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Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post is from Kimball Young. Kimball is married to a Naval Aviator.  She and her husband have three hilarious and rambunctious sons and a sweet daughter.  Her family is currently stationed in San Diego, CA.  Kimball blogs about food, natural living and holistic health over at www.heavyonwholesome.com

1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Let’s pretend for a moment that you’re the parent of a teenager. It’s his 16th birthday. You and your spouse decide to surprise him with a new car. Not only are you excited to be able to give him something so extravagant as a vehicle that’s all his own, but you know it will be a useful gift: he will be able to take himself to school, baseball practice and to his weekend job at the local bookstore.

But, your generosity and thoughtfulness are met with a very different response than you expect. Rather than excitement and thanks, your son tells you he is embarrassed that the car isn’t the sleek, fast model his buddy just got from his parents. Shock, disappointment, even anger rise up in you and before you know it you’re yelling “You selfish, childish boy! How can you be so short-sighted?” You threaten to return the car, so he quickly apologizes, grabs the keys, and heads out the door.

As the months pass, he frequently forgets to fill the gas tank, neglects to get the oil changed, gets several speeding tickets and finally gets in a car accident that totals the car…and then has the nerve to ask you to buy him a newer car.

Rather than gratitude for what you have given him, rather than careful driving and necessary maintenance, your son has virtually slapped you in the face with his attitude toward the car you gave him.

Isn’t this what we all do when we fail to properly care for the bodies God so lovingly gave us?

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corintians 3:16-17)

Eating a Real Food Diet is an Act of Worship and Praise

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)

When we care about Him, we care about taking care of what He has given us: our bodies, our health and our lives. In practical terms, though, what does that look like?

  1. Eat the best you can according to what you know, what you have access to, and what you can afford. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just do the best you can. God honors our efforts! Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed and do nothing. Baby steps count – you’re heading in the right direction. Also, don’t allow food to become an idol. Make sure the focus stays on honoring God with your food choices and not on the food itself.
  2. Educate yourself. If you’re not already educated about Real Food, make it a priority to learn. Research organic food, GMOs, the truth about sugar, fats, etc. Get back to the basics. Learn how to cook from scratch to loosen your reliance on prepared foods. An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15)images by Woman’s Day
  3. Thank Him. Not just at mealtime, but when you shop for your food, when you prepare your food and when you’re cleaning up the kitchen. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
  4. Teach your children and spouse and friends. Teach kids what nutrients are in what you’ve made and how it helps their bodies. If you don’t know yourself, now’s your chance to learn. Also teach them why it’s important to avoid processed foods and nasty ingredients. Teach them that God’s word tells us our bodies are temples to be cared for with intention. Children have their whole lives ahead of them to be healthy. Start good eating patterns now. Let them cook with you.
  5. Honor Him in what you do and in what you don’t do. That means the next time you’re tempted to make a poor food choice… don’t. It isn’t just about impulse control; it’s about knowing better, then doing better. Take good care of the body He gave you. We were given stewardship of our physical bodies and we should take that stewardship seriously. When we don’t feel good or are sluggish it can be distracting. Health issues can take our focus away from our spiritual relationship with our God.
  6. Be grateful for your health. And if you aren’t in good health be thankful that God has provided you with wonderful, nutrient-dense wholesome foods that will restore you back to health. Use food as medicine. God has provided us with everything we need to prevent illness and even heal in times of illness or injury. He is amazing! While I do believe that modern medicine is useful in the event of an emergency or perhaps in order to treat a chronic or acute condition while researching a more natural approach, I also see modern medicine as a last resort. It is always wise to turn first to our God, the one who created us all (see 2 Chronicles 16:12). After all, He is perfect, whereas man (modern medicine) is not. Seek God’s wisdom for your health.
    When my oldest was a baby and a toddler, he was sick a lot. At the time I thought it was normal – kids get sick. Well, ever since we began to transition away from a typical American diet toward a Real Food diet and away from modern medicine toward natural medicine, he has been sick twice. Twice! He’s 9 now. My 4 year old, 2 year old and 11 month old have literally never needed a sick child appointment with a pediatrician. I attribute their wellness to the fact that they eat a Real Food diet, we make sure they get enough sleep, sunshine and fresh air, and that they aren’t given vaccines or medications. Any minor symptoms they’ve had have been treated with nutrient-dense food and natural remedies.

    I asked a dear friend of mine to share how a Real Food Diet has affected her health. This is what she had to say:

    “Nine years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. It ended up being a pretty long and difficult fight that concluded with a stem-cell transplant. I am so thankful to say that the treatment worked and I have been cancer-free since, but taking in the amount of chemo that I did left my body pretty damaged – most of all my liver. In the years since my transplant, my liver values had always tested abnormal and at the beginning of this year were creeping up alarmingly high for no apparent reason other than the damage they sustained during my cancer years. After hearing Kimball talk on nutrition, my husband and I decided to completely change our approach to food. We stopped having soda in the house and cleared our cabinets of high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and hydrogenated oils. We focused on eating more whole foods as a family, and my husband and I each lost about 30 pounds as a result. In 8 short months, my liver values went from a level that concerned my doctors to testing completely NORMAL. I hadn’t had normal values since before cancer, and my doctors didn’t ever expect to see normal values throughout my life because of my medical history. I am so very thankful that we made this change, that we as a family are eating healthier and are better taking care of ourselves, and that I have experienced a level of healing that I didn’t think would ever happen.

  7. View food as fuel. Going back to the analogy above, no one would dream of attempting to make their car run by pouring Red Bull and Cheetos into the gas tank, yet we think we can get away with treating our bodies no better. It boils down to this: we can choose to either give our bodies the correct fuel now (Real Food) or pay the consequences later. And that payment may be quite literal.
  8. Do not pass judgment on others. We are all on our own journey. Keep in mind that we are all still learning – life is a process, and food is only part of it. Be encouraging to others who don’t know what you know. Set a good example and have an open mind about what you have yet to learn.

Do you keep God as the center of all areas of your life, including diet?

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15 Comments

  1. What a great post! I do believe God created our bodies and he has given us so much in the way of food to take care of them.

    Reply

  2. Wonderful encouragement! My husband and I started our real food journey this past year and it has been amazing! We have always included a great deal of “thanks” in our prayers around meals, but I have not always thought of it in a worshipful way. This post encourages me to transition my heart too. I want to overcome my complaining about fixing dinner when I’m tired after work, or meal planning (not my favorite but really does save time and money when I do it!). Thank you again for the encouragement!

    Reply

  3. Wow, so offensive to those who follow this post who are not religious in any way shape or form. Why does eating healthy and cherishing a healthy lifestyle have to be about religion? So many of these posts exclude those of us who do not belong to the “fold”. Can’t we let it be about health, not conversion, and joining the giant herd of sheep?

    Reply

    • Hi Kristie. I apologize if you are offended by this post, but this is a Christian blog. We do not separate religion from health – that is sort of the point of the whole post. This is simply the perspective we offer. Anyone is welcome to enjoy our site, regardless of faith, but please realize that using insulting phrases like “giant herd of sheep” in a comment about how offensive our writing is is rather hypocritical.

      Reply

    • I am not religious in any way shape or form, and I enjoyed reading this blog post. Eating, as a profound interaction with the continuous transfer of material and life that we are all part of, is also an act of worship for me, recognizing that I am only one ephemeral part of the totality of existence and demanding reverence, respect and reflection, as well as celebration. My reasons are substantially different from Jill’s, but why would that offend me? I’m happier to identify with Jill as both different from me and alike. Speak for yourself, as many of us non-religious individuals find no reason to be offended by another’s choice to share their beliefs openly. There was no evangelizing here. or condemnation of nonbelievers.

      Reply

  4. Amazing post! It took me a minute but after looking at it I realized that the food resembles the body part. God really is creative! I appreciate the writers ability to speak to such as broad category of people and habits and share such an easily overlooked perspective. As to being offended, why do people always get so angry at Christians for simply sharing their point of view, but expect the rest of the world to “accept” their views?

    Reply

  5. As long as eating healthy doesn’t become your “god”. So many people define themselves by their diet…and feelings of self righteousness or condemnation are often the result. Is taking care of our bodies important, yes. Is it THE most important aspect of following Jesus, no. be careful to not invest too much of your life in pursuing (though healthy motives or the opposite) what many righteously make into an idol….food. Love the Lord, & love those who He has placed around you. Flee from sin, idol worship (comfort, control, importance), and selfishness…

    Reply

  6. […] A Real Food Diet is an Act of Worship : Modern Alternative Kitchen […]

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  7. […] MAK – A Real Food Diet is an Act Of Worship […]

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  8. I love this post! I really do feel like I’m honoring God in my diet and exercise by taking care of myself. I love how you put this. Eloquently written!

    Visiting from the barn hop 🙂

    Reply

  9. Love this post! I wanted to “share” it on facebook, but when I did the description was a “viagra/cash loan” spam underneath. I tried just “liking” it and same thing came up. Any suggestions on how to copy and paste the link cleanly to share on facebook?

    Reply

    • Sarah-so sorry about that! We have a virus on our site and it is affecting how things show up (i.e. the viagra ad). You can copy and paste the link and “hide preview” so it doesn’t show the nasty pic! We are hoping to get the virus fixed very soon!

      Reply

  10. Hi Jill,
    I really enjoyed reading your post. I do believe that we need to take care of the bodies that God gave us. Three months ago, my Dr called in a prescription for cholesterol medicine for me, but I decided against and promised myself to get up every morning (5 days a week) and exercise as well as eating more natural foods. I have only lost 7 pounds, but my cholesterol has gone down significantly! Praise God! I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and learning more about how to better care for the body He has given to me.

    blessings……

    Reply

  11. Excellent post! This is something that has been on my mind lately.

    Reply

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