Thursday, March 29, 2012

Food Wars

I know that the effort to eat healthy sometimes feels like a battle. That's because it is. It's a spiritual battle as well as a physical one. Our enemy will use any means to "steal and kill and destroy" in our lives (John 10:10). But we don't have to be discouraged. Being mentally and spiritually prepared will help us win the war, one fight at a time.

So I'd like to devote the next few posts to some practical tips to help us in these "food wars." And please feel free to share your thoughts and comments as well, so we can help and encourage one another. =) 

"Battle of the Grocery Store"

If you've been in this "war" for very long you'll probably agree that the fight is usually won or lost in the grocery store (because if it's not on your shelf or in your fridge at home, then you probably won't eat it). =) 

Stores are designed by marketing experts who've studied all the ways to entice people to buy more products and spend more money. They are not interested in our personal health. So it's up to us to arm ourselves for the fight.

Some tips for winning the battle in the grocery store:
1) Make a list of what you NEED before you go. Then stick to it! 

2) Try not to go to the store when you're hungry. If necessary, have a snack before you go. A full tummy isn't as easily tempted. =) 

3) Keep to the "outer" aisles that contain "real" food (meat, produce, eggs, etc.). Most of the inner aisles in the store contain man-made foods, so they're easy to avoid. And stay away from the really dangerous aisles (like sodas and sweets).

4) If you feel compelled to put an item in your cart that's not on your list, leave it alone and tell yourself you can come back for it if you decide it's really necessary. Chances are if you have to come back around for it, you'll realize you don't need it after all.

5) While standing in the check-out line, instead of perusing the contents on the shelf next to you, use that time to inventory what's in your cart. Is there anything there you don't need? Anything you shouldn't be buying? If so, take it out and leave it on the shelf next to all the other tempting but unnecessary items. 

6) Pray before you go into the store. Remember, our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the "spiritual forces of evil" in this world (Ephesians 6:12). Rely on God's strength to fight for your health!

And one final tip:
Buy what you can from your local health food store. It's good to support these stores and they have less temptations than regular grocery stores. Our health food store is small, but we can still get much of what we need there - organic produce, organic & non-gluten flours, local honey, organic coconut oil, etc. 
(Just remember that not every item in a health food store is necessarily "healthy." Always read labels so you can make smart choices.) 

If you're not sure what makes a healthy diet, you can check out my post about basic diet recommendations here.
Also, "The Maker's Diet" by Jordan Rubin, is an excellent resource on eating healthy, as is Doug Kaufman's website and his Phase 1 diet which has helped many people.

I hope these tips are helpful. Happy shopping! =)

Question: What are some strategies you use when facing the grocery store battle?

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