Dr. Norris J. Chumley Satisfied Life

Dr. Norris J. Chumley Satisfied Life

Jesus Diet

December 8, 2009

I was reminded of a book, What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat?: Diet in Biblical Times by Nathan MacDonald of the University of Scotland in St. Andrews, that talks about food, eating, and by default weight loss / weight management in times of the Hebrew Bible.  While the book came out last year, it’s interesting to think about it to this day.  Perhaps it would be useful for you.

Professor MacDonald tells us that ancient Israelites ate mostly grains, wine, olive oil and meat in the form of birds and fish.  They also ate vegetables and cheese.

Of course, what the ancients in Biblical times did not eat were processed foods, stuff with long shelf-life, and highly sweetened, high fat mixes like cakes, pastries, candy, ice cream, potato chips, in other words junk foods.

Take a look at my fellow Beliefnet columnist, Scot McKnight’s review here.

What do YOU think about eating like Jesus and His followers, and those even more ancient?  Please post a comment, and ask your friends to subscribe, please, too.

Add Comment » Comments
  1. Pat
    December 9, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Hi All:
    well it is a good thought. after all, there are many passages in the Bible that relate to those who kept a simple diet. In fact the Lord told some of the people what to eat , when, and where and so on.
    so in keeping with that faith, it sounds like a good idea! I would love to have an article going that talked about such things.
    Many cultures respect certain aspects and dates of the year as to what they partake with in food

  2. Dr. Stan Seidner
    December 9, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Actually, the correct translation of Yehashua is “God’s salvation.”

  3. Maria
    December 9, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Still the healthiest way to eat!

  4. Michael Dunetz
    December 9, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Jesus was a jew so he kept kosher. So every one keep Kosher! .ok..

  5. Nancy
    December 9, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Jesus was all about doing away with the old Jewish laws, so I don’t believe he kept Kosher. Is there a verse that proves otherwise?
    I do believe God wants us to eat good healthy pure food. Stay out of the center of the grocery store, where all the processed foods are. And read labels, the shorter the ingredients list, the better. I avoid high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.

  6. Monica Squires
    December 9, 2009 at 11:03 am

    I am a firm believer that a persons diet is absolutely important in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. Being careful of eating foods enriched with artificial chemicals and additives are not appropriate for the bodys essential break down of the foods digested. In fact, people in America suffer from several illnesses that are related to poor diet.

  7. Shulamit
    December 9, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Besides all of the details on Kosher eating and permitted and non-permitted foods,there are also MANY places in the Hebrew Bible, especially in Psalms and in Proverbs, that talk about feeling *satisfied* with your portion, not *over-doing* eating, (“Do not be of those who guzzle win, or glut themselves on meat…” Prov 23.20; “If you find honey, eat only what you need, lest, surfeiting yourself, you throw it up.” Prov 25.16, etc…) Obviously many of these verses can be read metaphorically– but they also really ‘work’ when thinking very concretely about physical food and literal eating.
    Also, here’s a link to a review of two 2007 books specifically on Jewish approaches to eating well for good health and weight loss that might be of interest to some readers:
    Thanks for bringing up this perspective!

  8. Michael Dunetz
    December 9, 2009 at 11:20 am

    I think he ate lots of fish and vegges on shabbat he ate geffilta fish herring cholent matzoball soup roast kosher chicken noodle kugel potato kugel maybe some lamb grivenos shmalz and lots of fruit .

  9. December 9, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I read a book a couple of years ago title “What would Jesus eat” it was a great read and was packed with good information regarding his eating habits. I also learned that all the walking he did equals to a trip around the world. So walking is a great form of exercise.

  10. Michael
    December 9, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Jesus walked , not drive
    Also he didn’t sit in front of computer/TV/video games for 99% of the time.
    Got a message? Get of your lazy butts and start moving!!!

  11. Maria Edwards
    December 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I think god want all his children to eat healthy and be active. So we are able to be here a little longer to finsh his work.

  12. Pennie Smith
    December 9, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I would love to hear more on the right foods we should eat . w577kb

  13. Laila
    December 9, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    In prophetic medicine, a natural medicine practiced from Abraham through Jesus to Muhammad, fresh, natural foods are eaten in balance much as described above. They are also used in healing – garlic to kill germs, parsely broth to release endometriosis and fibroids, fenugreek tea and honey to regulate blood sugar and guard against diabetes.
    Also, the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said that 1/3 of the stomach is for food, 1/3 for water and 1/3 for breath; ie, leave some room – don’t stuff!! Another way to talk about portion control!
    Our health is out of balance because our lifestyle is.
    Our Sufi Master, a Muslim from Jerusalem, is a doctor of prophetic medicine, and I have seen some beautiful cures and improved greatly quality of life through his remedies, including my own experience. For more, see http://www.sufimaster.org and look for his book “Spiritual Healing and Natural Remedies”
    (This is not disguised advertising — just an enthusiastic recommendation! So, so many of the things we go to doctors for can be dealt with cheaply, naturally and very effectively.)

  14. Leanne
    December 9, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Has anyone done, or attempted to do, the “Daniel’s Fast?”

  15. Your Name
    December 9, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    The key to good health is get off the “PROCESSED FOODS”. Get back to all the natural foods that are grown not the ones that are man made. God didn’t intend for us to eat all this JUNK!!Plus drink plenty of water not soft drinks.

  16. henrietta
    December 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm


  17. annette
    December 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    hey Leanne, i know someone who has done the daniel fast. They got amazing results. I am gonna do it after i have my baby! I can’t wait. It really works. for about a month all you eat is fruit and vegetables, and whatever spice you want to add. (no butter, cream, breads, or meats, sugars)

  18. Pam Allen
    December 9, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    What is the Daniel’s Diet?

  19. Tam
    December 10, 2009 at 4:55 am

    Having been to Jordan its pretty close to a modern day Biblical diet meat isn’t an every day thing but fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are main staples. I lost weight both times I went and can’t wait to go back and walk the streets of Gadera again. huz

  20. Lou
    December 10, 2009 at 5:33 am

    There was a diet plan that came out quite a few years ago called the F Plan, with F standing for high fiber. That means emphasis on whole grains and fruits and vegetables. It works pretty well, but like any diet can become boring for some after a while. If you can’t enjoy your diet, it won’t succeed.
    Furthermore, there are ways to “cheat”. One of the interesting “cheats” related to eating fresh vegetables and fruits. They are good for you right? Can’t eat too many, right? Well today’s fruits and vegetables are the result of breeding for improved size, appearance, taste (meaning usually increased sugar content) and aren’t the same kind of fruits and veges your grandparents ate. (I think an Atkins junkie actually pinted this out to me.) So think about that when you reach for the super sweet corn at the summer picnic or these humongous apples that should really count as 3 servings instead of 1.
    I suspect that whether meat was a significant portion of ancient diets or not, that it was certainly leaner. Certainly wild game like venison is lean by comparison to domestic grain fed beef, pork, etc. No doubt, the wild or pasture raised meat animals of yore were leaner and probably less tasty than today’s prime steaks. Perhaps the taste was as significant as the availability in limiting portion sizes and frequency.
    I’m not suggesting we all give up tasty foods, but just beware that it may be possible to have too much fruit, vegetables, and even whole grains if your ultimate goal is to achieve significant weight loss.

  21. Your Name
    December 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    The only way we can eat like our ancestors is to grow our own food, including raising our own meat, from products that have not gone thru any type of modification. Also, will need to find land that has not been over utilized & fed chemicals to keep the plants growing. Unfortunately, today’s fresh fruits & vegetables no longer have the nutrients that were in them 5000 years ago!

  22. December 16, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Interesting question you have asked but i also want to know so i will look around for more of replies.Keep up.

  23. Your Name
    December 18, 2009 at 6:51 am

    I am a vivibe vegan. Once when I ate everything I was a lot bigger than I am now. Now that I have cut down on the that I know will make me bigger. Now don’t get me wrong I still eat potato chips, and stuff like that but I read everything that goes into my mouth. For we are to know that our bodies are the holy temple and if we don’t care for them then who will. So people wake up and take care of your self. Eating meat does nothing that causes up to have high blood pressure, diabetics, gout, cancer and lots of diffrent kinds of disease. We need to wake up and smell the coffee. Everyday there are new things coming out about diffrent things. I believe that God is trying to let us know something. When you have swine flu, mad cow disease and don’t forget about symullinia from the chicken that people eat. I believe that there are higher callings, but we as people are not listing to them. As we don’t live by out creator commandments wake up people and pay attention look at all of the commandments not just some of them. And don’t believe that the old testment doesn’t matter, because God wrote the whole book with his inperation. Remeber the seventh day and to keep it holy, that means everyone not just the Jews, muslims and the seventhday advintists. I believe if we listen to God that there would be less going on in the world today then there is. LISTEN TO GOD he has a lot to say, but we as people doesn’t have the time to listen. Give him back his 10% because he gives you more. I could go on and on, but I will end it right here. As Abraham said enough blood has been shed it will end here.

  24. March 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    There is always a different diet for the people of God depending on their circumstances. Adam & Eve ate from the garden. The people at the time of Moses had a specific diet to follow. Mormons have a word of wisdom which includes the use of all wholesome herbs, fruits, grains, and other plant foods with flesh to be used sparingly. The 7th Day Adventists, Hindus, and other religions all have their own diets depending on what they believe to be given them from God. It makes sense that our day is different. The animals are commonly factory farmed and unhealthy. There is a lot of unwholesome junk foods. Disease is a lot more prevalent. It’s good to find what God’s will is for us.

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