1. As someone who struggled with anorexia during college and who now abstains from all things with gluten (basically all traditional bread, cookies, crackers, cake), I learned that I did not need to restrict cooked food from my diet. Physically, I felt fine. But emotionally and mentally, restricting my diet took me to a bad place. I felt my stomach roll with hunger and instead of looking towards the foods I could eat, I thought of all the foods I not could not eat and felt all those old, familiar negative feelings towards food.
2. I eat a well balanced diet without restricting cooked food. We have been on major diet overhaul lately. Since late last summer, I have been learning so much about how society's view of food has been radically changed these past few decades. We now see food in the grocery stores as the prepackaged stuff in bright colorful wrappings and forgo the food that God has made by his loving hands.
Chris and I have stopped buying pre-cooked/preserved foods and eat almost all whole foods or homemade foods. I won't lie (partly because you wouldn't believe me!) and say that we never eat packaged foods or enjoy a Five Guys burger every now and then. But for the majority of our diet (not a restrictive regimen to lose weight but our way of life) is the food that God made for us to eat. We have fallen in love with beets, quinoa, kale and herbs (oh, the joy of fresh herbs!! Did you know you can buy a bunch of herbs for $2 at the grocery store? And I mean a BUNCH!).
3. I have been struggling with some health issues for the past year, and to my shame I had become desperate to the point where raw food was my savior. I believed that raw food could keep away what I fear.
But friends, while the types of food we eat and exercise and taking care of ourselves is vital... if we are doing these things out of fear of sickness or death, then we have sadly lost sight of our Father's love for us.
Unfortunately, that's where I found myself Tuesday afternoon. After one, yes ONE, day on our raw food diet. I walked into the kitchen craving leftover rice pasta with tomatoes, capers and parsley and I just felt so defeated.
Questions bubbled up inside of me and I asked Chris-
What if raw food doesn't work? What if I struggle with the things I fear even on a raw food diet? Why am I cutting out foods that aren't bad for me? I have already completely changed my way of life by removing gluten and now I have to cut out everything cooked???.... why?
Why am I really doing this?
Fear was the answer that I didn't want to hear.
I don't want to live in fear. I don't want to do things because I am afraid. Fear shouldn't rule me.
Love should guide me to look at the way I am treating my body. Love should tell me that I am hurting myself with high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors. Love should whisper that we are dust, but oh, how God cares for us. When we are mothers and fathers, we care for our children and though we know that one day they will die, we still desire that they care for themselves, and we lovingly care for them, for their bodies. We mend their boo boos and pray for health during illness. I would not allow my children to run headfirst into the wall or jump from the roof though I know that they are dust.
We are God's precious children. He is our Heavenly Father and oh, how he loves us.
When Jesus tells us in Matthew not to be anxious about our lives- what we will eat or drink or wear, he is lovingly whispering how he loves us. God knows what we need, and he will provide. These were not days where genetically modified food or artificial colors lurked quietly in food. These were days where famine and starvation lay at each families doorstep.
We need to remember that our bodies are temples of God, and they are important to Him. God dwells within us by His Holy Spirit. He cares about our bodies and what we do with them.
I hesitate to publish this because I know that these things are hard; that it is not easy to hear that we need to change. I do not sit in judgement or condemnation of anyone. Please hear me saying these things in love.
But I know that it is not easy to be confronted with something that is so different than what we've done our whole lives. The way we view food is so entrenched in tradition and nostalgia, and changing is hard. I have missed the familiar, comforting feeling of popping open a can of ice cold cherry coke, but I do not miss the sugary haze and nausea that it brings once the glass is empty.
I have been brought to my knees by the knowledge the Lord has provided this past year. We have been changed. But it is not fear that drives us in these changes. It is love. God's love.
These past few months have been hard. But I am even more convinced that I have a powerful, merciful Savior.. and it is not food. His name is Jesus.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
1 Corinthians 6:12-20