Tag Archives: Christian faith

Jesus Is My Dietitian: An Intro to Food and Faith

Dr. Don Colbert, the author of What Would Jesus Eat, makes a valid point in his book concerning the health of His creation: “Jesus cared about the health of people. Certainly His many healing miracles are testimony to that fact. He desired that people be made whole, and that included being whole in body as well as in mind and spirit.”

If we seek to follow Jesus in every area of our lives, should we include Him in our health and nutritional choices?

As a student in Dietetics with a passion for nutritious, whole food, I can’t see why He wouldn’t want to be involved. He created the earth. He created food. And He created me. He has already taken an interest, in my opinion.

It’s hard to give our best when our bodies don’t feel well. And I believe physical wellness and nutrition may be one of the most overlooked areas in the life of a Christian.

However, please don’t get me wrong here. The truth is the truth, and it is only through Christ that we have salvation. We will never earn good graces and redemption from sin by eating healthy foods. Why? Because we cannot earn anything from the Lord; it is all freely given by grace because Jesus decided He would hang on the cross for us.

End of story.

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

I also believe how you choose to take care of your body is between you and the Lord as your Maker. Some people feel convicted about eating meat, and that’s great. At the same time others are at complete peace with eating meat, which is also great. I believe that Jesus died for our sins so that we can live in complete freedom.

“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Romans 14:1-4

However, I do believe if we are called to be good stewards of what the Lord entrusts to us (time, talents, finances, relationships), why then would we not include our physical bodies?

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

According to the book ‘Fast Food Nation’, the typical American now consumes three hamburgers and four orders of French fries every week. It’s convenient and it’s easy, but it’s no healthier than eating a large Styrofoam cup full of low-grade protein packed with artificial hormones, three tablespoons of animal fat, a teaspoon of salt, and a load of preservatives.

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-9

And I am speaking to myself on this one.

If we are quick to ask Him for healing on Sunday morning (which is an incredible step of faith and very biblical), then we must also be quick to make the changes that we can control to better our health (through the free will God has given us). We must do our part, beloved. And He will be abundantly faithful to do His (as always).

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15

God has big plans for us, but we must be healthy in order to carry these out.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

God gave us these bodies. In fact He designed them according to His own image, and we must steward them well.

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NLT

Food should make us feel GOOD. Food was created to bless us, to strengthen us, and to equip us for our daily tasks.
In fact, there is great power and freedom simply in having the knowledge and understanding of how God designed our bodies to process the food He made. 

I invite you to join me this week in multiple conversations about the important role of diet, the interplay between complex colonies of microbiota in our gut, and the impact of (chronic) use of antibiotics on our bodies. I strongly believe these posts will serve as an incredible encouragement for many of you this week. May God alone receive the glory!

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose!

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Photo courtesy of menuconcepts.com.au

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Repost: Fat Truly Does a Body Good

As a clinical nutrition student, I love to give God glory by teaching others about His incredible design of the human body. By understanding the physiology of our bodies, we can learn how to nourish our God-given vessels through proper nutrition, which is also found in His creation. Through this post, my hope is that you’ll learn a thing or two about your body’s amazing structure so that you can steward it for his glory. In particular we’ll discuss an important nutrient: fat.

“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Proverbs 14:8

Fat is good.

Yes, I just said, fat is good.

In fact, fat is a critical component God chose to include in the design of His beautiful creation known as the human body. We need fat to survive and function at our best.

I don’t think any of us are oblivious to the fact that fat is a natural insulator, protecting us from extreme temperatures. It also provides incredible cushion for our internal organs to mitigate the effects of physical shock.

But, did you also know fat provides a host of other benefits to the physiology of our bodies?

Let’s take a look at some other roles fats play each day:

  • Fat serves as the base for sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen) and adrenal hormones, such as cortisol.
  • Fat makes up the cell membrane (protective layer on every cell) and enables our cells to communicate to one another. The phospholipid (fat) membrane also permits the entry and exit of the vitamins and minerals (from food and supplements) that our bodies need to function each day.
  • The majority of your brain is made of fat.
  • Fat enables nerve impulses to transmit throughout the body, whether they are thought processes occurring in the brain and/or sensory responses from the spinal cord to various parts of our body. All of this is made possible by nerve coverings known as a myelin sheath.
  • Fat can actually lower the risk of several diseases such as heat disease, stroke, and diabetes, by functioning as a “de-clogging agent” of the arterial walls.

In the science world, fats fall into a class of nutrients known as lipids.

Within this class, there are three types of lipids that are important to our health:

Triglycerides are the most abundant of all fats found in food and in the human body.

Phospholipids are the fat used to construct the cell membrane (outer protective layer) and is soluble in both water and fat; it is naturally found in eggs, liver, peanuts, and wheat germ.

Sterols are the fats that make up the sex hormones and bile salts (produced by the liver to digest the fat we consume). Cholesterol is perhaps the most well known sterol in the body, and the liver generates a whopping 800-1500 mg of it per day. Because our body already generates enough cholesterol on it’s own, anything over 300 mg of cholesterol in the diet per day is harmful to the body. And it’s saturated fats that are generally high in cholesterol, which gives us another reason to minimize all the animal products.

Let’s take at specific examples of fat to better understand what we as consumers should include (or exclude) in our diet.

Saturated fat is a fat that is solid at room temperature (77 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius), which includes animal fats and even some vegetable oils. Specific examples are lard, butter, cheese, hard margarine, animal fat, coca butter, palm kernel oil, palm oil, and coconut oil. These fats are not readily effected by oxidation (exposure to oxygen), so they don’t quickly spoil and go rancid. This is why butter can sit out on the counter for several days before going bad.

Saturated fats are linked to coronary heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes.

Unsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature and is comprised of monounsaturated fats (with one double bond) and polyunsaturated fats (with two or more double bonds). These are primarily found in plant products.  Specific examples of monounsaturated fats  include olive oil (extra virgin), canola oil, and avocados, while examples of polyunsaturated fats are safflower oil, sesame oil, soy, sunflower oil, and nuts and seeds. Due to their vulnerability to oxidation, food manufacturers will add antioxidants such as BHA, BHT, and vitamin E to prevent spoilage and increase shelf-life.

Unsaturated fats are often referred to as heart-healthy fats. In fact, these fatty acids actually function like ‘Drano’ to de-clog the coronary arteries (along with exercise) that may be damaged by diets high in saturated fat.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (also unsaturated) are also linked to heart health, as they have been shown to prevent blood clots, protect against an irregular heart beat, decrease blood pressure, and support the immune system by defending the body against inflammatory disorders.

Omega-3 sources are fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and herring), flax seed oil, soybean, canola oil, and walnut oil. The whole nut or seed of the referenced oils can also be consumed to provide ample supply of healthy fats.

Omega-6 sources are found primarily in vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean, and cottonseed. Poultry and eggs also contain these essential fatty acids.

Join me tomorrow as we discuss the amount of fat your body needs and healthy ways to integrate these necessary fats into our daily regimen. To God be the glory!

 Photo provided by pickthebrain.com

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Peace in Positive Thinking

President Abraham Lincoln once stated, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Both positive and negative thinking can produce tangible and clearly distinguishable results in our lives. It is easy to discern what type of thinking we possess based on the actions we take in our lives. Let me give you an example:

You wake up, and your head is pounding. Your natural instinct is to complain. And that’s exactly what you do – complain and grumble. As you drive to work, a young man almost rams into your car because he fails to obey the traffic light. You start lashing out with names like “idiot” or other words that I won’t mention here. Once you arrive at work, you’re not greeted with warmth and smiles, but with the demands of new deadlines and complaints from a client. Within minutes your day has been hijacked by a whirlwind of negative emotions. After a tiresome day at the office, you embark on a long journey home through rush hour traffic. When you do arrive home, you’re exhausted. But, dinner still needs to be prepped, the house needs to be cleaned, and, if you have kids, they’ll need to be cared for. By the time your head hits the pillow, what do you think is going on in your mind?

“I’m happy this day is over.”  “I barely survived.” “Everything seemed to be against me today.”  “I feel so overwhelmed”  “I’m so stressed.” “Why can’t I get some peace of mind?” “Everyone in the house is just so needy.”

How can we respond in situations like this? I want to look at this scripture passage that the Lord brought to my mind this morning:

Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform (agree, harmonize, adapt, adjust) to the pattern (model, ideal, example) of this world, but be transformed (alter, covert, transmute, modify) by the renewing (restoration, repair, revision, correction) of your mind. Then you will be able (capable, competent, qualified) to test (examine, demonstrate, prove, confirm) and approve (endorse, applaud, sanction, certify) what God’s will (volition, intention, choice, purpose) is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Here’s what I believe the Holy Spirit was speaking:

The world is fallen because of sin. Why? Because the human race is fallen because of sin. We are by nature sinful, which means it is easy for us to sin. Get the point? It requires no effort for us to fall short.

We must not conform to what naturally exists within us and around us. We must intentionally seek after the mind of Christ.

Let’s take a deeper look into this scripture passage using some of the example synonyms from above:

Do not (implying we have the choice) adjust to the model of this world but be modified by the correction of your mind. Consequently, you’ll be competent to examine and endorse what God’s purpose is – His good, pleasing, and perfect purpose.

We have to put in effort and consciously choose NOT to adjust our minds to all the ways that we naturally gravitate towards (complaining, judging, criticizing, worrying, doubting, fearing). Instead, we are to be modified by the correction of our mind. There must be a source of correction (Jesus), and we must be intentional in seeking after this improved way of thinking. When we choose Jesus’ way of thinking and rely on His grace (we cannot do this on our own), we will be fully equipped to examine and support what God’s purpose is in our lives. This is powerful.

It is through positive thinking that we align our minds with Christ and can live out His purpose for our lives. Not through negative thinking. Negative thinking robs us of God-given opportunities if we are not intentional in our efforts to rebuke it and seek after the good.

Remember beloved, negative thinking is reactive to the situations around us. Positive thinking is proactive as it confronts the situations around us in truth. In God’s truth of who He is and who we are in Him. 

This is so hard. It’s hard for me to be thankful and to give God praise when I don’t feel like it.

Sin is easy.

It’s easy to complain or to criticize others when I don’t like how my day is going. We call it venting, He calls it grumbling. And we must turn away from it through His grace in order to experience the good purposes He has in store.

Look at how the Lord is instructing us to live each day in the following scriptures:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ” Romans 12:12

“Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17-18

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. ” Philippians 2:14-16

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6 -7

“Finally, brother whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2

“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest who we confess.” Hebrews 3:1

None of these scriptures are possible to model without the grace of Jesus Christ. In the example above, we can see the effects of negative thinking. Stress, exhaustion, and defeat. We can avoid negative thinking by focusing on Jesus and making the deliberate choice of focusing on the positive in any and every situation. We cannot control what happens around us, but we can control what happens within us.

My friends, we are a product of our thinking. And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose!

 

 

Photo courtesy of divineglowinghealth.com

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