Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Who Eats Leg Warmers Anyway?


There is very little that cracks me up quite like fads. Don't get me wrong, I lived my childhood in the 80's and have great memories. It gave us some of the greatest music. The fashion however cracks me up. How could something that was so cool 30 years ago look totally ridiculous today? Those leg warmers!! They had no purpose but for looks. They were a total fad. I remember wishing as a young girl to have them, but now I'm so glad I didn't fall for it.

I do not wish to start a fight with those who still might be stuck in that decade, again...it had some great things to offer. Journey, Mork and Mindy, VCR's, and hair wings. Priceless. There were some crazy food fads though.. what was it back then? Oh, that's right. Fat free. And the other? The introduction of aspartame.

Clothing fads will come and go. Food fads will come and go. Many food fads leave much more damage to our bodies than all that Aquanet and high bangs ever did. Those fads can also effect the generations that come after. Fat free sounds like it would help us loose weight. Sadly, depression skyrocketed in the 80's because our brains...are made of fat. Aspartame (bless its little heart - it sure tries) has been proven to be linked to a lovely list of nasty side effects like:

migraines/headaches, weight gain, rashes, fatigue, insomnia, hearing and vision problems, anxiety attacks, loss of taste and speech, memory loss, respiratory problems, muscle spasms and heart palpitation. Aspartame could also increase the chances of chronic diseases such as Parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, birth defects, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome and brain tumors." - See more at: http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-foods/aspartame-saccharine/#sthash.ti8AAUaU.dpuf
There is so much misinformation about what a good diet is and what it is not. Even "whole food" people will argue until the sun goes down what is good and what isn't. Food can divide almost as much as the current political arenas. This brings me to my next question.

What does God say about what we should eat? I often go to the story of Daniel in the Bible. I found this interesting take on Daniel's experience of being captured and taken to the be educated in the king's court:

"Now seeing that Daniel was a prisoner, one could reason that he should settle in and count his blessings. For the most part, it appears that is what he did. But there was one issue over which Daniel risked his life. It wasn’t the insulting new name he was given that attempted to negate his allegiance to his God. It wasn’t the education he was to receive for 3 years which would fit him to better serve the goals of the Babylonian ruler. It wasn’t even the fact that he was made a eunuch. The issue that Daniel chose to risk his life over was none other than the issue of not eating the king's food.

This was not a hunger strike. It was a well thought out decision based on the type of food being served. The King's diet was rich in wine and meat. Daniel, a likable fellow, went to the man who was in charge of the prisoners and requested pulse and water. He was flatly refused. He persisted and received permission to trial his request for 10 days."


Pulse literally translates to vegetables. It is also known as seeds and legumes.
Does that mean that we never eat things like meat? I feel a riot starting boil among some readers. Meat tastes sooooOOooo good!! Especially BBQ chicken, slow roasted pork, and a good ol' fashioned medium well steak with all the trimmings and a little A1 sauce are a meat lover's heaven!! A little more clarification to the question of meat might be needed. I am so thankful for the Word of Wisdom found in Doctrine and Covenants 89. Meat is said to be eaten "sparingly". What does that even mean? In our Standard American Diet (or SAD), we are encouraged to eat meat two to three times a day! If I were to eat Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake that many times a day, it would not be sparingly (it would taste good, but would not be good for me).

Here are verses 12 and 13:

12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;  13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

John A. Widsoe (a scientist and Apostle in his day) and Hyrum Smith both suggested part of sparingly meant to spare the life of the animal. It was ok for Noah and Lehi's family to eat meat more often than "sparingly" because, that's all there was.  Plants were not available. President Ezra Taft Benson said this :

"To a significant degree, we are an overfed and undernourished nation digging an early grave with our teeth, and lacking the energy that could be ours.... We need a generation of young people who, as Daniel, eat in a more healthy manner than to fare on the 'kings meat' ---and whose countenances show it." (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson pp. 476-7) 

So, not to eat a dead horse...I mean beat a dead horse, I would like to touch on the number ten. Why was ten days so important? Is that number significant for some reason? My eight year old son has chosen to learn Hebrew for his foreign language. So we are working together to sift through this unique language. Every little piece of each letter represents something. The smallest letter is called "Yod" (pronounced "yode"). Yod is small to suggest "humility" but is a part of every letter in their alphabet. It is also part of each number. Ten shows up in the scriptures often and is a symbol of things that will affect all people. For instance:

- God gave ten commandments
- God asks us to pay "tithing" or a "tenth"
- There were ten plagues preceding the Exodus from Egypt (How would the Exodus affect all people?)
- Ten things were created on the First Day, Ten things were created on the sixth day
- There were ten virgins

If you do a search on lds.org for how many times ten shows up in the scriptures, you'll likely be blown away. Ten was not a number used by chance. The way that we eat is so important, and Daniel set an example for all people by standing up.

I love that our food storage suggestions are things that fall very nicely into this category of eating as Heavenly Father would have us eat. We are encouraged to purchase and store:

- wheat
- rice
- a variety of other grains
- beans/lentils
- seeds (for planting too)
- dried and canned fruit
- dried and canned vegetables
- and more

Fads will come and go be it food or fashion. If the "world" tells us, "no fat, no carbs, high protein, blah blah blah" we know that they Lord has prepared for the people who will listen a way to eat from the beginning. Leg Warmers might have been fancy back in the 80's, but I am so glad today that I never partook. I've heard they don't taste very good.

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