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Food Wars

I know that the effort to eat healthy sometimes feels like a battle. That’s because it is. It’s a spiritual battle as well as a physical one. Our enemy will use any means to “steal and kill and destroy” in our lives (John 10:10). But we don’t have to be discouraged. Being mentally and spiritually prepared will help us win the war, one fight at a time.
So I’d like to devote the next few posts to some practical tips to help us in these “food wars.” And please feel free to share your thoughts and comments as well, so we can help and encourage one another. =) 
“Battle of the Grocery Store”
If you’ve been in this “war” for very long you’ll probably agree that the fight is usually won or lost in the grocery store (because if it’s not on your shelf or in your fridge at home, then you probably won’t eat it). =) 
Stores are designed by marketing experts who’ve studied all the ways to entice people to buy more products and spend more money. They are not interested in our personal health. So it’s up to us to arm ourselves for the fight.
Some tips for winning the battle in the grocery store:
1) Make a list of what you NEED before you go. Then stick to it! 
2) Try not to go to the store when you’re hungry. If necessary, have a snack before you go. A full tummy isn’t as easily tempted. =) 
3) Keep to the “outer” aisles that contain “real” food (meat, produce, eggs, etc.). Most of the inner aisles in the store contain man-made foods, so they’re easy to avoid. And stay away from the really dangerous aisles (like sodas and sweets).
4) If you feel compelled to put an item in your cart that’s not on your list, leave it alone and tell yourself you can come back for it if you decide it’s really necessary. Chances are if you have to come back around for it, you’ll realize you don’t need it after all.
5) While standing in the check-out line, instead of perusing the contents on the shelf next to you, use that time to inventory what’s in your cart. Is there anything there you don’t need? Anything you shouldn’t be buying? If so, take it out and leave it on the shelf next to all the other tempting but unnecessary items. 
6) Pray before you go into the store. Remember, our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the “spiritual forces of evil” in this world (Ephesians 6:12). Rely on God’s strength to fight for your health!
And one final tip:
Buy what you can from your local health food store. It’s good to support these stores and they have less temptations than regular grocery stores. Our health food store is small, but we can still get much of what we need there – organic produce, organic & non-gluten flours, local honey, organic coconut oil, etc. 
(Just remember that not every item in a health food store is necessarily “healthy.” Always read labels so you can make smart choices.) 
Note:
If you’re not sure what makes a healthy diet, you can check out my post about basic diet recommendations here.
Also, “The Maker’s Diet” by Jordan Rubin, is an excellent resource on eating healthy, as is Doug Kaufman’s website and his Phase 1 diet which has helped many people.
I hope these tips are helpful. Happy shopping! =)
Question: What are some strategies you use when facing the grocery store battle?
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Good Read

Recently a friend sent me a book called An Honest Look at a Mysterious Journey by John & Joanna Stumbo. I just finished it and I highly recommend it! This couple’s story is amazing. He was struck with a mysterious illness that almost killed him. The doctors still can’t explain it. By God’s grace John is still alive (I won’t tell you the rest of the story…). Now he continues to share his testimony and to follow where God leads him day by day. 
This book is full of insights John gained by going through a health crisis, yet the truths apply to many situations that we all face. So much of what he wrote was exactly what God has also taught me in recent years. I found myself crying, sometimes laughing, and often saying “Amen!” as I read chapter after chapter.
I appreciate his “Honest Look” at a difficult trial, and I was blessed by his story. If you want to check out his blog and website, it’s:
http://www.johnstumbo.org/blog/
I also just want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who read this blog. Thank you for being part of my life and for welcoming me into your life. John’s book reminded me again that none of us goes through life alone. We all have different stories, but we are still connected to each other as human beings and especially as believers in Jesus Christ. For that I am truly grateful.
Blessings,
-Joanna
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Relax

How often do you relax? 
I mean “put your feet up, lean your head back, close your eyes and breathe deeply” kind of relaxing.
Once a day? Once a week? Once a year? 
I admit this isn’t something I’m very good at either. Now that I’m able to be more active, I love to do things just for the pure joy of DOING! And when I’m not active, my mind is usually jogging down three or four different trails simultaneously. 
In our busy world it seems we’re always on the go or at least our thoughts are always moving at a fast pace. I’ve discovered that ongoing activity and busy thoughts often cause my body to tense up. If I’m not careful I can spend a whole day in this “tense” mode without even realizing it. 
I’m learning how helpful it is to take moments now and then throughout the day to just “Relax.” 
Be still. 
Calm the thoughts. 
Smile.
Breathe. 
Embrace this moment.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body” (Proverbs 14:30a).
I believe we need moments of stillness, of peace, of relaxation for the health of our bodies and our souls. 
Will you join me in practicing relaxing moments and learning to enjoy the gift of stillness? 
“But I have stilled and quieted my soul” (Psalm 131:2a)