I have been doing a series for this blog called “Sweating for the End” to motivate you (and me!) to see exercise as an important aspect of end times prep, and also just as an invaluable practice for general health and well-being. I wrote my first post because I myself was getting out of shape and needed to get going again, and my second post was some tips I’d come up with on getting started after successfully getting back into a workout routine myself. Since then I’ve been training even harder-my husband even got me a special workout band so I can train for pull-ups, and he has been having me do 5 sets of 10 a day, if you believe it! I can definitely see a huge difference, I should be able to do a real pull-up soon, woo-hoo!
Anyway, today I wanted to write about the big huge intimidating topic: food. Food is my biggest weakness. BUT like the fitness post, I wanted to report that I have, after many years of horrible eating, been able to reform my diet and for the first time in ages, possibly ever, feel like I have control over my eating habits.
I’ve always eaten pretty healthy…well, healthy ingredients, at least. My husband, who does physical labor for a living and works out nearly daily when he gets home, is in fantastic shape, while I had been feeling like pudge central this past year. And the answer is simple: I just ate too darn much. I eat organic, whole, grass-fed, non-GMO, no preservatives, additives or sugar, and yet, if its just too much, and a poor balance of foods as well, it will still not necessarily be the best diet.
Simple overeating is a very common problem for women at home, especially with small children, we are in our kitchens constantly, tempted by the delicious calorie-rich foods our children eat…or reject. Let me tell you, it was pretty darn hard to just throw out those organic potatoes smothered in grass-fed cheddar or sourdough pancakes with gravy and chicken, and my kids rarely eat all the food I prepare for them. I also had been very lazy about food prep for myself, eating what I make for my growing kids and calorie-destroying husband, snacking throughout the day instead of making lunch. I would often not track my calories, but when I did, I realized that although I thought I was eating moderate helpings of healthy things throughout the day, I was really just piling on the calories because I wasn’t keeping track.
This is a huge point of guilt for me, especially when it comes to preparation for the end times, particularly spiritual preparation. I know that I am eating more than I need to. And I also know there will come a day when I might have much, much less than I need. When my husband and I lived off-grid, food was limited and we only ate what we needed. Needless to say I was in much better shape, not only because I was still in my early 20’s but because we did not have a car or much money so our food needed to last until we were able to get more. These days we have more than enough access to calorie-rich food but it just hit me really hard recently that we’d save money and I’d lose weight if I simply ate what I needed, not what I wanted.
But I also know I sorely need to develop the discipline of self-restriction now so that I’m not caught off guard in the future. Bible prophesy tells us that food will be scarce in the final days, and sensibility will tell us that in the wake of any great disaster food supplies will be limited. And given I have terrible self-control when it comes to food, I was determined to nip that in the bud now and get my body used to surviving on a more reasonable calorie supply for someone my size.
My personal plan was this: for three weeks, I would stick to these rules:
- no grains (nooooooo!)
- no dairy (aaaaahhhhh!)
- no takeout
- 1300 calories a day (hoooongry)
- one slice of sourdough a day (woo-hoo!)
- one helping of yogurt (happier already!)
The reason for my grains and dairy cheat is this: I would like to heal my gut and train myself to eat less grains and dairy. I am not a believer in the paleo diet although I know it works great for some. I think the reason is that grains and dairy can wreak havoc on the gut, especially non-organic, GMO, or poorly processed grains are consumed in large amounts. I do believe that both grains, when they are whole and either sprouted, soured or soaked to reduce the naturally occurring anti-nutrients that make them so hard on the digestive system, and dairy, when it is full fat from grass-fed animals, are wonderful sources of calories and nutrients, but that I personally was just eating too much. I wanted to center my diet around plants. My favorite food adage is from the secular author Michael Pollan who writes in his wonderful book The Omnivore’s Dilema: “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Think about it: in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve sustained themselves entirely on plants. We don’t even know if any humans ate meat before God told Noah he and his family could consume animals.
There was also another factor here which I will write about another time, but I started taking a probiotic that kills candida, a naturally occuring digestive yeast that can grow out of control and cause big sugar and carb cravings. Within a few weeks, my desire for these foods and my inability to control food binging has all but vanished. When I used to daydream about ice cream or chocolate, I can actually keep these things in the house now and not even think about them, and not even eat them when I serve them to my family. It. Is. AMAZING. This is the probiotic, it’s a Christian multi-level marketing company that sells it and I am not an avid believer in this product (you will also help a good friend of mine out if you purchase through that link). I had tried to control my candida in the past and this has completely changed the way I feel in a matter of weeks.
Since I have been focusing more on fresh fruits and veggies, taking this wonder probiotic, and focusing on reasonable portions of healthy fats and carbohydtrates, but more importantly, since I simply took this issue to the Lord and asked for power over my fleshly desires to carbo-load, I’ve been amazed at the difference. I feel so much better, my appetite has dropped, I am regularly eating portions that are appropriate for my caloric demand, and I lost five pounds almost instantly.
So if you are struggling with diet and weight, I want to tell you this: you are not alone. You have the God of heaven on your side and not only does He have the power to heal your body, He has created for His earth a multitude of amazing and nutritious plants to nurture us. If we rely on the forms of plants that honor His creation and use humble methods of stewardship, these plants are so much more nutritious, healing and delicious. He has also given us permission to consume his animal creation, and there are simple and healthy ways to do so that don’t involve tons of hormones, additives, chemicals and earth-destroying methods of farming. Cows are designed to eat grass, chickens designed to eat grass and bugs, and you can tell the difference in the meat, eggs and dairy. But bear in mind we are fallen, and everyone has different issues with health and appetite and digestion, but everyone can improve their gut health and overall body function, at least somewhat. You don’t have to do it all at once, it takes time. It takes making simple changes in your ingredients, noticing your eating patterns and making an exerted effort to change it, and finding ways to enjoy your food rather than restrict it.
As I said, this was a spiritual issue for me, I was taking the amazing food I have been blessed with access too for granted and being a glutton. I was in sore need of humbling and as a result, I now appreciate every morsel of nutrition rather than hate myself for eating too much of it.
So most of all, you can take it to the Lord. You can pray for guidance and help. And you can, by His grace, take charge of the way you eat, for His honor and Glory.
Please let me know if you need prayer or guidance on food or health issues, or would like to see another aspect of diet and health discussed on this blog!