It happens all day long for most of us, and at the very least 3 times a day. Social events revolve around it, and TV shows are made to show us how to do it better, faster, or cheaper. Mealtimes are rarely about fuel in our culture anymore. Preparing food, the grandiose presentations of meals, and the pleasurable journey of the experience of dining floods our world from sun up till sun down. No wonder we are sick and/or overweight.
And yet, God talks about eating in this way: “So whether you eat of drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31. Since our bodies are the foundation of our stewardship from God, we would be wise to understand how what we put in our bodies is an act of worship.
This week, I am continuing the series about Rick Warren's book, The Daniel Plan, 40 Days to a Healthier Life, by highlighting some of the key elements of chapter 4, “Food”.
“When you provide the conditions for a thriving human being and you remove the impediments to health, disease often simply goes away as a side effect. When you focus on health, healing and weight loss happen automatically. That is exactly what happens in The Daniel Plan.”
The focus of this book is to eat “real” food. Warren explains:
“So what do we mean by 'real' food? Anything that is whole, fresh, and unprocessed. Stuff that your great-grandmother would recognize as food. A chicken, a vegetable, a bean, a nut, a grain, a fruit, and egg. Everything else is fake food that depletes energy and health. Real food heals. Real food nourishes.”
I wrote a couple weeks ago about my health changes in this post. But my husband experienced healing from eating real food too. For years, he has suffered from irritable bowels and within the first two weeks, it was gone. Both he and another member of our Daniel Plan group, had skin that was deeply calloused and cracked on their feet. They both had tried every trick in the book to fix it. After a month on The Daniel Plan, they realized that the rough skin that seemed beyond hopeless, was smooth like a baby's bottom! It was a crazy unexpected benefit to eating right. We all began to see how the food we were eating, was truly medicine. I will share in an upcoming post about how this has affected my children too, but suffice it to say that my boys now know the benefits of eating nutritious food!
Here are just a few of my favorite quotes from Chapter 4, “Food” to give you an idea about why this change in our lives is critical for all of us:
“Low-glycemic vegetables are your new best friends. Go ahead and fill up on these life-giving plants. They should make up 50 percent of your plate. Keep a list of these as you walk through your grocery store, which is your new FARMacy, where you will find the best medicine for body and soul. Have two or three veggie dishes at dinner. Make a salad with arugula, artichokes, and avocados, and have a side or sauteed zucchini with garlic and olive oil and roasted mushrooms.” Pg. 85
“The one type of vegetable you can never get enough of is the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, collards, broccolini, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and bok choy. They contain powerful detoxifying chemicals called glucosinonlates that prevent cancer and support your health. We recommend a cup or two every day.” Pg. 85
“For anti-inflammatory foods, think dark berries and cherries. Eat dark green leafy vegetables and orange and sweet potatoes to cut down on inflammation.” Pg. 87
“The key is to eat only whole grains, not processed in any way. That means you buy them in their original form, such as oats, what berries, and even popcorn. Many packaged foods say 'whole grains,' but it is often a little whole grain flour mixed into white flour, sugary cereals, or other products. The ingredient list will tell you what's really in there.” Pg. 89
“Downsize your meat. Choose quality of quantity. Small amounts or lean organic, grass-fed, and hormone- and antibiotic-free lamb or beef can be a part of a healthy diet.” Pg. 93
“In one dietary study in Spain, researchers split the study population into three groups. They were all told to eat a basic Mediterranean diet, but one group was given a liter of extra-virgin olive oil a week, another was given 30 grams (about an ounce) of nuts a day, and the last group had only the diet. The groups who had the olive oil and the nuts had over a 30 percent reduction in heart attacks and death. This is a better result than statin drugs-without any of the side effects. More fat was better.” Pg.95-96
“We are going to have to tell you that your taste buds have been hijacked. Soda, sports drinks, flavored syrup-filled coffees, sweetened teas, juices, diet drinks, and energy drinks are super highways to obesity, cravings, and brain chemistry problems. The single best and easiest thing you can do for your health is to recalibrate your taste buds and lean to enjoy pure clean water.” Pg. 98
“In fact, sugar is more addictive than cocaine. No wonder we have cravings!” Pg. 102
“We have to start looking for delayed or hidden food reactions that cause inflammation. These reactions might be hard to detect. If you eat bread on Monday, you might get a migraine on Wednesday, or just generally feel bloated, or have brain fog, or gain weight and become pre-diabetic. The symptoms can be vague: fatigue, bloating, brain fog, food cravings, sinus congestion or post nasal drip, acne, eczema, psoriasis, irritable bowels, acid reflux, headaches, joint pains, trouble sleeping, asthma, and more.” Pg. 119
“Bottom line: If you have any chronic illness, are overweight, or just want to see how good you can feel, try a gluten-free diet for ten to forty days. It is a powerful way to identify the cause of chronic health problems. Combined with dairy elimination, it can cure many diseases, accelerate weight loss, and renew your body and mind.” Pg. 123
“Most Americans spend less than about 6 percent of their income on food, while Europeans spend 9 to 13 percent. Rethinking your budget to include higher quality food is something that will pay off much greater dividends in energy, long-term health, and lower health care and prescriptions costs when you get older. You can pay a little more now or pay a lot more later. What is the real long-term cost of that French fry or soda for your health, your family, your neighborhood, and even the environment?” Pg. 139
“Mothers are exactly the allies we need to lead this food and cooking revolution.” Pg. 144
There you have it. Just a small sampling of how pivotal food is to our health, and the health of our families.To be honest, I didn't want to make these changes at first, but as a mother, I knew that I needed to get healthy for the sake of my kids. If you can relate to any of these issues, feel like you are addicted to cravings, sugar, or if you have been battling health issues by treating symptoms with prescriptions, then consider making a better and lasting change by picking up a copy of The Daniel Plan.
This post is not sponsored in any way, I simply feel passionate about how much it has helped me when I felt helpless. There are affiliate links in this post, and if you purchase the book through those links, then I get a few cents from your order and that helps the ministry on this blog-thank you!
YOUR TURN! What are some changes you know you need to make in your diet? Which quote from the book hit home for you?
You can read the post about the first essential in The Daniel Plan, on "Faith" by clicking here.
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