Reader Question: A Family Journey

by Ashley on August 1, 2011

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I have to tell you that I absolutely love your blog. I can tell that healthy living and nutrition is your passion, and you’re extremely inspiring! Our unhealthy lifestyle of fast food, “home cooked” tacos, and a lack of exercise has weighed heavy on my shoulders lately. I am desperate to change our lifestyle, but it seems so overwhelmingly hard, expensive, and challenging. I think I keep doubting myself because I have started so many “diets” and ended them before the day was out. Sad but true. How does one get started on this new journey as a family? 

Hi Reader!  Thank you so much for your question.  I love your question so much because it shows directly the woman that you are: compassionate, eager, and always striving to do what is best for your family.  Please know that because of this, you can conquer any unhealthy habits that your family has developed and also that you can find success at a time when you feel so defeated.

Proverbs 21:14-15 reads…

She is like the merchant ships,

bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark;

she provides food for her family

and portions for her servant girls.

As a woman and especially as a wife and a mother, it is our responsibility to feed our families food that will only aid in their success.  It’s up to us to go the extra mile to ensure that our loved ones are properly fueled.  Temptation and convenience are everywhere but we must not forget that there is no cheating the system: what we put in our bodies is what we are going to get out.  It’s just like anything in life.  If we put the hard work in early, doesn’t it always pay off?  The same goes with our health.  The Proverbs 31 woman brought her food in from afar, even if it meant more work for her.  Even if she had to pay more for this food or wake up a few hours earlier, it was worth it to her because her family mattered most.

Children are like sponges (you know this:-)), and just like anything in thier lives, it’s important to teach them and to help them develop healthy eating habits early in life: there is no such thing as too young. They will always thank you later.  What a blessing and favor you will be giving your child throughout their life: the gift of good health.  Is there anything better?  I’m sure if nothing more in life you always want to do whatever you can to make sure that your child feels not only good, but great, and by giving him the gift of nutirion you will be giving him that and so much more.

I always here expecting moms say, “I don’t care what they are, just as long as they’re healthy.” in response to, “Are you hoping for a boy or a girl!?”  So why once they come out into the world do we not do our best to keep them healthy then too?

So where do you start when you feel so defeated?

We must look at nutrition for what it is and nothing more: nutrition.  A food label with 9,872,435 ingredients isn’t nutrition but an apple is.  God has given us so many foods to fuel our bodies properly, however it’s up to us to put them in our bodies.  We have to do what we know we need to do.

Daniel 1:11-15 reads…

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the cheif official for permission not to defile himslef this way.   Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink.  Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water yo drink.  Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreeed to this and tested them for ten days.

At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.

We see here that it’s the food that God gave us, i.e. the vegetables that will give us lifelong health and not anything else, no matter what someone tells us.

Here are a few helpful tips to hopefully get you and your family closer to where you want to be:

  • Rid your pantry and refridgerator of any food with words on the label that you can’t pronounce and preferably if it has more than 5 ingredients.  These aren’t foods at all and will bring harm to your family, not health.
  • Plan, plan, plan.  You know the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  Keep healthy options in your refrigerator at alllllll times.  Here are some ideas: chopped raw veggies (carrots, celery, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli), hummus, diced fruit (apples, grapes, oranges), nuts (raw almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts), natural nut butters, etc.
  • Also keep things in your fridge so that you can throw a quick dinner together: beans (black, garbonzoe, kidney), quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc.
  • Keep healthy snacks on you at all times.  Always be prepared on the road, anything sold in a fast food joint or at a gas station probably isn’t food at all.
  • And last, I cannot stress the importance of this enough: rid your house of soda, this stuff is POISON and damaging our health more than we know (diet sodas too!)! One can of coke has around 38-40 carbohydrates: a typical healthy person eats 45-60 carbs per meal.  That means one soda has 5 grams of carbohydrates less than an average meal! Not to mention the 9 teaspoons of sugar in every can.  No one would ever eat 9 teaspoons of sugar in one sitting; like I said, poison and please, please, please, if you do nothing more, keep this away from your children.  It honestly hurts me (on a very deep level) to see people pour this in their bodies, dramatic maybe but honesty for sure.
  • And always remember, you care about your family’s health probably more than anyone else, if you are not giving them the best, no one is.
I pray that this helps you.  Please never forget that you can do anything you put your mind to.  Change doesn’t happen over night, trust me, I am still working everyday to do better, but it just takes time, practice, dedication, and trust in not only yourself, that you can do it, but in God too, that He will help guide you to where you need to be.  Be a role model for those around you, like your fiends with families too, show them your dedication to your family’s health and nutrition and I promise you, they will take note, and you could possible change their lives too!  What an awesome thing!
Lindsey August 3, 2011 at 11:47 am

Thank you so much, Ash! This is so helpful and puts things into a new perspective. Thanks for sharing your insight with us daily, and thank you for responding so quickly!

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