Vegetables are NOT my God. (Although to be perfectly clear—they are made by God and are SUPER good for you!) But I will say again…they are not my God.
Over the past 3 years the Cockerham family meal plan has changed dramatically. It started with a clean eating challenge that encouraged me to “clean up” my nutrition by eliminating processed food. Over time this led to an eye-opening education about what I ate and why. It led to books, articles and documentaries one more astonishing than the next. At first I was angry. Angry that the food I ate, that tasted SO good, simply wasn’t that good for me. And then angry at the FDA and everyone else that told me in moderation it was fine to consume.
The evolution of what has graced our plates has truly been unbelievable. To watch my meat and potatoes man eat more vegetables than me most days has been inspiring. I am thrilled that we are daily, aggressively inserting vegetables in to our diet.
Monday I am starting the Engine 2 Challenge…it is the way our family eats much of the time, but it is even more adventurous in the realm of whole, plant based foods than the vegetarian fare we eat now. I do not know that the E2 diet will be a fully sustainable choice for our family; but I think that a month of focusing primarily on plants will help me to creatively prepare more vegetables than we even serve now.
When discussing this challenge with a friend I explained that as passionate about this 28 days as I may be, I want to be careful and cautious not to fall too far on the extreme. (Many of you laugh and say, “TOO LATE!”) What I mean by this, is that if I am at a friend’s house I will not refuse a meal offered that does not fall under the plant-based umbrella. I will not slap a birthday cupcake out of my child’s hand that was offered to him at preschool that contains white sugar and white flour. People are WAY more important than plants.
A friend passed on this blog that says what I believe and therefore there is no need to re-invent the wheel:
Unfortunately, the natural, organic lifestyle tends to have a reputation of elitism, and I am uncomfortable with that association. The last thing I want to do is make those around me feel inadequate or discouraged or judged, and the next to last thing I want to do is raise kids with a superiority complex. Can we say PET PEEVE? Ugh.
While I do believe that how we eat and feed our families is important, it is NOT the be all and end all. So with everything else, there is a balance to be achieved. And when or if my food choices become a point of pride, it is time to seriously re-evaluate what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.” (Jo-Lynne Shane) http://www.musingsofahousewife.com/2010/01/food-is-not-my-religion.html
As much as it made me laugh the first time Caleb said he thought we should, “burn down McDonalds;” truth be told, I do not want him to go to school and tell his friend that his school subsidized lunch (and the only lunch he can afford), is not “helfy”. I want Caleb to care more about his friend’s heart than his vegetable in-take.
The world is full of gray. I spent my 20s living in a black and white world. I made snap judgments based on a person’s point of view…and I tended to believe the road I chose was the right and only way. Over time I realized that the world was made up of many more shades of gray. I began to understand that life was simply NOT as simple as I had made it out to be. Living in the world of black and white can be so divisive. In the “gray” there is grace. I want to live and move and having my being in the grace.
Now who would have thunk it…God even had something to say about all this vegetable business!?!?
“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.” – Romans 14:1-3
May you be a blessing and may you be blessed!