Anyway, until two months ago, I had spent nearly seven years being pregnant and/or nursing. I had one little break that lasted almost three months. Oh, and that is an and/or. One can totally nurse one baby while pregnant with another. I do my best to eat well while pregnant, and I do a fair job while I'm nursing, but I don't give up sugar, and praise God, I've yet to experience gestational diabetes!
One of the best benefits to a mom that nurses is that breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day! Woo-hoo! Burning 500 calories while sitting on the couch or bed cuddled up to your baby sounds good to me!
There are a few foods I give up while being pregnant and especially while nursing. Broccoli, uncooked onions, and carbonation seemed to give my babies gas. I don't do caffeine, except in the form of chocolate. I never was big on caffeine anyway. Known for goal-setting, the first I can remember setting was to give caffeine up when I was a senior in high school, and I did for a very long time. To save money, my husband and I have never much kept sodas in the house. A couple of years after we were married, we even gave up what Tom Barton calls "the nectar of Southern goodliness", sweet tea, in our own home to keep from having so much sugar. I pretty much just make it when company's coming.
Strangely, however, I desire to eat onions and drink soda when I can't have it. Two months ago, when I weaned my baby, I thought, "Freedom! I'm going to eat whatever I want whenever I want it!" and so I did.
This could only last for so long. Those 500 calories a day I was burning through nursing could now potentially find their way to my hips or elsewhere. I enjoyed myself for a few weeks and then began to reign it in after our anniversary trip. It had to wait until after that trip because, hello, Kaminsky's is now a must during any trip to Charleston! Go find it on Market St. next time you go. They have awesome desserts. Be prepared to wait.
In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul wrote about our bodies being members of Christ. He was primarily writing about not joining ourselves to unholy people with our bodies, but I don't think it's wrong to apply it to whatever food we put in our bodies.
"Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body." -1 Corinthians 6:19-20Let's keep our bodies pure! I'm not calling for anything very difficult. We've taken some easy actions for health in our house. Obviously, as I've already mentioned, soda isn't a permanent fixture in our home. It hurts me to see kids drink sodas when milk, a little juice, and water are what their bodies need as they grow. We genuinely crave water because we drink more of it. We eat whole wheat bread rather than white. We drink skim milk rather than whole or even 2%. Once you make the change to skim, everything else is just too thick. We don't fry, we bake or grill.
And all of that is not to say you can't have those things on occasion. God's gracious to us and wants us to enjoy good things. Most of the time, I get water at restaurants because I love to drink it, but also, it's usually free. When I go to some places, I must get sweet tea. Shane's Rib Shack is one place I've just got to have it. My usual water is what enables me to more thoroughly enjoy the treat of sweet tea when I'm there.
And I haven't given up sweets entirely. That sweet tooth still craves it! When I'm somewhere where it's offered, I'm getting it. I made a special treat for the kids this week. We ate peanut butter blondies out of a 9x9 pan over the course of three days. I can enjoy these goodies as special gifts from God, giving Him the glory for it, as Paul reminded me to do:
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory." -1 Corinthians 10:31