Tuesday, December 3, 2013

12 Ways to Eat Well

Picture courtesy of the berry.com
Christmas is around the corner, and I am excited for its coming. This year we will have several of our children and grandchildren home with us.  It's a first for us to get to have some of our Grandchildren with us at Christmas; you know I can hardly wait. To me it is what makes the Holidays delightful; I am having to keep my enthusiasm and imagination reigned in to an even pace while I work on some delights for the Grandbabies (such happiness to think of it).  So as I work on my 12 days of Christmas, I thought I would set the pace with "12 Ways to Eat Well".

I love the little girl in the picture above. She is an expression of a part of my inner self. There have been times when I could truly sit down and eat an entire pack of Oreo cookies and a glass of milk at one setting. What can I say, its true. But there is also the other part of me that loves to gaze at, smell and eat whole grain bread, topped with sprouts and veggies, avocados and raw goat cheese. These two parts of me have always been there side by side since I was a little girl.

Fortunately, I have tamed my "inner little girl" above, (for the most part...smile). We have worked hard to develop the habit of eating well. We are not perfect, nor are we "Food Saints", but we do our best to try to eat well most of the time. We enjoy life, holidays,  special occasions without being hardcore or legalistic about food, but on the every day, normal routine, we "eat well".

Because we have struggled off and on in various ways with our health and weight, we have found over and over again, that what we eat affects the way we feel; Thus, we have had to change and adapt some of the ways that we eat.  It isn't easy to change the way you have always done something. Changing your life a step at a time can make it easier... do 1 or 2 new things until it is a habit, a part of your life, and then do the next thing.  I have come to think of the following list a little like a blue print for us.  It is also a helpful reminder for Holiday food preparation. I would like to share it with you.
 1. Eat and Be Thankful
This is step number one for us.   Living a thankful life honors the Father and brings forth joy, health and well-being.  Even todays scientist and psychologists have confirmed what the word of God has told us all along: When we are thankful, our life will go well with us. Our health will be better, our marriages will be better, our emotions will function positively.  Jesus gave thanks when there wasn't enough food to feed the multitudes and our Heavenly Father multiplied a few loaves and fishes into enough to feed 5000.  Jesus gave thanks at His last supper, because He trusted His Father with His life, even though he faced death, and our Heavenly Father resurrected Him.  Thankfulness reminds us to walk in humility (Deut. 8:10,11) and that our Father provides good things for us.  I personally think thankfulness changes our DNA.  I have no scientific proof about that, I just think when we are thankful, we change our heart, which changes our body chemistry and then our circumstances.

" And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."  Colossians 3:17

2.  Eat Real 
If I can't understand what is in the ingredient list of a food, it probably is not what I call "real" food. The commercial food industry has worked hard to turn good food into a creative way of profiting.  I don't have a problem making a profit, nothing wrong with that, but if profiting supersedes ethics, then I have a problem.  Science has done some weird things to our food  in order to make it last longer on the supermarket shelf, to make it look better, taste better, to help us loose weight, and to tempt us, and to addict us.  I just want to eat  real food don't you?

3.  Eat Fresh
Grow your own, or buy from your neighbors who grow their own, or buy from local farms that grow organically; Here is a really interesting link from Dr. Mercola about Walmart and its connection with obesity

4.  Eat Whole
Think "whole" when buying your food.  Especially for grains and sugars.  In America we have a problem with eating far too many carbohydrates and high glycemic foods.  Step one in helping this problem, is eating whole grains and whole foods, step two, is to reduce your consumption of high glycemic foods such as sugars and starches.  When we eat food in their "whole" state,  our body can assimilate the way it was created to.   It can be digested in a way that our insulin levels don't go haywire, and we can benefit from all the nutrients that are still intact to nourish and strengthen our bodies.... "the wholer the better".... is that are real word "wholer"?  I just made it up, but it works doesn't it?

 5. Eat Organic 
What we call "organic" these days, is what our parents or grandparents called "real food".  I have sometimes heard people balk at or get annoyed with the idea of organic food, but really, organic is just a new term for food that was grown, harvested and eaten for all of history up until about 30 years ago. This goes back to the "Eat Real" category.

 6.  Eat Homemade 
A busy life can take its toll on the quality of life that we live.  Eating homemade will take some prioritizing of your time, but it doesn't take long to build a habit of just making it homemade.  I have learned not to be afraid to try anything from scratch.... infact, my creative side enjoys the challenge.  I think we have been brain washed in this generation to think that we can't  do without some store-bought version of something premade for us.  But there is so much at our finger tips to try.  We live in a time in history where we can get anything from vanilla beans to coconut oil to grass fed beef to organic whole grains via the internet.  What a time and opportunity to learn how to make and create anything from scratch.  Making from scratch is becoming a trend that we are seeing more and more of and that tells me that the time is ripe to take a hold of a new way of life and not be chained  to the pre-packaged, pre-made food industry.  It isn't that hard to make it yourself... just begin and let that "giant of intimidation" fall.

 7.  Eat Healthy Oils and Fats 
Another way I have learned to improve our health and eat well, is using the best kinds of fats and oils.  Dr. Mercola offers a great explanation of them here: Link if you need some good info.  Most candy, snacks and fast food are cooked in or loaded with transfats... artery cloggers... among other things. Another good reason to eat homemade.

Fats we  use:
Coconut oil
Olive Oil
Organic Grass-fed Butter (get it raw if you can)
Organic Red Palm Oil
Palm Oil (not Palm Kernel Oil)
Cocoa Butter

 8.  Eat  Un-processed Sugars Instead of White Sugar
For example:
Coconut Sugar (low glycemic)
Coconut Syrup(low glycemic)
Honey: Raw, organic and local is best
Brown Rice Syrup

All of these have pluses and minuses, but all are better for you than white sugar or chemical sweeteners

 9.  Eat Less Sugar
This is one you will have to judge for yourself; are you a sugar junkie like me?  I have had to learn to reign it in.  Cut it down in your recipes... It is amazing how much sugar you can cut out of something and still have a very sweet treat.

 10. Eat What the Lord Has Given you
Often our cultural excesses have caused us to develop problems such as wheat allergies, milk allergies, various food intolerances etc. Experts will tell us the answer to this problem is that we shouldn't eat grains, dairy, eggs, butter or cooked foods; you name it, it has been through the list of "thou shalt nots".  It can really be confusing.  If you have food allergies, you do have to figure out how to eat differently; but let's also remember that these problems are relatively new problems in our culture.  Generally speaking, people have eaten these foods for hundreds of years without  problems. Perhaps there is another reason for the current food intolerances and food allergies.  Perhaps it is the excess in which we eat them, and how we eat them,  and how the  food industry has taken normal foods and turned them into "Franken Foods". Add to that, the many toxic additives in our atmosphere; even our cleaning products have changed in the last 20  years; our bodies are not able to cope and our immune systems wear down.

The Father brought the children of Israel into the land "flowing with milk and honey" and he told them that He gave them:

"...a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything;...." Deut. 8:8

 The foods in the list above were "whole" grains, "raw" dairy, "grass fed" animals and un processed sugars, as opposed to much of what we find in the grocery stores these days.  God gave us good foods. But if we are filling our body with counterfeits rather than what He has given us, our bodies will not be able to assimilate our food and our health will suffer.

Sometimes we have no other choice but to eat some of those things that are not so good.  Perhaps it is because of finances,  perhaps it is because of availability.  In our home, we have always tried to remember to be Thankful no matter what.  We eat what is put before us, but we set it in our hearts to pursue the better things that He intended for us.  In  due season, doors open,  He gives us ideas and provision how to find those good foods.

 11. Eat What You Enjoy and Enjoy What You Eat:
One of the hard things about changing your eating habits is often the idea that you might have to change your  habits to the degree of doing things that you and your family hate: Pretty soon you can hit burn out.  Nobody wants to carry on dreading their food.   There are several things we have done to prevent that.

      a. Transform your favorites into healthier versions by changing the original recipe ingredients to whole and organic meats veggies, grains, sweeteners and milk products and add raw and fresh where you can.
       b.   Enjoy yourselves once a week.  Eat your dessert, comfort food, etc once a week, it can be when you go to someone's house for dinner, or a family night together, what ever suits.

12. Eat "Power Foods" : For starters, add sprouts, yogurt and wild salmon to your diet. Instead of always saying what you can't have, think in terms of "how I can add these things in?"  I have found when I have added these in, I am building my confidence in eating better, while building my health, then I don't want to go back to the old way, because I am doing so well. 


  1. Care to share any grandchild fun you are working on? I would love to see what you're cooking up :-)

    Got your message about THM. Did ya know that they are on sale right now? I think today is the last day.

    I was looking for an email to write ya' but I didn't see one. Mine is on my blog if you would like to "visit" that way.

    Off to finish up Cheesy Garlic Biscuits for dinner. Oh my they smell soo good!

    p.s I loved your thoughts on eating well. We think alike ;-)

  2. Hello Pam, I have been on the very same food thoughts and ideas. I have been trying to do this by being very real and purposeful. I know what I like and I must remake so many of my favorites. Not using a lot of sugar, and changing to the better ones is where I am right now. I think this was a very good post and it has helped me so much. I think allowing yourself a free day once a week is a great idea! Blessings, Roxy

  3. I agree with Roxy, being real and purposeful sure does help. And a free day is even better. There is nothing wrong with eating what you love in moderation. I have been trying to pinpoint the certain foods that have been making me not feel quite right after eating and it has been challenging. This was such a great post and I think it's going to be a go too for awhile until I feel better.

    I hope you are staying nice and warm up there.... It's very bitterly cold out. Bring on the piles of wood! :)

    Love you,