Breaking the bondage of food addiction

It is the new year and if you are like many Americans, you wrote a list of new year resolutions. If you are like me, you may have a resolution that involves the food you eat or the weight you want to be. If you asked most people, they would tell you that health is one of the top three priorities in their life. I would argue it should be at the top of that list because without your health, there really isn’t any chance of addressing anything else on that priority list. Some would say God should be at the top of the list, but I am of the belief that he should be right in the center of each of my priorities.

 

God is at the center of the importance I place on my health. I live a healthy lifestyle and honor my body because I want to be used by Him as much as possible and for as long as possible. That means, I need energy and a long life. God is my healer and I believe He gave each of us an innate healing ability within our bodies and so I make choices to support that healing and not interfere with it.

 

One interference to our body’s ability to heal is our too-often poor food choices. I am not perfect in this area. I struggle often with knowing what is good and right for my health and then actually doing those said things. We all know that an apple is a good food choice and that a donut is a bad food choice. But why then do we often pick the donut and not the apple?  

Last week, I wrote a blog about gluttony and how it has been said to be an “accepted vice” within the church. Could choosing to satisfy our cravings and desires over what we know to be the right choice for our health be a form of gluttony?

In Philippians 3:18-19 Paul wrote, “As I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” Could “god is their stomach” be gluttony in the sense that they “set their minds on earthly things” like food and drink? I do not want my stomach to be my god. I do not want to be at the mercy of my cravings.

I challenge you this year, 2017, to take back control over the foods you eat and choose to nourish your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit that it is. This is not easily done. If you have a standard American diet (acronym S.A.D.) you most likely eat plenty of processed food, food additives, loads of sugar, and foods that are low in nutritional density. These foods are addictive, create havoc in your body, imbalance your hormones, and cause inflammation. In general, a healthy nutrition plan would focus on foods made by God and would eliminate processed foods, or so called “foods by man.” Hint: contrary to popular believe God did not make mac and cheese. Or, at least he did not make that blue box filled with preservatives, artificial neon orange coloring, simple carbohydrates, and powdered cheese-like product.

The healthiest and most nutritious foods you should fill your body with are vegetables, fruits, non-processed nuts and seeds, healthy fats and oils, and quality protein. Quality proteins from animals should be ones naturally raised and organic as much as possible. Our standard American diet is very low in healthy fats and these healthy fats are often considered one of our biggest nutritional deficiencies. Examples of good fats are eggs, coconut and coconut oil, avocado and avocado oil, olives and extra virgin olive oil, wild caught fish, and raw nuts and seeds. Bad fats to stay away from would be any oils that are  “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”, rancid oils such as corn oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil, and trans fats like margarine or shortening.

When most people think of carbohydrates they think of breads and pastas, but carbohydrates can also be found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. The healthiest carbohydrates come from whole fruits, vegetables, and complex grains rather than from refined carbohydrates such as white sugar, flour, bread, and rice. Refined grains (think wheat, white rice, pastas, cookies) turn to sugar in the body very quickly and disrupt our hormones cycles. The faster a carbohydrate turns to sugar in the body, the higher that food’s number will be on the glycemic index. High glycemic foods and refined sugars cause elevated glucose in our blood, which in turn elevates the hormone insulin, which leads to fat storage, premature aging, degenerative diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation of the arteries.

Sugar addiction is a real thing. Studies have shown that our brains show addiction to sugar as strongly as addiction to cocaine! Sugar is also largely responsible for America’s obesity epidemic. It lowers the immune system, feeds cancer cells, and is considered an “anti-nutrient” because it has only an insignificant amount of vitamins and minerals while robing you of nutrient stores. Because of sugar’s addictive qualities and the negative effects it can have on our bodies, I suggest challenging your nutritional habits and try a grain-free and sugar-free diet for periods of time. You may not even know the addiction you have to foods until you give these two foods up.

Benefits of cutting sugar and grains out of your diet include: increase in energy (usually after the first 7 days), clearer skin, improved hormone balance, elimination of brain fog, loss of body fat, and a decrease in inflammation. You can find a 21-day Nutritional Reset Plan HERE with suggested food plans and recipes. The 21-day Nutritional Reset is a plan I have taught in my office and incorporates clean, “God-food” eating, with intermittent fasting. There are numerous health benefits to intermittent fasting that I will review on my next blog post. Use the fasting times throughout the day to pray, listen to God, and draw strength from Him in overcoming any addictions you may have to unhealthy foods. Put these bible verses on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, in your car, or anywhere you need reminders of God’s power and victory over food.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

 

 

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

 

 

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)

 

 

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36 (NIV)


“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” – John 6:35 (NIV)

 

 

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