Clean Eating in a Regular Family
I cracked myself up the other day, as I often do. I’m usually grabbing my belly and slapping my knee as the guys just look at me in amusement. This time, though, I was by myself on the couch with my tea and my Shadow. I put my socks back on after rubbing Thieves on my feet and then dabbed a drop of lavender on my temples. I smelled so good from my head to my toes, literally! Knowing that I was using the highest quality essential oils to prevent illness and wind down for the night brought me such a sense of peace. My self-righteousness swelled as I reflected on how natural my methods were for health and restfulness. And then I reached for a brownie. Yes, a good-sized, processed, sugary brownie. And then I laughed.
About halfway through my favorite dessert, I realized the hypocrisy. I chose Young Living over other oil companies because of their Seed to Seal promise, and here I am stuffing my face with junk. After thoroughly enjoying my favorite dessert and thinking of how much I deserve a treat, I decided that the next day I would be more intentional about what I eat to reflect my desire for healthy choices.
The next morning I remembered something about my body being a temple of the Holy Spirit. After a quick google search, I found this promise. “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.” Paul reminds us of that in 1 Corinthians 6:19. So, I took some steps to treat it as such.
Clean eating is a term I’ve heard thrown around in the context of eating healthy, so I thought I’d find out what it is. You guys! Listen, clean eating is a common sense approach to eating that incorporates food from nature and limits processed foods. I’ve been using this clean eating website for lots of info and recipes. It’s not a diet, but a lifestyle. Here’s a quick look at clean eating:
Drink lots of water
Find time for three meals and two snacks
Eat fruits, vegetables, lean meat and dairy, and complex carbs
Avoid refined and processed foods
Remember how I was doing Weight Watchers? That was great, and it worked. I'd recommend the program to anyone needing accountability for a while. But I recently learned something. Calories in does not equal calories out. Our bodies weren’t made to ingest fake food. God has equipped our bodies with mechanisms to protect our internal organs when we eat artificial sweeteners and other things formed in labs. There's lots of science backing that up that you can find with a quick google search.
I wanted to tell you what I've been doing as a way to encourage you to remember that your body is truly a gift.
Find a way to drink more water. I'm not trying to be Michelle, I'm just saying it is an easy way to prevent sickness and stay healthy. We each have a water bottle that stays filled and in the fridge.
Eat a whole food with each meal. This is where we've made the biggest change. My boys LOVE waffles, so they still get whole grain waffles for breakfast, but they also get a fruit. Banana, pineapple, grapes, apples, whatever. After school snacks look different. It's now nuts and fruit or veggies. The boys can have their spicy chips if they want, but most often after snacking on cashews and carrots, they'll good to go. I've never been big on making dessert, which has always been hard for my husband since his mom always had a pie, cake, or bar ready to be served after dinner. But now, we eat dessert! And it's mandarin oranges with nuts and cream, or strawberries with pecans, or pineapple and yogurt.
Cut it out. Don't eat margarine, white rice, refined sugar, and white flour. Use butter when you have to, brown rice or quinoa instead of rice, try honey, maple syrup or turbinado sugar, and use whole wheat flour or buckwheat flour in baking.
Read the label. If I can't pronounce the ingredients, I don't buy the product. I used to have Morningstar Farms Chik patties about once a month. I forgot where I was after reading the ingredients that went into making one of those. If there's artificial sweetener or dye in the product, I look for another one. Lucky for us, there's plenty of competition for healthy snacks out there.
Like I told the cashier at the grocery store, with two teen boys, I'm not going to cut out all processed foods and snacks. My mom and dad would remind me that they are growing boys and they need their treats. But, I can offer my family healthy choices for meals and snacks and thank God for another day in this body. And you can too!
I'd love to hear your questions or testimonies about clean eating and healthy choices.