4. Consider more than just what you eat
Food is obviously essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it is not the only factor. So much goes into feeling our best and sometimes we can get so preoccupied with getting organic everything that we forget food is just one piece in a larger puzzle. Exercise, screen time, connecting with those you love, SLEEP, stress, anxiety, toxins in our homes, faith, genetics, and so much more go into health.
God created us with a mind, body, and spirit. That means to find health in our daily lives, each of these parts of us have to be cared for! We must consider what our minds are preoccupied with. Are we filled with anxiety or stress? Have we cast our cares to the Lord or are we carrying the weight of the world on our own shoulders?
How does your body feel? Have you taken the time to work your muscles, made sufficient rest a priority, or surveyed the effects certain habits may have on your body? You arefearfully and wonderfully made and are loved by God! He loves when you feel good in the body He’s gifted you.
We can’t neglect our Spirit, even though the temptation is to push all spiritual nourishment to the fringes of our schedules. Time spent reading the Bible, praying, and growing in community with other believers is an integral part of what it means to have a healthy lifestyle. Recent research even proves that those of us who spend time praying and a part of a faith community tend to live longer!
Don’t let this list overwhelm you! The best approach is to take a moment to consider your lifestyle and take note if one area of your life sticks out that could obviously use improvement? If something comes to mind, then that is the place to start! Go back to the first piece of advice and take one step at a time to modify that area of your life so you can feel better. If you have young kids, sleep is probably the first place to start.
5. Be honest about what you’re eating as a family
As a Mom, when my kids ask me what they are eating, I honestly feel tempted to lie about what is in their meals. I am afraid they will protest what I’ve put on their plates (which absolutely happens). I’m ashamed to admit that as truth! As an adult with a lot of information about what is nutritious to eat, I should feel excited to share that we get to eat kale in our eggs for breakfast because it’s so good for our bodies and is truly a privilege in a world where so many lack access to such nutrient dense food.
I think it’s easy to think our kids will balk at all things green on their plate but if we are honest about the what and the why's of our food choices we are not only educating our kids about nutrition, we are also giving them the tools to make better choices for themselves as they grow older.
Sometimes I make my kids try things they don’t love (like spinach) and that’s okay because I want them to know that food is meant to be tried, and it’s okay if they don’t love everything. Overall, though we try to keep food a conversation. We talk about what things help our bodies, which things taste so good but are best to be had in moderation, and mostly we try to introduce our kids to healthy food in ways that they enjoy.
Our hope is that they will grow to love the stuff that’s good for them, enjoy moments of indulgence guilt-free, and understand that what we put in our bodies matters so we need to think a little before we eat.
Food is a great place to teach and practice the lesson of self-control and doing things in moderation (things we all struggle with). Just be sure to approach the subject with love. The goal is to love the good food, enjoy the less good stuff in moderation, and not to make food a stressful or unhealthy obsession for anyone in our homes.
Healthy living is a trajectory not a destination. Start small and you will be amazed the compounding progress you will see over time. Don’t let the hype that tells you that you have to change it all at once stop you from starting. Just take one step towards finding a healthy new normal and keep going from there!
This article originally appeared on RVA House of Joy. Used with permission.
Amanda Idleman is a wife, homeschooling Momma to three amazing kids and is passionate about encouraging others to live joyfully. Amanda also loves to write as a freelance writer and on her blog (when she finds a spare moment for it). You can find out more about Amanda at her blog rvahouseofjoy.wordpress.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Kerkez