Excess to Minimalism 5: Food

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Focal Verses:

1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Further Reading: Daniel 1

Everyone needs food to live. Food is vital for any living organism, whether plant, animal, or human. Nutrients and vitamins are essential to ensure that everything living on this planet not only survives, but thrives.

God gave man food as a source of nourishment. God even lays out in His Word the foods that are approved by Him to be fit for consumption. There are even feast days in the Bible, and many instances of celebration as well as times of need that are defined by food. Food is not bad, but The Bible must be the benchmark that we use to measure our own nutritional habits.

Everyone needs to eat, but what happens when we confuse eating to live with living to eat? When this mindset shifts from survival to pleasure, food is no longer consumed for its nutrients alone, but for its taste, mouthfeel, and also how it makes us feel. Many people connect emotions with food. They eat when they’re happy and joyful to celebrate, they eat when they’re sad and depressed to make themselves “feel better”, and they also bury their problems in mountains and mountains of food. Still more know nothing of good nutrition, or they freely and knowingly choose a daily breakfast of sugary donuts with a triple venti caramel mocha with extra whip, please. They argue that life is too short to be filled with “bad food”.

I want to argue the same, but not in the way the latter means. Life is too short to be filled with bad food. Too many Americans fill their bodies with nutrient lacking, chemical laden, and junk filled foods. Imagine someone came into your church sanctuary or home and started leaving their stinking garbage and refuse inside. Day after day, bag after bad, until the germs, mildew, and rot made everything uninhabitable and in a state of misuse and decay. God wants us to honor Him with our bodies, but this example is what we do to His temple if we do not eat healthy, clean foods. I think the Holy Spirit deserves better than this!

Do you identify with any of the above statements? Do you have an unhealthy relationship or obsession with food? Have you struggled with getting your health and eating habits under control? This is not an overnight change, but rather a process that takes much research, talking with your doctor, and then daily weighing of decisions to ensure healthy choices are made.

Here are some tips to help you break unhealthy ties to food and to regain control of your eating habits:

• Pray. Pray for God to show you where your eating habits do not line up with His will for you. Ask Him to give you strength as you start to change your mindset about food.
• Talk to your physician. Let them know that you struggle with making healthy nutritional choices. Ask them to give you food lists that will benefit your lifelong health and that are catered to your current health needs.
• Start reading labels! Clean foods are best. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, or if there are more than a few ingredients listed, put the item back. Your body doesn’t need the additives.
• Shop the perimeter of your supermarket. Here you will find fresh, whole fruits, vegetables, and tubers. Fresh is best! You also find your dairy and meat products on the perimeter.
• Skip the prepackaged lunch meat. If you must have lunch meat, buy fresh cut from the butcher.
• Consider cage free chicken and eggs as well as grass fed beef. These meats may cost a little more, but they are minimally processed and typically do not have any growth hormones added.
• Consider giving up grains and their variants. This isn’t for everyone, but if you are super serious about supercharging your health, you will greatly benefit from researching this possibility. I have included extra links for grains and grain free diets under today’s further reading. Please note that I am not insisting nor endorsing you do this, but I will let you know that this is a choice my husband and I have made. He has lost around 52 lbs so far and I have lost 35. We sleep better, have more energy, and are less cranky and much more agreeable. Hence why I have been sitting on this post.
• Understand the realities of food addiction. I will go into further detail regarding the realities of food addiction in the next post. It may not be you – it very well may be the food itself preventing you from reaching your health and nutrition goals.

While some of the following goes without saying, here are a few of the benefits to ridding your diet of all unnecessary and harmful foods and ingredients and maintaining a healthy diet. Your mileage may vary:

• Better sleep
• Higher, longer lasting energy
• Improved mood and disposition
• Weight loss/weight gain (depending on where you fall regarding food health)
• Clearer Skin
• Improvement with autoimmune symptoms and diseases

Please speak with a trusted physician before you make any drastic dietary changes. Even if you are only switching from a completely junk diet to a healthy whole foods diet, you’ll want to make sure you are making correct choices. Don’t give yourself the option to go halfway – if you’re going to take charge of your health, go all the way and reap the benefits!

We cannot serve God at our best when our bodies are not performing at their best. When we are physiologically in a place that honors God, we have the freedom to devote ourselves 100% to His will, be it physical and manual labor for His glory, or needing physical strength to deal with the emotionally charged world of reaching the lost for Him. When we choose to eat the right foods, we no longer live to eat – we live for God. He wants to be first in all things, including our eating habits.

Here are some great articles and resources regarding nutrition and health:

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst

Benefits of Eating Whole Foods

Risks of an Unhealthy Diet

On Grain Free Lifestyles:

Mark’s Daily Apple and his Definitive Guide to Grains

Why You Should Probably Stop Eating Wheat

Benefits of a Paleo/Primal Lifestyle

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