Anyone else out there feel like the realm of natural health is a vast sea of information, sometimes conflicting research, seemingly ever-changing facts, and everyone from the expert to the blogger has an opinion on what way is best?
I’ve meandered all over the place on this journey, having tried a mostly raw diet, nourishing traditions diet, various gluten and/or dairy-free combinations, and experimented with different wonder-foods and new discoveries in health. And still, I come back to the same place each time. It is much simpler than what many have let this become.
I believe a natural living is simply co-operating with God’s design for you. ‘Natural’ speaks of ease, of rest, of wellness, of wholeness, of belonging, and of a rhythm that is intentional yet without toil. The bible speaks of stewardship, generosity and community, and for us, those are important aspects of how our family desires to live out Heaven’s purpose for our lives on earth.
What do I mean by ‘Natural Living’?
With the above in mind, here are my thoughts on what natural living means to me. The core value that my husband and I have on this is, to live responsibly in a way that stewards our bodies well and that co-operates with God’s design for our lives – as much as we currently can with other limitations and circumstances outside our control. The rest that we can’t do, for numerous reasons, we just have to trust in Him to take care of.
Here’s how we try and live out this idea of natural living:
- Parenting from a natural, responsive paradigm where children are valued, included, cherished, prioritised, and raised in a loving and affirming environment. Healthy attachment and relational connection are paramount. This may look different from family to family.
- Eating healthy, whole, and usually organic food in its most unadulterated state – that includes being GE-free, fair-trade, and free from harmful chemicals (ie. pesticides, herbicides, fungicides etc);
- Seeking nature’s remedies and methods for common ailments, and preventing and curing illness with nature’s best;
- Using sustainable practices, such as recycling, seed raising, and composting, and minimising our waste;
- Using household and personal care products that are free from harmful chemicals;
- Switching to products made from nature, such as glass, wood, and natural fibres (eg. cotton and wool), over those made from polyester, plastic and the like.
If you’re participating in a modern world, the complete removal of everything man-made that is potentially toxic is near impossible. Most of us use phones and computers, electricity and some degree of harmful chemicals. I think we can only move in the direction of more natural living and find some balance in our transition to a way of living that is more in line with how God would have us steward ourselves and our world.
For us, living naturally also means living in loving connection to our Heavenly Father, just as he created us to, and living this out purposefully in the world. It means living and serving within community and reaching out to a lost and needy world.
Diet and Nutrition
On this aspect, I don’t believe in a one-size fits all diet or approach – our occupations vary, our climates impact our diet and health, our individual health needs are different, our local food availability varies, and so forth. The world we live in is constantly changing also. Sometimes it might even mean what worked last year could need to be adjusted this year.
For some of us, changing our lifestyle may be a complete undoing of the only way we have ever known, as well as it being the opposite of the way that mainstream culture flows. Simple steps can help to keep it things sustainable and stress-free.
You may have some certain health needs that will require a temporary and specific diet for a period of time, before you can return to a way of living that is more long-term.
Finding a Path Forward
It’s my hope that you don’t feel like it’s all too hard but that you can see some steps you can take that will set your family on a course that will affect your health for years to come.
Our family is not perfect, and like many others, we’re trying to live as naturally as possible with many constraints and various pressure from different places. But we’re better than we were a year ago. And much better than we were 2 years, 5 years, 10 years ago. We’re on a journey, and like any journey, there are times when we stop and assess where we’re at, and make changes to the direction we’re on as the Lord reveals more of the map to us.
Can I encourage you today to simply sit in the presence with your heavenly Father, and listen to what He wants to say to you? I’m confident that He wants to show us all how to live closely to Him, and find a path to health and prosperity that will bring life to us and those around us.