Eat slowly.

There is a small town in rural Japan where people live to be a healthy 90 years old. Scientists have studied this and the only behavior that differentiates these folks from the rest of us in our world is: they eat slowly and they eat until they are only 90% full.

In my walk with God towards a deeper awareness of my body, one place He is constantly nudging me is to pay attention to what I eat. He is showing me that He has created my body and He has created my body to need specific nutrients. After all, they’re all nutrients that He has made.

As I continue to walk out what I am discovering about my body’s connection to food, I see my three oldest daughters (ages 16, 12 and 10) doing the same.

So together, with my girls, God is inviting us into the rhythmical circle of life, of His creation. Together we are learning.

A typical breakfast my oldest teen prepares for herself. The eggs are organic and come from our neighbors, the tomatoes are homegrown, and the spinach is organic, store-bought. You really can taste the difference!

Eat slowly. In the midst of summer’s heat, when we stop to eat an organic, homegrown tomato slowly and it is soooo good. We are all aware and in awe of the One who made it. When we wolf down a tomatoes slice at McD’s, we are not.

Eat slowly. When we eat a salad laden with nuts, raisins, cucumber, tomatoes and organic chicken slices slowly and savor His flavors – we all marvel at how He blesses us. When we grab a quick wrap and gobble it in the car, we don’t.

When we eat slowly, our bodies somehow connect with His. His soil and the love that He took to prepare that seed or egg or cow is in us and helps our bodies and brains to function well.

This is my gardener-daughter with pickles from her cucumber harvest. Pickles for winter!

When we eat good meals, we want to eat slowly and enjoy Him. We also want to know where our food comes from and to eat how He planned for us. We want to know about our bodies and what they need. This awareness in turn leads us to make wiser choices. And in this way, we honor our bodies and the One who created us.

As my daughters and I have journeyed down this road, I have noticed that my body needs red meat once a week and thyroid building supplements daily to stay balanced – so I eat them, slowly.

My 16 year old has noticed that dairy makes her feel sluggish and causes more acne, so she’s chooses not to eat it anymore. My 12 year old has a passion to garden and touch His creation, so she does. My ten year old has developed a voice of advocacy against large companies that pollute the food God made. Ask her – she’ll tell you all about it.

Through a better understanding of our food, we notice how He has made us in tender balance. We draw closer to our Creator and long to know more of how He designed us.

Who knows, perhaps we too will live to be a healthy 90 years old. But until then, you will find me right here, eating slowly.

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Heather Dart is living, mothering, learning, exploring and creating right along side her beautiful family and close community right here in Minneapolis. Heather is a talented artist and illustrator, take a peak of her artwork here.

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PS Just one more thing, one of my daughters has her very own bread business. She only uses organic ingredients and loves to deliver to her customers. Aren’t we the lucky ones who so often get to enjoy the aroma of fresh baked bread!

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