In this 4 Letter Word series thus far, we have covered:
* Keto and Paleo in the first part, 4 Letter Word
* Low Carb and Vegetarian in 4 Letter Word, pt 2
* Mediterranean and Vegan in 4 Letter Word, pt 3
Before we get into the last 2 diets I have planned to write about (for awhile anyhow), I want to point something out: you’ll notice I have advised talking with a doctor or a licensed/registered dietician.
Even though diet and nutrition is so incredibly vital to good health, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist but not everyone can call themselves a dietician. Each state has laws regarding who can give what coaching or guidance or meal plans; Ohio, my state, happens to have some of the strictest laws in the USA regarding this area of healthcare. Only licensed medical professionals – doctors, nurse practicioners, RN (sometimes), and registered dieticians – are able to say, “this is what you should be eating.” That’s it. No one else.
The rest of us can give sample meal plans like, “this is what a typical day of eating for me looks like,” but not actually prescribe or advise you follow one plan or another. We can provide information, like what I’ve been doing in this series, for you to make well-informed decisions or list questions for those licensed professionals. We can help you navigate grocery stores and food labels. Recipes and cooking lessons: yes. What you should be cooking every day: no.
Alright. Now that is out of the way!
OLD TESTAMENT DIET
What it is: following the diet given by God to the Israelites in the Old Testament, or the Torah. Clean animals you can eat; unclean animals you avoid, for example.
How it got started: the nation of Israel needed to be set apart from other nations. One way of this happening was to have their diet be drastically different than the diets of other cultures of the day.
Should you try it: there is absolutely no way that I am going to sit here and tell you that no, you should not try something that God said was good! But keep reading. . .
Pros: health benefits galore! The Daniel Diet is pretty this since Daniel was an Old Testament, God-honoring prophet who followed the God-given diet. Do you remember the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego? They were peers of Daniel. The four of them followed their diet and, per Daniel 1:15, “And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.”
Cons: no bacon. Seriously though, there is nothing wrong with this diet, but it’s no longer necessary. After the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, we are no longer under the Old Testament law but are instead under grace. In Acts 11:1-10, Peter gives account of a dream or vision from God where God had cleansed the food previously called unclean – which includes bacon!
CLEAN-EATING AKA NATURAL-EATING
What it is: no chemically altered food. Food that has been minimally processed or not processed at all. Eating food in their natural state as much as possible.
How it got started: I’m going to add this one to the no clear start date category. At one point, before the world wars, this is what was normal. You didn’t run to the store and pick up a box of fudge rounds and hot pockets or chicken nuggets. You killed the chicken yourself for your meals. (I don’t kill my chickens. I still buy the meat but go with the local butcher.) You ran out to the garden for your veggies.
Should you try it: Like I emphasized in the start of today’s article, I can’t tell you that yes, you have to or should eat this way. However. Why would you want to eat food that is quite literally poisoning your body as well as costing you a small fortune every year?
Pros: health benefits – more energy, weight loss, better organ function, improved neuro function, etc. Save your household money; $1.44 for a packet of tomato seeds can provide you with months of tomatoes compared with spending $2.98 for 6 tomatoes. . .maybe.
Cons: it can feel overwhelming. Having to plan your meals with a little more detail. Changing the measurements of that white processed chemical we call sugar to the natural sugars like honey or maple syrup can be a pain.
I went out for supper with my parents and got a hamburger. My mama was trying to convince me to get apple sauce or something as a side. She made the comment that I only eat good when I want to, but really, I eat clean enough (I follow the clean/natural eating lifestyle) consistently, that when I do out for a burger and don’t ask for “no bun” or don’t get a salad, I don’t feel guilty. I might feel a little queasy later from eating that bun, but that queasiness doesn’t last long. I still have my energy. I still have my strength. And! I can get the best recipes from all the other quality, scientifically-proven diets! I love cheesy/twice-baked cauliflower more than I ever loved mash potatoes. I love making desserts with maple syrup as the sweetener.