Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beneficial

As I was fluttering around my kitchen this morning, packing some food Haydn can eat into a bag and pouring myself a glass of iced coffee, my eyes settled on two cards taped to the refrigerator. One of the cards is bright orange and contains a scripture that I pray over a woman I have never met. She is a prostitute in Haiti. I only know her first name, but I feel like I know her very well after praying over her for at least a year. Beside that card is a regular white index card. On it is written the following Bible verse:


Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23


It is a verse I have pondered often. I mean, really? EVERYTHING is permissible? This morning, I read the card while thinking about the foods I eat and how badly I want to be healthier and a better steward of this earth and my body.

And then came the epiphany. Standing on ceramic tile, hand on the door of a stainless steel fridge, cooler of okra, squash, and strawberries open beside me, I suddenly got it. I get how that verse works in relation to food. I love milk. I love ice cream. I know in my head that cow's milk was made for baby cows, not baby humans. Am I sinning by having a glass of milk?

No. I don't think I am. Milk is permissible. But is it beneficial to me? In small quantities, it probably is just fine. But eating ice cream out of the carton with a big spoon? I'm guessing that isn't beneficial. Convenience foods popped into the microwave? I won't be going to hell for eating them, but are they benefiting my body and mind in any way?

God has been prepping me for a personal food revolution. It started years ago when I was questioning God about our world filled with disease and disorder. I landed on a theory about nutrition, chemicals in our food, hormonal birth control, over-cleanliness. I decided humanity was becoming too unnatural. We have disconnected from the earth and, in return, she is disconnecting from us. Then Corey developed a shell fish allergy that made me reexamine what food does inside our bodies. I happened upon websites and books that told me proper nutrition would "cure" my ADHD. I watched friends turn vegetarian and then added supplements to my day. The more vitamins I have added, the better I continue to feel.

This past year, I began cooking more. I discovered that the more I ate my own foods the less I craved fast food and pre-packaged processed junk food. I read The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood and began reading Genesis and examining the food eaten pre-flood. My husband took a social justice class and educated me on the plight of tomato pickers in Florida. I had never considered how my food choices could be a stance for justice or a method of enslaving people around the world. A friend lent me Made to Crave. Then, another friend posted about Monsanto and I was appalled. I watched Food Matters and What's On My Plate. I began reading labels and cringing.

All of this came before Haydn's blood test and the results telling me he needed to be off of gluten, cow's milk, eggs and a handful of other foods. God was nudging me toward this moment all along. He is that kind of God. He makes a way in the wilderness. He provides all of the bricks you need to build your house on His firm foundation.

I am not where I want to be - where I want us to be. I am on the path though. Each day, I remember two phrases Natalie often repeated. "Onward and Upward," and "Baby Steps." I am not healthy yet. I still eat ice cream from the carton, but I eat less of it and I eat it less often. Last night, I used peppers and onions from a friend's garden and made a delectable dinner that contained zero meat. I am looking at the options before me and trying to make better choices. Maybe not the best choices, so far, but BETTER choices is a good place to start.


5 comments:

  1. Excellent! I'm hoping to "catch my breath", so to speak, and get some things prepared and in the freezer before school begins again. It's always much harder during that hectic time.

    You're doing great, and I love all the recipes you've been finding lately! Keep up the good work!

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  2. Heather, I've been reading your blog for awhile now (I'm very passionate about real food and my mom shared with me that she saw you were making changes via Facebook) and I just wanted to encourage you after reading this post. I, myself, have been on my own journey with food over the last few years and it's taking me on a path towards school to be a Health and Wellness Coach (someone who helps educate people on the food they eat, make better decisions, show them how to shop on a budget, explain how it affects their body, etc). It is so amazing to see the changes and sacrifices you are making for your son! I truly believe, 100% that we are what we eat and knowing where our food comes from is the beginning of that. It's not as simple as trusting a simple ingredient label anymore. It's a sad world we live in when we can't trust our government to put healthy items on the shelf, but God gives us brains for a reason and I really believe we just have to open our eyes. The information is there. Good luck, my friend!

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  3. EXACTLY!!! This is where I am right now and why I have been pursuing the McDougall Program and a plant based diet for some time now. I say "pursuing" because there has been a lot of downs and ups (changed that around on purpose, LOL!) Hang in there!

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  4. That's amazing that you can find and see God's grace in this.

    My folks who garden extensively and my lady friend, a mostly vegetarian, are influencing me to move toward whole foods. I'm looking forward to being able to grow much of my own once I move into a house with a yard. :)

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  5. Please teach me. I need to learn what I never knew and I'm at a place that I could set my son on a healthy path...

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