I began my real food journey just over 8 years ago now. It started with a nerve-wracking trip with my mom to her naturopath to find out what in the world was wrong with me. I had the recovering-hypochondriac’s hope that my symptoms were all in my imagination, but a blood test and the naturopath’s analysis said otherwise. My hair loss, irregular cycles and those strange moles on my back (more appearing every day!) all pointed to the fact that my body was under severe stress, and I was falling apart, inside and out. She said my liver looked like that of an alcoholic (though I didn’t drink!) and she was very concerned.
It would be two more years before we got to the deepest cause of the stress, but some key diet changes could have to be made right away to reduce the stress my whole body was under. White flour and sugar were out right away. Later I’d cut out grains for a whole 6 months. I’d have to change my whole approach to foods, for though I was raised on home cooked meals, all those whole grains and a misunderstanding of proper preparation were taking their toll on my gut. I wasn’t getting enough protein, and candida was also trying to overwhelm my system.
Nevertheless, I left her office with a feeling of peace because of the Candy Bar Principle.
Candy Bars the Secret to Stress-Free Real Food?
I heard it over and over from this dear lady, and from other friends who went to see her. Even as she diagnosed, instructed, and mentored people toward healing through nutrition, she was constantly speaking this grace-giving truth to us:
“Stressing about what you eat is as bad as eating a candy bar.”
Sink your teeth into that one, caramel and all, will you? Because it’s truth.
Studies have shown and personal experience confirms the ill effect mental stress has on our physical well being. As we begin to learn about healthier choices and dietary changes that we may have to make, the stress can begin to mount. But we should make every effort to let go of the stress as it comes, because the mental strain can be as unhealthy to our bodies as something we’re allergic to or a serving of junk food.
But how do we let go of that stress, with the pressure to reform, the challenge of sourcing new foods, the attempt to learn new recipes and the information overload of the real food movement? How do we keep from freaking out when we finally learn the foods to pursue or avoid but they’re too lofty a goal for our time or budget?
How to Enjoy a Stress-Free Real Food Journey
The secret to remember is that the biggest factor in our health is not our own efforts–it’s the God who created our bodies. (<Tweet that!) God may very well be leading you to understanding your body better, calling you to become a better steward of your health and to make wiser choices for what you feed your family, but never at any point does He lay the entire responsibility for our health on our efforts. Through whatever challenge we face, God maintains His role as Creator and Sustainer of our bodies, reminding us that while we can’t change a hair on our head, He has our hairs numbered.
So, as we continue our Real Food Journey, remember the Candy Bar Principle. Remember that if you start to stress out about a challenge you face along the way, not only are you stressing your body further, but you’re forgetting the truth that we have a Maker Who is also a Healer. He’s walking this journey with you. So, relax–and?
Don’t eat that candy bar. 😉
If you do get stressed about something, I’m here to help. You can comment on any post on this blog and I respond asap, or you can contact me. I’d love to encourage you on your journey!