Basically, the research said to eat whole, real, natural food. So, I switched to all whole grains and started buying a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables. I naturally started to feel a little bit better as each day passed. My body also needed rest after five long, stressful years of trying to bring my son home from Colombia, so I listened in that area, too.
After 3 months of making these changes, summer ended (bummer), and I went back to work and back to a busy life with two teenage boys who are heavily involved in soccer and church activities. About that time, a friend asked if I'd like to go through the Daniel Plan with her and a few other friends. It's a plan that helps you take back your health in five key areas: faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends (spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially). Sounded good, so we started meeting together to watch a few videos, exercise, and read through a book together.
The Daniel Plan book has a section on food that is both overwhelming and fascinating. Overwhelming to see how much junk I'd been putting in my body, but fascinating to see how healing food can be when I choose to eat what God made rather than what man has fabricated and called food. It literally restated everything the research had said about how to naturally heal my body. It should be common sense, but unfortunately, it's not.
It didn't take long for my taste buds to change and even my cravings. Before, I craved carbs, chocolate, or salt at the end of a long or stressful day. I got headaches because I didn't eat a balanced meal or get enough protein, I felt trapped in a brain fog, couldn't think clearly, and didn't have much energy to give back to my family. Running my boys all over caused me a ton of stress rather than enjoyment to see their growth. I saw hardships all around me and dwelt on them constantly. They drained me.
Now that I eat better (still making more changes as I learn), I crave a handful of nuts instead of salty chips. I love dark chocolate, but rarely touch anything else. I would rather have fruit to pick me up than something filled with other sugars. I drink more water than ever before. I eat a full serving of vegetables with my breakfast every single day, and I rarely ever feel hungry.
I rarely get a headache anymore. I have more mental clarity than I know what to do with and can balance a lot more activity than before.
I found gratitude over negativity, and my spirit feels so uplifted. I start my day with gratitude and remind myself of all the blessings in my life before I do anything else each day. It's amazing what a difference it makes in my mood to focus on what's going right rather than on what's going wrong. Little did I know that negative thoughts actually release negative chemicals into your body, so no wonder a focus on gratitude lifts my spirit before I even start my day.
What I love about the Daniel Plan concepts is the science behind it all, scientifically proving that God's way is best. I mean, doesn't it just seem logical that the food He created will make us think, feel, and act more like He intended us to?
I'm so thankful my friend showed me the Daniel Plan, and I'm just as thankful the church gave me the opportunity to lead a new group now on Saturday nights after the service. We're half-way through, and I'm learning way more this time than I did the first time. If you've never heard of it, check it out! You won't regret it.