A New Food Disorder

This is what I had for breakfast this morning:

This…

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which blended into this…

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with a side of this…

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And I didn’t really enjoy it.  Not because I was drinking kale or because the kids nagged the whole time for more eggs.  I didn’t enjoy it because I found fault with everything that I had prepared.

  • The bagel had chocolate chips in it and was loaded with sugar.  And it contained gluten and I’ve read that gluten should be avoided.
  • Plus it had cream cheese on it, and I’ve heard people speak against dairy and have read articles that dairy is hard to process and should be avoided.  Milk was also in the scrambled eggs – shoot!
  • The eggs themselves were not from free-range, organic chickens…and actually, I’ve seen documentaries and read books saying that all animal products, like eggs, should be avoided.
  • The smoothie seemed like a winner until I considered that none of the fruits and vegetables were organic…not even the ones on the dirty dozen list like kale and apples.  And I’ve read that non-organic food on the dirty dozen list should be avoided.

I wish I could say that this is the only time I’ve been disappointed with my food.  But then I would be lying to you.  Food is a massive source of worry for me.  In fact, every time I cook, and many times that I eat, I’m wondering, “Is this the right thing to eat?  What if it’s giving me cancer?  What if I’m giving my kids cancer?”

I’ve connected cancer to what we eat because every single one of the sources linked above attached higher risks of cancer to eating certain foods.  And man, I don’t want to bring cancer into the house!  I worry that the choices I make with food will eventually leave us sick.

I’m not the only one thinking about what foods to eat.  Friends, acquaintances, even strangers in all of my circles are talking about food….trying to figure out what to eat to settle their stomachs, to reduce bloating, to ease mood swings, to feel better, to be healthy.  The problem is that many diet options contradict each other.

  • Gluten free says it’s fine to eat dairy.  Dairy free says you shouldn’t eat dairy.
  • The Paleo diet says no grains (including no gluten) and no dairy…but yes to meat.  Vegan says no to meat, and ALL animal products…but yes to gluten.
  • Vegetarian says no to meat, but yes to gluten. The Mediterranean diet says yes to meat…and olive oil…which a whole group of people say is unhealthy.

I haven’t listed even half of the diets sources claim (scientifically) to be healthy and lower cancer rates.  It’s so confusing!  My head is already spinning and nearly pops off when I think about all of the liver, colon, and juice cleanses people recommend.  And I just about lose it when I start thinking about my water.

  • What’s in it?
  • Am I drinking it at the right time of day?  (because I’ve read that drinking it at the wrong times of the day can harm digestion)
  • Am I drinking enough?
  • What’s the temperature of the water?  (again, can aid or slow digestion)

I’m officially gone when I think about the GMOs and pesticides and toxins and processed food and high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils and, and, and!!!

This is a new food disorder

It’s becoming more difficult to discern what is healthy food, which in turn leaves me feeling scared, worried, and preoccupied about the food I eat.

How’s a girl to feed her family these days?  Where is the truth about food?

I believe this is a food disorder because I do not have a healthy view of food.  I still eat food; but my mind is becoming warped and confused and worried with every comment I hear about nutrition.  There is no freedom here, no enjoyment of food.  It feels more like a prison of fear than a meal.

Though I’m still muddling through this food disorder, I’ve come to the following conclusions.

  • Food can become a false god.  A god is anything we fear, love, and trust.  As a Christian, the one true God should hold this place in my heart.  Unfortunately, I put more trust in food to keep me safe and healthy than I do God.  And I fear the negative effects of food and what they can do in my life.  I am very preoccupied with food and its effects.  A lot of my head space is dedicated to food…and not to God.  As I did with my daughter, I’ve made a good thing a God thing.  I need to repent more often of trusting in food more than God.   
  • Sin messed EVERYTHING up.  All of the diets I mentioned have scientific research supporting their cancer findings.  These people aren’t just making stuff up.  I would literally eat NOTHING if I went by the guidelines of these diets and organic and GMO studies, and other such information.  No matter what we eat, we will eat something that is not perfectly, Garden of Eden healthy for us…because of sin.  The sin problem is SO BIG, we can’t avoid having some kind of toxins in our bodies.  If not from food, then from our environment – clothes – shampoo – air (don’t even get me started down these paths!).  We can’t avoid the effects of sin.
  • I’m going to die.  And so is my husband.  And so are my children.  I shudder as I write that…but it’s true.  It’s another consequence of sin.  It’s one of the most obvious facts of life.  But it’s a fact that so many are trying to avoid and control with their food.  If I’m honest, I’m one of them.  Yet no matter how hard I beat myself against this fact, it’s still true.  What’s more, am I fully living if I’m constantly trying to avoid death?  How much is fear stealing my joy?  Probably a lot…
  • God sustains me.  We as Christians have never been promised a pain-free, suffering-free, cancer-free, sickness-free life.  However we have been promised the presence of our living God; the same God that walked with Adam and Eve while they ate perfect fruit in the garden.  The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob promises to walk with us through all trials we experience.  If I or my family gets sick, I know He will help me manage the pain.  He will be my fortress, my strength, my stronghold, my defender, my rock, my Wisdom and understanding.  “I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2
  • Jesus has conquered death.  Why should I fear death if He has conquered it?  He has gone before me, faced the grave, and come out on the other side…FOR ME!  And FOR YOU!  What can mortal man do to me?

I have by no means conquered my food disorder.  I struggle everyday with it.  But I am confident that God will give me wisdom and understanding as I try to navigate our food world.

Time to go make dinner…

Have you ever struggled to know the best food to eat these days?

Happily linked with:
Raising Arrows
The Time Warp Wife
Raising Homemakers
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

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21 thoughts on “A New Food Disorder

  1. Good thoughts! It can be hard to figure out what to eat with all the conflicting information. I try to focus on the benefits of the foods I eat and think less about the risks. In the summer we get our veggies from a “Community Supported Agriculture” project which allows us to have essentially organic produce at an affordable rate. In the winter we don’t eat as much organic and rely on frozen veggies a lot.

    I’ve actually experimented quite a bit because my health is not great and I have found diet options that help me feel better. But I feed my kids and husband foods that I don’t eat sometimes and don’t worry about it too much because they eat a variety of foods including some very nutrient dense ones. My 5 yo was so excited about a new frozen veggie blend I brought home from the grocery store the other day he thought maybe we should go back and get more the next day in case the sale ended. I figure that’s a good sign. 🙂

    • That’s a good strategy Rachel, to focus on the benefits of the food we eat instead of the risks. It’s all about where we put our focus! And don’t you love it when kids get excited about veggies? Means we must be doing something right!

  2. I loved this! I also know exactly how you feel. My sister and I have decided that as long as we eat *real* food, in the purest form that we can find, we’ll be okay. And I loved how you reminded us that God is sovereign, even when it comes to things like what we eat!

    • Thanks for stopping by Shanique. I think you and your sister have a good plan going with “real” food. We all need to come up with some kind of guidelines for how we eat these days…and “real” food is an essential one!

  3. Most of what I eat is made in a blender similar to yours; my Vitamix. I love putting kale, banana, fresh pineapple, maca and a bit of almond milk for a delicious breakfast smoothie.

    I don’t agonize over what I eat. I’ve cut out canned goods and all processed goods. There is no sugar, butter, or any white foods in my pantry. I eat then listen to my body.

    Stopping by from Titus 2sDay Link-Up Party!

  4. I have felt the same way many times!! And have to watch that I don’t slip back into obsessing about food. “Healthy eating” has become a mass case of idolatry. It saddens me to think that I am even tempted to trust in food rather than my Savior Jesus Christ.
    What about all the people who are starving while I sit and knit pick my food choices instead of being thankful for the abundance God has blessed me with.
    Wretched sinner that I am! Praise God for His great mercy and forgiveness through His Son!

    • I think you’re right on Anita that we have to constantly guard our minds against our obsessions. And when we fail (because we will this side of heaven!) we seek God’s forgiveness – thanks for this essential reminder!

  5. Thank you for writing this post and for being so open about an issue that I think a lot of people inwardly struggle with! You hit the nail on the head for me with your description of food worries being an idol! We use to eat mostly organic/ whole foods from scratch but the economy and a growing family has changed that for us. I am happy to be able to buy some fruits and vegetables period let alone making sure they are organic. Homemade-from -scratch-organic-flour bread as been replaced by Walmart’s brand of whole wheat. It has been a humbling experience for me because it is easy to become prideful at doing _________ (fill in the blank) the correct way, the best way, etc. Thank you for the sweet reminder that God is truly the One who will sustain those that walk in His ways!

    • Yes, it has been a very humbling experience for me too! You mentioned Walmart…ever done their price match deal? It’s an amazing thing – and that’s the only way I can afford a huge amount of fresh fruits/veggies. It’s become a big part of my food strategy.

  6. Wow! You just put into words what I’ve been thinking for several years! I’ve got 3 kids ages 3 and under. Frankly, I’ve decided that it is more godly to buy disposable diapers and Spagettios than to be a cranky, yelling Mama for the sake of trying to do everything “just right.” Really, like you said healthy eating and living can easily turn into an idol – just like the Pharisees outward deeds. My heart is far from perfect but that is what lasts through eternity, not my kitchen. Hope you don’t mind but I will post a link to this article on my blog. Thanks again for the great post!

  7. Really enjoyed this! You hit this topic right on the nail for Christians wanting to truly eat better and live healthier! Thank you for being so honest. I read your article from a friend’s facebook link … if you were curious. Have a blessed day!~Cassy

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