Season’s Eatings, Y’all!
As a foodie and fitness blogger, I am entering my favorite time of year- the season of eating.
From my grandmother Jen-Jen’s white gravy and stuffing cakes she affectionately calls ‘turds’ to my mother’s homemade Christmas gumbo to Collin Street Baker fruitcake (it's not Paleo but it's DARN good) and Harry & David pears, the holiday season is loaded with culinary nostalgia that I absolutely love, treasure, and partake in with utmost enthusiasm.
However, for many of y’all out there, I know you dread this time of year because of the food. That by December 28th, you know your jeans will be getting tighter as you start to take-on your own likeness to Santa’s bowl full of jelly.
To be honest, I once viewed this time of year with a little apprehension and anxiety, fearful that one bite of pie or just the sight of a yeast roll would cause me to gain weight.
But I’m hear to proclaim to y’all that that’s not how we are to live this life- God has surrounded us with such abundance, such goodness. We just need to taste and see the goodness He's already laid on the table before us.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and all that’s in-between: brunches, cocktail parties, buffets, cookie exchanges, office parties, pot lucks, progressive suppers…as a girl of the South, I know this season is amiss without food, food, and more food.
Buttery potatoes, creamy casseroles, and the desserts…Lord have mercy, us Southerners don’t know how to operate in the months of November and December without mountains of butter, cream cheese, sugar, and heavy cream.
In early college, I started to look upon this time with trepidation. Mind you, these were my days that were incomplete without at least an hour or two of cardio and were fueled by high fiber instant oatmeal packets, fiber granola bars, and Luna bars. In my world of Splenda and fat-free yogurt and 100-calorie packs, I certainly had some misunderstandings about nutrition and, therefore, some issues with food.
After years of prayer and asking God to work through me and grow me, I learned more and more to release this control over to the Lord. As Matthew 6:32 & 34 remind us, “Do not worry about what you eat or drink or wear…do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself.”
Fretting over how many calories I consumed in a slice of cheesecake or how long I’d have to jog to burn it off…that’s not a place I ever want to go back to.
I’ve grown to see and understand food to be something that can be nourishing to both the body and the soul. As an East Tennesseean transplanted into Texas, it’s not like suddenly I became surrounded by kale salads and beet juice. Au contraire mon frère- if anything, moving to Texas increased the amount of deep-fried, buttery, carby foods PLUS way more Tex-Mex.
I’ve now come to a place in my life that I can see that the Lord is good, that the Lord provides, and that food or my body size is not something that fills a void in my heart. The one and only thing that can ever complete me and you is Him, our Maker, our Savior, our Redemption.
When we try to find our fulfillment in anything other than God, we will always face discontentment. Our hearts will never been settled, our souls never satisfied, our bodies always craving more.
It’s no coincidence that Jesus is called our Bread of Life. In Him, we will never grow hungry or thirsty. He, and He alone, can satisfy us.
Now does this mean I think you should dive face-first into some Olive Garden breadsticks or Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits? No, y’all, please don't do that. Please.
I’m still not going to hop on the gluten train and probably never will. Yet I know if a situation arises this holiday season and I do eat a yeast roll or buttered biscuit or fruitcake slice (yes, I do actually enjoy Collin Street Bakery’s fruitcake), I will continue to be healthy, happy, and not worry about it.
I’ve learned how to taste and see that the Lord is good. He does more than nourish me daily; He revives me, restores me, and reenergizes me way more than any green juice or protein shake ever could.
When I find myself slipping into old ways of thinking about food, I just remind myself that He didn’t create me to walk this Earth to constantly obsess about calories and gluten and food sourcing. I’m called to serve Him, to glorify Him, to honor Him in all I do. Obsessing over food is not for His glory.
In the coming weeks, as you face a buffet piled high with green bean casserole and cornbread stuffing and pecan pie, take a second to remind yourself that it’s okay to indulge a little. It's spiritually and emotionally unhealthy to fixate on every little thing you eat; on the flip side, it's physically unhealthy to eat four slices of pumpkin pie in one night.
Just remember God has so much more in store for you and I than our daily food choices. Food is something on this planet that is just meant to sustain us and fuel us, not consume our lives.
Today, this week, and this holiday season, taste and see how the Lord is good; you may be surprised just what He puts on your plate.
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!