It’s been four days since I began this blog series and eating for sustenance rather than satisfaction. I was nervous the first day of this challenge, not only for exposing my weakness, but because I quit sugar, gluten, and dairy. I have nothing against wheat or dairy products, but I need to distance myself from foods I eat in abundance, including bread and cheese. When I learn to control my portions and food choices, I will consider reintroducing small amounts back into my diet. Until then, they are off limits – as are processed and fast foods, for obvious reasons.
Instead of focusing on what I cannot have, I am reminded of what Moses said to the Israelites:
He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. ~ Deuteronomy 8:3 (NRSV)
I once told Husband he could not live by bread alone and, without missing a beat, he replied, “That’s why God made Dr. Pepper!” Even though I detest the popular Texas beverage, Husband has a point: celebrate what you DO have.
The beginning of June is an excellent time to buy fresh produce. Last Monday, during my weekly visit to the grocery store, I bought avocadoes, bananas, apples, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, cantaloupe, and a seedless watermelon. I also ‘splurged’ on Atlantic salmon filets to broil and serve with sautéed vegetables (asparagus, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, soybeans, and baby spinach) and quinoa. This dish made four hearty portions and contained no dairy or gluten. With the exception of items for Husband and Kamden (i.e. wheat bread, granola bars, and deli meat), my grocery basket consisted of items from the meat and produce departments. I avoided the dairy case and bought minimal things from the middle aisles, where most processed foods are located. I consider this a mini milestone and cause for celebration because (right now) I don’t miss what I don’t have.
Even though I have an unhealthy relationship with food, I need it to survive. Within this struggle, I am finding new strength by making better choices. First of all, I am staying away from tempting trigger foods. I am also using small plates to reduce my portions, drinking lots of water (some infused with citrus peels or sliced cucumber), and limiting myself to one serving. In other words, no more seconds … or thirds.
As much as I love Husband and his sense of humor, I really can’t live by bread alone. It’s simply not enough. By constantly feeding my body tempting trigger foods (sweets, carbs, dairy, etc.), I crave them more. Humans create appetites for whatever they consume the most. The same is true about our spiritual appetite. Just like the Israelites collected and consumed manna every day, I need to feast on the Word of God every day too.
One of my dearest friends recently sent me an image of a formal table setting, complete with a tablecloth, placemat, drinking glass, and silverware in its proper place. The striking difference, however, was an open Bible instead of a plate. She did not know (yet) about this blog series but she is well aware of my food struggles and my passion for Jesus Christ. She didn’t know it at the time, but I needed to see that picture.
I needed the reminder to feast on God’s Word, the precious food of Christians, every day.
If a well-read Bible is a sign of a well-fed soul, then IT IS WELL. Okay, maybe not well but it’s definitely getting better!