Parents’ Sudden Increase in Intelligence at Age 40

In the last few posts, I’ve shared some of our approach to sugar and how it relates to our immediate and long term financial and health situations. Many people, my parents included, have been saying for some time that sugar is not good for us. But recently, I’ve paid more attention since my friend drew my attention to Dr. Pompa’s resources.

I do not agree with all that Dr. Pompa says, especially with respect to applying to us today the instructions God gave to the nation of Israel regarding clean and unclean foods. But, Dr. Pompa makes some great points about how our choices in eating directly affect our health.

We do not have the money in our monthly spending plan to follow all his suggestions. So we follow an approach that takes into account some of his ideas, while living within our means. For example, we cannot afford to eat 100% grass-fed beef regularly, so we simply enjoy beef less often. And since we both have a few more pounds on us than we’d like to keep, we are discovering that we can share a steak and be satisfied.

Recently, we enjoyed a delicious steak with our 1000 Day Marinade (page 144 of A Recipe for Survival). Also pictured are Grandma’s Green Beans (page 91 of A Recipe for Survival) and short-grain, sweet brown rice.

1000 Day Marinade and Grandma's Green Beans with rice

Now that I’m understanding better how more naturally-raised food helps us health-wise, I see what a blessing our food was as my brother and I grew up in Colombia. My dad worked hard to raise essentially all the fruit we ate, and his methods were natural and organic. I think the only time we bought fruit was at Christmas when we would enjoy the treat of apples since they were so expensive. Otherwise, Daddy raised papayas, bananas, cashew fruit, mangos, passion fruit, star apples and more. We even had a “jungle ice-cream” tree in our yard. That was a tasty fruit!

Most of the meat that we ate was raised in our backyard, too. Again, we were enjoying the benefits of free-range eggs and chicken meat, and I did not even know how good I had it!

Every Wednesday, we received our order of beets, carrots, and a head of lettuce. But that was all the fresh produce that we purchased. We raised the rest of it ourselves. I always thought that we were deprived since we ate such “boring” and “basic” foods. But now that I am interested in foods that help the liver and intestines, I’m seeing what a benefit the beets and carrots were, and how healthy we were by limiting our refined sugar consumption! How I disliked the beans and rice then, but now I value them! Because we had limited financial means, our parents made careful food choices for us so as not to exceed their income… and in the end, we were eating the most healthful diets possible. Limited finances can actually be a blessing if you are like me and can exercise more self-control at the point of sale than at the point of consumption.

Grandma said the other day that parents suddenly become very intelligent when their children turn 40. I told her, “Well, since I’m only 39, and I understand better what my parents were doing for us, just imagine how smart Daddy will be in a few months when I turn 40!”

When Brody and I eat simply, we can taste the natural sweetness of fresh fruit and don’t need a sugar fix from a more expensive and less healthful source. Dessert anyone? ūüôā

A Bowl of Cherries

Remember that our Heavenly Father knows our needs before we ask. He has our best interests at heart, and He is supplying our needs.

If He has not provided enough funds to eat in a certain way, then perhaps it’s not in our best interests to eat in that particular way, whether it’s eating out at fancy places, eating fast food, or buying sugary drinks and snacks as rewards for ourselves throughout the day.

Matthew 6:7-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB) from Bible Gateway

7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

9 “Pray, then, in this way:

‚ÄėOur Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10¬†‚ÄėYour kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11¬†‚ÄėGive us this day¬†[e]our daily bread.
12¬†‚ÄėAnd¬†forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13¬†‚ÄėAnd do not lead us into temptation, but¬†deliver us from¬†[f]evil.¬†[g][For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.‚Äô]

Rice and Beans Until the Debt is Paid Off?

The administration page of our website shows us the words people use to search for a previous post or the Internet for a topic, bringing them to our website. One recent search caught my eye. The words were, “rice and beans until the debt is paid off.”

That search brought up a thought I’ve considered many times over the years. Why do we often think of ways to get out of debt? Why not employ those practices in order to prevent the debt in the first place? Why would we only consider eating rice and beans after we’ve created debt? If we feel as if “money is tight,” why not change our eating habits to stretch our grocery budget a little further so that we can buy our groceries without using a credit card?

Some friends have told me that they just don’t like beans. I understand… when I was a kid, I had trouble getting them down, too. But, in recent years, as I’ve begun to value living within my means and pursuing a healthier lifestyle, I’ve grown to appreciate the low-cost, high-nutritive value of beans and rice. And, it’s possible that how the beans are prepared affect the taste and texture. We really like the results of preparing beans according to the procedure outlined in Appendix B of A Recipe for Survival.

Since food preparation can sometimes be complicated in our household, and because time is limited with both of us working, the other reason I appreciate beans and rice is the simplicity of the dish. I can easily prepare a large batch of rice and a large batch of black beans, store them in the fridge and take beans and rice to work each day. The result is a simple, satisfying dish which fits into our budget and gives me the energy to work. An additional benefit is that I’m not eating food that will negatively affect my cholesterol numbers.

DSCF2303

But, if I have the time to prepare Sister’s Salsa (page 155 in A Recipe for Survival) and slice up an avocado, I can dress up the beans and rice and enjoy an even tastier meal. I suspect that anyone who says¬†beans are not interesting has not been eating this version of beans and rice! ūüôā

Simply the Best Rice and Beans

 

I absolutely look forward to eating the dish pictured above. Perhaps I have developed a taste for it because of appreciating the value of a meal that is nourishing and inexpensive. And perhaps, as I noted on the previous post, since I limit my intake of processed foods and refined sugars, I actually enjoy the taste of more natural foods such as this dish.

When Brody and I were paying off many debts, I quickly saw how much a packaged item in my grocery cart affected the final cost at checkout. Yes, I would have enjoyed some treats with sugar in them, but purchasing them would not have helped me pay off the debt and the sugar would have made me less productive throughout the day. Eating certain items is not sinful. But, for me, I would have sinned against my conscience to eat what was not necessary AND would make me less healthy, especially when I owed money to someone else.

This was true a few years ago, when we were paying off a dentist bill. The dentist graciously did all the near-emergency work for us even though he knew it would take us a long time to pay it off. We were blessed to benefit from a longtime relationship between the dentist and my family. I was the third generation of our family to receive care from him. May the Lord bless Dr. Dow and his gracious office manager, Alexis, for their kindness to us.

Since Dr. Dow was not charging us interest, I was very careful what we did with the money we were spending on anything besides regular payments to him. I knew he would not begrudge us our basic necessities such as nutritious food, but I did not feel right about spending money on ice cream or fast food instead of sending a larger payment to him in a given month.

God has promised to supply our needs and He is faithful to keep all His promises. But, how often do we begin to view our desires as “needs?” Sometimes, I think we begin to believe that we are entitled to certain things, such as “Food I Like to Eat,” or “Eating Out as Often as I Want To” instead of choosing to live within the means God has provided for us. Many people in the world eat whatever they can find to stay alive. Are we inherently better than they? Do we really deserve only certain foods which we enjoy? Are we so focused on the pleasures of certain items that we are¬†unwilling to recognize nutritious food which is available to us within our means?

Now and then, Brody and I eat food that is a treat for us. We have not completely given up buying or eating foods that contain sugar. But we do not believe that we are entitled to have whatever we want to eat, whether or not money is tight and whether or not the item will hinder our ability to accomplish what the Lord would have us accomplish. If you are struggling with your health or finances, you may find that being willing to change your tastes may help you in both categories.

Here’s another way I like to use black beans. Since it requires more time to prepare, I don’t make this as often as the dish pictured above, but once in a while, we enjoy Beyond Basic Black Beans (page 90 of A Recipe for Survival.)

Beyond Basic Black Beans

The apostle Paul said he had learned the secret of being content whether he was well-fed or hungry – he knew that no matter how difficult life on earth may become, nothing could separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. The trials Paul experienced were far more intense than the trying time of developing self-control to¬†give up foods that don’t fit in the grocery budget or negatively affect our health. Paul actually went hungry; he didn’t just pass up the “food” that actually was detrimental to him.

Philippians 4:10-13 from Bible Gateway:

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak [g]from want, for I have learned to be [h]content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things [i]through Him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.