It’s been on my radar for several weeks, but after some reading, I’m leaning toward a new resolution, one week into the new year: thinking less about eating healthy.
Not because we’re obscenely healthy. We’re not. We had a round of the stomach bug over Christmas (fortunately, not all of us and not at full strength. Praise be to Jesus). But I think I will be healthier if healthy eating takes a back burner. I’m not looking to change what and how we eat. I’m changing the way I think about what we eat.
I’m done with the cringing when we’re presented with a smorgasboard filled with foods we avoid. I’m finished dreading the day-after effects of eating the things that I know wreck havoc on our digestion. I’m throwing away the guilt of a Chick-fil-A date and my grandmother’s noodles
The problem comes when I think about it too much. When I begin to believe that what I eat not just effects me but controls me. When I believe that I can control my universe by what I put on the table I’ve made a new god, one in the image of a plate
Because I can’t. Even if I, and 7 generations after me, eats deliciously healthy meals and avoids McDonald’s at all costs, no one writes a cancer-free guarantee. Intellectually, I’ve always known this. In practice, I hate admitting it.
So here’s what I know: I love where we are. We eat lots of very healthy, sometimes organic, whole food. My kids eat variety. My goal for this year is to begin to eliminate grocery store chicken from the diet and get the real thing – pasture raised, bug-eating birds along with grass fed beef. (We’ll have to eat less of it – it’s too expensive to get huge chunks of meat).
Through our journey we’ve discovered the extent what we eat effects how we feel, think and act. For instance: a bowl of ice cream sends my son into screaming fits. So, we probably won’t be re-instituting DQ runs any time soon. We won’t return to a grain-filled diet. I’ll keep with the rice and the rice pastas if we need a quick meal. Sandwiches and grocery-store bread won’t be in stock. If bread appears, it’s the real thing – the stuff that will will go stale in days if not consumed or frozen.
I’ve told myself over and over again that I want to raise my kids believing that food is inherently good. God created it and said so. I don’t want them to fear it. However, I want them to be mindful eaters, to know where the food comes from. I want them to be grateful for what comes to the table, aware that we find ourselves in a place of privilege in this world when it comes to access to food. I want them to believe it’s only to be expected that the food we enjoy comes to us fairly and that those who help bring it to us are treated in ways that we want to be treated.
I want to live by – and teach – listening to our bodies, not just in want we crave, but in how we feel in response to our decisions.
So here’s to a life of good eating. For us, it’s filled with meals that lack processed foods, breads, pastas and dairy products. But that’s not the definition of good eating. Good eating makes us feel good about how it tastes, how it makes us feel and how it got to the table. If we succeed a majority of the time, then we’ll be eating like kings.