In the summer of 1988, my parents made me get a summer job. Apparently going to swim team in the morning for an hour and a half, then coming home to lay out in the pool for 6 more hours with a pitcher of sun tea and jug of baby oil, working on my tan lines, wasn't a real job.
I kid, but seriously.
I worked at McDonald's.
I will wait as you catch your breath, come to, reorient, whatever you need to do to continue reading here.
I will write that again in order for it to soak in...I worked at McDonald's.
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We all have those jobs from adolescence we look back and are able to laugh at...and there really is so much to laugh at regarding this whole scenario. Oh, the irony! Hindsight brings such clarity, as well as research, educational films, websites, and nutritional books, but the information I've gleaned from this clarity isn't funny at all. The black leather Keds to go with my black polyester pants, Golden Arches on the rear pocket...that's funny. After only one summer of working there in my whole life, the fact that I can still say, "Hi! Welcome to McDonald's. My name is Adrienne. May I take your order?" Disturbing, yet funny.
Over the years learning about health and nutrition, eating as close to the way God created food in the first place, then feeling the effects of it in my body, as well as my brain and energy, do make me look back and laugh at this picture, but cringe I had anything to do with Big Brother and our rampant health crisis in America to any degree.
The idea I actually thought eating there on my breaks was still a good idea even after orientation and training, well, hindsight reveals this not funny at all! More of a brainwash session, really.
The owners were very honest, hard-working people who owned several franchises. Physically, they didn't look as if they ate at Mickey D's regularly. Our particular location was clean and well managed. All that to say, truth be told, the last time I ate there was while I was pregnant with Emily, first trimester. I wanted what the "SuperSize" guy craved: I wanted fat and grease. I drove through the Drive-Thru and had a cheeseburger, hold the mustard, not because I don't like mustard, I actually love it and craved it while pregnant with Ryan, but because I knew they had to make me a fresh burger if I put in a "special order." If you are into math, Em's entering 6th grade, so that's how long it's been...
What's the point of this post, besides making fun of my high school summer job? Well, let's just say, even as a high school kid, I knew deep down inside that smelling like a french fry every day for an entire summer, and eating a cheeseburger without mustard each day on my break, could not be good for me. Just like out of a commercial, the next summer and summer after, I worked next door at Subway.
Which is a totally different story altogether and a load of laughs for another post, but back to the point of this one...
God created our bodies to understand the foods HE created. And if God did make burgers, do you think He'd put up to 100 cows into one? And did you know He created them to eat grass? The stomachs of cows were designed to eat grass, not corn. But setting meat aside altogether since that's a hot topic, we wonder why we are sick and diseased, achy and growing old at an alarming rate, earlier than in history...maybe "alive" longer, but not really LIVING.
*Just something to think on: If God designed our DNA to understand the DNA in foods He designed, wouldn't it make sense that we feel better when we eat a majority of foods in the "whole food" category?
I ask this, not because I am perfect and don't ever eat GMO foods or foods in aisles in boxes with words I'm unable to pronounce since I failed chemistry, but I ask this of myself, and challenge myself, to choose the foods which are closer to the way God designed them in the first place, because, maybe, just maybe, my body will flourish and feel strong as a result.
Do I do this 100% of every day? Nope. As a rule of thumb, I eat "clean" 85-90% of the time, then depending on the events of the week or upcoming holidays, I'll let loose a bit. You can bet chocolate in some form is on the agenda. I usually can feel the effects pretty quickly, but once I get back on my "clean" wagon routine, I'm feeling good again.
If you are achy, dealing with bloating, gassy, arthritic, tired, cranky, short-tempered, experiencing memory loss, sleep deprivation, intense cravings, and whatever other things you may just think "go along with aging," I dare you, even if you don't eat at McDon*alds, the next time you go to the grocery store or to a restaurant or search the web for a new recipe to serve yourself or your family, ask yourself the question above, marked with an asterisk, in bold and italics.
And then listen to your body and see how you feel.
If we don't believe our digestive systems have anything to do with our current state of health, we're just drinking the Kool-Aid.