As we were doing our Lord's prayer in church last week, I was suddenly struck by the phrase "Give us this day our daily bread." The prayer doesn't say "give us this day our lasagna and garlic bread" or "give us this day our gooey chocolate cake" - it says "our daily bread." We are asking God to provide us with the nourishment that our bodies need to do His work.
How often do I go throughout my days with a feeling of entitlement and deprivation. I am entitled to having a weekend off and am deprived when I must stay home to do housework. I am entitled to sleeping in when I like and am deprived when I have to rise early to exercise. And most commonly, I am entitled to eating whatever I feel I would most enjoy, and am deprived when I have to eat all that healthy stuff. This attitude is making me nothing but fat and cranky and I think it's time for a change.
I spoke with a friend recently who mentioned that she and her husband are doing the Daniel Diet. As in, eating what Daniel in the Bible would have eaten. Daniel, who had to fight for his right to eat healthy foods in the natural state God created them. Daniel who willingly and gladly turned down the rich foods of the king's people. Daniel who was noticeably the strongest and healthiest servant in the court. This diet is, essentially, much like the Big Diet hubby and I did a couple months ago. Lots of fruits, nuts, grains - anything that can be harvested. No eggs like I was eating, though. Their diet lasts 10 days and she said that though she's hungry, she's feeling amazing. It made me think long and hard about how I've been feeling lately. Fat, lazy, generally 'off.'
We've been splurging a lot, lately. We've gone on date nights and stuffed ourselves at buffets. We've invited friends over for 'fried nights' full of greasy, breaded foods. I've been eating s'mores like they're going out of style. And I'm paying for it. I don't think the Lord minds if we treat ourselves to something decadent now and then. But His word is filled with reminders to be self controlled and avoid gluttony. The Lord gives us commands for our own good and He knows best what will make our bodies strong, healthy, and ready to do His work.
I've already got my menu planned out for the week, and it's not great. We've got a night of eating out and some meatloaf and leftover fried-food on there. But I do intend to eat as cleanly as I can this week, and once it's over - well I just need to do my best to be like Daniel 90% of the time, and the king 10% or less. I think treats are a good thing. They help me from feeling totally deprived and then stuffing myself with anything and everything I can find. But I need to remember that treats are just that - something special to spoil myself with now and then. I am not entitled to eating whatever will taste best at any given moment. I am not deprived if I eat healthy, whole foods that will increase my energy, boost my weight loss and improve my mood. I need to spend more time thanking the Lord that I have the resources to eat as He intends instead of grumbling that I never get to cook anything 'yummy.' Any time I start to complain that healthy food is boring I should thaw out a bag of raspberries. Oh. Yum. It's summer. Fruits and veggies are abundant and (relatively) cheap. So let's all celebrate the season by having a Daniel feast! Who's with me?