The Power of a Transformed Wife: Lori Alexander, Healthy Living
This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.
Introduction & Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 – Part 1 Chapter 8 – Part 2 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 – Serving Healthy Foods Means Healthy Families
We’re getting to the point in the book where I’m wondering why some of these chapters are even in here. I’m beginning to feel like they’re merely pages to fill up a book. The last chapter was about decluttering your home, and this one is about healthy food and DIY household cleaners. Which leads me to question:
What does this have to do with being a “transformed wife?”
I went back to the first couple of chapters trying to find Lori’s definition of “transformed wife.” Interestingly, that definition is not very clear. All she mentions is that she read Debi Pearl’s book and learned “God’s way of becoming the wife she was designed to be.” In other words, she did not come to this conclusion on her own. She put her own words of “transformed wife” into what Debi Pearl describes as a way a Christian wife should live.
Which leads me back to questioning the relevance of the last chapter, as well as this one. Does cleaning, eating healthy, and making homemade cleanings supplies mean you are being the way God designed you? I guess it does to Lori, so again we move onward.
A Transformed Wife wants to take care of her family to the best of her ability, and a big part of doing this is preparing and serving healthy, nutritious foods.
Lori’s idea of preparing and serving healthy, nutritious foods is making big salads (mentioned three times throughout the chapter) to eat off all week long, only buying organic at places like farmer’s markets, Trader Joe’s and Costco, and growing a garden. This is all fine and well if you have enough money to do this. I live in the Portland, Oregon area, and we have some great farmer’s markets, but they are expensive to shop. If you are able to shop at places like specialty organic shops and Costco, then you are very fortunate. The reality is that many people in the United States live in areas that have poor selections of healthy food options. And, if someone is living on a fixed income, I would guess they would choose to not spend more on organic items in order to make money go further.
Moving along to children and their eating habits:
My children were raised on healthy food, so they love large salads at mealtime. For mid-morning or afternoon snacks, I would prepare various fruits and nuts. Since I didn’t allow them to be picky eaters, they all grew up to enjoy most foods. A mother has a lot of control in how she raises her children and what they like to eat. Take the opportunity to raise them to love healthy food.
I don’t know about your kids, but when mine were young, they would have nothing to do with a large salad at mealtime. I know some kids like salad, but mine would have to drown their lanky leaves in ranch dressing to make it worth eating. As far as not allowing kids to be picky eaters, I honestly don’t understand how one accomplishes this. I suppose it is because of how I was raised in an Italian family and in the restaurant business. My parents asked that I try something new. If I didn’t like it, they didn’t make me finish it. Not everyone has the same likes and tastes, and those preferences tend to change over years. In my opinion, demanding that kids finish what is on their plate minimizes the fact that they are an individual with unique tastes. I think this area is more about control than anything else for Lori, and she shows that whether you make your kids eat everything, or you allow them to try and substitute if they don’t like it, kids are not going to enjoy all food.
Lori, who is not a nurse or doctor, nowmoves on to give medical advice:
Since all drugs have side effects, we rarely gave our children any drugs. Doctors, being human, aren’t infallible so keeping a balanced perspective on their role is important.
While doctors are great for emergency situations, they aren’t as great at healing chronic conditions or diseases.
When we are unable to discover a cause for an illness or a chronic condition, focus on trusting the Lord with the situation. He tells us that all we have to do is ask Him for wisdom, and He will give it.
I understand not wanting to take medication that might have strong side effects, but my mind goes to some of the horrific neglect of children due to parents who believe in faith healing and trusting the Lord with medical issues.
One thing that people forget is that most cancers and common diseases can be prevented.
Lori seems to forget that genetics and environmental influences are high risk factors of cancer. Non-smokers get lung cancer. People who eat raw diets get cancer. And, people like my grandma who ate eggs and bacon and smoked cigarettes her entire life live into their 90s.
Lori ends with an old blog post (someone else’s words, of course) about being healthy while pregnant. It fits nowhere in this chapter. But, this chapter is all over the place, so I guess it fits in after all.
Chapter 18 is titled: “A Way to a Man’s Heart…” Sex and food, anyone?
23 thoughts on “Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – “Healthy,” One of Lori’s Favorite Buzz Words”
My parents were raised in the Depression, so you ate everything on your plate, even if you hated it. But, my sister at the age of 3 refused peas one night at dinner. My parents insisted and she fell asleep at the table over those peas. After that, we just had to try something. My sister did eat peas eventually, but sometimes it just takes time. My mom didn’t serve a buffet, so if you didn’t like most of dinner, you needed to eat a lot of what you did. Kids need to have their choices respected and boundaries. Lori just seems to be a dictator.
I wonder how Lori would have dealt with a child who was diabetic or had cancer? That’s a lot of medicine!
Interesting thing: I recently ran across an online comment by Lori’s husband, in which he disagrees with someone and then points them to one of HIS writings. Of course, it was her blog.
I had suspected before that he had a hand in her work, but he outright claimed it as his own.
It made me sad for her and for all of the women within their reach. I’m not excusing her own behavior here. It just made me think. This stuff is so harmful. The whole situation is just sick.
I forget where Lori is from, but she has some of these ‘trendy, hippy housewife’ ideas she has taken as literal gospel. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear her rant about vaccines and toxins any minute!
I think the idea that ‘salads’ are the only healthy food puts a lot of people off eating healthy. I like salads sometimes, but if I had to eat them every day I would quickly give up. But I love roasted vegetables, greens, etc.
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Not to mention that parents often skip foods they themselves don’t like, so why should kids be allowed to have an occasional hatred of a particular food? My mom told me I liked Brussels sprouts as a kid but she or my dad hated them so we never ate them.
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Thalea – She did one blog post this week that is a word for word rewrite of an article from Above Rubies. Ken contributed a lot when she was using the Always Learning blog space. He doesn’t seem to contribute as much on the new spot.
Linn – I totally understand when food and money is limited. Kids will eat what is available. I would expect, though, that parents would spend money on food they know their kids will eat and will not go wasted.
Lea – Lori lives in a highly affluent San Diego area community. South of San Diego and closer to the Mexico border, there are poor pockets of communities that most likely don’t have easy access to good fresh food.
I remember a woman posted a picture on Lori’s Facebook page of her refrigerator. It had three items in it. She talked about how desperate she was for food for her children and that her husband drank and gambled their money. She was contemplating going back to work so she could feed her kids. Lori’s response was to trust God to provide. It was infuriating! Of course, the post got deleted. I guess a transformed wife doesn’t have problems.
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Thanks. I was going to say rich California housewife, but I wasn’t 100% on that.
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I would also say, people in California seem to be the ones who always think ‘farmers markets’ are super cheap. They really aren’t cheaper than supermarkets in a lot of other places (and our biggest farmers market has a lot of corporate/supermarket level veggies and fruits). They also aren’t year round, because we have seasons. So I think that’s generally an unhelpful suggestion to a lot of people.
I like farmers markets sometimes, particularly for fruit, because it tastes better fresh and seasonal, but that’s a preference. If you are trying to do something healthy on a budget, you might be better off with frozen stuff.
Kathi – “She was contemplating going back to work so she could feed her kids. Lori’s response was to trust God to provide”.
Compare and contrast James 2 : If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
Trusting God could involve faith for a job. God’s provision might also come through other local believers. Lori is being more than a little glib here, although I do know believers who have experienced miraculous intervention from God to supply real needs.
I wonder how Lori would deal with a child with autism–as I do–who has sensory issues with food?
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KAS – I know!!! If someone trusts God to provide financially, and a job opportunity arises, I would think that is a valid response from God for the trust placed in His care. Does Lori think God will make it rain money when someone asks for help? Personally, I have always found the “trust God” response to be an easy out.
Good point, Tina! Lori is all about “training” a child to behave the way they should. Definition is based upon parent interpretation, I guess. For kids with food sensory issues, I wonder if she would push a child to finish that big salad or work with what the child will eat.
Kathi, I don’t know how you do it, I’m impressed by your determination… reading Lori’s book and writing a chapter by chapter review. I find it torture to even read the short quotes from her that you provide, and then it feels like all my energy is sapped.
This whole book seems to be nothing but bossy bragging about herself and her own eccentricities, while berating others who do things differently. Lori’s book (and attitude) seems to be totally devoid of both spiritual encouragement and practical advice, things that women are really looking for when they purchase a book like this.
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Song of Joy – You’re too kind. Wine and texting Julie Anne to express stronger words helps. When I first started this, I thought I could do a chapter a week. I found that wasn’t doable with work, kids, and volunteer work, so I do it when I can. Will I miss this book once I’m done reading it? Not one bit!!
I have a friend from college days who has lived out and survived the trusting God philosophy. We were both married in the same month 31 years ago. Both of us thought we were marrying christians with our parents’ blessing. Both of us ended up with a bad situation and both of us are still legally married. But we handled the similar situation totally differently. She did not go to work or collect food stamps. Instead she would do what she felt was her job of raising the kids and keeping a home. They didn’t always have enough but they survived and her four children, who are grown now, love her. Meanwhile, i worked the entire time (usually at night) and paid bills and homeschooling costs. My grown children are ungrateful and selfish. My friend and i still talk on a regular basis, and neither of us feel the other handled the situation wrongly. You just do the best you can.
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I think this all fits in with the spiritual abuse / legalism prevalent. Once Lori establishes her position as the spiritual mentor and pathway to God, she is now going to start putting the weights in the backpack. It’s not good enough to provide food for your family. You have to do it in the way Lori approves, and if you don’t have time/energy/money to do that, then you aren’t meeting God’s purpose for your life.
Lori seems to ignore that she does these things because she DESIRES to do them. She wants to have nutritious meals and shop at the farmer’s market, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is when that becomes a litmus test for whether someone is obeying God. I’m sure that we could create a battle between micromanaging legalists by finding another Pharisee who has a different area of focus. For example, Joel Beeke’s mom who spent four hours per day on her knees praying. If putting nutritious meals on the table is spiritually important, how much more being in earnest prayer for your children, Lori! If you’re not spending four hours in prayer every day, how dare you claim that you are an example to be followed!!
I think this is the danger of a spiritually abusive system. Our derivation of value comes from conformance to another person’s standards, and when that person doesn’t understand the difference between right/wrong and personal freedom, then that person starts turning personal freedom into right/wrong. I’m thankful that my value comes from a God who has absolute standards and gives me great personal freedom to live my own personal desires without sin, instead of micromanaging me.
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“As far as not allowing kids to be picky eaters, I honestly don’t understand how one accomplishes this.”
Since Lori is a devoted Pearl fan, I have a pretty good idea what the recommended method is — a spoon or fork in one hand and a “rod” in the other.
My youngest is proof positive that the human body can thrive on Pepperidge Farm goldfish and pancakes. She does like salad, but she often doesn’t eat some of the meals I prepare. A few years ago I asked her why not, and she responded with, “Mom, have you ever heard of a supertaster?” So, we just roll with it.
Also, I’ve found my local pharmacist to be a valuable resource when sorting out which OTC medicines to give my kids. I’d trust their chemistry knowledge before relying on Lori’s advice.
KAS, does Lori read James? As rich as she is why doesn’t she write the woman a check? Maybe God wants to use HER to meet this sister’s needs. She never considers this possibility.
In response to Lea on farmers markets-I’m a Californian, and I know they are more expensive, just like Whole Foods and some of the other organic store options. I work with low-income students, and I always point them toward the local flea markets for fresh produce, especially in the summer and fall. No, it’s not organic, but it’s cheaper than most supermarket fair. People are often hypercritical of what the poor eat, without understanding that they often don’t have the income, or a supermarket, in their area. I think Lori hasn’t left her house in a long, long time.
I’m now reading a book called Lagom written by a woman from Sweden. It offers tips on living a balanced life like the majority of Swedes do. But nowhere in the book does Linnea Dunne say, “I practice Lagom this way. Imitate me exactly or you are a terrible person!” Ditto for books on minimalism. Nowhere do Miss Minimalist or Leo Babatua say, “You may only own 3 pairs of shoes!” or “We don’t own a sofa so no one should. If you do expect a lot of bad karma!”
Not only is this book legalistic, but Lori thinks real Christian women all must be clones of herself. The Apostle Paul never acted this way. Different Christians have different gifts. Can’t we allow for different kinds of holiness?
Personally, I’m glad that the doctors were able to heal my daughter’s chronic condition – and they were glad that I wasn’t just feeding her salads because that would not have been enough calories for her (well, unless it was dripping with salad dressing) and that they didn’t have to report me to cps.
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Well isn’t Lori the Ms Perfect. I am sooooo thankful I left the church. Christians like Lori Alexander are far to hateful for me. Nothing but condemnation, complaining & criticism. No thank you to Christianity. I have greater desires for my life than to be someone’s stepping stone.