I would like to preface this entry by saying: This is not a blog full of dieting tips nor is it a suggestion to start counting your macros.

Macronutrients

There are a lot of fitness junkies out there who count the macros in their food. What does that mean? Well, there are 3 macro-nutrients that your body requires in order to function. Those macro-nutrients or “macros” are Carbs, Proteins, and Fats. When a fitness enthusiast “counts their macros”, they do this to optimize the benefits of their workout to shed fat and build muscle. It’s a science. For more on this, read this article: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/03/06/how-much-do-macronutrients-really-matter

  • It is necessary for your overall health to ingest all 3 macro-nutrients throughout the day when it comes to the longevity of your life. Sure you can go on a low-carb diet to lose weight fast, or you can do a fat-free diet to avoid high caloric intake, or you can do a high protein diet to ensure you build muscle to burn more fat, but if you go a long time without one specific macro-nutrient you could inflict long-term damage to your body’s system.

Jillian Levy, Certified Holistic Health Counselor and senior writer for the Dr. Axe Team, puts it this way, “We cannot live without all three of these macro-nutrients even for a short period of time, as they’re needed for everything from growth and development to sustaining circulation and providing the brain with enough energy for cognitive functioning.”(1).

Why do I bring all of this up? Because God created our bodies to crave and require these macro-nutrients for basic function and living. We can tweak our diets for weight loss results and to feel better in the gym, but we can’t deny our bodies these macro-nutrients… at least not forever. Eventually on a low-carb diet, we are gonna break down and eat a pound of cheesecake at the next party.

Okay, maybe that’s just me…

The main goal when it comes to nutrition is to eat exactly what you need, when you need it, in order to maintain a healthy and functional lifestyle. Overindulgence will hinder your efforts, and undereating will wreak havoc on your body.

Timing

One more thing I would like to add: a lot of health gurus stress the importance of nutrient timing. They suggest “eating for what you are about to do”. Without getting too technical… Carbs are used as a quick energy source and best consumed around physical activity. Fats are best consumed when your activity level is significantly low, like before bedtime. Dr. Clay Hyght, (DC, BSc, CSCS, CISSN) believes you should consume fats when there are no carbs. When you sleep, your body is almost exclusively using fat as an energy source (2). Protein is great throughout the day, however, consuming it at night before bed is also beneficial. Protein is necessary for repairing your muscles after strenuous activity and this repair occurs more proficiently during your sleep cycle.

Let’s take a break from this dieting convo and head over to Exodus 16. There is a correlation between nutrients and God’s perfect supply of what we need in our life.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+16&version=NIV

The Wilderness

The scene is this: Moses and the entire Israelite community were being led out of slavery from the Egyptians. I am sure you know the story of Pharaoh and Moses even if you aren’t a Christian or avid Bible reader. If not, you can find that story starting in Exodus 1.

The Lord had promised to lead the Israelites into the promise land; however, they would be wandering in the wilderness for 40 years in the meantime. Around the second month in the wilderness, they did not have food. God had just miraculously provided water for them in the desert after their escape from the Egyptian army. The Israelites grew angry with The Lord for their starvation in the wilderness. “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted, Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!” (Ex. 16:16:3).

PAUSE: how many times has God pulled through for you in a big way, then you enter a season of wilderness and almost wish for the last season? “The grass is always greener” syndrome is real.

Manna

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from Heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather it for that day. This way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow my instructions’”.

Without typing up a block of scripture I am going to paraphrase the rest of the passage. The Lord provided manna (a very thin-flaky honey flavored wafer) in the morning and quail at night. (Ex. 16:13). When they woke up in the morning, the dew evaporated, and the fine flakes of manna covered the desert ground. “The Lord has commanded, ‘Gather as much of it as each person needs to eat…’” (vs. 16) Then “Moses said to them, ‘No one is to let any of it remain until the morning’. But they did not listen to Moses; some people left part of it until {the next} morning, and it bred worms and stank.” (vs. 19).

You get the picture? The command was to gather as much of the manna they would need for the day but not to keep any for the next morning. Why? Because he knew that the next morning He would again provide fresh manna for their nutritional needs. When the sun came up, it melted the leftover manna (vs. 21). There was no need for them to overindulge or become greedy.

By the way, the main macro-nutrient in bread is carbs…. Remember that carbs are the main energy source for physical activity. The Lord knew they would be breaking down camp, walking miles and miles, fighting beasts of the wild, and setting up camp again. Carbs would be needed for this strenuous daily activity. He wanted them to trust Him for the next morning’s supply. Much like He wants us to trust Him for the next season’s supply. He gives us exactly what we need, when we need it.

Quail

Let’s look at God’s provision when evening came. “At twilight you will eat meat… So, at evening quail came and covered the camp.” (vs. 11,13)

I looked up the nutrition information of quail…. Quail meat has zero carbs high protein, approximately 78%, and moderate in fats, 22% per caloric ratio (3). (that’s interesting; I believe most health gurus suggest no carbs at night….)

Quail is also high in zinc, iron, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B3 (niacin). Quail is high in cholesterol, however Vitamin B3 assists in controlling cholesterol levels by catalyzing lipid synthesis in the liver. Zinc is great for growth, reproduction, the immune system, and neurological function. Iron helps form hemoglobin (protein that transports oxygen in the blood) and myoglobin (protein that transports oxygen in muscles). Vitamin B6 supports the immune and nervous system but also aids in breaking down glycogen (a form of sugar stored by muscles and the liver as a store of carbohydrates). Wow all that nutrition information and science makes me realize the Israelites had EVERYTHING they needed at the time they needed it for optimal health and physical activity.

You see, it may have seemed overbearing for God to command them when and what to eat. However, He knew exactly what their bodies would need for their daily activities and recovery at night. For a span of 40 years!

Now, I said this wasn’t a diet blog, and I am not saying that the Bible wants you to count your macros… But I think we just learned a lot about the human body and its complex needs. We also learned a lot about our Father in Heaven who is the ultimate provider and supplier of our needs. Not only is nutrient timing effective, but God’s timing is even more effective. He is merciful. He is just. He is faithful.

If we are in the wilderness like the Israelites, I recommend we obey His commands and cling to His promises extra tight because we can be assured, He will provide each morning and each night for our good.

  1. https://draxe.com/nutrition/vitamins/macronutrients/
  2. https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/tip-eat-fat-before-going-to-bed
  3. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/798/2