Food Is Not Your God

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A Year Later

So, it’s been about a year now that our family has been on this “whole foods” journey. We started out just eliminating all the processed food I was buying – then I got into more deep things like healthy fats  and natural sweeteners. I’ve kept some things and I’ve ditched some things. I’ve read and watched movies until I was blue in the face and about to lose my mind.

Here’s something you might not know – everything is bad for you. Some people say “eat all the veggies you can!” Others say “watch out for those veggies…if they’re not organic, they can kill you.” Some people say “eat butter!” Others say “don’t eat butter if you don’t personally know the cow that it came from.”

About three months ago, I unsubscribed from most of the whole foods blogs that I was reading. They were NOT encouraging…they were only stressing me out and making me feel like a complete failure. There was NO WAY I could measure up to most of those blogs…and let me tell you something else – I didn’t ever sense that God was the center of their life. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

Image by CeresB

The Truth About Real Food

I’ve sensed something very disturbing in the Whole Foods World…it’s something that has bothered me to my very core and I’m speaking out against it. FOOD IS NOT OUR SAVIOR.

Some blogs and people may lead you to believe that eating the right foods will keep you from getting sick. They might say that if you never eat any processed sugar that you won’t get cancer. They may say that if you stick to only organic foods that you’ll never miscarry a baby. What do I say? I say that we live in a fallen world – none of us are immune from the tragedies that are in it. Sin is a part of our everyday world – and because that sin lives in this world, so will cancer, miscarriages, and sickness.

If it were true that eating whole foods would keep you healthy and free from tragedy, then a drug addict would never carry a baby to full term…and a one-Coke-per day elderly man wouldn’t live until the ripe old age of 95. Food cannot save you – Jesus can save you.

I actually read recently about a woman who was grieving through a miscarriage. In the comments section some people actually had the nerve to question her food choices – to say maybe she hadn’t been on a whole foods diet long enough. They said that next time she should only eat certain things. The NERVE of some people! They should have been extending grace and compassion to this woman – not condemnation….suggesting her baby died because of something she did.

Our Stance on Whole Foods

Is it true that eating mostly whole foods and whole grains is good for you? Yes (at least MOST people would agree on that). I can honestly say that when we eat foods that I’ve made from scratch, we feel better…our health is better – we are MORE immune to sickness…but we’re not totally immune. And I’m not so big-headed to think that I can totally control my life by what I put in my mouth.

God has numbered my days – and no amount of work on my part is going to change the date that He has in mind…nothing I can do will change that when it’s my time to go, I’m gonna go.

Will my days on earth feel better because of what I eat? Sure. But I also know that eating some peanut M&Ms once in a while won’t put me in an early grave either.

Image by pointnshoot

I’m tired of the “grain or no grain” debate. I’m tired of the “organic or regular” debate. I’m sooooooo weary of the “meat or no meat” controversy. Seriously. God put food on this planet for us to enjoy. He also expects us to take care of our bodies – and He wants us to make smart choices.

So, this is where I stand:

-I will feed my family to the best of my ability

-I will cook from scratch and avoid processed foods when at all possible.

-I will still used canned tomatoes, even though the world assures me that I will die an early death because of BPA

-I will buy local produce whenever I can, because it’s good for us, tastes delicious, and because I like supporting the local economy

-I will buy organic foods when I feel like it and when my budget allows. I will not get down in the floor and foam at the mouth if I have to buy a bag of non-organic apples. They’re apples…and raw apples are better than colored, sweetened, and flavored applesauce in Aisle 6. Amen.

-I will pray over each meal that I consume…because I believe that God honors my resolve to feed my family well. I believe that HE is the author of life.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I feel a lot better. You might want to check out the healthy living blogs that I do still read – especially when you need some encouragement in that area. These ladies will lift you up and leave you feeling fresh and wonderful:

Heavenly Homemakers

Keeper of the Home

The Prairie Homestead

Hallee The Homemaker

*See also this article from Christianity Today: The Dark Side of Healthy Eating.

Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. Hebrews 13:9

United We Stand

I also want you to know that I’m not alone in my resolve to stand against people who believe that food is god. I’ve taken this firm stand with some of my very great blogging friends. Pop on over there and see exactly what they have to say too. We thought we had better stand together – so that when the comments come, we’ll be able to stand firm in our resolve.  :lol:

The Humbled Homemaker: We Can’t “Name and Claim” Our Health


Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy: Real Food, Real People

 

The Simple Homemaker: A Realistic Perspective on Real Food in a Very Real World

 

*This post is linked at Fat Tuesday on Real Food Forager, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop on Penniless Parenting, at Healthy 2Day Wednesday on Day2Day Joys, at Works For Me Wednesday on We Are That Family, at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, at Pennywise Platter on The Nourishing Gourmet, at Proverbs 31 Thursday at Raising Mighty Arrows, at Simple Lives Thursday on GNOWFLGINS, at Full Plate Thursday on Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen, at Finer Things Friday on Amy’s Finer Things, at Weekend Whatever on Your Thriving Family, at Real Food 101 on Ruth’s Real Food, at Homestead Barn Hop on The Prairie Homestead, and Tuesdays at the Table on All The Small Stuff.

 


Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her two children, Annie (June 2009) and Andy (August 2012). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more to keep up with her daily antics.

Speak Your Mind

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Comments

  1. I love this post. And I would love to share our story…

    For a long time, I have been praying and seeking wisdom on how to deal with my DH’s borderline high blood sugar. We have always eaten healthy and did the whole grains thing, but nothing would lower my husband’s blood sugar. He was not diabetic but if the situation wasn’t taken care of, he would become one.

    well, a few months ago, I got hold of Wheat Belly (the book) and my husband and I went wheat FREE. Within 3 weeks, my DH’s blood sugar was normal!! Normal!! The only thing we don’t eat is wheat. He still eats potatoes, rice, corn, fruit, chocolate, even candy bar… all that does NOT raise his blood sugar, but WHEAT does. Any kind.. white, whole grains… if it’s wheat it will raise his blood sugar.

    Now, we credit God for showing us the way. We really do! We had been searching and praying and God showed us what to do so that my DH can live a healthier life.

    For each person, it could be a different thing… so yes, Jesus is the Healer… he is the One that knows us and what will make us healthier. He rarely healed people in the Bible the same way. He knew exactly what each one needed. :)

    I appreciate your insights and you taking time to share with us all. :)

    Merry Christmas!

    • I love the stories about how Jesus healed people. I’m sure those standing around rolled their eyes and dropped their jaw when he did the spit thing. lol

  2. love this post! i have a hard time feeling guilty when I only buy some things organic. Especially when feeding my three-year-old it’s so stressing if I dont buy organic I feel like I am not feeding him the healthiest things he could be eating. Thank you for putting things into perspective I love this post!

  3. Thank you! I so appreciate your Christian perspective on this issue. I have been feeling the same way. God bless; thank you for your witness and willingness to share.

  4. Thank you for your perspective. I am working through a “Paleo” diet and although it has helped me to feel better in some aspects, I have struggled with the concept of telling me that God put certain foods on earth that are suddenly “bad” for us. I feel like all foods (that God made) are meant to be received with thanksgiving and enjoyed, so I am not sure where my journey will lead me, but this is something to think on. Thanks again!

    • Sarah, I am very interested in the Paleo diet, so I understand where you’re coming from. I’m not saying that I think all foods are good for you. I’m saying that eating good foods all the time will not save you from sickness or death. It’s because we live in a fallen world that sin abounds. I have no problem with people on Paleo diets…I think it’s very interesting and like the meals they prepare. However, I do have a problem when people think a certain diet will “save” them when only Jesus can save. :-)
      So, continue on with your Paleo eating…especially if you’re feeling great! :-) We just need to remember where our true healing comes from – and all things in moderation. :-)
      I’ve been reading a lot about the Paleo way of eating recently – I think it could help keep certain sicknesses at bay that are genetic…

  5. I so appreciate this post Stacey. I am single with no kids of my own and for some reason read tons of blogs that fall into the category of home-school, Christian, natural living moms. i live and work at an orphange in Mozambique for ten years now and care for, on average, 30 precious little boys, 4-8 years old. I have no control over their diet except what I supplement (my dorm is just one of many – we have about 260 kids altogether so the food comes from the main kitchen). Ok, all that background to say, I read these blogs because the lifestyle appeals to me and I am inspired to implement what I can, into my life and my boys. But I have grown increasingly weary of the sense of food being, well, god to many people, although they would not say that, it is the impression I get all too often. So thank you for sharing your commitment to health and healthy eating but in a balanced perspective! Laura

  6. Thank you for this post. This has been the biggest reason why we haven’t god completely crazy not the “real, whole foods lifestyle” I felt that the time that this complete change would require would take away from ministry and family time. We are slowly making changes and we ultimately trust that God is in charge of our bodies. Another thing that was always a deterrent fr us was church. My husband is a yuth and young adults pastor. If we as a family made a stance that we never eat refined sugar or boxed food, how was I gong to be able to go over when invited Into some else’s home, or join our youth group at pizza night, or enjoy a basket of cookies given to us at Christmas. We just had our third baby and received some wonderful meals from our church family. I would have been robbing them of being able to bless us had we said “no thanks we only eat whole food.”

    • Yes – and it’s for that reason we try to maintain a balanced approach…because I never want to keep someone from trying to bless my family in the only way they know how. :-)

  7. Thank you for expressing what has been the back of my mind..that this has become an idol to some and I have often thought of people in ministry who just can’t keep up with this. I personally follow paleo because of several diagnoses .i have. I try to keep kefir and fermented veggies going, and good fats. But I can not afford the grassfed beef right now. And that’s okay. And yesterday I did in fact have a diet Pepsi….just because ;)

  8. Love this! I have so many friends that have made food or exercise an “idol”. I struggle with my own mini “idols”, don’t get me wrong…but I agree with and appreciate how you’ve put this into words.

  9. I can’t tell you how my shoulders dropped (stress falling off me)after reading this. Hubby has health issues and I’ve been feeling so stressed for trying to make all the “healthy” changes while balancing a tight budget. Thank you so much. I’m bookmarking for future re-reads.

  10. What a great, biblical perspective! God has been extremely gracious to our family. When my husband and I first God married, we had no clue what to do. We weren’t believers (well… we were heretical idolaters), my husband was constantly unemployed, and I was a poor student. So… we didn’t eat very well. I had no idea how to cook (my husband taught me), and our life mostly consisted of canned soups and bagged salads. We got a lot of our canned stuff from the food bank to cut down on our grocery bills (groceries are EXPENSIVE out here in Nova Scotia, Canada). Then God used Way of the Master ministries to humble us and destroy our self righteousness and we started attending a bible believing amazing church when most of the mom’s homeschool and cloth diaper and live frugally and all that stuff. So that was my first introduction into a totally different lifestyle than I was used to. My pastor preaches all the time on enjoying things as good gifts that God gives us, and not to think that other things will save us (ie, jogging every day will save you and guarantee a long life). It is God that sustain our lives. Not our own efforts. But the key is that he uses responsibly and healthy living as a means.

    I know this sounds weird, but the BEST thing that could have happened was my husband’s soy allergy. He has been sickly since he was a child, and has been getting recurrent pneumonia for the last several years. He has always struggled with weight and had to work really hard to keep it off. But then he kind of stopped “struggling” after we got married (LOL!), and became fairly overweight. Last year, my husband’s body decided to put the red light on soy. We couldn’t figure out what was making him randomly throw up in the middle of the night or the morning with horrible stomach pains and diarrhea. The doctor’s thought it was his gall bladder. So then I put two and two together and figured out that every time he ate something with soy in it, he would throw up and have all those problems several hours later.

    That was God forcing us down a whole foods path because he loves and cares for us and knows that I would have never started cooking stuff from scratch unless he gave a slight nudge (okay, maybe shove) into it.

    We have since also figured out that my husband can’t have sesame (same symptoms as soy except he also gets hives), cow’s milk (makes his asthma worse, causes wheezing and a stuff nose), and… gluten! Gluten causes all sorts of problems for him. For him, it causes IBS and swollen joints (the same symptoms as gout), and because of all the irritation in his bowels it also caused him not to absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D (which he was tested to be deficient). No WONDER any kind of sickness that came around he would get it!

    He also had constant (and I am CONSTANT… 24/7) heartburn that never went away. He had to take a proton-pump inhibitor (Rabeprazole) once a day to keep the acid reflux from happening. The doctors just shrugged and told him he had “GERD” (and “IBS” among other things), but now it’s completely GONE!!!

    So since I started cooking from scratch and cut out his known food allergy/intolerances, he has never felt better! And I have slowly been feeling better to. I have a 3 year old and 1 year old, and they are healthy as well. I know what kind of things to look for now with my kids. I figured out my 1 year old can’t have any kind of milk. I introduced cow milk after I stopped nursing her after 1 year and she reacted horribly. Since I cut it out and have been feeding her rice, almond or coconut milk (which I try to make at home), she has been doing great!

    God has been very good to us! I am feeling ambitious this year and I am going to plant a vegetable garden for the first time!! Thanks SO MUCH for your encouraging post!!! :)

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story here! I think everyone can draw great encouragement from your testimony. :-) I’m so glad your husband feels better!!

  11. Constitutionchic :

    I do my best to feed my family in a healthy manner, but it all comes down to what the Bible says–everything in moderation. I like to bake my own bread (we just think it tastes better,) but if we have to eat bread from the store, I know we’ll be fine. I think the question to ask is–does it give glory to God? We can do that whether we are eating ma meal made totally from scratch or take out pizza. We just need to encourage one another and do the best that we can.

  12. My first time here. I absolutely love this post! Thanks for a Christian food blog that makes sense and takes all the pressure off.
    You’re right, most whole foods blogs are nothing less than body, life, and food worship — and I, like you have found them discouraging and extremely stressful.
    I’ll be back! Thanks!

  13. i just want to say THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! for this!!!!! i have struggled with this issue so much. i have been so “gung-ho” whole, organic foods and clean water (NEVER TAP WATER) that i was probably making other people sick! but the last few months i have really began to think about all this. what is the problem with my nice clean water from the tap? how horrible is it that i complain about that while people in 3rd world countries die from thirst and/or drink water laden with dirt. how dare i complain or get “high-minded” about my water source? same thing about food. anyway, i AMEN, SISTER!!! you to all you have said here; yes, we’ll feel better if we eat better, yes, eat local when you can, yes, filtered water is a little better for ya, no, we are not supposed to overindulge in JUNK at every meal every day, etc, etc. AMEN and THANK YOU for writing this!!!!!! and i add this…. when i was pregnant last year with my twins, i was put on a strict diabetic, zero carbs diet (even though i was not diabetic) and at lunch with a friend one day i was agonizing over whether the waiter refilled my unsweet tea with sweet ( i mean, really, really agonizing!!) JUST a refill. my friend said to me: “chill out, dawn!!! even crack babies survive!!!” so i got a grip on the reality of the world and realized, i CAN drink my tea even if there’s a little sugar in there!!! (and my twins DID survive and continue to thrive!) ;)

  14. AMEN. You have voiced so many of the sentiments I’ve felt from the “whole foods” movement. It’s being set up as an idol, a legalistic way to live your life, instead of being seen as a measure of His grace. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  15. I am in tears right now! I have been weighted down and overwhelmed by all of my recent nutrition research. I am a mother of two preschoolers and am trying to learn how to cook from scratch and provide for my family in this area. Just yesterday I had a meltdown and felt like such a failure. You have just helped lift me up. Praise to God…I desperately needed to read this article. Thanks for showing His grace. Love to you in Christ.

    • Aw, Mama…you can only do your best. And don’t let that ever get you down. Take one day at a time. Make one healthy switch at a time…and know that sometimes, it’s gonna be take-out or a sandwich for dinner. God honors our efforts to feed our family to the best of our ability. :-) Chin up!

  16. This is my first time visiting your blog…thank you so much for writing this post! It is often so tempting to think of whole food, organic products, and natural products and remedies as our savior, and when you add to that the pressures of “honoring the Lord with our bodies”–it can be so overwhelming, especially with all of the conflicting views and opinions!

    I appreciate your stance, and your willingness to proclaim that only Jesus can be our Savior–we live in a fallen world, where sin, suffering, and sickness abound–and there is nothing WE can do to change that. Thanks again!

  17. Naomi Hanvey :

    I just found your blog (I was looking for recipes) for the first time today. This post just about made me cry. I am a perfectionist and whenever I read blogs from stay-at-home moms who bake bread with sprouted wheat and only use organic produce, or when I read lists of all the foods to avoid because they contain hormones or pesticides or GMOs, I just feel overwhelmed! There’s no way I can do all of that right. I can’t afford a lot of that stuff and don’t always have time to make gourmet meals (plus occasionally I burn things). Sometimes I just feel so inadequate.

    Thank you, thank you, for reminding me that my worth does not come from what I do but from God who made me and loves me. What a refreshing truth that I need to repeat to myself daily.

  18. Stephanie, thanks so much for sharing your testimony here!!! :-)

  19. Your post here has confirmed a lot of what I feel God has been trying to show me lately about surrendering everything to Him – even my desire to control what goes into our bodies so that we live longer, healthier, etc. Thank you for speaking controlled, balanced truth. God is our Sustainer. Jesus is our Healer. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor. Thank you for letting Him speak through you.

  20. Very powerful and moving. Thank you for your honesty and for showing it through love, not hate or condemnation. God bless! I’m just learning and starting to change my diet after a diagnosis of PCOS. Its so hard to keep everything straight in regards to healthy diet. Its so easy to feel overwhelmed with the list of do’s and dont’s and its even harder to not beat myself up for struggling with my diet. Thank you for shining Gods grace through your post! This was very encouraging, thank you!

    • If you’ve not heard of Trim Healthy Mama, I would suggest you check it out….I know people with PCOS have been very successful with it. :-)

  21. Stacy you are so right on about this food is not your god. I am the first to tell you that life happens. I ate very well thru both of my pregnancies. I breast fed both of my babies for a long time. I made all of their food from scratch and guess what! They both got type 1 diabetes within 5 months of each other this past year. People are quick to ask me if I gave them too much sugar and I always answer NO. They were kids that hardly ever got candy or any junk. I’ve learned that there is an inherent risk in living and everyone gets something. Auto immune things are on the rise and it’s beyond what we are eating. I thank God for modern technology and that my kids can live a good and long life with insulin now that their pancreas’ don’t produce it any longer. I no longer take anything for granted. I’ve learned so much and to be more compassionate to others around me. You are right that everyones days are numbered and God is the one who decides. Yes we do feel better when we eat well. Yes we continue to eat a healthy diet but we’re living proof that there are no guarantees and that no one goes thru life unscathed. In some ways I guess I used to be judgmental when I saw people with health problems and thought it must be their diets until it happened to us.

  22. Thank you! This came at just the right time for me. I have fibromyalgia and I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only person that feels this way. Totally agree with you!!

  23. Such a great post, Stacy! I had to laugh out loud at some of your statements because they so deeply reflect my own thoughts, beliefs, and experiences! I remember spending almost an entire year completely engulfed in every food documentary that hit Netflix and then I pretty much hit the wall and watched nothing of substance for 2 years just to save my sanity! I practiced several different food philosophies and then we faced an auto-immune disorder that the Lord used to shake us out of the insanity. I am so grateful for the lesson, and desperately want to encourage others to learn through the wise warnings. Thanks for posting this! I love it!!!!!
    I see that you linked a few other blogs on this topic! I’d love to share mine too. http://savvyhomemaking.com/turning-away-from-food-idolatry/

  24. Thank you for this post. I was about to fall victim to what I’m realizing is another distraction in a world full of distractions. This obsession with health and nutrition can quickly become an idol. My family also thanks you!

  25. Praise the Lord for your real food balance. We try to eat as well as we can on this real food journey, too. Awesome that you guys are debt-free, too!

  26. Amen and Amen!
    As a mother of 6, including one child with Asperger’s/ADHD, I struggled with all the people who claimed that 1) if I only fed him the right things, he would be healed from his autism (getting rid of gluten and casein actually made him WORSE…disclaimer…I know GFCF does help some children but not my son), and 2) that all my problems would be solved if I found the “right” supplements or right medicine (I don’t even want to get started about the debates about whether Rx meds should be used or not. Medicine, even natural medicine, is also a god many people worship. Although some of these things have helped, he is still not healed.
    I know my Lord can intervene at any minute and touch him and heal him. This is not to say we are not to try to use “means” (healthy eating, good supplements, Rx meds), but ultimately my focus has to stay on Him to do the healing (or not, if that is His Will).
    I love your refreshing honesty. ANYTHING can become a god in our lives. That’s why we need the REAL Savior, who transforms our thinking and gives us discernment in this world of false teachings.

  27. Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
    Rom 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
    Rom 14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
    Rom 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
    Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
    Rom 14:18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
    Rom 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
    Rom 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
    Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
    Rom 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
    Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

  28. Amen! I’ve been struggling so much with this very issue, and realizing that though caring for my family’s health is good, the heavy load being piled on my back is not from God. Finding this article today was such a blessing!