The desire to be clean is from God. He created clean eating, thinking and clean living. It is all His.
Why do I desire to be clean: I want to be clean so I can honor my body and fuel it with pure foods. So that I can honor God with my life. So that I have the energy to do His work, to be the light. So that I can treat my body the way God says it deserves to be treated. I eat a lot of processed foods. I love pizza...like an eat it 3 times a week type of love for pizza. I'm a huge packaged cheese eater, a granola bar muncher, a veggie straw lunch packer and a canned soup fanatic. I'm flawed. Big time. BUT GOD comes in right here and stretches His hand out towards me (and you) and says He can show us how to do this whole clean eating thing His way. The good news is anything is possible with the Lord. Anything. And He doesn't want us praying big prayers with a heart that truly believes He wouldn't accomplish such big changes in our lives. "Yeah, God can do that but I don't think He would do it for me." Right? Wrong.
"So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
-Matthew 6:31-33 (NIV)"
God wants us to know that we shouldn't worry too much about this petty stuff. This is our earthly body we are feeding here, anyway. He will provide for us and wants us to focus on Him, not on our plates.
I think about food constantly. Every time I smell food or have a second to sit down at work I'm always thinking of what I can eat next. I think about my body constantly. Every time I pass a mirror or see someone else's body even I compare my own to it. Yikes. (Don't judge until you stop to think of how often you think about your own body this way!)
Why do I do this?
Because I feel fat sometimes, or like I'm not pretty enough.
Because my heart is in the wrong place and it is my flawed human nature to judge my own body in a negative light.
Because the enemy wants to creep in and break me down, to hold me back from being the free, loving daughter of the King that God says I am. It is a major heart issue, not a body issue. My body is beautiful in reality, but that is not what my first reaction is when I'm struggling into a pair of jeans or trying to get my hair to stop being so frizzy? Amen?
"Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. – Genesis 1:29"
God created clean eating when he gave Adam and Eve all of the plants to eat. You don't have to pay money to buy the secrets. You don't have to take special pills or powders to eat clean. Eating fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts is God's plan. Not a quick, fat-loss, fad diet.
“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” Genesis 9:3" After the flood, God gave man meat to eat, too.
But God doesn't have such a strict clean-only diet in mind for us if it means we are held prisoners to it. He wants us to be free. Free to enjoy a slice of cake or a piece of pizza because our diet does not run our lives. Free to NOT eat that mid-night snack that we don't actually need because our cravings do not control us. True joy comes from the Lord, not food.
Food absolutely steals my joy and freedom. Food is so addicting that I'm a slave to my thoughts of when I can eat next and why I can't stop eating once I've begun that bag of cooler ranch Doritos. I let food run my life far too often. I want to take a stand and let God be the God of my life and food to be a way to nourish the body that he blessed me with, not an addiction or a curse.
“'I have the right to do anything,' you say—but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything'—but I will not be mastered by anything."
-1 Corinthians 6:12
So many times I have elevated something good in my life to the point that it begins to own me. When I strive so hard for perfection that I spend 60+ hours a week studying and working on schoolwork to be an A+ student only to sacrifice 2 years of enjoying being a "college kid." When I strive so hard to be perfect that I spend hours working, studying, cleaning, cooking and working out only to glance over at my fiance on the couch and realize that I haven't spent any time with him in a week. Or trying to be a great blogger so hard that blogging becomes all I try to focus on. This is one of my big down falls. God really had to break me on this before I was able to stumble backwards and realize "What have I done to myself?!"
Eating healthy can do the same thing to us. We have to make sure we are doing it from the perspective of a clean heart, worshiping God and honoring our bodies instead of elevating it above God and pretending we are in control of it.
"Whether it’s spending time with God, people, or food -- choose quality over quantity. If you choose quality (the better thing, like Mary choosing to sit at Jesus’ feet while Martha worked), than quantity (a fullness of life), freedom will be the natural effect of choosing what is best." - Alisa (Founder of Revelation Wellness)
Quality over quantity. I noticed this a two weeks ago. When I had oatmeal with frozen berries and flax seeds for breakfast at 6 am I could work until 11 am without stopping for a snack, but when I had leftover pancakes with syrup for breakfast I was incredibly hungry by 9am. The pancakes tasted good, yeah, but the ingredients didn't keep me energized like my body needed to be. It is better to have high-calorie foods with lots of nutrients than high calorie foods that leave you high and dry later...or reaching back for more.
I've always been a quantity person. How many things can I accomplish today? How many hobbies can I excel at? More recently I've been more of a quality gal. I am content working, keeping our home, spending time in the Bible and doing yoga. Yeah I still like to sew, blog, bake, paint, crochet, read...etc but I rest easy knowing that I was enough for the day. That I did a few things as well as I could do with the help of the Lord. This contentment took a lot of work, though. It required some major heart surgery from the inside out. Food wise, I have been a quality person lately with it being January and all but nowhere near to where I would like to be or should be as far as "clean" food choices. I've got a long way to go. BUT GOD shows me time and time again that my story isn't over yet. I've got lots of room to grow.
“Do not be carried away by all kind of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so.” Hebrews 13:9
"God’s grace strengthens us. When we are weak, we ask for His grace, and He strengthens us. When we are hungry, we ask for His grace, and He feeds us. When we are puffed-up, easily offended, and pointing fingers, we ask for His grace and He humbles us; reminding us that we too are a sinner, saved by the same inexhaustible grace."- Alisa (Founder of Revelation Wellness)
I want so badly to be free. I got my first taste of freedom in November when i declared that I will not judge myself, judge others, hold onto isolation, anger, resentment, or anything else that God is calling me to let go of. I want to be free of food, though. Food totally rules me. Making too many rules and counting my calories religiously will not set me free. Ignoring the way I eat will not set me free. Only God and His grace can set me free.
Cue "I am set free" by All Sons & Daughters. God wants me to be free. He wants me to choose wisely. He wants me to use the gifts he has given me, my ability to cook and bake to worship Him, to honor my body and nourish myself and my fiance. I can eat healthy with His help and a little planning.
"For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthy wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” -2 Corinthians 1:12
"And so it is with all our life choices – we must choose the path of love. If we start each day with giving and receiving this clean, clear and pure love of God, then moved out into our day making withdrawals from the love that has been deposited in us - food, exercise and all other secondary relationships would in effect take their rightful place." -Alisa (Founder of Revelation Wellness)
Oh that is so, so good. That is juicy. Choosing love deliberately because we a stronger than our emotions. They do not rule us. We rule them. If i wake up every morning by the grace of God, and walk through my day in His grace, giving Him glory I can share this love with those around me. I love this. All we have to do is ask ourselves, am I choosing this out of love?
Am i cleaning the kitchen out of anger or out of love? Last month I was in such a crabby mood and cleaned the kitchen out of anger so obviously that Alec came in to try to help. I pushed him away. I mistreated him because my heart was wrong. I later apologized for acting out of anger instead of cleaning out of love for him and our home. Sometimes we need to take a step back and check ourselves before we wreck ourselves? Am I right?
Clean Eating Basic Steps:
Sufficiency- 1/3 lean protein, 1/3 whole carb, 1/3 fruit/veggies, supplemented with good fat
Steady- maintain blood sugar, snack of any 2 macronutrients 1x after breakfast and 1x after lunch.
Slow Down-give thanks, exhale, He is providing "a grateful heart is a full heart, it never wants for more."
Satisfied- ask God to turn on our hunger and tell us when we are really full, He can restore our ability to sense it! 1(starving) - 5(unbutton pants) we should strive for 2-4 on the hunger scale through out the day. "Be free....be satisfied, but not stuffed."
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
-Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
If you're in the same boat as me with this whole clean eating struggle, take a moment right now to ask God to take your burden. It weighs us down so much. It steals our joy when we can't meat our goals, when we look in the mirror or step on the scale in shame. I encourage you to get quiet and ask God right now to redeem the way you eat, to release the hold that food has on your life. He loves us endlessly and He wants what is best for us. Don't be afraid to pray bold prayers with a faith filled heart. I hope this has helped even one person the way that it has helped me!