Has anyone ever tried an apple fast?
I believe fasting is good for clearing the line of communication between myself and God, but even if you aren’t religious, it is widely known for being good for us mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I say spiritually because, even if you don’t believe in a higher power, I assume everyone reading this believes they are more than just a mere cloud of atoms (a phrase borrowed from C.S. Lewis). The greatest benefit in my own life has been two-fold: clarity and self-discipline. I believe it is a powerful tool that Christians (or dieters, lol) can use to overcome fleshly temptations, and it is so powerful that I don’t understand why it is so often overlooked and rarely spoken about, even in Christian circles. I am assuming it’s because we aren’t supposed to brag about it? Or to make ourselves look hungry, etc? But is this any excuse not to teach our children and mentor others who have the same needs? I don’t think so.
I am asking about the apple fast because Ian is interested in fasting. (He is 10.) However, everything I have read says that children should not fast. The apple fast is a happy medium in which you can consume as many apples as you want for 1-3 days, but nothing else (except water and apple juice). It is supposed to have many of the same physical benefits as regular fasting. I don’t know if the discipline benefits will be all that much though, but I figure it’s a start.
Ideas or comments?
Tuesday I finished Treasures of Healthy Living, written by Annette Reeder and Dr. Richard Couey, and I am so pleased to review it for you. When I received this book, I expected it to tell me all about healthy foods and how to improve my diet. Well, it did all of those things, but it is so much more than a book about food; it is a manual for living a well-balanced, all-‘round godly lifestyle.
Even though the book contains a twelve-week course intended for study groups, I read it in just a few days. Because I am already trying to eat better and exercise, the faster pace didn’t overwhelm me. Instead, I made notes to myself for later and implemented several changes immediately, such as: excluding unclean meats from my diet, making a conscious effort to purchase healthier animal products, laying down a plan for fasting, implementing scripture memory into my exercise routine, purchasing plants for home and office, taking greater care in food preparation and storage, becoming aware of the ingredients in topical lotions, cosmetics, etc, and intentionally increasing the happiness factor in my relationships. From this list, I don’t want you to get the idea that the book doesn’t cover food in-depth. It does! In fact, the first half contains information and ideas for eating food in the way it was designed to be eaten.
– I only had two issues with the book. First: references. I wish there had been more (mostly because I’m a newbie, and although many of the statements made in the text may be common knowledge for those who have been studying healthy living for a while, I would prefer to see more proof). I also would have liked for those references to be listed at the bottom of each page, instead of at the end of the book. Secondly, I wish that all of the scriptures had been printed in-full within the text. One non-issue: I expected the book to have recipes in it, but I discovered that it is basically a text-book/study-guide, and that recipes are included in a companion book that I will be ordering very soon. This was not an issue because the book was already long enough, and I am more than happy to order a separate recipe book, but I just thought I would throw that out there for those of you who may have had the same expectations.
If you want to find out more, check out the product page for this book. Or you can preview it here.
Note: In exchange for an honest review, the publisher provided a complimentary copy of this book through Glass Road Public Relations.
How can you make room in your budget – especially in this economy?
Remember that the people we could be helping not only go without luxury, they go without most of what we would consider necessities. We need to reevaluate luxury vs. necessity in our own lives.
Here is something that may help you with the reevalutaion process: Begin by preparing your mind and body. Start right now. Don’t eat dinner today. Don’t wait to plan your fast for a time when it will be convenient; the people in Japan didn’t have advance notice.
Fast occasionally. Spend your extra time doing something to make money to donate. Host an event where you raise money based on how many hours you decide to fast. Decide the amount of hours you are going to fast ahead of time. This will prove less dangerous for you (just in case you get going “on a roll”), and better for your sponsors if they know upfront how much they will be giving (no nasty surprises). Sponsoring a fast is a good option for people whose diets don’t give them the options of fasting themselves.
Give up one luxury a month every month. Donate the resulting extra time and/or money to charity. Here are a few suggestions: don’t eat out for a month. Instead, set aside $10 every time you experience the temptation to eat out. Give up your favorite sugary cereal and eat oatmeal for a month. Put your Netflix account on hold for a month. I’m sure you can think of more, based on your own favorite foods, hobbies and expenses.
Prove God. Pay your tithes. He dares us to prove Him to see if He will be faithful in providing for us. Do you trust Him to keep His Word? Use the blessings that He pours on you to bless others.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10)
If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to comment!