The Secret to Stress-Free Real Food {The Candy Bar Principle}

a month of simple steps to make progress on your real food journey

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. 

a stress-free approach to progress on your real food journeySo, 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!

16 responses to “The Secret to Stress-Free Real Food {The Candy Bar Principle}”

  1. Vanessa Avatar

    I was happy to read that I am not the only one who srtrives to keep the family healthy diet going but sometimes the budget does not allow for the best of food purchases. I too sometimes slack off as well when it comes to my child and get Chick-fil-A or something else along those lines.

    Thanks, I really like your blogs.

    1. Trina Avatar

      you are so welcome! and yes, you are not alone–we all have days or areas that still need work, but a stress-free approach is just as important as the food we choose!

  2. Christie Lopez Avatar
    Christie Lopez

    I’m new to your blog and I have to say thank you for this post! I’m slowly learning about eating whole foods and trying to change to a more natural lifestyle for my family and I. Reading about ALL the different things that I use on a daily basis that are toxic stresses me out. It is so overwhelming and it makes you want to change everything all at once. So I appreciate you taking the time to reassure us it doesn’t have to happen all at once. God is control of all things not me. Sometimes we need these reminders even if we think we already know this. Thank you for helping me take a breathe and relax. I will NOT grab that candy bar and I WILL continue to take it one day at a time! Thanks!! 🙂

    1. Trina Avatar

      Christie, I’m so delighted my post helped bring you some peace. I am sure you are doing an awesome job of making changes and wise choices wherever you are able, and I know God will bless your faithfulness. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. carol Avatar

    Wonderful advice. I must admit it gets stressful trying to figure out who is right. There is such conflicting reports out there and from various natural health practitioners. I have been on real foods for a few years now after God directed me to coconut oil to cure my husband’s dementia. (it worked)
    But I don’t know what to do about the milk issue. We had milk sheep so we could have raw milk but I was always so constipated. A naturopath friend told me to stop the milk and for the first time in years I had normal bowl movements. But now I am concerned about my teeth.
    You are right, I have to rest in the Lord in this as well, but do you have any suggestions.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Carol, a great option if milk constipates you is to culture it first. I recommended this to a friend just a few months ago and gave her some kefir grains. She makes kefir now and drinks it every day and says it has changed her life. Completely taken care of the constipation. Kefir is awesome because it has all the raw enzymes and good bacteria of raw milk, with the addition of helpful yeast cultures and it can make all the difference in digestion and enabling you to get your dairy intake! We love it in smoothies!
      Hope that helps!

  4. […] Just a couple days ago I read a very good post by Trina Holden. […]

  5. Claudia Farr Avatar
    Claudia Farr

    Thank you so much for this post. Me and my husband just started our journey toward real food and I stumbled on your site (I really believe God led me here). I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all the information and the dramatic chance it will be for us and our 2 boys. But this post gave me peace and I just wanted to say thank you 🙂

    1. Trina Avatar

      Claudia, you are SO welcome. I’m excited for your journey, and delighted to have you visit me here. Please email if I can be of any help to you!

  6. Stephanie Kay Avatar

    As a type A get-things-done person, I’m ashamed at how often I forget to ask the creator of my body how best to care for my body. Thanks for this reminder to seek Him in ALL things.

  7. Elizabeth @ DogFurandDandelions Avatar

    I so needed to read this today. As I’ve read more and more about the toxic stuff we put in and on our bodies, I’m become more determined to change that for my family. But I can’t do it all at once! It takes time to research, energy to experiment, and of course money that is really tight right now. And it’s easy to get stressed about what I WANT to do, vs what I CAN do right now. In fact, yesterday was grocery day and I was totally stressing in the stores, looking at prices and what I wanted to change about our lifestyle!

    But you’re so right: while I must do my part, God is ultimately in control of our well-being, and He can allow or reject any sickness or ailment as He chooses. I can eat the healthiest diet in the world, and still get sick… my calling is to do what He enables me to do RIGHT NOW, with the resources He’s given me right now.

    Thank you so much for sharing this today!

  8. Jessiqua Wittman Avatar

    Aww… and here I thought you’d be telling us it was OKAY to eat a candy bar… drat… 🙂

  9. Natasha Metzler Avatar

    I’ve been trying to remember who was telling me about how to help your body stop creating moles… perhaps it was you?

    1. Trina Avatar

      maybe? lol how recent was this conversation?

      1. Natasha Metzler Avatar

        quite some time ago. At least a year, probably?

        1. Trina Avatar

          OK, yeah–I remember that. 😉 Here’s what I have heard: increased moles can be a sign of iodine deficiency. And it’s fairly easy to supplement one’s iron–but I think YOU were the one who told me about that. lol

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