Authored by: Kaylee Springer
Nutrition has become a highly confusing topic. In our current culture, there are more diet trends than ever. Articles are published one day telling us that a food is healthy and the next, it is to be avoided at all costs. There are specialists making different claims every single day. So, who can we rely on to educate us on what we are to eat?
Let’s take a look at how God has called us to eat.
Spoiler alert: God doesn’t have a specific dietary plan that He calls us to follow.
We know that God gave us plants to consume and after the Noahic covenant, God permitted us to consume animal flesh, meat and organs as well. “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you” (Genesis 9:3).
The Bible doesn’t get much more in depth than that if you’re looking to discover whether avocados are healthy or if you should be eating low-carb. The basic principle is, God has given us plants and animals and our diet should consist of those in some form or fashion.
This means that God isn’t concerned about the nuances of dietary choices. God’s will for us is to just eat the things He’s provided.
Our modern world is much more complex than it was in Biblical times, however. We have plants grown in ways now that are likely not how God intended for the Earth to be treated and animals raised in cruel environments that we can certainly conclude is not God’s will.
As Christians, we know that we live in a fallen world. Sin is prevalent and the world now operates in ways that go against God’s desire. Sickness, ailments, pain, etc. are all results of this. God did not intend for us to have chronic issues, piling medical bills and daily discomfort. It is His desire for us to live healthfully.
So, what can we do?
The best things we can eat are the foods that were created by God and not man. This means limiting or avoiding processed foods, vegetable oils, fast food and chemical additives and preservatives. Furthermore, plants and animals that are grown and raised close to how God intended will certainly be more healthy than those that are not.
Here are some action steps we can take to live healthfully and follow God’s will when it comes to nutrition.
1. Treat our bodies well
We know that God calls us to treat our body as a temple. This, of course, refers to more than just food. We are to treat our bodies with respect in many ways, but nourishing ourselves properly is certainly one of them. It is important to care about what we put in our body, because God gave us our body.
We should listen to our body and learn which foods make us feel best. Much like other sin, over-indulging in things that we know aren’t good for us typically leaves us feeling empty and unnourished. Choose foods that make your energy, mood, etc. feel best. When we do this, we’re able to live out God’s plan for us more optimally, as well as be a better version of ourselves when we interact with others.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
2. Don’t stress about food choices
God also calls us to not fret about what we’re eating. It is not God’s intention to have guilt, fear, stress and anxiety all wrapped up in our food choices, yet many of us experience these feelings around every meal.
Once we have a good grasp on eating foods God made for us and limiting things that don’t make us feel our best, we can relax from there. Sure, there will be days that we indulge more than others. We should respect ourselves enough to make those decisions and move on.
Matthew 6:26-27 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
3. Our morality is not determined by the foods we eat
Know this, eating something “bad” does not make us a bad person. This may seem obvious, but our culture truly gives the impression that it does. We use phrases like, “I was bad today” referring to something we ate, or “I’m having a cheat day”. Our food choices in no way imply whether we are a good or bad person. Because someone eats cleaner than you, does not mean they are a more worthy person.
We know that Jesus died for us and that we cannot earn our salvation. Our worth is not in our works.
4. Trust God’s wisdom
God gifted us with intricate, intelligent bodies. He also gifted us with inner wisdom from the Holy Spirit. Our body knows what it needs and we should start tuning in and truly listening. Have faith in your ability to decipher what is best for you in a certain situation. For one person, indulging or eating something outside their norm may not be a big deal, for someone with an illness however, it may not be worth it. Get to know your body, your boundaries and then confidently stick to them when you see fit.
5. Nourish our souls
Just as we must continually keep up with God’s word, quiet times, prayer and church to stay spiritually nourished, we must also choose foods daily that nourish our body optimally. However wonderful eating healthy is though, it is all in vain if we don’t first nourish our soul. Our bodies are fleeting vessels, but our spirits will last forever.
Matthew 4:4–4 But Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘Men shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Kaylee Springer is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant from the Nutritional Therapy Association. She also holds a BA in Communication from Texas A&M University. Kaylee offers one-on-one nutrition consultations, is a public speaker and is the blogger, recipe developer and photographer behind www.fullandwell.com. Also follow Kaylee on Instagram @fullandwell