Updated: Mar 26, 2019
Do you ever feel disconnected from your roots? or Are you not sure where your roots come from? I have to tell you, I was beginning to feel disconnected from my roots. However, I didn't even realize it was happening. Today, I'm going to talk about what is helping to bring me back to my roots. Thus, creating a healthy lifestyle.
Welcome back y'all. For those who don't know me. My name is Sarah Swan. I first want to apologize to those who do know me, for not being as active as I would like the last couple of years. One, learning how to do this blogging thing hasn't been easy. However, I spent the last couple years basically collecting content, learning along the way, while living a good life. For example, I grew a container garden from seed and I taught myself how to bake. Gardening and baking, two of my major highlights of the last few years, that is helping me back to my roots.
Back to my roots. "What do you mean by that?" You're are probably thinking. You see, I'm talking pretty literal here, about where I come from. My roots, which span from the Indigenous Americas/Canada and the Island of Ireland. My Mother's people are farmers and survived the potato famine. I blame this for my ability to hold onto fat. My Father's people are from the Yakama, Chippewa, and Cree Nations. You probably learned in Social Studies as hunter/ gatherer peoples. Which is legit for my peoples. However, not all tribes are as such. Many tribes were farmers, herders, and among other things. Why is this important? It is important because it where I come from. It is why my DNA is built the way it is. I feel, there is definitely a connection to this, why I hold onto fat.
With that being said, I have been overweight my entire life. I was 9 lbs 8 oz at birth. So, when I say my entire life. I'm serious. My entire life. Well, for the last eight years. Pretty much right after I delivered my last baby which was 8 years ago, I have been on a weight loss journey. I have pretty much done every diet, including weight loss surgery (has since been reversed) to "cure" my obesity. I still haven't found the cure. Yes, pretty convinced there isn't one. However, I have found several so called "diets" that do work and have substantial health benefits.
Keto Zuppa Tuscana Soup and Ceasar Salad
The Keto Diet
I was very successful with the Keto diet. I will share several Keto recipes as this blog grows. I loved this diet. However, my only downfall with the Keto diet was, you can't cheat. It is very restrictive. If you do cheat you will gain 5-10lbs. Although, I followed this diet strict for over one year and lost 40+ lbs. I pretty much have fallen off now. I haven't gained all the weight back. Actually, my jeans still fit (the deciding factor if its about to get serious or not).
Although, I have not been eating well these past few months. But, I haven't been eating bad either. Which, I feel this Keto diet has in some way manipulated my metabolism because I have maintained my weight...bonus.
One other downfall I'd like to mention, I have found with the Keto diet is you can't Keto when you're sick. Meaning you can't maintain ketosis when your sick. This brought me back to the drawing table to find a diet that works for my life. I did a bunch of research. I found that any diet that is low carb and processed free is beneficial. Paleo, Clean Eating, Gluten free, Whole30 are all great diets. Its just about finding the one that works for you. Are you on one of the above diets? Do you have a recipe of any of the above diets you would like me to try? Shoot me an email. I will definitely try it.
Also, if your interested in the Keto diet. Check out the Ruled Me blog. Totally breaks it down and its free to join.
Clean Eating Diet
So, What diet did I choose? First, I chose a diet that I can eat all the "First Foods" from our feasts. Meaning all of the roots, berries, venison, and salmon that is Indigenous to the Yakama People since Time immemorial. These contain all the nutrients our bodies need and will thrive off of. So, pretty much Clean Eating, Paleo, keto, etc all fit. Our Indigenous diet basically consisted of low carb roots and berries, good protein, and good fats (nothing refined or processed).
Also, I'd like you to check out my friend Emily Washines' blog: Return of the Wapato. This is a great read and talks about the return of one of our "First Foods" and the importance of Indigenous food sustainability, ecology, and culture. I was searching for a blog to link about our "First foods". I could of swore Jon David aka Nativeanthro had one, not finding it though. Maybe I dreamt it, haha. I'm not clairvoyant or anything but, I have a feeling if its not already written. It is either on his or Emily's do list to write.
In addition, to making my choice. I have truly decided that although, I'm still considered overweight. Actually, obese to put it in medical terms. I have maintained my weight, essentially. My vital signs and lab work are pristine. Ultimately, I'm more then OK with the size I am now. I actually love my body (Curves are where its at)! Mind you, my goal here is not get a chronic disease process like diabetes or heart disease. Plus, I want to instill healthy eating habits with my children. So, I chosen to follow a clean eating diet. So to speak. Clean eating, Paleo, and Keto authors will write about using organic, grass-fed bla bla bla. I just eat whole foods. Nothing processed or refined, for the most part. Aside from an occasional cookie every now and then. Furthermore, somethings I consume may be organic and when in season, mostly comes from my garden. At this time, I don't limit myself to purchasing just organic and grass-fed items though. I just can't. To be honest, its too expensive (Capitalism is killing our health). However, I do believe there is great benefits to eating and living organic. I feel as a people, we need to understand the importance. Last year my garden was essentially organic, if you were to put a label on it. The plan is this to grow more food this year then flowers. My hope is to not only grow and eat this food. I also, want to preserve this food for the winter (Awe snap bout to get serious). I will affordably be able to add organic foods into my life. Additionally, maybe most important. When the Zombie Apocalypse or the Russians come. I'll be ready!
Patio Garden 2018
Speaking of gardens. I learned so much from my garden the last few years and my children did as well. I also learned that all life's problems can be solved in a garden. Ultimately, you have to grow a garden first to understand.
Additionally, I grew up on a small farm. My grandpa Newt mainly grew alfalfa. He had us in his field changing sprinkler lines. He also had a garden that was a good half acre, maybe I'm exaggerating. But, it was a big garden. He grew everything. Anything he planted...grew. His flowers were especially magnificent. He'd have us out there planting, weeding, and harvesting. I hated it or at least I thought I hated it. He was determined to make farmers out of us. I was determined that would never happen.
Patio Garden 2017