Eat The Whole Thing

Yesterday, I sat and scribbled a chart, tracing the effects of Gut Dysbiosis, using The Gut and Psychology Syndrome book by Natasha Campbell-McBride. The results were…well…messy, both visually, because I was in a hurry, and literally, because gut dysbiosis can be devastating.

My husband really hates it when I get on these trains of thought, because my first instinct is to throw away anything with sugar, white flour, artificial colors and flavors, corn syrup, etc., right out the door, while issuing a proclamation that we will never eat this type of food ever again. He turns into Gollum, protecting the snack cabinet as if it’s the one cabinet to rule them all, and he gives me a whole list of reasons why we can’t give up sugar.

And, he’s right to do so.

Hear me out.

My instincts throw out all the bad snacks, then sit, looking at the empty cabinet with satisfaction. Then, I get hungry. Prowling about the pantry, I see that there’s nothing in there except ingredients, but I want to eat NOW! My stomach makes friends with my backbone. I consider stuffing handfuls of flour in my mouth, until I see back behind everything a bag of Christmas chocolate that somehow survived the rampage.

Because I’m hungry, it is the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted, so I gobble every piece, lay across the floor with a sugar headache, and despair over ever getting healthy. (It’s not always been chocolate. But it’s always been about convenience for me.)

There you have it. It’s the cycle we’ve gone through for the four and a half years of our marriage, and he’s not about to start it all over again. So, being the levelheaded one, he tells me what we can do.

We can order from Azure Standard, which we learned about from his mother. We can attempt some new recipes. (I’m really excited to try whole wheat sourdough bread. I found…well…I’ll talk more about that later.) We can stop buying sodas and sugary drinks.

My Mother-in-Law was telling me about someone who refused to eat anything that had an ingredient list. I thought of that again, as I listened to Dr. Josh Axe talk about sugar substitutes yesterday. He was saying how the fructose in a blueberry isn’t bad in the blueberry; it’s only bad if you isolate the fructose without eating the blueberry.

We’re so busy taking parts of things. We eat refined flour, without the bran and germ of wheat. Our flavors are “extracts” of the real thing if we’re lucky or just a chemical soup that somehow resembles the real thing. Anything we buy in a box or a can has thickeners and additives to make it appetizing…and it’s no wonder we’re never satiated. We never have the real deal, whole thing.

Like homemade wheat bread. Ever had it?

I have. It’s the best ever. Satisfying. Your soul feels it too, in that first big sigh of contentment as you savor the saltiness of the butter spread across it. Add some homemade strawberry jelly, and the angels start singing.

In the Old Testament, God talks about His children eating the good of the land if they obey His Laws. (Isaiah 1:25) Then in Psalms, it says, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good…” (Psalm 34:8a)

It is His design that we eat food…and that we enjoy food. For us, we’re trying to move toward more whole foods and away from my vice of needing everything neatly packaged and ready to eat.

That snack cabinet doesn’t hold as many junky snacks, because we’ve had cantaloupe, fresh watermelon, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Hard to reach for a bag of chips, when you have the option to eat that good stuff.

Someday, we might be that weird family that grows a huge garden. At this time, I have a brown thumb and kill every plant I attempt to grow, so we gratefully receive the abundance that my grandfather and Ben’s family gives us. We’re enjoying the good of the land. And, it’s so very satisfying, nourishing, and healing.

Eat food. Please eat real food. And eat the whole thing. Not just the juice…not just the flavor…the whole thing.

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