As far back as Nita could remember throughout her life, her family had always taught her the very same way. Food was prepared the way it was prepared because it had always been done that way. No one had ever had any real problems because of it. She could remember standing up on the stool watching her grandma cook. Nita would ask, “Grandma why do you put all that fat in the greens, it doesn’t look good?”
Her Grandma would respond, “Because it makes it taste good child.”
“So, does that mean it is good for me, grandma?”
“Yes, that’s exactly right, child.” Nita was never taught details about her health. If it taste good, it was good for you. Now, at 38 years of age, Nita needed more of an intervention. Her mental and physical health were suffering because of her diet.
A reason and an origin story exist for the decisions we make concerning what to eat, how to cope, and more. More importantly, that reasoning is what we use to make sense of our lives. We fail to see a need for more knowledge because our sense of self, our sense of heritage and connectedness to our families is tied to our reasoning.
In addition to asking questions and seeking new knowledge, we must newly explore our reasoning and origin stories. We must build healthier ways to connect with our heritage. Become literate about your health. This will, in turn, provide the learning that you need to reach your health goals.
Unlearning Unhealthy Traditions
Beware of the loads of advice and teachings that have no real basis in health fact—those traditions that undermine your health intervention. For Nita, her challenge is to understand that what she had been taught is only one way. Other ways exist to season bitter greens or prepare bland meats.
The next step is for Nita to separate the erroneous health information she should revise from the love and tradition that she wants to keep. She must not feel guilty to drop things that are of no benefit. She can focus on creating a legacy of health for the next generation.
Nita should unlearn the mantra that “foods that are good for you should taste good.” Sometimes this is true, but, as a rule, we have to think broader than that. The mindset to have is not to primarily be concerned with taste. Be first concerned with the health benefit.
This works for other situations too. For instance, if a friend or relative is creating a lot of stress for you, and the stress is taking a toll on your health, you should not continue to allow yourself to be stressed out “because they are family.” This is not how the most sustainable health choice. They are family and will always be a relative. But, limit your exposure. Budget energy for them, and don’t over spend that limit. Unlearn mantra and traditions that are not working. Find another way that benefits all involved.
Literacy and Learning Application
Never get tired of learning. There is so much to be gained from being literate about your health. It may seem overwhelming to learn so much about how to have this lifestyle of health that flows into all areas of your life.
One way to approach such an endeavor is to change your lifestyle in a step-wise fashion. Figure out where you are lacking (or hurting) the most, and start there. Sometimes, it is helpful to talk with someone who is trained in health topics. They can help you comprehend what you are reading and put pieces together systematically.
Now it’s time to apply literacy and learning to your lifestyle. Here are a few key points to follow:
- Practice reading health information, become literate on topics that discuss your health concerns.
- Write your own health plan based on what you’ve learned.
- Realize the power of literacy, it gives you an anchor to hold you steady when change is needed.
- Keep your mind open to the opportunity to learn and better self.
[Taunya is nurse, author, and a two year homeschool veteran. She is currently working on two books, the 3rd in the Brady Boe series, and Truth–the first in the End Time Saga Trilogy. #ReadTSW at taunyasBnB.com]