<![CDATA[This past week I had a very frustrating conversation. I was browsing in a bookstore with a family member. She talked about how she wanted to do something to help her mother with her health, especially to get her off some medications. She said she was looking into alternatives to conventional medicine. I readily agreed and mentioned a couple of alternative practices that helped me. She didn't seem interested and proceeded to the "new age" section of the bookstore. At this point we parted ways because I wanted to browse a different section. When we were heading to the checkout, she again mentioned helping her mother. I gently asked if she had talked to her mother about the foods she eats and mentioned an older couple who seemed to greatly benefit from eating organic fruits and vegetables. They had both lost considerable weight and the wife was able to stop medications she had taken for years. This story was met with...silence. Bill and I have seen this on the "other side." When we've talked to church leaders in our area about the health of a congregation and than shared health education resources - church-sponsored programs, mind you - that can help members reclaim their health, we get...silence. And, like my relative who wants to resort to more "other worldly" approaches to healing, we've watched church leaders send out appeals for prayers for members who are afflicted with pain and suffering obviously linked to poor diet choices - yet they never address the need to change the underlying habits that caused the condition in the first place. It's as if health and food are not at all linked. However, these same people, if you told them you were going to add a little sugar to their car's gas tank, would react in horror. Why? Because we would be feeding the car something that was damaging. So why don't they see that the wrong foods also damage the human body? Another take on this would be a church where a number of the members had serious alcohol abuse problems. Would the congregation send out pleas for prayers - and nothing else? Or would they consider starting an alcohol education or 12-step program at the church? Such a program would not single out anyone but would have the effect of improving the health of the entire church body. Same thing with a health program. Why is there such a disconnect - an inability to see that food is fuel for the body and that our cells need the right kind of food to properly function? My great grandmother is someone who didn't get the right kind of food and she died from a terrible disease called pellagra. There were three symptoms to this disease - four if you count death - that were called the three D's: dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia. An awful way to die. What caused it? A dietary deficiency - not enough niacin. Imagine the condition of the body cells of people who consume the Standard American Diet of over-processed, fat-laden, sugar-filled, chemically-enhanced "food-like substances." The effect might not be as dramatic as pellagra, but the SAD diet lacks proper nourishment for our bodies. Yet when a conversation turns to food and someone mentions eating a more healthy, wholesome, natural diet, silence often ensues. The silence really baffles me. (Source: Renaissance Garden – Thanks Cherie!)]]>
Food and Health: You Are What You Eat
by Chérie Guerrant | Apr 30, 2013 | Features, Food & Agriculture, Health and Body | 6 comments
I think that this disconnect my stem from a deeper disconnect – the idea that you what you do has little importance in your spiritual life (so you just have to believe, or mentally assent to, certain things, and then have enough “faith” that God will just zap you and fix all your issues). If that’s our general approach to the Christian life, it’s not surprising that people would neglect their health and then pray to God to heal them from the effects of their poor choices. Granted, not all health problems stem from this neglect, but it’s probably a higher percentage than we acknowledge.
Well said Paul – this is an issue with deep roots in our malformed theology and incomplete view of world.
I agree with Paul’s comment. It is another reflection of the dualism that artificially separates the material and the spiritual. Sadly there is also the fact that much of the contemporary church doesn’t treat destruction of one’s body as a sin/vice/immoral choice.
Hopefully we can help change that.
Cherie, thank you for putting forth truth however that shakes out in helping us to embrace healthy living. We are so thankful for what is being done across America to get back to the land and it’s bounty unaltered by man. As a child in rural Virginia in the mid 40s and 50s we ate what came from the garden and survived childhood illness without the need for a lot of medical help! Penicillin was used only for true infection – that was the main saver of life from a breakdown of the body’s immune defenses. Your food was the main fuel. And by the way, there was NO snacking between meals unless heavy work was involved and then water came first, always. Now people eat and seldom hydrate sufficiently. What is the first thing that is done when someone goes to the emergency room…they immediately start an I.V. to hydrate. However there is another “D” in this discussion and I believe ‘denial’ plays a big part in our approach to faith, mental development, physical fitness and so much more – put me at the head of the list. Been there, done that. The truth is we are spiritual being who live in a vessel meant for fine tuning just like any other piece of equipment or ‘motor’ with a hidden or underlying energy source. I thank God for the knowledge that has come my way through your and Bill’s knowledge of sustainable living….and partaking of the produce of your farm. I’m pretty sure this helped save my life. That and proper hydration. Cherie, the silence comes from being confronted with truth and trying to take it in…that is the way we respond to information that requires something from us. Necessity is the mother of invention – unfortunately we do have the ability to bring into being ill health or make matters worse even for those of us born with defects. Faith in a faithful God and good nutritious food make all the difference! Kudos to you for getting the word out…we are what we believe, eat and drink.
Thanks for the comment Ann! I’m glad to know you are friends with Bill and Cherie – they are great people.