Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pass the Brussel Sprouts, Please!

Today begins a 21-day stretch for my wife and I that should be…let’s say, interesting. We are just a little over three weeks away from our daughter’s college graduation and after that comes summer. Now that we have survived our first winter up here in northern Michigan (be it mild by “up north” standards – only about 100 inches of snow) we are ready to get serious about getting back on an eating regiment that will allow us to keep our weight down, feel better and sleep better.

In the past, the only diet that has really worked for us is the “eat less more often” approach of eating small amounts every two hours and sensible size meals (sensible meaning you leave the table still a bit hungry and counting down the minutes until the next 2-hour snack time). Over the winter we got away from this system. Once we get set on this plan we do well. It’s the getting started back on it that is tough. For us, the best approach is a strict beginning.

So, beginning today we are embarking on a 21-day “boot camp” of sorts to get us back on our diet lifestyle. We have decided to try something neither of us has ever done. For the next 3-weeks we are going to walk in the sandals of Daniel, the Old Testament prophet. In Daniel 1 the Prophet ate only vegetables (that would have included fruits) and drank only water. Then in Daniel 10 we read that the Prophet ate no meat nor any precious breads or foods and he drank no wine for 21 days. So for the next 21-days we are going to follow the following three guidelines.

1. Only fruits and vegetables
2. Only water for a beverage
3. No sweeteners and no breads

Because Jewish fasting principles also restricted leaven, we are going to avoid yeast, baking powder and the likes as well as keeping away from all artificial or processed foods for the next 21-days. It’s often called “The Daniel Fast” and many people do the “Daniel Fast” for spiritual purposes. That is not really our motive (gee, I hope that doesn’t sound bad). If we were doing this for primarily spiritual reasons I would not blog about it as fasting for spiritual purposes is a private issue, not a public one.

While we are doing it mainly to “jumpstart” our healthy eating lifestyle that we desire to get back to doing, I do believe it will have a spiritual impact on our lives as well. I think it is always spiritually beneficial for us to take mastery over our bodies and appetites. I remember hearing one pastor say that he always had a bowl of ice cream each evening. But once in a while he said that he would fix his bowl of ice cream and put it on the end table next to his living room chair but refuse to eat it just to remind his body and his physical appetites that he controlled them and not the other way around.

For the next 21-days that will be the case for me as I completely avoid food I love. Foods like meat, pizza, and coffee.

Pass the brussel sprouts, please!

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