4 Ways I Compare Paleo & Religion

7 Comments

I had some interesting thoughts come to mind while I was at church yesterday and wanted to share them with you. I don’t know what school of religion you attend (if any) but I find that connecting my diet (food/fitness/wellness) to my religion just makes sense. If you don’t care or don’t believe in God or a higher power than you have my full permission to stop reading now and come back later or not at all if this post rubs you the wrong way. I’m okay with that. I thought that for some of you (and me) it would be useful to draw some similarities to religion and diet. Heavy stuff for a Monday, right!? :)

1. Religion and diet are something I’ve struggled with my entire life.

I grew up “Catholic” but never really understood what it meant to have a relationship with God/Jesus until my adult life (actually just a couple of years ago). My family wasn’t very involved with church aside from certain Sundays and holidays. It was just sort of one of those things that we “had to do” and felt guilty if we didn’t. I remember asking my Grandmother why she went to church and she simply responded, “because you’re supposed to.” So much for developing my relationship with God. My mother and I would follow Saturday night service with a trip to McDonald’s. I can remember the taste of McDonald’s but not a single word that was said at the mass. As I got older, I eventually stopped going to church. I knew somewhere inside that I wanted to know and learn about God, but didn’t know where to go or how to get started. The Catholic mass that I had grown up with wasn’t moving me in the right direction. So…out of confusion, I stopped doing anything.

Can you think of any of those facts that I can easily relate to diet? Yeah…every single thing. I grew up one way, was left feeling empty and confused and eventually stopped trying. Diet…religion…same thing for me. We grow up eating the foods our parents give us whether that’s what we need or not. Religion usually happens the same way. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that-I’m just drawing interesting comparisons.

2. I felt empty inside and out.

As I’ve finally come to know Christ, I feel as though some void inside of me was filled. As I found myself “wanting” or looking for something more (comfort, stress relief, etc.) I tried to fill it with food. I could eat and eat but never felt satisfied. It didn’t matter what I ate or how much it never satisfied me! I was always left with a feeling like I was missing something and always wanted more. But food is addictive and tastes good…so I would keep eating. I am trying now to fill that void (that still pops up from time to time) with God instead of food. Find out what you’re missing and fill it with something good…not food. God wants you to feel full…just not full of food.

3. Detoxing my body without detoxing my soul is useless!

This is what got me thinking in church yesterday… Here I am, trying so hard to cleanse my body. Detoxing from chemicals, processed foods, eating only grass fed meats and pastured eggs from animals raised free of chemicals. It’s been a non-stop quest for months now and I’m just now recognizing the fact that my soul-my insides-have been very unclean lately. If I gave even 50% of the effort to soul-cleansing as I do into diet cleansing than I’d be in a better place. I have found myself angry, spiteful, unfriendly, unkind, and stressed out lately. I’m not saying I’m an awful person but I know that I can get to a better place. I think that my efforts to cleanse my body have been in vain considering the state of my soul and relationship with God. I am going to work on some spirit cleansing this week and see what happens.

4. Religion and diet take discipline, practice and steadfastness.

Like any life skill…practice makes perfect.. You can’t expect to reach a goal without some failures (big & small) along the way. We don’t expect to learn the piano overnight but yet we beat ourselves up and give up when we let that cookie slip into our diet. Unrealistic. I’ve had times where going to church and praying before meals was easy. Getting up early on a Sunday was easy to do. Sometimes our will power wasn’t up to par and we’d skip church…stop praying. Once you fall out of practice it’s hard to get back on board. The same can be said for diet. You have to keep on keepin’ on-over the bumps in the road-during the hard times-to reach your goals. I’m not saying that everyone feels this way about either religion or diet, but it sure hits the nail on the head with me. I know myself pretty well and know that I need to keep plugging at both my walk with God and my journey to wellness to be successful long term. Keeping steady, especially when things aren’t so easy, is the key to success.

I’ve got several other points on this topic that I’ll save for another post. I know some of you just show up for the recipes and paleo tips and that’s okay too, but I firmly believe that our wellness is much bigger than just the food in our fridge and the number on the scale.

I’d appreciate your comments and thoughts on this subject. Are you able to draw any comparisons between your spiritual and physical wellness?

Julie

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Author: Julie @ homegrownpaleo.com

Blogging about our journey towards simple living and ancestral wellness.

7 thoughts on “4 Ways I Compare Paleo & Religion

  1. What a great comparison! Despite still maintaining our beliefs over the years, My family and I have just recently started going to church again, and getting involved there, after a very long time. We still believed, but we weren’t living it out daily, we weren’t continuing to learn and challenge ourselves spiritually. I feel that it’s the same with food. For instance, I’ve known about the icky side of gluten for years, but struggled with a “Well, it might be that way for others, but not for me…” kind of thought process. Now that I am applying it daily by going gluten free (amongst other things), I am realizing that I can still be satisfied with my food, both in the fact that it is delicious, and that it is filling, (and I find myself full for a longer time period!).

    • Jennifer, your story sounds like ours after our initial reintroduction of church/religion into our lives. We went, got excited and then stopped going… Sounds like my diets over the years. Self denying tendancies run wild in my spiritual and physical life.

  2. Beautiful post, Julie!
    I, too have compared my relationship with God to food over the years.
    Here is the main thing that I am reminded of daily when I see my plate full of beautiful color and fresh food:
    The food God gives us is perfect for the human body in every way. When we eat the food He designed for us, it’s the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that work together to fuel our body in the best possible way. When we (food scientists, chemical companies, etc.) try to make His design better, it just screws everything up! Animals end up getting sick, people get sick and diseased, companies lose money in the long run – it’s just one big mess!
    Experiencing how wonderful I feel when I stick to His plan and His design for food, allows me to trust him fully in all the other aspects of my life, too. Or at least reminds me daily that His plan is always the best plan, even if don’t see it that way in the here and now :)

    • Love your comment Kelly! I agree with you in the fact that an ancestral-whole foods based diet is just what God wants us to eat! The more I learn about the inner-workings and chemistry of my food and what it does to my body the more I’m amazed at how perfectly God worked it all out. Our bodies and our health are the biggest gift He gave us to enjoy so reminding myself of that will hopefully help me be driven to take care of it better.
      :)

  3. In reply to number 3:

    That was a very thought provoking entry. Some tips from a 29 year old Christian (60 year old woman)( didn’t accept Jesus until I was 31 years old!) to stay cleansed in your spiritual walk with Jesus, I find that if I listen to Christian music and have it on in the house and in the car, it will get down in my Spirit and I am happier. Our local Smile.fm will say give us a week and you’ll see your moods and attitude change. I will put the link on your wall! My current obsession is with Mandesa’s “Good Morning”…I listen to it every morning on my way to work. Get’s me pumped up for the day. That’s not to say that you only have to listen to that type of music. BUT, if you’ll closely listen to some secular lyrics, you’ll find it isn’t glorifying the Lord. And if you’ll do a study on Lucifer, you’ll find that he was the king bandleader of music. He uses music and nasty lyrics to get into people’s minds. i.e. very heavy metal…scary stuff. The results, as we have seen in the past, are our kids murdering other kids, endorsed satan worship, etc. Garbage in, garbage out.

    Something else I heard yesterday from a Joyce Meyer teaching, (love her). Watch what you are watching on the television. Seems like when I will channel surf and almost everything is about crime, murder, lust, etc. my choices are limited. So lately, I have been just reading decent books. Her guest that day said that he found it odd that even Christian women were reading that Shades of Grey book…that one floors me too….

    So there are my two tips to get you started little sister.
    Keep on Julie, you’re on the right track. I’m gleening from your posts!

  4. That’s a great comparison! I’ve come to realize that the food choices I make can be God honoring. He made the food for me to enjoy!! And he designed our bodies to work best when we give it the right fuel.

  5. This is a excellent comparison. I started the paleo lifestyle this year and started a new prayer journey this lent. (Unbinding the gospel). It is so cool to see my growth in these two areas go hand in hand.

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