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Saying No to Processed Food

Brenda Frelsi 

Pastor Rebecca Ebb-Speese

Kentwood, Michigan
June 2014

I have always struggled with weight and yo-yo dieting. When I commit to a weight loss program, I can generally be successful but have trouble maintaining the good habits after I reach my goal weight. This year, my husband and I committed to simply changing the way we eat.

We were introduced to a book entitled "The Science of Skinny" by Dee McCaffrey, and were shocked to realize how dangerous processed food is and how many chemicals we put in our bodies without even thinking about it. This led us to a new journey of eating. I still had trouble really committing to not eating processed food because it meant planning and preparing healthy meals every day, and I am not fond of cooking.

Lent is always a good time to commit to healthy things, so we gave up eating as much processed food as possible and began cooking simple meals like brown rice or quinoa with beans and fresh vegetables. We also grilled wild caught Alaskan red sockeye salmon and free-range chicken. We made a lot of things on the weekends to freeze for the week. We didn't eat out and took healthy lunches to work every day.

The results of our healthy eating efforts? I lost weight and lowered my cholesterol levels.
I was amazed when I had lab work done for my diabetes check- up three weeks into Lent, and found that my A1C and cholesterol levels had already dropped significantly — and I was steadily losing 1-2 pounds a week. More recent lab work showed a continued drop.

My birthday came during Holy Week and I allowed myself the opportunity to eat cake and pizza at a family birthday/Easter dinner. Neither tasted good to me and they upset my stomach. Healthy eating is no longer just a Lenten discipline.

Lent helped become a jumpstart to what I plan on as a new way of life.
Along with getting my blood sugar and cholesterol under control, I was thrilled to be able to get rid of a wardrobe of big clothes, as I found that I also had lost two sizes! It is not realistic to go through life without eating in restaurants, but we are now aware of choices we can make, and chose restaurants where we can find healthy, non-processed options. I feel better and now look forward to summer with less weight, a healthier body, and the local produce that is coming our way!

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