Saturday, September 15, 2012
Week Three: Skittles Do NOT Count as a Fruit Serving
This bothers me.
When I started this FOOD Fast, I thought that removing the items that I'm most addicted to would be enough for me to see a huge difference in the way that I felt about food. Not having my morning Pepsi and chocolate donut; refraining from an every other day taco run; abstaining from a nightly cocktail would rid my body of the hold that food has had in my life. Doing so, however, has just increased my awareness of every other bad thing that I consume on a daily basis.
I have friends who have transitioned their lives to full vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. These are good friends who I see on a weekly basis and I continually poke fun at their eating habits. You don't eat MEAT? Not even EGGS? Where do you get your protein?? How do you survive without Chick-Fil-A?? You un-American, YOU! I would now like to recant my ridicule. I do think there is a method to your madness. You won't see me giving up my double cheeseburgers cold turkey anytime soon, but I am now comprehending the error of my ways in the food department. Most of what we have eaten, even over the last three weeks so far has been processed, in a can, frozen foods, or something Hamburger Helper related. Chef-Boy-R-Dee is our best bud, yo! But in my relentless pursuit to view food as "nutrition" instead of a "social event", I am not satisfied anymore with what my family is consuming. All the soda, chocolate, pork, fast food, alcohol (only the tall people, guys. Don't dial CPS just yet!) aside, we are STILL not eating what we should. This fast has only begun the transformation that I want to make in our eating habits. I'm not wanting to jump off the deep end and go live in an agricultural commune and only consume organic foods from goats, cows, and chickens that make residence in our backyards, but something has got to change. I'm in the process of doing some research and coming up with practical solutions to integrate into our lives. I've started the book, In Defense of Food and it is starting to revolutionize my ideas about what nutrition means. The gist of the book: Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Our grandmas ate local meat and vegetables from their own gardens; we eat PopTarts and Velveeta. Over the course of a few generations, our foods have evolved and what we are left with now is food that has actually made us less healthy and considerably fatter. Four of the top ten causes of death in America today are chronic diseases with well-established links to our industrialized diets: coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. These health plagues remain rare in countries where people don't eat like we do.
One thought that has really stood out to me was made by Jen Hatmaker in her 7 book: We get to vote three times a day against this toxic food supply with our forks.
In the spirit of spiritual wisdom gained this week, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 has weighed heavy on me.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
I think week three has taught me two main things. One, I can say no to the things that I know are tearing my body down. I've done that by adhering to the seven food rules I've set up for myself. But beyond that, I have the ability to take it a step farther and choose what I do eat. I don't have to eat out of convenience. It takes a bit more planning and foresight and research, but each and every thing I put in my body either fuels it or tears it down. And God has given me the freedom to choose daily how I will honor Him with my body. The second thing that I've learned is conviction increases with knowledge. When I didn't know any better, just out of pure naivety, I didn't feel convicted about each and every little thing that I ate. The more I know, the more I research, the more I feel convicted about what I put in. It becomes not just about doing what is healthiest, but doing what I feel is right for me. ( I SAY for me, because just as I don't feel as if living the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle is right for ME, my friends feel as if it is right for THEM. God convicts everyone's heart differently about different things.) I feel like I have a responsibility now to my family, to myself, to make better choices.
James 4:17 says: So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.
It's about time for me to grow up and start looking at food as another opportunity that I have to make a difference. If I make better decisions for me, then I can be a good example to others about how to "honor God with my body". I'd like to be around as long as possible for my family and children in particular. This is another way that I can do that.