Friday, March 19, 2010

Food: An Amazing Gift from God

I mentioned in an earlier post that our family has been experiencing a lot of changes. One of the main changes is how we think about and consume food. At first thought it seems so strange the power that food has over humans. We battle with it, have love-hate relationships with it, it comforts us, it angers us, it makes us happy, it makes us sad. We try to act indifferent to it and then we keep coming back for more. Why can't we control it?? "IT'S JUST FOOD!" we cry. Really?? Just food?? Food: the very thing that sustains us day to day, that nourishes us, that we would die without. The need for food is one of very few things that every human on the planet has in common. So why the constant struggle?
I have a fair amount of nutrition knowledge. Since I was a teenager I have read about and studied nutrition and explored different schools of thought on nutrition and diet, but somehow, it just never all clicked. This would be evidenced by the constant fluctuation of my weight for a good 14 years. All of the sudden its like a light bulb came on and for the first time in my life I feel like I have a correct and healthy view of food.
First and foremost it is a perfect gift from God. In his creation he has provided for us all that we need and he created different foods for different purposes. They all add something to us nutritionally and in some cases even emotionally.
Never in history have a people had so many food options at their disposal every second of the day. At any time we can ingest a bag of artificially fruit-flavored gell filled things or maybe some genetically modified organisms masquarading as animal shaped, cheese flavored crackers. And what does that add to our bodies? Unfortunatly nothing is not the answer. The answer is a lot of bad if we are willing to be honest about it. And we know that the creators of these convenience foods didn't create them for our good, but rather for their bank accounts. The love of (and possibly need for) convenience has led us to abuse the very thing that keeps us alive, not to mention help add to our obesity problems.
When we think of food as a gift, as something that is meant to make us better, we hardly have a choice but to love it, respect it and most of all enjoy it!
I wish I had a before and after picture of our pantry. My friends who have seen it before and after actually laughed. Last year I was in stock up on all of the free-by-coupon stuff. My pantry was overflowing (and I mean overflowing) with food that frankly, I would have never wanted to buy in the first place, and did nothing for my family's health. Now it is sparse with only the things that we want and make us feel better. All of this and we are all feeling a thousand times better, have loads more energy, and my husband and I have been consistently (and it seems to us inexplicably) losing weight. Why is it inexplicable? Because we are eating a lot of butter, cream, whole milk, whole grains, bread, meat, fruits and vegetables. Nope I am not lying...we are enjoying the things that God has blessed us with and not trying to satisfy ourselves with things that man has decided that they can make better. I get asked for specifics of our diet and how we eat and I will definitely post that soon. Right now I will leave you with some of the resources that helped us move in this direction and have helped us along as we seek to nourish our bodies and our children's bodies.
Food, Inc. This documentary is definitely eye-opening and a potential life-changer. I've encountered those who are afraid to watch it, but I highly encourage it.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon; This is a cookbook, but chock full of shocking information that goes against most of what we have been told about food. It's really the first piece of work I've read about nutrition that really makes sense to me in light of my view of God. And let me go on the record--she and I are not on the same page when it comes to God and spirituality.
The Weston A. Price Foundation; Check it out. It's got a lot of invaluable information
Passionate Homemaking; This is a blog that I began following over a year ago and where I was first encouraged to really consider the benefits of a more natural diet. But she really does a good job of breaking down the pertinent information. It is full of ideas and resources.

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