Happy New Year! It’s the most wonderful time of the year. You know….that time when we make promises about all of the things we are going to change in our lives. Fitness facilities love this time of year because they get an influx of new members. The regular gym rats hate this time of year because their happy place is overrun with short timers who get in their way. It seems that health and fitness are at the top of almost everyone’s list this time of year.
Not be left out, I thought I’d kick off the New Year with a little focus on your diet. No, I don’t mean diet as in the food tricks you use to shed a few pounds, but diet as in what you consciously (or unconsciously) choose to put in your body.
In 2011 I did a 3 part book review of Mark Bittman’s book Cooking Solves Everything It’s a short book and an easy read. One reviewer shared “Bittman argues that a simple meal prepared at home is a powerful tool: It’s one small step toward improving your health and, by extension, the health of the planet. Our reliance on prepared food—in the form of snacks, soft drinks, frozen meals, and fast food—supports a system of agriculture that is playing havoc with our bodies, our economy, and the environment. How can we break the cycle? By cooking.”
Bittman’s book was actually the inspiration for my own short kindle book entitled 10 Reasons Christians Should Care About What They Eat In that book, I examine how making conscious food choices makes us better neighbors (from a local and global perspective), better stewards of the earth’s resources that God has entrusted us with, and better Christians overall.
I’ve become fascinated with this whole concept of eating in a way that is biblically sound. By that I don’t mean trying to replicate the way they ate in the Bible. The world is a different place and that is not realistic. Instead we should focus on the principles that guided everyday decisions, including food choices. In biblical times (and even as little at 150 years ago) people were much closer to the food they ate. They grew their own crops and raised their own meat. That is why so many parables in the Bible were about farming, that was something most people could relate to. Jesus did a lot of his teaching around having meals with people and building relationships. Even the apostle Paul included a discussion about eating in his efforts to encourage followers to reach out to all kinds of people. There is some power in food that goes beyond the basics of what you eat; the “how” and the “why” have some significance too.
I’ve found 4 books on Amazon that I plan on reading over the next couple of months. I’ll write reviews for them to see if we can shed any light on this issue about the power of food and eating in a way that is biblically sound (if there is such a thing). If you want to get a head start they are listed below. For the record (lol), I’m not formally recommending any of these books because I haven’t actually read them. But I have bought them and they are queued up in my Kindle to read.
What Would Jesus Eat?
This book notes the obvious health benefits of what Jesus ate. Dr. Don Colbert reveals the sensible approach to healthy eating laid out by the ultimate role model. Readers will discover:
- Why foods forbidden in the Old Testament are unhealthy
- Jesus’s favorite foods, including “fast foods” and dessert
- The health benefits of foods Jesus ate, and the health risks of foods He avoided
What the Bible Says About Healthy Living
In a world infatuated with junk food and fad diets, why have we overlooked the simple instructions provided in the Bible that have guided people for thousands of years toward better health? You don’t have to be Jewish or a Christian to find wisdom for healthier living in this doctor’s scripturally based book on eating and feeling better, and living longer. You’ll learn the truth about grains and nuts, and the ins and outs of meat, fat and sweeteners. Discover why beverages can be the elixirs of life or death. The principles here will help anyone who is sick and tired of feeling sick and tired find energy, freedom from illness and more vibrant health.
God-given Foods Eating Plan
This book studies different food groups, with a chapter devoted to each major classification of foods. First the Biblical evidence is considered, then modern-day scientific research. Foods are classified as “God-given foods” and “non-God-given foods.” A healthy eating plan is composed of a variety of God-given foods and avoids non-God-given foods.
The Eden Diet: You Can Eat Treats, Enjoy Your Food, and Lose Weight
According to Rita Hancock, author of The Eden Diet, you can have your cake and eat it too, even on a reducing diet. When you eat your treat in small portions, without guilt, and in response to true, physical (not emotional) hunger, a little cake goes a long way to satisfy you. Attuning to your body’s hunger signals also helps you respond to its instinctive call for healthy food to balance out the occasional treats. Dr. Rita’s approach is based on her Ivy League training in nutrition, physiology, and obesity psychology, but is reframed in her strongly Christian convictions about how to live the way God intended—physically healthy and free of the cultural obsession with food, eating, dieting, and thinness.
Note: All book descriptions were taken from the book’s entry on Amazon.com.