Monday, May 9, 2011

Boxed cereals

What do I think of boxed cereal? Well, it tastes great, is easy to fix, and has always been one of my favorite snacks/meals/desserts. But recently I've been reading some information about processed foods (and grains in general) that has led me to believe that even the so-called "healthy" cereals do more harm than good to your body.

Grains, seeds, and beans all contain nutrient inhibitors. As I understand it, these are the things that preserve the nutrients in the seed until it germinates. But if you eat any of these foods with the nutrient inhibitors still in them, they will, as their name implies, inhibit the nutrients from being absorbed by your body. This is why grains, seeds, nuts, and beans need to be either soaked, fermented, or sprouted in order for their nutrients to be accessible to your body.

In addition, boxed cereals are so highly processed that most of their nutritional value is destroyed. Of course, all kinds of synthetic vitamins and minerals are added to cereals to try to boost their nutritional value, but artificial nutrients aren't absorbed into the body nearly as well as natural ones. Which makes me wonder why we don't just eat the stuff God made for us to eat. I mean, it's getting more and more obvious as the scientific research keeps coming in. Natural, unprocessed food is always the healthier way to go. Processed and synthetic foods are constantly being found to cause all kinds of health problems and diseases. So yeah, it looks like God really did know what he was doing when he made all this. Lol. But it just amazes me how long it's taking us to figure that out.

For further research, a well-written and very informative article on cereal can be found here:

And a great article on soaking grains can be found here:

Here's a good one on white rice vs. brown, based on the understanding that brown rice, while containing many more nutrients, is also full of nutrient inhibitors, and is very difficult to digest:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Introduction - is eating healthy worth the cost?

Before my first child started eating solid foods, my thoughts on healthy food were basically this: it's better to eat cheap than healthy, because I can use the money I save to help others.

I saw nothing wrong with this idea. It was selfless, after all, and my motive was good. It had little to do with the taste of the food or the ease of preparation. It was just about saving the money for what I thought was something more important.

But then I started doing some research when Kaira started eating, and I haven't stopped yet. There's so much information out there! I was blown away by what I was learning. And eventually I started thinking ahead a little more and came to a new conclusion: if I take the best care I can of the body I have, I will have more energy with which to serve the Lord, and will be in better health, meaning (possibly) less money wasted later on in life on medical problems of all sorts.

I've come to the conclusion that the vast majority of health problems in America stem from our horrible eating habits. Thus, it seemed logical to start a new category in the Learning Surrender blog - Health and Nutrition.

After all, healthy eating is, in a way, related to surrender, isn't it? We want to eat what tastes good - and often the foods that taste the best to us are also the most toxic to our bodies. It's a constant struggle against the desires of the flesh, and it is no easy thing. But it is, I think, a fight worth fighting. Not only will you feel more energetic and less "bleh" all the time, but you will also develop determination and discipline, both useful traits as you seek to walk by the Spirit of God.

So I guess that's it for the introduction. Thanks for reading!

Be all there

“Wherever you are, be all there. It is only possible in the posture of eucharisteo (thanksgiving). Give thanks and see God. Full attention slows the current. Simplicity is a matter of focus. That keeps the focus simple.” – Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

So much wisdom in such a short paragraph. I have really been struggling with this lately. I sometimes wonder why I feel so distant from the life I have lived so far, from childhood until very recently. It seems to me that this paragraph is the answer. I feel distant from my life because I feel like I haven't really been living. Because I haven't been "all there."

Very rarely have I been focused and truly living in the now. As a child I think I tended to simply react to things without really considering and thinking about my reaction first. I don't remember things feeling very important to me - it was like I was just drifting along, doing what I was taught and trying to get the things I wanted. It's a very shallow way to live.

Today, I think a lot more, and reflect quite a bit, but when it comes to living in the now, with full focus on the present, again I am failing. Life is improv, and I suck at improv. :) I freeze up. My mind scrambles for the best "appropriate reaction" to the words or actions of someone, but sometimes the easy answer isn't the real one. It's polite to laugh when someone tells a joke, but if that joke mocks the God I serve, or if it is vulgar or crude, and I laugh without thinking because I know the person WANTS me to laugh...

And here is the simple answer to all of that. Wherever you are, be there. Think before you react. React in a real way. Live the best you can in the present, loving God with all your heart and honoring him with all your actions, and you will have nothing to regret.

But how hard it is to focus! That's the struggle.

“When I stop speeding through life, I find the joy in each days doings, in the life that cannot be bought, but only discovered, created, savored, and lived.” – Katrina Kennison