the weblog of Alan Knox

What are you eating?

Posted by on Oct 29, 2011 in personal | 20 comments

What are you eating?

If you’ve been reading my blog over the last three months, then you probably known that the doctor told me that I needed to change my eating and exercise habits or I would be headed toward a very unhealthy lifestyle. Actually, my lifestyle was already unhealthy, but it would become even more unhealthy. So, I changed what and how I was eating, and I began exercising – walking and then running eventually.

At the beginning of this week, I reached a milestone. I had lost 30 lbs since I went to the doctor almost exactly 3 months before. I posted a notice about this on Facebook, and several people asked me what I diet was doing to lose weight. I’m not really on a particular diet, but I thought I would share what I’m eating in case it would be helpful to others.

To begin with, I eat throughout the day. As Margaret says, I’m always eating. I typically begin about 9:00 a.m. with a bowl of high fiber, low sugar cereal – generally one made by Kashi. (I eat one serving size or less. I don’t eat an entire bowl full, which is typically 2-3 servings.) Then, throughout the day, every 1 1/2 – 2 hours, I’m either eating lunch, dinner, a piece of fruit, or a handful of almonds (again, check the serving size). I’ve found that eating throughout the day like this helps me eat smaller servings without every feeling hungry.

I’ve already mentioned serving size twice. So, let me focus on that here. We realized early on when we were changing our eating habits that we were eating too much meat. Mainly, we ate too much meat because of the size of the servings we were eating. So, we reduced our serving size of everything except fruits and vegetables. One serving of meat is about 3 ounces for red meat and poultry or 4 ounces for fish. Also, I rarely eat more than 1 serving of red meat per week. Often, I only eat meat (chicken, turkey, or fish) at dinner. Occasionally, I’ll have an even smaller serving of meat at lunch, but that’s rare.

When it comes to fruit, I try to eat four servings per day. Also, we try to eat different pieces of fruit each day. To be honest, this is getting to be the most difficult change, not because I don’t like to eat fruit – in fact, I love it! But, fruit is expensive, and it is much more difficult to find different types of fruit now that it’s getting closer to winter.

I try to eat 6-8 servings of vegetables each day. We’ve stopped counting legumes (beans and peas) and corn as vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are best, so we eat alot of salads made with mixed greens and spinach (with less than 1 Tbsp of oil/vinegar or an olive oil based dressing). Please we eat other green leafy vegetables as much as possible.

We don’t eat anything fried. Nothing. If we use oil, we use olive oil or canola oil. I don’t eat as much bread, rice, pasta, corn, potatoes, or other starches as I once did… and I LOVE bread.

Finally, we don’t count calories. I can’t tell you how many calories that I eat in a day.

Oh, and I almost forgot – Water! Water, water, water. We drink water all the time. No sodas; no sweet tea; no fruit juice. (I do drink 1-2 cups of coffee during the week when I’m at work though.)

So, how is this change in eating habits working? Well, like I said, I’ve lost 30 lbs in about 3 months. Margaret has lost alot of weight also even though she’s mainly walking and not running as much as I am. Also, we both have more energy, and we feel better overall.

(By the way, as the image attached to this post shows, we do “cheat” occasionally, although I don’t really consider it cheating.)

So, that’s what and how I’m eating.


20 Comments

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  1. 10-29-2011

    Matthew 6:25 reads: Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

    The command (imperative) here is μεριμνᾶτε (from μεριμνάω), which, as you know, means “do not be anxious about” or ” seek to promote your interests in”. Your body/health consciousness is contrary to the Lord’s commandment and is idolatrous self-interest promoted by the worldly culture around you. Jesus doesn’t care if you’re fat or unfit, he only cares that you follow his commandments. He has appointed your time, you won’t die before it. Stop living like a heathen and being concerned about your physical health. Trust in God.

  2. 10-29-2011

    Martus,

    Gee… thanks for the encouragement. I think gluttony is mentioned several times in Scripture as being a sin? So, perhaps God does care about our thoughts and actions toward sin? Paul also wrote something that physical exercise (which would include what you eat) does have some importance.

    It’s interesting that one post about food (out of over 3000) in answer to some questions that I’ve been asked shows that I’ve made food an idol…

    I trusted in God when I was overweight, and I still trust in God now that I’ve lost some weight.

    -Alan

  3. 10-29-2011

    Way to go! As I also struggle in this area, I’ve got to make a plug for a great book that has been an inspiration to me in this area many times over the years. “Thin Within” by Judy & Arthur Halliday is an absolutely awesome book!

    I have come to realize that God does indeed care about this area of my life. This struggle in my life is a stark reminder for me that I often crave other things more than I crave God (and His will). So I see this as a challenge to draw near to Him and surrender more of myself to Him and fall at His feet more and depend on Him more and make Him #1 in my life… So many lessons I’ve been learning (and re-learning) over the years. I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness and mercy and great love.

    Keep going!!

  4. 10-29-2011

    Alan, may I introduce you to Christina – my better half. Not sure if she has posted on here before. But she does follow some. :)

    Interesting take on Matt 6:25. I think Jesus was talking here to those who were worried about not having enough food. The point of the passage up to verse 34 was that God will provide for our needs and we shouldn’t be worrying about where our next meal will come from.

    Unfortunately many of us have the opposite problem. Myself included. We have too much food.

    Yes, it is possible to put too much emphasis on how we look. However, from the looks of your post here your motives seem to be more in line with not wanting to shorten your life, and to have energy to live well the life God has given you. I’m sure God is pleased.

    And if we all ate a bit less, there should be more food to go around for others (in theory). I know some people who chose not to eat meat for this very reason.

    Carry On. Congrats!

  5. 10-29-2011

    Christina,

    Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading! I’ve also found that I have more energy to serve God by serving others now that I’m healthier.

    Jon,

    Thanks for the introduction! Yes, I do hope to live a healthier lifestyle now that my eating habits have changed – one that is not as focused on food.

    -Alan

  6. 10-29-2011

    Alan—Gluttony, really? You didn’t change your eating habits because of any concern about sin. You opened this post saying your dieting etc, was the result of the warning from your doctor. Your concerns are for your physical health; something Jesus tells us not to have. And you not only misrepresented Paul’s words on physical exercise, you also falsely extended his comment to include food.

    And this one post in 3000 doesn’t show that you’ve made an idol out of food; it shows you’ve made an idol out of the worldly god called “Health”. How can you say you trust God when you worry about your physical appearance? Do you think God cares how you feel? Do you really think he’ll extend your days because of your focus on yourself? Tell me, who gets the glory for making you live longer now? The doctor; the dietician; you for being so disciplined?

    Jon—Context is King. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus is telling us that no one can serve God while serving another. He lists mammon as one other master (first because the love of money is the root of all evil), then, in verse 25, explains that even your very physical being should not be served. The whole chapter is about seeking first to be a servant of God, then letting Him provide everything else you need.

    Christina—Where on earth did you ever get the idea that thin was more moral than fat? That is absurd! Just look at how many Hollywood reprobates share your opinions on weight.

    The modern world has made Health an idol; we incorporate their practices into our doctrine at our peril.

  7. 10-29-2011

    Way to go Alan. I am so proud of your decision and progress.

  8. 10-29-2011

    Martus,

    I don’t think Alan has said anything beyond what Paul has said in 1 Tim 4:7-8, “…some bodily training is of value”. Alan has not given up “godliness” for “bodily training.” He’s not committing idolatry, but taking better control of his body. He’s taking the advice of Paul, and of his doctors, that there is some benefit in his life for training his body. Not only does this include physical activities, such as walking or running or participating in sport, but it also includes changing one’s diet. You cannot train your body without controlling your diet, they go hand in hand.

    In fact, some might even say that being able to discipline your body and your eating is important training in being able to fight against sinful desires of the flesh. You are exercising control over your own body, and not letting the appetites of your flesh run wild.

    So, Alan, keep up the good work!

    Andy

  9. 10-29-2011

    Martus,

    Check my comment again. I didn’t say that I changed my eating habits because of gluttony – although I think I have been guilty of gluttony in the past. I said that gluttony being a sin is an indications that God cares about what (or at last how much or why) we eat.

    You’re making an assumption of my post (and Christina’s comment) that I am concerned about health because I want to look a certain way. That’s not the case at all.

    I’m sure that I’m not going to convince you, and that’s fine, since we don’t know each other. If I had put getting healthy above everything else, then you would have a point. I have not done that. I’m certain that my health is not an idol. There may be other idols in my life, but that is not one of them.

    Jim and Andy,

    Thank you very much for the encouragement!

    -Alan

  10. 10-30-2011

    That’s great progress Alan. I’m addressing similar issues, Mike

  11. 10-30-2011

    Excellent post and very encouraging. Although you men lose it faster and I am jealous. (just a joke, martus)

    I went to a doctor who prescribed the same type of eating structure. She said that when we eat like that our body responds because it does not think it needs to store fat. When we go without eating, it responds to store fat. The trick is to eat very small portions. Something my mom told me all along but it never sunk in. And our office type sedentary lifestyles makes it even harder…we so must eat less and less amounts of food. Just more often. I often smile about our sparse family dinners. Sitting down to a ‘salad’. No bread.

    One thing I have enjoyed is to totally eliminate processed foods of any kind. Eating nature as I call it. Enjoying a fresh plum that God created. Being fat is making food an idol. The goal is to eat healty and not think about it much at all.

  12. 10-30-2011

    Way to go Allan! Have you used any smartphone apps to track calories? My wife and I have both lost over 20 lbs and kept it off by using the app MyFitnessPal.

  13. 10-30-2011

    Alan & Andy,

    Let’s first dispense with this ridiculous notion that Paul was promoting physical exercise (or physically healthy living). The context of Chapter 4:7-8 is Paul telling Timothy not to follow the instructions of the ungodly on how to live righteously, to not listen to seducing spirits or follow the doctrines of devils; who restrict things like marriage and the eating of certain foods (dieting), because every created thing (to eat) is good if received with thanksgiving (gratitude). Which is why, when he says in vv 7 to exercise yourself unto godliness, the KJV inserts the implied “rather” before it; the sense of the verse being “don’t exercise like them, for the benefit of the body, but rather exercise yourself (mentally through learning right doctrine) for the benefit of your soul”. He defends this thought in verse 8 by setting up the distinction between physical exercise and godliness, but he is not setting up a distinction between the benefits of each, but of the duration of the benefits of each. He is saying that the physical profits of exercise are short-lived (literally, man’s life being but a vapor) because they end at the grave—and therefore nearly useless—yet godliness (learning sound doctrine) will benefit in this life and into eternity. The misinterpretation arises because of the word translated “little”. It is not the common word for “a little bit” μικρός (mikros), but is the phrase πρὸς ὀλίγος (pros holigos), which means “for a short time”. Paul is using a rhetorical device to dissuade Timothy from wasting his time on worldly activities—like body-building—and instead commit himself to learning and growing in faith and knowledge of God.

    As for “sinful desires of the flesh”, we don’t fight those through physical discipline, because our enemies are spiritual. Christ in us fights for us; we can’t fight our own sin. The only physical activity that reaps spiritual profit is suffering in the flesh for Christ’s sake at the hands of wicked men.

    Alan—Only you and God know for certain how much of your pleasure in losing weight arises from vanity and how much arises from godliness, but I’ve been around a while, and know my own sin in these matters, and am certain that publishing the details of your new-found healthy lifestyle on a blog called “the assembling of the church” where it will be confused with instructions in righteous living (look at how many have already expressed their confusion—yeah, like Christina promoting that ridiculous book wasn’t an indication of her belief that God favors thin people, as though being fat was a curse…), is an indication that you might just be like the rest of us; until it’s pointed out anyway. I just came across your site the other day (via the Google link to your post about “ekklesia” and “kyrion”) and was happy to find a brother doing his bit to educate the Kingdom. When I saw the title “What Are You Eating?” on the home page I was hoping you were going to unpack the differences between spiritual food and physical food and emphasize the need to worry about the one but not the other. Alas, no.

    There is a horrible apostasy going on out there in the richer English-speaking churches, particularly with regards to culturally determined views on body-image (including “health”), life-style and money. I think it’s helpful if we all examine our thinking on these things relative to Scripture; hence my comments.

    In Christ,
    μαρτυς

  14. 10-30-2011

    Martus,

    From my perspective, it looks like you’re more interested in my health and the food that I eat than I am.

    -Alan

  15. 10-30-2011

    Lol!

    Actually, I’m only concerned about the food you’re offering others.

  16. 10-30-2011

    Martus,

    I actually hear where you are coming from and respect the heart of what you are saying. I agree that health and body image has become an idol in today’s culture. Being thin, having a certain body shape, looking good, watching every single kind of food/amount of food, consuming the latest live-forever-fountain-of-youth kind of products etc…..so much vanity is DEFINITELY evident. Ultimately we are NOT in control of our lives or the longevity of them. God is. And our time is best spent drawing near to Him more than watching every calorie we consume or minute we exercise (which by the way I DON’T do fyi).

    All that being said, I think you misunderstand where I come from. I don’t believe being fat is a curse. Those were not my words, nor the perspective of the book I was endorsing. I actually believe quite the opposite. I believe that God is using this struggle with the flesh in my life to draw me nearer to Him. At times, I must be honest, I do approach this struggle with some “vain” motives. But the vast majority of why I tackle this struggle is that I know I cannot serve two masters.

    You may not relate to how it feels like to be a “slave” to food. I know God is not pleased with this and wants to be #1 Lord and King in my life, above all other earthly things/pleasures etc. It may not be in your realm of experience to find it difficult to make sacrifices to the Lord in this area…..but that is just what I have experienced. I would be guessing there are probably other areas that you may feel this challenge from the Lord???

    So my goal is not to have a skinny thin magazine image type body….but rather to be set free from sin, to experience victory over sin FOR HIS GLORY ALONE, to be listening to God’s leading in all areas of my life, to be hungry for HIM first and foremost, to make HIM #1.

    As someone else mentioned in a comment something to the effect of… I think the end goal of this kind of journey (like Alan is on) is to be LESS consumed with thoughts of food, and for healthier choices become habit. And ultimately more of our lives to be consumed with JESUS.

  17. 10-30-2011

    Christina,

    The book you promoted is a con. That you cannot see that it is a con betrays a woeful dearth of sound doctrine. The author is a false teacher making merchandise of those who buy her book. It is targeted to believers who want to be thinner (c’mon, the title is “Thin Within” for goodness’ sake!) and think they can do it by eating like Jesus or something. She can call it a plan to “release weight”, but it is just another fad diet book written in Bible-speak wrapped up in a candy-colored “Churchianity” bow. Please stop following these scorpions and use the time you would normally spend reading and/or listening to these people to study the Word. You will learn so much more about the Lord and His real plan for your life by learning a smattering of NT Greek* than you will ever do reading a hundred so-called “Christian” self-help books.

    You’re struggle is not with food; it is your outer-man (your sinful self) struggling with your sinless inner-man (Christ). All you can do in that struggle is ask the Lord to show you how to truly sacrifice for Him—you’ve got it all wrong thinking that means learning to give up chocolate cake and ice-cream!

    And we serve Christ by doing what He says; and He says don’t concern yourself with your body—period.

    In Christ,
    μαρτυς

    *If you’d like to do that, there are plenty of places online that will teach you basic Greek for free. I personally wouldn’t recommend spending hundreds of dollars to learn it in a seminary. Access to the true Word of God should not be hampered by an entry fee.

  18. 10-30-2011

    Thanks for your input and perspective, Martus:-)

    In Christ,
    Christina

  19. 11-6-2011

    This is awesome. Congrats! Question: Do you find that you are spending about the same amount on food (even though healthier food is more expensive) because you’re eating less since you are now getting more nutrients from the food you do eat?

  20. 11-7-2011

    Michael,

    We spend less because we don’t “eat out” as much, but the food itself is more expensive.

    -Alan