The Bible Is (NOT) a Diet Book – Part II

Would it destroy your faith to learn that the Bible is (NOT) a diet book? Nor should any of the prescriptions found therein be taken literally as the healthiest way to live? In the last post (Part I – click here to read it first), I began a series documenting the evolution of my ideas from the beginning until now to show you my journey and how I am in the trenches with you. Since becoming a Christian, I’ve always wanted to fully align every part of my life with the will of God and I believed strongly about reconciling my diet with his word. Read Part I here. What I share is not necessarily what I think now, but is exactly where I was in my journey then. Please take part in the discussion and let me know what you think!

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After I knew what direction to take (Read Part I here for that direction), I threw myself into it fully.

I began studying the health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle and practicing it. An abundance of websites, scientific research, and anecdotal stories corroborated the evidence I found in scripture. This is it! I thought. I’ve found it. Goodbye to feeling bad and hello to feeling good!

Borderline obsessive exercise also entered my life at this time. Five to eight hours per week were spent walking, running, or otherwise “working out.” Everyone knew that to lose fat you had to eat less and move more. So I looked at what everyone else whom I thought looked healthy was doing, running, and took it up myself.

As time went on I did lose weight with my vegetarian lifestyle, about ten pounds, but always plateaued. Many adults told me they just got heavier as they got older and nothing they tried worked, so they just became content with their extra ten pounds. My acne remained, my puffiness, bloating, and digestive issues persisted, and feelings of compare/contrast with other women ruled my life.

Content did not cut it. That wasn’t enough for me. There must be another way.

Back at the drawing board, I remembered the scripture I had studied in the beginning (see my original convictions of scripture in Part I), where Adam and Eve were probably vegan if not raw vegan/fruititarian. That must be it, I thought. I’m not experiencing the results I desperately want because I haven’t fully committed myself to what God intended as the healthiest way to live. When I switch to raw vegan, the results are sure to follow! 

And so I became a raw vegan. So many people shared their amazing, life-altering results on various blogs and websites. As I researched the health benefits of raw veganism, I remember browsing the internet during a humanistic psychology class. I found a website about a paleolithic diet as the original human diet and how our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate meat and some people practice a raw meat diet. Although slightly intriguing, this was clearly after the flood, after Adam and Eve, so this diet was inferior to God’s prescription in Genesis 1.

Throwing myself into raw veganism involved numerous books and ebooks, green smoothies, juices, colonics, and lots of a poor college girl’s money. It also involved eating… a… lot. I could never eat enough because my diet consisted of tons of green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fruit. After my morning green smoothie, I instantly purged the contents of my rectum in a goopy splatter. According to everyone I read this was normal as my body detoxes itself of all the toxins it has stored over the period of my life. No one could say how long this would last, only that it was a normal, natural process and should be embraced. That’s when the colonics came in, to hasten the detoxing process. It never struck me as odd during this time that I needed supplements, vitamins, minerals, and raw vegan protein powders to ensure my body received all the necessary nutrients to sustain life.

My energy levels surged with this new way of eating. I was so sure THIS WAS IT and I had finally found IT! The perfect human diet, eating the way our Creator intended. I ate every two or three hours and consumed an abundance of fruit, especially bananas and mangos! I missed hot drinks and soups, but staunchly refused to partake in them because of their inferior nutritional content. And I waited for my fat to fall off and skin to clear up.

And waited.

And waited.

When neither thing happened, I became frustrated but refused to give up because of my resolute belief that raw veganism was the way God intended as the healthiest way to live. When the cavities came, I failed to link it to my lifestyle. Instead, I worked out harder and more intensely. I converted to CrossFit instead of long distance running and flirted with doing juice fasts and fruititarianism.

I lost some more fat with CrossFit and increased strength and power, but was not lean. I remember taking Physiology, Anatomy, and Biochemistry around this time. I learned all about metabolism and how our bodies break down and utilize food. Although I learned about carbohydrate versus fat metabolism, it never occurred to me to apply what I learned to how I was eating and the results I was getting. After all, my diet was the original diet, the way God intended and therefore morally superior to anything else.

 Strength gains were my main goal at CrossFit. I wanted to increase my squat, deadlift, benchpress, and overhead press for a Total a few months ahead. My coach constantly insisted I add animal protein to my diet but I refused on the grounds that I would find someone who achieved these goals as a raw vegan. I searched and searched the internet and found one person who claimed to be muscular and strong as a raw vegan. Their diet prescription was so rigid, though, that I found it difficult to follow with my financial resources and schedule.

So I caved.

I added tuna, fish, and eggs to my diet with a bit of guilt. My coach encouraged me to add healthy fats too. I was a bit wary of this since everyone knows that fat makes you fat, but reticently added some olive oil and more avocados to my daily fare. I would be content with strength gains without a body composition change for now, I thought, but resolved to return to my morally superior raw vegan diet immediately after the Total.

A funny thing happened.

Fat began falling off of me. And my strength gains came easily instead of the intense struggle I faced before intervention. I lost ten more pounds of fat in the next two months! My skin cleared up completely, glowing like it has never glowed before. My puffy bloating, constipation, and intestinal distress disappeared. The need for added supplements, vitamins, and minerals disappeared too since I got everything I needed from food, eating less frequently, with much less hassle, trouble, and thought.

The speed and comprehensiveness of these results astonished me.

How could adding meat and increasing fat provide such drastic, opposite results so quickly? Was I an anomaly since everyone knew that fat and meat cause heart disease? Would the heart disease come later in life?

Questions swarmed. I could not deny the results of my switch, yet how could I reconcile these results with my conviction that God did not want us to eat meat originally? How could I justify not eating any grains at all when God clearly tells the Israelites to eat grains throughout the Old Testament? How could I shun a food that God gave us and claim it is inferior?

But remember my story back in Part I? That after facing the truth and releasing the painful memories of my sexual abuse by three family members I experienced relief and transformation? This was the complete opposite of everything I thought or knew to be right. In the same way, I found the truth about diet, nutrition, and the healthiest way to live in the exact opposite place of where everyone knew it would be found.

I wanted the truth.

So I began actually reading nutrition research in light of the scientific training I received in college. And judging whether studies could be considered valid and causative in light of research design, funding sources, and epidemiological studies. I could not tell you how many books, papers, and articles I read over the next few months (and continue to read). I let the evidence guide my direction and soon found myself on the complete opposite camp of where I started.

I found I was right in my belief that the perfect human diet would increase and sustain energy levels, normalize weight, reverse disease, clear skin, remove the need for supplementation, and a host of other benefits without the heartache and struggle of counting, weighing, measuring… thinking. I found that diet and not exercise are responsible for body composition and that health and fitness are not elusively out of grasp as many are led to believe every day. The details I’ll save for another time, but the core of my newfound diet in 2010 was this:

  • meat, veggies, fat, some fruit, no sugar, little starch, some nuts/seeds.

Eating this way transformed everything I thought about fat loss and fitness. Instead of eat less and move more, I ate more without counting, weighing, and measuring, and moved less (sometimes not at all) and continued to lose fat, increase strength and power, and watch my body transform, health improve, and energy levels sky rocket. It blew my mind.

But the question remained… if what I found about diet and nutrition were true, then how and why would God tell his people to eat in an opposite way??? The full answer to this question eluded me until recently, last Sunday in fact.

What do you think is the answer? Let me know by commenting below and I’ll share my thoughts in the next post!

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5 Comments

  • Jon Gray

    Reply Reply December 22, 2011

    I assume it is the absolution of the Law of Moses (unless you hold to the Torah):

    Romans 6:14

    “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

    Galatians 5:18

    “If ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”

    (among many other passages)

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply December 27, 2011

      Good answer! And I’m with you completely. Many folks want more than that, though. Interestingly, this argument is only with grains, never with alcohol or slavery, which are other things clearly sanctioned in the Bible yet most people have no hesitation in condemning.

  • Laura

    Reply Reply December 22, 2011

    Can’t wait to hear what you have to say, as I get this question alot… People always wonder why I would eliminate grains since God obviously tells us they are okay!

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply December 27, 2011

      It’s so interesting how dogmatically people hold on to the idea that grains are the elixir of life! I think it has a lot to do with mainstream nutritional recommendations over the past thirty years and possibly even the morphine-like addictive qualities of wheat. 🙂 Stay tuned…

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