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The First Diet...
Being vegetarian was the original diet. It was God's intention that nothing would die. Daniel revived this original diet and proved we could be healthy eating simple foods from the earth. Then in the New Testament Paul gave us a Biblical example of being vegetarian as Christians.
Food isn't everything. Eating too much, too often, not often enough, extremes in diet, ignoring our bodies cries for particular nutrients, or not drinking enough water are all important mistakes to avoid. Lifestyle choices for health also include: exercise, getting fresh air and sunshine, our mental outlook, keeping God's word, and so on. More on lifestyle here.
Their lives were on the line, why rock the boat over a plate of food? Daniel and his three friends were about to discover how powerful it is to put God first
"But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way." Daniel 1:8, NIV. "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink." Daniel 1:12, NIV. "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... And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm." Daniel 1:15, 20, NKJV
Taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon from their home town in Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were brought to Jerusalem. No longer under the rule of Israel, or Judah, Jerusalem was no longer a safe place of worship and festivities. These young men, were but boys, had a choice to make just like the hundreds of other youth with them. To their surprise, instead of being thrown into a dungeon or sent to a work camp they were put in front of the king's table and told they would be brought up with the wise men. Relieved, all the boys around Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah partook of the food without apparent hesitation. But not the four boys. They could not in good conscience eat the food on that table. They knew meat was not slaughtered or properly prepared and they could not risk eating such food. Why? Was 'the law' so important to God? Would He have them starve, be jailed, or worse? Wouldn't God understand they didn't have a choice? They were just captives. However it was reasoned by all the other youth around them, Daniel and his friends "purposed in their hearts" not to disobey God. This was about honoring God, knowing He is in control, and He knows best. It was about health, faith, and honor.
Well as the story goes after ten days they were not only stronger than all the other young men, but they were also smarter too! Of course they were NOT the first vegetarians in scripture. The original diet given to us by God was vegetarian. The original diet consisted of fruits, grains, nuts, and legumes which are seeds. "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 NIV. After sin God added vegetables (herb of the field) – roots, stalk, leaves, etc. "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;" Genesis 3:17-18, KJV.
"He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;" Psalms 104:14, KJV. Here it is repeated God intend food to be herbs (word is used for vegetables and green plants not seasonings like we currently use the word) and 'from out of the earth.'
In the wilderness God provided a 'grain' of sorts to sustain the children of Israel: "And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness [there lay] a small round thing, [as] small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw [it], they said one to another, It [is] manna: for they wist not what it [was]. And Moses said unto them, This [is] the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat." Exodus 16:14, 15, KJV. God only provided meat, quail, twice in the 80 years they were in the wilderness and the second time the people became very sick from eating it. Makes you wonder about 'low carb' diets. "Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way." Genesis 25:34, KJV. Bread and lentils were a very common diet for the people of God. Meat was often use for special occasions and for celebrations like the Passover. Here Abraham sees two visitors (which turn out to be Angels). "When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees." Genesis 8:18, NLT.
We do have Biblical examples of omnivores, following a Mediterranean diet, (mostly vegetarian, lots of beans and whole plant foods, but eating meat or fish on occasion). John the Baptist lived on locust and hone. Hardly the saturated fat, carcinogenic ridden hamburgers and fries we eat. We are often quick to point out Jesus ate fish, but how many of us catch it and prepare it ourselves as a simple meal with some bread and veggies? Certainly there are no examples of deep fried battered fish and chips in scripture. Are you eating meat because you don't have healthy alternatives or because you always have and didn't think much about how it affects your health? Disease is running rampant in our world and what was once safe and healthy is now toxic and harmful. There are many scientific studies on how reducing meat consumption or eliminating it completely is linked to longevity and quality of life. For sources on such studies check out our FREE course "Optimal Health" at www.BodyMindHealth4U.com And if you do choose to eat meat, did you know the Bible talks about what kinds are good and how to prepare it? More about eating meat here.
The Bible also talks about wasting money on "junk food". "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare." Isaiah 55:2, NIV. Candy, pop, and other delicacies have little to no nutrition (they don't satisfy). Ask yourself why am I eating this? Do you have a good reason or is desire your only thought. Birthday cake has a reason, but a chocolate bar every day for a snack has no value and at worse impairs health.
That's not to say you can't have delicious food. Oil and even some frying is acceptable: "If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried." Leviticus 7:12, KJV.
When and how we eat also matters. Gluttony, or eating too much, is a real curse in first world or modern societies: "Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags." Proverbs 23:20-21, NIV. 23:2 "And put a knife to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appetite." Proverbs 23:3, KJV. Don't let food become a god (control you): "For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things." Philippians 3:18-19, NKJV.
But of course food is not the only aspect of health. Lifestyle choices that are conducive to health include exercise, fresh air, sunshine, rest, and so on.
Helpful links for recipes and more...
Healthy recipes for those who want to take it further and nutritional Information you can trust written by a certified nutritionist and avid scientific researcher. Plus FREE cookbooks, videos, and even online courses on health and wellness - www.VVCS.ca
Body Mind Health 4 U
Health information, vegan & vegetarian recipes, and much more