Nutritarian Beginnings: Obedience before Transformation

Perhaps you have been around the dieting block several times using a variety of different diets like Weight Watchers, Atkins, the Zone, or a general type of eating like the vegetarian or Mediterranean diet. Now you are eager for not just a diet but a change of life for health and well-being, and Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat for Health book has given you new hope.

Some of the great things about nutritarian eating is the incredible variety of foods we are able to eat: all fruits and vegetables and as much as we want; wonderful, tummy-filling proteins from a large assortment of beans, seeds and nuts; delicious dressings made not from oil but from whole foods rich in oils and the omega 3/6 balance like walnuts and avocados; and, my favorite, creamy desserts made from fruits and nut milks and nut butters. Yum!

But you are at the beginning of quitting sugars, fats, salts, and oils and it is a major effort. Learning new recipes is mind-boggling. Temptations lurk in every corner! Can you tell I’ve been there? I have and still am in some areas. Becoming a nutritarian is a dramatic change of life and the benefit of it can only come if we strictly adhere to the rules: no processed foods, no sodas, no dairy, no bakery goods, no chips–ok, you fill in the next “no”!

The good news is that even after a few days, we begin to feel better. It is like our bodies are craving to eat these healthy foods. Fruits begin to taste heavenly and vegetables we never really liked become favorite foods. It is a fun way to eat and live but it takes obedience, will power, and trust in our future health.

Some of us have been around the religion block too. I have been a Catholic, a Church of Christ member, and a Methodist believer. I really don’t know which religion is best but perhaps you are like me and know that whatever the church, I am daily more convinced of the reality of Jesus Christ’s life and purpose and I want more than anything to connect with Him. For some crazy reason God loves me with a fierce and gentle hand and He has never let go of me, even when I’ve been horrible. That makes me weep with thankfulness (do you cry in church too?) that God is not with me because I am good (I am not!); He is with me because He is good.

God has a lot of rules too. Lots of stuff we should and shouldn’t do. It can become a judgemental stumbling block for us if we think we are in control of our salvation or that it is dependant on our following the rules. God has set up a pathway to reach him not through following rules but through believing in Jesus Christ who is the sacrifice God names worthy and holy for our sins.  Jesus was the first to be resurrected and if we believe in Him, we too will have eternal life. More than that, God gives us the Holy Spirit who to empowers us.

Once we first believe, it is a wonderful, falling-in-love feeling of pure joy and we need to hold on to it as much as we can. Jesus does ask us to obey God not for salvation but for our transformation. Just like a new nutritarian will obey new rules about food, we obey new rules about life when we accept ourselves as Christians. At first these rules seem too hard (no smoking, no getting drunk, no swearing, no gossiping, no loosing your temper, ok, you fill in your “no’s” here too!) but the Holy Spirit given to us when we first believe in Christ, is at work in us to want to do God’s will.  Through obedience, the desires of our hearts become the desires of our God’s will for us. Praise Him, because he is mighty to save and his way of transformation begins with an effort-be it ever so stumbly- at obedience.

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