Back to basics


Over break last week I had a health renaissance of sorts. I lost six pounds and was able to re-introduce gluten back into my diet after having to avoid it since the summer of 2017. I learned how to treat my body to beat the battle of the bulge without any of the fad diet techniques that involve cutting out food groups.

Here is how I did it. About a month ago, my mom went to Wildwood Lifestyle Center in Georgia. It vastly improved her quality of life, and she learned a lot. I was so impressed that I asked her to help me while I was home for Spring Break. When I got home, everything I thought about how to eat was turned on its head.

The first thing that threw me was that I wasn’t supposed to drink during meals or within a half hour before or after a meal. That blew my mind, but it makes sense. If you have both solids and liquids in your stomach, it will digest the liquids first leaving the solids to spoil and cause digestion problems including heartburn and gas.

The second thing that was a bit hard at first was that we only ate breakfast and lunch. Now this isn’t a requirement for everyone, but if you are looking to lose weight or are suffering from depression, skipping the third meal of the day has benefits for improved weight loss and better sleep, which helps heal depression.

The third thing might be hard to swallow for many of my readers. The food I ate over break was complete vegan. The first thought you probably have is that you don’t want to live without cheese/ice cream/eggs/chicken or whatever. Let me assure you that I love those things, and I didn’t miss them. They have some really good vegan cheeses and ice cream, so you don’t have to miss those at all. There are egg substitutes and meat analogues too, but we didn’t need a whole lot of those because there was plenty to eat without those things.

Breakfast was usually a hot grain cereal with honey or agave and various nuts and dried fruits for toppings, toast or a muffin or vegan sausage patty and plenty of fresh fruit. Lunch always started with a large salad with a homemade, dairy-free dressing after which a balanced entree was always delicious followed.

I feel great. The funny thing is that all these guidelines I followed are found in “Ministry of Healing.” Why aren’t all of our Adventist institutions following these guidelines for the health of their students and staff?

We need to go back to basics. One of our most powerful tools of ministry is our health message. There is a giant push for health in certain groups of this country. I wonder what would happen if every Adventist institution followed and promoted the health message we have in its entirety.

Image credit: Melissa Belanger

Written by Zachary Hagen

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