Author’s Note: If you were not able to download the free e-book on vision boards from the link in my last article, I’ve included it again at the end of this article!
With General Conference less than a month away, I am rapidly finishing the Book of Mormon in my “conference to conference” quest for healthy living inspiration from its pages. With every reading of the Book of Mormon, my testimony grows, but so does my list of comparisons and questions!
For example, in the U.S., in the year 2012 a stranger (like Ammon) coming in and cutting off the arms of the enemy in the name of inspiration from God would be in serious trouble for a very long time rather than being hailed as a hero. (For a very interesting LDS article on this custom, please scroll to the bottom where I have a link.)What has not changed is the intense vying for political leadership, particularly familiar to United States citizen in this election year (Hopefully minus the Book of Mormon-esquesubterfuge and murder before it’s time for U.S. citizens to vote come November.)
Personally, I have high hopes in the next life for taking extensiveeducational courses in “Lifestyles of the Book of Mormon People” to be taught by those who lived in those times. Their clothing, fashion and hair styles, homes and cities, music, dance, parenting and family living, entertainment, games and recreation, medicine and health practices, etc. pique my curiosity with every page! Top on my list of courses to sign up for, would be foods and cooking. Can you imagine attending a Relief Society Enrichment activity where Nephi or Alma’s wives taught us how to prepare their favorite dishes?I have a secret thought that cookbooks and lifestyle information may actually be part ofthe sealed portions of the Golden Plates.
Of course, there are volumes and ongoing studies on ancient life and cultures. Obviously Book of Mormon people, like people around the world from the beginning of time,ate what was available, meaning what they could grow and catch. They grew and stored grains, as did Joseph in ancient Egypt, and must have had methods for preserving food and transporting it to some degree with all of their military and war activities. Though there were no Twinkies or McDonalds, they did have wine (fermented fruit) and used it to weaken and dull the senses and activities of their enemies.
Nephi counseled us to “liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning,” (I Nephi 19:23) So, in light of my six months of Book of Mormon inspiration for health living, it’s interesting to consider that we can also likenwhat they ate for our profit and learning to vastly improve our health!
So what would they eat? From a fascinating website, www.ancientstandard.com, there is this:
An anthropology professor from Trent University recently put together a studyon the diets of the Inca who lived in ancient Peruvian town. By studying the remains of 500-year-old Incan mummies, she was able to reconstruct what kinds of foods they ate, how much they consumed, and when the food was eaten.
A number of Incan mummies were uncovered at the coastal town of Tupac Amaru, in the midst of an ancient cemetery. Since this area of Peru is extremely dry throughout the entire year, the preservation conditions for organic materials is very good – many of the ancient mummies are so well preserved that parts such as skin, hair, eyelashes, and fingernails remain on the bodies. In some cases, tattoos have even survived the decomposition process and are still visible.
Tissue samples taken from the mummies – including pieces of hair, nail, skin, bone, muscle and tendon – were tested in order to obtain the chemical signatures that are left behind when human beings consume foods. Typically, a piece of bone will record the diet of an individual over the past fifteen years, due to its extremely slow growth rate. Also, since hair averages a growth rate of one centimeter per month, it can record an individual’s dietary habits during the weeks before death.
The study revealed that the Inca had rather extreme seasonal fluctuations in their diet: in the winter, the Inca ate mostly tubers, which includes items like potatoes, while in the summer their primary subsistence was on corn. For the mummies from this area of Peru, that was quite an odd find – historians have known that the Inca normally had an excellent ability to maintain a healthy stash of food stores and supply the food to their surrounding populations, but it appeared that the people here were relying heavily on cultivated foods in their diet.
(Source: Scroll down for link to website on ancient standards.)
It is established that the native people of Central America cultivated squash and beans which supply protein and other nourishing vegetable elements to their diets, as well as avocados which are an excellent source of fat and oil, and chilis (peppers) which are full of vitamins. They soaked their corn in lime water which added calcium to people’s diets, and they thrived on that famous combination of corn and beans which, when eaten together, provide yet another protein, lysine.
So, think about tacos!
No Twinkies, No McDonalds, No Paul Deen: Just Word of Wisdom Foods!
Of course, my point is simple and obvious: There were no Twinkies. No McDonalds. No processed foods with high fructose corn syrup. No Paula Deen. What there was were the foods that the Lord guides us to in the Word of Wisdom:things that grow …fruits, vegetables and grains, with lean meat when it was available. Funny, isn’t it? That the foods that are the best for us are the ones that can ALWAYS be linked directly back to Him and nature itself?
Of course, Joseph Smith had no scientific studies to back up the Word of Wisdom, nor did the ancient cultures as they ate what was available, but it’s interesting to me that it truly IS one eternal round! With all of modern sciences’ health inventions, none is better for us than circling back around to the beginning of the history of man and discovering that the foods that are best for us are not new, but old …
“For he that diligently seeketh shall find and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well as in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore the course of the Lord is one eternal round.”
Dr. Stephen T. Williamson, MD in his article “Cancer, Nutrition and the Word of Wisdom at LDS.org says:
“Although we often consider the verses teaching us to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and hot drinks to be the most important parts of the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89), the larger portion of this revelation is actually devoted to teaching us what we should consume: wheat, other grains, fruits, and vegetables. Grains are mentioned repeatedly in this revelation, with special mention of “wheat for man” in verse 17.
“And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man-
“Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
“Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
“And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
“All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, …
“All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; …
“Nevertheless, wheat for man” D&C 89:10-14, 16-17.) (
What does medical science teach us about this kind of diet? Certainly all kinds of diets are being recommended by one seeming authority or another. The diets in fashion change from year to year. Consistently over the years, however, the evidence favors a diet in keeping with the recommendations contained in the Word of Wisdom. The medical community widely accepts that a low-fat diet consisting mostly of complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, along with limited amounts of nuts and high-protein foods like low-fat meats, is associated with lower incidences of disease and a longer life.”…(End of Quote – the link to the entire article is at the bottom)
I repeat: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, along with limited amounts of nuts and high-protein foods like low fat meats …It seems obvious that these are about the ONLY foods that would be available to the ancient Book of Mormon people, and a wise eating plan for us to adopt to any extent possible!
Is it any wonder that the epidemic of many modern diseases (heart disease, diabetes, etc.) come from eating modern foods without good old fashioned exercise, like extensive walking which would be a part of daily life in ancient times without modern transportation?
Its’ a fascinating thought isn’t it? That truths from the Book of Mormon can change not only your spiritual health, but your physical health as well?
I’ll be back in two weeks with my next thoughts! Until then, enjoy a taco, or some beans and rice! Then go for a brisk walk!
LINKS:Ammon and the Mesoamerican Custom of Smiting off Arms by Bruce H. Yerman
Website with fascinating ancient culture information:
CLICK HERE (and scroll down for article “No Incan Dinner Parties …)
Cancer, Nutrition and the Word of Wisdom: One LDS Doctor’s Observation from LDS.org
Vision Board Free eBook and 9 Irresistible Reasons to Stop Complaining
Carolyn’s DeTox Tea for Cleansing the System of Modern Toxins
Enter code word BOOKOFMORMON for 10% March 5-9, 2012
CLICK HEREor go to www.MyMiracleTea.com