Nutrition- what a loaded word! Since beginning my quest for true health this word has taken on many forms depending upon whose blog I’m reading, which website I'm exploring, or what documentary I'm viewing. Talk about overwhelming. One page reads the negative effects of dairy while the other reads its important health benefits… ALL with scientific backing! Omg! I'm officially confused! However, one thing every blog, website or documentary has in common is the importance of VEGETABLES in the diet. Also, the proof that most of us aren't getting enough of the nutrients these incredible foods provide. Another consistency is the negative effects of gluten and excess sugar in our diets. So, what should we do with this information?
Nutrition can be an intimidating word to us moms. We do our best every day for our families but we often lack in the nourishment area because we have other things keeping us busy. Changing diapers, rocking babies, feeding constantly hungry toddlers, dropping off older kids at school, helping with homework, picking up toys for the 10th time before 9 AM. The list is endless. Who has time or energy to think about the sustenance in our foods? Of course, we all know our kiddos need an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables so we at least ATTEMPT that, but that aside it’s pretty much a crap shoot. We resort to processed meals and snacks for convenience. Fast food runs when we forget to pack lunches for our playdate. And when our kids are bugging us for a bag of Cheetos we eventually give in because we can’t take the nagging anymore!! Does this sound familiar? “Mom, can I have some Cheetos?” “Not right now, I’m making dinner.” “Can I have some Cheetos before dinner?” “No, dinner will be ready soon.” “But I’m really, hungry, can I just have a little bit of Cheetos?” “FINE!! Just get some Cheetos, but nothing else until dinner!!!” Then we think to ourselves, what just happened? I’ve been manipulated by my 3-year-old again!!!
Not even half a year ago, I was overwhelmed by thoughts of cleaning up my family’s diet. I knew that it was important to feed my family healthy meals and snacks and was trying my best, but I still had that lingering feeling in my gut (possibly even convictions) when I fed my family things I knew were not the best for them. I am all about balance and I prefer not to be an extremist in anything, but I was allowing our food choices to be full of junk rather than nutrients. Just recently, October to be exact, the Lord put it on my heart to pursue a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family. I feel He did this for a couple reasons. Although my husband has been incredibly blessed with a new heart, this also means that he is required to take quite a lot of medication including anti-rejection, blood pressure, and cholesterol, among others. These medicines can be hard on the body. There is not much we can do about the number of meds he needs, but we can do our part through nutrition. Another reason I believe God put this on my heart is to encourage others to develop healthier lifestyle habits for themselves and families. If we can change the way we see food, being for nourishment and not pleasure, we are more able to do the work the Lord is calling us to do. We can treat our body as a temple and leave the rest up to God.
I have always been one who begins something with a lot of passion, doing it for a short while, then going back to my old ways. But this felt different. It wasn’t me who decided to learn more about becoming healthier, it was God leading me to acquire more knowledge. He put the desire in my heart and led me to books, documentaries, others with wisdom, and most importantly HIS WORD!! Any time in the past I began eating healthier, I had done so for reasons such as weight loss, stomach issues, a beach vacation I had planned, etc. I had never looked at my eating habits as something I could do to bring glory to God. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 the Lord talks about our body as a temple and again in 1 Corinthians 10:31 the scripture reads “so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Our bodies are His to use for His glory. We cannot be the lights in this world He needs us to be if we are too run down on energy and sickness because we choose not to nourish ourselves properly.
For years, the Lord put it on my heart to rise in the morning to spend time with Him before the chaos of my day begins. Recently I have begun doing this and it has changed my walk with the Lord. I feel more in tune with the Holy Spirit and His guiding me. As He continues to lead me through my spiritual and health journey, He has opened the door for me to go to online school to become a Natural Health Practitioner with a focus on Certified Nutritional Counseling. He has brought people around me who are encouraging and supporting my desire to write this blog in hopes of encouraging others. And most importantly He has put a strong desire in my heart to spend quality time with Him each and every day!
Are you ready to make some changes in your health but are too overwhelmed?
Here are some baby steps to start the process of transforming you and your families health for long-term benefits…
1) Pray and spend time in the Word. Pray God gives you the strength and wisdom to make changes in your body and that of your families in order to bring glory to Him. Ask Him to guide you in peace and grace. True health is both spiritual and physical.
2) EAT MORE VEGGIES!!! Did you know that vegetables should take up about 70% of your daily food intake? This sounds extreme but it’s actually not so difficult to do, once you get the hang of it. If you follow Mom Matters Most blog you will be supplied with many ideas on how to include significant amounts of vegetables into every meal of the day! Every morning I start my day with Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie. This alone has changed my daily energy! You can find the recipe here… https://www.vitamix.com/Recipes/Glowing-Green-Smoothie/C-Series/Variable-Speed/Classic-64-Ounce
3) Cut the GLUTEN! I know, I know, gluten is in just about EVERYTHING but it’s actually not too painful to replace. There are many delicious substitutes for your favorite gluten filled meals and snacks. Pasta, bread, cookies, cakes, everything! Stay tuned to future blog posts to learn more about my favorite gluten free alternatives.
4) Skim the SUGAR. Pay attention to the sugar count on everything, including organic packaged items. Did you know 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 teaspoon? Think about it like this …most kids love fruit snacks, right? Well, 1 pouch of Motts fruit snacks has 10 grams of sugar. Let’s do the math...10 grams = 2.5 TEASPOONS of sugar!! We might as well go get out our teaspoon, fill it up two and a half times and feed it to our toddler. I had no idea how much sugar was in such items until I did my research! Why is it important to limit sugar? Here are a few facts from the documentary “Fed Up” (highly recommended documentary)…
a. It’s incredibly addictive. In a recent study, 43 cocaine addicted laboratory rats were given the choice of cocaine or sugar water over a 15 day period. 40 out of 43 chose sugar.
b. Sugar is sugar. It can be disguised in many ways on a food label, but it’s all sugar. Sugar is hiding everywhere: cane sugar, beet sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, glucose. There are over 50 names for sugar.
c. This is the one we, as moms, should be most concerned with…In 1980 there were no cases of Type 2 Diabetes diagnosed (ages 8-19). In 2010 there were 57,638 (ages 8-19) cases diagnosed.
Don’t be afraid to start your health journey slowly. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a lifestyle change and we want it to last. It can be very overwhelming to try to make changes for the entire family all at once so start with YOU, MOM! Remember, you matter most. Your family needs you to be the best version of yourself so you can confidently make the best decisions for them as they depend on you.
My future blog posts will give ideas when shopping for vegetables, gluten replacements, and foods without insane amounts of sugar. Until then, begin to spiritually prepare for a lifestyle change that will benefit the entire family. We can do this, TOGETHER!!!
Kimberly Snyder making the Glowing Green Smoothie (GGS) http://kimberlysnyder.com/