We all know that the Bible is an important place to look for advice, including what to eat. And in our mission to be like Jesus every day, it makes sense that in order to be like Jesus, we must eat like him, too! In the best-selling book The Jesus Diet by Robin Merrill, the author does just that. Merrill chronicles how she lost over 50 pounds using food and diet advice derived from the Bible. She also covers topics of spirituality and combines the external life of health and medicine with internal spirituality. The food portion of The Jesus Diet is very closely linked to the diet recommended by Hallelujah Diet. Want to kickstart your Biblical food journey? Pick up one of our starter kits!
Defining the Jesus Diet
The diet itself is pretty simple — just eat local, fresh foods. Many of the foods found in the Bible are native to the Mediterranean and Middle East. At that time, mass transit of food was not practical, there were none of the exotic things we have now. Research into historical figures of the time shows that the diet Jesus is reported to have eaten appears to be balanced and nutritious.
People from northern Europe, Asia, and the Americas should keep watch on the consumption of grains and milk, as certain ethnicities favor certain foods over others. Most people can consume this type of diet without having any negative side effects.
How to Implement the Jesus Diet into Your Life
The biggest component of the Jesus diet is fresh, local produce. Everything that Jesus ate was freshly made, freshly grown, or freshly caught. Certain foods were staples of the diet, including:
- Almonds — Almonds were particularly sacred for both Jewish and early Christian sects. The almond tree produced copious amounts of highly nutritious almonds, edible flowers, and partially edible bark. It also can survive the harsh conditions of Middle Eastern life without detriment.
- Bread and Grains — The bread and grains of the Bible were very different than what we have today. Barley, rye, millet, and sorghum were the most common. Wheat was practically unknown in that time. Additionally, most grains were sprouted or fermented prior to being ground into flour to be used for bread. This released most of the nutrients, making them extremely high in B vitamins and minerals. Today, we can mimic the bread eaten in Jesus’ time with sprouted bread, otherwise known as Essene Bread, which you can easily make at home.
- Fish — Fish were very plentiful in the Middle East. Traders regularly traveled from the docks to the markets to sell fresh fish. Additionally, fermented and salted fish we’re staples of many workers’ diets. Unfortunately, many of the fish available today are contaminated by arsenic and mercury from pollution. If you choose to eat fish, stick to no more than four ounces twice a week. But for optimal health fish should be eliminated from your diet.
- Herbs and Spices — In Jesus’s time, herbs and spices weren’t optional. They were a standard part of everyone’s diets. On average, people would have eaten one-quarter to one-half cup of herbs and spices with every meal. Staple herbs and spices included garlic, onions, oregano, turmeric, mustard, thyme, marjoram, sesame, and more. Most people consumed fish on a daily basis, many from Mediterranean Sea or preserved with salt. These fish naturally had high amounts of sodium and iodine, making additional salt unnecessary.
- Figs, Pomegranates, Olives, and Dates — These fruits were very popular throughout the Middle East. They were made into main dishes, side dishes, appetizers, and desserts. Many of them were made into wine. Today, we know most of these as “superfoods.” They contain exceptionally high amounts of nutrition, antioxidants, and healing factors.
Although Jesus was not a vegetarian, he focused on a local and natural diet. He relied greatly on donations of food for himself and his disciples.
His focus was great respect for the body. In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Paul says “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, will you receive from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
There’s no sense polluting God’s Earth with herbicides and pesticides designed to kill. Going local and eating more plant-based foods supports small farmers that embrace the stewardship of the Earth and helps your body to heed the call of the Holy Spirit.