I have received many questions about why we eat the way we do and requests for the more personal side of my story. Being of a more private personality, I have kept a lot of my story in the shadows of this blog with only little mentions here and there of the story behind it. I recently wanted to start answering your questions by sharing more personally. Because I have many topics and recipes I also want to share, I will give my story in fragments, but most of it will eventually be told here.
I find that there are many assumptions by others as to why someone chooses to eat healthy food. Many of those assumptions are untrue, at least for us. Today, I wanted to share two of the main reasons I care about what we eat. You may find them different than you thought, or perhaps you will find them similar to the reasons you yourself eat good food.
For many, the goal in eating well is a long, disease free life. For me, I hope that the way we eat promotes a long and healthy life, but that’s certainly not the main reason. My top reason is for the present…..for today.
Going through what I would label a “health crisis”, basically being completely worn down and exhausted, made me take what I eat seriously. On that still ongoing journey of healing, resting and rejuvenating my body I found that eating a very clean diet, made me feel refreshed, gave me more energy, increased my sense of well being and helped me fulfill my responsibilities. I’ve noticed the same with my family. When I am diligent in giving them a well balanced, produce filled, protein and bone broth rich diet, our daily quality of life is better in sometimes small, but certainly tangible ways. Even my four year old craves certain healthy foods if we fall off the bandwagon for too long.
I like feeling good today, who doesn’t?
When we are not eating a well balanced, nourishing diet, our energy and daily sense of well being and health is effected. My four year old starts acting up more, and even begins to deal with some yeast issues. So the primary reason we eat the way we do is for today. I like feeling good today, who doesn’t? So many times a person who doesn’t care about what they eat say, “ So and so is trying to live longer by eating healthy. But they could get hit by a car tomorrow and all of their efforts will go to waste”. I can’t help but shake my head sometimes at this logic for many reasons, but the primary reason is because if I get killed tomorrow, that’s okay. My efforts to eat well won’t be wasted because it made my quality of life, my ability to serve God by serving others, and the building of my children’s health for the days preceding better.
I think this is an important point to make and one that has weighed on my heart the last couple of months. Many of you will remember that my mother-in-law passed away last summer from cancer. It was a hard time for our family, though we were sustained by grace. The ongoing pain and sense of loss for my husband and my family has been the obvious focus. But a side issue that I had to deal with was the surprising number of people who felt like Sono’s death by cancer undermined her commitment to eating a healthy diet. “If Sono got cancer and died, then there is no hope for anyone!” was the thought process.
You see eating an local, organic, grass fed meat, raw milk, bone broth, produce filled diet was important to Sono. And she introduced many of us, including me, to Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions. You could even say that she was the inspiration for many families in eating well. So for her to not only get cancer, but to die from cancer was a death blow to the ideas she supported for many.
And with that, I realized that if I ever got cancer the same could happen for my readers here, at the Nourishing Gourmet. The thought and pressure that thought gave me discouraged me for a time. If sharing a way of eating put me in the position of never getting a disease- if I wanted my message to ring true- I didn’t think I could handle the pressure.
In the stress of everything, I even began to question myself. But my dear husband, with his rarely failing common sense asked me, “Do you really think that you or your children would be better off eating a junk food diet?”. No, of course not. The fruits of my labors in making our food from scratch and eating well were obvious in our lives today. Hopefully for tomorrow too, but we see the benefits certainly in the present.
So, readers of the Nourishing Gourmet, you mustn’t feel that my labors are wasted if I die in a car accident or eventually get cancer. As I share more of my story you will discover that eating a certain type of diet helped me feel like I got my life back to thrive in and enjoy. Any effort I have put into the way we eat, has been repaid in full already.
As a side note, as I have read about cancer prevention, I’ve become more and more convinced that simply eating well may not be enough for most of us to prevent cancer. Our food is certainly not the only toxin present for our world is toxic. Stress is toxic. Our water is toxic, our air is toxic and our lifestyles our often toxic. Even our” pure”, organic food is imperfect. A course of eating very particular foods (and which foods those are differs according to who you ask) as well a regime of cleansing and fixing any deficiencies and reducing stress are just a few of the things needed to have a higher rate of preventing cancer. A book that I have found very interesting on the topic is Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer–And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place. I do think that there is hope in this area, both for treatment and prevention. But simply eating a whole foods, pure diet is only one of many factors. And, we do live in an imperfect world, regardless of our efforts.
For the Health of my Children
The second reason my husband and I eat healthy food is for the future of our children (so no, it’s not just for today sake’s). I hope that the nutrient rich foods I feed myself and my husband preconception, during pregnancy and nursing, and then feed my children as they grow gives them sturdy little bodies and a keen minds. I do believe that the food we eat makes a difference in this area. We do live in a fallen, toxic world and we certainly can not prevent everything (that’s where our faith in a sovereign God holds us together spiritually), but I believe our children our better off because of the nutrient rich diet I seek to feed them and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.
So there you have it, two main reasons I cook the way I do. I am so thankful to have discovered the difference good food makes in my life and the life of my family. While I certainly can be frustrated at times that our health isn’t always perfect, I feel full of gratitude for the difference it has made for me and my family already.
What about you? Why are you interested in eating well?