Like the vast majority of Americans, I’ve had my fair share of struggles with both diet and money. At the age of 13, while grieving the sudden loss of a close friend, I began binging and using food for comfort. I hated my body, so I started dieting and restricting, and I lost a significant amount of weight. It wasn’t until I was well into my academic career to become a registered dietitian that I realized my former eating behaviors in high school met the criteria for “orthorexia nervosa,” a form of eating disorder described as an obsession with “healthy” eating. In a world infiltrated with diet culture, where thinness is praised and food demonized, orthorexia is a disease disguised as a virtue. (It should be noted that I only received praise for the results that these harmful and destructive behaviors were bringing into my life.)
At the age of 22, a recovered orthorexic, soon-to-be-dietitian and newlywed, we found ourselves in unexpected financial turmoil. When the promise of my husband’s new career failed to deliver, we found ourselves with no jobs and zero income. At the time, I was beginning my masters degree and enrolled in my full-time, unpaid dietetic internship. Thankfully, we had a small house savings to live off of for a few months (that is, if we lived on a very tight budget) while we networked and tried to figure out our next career move.
I began studying nutrition science because of my fascination with food and body. I became a dietitian because I want to educate and empower others to harness the awesome benefits of the food around them. I learned how to be scrappy in my grocery shopping because I had to, given our circumstances. By marrying these two experiences of disordered eating and financial crisis into my professional skill set as a registered dietitian, I believe I can effectively serve others by helping them learn to do the same. My hope and intent with this document is that it would alleviate the financial burden of feeding the family in times of crisis, while also alleviating the burden of social misunderstanding of food and nutrition.
“You are God’s Masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which he prepared in advance for us to do”. Ephesians 2:10
Let that sink in. You are God’s masterpiece. A perfect embodiment of talent and creativity and purpose. God does not make mistakes, and therefore your body is perfect. Every bump, curve, scar, and stretch symbolizes the beautiful life you have lived while realizing His purpose. Your body is also not your own, it is simply a temporary container for your soul. As a believer in Christ, your body is a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit, and it deserves love and respect today, for what your body is now.
Feeding the family and nourishing your body can seem like a daunting task in the midst of a financial crisis. But by practicing these few tips and tricks, you will be more than capable. I’ve lived it, research supports it, and your body is well worth it.
Saving money at the grocery store can be boiled down to seven simple steps. While trying to change your grocery habits all at once may be intimidating, try conquering one new step every time you shop. Before you know it, you will have a new set of grocery skills that will save you money for the rest of your life! Start with these seven simple steps.
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By Courtney Anderson, RD, LD. Courtney Anderson is a registered dietitian nutritionist, wife, dog mom, and Life Group leader to the 10th-grade girls at Harris Creek. Her mission is to educate and empower others to harness the awesome benefits of the food around them and to truly love and appreciate their God-given bodies.