I read an interesting post on social media today. A girl came forward to ask what other people thought about a certain mindset she had seen portrayed. This mindset goes like this: people who exclude processed and artificial foods from their diet for any reason other than allergies are essentially selfish. They are causing problems in the body of Christ because “fellowship” is changed by their actions.
I was very surprised to read that! I have personally not met anybody who has expressed that mind to me, although I have come up against some strong opinions against a healthy, natural whole foods based diet when others find out this does exclude pasta, bread, YES Oreos too, etc. I also understand the thinking to some extent. Yes, it does on occasion make things different when you take your kids (okay, or yourself) to a birthday party or a get together and they can’t eat the items being served. It can be disappointing. I think the key to making it work is not being judgmental of the choices of others and being prepared in advance for such situations.
Just last night our church had a cotton candy machine for the little ones after service (we attend Saturday nights). Now of course my three year old daughter really wanted the cotton candy. We have bought her bags of cotton candy before. Shifting to a diet that cuts out the artificial foods she is used to has been a process that hasn’t always sat well with her. However, I offered her a date bar I had brought along instead, and at this point she has been “deprived” of sugar long enough to recognize that for the treat it was, so she went along with it without throwing a huge fit. But there have been fits before. When she stopped getting the free cookies offered at the bank. When she asked to go out for donuts and was told no. And in my own life I have had to demonstrate an amazing amount of self control NOT to buy myself the chocolate bars, the ice cream, the cookies with delicious refined sugar oozing out of the cracks.
When I started cutting artificial foods and sugar out of my diet, it was not because I had “seen the light”, made a positive healthy decision, or thought I knew something the rest of the world didn’t. To put it simply, I had a rash. An unexplained rash that would pop up on my elbows, knees, and thighs. It was the itchiest, most inconvenient thing on earth. All I wanted was to get rid of it. I had tried dietary changes before, but to put it plainly, my diet was mostly junk no matter what way I modified it. When I brought my concerns to my health “mentor”, so to speak, she talked to me about a condition called candida overgrowth, and leaky gut syndrome. In so many words, she explained to me that the bad bacteria in my gut was taking over everything else due to the amazing supply of carbohydrates and sugar I was providing them with on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. A sugar bug’s dream. I was not convinced she was right, but I respected her for the lives she has changed, including her own, so I decided to give it a try.
Well, at first I admittedly thought I was going to die. The cravings, people! But as the cravings wore off, I began to notice so many amazing changes in my body and my mind. Changes only attributable to cutting these things out of my diet and replacing them with healthy, whole foods and herbs.
Feeling like this – I want that for my kids, my friends, my family. For the body of Christ, the church. Feeling healthy and strong and capable. Feeling like I am doing something kind for my body. And our bodies are actually temples of the Holy Spirit, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior. In the Bible it refers to our bodies as living sacrifices. I don’t want to offer to God a bloated, inflamed, rash-covered body if that is something I can choose. I want to offer him a body filled with energy to live the abundant life He has called me to. And I believe that taking care of our bodies in every way, including and especially diet, is an act of honor to the God that gave us our bodies.