And by all means, take the time to enjoy your food.
It's sage advice amid a circus of deadlines and demands that can go a long way in enabling women to enjoy life more — but only when they're real about their feelings, struggles and perceived failures, said Jenison resident Kathy Fannon.
Fannon is a certified holistic health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, an online nutrition school headquartered in New York City and author of her new self-published book, "Be Real Health Journal: A Guide To Slowing down For Better Health."
While her book is not only for Christians, Fannon intersperses Scripture throughout it to support her chapters' themes.
In Chapter 1 for instance, Fannon cites Daniel 1:5, 8, 11–16 where Daniel and his friends were summoned to serve King Nebuchadnezzar.
The Israelites were required to test the king's food and wine, but Daniel declined because he believed it would defile him before God. He asked permission to eat only vegetables and drink only water.
After 10 days, Daniel and his friends looked healthier than the ones who had eaten what the king required. They were allowed to continue to eat vegetables and drink water.
"What I love about this is Daniel's obedience to God in the food he chose to eat," Fannon writes in her book. "He made an active choice not to participate in the things he knew were bad for him."
Slow down, enjoy life
"Be Real" is divided into two parts. The first part explains how women can slow down and enjoy life more. The second half is comprised of a 28-day health journal checklist.
Essentially, Fannon's book nudges her readers to take stock in their lives and hold themselves accountable to make living better.
"I tell the story about a lady I had lunch with," recalled Fannon. "She ate really fast and I thought maybe it was because her time was limited. I ate fast with her and then we sat and talk. I asked myself, 'Why are we eating so fast?' We need to slow down and enjoy and be thankful for what we have."
Let's be real
Fannon said she came up with the title of her book after a conversation she had with a woman in 2009. When asked how she was doing, Fannon answered truthfully: "Life sucks and then ya die."
The woman's reply was akin to a rebuke: "Oh! You shouldn't feel like THAT!"
"I was not honest with her from that day on," said Fannon. "I was always happy when she asked me, but I want women to feel they don't have to feel that way with me. They can be transparent."