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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hallelujah, But I'm Not A Vegetarian


The Hallelujah Diet
may not be making God very happy

As a Christian who in very interested in the subject of diet, nutrition and weight loss, I was excited to hear about a book written by a pastor named George H. Malkmus that was allegedly based on Scripture verses from the Bible called The Hallelujah Diet.

My first exposure to this holy diet plan was when the former minister of music at my church lost a significant amount of weight on it several years back. He was already a big man at 6'7" tall, but The Hallelujah Diet helped him trim down by an incredible 75 pounds. The results of this way of eating for him were just undeniable and he was one of the strongest proponents for this way of eating you'll ever meet. But there's more to share about what happened next for him in just a moment.

Malkmus is well-known within Christian circles for his frequent appearances on radio and television and in publishing a health newsletter that is read by hundreds of thousands of people each month. In addition, he travels all around the country talking about health and nutrition in seminars held mostly in churches and local venues.

His message: God ordained the way we should eat and it includes consuming living and organic foods, implementing better lifestyle choices, and getting our lives in accordance with what the Lord wants for us.

This all sounds good on the surface and certainly Malkmus is a strong believer in the Lord and in the health principles he is teaching people about their diet. But that "optimal health you were meant to have" according to Malkmus is predicated on eating lots and lots of living and organic foods which in and of itself is not a bad thing. However, when it is to the exclusion of foods such as meat (described as "dead animal products" which Malkmus believes "is more harmful to our health" than any other food) and other "deadly" foods, Malkmus reveals that his motive is less spiritual than it is in promoting veganism and the vegetarian lifestyle.

With that said, though, I give credence to Malkmus for acknowledging the harmful effects of excessive preservatives in foods, white sugar (which he says "contributes to an obese society, contributing to epidemic rates of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and a long list of emotional problems"), prescription medications, white flour (which makes "the most wonderful paste"), and caffeine. That is why Malmus highly recommends people eat more raw foods to have their bodies work the way God intended.

Sprinkled throughout the book are various success stories from people who have been on The Hallelujah Diet in an effort to legitimize that it really is working for real people. I'm sure it is, but the jury is out on the so-called 85:15 rule, where 85 percent of food consumed should be raw and a mere 15 percent is cooked foods.

Wanna see what you get to eat in a typical day on The Hallelujah Diet? Try this on for size.

BREAKFAST: One serving of BarleyMax powder to cleanse the system.
MID-MORNING SNACK: 8-oz glass of vegetable juice with flax seed.
LUNCH: More BarleyMax with raw veggies and fruit.
MID-AFTERNOON SNACK: 8-oz glass of vegetable juice with trail mix.
DINNER: Another BarleyMax serving with non-head lettuce and pasta.
DESSERT: Juicy fresh fruit or organic apple juice.
EVENING SNACK: Homemade organic recipes from the book.

Doesn't this just sound so yummy to your tummy? NOT!

While I can certainly appreciate a pastor trying to help people eat better than they ever have before to preserve the temple of the Holy Spirit which is our bodies, I cannot for the life of me understand how Malkmus believes his nutritional approach is the one and only way that God would have people to lose weight and get healthy. With all due respect to my fellow brother in Christ, he is just plain wrong in his conclusions about weight loss and diet for ALL people. There is no one God-endorsed diet plan out there and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

When I weighed 410 pounds just two years ago, there is no way I could have ever been able to do The Hallelujah Diet because it was more of what I had heard my entire life about getting my weight under control -- eat better, stop eating junk food, move your body, YADDA YADDA YADDA! Those statements ring so hollow and I heard them again and again as I read The Hallelujah Diet book.

But now that I found a healthy way to eat and control my weight through the incredibly healthy low-carb lifestyle, my life has been radically changed for the better -- over 180 pounds gone forever! Is God mad at me for losing weight and keeping it off this way, Rev. Malkmus? I sure don't think so. He is probably happy to see me finally find a way to control my cravings, enjoy the foods that He created for me to eat, and now serving as someone who can inspire and encourage others who need to lose weight, too.

Remember that minister of music I told you about who had lost weight being an enthusiastic follower of The Hallelujah Diet. Well, apparently he got tired of having to avoid social events at church where there was food that was totally off-limits to him for his diet. Not only has he gained back all of that weight he lost, but he now weighs more than he did before he went on the diet. It's sad to see that happen to this great man of God, but unfortunately it was predictable in my opinion.

Some people can only keep up that way of eating for a short period of time before they go completely nuts! While Malkmus believes in his diet, I don't think there's anything shameful about a Christian choosing to follow another diet plan instead. Perhaps people who have tried and failed on The Hallelujah Diet should try the low-carb lifestyle instead. I know that will be a hard transition, especially since Malkmus often references such radical vegetarian activists such as Dr. Joel Fuhrman, T. Colin Campbell from The China Study, and other various anti-dairy, anti-meat web sites in the appendix to his book. But you can do it and God will help you just as He helped me.

Permanent weight loss is definitely within your grasp and I pray that God will reveal to you what will work best for your body. After you lose the weight for good you can shout HALLELUJAH for the blessings that God has bestowed upon you for lasting weight loss and improved health like you've never seen before. It CAN happen if you believe that God can still perform miracles -- he did it for me thanks to livin' la vida low-carb and I'll never be the same again! And he'll MAKE IT HAPPEN for you as well.

6 Comments:

Blogger 1Peter3 said...

This sounds terribly similar to the raw diet that's supposed to cure terminal cancer. If it worked for that, I wouldn't have lost one of the best friends I ever had a couple years ago. :(

I have another friend battling a recurring cancer who is doing a raw diet now. If she manages to survive it, I can guarantee you it won't have anything to do with how much barleymax she consumes, or how much of her diet is raw, it'll be because God healed her, and for no other reason.

If God wants us to consume only raw foods, why did he tell the Hebrews to cook the meat for the fellowship offerings? (seeing as how fellowship offerings were shared with others, not burned whole)

If God wants us to only consume raw foods, why did Jesus cook fish over a charcoal fire and feed it to the disciples?

If God wants us to only consume raw foods, why were the Hebrews told to cook a whole lamb for the passover and share it with their neighbors if it was too much for their own family to eat, since none of it was to be left over until morning?

If God wants us to consume only raw foods, why is bread part of the passover meal, along with other cooked foods?

If God wants us to only consume raw foods, why did he tell the Hebrews gather the manna and boil what they wanted to boil, and bake what they wanted to bake?

The Bible is full of instances where food was served cooked. I only know of one instance where God's blessing was on a totally vegetarian diet, and we really don't know if Daniel cooked the vegetables before he ate them or not, because it simply doesn't say. But you have to remember, that's what was right for Daniel, in that particular instance, at that particular time, since he didn't want his good health to be attributed to the king's special diet, but instead wanted God to have the glory.


As far as God's guidelines on eating are concerned, he gave Noah and his descendents freedom to eat any of the clean animals they wanted, and further lifted restrictions on meat when Peter had his visions of unclean things. The only real restrictions then remaining were against gluttony, and consuming blood.

I'm sure the author's heart is in the right place, and although this is an extremely restrictive diet, it may be just fine for him, if it satisfies his hunger and provides enough energy for his day to day activities. For most of us though, it wouldn't even come close.

4/30/2006 8:50 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

With that said, though, I give credence to Malkmus for acknowledging the harmful effects of excessive preservatives in foods, white sugar (which he says "contributes to an obese society, contributing to epidemic rates of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and a long list of emotional problems"), prescription medications, white flour (which makes "the most wonderful paste"), and caffeine.

Since when is medication bad? Some of us wouldn't have to worry about weight loss if it weren't for medication because we wouldn't be here! Medications may have "harmful effects," but being dead is worse than ANY harmful effect!

Vegetarianism (even veganism) was the way it was in the garden, but mankind has been allowed to eat all sorts of animal products since the fall, and in fact humans are omnivores who are *supposed* to eat all sorts of things, just as my cats are carnivores who NEED meat to live a healthy life.

The fall changed everything and humans currently do best consuming animal products.

4/30/2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

Also, don't forget that Abel offered God the fatty cuts of meat and rejected Cain's offering of fruits and vegetables, and you know where that went. Kinda explains radical vegans does it not?

5/01/2006 1:55 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

I meant to say God rejected Cain's offering. Oops!

5/01/2006 1:55 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

BREAKFAST: One serving of BarleyMax powder to cleanse the system.
MID-MORNING SNACK: 8-oz glass of vegetable juice with flax seed.
LUNCH: More BarleyMax with raw veggies and fruit.
MID-AFTERNOON SNACK: 8-oz glass of vegetable juice with trail mix.
DINNER: Another BarleyMax serving with non-head lettuce and pasta.
DESSERT: Juicy fresh fruit or organic apple juice.
EVENING SNACK: Homemade organic recipes from the book.


Are you serious you have not read the book if you think that this is what each day has to look like. I have been following this diet for two years and will tell you I would never go back to eating meat simply because of the quality of meat now verses biblical times...I am not saying George has it right or knows what God intended...the only thing I can say is I had major medical issues went on this diet and those issues have been resoulved and the weight has come off and stayed off...

3/13/2009 1:03 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

CONGRATULATIONS on your success, George! Keep it up!

3/13/2009 1:27 PM  

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