Fall is such a wonderful time of year. I love the pumpkins, the trees, cool mornings, and getting to wear boots. This is arguably my favorite time of year, but this fall has also been a season of changes for me.
Our daughter started kindergarten, and that has been quite the routine-changer itself. Packed lunches every day and strict earlier bedtimes are new in our house, but I think we have all mostly adjusted. She is loving it, and I enjoy seeing her excitement as she makes new friends and learns new things.
I also made a personal change to become more physically fit. Not that I have ever been in great shape, but now I am finally doing something to combat my unhealthy weight. Going to the YMCA sporadically during the summer obviously didn’t cut it, so I committed to going to classes four mornings a week after making the school and Mother’s Day Out runs.
These two changes introduced a lot more driving and more time away from home for me. Something had to give to accommodate them, so for awhile you may have noticed I did not do as many blog posts. The basics and best deals/freebies I could find made their way onto the blog, and I hope they have still been helpful for you.
But something else has also captured my attention and has led me to question some of the grocery posts I put on Couponing For Charities.
The Daniel Plan
The YMCA offered The Daniel Plan group study. We had made small food changes as a family over the years, but I knew to get real results weight-wise I would need more guidance on better eating.
The introductory session left me intrigued. It wasn’t solely a diet plan or a fitness plan. Instead, it was a “health-style” change. By allowing your faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends to work together, your overall health will improve. The motivation is to be healthier so you can better experience life spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially.
So I ordered the book and cookbook, and looked on the website for information until they were delivered. Some of the stuff I “knew” but had never incorporated. Some of the concepts were eye-openers. (Did you know today’s wheat has been genetically engineered and changed from the wheat of Biblical times?)
A few of the ingredients in their recipes were new to me. So, I had to take more time and look at Kroger, Walmart, etc trying to find them and where the best prices were. They did cost more upfront, but it balances a little since I am not paying for all the “normal” stuff I had been buying. It also helped to only buy a few things every trip or two. I have already noticed some health improvements, and I like the fact that I am paying for real, whole foods instead of chemicals that are cheaper and can do harm to my body.
So how does this affect my blog?
I had to ask myself, if there were foods I no longer wanted to feed my family, should I still get them for food pantries even if they are free or inexpensive?
The Daniel Plan points out that real foods have the power to heal our bodies, but the convenient and processed foods are designed to be addictive and contain anti-nutrients that lead to many chronic diseases.
So, if we are donating these poor-quality foods, then when the food-pantry patrons are able to buy food on their own, will they keep buying the same processed foods that will be detrimental to their health? Should we instead try to watch for sales on basic nutrition-dense foods like rice, beans, and whole-wheat pasta?
I may be taking this too deep, but I am still concerned and have begun researching journals for correlations of donations and nutrition. I have also started a list of questions to ask local food banks for when I call to interview or visit in the next few weeks.
Hopefully I can have some answers before the big Thanksgiving food drives. I am sure hungry people will still appreciate any food in their belly, but I’d like to know I’m giving them the best food I can.
Do you have some thoughts on this subject? Or on The Daniel Plan? I’d love to hear them below!