Eat to Live and Not Live to Eat

“Eat to live and not live to Eat” are words I have heard continuously throughout my life although I am not sure when I first heard them. Several years ago, I discovered I was lactose intolerant. For those who don’t know the effects on the body can cause stomach cramping, bloating and in extreme cases diarrhea. I love ice cream and cheese is definitely something delectable to my palette. However, before I take a bite of anything with dairy I have to ask myself, “Is it really worth the temporary satisfaction when I know the aftermath is my body’s rejection to it?” I would not be telling the truth to say I never give into my desire for dairy but I will say that I choose more often not to because I don’t want to feel heavily weighed down by an unwise eating decision. It is not simply a matter of taking a pill such as Lactaid to alleviate my intolerance for I have grown even resistant to those helping. I now know more than ever that everything I take into my body can either nourish or upset its healthy balance. Recently, I started a twenty one day Daniel Fast which consists of drinking only water and eating only fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains. Initially, I thought I would be starving each day but contrary to my belief I am not at all. The interesting thing is before I started the fast I thought of food intake only as an immediate gratification to satisfy the cravings I have. However, as each day passes by in my fasting I understand it’s not how much of something I eat but rather its nutritional value that truly makes the difference. Clarity on how my body responds to what I eat and my surroundings is definitely something I have grown more sensitive to over time. I often remember the theme of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray and Love” and think of many ways to seek and maintain balance in my life while on the journey to discovering the fulfillment of my God given purpose. The biggest lesson I have learned that is what you eat and what and whom you spend most of your time around becomes who you are. The result of these interactions can either be life changing or altering in a positive or negative way. Overall, the decision to be healthy must be a conscious lifestyle change in order to renew a person in mind, body and spirit.