Hey, what are you – and the congregation – eating??!

Thank you for reading/responding to my last blog!  This is PART II.

We talked about lack of exercise in the black church…now let’s talk about what we EAT! yeah, what we eat…in church….and outside of church. Phew! I think we can all relate….

Ok, why are most church functions centered around food???  It seems that the black church cannot fellowship without having some type of food involved.  Is it because the bible references many feasts that were held?  The story of the prodigal son, and of course the Last Supper.  hmmmm….

 Now don’t get me wrong, I like to eat, too, but why does it have to be many of the foods that aren’t necessarily good for you – or should I say not prepared in a healthy way? For example: fried chicken, fried pork chops, fried fish (always something fried!) , macaroni and cheese with 19 different types of cheeses in it lol! oh!  and don’t forget the deserts – now don’t get me wrong again, we do eat those things, but I am an strong advocate of eating those type of foods in moderation.

Moderation is key. Don’t eat them all the time…. not every week…not every day. I understand the transition to eating right takes time and will not happen overnight. When I’m asked what is a bad food a person should avoid, I generally say food you’re allergic to, moldy food, poisonous food! So again, moderation is key.

When people come in to talk to me about nutrition, I often say this to them: “what you put [eat] in the inside, shows on the outside”. So we can see if you’re eating the not-so-good stuff. 

If you sit in front of the TV with a pop and chips on a regular basis, it will show. What about eating a whole pizza, pizza bread, wings, chips and a liter of pop – by yourself?  lord hammercy. Yes, eventually that will show, too. The greasy foods – clogging the arteries. 

 So what are you saying, Sidney? What I’m saying is that we consume waaay too many calories in a day of the not-so-good stuff. And just as the right foods can be powerfully health protective, the wrong foods can be powerfully bad for your health. Eating excessive portions of foods filled with saturated fats and the sugars (refined) can lead to obesity, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, kidney failure, diabetes and other illness associated with excessive eating. Why do you need to drink all that pop? …. and kool-aid…this is funny, but I think all black families had kool-aid packets in that one drawer in the kitchen that had “everything” in it! You know what drawer I’m talkin’ about! We make the kool-aid and by the time we think it tastes just right to serve, we have put 62 scoops of sugar in it! So in essence we are drinking syrup!

Now I have a question.  What type of foods does your church serve for events? Is it mainly fried? Or do they opt for foods prepared in a healthy way? (it can still taste good! Healthy cooking does not have to be bland) Baked chicken works, whole wheat mac & cheese is good…and fish (don’t fry it tho)!  Just a little  note on fish. Fish has omega-3 fatty acids. This is the special polyunsaturated fat found in fish oil and it helps block many harmful biochemical reactions that can cause blood to clot. Secondly, research has found that fish my ward against not only heart disease but hypertension (mentioned earlier), cancer, arthritis and who know what else! Fish twice a week is recommended.

I have made light fun of some of the stuff on this blog, but seriously if we can focus our eating based on wholesome grains, more fruits and vegetables, dried beans, lean proteins, nuts, low-fat dairy – in addition to an active lifestyle – we can really invest in optimal health! Can you be the one who can ask your church if they can make an effort to keep health in mind when church events involve food? Healthy choices make healthy bodies.   What does the scriptures tell us?

I’d like to hear from you and what you think! We are now in the holiday season….what will you be eating….?

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14 Responses to “Hey, what are you – and the congregation – eating??!”

  1. Omar Says:

    An interesting article that I read today.


  2. Omar Says:

    You know what guys? I also think our traditions that are misguided. Our traditional meals have a much sorted history. As walking Queen has pointed out, the choices of what food we had to eat was not originally ours. It was and will always be “peasant” food. Its high in starch and sodium, not for taste, but because it would last longer without spoiling. We have carried unhealthy food choices of our ancestors to today. And why are we so infatuated with meat? It’s because it was a luxury back then! And it’s a symbol of wealth. Our traditions should be respected in a symbolic way and not exaggerated to unhealthy levels.

  3. Walking Queen Says:

    Another piece to think about,
    “Eating chitlins in the rural South is not as common as it once was. In colonial times, hogs were slaughtered in December, and how maws or ears, pigs feet, and neck bones were given to the slaves. Until emancipation, African-American food choices were restricted by the dictates of their owners, and slave owners often fed their slaves little more than the scraps of animal meat that the owners deemed unacceptable for themselves. Because of the West African tradition of cooking all edible parts of plants and animals, these foods helped the slaves survive in the United States.” from whatscookingamerica.net

    Sooo, now that we’re doing better for ourselves…isnt it time we EAT like we deserve better? Why do we still eat with a slave mentality? It was never for our good, seems it was given to us as a joke. “Give it to them, they’ll it eat!” We did, we still are and it’s killing us. It’s killing US! By the grace of God it got us through for that time but those days are over. And we wonder why our health is so quick to succumb to the adverse results of what we eat as opposed to the caucasian race. We’ve always eaten the scraps, the remnant and not the better choice.

    Sorry this is your blog Sidney and I seem to be a bit long winded but this topic is really diggin’ at me.

    • sidney Says:

      this is an excellent response walking queen. no need to apologize. the purpose of the blog is to get conversation started.
      you bring up some very good background information that perhaps most of us did not know. this information is something that will help to heighten the awareness to make good food choices. you are correct, we should not have the slave mentality, and we should not eat like it either. thank you for your comments.

  4. angi Says:

    Sidney I personally feel that saints are too busy getting their souls right and once that is done they feel “complete”. Well my soul is right, forget you if you don’t like how I look. God loves me. These are the thoughts of saints who are complacent in the Lord. They just get comfortable. That is a space that I’ve been guilty of being in myself. And then one day a blog like this comes along and jolts you. This truly is a wakeup call. That I’m on my way to heaven anyhow attitude is passe.

  5. mzpat Says:

    Sidney I am so excited that you are here for the church community! What a blessing to the body of Christ! Now, I can get with all of the food substitutions but this whole wheat mac and cheese will have to grow on me! But I will try it.

    • sidney Says:

      thank you for your comment! this is my “assignment”…so i am glad to help the Body! you will grow to acquire the taste for the whole wheat mac & cheese! lol!

      • Marilyn Says:

        I totally agree with the concept of “acquiring the taste for” certain foods. I like to think of it as “re-training the taste buds” We train and re-train our muscles to get in shape, but sometimes without regard for re-training our tastes for, or against foods and food-substances.

        Research studies have identified three levels of taste bud chemistry: NONTASTERS, TASTERS, AND SUPERTASTERS. We are genetically predisposed to favoring or disliking certain tastes of foods and food substances, based on our taste bud chemistry as defined by the three categories.

        I think that we should all focus on our taste buds, and give them time to be re-trained to appreciate more of the “good-for-you” foods, and less of the unhealthy foods. The operative word here is TIME. Take gradual steps, just as you would in starting a new physical fitness regimen.

        Over time, I gradually decreased the amount of salt that I add to my food. Now, my taste buds are re-trained to the point that added salt is an unpleasant taste.

  6. angi Says:

    Sidney I personally feel that saints are too busy getting their souls right and once that is done they feel “complete”. Well my soul is right, forget you if you don’t like how I look. God loves me. These are the thoughts of saints who are complacent in the Lord. They just get comfortable. That is a space that I’ve been guilty of being in myself. And then one day a blog like this comes along and jolts you. This truly is a wakeup call. That I’m on my way to heaven anyhow attitude is passe.

  7. Aisha Q Says:

    This is interesting…I think we have food because it draws folk. I know at our women’s gatherings we are asked to bring “healthy dishes”.

    I didn’t think kool-aid was all that bad for you, it only requires ONE CUP of sugar per pack…and yes I have a drawer full of it, however, I’ve not made any in a few months.

  8. Walking Queen Says:

    WHOA!! This is an EXCELLENT article!! Where to begin? Where to begin?? Well I’m glad that you said “moderation” and that it takes time to change our habits. I for one know that I could not committ to totally giving up some of my unhealthy food choices. However, I yet enjoy some things in moderation. I can remember eating the entire pack of chunky Chips Ahoy with no guilt. Freely eat until my hearts content (and artery clogging, hips spreading, etc…Jesus!) However, some things I have no desire to go back to, the greens cooked with all the pork and grease, fried chicken. Eating cleaner has opened a whole new world of a food experience. I know the true taste of green beans now that it’s not hidden behind layers of grease. I’ve learned to try new things, different types of squash, fruits, whole grains, tofu and soy products. So yes, it would be great to have the kitchen staff serve a healthy meal. Maybe they could slowly incorporate the healthy version of food items on the menu. Can we really expect that? Most of the churches kitchen staff is well…uhm…well…they are in need of reading this blog as well.

  9. jpete Says:

    Evanglist, you are on point we do lose control when it come the holiday eating time. but I have notice that when we leave church most suggestions to dinner are place where can indulge our hungry beast with all the wronge food. Have you notice on Sundays’ resturant(buffets) turn on the Air condition to move people out, some would say they are wrong but I say they are trying to help us. again I think we say that we are spirit fiilled. The scripture tell us that” we are to walk after the spirit and not after the flesh. MY QUESTION IS- who in control?

  10. Omar Says:

    Oh boy.. This one was right on time. The holidays are coming up and there will be many gatherings. Portion control is key. I think our people also focus a lot on meat. EVERY THING has to have meat even the vegetables! Think about it… How does your family cook their greens?

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