OUR DOMESTIC CHURCH

Food for thought and health

Lately I’ve been making my husband and children a little nervous. They are concerned that at this late stage in my life I am turning into a hippy. Or at least that’s the way they see it. You see I’ve spent the last few months making changes to both the way we eat and the way we deal with the small bumps and bruises, sniffles and snuffles of daily life.    
                                                                                                   
Yes, I’m going organic.

This does not mean that I have suddenly become a card carrying member of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). There are no vegetarians in my house, nor will there ever be I’m sure. It’s a healthy lifestyle and all that but my husband is a confirmed carnivore and I can take changing his diet only so far if I want to avoid an all- out revolution in my home. Some things are sacred and in his mind his Sunday morning bacon is one of those things.

Like many women, I plan for, shop and cook all of the meals in our home. I am also in charge of ordering the pizza on the days when none of the planning, shopping and cooking happens. So I feel a great responsibility that the food I give my family helps rather than hurts them.  The kind of food that is available to us in grocery stores over the last generation has widened greatly but I’m not always sure that is a good thing. Is it a good thing to eat out of season fruit that has been making its way toward you for weeks from places thousands of miles away? Is it a good thing to rip open a box and use food that is more chemical preservative than actual food?  

In the Book of Genesis God entrusts all of creation to the man and woman.  Essentially to all of us. He gave us an earth full of resources which were designed to work with our bodies to produce good health in abundance.  Instead, in the name of big business, we have manufactured our food to the point that it does the opposite. It might be cheaper and easier but it isn’t really better for us. We are a society that is sicker, heavier and less mobile than generations past and we can probably attribute a lot of that to the way we eat.  

This isn’t a column about dieting. I’m still chubby. This is the time of year that people make all those resolutions about dieting and if you are one of those people (I am) go for it and God bless you. An organic or more natural foods diet isn’t really lower in calories; butter after all is natural, but it will fill you up quicker and since the nutrients are more present in your food you will feel better. So in theory it will be easier to take the flight of stairs or get off the couch and go for a walk.  
This is less about weight loss and more about knowing what is going into your body. God intended for us to use the earth. It is helpful to both the local economy and our digestion to use what is produced locally here on Long Island and even a little further afield.  I recently joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) whereby I pay a fee and receive a share in the harvest of a Long Island farm. Every week during the season I will receive a delivery of fresh produce. The challenge will be to make something out of that which my family will enjoy eating without dowsing it in a pasteurized cheese product.  But I am up for the challenge. I want to give my children the gift of God’s plan for their bodies by encouraging them to eat what is available from the earth as often as possible.

This fall we purchased a share in a grass fed cow and had it butchered. The meat is delicious and it was fairly local having been raised on a farm in Pennsylvania. This keeps a small business in operation and provides good nutrition for my family.

I want you to know, so as to make a full disclosure, there are Oreos in my cupboard. It’s a process. However the small changes I’ve made so far have been helpful in keeping us healthy in this cold and flu season. Good vitamins for everyone and lots of fruit and vegetables in season; fats and sweets in smaller doses and cooking more from scratch. Hopefully this way our bodies can become more like the temples that God planned for us and He can bless our efforts to live a healthy life. And if I became skinny in the process, well, I wouldn’t hate that either.