Today you’re likely going to do something that you’ve been doing every day of your life. You’re going to eat food. Such a frequent and repetitive activity is bound to shape you – literally. How good it will taste and how good it will be for you should be your decisions. Before you bite into that excessively rich and artificially flavored pastry, sink your teeth into and chew on the fat-laden piece of meat and grab another overly packaged “quick snack” think about those vegetables. They are colorful and crisp, fresh and flavorful, hearty and healthy. Could you eat an entirely plant-based vegetable and grain diet? Why should you and what could the benefits be if you do? Take a look at how you can go vegan or vegetarian today.
When we were children we thought as children. When we became adults and had children we still thought as children, at least concerning our health. We purchased, prepared, and served on our table all of our favorite foods, regardless of how nutritionally devoid it was. We responded to God’s call to start doing ministry in 2007. As a result, our lives changed quickly as God gave us a more clear and focused vision. God spoke to us about “stewardship”. Over the course of more than a year, we searched every scripture we could find from Genesis to Revelation concerning stewardship. Many Bible passages we had read before. Now they came alive to us. Through this personal Bible study our minds and lives were transformed.
We did an overall life assessment and found we were lacking. For Robert there were migraine headaches since fourth grade, acid reflux, and fifteen to twenty pounds of excess weight. For Michele there was swelling in both feet and hands, back and knee pain, years of constipation, skin breakouts, chronic colds and flu and excessive weight. In July 2008, we visited friends in Las Vegas, Nevada who told us about George Malkmus of “Hallelujah Acres”. We had no idea what a vegan was and certainly did not understand what raw was. Upon returning home though we noticed our freezer was unplugged. All the meat inside was spoiled. More than a coincidence to us, we agreed it was a good time to start a different diet journey.
Since then, we have had absolutely no desire to go back to our old meat eating lifestyle. Robert has not had any more migraine headaches or acid reflux and has lost twenty pound. Michele has no more swelling or pain, no more irregularity, skin problems, chronic illnesses and has managed to keep weight off.
By taking this God-inspired journey, our bodies are restored and we are preventing more serious health problems from coming our way. Our obedience to God has spared our lives. Since we began our journey we have lost family members, friends and neighbors to dietary and lifestyle related diseases. Others are living with the consequences of a poor diet. We’re thankful for God grace and instruction that has delivered us from our bad eating habits and unhealthy bodies.
We believe you too can begin a journey to restore your health. You can go vegan or vegetarian today and start to discover how it will strengthen you as a whole person: spiritually, mentally, and physically.
WHAT IS A VEGETARIAN?
A vegetarian is a person who eats, in a nutshell, a diet predominately derived from plant foods (vegetables, beans, seeds, and nuts). This lifestyle also specializes in the eating of all natural, organic foods (foods without toxins, chemicals, GMO - genetic alterations, preservatives, and additives). There are several kinds of vegetarians. There is the ovo-vegetarian who eats eggs but no dairy products such as milk, cheese, or yogurt. The lacto-vegetarian who eats dairy products but no eggs, and the ovo-lacto vegetarian (or lacto-ovo vegetarian) who eats eggs, dairy products, and honey.
A vegan is still a vegetarian but differs in that vegans eat neither eggs, dairy, or honey. The raw foodist eats fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that are fresh, uncooked or cooked at a very low temperature. The fruitarian eats only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other items from plants as long as it brings no injury to the plant.
Some people eat a plant-based diet and also consume some animal flesh. This group is called, semi-vegetarians also known as flexitarians and pescatarians. Semi-vegetarians or flexitarians eat limited amounts of animal flesh or only certain types of animal flesh and pescatarians eats fish or seafood only. Most vegetarians do not consider this group true vegetarians.
UNDERSTANDING VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN FROM A BIBLE AND SCIENCE PERSPECTIVE
Our view of science is that it is in fact the act of man studying to know the mind of God. So, we want to help you focus directly on the basis of God’s nutritional plan for man.
Reference the first book in the Bible, Genesis, and you’ll see that before God created humanity he first created the provisions whereby they would need to survive. It is interesting to note that the food supply was provided prior to its time of need. Every herb bearing seed and every tree yielding seed was give to man for meat. God wanted this food to be appetizing, to look good, to taste good and to nourish the bodies he created. Satan preyed on Adam and Eve specifically with those facts.
After Noah and his family left the ark the Bible gives accounts of animal flesh being introduced into the mouth of man. From the time of Noah who lived to be 950 years until Joseph who lived to be 110, man’s life expectancy decreased by 900% over thirteen generations.
God gave instruction to Israel concerning animal sacrifices and offerings and dietary laws (modern term: kosher). There are several instances where God would lead man away from eating flesh but humanity would not give it up even when life depended on it. Later in the Bible John the Baptist had a vegetarian diet. Just a note, some studies conclude that the locust John the Baptist was said to have eaten is from the locust tree and not an actual insect. At the end of the Bible there is a promise that we will return to eating from the tree of life . . . and there will be no more curse.
There is both the passive will of God and the perfect will of God. He desires to lead us away from destructive behavior. We can indeed have our animal flesh, but now without consequences.
NOW YOU MAY ASK YOURSELF
HOW WILL I GET MY PROTEIN? From the same place the animals get it: You can get protein from PLANTS, from VEGETATION. Consider the cow, the deer, the elephant, and other animals that feed on plants. Even carnivores seek out animals that are vegetarian in nature for they are healthier.
I’M A BODY BUILDER, WHAT ABOUT MUSCLE MASS? Vegetarian bodybuilders in comparison in strength to non-vegetarian bodybuilder are less bulky and tend to be naturally leaner without compromising their strength. Some of the world’s renowned weight-lifters are vegetarians. There are also vegan protein powders available. Veganmax from Lifetime Fitness for example has a good flavor and is great for smoothies.
HOW CAN I AFFORD THIS? ISN’T IT EXPENSIVE? When you first start being a vegetarian or vegan, you most certainly will pay more until you learn to be a thrifty steward of your food and learn to eat in moderation. There are ways you can reduce costly mistakes. For starters, you’ll waste money through taste-testing --- not knowing what to buy, where to shop and trying recipes that are flops. Learn from more experienced forerunners. Organic and healthier foods can be anywhere from thirty cents to a dollar more per product. In the long run your grocery and medical bills will be reduced when you get animal products, junk foods and sugary drinks out of your diet. Further savings will be found in the reduced number of prescription medicines and doctor bills you may have by eating healthier. Your pocketbook will be the winner in the long run. You are valuable. Being in excellent health is worth the effort and the cost.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF THIS LIFESTYLE? You will outlive many of your family, friends, and loved ones. You will not any longer have an excuse to call in sick from work. You will not be able to just go into any restaurant and eat from the menu or into a grocery store and find your choice items. You now must strategically make decisions and plan, in advance. You still will have to eat a balance diet, supplement where you lack, and exercise, just as before. This is not a quick-fix but a life long journey.
WHY DO PEOPLE BECOME VEGETARIANS? Some of the reasons to go vegan or vegetarian today include religious beliefs, environmental stewardship, health-related issues or prevention of diseases, inhumane treatment of animals, family, friends, or fad influences. Take a moment to consider why you feel eating this way may be right for you. To get started consider using the strategies that follow.
MAKE THE TRANSITION
SEEK GOD FIRST: Here are a few scriptures to comfort your heart.
- 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? . . . But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
- Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knows what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner pray: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.
- The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
- But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: We are each faced with the responsibility of what we will put in our own mouths and what we will serve to others. Accountability begins with both the eater and the server. Consider this: God questioned first Adam, then Eve, and lastly the serpent. Judgment began with the deceiver. God judged the serpent first, afterwards Eve and finally Adam. Eve was the middle-man in both accounts. The eater is the one who partakes of the food. The server is the one who brings it in to the house, prepares it, or sets it before others. The deceiver is the one who consciously alters, repackages, or falsely presents food as edible in an ungodly, misleading fashion.
EDUCATION: We found that as we read and did our own research our minds were transformed. This made it easier to make better choices. As we made better choices, our bodies began to crave what was good for us rather than what was harmful. This made it so much easier to commit and sustain the process. Renewing our minds plays an important part in having a right mental attitude.
SEARCH THE INTERNET: You can find all sorts of vegetarian resources and recipes on the internet that will save you time, money and your life. Recipes are best found by searching the internet (lasagna-vegetarian or -vegan), by swapping recipes at vegetarian support groups or by purchasing cookbooks.
MAKE BETTER FOOD CHOICES: Dispose of unhealthy products in your home. Find better and safer substitutions. This will assist you with the weaning process. Some important facts to consider before purchasing: How was it harvested (grown)? Research ingredients and know what is in your food. What are the hidden additives? Read labels carefully for this or call and inquiry. How was it prepared or processed? Buy the healthiest and best quality foods you can; and prepare them the healthiest way you can --- especially foods you eat frequently. Use also a fruit and vegetable wash to remove toxins and chemicals. Fruit washes are found at your grocery store.
DO NOT BE FOUND HUNGRY: That will be your greatest hour of temptation. Consider Adam & Eve; Esau & Jacob; and Jesus in the wilderness. You can greatly minimize this by pre-planning, packing and carrying your meals with you. Fruit and nuts are an excellent staple for this.
CONNECT WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE: Fellowship with like-minded people via the internet or local support groups. Meetup.com is a great way to find a group within your city and state. We host both RAMS Ministry Community Outreach & Peninsula Christian Vegans meetup groups.
THE ADVANTAGES OF VEGETARIANISM
There are many benefits to being vegetarian. A vegetarian lifestyle is known to reduce and reverse acute and chronic diseases, lowers the risk of cancer, strokes, heart disease, and diabetes. A purely vegetarian diet can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, detoxifies the body and strengthen the immune system. Further, vegetarians have identified a heightened sense of wellbeing, a lower BMI, improved weight loss and weight management and extended longevity.
Halleluhah Acres 866-348-7633 for education, products, and testimonies. Please use code: ETV when ordering.
Vegetarian Restaurants Finders: www.happycow.com ; www.vegguide.org ; www.vegetarian-restaurant.net
There are also DVD’s like “Eating” Third Edition, and “The Truth Behind Meat and Dairy” with Howard Lyman and “Forks over Knives”.
Robert and Michele Sessom
have been married more than 33 years. They assist and co-labor with others in their community for the advancement of the kingdom of God through outreaches and ministering in music. They have a new CD titled “RamPsalm”. They are licensed and ordain ministers, founders of RAMS Ministry
, and Hallelujah Acres Health Ministers. Robert is a Visual Information Specialist for the U.S. Army and Michele serves as the Director of Music for the U.S. Army Chapel Annex.