Reading your way to better health

Grain

When we decided at the end of last year to host a book club at my store, The Daily Apple, I had no idea it would be so eye-opening and so much fun! When we chose the book, Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter I had not read the book and I had no idea how much I would love this book.

I always enjoy reading a good book about health but this one tops the list for importance of subject matter and proper research. Dr. Perlmutter clearly shows us how what we are eating is affecting not only our brains but our daily health. For those of you who want research and in-depth information on how the body works, this book is for you.

Early on in the book club, we were discussing changing how we eat. And one of my favorite comments from the group was when a woman said, “Well I figure whatever I have been doing is not working so why would I not try this approach.” This is such a powerful statement. So many times we go throughout our health journeys not feeling well. We try everything we can to improve our health and nothing works. We exercise more, we take pills to help us feel better, we try everything we possibly can but often fail to take a look at the food we are eating! We make hundreds of excuses why we cannot change what we eat.

Every week I was inspired and encouraged from the people in the group! It is so fun to learn alongside of people who are positive, difference makers. The people who attended the book club were determined to make changes and slowly work on improving health. These women were genuine, real, honest and positive! It was so refreshing to see a group of positive people come together and then notice how healthier eating improves the way we feel.

Dr. Perlmutter teaches us to look at what we have been taught about healthy eating and then ask ourselves if it has really been working. He dispels the myth that fat is bad. He makes a strong argument that our bodies (and especially our brains) need fat.

This book gives eye-opening, heart-wrenching stories of how healthy food can improve serious health conditions. Chapter 6 was one of my favorite because he talks about other health conditions that grain free diets can help with…things like Tourette’s, autism, anxiety, depression and more. I got really emotional when I turned the pages of this chapter. And my hope is this book will help open our eyes to how the foods we eat affect how our bodies behave.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book and give it a read. And even if you don’t want all of the research and scientific explanations, you can skim through that part and still get the point of the book. I am excited to announce we are having another book club at Schafer’s Health & Gifts in Worthington, MN, on Tuesday, March 4. If you are in the area, I encourage you to attend. I am sure we will have a great group of people who want to take small steps to improve their health. And hey, even if you do not live around Worthington, you can participate in the book club through our Facebook event- where we will share ideas, recipes and more.

 

Fresh food delivered locally

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When I met Freya Thurmer last year summer at the Worthington Farmers Market, I could tell she had a real passion for fresh, local food! We instantly connected in talking about locally grown, whole food. When I met her husband Tim, a week or so later, it was obvious they both have a passion for growing quality food. They had some of the best salad greens and kale I have ever tasted and for the first time in my life I tried a lemon cucumber. It was so delicious and even better it was grown just down the road near Jackson, MN.

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Recently on a cold winter day, when Freya told me about their new endeavor 10 Acres Flat, I was ecstatic! Aww, the thought of fresh, local produce in the dead of winter is such a pleasant thought. I am so excited that we now have a farm share program in the local area. On the 10 Acres Flat website, the Thurmer’s describe their business as follows, “A farm share is also commonly known as community-supported or community-shared agriculture (CSA). When you buy a subscription from 10 Acres Flat it’s just like a subscription to the Sunday Times or Newsweek, but instead of receiving a magazine each week, you receive a box (share) of locally grown fruits, vegetables and other fresh farm goods (eggs, dairy products, meat, etc.).”

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We took time Tuesday, to enjoy a cup of coffee at the local coffeehouse (BenLee’s in Worthington) and talk about local food and the Thurmers “Midwest Farm Revival.” The time went way too fast.

Freya relocated all the way from the mountains of Idaho to the prairie of Jackson, MN, for love. She previously taught agriculture and FFA and managed the University of Idaho’s organic farm. The Thurmer’s currently live on Tim’s family Century farm in southwest Minnesota.

“I love growing food. Everybody wants to do something they love and I am lucky enough to be able to do it,” she said. “It is important for me and my family to get food grown locally because it’s more nutritious, it tastes better and it supports the local economy.”

Being a part of a CSA, gives people the opportunity to experience varieties of fresh produce they have never tried before (kind of like the lemon cucumbers I fell in love with at the farmers market last year). Freya talked of tomatoes as being a good example of a crop that offers a wide variety. There are many heirloom varieties and a small scale farm can produce more options.

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“What I like about a CSA is developing relationships with people. You get to know the people eating your food and you have a greater sense of ownership of what you are putting in to your body,” Freya explained.

“Personally I feel the issues we see in children like ADD/ADHD is attributed to diet. The amount of sugar and processed foods in our diets have led to attention disorders and food allergies. The way we process the food and what is in it is making us very unhealthy. Why would you choose a food item with artificial dyes and preservatives when you can get food without it?”

Not only does Freya plan to supply people with quality, local food, she also plans to give people helpful information about the food they are eating. She will provide recipes for specific foods that are being delivered and she will also give instructions on how to preserve foods to store throughout the year. In the future she also plans to offer canning and food preservation classes at the Thurmer farm.

The Thurmers have committed to delivering farm shares to customers from Fairmont to Worthington. People interested in purchasing a farm share can check out 10 Acres Flat website or Facebook page. It is easy to get signed up and be sure not to miss the out on this great opportunity to get a variety of locally produced goods delivered for about 20 weeks May through October. Now remember, if you are interested contact them while there are still shares available. They need to know who wants to buy a share (or a half share) so they can plant the right amount of produce. So let them know soon because planting season is just around the corner!

Wellspring Devotion Feb. 18, 2014

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1 Thessalonians 5:16-18-Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Let’s be honest here friends, this is a hard verse to live out daily. It sounds so simple as it is written but let’s be real—life and our own emotions get in the way and make it difficult to heed the advice in this verse. This winter has been cold and long, and it is wearing on people’s emotions. I know many people, including myself, who have been experiencing some really dark times including depression, anxiety, negative self-talk and more. To be honest for the last three weeks, I have tried to sit down and write devotions and no words come. I have been feeling distant from God and not prepared to put words on paper. Satan is on the prowl and he is attacking each day and we must be aware. Later in 1 Thessalonians in verse 22, it says, “Abstain from every form of evil.” God knows we are tempted and we are sinful beings. Paul reminds us in this verse to stay away from evil because that is what God commands.

So in the dark times, we must continue on. We must be faithful in prayer and find joy in the difficulties we are going through. God is faithful and will answer our prayers in his way in his own time. Keep pressing on. You never know when you will find peace in a song you hear, a note from a friend, a sermon at church, or a specific Bible verse that speaks to you.

At church Sunday, we sang the song Counting on God by Phillips, Craig and Dean. It exuded so much positive energy. It was great to see the joy that filled the sanctuary. It was a wonderful reminder that God is faithful and only He can get us through the dark times. The words of this song are powerful. When dark times surround you, may you find comfort in these words.

Joy unspeakable that won’t go away
And just enough strength
To live for today
So I never have to worry
What tomorrow will bring
‘Cause my faith is on solid rock
I am counting on God

Prayer for the week: Dear God, Please be with everyone who is going through a dark time right now. There is so much hurt and heartache in this world and we ask you to lead us through these difficult situations and allow us find joy in all that is going on around us. Use these situations to draw us closer to you. Let our hearts and minds not be filled with negative thoughts but with joy because we have hope in you. In your precious name we pray, Amen.

Discussion questions:

What is one thing that you do during hard times to help get through it?

What helps you feel better when you are down in the dumps?

Wellspring Devotion Feb. 4, 2014

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Psalm 34:8-“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

What power in the Psalmists words, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” These words tell us to take action and see the many wonders of our Lord around us. This verse is telling us to taste….this takes effort on our part. We must actively engage ourselves in growing our faith and feeding our hunger to learn more and live more like Christ. The Bible is one of the best places to get started in feeding our hunger. When we take time to get into God’s word we can learn the truths of the Bible and live them out in our daily life. The more we get into the word, the more we will crave it and want to continue on in our daily readings.

It is early in the New Year, and a great time to commit to reading the Bible regularly. There are many ways to go about reading the Bible. You can read one book at a time. You can read topical daily devotions that focus on verses on a specific topic. You can read the Bible chronologically in one year. There are many ways to go about reading the Bible. Find the way that works for you and dive in.

Psalm 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Can we make the commitment to live like David has written in this verse? It is a worthy goal. As we challenge ourselves to do this, we must remember we are imperfect beings and we will mess up many times. It is only with God’s gracious help that we can find solace in him and praise his name at all times.

As we read the Bible, we get a clear picture of what God wants from us. We have to be intentional in all we do and train ourselves to like what God likes. Staying engaged in reading the Bible helps us to flee from partaking in the sins of the world. Instead of tasting what the world has to offer, we choose to savor in the goodness of the Lord. He gives us everything we need. And as Psalm 34:8 says, “Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”

Prayer for the week: Dear God, Help us to taste and see that you are good. You are the only one we need. When we are faced with struggles in our daily life or when we think we are too busy to read the Bible, give us the sense to stay the course and do your will! Thank you for all of your wonderful blessings. Please guide me in this New Year to continue to grow closer to you. In your precious name I pray, Amen.

Discussion questions:

What is one thing you plan to do this year to continue to grow closer to God?

Have you chosen a Bible verse for 2014? Pick a verse that has special meaning to you right now in this season of your life. Memorize it. Print it out and keep it around so you can be reminded of it daily.