Thursday, March 6, 2014

on eating, fasting, dieting and the like

Let me first begin by saying how much I love food. I am serious about my grub. Since I was a child, eating has been one of my favorite activities. It's not something I play around with. My mom is hypoglycemic, and she taught me to never be without a snack on your person. This practice has not left me as an adult. I eat at least five times a day- breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner (and sometimes another snack).

When I arrived at the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS) to pursue my undergraduate degree, I was met with an UNLIMITED meal plan at four nationally recognized dining halls. And boy, did I take advantage. Cookie on the way into the dining hall. A couple more on the way out. Philly cheese steak lunch when I had a bad day. Or just because. Smoothies at East Campus Village after working out at the Ramsey Center. Themed dinner nights with food from all over. It was a food-lover's dream. At this point, I also began to develop new friendships. These new friends ate vegetables outside of the "normal" Southern fare-like *gasp* asparagus. Mind blown. But I wanted to take care of myself and be healthy(ish), so I prayed that God would give me a love for vegetables. I ventured out and tried new things. And it wasn't half bad! He answers even what we consider the silliest prayers.


Fast forward to now. I still love food. I love to eat. I love to cook. Cooking winds me down after a long day, and I am so proud that I made the ingredients come together to make something new and delicious. Sure, I have mess-ups. But my passion for food and cooking has only grown.

During this past year or so, however, the Lord has truly been challenging me to think about what I eat. Where does it come from? Was it made in a factory? Were there pesticides involved? I used to poke fun at people who ate organically, thinking to myself, "must be nice." But now I'm being convicted. If the Bible is truly the inspired word of God, and I say I believe it, then shouldn't that influence my every decision? Especially what I put into my body, which is a temple?

The word says,

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Do I live like I believe that? Over and over again, I have been bombarded with the thought and realization that if I say I believe that, then my regular fare cannot consist of fake food. God made food to be savored and enjoyed. Instead of living to eat, my attitude should be that of eating to live. This body is the only one I'll have this side of heaven. 

As I mentioned earlier this week, a couple weeks ago I attempted to begin a month-long fast from seven different foods. For about two weeks (hey, I was halfway there!) I eliminated dessert, coffee, bread, pasta, alcohol,cheese, and processed foods from my diet. It was definitely a challenge. But you know what? After the first week of adjustment, I felt so much better. I wasn't bloated after eating and I had a clearer head. And I had this feeling that I was truly taking care of myself. That was a good feeling, friends.

With all of that being said, I am no expert. All I know is that I am ready for a change. And I want to honor my body as a temple of the Lord. Yes, it's an uphill battle, but it's worth it. I've tried Paleo, low carb, and now believe that the best option for me is to eat clean. To nourish my body with foods that were made to be eaten and have the nutrients I need to be the best me I can be.

Recommended reads:
7 by Jen Hatmaker
Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider
Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat by Nell Stephenson
Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table by Shauna Niequist

To watch:
Hungry for Change documentary 

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