ALL IN – Episode 53
FRIDAY FITNESS AND HEALTH. Let’s talk about the whole family.
Bryant and I are trying to figure out how to live a healthy and balanced life. And how to cultivate a healthy mentality in our home. We’ve noticed that the scales were tipping towards a high-sugar household, since our move to Utah. For whatever reason, we started consuming a lot of sugar. And it was affecting the children.
We spent a few weeks preparing the children for a sugar-free challenge – $50 if they didn’t have any sugar for 6 months. We taught them how to read food labels, we came up with a good list of sugar alternatives (honey, pure maple syrup, monkfruit, and fruit of course), we came up with a good list of savory treats, we made a plan for birthday parties and school class parties in advance so they wouldn’t be stuck making a decision in the moment.
To our shock, all three of the children completed the full 6 months. And two decided to keep going.
The kids were really open with their friends and their teachers at school about the challenge. I was surprised how much everyone outside the family catered to them. And when they were offered sugar, my kids learned to say no. I was really impressed. I got so many calls and e-mails from teachers and parents asking about the challenge, because my kids had had the courage to say no.
The children learned what sugar did to their emotions. And to their bellies. They learned to say no to things they may have really wanted, for a bigger goal.
That’s what we did. It was, at the beginning, a little scary to the kids. But there were so many “treats” that don’t have sugar, and there was so much outside support, it was way easier for them than any of us originally thought.
On today’s podcast, Karalynne talks about her journey, suffering from depression and finding healing in foods.
And there is just so much. I feel like I am just dipping my toes in in today. But let me get a few things out there, knowing that it isn’t even a small portion of what information and what ideas are available to us!
Karalynne, as part of her journey, set out to teach others about nutrition, starting with her own family.
“I took one ingredient at a time. And I had to learn about hydrogenated oils and where I would find that, and what that was doing to my body, and where it was in my pantry, and what I could replace those items with in my pantry. I went one ingredient at a time, and it took a long time.”
- Artificial dyes
- Hydrogenated oils
- GMO crops
And that is just where she started her journey. And, she says, her journey continues today – making better choices, living a balanced life.
“Food should be fuel. If you eat, and you feel like you need to take a nap, that means it is not serving you, it is not fueling you.”
I believe all this. I am living this. Seriously. No sugar. No corn syrup. No hydrogenated oils. No artificial colors. I searched my cupboards, reading each ingredient. The only thing questionable was a box of chocolate pudding mix from 6 years ago, that we’d forgotten about somewhere between NYC and Provo, UT.
I know it is a journey. And I know there are always ways to improve. I am okay with that. I am on board.
My question today is, how do I teach these things to my children without being unbalanced? Right? I don’t want them running to their friends’ houses for after school snacks because of the lack in our own cupboards. Or I don’t want them to go crazy when any treat is available to them.
Have you seen this one? So worth the time to watch! Such a good laugh!
Okay. Wasn’t that the best?! “Here’s your perfectly normal pancakes, kids!”
Back to the question at hand. How do we cultivate a healthy mentality in the home without creating an unhealthy relationship with food?
“I don’t like to teach extremes.”
- Stock the cupboards, intentionally. Shop for food, intentionally. Have a plan. Take the time. Include the children.
- Educate educate educate. Karalynne says she’s taught her children about the function of the liver. The liver takes the toxins out of your system. And “if your liver isn’t overrun with so many toxins, then it will do it’s job.” If we are eating whole foods otherwise, our liver can handle a piece of birthday cake from a friend’s party or a lollypop from gramma, on special occasions. Take care of our bodies and they will take care of us.
- We have, in the past, focused on educating the children on where their food is coming from. We ask them, “How many steps from the earth is the food you are eating?”
- sugar snap peas <– farmers market <– farm.
- cold cereal <– store <– factory <– etc etc etc
- “We don’t get to choose what our children are going to believe in the end – they are going to have to decide. But I think it is really powerful as parents to offer them a way to look at things … And that comes from being intentional and thinking through what you want them to believe.” Jody Moore, of course.
- We can help the children realize on their own what makes them feel good and what makes them feel yucky. “You belly hurts? What do you think you ate that could have caused that?” Karalynne teaches “Better Choice”.
- Gratitude gratitude gratitude. “Look at all this great food God has given us!” “Let’s be grateful for these things that nourish our bodies.”
I believe that we are more able to run and to work, to sleep and to function, if our bodies have been cared for. I believe that we are more able to receive and act on personal revelation, when we are strong enough and healthy enough to have a clear mind and an energized body. I believe we are more able to fulfill our “mission” here on earth, when the body that houses our spirits are not a hindrance, but a strength to that eternal spirit.