I personally know how difficult it is to be a Christian and come face-to-face with Paleo eating, so it was so refreshing for me to read this guest blog post from Alicia Wood a certified Holistic Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Much food for thought here on how to eat for health and well-being.
I was reading Chris Kressler’s newsletter the other day and he spoke of how he believes in Ancestral Nutrition and the Paleo Diet. That got me to thinking; I also believe in Ancestral Nutrition but from a very different perspective than he, from a Christian perspective.
The Paleo argument is that we evolved, started as meat eaters, then gradually developed agriculture, that agriculture is “modern” but we should be “primitive” and not eat grains. The Paleo Diet eschews grains. Chris Kressler says he feels better if he eats no grains.
Now, first of all, if you feel better when you eat no grains, then, by all means, eat no grains. I believe we are all bio-individual and if someone feels worse from eating grains, better when they don’t, then they should obey their body’s wisdom.
What is my Christian perspective on Ancestral Nutrition? I don’t believe in evolution. It is only a theory, not science. Actually, it is very poor science and should be discredited scientifically. There is no support for macroevolution (only microevolution, which we see around us every day) in the fossil record. God created us as vegetarians, actually, eating only fruits and vegetables, no meat nor grain, as we see in Genesis 1:29 “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of.” I claim they didn’t eat bread yet because they were still naked, only had the Garden, no oven, utensils, etc. Just before Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden, God said to Adam, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread”, (Genesis 3:19). There was still no meat eating at this time. So bread was introduced into man’s world very early on. After the Flood of Noah is when we began to eat meat. God gave us many dietary rules and restrictions but in the New Testament, to Peter, in a vision, God told him that no food was now considered “unclean”. For this reason, and because of my training from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I don’t believe in food restrictions, diets, foods being called “bad”, nor the emphasis on “super foods”. Food is food, given to us by God, all good for us (except that to which we are allergic or react badly to). That said, we need to eat God’s food, not poisoned and adulterated food foisted on us by the Food Industry.
To eat ancestrally is to eat according the way those before us, who were healthy, who thrived, who survived to pass on their genetic material to us, who were not fat, didn’t need braces, didn’t have dental cavities, nor degenerative diseases – to eat the way they did.
How did they eat? They ate 3 meals a day, not “6 small meals a day”, not “grazing”. Snacks were not important nor significant. They ate at the same time every day; (In this country breakfast was at 8:00, lunch at noon, dinner at 6:00.) Watch black and whites movies. No one is fat. Older people might be a little plump, that’s all. The stars are very thin, with thin arms, legs, necks. Why? This is not just preferential casting. I lived at that time (1970s) and we talked in whispers about the one or two fat people we knew. They were rare. The people at that time ate, at very regular times, and dieting hadn’t caught on yet. So why were they thin? High Fructose Corn Syrup hadn’t been invented yet. So if they had a cocktail, a coke, a piece of bread, there was no High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. Anything that was sweetened was sweetened with sugar. Sugar is no health food! Sugar cane is a healthy food like any other, but refined sugar is highly processed, therefore not healthful. Yet it is nothing compared to HFCS for making people fat with diabetes.
Because mothers were almost all at home, everyone was served breakfast before they left the house with their packed lunch. When they came home at night, dinner was served. This is a huge challenge for us. We must become creative in making ways to have 3 homemade meals a day and not default to fast food and restaurants that are only very slightly better than fast food. We have to read labels and only eat food that we know the contents of because we have read the label and made it ourselves.
The American diet came to us from England and Europe with some processed foods even back then. The Native Americans and Africans, who had more traditional diets, were much healthier. The processed foods brought to us were sugar and white flour. In Europe the nobility ate white flour by having their servants sift the flour many times until all the bran and germ were removed and only the starch remained. The peasants didn’t have time for this foolishness so they ate really dark, whole grain bread, so dark it was called “black bread”. White bread was considered a desirable delicacy for this reason.
Little Tommy Tucker
Sings for his supper
What shall we give him?
White bread and butter.
The point of this nursery rhyme is that Tommy sang so well that he deserved bread set aside for royalty. The royalty, by the way, were notorious for being insane. That was brought on by eating grains stripped of B vitamins, crucial for mental health. The Native Americans sweetened some foods with their invention, maple syrup. Maple syrup is somewhat refined by definition, but nowhere near as refined as white sugar, thus much healthier, albeit in small amounts.
The Bible makes it clear that sweets are to be eaten very moderately, “Hast thou found honey? Eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.” (Proverbs 25:16)
We have even more assaults on our health by the Food Industry:
- Trans fats, created during World War II by exposing oils to high heats which causes the molecule to distort out of shape, becoming indigestible and harmful
- Food cooked in vegetable oils which are not designed for cooking rather than saturated fats which are appropriate for cooking and a few vegetable oils good for cooking like grapeseed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil.
- Genetically modified food
- Synthetic colorings and flavorings made from petrochemicals
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31)