Balancing Nutrition And Priorities – Part 1

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With the bombardment of choices for us mothers to make in regard to our health and nutrition at the table and in our lifestyle, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep a proper balance between our pursuit of nutrition for the health and wholeness of our family and the reality of what we can truly manage. I have been noticing an increased obsession with health and food in my generation that has been concerning, especially among young mothers. We don’t realize that something is being sacrificed at the idol of health.

As I have been part of this real food movement over the last few years, I have come from truly enjoying learning new things about our health and food choices and eager to serve and provide the best for our family, to becoming obsessed with worry (what are these ingredients and what can they do to our body?) and frustration over our food budget and what the long-term impact of our decisions could result in. Now I’ve come to a place of peace. I have freedom because I am letting go of control. After my original writing of Can Natural Living Become an Idol? several months ago, and the positive response received from others going through similar struggles, I wanted to add further help by giving some principles from which we can achieve peace and balance in the wave of food and health decisions.

It can be so frustrating researching every food product and finding such a mix of opinions and research going both ways. Should you soak or not? What products are really safe? With the expansion of the internet, there is just no end to resources saying the pros and cons of every food and body product item in your home.

Reality came home for me when a close family friend died of cancer this past summer. She had been the leading example in my life of the ultimate Nourishing Traditions follower. My eyes were opened. Health will not save you. It truly cannot preserve one day of your life.

We need to be careful that we don’t elevate health so high that we expect it to keep us from the kind of health problems our parents’ generation suffered because it will not save us. Fear is a deadly enemy. It is consuming. It entangles. It takes our focus away from the importance of demonstrating Christ’s love to a hurting world.

As mothers, we are extremely susceptible to comparing ourselves with others standard of health and nutrition. To become overwhelmed because we cannot afford all organic products. To stress because we have so much to learn. Health and nutrition cannot become our “functional Savior.”

Dear sisters, let’s step back again. Let’s review our priorities. What does it come down too? The importance of love. Loving the Lord with all our hearts and loving our neighbors as ourselves. I love how Natalie at Guarded by the Gospel shares it here,

So what should my be priorities be as I shop and cook and eat?

First, and ultimately, our pleasure is in God, in Jesus Christ. Psalm 16:2 says, “I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’” Jesus said God’s greatest commandment was to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.” (Matt. 22:39) God deserves his place. Anything that supplants our total and ultimate love toward him is…an idol.

How do I know when I’ve made an idol out of something?

My whole life revolves around that one thing.

I plan around it.

I obsess about it.

I freak out if it’s taken away from me.

I think about it all the time.

My relationships revolve around it.

I think it makes me ok, on track.

And…(Here comes the hard part) …When it causes me to break the second greatest commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Funny how idolizing something (breaking that first commandment) makes you break the second too!

I have made an idol out of nutrition (or whatever!) when I continually elevate it as a priority above loving the people around me the way I would like to be loved.

Let me say that serving healthy wholesome food for your family is important. We want to be healthy and fit for the Lord’s use. We are responsible as do the best that we can. It is an act of love, but when you are spending so much time in your kitchen, planning, shopping, preparing, that you miss those moments of loving on your little ones, then we have missed the boat. When people start saying that parent’s who feed junk food to their children don’t really love them, we are going too far. What’s more significant in the kingdom? The physical or spiritual food we serve?

When our family dinner times are lacking peace because we are constantly trying to get our little ones to eat this healthy food which they may not enjoy, then something needs to change. I didn’t like my veggies as a child, but did I suffer much? No, I love them now and the striving and fighting isn’t worth it.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things (food, shelter, the essentials) will be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33).

Natalie continues, 

Always cooking and eating healthy food will not make you truly healthy. Having a heart full of life-giving, generous, lay-down-your-life love will.

“Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.” (Mark 7:18-20)

True health and wholeness can only be experienced through Jesus Christ.

Check out part 2 here

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

106 Responses to Balancing Nutrition And Priorities – Part 1

  1. Rebekah July 13, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    Thank you! I wrestle with this issue so much, and it is a relief to finally read a nourishing food blog that puts nourishing food where it belongs: AFTER our Lord Jesus and then, AFTER family. God is truly using this blog in my life. God bless you, Lindsey for being his tool :)

  2. J July 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Applause applause a timely and wise post.

    I have read nourishing traditions, various paleo-esque philosophy etc and so forth and even though I myself fully expect to be a lifelong Atkins maintainer I also check myself frequently that these are not neutral parties. Not Atkins, WAPF, insert health guru here.

    I haven’t dedicated my life to digging up the associations and history of every single individual but I didn’t have to look far or hard in most cases to discover that they are H-E-A-V-I-L-Y saturated with evolution philosophy/humanism and a great many [including Weston A price] supported/was involved with eugenics philosophy at some point and did not recant that I’m aware of.

    Ancient wisdom, native diet, etc and so forth. What isn’t on the front page is that the ancient native wisdom dictated that the weak/undesireable died without reproducing and population was kept in balance and the survivers were good optimal genetic specimins of the species and they didn’t unduly impact the environment. That should be a marketing nightmare but I notice it’s becoming more honest/overt. I have asked myself on more than one occasion “So, knowing this…what exactly am I doing here giving them my ear to bend?”

    Human biology is incomprehensively sophisticated. One mans anti-oxidant is another mans toxin at the same dose on the same day. We do not know the mechanics absolutely or even dimly. However from a pragmatic standpoint we have to eat something and even the least interested among us could discern that serial hot pockets with a tumbler of coke is probably not going to lead to a trim waistline or a well nourished family over the long haul.

  3. Amber February 17, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    I understand the point you’re trying to make about not letting it become an idol, however I think there’s another warning that must go with your warning (lol)… when we struggle with something personally as an idol, we tend to think that everyone in similar situations/with similar views struggles with the same things… and then we start to judge. So I just challenge everyone who does struggle with this kind of stuff becoming an idol to not think poorly of others who value nutrition.
    Like someone else mentioned- it’s about balance. I do not live and die by Nourishing Traditions. It is not my Bible. But it’s info and concepts have been a blessing in my life. And when I keep them in check and stay organized/well prepared, then I don’t have to put much more thought into it. I think part of the job that God has given us as parents is to be intentional… not always take the easy way out b/c it’s too hard to do the right thing. We need to be cautious of what that teaches our children. Our early ancestors certainly didn’t face many of the things that we face today (yes, they did face other things), such as decisions on how to educate, nourish, etc. our children. It was all pretty straightforward as to the answers to those questions. But now, thousands of years later, our world has become more and more corrupted… not by people alone, but by the evil forces at work. So while it is ABSOLUTELY more important to feed our children God’s Word, we are also to try to restore God’s design. Imagine if everyone said trying not to sin was too hard so they weren’t going to even try. (NOT saying this is sinning, hope you get the point) While our families may not be suffering the effects of the corruption, future generations of our families will be. So please be encouraged (anyone reading!) to try to stay the course and teach this new generation the ways of an actual simpler time that will restore health and therefore keep generations strong to do God’s work for the Kingdom. :) Just do your homework for a brief amount of time, implement a plan, and let that plan do the work so you can focus on other things. :)

  4. Jessica January 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Hi Lindsay,

    I can SO echo this. I have pursued perfectly healthful food preparations for about 5 years. While I did get healthier and we benefited from learning new skills, after awhile, it was absolute bondage. I mean, when my 4th child was a newborn, I’m all fretting that I can’t remember to soak my grains! Honestly, I have ended up letting nourishing traditions go completely, and talk about freeing. It wasn’t really on purpose- my kefir grains died, my kombucha wasn’t working right, I actually LOST my sourdough starter, I didn’t have the money for raw milk one month, and then I got out of the habit to get it…

    In August I began a very strict diet in pursuit of clearing up health issues that had cropped up because of stress and several close pregnancies. I was working with an herbal/nutritional therapist. For three months, I ate no sugar, no wheat or grains, only vegetables, meats and eggs and took lots of supplements. I lost NO weight and had NO clearing up of health problems.

    However, I was VERY stressed about the diet and getting it right. What has this taught me? That stressing over food and diet, has the opposite affect on health. Since that realization, I cook homemade food, but I don’t restrict my diet at all. If PMS hits and I want oreos, I get them. Guess what? I’ve lost a little bit of weight and I am MUCH MUCH happier, which benefits everyone.

    Healthy food is not my ultimate goal anymore. My goal is the Lord and trusting that He loves me enough to take care of me and fulfill His Word that He would take care of me. If I am doing what I was designed to do, and I am hearing His voice, and His voice is saying “Let it go!” then only good can come of it.

    By the way, I mostly buy white flour tortillas and pasta now, because it tastes better to us. I do really like quinoa pasta just because of the taste, but I can’t always get it. But when I cover those white flour thingies with lots of veggies, meat and healthy fats, big deal!

    You are right that we shouldn’t feel condemnation for not being able to do what another person does. I have 4 little ones and can’t do what a person with grown children can do. And trying to makes life really hard!


  5. kelly January 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    what a great post! i really needed this today, it’s so easy to find yourself caught with little time for true nourishment – sitting at Jesus feet in prayer, meditation and study of His Word. He is teh Bread of Life – anything else we try to ingest will never satisfy! appreciate you keeping our mind focused on real life – eternal life in Christ! Blessing and love in Him, Kelly

  6. michellel. December 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Wonderfully written. We must realize that, according to God, fear is a much more deadly enemy to us than MSG.

  7. Colleen G. December 21, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    Thank You! Freedom!

  8. julie December 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    just a suggestion – you should link this post (at the bottom) with part two now that it’s been written. I’m linking to this post in tomorrow’s blog post.

  9. Philomena December 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    Wow, I feel like this article is pretty much over the top.

    I mean, it isn’t living in fear if you are in control of your decisions and are striving to educate yourself. Living in fear is a pretty serious way to talk about being concerned about nutrition. There has been a big emphasis on nutrition in the last handful of years mainly due to the fact that it wasn’t being stressed for so long and our food has become so polluted that it is making people sick. Diabetes? Obesity? Heart problems? I would have to guess that every single person reading this knows someone with one of the above conditions and while I don’t believe that we should live in fear of disease we should also take responsible healthy steps to make sure that we don’t put ourselves at risk of something that is so easily preventable.

    I would suggest to you that many things cause cancer. Just because one person who ate healthily died of cancer does not mean that poor food choices that are laden with chemicals and hormones wouldn’t trigger cancer in someone else. Proper nutrition is essential for children who are still growing and learning, period. And in regards to the passage from ‘Mark’ I don’t really think that people were faced with genetically modified foods or high fructose corn syrup in biblical times, I’m just saying.

    Nutrition is important. It’s not an idol, it’s not fear based, it’s much more simple than that. If you have questions and aren’t sure pick up some literature that is based on holistic nutrition. It’s not that complicated, and it’s more than worth it when you are looking at keeping your family healthy.

  10. Sarah December 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Thank you!
    I started reading your blog when I was looking into “natural” living and was really troubled by how my body & health were affected by poor nutrition choices. But I drove myself and others crazy with trying to make too many changes and essentially worshipping organic living (not that I ever did well at it!). Plus, we started dealing with life-threatening food allergies and at times I became very stressed about keeping away from potential allergens and feeling guilty that previous bad choices had perhaps caused the allergies in my daughter. Then, as I was trying to add in healthy, whole grain foods to our diet, I had anaphylactic reactions to them. Sure you could argue it was the result of being raised on processed foods, but that’s another story!

    “So many Christians today identify themselves with some ‘single issue’ (a concept drawn from politics) other than the cross, other than the gospel. It is not that they deny the gospel. If pressed, they will emphatically endorse it. But their point of self-identification, the focus of their minds and hearts, what occupies their interest and energy is something else” – D.A. Carson

  11. carrie December 16, 2010 at 7:33 am #

    I love this article. I too, think I have built up idols in my life that need to be taken down. I never even realized that seeking good nutrition can become an obsession, thereby taking away my time from just serving God and loving my family. What a great article this is to remind me of where my perspective is now, and where it really needs to be. It’s a relief to read this and know it’s okay to do what you can within your budget and time. And it’s okay if your kids don’t get all organic all homeade foods. I am so thankful you posted this and for what you have learned in your own walk with God. What an encouragement to me, and I look forward to re-evaluating my focus for the new year, and for today!

  12. Amy Jo McMorrow December 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    SO agree with you Lindsay! This is such an important and practical topic to talk about. It’s the same concept as leaving the dishes in the sink to go “play” with the children. Our homes need to be a loving home and sometimes that loving home may be a bit untidy and the bone broth may not get made today because some character training need to be addressed.

    Amy Jo

  13. Just Amy December 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Oh, dear sister in Christ! He just used you to smack me upside the head! I am so extremely relieved to read this post from you. Coincidentally (coincidences are God speaking to us, are they not?) I just recently deleted my subscriptions to several blogs that deal with nutrition FOR THE VERY REASON you stated. I was becoming grouchy and frustrated and angry all the time…because I can’t afford to buy organic most of the time, and I’m not organized enough to soak every time I make something…and…and… lol. Now I see that I was making an Idol of nutrition! And it makes me wonder: if I sit here and tear down my life layer by layer…how much of it is idol after idol? I want my family to pray together morning and evening. That is a good thing, right? Not if I scream and yell when my 5 year old doesn’t want to participate! It’s an idol. I want to have a meaningful Christmas season. That’s a good thing, right? Not if I have a hissy fit or a crying jag because things don’t go my way! Thank you, Lindsay. 2011 is going to be my year to be torn down to the basics. Just me and God…and to build upon that. Thanks for your blog. You inspire me to focus on The One.

    • carrie December 16, 2010 at 7:31 am #

      I love this comment. I too, think I have built up idols in my life that need to be taken down. I never even realized that seeking good nutrition can become an obsession, thereby taking away my time from just serving God and loving my family. What a great article this is to remind me of where my perspective is now, and where it really needs to be. It’s a relief to read this and know it’s okay to do what you can within your budget and time. And it’s okay if your kids don’t get all organic all homeade foods. I am so thankful you posted this and for what you have learned in your own walk with God. What an encouragement to me, and I look forward to re-evaluating my focus for the new year, and for today!

  14. Jen December 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    This is a great reality check. However, it’s really easy to make claims that nutrition does not matter all that much when we’re in a state of good health. When you’ve got a stable system, a piece of birthday cake is not a big deal. But what about someone who’s gluten-intolerant or has an egg allergy, are they supposed to put that aside so as not to offend the hostess? When you’re confronted with a serious health situation that could be successfully addressed with proper nutrition, it’s a whole different story. If you have cancer or diabetes or dangerously high cholesterol, all of a sudden health matters, and people wish they had paid more attention to it. You definitely cannot allow it to be your idol, but we all know it affects our ability to serve the Lord and others. In the end, God is sovereign, and we cannot add one moment onto our lives by eating strictly organic/vegan/whole foods/etc., but it seems like we sure can make decisions that positively impact the days that we do have.

  15. Crystin Niscavits December 15, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    GREAT GREAT POST. I must say I’ve struggled in the same way, thought the same things, and come to many of the same conclusions. However, you’ve put it into words so adequately and perfectly and with Scripture. The Lord has really spoken through you. On days where I get frustrated and overwhelmed with “food choices”, I think, what’s more important- spending time with my family and nurturing those relationships or obsessing that their is only one boring vegetable to eat instead of two exciting ones. Thank you for posting the truth and reminding us all to relax, serve the Lord first, and not think that food is god.

  16. Sheri December 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Great post, thank you! I recently decided that with the nutrition thing I need to just do what I can and not stress. I do not want to be distracted from God’s plan for me while i try to be “perfectly healthy”. I just heard Elisa Morgan from MOPS international speak and her key phrase was, “She did what she could,” from the story of Mary anointing Jesus with perfume. To sum up her talk, God only expects us to do what we are capable of doing, not what someone else can do, or doing or giving to the point of wearing yourself to the ground making you useless. Its a good thing to remember in all aspects of life.

  17. Kelly December 15, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Hi Lindsay,

    Beautiful post. I was at the last Nourishing Traditions conference in Philadelphia (I’ve been into this way of eating for a few years) and found much of what was said to be supportive of a sort of NT religion. All of the ills of society were blamed on lack of proper nutrition (the rise in violence, suicide, etc was confidently blamed lack of proper B-vitamin intake by Mrs. Fallon.). Curing depression is a matter of taking more cod liver oil. It was very much a sort of biological reductionist way of thinking.

    There is a quote in NT about how people who aren’t properly nourished have no capacity for spirituality, and that our lack of spiritual concern in the Western world is fundamentally a nutritional problem. That was the philosophy that was being promoted at the conference, and I think it can be really destructive. While stewarding our bodies and the environment is an important topic to God and I think should be high on our list of priorities, it is not THE priority.

    For a little while the perception that the way we ate was central to human functioning was really affecting my perceptions, and my ability to see others in a Christ-like way. I was obsessing about it. I, like you, was becoming aware of this idolatry and spent some time in prayer about it, and He has really been showing me how to not obsess about diet. Becoming aware of our idolatry is matters like this is such an important topic as it can be so insidious. I’m so glad you brought it up, and I hope that we all can bring our concerns about health before the Lord and not stress about every non-organic non-NT style food item that passes through our lips.

  18. yvonne December 15, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    Great post and now looking forward to reading part two!

  19. Jill December 15, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Thank you for sharing so much of your life/thoughts/convictions/inspiration with the rest of us. There is nothing better than refocusing our lives on Christ. I can’t tell you how deeply I appreciate your public witness, the time you spend reaching out through your blog, and the inspiration you give to me personally! I thank the Lord for you.

  20. Krista December 15, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    Wow, thanks for writing a blog article just for me! ;P This really hit home for me. I know I’ve started to take health and nutrition too far when, now that I’m pregnant and haven’t been able to eat ANYTHING I normally eat, I freak out because I’ve been too tired, nauseous, etc. to cook a decent meal. Now that I’m starting to feel a little better, I know I really needed to hear this, so that I can get my priorities back in balance, not just nutritionally, but more importantly, spiritually. I was not prepared for how out of whack spiritually I would get because of how focused I was on how unhealthy my diet has been the past few weeks. I look forward to part 2!

  21. Liz December 15, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    I really enjoy your blog, recipes, insights etc. however, I have wondered about that very thing. I think it’s the reality of having a large family, homeschooling etc. part of my situation is time and another is money. When I look at the cost of rapdura sugar I just can’t afford it. So, I use the nasty white sugar with a little bit of molasses. It may not be as good, but it’ll do. I find that by having a large garden, fruit trees, canning etc. we can have an awful lot of good stuff (we even got lard from our piggy this year!) but we don’t have certain things. Other people can afford healthy store-bought items, but don’t have the space for a garden. I sure wish we could have raw milk, but it’s a real burden for us to obtain so we don’t get to have that. I guess that is what you are saying…you do what you can and then you relax and deal with reality. It’s not a perfect world.That’s heaven.

  22. Colleen @ DrMomOnline December 15, 2010 at 6:58 am #

    Excellent article! I agree with SO much of what you said… nothing should ever come between us and our Creator. Healthy lifestyle choices included. We need priorities in check, as well as balance.

    I do believe this subject is a slippery slope! In my work, I see people justify their unhealthy choices in many ways. I also see people drive themselves – and their families – right up the wall when they strive for perfection in their health choices.

    I don’t believe that Health has to be *that* complicated. I consider my Health-Creating ‘formula’ as 1) faith in God first and foremost – and the healing, restorative power He gave my body. 2) I make the best (healthiest) choices possible, given the most accurate, current research & science, as well as my understanding of it, and my ability to make those choices. What more can we do?!

    There are too many interacting variables to determine what causes one person to be healthy while another one loses their health. God is obviously the ultimate decision-maker. But I do believe that when you do “right enough” long enough, the end results become more predictable. Consistently choosing health – in a balanced, happy life – has GOT to improve our odds of living a long, healthy life! If not, why would we bother at all?? I have to have faith in that.

    Cell function is the result of every thing that has ever crossed its path – chemically, nutritionally, emotionally, spiritually, environmentally. AND we have trillions of cells! How could we ever say exactly ONE thing that creates or destroys health? That’s the beauty of it all… that’s the potential madness of it all!

    Like Jana said, there are a gazillion lifestyle factors that all play a role. While one person appears to have a very healthy diet, or very healthy exercise routine, or has a low stress level, etc., we don’t know everything they’ve been exposed to at the cellular level throughout their lifetime. We don’t know how they respond to the world around them at a cellular level. We don’t know what drugs they’ve taken, or what vaccines they’ve been injected with, or what toxins have been in their food and water supply, and how they responded when they experienced their first heartbreak, etc. etc. WHEW!

    It can drive you nuts when you really think about it! OR, you can sit back and say, “I am SO glad that God’s in charge! I’m just going to do my best to provide the best fuel for my body, mind and spirit… and try to do the same for my family.”

    I like to think of God’s grace when it comes to all the things in our food supply, for example, that we’re unaware of and therefore unable to make a ‘better choice’ about. Personally, I’m not so sure what happens when we KNOW, and we have the ABILITY to do something about it, (while keeping our relationship with God as our top priority)… but we choose NOT to, for whatever reason.

    For me, it’s just easier to pray, choose health, happiness & balance… and then pray some more!! ; )

  23. Judy December 15, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    Great post! Anything driven by fear will result in bondage. We want to provide healthy food for our family out of love, not fear. Doing so, is not easy with all the distraction of “convenience” that floods store aisles–not unlike trying to find something good to watch on TV. You are so right-on with this message, even good and noble things can become an idol in our lives.

    Keep spreading the Word.

  24. Dream Mom December 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Excellent post. I had been thinking about that myself lately. I do believe that nutrition and good health go hand in hand, but when it crosses over into obsession, then it’s not so great. It’s easy to get swept up into a frenzy over nutrition but I found that striving to be perfect, or all or nothing options wasn’t a good way to live. I try to make small changes over time, but head in the right direction. I worried too about not being able to afford to eat how I want to eat, meaning eat all organic foods, etc. but then I found myself internally labeling foods as bad because they weren’t organic and yet, I really was doing the bet I could based on my budget. I was also starting to feel that I couldn’t eat “x” or bad things would happen and I’d get cancer. Pretty soon, you realize that there are “issues” with nearly everything. I found myself striving to be perfect and that isn’t a good place to be.

    I did the same thing with BPA, trying to eliminate any and all plastics from my kitchen, even those that were supposedely “safe”. Finally, I decided to pull back a bit. It’s o.k. to occasionally eat out and occasionally eat things that may not be nutritional powerhouses. On the flip side, that doesn’t mean I have to abandon everything, it just means that I need to pull back a bit.

    P.S. Any pictures of the new house that you can share with us?

  25. Catherine R. December 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    I know your words are going to strike a chord with a lot of moms out there. Bringing the focus back to what matters; God of all creation, when we are so drawn to control our fate with nutrition or any other thing we can get our hands on. Sometimes I think people need to just eat a Pop Tart now and then as an active move towards not being so uptight!

  26. Angela December 14, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    Great post. Thank you!

  27. sarah December 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    this is a great post. something i have been thinking about a lot recently. thank you for addressing this topic and being very honest about what it can be: an idol. when even a “good” thing like health becomes a god-like thing, it becomes very bad.

  28. Christy @ pureMotherhood December 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post. It’s EXACTLY what I needed because I’ve been struggling with this as I just BEGIN my real food exploration.

  29. Christina December 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    thanks very much for this. I grew up in an uber-healthy family and my Mom died at 46 and my dad at 50, both of cancer. I have stepped back a good bit from the way I grew up eating for that very reason: i’d rather spend time with my kids and eat a little less “straight from the vine” than to work myself to the bone and miss out on having fun eating cake and ice cream with them sometimes. Eating healthy as a means of using our bodies for God’s glory is certainly important, but certainly not more important than our family time and service in the Kingdom and worship of the Lord. thanks!

  30. Lisa December 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    The conflicting information on nutrition really starts to get to me. I want to do what’s best for my family, but when two opposing views have research and data to back up what they believe, I don’t know what to do. Ultimately, I have picked and chosen from different groups to suit our family’s needs. I try not to obsess over it, but sometimes it’s hard not to. I do the best with the information I have, the resources available to me, and my own good common sense. I’m sorry to hear about your friend.

  31. Emma December 14, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    Wonderful post. Thanks Lindsay for reminding me of what’s important.

  32. Jana December 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Thanks for this post Lindsay. I agree that natural living can definitely become an idol and take a place of priority in our lives, so much so that we stop focusing on the things that need and deserve our primary focus.

    But, I have to disagree when you say that health cannot save us or preserve a day of our lives, because turning to healthy living has saved many a life, and has brought people back from the brink time and time again. I’m very sorry about your friend. But just because someone is following a Nourishing Traditions lifestyle doesn’t mean they are 100% optimally healthy. There are so many other factors, including environment, toxic build-up in our bodies (we all need to cleanse), health let go for too many years before turning to a healthy lifestyle, prescription medication, lack of exercise/fresh air/sunshine, lifestyle, stress, etc. There are so many variables! And what works for one may not work well for another. I firmly believe that optimal health is fully attainable for everyone, but it may take a lot of hard work and effort to get there. I also believe this kind of optimal health can and does preserve us from many terrible diseases.

    Naturally, stressing about these things defeats the purpose. So what is one to do? I believe the best course of action is to first of all place your faith in the Creator, and in His ability to guide you in your choices and in attaining optimal health (Norman Vincent Peale). Second, we should do the best we can with what we have, but we should try to restrict the times that we eat factory farmed food as much as possible. Having said that, when you can’t, you can’t. In times like this, we should just enjoy what we are eating as much as possible. Enjoying the food and creating an atmosphere of peace goes a long way toward ensuring proper digestion and assimilation of the nutrients (if there are any!). I believe it is far better to enjoy a less-than-optimal-in-terms-of-health kind of meal, than to eat the best, most nourishing food in an atmosphere of stress and discord. There can be no digestion in this kind of atmosphere, and no digestion means rotting food which creates toxins that then harm our bodies!

    So while I do agree with your main point, I have to try to defend optimal health and its attainment, because I believe it IS possible for everyone, and it can preserve you from much sickness and ill health.

    By the way, I read each of your posts eagerly, and thoroughly enjoy your blog! Keep up the great work :)

    • Colleen @ DrMomOnline December 15, 2010 at 6:15 am #

      Exactly what I was thinking, Jana!

    • Sheri December 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

      I think she just meant simply that no matter how great our nutrition, ultimately nobody is in charge of when they will die. You may have optimum health, but die tomorrow in an accident. So, even though great nutrition can improve your quality of life, we should not stress and instead spend our energy further building the Kingdom of God.

      • Denise December 16, 2010 at 5:49 am #

        Well said Sheri!

    • Jessica December 16, 2010 at 12:26 am #

      I TOTALLY agree w what you said Jana and you said it all so well.

  33. Lacey December 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    This really speaks to me today. I was in the kitchen a lot today and have felt guilty about it. Creating healthy food is a stress reliever for me.

  34. Kim December 14, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    I love this! Thank you so much for reminding me of how I should prioritize.

  35. kandace December 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Wow, so good. I have come across these same scriptures in my quiet time and feel the Lord is gently calling me to a place of balance. I too am guilty of being stressed and forgoing loving on my kiddos for making them healthy food. Isn’t the Lord good in how gently and patiently He draws us back to his ways? So full of love! Oh Lord, I pray that I will be a vessel of the love you have shown me. Your goodness is overwhelming!!

  36. Audrey December 14, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Beautifully said!! I loved your post on making natural living an idol, and this one is just as great. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple years now, and I love it. I always walk away from my computer feeling encouraged when I read your posts. Not to mention your recipes always become family favorites. :)

    I can’t wait for part 2!

  37. Elizabeth K December 14, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    This was a really great post. I am so easily overwhelmed with trying to do the “right” thing and I believe this is a reflection of a root of pride. Serving the Lord and doing everything out of love for Him is always the best way to go. Thanks for reminding me that the best fruit comes from allowing the Holy Spirit to produce a good work in me. How refreshing!

  38. Lindsey December 14, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    I appreciate your words. When I first started making my own things, I would get very stressed because I didn’t want to give my family anything that possibly could be unhealthy or processed. It totally affected my family and after praying much, I realized, even though it is super important to give healthy and nutritious foods to my family 1) it was not the end of the world if I didn’t 2) it’s so much more important for my littles to see Jesus in me and it’s hard for that to happen when mama’s always in the kitchen making broth, bread, yogurt, soaking beans, etc, and she’s stressing out and snippy at the times that there’s no time to make a uber healthy, no preservatives, no processing, completely homemade meal :) so, my intentions are to pick the healthiest thing, but if there isn’t time in life, and it gets in the way of me lovin’ on my boys and teaching them Truth, there is nothing wrong with a rotisserie chicken from Sam’s Club :) I’m looking forward to part 2…

  39. Crystal December 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    Thank you so much Lindsay! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and have been very inspired and blessed but this is the first time I’ve been compelled to comment. I was reading the post through tears because I have felt so paralyzed by this very thing. It has become a constant source of stress and much guilt when buying organic isn’t always an option for whatever reason.

    I’m really looking forward to reading part 2!

    God bless you!

  40. Melissa December 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Balance. It really is about balance, isn’t it? If we try to feed our families mostly whole food meals rather than a lot of processed foods, then we can relax when we do have less than perfect items, knowing that it isn’t our typical menu. I like the way Jo Lynne addresses it for her family on Musings of a Housewife. She is practical.

    Thanks for bringing this up, Lindsay, so we can each consider how this topic affects (drives?) each of us.

  41. EE December 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    After listening to a program on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, I have been praying for God to show me the idols in my life. I was shocked when He actually did. It was painful to agree with Him. And yet, somehow, I already knew (but was unwilling to admit) what I was idolizing. Two days ago, He opened my eyes to one big idol. And your post today confirmed for me what God was already showing me about another idol in my life. Thanks for sharing the wisdom God has given to you! :)

  42. Rebekah December 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Lindsay, I loved this post and all the thoughtful comments that have been posted by your readers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of your “When Natural Living Becomes An Idol” post from several months ago and I was about ready for a “booster shot” along the same lines this week. Just like every other social trend, the movement to restore wholesome food has been taken to extremes by some, though no doubt with the very best of intentions. I especially appreciated your words about hospitality and the importance of a gracious attitude toward others. This is sooooooooo important! If we fall into the trap of isolating ourselves from others through our obsession with a perfect diet and lifestyle, we will miss what is truly fulfilling.

    Something else that occured to me as I was thinking about this issue is that food was not created for nourishment only. Food should not be viewed as just a bunch of isolated nutrients that we consume for energy or to prevent disease or to live 100 years (although those are all worthy goals). Food was created for our enjoyment! There’s a reason why certain foods taste good to us! Traditionally, food has been a major component that binds societies together. If we divorce the utilitarian usefulness of food from the social and communal importance of eating and celebrating food together, then we’ll be missing out.

    Balance is possible!

  43. Megan December 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Excellent, excellent post Lindsay, you are such an encouragement to me to seek the Lord with ALL my heart in everything I do, thank you.

  44. Amber December 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    Thank you, thank you! This is just what I needed to hear today. I’ve been struggling with this lately and not sure what to do. Thanks for the reminder of being in the Word and keeping our focus in the right place! Blessings to you!

  45. Nisha December 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    Wow! Thanks again for sharing as well as including the excerpt from Natalie. At the moment, since I just has our second baby, my husband is in charge of cooking. Some of the selections he has made has been foods I would leave at the store and just make from scratch. But now he is running the kitchen, at first, I was concerned (worried!) about our eating habits, but really..there is nothing to worry about. He is serving us out of love and providing nourishing meals for his family! Your post just confirmed a lot of things for me, and gave me a lot to think about. Although I love to eat healhty and desire to feed my family the best, I have to continue to examine myself with the word of God…because if I am not pleasing to Him..this is fruitless!

  46. Mommy December 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Good reminder Lindsay. I yet have so much to learn about balance. In my house I don’t spend too much time planning meals, because I found out early that I am happiest in the kitchen when I keep my meals simple and healthy. Before I would make soup, meat dish, carb dish,and a salad and it would take me 4-5 hrs to make it all and I was not happy. One day by “accident” I learned a lesson. What is wrong with having just soup with bread and p-nut butter sandwhich with tea for dinner? OR having breakfast for dinner once in a while?

    During this busy season it just happened that we got ourselves involved in few church events and it took so much of my time and although it was just for 3 weeks, it drained my time away from reading the Word and quality time with my family. Although I don’t regret helping out , it was an eye opener for me. The busyness took the joy out of me. Don’t get me wrong– I thrive being busy but not when it takes away quality time with God and family. Maybe I did not have the right mindset from start? One thing I did learn this week was that I needed balance in involvement, balance in friendships, balance in how much I say to who, even balance in being “too nice.” Your blog is the first one I chk every morning and can’t wait for your next post. God Bless you and our family.

  47. Karen December 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    thank you for this! it’s good to be reminded of what my priorities really need to be!

  48. Lindsey @harpersvillehome December 14, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Lindsay! Thank You for writing this. I’m faced with the facts of my family right now. My father and grandfather got colon cancer at the same age. All of my Dad’s uncles had colon cancer. As my father is undergoing treatment now, they were able to determine that his cancer was undoubtedly genetic. They wanted me to know to start getting checked at 30 – -6 years from now . In other words, it’s almost “certain” that I will get colon cancer in the next 25 years. It weighs on my mind. Every time I take a bite of something that isn’t a leaf I feel almost guilty….like I’m killing my colon one day at a time. You’ve helped remind me today that God already knows the day I’m going to pass away and move on from this life and how it’s going to play out. Even science seems to corroborate that thought because it has been determined that the human heart only has a certain number of beats. You could be in superior health and one day, bam…heart stops. Every heart is different. Why obsess about food? To live longer and avoid disease, to feel better, healthier, more energetic..gasp, dare I say some people eat that way to get “skinny?” We are going to die. some point. There’s no guarantee that it will be something your choices in food helped with or not! How much more damaging to go through life worrying yourself over every little food choice? How much more harmful is that kind of stress on the body? And how much more distant from God in the process? It’s just all led me to take a day at a time, doing what I can to be healthy that day and not treating food choices as though they are life changing decisions. Maybe some decisions are life changing, but surely, white pasta every now and again probably isn’t going to be my demise as I sometimes worry it will be… A life changing decision would be something that affects what you’re going to be doing AFTER you die!!!! This is so temporary, and sometimes, we (I) treat it like it’s permanent. Thanks for your wisdom today!!

    • Katie December 14, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

      I find myself in the same place right now. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago. She is the first person in her family in five generations not to have died of cancer. Literaly every single grandparent, aunt, uncle and cousin died of some form of cancer. She is also has many other serious health conditions. Yet she along with my aunt who had breast cancer and my cousin who has throat cancer along with myself have the healthiest diets in the family. My goal is to simply eat the best I can in order to live life to the fullest for as many years as God has determined. I don’t know how many that will but I want to know that I have served God with my all, while caring for my precious girls. My family has talked about getting tested to see if you have a “cancer gene”, I’m not sure I want to do that or not. The odds are already against me. Yet I still hope that through a healthy, nourishing life style that could prevent the diseases that I may one day have. I’m not perfect, there are days when I don’t soak my rice or oats or where I use a microwave but I just try to do the best I can.

  49. Leanne December 14, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It is so true and how often we forget our true focus!

  50. Mona @ Healthy Homesteading December 14, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    This is a great post. I wholeheartedly agree. I have had to keep myself from becoming obsessed with healthy living lately. What I have decided about health is this. God has our days numbered, so eating healthy may not keep us from dying or from sickness. However, the way we spend our days on earth have a lot to do with our choices. We know that eating greasy fried foods, tons of sugar or even just too much food makes us feel poorly. It weighs us down and makes us unproductive. And we also know that eating healthy and taking care of our bodies makes us feel better. God provided life sustaining, disease fitting foods for us to eat because He loves us. Yet, we often choose to eat food that we know won’t nourish us. When we choose to eat foods that are healthier, in essence we are thanking our creator for providing for us.
    I also understand that no amount of healthy eating will keep me from dying of disease if my God chooses for me to leave this world with it. Through our suffering God can be glorified and lives can be changed so we need to see disease as an opportunity to show others how good God is because we know there is a heaven awaiting us that has no suffering. We also need to show others by example that our lives can be joyful and vibrant if we take care of our bodies and follow Christ (following Christ being the key to joy).

    Can’t wait to read part 2 :)

  51. Christy December 14, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    I am currently reading the transcripts of Bob Lepine’s teaching at True Woman on this very topic…so it’s very timely. I agree and thank you for speaking the truth gently.

  52. Jennifer December 14, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Thank you so much for writing this! This is one of the best articles I have ever read. You really spoke to my heart, as I am really struggling with this issue right now. I have a newborn son, and I want to serve nutritious, organic, whole foods for every meal, but I know my priority right now is taking care of my baby and spending time with him. I can’t do it all, and I want our food to serve us, not the other way around.

  53. Hannah @ Treasuring It Up December 14, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Just like so many here, this is so needed! Going to a birthday party a few days ago, I was thankful for the ability to enjoy the company and celebration rather than stressing over the *gasp* refined sugar/flour and artificial dyes! It has been liberating, especially during the Christmas season. The last thing I want is to stress out others in their hospitality through my own choices in food. It is something I have to remind myself over and over…and I know I’ve failed many times, but God has deemed all things good to eat.

  54. Ann Dunagan December 14, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    What an excellent, heart-felt article!!! I really feel that this message is needed, especially among young mothers in the church. Thanks for taking the time to share it!

    Blessings to you, Lindsay, and to your ministry and work here at Passionate Homemaking!!!

  55. Deanna December 14, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    After your post on natural living becoming an idol, we had a few months where things got really tough and we had to buy groceries from something called The Treasure Box which is definitely not organic and does include a couple of processed foods. Remembering that post, it was almost as if I could hear God whispering in my ear, “It’s OK. I HAVE GIVEN YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED.” And He did give us everything we needed and then some, even if it wasn’t all natural and organic. We still had veggies in our garden and He provided us food and we were never hungry nor sick. When He gives us the ability, we go back to eating organic. So what if this month He provided us with fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic, maybe next month, but at least we have food and we can choose to eat it as close to the way He created it as possible.

  56. Shaye Elliott @ The Elliott Homestead December 14, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    What a great reminder that the Lord truly holds our lives in His hands. And that’s exactly where I want mine to be, at the mercy of God for every moment. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  57. Pam December 14, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Very well said – it is so easy to think that you can “cure everything” based upon eating a certain way, and we need to remember that cooking and eating is not the most important thing in our lives, nor should it be!

  58. Ami December 14, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    I think about your “Idol” post all the time and I think it has really kept my heart in check. Thank you! There are three things that I try to balance our eating with:

    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

    Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25

    And less profound, a framed embroidery I found at a yard sale this summer. It’s hanging in my kitchen and it says, “A pinch of salt, a pound of love, is what great meals are all made of.”

    I think I love your blog so much because every since I started reading it, you’ve tried to keep this balance. It is a blessing from God!

  59. Adica December 14, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    I was so glad you wrote about this the first time, and I’m just as glad about this post. Funnily enough, it reminds me of a Simpsons episode where they also made this point in a very Simpsons-like way (to the point where some of the mothers on the show took their children to the hospital for drinking a sip of juice out of a #7 plastic cup).

    The key thing to remember about health and nutrition is that it’s all about exposure. Eating one meal at a friend’s house that has been cooked on Teflon is not nearly the same as using Teflon for every meal. Eating hot food off of a plastic plate is not the equivalent of chewing on lead. It’s not going to kill you to do something “unhealthy” every once in a while. Having a bad diet comes from eating unhealthily every time you eat.

    Many people come from the perspective of being mothers wanting to provide a healthy life for their children, and I understand the concern, but let me ask you this: Would you rather your child grows up to be an “unhealthy” wonderful, loving person or a “healthy” hateful, selfish person? Obviously these are two extremes and a child can certainly grow up to be a healthy wonderful person, but it does make a person question their priorities. If you’re so busy teaching your child how to eat that you don’t have time to put any emphasis on how to live, are you really doing your child any favors in life? So they’ll theoretically be able to live to be 120, but they’ll have no friends.

    Diet is only one part of living a healthy life, and obsessing about food tends to lead to eating disorders, as well. What priorities do you want to teach your children?

  60. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama December 14, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    I don’t fully agree with this….

    I do agree that natural living should not be an idol. We should ALWAYS strive to do our best to feed our families but compromise is okay. And we should always look to the Lord first and keep His commandments. It’s important to love others and bless them and sometimes, forget about food for awhile. I wrote about this on my blog last week, striking balance over the holidays when with family who are not into real food. Because family does trump food.

    But, to say that “we cannot add a single day to our lives” is untrue. Yes, our days were written before we were born, but we STILL have free will. Satan can still tempt us and lead us astray, in myriad ways. If we fall into a life of drunkenness, we could die early in a car accident, much to God’s distress, because we walked away from Him. We can’t make our lives LONGER than the Lord wrote, but we can make them as long as the Lord allows by making good choices.

    And I think that if we keep eating in its proper place, which is a way of keeping ourselves healthy and honoring the bodies that God gave us, then we are doing the right thing. It is about priorities. But the way this is written, it almost sounds like you want to give up because it “just doesn’t matter,” and I don’t think that’s true at all.

    • Karen December 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

      I agree. You said some great things here, Lindsay! But it does sound a bit too deterministic. God is Sovereign. We cannot catch God by surprise or thwart his ultimate plans. Since he exists outside of time, our own decisions for better or worse do not catch him by surprise. However, it is very biblical to say that our actions have a profound effect on how our lives play out. One example: Honor your father and mother, that you may live long in the land the Lord your God has given you. I heartily agree that “natural living” can become an idol for the believer. Satan looks for ANY way to pull our gaze away from the Lord. So even good things can turn sour (I’m thinking Abraham and Isaac here). However, choosing to cook nourishing food for myself is an important way that I can equip myself for whatever the Lord calls me to. Cooking nourishing food for my family is an act of sacrificial service and helps to prepare THEM for their own God-given purposes. Making this choice could mean that I am prolonging their lives, and service to the Lord. Now having said that, could the Lord choose to call one of them home tomorrow? None of the healthiest cooking in the world could prevent this sovereign decision from the Lord. So I guess what I’m saying is that the situation is a little more complex than you presented it. Truthfully, I was sharing with my husband a similar struggle just last night. I have three small children and would love more, but as it is I realize that there is not enough of me to cover all the needs our family has: truly nourishing meals, time with each child, homeschooling my oldest, keeping the house clean. It’s a clean house that usually falters first. My husband is self-employed, so when money is really tight, our meals don’t get less nourishing, they just get cheaper. Cabbage soup in real chicken broth is a good example. I do not obsess with how many veggies I squeeze into each meal. Sometimes I forget to soak and we eat muffins anyway. And don’t even get me started with RAW. Yes, I’ve definitely seen food obsession and I want no part of that. But I truly believe that the Lord led me down the path towards traditional food preparation and that it is my responsibility to keep this a priority in our family’s lives. It is a difficult tension to be sure, but I hope we will be careful about veering too far to either extreme.

    • Lindsay December 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

      I wholeheartedly desire to serve healthy and nutritious food to my family. We want to be healthy and fit for the Lord’s use. We certainly have free will in making decisions about what eat, but God still knows the length of our days. They can certainly be cut short through unwise choices in the extreme case that you mentioned, but they also cannot be lengthened. We may feel better through healthy choices, but we will not live longer than God has intended. I think we need to step back and re-evaluate the TRUE long term impact of these decisions. We just need give grace and allow freedom in Christ. More on this in part 2.

    • Jessica December 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

      I totally agree w you on everything you said – I was going to write a reply as well to say that I did not agree w the comment that healthy eating can not add a day to your life – if you have 2 people – one eating a poor diet of junk food, fast food and so on and another person trying to eat more real foods w out it being an idol, stressed over the foods prep each day, uptight about foods and so on – then health wise that person will most likely live longer – We are to take care of the temples God gave us. That should be real foods and such but not be an idol – it is okay if we don’t do all organics and so on but we need to try to stick to real foods as best as our budget will allow w out it being an idol – everything in moderation – It is sad that the friend died who was so into NT ways – but was she uptight, stressed, worried over foods? that can also do a lot to ones health – we need to rejoice in Jesus, live for Him and enjoy our time w our kids and in that also try to eat well.
      Anyway very well said reply…I thought the same thing when I read the post.

  61. Bethany B. December 14, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Thank you! This is so well said. Our food budget is really tight and while I try to make the best choices I can (for us, I decided that starts with milk, meat and eggs), often times it means that I have to make compromises on other types of food. Lately, I’ve been feeling guilty when I go to the store because I can’t feed my family with all of the organic products that I want to, but really, I need to feel extraordinarily grateful to the Lord that I can feed my family. I’ll definitely double check my attitude from here on out-Thank you! I’m looking forward to part 2!!

  62. Bobbie December 14, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    This was exactly the conclusion the Lord brought me to just recently. I don’t know if you’ve read the “new” discovery ( on the WPF website and Cheeseslave ) about how sprouting grains does not reduce phytic acid and that the sprouted flour still needs to soaked and even then eaten only in very small amounts, oats should not even be eaten in any form and that beans must be sprouted if eaten at all. All flour must be stoneground. Coconut flour is bad, Coconut milk must be soured first, Raw cacao is extremely high in phytic acid and on and on! I was so discouraged! I was already spending 5-6 hours a day in kitchen preparing these “once healthy but now forbidden foods” and wondered what on earth was actually safe to eat! I have lately been obsessed about my childrens health, especially since we don’t immunize and are watched very closely by dissapproving family members who point out every time my child has a cold. I felt like every time they got sick I wasn’t feeding them well enough to keep them healthy. I feel like the Lord used this information to bring me to my knees before Him. I have been very proud of the effort I make to feed my family. He has shown me how feeble my efforts are and how far away from trusting Him I was. In short, I am actually simplifying my efforts in the kitchen and spending the time (less stressed!) with my children instead.

    • Amanda December 14, 2010 at 10:09 am #

      @Bobbie, I was curious about the articles you mentioned, but could not find them on the Cheeseslave or WPF websites/blogs. Could you send a link to the articles to you which you referred? Thanks.

      • Bobbie December 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm #


        I’m not sure how to send a link (and my hubby isn’t home to show me :) But the title of the WPF article is “Living with Phytic Acid” and Cheeseslave’s is “How to cure tooth decay with Rami Nagel”. I put the title in each sites search engine and it pulled up the article. You can also read The Healthy Home Econimist’ “Whole grains cause tooth decay”. Rami Nagel’s studies are the source of each article. If you are still unable to find them let me know and I’ll try to link to them when my husband gets home.

    • Lindsay December 14, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

      Wow! That is crazy. I had heard rumors but not read those articles yet. It just confirms that there is no end to it. Eventually they are going to say we should eat nothing. ;) I have decided to just continue in the methods that I have adopted and not read any further. That would be totally discouraging. We love oatmeal at our house. It’s not going anywhere any time soon.

      • Carrie December 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

        I hope I’m not only feeding into the worry (and maybe I am… it is a struggle!), but I did scan the article and was actually please with what I found. According to the article, you’re probably fine, since he says in the article: “Calcium (think raw milk, raw cheese, yogurt, and kefir) balances out the negative effects of phytates.” And this is my own paraphrasing, but sounds like as long as grains aren’t a huge part of your diet, and if so, as long as you take care to soak or sour them (arm temp and using fresh ground rye flour/starter and long soaking times are the keys to making it work)… and as long as you eat foods high in vitamin D and calcium, I’m sure you’re fine! It looks like you and your family are healthy and happy and without any significant tooth decay or “defects”… so yay for oatmeal! :)

  63. Jen December 14, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    I cried as I read this, thank you for being real. Time is getting closer for me and my family with two young kids to go overseas and its a bit overwheleming at times, thank you for bring it back down to earth!

  64. Regina Murphy December 14, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Such a wonderful post! I came to this conclusion a few weeks ago when I heard a wholesome food eating friend remark that parents that let their children eat junk food don’t love them. What?! It floored me to think that this person would dare to think so awfully about someone purely based on one little thing they saw. Then, another friend told me of Christian women she was having dinner with that said that smokers should be left on the table to die when pursuing treatment because of their unhealthy choices. What? We have now mandated to withhold compassion based on a person’s poor choice in the past? Thankfully God does not deal with us that way, and hopefully the Lord will open the eyes of these poor women. Thank you again for your post, it is so true and once again proves that the Bible is true – we are to do everything in moderation.

  65. jennifer bickerton December 14, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    Just beautiful, Lindsay. Thanks for being “REAL.”

  66. carly December 14, 2010 at 8:05 am #

    Thank you! I ran into this a few months ago – I was trying to be the “ultimate homemaker”. I have a one year old son, and since he has been born and I have been home, I have been more and more concerned/obsessed with making sure we eat healthy. I finally realized that it is OKAY if I have to buy bread, yogurt, etc… at the store. It’s okay if my child eats chicken nuggets or fish sticks for lunch sometimes. If we don’t have the money to buy all the super expensive healthy things, use what we do have to get the best quality stuff we can afford. It’s OKAY! I loved what you said about being in the kitchen and not spending time with your kids. I felt like that – I was in there all day long doing all these things that I thought I was “supposed” to do, and not spending time with my son. And that is NOT okay!

  67. Sarah December 14, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Fantastic!!! Thank you!

  68. Andrea December 14, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Thank you! I needed to read this…. SO timely. Thank you!

  69. Jen December 14, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Thanks for a wonderful reminder -great thoughts!

  70. Farrah December 14, 2010 at 7:22 am #


    For years now I have had an eating disorder and have fought endlessly with that disorder in conjunction with my obsession of real food. I feel like if I don’t eat perfectly then I will get fat and if I get fat then I lose who I am. I have also learned that you can be fat eating Nourishing Traditions type foods as well as low cal twinkies. Learning that the hard way…

    Thank you!

  71. sharon December 14, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    THANK YOU! What a wonderful reminder and encouragement at this time of year in particular when so many relational experiences are centered around food gatherings. Thanks for listening to the Lord, and posting what He lays on your heart. ~Sharon

  72. Gloria December 14, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    Thank you for the great word. I too have come to this decision after seeing the effect that health obsession has had on friends who cannot eat with friends and who make others feel judged by their choices. Romans 14:15 “If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died.” has really helped guide my eating. It is still hard when I go to a friend’s house who cooks our meal in teflon coated pans and serves it hot on plastic plates, but I am fully convinced our God is WAY beyond and bigger than all that.

  73. Chelsea December 14, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    Amen! This past week I was at a church gathering, and the pastor had mentioned how much we rely on material things. It’s something I have heard time and time again. The pastor mentioned that we take simple things that are meant to be enjoyed, and we begin to live for them. Wholesome food and food planning becomes an idol for me at times. I was truly convicted of that this Sunday, and reminded to stay on track with your post.
    Thank you for this.

  74. Katie December 14, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    ANother great post! I love this as much as you Idol post. It has been a struggle to not be completely consumed but health and nutrition but to find balance, and I think we are managing it well. We cannot afford all organic so I have picked a few items that will always be organic and the rest will be good enough. And there are plenty of times where a good ‘ol frozen pizza is our chosen dinner so sake of time AND taste. We all love pizza and don’t always have the time to make it from scratch. Balance makes our family more calm and at peace.

  75. Lisa December 14, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    I too often get overwhelmed at all the choices we face as mothers, wives, christians. As with all things in our lives it gets real simple when you stop looking for man’s answers to nutrition and look to the Lord. There is actually quite a bit about food in the bible, He tells us what to eat and what not to eat, and there are many well written christian books about health, taken directly from the scrioptures. Hope this helps, it has for me.

  76. Lori December 14, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    That was so wonderfully well written. I really enjoy your writings.

  77. Carrie December 14, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    Lindsay, like so many others already, THANKS for this post and for the upcoming series. This is just what I need to read and be convicted by! My husband and I are both quite interested in nutrition and have seen how over the last year it can consume us as we’ve gone from eating packaged foods to whole foods. It’s humbling to realize how quickly we make things into idols above God… so quickly!! And I’ve seen my marriage suffer from not making loving the Lord and loving others the top priorities! It’s not worth it to have all the health in the world if you lose sight of God and see your relationships fall apart… you’ll be much sicker physically and spiritually, even if you ARE eating all organic nourishing foods!

    My struggle has been that my husband is possibly even one step beyond me on the nutrition “scale”… and we have differing opinions on some big food groups, like grains/beans. I’ve learned to let go of my wants, not have to have it all figured out (you’re right, it’s so overwhelming to try and research online and find a consistent opinion!), and make my priority to serve my husband over myself. That means LOTS of salads and not so much grains, which I’m finally coming to peace with! Sounds silly, but I so wanted to be able to “bless” my husband with (and I’m sure I’ve been wanting to get praised for…) soaked/soured whole grain baked goods, but it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t want grains! Ha! Good thing salads are way easier than baking bread! :) I’m now seeing this as a blessing. And I’m so hoping to get this all into balance before we have children. Definitely learning to bring it all to God in prayer rather than only searching for answers online…

    Thanks again for these convicting reminders… we all need to be nudged (or shoved!) back into the light of the gospel and reminded to keep God and loving others priorities in our lives. Can’t wait for the next post on this!

  78. Melissa December 14, 2010 at 5:57 am #

    Thank you again for sharing your heart on this matter. I was about to completely throw in the towel on “natural living” until I read your first post on this subject several months ago. It really helped me gain much needed perspective. We are in a position right now where we are learning to be good stewards of our finances, and for us that primarily looks like tithing (which we hope to increase in the future) and getting out of debt. On top of paying for basic necessities that doesn’t leave us a huge grocery budget. I do the best I can with the resources I have.

    Something that has really helped me is just remembering how blessed I am to even have options. How dare I stress and obsess over whether or not the food we are eating is organic (for example) when there are so many out there who just want to be able to eat one meal a day. When we are debt free we do want to increase our grocery budget, but above that we want to be able to give more generously to those who are in need. We want our focus to be on loving and serving God and loving and serving others.

  79. autumn December 14, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    I finally came to the realization after reading so many books that no matter how “perfect” we keep our diet, our environmental toxin exposure is so much worse that a healthy diet is not enough. Like you I think we should do our very best in feeding our families….but its not worth extra stress. I’m on the same page with you. Sad but true.

  80. Sheila December 14, 2010 at 5:27 am #

    Lindsay, thank you for your words about health NOT saving us. I got married last month to an extremely fit and healthy (and godly! yay!) man but inexplicably, I have started worrying so much about everything he eats. He has high blood pressure but he takes good care of himself, and we both enjoy healthy whole food, so I shouldn’t be afraid – but anytime we have a “treat” and go out for pizza or something, I start worrying that he will get sick someday because of these choices. Ridiculous! Thank you for reminding me that God has much more control over my husband’s health than I do!

  81. stephanie December 14, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    wonderfully, insightfully written. Thank you for sharing your heart as this is something so close to many of us mother’s hearts. It’s an encouragement.

  82. Mandy December 14, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    Great post! I loved what you said about how it could influence relationships. We are the only people on both sides of our family that is trying to eat “real food,” like a book I don’t remember but did read said. We just have to be patient and confident that our “way of life” will eventually influence them to do the same, but in the meantime, go ahead and let the kiddos eat manufactured cookies now & then at grandma & grandpas. ;0)

  83. sarah in the woods December 14, 2010 at 5:06 am #

    Thank you for sharing this. It seems such a difficult balance because making healthy choices is so different from the mainstream. Looking forward to the next part.

  84. Alison December 14, 2010 at 4:54 am #

    Ouch, ouch, ouch! This was good for me to read. I’m 19, single, and increasingly obsessed with a Nourishing Traditions lifestyle. The hardest thing you just said for me was about it being taken away. The one thing I like to worry about most is that God won’t let me marry a man that cares about health food like I do. That he will be a coke drinkin’, Dorrito eatin’ guy that resents my passion for good nutrition. That scares me!

    Funny, I read a lot of wonderful blog like yours that balance articles on womanhood, seeking the Lord, and nutrition, but they are all written by mothers! I would love to know what a single girl is supposed to do about it…

    Thanks for bringing truth, Lindsay.

    • Danielle B December 14, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

      Okay, but you wouldn’t date someone who drinks coke and eats Dorritos would you? so why would you marry someone like that???????

      God gives us FREE WILL… so he’s not going to tell you what to do. You choose who you will marry.

  85. Sarah December 14, 2010 at 4:35 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this. Our family is striving to live more naturally, but we try very hard to stay grounded in reality. I used to struggle with an eating disorder, so I know what it’s like to strangle every relationship due to an obsession. I don’t remember much about those years of my life, except the heartache that accompanied feelings of insecurity and self-centeredness. I pray often that the Lord would help me not to let this happen with my desire to serve my family more natural food. He has been very gracious to give me peace about the “non-natural” things that sometimes get into our diets or bath and body products. Ultimately, our lives are in His hands, not the things we eat.

  86. Corina December 14, 2010 at 4:34 am #

    Great timing! This thought has been working in my heart, and I haven’t been able to put it into words. Here you’ve taken my struggle, and laid it out in context of a Christian life, and it gives me peace.
    I appreciate your approach here of loving and respecting the body and our health without worshiping them, and always ensuring we’re nourishing the soul and our relationship with Jesus first and foremost.

  87. Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} December 14, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    Linsday, I needed this post today. Thank you for helping me keep things in perspective. Have a blessed Christmas!

  88. Sue Mitchell December 14, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    Lindsay, Thank you SO much for writing this! I suffer from slight OCD and can get completely crazy about things – including healthy food. It’s about balance and trusting in GOD to take care of us – not anything else! Yes, we need to be careful about what we put into our bodies and treat our bodies as the temple it is, but we also need to remember that, like you said, healthy eating can NOT save us…only JESUS CHRIST can!! Thank you for that reminder because even today I was going to go shopping at Trader Joe’s and I know that always brings with it for me a certain level of stress. I think I will still go but be praying all the way that I make choices that allow me to TRUST in God, not the food!

  89. Cath December 14, 2010 at 4:01 am #

    This is something that has been on my heart too in the last couple of months. I provide my family with a simple, healthy, balanced diet along the lines of a Nourishing tradtions diet, but at the same time I am not going to stress about making mince pies/cookies for my family this Christmas. We will enjoy every bit of our Chirstmas cake – icing/marzipan the lot! When it is gone it is gone!

    My son has recently been diagnosed with Autism/ADHD. I have done all the “right” things including diet from pre pregnancy forward and yet here we are. We cannot use what we feed our families as an insurance policy for good health. God has much greater plans.

    I read in another blog recently about a mother who would use food allergies as an excuse not to let her children eat food at another friends house. All of my children have a gluten intolerance or coeliac disease like myself. When faced with the reality of food intolerances, I would give any thing to be able to go to a friends house this Christmas and be blessed with all that she would provide without having to worry about making my children ill. I want my children to go out and have a mince pie after the carol service with out having to think about it in advance.

    I am so grateful to God for all that he provides for my family, and I think we sometimes need to take a step back and just remember how blessed we are.

    • Gabreial December 14, 2010 at 9:28 am #

      “I would give any thing to be able to go to a friends house this Christmas and be blessed with all that she would provide without having to worry about making my children ill. I want my children to go out and have a mince pie after the carol service with out having to think about it in advance.”

      Thank you for this comment, it truly humbles the heart and on both ends.

  90. Jeaniene December 14, 2010 at 2:32 am #

    Thank you Lindsay! I just read this to my husband as this is exactly what he has been encouraging me with as I have been going through these sames ups and downs and frustrations and questions in regard to cooking and living healthy and natural. This was such a blessing to my heart and I look forward to part 2. Blessings!