Would you imagine with me for just a moment?
Since we both love wild, exotic animals, let’s pretend we just bought a zoo together. With hundreds of different species now in our trust, we get to build a habitat for each one.
Let’s start with our lions. I think the perfect home for a big cat is a large room with a cement floor. We can paint it dark brown so it would feel like it has dirt and rock under his paws. He needs a beautiful smokey gray ceiling with florescent lights in the center imitating the sun. The lights would also help the plants grow and make the lion feel at home.
Of course it’s unconscionable to sacrifice smaller, helpless animals just to feed lions. There’s no need for that. These cats will eat only “stuffed animals” of our own creation, specially-designed so they will love it. We’ll serve a perfectly-sculpted soy gazelle for breakfast. At lunch, a stuffed-wheat antelope on a platter. We can have a life-size zebra laced with chocolate stripes — extra fortified, of course, with all the essential vitamins a growing lion needs.
Absurd you say?
Of course it is. Not in our wildest imagination would we consider taking a lion out of its natural habitat and creating a completely artificial one and feeding it manufactured (yet vitamin-fortified) food and expect it to thrive on any level. In fact, we pity the poor creature that’s born into captivity. And yet, this is precisely what we have done to ourselves.
Let’s face it: we were raised in industrial captivity with fake food. Like our imaginary lion born into captivity, we don’t know anything different. But what we do know, deep down is this just isn’t right. But how do we change it?
Last week, in “How These 3 Simple Principles of a Judeo-Christian Diet Save My Family” I wrote:
Once we realized that food was not the enemy, but a gift from God, it changed the entire dynamics of how we viewed what we ate.
When we began to understand that there is a vast difference between manufactured foods designed to make us happy and want more, and real foods designed by God to make us healthy and well then a whole new world opened before us.
Did your eyes just glaze over? When I tell people we’ve learned to stay as close as we can to the way God intended our food to be then they usually disconnect. Somehow that seems to translate into a life sentence into the world of raw and bland.
Truth is we’ve never eaten so well in our lives.
If you want a sustainable lifestyle change, this is the key: focus on new recipes, expand your taste with new vegetables and spices to replace the old ones. I call it my “replacement therapy.”
For example: Our family has had a long standing tradition of a big pot of Chili at the first sign of fall. It’s a comfort food and a gathering point. Our family and friends come over for Dad’s first pot of homemade Chili. The problem: it was all made with hamburger and sauces laden with sodium and a host of other ingredients that did more harm than good.
Our replacement, and a new family favorite is “Autumn Soup” full of fresh, seasonal ingredients and ground turkey. We didn’t lose a tradition or a deprive ourselves of something we love –we upgraded.
We replaced fatty, hormone-packed hamburger with turkey. We’ve added venison, lamb and even on a rare occasion bison to our menu. We’ve also added a vast array of low glycemic vegetables, and super-foods like chia seeds and quinoa. By replacing vegetable oil with rich oils like Red Palm Oil, Virgin Olive Oil and Grapeseed Oil we’ve added a new level of health benefits to our daily meals.
By replacing our cheap, mass-produced foods with local, fresh and nutrient-dense ingredients we’ve transformed our bad eating habits into fine dining experiences.
If you’re thinking, that all sounds great but my family will never go for something with strange ingredients in it– here’s the trick. Designate one day of the week to try a new recipe. No one gets to ask what’s in it before they try it. If they don’t like it, promise not to make it again. So far, I’ve had about a 98 percent success rate. The entire family has discovered a whole new world of flavor, lost weight and found a healthy lifestyle we can embrace and give thanks to God for.
Lions were created to hunt for food. We were created to savor and share it. Neither of us were created to thrive on food designed to outlive us sitting on a shelf.