savoring the year: running {18/365}

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5:00 AM

Sometimes we can guide each other along toward courage and heath. Who's done that for you? Who could you be a guide for in this season?

In college, I had a nutrition professor who was passionate about food, I cannot recall her name but her love for all things health and her slender build and long dark hair are engrained in my memory. Growing up, I always refused whole wheat, whole wheat anything. If it was brown and I would not touch it but after a few weeks in her class, she opened my eyes to health on another level with sprinkled vocabulary words like flax seed and saturated fat and whole wheat bread and flour made its way in to my cart and home with me. She brought in samples of recipes with muffins filled with carrots and apples and seeds that were surprisingly delicious and gave us all copies. I walked out of class eating my muffin and talking on the phone with Ricardo in amazement at the taste and ingredients.

A few years later, I regularly babysat two of the sweetest, calmest children I have ever known. For snack, I was ever cutting up apples and pears and peeling oranges and spreading sunflower butter on celery sticks topped with raisins and mixing bowls of nuts and dried berries. At this point, I was hardly eating fruits, besides Cuties and apples but as I cut and chopped, the aroma was so sweet and the pears were so juicy, I started purchasing them, too, enjoying each bite.  Sunflower butter was a new concept, as peanut butter was always a staple growing up but it was delicious none the less, especially homemade with cinnamon and maple syrup mixed in. And nuts made a perfect snack, with a few chocolate chips.

Their mama was the first person I knew to do science experiments with Halloween candy; I had never heard of such a thing and it took me by surprise the day I came over to candy sitting on the counter with a list of ways to examine and dissolve them. Candies I had grown up eating and never thought twice about - except the time a classmate told me they were made in a science lab but I had no idea what he meant by that or that it was not natural for candy to be made that way. It sounded kind of fancy to me and tasted delicious.

But this time I thought more about it. Looking on the packages and realizing what I was consuming made it that much less appealing when I did not know what half the ingredients were.

A little while later, after Penny was born, she started getting rashes, which seemed to be triggered by certain foods, mainly those with preservatives and artificial colors. This made me evaluate what we were eating even more and drove me a little crazy and forced me to narrow our choices to healthier options with better ingredients and lots of fruits of vegetables, which I had thankfully already been exposed to and implementing in our diets.

When people are passionate about something, there tends to be a natural guidance towards it. I love how they showed me through their knowledge and expertise on the matter in the way they lived and treated their bodies. A sort of leading by example.

After all, are we really what we eat?

Here's to guiding and health. 

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This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.
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