Fuel-Up with Foods as God Made Them
By Laurette Willis –
How processed or close-to-nature are the foods you regularly eat?
Quick quiz: Which meal would you say is closest to its natural state?
a. Fresh fruit cup; raw vegetable salad w/lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar and flax seed oil); whole wheat tortillas with beans and steamed veggies.
b. Raw veggie salad with “lite” salad dressing; cooked salmon w/lemon juice; frozen veggies with cheese; brown rice; fruit dessert.
c. Iceberg lettuce and tomato with sweet an’ creamy Italian dressing; instant macaroni and cheese (just add water!); canned peas; Sara-licious Put-On-The-Pounds cake.
d. Fast food burger (with lettuce, tomato and pickle—those are vegetables, aren’t they?); French fries (medium-size, I’m watching what I eat); frozen dessert (what is that anyway?); diet soda (to wash it down quickly please, I’m driving).
You may have noticed our menu became increasingly more processed and further away from its natural state as our list progressed.
Okay, we’re modern people; we don’t live in ancient times. How can we possibly WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do?”) when it comes to food? Actually, it’s a lot easier than you think. You know what has helped me make changes in this area? Knowledge. While the world says, “Knowledge is power,” God says through the prophet Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6 NKJV). Either way, both knowledge (information) and wisdom (understanding how to apply that knowledge) are valuable, necessary and available.
Let’s look at one of the blights of modern life: processed food. Some of you may be thinking, “But processed foods are convenient! I thought conveniences were blessings not curses!” True, thanks to the joys of technology, most of us don’t have to till the soil, grind the wheat and kill the fatted calf to feed our family. I’ll admit I’d rather reach for a box of raisins at the supermarket rather than grow, harvest and dry the grapes myself. Many conveniences are blessings. Goodness, where would we be without air conditioning and electric lights? Sweating by candlelight I suppose.
Certainly not all processed foods are bad for us either. In fact, processed food is mentioned in the Bible. Bread (processed grain) is mentioned as early as the third chapter of Genesis. Bread is meant to be a blessing; otherwise Jesus would not have referred to Himself as “the bread of life” in John 6:35.
Simply put, the further the food is from its original state, the more processes it has gone through, the more preservatives and chemicals are added to increase its shelf “life,” the less nutritional value there is for our bodies to use. Also, the more potentially harmful these non-food items become as our bodies struggle under the weight of the toxic load.
Simple Plan: Alternate the days when you will eat the more processed foods with days when you will have a diet closer to “God-made” less processed foods. For example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday can be cleaner “God-made” foods days, while Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday can be the days of the week you allow yourself to eat more processed foods. Balance is key. This way you won’t feel deprived or depraved!