Here’s Why I Opted Out of the Food Wars

Here's Why I OPTED OUT of the FOOD WARS // jessconnell.com

Confession time: I am tired of all the food wars.

Tired, tired, tired.

When I was growing up, everything was low-fat. Low-fat yogurt, 2% milk, low-fat cheese. Now, apparently, that makes you fat, no joke.

This week, it’s “eat no carbs”, next thing I read says ‘trade off only carbs or fats as the fuel for each meal (who the HECK wants to eat a burger with no cheese or mayo?– don’t answer that and make me feel guilty- ha!), next one it’s “only eat like the cavemen did.” Last year was “switch to whole-grain everything,” this year they’re saying, “whole-grains have too much gluten.” (And probably, you can find current studies saying the opposite of everything I just wrote. Please don’t. I don’t care anymore.)

I give up.

I don’t have the energy to follow the trends.

I have OPTED OUT of the food wars.

I’m a tired mom just trying to do the best I can to feed my family. I refuse to pile guilt on myself when JUST BUYING THE GROCERIES and KEEPING THEM SEMI-IN-STOCK in our home, and KEEPING MY KIDS FED takes about all the mental capacity I have to devote to food.

Here’s some things I’m thankful for:

  • I’m thankful that I can buy real food for a family of eight when so many people are losing their jobs and struggling.
  • I’m thankful that I’m able to be home with them so that my time can be leveraged and make our budget stretch farther by me cooking from scratch.
  • I’m thankful I have learned how to cook a number of things from scratch. (I’m no gourmet, but I can get around in the kitchen all right.)
  • I’m thankful for the easy-peasy convenience foods we use from time to time (to give me a freaking break without freaking breaking our wallet).
  • I’m thankful that I came to this mothering gig before the “your baby needs to eat non-GMOed-fermented-organic-kale as his first food” mantra was in existence. (OK, I don’t think that’s a mantra. But it’s not far off from being able to be a believable mantra, right?) I’m glad I was a mom before this food stuff reached a fever pitch, because now I recognize it as unnecessary and dispensable advice.
  • I’m thankful for the mental space, and internet access, available to write to all of you ladies about this.

We mostly can’t afford organic, and we don’t eat the best. But we don’t eat the worst either. I try to feed my family real, wholesome food, and limit the unpronounceable ingredients. I’ve watch the documentaries like Food Inc.Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and King Corn. And I try to cut through the hype and learn little bits that will help me make livable, sustainable, budgetarily-reasonable choices for our family.

I think my kids eat more veggies than I did growing up, and last year we switched out the boxed cereals for oatmeal. Now we’re switching to steel-cut. And ya know, maybe someone will release a study this week indicating that that’s terrible. If so, don’t write me a comment about it.

I’m just saying, we’re making changes that we’re pleased with.

That’s my point–

We do the best we can. And that’s all we can do for now. I bet you do too. 

I’m not going to let the scary documentaries, bully dietitians on daytime TV, latest fad diets, and baby food diet “experts” (who maybe don’t even have kids themselves) make me take on a heap of guilt over something like this. And I want to encourage you not to either.

HERE IS MY MANTRA, and I offer it to you as well:

Do the best you can.

Live in grace.

Drop-kick guilt to the curb every time it rears its ugly head.

And be grateful.

And I will too.

The end.

Blessings to you and your family,

Jess Connell

P.S. If you or your child has a medical issue or allergies with certain foods/whatever, please don’t think this is an attack on you or your family. The mantra goes for you too. Hang in there.

Subscribe to my newsletter, and I'll send monthly encouragement -- full of truth and grace for moms. SIGN UP, SO WE CAN KEEP IN TOUCH:

Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. Megan says:

    I have always totally agreed with this, Jess. It’s good to live without guilt for what you’re feeding your kids. Now I’m on the other side of this though, and have to eat differently myself to try to heal after being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. And I (as well as my whole family) have seen such a drastic improvement in our health, mental capacity, contentment, and more because we’ve dropped grains and refined and processed foods from our diet. I think a lot of people who’ve been forced into eating like this have seen such dramatic improvements, they want to share that with others. Not to guilt them, just to inform them. I always, always had such pity for people who were gluten free. But it’s not so bad, especially considering how much better we feel. Since I was so close-minded to it before, now when someone is complaining of certain types of health problems, I bring it up, because I believe it can make a difference in their health. Again, not to guilt them, but to try and help from my own life experience. I love you heart about this! :) Be thankful your family health has been good and you haven’t needed to change the way you eat. I’m just realizing now that a lot of our problems that we didn’t see as problems before came from our diet, (which I always thought was pretty clean and from scratch!) and I wish I’d have considered a more drastically healthful approach to eating a long time ago…

  2. Kristin S says:

    Yes, thank you!
    I’m exhausted from it all. I lived through no fat, low fat, no carbs, Atkins, no sugar, and so on. It FEELS like Christians are the biggest culprits of the roller coaster. We want to be wise but it becomes an obsession. When it comes to the point where others feel bad about themselves because of people’s judgment, that’s not OK.
    You know your family and what’s best.

  3. Catie says:

    “If so, don’t write me a comment about it.” Laughed out loud at this.

    And, YES! To all of this! It’s so hard to keep up with it all! GRACE needs to be the order of the day–for ourselves! There’s already enough to feel guilty about! ;o)

    I’m sharing this post. :)

  4. Christi says:

    I loved this! I agree with it all! Although, in our family, we do have allergies and I know you said that was okay too, I love the mantra! This post is how I have been feeling of late.

  5. KB says:

    I’m in total agreement with you. I feel like I’ve accomplished so much by switching from margarine to butter years ago, buying unbleached flour, trying not to utilize convenience foods often, although they are there sometimes. I guess some of these few changes we’ve made make me feel better when surrounded by the whole food mamas in my circle who wear their eating as a badge and sense of pride. I often hear their voices in my head and have to consciously push them out of my head. It is a struggle so much because they are so vocal with what their family does and very judgmental about it if my family doesn’t. I don’t say a thing if they don’t do things the way I do – but they feel a need to. I don’t have anything against anyone doing anything with their family’s diet that I’m not – I just don’t want to be made to feel guilty if my family does it different. Thank you for this post.

  6. Lauren says:

    Allergies stink, as I well know, but so do guilt trips. Somehow we need to cultivate good communication between people where me saying that I am allergic to gluten doesn’t equate to judgment on my friend’s eating habits and vice versa. ..this discussion is reminding me more and more of some of Paul’s advice! (-; Whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God! Thanks for being an example of doing so!

  1. December 30, 2013

    […] I’m Opting Out of the Food Wars by Jess Connell.  AMEN! […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join my e-mail list & get 30 Quick Fixes (for Tough Mom Days) FREE!

  • Stay connected with your kids, even on the hard days.
  • Get exclusive MOM encouragement
  • Let me help you become the best mom possible!

Enter your name & e-mail address & let's become friends: