40 days to Life

So, about a month and a half ago I did the unthinkable. Well, the unthinkable for a dairy farmer’s daughter who grew up on steak and potatoes and pie. I went organic. It came about kind of a weird way- through church. This verse kept coming up- Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Originally I thought about doing this for what I put into my brain- trying to really put these words into practice in my life, and see how things would change. The more I thought about this 40 day challenge, the more food came to mind. It might just have been the mid-service hunger that hits me when I realize that I was in too much of a rush to eat breakfast, but food kept coming to mind when I was thinking about really living this verse. Like, what if I only put pure FOODS into my body for 40 days?

They say that 30 days is long enough to make new habits, and I had already decided that I was doing a 40 day trial for a Philippians 4:8 life, so right there in the service, I decided to go for it.
I left church with a spring in my step, pumped to get started on my new project. I started working moving my (HUGE) TV to the attic, and taking my 1st trip to a specialty health food store (only to find out later that it’s definitely the most expensive in town…).

I quickly realized I didn’t really know much about healthy and organic eating, but I knew that refined sugar, fake sweeteners, and white breads were probably a bad idea, so I started with that. No more diet coke for me! The first few days I went through hard-core withdrawal, missing my refined foods like a crazy person.

After the second day, I called my bff Tina’s mom, who knows about all this business. She suggested that I read a book called “What the Bible says about Healthy Living” to get a better idea of what pure foods we should be putting into our bodies. Well, this was just the direction I needed, and I tracked down that book as fast as I could, and started digging in immediately. So much wisdom I’d never known! And it made so much sense! The way that God made foods, that’s the way that they are meant to be eaten by his people! So simple! So I kept making these changes, more and more. Feeling better and better every day.

After a few weeks, I started feeling like I wasn’t missing out… but that maybe everyone else was. I mean, what’s more delicious than fresh fruits and veggies, and almonds, and honey, and well… I could go on :) so now the 40 days have come and gone.

And I can’t imagine going back.

Call me kooky, but I’m in this for the long haul. I’ve fallen in love with my health food stores, my farmers market stands, the treasure hunt all over Des Moines for unprocessed honey. I’m head over heels for cooking and eating without worrying about calories, but instead thinking about health and nutrition. And I’ve accepted the fact that I’m in over my head in this hippie lifestyle. My next steps are making my own laundry detergent, finding un-pasteurized milk via the organic black market, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I joined a co-op soon.

This whole thing started out on a whim, but after 40 days I can’t imagine living any other way for the next 40 years.

Here's just a tidbit of organic wisdom for you (courtesy USDA):

The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables, above, that they say you should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. They cost about 50 percent more — but are well worth the money.

DIRTY DOZEN- things you should buy organic only
Apples
Cherries
Grapes, imported (Chili)
Nectarines
Peaches
Pears
Raspberries
Strawberries
Bell peppers
Celery
Potatoes
Spinach
Other organic foods worth considering:
Milk
Beef
Poultry