Thursday, February 26, 2015

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Run And Not Be Weary, Walk And Not Fall Flat On Your Face

It can be SO confusing trying to sift through the deep forest jungles of nutrition information. There's the Atkins Diet, the Paleo Diet, the South Beach Diet, and the list can go on and on! I recently just heard about the Ram An Onion Up Your Nose Diet (ok, not really, but some of these can really get out of hand). All of these diets are encouraged for quick weight loss and are supposed to bring "health" to the body. We appreciate living in the "Information Age", but TMI (too much information) can leave us overwhelmed and confused. Even though we may reside in the overgrown jungle of nutrition confusion and misinformation, I am going to hand you a machete and we'll sift through this together. 

So, why do we want to eat right? 

One of the reasons we want to eat right is because we want to feel good. When we feel good physically, we then have the energy and stamina to be able to help and serve others. When we are sick all the time, we can't even help ourselves. Some of the greatest temple blessings we can receive are those of health...but, like anything else, faith without works is dead. In Doctrine and Covenants 89 we received the Word of Wisdom. In the word of wisdom we learn that wholesome grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts are for us to eat. Meat can be eaten, but is to be eaten sparingly. Not just because too much animal protein produces too much mucus for our bodies which can cause various ailments, but also to "spare" the animal. 

In the book "Original Fast Foods" by James Simmons ( Heber J. Grant is quoted as saying this: 

"I think that another reason I have very splendid strength for an old man is that during the years we have had a cafeteria ( at the temple)....I have not, with the exception of not more than a dozen times, ordered meat of any kind. ... I have endeavored to live the Word of Wisdom and that, in my opinion, is one reason for my good health." (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 15)

I have been to a few classes by Peter Bigfoot, who said he was "vegetarian" for about 20 years, and he said it almost killed him. Sometimes our bodies need it, but sparingly isn't 3 times a day for our entire lives as other guidelines available suggest. 

In "Original Fast Foods" the author suggests 10 percent of what we eat be animal protein. Fair enough.

Dr. John R. Christopher wrote a pamphlet called  "Just What is the Word of Wisdom?" He had some interesting points to consider, so much so that Elder John A. Widtsoe encouraged him to continue to print it so that it would be made available to as many people as possible. Here are a few of his thoughts:
  • Strong drink – “This has generally been accepted as referring to intoxicating liquors, but a strong drink is any drink, hot or cold, which is a habit forming drink.” He goes on to explain that it was many years after this revelation was given before Man and Science understood the phrase “for the washing of your bodies”.   It was discovered that alcohol could be used for the cleansing of wounds and for the killing of germs.
  • Herb to be used with judgment and skill – Dr. Christopher suggests that if tobacco is such a strong and dangerous herb to require a caution for its use even on the outside of the body, “what will it do to the delicate tissues and membranes inside the body?”
  • Hot drinks – “The common conception of hot drinks is tea and coffee . . . Medical Science has discovered  . . . that any hot liquid taken into the body is harmful . . .”  He clarifies that hot chocolate, postum and even soup—if too hot—can be very injurious to the delicate tissues of the body.   (Just What is the Word of Wisdom? By Dr. John R. Christopher, MH, p.5-7) 
What does eating right have to do with self-reliance?
With grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and some meat are to be what the Lord wants for us to eat, we must learn to grow these things for ourselves. It is kind of hard to grow a box of pasta or Oreos. I know this isn't a new idea and I am not trying to re-invent the wheel here. However, if we make our food stores out of things we have grown ourselves, then if store shelves become empty for any number of reasons, we have no need to fear during those times. Think about it, that's a BIGdeal! I think of Daniel and the incredible example he shared with the court in Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. He had no fear because God's law of health would win, and he KNEW it! Awwwwesome!
In conclusion I would like to share this quote by President Boyd K. Packer:
“The Word of Wisdom was ‘given for a principle with promise’ (see D&C 89:3).  That word principle in the revelation is a very important one.  A principle is an enduring truth, a law, a rule you can adopt to guide you in making decisions.  Generally, principles are not spelled out in detail.   That leaves you free to find your way with an enduring truth, a principle, as your anchor.”  (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1996 p. 17)
So, if you are allergic to some grains or whatever, the principle applies - let it guide your decisions - don't make yourself sick silly pants.
With all of the fad diets and promises of health available for us in this vast age of information, the Lord's law for health surpasses them all. Don't fall for the "fruit only" diet or the "no carbs" diet, the "fat free" diet ...whatever they may be. Balance, moderation and principle is the key. Then, as promised, you "shall run and not be weary, and walk and not faint"...unless you run like me and fall flat on your face, but that has nothing to do with what you are eating. :) 


  1. Thanks for your thoughtful post! One thing I like about a “whole food, plant-based diet” is that it matches the counsel given by the Lord in D&C 89. It is much more than eating plant-based; it is also about eating the wholesome foods God created. I also think this makes food storage much easier. Here is information on a whole food, plant-based food storage:

  2. I am glad you liked it :). I am thankful for a loving God who makes things easy...because I'm lazy :). I will check out your link.