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You Are What You Eat?

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By Stephanie McIver

I have been trying to embrace a new eating plan. It is based on sound
nutritional principles and the research of a nutritionist who explains things well. It is to be a life long plan—and it won’t be easy, but as we know, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. I haven’t been feeding that Spirit very well for some time now. As I live alone, I’m often not inspired to put forth the effort to cook a meal for myself, so I eat whatever is easy and accessible. That doesn’t translate to healthy most of the time.

The goal is to eat fresh, unprocessed and if possible, local foods. The emphasis is on in season and organic. It makes sense. It is the way Jesus ate, after all. There was no Safeway or Costco to stock up on the latest convenience foods. The people of His time had to be resourceful and use what they could find. Use what they grew. Use wisdom in what they ate to fuel and nourish their bodies. Fish and fresh fruits and veggies, grains and beans. Not a ding dong in sight. I wonder what they would have thought of our modern diets, where most of the ingredients listed have me vaguely uneasy. What HAVE I been putting in my body all these years?

The most logical part of this program is that you eat sensibly, following the guidelines for six days a week—and you have one ‘cheat’ day, where you can eat whatever you want. My friend, Cary, who introduced me to it, has lost a significant amount of weight in the past few weeks—and on one of his ‘cheat’ days, he ate an entire cake! (He has a sweet tooth—I don’t intend to get quite that extreme myself…)

As all good friends do, my friend Kathy is working on this with me. Yesterday afternoon, we visited a local farmer’s market and had quite a good time walking through the stands of farmers from the area. It is early in the season so the pickings are slim, especially with all the rain we’ve been having, but I did score some fresh strawberries and we each bought a can of tuna from a fisherman who explained his process to us—no added water or oil—the fish was fresh, packed tightly and then cooked in the can. It was expensive tuna—but we thought it might be worth the cost. I will check it out later this week when I learn to make my own mayonnaise.

This diet might not be for everyone. I am a passionate cook and I love to try new and exotic combinations of things. When we returned to Kathy’s house last night, we used some of our new found skills to concoct a stir fry for dinner and it was delicious. She gave me free reign of her pantry and spice cupboard. At the last moment, I tossed in a handful of raw almonds and a dash of organic sesame oil. We had fresh strawberries and Persian melon for dessert.

When I think of the joy we had in creating this healthy meal, I look forward to learning more about how to use the foods He created, that have not been sullied by chemicals and processing procedures that are touted as healthy and have left us fatter and more prone to heart attacks, strokes and diabetes than ever before in the history of mankind. When I look at the significant number of overweight people (myself included) all around me, I know this is a solution that is in His will—and I also know that He will provide me with the resources and stamina to make it a lasting change.

I want to eat to live, not live to eat—and that is the addiction and drug of choice of far too many of us—as Christians, we usually are not smokers or alcoholics—but pass the pie and cookies. Potluck next week? Whoohoo! I’ll make my fried chicken and potato salad—with a gooey dessert to boot.

“For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…” Philippians 3:18-20 (NIV)

I am NOT what I eat. I am His child. But as His child, He wants me to be a good steward of the gift of life He has given me.

And tomorrow is ‘cheat day’. I can do all things through Christ. But tomorrow? I’m going to eat out and eat what I like. I know I will find that it may not taste as good as it did last week. But I’ll load up on the salads and fruits at the buffet table. And I will feast on the knowledge that my citizenship is in Heaven where every need will be met forever.

©2010 Stephanie McIver. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Bio:
Stephanie McIver is a self-confessed “Scatter-brained Control Freak.” Living life in the 21st century as a baby boomer/old hippy chick grandma (with issues) has given her a unique take on life. Always looking to the Lord for the daily bread that comes no matter what other circumstances present themselves, Stephanie has a desire to comfort those who have hurt as she has. The pain of divorce was an unexpected sorrow that has given her new insights into many people’s lives in ways she never thought she would encounter. She has been writing devotionals on the internet since 2000 to an email based subscriber list—it was originally a Monday morning column, but about a year and a half ago, she felt the Lord telling her to write every day. “Are you SURE, Lord? EVERY DAY?!” He has been faithful to give her new words on a daily basis since then. She also is on KORE Radio in the Eugene/Springfield area weekday mornings. She has a five minute radio spot at 7:30 and 9:15 a.m. which has attracted a new local audience. She also writes for the Springfield Times and her church newsletter. To read some of Stephanie’s columns, visit http://lists.topica.com/lists/stephsstuff/read. She is also available to speak at your event. Contact her at steph@stephaniemciver.com.