Does natural living enhance or inhibit your life?

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For those of us who embrace the natural lifestyle, I think we've all been in situations where we have to choose between making a healthy choice or being polite. There was a great discussion over at Keeper of the Home yesterday about whether or not we should let our kids eat junk food at birthday parties. I really liked a comment over there left by Bek – she reminded us that 1 Corinthians 10:27 tells us, “If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience.” We need to remember the importance of relationships! keepcalm

I used to struggle greatly in this area. I would feel guilt over every little thing I did wrong, every little compromise I made. Thankfully through a lot of encouragement from others and realizations about what my priorities are (or should be!) I  have let go of a lot of that. One thing I realized was that natural living should enhance our lives, not inhibit it. Some of us live this way in order to be healthier and avoid illness. Some of us are doing it out of reverence for the environment. Personally, I lean more toward the side of health and wellness, though the environmental concerns are certainly there as well. Either way, is it really beneficial for natural to take over our lives to the point where we are avoiding social situations and building relationships with others? To me, it's really not.

There are a lot of things we could miss out on if we avoided all situations where our lifestyle might be compromised. Think of all the birthdays, weddings and celebrations where food we wouldn't choose for our families is served. Is one more day of “only whole food” worth missing out on all of those? It's something we each have to decide for ourselves but I know that I wouldn't trade relationships with my family and friends for all the whole grain, naturally sweetened birthday cake in the world.

Natural living can enhance our lives – it can make us feel healthier, more energized, reduce our carbon footprint and lower our risk of many diseases.

It can also inhibit our lives by pushing us into isolation, pride or snobbishness and guilt when we don't “do it all.” (Which none of us ever will.)

In what ways has natural living enhanced or inhibited your life? Do you ever feel guilty about how much you're doing in the realm of natural living?

Linked up at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #13 at Frugally Sustainable


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Kylie Wiser is an herbalist specializing in skincare and women's health. She shares recipes and resources on Everblossom to help others live a more holistic lifestyle. She lives in Fargo, ND with her huge family and lots of houseplants.

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3 Responses

  1. Joy at The Liberated Kitchen

    I agree there is a balance to be achieved. I think this is the most difficult thing for people who make lifestyle and health choices that impact social time. I really do miss being able to eat whatever is offered, and I know some people see it as rude when we don’t.

    In the past I would always choose social grace over my dietary priorities, but since discovering just how dangerous gluten cross contamination is for our son, and having discovered how sensitive we can be to other things, we’ve taken a harder line.

    I think it’s actually easier and more graceful to always be the one who just can’t eat what is served than to be asking a million questions and making a fresh decision each time.

    A while ago I wrote a series of posts on the subject called Crazy Diet People that might resonate for you. We’ve since become more adept at navigating social situations that include food.

  2. Kylie

    I know what you mean, Joy – I am the say way with food dyes because of the way they affect my son’s behavior. Going to check out your series!

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