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Header - Post - Healthy EatingThe Nutrition Nook is a monthly column featuring nutrition information for healthy eating. This month we’ll hear from Zahra, who writes The Natural Journey For Life blog.  * Remember to consult your primary care physician or dietitian before beginning a new nutrition regimen.* Zahra's Logo

Greetings! My name is Zahra and I am on a life journey to obtain optimal health for my mind, body and spirit. By education I am a food scientist and chemical engineer.  However, my life purpose is to help others find natural alternatives to everyday needs. That is where my passion lies.  I believe that food is medicine and it can either heal or harm us.  We truly are what we eat! The catalyst for this journey is my son Caleb who has been challenged by food allergies, eczema, and digestive woes. His short life has taught me more about alternatives and making better choices than I could have ever imagined.  Please, join us on this journey…let’s travel together! Peace and Blessings.

Today, I want to share my journey in trying to find BALANCE! Balance is important in any system to maintain order, harmony and peace. I’m a busy working mom and I don’t know about you…but, when my house is not clean and in order I feel imbalanced! What about a choir…if the soprano section is much louder than the altos and tenors the sound is just not right. How about an acapella quartet?  If the bass is off key complete harmony will not be achieved. What about our body? The body is always trying to balance itself….and we can hurt or help that process. Our bodies operate best at a pH of 7 (neutral), but based on what we eat or drink, we could be tipping the scales towards a more acidic or alkaline body.

Webster’s said that “balance” is a force or influence that tends to produce equilibrium. “Equilibrium” is a condition in which all acting influences are cancelled by others resulting in an unchanging stable system. Our bodies are always striving to be in equilibrium. That doesn’t mean our bodies are not dynamic or unchanging. We are like walking chemistry sets. If you don’t consume enough calcium, your bones will start to leak calcium so the body can have the calcium it needs. That leads to low bone density and, potentially, osteoporosis. That is a state of imbalance. When weight loss is achieved, you have to burn more calories than you take in. Conversely, you gain weight when you take in more calories than you burn. Balance is maintaining a healthy weight by making sure that what you take in and what you burn is equal.

NN ChipsLately, I’ve been struggling with obtaining balance in all aspects of my life. I get on a Bible study/devotional kick…then it dwindles. I eat really well and feel great….then, I get stressed out and start pigging out on ice cream and chips. I’ve never been overweight, but now that I’ve gone through a few detoxification programs, I now know what it feels like to have energy, be light on my feet and mentally and emotionally strong. When I make bad food choices, I see the difference in my physical activity, my jeans get much tighter and I have to start reaching for my “big” clothes to cover up my bulging belly.

When am I going to get it together? Despite the imbalance, I’m always learning something. The most important message for us is: YOU TRULY ARE WHAT YOU EAT. When you eat junk food, you will feel like junk. When you eat healthy food, you feel great. If I want to splurge every now and again, I MUST burn those calories off! I have to stop expecting to eat well 70% of the time, splurge on ice cream and not have a belly bulge. But….if I get in the gym or on the track and burn off that ice cream, I’ll be fine. Balance. If I take in 400 calories….I need to burn 400 calories. Hanging out with them increases the size of my back side! Can I get a witness somebody???!!!

As we close out this year (God willing), please think about areas in your life that need to be balanced or that need to reach equilibrium. Be real with what is holding you back from reaching true balance. Is it stress? Time management? Not knowing where to begin? Are you depressed? Have low self esteem? Have a crazy husband or wife? Kids are out of control?  All of these things can hold us back from achieving true balance for our diets, home lives, and spiritual lives. God is the author of balance. Everything God does is complete. He can help us all maintain the true balance that we need to fulfill our purpose in this life. Let’s keep Him first and pray for deliverance from the forces and influences in our lives that are promoting imbalance. Call God up and tell God what you want! I’ll go first: Lord, please take away my desire for jalapeño potato chips!!  It’s my weakness Lord! In Jesus name I pray! Be blessed ya’ll!

Peace and love,