Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Likely you are getting back into the groove of structured living, and we know that's no easy feat. But, like the start of every other school year, you got this! Today we'll continue our series and discuss the ways our daily diet impacts our health and our spirituality. You've heard it said, "You are what you eat." This adage is entirely true. We are literally made up of the food we consume. So basically, garbage in - garbage out and vice versa.
I'm dumbfounded every single time I hear the western medical community deny any correlation between what we eat and how we feel. How can this be remotely accurate when every single cell of our bodies comes into contact with what we eat? To further muddy the waters, commercial advertising corroborates this paradigm that food is separate from our physical selves by promising easier, more rewarding lives with fast, prepackages, precooked "food", suggesting that eating is just a task that has to quickly be checked off our long to-do list so we can get on with more important things. Take a look at this compilation of commercials geared towards children.
See how the kids are all happier, more energetic and just plain cooler after eating these processed cereals/foods? The messaging is very powerful. These commercials are aimed also at busy parents who lack the time and energy to prepare whole-food home cooked meals for their families. Heck knows the morning will flow much easier if a bowl of dry cereal will get the job done. Trouble is, far too many children are indeed starting their days with bowls of poisonous "dead" food which not only offer them no health benefits, but actually inflame their bodies which severely compromises their growth, development and learning. And the parents..no true understanding of just how serious this lifestyle area is. And that's by design. If the consumer is confused about what's healthy and what's not, they become quickly overwhelmed and default to easy. That's exactly what these big corporations are banking on! The science destroys the false promises of such ads, though. We know for certain that our food supply has grown more and more toxic over the past 50+ years. And more families are eating on the go rather than sitting down together for meals made at home. In 2017, the average American spent over $4,000/year eating out! Suffice it to say that eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) will result in myriad symptoms, illnesses and diseases. And we are never more self-absorbed than when we're sick. So here's where diet ties into our relationship with God. If I am consuming a toxic diet, I am inevitably feeling unwell most, if not all, of the time. I obsess over my symptoms just wishing they'd go away. In that state, I am far less interested in connecting with God, and even more less interested in loving on and serving others (which is at the epicenter of our faith). I'm irritable and cranky, lack energy and vitality and find it near impossible to feel good on a consistent basis. I'm light years away from the person God created me to be, and that's just tragic. Can you relate to this post? Do you struggle with your diet? Have you traded healthy for easy and don't know how to reboot? Well, know that the vast majority of Americans share in this same struggle. You are not alone. And there is a way to start again. The first step is acknowledging that your health is directly tied to your food choices. If you want to feel better, you must eat better. Experiencing more happiness and joy hinges on your health, and your health relies heavily on your food choices and your ability to connect with God and others. A fundamental rule of thumb when assessing the quality of food, ask yourself if God or a factory made it. Will it spoil quickly (e.g., fruit or vegetable) or is it shelf-stable, aka "dead" (e.g. cereal or crackers)? Start there. Clean up your diet - feel better - get reconnected with God and others - live with more joy. And that, my friends, is how Diet and God are connected.