Jordan S. Rubin is a nutritionist and a naturopath, but his "Maker's Diet," based on the health precepts Jordan found in the Bible, is not a product of his advanced degrees, but his own illness and his particular brand of Christianity. His regimen, which precludes pork or shellfish, is the latest to update the ancient Jewish kosher laws, outlined in the Old Testament, for Christians--not as a matter of devotion but of diet. We talked to him recently about how his plan incorporates (and goes beyond) kosher eating, about his own health, and his faith.

At his sickest, Rubin weighed just 114 lbs.
The story of your recovery is very compelling. Could you re-cap it?
Ten years ago, at age 19, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. In addition, I had everything from arthritis to diabetes to chronic fatigue to hair loss, anemia. I was a complete mess. In one seven-week period, I lost 20 pounds. This was after being a completely healthy 185-pound, college athlete on academic scholarship. I traveled the world trying every treatment you could think of, conventional medicine, alternative medicine. It all failed. I was in a wheelchair and was facing a very risky and life altering surgery.

How did you get back to health?
I was thumbing through the pages of what I call the most ancient of public health texts-the Bible. These Israelites were so far superior in their health. If I could adopt their principle, which science is just now beginning to prove, I felt I could regain my heath. And it wasn't just about regaining my health. I believed I was sick for a reason. I committed that, should I get well, I would spend the rest of my life changing the health of this world, one life at a time.

Rubin promised God he'd tell others how to eat a healthy diet.
Did you open the Bible looking for a health plan?
I read the Bible every day. But until somebody told me that, that I need to follow the diet and lifestyle of the Bible, I never looked there.

Who told you?
It was a gentleman-I call him an eccentric nutritionist, [because] he's not a licensed nutritionist, but he taught on a very small scale that the Bible has the answers for health.

What is your faith background?
My parents were both Jewish growing up but when I was two years old, my parents became believers. I was raised as a Jewish person who believes in Jesus. I'm a Messianic Jew. I identify with the born-again Christian community, but I also believe that the Jewish roots of the Bible have a lot of wisdom and are very much needed today in the church. I always have faith that God never allows you to go through anything if He's not going to use it later, and so I was waiting for something. I'm just glad that what helped me was not the Venus flytrap therapy or the fetal sheep-cell injections or the building a steel cage around my bed to prevent electromagnetic poisoning-and these things all I did.

Did your family keep kosher?
My mom grew up kosher, my dad didn't. But my dad's a naturopath and a chiropractor, and so we ate healthy, but we didn't eat kosher. It wasn't until I realized what the Bible said, what history showed and what science tells us, that I made that decision when I started this plan-that I was going to avoid pork, shellfish and other things. The neat thing is that I was one of those people who was extremely ill but I was also eating well. Dr. Atkins was my doctor for a period of time-he wasn't about weight loss as much back then. Barry Sears, the author of "The Zone," was my nutritionist. So it wasn't like I wasn't getting well because I was eating junk food. I was doing what everybody thinks is the best way to do things.

What's the basis of the Maker's Diet?
The first key is to eat a healthy diet. There are two criteria for me to eat a food. Number one, it had to be created by God as a food. Number two, it needs to be consumed in the form that is compatible for the human body--in the form that God created it. Throughout history, the world's healthiest people have known how to preserve, prepare and consume food in its healthiest form. So if it's animal food, it means that the animals were raised healthy. If it's vegetable food, it means the vegetables were raised healthfully. When it comes to grains and dairy, the least processing and the preparation that allows them to be more digestible is the way that history tells us to eat. And it's also using the laws of nature to preserve instead of the man made processes that we put into place.