Saturday, April 12, 2014

Whole Living

Yesterday began the start of a brand new lifestyle change. I started the whole30 program which is a stricter paleo program that focuses on eating whole, unprocessed foods, cutting sugar cravings, and making you healthier overall. I can't tell you all the benefits of paleo personally yet but from what I have researched so far it sounds amazing. Since the "diet" cuts out sugars, grains, and legumes I thought that it would be impossible to follow. No chocolate? No peanut butter? Saying goodbye to my favorite food groups was difficult but even after only 2 days of the whole30 I am already amazed at how much better I feel and proud of myself for learning and preparing new recipes. They are delicious recipes if I do say so myself. Cauliflower "rice", mashed garlic cauliflower, carrot "fries", guacamole deviled eggs, and dates stuffed with almond butter are just a few of my new diet staples. I do feel like the only way I can eat dates though is if I am concurrently watching Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark ... or at least thinking about it. I'll also have to make sure I have a monkey taste the dates before I eat them next time. Just in case. 

Eating paleo and learning the Creighton Method have taught me a lot about myself and even more about how we take care of ourselves not only physically but also spiritually. I've been looking at food labels a lot more lately and not for calories anymore (which I looked at exclusively for years) but for ingredients. If I can't tell you what it is without Google's help, I don't buy it.  Are some of these "health foods" we are being sold even food? Why was I ever putting that in my body? I've asked that question about a lot of stuff lately. Food. Contraception. Why?

God designed us as humans in His image and likeness and everything God created is good. He created everything for a purpose and in everything if it is used the way God intended, then that is what is best for us as human beings. We need to take care of ourselves because we are body and spirit. They affect each other and one is not exclusive of the other. We need to take care of our health and eat right so our bodies work correctly. If we eat whole foods we are eating them in the best possible state which is so much better for us then processed, factory "food." I started eating Paleo to find and resolve underlying issues with my cycle (which were found through charting with the Creighton Method). We are important and taking care of ourselves is important because we are created in God's image and likeness. He gives us everything we need to point us towards Him and He provides us with what we need. 

Again, I'll bring up how I feel about contraception. It is 150% wrong. I'll go so far as to say I believe it is a sin. You can't spin it or twist it any other way. Until 1930 all Christian communities held a unified stance against contraception. It wasn't until an Anglican Church in 1930 said it was "okay" that other Christian communities followed suit and made it a personal choice. Most said it was okay except the Catholic Church. You can read that phenomenal stance on the dignity of human life in Humanae Vitae.

In the 21st century, the Catholic Church in her teachings still holds and teaches a strong view against contraception and that its use is a sin. However, the Catholic Church is not the only one who has spoken out against contraception. Strong Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther abhorred the use of contraception. Luther's words against it were so strong as to say "How great, therefore, the wickedness of [fallen] human nature is! How many girls there are who prevent conception and kill and expel tender fetuses, although procreation is the work of God! Indeed, some spouses who marry and live together…have various ends in mind, but rarely children." 

So what changed from the time of Jesus? From the 1500s until the 1930s? until now? Society. What we as humans deem acceptable has changed (it doesn't mean we are always right!). God hasn't changed. God is constant. He is not going to change His commands for the convenience of society. Despite what the media tells us, what the latest "feminist" tells us, or what special pill our government pushes on us we are not broken. Fallen, yes, but broken, no. Fertility is a sign of health and pregnancy should be a joyous thing (please within marriage... again all of this is in context of God's creation). It's not a "disease" that needs to be controlled by a pill or a piece of a rubber. 

Fertility is good and our bodies were designed as woman so that we are not fertile 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are actually infertile during each cycle more than we are fertile. If we learn how our bodies work and the signs of fertility then we can work within the context of God's design to either achieve or avoid pregnancy based on our lives situations. Adding contraception to any marital relation takes away from the fullness of self-giving (you are holding back your fertility) and it goes against God's first command to be fruitful and multiply. Now I'm not saying multiply, multiply, multiply. Just think and discern. If God wanted us to pop out a baby every 9 months then we would be fertile all the time but we are not. We need to regard new life as a gift not a disease and we need to understand our fertility not destroy it.

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