The food we put into our mouths is important. Over the past few months, I've been focusing ample energy on strengthening my dietary habits.

Perhaps it was nudging a notch further into my 30s or the influence of good friends, but my wellness goals have changed. It is no longer about maintaining a certain size or weight or perfectly following a certain diet plan. Instead, I'm just really thankful for the life God has given me, and I want to treat my body well (as far as it's possible within my control).

If you look throughout the entire collection of books and letters, the Bible contains a bit of dietary guidance here and there. Examples: Treat your body as a temple and avoid gluttonous tendencies. The overall New Testament message is that we shouldn't judge people based on what they do or don't eat. Also, whatever we eat or drink or do, Paul invites us to do it all for God's glory.

Bottom line: there's no one-size-fits-all, God-commanded diet. Instead, we do what we can with the resources we have to care for our bodies. Also, we strive to build a world where others have access to affordable, high-nutrient food, too.

Through writing this column for the past three years, I've had opportunities to connect with outstanding people from around southeastern Minnesota. Several years back I met Kaitlin Anderson, and we became fast friends. Kaitlin writes a column every Tuesday in the Post-Bulletin called "Cart Smarts." She weaves together helpful information, achievable recipes, and family stories in a delightfully relatable way.

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In the midst of my quest for nutritional education, I happened to have lunch with Kaitlin a few weeks back. She mentioned that customers of Hy-Vee can come and shop with a dietitian free of charge. We scheduled a time for me to come and visit the store. It was a highly education and enjoyable experience. I had shared a few topics of interest ahead of time, and Kaitlin did an outstanding job of zeroing in on those themes. I walked out of the store feeling empowered.

Hy-Vee is one of many great grocery stores in our region. I like them all and shop at each depending on weekly sale prices, convenience of location, and the types of items for which I'm looking. Farmers markets are an outstanding option this time of year as well. Whenever and wherever we choose to shop, it's good to pause in gratitude for such an abundance of options and food. May we never take it for granted.

The journey toward nutritional wellness is a winding road. When it comes to dietary choices, we learn, grow, experiment, make mistakes, and try again every single day. Such is the pattern with most of life.

I'm grateful to live in an area full of helpful people, businesses and resources. We can be an encouragement to one another as we build healthy lives and communities . As John wrote in 3 John 1:2, I now pray for you, "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul."