We are always elated to hear anti-inflammatory diet success stories from the people who have read our book, Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel (Penguin, 2013) and followed our program. When Kim Daughtridge wrote to us to share her experience we asked if we could interview her and share a bit more about her “Clean Cuisine” journey because we are certain some of her tips can help others too. We were especially excited to hear that even her 2-year old son is happily eating Clean Cuisine!
Here is what Kim had to say…Q: Kim, everyone at Clean Cuisine gets so excited when we receive an anti-inflammatory diet success story like yours. Can you tell our readers how your “Clean Cuisine” journey began?
Kim: I’ve always been interested in eating healthy even though I didn’t always do it. When I recently decided to eat “healthy” to lose weight, I didn’t get results. Then, I came across Clean Cuisine. I learned that my definition of “healthy” wasn’t necessarily “clean” and when I made that simple switch in mindset everything about my health changed. Instead of focusing on what I shouldn’t eat and looking at numbers I focused on the whole, nutrient-dense clean foods talked about in the Clean Cuisine book. It was simple , natural and healing. I lost weight and pulled out of depression.
Q: What were a couple of points in our book, Clean Cuisine, that made you believe that YOU could make these changes for a healthier life?
Kim: First, I learned how easily I could take in more plant foods, especially dark leafy greens. The two simple steps of building a salad and having a Supergreen Smoothie, daily, offered a big bang with very little effort and thinking. The Larson’s made understanding the importance of what greens have to offer so interesting and it was not over my head. Second, using a blender. When I first started reading the book, I happened to have the ingredients in my home to make a Salad Booster and No Milk Shake. It was so easy, quick and delicious it blew my mind! I use the blender, daily, sometimes several times a day. Lastly, the design of the eight-week program offered small steps toward change that are manageable for anyone to follow. I had been suffering from depression due to the loss of my father and the birth of an unplanned baby, all during a time my husband was away a lot. I couldn’t help my mom and she couldn’t help me. Plus, I had two other children. I was EXTREMELY overwhelmed, so any changes had to be easy/natural–that’s exactly what Clean Cuisine offers.
Q: What tips can you give our readers on planning ahead when making their weekly food plans? (You mentioned that you have breakfast and lunch ready for the week)
Kim: When you have too much on your plate, simple decisions can be overwhelming. Spontaneity has a place; however, I’ve learned the power of routine keeps me sane. In the eight-week Clean Cuisine program , Ivy offers simple breakfast and lunch ideas to use most days. I keep frozen fruit, nuts, eggs and sprouted bread on hand and choose either No Milk Shakes or eggs, veggies and toast for breakfast. On weekends, I cook grains, greens and soups. With this I have beans in the pantry and potatoes and salad makings in the fridge. So for lunch I choose a combination of these items. Sometimes I do this for dinner as well (e.g., soup and salad for lunch then beans, greens and grains for dinner). This has become very simple to me, so on days that aren’t as busy I try one of the dinner recipes. We’ve mastered a few of these dinner recipes, now, so it’s becoming easy to include those in our weekly plan.
Q: Tell us about your 2-year old. You said he eats what Mommy and Daddy eats. How long as he been eating this way?
Kim: Since he was born it was important to us for him to eat what we eat and for that to be nutritious. Before I read Clean Cuisine, the solids he ate included beans, vegetable soups, packaged cereals, and fruit. These weren’t necessarily always clean. We started eating the Clean Cuisine way around the time he was able to verbally express what he wanted (he was around 18 months). He witnessed our enthusiasm and wanted what was on our plates and in our cups. It has been an eye opener to watch how much your actions as a parent affect your children and fortunately, this has been a positive thing with our son.
Q: How has this positive change helped your family life?
Kim: Even though we try to keep our lives as simple as possible, we are way busier as a family than I would like. My husband and I are always desperate for more time together. Eating is necessary for life so sharing a meal is not creating yet another thing to do. Thanks to Clean Cuisine, we love sharing nutritious and delicious foods prepared by our own loving hands. The book itself provides the role model of a family sharing a Clean Cuisine lifestyle that we wanted to emulate. Even our older children, who are still picky eaters, are getting the exposure and learning the whys of clean eating.
Q: We feel honored that you said, “Clean Cuisine, has affected my entire life more positively than any book I’ve ever read.” Have you been able to help anyone else, outside of your family, understand the benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory diet?
Kim: Danny and I always drink our shakes and smoothies in clear tumblers, and, usually on the go. When people ask what we’re drinking we get an open door to talk about clean, anti-inflammatory eating. Our enthusiasm seems contagious. Recently we went on a beach vacation with another family (7 kids and 4 adults total!) Danny and I prepared batches of Creamy All Greens soup, greens and salad boosters to take with us to share. Then we composed a grocery list to have the breakfast and lunches listed above. I took the book so everyone could see ingredients. The adults were amazed at how easy it was to eat more greens and whole foods, and the older kids even got in on the conversations about nutrition.
Q: We love your enthusiasm for Clean Cuisine, Kim! Is there anything else you would like to add?
Kim: I know I give long answers, but I really can’t stop talking about Clean Cuisine! I do have one more thing I thought of adding. Clean Cuisine is full of nutritious whole food suggestions that are full of flavor. Ivy has said somewhere that it may not be what you’re used to but if you try it you might like it. This is exactly what it’s like. My husband who is a marriage and family therapist loves to discuss behavior. When I shared this with him we talked about how people are so resistant to, for lack of a better word, training themselves to eat differently. Clean Cuisine teaches you how to try flavorful things that with baby steps you learn to love. And after 8 weeks, if you do try something you used to eat that is not clean, you will probably discover you don’t like it. I have to admit I drank a few swallows of southern sweet tea a few weeks ago. The sweetness made me grimace and feel nauseated. I never thought I’d feel that way about one of my favorite old beverages! Thank you so much Kim!