Saturday, October 31, 2009

Getting Started

It's overwhelming to switch to a whole foods diet, so for those of you who don't like to read or don't have time to read, here are some easy steps you can take to move toward a whole foods diet. Whole foods are prepared and consumed in a state that does not chemically alter, thereby compromising, their nutritional value.

Instead of vegetable oil, use extra virgin first-cold-pressed olive oil or coconut oil.

Instead of butter imitations (margarine, etc.), use real organic butter.

Instead of products containing corn syrup or sugar, use natural products (i.e. Smucker's natural peanut butter, Polaner all-fruit jelly, real maple syrup).

Instead of white and brown sugar, use raw honey or real maple syrup to sweeten foods.

Instead of canned fruits and vegetables, eat fresh or frozen (without extra ingredients).

Instead of white rice, use brown rice or quinoa.

Instead of store-bought grain/bread products, make homemade or buy brands such as Ezekiel. (Ezekiel brand makes breads, pastas, and more.) This can be the most overwhelming part, so I'll tackle this one in a separate post. In the beginning, it's easiest to just minimize or avoid grains for a while. It's a good de-tox anyway from all the white flour products you've eaten in the past.

Instead of unhealthy salad dressings, use Annie's Naturals or homemade (whisk a little garlic salt and vinegar into olive oil).

Instead of pasteurized beverages (milk, juice, etc.), buy raw or natural substitutes or drink water. We pretty much drink only water and kombucha at our house. I use coconut milk or almond milk for baking, but in some states, it's legal to have raw milk. Fruit juice takes all the sweet stuff out and leaves a lot of the healthy stuff behind, giving you just another way to keep your "sweets high" going. Even if it's an all-natural juice (i.e. oranges with pulp), it's still pasteurized which kills nutrients and provides the consumer with several servings of fruit in one sitting, which is not healthy. Whole fruits are so much healthier!

Most products that come in a box, can, or bag or not healthy, although there are more and more products coming out that are decent. We like to keep some natural canned soups on hand (from health stores) for Sunday afternoons or emergencies. Just because something says "natural" or "organic" does not make it healthy though, so use caution and common sense. Organic macaroni and cheese in a box just can't be healthy, can it? :)

There are some healthy, canned foods: tomato products (sauce, paste, diced, etc.), beans, and some others that can be found usually in health food stores. Check labels of course. Usually if the tomato products or beans say "organic," the ingredients are pretty good, but sometimes you can even find generic ones that are good enough.

Any questions? I'm not a health expert, but I believe God created foods for our benefit and not for our harm. We can go to the Bible for answers to anything - even what is best for our bodies! God is for us!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Purpose of this Blog

"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand...

"Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

"Therefore, let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food." Romans 14

The purpose of this blog:
1. Bring glory to God by serving Jesus.
2. Speak love - not judgment - to unify the body of Christ.
3. Offer practical tips and recipes for healthy eating.

There are many believers who eat healthy and sit in judgment on those who don't. Although they often claim to be accepting, the reality for many is quite different. (I've been among them.) There are also believers sitting in judgment on those who eat healthy, thinking that it's a waste of time and money when there are eternal matters at stake. This, too, often goes unspoken.

Both of these attitudes lead to disunity in the Church. That's why I want to make it very clear that this blog is not about telling people what they "should" eat. This blog is for the person who is curious about healthy eating or would like some new recipes.

Reasons we eat an organic, whole foods diet:
1. Relief from previous health issues.
2. Decreased illness and length/severity of illness.
3. Less time at the doctor's office.
4. Increased self-control in other areas.
5. Decreased risk of disease and cancer.
6. Free from sugar addiction.

The danger that it poses though is becoming legalistic or conceited about healthy eating. I must always keep this in check. I would rather eat a piece of cake made of white flour, sugar, and vegetable oil than cause someone to misunderstand Jesus.

I do not love health; I love Jesus. I want to make wise decisions for my family, while at the same time loving people to Jesus by accepting them just as they are - healthy or not.