Making Choices

As a simple matter of stewardship all of us make choices on how best to take care of that with which God has blessed us. We do this with our material possessions, we do this spiritually and we also do it with the blessing of our physical bodies. Yet if we’re honest, the choice that we make most often is to choose not to choose, at least not today. As I mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, that’s what I’ve been doing when it comes to diet for a long time and I think it is safe to say that my wife has done the same thing: That stops now.

Living as we do in a Western culture, we are blessed with a great many dietary choices, certainly with abundance of supply, and that can make choosing a little more difficult. Yet when you really get down to it, there really isn’t any great problem coming to grips with what we should not be doing. Everyone, doctors, nutritionists, informed laymen, all agree that a diet based around highly processed foods is a choice that bring a series of very serious consequences, either sooner or later. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer have all been linked to such a diet  the evidence is overwhelming. With that being the case, we conclude that continuing in the typical modern Western diet is inconsistent with the Scriptural principles of Christian stewardship.

With that starting point, we further conclude that processed grains, sugars, fats and prepared foods are not in our best interests to continue with and that we need to replace these things with whole grains and vegetables, natural oils and proteins, with a bias toward foods from plants as opposed to those from animals and animal products. In short, we’re going in the direction of Forks Over Knives and away from the Keto process. For me, two things have influenced me the most:

First is the fact that my wife has been ‘prescribed’ Forks Over Knives by her Endocrinologist as a corrective measure because of her serious health issues. A couple of months back, she tried doing this with some success, but found it difficult to get started with and stay on track (she likes to cheat on a diet). At that time, she was provided with materials, including recipes which on inspection revealed very quickly that they were probably medically correct, but put together by someone who simply doesn’t know how to cook. I was given recipes in which the basic culinary techniques required were wrong, and I must confess that I declined to use them for that reason.  Since then we’ve done a lot more research and I can cook the stuff, an important step.

The other thing that has really influenced me in this direction occurred on this blog when I wrote about a recipe that I tried from The Thomas Jefferson Cook Book. In my little discussion about it I happened to mention that it works for Forks Over Knives which led to a ‘conversation’ with fellow blogger Bette Cox who told me that Forks Over Knives had essentially given Bette her life back, reversing the effects of serious health problems. Bette and I have never met in person, but over the years we’ve known each other online, I have learned one thing about her: When Bette tells you something directly, you can take it to the bank; if she says that the approach was a game-changer in her life, she is telling the truth.

Thank you, Bette.

Even with all of that said, I still have a problem with going all the way vegan, and that is the need for B-12 supplements. After all of the harangue about processed foods, taking pills, capsules or drops seems a little off. What is more “processed” than pills, capsules or drops? I don’t care that the label says “natural”, these things are not natural unless you are picking them from a pill tree.

So, I’ll be using small amounts of meat and limited dairy more in the form of a garnish than anything else; meals will no longer be centered around meat. The nice thing about a garnish is that it goes on last, so my wife can decline it if she needs to.

The process I’ve described in these posts was last week’s news. This week was the start. I can report to you that it’s easy, no problem sticking with it; not even a thought. Any time you make a change in life, even one that is intended to be permanent, the initial part can be tough. Old habits have a way of sneaking into the picture when you forget to be intentional with what you’re doing. When that happens early on, it’s easy to trip up, and I only know one way to get around that: You need to have a bit of an attitude. It’s me against “them” and “they” are going down. Obviously, “they” and “them”, sometimes “he” or “him”, are fictional strew-men, not people, but making a head game keeps me on trach for things like this. It works great to finish the job of weeding a big flower bed on a hot summer day too. However you do it, there’s nothing like a little attitude used in a positive way.

That’s my story, thank you for putting up with it. I am confident that we have a sustainable life-change that will yield excellent results and that is entirely consistent with Christian stewardship for both health and finances, since it will reduce our grocery bills in the process. I’ll give another little report at the end of October and let you know how it’s going. In the meantime, if you’ve been thinking that you should also make some changes for health’s sake, I hope this series has been helpful to you.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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8 Responses to Making Choices

  1. My Way Home Life says:

    Well done! Hope this dietary change will bring great results for you.

  2. Bette Cox says:

    Thanks for the mention, Don. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (http://www.dresselstyn.com/) of Cleveland Clinic was instrumental in my lifestyle changes, specifically his work on preventing and reversing blood vessel disease. (PAH is a disease of the blood vessels from the lungs to the heart.) My last cardiac workup showed dramatic improvement in all measurements. My favorite veggie is steamed spinach, a natural vasodilator which helps keep BP normal. I take B-12 tablets 3x a week and monitor blood levels. Be blessed in your own adventures. 🙂

  3. photojaq says:

    I’m a terrible cook, even when reading recipes. EVEN with companies like Freshly and Sun Basket help (where they send fresh ingredients, recipe cards, and you prepare them.) Besides that… I don’t LIKE to cook. (All that work, dirtying the kitchen, plates, pots & pans, with a 10 minute eating process (there’s just two of us), then all the clean up of above stuff (and more) afterwards.
    Processed, or semi-processed stuff is so much easier. (I try not to go overboard, tho.) Going to a restaurant is ever better.
    Is there any help for me?
    I guess a serious illness would do it, right?)

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