The Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that we should not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. When I began to apply the truths of this powerful scripture to my own life, I finally began to see true transformation that turned my life around. I went from living a life that was bound and limited, to one that was free from the restrictions that once held me back.
If you are desiring a transformation in any area of your life, I would encourage you to begin by asking yourself three general questions.
1. First, ask yourself the question: How do you see yourself?
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This means that it doesn’t matter how much we try to change the outside, what we believe about ourselves and how we see ourselves on the inside will ultimately be what we become on the outside.
I would encourage you to start this journey by getting alone with God, and ask Him to show you any areas that you may be believing lies and to help you see yourself as He sees you!
2. How do we begin to see ourselves as God sees us?
In order to start to see ourselves as God sees us, we have to start to reading and trusting what God says about us in His Word. A great place to start is Ephesians 2:10, which says, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” This means that God created each one of us with a unique purpose! Even more specifically, God gave each one of us gifts, talents, and strengths to fulfill this purpose.
I would encourage you to start asking yourself; What are your God-given gifts and strengths? For example, do you have a servant’s heart? Are you compassionate? Are you an encourager? Begin by asking the Lord to show you the things that He has placed on the inside of you that make you special and unique. Write these things down and choose to focus on these things daily.
Ask the Lord to develop these qualities within you and to give you the desire to bless others with them. When you start to focus on living your life to bless others with your God given gifts, I can promise you that you will begin to see the world around you through God’s eyes and it will take your eyes off any negative thought pattern that used to plaque you. Not only that, but you will begin to leave a lasting impression on others and impact those around you in a powerful way!
3. How do we transform our minds with God’s Word?
Joshua 1:8 says, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” If we want to be transformed from the inside out, this scripture tells us that the most important thing we could do is spend time in God’s Word every day and to do what it says! This doesn’t mean that we can read the Bible once a week or once every few days and expect to be radically changed. The key word in Joshua 1:8 is continually!
We can see in the second part of this passage that we are to meditate in the Word day and night. The meditate means to think upon, or to ponder. When we spend time reading the Bible each morning, we can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us stay focused on the truths of those scriptures all throughout the day, which is actually a form of meditation! Not only will this type of meditation lead to true peace and joy, but it will bring you to a place where you will find true transformation that comes from the inside out.
A renewed mind brings transformation!
Renewing your mind is certainly a process, and it generally takes a period of time to uproot lies and plant the truth of God’s Word… But when you do, there is a transformation that takes place that is so beautiful and freeing!
A renewed mind also doesn’t mean a life free from problems or negative thoughts… we are all bound to have days where the enemy will try to come back and tempt us with lies. The difference, however, will be that we will be able to recognize the lies and combat them with the truths of God’s word, which means we won’t fall prey to the same deceptions that we used to!
One thing is for sure, in this life we will all face trials, but when we surrender them to the Lord, He can take our broken hearts, thoughts, and lives, and transform them into something beautiful!
Prayer for a transformed mind:
“Father, I pray that you would search my heart and mind and show me any area that is not in agreement with what you say about me in your Word. Help me to see the gifts and strengths are that you have placed on the inside of me, and help me to use them for your glory. I pray that as I study your Word that it would come alive to me, and that you would help me to find truths that would replace any lies that I have been believing. I pray for your Spirit to strengthen me, and to help me discern any lies that would come at me from the enemy and to replace them with your truth. Lord, I ask that you would transform me from the inside out, and that you would help me to become all that you created me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
From the very beginning of time Satan came as a serpent to tempt Adam and Even by distorting the truth of God’s Word in the garden (Genesis 3). Fast forward to when Jesus walked the earth, and we can see that the enemy used the same old tricks when he tempted Jesus multiple times using deception (Matthew 4). Satan is pulling the same conniving stunts today, but he is not quite as clever as some might believe. He is still using deception, lies, and distortion of the truth to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10)… and it is all done with one motive, which is to steal our identity.
The enemy has and will continue to aim his attack at our identity for one simple reason. If he can rob us of the truth of who we are, he can steal everything that God has destined for us to become while we are on this earth.
The Bible clearly tells us that we are in a war (Ephesians), and we can see that the battleground is in our minds. The good news is that God has given us everything we need to fight against these lies and attacks, and with God on our side we will always overcome! We must do our part, however, which means using the weapons that He has given us to defend and fight against the lies that the enemy aims at us. We do this using what Ephesians calls the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God!
I have provided some scripture based prayers that you can use to fight when the battle is raging for your identity as a child of God, a beautiful daughter of the King, and the valuable woman that you are. It’s time to raise our swords, ladies, and fight back against the enemy of our soul using God’s powerful Word! Let us remind ourselves of who we are in Christ and the great and awesome destiny that God has for each one of us!
Below is a link to a PDF download that is filled with prayers based off of God’s Word to remind you of who you are in Christ! I would recommend taking your time going over each prayer, and spend time meditating on it all throughout the day. Also, I would encourage you to add your own scripture based prayers to this list as God speaks His precious promises directly to your heart!
Discovering that you or your family members have food allergies can feel overwhelming. But, take heart! Food allergies don’t have to keep you from healthy eating, and often times don’t even need to keep you from enjoying the foods you love!
Here, I share some of my favorite tips and substitutions to help you navigate cooking to accommodate food allergies.
My husband and son both have severe egg allergies, so nothing I bake contains eggs. If you need to bake egg-free don’t fret, it’s easy to modify most recipes without them!
There are good powdered egg substitutes that you can purchase such as Ener-G or Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer. These work well in most baked goods.
Other options for baking can include pureed fruits like banana or pumpkin, or a buttermilk and yogurt mixture is also a good option for baking (for vegan buttermilk simply mix non-dairy milk and vinegar).
But, of all the options for baking, my favorite egg substitutes are chia “eggs” and gelatin “eggs”.
The pro’s to chia “eggs” are that chia is easy to find (Costco sells huge bags for a great price), a bit more economical, and works for vegans and vegetarians. Chia is a great option too because it’s a good source of protein and fiber, and an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. To prepare a chia “egg” simply:
Grind 1 Tablespoon of chia seed to a “meal” using a coffee grinder or spice grinder
Mix with 3 Tablespoons of water
This combination makes the equivalent of 1 egg (if you don’t like seeing the texture of black chia seeds, white seeds are available online or in health stores).
I personally love using gelatin “eggs”. Gelatin “eggs” provide more protein than an actual egg for a skinny 47 calories per serving, plus there are other benefits to consuming gelatin because it contains collagen with can help strengthen skin and bones. I use Great Lakes 100% grass-fed gelatin which I order online from Amazon. To prepare a gelatin “egg” simply:
Mix 1 tbsp of gelatin with 1 tbsp warm water wisking until it becomes slightly fluffy
Add additional 2 tbsp of hot water and wisk into a paste-like texture
This combination makes the equivalent of 1 egg (note: if you are preparing something that calls for many eggs or egg whites, typically 3 or more, it may work best to try a combination of chia and gelatin “eggs” for better binding.)
Record numbers of people are showing signs and symptoms of dairy intolerance. If you’ve decided to reduce or eliminate dairy from your diet, here are a few of my favorite ways to keep the creamy, cheesy flavors in recipes.
For substituting dairy in foods like shakes and smoothies, coffee, or homemade ice cream, my favorite milk is unsweetened cashew milk. It’s super creamy and for only 25 calories per cup, it’s my personal favorite.
When I’m looking for ultra-creaminess and willing to factor in a few extra calories, full-fat whipped coconut milk can’t be beat. And, in moderation, soy milk (if not sensitive) is a great way to add protein to most anything calling for milk.
To add a “cheesy” flavor to foods calling for cheese, I love nutritional yeast. It’s a wonderful source of protein and minerals and lends a cheesy flavor to foods. Its great sprinkled on top of popcorn, veggies, sweet potatoes, and casseroles! For dairy-free nacho cheese I love this low-calorie recipe! We eat this on top of loaded nachos for meatless Monday! http://minimalistbaker.com/cashew-less-vegan-queso/
Other great ways to get that creamy dairy texture is with mashed bananas in baked goods and shakes. Potato-flakes are a tasty, low-calorie way to thicken soups and stews. And, a pinch of xanthan gum makes everything it touches thick, smooth and creamy. I love adding this to my protein shakes for a “frosty” like texture!
My entire family has been eating gluten-free for the past 4 years after discovering that my husband had Intestinal Bowel Disease. The idea of gluten-free living feels daunting for many people, but I assure you it is easier than you may think! Nearly every recipe can be modified to be gluten-free and still super delicious! Easy ways to replace gluten are to use rice, quinoa (my favorite) or corn based noodles in in pasta recipes. Rudi’s makes wonderful, huge, gluten-free tortillas for only 90 calories each. My favorite gluten-free bread of all time is from Canyon Bakehouse. It’s AH-mazing. But, it does contain egg, so we opt for a vegan sandwich bread from Schar. They, offer a large selection of gluten-free breads. While not quite as delicious as Canyon’s bread, it’s a good back-up. It is by far best when toasted!
As far as gluten-free flours, my go-to is gluten-free oat flour. I like that is provides a good source of fiber of protein and is versatile enough to use in nearly every recipe for baked goods. I buy Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats by the 4-pack on Amazon and blend half into flour using a 14-cup food processor. The ground flour can be stored in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
If you’re navigating different food sensitivities, be encouraged! You can still enjoy so many amazing foods and nearly every recipe here on Dashing Dish can be modified to meet your dietary needs! If you have a specific food that you’re looking for an allergy friendly replacement for, you’re welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll do my best to help! And, while I’m not a food allergy expert, and cannot provide medical guidance, I can certainly share my favorite foods and successes!
Jennifer Smith of Unveiled Wife and I are teaming up to bring to you this Very Special 2 Book Bundle. In the bundle, you will get a copy of The Unveiled Wife and a copy of my new book, Devotions For A Healthier You. This bundle will be offered for two weeks only, and it is 40% off the original price of both books!
The first time I went to visit The Unveiled Wife website, I knew that it was an extraordinary ministry. I could see right away that her and her husband are doing amazing things to promoting healthy marriages God’s way! I was even more excited when I received a copy of Jen’s new book The Unveiled Wife, because I knew if it was anything like the resources on her website, that it would be awesome…but little did I know just how captivating this book would be! I ended up reading through the entire book on a 4 hour flight, (and I am the type that rarely reads a book the entire way through). What I loved most about this book is that Jen is extremely transparent, as she shares her struggles, insecurities, doubts, and fears as they relate to marriage and her walk with the Lord. She then goes on to share how the Lord transformed her heart and brought healing and intimacy to her marriage. After reading this book, I am now spreading the word, as I am convinced that it is filled with priceless treasures that will bless every marriage. Whether you are single, engaged, newly married, or you have been married for 50+ years, The Unveiled Wife will pour into you, helping ignite true God-given passion, heal hurts, and cultivate a thriving environment for your marriage.
This devotional book is filled with devotions that have been inspired by my personal journal entries, which range in topics from body image to comparison, it touches on the most common topics women face. I truly want’s every woman to know how precious and beautiful they are to the Lord, and her prayer is that this book teaches every reader just how valuable they are to Him!
In addition to building the reader up spiritually, I also hope this book will bring practical knowledge on how to live a physically fit and healthy lifestyle. For that reason, I has included recipes, tips, and a meal plan to equip the reader with the tools they need to build a healthy foundation.
Have you ever had a day where you started the day with a healthy breakfast, brought a healthy lunch to work, had a healthy mid day snack, and had an overall healthy day….until the evening hit!
If you can relate to this scenario, I can pretty much guarantee you are not alone. In fact, I have talked to countless women about this very issue, and all of them have the same frustration: Evening snacking is holding them back from reaching their goals.
Before i say anything else, I want to clarify a few misconceptions on this topic:
Eating at night does not make you gain weight. Yes, thats right… There is no set time that you have to stop eating at night to lose weight. That is a huge myth. Sure, it is not ideal to go to bed stuffed, because it’s hard for your body to digest while laying down and sleeping. However, the time of day you eat has nothing to do with your weight. Calories are calories to your body, and regardless of the time of day.
Having treats, eating out, and enjoying foods that are not deemed as ‘healthy’ is entirely OK, and it will generally happen in the evening, because that is usually the time most people get together with friends, family, and enjoy food. If we make it our goal to eat healthy most of the time (at least 80% of the time), our bodies, minds, and soul will actually thank us for that occasional treat. That being said, as long as it is ONE meal or treat enjoyed, and not numerous meals or days of overeating, and indulgence, than it is perfectly acceptable and in my mind, encouraged! (Yes, I have my occasional treat too, my treat of choice is almost always frozen yogurt with my hubby on date nights or with friends on the weekend!)
Mindless snacking on unhealthy foods and binge eating disorder are two different things. If you suspect that you struggle with an eating disorder of any kind, (in this case binge eating disorder), please tell someone you trust as soon as possible, and seek professional help.
Now that we have cleared up those important points…
Here are some tips and ideas I have found to help keep your end of the day and weekend eating on track!
1. Don’t Skip Meals or Snacks. When we deprive our bodies of the energy and nutrients they need throughout the day, we are much more likely to overeat, later in the day when we finally give our bodies much needed fuel. The other downside to not eating a lot during the day, and then eating a lot at night is that it can be very hard on our digestive systems to process all of the food we ate just before bed. We can also severely damage our metabolism in the long run when we put our bodies through this all too common feast and famine cycle. Depending on your bodies needs, and the calories you are getting with each meal and snack, I recommend eating 3 meals and 1-3 snacks per day, and/or eating every 2-4 hours.
2. Get Enough Sleep. When our bodies are sleep deprived, we tend to reach for sugar, caffeine, and simple carbohydrates in an effort to get our energy levels up. It is much easier to stay in tune to your bodies true hunger signals when we get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
3. Eat Plenty of Protein and Fiber. Be sure you are getting plenty of protein and a good amount of fiber with each meal and snacks. Protein and fiber help you feel satisfied and keep your blood sugar levels stead, preventing sugar cravings, and overeating later in the day. Eating a balanced diet, with good sources of lean protein, lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and a moderate amount of healthy fats will ensure that we don’t feel deprived at the end of the day.
4. Stay Hydrated. Make sure you are getting plenty of water throughout the day. The part of our brain that signals thirst, also signals hunger, so it can be very easy to mistake the two. Sometimes we are simply dehydrated, but our brain signals make us think we are hungry. I personally like to fill up a big glass, and put some lemon juice, ice, and stevia in it- it tastes like sugar free lemonade, making it much easier to drink!
5. Remove Temptations. If you have certain food(s) that are hard to resist, don’t buy it, and get rid of it. There are a few foods that I won’t buy simply because I don’t want the needless temptation of having them in the house.
6. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand. When you are leaving your house, make sure you bring a healthy snack with you. That way, if you find yourself stuck in a traffic jam, or out longer than expected, you won’t be overly hungry when it comes time for a meal. Also, if you are truly hungry at night, choose a healthy snack such as fruit (fresh or frozen), veggies and hummus, or a 1 minute single serve Dashing Dish dessert!
7. Stay Occupied. I believe one of the main reasons people tend to overeat in the evening is because it’s the only time of day that they are not preoccupied with something, making it easier to reach for food out of boredom. If this sounds familiar, I recommend reading a good book, playing a game, or even taking an evening walk to keep you from mindless eating. Another tip would be to chew sugar free gum, or sip on some decaf coffee, herbal tea sweetened with stevia if you find yourself eating mindlessly.
8. Have a Set Shut Off Time. One of the problems of staying up late is that it causes you to feel hungry when your body should be sleeping. Make it a point to set a time when you shut down and go to bed. In order to go to sleep at a decent hour of the night, make an effort to cut down on caffeine throughout the day. If you must have coffee during the day, try to limit the amount after 3 pm. Even if you are not tired, going to bed and spending time doing something relaxing will help you unwind, and keep you out of the kitchen, where it can be easier to make poor choices late at night.
9. Be Present at Meal Times. Often times we can get so busy that we are not truly ‘present’ when we are eating our nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day. If we make an effort to sit down and truly enjoy our meals, we will be less likely to feel deprived later on in the day.
10. Strengthen Your Spiritual Muscles. Sometimes what we think is hunger is truly not physical hunger at all…but rather it is something much deeper, resulting in emotional eating. In those cases I personally have found that there are three powerful weapons to combat emotional eating: Spend time with the Lord, Praise and Worship, and Pray the Word of God! I also love to go on walks, listen to worship music, and just spend time with the Lord. He always promises to draw near to us when we draw near to Him. He is able to strengthen, encourage, and steady our hearts better than we ever could on our own.
If you struggle with eating mindlessly at night (or any time of the day for that matter), I hope these tips help you on your journey to health! I believe that the very best place to start when it comes to overcoming any ‘bad’ habit in the area of nutrition is to start to see yourself as an overcomer! If you truly start to believe that you can become healthy and balanced in all things, it will just be a matter of time before your actions and behaviors line up with how you see yourself on the inside. I pray blessings over each one of you, and your journey to health! xo Katie
I believe that one of the greatest areas of struggle that women face in our society today is related to self image, but even more specifically, body image. I believe that one of the greatest roots behind low self esteem stems from the unfulfilled core desire of every woman, which is the need to be loved. This desire for love often goes much deeper as it poses the unending question in so many of us, which is… Am I Worthy of Love?
Whether you have asked yourself this question out loud before, or it is the first time you really thought about it, I can pretty much guarantee that almost every woman has asked herself this question in her heart…. and it just so happens that it most likely gets asked when we look in the mirror.
With the ever prevalent images and messages that come at us through magazines, commercials, billboards…(you name it), we are constantly having a picture painted for us that would tell us what a woman should be, in order to be lovely. Unfortunately, if we do not feel that we live up to that unrealistic standard, deep down so many of us struggle with the lies that we are ugly, overweight, not good enough, and therefore…unworthy of love.
After struggling with eating disorders for many years, I know this feeling all too well. I was constantly comparing myself and measuring my self worth among societies standards, and other girls, which always left me feeling that I was coming up short. This mindset led to unhealthy behaviors and thoughts, which led me to believe that if I were ‘thin enough’, that I would finally feel beautiful and confident.
After years of trying to control my weight, and getting down to dangerously low body fat levels, I can now look back and say without hesitation that I was never satisfied. In fact, the struggle and strain that I put on my body and mind in order to maintain a ‘perfect’ image only led to further dissatisfaction with my body and my self-worth.
Looking back, I now know that the reason I was never satisfied with my body image, (regardless of how skinny I got, or how I looked), was because I was searching for acceptance according to this worlds systems. If you haven’t personally been down the path of trying to find fulfillment from the things of this world- let me spare you the wasted time, energy, and pain…Nothing This World Has to Offer Ever Satisfies!
Ultimately, my road to healing began when I started to look to Jesus for my validation and I let Him answer my ever present question….am I worth of love?
If you can relate to my story, or you have ever found yourself thinking negatively about your body, or yourself in general, I would ask yourself this question: Do You Know that You are Worthy of Love?
You are not worthy because you are skinny enough, you have the most beautiful hair, you are toned, or you are the best dressed. You are not worthy of love because you are the smartest, you are the most organized, are the best mom, or are the most successful. You are not worthy of love because you have the cleanest house, have the most perfect marriage, or have the most beautiful skin.
You my friend are WORTHY of love, simply because your God says that you are. In fact, Psalm 139:14 says that “You are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” by the Lord. The word ‘wonderfully’ means to be distinct or unique. This verse says that God made you special, and that no one else is like you! How is that for validation!?! God loves you so much that He created every detail of you with great though in mind, so that each one of us would be unique! And He didn’t make a mistake! Every part of you was designed in order to fulfill the special purpose and plan that He has for you.
If the fact that you are truly one of a kind isn’t convincing enough that you are amazing, think about the fact that you were created in the image of a powerful, great, almighty God! (Genesis 1:27)
Now, this might all sound wonderful, but let’s get down to the nitty-gritty on actually applying this principal- because let’s face it, at the end of the day, we may know that we are accepted and loved by God, but we also want to feel good about ourselves, and having peoples approval certainly helps!
I can speak from experience when I say, this is where the work and time must be put in to Renew our Minds with God’s Word. Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This scripture was a vital part to my inner healing, and it truly was the first step in finding my fulfillment in the Lord.
You see, it wasn’t until I actually laid down my ‘self’ and my selfish desires to feel good about ‘myself’ and trade it in for what God almighty says about me that I truly was satisfied. I will be honest and tell you that it is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but the peace of knowing who I am in Christ is well worth the effort!
I can now honestly say that I am free from the bondage of self-acceptance, or the need to be approved by others, simply because everything that I am is found in the one who created me. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have my ‘days’ where I have to remind myself of the truth…and laying my ‘self’ at the feet of Jesus is a daily (and sometimes multiple time a day) event. However, the freedom, joy, and acceptance that only He can give is the very thing that keeps me running back to Him.
I pray that this devotional encouraged you today, and that no matter where you are today, you have a revelation that God almighty, the one that created you, and the one that knows you by name- calls you worthy of love….Just as you are at this very moment.
He finds no spot, flaw, or blemish in you, (Song of Solomon 4:7), and He wants to fill you up with His love today.
Welcome to the first ever Dashing Dish 1 Month Workout Challenge! This challenge is called the Dashing Dish 30 Challenge, because the goal is to do a 30 minute workout 3-6 days a week, and it will last for 1 month (about 30 days). The goal of this challenge is to inspire all of us to cheer each other on and commit to getting active throughout the week.
To follow along, simply pick either the suggested Dashing Dish (DD) workout listed for that day, or do 30 minutes of activity of choice. (I listed it as a 30 minute run or walk, but you can do anything that get’s your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes). To join in on this challenge, simply pick 3-6 days a week to workout (it doesn’t have to necessarily be Monday-Friday, just make it your goal to workout 3-6 days per week, depending on your current fitness level.) When you have completed the workout, give a shout out on social media using the hashtag #DashingDish30
You can join with a friend, or go at it alone, and if you don’t have access to a gym…no excuses…just choose an outdoor activity now that the weather is warming up, or you can choose a home workout! There will also be a Facebook group for this challenge, so we can motivate each other to get in our workouts for the week!
GRAND PRIZE: One lucky winner will win a Polar Heart Rate Monitor to help you stay motivated to exercise and reach your goals long after the challenge is over! To enter, simply share your workout in the form of hashtag #DashingDish30 somewhere on social media, (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram). The more entries, the greater chance you have to win, so let’s get moving! ;) The winner will be picked at random, and announced on June 1st, 2015.
Now, who’s ready to join in on the fun and spend the next 30 days focusing on our fitness!?! We kick things off the week of May 4th, but you can join any time in the month of May!
Have you ever been moving steadily down the path of balanced, healthy living and BAM, out of nowhere, one food can cause things to spiral out of control before you even know what hit you? Me too, you’re not alone.
I felt the Lord prompting me to share with all of you some of the ways He’s helped me to keep trigger foods in check. I pray these help free your mind and spirit today!
Out of sheer frustration one-day, I really took my struggle with certain foods to the Lord in hopes of understanding how to handle them appropriately. Truthfully, I was tired of feeling helpless to enjoy certain foods without the risk of binging. I was confused and frustrated. I’d overcome most of my disordered eating why did certain foods so often leave me feeling out-of-control and frantic? I began to press into the Lord for help. Now before I begin, I’d like to say that there are volumes of information and opinions on the addictive qualities of certain foods. I’m not going to address those; rather, my purpose for this devotional is to simply share what I believe the Father heart of God chose to share with me for the purpose of granting me more freedom and abundant life.
Is it the food or is your soul starving?
Above all else I’ve come to understand that if my spirit is starving, my flesh is very vulnerable to over eating. When I’m slipping into a pattern of overusing food, the first place I need to look is at the condition of my spirit. Have I been consistently feeding on the Word of God? Do I need to spend time with Him in prayer and praise? Almost without fail, if my flesh is crying out to be satisfied, the answer is no. In times like this, I need to be very purposeful about seeking the Lord to fill my spirit so that I use my body to glorify Him.
Proverbs 4:20-23 Amplified Bible “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”
John 15:4, Jesus said, “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.”
Understand the trigger!
I used to use food as a source of punishment. I would overeat as a “weapon” against myself. After I was restored and healed from that I was confused about why I would still over-do-it with certain foods. I took it to the Lord in prayer and He revealed something quite unexpected. He showed me that I was no longer using food to abuse myself; I was using it as a source of misdirected “self-care”. I began to understand that my need to feel good was actually a healthy instinct that just needed some redirection.
When I realized that my body was pleading for self-care I had a whole new outlook on how I viewed trigger foods. Up to that point, I believed that as long as my spirit was full I wasn’t vulnerable to over eating. While that is a KEY factor to successfully overcoming binging, the missing link for me was realizing that I also needed self-care. I began to make a connection. I realized that when I was purposeful about caring for myself in healthier ways, I could eat the same foods I might otherwise abuse without struggle. Now if I’m feeling that way, I quickly make room and time to do other things that restore me: I sit in the sun by myself doing NOTHING, enjoy a nap, I make time to get away for a little while, read something just for pleasure, or treat my body to a bath or at-home spa time. I’ve discovered that it actually takes very little to restore myself and when I enjoy a little self-care to “fill my tank” the trigger foods don’t have power over me.
Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This implies that to love others well, we must also love ourselves well.
Enjoy trigger foods in the company of others
I don’t know about you, but I rarely struggle with trigger foods when I’m in the company of others. It’s only those times I’m alone at home that I feel vulnerable. I believe the Enemy uses that time of isolation to make us weak and with no accountability we are far more vulnerable to stumbling. For that reason, I also recommend enjoying foods that may trigger you when you have the support of others around you. For instance, if peanut butter is something that you may easily overuse, trying making it something you enjoy outside of the home. Make a peanut butter sandwich to take with you for lunch or a snack. Maybe it’s dessert. Make dessert something that you enjoy when you are out to eat with family or friends. It allows you to enjoy it with praise and thanksgiving without the risk of overeating which often leads to shame and condemnation.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG) “By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”
If God says it’s not beneficial, listen!
I am a huge proponent of embracing balance in both food and exercise. After years of life learning, I have a firm understanding that any extreme is very hard to sustain long-term. Considering too many foods “off-limits” or “bad” makes it easy to stay bound to a diet mentality. That said, scripture does make it clear however, that though all things are permissible, not all things are beneficial. Even after having walked the journey to diet recovery, I still struggle with keeping chocolate within healthy boundaries. Sometimes I can eat a very reasonable portion, enjoy it, and move on – most of the time I can’t. After praying about this, I’ve heard over and over from the Lord, “chocolate is the food you need to resist.” Of all the glorious, tasty, abundant choices the Lord generously offers me to enjoy, He has lovingly directed me to stay away from only one. He knows me better than I know myself and He knows that this one food can easily lead me to a place where my flesh struggles to maintain self-control. I will tell you that when I listen to His leading on this, I am free. It’s a relief for me and increases my peace. God has told me this for years. I’m a work in progress. Most of the time I listen and obey, sometimes I don’t. But, I’m always blessed by freedom in my mind and peace of my body when I do. If you have something that repeatedly causes you stumble, I would encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer to ask if that’s something you need to abstain from as an offering of sacrifice for His blessing. In return He will give you amazing peace and freedom.
1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP) ” All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].”