“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” -Deuteronomy 30:19
With every meal we eat, with every forkful of food we place into our mouths, we are making a choice between life or death. Rarely does food bring immediate death, so it is often not obvious to us how it may lead to death. But wisdom and multitudinous scientific studies show that many foods and drinks act like a slow poison, damaging our arteries, injuring our cells, disrupting our gut lining, promoting inflammation in our tissues, hastening the growth of cancer cells, and altering the expression of our genes. These foods are typically animal-based, or they may be highly processed and far removed from their natural, whole states. Consequently, they are low in nutrients, and food is only as good as the nutrients in it (and how well we absorb those nutrients). Otherwise, it’s just taste, just texture, just pleasure, just filling for a moment, without true nourishment, without enhancing or prolonging life, without the power to fight off disease.
Briefly, these foods are:
Sugary, high-glycemic foods
Highly processed carbohydrates
Commercial animal meats and their products (milks, cheeses, etc)
Trans fats (found in hydrogenated vegetable oils)
Omega-6 fats (when disproportionate to Omega-6 fats)
Sodas and juices
Then there are foods that bring vibrant life! Foods that help us to grow and repair and heal and thrive! Foods that reduce inflammation and ward off damage, degeneration, and disease. These wonderful foods are predominantly PLANT BASED WHOLE FOODS. They are nutrient-dense and typically low in sugar. They are delicious and satisfying and easily attained.
Briefly these life-giving foods are:
Leafy green and brightly colored vegetables
Nuts and Nut Butters
herbs and spices
Diabetes is a choice. It is an utterly preventable disease. But we choose it – consciously or not – by the choices we make in our foods, as well as the choices we make with our time, with the activities of our lifestyle, and with the use of our very own muscles and bodies. Heart disease is often a choice. So is “high cholesterol,” obesity, and a great variety of digestive disorders, metabolic disorders, hormonal disorders (driven by the sugar-lowering, fat-producing hormone insulin and the stress hormone cortisol), and all types of aches and pains.
You have a choice between life or death, between blessings and curse. Great health is a choice. Great health is also a blessing.
Medical science confirms that choosing foods that are nutrient-poor, highly processed, or sourced from low-quality commercially-raised animals will lead to disease and often an early death. Disease can feel like a curse. Pain can, too. But God’s plan for us is to have life and life more abundantly. He desires for us to prosper, to succeed, and to be joyful always. His Word declares that we may be satisfied with long life, and that it may be WELL with us.
Are you well? Do you eat well?
Are you choosing life-giving foods so that you can be well?
The new year is always a symbolic time to examine your life, re-define your goals, and reignite the belief and passion in you for a better, more healthful,fruitful, joyful life. A life FULL of blessings, not curses.
I urge you to take control of your fork. As you do, your cravings will no longer control you. Remember how powerful you are when you abide in God. He gives you the strength and the wisdom to make right choices. Choose life. Choose a long, healthy life. Choose the freedom and joy that great health brings.
Peace & Wellness,
Jamie Chan-Ortega, Ph.D., L.Ac.