluten-free and largely dairy-free. Now and then I do eat minimal gluten (spelt, oats) and dairy (i.e. sheep’s yogurt). A few years ago I wouldn’t have guessed! I agree with the organics as well. It’s easy to get discouraged to purchase organic food (due to the higher cost) but I believe the benefits surely outweigh that! I don’t eat a large amount of grains, but I do often have 1-2 servings of quinoa a day, a few times a week. I may look into cutting back a bit and see if that helps my digestion! It’s funny how the foods that are considered so healthy can still not make us feel our best.

LizAshlee

I can’t even believe how much more veggies I am eating than I used to-I also used to rely on bars, like bumble bars, etc. with a piece of fruit for lunch and a salad + beans for dinner. I now eat more balanced meals, oh and A LOT less snacking-I rarely snack, sometimes on the weekends a bit more. Most recently, I cut down on my consumption of beans to give my digestive system a break. I will have a bite of them here or there if I am craving something a little more than just veggies, but that’s only been in the last week. I feel better sticking primarily to veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds, etc. <3 Have a great day!

p.s. Do you just use olive oil by itself?

Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness

I love the idea of this post!!!! It’s amazing how much we change over the years and how at the time whatever we were doing seemed to be the best thing ever! I’m very similar to you, I used to be a vegetarian and a whole grain addict! Now I cut back on the grains, am 100% gluten free, and eat meat and no soy products! I’m totally trying the olive oil trick!

Sarah

Great post! Cow puss – ugh. lol

I’m intrigued about the olive oil. I’ve heard great things, but have yet to try it!

katie

Hi! I love your site! Would you mind sharing a little more about how you wash your face with olive oil?
I love how natural and inexpensive it sounds. Thanks!

Madelyn

Just curious how you get complete amino acids? I work at whole foods and just started in the whole body section. I don’t drink milk or any dairy product, no meat except an occasional salmon for my omegas, quinoa and rice with beans for my complete protein since I’m very active biking, running, swimming etc all the time. I have been having a small amount of tofu and miso lately for estrogen to strengthen my bones. I have to take b12 or my levels get low even with fermented foods in my diet. I would like to go grain free to see of my digestion improves. I only do gluten free because gluten makes me sick. Just curious about your opinion.

    Megan

    I get my amino acids from a varied diet. As I understand it, amino acids are the “building blocks” of protein, and our bodies must break them down, then reassemble the amino acids into the proper chains for our bodies to use them– regardless of whether they came from veggies, grains or animal sources. Since I do eat eggs, meat and goat dairy, along with plenty of land and sea vegetables, and nuts and seeds, I feel like I’ve covered my bases. πŸ˜‰

Haute + Healthy

This is really interesting. I totally need to start eating more organically. I always knew it was better for you (because of pesticides) but I didn’t realize how lacking conventional vegetables are in nutrition content!

    Megan

    I didn’t know about the nutritional difference until recently, either!

{lauren} the talking kitchen

i’m pretty similar, eat mainly organic, no processed foods, while I enjoy the occasional grain with meals, I prefer veggies as my carb source, and I recently started using coconut oil to make my own deodorant and lotion. LOVE it. question about the olive oil you use, what kind is it? the expensive good stuff or is the trader joe’s brand ok?

bev

i started using a mix of olive oil/castor oil on my face about 2 months ago from a friends recommendation…..amazing! it really does work to clear up your skin! no stipping from harsh soaps, cheap, & natural! totally the way to go πŸ™‚ and i find it works better than makeup removers at getting mascara off.

jessica

All of the changes you have been have been inspiring and I am so happy that I found your blog. You really helped to KICK start my healthy eating and trying totally new things.
Keep up the amazing work.
My hubby LOVES whenever you post a new recipe

jeanne

Fun topic!
I swear I have gone through the exact stages you list…bagels, peanut butter and boca soy chicken powered me through college!!

I’m having a lot of stomach aches lately and really need to get my diet in a good place….I can’t eat as many avocados as I once did which is horrible and sad to me but I seem to get a stomach ache every time now.

My other latest change has been to sort of cut back on the goat and sheep products…I was eating a ton of cheese but I’m not so into it right now because it’s soooo constipating (tmi…but we’re all friends, right?) I’m eating more chicken, eggs, and fish which is brand new to me.

I just read a book called “It Starts with Food” by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. They are all about paleo but not from a historical “they only ate blah” way, it’s more from a “here’s what we can eat to be healthier” point of view. They advocate eating lots of fat in the form of avocados, olive oil and coconut products. Good stuff!

I’m starting to implement some of their ideas because I’ve got a bit of ab flab I want to lose for summer πŸ™‚

Lauren

I’m reading the book “The Beauty Detox Solution” and it’s totally changing the way I think about meat, dairy and grains. I know that this will be a long transition, but I want to eventually cut most of these out of my diet…

    Megan

    I loved reading that book, too, Lauren! I think “upgrading” your choices is a good way to start– using whole grains like quinoa and millet, and choosing grass-fed meat, when possible. πŸ™‚

Lisa

This is a great post! I’ve definitely changed my habits significantly in the past years! I don’t even know where to begin. My diet has changed, fitness, school, I think just about everything in my life has changed from what I thought it would be like. I don’t eat much soy either, not enough research about it and it makes my tummy not too happy! And I’ve never ever drank cow’s milk so never had that issue of giving it up

Juliet

I’ve started eating a high raw diet and I LOVE it. After two weeks, I went back to eating normal food, and had really bad headaches and stomachaches, so it would seem that i am hooked on raw foods. DOn’t you just feel better, though, when you eat fresh and good food?

Jocelyn

I enjoyed reading this post. It’s great how our healthy journey is being refined as we go along. I never thought I would be eating as much raw foods as I am today! πŸ˜€

I especially enjoyed reading about EVOO for a cleanser. I’ve been using raw honey as my cleanser and raw coconut oil as a moisturizer for years and love it. Always open to trying something new. I will also use kefir and clay masks for deeper cleansing on occasion. They’re great as well! πŸ™‚

Red Deception

I made mostly the same changes!

laura

Funny, I have followed a similar journey. Things that seemed the height of health and nourishment 2 years ago wouldn’t even be a consideration now. On the other hand, things I would have avoided for murky reasons might now be my go-tos.

As a side note, I just added coconut oil to my cashew milk for the first time and OMG who knew it would make such a huge difference? Totally hooked!!!!

Nataliya @irunforicecream

I washed my face with olive oil last night and I could seriously feel my skin breathe! It felt so refreshing! And this morning my skin looked great! Now my boyfriend on the other hand, thought I was completely nuts for doing it πŸ™‚

Thanks for recommendation!

Sarah

Thank you so much for sharing your nutritional and personal evolution! πŸ™‚ It’s always so helpful to hear about someone else’s journey – I will be reading some of those and definitely trying the olive oil face wash! πŸ™‚ Thanks again, hope the health and wellness continue!

Leanne

thank you for sharing your nutritional story! It’s so good to remember that we are all on a journey and it’s ok for us to all go at our own pace and make changes as we feel they are needed. We also have made huge changes in the last year! We have gone from eating a lot of processed foods and the usual “family/kids” foods to eating no processed meats and very little processed foods in general. We have cut out all refined sugar and use mostly honey. We do MAJOR label reading when we do purchase food from the store. Thanks to being farmers, we eat mostly food that we have grown including our meat and tomatoe-based products as well as making my own broths. We love organic! my next goal is to switch more and more to gluten free. We are all feeling much better then we used to. I am also going to give the olive oil a trial run! Thanks for all your help along the way to getting healthier!

Kristen

“I no longer think of whole grains as a β€œstaple” in a healthy diet” what are you eating instead? I love brown rice and quinoa and probably eat them both more than I should. I need to find replacements so like you it can be a once in a while thing:) Thanks for any help!

Abby

What is your skin type? I’m curious to see if the olive oil cleanse will work on me because i heard somewhere that only olive oil as a cleanser works on a very very few amount of people (i dont really believe that though)

Katie

Why has it taken me so long to try the oil-cleansing method? Its like a mini-spa treat for your face…every night!! The hot steam…lovely. I thought it would leave skin greasy and shining, but far from it. on to your 2 ingredient lotion next!

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