22 Aug Wise Ways to Eat the Way God Intended
Have you ever wondered how diets can be as different as night and day and still both be right? With all the contradictory ideas out there, how are we supposed to know how to eat?
There are some eating plans that say all meat is off limits, others that say no breads, there are even some that say particular vegetables aren’t okay. How is a girl supposed to know how to eat healthy?
The answer? We have to be wise. I believe that God cares about EVERY aspect of our lives, He wants us to live healthy lives, full of energy and strength! It seems like something as important as food wouldn’t be ignored in the Bible. And it’s not!
3 Wise Ways to Eat the Way God Intended
Ecclesiastes 10:17 says, “ Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness.”
At first glance, it may seem like this verse doesn’t give us any kind of clues as to what to eat, but in this post, I want to explain why I believe that this verse shows us the way God intended us to eat all along.
When You Should Eat
First, this verse tells us WHEN we should eat: we must eat at a proper time. Diets out there will tell you when to eat, some say don’t eat after 8pm, some say eat every 2-3 hours, still others, like intermittent fasting, say to only eat between certain times of the day.
The problem with these times of diets is that each person is completely different, no one-rule can tell us all exactly when to eat. But God in His wise grace created a plan that was as customized as each of us are. Eating at the proper time—to me—means eating when my body is hungry and stop when it’s full. If you take one thing away from this post, that should be it.
God made our bodies so incredibly smart. He knows that each day will be different from the last. He knows that sometimes we will eat particular foods that keep us full longer, and other times we’ll eat foods that only give us a little energy. That’s why He created hunger and fullness. Talk about a customized eating plan! Our hunger and fullness signals even adjustment for what we do each day. Have you ever noticed how hunger signals go away when you’re sick? Or when you’re super busy and need to get things done? We cater to babies when they’re born and let them determine when they should eat. We do that they’re in touch with their hunger and fullness signals much better than most adults.
If you want a way to eat that doesn’t involve calories or counting, try listening to your body before you eat and if you’re not experiencing feelings of hunger. After a little while, reassess and see how you feel.
What You Should Eat
Next, this verse tells us WHAT to eat. It says, eat for strength. The more you are mindful of how your body feels after eating certain foods, the more you’ll see that certain foods give you a feeling of vitality and energy.
I want you to imagine that you’re on a hike. You start out early in the day, you’re climbing and seeing the beautiful nature around you. You come up to a scenic overlook and the very last thing on your mind is food. As you keep climbing, your stomach starts to growl and you realize that you’ve been so engrossed in your hike that you haven’t eaten all day and you are getting hungry!
You finally make it to the top and there’s a fork in the road. The left path leads to a table filled with soda, candy and chips. The right path leads to fresh cooked fish and corn on the cob. I has ice cold water, picked from the vine tomatoes, and juicy watermelon. Which would you choose? Which foods would give you more energy for the hike back down? Obviously the food to the right.
When we eat foods that make us feel good, those foods end up being foods that God made. I remember eating a trigger food and overeating during my journal to health (a journey I’m still on by the way). It had gluten in it and I have celiac disease. I ate this food and my body screamed at me that it wasn’t “for strength.” I was sick all night, had a headache, a stomachache, and more. Now, I try not to look at foods as good or bad, but rather what will make me feel the best.
How Much You Should Eat
The last part of this verse may seem odd, but it tells us HOW MUCH to eat. It says, “[eat] not for drunkenness.” That may seem a little harsh, but I’m convinced that food is the good girl’s drug. We use it in the same way other people use drugs and alcohol. And if we want to be wise, we need to stop.
Consider Thanksgiving: most people gorge themselves on all the turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. After you eat to excess, how do you feel? You feel lethargic, foggy, and sleepy. Aren’t those some symptoms of getting drunk? Eating in extreme excess results in the same feelings as drinking in excess.
As we begin to listen to our bodies, and we heed our body’s hunger signals, then we’ll start to experience fullness as well. We can be mindful of these bodies God has given us and only eat when we need to be satisfied and avoid eating in excess.
There’s a deeper part of satisfaction that comes to my mind, too. Psalm 107:9 says that God “satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” It’s God ultimately satisfies us. He’s the only One that can heal pain. It has been my personal experience that when I eat to excess, it’s because of a deeper pain. If you find that you’re consistently overeating, go to Him and ask Him to reveal to you why you’re eating and then let Him heal the hurt that food cannot.
There’s one more verse I want to share with you today:
1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whatever you eat or drink do it all for the glory of God.”
Our lives can be living proof of who God is, and He is FREEDOM. For so long, I let food control me and I didn’t eat for God’s glory. I’m not perfect, I still struggle, and there are definitely days when food still controls me. But I choose to let that struggle lead me back to the One who truly satisfies.
Being wise about the way I eat means that I’m not overeating AND it means that I’m not extreme dieting. I choose to let love guide my health journey instead of hate for my body or fear of the future.
Don’t Be Discouraged
I’m so thankful that God is a God of mercy. Each person’s journey to health is unique and there are no linear journeys. We would all like to get from point A to point B with zero trouble, but there WILL be bumps in the road. The best wise advice I can give you comes from Joshua 1:9:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We can hit a bump in the road and still stand strong in His strength because He promises us to to be with us wherever we go.
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