Nov 4, 2010

Nutrition...Ideal or Idol? Part 1

Moms are daily bombarded with decisions about their family's health...and the choices range from fish sticks to flaxseed!

How to choose????

This is the first of a series of posts for all my health-conscious friends who have struggled, as I have, to find balance and realism in the world of food and nutrition...

But I don't want to even touch the "information" side of this topic. There is SO much available already!

Imagine you do a google search for agave nectar, or omega-3s, or protein...or whatever. And then imagine the amount of information available...

…kind of like an anvil falling on your head, like in old-fashioned cartoons!

Instead, I want to deal with the principles that should guide us as we read, research, exchange ideas, cook, and eat.

Balance comes when we're guided by internal principles. If you don't have solid principles intact, you will end up being swayed all over the place, in all kinds of crazy directions. You will lack a sense of control over what's happening!

I certainly have been all over the first I want to start with my own story.

I first began my health quest seven years ago. I had stopped in a health food store to browse and picked up an all-natural eating/living book. It caught my attention because it linked health and living according to God's design. Sounded good to me. I wanted to follow God, and it seemed like a good idea to find out if He had any suggestions about what I should eat!

I read the book cover to cover, read it again, then decided to give a try. It was multi-week plan all laid out, which started me out eating from a very limited list of organic foods (mostly veggies to begin with) as a cleanse. More and more foods were introduced over time. It was an experiment. I wanted to see if making significant changes in my eating habits could really help me feel better.

At the time, I was nannying two small children and attending school full-time in the evenings, so I was busy! I found, though, that I was easily waking at 5 a.m. to exercise and read/study, sleeping soundly, abounding in energy, and thinking with a clear head. Amazing! I thought I might always eat like that if I could feel so great!

The funny thing was how much opposition I got, just for trying it as a sort of experiment! I couldn't understand why, since it was a temporary fling of a diet of sorts. Now, thinking back, I'm guessing that people expected me to become an insane, obsessive, dogmatic fanatic or to become judgmental toward their own habits. They expected me to become a judgmental fanatic...because many people who eat nutritious food really can go over the edge and be...well, a bit judgmental, and a bit fanatic too.

Within a year, I got married. Within another year, I had my first child. I felt the stakes were higher because I wanted to feed my daughter well, but we also had a tight budget to keep. I did the best I could to cook cheap meals at home that were healthy too, but I always felt guilty and ended up wandering through the organic section at the grocery store. Yes, I was a judgmental fanatic.

Except I couldn't even live up to my own standard.

You'll never guess what I did...I'll tell you in my next post!

Read Part 2 here.

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