"Nature, in all her revelations, seeks to teach man the greatness of simplicity. Health is but the living of a physical life in harmony with a few simple, clearly defined laws. Simple food, simple exercise, simple precautions will work wonders. But man grows tired of the simple things, he yields to subtle temptations in eating and drinking, listens to his palate instead of to Nature, —and he suffers. He is then led into intimate acquaintance with dyspepsia (digestion problems leading to numerous physical problems), and he sits like a child at his own bounteous table, forced to limit his eating to simple food that he scorned." ~From Self Control, Its Kingship and Majesty by William George Jordan, 1905
How true? Even more today than when first penned by Jordan in 1905. "Health is but the living of a physical life in harmony with a few simple, clearly defined laws." Not laws set by Congress or the State Senate, but laws set by us and for us, individuals who desire a better life.
What kind of laws? Laws that set forth balance. Specifically speaking of diet and health here, but the principle applies to all areas of life. Jordan points out a few: simple food, simple exercise, simple precautions.
Simple Food: Get back to the basics. Raw, organic produce. Locally raised meat without hormones. I remember the three basic principles of good eating I learned from the book, "What the Bible Says About Healthy Living" by Rex Russell, M.D. Number One, eat what God made. Number Two, eat it as close to the way that God made it as possible. And Number Three, avoid all food that is, or could be, an addiction for you personally. Such simple, practical advice. Not always easy to apply, I admit, but so beneficial.
So many today have what Jordan calls "dyspepsia." I see it in people of every age, even young people. Eating disorders and digestion dysfunction abounds. People are literally eating themselves sick. We don't even want to hear that what we eat effects our health and we don't want to go there for answers when we do get sick.
Don't get me wrong, I love food. I love rich, gourmet food. I even have a blog just for food complete with recipes (see Foodie4Health in my blog links). But I also love to be healthy and like being a good steward of my body as well as our money. It's expensive to eat gourmet. I believe we can have food that's both delicious and healthy. However we need to commit ourselves to our health and the simple life first, then explore our options within that parameter.
Now don't laugh like that! It's not impossible. But the first step to the simple life in any area is commitment. Not a fun word, but a necessary word that frees us from the consequences of no commitment. A word that, when lived out, offers a life of contentment and success that we never dreamed possible. A commitment and some discipline is all it requires.
"Let us seek to cultivate this simplicity in all things in our life. The first step toward simplicity is 'simplifying.' The beginning of mental or moral progress or reform is always renunciation or sacrifice. It is rejection, surrender or destruction of separate phases of habit or life that have kept us from higher things. Reform your diet and you simplify it; make your speech truer and higher and you simplify it; reform your morals and you begin to cut off your immorals. The secret of all true greatness is simplicity. Make simplicity the keynote of your life and you will be great, no matter though your life be humble and your influence seem but little. Simple habits, simple manners, simple needs, simple words, simple faiths,—all are the pure manifestations of a mind and heart of simplicity."
May we heed these words penned by William Jordan in 1905, grasping their relevance for today and may we endeavor to live them out in our diet and every other area of life.