Teammate Jennifer Hunt: The Resident Dietitian Nutritionist
Jennifer, how did you come to write for Team Jesus Magazine, how long, and why was it important for you to share with Team Jesus?
In my experience, partnering with God is seeing what God has placed in front of me and then joining Him in it. After happening upon Team Jesus Magazine through a link on a friend’s website, I saw an opportunity to join other Jesus lovin’ Believers and speak truth into a culture filled with a lot of gray.
My hope is to empower the Team by sharing scientifically-based nutrition and wellness information that you can easily implement. I like helping individuals make healthy living simple and delicious. But as a mom, I have a special place for women like me who struggle to prioritize nutrition and fitness among the endless daily responsibilities. Moms don’t have to sacrifice their own wellness, and I love coaching them to create healthful rhythms that allows her to feel confident – and I dare say sexy!
The Good Health column began in February 2017 and I have been contributing 1-2 articles per month since it began. Most recently, this column has added recipe videos because often recipes feel a bit more doable when we watch someone walk through the steps. You can catch the popsicle video I created with my 4-year-old here!
Writing for TJM has actually challenged me to dig deeper into the Word so that I know what God says about our beautifully designed body. It has been a gift, one that I hope to share with others.
When not writing for TJM, what are your hobbies or passions?
One of the things I adore is showing individuals how easy it is to make quick and healthy meals in the kitchen. It’s one thing to talk about healthy eating but it is so much more useful to actually do it in the kitchen. Wise Benjamin Franklin shares,
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
The more we get in the kitchen and practice, the easier it gets. In my recipe videos, I like to share easy substitutes so that you can make a swap if needed. I also like to show you some of my go-to kitchen tools so that you have the basics you need for some yummy meals. When working with clients, we sometimes get in the kitchen during follow-up sessions so that they can practice implementing what we discuss and figure out how to best use their space and tools.
Because I know that kid food preferences can make mealtime a little stressful (or A LOT!), I am pretty passionate about helping kids develop a curiosity in the kitchen. While it began by just grabbing my toddlers to help with a small cooking task, it has morphed into more. I host Mommy & Me Preschool Cooking Classes and most recently, created Curious Chefs Cooking & Food Science Camp with the goal to get elementary-aged kids interested in cooking, trying new foods and having some fun using all their senses.
I am keenly aware of how hard it can be to get a healthy meal on the dinner table with toddlers whining at your feet. And that is why I love helping you make that a little bit easier!
Is there any particular burden the Lord has given you for His Team? In what areas do you want to see the body of Christ grow?
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I love all things food, health, and wellness. But as I have seen in many years of practice, health promotion has been polluted by shame-based messaging. It’s wrapped up in a pretty box called “good health”, but most people have no idea what that is or what it looks like… in real life.
The church doesn’t know what it means to steward their body well and if they do know, they aren’t practicing it. They have no idea what to do with the juxtaposition of grace and self-discipline, a fruit of walking in the Spirit. Church leadership might do an amazing job of ministering to spirit and soul, but I continue to see a deficiency in the area of caring for our body, the temple. They are all connected! When one area is being neglected, we will struggle to thrive.
We are called to be salt and light. If we want to live wholly and enjoy the lives we have been given, then that means living a lifestyle where nourishing spirit, soul and body is a normal rhythm. As Believers, we don’t need to shame our bodies into submission by following a rigid diet or eliminating every gram of sugar.
Discipline isn’t a dirty word or something to dread. It’s being empowered to practice our convictions, even when they feel uncomfortable.
And, enjoying life sometimes looks like baking warm chocolate chip cookies with your kids… just because you want to.