« Green Living » is considered challenging by most of us. The perception is it requires a massive overhaul of lifestyle and one is not prepared to make such a level of commitment. And when one does there is such a lack of coherent information on how to go about it. Our aim at urbanmeisters.com is to challenge this perception and give easy to follow green lifestyle solutions to urbans. Just about all aspects of modern living can be made sustainable and we will help you every step of the way with simple solutions, recommended green products, DIY projects and news. And precisely to expand the boundaries of sustainable conversation we are excited to introduce a new monthly feature KAYLEIGH’S GREENER THINGSa very personal and experimental take on green living by a fellow greenie that each one of us will be able to relate to. We welcome onboard sustainable living blogger Kayleigh from www.bluejeanswhiteteeblog.com – a natural health and green lifestyle blog where she shares the pros of switching to clean, green products. With KAYLEIGH’S GREENER THINGS we aim to help you switch to sustainable products and lifestyle solutions with ease and help make green living MISSION POSSIBLE!
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The first feature of Kayleigh’s Greener Things picks up the controversial issue of processed food. Yes, that smoking gun! In a beautiful world where all was ideal we’d prepare our meals from the freshest ingredients handpicked from local farmer markets bustling with good health and taste. Reality check. Most of us don’t have easy access to farmers’ markets, we live life on the clock, we pick up processed food off the supermarket shelf and microwave is our best friend! Processed food is one of the biggest conveniences of modern life but do you realise that this ease also costs you an extremely unhealthy lifestyle, unfit body and general ill health? We’ve always maintained pollution-free food is the best for health and Kayleigh’s Greener Things this month tells of her personal transition from processed food to better health and well being.

Why should you ditch processed food?

I’ll come straight to the point readers. Curbing processed food is a positive step for your health & to reduce your carbon footprint. While much has been said about the adverse effects of processed food on health, there is still a lid on how it effects the environment. You see processed food has a larger carbon footprint than their raw, whole food alternatives but the food industry keeps it a big secret.
Let’s break it down. The more ingredients your food contains, the more ‘processes’ it goes through and the more packaging it uses, the less environmentally friendly it is. What more even whole foods don’t get off the hook; produce grown in your country of origin is going to have less of an environmental impact than an exotic fruit flown from halfway across the world to your local grocery store!
About a year ago, I ditched all processed food and started shopping almost exclusively from my local farm shop, and today I’d like to share my observations with you from a health perspective. I’ve had IBS since I was a toddler. My whole life, doctors have told me to take laxatives for my chronic constipation and antispasmodics for my constant bloating and cramping. It’s a story that many people are familiar with; IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States and it’s estimated that 10-15% of the entire world’s population has IBS.
People like me are told time and time again that our “syndrome” is incurable.
Here’s where I think conventional wisdom is totally wrong.
Seven out of ten deaths of Americans each year are because of chronic diseases. From diabetes and heart disease to breast and prostate cancer, to obesity and hypertension, diet is a major factor in life threatening diseases. So where does that leave us if we’re all following the right dietary guidelines?
Many people now know that gluten-free diets have become popular for managing bloating and cramping, whether you’re celiac or not. Within a week of cutting it out I felt my energy returning, and I began to get sick less often. A few years later, when I was still suffering from episodes, I discovered FODMAPs, and for over a year I cut out an entire group of fruit and vegetables to avoid flair ups. But eating such a restrictive diet was tough. Eating out was impossible, and even the smallest amounts of “bad” food in a meal would set me right back to where I was; bloated and in agony.
Eventually I discovered nutritional therapy, a complementary therapy that focuses on the link between food, nutrition, gut health, overall health and disease cure and prevention. It introduced me to an entirely new way of eating; low-carbohydrate, high-fat, made up purely of whole foods. Cutting down on processed carbs pushes our system to use body fat as fuel thereby becoming a most effective way getting in healthier shape. This also woke me up to the questionable ingredients found in many free-from foods.
I know that this goes against everything we’ve ever been told about carbs and fat; we need carbohydrates for energy and fat makes us fat, right?
I’ll be amazed if you haven’t seen the news recently about how many of today’s dietary recommendations have been manipulated by the sugar industry. Sugar and refined carbs are out; healthy fats are in!
Busting myths aside, in addition to the bloating, cramping and constipation I had suffered from my entire life, changing my diet has also sent the following ailments packing:

  • lethargy
  • acne breakouts
  • frequent colds, flu and fevers
  • foot and leg cramps
  • sudden, painful hunger
  • irritability
  • that mid-afternoon “slump”
  • morning breath
  • dark yellow, strong-smelling urine
  • frequent UTIs like thrush and cystitis

My personal story does come with a slight caveat: at the same time as nutritional therapy I also came across colonic hydrotherapy, where I discovered I had an impacted bowel. I honestly believe that my body would never have been capable of digesting or absorbing the nutrients from my new diet without first clearing my bowel.
And here’s a bonus little titbit for you; within weeks of switching to my local farm shop’s produce, I noticed the following things:

  • my food became more flavoursome
  • my weak nails began to grow long and literally “hard as nails”
  • all the frequent unexplained bruises on my legs went away
  • my joints started to click less

Why? The longer food sits in storage, the more nutrients it loses. We talk so much about soil depletion these days; it makes sense that we should be eating our food as close to harvest as possible to make the most of the precious vitamins and minerals it has left.
Personally, I still buy some foods from abroad to meet my daily fat requirements, such as olives and olive oil from Italy – but my diet and carbon footprint both continue to be a work in progress while I heal the damage done to my body from years of eating a “normal” diet, so for now, I’ll take it!
So readers we hope Kayleigh’s personal journey with processed food and her switch to fresh local produce has inspired you some. We’ll continue bringing you all such GREENER THINGS by Kayleigh every month!

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