Glorifying God doesn’t require a diet

I’m going to ask for forgiveness from the get-go. I have a feeling this post may cause an eyebrow or two to rise, if not some full-out protests. But I have a confession to make…I have a problem with diets. Especially those that claim to have a higher calling.

Stick with me a minute. I have a pretty sound reason. But it takes a second to explain.

Let me start with this: my son is limited in his diet. Genetically he cannot handle much protein. In fact, when we first started his “diet,” he was limited to 9 grams of protein per day. To put that into perspective, a glass of milk is about 8 grams of protein. There is protein in almost everything we eat…bread, noodles, potatoes, some veggies, dairy, and meat. The only “freebies” are sweets and fruits.

Let's eat intentionally, instead of judging food choices that are different. Some do not have the freedom of choice...such as those that must eat what is given.

Let’s eat intentionally, instead of judging food choices that are different. Some do not have the freedom of choice…such as those that must eat what is given.

So where is my problem? I’ve had a few acquaintances come out flashing their new diets as a badge of honor. They are deciding to give up certain foods and habits, as a hardship in honor of God. Which I’m completely OK with…but I question the message it sends.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for eating healthy and being aware of what we’re putting in our mouths and our bodies, but I question what we’re telling those that have no choice.

For example, I recently read an article where a young woman claimed to give up meat as a way to be closer to God. She stated that the hardship was worth it, because she knew what Jesus had given up for her soul.

So what does this mean for my son? Since he has no choice in his diet, does that mean that he’s destined for a life of being unable to show his gratitude? If he finds himself really wishing he could enjoy “forbidden” foods, does that make him less worthy than the others?

"Diet" means something different to him than to most people.

“Diet” means something different to him than to most people.

And then there’s the ridiculousness of it all. What happened to common sense? And someone profits from this? Really? Is that a sign of righteousness? Someone being able to sell a book?

Sorry…I did get a little snarky there. But I just question a lot of the “diets” going around.

Here’s my take on it all: Imagine, if you will, someone deciding no o use he leer “T” in heir communicaion. No maer wha, hey don’ use he leer “T.” I’s no ha hey can’ use he leer, nohing is sopping hem from doing so, hey jus feel called o no use i. Now, ruh be old, i doesn’ change much abou heir life, i jus makes communicaion wih ohers a lile more difficul.

Now, for someone who may actually have a speech impediment that prohibits them from using the letter “T,” they may actually be offended, hearing someone not use the letter, just because they feel God is calling them not to…when that person has been dreaming of being able to speak with the letter “T” for their whole life.

Does that make sense?

This is how I imagine my son feeling, if he knew that someone was mimicking his diet without a medical reason to…and I am pretty sure I would feel the same way.

I have no problem with eating healthy, exercising more and becoming more intentional in our eating as a society, but I do not believe that we’ve been given dominion over all of the gifts of this land, only to judge and chastise those that enjoy the fruits of our labors.

For those that have dietary needs that severely restrict their choices, it isn’t a decision that they take lightly…and I know that many would wish nothing more than to be able to enjoy a day of not thinking about what they are craving and to enjoy those foods that are otherwise forbidden.

And what about those that can’t afford to make such decisions? Are they less worthy?

Instead of giving up desired foods as some sort of “gift,” why don’t we just eat more intentionally…and treat each item produced as food as the gift it was meant to be.

Genesis 9:3 – “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

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Eating meat – a personal choice

Today a little blurb came across my Facebook feed that struck a nerve and made me respond. It was a notification from a major company that there was an active recall for certain ground beef. What had me replying was the insinuation of some that such recalls could be avoided if we don’t eat meat, or if we only eat locally raised meat, or if we eliminate “factory farmed” meat.

None of these are true.

Let me first explain that not everyone in my family eats meat. In fact, our youngest son is limited to 19 grams of protein per day…total, including proteins received from breads, pasta, cheese, milk, etc. Essentially, he is unable to eat meat, drink milk, etc. (You can read more about it on the OTC tab above.)

George, summer 2010, before we started his low-protein diet. With his skinny little chicken arms, tiny legs and minus any fat. This picture makes me cringe sometimes, but it also makes me thank God for miracles.

George, summer 2010, before we started his low-protein diet. With his skinny little chicken arms, tiny legs and minus any fat. This picture makes me cringe sometimes, but it also makes me thank God for miracles.

When we were struggling to find out what was wrong with him, I was trying to cut out different items from my diet, we tried different formulas, nothing seemed to work. He was labeled with Failure to Thrive, and then we kept looking for answers from there.

I never imagined that it would be something we would deal with long-term, but here we are, three years later, looking at a lifetime of diet changes.

George, summer 2012 - all sass and attitude! Full of life, love and a true blessing through and through!

George, summer 2012 – all sass and attitude! Full of life, love and a true blessing through and through!

So why don’t the rest of us go with a vegan-like diet? Wouldn’t it be easier?

You would think so, and at the start, I thought that would be the way to go…but after a long discussion with our dietician, I quickly realized that wouldn’t be the easy answer I was looking for. Did you know that it takes two plant-based proteins to make up the same benefit as an animal protein?

To me, just to ensure that everyone received the needed nutrients and vitamins that they needed, it’s much easier to make George a special, separate meal, as opposed to making a low-protein meal for the whole family.

So I get creative. George has the same meal that we have (usually), it’s just adapted. For example, instead of a regular hamburger, George will have a low-protein bun filled with pickles and ketchup, just minus the meat and cheese. Instead of a dish of ice cream for a treat, George has a dish of sherbet.

I see all the “extra’s” that George has to have in order to make up for those missing proteins: daily “medical food,” extra iron, vitamins, etc. And that’s definitely not a regimen that I want to put our whole family on.

This is George's formula...it stinks to high heaven and I have to hide it in different foods and stuff, but it's what he needs. And that's all that matters.

This is George’s formula…it stinks to high heaven and I have to hide it in different foods and stuff, but it’s what he needs. And that’s all that matters.

That’s the beauty of living in the country that we live in. We have a freedom of choice, and I just so happen to choose to feed my family meat….or at least those that can.

I support anyone making those choices for their own families, whether it’s to enjoy a healthy meal involving a simple animal protein or not. The only time my ire is raised is when I’m attacked for not making the same choice.

And then I become a mama bear…and bears are omnivores.