Synchronicity is a funny thing. A couple of weeks ago, I launched a biblically-based health coaching group for teenagers at our church Co-op. At the same time, I decided to jump on board with Eleven22’s Daniel Fast. I found myself digging into bible, searching for God’s principles for living well, starting with food. What I’ve found to be fascinating is how simple eating for wellness actually is, despite how complicated it seems when you rely on Google.
Genesis 1:11-12 says: 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. (3rd day of creation)
Genesis 1:29 says (to man): Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
Psalm 118 says: God is for me. Romans 8:31 says: If God is for us, who can be against us?
God wants us to be well, and live life abundantly (John 10:10). He gives us the answer for how to eat to thrive and be well, and it is the simplest principle– eat the foods from the earth. Exactly what the Daniel Fast entails.
And so as I dove into these principles, my heart not only embraced the Daniel Fast, but warmed to it. [For those who are not familiar with the story of Daniel, he was captured in his homeland and brought to Babylon to train to serve the king. The plan was to feed the men in training the king’s “choice food” (including rich meats, sweets, etc.). Daniel and his friends did not believe those foods would be honoring to God, and asked special permission of the guard to eat only foods from the earth. The guard didn’t want his head on a platter if these men became weak, but Daniel talked him into a 10-day trial of only vegetables and water, and at the end of 10 days the men were more well – stronger, more healthy, more wise…] And as I embraced it (confessing I was concerned about being hungry, not sleeping well, etc.), it was funny that, yes, I felt even better. I slept better, had more energy, and my digestive struggles lightened.
So foods from the earth – vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains. If it grows on a plant or tree, it works for the Daniel Fast and (trusting God’s goodness) it works for our bodies.
Life has progressed, and I’m not suggesting any foods outside of these parameters should be off limits. But early man ate for survival, for fuel. But there also was a time of feast and celebration (rich meats, sweets, etc.). Based on a rough estimation, I’d argue this fits nicely with the 90/10 rule, or even 80/20. 80-90% of the time, choose foods from the earth, leaving room for times to choose based purely on feasting, pleasure, celebration. Everything in moderation. And we are more likely to be well.
Sound hard? Sound un-fun? Maybe. [Sorry for being harsh, but…] the way I look at it, cancer, autoimmune diseases, hormonal chaos, diabetes, heart disease and having a poor quality of life as we age sounds kind of hard and un-fun too. I’m not saying that making a shift toward clean, whole food will guarantee you will not face these things (there is so much more to wellness than good nutrition alone), but science is showing more and more that holistic, natural methods, including foods from the earth, are reversing such diseases. So it stands to reason they can prevent them too. Food is medicine!
Do you trust God to bring you physical healing through His life-giving foods? What small step can you take to make a shift in your approach to eating?