Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.1 Chronicles 22:16b
It is hard work to change eating habits. Though there is a 12-Step program for overeaters, I am not suggesting that changing a pattern of unhealthy eating to a more healthy lifestyle necessarily requires joining Overeaters Anonymous. However, again, we can begin to see how making the right food choice is not an easy thing:
At those times, I am a junkie, a spasm of need and desire, wholly focused on ingesting that bowl of pasta (or doughnuts or ice cream). Wheat and sugar. The OA [Overeaters Anonymous] program doesn’t promote any particular diet, but wheat and sugar so pervasively spark compulsive eating that many members make abstinence from them the turning point in overcoming their addiction.
- Making the right choices
- Getting support to make the change
- Making changes one day at a time
Eat Better = Better Health
I have already told you that avoiding sugar made me feel better. Then I ate one cookie and had pain in my neck and shoulders which confirmed I should stop sugar! I have not mentioned another “food” I gave up during this Lenten Fast. I took myself off wheat—even whole wheat which is allowed on the Fast. I am testing my body out on all gluten-free products to see if I can tell any changes. I’ll let you know. I’m not suggesting you become a gluten-free expert because gluten is optional. Eating more fruits and vegetables is not optional.
“Eat your fruits and vegetables.” You’ve likely heard this statement since childhood. Research shows why it is good advice:
- Healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
- Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.
- Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/index.html?s_cid=tw_ob191
Get Support with Your Eating
It is hard for me to sit and watch other people laugh, talk, and have fun eating the foods I have given up during my Daniel Fast. It made it easier when I was in New Orleans that my sisters have each decided to give up some food item for Lent and they supported me. Also, several of the women I met were also fasting and order vegetarian options of the meals. Now, if they had served peach cobbler for dessert, I would have had to leave the table. There is only so much temptation I can take even with support. We are better able to do hard things when there are people or a person who will give encouragement to “keep going.”
One day at a time. Or as my girlfriend says, “Sometimes I can only take a half-day at a time.” If that is the case, then slow it down even more and just get through the morning or through breakfast; not worrying about lunch and dinner. I did plan my eating the last day in New Orleans. I wanted to return to my discipline of the Fast. That helped a whole lot. I asked myself, “Is this on the list of what you planned to eat?” If the answer was “No,” I made a different choice. Change is not easy. Making a lifestyle change is hard. Take one day at a time.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-lisa-young/healthy-food_b_1665279.html Talks about the benefits of vegetables and also lists the specific vegetables nutritional value
http://www.bhg.com/health-family/nutrition/food-allergies/what-does-gluten-free-mean/ Just in case you are curious about gluten
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/13-ways-to-fight-sugar-cravings This talks about sugar, but also has helpful info on eating healthy while enjoying your foods