Nourishing Pathways

**Published in The Christian Online Magazine August 2012 Issue**

Nourishing Pathways to Health (part 1)

13 years ago I met Rebecca. Besides sharing the same first two names (Rebecca Anne) we found we had a mutual love for Jesus. Rebecca has been a blessing in my life, though we walked different paths for many years, we have come together once again bonded not only by our love for Jesus, but our desire to glorify God with our bodies.

Rebecca is now married and has three beautiful kids. Her husband, Luke, is the music and youth pastor at Hillsdale Blvd Baptist church while Rebecca teaches Sunday school for the youth. Together they serve God passionately, seeking to honor Him with their bodies while teaching those habits to their children. I know you’ll be encouraged by her story.

Nourishing Pathways to Health

Chemical additives are common and convenience is praised in the modern diet, but Sacramento California resident Rebecca Gertner has chosen a different path for her family’s health, especially her husband who, at the age of 32, was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer.

“When God’s word says that our bodies are His temple, that means we should honor them. Just like we wouldn’t go spread trash all over our church sanctuary or purposely destroy the building, we should be mindful of how we are treating this flesh and blood sanctuary.”

Rebecca hasn’t always practiced a healthy lifestyle. As a member of the Finley Family, who travelled and performed as a way of life, she learned the art of eating on the go. Rebecca recalled her life on the bus:

“Growing up I ate a lot of fast food and drank a lot of soda pop. For years we didn’t have a refrigerator and just an ice chest. That left us consuming a lot of things that were either non-perishable or quick to purchase or eat.”

When the Finley Family wasn’t touring they worked together at home booking concerts, practicing music, and making bus repairs. Eventually a system was developed to trade off cooking responsibilities for the family so everyone would have a turn preparing food. Making meals for a large family with varying tastes often meant preparing fried foods, drinking sodas, and baking hefty desserts.

“I was unhealthy when I got married,” Rebecca admitted, “I had food allergies that caused me to have migraines regularly, but since my family wasn’t thinking much about the quality of our diet, it never occurred to me that the headaches were a result of what I was eating. Eventually I was able to maintain a headache free life just by the choices I made concerning food.”

Rebecca’s husband, Luke, had learned about nutrition when his brother became sick as a young boy. Unable to find healing through traditional means, his mother turned to nutrition. His family then adopted and maintained a healthy lifestyle.

“Getting married to Luke changed the way I saw food. Not only did I have the freedom to cook what I wanted, but I also had someone encouraging me to cook healthy foods,” Rebecca explained.

“The biggest factor in deciding to change the way we ate was when my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 non-smokers lung cancer. As you can imagine we were shocked, scared and motivated to do whatever it took to beat this cancer. Food seems to take a back-burner when you’re looking at the statistics of this kind of cancer. Life is more than food. Food is simply what makes life possible.”

Rebecca spent countless hours in research via the internet as well as seeking advice from medical professionals. After learning how excessive amounts of sugar and carbs can suppress the immune system, Rebecca and Luke decided to limit Luke’s carb intake and focus on whole foods instead of processed refined foods, limiting the amount of added sugar to his diet and giving him the best opportunity to heal through proper nutrition as well as traditional cancer treatments. She admits it’s often difficult to discern what advice to take and what to discard, considering there were hundreds of contradictory medical opinions. Ultimately it came down to seeking God’s will and wisdom in every health choice.

You can read the rest of Rebecca’s interview in September’s issue of The Christian Online Magazine! Stay tuned!

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