Stopping and looking back at that sentence makes me smile and laugh. If my 25-year old self - or even 30-year old self - had been told that would be the case, I never would have believed it.
Slowly but surely over the past 10-ish years we have changed how we eat at our house. I am now a bread-baking, raw milk-drinker. We took baby steps along the way, changing little things here and there as we learned about them. But looking back now - comparing how we eat now to the way we did back then - wow...we've come a long way, baby.
I grew up eating perhaps slightly better than a Standard American Diet (SAD), because my mom stayed at home and prepared three meals a day for us. Thankfully, we seldom ate out, mainly because it was more expensive. But I certainly had my fair share of sugary cereals (my faves were Lucky Charms and Honey Combs!) and boxed and processed foods.
I knew absolutely nothing about cooking when I left my parents' house. And I mean NO-thing. True confession: I actually called my mom from my apartment when I boiled water for the first time to make sure I was doing it right. Not kidding.
So I embarked on my own and then the early part of our marriage relying very heavily on cans, jars, boxes and bags of processed foods. I thought I was doing a great job keeping us eating tasty food. That's just the way people eat...right? Why spend so much time creating meals from scratch when we have all these convenient ways to speed up meal prep?!?
Then in our late 20s, Jas and I both had some health issues crop up - relatively minor things, thankfully - but they were enough to get my antennae up about our health.
And then I came across the book The Maker's Diet. It totally opened my eyes to some nutrition and health facts and truths that I had simply never heard before.
And then when we were close to bringing our first child home (E!), it occurred to me that I had no idea how/what to feed a baby. So, being the researcher I am, I bought The Super Baby Food book and dove head first into this feeding-a-baby thing. But the book wasn't just about feeding babies, it was chock-full of general nutrition information also...and I just soaked it up.
And most recently - about 5 or 6 years ago now - I purchased a book that I just kept hearing and reading about at every turn: Nourishing Traditions. As I mentioned in this post, this cookbook/nutrition textbook rocked my world.
So why do I care so much about what we eat? Why does it matter?
1. I feel a great responsibility to properly take care of these precious children the Lord has entrusted to us. I want to do my best by them. And I want to teach them the hows and whys of nourishing their bodies so that they will be able to do it for themselves when they are no longer here in our house.
2. I am not trying to live forever, but I want my time here on earth to be robust and vigorous. I have a hubby and 5 (going on 6) precious kiddos to take care of, and I want to take care of them with vitality. The more I learn about nutrition, the more it becomes clear the connection between what we put into/onto our bodies and the diseases - physical and mental/emotional - that we accept as so commonplace today. Things ranging from cancers to heart disease to eczema to autism to infertility...to how my child can attend to his/her schoolwork...are impacted by diet. Someone in my family is impacted by bipolar disorder, and it is gut-wrenching and tragic to witness firsthand. The research that I've done convinces me that the situation could be greatly improved (if not cured) through diet change (but this falls on deaf/uninterested ears). Many more members of my family tree are/were on depression/anxiety medications. I have no desire to follow suit.
3. The Bible teaches us that we are to be good stewards of the body the Lord has given us.
I want very much to be a good steward, and this is closely tied to what I just said in #2. We discuss with our children how if we are in good health then we can devote our time/attention to the Lord's work...instead of focusing on our own health problems. I want to work heartily for the Lord, and not have my time sucked up into my own health woes/worries. He loved us so much that He gave His body for us...one simple way to thank Him is by taking care of the body He gave us.
Now I fully believe and accept that I cannot control every health problem with nutrition. My Noah's heart problems? Lily Kay's adrenal insufficiency? Not caused or cured by diet. AND, the Lord could - in His infinite wisdom and sovereignty - strike me with a heart attack tomorrow. And sometimes people who eat as healthy as possible die of cancer anyway. BUT, His sovereignty doesn't release me from my responsibility...and I want the Lord to find me doing everything I can do with the part that I do control.
I feel like I have taken a giant leap forward in what I know and do over the past few months. And the very unlikely (in my mind) source of this giant leap forward? Pinterest. I have carefully chosen who I "follow" and I get many fascinating and helpful pins in my feed everyday. I have seriously learned so much lately that has encouraged me to continue actually implementing what I'd learned in Nourishing Traditions.
Now I am the first to admit that I do not have all this figured out, and don't implement every thing I do know perfectly (that might have something to do with my unfortunate love for all things CFA and for DQ blizzards!). But I'm so excited about what I've been learning and I feel like I'm about to bust.
So, consider yourself warned: My excitement is likely to manifest itself by busting out in more blog posts about eating and living healthy!
(The Maker's Diet has made rounds to several of my friends in the last couple of months, but I have it back as of right now. If anyone would like to borrow it (or the other two books I mentioned), just let me know!)