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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Family Health: An Introduction

Sometimes I want to blog, but I don't know what the heck to blog about. So I was thinking through my "foundations", and along with Scripture and my family itself, one of my passions is health and nutrition. So I shall share with you my thoughts.

As my husband routinely needs to point out to me (passion sometimes borders on obsession), I am not a doctor. Some of the books I read are not written by MDs. Some of the people I consult have non-medically-credible licenses. But I just think that makes them more fascinating. But don't take my advice blindly. Talk to your own doctor.

Nutrition became a passion to me while I was pregnant with my second child. I had a new friend over, and she had me buy a huge book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. (that's right!...well, Dr. Dentist) Weston A. Price. Little did I know that there is a huge underground following of people who ascribe to the religion of Traditional Eating. Underground, because Traditional Eating goes completely against the "Diet Dictocrats" and the USDA. Religion, because some people literally put all of their faith in how they feed their bodies.

Most of us know a little better, thanks to the illumination of the Holy Spirit. We can't add a day to our life or a hair to our head. God is sovereignly in control of every part of our lives, no matter what we eat or don't eat. But this doesn't mean we can't exercise wisdom with how we nourish our families. It is our job, after all.

5 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks. (Prov 31)

So, armed with a bunch of new books and some Scripture to ponder, I began reading everything I could get my hands on concerning this traditional way of eating. I was fascinated by the notion that I could eat fat and protein and eggs and red meat and still be "healthy". Maybe even more "healthy". I read about diet's impact on pregnant women and growing children and even one's mood and immunity. I studied up on nutrients and vitamins and little components of food and how each one can impact one's physical and mental health.

Many times, I had to be reigned in my by exceedingly practical and cynical husband. He analyzes Big Things of the World for a profession, and he is fond of telling me that my information needs to be backed by data, research, and studies. One man's opinion, one woman's anecdote was not enough to convince him to spend $50 on a vat of expeller-pressed, extra-virgin organic coconut oil. And hell no, he would not use coconut oil in place of deodorant even if I backed up my findings with a peer-reviewed journal article.

In other words, he expects balance from me. He trusts me to feed and nourish the physical needs of our family, and I have to prove to be trustworthy. This includes keeping to the budget.

So I read new things, and I run them by him. I have to gear myself up for a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. I have to be really willing to defend my points, and if I am prepared and it is important enough to me, then the structure of how I nourish my family can slowly change.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to attempt a "series". There are a few cornerstones of our family's nutrition that I would love to share with you. There are some peripheral things that come and go. Let me know what you think. Ask me questions.

We could even set up a Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Up first: Breakfast.


Kessie said...

Well, hey, since your sewing machine broke, you've been reduced to actually blogging about stuff! It's kind of nice!

I've read some health food books (like that one about the Maker's Diet RX whatever it was, about eating only foods from the Bible). I'm a proponent of probiotics and vitamins and eating healthy.

But opposed to that is a very, very small grocery budget. I can't afford to buy organic produce and wheat and canned goods and what ever else. I have to keep us reasonably fed on a shoestring, and if I can cram any fruits and vegetables in there at all, I'm happy.

So, while I agree on principle with health food in general, I have to disagree in practice because I just can't afford it.

Jennifer said...

I know that you grow some of your own produce, though..prob not at your place, but at your mom's. Plus, supplements are not a cornerstone of better eating. Food is. The cool thing about a traditional diet is that processed stuff usually takes up more money than real food. The eggs you have access to are a treasure- the epitome of good food. Interestingly, fruits and vegetables are not as emphasized in this way of eating as one might think. Fruits are a periphery food, but veggies are encouraged more. Coconut milk is really cheap, and is a great source of fat. You can add it to rice or smoothies. Don't worry about buying organic produce. Get some good meat, plenty of beans, eggs, and some veggies. If you wash the produce from Grocery Outlet or FoodsCo well, it is just as good for you than the "organic" stuff. You are amazing at prepping your own canned goods and baking your own breads and other things from scratch, so I can't see how you could improve on your domestic skills! I love reading what is coming out of your kitchen. thanks for the comment!


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