Eat Healthfully, But Not Just For Health (GNOWFGLINS)

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The Bible is abundantly clear that there are no longer any unclean foods. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, God released His people from the food rules of the Old Testament.

…there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.

- Romans 14:14-15

So not only are there no longer any unclean foods, but we are never to put our own food preferences over that of our brother. This we must do out of love for our brother. If our food grieves a brother, we are to toss out our food preferences and embrace our brother.

It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

- Romans 14:21-23

I believe God is telling us that the foods of which we approve are a personal choice, one between ourselves and God. One should eat without putting any pressure to follow suit on those around us.

When Peter was hungry and fell into a trance, he saw a procession of all kinds of wild beasts, creeping things and birds of the air. God’s voice came to him and said, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And God said, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” (Acts 10:10-15)

The Lord’s direction to Peter echoes the same thought. God has cleansed all common and unclean foods. They’re all safe to eat.

What do I mean by “safe”? I believe this safety has to do with our spiritual state. Because of Jesus’ atonement for our sins, we have His righteousness. The only requirement is — do we accept Jesus’ gift of salvation and believe that He has the authority to save us?

In the Old Testament, during the time when the Israelites had to follow the guidelines for clean and unclean foods, those guidelines gave them a standard to which they should strive to attain. But because they couldn’t achieve perfection — “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), God gave them hints of a coming Savior, a deliverer who would be the final and perfect atonement for the people’s shortcomings.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

For He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus the Son] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

- 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21

So, we don’t have to follow any guidelines regarding food for our salvation. There’s nothing – save the acceptance of Jesus’ gift and belief in Him — required of us in order to be good enough for the Lord. Why then should one choose to eat healthfully?

One reason why one should eat healthfully is because it is a healthier way to eat. That seems like a no brainer. And while I do claim this to be true, I won’t offer it as the ultimate reason for eating well. Would you agree with me that when people make the claim that this or that is more healthy, it often doesn’t hold water? I mean, how many people do you know that eat healthfully, yet still get sick? And on the other hand, how many people do you know who eat junk food, and yet seem perfectly healthy? Additionally, who sets the standard for what is healthy, anyway?

There is a reason for God’s people to eat well that has much stronger appeal. But before I state it, I would like to offer my definition of healthful foods. The healthiest foods are… GNOWFGLINS (pronounced g-NOWF-glins). What are those? — You’re asking. I will tell you. They are:

G – God’s (not man’s creations)
N – Natural
(not artificial)
O – Organic
(raised without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers; raised without drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals)
W – Whole
(not processed)
F – Foods
(not synthesized chemicals)
GL – Grown Locally
(not transported from far away)
INS – In Season
(not out of season)

I believe GNOWFGLINS are the most healthful foods. But we shouldn’t eat them just for health.

We should eat healthfully as a way of praising our Savior for His perfect design — to honor Him, to give Him glory. He is our Creator. As our designer, He knows best how to nourish our bodies. That is why we should eat the foods He made for us, as best we can — and those foods are God’s Natural Organic Whole Foods, Grown Locally In Season (GNOWFGLINS).

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of Men.

- John 1:3-4

He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth…

- Psalm 104:14

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.

- Genesis 1:1,31

And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”

- Genesis 1:29

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.

- Genesis 9:3

Please do eat healthfully, but do it primarily to give glory and praise to our Creator for His perfect design. I thank Him that He designed a world that brings forth food, that He doesn’t require perfection from us, and that He gives us grace to serve Him as our hearts lead. My heart wants to serve Him fully, and the food that I serve my family is just a part of the life I desire to lead for His glory. How is God leading you to praise Him?

© Copyright 2008 by Wardee Harmon. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Tiffany says

    Wardee,
    I too believe that food is spiritual, as you know I have been healed with what you call (GNOWFGLINS). I hope you don’t mind if I share my gospel beliefs with you. This is scripture that I believe in and have turned to often in my past, when dealing with my illness, and in general when I felt I needed inspiration. I especially like verses 18-21 as I know I was guided and given wisdom and great treasures of knowledge on my path to good health. Thank you for reminding of the spiritual blessings I have had with food.

    It is called “The Word Of Wisdom”:

    2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—
    3 Given for a principle with a promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.
    4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—
    5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
    6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
    7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
    8 And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.
    9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.
    10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
    11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
    12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
    13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
    14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
    15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
    16 All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—
    17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.
    18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
    19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
    20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
    21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.
    The Official Scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. says

    Wardee,

    My family has greatly reduced the amount of processed foods we purchase. We are still trying to make more wholesome choices in our carts. We are taking baby steps, spending more time in the produce section. Your guidelines have given me a lot of food for thought – pardon the pun. I want to take better care of this temple.

    Peace

  3. Sonya Hemmings says

    Thank you, Wardee, for offering this essay on healthful eating and for the way you pulled everything together, including those wonderful scriptures! It is good to be reminded–especially when dealing with the initially overwhelming challenge and the subsequent journey of learning that takes place when we or our loved ones are struggling with food allergies and intolerances–that food is a gift from God! You have provided me with some terrific “food for thought” that I can share with my food-allergic 7-year-old son (as well as his three younger nonallergic siblings) as I help guide him on his own adventure of discovering the foods that he can enjoy–most of them healthier things than what we would probably be eating if we had never had to deal with his allergies. I’ve always said (to the puzzlement of many of our extended family and friends) that his allergies have actually been a blessing to our family because we’ve had to really dig into the issue of just exactly what we’re eating and whether it is healthful. I also appreciated the comments you made about not judging someone else for what they eat or insisting that they are out of line if they don’t eat the way you do. (Although I do wish I could convince my husband to forgo fast food! I just can’t stomach the stuff now that we have altered our diet so radically, but he still indulges his cravings occasionally. I really have to bite my tongue on that one!)

    Sonya

  4. Erin says

    Wardee, do you eat potatoes? I haven’t seen many in your recipes (except sweet potatoes). But red and russet potatoes…do you think they are good for you? From all the things I’ve read it’s pretty controversial. But they are a natural food from God. A lot of health experts, though, compare them to refined grains.
    Thanks!

    Erin, we eat potatoes less frequently than whole grains, but we do eat them. We love smashed red potatoes and oven-roasted red potato wedges. We like the flavor of red potatoes best, but that’s just preference. We agree with you that they are a natural food from God, which is why we eat and enjoy them about once every two weeks or so. How do you feel about potatoes?

  5. Erin says

    The same. I’ve always liked potatoes, but lately I’ve read a lot of places that it raises your glucose levels like white flour does. Thanks for your input. I think that’s what I’ll conclude, too. Like many things, they are good for you in proportion!

  6. says

    This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing and putting into words what I totally agree with! My mother in law was a complete organic health-conscious to the extreme person, yet recently passed away from breast cancer. This made me re-evaluate everything I believed about healthy eating and living…is it worth it? It’s a long story, and I won’t elaborate now. But anyway I was excited to see your blog (I was actually researching sourdough as mine has been rebelling on me lately) because we share identical beliefs, at least as far as the health issue goes! And I’m from Oregon also, though I live in Canada now. My family still is there. Good for you on homesteading – that is a dream of mine although I don’t know if it’s the Lord’s will for our family. I have what I call an “urban homestead”, where I love to make everything I can (within reason) from scratch, and attempting to live as closely as possible to good old-fashioned ways. Someone put it this way in regards to what we eat, “If your great-grandmother would have to ask ‘what is it’ you may want to question the food you’re consuming. Obviously, different cultures consume different foods, but this is a good common sense rule for most things. Tofurky and Cheez-Whiz.

  7. says

    Ooops, hit submit before I finished. Anyway, just wanted to say this is a great article, and I may link to it from my blog if that’s okay! Thanks!

  8. LaniQ says

    It is so refreshing to read this article. It seems that so often in healthy living/diet articles people tend to take you back to keeping of the Old Testament law as the only way to good health, forgetting the scripture that nothing is unclean of itself any longer. I do want to eat healthier, and give my family the most nutritious food as possible, but it seems like so many people make their diet almost like their new religion, and sometimes acting like they are holier because of their eating practices. I never want to turn up my nose at a dinner that someone cooks for my family, and I really do want to walk in love, as well as making the wisest choices for us. I find that we are very like-minded, and I am so looking forward the this course. I also home school our children, and am excited to teach them the things that I am learning. We have been studying the human body and looking into what can help our immune system to function well. We recently changed our eating habits- just adding in more fruits and veggies, trying to eat raw veggies and cooked ones at each meal, and I have been amazed that this winter we have hardly gotten sick. And if someone does start getting the symptoms of a cold, they have been gone in 2-3 days, instead of the typical 10. Such a blessing. I love hearing my 4 year old talk about the health benefits of spinach, and asking if he can have his own container of spinach for his birthday present! :) So fun. So thank you for all the time and research you have put into this.
    God bless you and your family,
    Lani

  9. says

    Wardee, God has really gifted you with the gift of teaching. And, what a wonderful subject to teach. Thank you for providing all of this wonderful information in such an excellent manner that is easy to understand. :)
    .-= Robin B.´s last blog post… Goat Milk Soap =-.

  10. says

    Hi, Wardee! I just found out that my 29 yo daughter has gluten sensitivity and was also diagnosed with lyme disease. Her diet has to change drastically so I’m doing the research for her to help her out. I was searching the gluten free threads on the t-tapp forum when I found one that I had started for the gf girls there that linked your blog! I’m so happy to have come across it again. This is a great message and I’m going to print it out for Kelly to, hopefully, help her to realize that when she’s choosing to eat healthy over unhealthy, she can think of it as an act of worship to her Lord who loves her and wants the best for her. Thank you for all the great articles and wonderful recipes! I look forward to trying a lot of them.

    Love to you, Wardee!

    JeanM

    • says

      Hi, Jean! So good to hear from you. :) I’m sorry to hear about your daughter, so sorry! Keep in touch and let me know if I can help you. :) And by the way, we do alot of gluten-free in my online classes:

      http://gnowfglins.com/ecourse/127.html

      There’s a gal who’s made over almost all the Sourdough eCourse recipes to be gluten-free. I’ve included all her instructions with the recipes. So that might be an option for you, or for her!

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