Tags: Family | Meals | Diet | Bonds

Strengthen the Family and Loosen Your Waistband

Strengthen the Family and Loosen Your Waistband
A rose from my garden at home; fresh raw kale salad with smoked chicken and shrimp garnish; gluten free cream cake with fresh strawberries and mint. (Alveda King)

Friday, 31 May 2013 06:25 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The Bible teaches, “God satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”

In this case, good things can be the words that come out of your mouth, or the delicious food you put into it.

While many of my columns have been devoted to the scourge of abortion and how it threatens families, I haven’t spent nearly as much time on ways to strengthen the family, particularly African-American families, which face unique pressures such as higher rates of unemployment and greater instances of absentee fathers. These same problems afflict all American families to a lesser extent.

A new study released this week by the Pew Research Center finds that women are the sole — or primary breadwinners in 40 percent of U.S. households with children — up from 11 percent in 1960. Most of these families are headed by single mothers — a trend fueled by the fact that 40 percent of American births occur out of wedlock. These moms are also more likely to be black or Hispanic with lower incomes.

One of the threats to my family was weight — more specifically, mine.

I’ve been battling with my weight for a few years. So can you imagine my joy to discover that since the beginning of 2013, I’ve lost 36 pounds? My radio co-host Emmanuel Boose has lost 30 pounds.

How are we doing it? We are praying to God to order our steps and our appetites; parking at the far spots in the parking lots and walking; counting points and portions, and eliminating bad carbohydrates — and in some cases gluten — from our meals.

I’ve discovered that family mealtimes can play an important role in not only maintaining a healthy diet, but also creating stronger family bonds. We usually talk about our day and help each other brainstorm through life’s everyday challenges.

The meals don’t need to be fancy — even preparing quick yet healthy meals out of a box can generate good feelings — and when everyone gets involved with basic tasks as fundamental as feeding the family, an invaluable feeling of unity develops.

In some families, women are expected to bear the larger responsibility of meal planning and preparation. In other families, men share — or even carry out this role. My children and my grandchildren all love to cook.

Whatever your tradition, people love to eat. It may be out of a box, it may be carry in, or family members who enjoy expressing culinary gifts and calling.

Mealtimes can be fun, and should always be healthy and uplifting. So start building a stronger family and a healthier you.

Check out my cooking video from 36 pounds ago for some food tips.

Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open housing movement. Read more reports from Dr. Alveda C. King — Click Here Now.

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The Bible teaches, “God satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”
Friday, 31 May 2013 06:25 PM
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