Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Real Food - Not to Fear

For the past 30-40 years we have been hearing that real food is very bad for us. Everyone is afraid to eat, but we must because of our unrelenting cravings. Butter is bad, eggs are bad, red meat is bad, cholesterol is bad, carbs are bad, fat is bad, etc. Well if that is true, what on earth is there left to eat? Only faux-foods produced by factories that have no fat or carbs, no cholesterol, nor any nutrients. What they do have are toxins in the form of preservatives, steroids, antibiotics, aspartame, and more. These processed foods are supposed to make us all feel better. But we’re fatter and sicker than ever.

I used to believe all the media-myths about food and ate the "healthy" way. By the time I was 30, I began to develop arthritis. At 40 I started struggling with my weight, had my gallbladder removed, and went on acid reducing meds for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). By the time I was 50, I was dead on my feet all the time, weighed close to 200 pounds, had unrelenting pain from osteo-arthritis, high blood pressure, mitral valve prolapse that kept my heart in palpatations, fibroid tumors, ovarian cysts, was lactose intollerant and struggled with the flu and colds frequently. Having felt that bad eating a "healthy diet", I surmised that I probably would have died had I eaten butter, eggs, saturated fat, etc.

How wrong I was! Shortly after I turned 50, I really began to research nutrition and I was amazed at what I uncovered. And it all made marvelous sense. I discovered that there is actually a large body of information out there that supports Biblical, or what is also called "traditional" or "ancesteral" nutrition. I found a wealth of honest, credible research that discredits not only our Standard American Diet (SAD for short - really!), but also what is considered healthy eating by most professionals.

I mentioned that this information supports Biblical foods. But what are "Biblical foods? Some say they are only what God gave at creation. But really, it is any food that He has sanctioned as "good" in both Old and New Testaments. If God says it is good, who am I to say differently? This includes meats, fish, pork, poultry, lamb (any type of meat) dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and sweetners such as honey and dates, etc. Really, God has given all forms of food from His creation for the nourishment of mankind.

In Acts 14:17, speaking to unsaved men, Paul said, “God did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” God sustains His creatures with food that strengthens, heals, builds, satisfies and tastes good to boot. “He gives food to all flesh, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the God of heaven…” Ps 136:25-26

Food that God provides for man has always tasted good and been good for the body. A good God could create nothing less. 1 Tim 4:1-5 tells us that in the latter times there will be men who fall away from the faith, “men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” That is exactly what is happening now - forbidden foods that we are all afraid to eat. The text goes on to say that “…everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”

Part of what I discovered was that before food changed so much (over the past 40 years) people ate what God put on the earth and did not get fat unless they were gluttons. There was little heart or other degenerative disease. Now we eat less and constantly struggle with weight gain and hunger pangs, are plagued with syndromes, conditions and diseases that did not exist when I was growing up. In fact, when I was growing up, I knew of very few people who were overweight and fewer that had diabetes. It is quite different now. It is expected, says the Surgeon General, that one in every three children born in the year 2000 or later will develop diabetes 2 in their youth, all because of the eating trends in our country.

So, after doing my food homework, I decided to take the plunge - to start eating whole, unprocessed, organic foods. Real butter, eggs, cream, real sour cream, whole milk (raw), red meat, saturated fat as well as fruits and veggies (about the only foods that are not demonized nowadays), and other foods we are supposed to be afraid of and avoid. I also stopped eating man-invented, factory-manufactured, damaging food-like substances.

That was four years ago. Within two months, I stopped gaining weight though I ate large portions and still do; my blood pressure dropped drastically so I threw out my blood pressure meds; my cholesterol improved; I stopped feeling like the tin man in The Wizard of Oz with his creaky, stiff joints; my energy levels soared; the GERD resoved completely; my lactose intolerance disappeared along with the horrid food cravings; and my heart stopped pounding out of my chest. I ate all I wanted and was satisfied until the next good meal with no desire to snack in between. I very rarely got sick.

All this amazing improvement happened because I started eating real food exclusively - the diet God gave us. When I thank God for my food now, I really mean it because I know how amazing real food is and who gave us such goodness. It not only sustains us, it actually heals our bodies. God is good to give us such sustenance. He gives only what is good for us.

And not only is real food good for our bodies, it also tastes good. Arthur Pink writes, “The goodness of God is seen in the variety of natural pleasures which He has provided for His creatures. God might have been pleased to satisfy our hunger without…food being pleasing to our palates – how His benevolence appears in the varied flavors He has given to meats, vegetables, and fruits! God has not only given us our senses, but also that which gratifies them; this too reveals His goodness.”

Doesn't that make sense? If God was so wise and creative to form us from nothing with all of our complex systems, is it too much for Him to create foods that nourish, build, repair and delight us? No longer am I afraid of real food. It has healed me as He intended food should. He is a good God who gives us good gifts – one of which is delicious, nourishing food. “…give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Ps. 107:8-9

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