It was so refreshing to see three articles in the Ensign magazine this year. I hope they were widely read, and I hope there will be more.
Nourishing Our Bodies and Our Spirits, Beverly Hyatt Neville, February 2014
The author talks about rising above our cultural food habits to being guided by the principles in the Word of Wisdom, a great thought. It would mean beginning with the question: What does the Manufacturer instruct us to do to fuel and sustain our body machine?’
The author begins with apparent concern about protein and variety. I don’t know what variety was available to the people she was speaking of, but I know that Americans have plenty of variety — yet we often assume the best grains and fruits are only available in exotic countries, and we pay high prices to have them imported, and sometimes bottled, at high prices. Is something wrong here?
As for protein, Americans have a cultural belief that high protein is necessary, which makes us fear a plant diet. Yet if plant protein is not sufficient, that would that mean the Lord blundered in the Creation by putting low amounts of protein in plants. I don’t know if by “sparingly” He means “infrequently” or “in small amounts,” or whether He means “sparing the lives of animals,” but if diet is the concern, then He would have blundered again by saying it is pleasing to Him if we avoid the high protein foods. In either case, the article is a delight.
Here’s a quick read about potatoes from the very informative website of Dr. John McDougall in California. For more information about the history and sufficiency of plant food diets, you might enjoy this hour long video, The Starch Solution, also on his website.
A Principle with Promises, G. Craig Kiser, February 2014
This is an excellent article by a medical doctor. Doctors who appreciate the benefits of plant foods are still rare, but they are becoming far more plentiful. Dr. Kiser says the, “… meager intake of fruits and vegetables was listed as one of four bad habits associated with early death.”
In footnote #6 the author references T. Colin Campbell who headed what is known as the “Cadillac of Studies,” the “Cornell China Study.” Dr. Campbell is from Cornell; the Emperor of China hosted the project. Dr. Campbell’s book is titled, “The China Study” and is well worth reading; he found plant foods to be protective, and even curative, against both heart disease and cancer.
Dr. Campbell, the researcher, and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, the surgeon who began curing heart disease with diet, produced a video, “Forks Over Knives,” followed by a cookbook. You’ll find twenty videos, most of then about two minutes, and a couple of longer ones on the “Forks Over Knives” YouTube page below. (The videos load automatically; you can move to the end of any that you don’t want to watch):
I Strive to Be Healthy by. . . March 2014
This great article is by young adults who bear testimony of things they do to improve their health. One sister with “serious food allergies” found relief in green smoothies:
For a long time it was difficult for me to get any fruits and vegetables into my diet because of some serious food allergies. I could hardly eat more than four blueberries at a time without feeling ill. When I discovered green smoothies, everything changed.
At first my body struggled, but over time my allergies diminished substantially and I became full of energy. I love creating new smoothies, and I try to put the most nutrient-dense and colorful fruits and vegetables into them: kale, Swiss chard, spinach, lime, peaches, mango, strawberries, coconut, and so on. I am grateful for the Word of Wisdom and for the blessings I’ve received as I’ve incorporated its principles into my life.
It seems the Church is trying hard to get our attention on health matters. We might improve the missionary work and save the Church a lot of money on medical costs if the MTC’s would feature and serve green smoothies and moms would serve them to their pre-mission children.
By the way, it may be that people with food allergies feel throat discomfort because their throats are coated with bacteria; the enzymes in fresh fruit or vegetables kill the bacteria, and the die-off (the decomposition of body chemicals) causes the throat to hurt. Don’t blame the blueberries; they are your healers. In time they’ll have your throat cleaned out, and the rest of your body — if you quit eating the foods you’re allergic to (usually dairy). Read this sentence again and think of the plant foods cleaning house in the rest of you. There is a very short animated graphic about 30 seconds into this video:
At first my body struggled, but over time my allergies diminished substantially and I became full of energy.
While others argue over protein and carbohydrates, we have the sure word of the Lord. Our lives can be blessed by the Word of Wisdom.