Balancing Nutrition And Priorities – Part 1

Photo Credit

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.