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Good Health Is A Choice

Do you believe your current state of health is within your control?

 

There are those who would say no. Diabetes runs in my family. High blood pressure runs in my family. Cancer runs in my family.

 

There are those who straddle the fence and think well….hereditary and genetic factor do contribute to my health but maybe I can do a little something.

 

And finally there are those who know that their health is in their hands.

 

Possessing good health is a choice. It is God’s desire that you be in good health and prosper even as your soul prospers. And while we pray many prayers for healing, it is His desire to keep us from sickness and disease.

 

He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”

Exodus 15:26

 

But it is up to us to choose. We cannot serve two masters.

 

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

 

And this includes choosing Him with our food choices. When it comes to food, will we serve the God of the Universe or the god of our taste buds? Click To Tweet

 

Every food choice we make either adds to or detracts from our health Click To Tweet; a deposit or withdrawal, an investment or a loss, an advancement of health or a reversal. There is no food neutral.

Honoring the temple is a choice. And when faced with options, we constantly have to weigh and choose.

 

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live Deuteronomy 30:19

 

Because my body is the temple where the Holy Spirit resides, I try to make choices that will honor my temple. But choosing well is not always easy. But the Lord is faithful. He’s given me a system that I can commit to and seems to work well for me. I have a smoothie for breakfast (sometimes I have oatmeal if I’m going to have an intense workout); I have salad for lunch and a well-balanced, nutrient dense dinner. But there are times when I don’t choose well. I’ve given myself a little wiggle room purely for indulgence. I follow the 85/15 rule. 85% of the time I attempt to eat clean, nourishing whole food and the other 15% well….And even in granting myself that grace, I try not to overdo it. I’ve also come to know the importance of identifying and heading off triggers for eating poorly. If I’m stressed, overwhelmed or haven’t eaten and go to a place where unhealthy food is being served I’m apt to slip. That’s why we have to be proactive in warding off the slips by knowing our triggers.

 

And guess what? Last night I slipped. I ate 3 chocolate chip cookies. That was a huge indulgence for me. And I know why I ate them. It was totally a case of emotional eating. I was tired, not feeling well and just wanted comfort. Oh friends, that I would turn to CHRIST not cookies for comfort the next time. We can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength if we just look to Him.

 

Having the right information is just one step in helping you make better choices. Check out these posts for tips on choosing the right foods:

 

Healthy Eating On The Go

Get Them To Eat Right

10 Keys Eating Right

 

Coupled with the right information is then exercising our will and making the right choice.

 

“Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.”

~Alfred A. Montapert

 

I stand here in your RaRa section, cheering you on as you choose well. Good health is a choice.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

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Healthy Kids Lunches

Tater Tots

 

Fries steamed in a plastic bag with wholes in it

 

Rubbery hamburger

 

Beefy Mac

 

Sloppy Joe

 

Pizza

 

Fruit cups

 

Cardboard tasting chocolate milk

 

This is what I remember about school lunch. Then in high school I moved with my vegan father and began packing my lunches daily. Tempeh sandwiches and wraps became my new favs.

 

back to school lunch bags

 

When I had just 2 children, their lunches were Pinterest worthy. They had bento boxes laden with artfully decorated food.  I used molds, animal toothpicks and cutters. Well, 3 children later, I’m just looking to get something healthy in their bags that they won’t throw away. For more on getting kids to eat right, check out one of my most popular posts by CLICKING HERE.

 

So PBJ’s aside, here are some of my go to healthy kids lunches for my tribe of 5.

 

Beverages are limited to water and rarely chocolate almond milk. I used to give 100% organic juice but stopped that to cut down on sugar.

 

Burritos

Leftover Chipotle At Home comes together in a tortilla for a quick and easy lunch.

 

Burrtios

 

 

Pita pizza

I always keep whole wheat pitas in the freezer. This is a lunch the children can make and pack themselves.

 

Pasta salad

Make one big bowl and the family can eat this for a few days. The variations are endless. HERE is an easy one that my children enjoy.

 

Corn muffins w/ string cheese & carrot sticks

Use THIS vegan Corn Muffin Recipe

 

Taco Salad

I can remix this from some of the above Chipotle At Home ingredients. Or you can try THIS recipe.

 

Side Bites

Fruit

Mini cucumbers

Carrot sticks

Cherry tomatoes

Hummus

Nuts

 

Snack

Make THESE healthy bars to replace sugary granola bars

Popcorn

 

 

I’m always looking for inspiration. What are some of your favorite healthy kids lunches?

 

IMG_1770

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Eating Clean On Vacation

Last week I took a 9 hour road trip and I’ve got another coming up soon. Highway rest stop are a bane to the clean eating lifestyle, so what is one to do?

 

Proper Preparation Prevents Pitfalls

 

For the road trip and during my vacation I commit to not falling off the wagon. I do grant myself a cheat meal while on vacation but I try to limit that to one day. Vacationing is not a reason to scrap all the hard work and discipline I’ve invested. In fact, it’s all the more reason to continue honoring my temple through proper nourishment, rest and exercise. With the relaxed schedule of vacation and away from the pull of regular home commitments, I certainly have the time to devote to honoring my temple.

 

Tobin Bridge

On The Road

When on the road my mission is to get to my destination as quickly as possible. Minimizing stops allow me to do that and that also keeps me clear of the dozens of fast food joints along the way. Here’s what I pack for the road:

~Water

~Watermelon Juice (which I freeze as it starts to melt it gets slushy and is quite refreshing)

~Green Smoothie (made w/ coconut water to hydrate)

~Hummus

~Carrot Sticks

~Fruit

~Raw Revolution Bar

~Nuts

Watermelon juice

Raw-Revolution-Organic-Live-Food-Bar-Heavenly2

 

During My Stay

When on vacation, I nearly always select a property that has a kitchen. Most vacations I’m travelling with my children and this just makes it easier, healthier and more cost effective to feed this family of 7. Before we leave, I follow my usual practice of creating a meal plan and grocery list. Again, just because we are on vacation doesn’t mean we succumb to the trap of eating poorly. We do give the children at least one night of eating out otherwise it’s home cooking. And while that may be contrary to me “vacationing” and possibly getting away from kitchen duty, it’s a job I don’t mind carrying out. But it can be a little challenging, as I’m not in my own kitchen with FULL use of my kitchen tools, gadgets, spices and pantry. Again, this is where proper planning helps. When planning the menu, I streamline the offerings, selecting meals that are uncomplicated and require fewer ingredients. I stick to my smoothie or fruit & granola for breakfast, salads for lunch then a light dinner of soup and salad or salad and baked sweet potato. I even cook before I go and freeze meal then store them in thermal travel bags. Here’s what I pack ahead of time:

~Spices (Virtuous Living are the best because the blends truly season a whole dish. No need for bringing many spices)

~Himalayan Salt

~Pepper

~Garlic Powder

~Cumin

~Maple Syrup

~Olive Oil

~Homemade Granola

~Homemade Salad Dressing

~Freezer Meals (Chipotle At Home, Baked Pasta Dish)

~My Ninja (Ok this may be taking it too far but I normally use it everyday. There are times when I feel like it’s cumbersome and I worry about it getting broken and bumping around in the car. But it’s truly a member of the family so it has to come)

~Evolution Juices (When I don’t bring the Ninja)

Evolution

 

Also check out my post HEALTHY EATING ON THE GO

 

Following these tips will ensure you’re eating clean on vacation.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Eat Right All Summer Long

The cloying smell of burning coals finds its way to your nose. The intoxicating aroma draws you in. You begin to salivate as you can practically taste the offerings that will soon be delivered from the grill.

 

Even though I don’t eat most of the food generally served at cookouts, the smell of those coals still does something to me. So I’m here to share with you the tips I employ to choose well when attending summer gatherings.. The season is upon us. You are soon to be bombarded with cookout invitations, birthday parties, backyard get togethers and the like.

 

Charred meat. Saturated fat. Sugar. Alcohol.

 

Barbecue Ribs. Potato Salad. Macaroni Salad. Baked Beans. Punch. Cake. Soda.

 

This is just some of what you can expect to find at the next BBQ. Nonetheless, you will be duly equipped to choose well. I can still enjoy the food, fellowship and fun while making an active decision to choose well.

 

Tyra’s Tips for Choosing Well At Summer Gatherings

 

Be Sensitive To The Hostess

Who really wants to deal with an obnoxious, self-righteous food nazi? Nobody. So no need to make big public declaration about not eating those charred rib because of the carcinogens (just keep that info to yourself). As others enjoy their BBQ, don’t highlight the fat and sugar grams in each item they’ve consumed. I offer information if I’m specifically asked about my food choices.

 

Avoid Mayonnaise Laden Dishes

Aside from the fact that dairy based dishes don’t really hold well in the heat given it’s been sitting outside for a while, you may want to minimize the added saturated fat and calories of mayo based dishes, esp. if you are working on your beach body. Bathing suits and sundresses here I come.

 

 Watch The Sugar

With the soda and sweet treats that usually make an appearance at summer gathering, you may have to exercise some restraint. When chatting and socializing in hot weather, it’s easy to drink several sodas. Then top that off with some cake and popsicles and you’ve probably exceeded your recommended daily allowance of added sugar. Need a sweet treat? Reach for a slice of watermelon. Watermelon is highly alkaline and super hydrating.

 

Travel With Food

I’m infamous for traveling with my own food. Today, it’s pretty common to have a vegetarian, vegan or whole food eater in a group. But years ago it wasn’t so popular. And quite often people simply did not know how to accommodate my dietary choices and frankly I didn’t want to place that burden on them so I just travelled with my own food. Often, I’ll make sure I’ve eaten well before arriving at the event so that I will not be tempted by the cakes and chips. I also like to bring the hostess a dish. This always ensures that at a minimum I can eat the item I’ve brought. Below is one of my favorite summer items to bring. It is very adaptable and can easily be doubled or quadrupled to feed the masses.

 

Black Bean and Corn Salad

 

2 cups cooked black beans * (rinsed)

1 cup corn kernels

2 stalks scallions diced

½ sweet pepper diced

1 avocado cubed

1 tbsp olive oil

juice and zest of ½ lime

2 tbsp cilantro chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste

 

Toss all ingredients together. Chill for a few hours for flavors to combine.

Black Bean Salad

 

As stated, this recipe is very adaptable. Sometimes I make a sweet version by adding diced mango and 1 tbsp honey. I vary the color of the sweet pepper based on what I have in the fridge. I’ve added jalapeno if I want to little kick. I like to use raw corn shucked right off the cob but Trader Joe’s also has a good frozen roasted corn that would work well in this dish. Have fun with it.

 

For more on cooking beans and having them fresh and always readily available so you don’t have to use canned, click here.

 

You are now armed and ready to choose well when attend your next summer gathering. In fact, these tips can be used to eat right all summer long.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Choose Well

They were calling out to me. In all their hot, oily, salty splendor, those spuds hollered my name. Such was the case when I walked past that Five Guys Burgers and Fries joint. Yield not to temptation. Score one for team healthy!

 

I was chatting with some ladies in my Women’s Group and one asked how I stay so disciplined when it comes to my eating. As I described to her what I do when faced with a food choice, she summed it up quite well. She said, “So you do a lot of self-talk”. And that’s correct.

 

Honoring your temple is a choice. And when faced with options, I constantly have to weigh and choose.

 

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

 

Because my body is the temple where the Holy Spirit resides, I have to choose to honor my temple. And choosing well is not always easy. I’ve shared previously how I’ve devised a system that supports honoring my temple through proper nourishment. You can read more about how I choose well with:

Eating Right on the go

Getting Kids to Eat Right

 

I like to keep it interesting in the kitchen so I’m always concocting something that tantalizes the taste buds. But on the real, truth be told I love a few foods that do the opposite of honoring the temple. I LOVE coffee, pizza, macaroni and cheese and two of my absolute favorites are tiramisu and The Cheesecake Factory’s Banana Cream Cheesecake. One slice of that cheesecake has a whopping 930 calories, 36 grams of fat and 60 grams of sugar.

 

Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, on away from that cheesecake!

 

When I walk into my local Wegman’s grocery store to pick up a few items and haven’t eaten lunch yet, my eyes spot the mac and cheese. One whole hot bar station is full with different types of mac and cheese: traditional, blue cheese, chicken mac and cheese and more. Can I also mention here that the bakery is right near the hot food bar replete with pastries, cakes and cookies? The struggle is real folks! Nonetheless, I begin a dialogue with myself. It sounds a little something like this:

 

~Mmm that mac and cheese smells so good

 

~Don’t even look in that direction

 

~Hot cheesy melty goodness

 

~Seek out the vegetables

 

~A little won’t hurt

 

~Honor your temple and choose well

 

~Ch-a (that’s me sucking my teeth)

 

~Brown Rice veggie sushi roll w/ small side of Sichuan green beans

 

~You’ve chosen well daughter.

 

I’m sure you are confronted with similar choices every day all day. From the moment you wake up you have to decide, will you have:

 

~McDonald’s Medium McCafe Carmel Mocha 390 calories 14 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar. That one drink has your recommended sugar intake for 2 days!

 

~McDonald’s Bacon Egg and Cheese Bagel with egg whites because hey, you’re trying to save on some grams of cholesterol by choosing well with the egg whites yet it has 530 calories, one fourth of your total caloric intake for the day, 23 grams of fat, more than one-third of your daily value of fat and 1340 mg of sodium, more than half of your recommended value of salt for the day.

 

So with those two breakfast choices, one’s health account is overdrawn and checks are bouncing.

 

While you may not know or have readily available these nutritional facts before you consume food (though it is posted in McDonald’s) you should ask yourself, “Is this contributing to or detracting from my health?”

McDonald's Choices

And I’m sharing here not to point fingers or to make you feel bad. I’m sharing because I know from my personal experiences that it IS difficult to choose well. I do have one area where I am NOT so disciplined and that is with popcorn. See I had rationalized it was healthy so I could indulge but that indulgence went too far and I had to really examine myself. You can read more about that here. But I’m happy to report; I’m getting that under control. I will not be a slave to my urges. Yes, by the power of the Spirit at work in me I am a spirit-controlled self-disciplined individual.

 

A spirit-controlled individual is self-disciplined. As Believers we can discipline ourselves to attend worship service regularly, to serve regularly, to dial in to prayer calls regularly, to have daily quiet time, but when it comes to eating right and exercise…well, it can be challenging.

 

I know it’s difficult. But I also know that we can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength. Just like He strengthens me at this very moment to not go downstairs and get something sweet. I used to like to have a sweet little bite before going to bed but I had to end my attachment with that. Eating before bed interrupts your ability to fast overnight. That’s why the first meal of the day is called Breakfast because you are breaking your overnight fast. Eating before sleeping can cause insomnia, restless sleep, weight gain, and heartburn among other issues. I have eaten before bed and literally awoke feeling like I had a hangover. And I thought to myself, “Did that food ferment in my stomach?” I’m no doctor but that was my immediate thought.

 

So be empowered friends to choose well.

 

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19

 

Having the right information is just one step in helping you make better choices. When it comes to what you eat, some decisions may be clearly apparent, while others may be murky. To assist you when making better choices at the grocery store and at restaurants there is a fun quick read called Eat This Not That.

 

Coupled with the right information is then exercising our will and making the right choices. Will we choose to add to or to detract from our health? Every food decision we make is either a deposit or a withdrawal. There is no food shade of gray, just black or white, an investment or a loss, an advancement of health or a reversal.

 

“Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.” Alfred A. Montepert

 

I stand here, cheering you on as you choose well!

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired to Live Fully!

 

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Happy to connect with Dance With Jesus Fellowship Friday Grace and Truth

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I Don’t Have Time

I don’t have time.

 

I don’t have time to exercise. I don’t have time to prepare healthy meals. I don’t have time to get adequate rest.

 

I get it. Believe me, I really do. If anyone is short on time, it’s me. I have a tribe of five over here ages 11-2, a husband that works a gazillion hours a week, I work in ministry and my spiritual gift is exhortation so I just HAVE to make time to share a word of encouragement. Most of our family activity: school, work, church, recreation is 30 minutes one-way from our home. I get it. If anyone doesn’t have time it’s me.

 

But let me pull out one of my old hats for a minute. I used to be a certified facilitator for Franklin Covey’s What Matters Most. In this workshop participants acquire skills for effective time management, improved relationships and peace of mind. And what I learned from applying these principles is this: we are all given the SAME amount of time; we CHOOSE how we’ll use it.

 

Well the Word says something about utilizing our time:

 

Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead,

And Christ will give you light.”

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:14-17 NKJV

 

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,

Climb out of your coffins;

Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. Ephesians 5:11-17 The Message

 

So I venture to say we don’t have a time issue but a time management issue. I will go on to say as the scripture says, walk as WISE and redeem the time because the days are evil.  The time robbers are all around us: electronics, busyness, lack of focus, and the like.  You know them because they’ve crept up on you a time or two.  They tried to rob me too, but I resolve to redeem the time.

 

Time for devotions

Time for building relationships

Time for love and laughter

Time for exercise

Time for rest

Time for preparing healthy meals

 

I dare you, the next time you are watching TV, are on social media, watching a movie or talking on the phone, set a timer. If you do, you’ll find that you DO in fact have some time. Yes preparing healthy meals will take more time than microwaving a hot pocket or toaster strudel, but the investment in yourself is worth the time. Do I have hours to spend working out? No. But at a minimum I try to get in at least 30 minutes a day (except Sundays).

 

And if we don’t take the time now to foster those things that matter most, they’ll be at the mercy of that which matters least. If we don’t take the time now, relationships will wither. If we don’t take the time now to eat right and exercise we can put ourselves in a position of spending more time in the Dr.’s office and pharmacy line.

 

Time invested on the front end will yield huge dividends in the long run. Your relationships will be the better for it as well as your health. Your overall mind, body and spirit will be properly nourished with your investment of time.

 

My plea friends is to encourage not to discourage, to inspire not condemn.

 

In what areas do you need to redeem the time?

 

Next Wednesday I’ll be sharing some ways you can redeem the time in your kitchen so stay tuned. If you aren’t currently receiving these posts in your email inbox, please subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a thing.

 

Here’s an extra little nugget on redeeming the time.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Happy today to be connecting with friends @

Missional Women

Equipping Godly Women

 

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How to Get Them to Eat Right

He’s a picky eater.

Oh she’ll never eat that.

He doesn’t eat anything green.

 

I’ve heard parents say it all regarding their children’s food habits. I am persuaded that children can and will eat healthy foods. The onus is on the parent to know the way, show the way then go the way.

 

The home is a ministry center for nourishing the spirit, mind and the body. Just as we train them up to respect authority, to do well in school, to try their best in their extracurricular activities and the like, we have to train them to care for their health by consuming foods that nourish the body. It is our responsibility to point to way that leads them to eat right.

 

Train up a child in the way he should go,

And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

 

We can actually begin that training in utero. Flavors are actually transmitted through amniotic fluid. Flavors are also present in breast milk. So early on we can introduce our children to a wide variety of flavors. We can acclimate them to the tastes from different cultures and different cooking methods i.e. eating cooked foods and raw.

Joaquin green smoothie

2014-10-10 10.19.06

This Little guy is always snagging my green smoothies

 

Everything you present isn’t always going to be adopted right away. One of my children never liked oatmeal. But every time we had oatmeal she took 2 courtesy bites. Guess who loves oatmeal now? But she didn’t enjoy it until she was 9. And this morning we had oatmeal and she was the first one happily lapping it up. Studies suggest it takes 8-10 tries of something that one claims they do not like before it’s adopted.  And then some things, yes, they just won’t like.  And I’m ok with that.  I don’t eat potato salad and I don’t eat Okra.  But I try a bite every now and again…just in case my tastes have changed.

 

Oh how my heart is wrenched when I see parents who’ve adopted new eating habits yet let their children continue to consume unhealthy foods on a consistent basis. I believe the parents may be thinking the children just won’t eat healthy, they’ll never try it, I want peace, I don’t want to fight with them and similar lines of thinking. I know it’s hard Mom and Dad but we’ve got to be creative, diligent, persistent and insistent on helping our children eat right.

 

The way I eat now isn’t the way I was raised as a young child either. My favorite meal as a kid was Kraft macaroni and cheese with fried chicken wings and canned corn. My mother, bless her heart did the best she could with what she had. Besides she was the baby girl in her family and never learned to cook. But when we know better, God holds us accountable to do better.

 

For those that now desire a better way, God can redeem the time and restore the years that have already passed. Do you desire change but don’t know how to get your family on board? How to get them to eat right? Try these tips.

 

Invite them in the kitchen when you are preparing meals

 kids blend Ninja

chappati

 

kids eat collards

Let them help create the menu

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

 

Stock the fridge and pantry with nourishing foods

IMG_2177

fridge full produce

Well, when these are your options, you eat what’s here or go hungry

 

Let them choose one new item each week from the grocery store.

groceries

Take them to places that are rich in new food experiences

Dc Veg Fest

 

Kids Food Fest

 

Make healthier versions of stuff they like

Fries

granola bars

Serve food in the “make your own plate” style. This works well for Taco Bar, Baked Potato Bar, Tapas

chipotle at home

Teach them what a serving size looks like

 

Teach them to read food labels

Following are 2 examples of doing this with my children. A McDonald’s coupon booklet came in the mail and my daughter wanted the fries. I told her to look up the ingredients. Once she saw the list she said never mind. Another time she got a rice crispy treat from a school party. I told her to read the list of ingredients. She came across a few items that she couldn’t pronounce, including tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). This additive found in many packaged foods is a preservative and in high doses is a carcinogenic. In addition to food, it is used industrially as stabilizer to inhibit corrosion and is added to varnishes and lacquers. Needless to say we got a good laugh out of that one and she went on to eat the treat but hasn’t eaten one ever again. TBHQ and High Fructose Corn Syrup are now running jokes over here. Even my 6 year old reads the labels and if she sees sugar listed in the 1st 5 ingedients she’ll tell her siblings, “That’s not healthy!”

 

I know change is possible. The children of one of my friends would only eat pancakes for breakfast and chicken nuggets for dinner. That was their norm for several years. As God began to reveal a better plan to my friend, she slowly adopted new habits and it became a family affair.

 

Now I’m no health food Gestapo. My children do like pizza and ice cream. And I do let them indulge occasionally. Besides, they get enough junk from well meaning teachers, coaches, mentors, friends, and even the dry cleaner that they don’t need it at home too.  So as a baseline, we eat our food close to the way it looked when it grew.

 

At ages 10 & 9, my oldest children have gotten to the age where they are making many of their own food choices. At home, they are presented with healthy foods (with the occasional chips and cookies Daddy brings home. I love the guys but I swear sometimes I feel like he’s playing on the other team. Mommy’s offering raspberries and here comes Cookie Man, the hero to save the day). When at a friends house, church event, or family function, I simply remind them to choose well. I may also suggest to them to think about what they’ve already consumed that day and to choose well based on what nutrients or junk they’ve already put in.

 

Studies predict that for the first time in history, the next generation will have a shorter life span than their parents. And what makes that even more tragic is that the decline in life expectancy is primarily due to obesity related diseases that are largely preventable. Just as we desire to be in health and prosper even as our souls prosper, don’t we have that same desire for our children? If so, what are we doing today to make that a reality for our children?

 

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

 

Being a parent is tough and requires us to make tough decisions. But as a parent you make the tough decisions out of the love you have for your children. We cannot be too passive, tired, weary, or frustrated when it comes to parenting and helping them choose well in honoring the temple is included in that.

 

Oh how much easier it would be for me to cook a boxed starch already seasoned, take a protein and douse it in a ready made sauce, heat some frozen veggies and call everyone to the table for dinner? How much easier it would be for me to go through the drive through on the nights we have Boy Scouts because after dropping 3 of the 5 to school, taking another to pre-school then taking the baby with me to grocery shop at 2 different stores come home put groceries away, wash, dry, fold and put away 3 loads of laundry, clean a bathroom, make ministry phone calls, take back overdue library books, pick up dry cleaning, go back to the school for afternoon pickups, take the 30 minute drive back home to change clothes and quickly eat dinner before we take that same 30 minute drive back out to the Boy Scouts meeting….whew the drive thru would have been real convenient. And in a rare pinch I may have to make a run to Chipotle but that’s rare. True nourishment comes from the love I infuse into the fresh fruits, vegetable, legumes and whole grains my family noshes on.

 

The food I offer them each day is making an impression not only on their taste buds in the moment but is being coded in their brains. They are developing a preference for salt, fat and sugar. It is my prayer that they would desire foods that nourish and honor their bodies.

 

The Lord gave me a major revelation as related to the health of my children and their children to come. I was filling out some initial new patient forms, one of which was the family history. I went down the line checking off ailment after ailment that my mother, grandmother and other immediate family members have had. Diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, glaucoma, migraines, autoimmune disorders and more…CHECK. In that moment the Lord said, “The choices you make today will break the curse”. In the church we talk about breaking generational curses and the Lord was telling me how I could have a direct impact on breaking some of the health curses over my family. He said, “Choose well and your children won’t have to check some of these boxes and then their children will check even fewer.” Can we say PRAISE HIM for revelation!

 

So out of my love for them, even if they don’t like me for it now, I’m training them to choose well when it comes to food. Sure, they’d probably like some McDonald’s fries on a Friday night but when I think about the 17 ingredients in there…I just can’t. My goodness, shouldn’t it just be potatoes, salt and oil? And sure I feel for them when they are ostracized at school for having “weird” food but I just have to remind them and myself that we are set apart, a chosen generation, and a royal priesthood. We are a peculiar people and I pray that in taking this small stance with being proud of what’s in their lunchboxes, that it will lay the foundation for when they come up against even greater persecution.

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I am confident that you are nurturing your children’s mental, spiritual, social and emotional well being. So what can you do today to ensure that you are positively contributing to their physical well-being as related to the food they consume?

Eli loves veggies

I know…the big knife’s a danger to the little guy.  He just loves raw veggies and is always reaching in to grab some.

Disclaimer

{This was a hard post for me to write, as I wanted to be sensitive to each family’s background, preferences, dynamics, finances, beliefs about food, etc. There is so much that plays into our relationship with food. Out of obedience to God, I’ve written it exactly as He’s given it to me so I pray hearts are open and receptive as I share only from a place of love and concern.}

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!