Unless you live on a deserted island, you’ve seen or heard at least one commercial or advertisement for a weight loss diet. To date, there are nine listed among the most popular, but the list goes well beyond these. U.S. News & World Report with input from a “panel of experts” recently ranked the top diets for 2020 based on the criteria of the best overall score, weight loss achieved, and if it was healthy¹
The operative word for each of these plans heralding wholesome physical choices of veggies, fruit, salads, declared lean meat and consumption of lots of fresh water, is diet. Nutritionally, the word diet means “food or drink regularly consumed by people or other organisms for basic nourishment.” Individual choices made in consuming food and drink can be either healthy or not so much.
Surprisingly, the word diet was recognized in English during the 13th century disclosing its original Greek meaning: “Way of living or of leading one’s life.”
Given this definition, the purpose of diet also should introduce us to the concept of a healthy diet for the soul. Primary to our social development is having a healthy mind diet to direct our lives. The cliché “garbage in, garbage out” moves to the top of the chart when it comes to monitoring what you feed your mind.
The proverbial saying, “You are what you eat,” reflects the notion that eating good food will lead to fitness and health. Equally important to your physical health is a healthy mind/soul companion. Like conjoined twins sharing vital organs, surgical separation is extremely difficult, with few successes. An unhealthy mind diet opens the door to the symptoms of mental suicide: depression, fear, guilt, illogical thinking, and other types of destructive behaviors.
For example, recently, a list of what people perceived to be the scariest horror film endings was published online. I read some of the comments, and they were repetitive in their emotional conclusion of fear: “This scene scared the bejeebers out of me, I never forgot it;” “I still remember this scene, I was so scared I couldn’t sleep for days after watching it.” “I was scared to turn off the lights after watching this scene.” Movies of this type generate negative fear—dread, alarm, terror, panic, and fright. Negative fear crawls into your mind and makes a home in your soul for an extended time, diminishing the possibilities that can flourish within a strong, sound, vigorous, healthy mind. It perverts the benefit of short-term healthy fear, which arises in the presence or anticipation of danger to move toward avoidance.
My neighbor watches the news 24/7. Nothing she speaks about generates positive energy. Imagine listening to someone repeat line-by-line the negative comments made by others concerning politics. They are toxic, unwholesome, and destructive to a healthy mental diet.
”You become like the company you keep” is one of the other common clichés proclaimed by motivational speakers. Jails and prisons are filled with people who will corroborate this statement. On the other side of this statement are the relationship between Jonathan and David, one of the purest and most famous friendships in Biblical history, and the devotion between Ruth, the Moabite and her mother-in-law, Naomi.
It’s not easy digesting a nutritious diet for your mind, given the amount of shrapnel-like (fragments) of stimuli that come at us daily. But there is a mind/soul diet guaranteed to be beneficial every time you digest it.
There is no contradiction between a healthy mind, a healthy body, and a healthy life. They all lead to the abundant path God has chosen for you.