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My Journey: This Last Year

This last year has been a crazy year of change and growth.  My husband and I decided to relocate from Northern California to Rapid City, South Dakota.  The focus of my life became selling our home.  Lots of lookers, a few offers with a final contract at the end of December 2018.  During this same time we were searching for our new home.

January 2019, we drove out to Rapid City to find and buy our new home.  We accomplished our mission, we signed a contract on our new home.  After one week in Rapid City, we left our car and flew back to California.  January and February, we packed up our home for our new destination.  This included downsizing with many trips to donation companies and the dump.

The last week of February, our belongings were loaded on a moving van with our prize possessions loaded in our jeep.  We moved into our new home on March 4th.  We have been settling in and making this house our home over the last few months.  We have also had a few adventures getting to know the Black Hills.

So how was the Clean Food Journey going during this time of transition?  I thought it was going ok and I talked myself into the idea if I went off the path I could just take 30 days to correct it.  So my thought process was I’ll start next month.  Well, I was wrong.

I have Type 2 Diabetes and have my blood sugar tested every 6 months.  The test, A1C, reflects the average blood glucose levels over the past 2 to 3 months.  The test levels for me should be less than 7% according to my physician.  In November 2018, my results were 9.3%.  My physician decided to have the test administered again in February 2019.  The results were again 9.3%.  I was out of control and obviously not following my clean food journey.

The next chapter, life in Rapid City, South Dakota.  The story to be continued……

New & Improved Nutrition Facts Label

When I started my clean food journey, I pulled from my food processing experience and my knowledge of labels.  The Nutrition Facts Label contains a lot of information but can also be confusing or at least overwhelming.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized a new and improved label as of January 2018.  The image below discusses the key changes to the label. This comparison and information should assist you as you read Nutrition Facts Labels.

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This is a lot of information but don’t stress.  Take a breath, turn the package to find the Nutrition Facts Label and read it.  Take a moment and look at what is inside the package you are going to purchase.  Fresh fruit and vegetable labels state the Country of Origin where the produce was grown.  Fish labels state farmed or wild caught and whether it is sustainable.  If you do not see these labels ask an employee of the store where you can find this information.

Look for the next label blog with helpful information about the Ingredient panel.

My Fathers – Past, Present, Future

I am launching my blog, cleanfoodjourney.com, on this Father’s Day, June 17, 2018. As I celebrate my launch, I am celebrating the Fathers in my life.

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John Carr, October 1996

John Carr, was my father and is the father of my past. He helped me develop the values that I live my life by today. Dad was an honest man and stood by his integrity. Being transparent was part of my father’s makeup long before it became a buzz word. My dad was a second generation Polish man who started his life in upstate New York. He was my hero, and bigger than life. People loved him. He always cared for the other person. When he retired, people cried.

My dad always supported me. In 1984, when my husband, Al, and I decided to leave our home and jobs in Colorado to move to California, my dad told me to go. He believed you should always follow your dreams. Never regret a decision to follow your dreams. My father told me if it doesn’t work you can always come home. Dream, go for it and if it doesn’t work out, come home to figure out the next journey. Al and I have spent the last 32 years in California and glad we followed our dream. Thanks Dad for the support and encouragement, today I am launching a blog.

The Fathers of my Present are Al and my son, Kory. We began our journey in April, 1982 at a country bar called Niles Country. The journey has been unbelievably amazing. We have experienced the good, bad and ugly but I would not change anything in our life together. Al has been my strength and number 1 supporter. He is truly my best friend. When I get down on myself and believe I have no value, Al is there to pick me up and help me through my moments of doubt. Al has been a wonderful father and role model to the boys. He has supported and encouraged them as they have made their life decisions. We encouraged our sons to follow their dreams. I can see bits of Al in all three boys.

Kory is a special dad to his son, Luca. Watching the two of them together is an amazing experience. They love trucks, especially the big ones like excavators and fire engines. Kory is a Fire Fighter in San Diego County and Luca is always excited to visit his dad at work. Kory has helped his son become an inquisitive, energetic and rounded little boy. Kory is an active father in the raising of his son. I am so proud of the man and father Kory has become.

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Nicolas, Al, Kory, Jonathan, 1986

The Fathers of my Future are Kory, Nicolas and Jonathan, my three sons. Kory has a baby due in September. I am excited to watch the little family of three grow to four. A new chapter in Kory’s life as a father will start this fall. Nicolas and Jonathan are planning on being fathers in the future. There has been more talk about babies lately so we will see. And just to clear up any questions, no babies are on the way for Nick and Jon at this writing.

Nicolas is an amazing individual. He is an actor and director of Community Theatre, and very artistically talented at both. He has chosen a career that nurtures the creative expression of individuals with disabilities through the arts. Nicolas is a very sensitive soul. It is important for Nick that all people know how important they are to the world. I describe him as a big teddy bear, kinda like Pooh. I am so proud of the man Nick has become and the journey paths he has chosen.

Jonathan has three career paths going at the moment, Muay Thai fighter, personal trainer and an Office Guy. Over the last couple of years, Jon has made a dramatic life change. He is living large and clean and has lost 120 pounds. Jon is a personal trainer helping people find the clean lifestyle and becoming the best person they can be. Jonathan is my dreamer, risk taker and adventurer. I describe him as a Viking Warrior, with great determination and perseverance. Jon has made me proud of the man he has become and the life journeys he has chosen.

I love my dad and miss him. I carry his advice and love with me daily. Al and I are a great team. Our journey is as exciting today as it was on the day we met. My sons are my greatest accomplishments. They give me the strength and passion to do what I do every day. Thank you to the Fathers in my life.

The Journey Continues

The Clean Food Journey is just that, a journey.  Each and every day you wake up and decide to continue this adventure.  A lifestyle change must be sustainable, which means every day the path is livable, supportable and worthwhile.  You are going to have good days and challenging days.

Your new lifestyle can be described by Pooh Bear, “you put one foot in front of the other and move away from where you have been”.

I will share with you my journey and would love for you to share your journey.

Sugar – WoW

As I started my clean eating journey I learned I needed to remove sugar from my diet. Removing sugar made sense to me but I wanted to understand the effects of sugar on the body. So as you think about taking sugar out of your diet, I want you to have some facts.

Sugar is very addictive. It is more addictive than drugs. The Healthline.com report on sugar explains it is as addictive as cocaine or heroin. Dr. Hyman, Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic, describes sugar as being actually 8 times as addictive as cocaine. Why or how is this so? When your body processes sugar, opioids and dopamine are released. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is a key element of the reward circuit in your brain. Sugar activates opioid receptors in the brain which lead to compulsive behavior. The aspects of addiction that sugar releases in the body are dependence, craving, binging and withdrawal.

Excessive sugar intake has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, and other health conditions. Just think, lots of extra sugar pulsing through your body could potentially affect all your organs.

In 1822, Americans consumed 9 grams of sugar daily which is 0.0198 pounds. In 2012, Americans consumed 152 grams of sugar daily which is 0.33510 pounds. Americans today eat between ¼ and ½ pound of sugar a day. The comparison in teaspoons is 2 tsp in 1822 to 38 tsp today.

See the picture below.

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This is an overwhelming request, but let’s try to take sugar out of our diet. I am rebooting and taking up the challenge again. It will be hard for me because I am addicted but I know I can do it. I will keep you posted on my progress. Please keep me posted on yours.

“Sugar-out” is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change. To make this lifestyle change affective it needs to be sustainable, every day and every way. Remember this change is positive for you and your body. Let’s have fun with this challenge.

Why Am I Here

My career journey within the medical device and food industries have opened many career doors to learn about the body, diseases, food processing and regulations. I have always been interested in the science and the regulations. The food industry has natural, organic, non-GMO and FDA regulations just to mention a few.

Three years ago, my youngest son started a healthy eating and living journey. His life path took an avenue to become healthy and fit, now he uses his experience and knowledge to become a personal trainer and a Muay Thai fighter. This is where my life journey changed direction to follow the same avenue, and my clean food journey begins.

I was living an unhealthy lifestyle which included processed food, sugar and very little to no exercise. My body felt my unhealthy lifestyle. I started to blame it on the fact that I was getting older. You know, my golden years. I decided I could accept what I had done to my body and live with it, or I could change what I was doing to change my life journey.

My goal with cleanfoodjourney.com is to share my experiences and knowledge to help others see how easy and fun it is to make this change. Are there challenges? Yes, there are. Are there bumps and curves in the journey? Yes but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

Thanks for joining me on our clean food journey. Let’s see where we go!

Who Am I

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Hello, I am Corinne Christenson. I have been on a wonderful life journey. My life has been defined by my journey and not by a destination. The path has had bumps, curves, starts and restarts.

Since a very young age I have been a people and animal person. I am always looking out for the underdog. At the age of 5, I rescued all the neighborhood cats and gave them a new home. A hard lesson to learn was that all the cats had homes. They were just coming to my house to snack and play. The doors to my heart have always been open.

Throughout my organizational career, I have enjoyed working with and managing people. The rewards have come from lighting the spark in people through training, showing, sharing and being there to let them learn on their own. Helping people find their path in their field or organization has been a rewarding goal for me.

I am a mom to my children, step-children and the many children that crossed paths with my children. At this time in my life I am a grandmom to a few dogs and cats. All these children have grown into wonderful adults. There were many occasions along the way for hugs, tears, long talks and moments of silence. I am so proud of all the kids I have helped and mom’d along the journey.

My children – WOW! They are incredible people. Their life journeys have been paved with great determination and spirit. They have made their mom proud. I am excited to see their continued growth and experiences on their life path. One of the greatest gifts of my life are my children. And I am waiting patiently for grandkids.

This journey of mine has included my partner for life, who is also my best friend and husband. We have shared all the paths of this life and together we have, and will continue to conquer all. What a journey this has been. The neatest part the journey continues today with new challenges and surprises.

The career journey I have followed started with the medical device industry. I was recruited to Sonoma County in 2000, to a medical device company. Once established in Sonoma County, I found the food industry and have enjoyed the opportunities at Natural and Specialty Food Businesses. The positions I have taken presented many opportunities to gain knowledge and experiences in many diverse fieIds. I chose careers where I could assist employees and team members with training and development to be able to positively impact the organization, both internal and external through processes and procedures. And today my journey continues.