ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Karen Brooks can usually be found researching and writing about food and the human body. She graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and Summa Cum Laude with a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Human Performance from Logan University. Karen is an avid reader, fitness enthusiast and trial and error cook. She splits her time between NC and VA with her husband, Chris.
CONNECT WITH KAREN BROOKS:
• Website: karenbrookslife.com
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/This-is-Life-102027411616604
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenbrookslife/
ABOUT THE BOOK:
LET FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE AND LET SCRIPTURE HELP YOU FIND THE WAY.
The constant decisions of what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat consumes most people’s thoughts during the course of a day. While you may not think of the Bible as a nutritional reference, you’ll soon discover that it has the answers you’ve been looking for.
In their quest to sell convenience, the food industry repeatedly reinforces the idea that cooking is inconvenient, expensive, and takes up too much of your valuable time. But it doesn’t mean this should be your personal choice.
With the easy availability of fast-food, processed food, food in a box, and food on-the-go, our modern relationship with food has become dysfunctional. Eventually, everyone reaches the point when they know they’re not eating well and want to find a better solution and a healthier way.
It’s not about how much protein or fat or calories a particular food contains. Rather, it’s about nourishing yourself from the plants and fruits that grow from the soil, and also by partaking of the animals that also nourish themselves with green plants.
Here’s the bad news:
• Six in ten adults in the US have at least one chronic disease
• Four in ten have two or more chronic diseases
• Eleven million people die each year due to eating an unhealthy diet
• Up to sixty percent of calories come from ultra-processed foods in the form of flour, sugar, wheat, corn, and soybean oil
• Those who eat the most ultra-processed foods are the sickest
• For every 10% of a diet that consists of ultra-processed food, the risk of death goes up by 14%.
Here’s the good news:
• The simplicity of eating healthily can be found in the scripture when God said to Adam, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. You may eat freely from every tree of the garden …”
Eat Freely: God’s Perspective About Food isn’t a guidebook on what to eat and what not to eat. Instead, Eat Freely is about changing your perspective when it comes to eating based upon the tenets in the Bible and the eight spiritual gifts God has blessed us with. The Creator has given us all we need to eat well, and this book will help you see the impact eating freely can make in your body and in your spiritual practice. By eating freely, you’ll find your way to eating well, critical not only for your physical health but for your spiritual health as well.
If you can change your relationship with food—what you eat and the way you eat it—you can improve your health and your spiritual well-being.
This book will show you how!
• Grab your copy on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/Eat-Freely-Gods-Perspective-About-ebook/dp/B08HSFHD5Y
• Or, buy from Grace Point Publishing bookstore: https://gracepointpublishing.com/bookstore/books-cards/eat-freely-gods-perspective-about-food/
Hello and welcome. I am Michelle Vandepas at Grace Point Publishing and I’m so honored to have Karen Brooks with me today. She is the author of Eat Freely: God’s Perspective About Food. I’m so excited to dive into this material with you today. Welcome to the show. Thank
You. Thanks for having me. So
The, that we’re just gonna jump right in the book is not a diet book. It is about your relationship with food, which makes most people, myself included think, well, I gotta like control what I eat. Stop what I go on the diet. Tell me why it’s not a diet book. Let’s just dive in there
Years ago, several years ago, I received my master’s in nutrition. I’ve studied about nutrition for 20 years. And so I have had that same perspective trying to figure out the right foods to eat the right way to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, what to die at. And the more I learned, the more confusing it became. And yet I grew up in church and I knew that guy created food, but I never knew what his perspective was. It was never discussed. And so while I’m studying from the scientific nutritional perspective in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, well, God, if he created it, he must have a perspective about it. And so I honestly started my research thinking that I was going to find a diet plan. I was going to find certain foods that were splitting. I was going to find a passage somewhere in the Bible that said, you should eat. Kale perspective was so different. And in the garden, he actually says eat freely. And so the more I thought about it and the more I researched, the more I studied, I realized that there is a huge disconnect between what God said, the food creator said and what we’re doing today. And the more we’re learning, it’s not making it any easier and people aren’t getting any healthier.
We are not getting healthier. And I love this perspective that you talk about that it’s God’s perspective and freely, but you know, left it. So my teenage daughter left to her own devices might like eat with what I might not think is the wealthiest climate. Yeah. Talk to me about that. You know, even though I might be able to eat, I don’t know I can’t think of anything avocados. I probably shouldn’t eat 20 a day. Right. Right. So talk to me about the eat freely thing and what does mean, or can we really eat freely?
I think the term freely is the catch word. Yeah. There’s a lot of people saying everybody’s perspective about food is diet restriction limits. And here we have God’s perspective of eat freely and it sounds like, Hey, go out and eat whatever you want, however much you want go for it. And that’s not really, it’s not really what he’s talking about. When he was in the garden, he prepared the garden for Adam and Eve and he created the food. And he said, you can eat freely of all this food that I have created because he designed the body to use the food he created. Now in your daughter talking about the food choices that she has, it may not be real food. You have got two different types of, of categories of food. One is the food industry, you know, and I hate to say it.
There’s a lot of food on those grocery store shelves. That’s that you really can’t classify as food. Right. What God is talking about is what I have created. You can eat freely. I love that. Yeah. And the beauty of it is it, each person has their own journey. I do not believe that there is one diet for everybody. Like you were talking about avocados. My husband is allergic to avocados. My husband is he can’t eat coconut. So he can’t have coconut oil. He can’t have avocado. So does that mean that he’s just left to, he either has to eat the food that he’s going to have an allergic reaction to? Or is he just going to be unhealthy? That just doesn’t work for him. Right? So the freely part is within the construct of what God has created and how God leads you in that relationship to eat.
Yeah. So that right away makes it simpler. Right? If it grows and it’s food, you can eat freely of that. Yes. Now, talk to me about when we start adding things like animals, fish, shrimp. Talk to me about all of those things.
Initially in the garden, everything was fruits and vegetables, plants, herbs, things like that. After the flood, when he was talking to Noah, he said, I’ve also given you animals and that’s it. It is. He makes it very, very simple. And how you navigate within that construct is between you and the Lord. And it’s, you don’t have to explain it to anybody, but it’s a personal, it’s sorta like a knowing like an intuitive, this is I don’t do well with this certain food. And I believe that that’s just the Lord said, that’s not what I want you to eat. That’s not how I designed you to work
Right now. There’s been all kinds of diet books written, but including things like eat for your blood type. Right. Do you think they’re like, I don’t even remember. It’s been 20 years since I’ve read that book or whatever, and I don’t even remember what it is now, but when I read through it, I was like, Oh yeah, I sort of intuitively do this anyway. Right. And so I think, do you think there is a connection between being intuitively drawn to what the right diet is for us? Is that what I hear you saying?
Oh, I absolutely do. We years and years ago, we’ve all immigrated from different areas of the country of the world, really. And so along that we each have a different genetic makeup. And so there are certain people who just do a whole lot better on vegetables. There are certain people who do a whole lot better. They feel better on meat. There are certain people who cannot have dairy at all, but yet there’s some people who have to have dairy or they don’t feel well. It’s fat, protein carbs. It’s so many variables that when you try to pigeon hole an entire population into one way of eating, you’re going to have people getting sick on both sides. And I honestly believe that, you know, when you’re reading these books and you’re drawn to reading, for example, the blood type. Yeah. You read about keto. You can read about intermittent fasting. You can read about paleo. If there’s something in there that resonates with you and you are already seeking God’s plan for your way of eating, it’s going to come alive. It’s going to be something that you resonate with where somebody else might read that and go, I, that doesn’t interest me at all.
So it sounds really simple. And it sounds really freeing to Nestle. And it sounds like, okay, I’m on board. But then, you know, my intuition is telling me to eat the whole box of chocolate because I don’t feel good today and my emotions and my hormones. And so that’s what I want. So how do we self regulate and maybe regulates not, not the right word?
No, I understand what you’re asking. And that’s what makes foods so complicated because you have cultural influences. You have there’s emotional there’s tradition. There are family ways of eating the things that give us comfort. There’s it is so much more complicated than just fueling our body.
Yeah. Family and culture is so huge.
And, but this is where that relationship with the food creator, I believe comes into play because each person, everybody in some form or fashion struggles in some way with food, there’s so much information and it’s conflicting. It’s not necessarily always for the consumer’s best interest. Some people are making food and it’s just about profit or they’re selling convenience. They’re not selling nutrition. It is so confusing. And that’s why, that’s why the perspective in this book is about the relationship with the food creator, your specific relationship to the food creator. And he will guide you. Yes. Have there probably been some habits that have been developed, are we dealing with some sugar addictions who doesn’t, who doesn’t love sugar. Right. But it’s, I don’t think it’s an all or nothing thing. I think it’s finding that real, getting in tune with that relationship, talking to God about how you’re feeling and what you’re struggling with and let him guide you into how you need to eat.
So how do we start that process? Give me read the book. Well, yeah. God’s perspective on food available, everywhere books are sold. Give me an idea. So I’m feeling sad. You know, this happens with women, especially all the time, feeling sad, craving chocolate, craving a boost, right? Maybe even you know, a latte and cookies all at the same time. So we get that boost, right? What do we do? Do we drop into meditation and prayer first, before we go for that, do we have to stop ourselves? Is it every morning we get up and pray for guidance? Like how do we start this part?
Prayer? Is it just having a constant conversation with God, whether you’re standing in the grocery store, aisle, looking at the produce, standing wherever you are. If you’re looking at the menu, they’re in a restaurant and it’s just bringing him into it because it is a huge part of your day, at least for most people three times a day. And he knows it. That’s the thing. He knows it. And he just wants to be included. A lot of times cravings are coming from the fact that this, that particular body isn’t doesn’t have the nutrients it needs. And so when you’re eating whole foods and you’re eating the things that he designed the body to start running on, those cravings might go away because the body is now fed. Right. And you’re eating something processed off the shelf. There’s no nutritional value there and your brain knows it and it’s not getting the energy. It needs to do the things that we’re asking it to do during the day.
Yeah. I noticed for myself, I, I do struggle with sugar and I love my chocolate, but I do notice it. If I eat like a good breakfast, a good lunch, I don’t get that craving at three. Exactly. Like food, I eat more food. I get more calories in, but actually it helps my blood sugar throughout the day. Yeah.
We’re coming in off the tail. End of some really bad advice from decades ago of eat less exercise, more low fat, no fat. And it has created nutritional deficiencies that people are trying to make up for. You’re never going to outsmart your brain when your brain recognizes that those nutrients are low, it is going to signal what it needs. And we interpret it as a cookie or a soft drink or something. Yeah. Because that fuel tank is low. But if the body is fed, just like what you were saying, you know, it’s like, you’re not craving anything you’re satisfied.
Right. So how does emotional craving fit into this?
When we start to associate reward with food or I’m feeling bad. So now I deserve this.
Well, that’s a cultural thing though. Let’s go out to dinner and celebrate, let’s open the champagne and celebrate what is right. Let’s have dessert and celebrate.
Exactly. Yeah. Everything. Every, every event, every ceremony, celebration, family function, it revolves. The first question is, okay, who’s bringing what, what are we doing?
Who’s supplying the food. Right.
And you know, and sometimes, sometimes it’s important to be able to go, you know what? I just want to celebrate this moment and be thankful for my family and thankful for this time and just be present and not stressing out over well, you know, I’m watching everybody else eat and I’m chomping down on a carrot stick. That’s not fun. Right. But it’s those conversations that I’m trying to foster site talk to your food creator about it and let him start to guide you in how to handle their situations. You’re never going to outsmart your brain.
Yeah. I love that. I love that. And you make it so simple. Like if it’s growing and it’s food it’s okay. And that’s one of the things in all that information out there that we’re sort of taught is go around the perimeter of the grocery store knocked down the aisles. Right. but even if you do the perimeter, there’s a lot of junk there now. Right. I mean, even in the dairy aisle.
Oh yes. Very much. So things are pasteurized. Things are ultra pasteurized. There’s a lot of
Things before to fight. Oh yeah. It’s and that’s why it’s the issue. Isn’t so much about what you’re eating. It’s get to know or get in a deeper relationship with your food creator and the book outlines the different gifts that he’s given you that make that relationship possible. Right. And once you know what you’re armed with, it changes your perspective.
And, and there’s all throughout here. There are quotes from the Bible throughout and we help you get in touch. And, and just to be clear, you don’t have to be overly religious for this book. Not at all. Right. So you don’t have to be like in the middle of a big church or, or this is about really getting in touch with
Your relationship to the food creator.
Yeah. And so there are great biblical references in here. It’s one of the things that I really enjoyed about the book, but, and lots from Corinthian calling fans, but it’s not to say, Oh, you have to be like a certain religion or certain, you know, just wanted to make, make that really clear to them.
Absolutely. And if you think about it, he designed your body to need food. So this is for a lot of people, it consumes their thoughts all day long. Did I eat enough? Have I not? Have I eaten too much? They feel guilty. And it just becomes this emotional burden that people don’t need to carry. And my hope is that when people read the book, they’re going to find a personalized message in that book. And at some point, as they’re reading, they’re going to exhale and go, Oh, it doesn’t have to be as hard as everyone else has made it.
So I love that. You say that because I also happen to know that one of your passions is breathing and so actually exhaling, but also maybe just taking a breath is a way to stop in the moment and just ask, okay, what’s the right food for me or what’s right. Yeah.
Being available, making yourself sensitive to his leading and the Bible tells you that he wants to talk to you, that we will recognize his voice. And people think, well, it’s food is just so minor. He’s too busy to deal with that part. If it matters to you, it matters to him. Talk to him about it, taking him up on it, challenge him. It’s like, all right, I need help. I need you to do this because I’m, I can’t do it on my own. And that’s all he wants. And that’s his perspective
And we will get answers. You will get guidance. Yeah. Yeah. I’m in love with this book and I’ve started buying more apples and less ice cream, Apple, you know, it’s amazing. Apples actually are very filling. They are, and they’re sweet and they taste good and they’re crunchy and right. Yeah.
They satisfied that whole mouth feel that the food industry has manufactured to try to addict you, to keep eating all of that is already built in to the whole food that God created for your body to use. And your brain recognizes that as food, your brain doesn’t know what in the world, if you’re, if it’s got a food label and it can sit on a shelf for years, your body doesn’t know what to do with it.
Right. Words of wisdom. So tell me what you’re working on. You are a, you teach breathwork you, I I’ve, I’ve seen some of the things happening behind the scenes, in your house with the cooking and growing and so forth. Tell me what you’re sharing right now. What’s next? So people who, after they read the book, they want to work with you. Like how can they get to other things that you’re doing and what is it that you’re working on next?
The majority of what I’m working on now is putting together. I’m interested in teaching, starting to teach classes online to people who are interested in taking their health and fitness to the next level. And the interesting part of it is I’m a personal trainer. I’m a certified spinning instructor. I’m a digestive health specialist. Everything it’s like, try to do more. You gotta exercise, you gotta eat. Right. I get it. But your ability to breathe well will transform all of those activities. There’s certain ways to breathe and exercise or certain ways to breathe through yoga. But your body is giving a lot of information through breathing. Your body uses this to ramp up your lymphatic system and people have lost 30 pounds just by getting their lymphatic system working. So I’m interested in teaching people about a habit. It’s not, especially now this time of year, everybody’s got resolutions or trying to incorporate new habits and new behaviors. Well, everybody already has the habit of breathing. You don’t have to try to incorporate that into your day, because if you’re not trying to do it on your own, your brain takes over and will you’ll breathe. But it’s such a primary kind of the foundation of health and fitness, but because of stress, people don’t breathe well. And it creates a lot of consequences that people aren’t even aware of. And it’s a simple fix, but it has huge, huge results.
Yeah. I love that. And you know, in, in general information out there, they’re always saying slow down when you eat. Right. And somehow I think connected,
Like don’t just inhale the food. Right, right, right. We, stress is the key I’ve been studying about stress for 20 years. And stress is the key because it shifts your body’s way of functioning and most people. And I challenge you when anybody who’s listening to this right now, at some point during the day, especially probably while you’re driving or something, you’re going to find that you’re holding your breath because you’re under stress or you’re focused on something, but that sends a signal to your body that you’re in a fight or flight, or it’s got to switch or something. And so it’s teaching people how to use a habit that they already have established. They don’t even have to think about it, but to make it healthy, to make it work for them. And from the personal training perspective, the most under used or the under-trained muscle is the diaphragm, which is the muscle for breathing.
Everybody focuses on biceps and triceps. Right. But if you focused on your breathing, it will totally transform your workouts. Wow. So maybe that’s your next book. Yeah. I know. You’ve got several. I know you’ve got several in there. I would love this conversation. So just so people know, they can go to grace point publishing.com and find you Karen Brooks, under the author section with links to your website, links to buy the book books available on Amazon coming out with an audit, audio books. Hope excited about that. Yeah. What’s the one question I forgot to ask you, Karen.
I’m not sure.
I feel like we’ve covered it quite a bit. Or maybe like, what do I hope that people will get from this book? Yeah. And I have said it. I said it earlier. I hope that they exhale. I really, I hope that they feel like there’s an answer and it’s not complicated. It’s just about aligning your perspective with the God’s original perspective and let him do the work. Love that. Well, it was the journey getting it out and now, but yeah, but it’s out I’m enjoying it and other people will too. Thank you so much for being a guest today. Thanks for having me.