See the list of all Jason Murphy’s recipes at www.mysaline.com/jason-murphy.
I spend so much time in the kitchen cooking for Thanksgiving that I can’t bring myself to write an article about a recipe today. I’m sure many of you need a break from thinking about measuring out ingredients or bake times or what size pan to use and blah blah blah.
The one thing I will say about it is that my approach to the holiday foods does not change just because of the occasion. Whether it was the dressing, gravy, desserts, or finger foods, I made them all with whole ingredients and limited simple carbs, refined sugar, and inflammatory oils as much as possible. I also kept my eating time from 8:30am to 3:30 pm intact as well, and I’m so glad I did. Even with the entire menu list being the overhauled healthy version, I’m still capable of overeating and the time limit keeps me from being overfed and sick for the evening and bedtime hours.
If you are wondering about taste, none was sacrificed. All the “normal” eaters in the extended family raved about the gravy…not knowing it was just high fiber Chickpea flour and grass fed cream with a heavy dose of fresh ground pepper.
I find that people tend to automatically associate anything called healthy as tasting bad, largely thanks to the low-fat fad in the 1990’s, if I had to take an educated guess. It doesn’t have to be that way, folks. Healthy food can be very tasty, and the further you get away from the standard fare of the American diet, it will become the preferred option based on taste alone.
The biggest hangup with healthy eating is people usually don’t give it enough time to feel or see the results, or commit to the plan no matter the occasion. If you eat healthy during the week, but all bets are off for weekends, birthdays, parties, and holidays, you’ll never see the true benefits.
I’m speaking from experience there. I would sabotage a week of decent eating because of – insert excuse here – and then lie to myself that it wouldn’t hurt this time. The problem is “this time” happens all the time. I suffered all the ill effects of a bad diet even when eating somewhat healthy most of the time. I would get sick, have heartburn at night, deal with stubborn belly fat that I thought was just there to stay.
And don’t get me started about bathroom emergencies. I lived in fear of a road trip or an extended hike in the woods, because I never knew when my traitorous digestive tract was going to hijack the situation until all its very, very urgent demands were met. All that is well in my past now, and I didn’t even realize it until I was several years into living this way.
I haven’t had so much as a head cold or stuffy nose in five years, cuts and bruises seem to heal like special effects in a Wolverine film, and flying into parking lots in a manner that would make residents of Hazzard County think I was a reckless driver in search of a bathroom is a long forgotten nightmare. I can’t remember the last time I’ve taken any kind of pill or over-the-counter medicine.
Can I tell you exactly why this is? No, and I can’t guarantee it will be that way for you. I can tell you what worked for me, and why I think it works, but we are all different animals with different systems. However, it can’t hurt.
First, it’s limiting all the weird ingredients and unnecessary items added to most prepared processed foods. Your bacon does not need high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soybean oil. Neither does your ketchup, cupcakes, snack bars, or chips. They all have it, though. And it adds up. Avoiding those ingredients and cutting out the high sodium of fast food, not to mention all the microplastics in the food packaging most of that comes in, removes a lot of heavy lifting your immune system is doing just to combat the standard diet.
For example, when people get a cold or fever, what do most reach for? Orange juice, Sprite, ramen noodle soup…all things loaded with refined sugar, oils, sodium, and chemicals. Your immune system now has to fight a battle on two fronts. Not only does it have to deal with the invading virus causing the sickness, but now it has to deal with all the inflammatory ingredients you just dropped down your gullet.
At night, while you sleep, your immune system tries to get to work dealing with any issues that might be showing up, but if you eat late at night and go to bed full, it can’t do that because you have tasked it with digestion first and preemptive health improvements second. By shutting off eating by 5pm at the latest, you give your body a fighting chance to be proactive and deal with potential issues before they become showstoppers.
It’s not like I haven’t been exposed to potential illness. Others in my house have had colds, fevers, stomach bugs of the puking type, strep throat, and the kind of Covid where a person stays in bed for a week not able to move. I was right in the middle of it all, or sleeping right next to it. Not one thing made it through. I think I’m the proverbial canary in the coalmine now. If I ever get the sniffles or a fever, go ahead and cash in that 401K, because it’s all coming to an end. Captain Trips is in the house, for all you fans of The Stand.
This didn’t happen overnight. It came from years of living it day in and day out without exception or excuse. The food tastes better, I feel better, and dealing with sickness and bubble gut attacks are no longer things that affect me. The fat loss and muscle gain are nice, but not being sick once for the last five years far outstrips that in the benefits department.
I make sure I get a good split of lean, grass fed protein, healthy fats from wild seafood and grass-fed sources, and I’m not afraid of good complex carbs and fiber. Fruits, nuts. berries, and leafy greens are daily items. Some may say it’s too hard to live like that, but I would counter that it’s too hard to live without doing it. I know I don’t miss those days or the food I was eating back then. It’s all personal choice and accountability, and what you want, of course.
However, if you catch yourself complaining about being sick over and over, remember that you do have some control over it. If you want to feel good, eat good, eat a little less, and go to bed a little hungry. It won’t kill you. In fact, it will do the exact opposite if you stick with it.