Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby Step: High Fructose Corn Syrup

It all began with high fructose corn syrup. One day the Lord spoke to my heart about food. I was feeling physically run down, unhealthy, guilty, and sluggish. I read the words:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14

And, it dawned on me that if God indeed made our bodies with such great care (and I believe he did!) then he would also have made food to support those very bodies. God did not intend for us to be sluggish and sickly. God made us to be vibrant and alive!

I looked in my pantry. The foods that I was eating and feeding my family were far from foods that spoke to me the words VIBRANT and ALIVE! Now, do not get me wrong my pantry was full of foods that I liked to eat, things I even thought were healthy options. But, if I was eating correctly then why did my body feel so old?

At this point I had no knowledge of whole foods. I simply had heard a lot of negative things about high fructose corn syrup and decided to do a little research myself.
After reading I came to the decision that my first step towards having a kitchen that perhaps could help my body feel vibrant and alive would be to eliminate high fructose corn syrup.

This was not as easy as I thought. I became a label reader, not for calories, but for corn syrup. I found that almost everything we were eating had HFCS in it! And, something about that scared me a bit. We were consuming this very processed ingredient in things we never thought would contain it. But, I stuck to my guns and did my best to get the HFCS out of our diet.

This first baby step did the following:
~ Made me very aware that we were eating things I did not even know I was serving. And, strengthened a resolve in me to be an informed consumer. 
~ Created a desire in me to learn about the ingredients in the food I was consuming and question if that ingredient was really necessary in our diet. 
~ Opened my eyes to already available alternative foods that my family would like a lot. 
~ With success in getting the HFCS out of the kitchen I felt encouraged to take the next baby step in getting our family off of processed foods and eating a nourishing diet of whole foods.

Choosing one things to avoid, such as HFCS, can be a great way to take a baby step toward a whole foods kitchen. Even it that is not your ultimate goal, eliminating one ingredient that you believe is unhealthy for your family is an empowering first step towards being an informed eater.

So, to my sister, and anyone else that is interested in transforming their kitchen one step at a time beginning with eliminating one ingredient such as HFCS is a manageable place to start!

Baby Step Number One: Eliminate HFCS from your diet. You can choose to do it this very week or more slowly depending on how your family will respond best. Remember, you want to make a commitment that you can keep so that you are encouraged and can press on to your goal!


pastorwick said...

how about reducing it?

Cortney said...

My family started with this step about a year ago (also cut out trans fats at the same time). Since then, my husband and I have lost over 50 lbs between the two of us without daily exercise. We weren't that heavy before (210 and 170), but it's a noticeable difference. Our next step was to switch to whole-grains and then add more fruits/vegetables into our diets. You're right, if you're looking for a change in your diets, this is the way to go!

Ethiopianmomma said...

Pastor Wick~ for us it was eliminating it because I already believe we still consume it during times we eat outside of our own kitchen such as at some of our favorites Friday night dinner out places. Besides, the reality of what it is grossed me out and I did not have the desire to reduce it. I wanted it gone. As you can see though, it took us several weeks so we did reduce it...until it was eliminated. Certainly though reducing it and simply being aware of it is a very good step. Depends on what you are going for I guess!

pastorwick said...

Yah...I guess it was simply: "almost everything we were eating had HFCS in it!", combined with "Eliminate HFCS" being called a baby step.

Changing almost everything we eat, would be a pretty big step. :)

But I'm with you...reducing the amount of any type of sugar is a pretty good thing to do.

Ethiopianmomma said...

Pastorwick~ I think that perhaps the baby step is to reduce it bit by bit however you can and want to do so with the ultimate goal of eliminating it as much as possible. But, your right reducing is absolutely a fantastic step even if one does not desire to eliminate it (or feels overwhelmed by that!). Thanks. :)