Monday, October 15, 2012

Living Healthfully: When Food Proves It Matters

The heat spread across my face breaks apart and flees the moment the cold wind rushes into me.

I am sweating bullets, and I am grinning like an idiot, riding out the door of a doctor's visit on a windy gale of hope and astonishment, high above the ground I walked in on.

During 3-year-old E's evaluation, she'd said much of what we suspected was happening inside our youngest's body: poor digestion, inflammation, candida overgrowth in the gut suppressing his immune system -- much of which can be helped holistically and through simple remedies like taking digestive enzymes to help break down proteins.

It's good news, yes, that he can be treated well without strong herbs or medications or, gosh, that he can be treated in any way other than just following a life sentence strict elimination diet, avoiding those key foods that seem to irritate those of us whose digestive tracts are far more sensitive than most.

So I'm riding high on that hope, but I'm also thanking God for what has been sewn into our youngest's small body: real, nourishing food.

Little ones with such weak digestion normally have various, plentiful nutritional deficiencies that delay their growth and development; E, our little lineman, is pretty nutritionally rich.

Some parents say that they try to feed their kids healthy food, the doctor says after scanning his body, but you two actually have.

Wait what? We have? Despite the no broccoli and his desire to eat only pasta-esque dishes? Really?

These are exactly the words needed for parents who have been scrupulously trying to help heal a visibly and invisibly ailing little body in any ways they can -- avoiding gluten {his sensitivity} like it's rat poison, making foods from scratch the majority of meals*, sneakily pureeing vegetables into any sauces or meatloaf or homemade breads that promises to hide even the vaguest shade of green.

These are exactly the words needed for parents who have begun suspecting more and more that the list of ailments from which our children, from which we suffer are consider "normal" are rooted deeply in nutrition or lack thereof.

That by the vast grace of God of all the messages that are broadcast constantly about health and healthy food, we heard, amid all the noise, the ones about what it takes to build a healthy body from the inside out, from the cell level.

So I'm riding high and the nervousness bound up and wound tightly in my stomach has unraveled and come apart at the sharing of the words from our crazy-smart doctor:

we are not crazy.

We are not crazy for fighting the school-snack fight with our oldest.

We are not crazy for having a food budget that is almost double that of what it used to be

And we are not crazy for having been so invested -- time, money, energy-wise -- in what our family has been eating.

There is something to this whole food journey we've been wildly trying to navigate that is finally, finally, finally showing itself true and well and alive in a little boy who could be much worse for the wear had he been on the Standard American Diet his mother and father and brother have been weaning off for the past three years since his birth.

I take those words home with me, hold them close as I offer praise to God for E's body and the ability He gave it to heal itself through the foods He intended for us to eat.

I take those words home with me, hold them close as I begin to wonder how I can possibly even begin to share {without sounding like a broken record or uppity or preachy or judgey} how food has been proving it matters in my life, E's life

because I desperately and passionately desire for it to prove it matters in, well, all of our lives.

And I finally feeling a little braver and beginning to think I might not be crazy for it.

{Just keeping it real: we don't eat perfectly all of the time; we just simply strive to eat well 80 percent of the time. My kids would swim in a vat of mac n cheese if we let them, and they can list at least six menu items on the Culvers **shudder** menu from having gone there on non-mommy endorsed dates.}


  1. Wonderful wonderful wonderful news! I am so happy for you guys. Isn't food amazing?! We all hold this power to heal our bodies, I wish we could all embrace it. :) good job mama!

    1. Thank you for your kindness, Suzanne! I pray you guys are doing well, too, on your journey!

  2. Even if you were crazy, I'd love you because I'm just as crazy <3

  3. The best thing to do is to literally follow your gut, Hy. You know what is best for you and yours. It isn't preachy, crazy, uppity, or judgmental. It may not work for everyone because (as you mentioned) budgets don't always allow for completely healthy eating (NOW that is CRAZY- when did the price of GOOD food get so expensive?!)Or combating school policy, and don't get me started on manipulating diets for children with special needs. But if one tries just a little harder one can and should make nutrition a priority. Also the 80/20 rule works well with children. You don't want them to start to resent food choices or make certain foods taboo; they may want to consume them all the more. Nobody wins in that scenario.

    Anyway... Great job, mama!!!


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