The "More-with-less" cookbook by Doris Janzon Longacre became the foundation of my parents behaviors and habits based around food. Just like with all things that parents model, these habits have become my own and it is only as an adult that I realize what a rare and wonderful gift they have given me.
"More-with-less" was born in the Mennonite tradition which promotes eating habits that reflect one's faith in God.
|This is what mine looks like.|
|Legumes and grains|
|Fresh Veggies and Fruits|
I believe that what you eat and how you eat it affects your spiritual life. Jesus commands us to break bread together and remember him. This command was spoken over a meal with friends. Even after Jesus was resurrected he still returned to the table and ate with his Disciples. Scripture shows us over and over again the importance of eating as a spiritual discipline. The way we consume is reflective of our spiritual state. Food is an integral part of our lives and as such we should honor it in the name of the creator who established it.
|On an outing to buy locally made cheese and dairy products at Ashe County Cheese|
If you too are intentionally invested in your spiritual journey and still feel like something is missing, I urge you to consider the very basics of your human existence. Begin with how you care for yourself:eating, sleeping, bathing, dressing. How can you allow these daily functions to turn into spiritual practices? Are you a human being or a human doing?
In the spirit of communion, I would like to share the practices that I keep involving food that have vastly transformed my life.
- Joining a Co-Op to order our dried goods for the pantry. We are part of a group of people who make a monthly bulk order of basic dried goods from a organization called "Something Better Natural Foods." We can order organic, local foods for wholesale prices which cuts our food bill drastically in addition to our packaging waste (think about all the packaging that is part of your shopping list right now).
- Eating more vegetables, legumes and grains (fresh or dried, not canned).
- buy a rice cooker and a pressure cooker.
- Buying vegetables at the farmer's market and sharing the harvest from friend's and family with gardens.
- Freeze fresh fruit and veggies we are given or purchase so that we can eat them year round.
- Shop at the Asian grocery store and the Latin market over mainline grocery stores.
- Invest in herbs and spices but purchase them from international markets for better prices.
- Cook Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes. They are so tasty, fast and nutritious.
- Use Olive Oil over vegetable oil.
- Make food from scratch. It doesn't take that much longer and it is worth it.
- Bake your own bread. It is easy. You can do it!
- Do not use low-fat, high fructose, processed, sugar substitutes, etc. Eat REAL food.
- Don't get a second helping unless you are still hungry.
- Research where the expensive, organic grocery stores are getting their products and weigh your options.
- Be a good steward of God's provisions (money, time, food) and use them wisely.
- Sit down and eat our meals at the table. Don't eat and run. Break bread with someone, share our food if we made too much. STOP and eat your food. Chew, taste, be grateful, give thanks. Slow down. This practice alone with change your life.
- Pack our leftovers for lunch.
- Drink green tea, real brewed green tea.
- Make our own peanut butter ( 2 cups of dry roasted peanuts+food processor+6 mins= perfect peanut butter)
- Carry a water bottle and drink half your body weight in ounces.
- Make our own salad dressing (olive oil, vinegars, herbs)
- Anytime we eat processed foods, meats, dairy, heavy meals, follow them with lots of water and green tea to help our livers filter out the toxins and stomachs to digest.
- Save meat dishes for celebrations (eating out, having friend's over, holidays, as a guest in someone's home).
- Save alcohol for celebrations.
- Eat dairy products less frequently. Choose Gouda and goat cheese over orange cheddar. Real cheese is white.
- Consider eating meats that friends who hunt can provide like venison or rabbit.
- When we prepare our food we try to pour goodness and love into it. Imagine your prayers being added to your food and witness the difference in those who consume it.