Sunday, November 15, 2009


Choices define who we are.

Choices define who we become.

Choices define who we leave behind.

After much reading, prayer, thought, and discussion, it is time to finally make a change. I pray this is a choice that makes its transition easily. The choice we have made is in response to the way so many people in the world today live. The choice we have made is not an entirely new thought. It’s something that we have been trying to implement for nearly a year. In fact, my New Year’s Resolution for 2009 was to begin implementing this change and have the conversion complete by 2010. We have, however, fallen behind.

I cannot speak for other countries nor can I speak for America as a whole because I have not experienced the entirety of the world or our great land. There are many things about America that I am proud to see, to live, to experience. We are, indeed, a great country, but there is one front on which we have failed. This front is our relationship with food. Many Americans have an addiction, and I call it an addition because it has the same consequences and effects as any other addiction one can develop. Many Americans have an addiction to processed food, fast food, and junk food. I am trying to break that addiction in myself and my family. My goal is to turn to healthier foods, local foods, and more natural foods.

I have often heard that change starts at home. Many people feel that they cannot make a difference because they do not have the ability to influence a large number of people. That is not true. If they can influence the life of one person, even if they are that person, then they have done a world of good. The change in them will in itself influence anyone with whom they come in contact. Thus, I aim to change myself and those things that I can control.

Our goals are outlined more specifically a little later, but the basis of my goal is to turn to a more traditional lifestyle. This includes cooking more meals at home, decreasing use of prepackaged and prepared foods, using traditional storage methods such as canning and deep freezing, and reserving candy as a special occasion treat. Yes, before you ask, I understand what a task this is that I am starting. It is a process. I know it will not happen overnight. This has been, however, more than a year in the making, so I pray that God will help me be strong in my convictions to do this because it is so important to the health of my family.

We are not healthy. Anyone can look at us and determine that. I am convinced that our health problems are not due to heredity or poor chance; rather, our health problems are a result of what we eat…or what we don’t eat. I am plagued by asthma, sleep apnea, constant congestion, fatigue, and a very annoying cough. My joints hurt. My muscles ache. I never feel “good.” I think much of this has to do with the fuel that I give my body. If you fill a performance car with gasoline littered with trash, will the car perform at top ability? No. Food is fuel for my body. It is not a reward. It is not a place to hide.

You may be wondering what this is all about. Well, it’s about life, a life that I want to live. I want to be able to see my children and grandchildren grow up. I want to be healthy enough to have more children. I want to raise my daughter in an environment that will foster good choices and a love of food that is healthy rather than garbage. I want her to learn moderation. I want her to learn that McDonalds is not an ideal dinner. I want her to learn that candy does not precede every meal. I want her to learn to enjoy a variety of foods and not be afraid to try new things. I want my husband to enjoy flavorful meals that nourish his body instead of harm it. I want my family to have a better relationship with food than the one that I have developed. Change begins at home, right? Hopefully by changing myself, I can change others as well.

Our goals regarding food:

1. Reduce the amount of prepackaged food to a minimal amount.

2. Eliminate fast food. There is always another option.

3. Reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates that are consumed. Some carbs are good for us, but white flour and white sugar are not.

4. Choose traditionally prepared foods whenever possible.

5. Drink mostly water.

6. Eliminate “candy” except on special occasions. It should be a treat, not an expectation.

7. Choose local foods whenever possible.

8. Choose foods that are in season whenever possible.

9. Start a garden.

10. Preserve food though canning and freezing to be used “out of season.”

11. Keep studying about food.

Our other goals:

1. Exercise. Encourage others to do so as well. This does not have to be formal, gotta go to the gym exercise. Any movement will do.

2. Rest. A body cannot heal without proper rest. It will wear out too soon.

3. Be happy. Look on the bright side. It could always be worse, right?

4. Smile. Even if you do not feel like it, just grin like a fool. You’ll feel better, really.

I ask you, friends, to please help us. I have prayed and prayed that I would have support in my choices. I have also prayed for little resistance. I can only pray that our choices will help us be healthier, livelier, and more productive.

Thanks for reading!

Melissa Gilbert

November 15, 2009

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