The Man Blog

Eating Healthy

Written by Ron Kelley

Why do I choose fried chicken over vegetables? Are there implications for the life choices that promise satisfaction but leave us spiritually empty?

Fried chicken, not on the healthy foods list photoWhile browsing the Internet this morning, I came across a story listing 12 food items that most contribute to good health. I thought it might be interesting to see their list—even though I assumed my favorite foods of fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy would not likely be on the list. I was correct. Not only that, but amazingly enough I could not find hamburgers, hot dogs, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, enchiladas, tuna noodle casserole or any other items from my normal menu. I’m sure you’re as surprised as I was.

So what did make the list of healthy foods? Okay, this mouthwatering list of delectable culinary delights includes: kiwi, cherries, guavas, beans, watercress, spinach, onions, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, kale and dandelions (yes, they’re not just a detestable weed!).

Carrots, healthy foods photoYum, yum! Doesn’t that make you hungry? This list was compiled by Nikki Jong, a contributing editor of, and published on Yahoo Health. It figures that the foods that are most healthy for you are those that you don’t exactly have a craving for. Why aren’t Reuben sandwiches on that list?

Why do we eat what we eat?

Most of us probably don’t eat these healthy foods nearly as often as we should. However, their benefits to our health are clearly documented. They (and other fruits and vegetables) lead to the prevention or control of a multitude of serious illnesses, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

So why don’t we make it a point to eat these and other healthy foods on a daily basis? Why do we have a tendency to overeat unhealthy foods instead? The answer is simple. We enjoy it. They taste good and leave us feeling full and satisfied.

In reality, a poor diet without proper nutrition might lead to our untimely death due to a preventable disease. In fact, God gave us specific guidelines about what we should and should not eat in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. It seems we desire things that are simply not good for us.

Pleasures that promise satisfaction but leave us spiritually empty

There is a tremendous spiritual lesson in this for us as well. Too often we tend to engage in activity that is not good for us simply because it is pleasurable. We believe it brings us satisfaction when, in reality, we are left spiritually empty.

In the book of Ecclesiastes King Solomon lamented about the vanity of seeking life’s pleasures while neglecting the ways of God. “Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11).

A balanced diet, a balanced life

The ways of this world may appear to be satisfying and fulfilling, but in reality breaking God’s law will take us down a path to suffering and death. Just like we are to eat a balanced diet, God wants us to live a balanced life. He wants us to enjoy life to the fullest, but that must include a spiritual diet of “the bread of life” as described by Jesus Christ: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:51).

We need a daily diet of the Word of God for spiritual nourishment and for a healthy life now along with the promise of eternal life to come. Now, please pass the dandelions!

Ron Kelley and his wife, Nancy, live in Mocksville, North Carolina, where he serves as the pastor for three congregations of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.