food, God's word, vegan, Water

A Biblical Case for Veganism Part 3: Troubled Waters

In continuation of a biblical case for veganism, I choose now to focus on water, which is a birthright given by God that shows up in scripture in several contexts:
1. A vital component of God’s consistent provision in our lives
2. A metaphoric reference to His power and His reliability and, at times, His power as it abides in us
3. His way of cleansing us and nourishing us to flourish
We will look at how veganism is an indirect way of exercising better stewardship over this vital resource. Before we do that, let us first examine some scriptures that illustrate what I’ve stated above:
Water is YOUR God Given Birthright

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Now, as I was saying:

In Genesis 2:5-6, even before God created man and made him Commissioner of Eden Gardens, He watered the land in preparation for the garden and Adam.

God Consistently Provides Water

Even after the Fall of Man, although we are subjected to several consequences for our disobedience, we were never expected to live without water.  When the Children of Israel are wandering through the desert, He responded to their complaints of thirst by turning brackish water into clean, refreshing water for them to drink.

Water as a Reference to God’s Power

He caused it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights straight in Genesis 7 – this is also a reference to cleansing, His main intent for the Great Flood. The waters remained for 150 days and didn’t recede until God decided the time was right.

Water as a Reference to God’s Power as it Abides in us

The Prophet Elijah – 1 Kings 17:1 (NKJV) And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”

Elijah gave that word later in 1 Kings 18:41

Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”  (NKJV)

We know from James 5:17 that on Elijah’s word, through his prayer, there was no rain for 3 1/2 years.

Water as a Reference to God’s Reliability

Isaiah 55:10-11

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Water as His vehicle for cleansing us and causing us to flourish

In the first verses of the first poem in the book of Psalms, the psalmist lays out the characteristics of those who would be “blessed”, or happy.  In verse 3, happiness is likened to being a tree planted by rivers of water that bears fruit in abundance and whose leaf never withers.

Indeed, Jesus gives the living water, as offered to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.

So here’s the Million Dollar Question:  Exactly what does your consumption of animal-based foods have to do with water?
Answer: It’s another case of poor stewardship over an extremely precious God-given resource.

In Chapter 2 of Securing Our Birthright (entitled “Menu Expansion: When God Condoned Carnivory, Man Went H.A.M. – Hard as a Moabite), we examine this issue. With the permission of the producers of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, I list an alarming set of data regarding the impacts of modern livestock agriculture on Air, Water, Land and Mankind.

(The facts are listed here with references:  http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/)

Here are the water-related statistics:

  • Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually.
  • Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all drinkable water consumption in the world today.
  • Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.
  • It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound (16 oz, two normal 8oz steaks) of beef.
  • 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs (that’s between 8 and a dozen, depending on the size of the eggs); almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese.
  • It takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk.

According to Charity: Water, 63 million people live without clean water.

They suffer from a wide range of preventable diseases because the only water they have access to for cooking for and bathing themselves and their children and washing the family’s clothes is dirty. Also, often their water source, as poor as the quality is, is a long walk from where they live.

Really Nourish 2018 Charity: Water Campaign
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Women and girls are responsible for carrying water in some societies. To do this time-consuming, heavy work for their families, some girls cannot even go to school on a consistent basis.

Just to be clear, Big Ag does not just exist in the United States. There are large CAFO livestock farms all over the world and some of the countries they are in have the biggest water problems.

Also, to be clear, the people in the demographic who live without clean water are highly likely to be people who are too poor to be consumers of animal-based foods. It’s only the wealthiest 30% of the world population who eats flesh, eggs and cheese and drinks milk. The rest are vegan by default.

(Which begs the question: Why do people think it’s more expensive to go vegan, when meat is the most expensive item in the grocery store? But I digress…)

I like math. Let’s do some, shall we?

The World Health Organization estimates that in a crisis, where water supplies that previously existed are compromised, people would need a minimum of 7.5 liters of water a day to meet basic needs. Figuring we are supposed to be drinking around 2 liters a day (that’s a bit more than the 8 x 8oz glasses we probably don’t all drink like we should) that means the other 5.5 liters are for cooking and washing. On the other hand, in the developed world where water is available 24 hours a day, everylittledrop.co.au says that we use an average of around 100 liters a day. This includes flushing toilets and less conservative cleaning and washing.
Figuring 100 liters a day = around 40 gallons, that means that:

  • Your steak dinner could have supplied 31 people with clean, reliable water they could confidently drink and use for cooking, bathing, washing dishes and clothes and flushing toilets.
  • Your dozen eggs could have supplied almost 11 people.
  • Your gallon of milk could have supplied 25 people.

But instead, it supplied ONE person. ONE household. Indeed, it supplied them with “food” that causes them more harm to their health than nutrition. It did so at the expense of many other members of the human family who live in deprivation.

In a world where 63 million are living without clean water, and millions of others have it but inconsistently, and still others, even in the great United States of America, have to choose between drinking contaminated water from their taps or spending money they could use for food to buy clean, bottled water, this is an abuse of God’s provision.

How Much Less water do Vegans Consume?

In contrast, how much water does it take to grow plants? According to a Huffington Post article from 2014 (updated in 2017):
(all of the following are expressed as gallons of water per pound of the food item)

  • Tofu (Soybean Curd) 302 (feeds 3-4 people)
  • Lentils 704 (makes 3-4 meals for a family of 4)
  • Rice 299 (3-4 meals for a family of 4)
  • Potatoes 34
  • Oats 290 (3-4 breakfasts for a family of 4)
  • Oranges 67
  • Grapefruits 61
  • Lemons 77
  • Avocados 141
  • Broccoli 34
  • Garlic 71
  • Tomatoes 26
  • Eggplant 43

The real value of the exchange here is a lot less water for a lot more nutrition. These are the foods that keep the temple in the best condition. This, in addition to the low impact they have on the world’s water supply allow for, once again, better stewardship of the temple and the planet.

Here are a couple of other quotes from the Cowspiracy website pertaining to water:

“Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.”

“The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poisons waterways.”
Again, 1 Corinthians 10:31 says whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. Again, I ask you, does being a consumer in this system glorify God? Does using the increase the God blessed you with to reward the industry that is robbing your fellow man of his birthright?

Where do you stand on this issue?  Drop a comment below while you’re here.

Also, please click here to learn more about how Really Nourish is helping those in need of clean water.

Thank you for reading and sharing this!  God bless you!

eating, food, God's word, scripture, vegan

A Biblical Case for Veganism Part 2

My post on this topic from January 16, 2016 has been my most viewed blog post – indeed, my highest traffic web page since the start of Really Nourish.  It has been so much so that I expound on the topic in my forthcoming book, Securing Our Birthright, and felt compelled to take a couple of aspects of this topic and give them a deeper treatment in these next couple of posts A Biblical Case for Veganism Part 2, and later this week, Part 3 (see link below).

A Biblical Case for Veganism Part 2: Why Should You Abstain from Animal-Based Foods?

This excerpt from Chapter 6 of the book takes on a scripture that some have been known to use to dispute the idea of abstaining from consuming animal flesh:

Everything God created is good, reject no flesh

(1 Timothy 4:4)

Here is another context discussion where the question one needs to ask is this:

What subject matter was the Apostle Paul addressing in this body of scripture?  

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The context from verse 1 is regarding a prophecy about what will happen in end times.  Some will depart from the faith, because they’ll start listening to the “doctrines of demons” that will tell them that they should reject the food that God set apart for us to receive with thanksgiving.  The context here is the REASONING for your abstention from food that was ordained by God.  

In other words, if you abstain from eating even “clean” animals because you want to play your part in reducing the harmful impacts of animal agriculture on the environment in 2017, this is not the same as if you joined some cult whose doctrine required that you stop eating what the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ordained in Genesis 1, Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.  This is why veganism cannot be characterized as an act of obedience to God in and of itself, but indeed it can be characterized as an act of self-sacrificial, dutiful stewardship of the Temple and this planet.  Here, then, is a biblical case for veganism you can make to this end.

Animal Flesh IS Good, BUT…

There is another point to this end: what God created IS good.  Animal flesh the way God created it is fine to eat.  But there are limits to how much of it we should eat it that we have far exceeded in modern food culture.  We now know that what is considered a normal level of consumption is, compared to old and even new testament times, excessive.  God speaks about gluttony directly related to eating animal flesh in Proverbs 23:20-21. We are paying the price in the form of a health pandemic that just some restraint could bring to an end. 

Also, the animal flesh that we have today is defiled, just as Ezekiel prophesied at the end of Chapter 4 in his eponymous book. 

Livestock – that includes cows for beef and dairy, pigs for pork and chickens for meat and eggs – is kept in concentrated animal feeding operations where they reside shoulder to shoulder with other animals that may be sick and deceased animals are not removed right away.  They are fed unnatural, genetically modified feed that is laced with unregulated amounts of antibiotics and dosed with synthetic hormones.  Even the diary cows, although they are not slaughtered for meat, are forcibly inseminated relentlessly (the actual term for the machine used is a “rape rack”) so they are constantly making calves and, consequently, milk.  Their babies are taken from them and tethered so they don’t move a lot to keep their muscles weak – the appeal of veal is tender flesh. 

The fish is either coming out of aquatic farms where they too are packed way too close together and also fed GMO, antibiotic laced feed and residing in close contact with sick or dead fish or they are pulled out of polluted waters in drag nets that catch and kill more unintended catch than targeted fish.  The animals are horribly mistreated.   

The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 12:10

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, scripture says whether we eat or drink, whatever we do, do it all for the glory of God.  Does participating as a consumer in this system glorify God?  

A Biblical Case for Veganism

Pre-order Securing Our Birthright today.  We are donating 50% of all pre-orders to Charity: Water.  Please help us reach our donation goal of $350.00 by March 31, 2018.  100% of your donation to Charity: Water goes to providing clean water to those who have been deprived.  Thank you in advance for your support!
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A Biblical Case for Veganism Part 3: Troubled Waters

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Gen 1:29-30 Breakfast: Trini Avocados, Himalayan Sea Salt and Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Good Day!!!  It’s avocado season in Trinidad, so avocado is plentiful and can be had at great prices and top quality – that made me really want to sing a little!  Check out this quick, easy recipe using a ripe avocado, some local produce (chandon beni, anyone?) and a few delicious items – Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and Bragg Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – that I am including in the Thrive Market Gift Box that I am giving away in my #ReallyNourishGives Sweepstakes!

Click Here to Enter for YOUR chance to win! 

Click Here to get your Thrive membership started today! 

Be in good health,

Rashida

 

 

 

Books, food, health, Healthy, Organ Donation, sugar, vegan, Weight Loss

#DonorLife: A Kidney Donation that Started a Movement

Wow!  Just finished and self published my very first book!  I have numerous partial manuscripts from my very eventful and unusual life.  Also, I call myself a writer… Hmmmm.  My approach this time was different, though.  I decided this go ’round to aim for a shorter time frame (of my life) and be content with a short number of pages, because y’all have a short attention span these days!!!

 

Anyway, it is done, and it is beautiful!!  It is the story of my experience donating my left kidney to my dad and how, through the evaluation process, I discovered my own health challenges.  This is the story of the birth of The Really Nourish Movement.  It is a story I have attempted to tell verbally on numerous occasions, but on those occasions, I never felt satisfied that I did the story justice.  Now, you can read it and get a better picture of the birth and incubation of what this thing is all about.  More great content to come.  Thanks in advance for checking it out!

Please click here to access #DonorLife

 

Thank you and be blessed!

eating, food, God's word, vegan

The Genesis Lifespan Shift: How Shortening Other Animals’ Lives Shortened Ours

Real Longevity

The genealogy of Adam is detailed in Genesis 5 all the way to Noah.  This is eight generations, including Methuselah of the famous cliché “Older than Methuselah”.  Adam and Eve had Seth when Adam was 130 years old (v3).  He then lived another 800 years, during which time he had more sons and daughters and died at age 930 (v4-5).

This pattern repeats over and over during the next 8 generations.  The pattern goes:

  1. Have a first or a key offspring sometime between ages 100-200 (except Enosh, who has Kenan at age 90 in v9 and Enoch who fathers Methuselah at the tender age of 65 in v21) .
  2. Live a 1496786952212628264633minimum of 770 years (Lamech, father of Noah v31), the oldest, of course, being Methuselah (Noah’s grandfather) crushing the scales at 969 years of age! (v27)

Lamech was 182 at the time of his son Noah’s birth (v28), then Noah doesn’t father Ham, Shem and Japheth until he is a ripe 500 years old himself (v32)!

Old but Not Feeble

Once the ark is built in chapter 7, the flood comes, Noah was 600 years old (v6). We can imagine that although Noah was rather old, he was fit, not at all feeble, to have been able to sire three children and build the world’s largest sea-going vessel with the just the help of 3 very young sons (still under the age of 100 themselves) and no modern machinery.

wp-1496781836430.

Shorter Post-Flood Lifespans

Then, in chapter 11, we have a detailed record of the genealogy of Noah up to Abram (Abraham) after the tower of Babel fiasco.  Shem fatheredArpachshad 2 years after the flood at age 100 (v10) and lived another 500 years after that, so he was 600 when he died.

Then, in an abrupt shift, Arpachshad fathers Shelah at only 35 years of age (v12) and lives only another 403 years, never making it as far as 440.  This continues, and the lifespans continually decrease.  Nahor, the grandfather of Abram, fathers Abram’s father Terah at the tender age of 29 (v24) and only lives another 119 years (v25).  That means he died at age 148!

Terah fathers Abram, (a second) Nahor and Haran at 70 (v26), the one anomaly in these next 9 generations, but he too only lives a total of 205 years (v32).  The three generations after Shem surpass the 400 mark, which is less than half the pre-flood average lifespan, then the lifespans decrease by almost another half again so people  are barely making it past their 200th birthdays.  We know that when God tells Abraham he and Sarah are going to have a child they scoff, considering themselves aged out of childbearing at ages 100 and 90 respectively.  They laughed at the thought, in fact, the name Isaac (the child they begat indeed, just as God had promised they would) means laughter!  They found it hard to believe that even God could make such a thing happen, either not knowing or forgetting that their ancestors were having children well into their 100’s and living to see their 900th birthdays routinely for 8 generations.

BUT WHY DID HUMAN LIFESPANS DECREASE BY MORE THAN 75% AFTER THE GREAT FLOOD???? 

There are various theories around about why this lifespan shift occurs: environmental changes after the flood, natural disasters, genetics etc.  These are speculations based on  worldly knowledge with no scriptural support.  There is no detail of the causes of death for any of the generations we just listed.  There is no record of natural disasters that changed the air or soil quality.  There is no scripture detailing any genetic anomaly in Shem that carried through his descendants. There is no other mention of anything directly affecting human health EXCEPT for a major dietary shift after the flood.   The Holy Bible is the revealed word of God and the scripture reveals clearly that mankind was newly authorized by God to eat animal flesh as a primary source of nourishment after the flood and shortly thereafter their lifespans shrank generation after generation until they were reduced by more than 75% by the time of Abraham’s birth.

Like Manna From Heaven

Picture it: Genesis 9.  The entire world has just spent roughly 5 months under water with the only remaining life existing and waiting on The Ark.  The dove came back with the branch, The Ark docks on land that has just started to peek out above the slowly declining water line.  The door opens up and every soul can now go ashore.

A beautiful rainbow appears in the sky as God makes his covenant with Noah, along with a new proclamation regarding nourishment.  Whereas in Genesis 1:29-30 He gives man and animals all the plants to eat (herb yielding seed, fruit with seeds in them and every green leaf shall be your “meat” according to KJV), in verse 3 of this chapter He now gives mankind animals to eat (every moving things shall be food for you; I give you everything as I gave you the green plants and vegetables. AMP).

He placed a few restrictions on that right away, with more to come later in the book of Leviticus, but this is a major shift in the human diet ordained by God.  We know there was carnivory long before this point after the fall of man – Abel, Adam’s son, was a herdsman – but based on what we know about the ancient human diet, we can imagine that this was largely relegated to sacrificial purposes, and certainly meat was not eaten on a daily basis in as large portions – no 8oz porterhouse steaks for dinner!  But now, after a 150 day worldwide flood, all the ground on which plants could grow submerged in the depths of the all consuming oceans, we can surmise that the ordained carnivory was a necessary move by God because we see in the final verse of Chapter 8 that He re-instated seedtime and harvest. He did not chose to fast track the return of the plants in His grand wisdom to sustain the order he originally established and deemed “Very Good” in the beginning, so there were not any plants to eat for a time.  Noah was instructed to take enough food on the ark to feed everyone just for the duration of the cruise.  Now the waters recede, the doors are opened and God sets His rainbow in the clouds.  And we are now authorized to eat the flesh of other animals.

Some omnivorous advocates argue that populations in the Arctic live solely on flesh – mainly aquatic animals and some birds – and have a very low incidence of disease.  There is at least one incidence in the bible where a unique diet was prescribed in extreme conditions.  During Exodus, the children of Israel couldn’t have planted and cultivated food or livestock  as they traveled through the desert, so God sent Manna from heaven to sustain them, then quails that just flew over and dropped down on their dinner plates, and He provided water. All of that temporary provision stopped when they (second generation, as it were) were finally able to settle in the promised land and resume normal life.

What’s my point?

Like manna from heaven, the animal flesh provision was to fill a gap.  In the Arctic, the conditions don’t allow for enough plant-based food to sustain human life, this is an exceptional case.  But most of mankind wasn’t living there then and does not live there now.  After the flood, as the plants returned, mankind should have defaulted back to God’s original provision: The Genesis 1 Diet.  Perhaps it was man’s sin nature that compelled him to continue to slaughter animals for food much more often than truly necessary.

That’s a big statement, right?? Let me explain.

He Purposed in His Heart not to Defile Himself

Fast forward to one of my favorite prophets, Daniel, when we first meet him in chapter 1 of his eponymous book.  We see that, unlike our Nile-spoilt ancestors, he and his four-man crew decline the king’s offering, choosing instead to #GoVegan (v8-15). The evidence of God’s approval of this act of obedience is clear in that God caused the palace official to show Daniel special favor (v9), and we see the positive results of the vegetable and water diet in verses 15-21 and throughout the rest of the book.  (See The Prophecy of Delicacies)

It is worth noting that Daniel chose Genesis 1 instead of Leviticus 11 (the basis of Kosher law – after all, Daniel was Jewish) to glorify God in his food choices.  When we consider Leviticus, there are theories as to why God approves some animals and forbids others, but we can gather two main points from this body of scripture:

1. That we must glorify Him in EVERY area of our lives, even in our food choices and

2. He placed a bunch of restrictions on the animals (probably in the context of how we, His dominion creatures, had chosen to feed ourselves in general), but none on the plants, which are what He initially provided for us at creation and deemed “Very Good”.

From Noah to Shem

Noah’s first task, according to scripture, was to go back to gardening  (v20, the NIV refers to him as “a man of the soil”). God just said “Hey, you guys can have a burger now!” but Noah chose instead to carry on the practices he was raised on, likely adhering largely to a plant-based diet (he was 600+ years of age, old habits die hard!).  He lived to be 950.

Shem, on the other hand, a young man with a new world under his dominion and a new decree from God that allows him to live on lamb kebabs and chicken fingers, doesn’t make it past 600.  And all his descendants lived shorter lives than he did.

In these modern times, we expect the opposite: that our children live longer lives than us.  We glorify science for that phenomenon.  But according to a 2005 NY Times article, for the first time in 2 centuries, children are expected to have possibly shorter, definitely less healthy lives because of what they are being fed.

1496784262706-62784804We need to hold science accountable for that as well with their inventions that make it possible to have a plethora of convenience food, preservatives , agricultural chemicals, livestock medication, concentrated animal feeding centers, etc.  

Biblical evidence shows us that when man began to eat a more animal-based diet, his lifespan shrank dramatically.  Can you live 900 years by becoming vegetarian today?? LOL probably not, but the evidence is clear and modern science (for those who need more than The Holy Bible) concurs that a plant-based diet supports a longer life in a healthier body.  The fountain of youth is not a fountain at all.  It is a garden!

And maybe, just maybe, if we turn the tide of food abuse in this world, our offspring 8 generations from now will get back to those high three digit ages.  How cool would that be????

Did God Shorten Our Lifespans Tho?

In Genesis 6, God was disgusted by our behaviour. In his frustration, He made a statement about our lifespans.

Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

Genesis 6:3 NIV

Could we take this to mean that God shortened our lifespans of his own accord?  One could say that, but it is not in His character to cut lives short.  On the contrary, He promises us a long life of a high quality in many scriptures throughout The Bible.  Knowing God, the probability is that He was making a prophecy based on what He knew we were about to experience with our interpretation of His proclamation of provision.  In other words, He had already seen how we act, so He knew we would be shortening our own lives.  Later on, the book of Psalms says we will live only 70 years, 80 if we are lucky.  That is likely based on actual lifespans at the time, because we can make it closer to 100 more frequently these days.

1496783751353-1188077040Modern Evidence Supports Biblical Wisdom 

We now know that animal protein consumed in the form of dairy (cow’s milk, cheese etc) is linked to numerous cancers, bone loss (ironically, we were lead to believe that we desperately needed the calcium in dairy to combat this), heart disease, digestive problems, sinus problems, ear infections and Type 1 diabetes.

We know that animal flesh over-consumption is linked to a wide array of diseases including cancer and high blood pressure, the latter of which is the harbinger of a host of other issues.  We know that many people have been cured of these diseases by simply changing their diet to a plant-based diet.  Also, not just a plant-based diet, but one rich in whole grains (herb yielding seed, Gen 1:11, 29), omitting the refined carbohydrates prevalent in the modern food system.

(sources include but are not limited to Dr. Sebi , Dr. Joseph Mercola, The China Study, 1496783043119687365693Fed Up Documentary, Cowspiracy Documentary, The Truth About Cancer)

But What About Protein Y’All????

Show of hands, how many of you know someone who died of a protein deficiency?  How many of you have had a doctor tell you that you need to eat more protein to help you with a health problem that you’re dealing with?

They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of their sin.

Ezekiel 4:17 NIV

We can get all the protein we need from plant sources and there is no real danger of protein deficiency if you were to stop consuming animal-based foods altogether.  That spirit of fear is straight out of Satan’s tool box to keep us killing ourselves with the very food we eat!

Ezekiel 4 gives us some insight into Satan’s plan to use our own food as a tool to weaken God’s people, indeed we are appalled at the sight of each other and many are wasting away.  The wasting away, in this era, is disguised as the opposite: Obesity.  We are so appalled by this sight that a new political incorrectness now exists in the form of “fat bashing”.  People suffering from obesity are ironically wasting away from malnutrition. In this case, the sin is allowing our flesh to dictate what we put inside of our temples.  Proverbs 23:1-3 tells us that there is deception perpetrated in our food system by the oligarchs of our society, it is our warning.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

We have sound minds that can, if we want, seek the powerful knowledge in His word and in the world on this topic, apply it (that’s wisdom) and share it with others (that’s love).

I love each and every one of you and I am officially inviting you all to my 120th birthday party!

I will be the cute one on the dance floor bringing back the whip and nay-nay!

 

 

 

 

 

Books, Boycott, Faith Gardening, food, Fruit, gardening, health, Healthy, Herbs, no pesticides, non-gmo, nourishment, nutrients, Organic, Produce, salad, sprout, trees, Urban Gardening, vegan

The Faith Garden: Evolution

Up until this point, I have been in the gardener’s equivalent of preschool. Success in pots on a highrise terrace with seedlings during a summer season or two were my first very large, crayon-scribbled attemtps to write my name.  

Visions of multiple clever urban gardening installations both outside on my terrace and inside by that expanse of east oriented windows in my livingroom, like trash can potatoes and dwarf citrus trees 🍊and vertically inclined shelves of fresh herbs 🌱🌱🌱, they danced in my head, but my reality was much less inspiring. Nonetheless, like the simple days in Pre K where toddlers learn each vowel and consonant on its own, my five little terrace pots provided just the right amount of learning for my experience level. They would lead to bigger things in God’s good time.

Even my first gardening book was a children’s book. 📖Reading Molly’s Organic Farm by Carol Malnor to my children at bedtime taugh me about companion planting, beneficial insects🐝 and crop rotation among other things. I have since graduated. I am in big kid school now! 

Currently Reading📚: Guerilla Gardening by David Tracey, on loan from the 

Trinidad National Library System (NALIS) 

🍅Currently Planting: Marvel Striped Heirloom Tomatoes and Sugar Daddy Snap Peas from seeds, and a tamarind tree sprout on a small patch in my backyard. 

My children saved seeds from eating Tamarind balls and planted them with full faith

Current techniques in use🌴: Adding topsoil to plant on top of dense clay, 

Judah planted this tiny seed in January, look how tall they both are!

preparing my next spots by laying down a bed of food scraps interlaid with grass cuttings to proactively attract soil life and help nourish the future residents – more food crops and a patch of flowers. Also using Lune & Jardin, an app that helps you plan your gardening in relation to the phases of the moon. 

Next 🌺phase plans: Expand vegetable patch, help the children create their own Friendship Garden 💚🌾and utilise items dumped in the back (old wooden boards, pvc pipe, a broken swing set and some kid’s forgotten homemade pushcart) to help create a lovely Faith Garden oasis for my little apartment complex community. 

I will update frequently!

blood pressure, Devotional, eating, food, Fruit, God's word, Healthy, vegan

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler 📏📐

You’ve made it to 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler.  Keep up the great work!

Today, let’s start with a piece of practical advice from the book of Proverbs that you can start using today. It’s the first verse of the 23rd chapter.

📌“When you sit down to eat with a ruler, Consider carefully what is before you;”

Proverbs 23:1 NKJV

When I first read this I shifted the comma in my mind.

“When you sit down to eat, with a ruler Consider carefully what is before you;”.

With the comma placed where the translators of the bible put it, the scripture warns us that when we are dining with someone of great power and influence 👑 (as the Message Bible has it), we must mind our manners. As my daughter says “we need to eat dainty” – like pinkies up and small bites and all that.

But that comma, I’m saying though, it moved in my brain. So I read it as an instruction to measure. Like with a ruler. Measure everything you’re about to eat. Consider carefully what you are putting in your mouth.  I wasn’t wrong, that is just the way Holy Spirit ministered to me. 

So I was determined to measure.  But that’s not new advice in and of itself.

The key was zeroing in on exactly HOW to measure my food. Around the time God inspired me to start this ministry by taking action in my own food life, I watched the documentary FedUp. It was through that film that the Holy Spirit enlightened me of the deception and showed me the right path to take, which is echoed in Proverbs 23:3:

Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. (NIV)

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler – Tip #1 It’s Not the Calories You Need to Measure!

Through persistent indoctrination by the media and the diet industry, people have been

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler Before Pic
My “Before Pic”, April 2015, over 200lbs, size 12 jeans, blood pressure on the borderline

lead to measure their food by counting calories. This is NOT going to help you over the long run, because (to use an example from the documentary): 100 calories in a handful of almonds will not affect your body the same way as 100 calories in a 12 oz glass of coke.  

The “calories in calories out” mentality may work for a few people for a short time who have the time to ALSO measure and manage how many calories they are burning in exchange, but for most of us that is a ludicrous undertaking.  In addition, remember that your body is the beautiful design of the Creator of the Universe.  It is far too complex for just one thing, just calorie counting, to fix what’s broken.

Start Measuring Sugar

So where should you start to measure?  Sugar (cue rolling eyes).  This is that sneaky cherished sin everybody knows they need to check but nobody really wants to cut off.  

You don’t want to do it.  But you need to do it. 

To quickly define, the sugar we are targeting is that sweet tasting simple carbohydrate. Usually, it comes from sugar cane or sugar beets that is added to the lion’s share of processed foods.  It even lurks in some artificial sweeteners. It naturally occurs in many foods including fruits and vegetables, honey, agave and maple syrup. This is where you start to apply your ruler. 

God’s Sugar Packs are Good

Mercifully, sugars in whole, fresh fruit doesn’t count, as they are in God’s perfect packaging.  Each of those naturally occurring sugar molecules is shackled to a fiber molecule so it will move through your system at the pace God intended it to.  🍒🍌🍉🍇🍓🍊🍐🍎🍅😍

Your target is the “free sugars”. 

It’s those free sugars we must take control of in our food lives!

The 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler is going to be a bit of a numbers game, so get ready to take notes! 

Sugar content per serving is noted in grams on the nutrition panels of packaged foods. While the USDA recommends up to 75g of free sugars a day, this is far too much. That level was decided by the USDA most likely to protect the profits of the food industry and the sugar barons, whom the Department of Agriculture both regulates and markets for. Conflict of interest much?

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler Nutrition Label
This beverage contains more than double the WHO recommendation for daily sugar intake. Imagine drinking one or two of these a day every day. Or drinking just one and then having sugar from various other sources also that day. You can’t win like this!

On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO)  recommends that you consume no more than about 25 grams a day. That’s the standard I set for myself back in May 2015 and still continue to adhere to for myself and my family.

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler Tip #2 Refined Starch is the Other White Sugar!

In addition to this, realize that refined starches are no different from sugar once they enter your body. This is another place to apply your ruler. These include anything made from white flour (breads and pastas🍞🍝), and white rice.  These are simple carbohydrates that can cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney and liver damage and many other of the so called lifestyle diseases that prevail today.

So I embarked on this Daniel 1 way of life.  No more of the kings delicacies for me! 

It was much rougher than I had imagined it would be!

What A Difference 50 Grams Makes!

I found that 25 grams is so very little compared  what I was accustomed to eating in a diet I had considered to be relatively healthy!  At the beginning, I was moody for a few days. I got headaches. I was cranky. Withdrawing from that sweet, sweet legal narcotic was awful!  For you, this is 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler, but for me it was a lonely first step on the hard road to life.  

The worst part in this unfair battle is that the enemy is coming at you from all sides. Just try to walk down a New York City commercial block and see how much temptation your senses are exposed to – pictures of pizza🍕, sandwiches and doughnuts🍩, smells pumping out of restaurant exhaust vents ♨️.  It’s an onslaught of delicacies from all sides!

But I knew my vision. My slim bitmoji was on deck. 💃🏿I was determined to use my body to glorify God. So I used my “ruler”. I learned that a tablespoon of honey contains 16g of free sugars.  A teaspoon of table sugar is worth 4g so my morning cup of tea had to count☕️. I read every nutrition panel on every item I had in the cupboards and the fridge, as well as in the supermarket while making my choices. Little by litttle, I

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler
My “after pic” on Emancipation Day August 1, 2016, under 170 lbs, size 8 skinny jeans

systematically replaced and in some cases eliminated the things I was eating and drinking and giving my family. Yes indeed, some of it ended up in the garbage and down the drain. 

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler Tip #2.5 Bring in The Replacements

OUT

  • White Pasta
  • White Bread
  • Sugar-sweetened tea
  • Table Sugar

IN

  • Whole Wheat  – CAVEAT: Watch the ingredient list.  Whole wheat bread is usually a blend of whole wheat and refined wheat, because it is difficult to get the kind of texture we like in this day and age with 100% whole wheat.  Therefore, the USDA allows bakers to blend and still call it Whole Wheat.  Look at the ingredient panel.  Ingredients are listed from greatest to least amounts.  If the first ingredient is “Enriched Flour” or the like (Refined, White Flour, etc) that is not a good go to.  The other caveat is to still keep this to a minimum.  In addition to the flour, packaged bread usually contains sugar.  Those grams definitely count in your measurement.  
  • Wheat Pasta, Pastas made from grains other than wheat (chick pea, quinoa, brown rice)
  • Sprouted grain breads🌱 (Thank you, Food for Life), true multi-grain breads (where the other grains are actually used in the dough and not just sprinkled on the top crust of a whole wheat loaf) or just Whole Wheat (organic when possible)
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Stevia – I use SweetLeaf, it tastes delicious, but beware of brands that contain dextrose – words ending in “ose” indicate the kind of sugar we are looking to reduce. 
  • Root Vegetables aka Ground Provisions – we’ve been told, and I had believed for a time, that these are to be avoided, but the reality is they are made by God also and, while they are starchy indeed, they are also nutrient rich and should be kept in the diet.

I even replaced our toothpaste, which can be another sneaky source of sugar!

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler – Tip #3: Make Your Change Holistic!

Eventually, I began to strive for veganism as I learned the unnecessary harm we cause our bodies by over-consuming animal flesh and dairy.  This helped me continue to reduce my intake of simple starches, as meat and cheese often are accompanied by them in our most deliciously harmful comfort foods – burgers, eggs, cheese and cold cuts on white breads, french fries and chips that accompany them, pizza with doughy crusts, fried chicken with flour batter, macaroni pie – the list of deceptive delicacies is so long!  But I found that the list of what I SHOULD eat instead is actually longer, because it’s God’s rich bounty and it is abundant indeed!🙏🏿

My proverbial ruler became my best weapon on this crusade.  I had lost 20 pounds in the first month after just cutting out sugars.  I started reading scriptures and books about the harm eating animal protein daily does, and made my final decision.  After maintaining for another couple of months, I soon continued to see steady decreases in weight.  Two years after I started my journey, I was still more than 50lbs lighter than when I started and have gone from a size 12 to size 8 skinny jeans. More importantly, I was blessed to donate a pristine kidney to my father in early 2016.  My blood work results and blood pressure are perfect every time.   

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 7: Use Your Ruler – Tip #4 Your Body Responds More to Your Diet than Exercise

You’re wondering if I also exercised more, aren’t you?  The answer is no! I live an active life in general with two small children in the countryside now, but I don’t exercise any more than I have in the past. In fact, I do less of my “on purpose” working out (running, yoga and Pilates are my favorites) at this point than I have in the past 10 years of my life. Do exercise, but just know that your diet will weigh more heavily in your results than the exercise.  Nonetheless, after a 30+ year struggle with my weight, my body is finally a living sacrifice.   It’s a visual and physical testimony that glorifies God inside and out.  🙋🏾

Meditate on These Scriptures Today:

  1. Proverbs 23:1-3
  2. Proverbs 23:20-21
  3. Proverbs 25:16

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Go to Day 8.