Nourishing Pathways (part 2)

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

This month concludes my interview with Rebecca Gertner. In case you missed the first half, you can read it HERE.

Nourishing Pathways to Health (part 2)

“Sometimes we think we can’t give up our fast food or soda pop or whatever it is we really, really like But God says with His help we can, if that’s what He wants us to do. I believe that God has a plan for each of us. What He wants me to do may not be what others should do. We need to pray about it, and no, it’s not silly to ask God which foods you should eat. He made you after all, so He knows more than anyone else knows what is good for your body and what’s not,” Rebecca explains.

The Gertner’s also decided to use organic produce to limit the chemical additives consumed in their diet. “Pesticides and other chemicals in our food do a lot to make us sick. It’s sad to say but there are food products out there that have more chemicals in them then actual food. If the chemical was designed to kill bugs, it will help kill us too. Buying organic produce is a good choice to make,” Rebecca said.

Recognizing the cost of eating healthy may appear daunting to many families, Rebecca still believes the physical benefits far outweigh the initial cost. Luke’s oncologist is also pleased, noting he has shown remarkable improvement. Rebecca learned how to save money by looking for great bargains, growing her own vegetables, and making products like laundry detergent and cosmetics at home.

For any family wanting to improve their health, Rebecca suggests incorporating small changes to avoid becoming overwhelmed. “Unless you have a medical crisis, there is no reason to make drastic changes that will stress you out. Start with something doable,” she says, “Like stop drinking soda. Next you could purpose to eat a vegetable at every meal. A great way to do this for breakfast would be making a green drink out of pineapple, mango and spinach sweetened with stevia. Keep adding one change on top of another and eventually you will be eating drastically different than you once were, but won’t go through the stress and drama. You will grow and adapt as you go.”

Rebecca and Luke’s three kids, Karsten, Faith Anne and Grace, have adapted well to the family’s diet changes. “They understand it will help their daddy get better and be better for all of us,” Rebecca says. “So far it has been great and I know God has given an extra measure of grace in that department.” She also noticed that as her kids’ diets improved, their overall health improved. Bruises and scrapes healed quicker.

“We view this as a lifestyle change,” Rebecca says, “Mostly so we can be realistic about it, but also because there is no known cure for the cancer Luke has. It would be a shame to work hard to get well, only to have a relapse simply because we started eating the way we used to again.”

Despite the uncertain future, Rebecca’s attitude is hopeful as she follows God’s plan for her family’s health. “In the book of James it talks about how when we know what’s right but choose not to do it, we are sinning. I have applied that verse to this area of my life. If I know I should be eating healthy but consistently make poor food choices, then I am sinning. I am not saying that I don’t eat sweets or French Fries every now and then, but on the whole, I should be eating what is good for my body, not just what tastes good. Anytime we purpose to do something healthy, we benefit. Whether it’s more energy or less illness, it’s a benefit. Everyone benefits from eating a healthy, nutritionally solid diet.”

© Rebecca Aarup

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