Written by Dr Caroline Leaf
My new book is not a feel-good-quick-fix-magic-solution-pop-a pill-on-a-diet-latest-food-fad-I-have-the-only-solution-diet. It is a long-term, sustainable challenge to a big problem: what to eat in our world today. It is an attempt to reintroduce a culture of thinking and effort back into eating, one based on diligently stewarding the bodies, and world, that God has entrusted to us. In the spirit of renewing the mind, it is a lifestyle book that seeks to reimagine what we eat within an integrated spirit, mind and body framework (Romans 12:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
The fact is we are all unique, which means that a way of eating, exercising, and sleeping that works for you may not work for me, within the context of a healthy lifestyle and a real food diet, which I will discuss in part 1. Let us take juicing as an example. This has spiraled in popularity and for good reason; it is a great way of getting all those necessary required fruit and veggies into your daily intake. But I personally get very lethargic and uncomfortable after drinking any type of juice (and I have pretty much tried every combination). I prefer to get my daily intake of veggies in other ways. So this book will not give you the solution, but rather teach you how to be your own solution, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The book is divided into three parts that will help you begin approaching these issues with a renewed mindset. Part 1, ADMIT IT! deals with the dysfunctional state of our current food system, and how far it has become removed from the concept of real food. Part 2, QUIT IT! focuses on the power of the mind, and the impact of toxic thinking and toxic food choices on the brain and body. Part 3, BEAT IT! deals with lifestyle changes that can help you begin the task of thinking and eating yourself smart. It includes 21 of my family’s favorite recipes, which can help you practically apply these lifestyle changes in your kitchen and your tummy!
I am not a dietician, nutritionist or medical doctor. My area of expertise is the mind, and I have approached eating from this perspective. I personally do not think you have to have a degree in nutritional science to know what you should put in your mouth. I think the fact that we feel we cannot even make our own food choices anymore without the help of an “expert” is a sign of just how broken our food system is. Indeed the field of nutrition is massive, and the research is so extensive that it is not possible in a book of this size or nature to present all sides of every argument. To this end, I have had to be selective, and have included as many original sources as possible to encourage and empower you to make your own choices—to encourage and empower you to think and eat yourself smart in every area of your life!
This book began in Deuteronomy 30:19. God has given us a choice: life or death, blessings or curses. He has also given us, through the incredible power in our sound minds, the ability to act on these choices and transform our world (2 Timothy 1:7).
And the world we live in desperately needs transformation. Today, nearly a billion people are hungry and almost two billion people are overweight or obese. Indeed, for the first time in our recorded history, millions of people across the world are both overweight and starving: dying of lifestyle diseases that are preventable. The exploitation and waste of the earth’s natural resources, partnered with a dramatically expanding world population and increasing levels of chronic diseases, have led many to question what we should eat, how people will eat, and the way in which our current food production system has contributed to these issues.
Despite all our advances—and there are many to be proud of—millions of people are condemned to live out their days in doctors’ offices or dying of extreme hunger; the rest of us are confounded by the latest nutritional advice, marketing campaigns and calorie dense foods of a global food industry. What exactly is stopping us from avoiding illnesses and premature death that are largely preventable through mind and dietary changes? How have our choices led us down this destructive road, away from God’s perfect plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11)?
These tragic facts compel us to question the way we think about our food. As the stewards of God’s creation (Genesis 1—2), we are not only responsible for our own wellbeing, spirit, soul and body, but that of the entire world: a world that God so loved that he was willing to send his one and only Son to save it (John 3:16).
We can change nothing until we fully comprehend what needs to be changed. Just as every action first begins with a thought, we, as the children of the Creator of this beautiful universe, have to understand the broken food system we face (Colossians 1:15-20). We have to take these thoughts captive unto Christ Jesus, asking him to guide our minds and show us the way forward (2 Corinthians 10:5). And, as we renew the way we think about what we eat and how we eat it, we take the first step to renewing our health and the health of God’s wonderful planet (Romans 12:2).
Only after we admit it, can we quit it and beat it.
The choice is ours.
I choose life.
Dr Caroline Leaf