how you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you get down the mountain. in the end, it all comes down to one word. grace.
As a Christ follower, I try to extend grace to others, remembering that they are just dust ("As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust" Ps. 103:13-14 NIV). I think I'm pretty good about extending grace to others. But, giving myself grace....now that's another story.
A few days ago I felt guilty for feeding my children cheerios because of some of the articles I had been reading about extruded foods. Then I was feeling guilty for using granulated sugar when making cookies. One of my biggest challenges during this food conversion is the feeling that I'm failing, that I'm a hypocrite, that I'm not "all in."
Is it enough to just make the switch from industrial meats to organic meats, or, in order to be a "true food convert" does that mean we only eat pastured meats?
Are cereals OK, or should we avoid cheerios like the plague?
What do I do with all of this new information I'm finding that I've never heard and is so completely foreign to me? Soaking grains? What is that?
What about budget constraints? We're just a typical family with 2 kids and a house payment.
To say that this conversion has been easy would be a complete lie. At best, it's been a challenge. At worst, it's been difficult.
Eating real foods takes a good bit of planning, and this is a big adjustment for our instant gratification society. Baking bread takes time. Home baked foods (without preservatives) don't last as long as store bought foods, and therefore, you're baking again....and again....and again. Fresh fruits and vegetables perish, unlike the boxed goods from the grocery store. Dinners from scratch usually take more than 15 minutes of prepping and cooking...and dirty up more dishes.
But, I will say that I find it extremely rewarding. I know what my children are eating because I control the ingredients I put into our foods. I've found that I actually enjoy baking. And, the praises I receive when my family likes what I've prepared makes all the extra effort worthwhile.
We've made some amazing changes. I'm reading food labels. I bake my own bread. I make my own yogurt and granola. If we want a cookie, I make our own. I buy local when I can, organic when I can, pastured when I can. I try to keep fresh fruit in the house for the kids to snack on rather than processed cookies or crackers. I encourage my oldest to take her lunch and, when she does, I pack healthy meals. My husband has branched out and tried several new vegetables (and let me tell you, he is PICKY!!!!!).
So, if it all comes back to grace, I'm going to start extending some to myself.
Will I ever buy cheerios again? Probably so. And, I'm OK with that.
(Check out Sorta Crunchy's post "Heavy on the Sorta." I thought it was full of grace)
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