Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Relationship with Food

Food is something we should consume...not something that should consume us.  Sometimes I find myself totally overwhelmed with all of the uproar about food.  Emails, facebook, conversations with friends.  Everywhere I turn there is an opinion about what I should or shouldn't be putting in my mouth - and more importantly, in the mouth's of my children.

Moderation.  That is my take on the whole issue.  I am friends with A LOT of people who are very concerned about what they eat, which is good, as I've learned a lot about making good choices because of them.

However, I can easily become obsessed about things and so I find that I have to remove myself from some of these conversations because otherwise food would consume me, too.

Now, over the years I have learned some very valuable things about food.  Like the fact that aspartame and I don't get along; that I get a horrible headache and my eyes swell shut.  For that reason, it is not allowed in my house or near any of our mouths - just not gonna take that chance.

Learning what artificial colors can do to a young child who is allergic to them saved my sanity and opened my heart to more children :)

Finding out that my nursing babies were much happier when I didn't eat or drink certain things was a life-saver (can you believe one of them didn't like it when I ate chocolate??? That was just plain wrong :).

The real issue, at least for me, is finding balance.  God has never put it on my heart to eat a raw diet (even raw meat as some people I know do), grow a huge garden and stock my shelves with canned goods, turn my kitchen into a sprouting field or put a dairy cow in my backyard.  I'm okay with that.  It might be what others are called to do, but I'm pretty sure it isn't what I am called to do.  We eat the best we can given the grocery stores that are available to us and the money that is in our wallet.

I used to get caught up in all of this and upset that I wasn't following the latest dietary "fad".  But one evening, I realized how much it had been consuming me.  I was invited to speak at a homeschool group gathering that was about an hour away.  When I walked in and began mingling, I noticed that there were bottles of diet pop in the kitchen and that PEOPLE WERE ACTUALLY DRINKING IT!  Wow, really, there are Catholic homeschoolers who actually drink diet pop, and they looked okay!  My reaction to that was what made me realize that proper nutrition has a proper place in my brain.  I cannot make everything perfect.  I cannot make sure that everything we eat is pure.  I cannot, and will not, make the eating of everything proper and healthy a god.  

Balance and moderation. Awareness and prudence.  Common sense and reality.  Those are the things that should guide our interactions with food.  Let's face it, this country has a long way to go to getting its food supply to where it should be in terms of healthiness and purity.  We should all work towards that but know the limits of what God has called us to do.  We should fight for things that are wrong and try to make choices that are good for our family and pray that some day we will all be able to eat healthy, good foods that are readily available to us that don't cost an arm and a leg.  I guess that would be called Heaven, wouldn't it??

God Bless!