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Kristy Sinkfied's picture

1. The early years… the seed is planted

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Words in my food lexicon - white rice (I eat mine with butter and sugar – none of that salt and pepper crap), white flour (for making biscuits and frying chicken), white bread, and white sugar.

Words NOT in my food lexicon - whole wheat, whole grain, and organic (this hadn’t been invented yet, at least that I was aware of).

Mashed potatoes were flakes in a box.

Fish came from a can.

You took that canned fish, mix it with my mom’s special ingredients, and fried in Crisco.  Saddle this croquette next to fried potatoes, and canned peas with sugar and you have yourself a meal!

Lawd, Have Mercy!

We had plenty of food growing up. Plenty of canned vegetables, canned meat and a cabinet full of Kool-Aid and Little Debbie cakes.  With all the food in our house we thought our dad was preparing for the famine and would tease him about the TWO refrigerators in the tiny kitchen.  Until he told us why…

Daddy knew what it felt like to be hungry.  His dad was an alcoholic. The grandfather I never knew would spend all the money that was meant for food on beer and whiskey.  My dad vowed that if he ever had a family, they would never go hungry – and we didn’t.

My dad bought everything he could afford.

Then my dad started to change.   He didn’t change the quantity of the food, but the quality of the food.

My dad brought home wheat bread. He said it was good for us.  He fed us brown rice, not white. The greens had leaves. Leaves!

More and more dad brought home fresh vegetables from the local market.  Kool-Aid became scarce in our house.

My dad planted the healthy eating seed.


2. The seed is watered: Having babies…

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Having babies is crazy.

It can do strange things to you.

It changes your body.  It messes with your emotions.  It makes your feet swell.

But, something else happens.  Something spiritual happens.

Deep down inside there is a little guy growing (later girl and another guy) and I had to be careful.

I was helping this new life grow by what I took in -- fresh water, fresh air, fresh food.  Fresh food.

What started with babies growing inside turned into a lifestyle change.

I became a tree hugger, a woods woman, a natural foody.  I juiced, I discovered organic, I learned about chemicals in my food.

I changed the way I ate and changed the way my family ate (much to their chagrin).

New words in my food lexicon: Juicing, organic produce, agave juice, free range chicken and eggs, gluten free, Non-GMO, whole grain, local farmers market shopping, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s…

Yep, I read and I learned and I taught.  And I lived it.  I cooked it, I experimented (my family endured that fiasco too!).

We ate good… (and sometimes bad) but mostly good!

3. The seed grows: I did it for me and for others…

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One kid is out on his own, two teenagers in the house

... and I’m overweight.

The Biggest Loser is a popular show.

I go to my pastor husband and say, “you know, there’s a lot of overweight people in our church -- including me. Let’s have our own 'Biggest Loser' contest.”

Losing weight is one of the hardest things I’ve tried to do (birthing and raising children is first, writing this blog is second – LOL, just kidding). I wanted a group to help me stay on task and who doesn’t love friendly competition??

He agreed and the Biggest lLoser contest began.

For 12 weeks - 3 whole months, 30 + members of our mid-size church joined the St. John's Biggest Loser Contest.  The winner will take home two round trip tickets to anywhere in the US.

Watching the transformation in the lives of the members of the church was amazing.  We cut out refined sugar and white flour.  We drank water and no sodas. We swapped eating plans and ate out together.

And we lost, collectively, over 350 pounds.

St. John AME Church’s Biggest Loser was a young woman who lost a total of 35 pounds.  She took her mom on a trip to Florida.

The Biggest Loser contest knocked off 15 pounds from 5' 2" slight frame.

Energy high, fat low, lives changed.


4. The cycle continues…

Photo Credit: Arina P Habich /

Musing of the seed scatterer…

I attended the Fall MomsRising Summit. I met some amazing moms and friends of moms. I learned from MomsRising that so many of our kids are eating foods in the public schools that are actually non-foods – they’re called food by-product.

What’s a food by-product?

It ain’t food.

I learned that this doesn’t have to be.  There are ways to impact change in our communities.

I have a larger platform now.  My kids are soon having their own kids.  I know they will eat clean, healthy foods – it’s in their bones.

Our church is larger now.  There’s an empty lot across the street that the church owns. I can see a community garden on that lot. Down the street from the church is the hippest place to live with people just waiting for an opportunity to serve.

I believe it’s time to plant some seeds in new ground.

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