Friday, August 17, 2012

You are what you eat (& digest!)

Why did changing our diet 2 years ago make such a big difference?

A few years ago I honestly didn't give too much thought to what we were eating.  A very good friend of mine who loves me very much loves to tease me about my misconceptions about food and how crazy she thought I was consuming so much sugar after my first 2 babies were born :)  But God is so good and He has slowly been teaching me and helping me overcome my misconceptions.

I used to think that disease and what we eat were unrelated.  Of course I realized that smoking or second hand smoke could cause cancer.  That obesity could cause diabetes and heart problems.  But what I didn't think was that what I was eating would hurt me.

Since that time I've learned that I was wrong.  Very very wrong.  I was astonished to go through  my cupboards and read the labels.  I was astonished to go grocery shopping and bypass all my old foods.  That first shopping trip I left the kids behind and took my time.  I read all the labels.  Skip. Skip. Skip. Skip.  most everything I used to buy went back on the shelf.  But I was happy to find that there were some good alternatives and now I know exactly what to buy and it takes a "normal" amount of time.  By normal I mean how long it takes any Mom!  My kids are learning that not all food is equal.  Chloe often says "we buy this because it's organic."  Haha!  But I also hear a lot of "can we buy ____?" and it's usually something that I don't want them to eat but marketers make look very attractive.  And then I have to say "I'm sorry but that 's not healthy, they use a lot of chemicals to make that."

So why exactly is all this food bad for us?  Why can't we just eat it in moderation?

The research out there is getting more and more extensive and I really don't want to go into it too much because then I would want to make sure that all my facts are straight and have a source to back it all up - but I will give you the basics of my understanding.

Life begins in the intestines.  What we eat goes to our stomach.  If we don't chew properly or use enough saliva when we're eating our stomachs have a harder time breaking it down.  The more we enjoy our food the more easily our body digests it.  (cool huh?!) Eating fast is harder on our system, eating slowly is easier.  The real work begins in the intestines and if our intestines are not working properly our whole body suffers.  A lot of people with an inflammatory bowel disease are nutrient deficient because their body can't absorb what they're eating.  You can eat all the right foods but if your body can't absorb them, all those nutrients just end up in the toilet.  Another thing that needs to happen is the elimination of wastes.  Our liver is very important for getting rid of toxins - and so is our  . . . you know . . . bowel movements.  Overloading our bodies with toxins and harmful substances makes it harder for our body to eliminate them and they end up building up in our system.  Most foods in our culture are hard on our bodies for various reasons which is perhaps another post.

Chewing is just one way that we break our food down.  There is a host of helpers within our body and without them our body just can't function properly.  Most disease comes when we're mistreating our body and feeding it junk.  Ever looked at the label of what you're eating?  Ever looked those things up?  It can be pretty scary.  Artificial flavour.  What exactly is that?  It could be a multiple number of things but you can bet you can't grow it in your garden!  Do you remember my post on the pineapple juice?  Here is an excerpt:

The pineapple juice was the blue menu choice. 40% less sugar. Right there my flags went up. The pineapple juice we usually buy is 100% pineapple juice not from concentrate. How do they reduce the sugar from that? So I read the label. Pineapple juice (not from concentrate), water, fruit pectin (contains maltodextrin, corn syrup solids) citric acid, potassium citrate, natural flavour, malic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) turmeric (colour) sucralose (15mg per serving), caramel colouring. 

Okay how natural is that?  Does our body really need all these things?  Do you know that MSG can be labeled as natural flavour ?  I think we all know by now how harmful MSG is to our body.  And that is just one ingredient on the list.  What about the corn syrup solids?  What does that do to our body?  How does our body get rid of all these non-foods we're putting into it?

The truth is - it doesn't.

And it hurts.  Our body suffers.

And we often think it's normal.

Do you get headaches?  Do you have aches and pains?  Do you have gas and bloating?  Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you feel anxious?  Depressed?

Could it be that what you're eating is hurting you? 

Yes!  It could be absolutely true!  I am learning more and more how serious it is to feed our body properly and what exactly that looks like.  I am guessing that I will probably be learning about this my whole life.  When I'm 60 I'll probably look back and say "wow, I can't believe we used to eat that!" about what we're eating right now.  But that's okay - it would be impossible for me to eat perfectly right now.

Sometimes I get very frustrated and overwhelmed.  But I will leave you with that which is my constant reassurance.

This is not my home.

This is not my home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :):):):)

Heaven is my home and when it is my turn, when my house is ready, my body will be perfect.  I won't be looking at labels.  I won't be questioning ingredients, how it was processed, what soil it was grown in, how long it was in transport, all the fuel emissions that were emitted as it was being transported and what that's doing to my breastmilk that I feed my baby (which is another post altogether!).  And for that I praise God!  This trial is temporary.  I'm going to do all I can to learn about how to feed my family as healthily as I can.  I'm going to do all I can to keep TR's colitis in check while we're here on this earth.  But when it gets me down I am thankful that one day this struggle will be over and our bodies will be perfect.  And the food we eat will be perfect.  Thank you Jesus!

p.s. I realized that it's been a while since I've done a lot of research on the additives to food and so hopefully soon I'll be taking the time to research it again.  Look for more posts coming up on that soon :)


  1. wow wee! convicted!
    I am SO bad, I eat all the wrong foods! oh its so hard.

  2. Hey I never meant to make you feel bad! The truth about food hurts though :( I hope that my latest post will help a bit.


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