By Ron Pereira
Oh, wait… I forgot Adkins, and South Beach, and of course there’s the Caribbean diet and now, we humbly submit, (queue dramatic music) the Intentional Encounter clean eating plan.
My Faith Journey
Quick story about my faith journey before jumping back into this diet craziness… when I decided to enter the Catholic Church I really dove in.
I read every Scott Hahn book I could find and listened to Tim Staples tapes for hours upon hours (yes, cassette tapes).
I also studied the Protestant position as best I could in order to understand why they believe what they believe.
Heck, I even listened to just about every Tim Staples vs. James White debate I could find. James White, for those that don’t know, is an extremely skilled Protestant apologist. He really knows his Protestant faith and definitely keeps folks like Tim Staples on their toes.
I Needed Head Knowledge
You see, before I gave my heart over the Catholic Church I needed to ensure it was the right decision for me. Put another way… I needed head knowledge before I took the plunge.
So I studied, and studied, and studied. I even spent far too many hours debating Calvinists online since, you know, I was a bit more argumentative back in those days!
Well, obviously, my studies resulted in me coming into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. What started as head knowledge quickly turned into a deep love for all the Catholic Church teaches.
What’s This Got to Do with Nutrition?
So, what does this have to do with nutrition?
Well, at least for me, it’s turning out that my early faith journey was very similar to the way my early clean eating and exercise journey has unfolded.
You see I only know one way to do things. It doesn’t matter if it’s related to my faith, my work, or even coaching my kid’s soccer teams (even though I never played the game in my life). I have one approach. I go all in.
And, as I’ve already shared, I’ve most definitely decided to crank up my prayer life and clean up my diet while working out consistently.
Now, since I need to have an academic understanding of things before really pouring my heart into it… I’ve been devouring blog articles, books, and scientific research related to nutrition and exercise.
Now, to be sure, all of these “camps” believe they’re correct. And, in many cases, they subtly – or not so subtly – take jabs at one other.
So, one can be left scratching their heads wondering what to do and who to believe.
Don’t Get Frustrated
This is where it gets tricky. If you’re not careful you can grow confused and just throw your hands up in the air and give up. Please don’t.
You see, no matter what “camp” you believe is right for you there are a few things they almost all agree on.
- Avoid processed foods
- Avoid processed sugar
- Eat fresh vegetables and grass fed meat
If you did nothing but these three things you’d be in harmony with just about every major diet plan out there.
Sure, there are many other aspects to it… what about butter and dairy? Should you go low carb? Is it OK to cheat once in awhile?
There Is No Right Answer
The only way to answer these questions, for yourself, is to discover why you’re trying to improve your diet.
As I explained, my “why” is that I don’t want to die just yet and am convinced if I continued with the lazy, undisciplined, lifestyle I had been leading I would, indeed, drop dead within the next 5 to 10 years.
Once you gain a better understanding of your why you can decide how quickly, and intensely, you want to jump in.
And if you want to really go for it… you can follow our clean eating guide (see the free eBook form at end of this post) to the letter of the law.
Or read up about what the Paleo folks are into, or what Mark Sisson and his Primal Diet is all about, or what all the fuss is about being Bulletproof.
I’m reading, and learning, from all of these “camps” and choosing what works for me.
Yes, it can get a little confusing since they all claim to be “right” and some of these folks do get a little sensitive to other ideas that conflict with their particular doctrine. Don’t sweat any of it. Just learn why they believe what they believe and don’t get caught up in the drama.
This Isn’t Religion
I’ve also quickly learned that many of these diet movements sometimes act as if they’re a religion. Obviously, they’re not.
So, while it’s not OK for Catholics in full communion with the church to cherry pick what works for them (a.k.a. Cafeteria Catholicism) it is most definitely OK to cherry pick from these various diets.
But, and this key, I believe it’s very important to open our hearts, while humbling ourselves a little, and realize we may need to learn more about the various options out there.
That’s where I am right now. I’m also experimenting and learning what works for me. I’ll definitely share my experiences here on the blog as I continue this journey.
But, when I do share my story, please know I’m not saying you should do what I do or believe what I believe. Plus, while I love green smoothies… they may make you gag. In that case, definitely don’t do green smoothies! ☺
Finally, we’ll never tell you that our preferred way of eating and exercising is the best way. Or that our way is the only way. Or that we, in all our humanly wisdom, are speaking the truth as it pertains to diet and exercise.
You see, in the end, there is only one truth. And His name is Jesus Christ. So, if you take nothing else from our work… we humbly pray it is to always follow Him since He is indeed the way, the truth, and the life.
Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!
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