Recent data concludes that eating large amounts of animal protein is harmful. Animal proteins are acidic and too much can force our bodies to alkalize the acid by leaching calcium from our bones. This is just as true for beef as it is for dairy. Eating lots of yogurt or drinking lots of milk gives the body a lot of protein and calcium but it is also acid-based and requires neutralization. Vegetables, beans and nuts can be a source of protein and calcium without the ill effects of saturated fat and acidic overload.
The diets we grew up with are based on old information. For example, eggs and bacon in the morning, a meat sandwich in the afternoon, and steak and potatoes in the evening can prove acidic and problematic, and as we grow older it can clog arteries with cholesterol and calcium to form a sticky substance known as plaque. Newer dietary information draws a strong correlation between nutrition and health (The China Study), and reveals that our daily intake of plant-based proteins should exceed animal proteins for longevity and health. A small amount of meat for flavoring a meal of vegetables, grains, and beans should be our goal.
This is a big change for us and requires a whole new way of cooking. It can be downright depressing to give up daily meat-based foods because our reference points on leafy greens, beans, and vegetables are so limited. However, our bodies were made for eating plants and our taste for leafy greens and other vegetables will quickly expand as we try new recipes. Many times we try to white-knuckle through a diet to lose a few pounds, counting points or calories until a meal is more like a math problem. Changing to a plant-based diet is nothing like going on a diet and more like discovering a whole new world of food that is more delicious and with more variety. But best of all, you can eat as much of it as you want without gaining a lot of weight. We will wonder why it ever took us so long to change.
Religion can be just as bland and canned as the vegetables I ate as a girl. How can we meet an ever-present Savior? Like our meat-based diets, we must change our old practices. Christ did not come to guide us through a life without struggle as this world would have us believe. In fact, through struggle we find Him. If we can come to Christ daily asking for the strength we need to persevere through struggles, while we seek to live like Him and in service to others, His presence becomes palpable, and He opens our hearts to joy and gratitude over even small events.
And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.