Since September, when I began walking, I also began re-evaluating the food that I eat. I’m no novice to understanding nutrition. But I did grow up in an all American household of meat and potatoes, fast food, prepared frozen meals and the whole nine yards. I could blame my extra weight on the new convenience foods that are everywhere, but the truth is that my grandmother didn’t eat convenience foods and she was quite heavy too. Obesity is found throughout the generations of my family. From my great-grandfather on down – and most likely, before him. There were no McDonald’s around to cause his heft; no sugar substitutes, no GMOs or food laden with additives that I can’t even pronounce. So, on one grand scale (pardon the pun), I come by this extra weight stuff naturally.
That being said, let me get back to re-evaluating what I’m eating. I have learned a couple of easy to remember (and follow) things that have helped me greatly.
1) Eat whole foods – uncooked is even better – keep it simple, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, unprocessed meats
2) When buying processed foods, READ the ingredient label. Try to keep the ingredients down to under 5 items that you recognize and can pronounce.
3) No artificial sweeteners and dramatically reduced processed sugar. (this has been a challenge for my sweet tooth)
4) Healthy Oils use olive oil whenever possible. Eliminate margarine completely.
5) Eliminate white (potatoes, rice, bread, milk, yogurt, pasta, processed flour). For whatever reason, these items seem to prevent me from losing weight so I’ve cut them out as much as possible. I try my best to mainly eat whole grains for my carbs.
6) Drink mainly water.
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. Genesis 1:29
I have really found that nutrient dense foods have helped to eliminate cravings and keep me thinking less about food as I’m not as hungry as often. I did not anticipate this benefit, but am tremendously grateful for it.
I do have to say, that this hasn’t been an overnight change, but more of a small change this week, another small change next week. It has been a learning process about new foods that I have never tried – finding foods that I really dislike, but finding more that I am truly enjoying. The best health food grocery store around me is 1 hour away. But there is a small grocery store in my home town that carries many of the food basics that I eat now. I’ve been trying to use up the food that we already have in the house, and when I do have to buy produce and other new foods, I follow the list above. So in a very gradual process, our house is changing what we eat.
As a mother, I can tell you that I have struggled over the years in feeding our girls – I get how difficult this can be. I’ll admit it, I have food issues for a variety of reasons, and I’m trying to unlearn old bad habits and thoughts about food. Picky eaters can really throw this healthy eating plan off. A sweet friend of mine and I were just talking about children, and she told me that her daughter went through a month or so where she would only eat ice cream. It passed, as most childhood phases do, but the angst of a mother who can’t get her children to eat a healthy diet of good food can be quite painful. A counselor told me that my job is to provide the children with good, healthy food. It is their job to eat it. If I have done my job, I should not consider, because the kids didn’t eat what was provided, that somehow I had failed. But I got so tired of throwing out perfectly good plates of food! The wasted money and effort about did me in. Bring on the happy meals and throw in a hot fudge sundae for mom!
We are in a better place with food at our house now. We still have picky eaters. But I have been trying new recipes, making green smoothies, and seeking God’s guidance on how to eat well. He has provided us with food that is tasty, beneficial, healing, and satisfying. We even live in a place where food is easy to grow! One of the great legacies that my family has left to me is the know-how of how to grow my own food. My father and grandfather are/were tremendous gardeners. Although I don’t garden on their grand scale, I do have my own garden each year. Last year I tried lettuce for the first time. What a treat!
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; Isaiah 1:19
Our country is facing an epidemic of obesity. We’ve allowed the almighty dollar to hijack our food supply. The majority of the products that I see in the grocery store, I will not purchase. They are not beneficial to my health or to the health of my family members. We are poisoning our population for the sake of a profit. If we return to God’s ways, to God’s food, He heals us. I believe we have an obligation to teach the next generations how to cultivate their own food, so that they are not dependent on a food supply that is unhealthy to its core.
We also have an obligation to be good stewards of these temporary homes we call bodies. They came from dust and will return to dust. In our family’s switch to better food choices, we’re also taking better care of God’s world – His creation. We use less packaging, have less trash, and grow our own food. Buying locally grown food also eliminates transportation costs of shipping food to you. This is a win, win, win solution.
Father God, thank you for the bounty of good food that you provide for us. Teach me Lord to make excellent choices in the food that I prepare for our family. Help me to learn about new foods, about how to cook with them in a way that is pleasing to You and that will nourish our bodies for Your service. Thank You Lord for showing me a better way to bring glory to Your name. Amen.
Eat well. Live well for His glory. Be encouraged. Press on.