Healthy Living Essentials
Five Foundational F’s For LiFe (taken mainly from Proverbs 31)
“As you know Him better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life” (2 Peter 1:3-10).
1. Fellowship: with God and man. We are given opportunity to have fellowship with our Heavenly Father and Creator! He longs for fellowship with His children so much that He was willing to send His beloved Son, Jesus to die that we might be with Him and have life forever. His Son lived the perfect life we could never live and died the death we deserve, to provide the cleansing required to be able to stand in His perfectly Holy and awesome presence. Through Jesus we have eternal life, and by His wounds we are healed. Because He loved us first, and poured His love into our hearts through His Spirit, we too are able to love, which is true living. And as we walk in His light, asking forgiveness and giving forgiveness to others, we enjoy spiritual health and fellowship with Him and one another (1 John 1:7). “She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to those in need,” which includes sharing with others in need of God’s love (v.20).
2. Family: Pursue a peaceful home. According to Proverbs 31, a good wife will first nurture the trust of her husband, doing good to him daily, not harm, while building his reputation with others (v.10-12 & 23). Her dedication to the needs of family, household and others inspires her husband and children to praise her and call her blessed (v.27 & 28). Since disputable matters (i.e. eating, drinking etc) can easily cause friction and injury, it is best to quietly trust oneself to the Lord, while being prepared to share convictions in these matters only when others ask or God leads; for even though our convictions may vary, God welcomes each of us that live by faith, with grateful hearts. “Let us then pursue what makes for peace and mutual up-building. The Kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:19).
3. Fitness: May our bodies work for us, not against us. “She girds her loins with strength and makes her arms strong…Strength and dignity are her clothing” (v.17 & 25). Whatever our goals in life are, they can be accomplished best if we are fit (physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally). Our physical bodies are strengthened through exercise, by receiving adequate rest, nutrition, and *proper hygiene (*see page 5 for tips); we strengthen our spirit by spending time with Jesus (through His Word and prayer) who is the bread of life and living water. We become emotionally and mentally fit as we exercise joy, forgiveness, gratitude and humility; and God is glorified as we care for and maintain His temple, our body (1 Cor 6:19-20 & 10:31).
4. FAITH: The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Charm is deceptive and beauty doesn’t last, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be greatly praised (from Proverbs 31:30-31). Book knowledge is helpful, but does not assure wisdom or good health; yet, as we follow Him, He leads us along a pathway that is right and good. This does not mean that we will never be sick, but that as we pursue knowledge of Him, we can be assured that any sickness is being used for good: to refine our character, to build our endurance, hope and faith, and to know or show His faithfulness, with the assurance that afterward He is able to remove the illness or provide grace to endure. There is no end to the making of books, and much study brings weariness to the flesh; but in Him is rest: whether sick or well. We have rest since we follow the One in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And like a good shepherd who cares for his sheep, we only need to know our Shepherd’s voice, who will lead us well.
5. Food: Choose the best, and prepare it to bless. She is willing to go far and wide to bring in the very best foods; and to get up early if necessary to prepare these foods for her household (v.14, 15).
Jesus said, “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; live in My love; if you obey Me, you are living in My love…and will be filled with My joy” (from John 15:10-11).
When I first began to pursue nutrition I must admit that I was surprised to find the Scriptures to be a resource for me. I now view God’s Word as beneficial instruction from our loving Creator with faithful promises of joy when I follow His way. Those who pursue Biblical nutrition will find rich text about diet that can be followed not for the purpose of salvation, but for our health to His glory. The book “What the Bible says about Healthy Living” by Dr. Rex Russell was the book that directed me to the Word and provided insight and scientific support for God’s wisdom. What a relief it was to find a final authority in Scripture from the confusing, contradictory advice of nutritionists.
After praying for joy in the kitchen, my eldest sister gifted me Dr. Russell’s book. Through this book I received conviction to begin the pursuit of whole, natural and unprocessed foods as God designed them. My kitchen turned from a dreaded task into a work of joy as I discovered that I could bring glory to God as I invested in my family’s health and body through the preparation of fresh vegetables and wholesome blessed foods. Yet, due to my resistance to (and ignorance of) traditional basics of health, the physical stress of bearing four children took its toll on my immune system that had become unable to overcome infection. I learned that although I had begun to eat better, my intestinal flora was continually being compromised and the life giving nutrients within the whole grains that I had begun to consume was either being blocked or not available. I was nutrition conscious, but had continued to follow my old careless pattern of eating what was quick and convenient.
As my health continued to decline I consulted my practitioner who told me I was “on my own” and that medicine could not help me. In desperation, I cried out to the Lord, and He answered me! The same day that I received the distressing news from my medical practitioner I received a call from my class partner and friend, Sherri Maines. She directed me to a nutritionist that advised me to implement a couple of simple changes (i.e. cut out sugars, add vitamin C & cultured dairy and then later reintroduce sugars, and grains that were prepared carefully), which initiated an immediate recovery. Progress continued slow but steady as I went on a strict diet (similar to what is found in “The Maker’s Diet” by Jordan S. Rubin) and later implemented nutritional teaching from “Nourishing Traditions” (where it aligns with Scripture) for careful food preparation. I used to discount tradition with the belief that we are finding new and better ways of living through technology, but now find great value in the wisdom that God provides through our grandparents and ancestors who lived long and healthy lives.
For basic nutrition and the building of my immune system, I now pursue the below points and principles. If you are in the process of transitioning to a health conscious diet I encourage you to take small steps. Evaluate your current diet and begin with the area your family enjoys most (grain, dairy, meat, or vegetable) and do not move to the next item until you are very comfortable. *You will find recipes and further insight into these areas in our class workshop notes. (If you are in need of intense cleansing or healing I recommend the diet listed in “The Maker’s Diet” by Jordan S. Rubin.)
Basic Nutrition & Transition Steps
Principles taken from “What the Bible Says About Healthy Living” by Rex Russell, M.D.
Principle I: Eat only substances God created for food. Avoid what is not designed for food.
Principle II: As much as possible, eat foods as they were created-before they are changed or converted into something humans think might be better.
Principle III: Avoid food addictions. Don’t let any food or drink become your god.
1. Acknowledge God first. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path” Proverbs 3:6
2. Serve frequent/daily *bone broths in the diet (helps prevent and mitigate infectious diseases and contains the ingredients needed for repair and strengthening of teeth, bones and joints in the most absorbable form).
3. Take a daily supply of *healthy fats/oils: daily cod liver oil, generous butter (green grass/raw is ideal), flax oil and/or coconut oil. Avoid hydrogenated fats and vegetable oils that go rancid quickly, contributing to poor health and heart disease (i.e. canola, safflower, soy). Cook with stable oils/fats such as olive, coconut, and butter.
4. Provide immune boosting, beneficial Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) with each meal: *cultured dairy and/or Lacto-fermented fruit/vegetables (i.e. buttermilk, sour cream, cultured butter, raw yogurt, sauerkraut etc.).
5. Assure that the nutrients in seeds, nuts, beans and grains are made available and mineral blocking phytic acid has been neutralized by *soaking/sprouting (Soak whole grains 7-24 hours using cultured milk in place of liquid OR 1 Tbsp acidic medium per cup of liquid; for beans use 1 Tbsp acid/cup beans; for nuts use 1 Tbsp. salt/4 cups nuts. Acidic medium: buttermilk, whey, kefir, lemon juice, vinegar, etc.).
6. Use natural sea salt for essential trace minerals (should be off white or grayish in color).
7. Choose *eggs, meat & dairy from pastured animals that have been exposed to green grass and sunshine (avoid animal products that have been exposed to growth hormones, pesticides and antibiotics).
8. Enjoy plenty of *fresh (and fermented) fruits and vegetables: vine ripened, pesticide free, garden fresh is best. It is good to substitute canned and frozen produce with lacto-fermented where possible.
9. Find a trusted dairy farmer that can provide your family with the fresh, raw (and *cultured) dairy that people have enjoyed from creation; if you are unable to locate good quality raw milk, limit your consumption of milk products to cream, raw cheeses (available in all states), butter, cultured buttermilk, whole milk yoghurt (i.e. brown cow), and cultured milk. (Avoid primarily homogenization which breaks fat into tiny globules allowing it to enter the bloodstream leading to ulcers, plaque and eventually arterial blockages and heart disease. Pasteurization is also associated with health problems: the heating of this delicate food destroys and denatures enzymes, proteins [leading to allergies], and vitamins changing it into a nutrient-deficient product.)
** 10. Reduction/elimination of processed, refined foods (including white sugar, commercial dairy, white flour and vegetable oils) that suppresses the immune system and cause the body to need constant repair (avoid “foods” that are packaged with a label, especially anything you do not recognize or cannot pronounce).
*You will find recipes and further insight into these areas in our class workshop notes. Scroll to the end for details.
** I put this item last since it is much easier to take this final step once you have begun to include healthy, whole foods into your diet. Unhealthy sweets, snacks and drinks loose much of its appeal if your body is satisfied with tasty and nutrient dense foods. See workshop notes for healthy sweets and snacks.
Hygiene & Immune System Basics
Applied teaching from “The Maker’s Diet” by Jordan Rubin
Basic hygiene is as essential to health as exercise and nutrition. We live in a world today where infectious disease and viruses are a common exposure: ranging from the common cold to AIDS. Through the overuse of antibiotics, living in an over-sterile environment and the lack of immune building nutrition, our bodies have become challenged in overcoming harmful bacteria and viruses that continue to increase in strength, becoming resistant to modern medicine and our body’s immune defense attempts. I help my children understand the function of our immune system through the illustration that we have immune “soldiers” inside us: that we can develop an army within our body and make these soldiers strong by eating cultured foods; that we don’t want to feed the enemy soldiers (and put our guys to sleep) by eating too many sweets and artificial foods; we only want to use medicines (antibiotics etc.) if we have to, for medicines are like a big bomb that destroys these good soldiers, leaving our body defenseless in our attempt to destroy the bad; and that we must allow these good soldiers “battle practice” through our play in the dirt and with others, while using basic precautions.
Establishing basic hygienic principals will help to remove the overload from our immune system. The goal should not be to sterilize, but to cleanse; not to live isolated, but to practice wisdom when interacting with others. For the interaction with others and our environment build our physical (and spiritual) health and immune systems. Below are a few practices that our family is considering or has implemented:
FOR THE KITCHEN:
- Natural (wooden) cutting boards and utensils best deter the harboring of harmful bacteria. Use separate cutting boards for veggies and meats; wash wood well with hot soapy water, rinse & dry; maintaining by oiling with food grade mineral oil.
- We do share dishes and utensils within our family, but do not eat/drink from guests’ cups & dishes.
- Dishes are all washed with soap and fresh, hot, running water or put through the dishwasher.
- Keep rubber gloves in the kitchen in case my hand gets cut when handling food, or on the occasion that a guest needs assistance with an injury (to avoid handling another’s blood or bodily fluid).
TEACHING FOR CHILDREN:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm running water (for 20 seconds, under the fingernails too) before helping in the kitchen or coming to dinner (i.e. our little ones learn their numbers or ABC’s by counting to 20 or singing the ABC song while washing up).
- Keep your fingers away from the face (nose, ears and eyes) at all times when interacting with house guests (or in public). Young children are rarely able to comply with this, but the teaching will stick as they get older.
- Keep all open and new wounds bandaged and covered. No food handling if wound is on hands.
FOR DINNER/HOUSE GUESTS:
- Provide liquid hand soap and paper towels in the kitchen & bathroom (putting away cloth towels).
- Provide “Lysol” spray for quick and sanitary antiseptic (i.e. spray bottle of vinegar).
- Provide house guests the use of the guest bathroom, as not to share personals (i.e. showers, towels, sheets, cloths, hair/toothbrushes, combs, razors, ointments, cosmetics and soap), while our family uses the master bath.
- Notify guests of any potential current house infection (cold etc.). It is so common for children to have runny noses, which could be just allergies. So, our family has chosen to allow our guests the courtesy of choosing whether or not they wish to take the risk of exposure for the benefit, joy and blessedness of interaction.
“Do not make yourself overwise; why should you destroy yourself…neither be a fool; why should you die before your time…for he who fears God will avoid all extremes”(Ecclesiastes 7:15-18).
Money Managing Ideas
Taken from the “Your Health Source”: “Hostess Help Handbook” by Lindy Hardie
Making the transition to a healthy diet can initially be a drain on your income if you jump in without careful planning and management. Eating healthy should actually save you money if you are truly replacing the expensive packaged, convenience and fast foods and drinks with whole, home cooked foods and snacks. Consider the following:
- Nutrient dense foods are more satisfying…you eat less
- If your home is filled with colorful, fresh, tasty, aromatic fruits, vegetables, breads…why go out?
- Invest in a healthy body through healthful eating…pay fewer doctor bills
General Money Saving Tips:
- Purchase wholesale or through a co-op to receive group or bulk discounting.
- Eat whole and nutrient dense foods, rather then expensive, prepackaged foods and sweets.
- Stretch your meat use by incorporating bone broths with your meals, as well as beans and eggs.
- Prepare whole grain & oatmeal porridges, rather then pricey boxed cereals.
- Serve fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, grains, and smoothies rather then packaged snacks & chips.
- Carry along a “travel basket” to curb spontaneous drive-thru’s (see “Healthy Snack Ideas” in “Sweets” Notes).
- Drink water to reduce or replace costly sodas, coffees, & teas.
- Install a water purification system, to avoid spending on packaged water.
- Avoid expensive late and bounced check fees by using your bank account only to pay mandatory bills, using cash for everything else (cash can be divided into labeled envelopes: food, clothing etc).
- Except for bill paying, put excess cash in envelopes, and stop spending when envelope is empty.
- Cook at home; avoid un-purposed shopping.
- Choose camping trips for family vacations.
- Pursue reusable, high quality goods, rather then consumable or goods that need continual replacements.
- Research value in all purchases, comparing prices.
- Give generously! Giving never fails to result in abundant returns.
Time Managing Ideas
Taken from “Your Health Source’s: “Hostess Help Handbook” by Lindy Hardie
Another common concern for people making the transition to healthy eating is finding the time. It is almost a culture shock to attempt a home cooked, whole foods lifestyle in a society that demands fast, quick and convenient food. Yet, growing health concerns are beginning to demand that we rethink the quick culture, and perhaps return to the traditional wisdom of careful food preparation. But, how! Before pursuing “how,” the questions of “what” must be addressed:
- What are my priorities: Career, children, marriage, homemaking, hobby. Am I able to accomplish excellence in my home & family while pursuing outside activities, events, and personal pursuits? Determine what comes first, second, third, so that you will be able to focus your efforts accordingly.
- What is my vision, if homemaking is a priority: “It’s a blessed opportunity to invest my time and energy into making a home a place of nurture through the essential tasks in the home and kitchen.”
How do I find the time? The key is to know my priorities, gain a motivating vision, and do it!
- Create a daily schedule (form idea below) to provide direction to accomplish what you want.
- If your goal is traditional whole food preparations, plan to spend time in the kitchen.
- Cancel and remove any & everything that does not fit in with top priorities (even the good stuff).
- Follow the schedule, but with flexibility. The schedule is a tool that should help, not restrict.
- Do your best to accomplish what you can each day, then be content with what is left undone.
Meal Managing Ideas
Taken from “Your Health Source’s: “Hostess Help Handbook” by Lindy Hardie
- Each night ask the questions: what will I serve for breakfast and dinner? This will direct any necessary mixing, soaking, overnight thawing or cooking. If your meals are taken care of, your next day will run much smoother.
- Allow one meal a day to be unplanned for easy sandwiches, salads, or simple snacking.
- Keep your meal planning consistent to remove the constant question, “What will we have for dinner?” (Chicken on Monday, Fish/Rice on Wednesday, Bread on Friday, Steak/Potato on Saturday, Beans on Sunday, etc.)
- Keep your cooking simple for ease and for flexibility with “follow up” meals (i.e. extra baked chicken can be used later for sandwiches, salads or diced up to add to soups, casseroles, etc).
- Double your recipes to reduce time spent cooking the next day and through the week.
- If you cook in bulk, leave a couple of days unplanned for easy “follow up” or leftover meals.
- Become an octopus: Train your children early and diligently in every household task, and you will find that you have all the arms you need to accomplish daily goals.
- Plan a day off each week for fun and family! Work is more joyful if you are rested.
Adjust the below time markers according to your desired day plan. Adjust meal planning notes at the bottom with your key reminders. Adjust schedule as needed, then laminate and post in your kitchen for continuous use with fine point dry erase colored markers. (Check the sidebar links for this daily schedule in a print version.)
© 2006 Lindy Evangeline Hardie and Sherri L. Maines. Copyright © 2006, All rights reserved.
The above teaching material, “Health & Homemaking,” is taken from the introduction packet presented at the first in a series of 6 Workshops, presented by “Best of the Blessed” Healthy Food Co-op, Denton and led by Lindy Hardie & Sherri Maines.
Encouragement And Support for Your Homemaking
A Guide to Healthy, Bible-based
& Traditional Eating
If you have interest in joining our Denton Healthy Food Co-op, or would like to receive the workshop notes from these 6 below noted classes you may email a request to Lindy. Each set of class notes are available by request for a suggested $5.00 donation (or $30 for the full set), payable to Lindy Hardie.
- Sourdough Basics
- Grains Basics
- Dairy & Fat Basics
- Meat Basics
- Fruit & Vegetables
- Sweets & Snacks
Copyright © 2006, Lindy Evangeline Hardie and Sherri L. Maines. All rights reserved. This material, or parts thereof, may not be used, reproduced or transmitted in any manner without written permission.