Christian Healthy Lifestyle 

Age gracefully | Live abundantly | Thoroughly equipped for every good work

by David Sandstrom 

August 3, 2022

In this episode, I talk with Integrative Nutrition Coach Robin McDonald about what The Bible has to say about our health and wellness. Robin also has a Master's of Divinity and she explains how she blends her knowledge of The Bible with her health coaching practice. 

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Show Notes


Today's Guests...

  • Robin McDonald

Topics Discussed...w / Time Stamps

  • 10:17 What to expect at the doctor's office
  • 13:18 Does The Bible teach vegetarianism?
  • 18:00 Diet check record
  • 25:45 Add years to our lives and life to our years
  • 35:00 God always has our well-being in mind
  • 42:16 Eat whatever is in alignment with your calling


Scroll through the text below to read the full transcript.

Robin McDonald 0:00
I just want to see this shift. And it's funny too, because most of my clients are between like 40s, mid 60s range. And I think it's at that age when we're beyond the like, oh, I want to like a lot of my peers who are health coaches, as well as like, oh, I want to have like the peach booty or like the six pack abs or like, I don't care about that. Like, they're like, I don't feel good. And I want to feel good. I don't want to end up with the chronic diseases that I've seen with my family. And so it's at that age where it's like, things are off, and I need a shift. And what I try to communicate to that community in encourages, yes, you want that shift because and it is possible period like you can increase your vitality as you move from this point.

David Sandstrom 0:45
Welcome to the Natural Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential, so that you could look and feel your best at any age. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, Naturopathic Doctor, and Biblical Health Coach. And this is episode number 88.

David Sandstrom 1:06
Today, we have in the show, Robin McDonald. Robin is a certified Integrative Nutrition coach, her passion is helping people find balance, get healthy, and create sustainable, healthy lifestyles that can bring wholeness to their own life, family, and surrounding community. Robin, Welcome to Natural Health Matters.

Robin McDonald 1:26
Thank you, David, I am so blessed and honored to get to be here today.

David Sandstrom 1:30
Well, thank you for taking the time, I really appreciate it. And we had a little pre talk before we hit the record button. And I'm really excited for you to share your passion about health and wellness and wholeness and how that relates to our purpose in our calling and our mission here on Earth. So it's pretty cool. So you have a bachelor's in Business Administration, and I've got a master's in business administration. But you also have a master's in divinity, which I think is super cool. And I know that you blend your knowledge of the Scriptures and your faith in Jesus Christ into your health coaching practice. And I that's why I really been looking forward to have you on the show to talk about that. Because that's honestly, that's a little rare. You know, it's rare, even if someone is a follower of Jesus Christ, sometimes they don't like to bring that out, you know, in the public realm, but I know you're comfortable doing that. So that's fantastic. So yeah. So tell us a little bit about what an Integrative Nutrition coach does. What do you do on a daily basis?

Robin McDonald 2:33
Yeah, so an Integrative Nutrition coach, it aligns so well with this concept of wholeness and seeing health is something that it's not just one siloed aspect of our well being. It's not just nutrition, it's not just physical activity. It's not just even mindset, it's all of it. It's our sleep, it's our energy, it's our faith in God, it's all these different components. So an Integrative Nutrition coach, I love. One of the key concepts that I was taught in my certification is there's primary foods and their secondary foods, primary foods have nothing to do with what you eat. But without them, then you're not actually going to be truly healthy and secondary foods is actually what you put in your mouth. And so those primary foods are, what is your sense of purpose and calling? What is your physical activity look like? What is your spirituality? What are these, you know, different components that if we have those out of whack affect what what we're eating and why we're eating things. So that's kind of the perspective behind Integrative Nutrition coaching.

David Sandstrom 3:40
You know, I'm thinking about the passage when Jesus met the woman at the well, the disciples went out to get some food. And they came back and they said, Rabbi eat and he said, I have food that you don't know anything about. Yeah, yeah.

Robin McDonald 3:53
That's such a great parallel. And it's so true. Because even when we think about consuming Christ, man, my mind's going on all over the place mind goes to even thinking about communion or some call it Eucharist or you know, the sacrament of that. And, you know, we're eating Christ's Body and Blood, like we're consuming Christ. And so we have this very tangible thing that has to do with what we eat and drink and I love that Jesus chose something like eating and drinking to remember him by it's something that we get to do every day. And so as we think of consuming food, nutrients that the same parallel he wants to draw through consuming Him and who he is and what it means to become like Him and be transformed into His likeness,

David Sandstrom 4:38
Right. So everyone knows it's quite obvious that we have nutritional needs, right? We need vitamins and minerals and protein, carbs and fat and all that. But we also need spiritual food as well. Yes, and you can't separate the spiritual component of a human being from their body. We are spirit we have we have a mind and we live in a body and all three parts of the human condition are interconnected and interdependent. So if our spirit is starving for nutrition, that will impact our mental emotional condition. And that will impact our physical condition because our minds send instructions to our brains and our brains and bodies. So it's all tied together. We can't afford to ignore any of it. You know, nutrition is massive. It's huge. exercise, sleep, all those basics are really big. But I think so often, health coaching misses this part of the the other two components of being a human being the spiritual connection with God and others, and the mental emotional component as well. So, before we get too far into that, I would like to ask you a question that let that I enjoy asking everybody on the show. And oftentimes, there's a event in a person's life that caused them to become more interested in natural and holistic health. Is that true for you?

Robin McDonald 5:56
Yes, such a good question. So I, I've always wanted to be healthy. I think most people want to be healthy. We just don't know how. And so growing up, bless my precious mama. She didn't know I didn't know we were the standard American diet to the tee. If it wasn't like shaking, baked, deep fried, covered in cheese, some sort of pasta. Like I wasn't eating it. If it wasn't Kraft macaroni and cheese. Don't try and give me none of a you know, generic stuff or whatever. So the hot pockets. No, yeah. But I liked. There was like a lean version that I thought was you know, better, right? You see all of that stuff. I hated vegetables, I was actually a really picky eater. So a lot of people who knew me as a kid and know what I'm doing now. And I'm like, make sure that like you're having a diversified diet and like, eat your vegetables and quality meats and stuff. And they're like, Robin.

David Sandstrom 6:50
Is that Robin? Yeah, they're

Robin McDonald 6:51
like, What do you really? But yeah, I was super picky very much about all of those kinds of foods didn't know any different. And the interesting thing is, in hindsight, I can be like, oh, yeah, like my immunity was totally lowered. I was like, struggled with things. But at the time, it just seemed normal. I didn't make any connections to my diet or anything like that. But because I was a fairly active kid, I was always kind of involved in sports and stuff. I didn't gain like, an excessive amount of weight or anything. So there was nothing to really catch my attention to change my lifestyle, particularly with regard to nutrition until college. So my sophomore year of undergrad, I ended up getting just a terrible full faced acne. Just blow out like, and it wasn't just like, oh, like, I've got a trouble area on my chin, or like my forehead. It was like, chin to forehead, ear to ear acne. And I never had acne in middle school or high school. And so it was I was super embarrassed. I felt very insecure. I didn't want to say hi to people that I had met in my freshman year, I was just kind of doing the like, cover my face. Like, don't look at me like trying to cover with makeup, but you can't because the bumps are still there. Yeah. And yes, I went to the doctor. And the doctor prescribed me like three different medications. I got an oral, like an antibacterial, and then two different topical things. And so I was I wanted to get rid of it. I was willing to do anything. And it's funny because I was also trying to find just the right acne like regimen. And that was when like Proactiv and all those different things were popular or whatever. And I had a friend who was involved in the nutrition company was like, you know, what you eat actually affects your skin a lot more than what you put on it. And I thought that was the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I was like, Why? Why would what I eat, that goes into my stomach have anything to do with my face. And I was like this guy. I ended up using the stuff the doctor gave me. And the thing is, it works. So I started to see like it was clearing up the red, the bumps are going away, the redness was going away. I was like, Oh, finally. But I noticed something. When I would wipe my hands on my towel after I put the stuff on my face, it would bleach my towel. And I thought, you know, it's probably not a good thing to keep putting something on my face twice a day that bleach is towels. Do ya think? And this was like health training or anything. Yeah. Just kind of had that like, Ah, I don't know about that. So I started to try to wean myself off of it. But then if the acne started to come back, then I would, you know, freak out and start using it again. And so finally, I started to delve a little bit more into like trying to eat healthier and clean. I was partially motivated by the fact that by that time, it had been several years and I was about to get married. So I wanted to like you know, get healthy, lose weight, whatever. But the so for me that was a big turning point for delving more into nutrition and seeing the benefit in my own body. So I ended up I also gained like the freshman 15 That turned into the grad school 20 Oh, And so I ended up losing the weight, clearing my skin being able to get off the medication. And it was a little bit later that God kind of took that journey of mine in that experience and translated into passion for serving the church. But as far as my own moment for health that,

David Sandstrom 10:19
That's really good. Thank you for sharing that a couple of observations. You know, when you go to the doctor with a health problem, you can call it symptom relief or reductionism, but they often will prescribe some medication for whatever's ailing you. And the trouble is, you don't have a headache, because you have an aspirin deficiency, that you didn't have skin trouble because you did have an ointment or some type of antibacterial soap deficiency that wasn't. So you needed to get build more health in your gut, and that just naturally cleared your skin up. And one of the things that I want to explain about the the gut skin connection is that our skin protects us from the outside world, right, our skin is covering our body and covers our organs, and it protects us. Well, the gut does the same thing. The alimentary canal, this starts in the mouth and goes all the way through the stomach, and small and large intestine and off the other end, it's all connected. It's a tube. And it actually is even though it's inside the body, it's still doing the same function that the skin does. And that is protect us from the outside world. Because the outside world gets in when we when we eat, right. So if you have an imbalance in your gut, it will often manifest in skin conditions. So that's the place to go. If you if you're dealing with any kind of a skin issue issue, whether it's psoriasis, or acne, or, you know, just dry skin, whatever it is, you know, cracking nails or you know, those kinds of things. Look at the gut, strengthen the gut, because that's a clear indicator that whatever is impacting you guys is going to impact your skin as well, because they're very similar organs.

Robin McDonald 12:03
Yes, absolutely. And again, so funny that I thought that made zero sense. My friend mentioned it. And yeah, there was a ton. I mean, based on the stuff I was getting, I feel like in some is pretty bad. When I was a kid, it was also pretty bad in college and grad school because there was a lot of like, the sugary lattes and a scone plus, Del Taco plus Panda Express, like whatever I was, like, kind of cheap. And like, you know, so my I probably had leaky gut. I didn't have any specific diagnosis or support from any kind of natural medicine professional, but I'm sure. Right, yeah,

David Sandstrom 12:42
you didn't need a PhD to figure that one out. Yeah, no, no, no.

Robin McDonald 12:47
Very much upset about it.

David Sandstrom 12:48
So moving on, I want to ask you something. Well, let's talk about what the Bible says about what we're supposed to eat. Now, the truth is, I've studied the scriptures Old and New Testament, the Bible is pretty vague when it comes to what we should and should not eat. There are some specific guidelines in Leviticus. But there are and I have a lot of Christian friends that believe that the Bible teaches that we should be vegetarians. And there's a passage in Genesis talks about that. I'm sure you're familiar with that passage. Genesis 1:29. God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food, boom. And if you stop reading right there, it's like, well, there you have it. Human beings are created to be vegetarians, it's plain, plain as day. How could you think otherwise? The creation narrative? Yeah. Well, you know, that's true, at that point in time, but if we turn a couple pages to the right, in Genesis, And in Genesis chapter nine, it says this, starting in verse two is when Noah is Noah and his family are emerging from the ark, God says to them, the fear of you, and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth, in on every bird of the sky with everything that creeps on the ground, in all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given, every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you. I give you all I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. So straightforward, pretty straightforward. There was definitely a shift going on. Something happened and now I mean, we I think we can see a clear teaching from the from the biblical account that human beings are designed to be omnivores. We're going to consume both plant based and animal based products in order to round out our nutrition plan. Now, is that what they taught you in school or digital? Did you learn something different?

Robin McDonald 14:55
Yeah, I mean, as far as so the cool thing about the certification that I did that I have Appreciate is they exposed us to over 100 different dietary theories. So they gave the case for veganism or vegetarianism. But they also they had, as far as like the carnivore diet, they also had, you know, all that and everything in between. But from what I've taken upon myself for further research, and just even with working with clients, consistently, I found that when we've got healthy quality meat from good sources, grass fed pasture raised, we've got, and even to like looking at making sure that the vegetables that are being consumed by clients aren't, you know, in some way aggravating them, because sometimes, you know, with the anti nutrients and whatnot in plants, some people just don't do well with certain vegetables. And so finding the ones that aren't aggravating them, but all that to say, I've found having both present and finding what works for that individual is really what what yields the best success. And at the end of the day, you know, looking at those whole food options versus the highly processed, so yeah, yeah.

David Sandstrom 15:57
So I'm curious, do you, how do you determine when you have a client? How do you determine what foods are bothersome for them? Do you do bloodwork? Do you do any kind of energetic testing? Do you do elimination diet? What's your process?

Robin McDonald 16:10
Yeah, so I do have testing options. I usually like one of the biggest goals that I have for my clients is to cultivate awareness, I want them to get really in tune with their bodies, I want them and also really in tune with their thoughts, right. From the wholeness standpoint, it's often those underlying beliefs that, you know, despite having the desire and intention to make healthy choices, we don't, because there's those thoughts and beliefs there. So I big overarching thing, let's get you really aware of your thoughts, and let's get you really aware of how your body feels based on certain foods you put in. And so across the board, a lot of times, clients, they're, they're trying to eat healthy and well, and then I have them send me pictures of their food, we look at labels, and everything's kind of like, okay, so I see some red flags here, based on this, lets you know, when you eat that next time you have it, check in with yourself, like how does that make you feel? And what's your energy? Like? You know, what's your energy? Like, right after? What's your digestion feel? Like? Do you feel bloated? Have you find yourself feeling more fatigued? Do you feel yourself actually feeling a little more inflamed? Or how do your joints feel. And so a lot of what I do begins with just that, let's learn to ask the right questions and check in with ourselves and see how that feels. And if we can kind of create a protocol that works based on that without the testing, if we can see improvement, then that's generally my first route to go. Obviously, testing can be costly or whatnot. And so though, it's awesome to have the data and I love when they actually do it. But if I can teach them that, that's going to set them up long term, even beyond working with me of like, okay, I'm feeling this way I learned these questions, I now have a better sense of how my body responds to different things. I can figure this out, you know, so,

David Sandstrom 17:57
Really good. I love that, you know, I'm a certified Metabolic Typing Advisor. And one of the things that Metabolic Typing program is we give clients a diet check record. And we asked them to assess how they feel before the meal. And then wait about an hour, maybe two, and then do that assessment again, and ask yourself those those questions that you just went through? How was my satiety? Was I satisfied? Or was I standing in front of the fridge an hour later looking for a snack? How was my mental clarity? How's my mood? Did I feel jittery? Or did I feel calm and collected? How's my memory doing? And then, you know, of course, the other thing is, how's my digestion? Do I feel bloated? You know, how do I feel the next day even after after eating that or drinking that it's a good place to start. It's free. In our, our bodies are always talking to us, our bodies tell us if we're warm or cold, or we're tired, or were hungry, they are sending us messages, all we have to do is tune into those messages. And and that's an amazing tool. God gave us that built in ability to say, Hey, let me just stand back and assess things. You know, if you've been raised on, you know, bread with every meal, it's gonna feel normal to you. But if you if you start analyzing it, and if you have you have a gluten sensitivity and you're eating bread with every meal, try cutting it out and see what happens. Right? And you might you might feel a lot better.

Robin McDonald 19:26
Right? And so often to it. Yes, it's still up like you said, people feel like it's normal. And I've had so many clients say, I didn't know that I could feel this good because they they haven't experienced the good feeling because they have those certain foods that they've just been eating that. Well yeah, I always crash around 10 or 11. I always get tired. I'm always exhausted at the end of the day, like this. And then the line that I hear all the time that is I'm like trying to push against as well. That's just what happens when you get older. Like as you age. This is just This is just how it is So I'm like, No. And so being able to really push against those those beliefs, right, and like you said, like, ask those questions. Let's, let's test that. Let's see, like, is it possible for you to increase your energy and to feel, you know, cleared and bloated? Just? Well, you know, when we asked this question,

David Sandstrom 20:18
yeah, a lot of the things that people experienced, they might be common, but they're not normal. I remember doing a speech at at Whole Foods. And I made the comment that nobody's supposed to die of a heart attack. And the scale put me put me aside afterwards. And she said, doesn't that depend on how old you are? You know, a heart attack is not something that everybody gets because their own. That's not normal. You know, we need to start understanding that, you know, we were created to enjoy vibrant health of vitality. Yeah, well into our later years, you know, and I saw a quote that you have on your website, I love I love this, I'd love you to speak with this to this a little bit, if people are living too short, and dying too long. So talk about that.

Robin McDonald 21:03
It's funny, as you were saying that about the person pulling you to the side based on the age that was the quote that came to my mind. But yeah, I think that's the unfortunate mentality of our culture right now. Is that Yes, you get older and when you get older. Yeah, it's just that much harder to lose weight. Yes. You know, like you, I really call it senior moment, like, I can't remember things as well. Or, oh, yeah, you know, like, your body hurts, like, you know, that's cool that you do your workouts and stuff, Robin, but like, once you hit whatever age like, then you can't and it's, and I think in a lot of ways, I'll I'll I want to speak to the mentality of what's possible for our bodies, but I also want to speak to the mindset behind it, I think, in a lot of ways. It's, we justify and create reasons and conclusions about our experience in some ways, because I think there can and I would say even more so in the Christian circle I've seen with my clients cuz most of my clients are Christians, is there's there'll be a shame element of like, I, you know, I'm, I'm heavy, I have these diseases, I have this going on, like, and so there's this like, subconscious or like quiet voice in the back, that's kind of like, well, this is your fault. Like, you're lazy, you're this and those are those like, enemy thoughts that are like, kind of taking precedent so to, to kind of alleviate the burden to push those thoughts away. It's like, well, if I just conclude that this is normal, and I look around, and I see that majority of my community is experiencing the same thing, that I don't have to feel like, I, you know, I'm doing anything wrong, or there's anything abnormal about what's going on with me, it's just what happens when you age. And again, the hope that we have in Jesus, the design we have in how God created us just does not align with that. And we see, you know, this idea of, you know, you you reach this certain age, and then your health just declines until you die. And it's an Yeah, it's like, we just, we start to, you know, they say one foot in the grave, we're just like, starting to climb on in there and accept that that's the process. And it just, it doesn't line up biblically, it really doesn't, especially when we look at the life of Jesus. And, you know, he healed the biggest part of his ministry was healing period. You look at, you know, different verses that say, and, and everyone in that town was healed, which I'm like, was that a big town? Like, like, how long did that take? Like? Was there not a lot of sick people there like, but nonetheless, like, good question. I'm so curious. But nonetheless, we see it's a significant portion of time. And if physical health didn't matter, if there wasn't a more for our bodies, than the Son of God was wasting his time. And I'm pretty sure you, David, everybody listening would agree that Jesus wasn't wasting his time on anything. He knew exactly what he was doing.

David Sandstrom 23:51
And it was on mission.

Robin McDonald 23:53
Totally. And so looking at this, I just want to see this shift. And it's funny too, because most of my clients are between like 40s, mid 60s range. And I think it's at that age, when we're beyond the like, oh, I want to like a lot of my parents who are health coaches, as well. It's like, oh, I want to have like the peach booty or like the six pack abs are like, I don't care about that. Like, they're like, I don't feel good. And I want to feel good. I don't want to end up with the chronic diseases that I've seen with my family. And so it's at that age where it's like, things are off, and I need a shift. And what I try to communicate to that community encourages, yes, you want that shift because it is possible period, like you can increase your vitality as you move from this point.

David Sandstrom 24:42
You know, what we believe has a way of becoming reality our expectations have a way of translating into our reality. And one of the metaphors I love to hear I wish I thought this up I didn't I learned this from a guy named Reed Davis who teaches the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Program. But our life our lifespan, it most people think of it as something similar to a flashlight. When we're young, the flashlight has fresh batteries, and it's shining bright and everything's cool, everything's great. But then slowly over time, the light starts to get dimmer. And then eventually it gets barely recognizable Till one day it goes out. They and people relate our lifespan to that. Whereas read says, our lifespan is designed to be more like a candle, you light it, it burns full, all the way down to the very end and it flickers a couple of times and goes out. That's the way we should be looking at our lifespan. And it's not it's it is about adding years to our lives, but it's more about adding life to our years, right? We I mean, I don't want to spend the last 10 years of my life 10-15 years walking with a cane and then a wheelchair, not being able to do the things that I enjoy. Yeah, it's really it's it's a massive point. I'm very passionate about this. Yeah. And I think people do need to shift their thinking as to what's possible.

Robin McDonald 26:08
Yeah, I actually, I want to bring up something that I got some pushback on. And I think this would be super relevant to what we're talking about, and even to taking it to a biblical and theological standpoint. So I posted something on my Instagram story, actually wasn't mine, I shared somebody else's thing. But it said something like, if you want to live to be 100, do these things. And so it was like, it's your nutrition, things like getting outside in the sun, like be active, whatever, simple list of things. And someone responded and said something like, as long as as long as it's the days that God has allowed or something like that. And I was like, or no, she said, No, no, sorry. I got a lot of people who actually responded this at first, like, why would you want to live to be over 100? And so my first response was, because I want to live out my calling for Jesus as long as possible with full vitality like jaw. And then I didn't say it. But then her response was, I said, she just like the prayer hands like is locked for as long as many days as he provides or something like that. Yeah. And I was like, of course, like, we don't know, like, you know, when things are going to end and God does. But I said something to the effect of. I said, I do think that there are people who are dying prematurely, based on their lifestyle choices, someone who is like you're talking about the heart attack thing, I was like someone who passes away from a heart attack at 50-60 years old. And I was like, I don't think that's what God had in mind. And we have this dynamic of stewarding our bodies, we have this dynamic of being able to choose whether or not we partner with the plans he has for our life, whether or not we partner with the resources that He's given us the like, we were reading in Genesis, the plants and the animals like the nutrient dense foods, and that affects whether or not we we will make it beyond that 50 or 60 stage, I was like that, that does not sound like God's intention, God's design. And then we went back and forth. And she was like, it got into like a sovereignty, like all this different stuff. But at the end of the day, I was like, you know, and I know there's different views within different denominations and whatnot, on how that plays out as like, at the end of the day, what we can all agree on is we've been given this body this life, this calling to steward. And so it does not make sense, to not prioritize our health and to be intentional with cultivating as much vitality as possible. For the time that we have. We can control we can control, we can't control, we can't control. And at the end of the day, we're learning to be more and more submitted to Christ, and to be more and more dependent on him. And part of that dependency enables us to have the grace to make those healthy choices.

David Sandstrom 28:51
Yeah. Excellent. That's really good. I got I got all these verses kind of swirling around in my head right now. Yeah, I'm thinking about what you said earlier about Jesus spent a great deal of time in the gospels, healing people from infirmities, and feeding them. Right. So why do you think that was he had three years from the start of his ministry to the when he went to the cross? He had three years. There's not an awful long time now. Right? So he didn't waste any moments. So why do you think it was that this was such a priority to him?

Robin McDonald 29:25
Yeah, great question. Yeah, I mean, I think that's for anybody to just take a look and think about for a second.

David Sandstrom 29:33
I know it's a bit of a deep thought, but I would suggest that he knew that he had a message that would absolutely revolutionize their lives not just here on Earth, but life in eternity. Right so but in order to receive that message, he didn't want people distracted with you know, back pain, or you know, their their leg pain or or, you know, you name it fatigue mental fog. countless things were gonna get in the way and serve as stumbling blocks to them living the life that he had for them. In Luke chapter four, Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61, and said, I have come to bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free. So he wants to set us free from not only sin and death, that's part of that's awesome. But But set us free from anything that hinders us from living the life that he's created us for Ephesians 2:10, we are His masterpiece created in Christ Jesus for good works that he prepared ahead of time. So you and I, we're all here for a purpose. God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. And when we are sick and infirmed, and we're not capable of, you know, the basic things where we're spending too much time dealing with health issues, then that is a is a way of robbing us of the life, the abundant life, John 10:10 that he came to bring. Right? So that's, that's for me. That's the reason why Jesus spent so much time healing because it's super important. He wants to make us more whole. He doesn't want to save us from our sins. And let us just struggle through life the way we were. He wants to see us transform Romans 12 to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and become more whole as human beings.

Robin McDonald 31:28
Yeah. So many things came to mind for that. One, the Romans 12 reference, I love the passage referring to the transforming the renewing our minds, because in that same passage is talking about the desires of the flesh, it is referring more so to like sexual sins and whatnot. But at the end of the day, we get to realize there's a connection between the mind in the body. The other thing that I wanted to I was gonna bring up John 10:10. I was like, oh, yeah, like in your book, you mentioned so much about John 1010. Which, by the way, your book is amazing. And if you guys are listening, you've been following Dave, and you haven't read his book yet, I highly recommend it. And, of course, and just that being such a powerful driving like such a great verse to, to place this concept of wholeness and health within of what Jesus is saying his purpose of coming was. And I wanted, I did want to touch briefly on Leviticus, based on what you're saying, for this calling, and how the, what we eat matters. And so one of the big things that I think we get from Leviticus and let's all be I mean, I don't think anybody listening is going to be like, Oh, good, Leviticus. Yes. My favorite. I'm

David Sandstrom 32:38
waiting for a podcast of Leviticus. Yeah.

Robin McDonald 32:42
I'll be honest, I have not personally spent a ton of time in it. But the one part that I enjoy looking at and thinking about is the food laws. Now we think about, you know, at that time, the Israelites, these were gods, and still are God's chosen people. There, they're calling their purpose as had been given to them by God was to be a blessing to the world. To be they were essentially meant to push like to reveal God to the world. And so you've got this. I mean, I don't know it was a large group of people. But it wasn't that large in terms of like other nations and whatnot. So this is his tiny group of people, relative tiny, who are called to be literally the people and evidence of God to the world. Why would food laws be so important? Well, when we look at those food laws, we look at those different dynamics of don't eat pigs, don't eat shellfish, don't eat the scavengers, and all those different things. God is giving specific direction on like, Hey, if you eat these things, yeah, he's gonna get sick and die off. I'm not going to have a holy people to go deliver the right who I am to. And so I think even we see Jesus echoing this same and because Jesus is he's He is God revealed, he's the father revealed. And so we see him echoing the same values of what you put in your body, your physical well being is going to matter for how you live this out. And so being able to understand and anything to I mean, at this point, Jesus didn't start his ministry till he was 30 years old. That means he had 30 years of being a human, like, he's well aware of how it would feel if you weren't physically well, he's well aware of like, you know, I'm sure he had some, you know, he's a carpenter. I'm sure he may. I mean, because he's Jesus, he never hit his hand or, you know, hope to sing, I don't know. But he would at least have been around people who would experience the human life long enough to know that physical well being affects your life greatly. And it would make sense that he would spend a significant amount of time attending to those needs of the people he's looking to bring good news, love, life light to and again, echoing what we saw in Genesis what we see in Leviticus in God continuing to affirm this inextricable dynamic between our bodies, our emotional well being our spiritual well being.

David Sandstrom 34:58
Yeah, excellent. Well, you know, I I think we can look at at the Levitical law, through the lens of God always has our best interest in mind. Yes, yeah. Right. So it's one of the things I really learned when I was studying the scriptures in writing my book, The Christians guide to Holistic Health is God is referred to as our Heavenly Father. And just as any loving parent wants what's best for their children, God wants what's best for us. So it just like a parent might say things like, Hey, don't go near the stove, don't run out into the street. But they won't actually give us an explanation. Just they just say, do it, because I said, so. Okay. How much more does God have that same interest in mind when he tells us to do something, so God knows the future, he knows the outcome Our choices are going to have before we make them. And so when he tells us to do something, we can trust that he has our best interest in mind, he has our blessings and our benefit in mind. And if he tells us to avoid something, it's for protection, we can take those two truths to the bank, those are always going to be true. So I kind of look at God now as he's kind of like having a guide on a jungle safari, right, we're going through life, there's a lot of unknowns. The guide knows where the dangers are, he knows where the cliffs are, he knows where the animals are hanging out, and you know, the chance of a wild animal. So we're gonna stick close to our guide in order to be safe. Same is true with God's admonitions in the Scripture, we stay close to that we're not going to drift very far off course. And you know, there's plenty of verses in Psalms about being in the shadow of his wings and be under his protection. But when we forfeit those protections, when we disobey, right? So I'm not about legalism, I'm not about obeying for the sake of obeying, I'm a mom about oh, they're listening to God, and following him and understanding that he's worthy of my devotion, he's worthy of Me submitting my life to because his love for me is greater than I can fathom. And he has my best interest in mind. So, you know, with that in mind, I'm just going to kind of branch off unless you have a comment on that. I'm gonna I'm gonna move on. Do you have a comment? No. Okay. So that's good. Okay, well, go ahead.

Robin McDonald 37:21
It just the only thing that it made me think of was was two things one, thinking of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, right, just echoing what you're saying of God's good, we can trust him, I can submit him, his sheep know his voice. And the sheep know that the shepherds in it like this, like the shepherd literally lays down his life for the sheep, when it says that and he says, I am the shepherd, I am the gatekeeper. That literally means he is the barrier between the wolves, the death that is trying to impede on the sheep. And so the sheep know, that's the dude that takes care of us and is going to make sure I'm okay, whatever he says, I'm going to follow. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

David Sandstrom 38:00
Yeah, that's really good. It's another great verse from John chapter 10. But so take all that what I just said it roll that into nutrition, because we're kind of talking about people go nutrition today. Yeah. And I always I've been saying for quite some time is the number one food rule for healthy eating. I'm gonna say that again. The number one rule for healthy eating is eat food as close to its God given natural form as possible, right? processed food is not going to be as good for us. You know, the more man gets his hands on our food, the worse it becomes for us, they add adulterants in there, they add preservatives, they add anticaking agents, they add flavoring agents, they add called chemical coloring, you name it, it's it's in processed foods. So the healthiest way to eat is to eat food in single ingredient forms. You want some you want some broccoli? By some broccoli, you know, you want some corn, buy some corn and by the way, if you want to eat wheat, buy wheat berries boil on like we do rice right? Yeah, flour is a processed food. Right you know and I personally believe that we bread ground up flour or you know wheat flour is is we're not eating it in its natural form and therefore we're getting a more intense dose than God designed us to get in a single serving. And if you if you do some homework on and look at a glycemic index table bread, eating bread has a very high glycemic index it will spike your blood sugar almost as fast as sugar pure sugar will like drinking a can of Coke. So again, if we if we follow that rule eating food is close to its God given natural former FOSS as possible that's going to cover a lot of situations.

Robin McDonald 39:42
That that was the other thing that you're sharing remind me of and even bring in the nutrition you I hear you continue to use the language of close to the God given form of the food close to we were talking about being close to the shepherd close to the father what he says his commands, and it's really cool to even Just the model of following a rabbi, is that literally if you were, if you were a good disciple, if you were following the way it's intended, you were eating the dust from the feet of the rabbi like you were falling that close, anything that the rabbi did, you're following them around. Like, if they went in like graze their hand on the, on some, I don't know, some wheat or something like then you would go and you would raise your hand on the wheat. If they bent over and took a sip out of the well, you would bend over and take a sip out of the well, that was the kind of following that existed when there were disciples following a rabbi. And, and that's the same kind of calling that we have. And we're following Jesus and, and the amazing thing of having Jesus and His ministry is we get to see, what was it that Jesus prioritized? What wasn't that our Rabbi, the one we follow the one we've given our life to? What is it that he was spending his time on, which again, for following him closely, that physical healing, that physical well being was a huge factor? We cannot be followers of Jesus and ignore the huge piece that physical well being plays?

David Sandstrom 41:12
Yeah, that's really good. You know, another verse is coming to mind. I don't know the location of it at the moment. But I have it in my book. And it's Jesus says, his burdens are not his instructions are not burdensome. He says, Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, for I will give you rest. The burden is easy. My yoke is easy, and my burden is light. So when we do things, God's way, things are going to tend to work out for us no guarantees, right? No guarantees, but life will be easier and in life is easier with better health. Right? I'm sure you see that with your clients. You know, it's like, yeah, yeah, it might be tough given up ice cream. But you know, you probably don't have to give it up forever. But, you know, you will feel better than that food tastes, it's worth doing.

Robin McDonald 42:03
That's actually I love that you wrap it up to actually things that my clients are experiencing that, that reflect that one with ice cream, I had a client just share. She was like, Yeah, my family went out to ice cream, and I didn't choose it. And I tell my clients, I was like, you can eat whatever you want. I was like, the question is, what's in alignment with your calling, and what is going to serve that calling. So I always say I want to live to be over 100 with full vitality, and play with my great, great grandkids. So for me, it doesn't make sense to eat fried food to eat at certain fast food restaurants, like I'm just not going to do it. Now, if someone's like, I do want to have health and vitality, but I really love ice cream. And we will talk about what what is a reasonable amount or what not, it's gonna still serve your vision. So they know that they know that that's the approach. But what she said for why she didn't, was she's like, I know, I feel really crummy. When I have ice cream. She was like, I do not feel good. And she was like, and it just doesn't serve me. And so she's like, I'm at the point where it's just not worth it, it's going to I know how it's gonna affect I know, I'm gonna, how I'm gonna feel tomorrow, it's gonna take me a few days to like, recover. And so that's why she didn't choose it. The other thing that you said, of, you know, we, we, we aren't able to live the life fully if we're feeling crummy, one of my clients, she's going through such a hard time and I, it, I'm not gonna give details. But if anybody just thinks of praying for her, God knows, pray for her. But she was saying, she's like, Robin, I need to stay in your programs that I have the energy to get through this, because of the hard times she's going through. She's like, I do not want to let my health fall back. Because I know how much energy I gained from being plugged in here. I know how much I'm gonna be able to show up for my family and be there for them through this difficult time by actually being healthy and well. And so I mean, I see that all the time. Yeah, with clients. It's a huge, huge factor.

David Sandstrom 43:57
Well, hats off to the client with the ice cream. They love the ice cream for being in tune enough to her physical symptoms, their own body to say, hey, yeah, it tastes great, but I don't I know how it's gonna make me feel, right. I mean, how many people have you talked to that say, Oh, we all get sleepy after that Thanksgiving meal must be the tryptophan and the tryptophan. Yes. It's the sugar and those desserts that she ate the pecan pie in the ice cream. And yeah, it's it's the, it's the sugar crash that you're having afterwards. Okay, so, so kind of put these puzzle pieces together and say, Okay, what, what really was causing the way the way I felt? So, you know, I think a lot of people just go through life and just accept that, as you said earlier, you know, well, everybody gets sleep in the afternoon. They need a cup of coffee at three o'clock. Done, everybody. Well, actually no, right. That's not in our natural design. Right. Yeah. So anyway, Robin, this has been a real pleasure. I want to ask you a couple more questions. Shawn. If somebody listening could only take away One thing from this conversation, what would you want them to, to know?

Robin McDonald 45:05
I just did a talk on health with some with some high schoolers on Sunday at a church. And I said, my two intentions for you are this before you walk out that door, I was like one, that you're stoked about healthy living. I was like to that you know what to do. And one of the biggest things that I emphasized with them, I was like, and I told him, I was like, if there's nothing else you take away from today, or there's nothing else you remember to do is like, Please spend time allowing the Lord to reveal to you how important your life is, please spend time allowing him to reveal why you being healthy matters to show up and all the ways he's called you to. That's my biggest thing. I you know, I would love to be able to remember any specific health tips or anything like that. But at the end of the day, if we don't know how valuable our life is, if we don't know the impact that we can have in this world, it does not make as much sense to care for our physical health, because the other reasons just don't have the same weight as that. Yeah, that would be

David Sandstrom 46:06
That's really good. Do you have any other low hanging fruit for the audience that they can implement quickly?

Robin McDonald 46:12
Yeah, I mean, biggest thing I always say small hinges, swing wide doors, what's easy to do is easy not to do. And I always tell people, if nothing else, and I always say do not let these things sound unimportant. This is not revolutionary. But the few simple things is, drink half your body weight in ounces of water. Make sure that you're eating every day, every day, that you're eating whole foods, and make sure you're at least going for a 15 minute walk outside, get that sunshine, preferably before noon, if you can like those three things, the water, the whole foods and the walk. If people did that every day and weren't already that alone. I know, you know, David would make a huge difference. So that's yeah, the very simple, basic, low hanging fruit that I get from a practical standpoint,

David Sandstrom 46:59
I love it. Thank you. So Robin, if someone wants to get ahold of you, what's the best way to do that?

Robin McDonald 47:04
Yeah, I actually I wanted to give something to your audience. This actually is kind of a more in depth low hanging fruit for them, if you will. But I have a masterclass it's called the how to prioritize your health masterclass. And basically, I walk you through like, hey, let's let's talk about what it looks like to get clear on how important you are in the vision you have in God. Okay, now that we're super clear on that, in terms of who you are as a follower of Christ, who you are, as whatever, you know, whether it's a spouse, a parent, whatever. Now let's look at how exactly do you implement a healthy lifestyle we, I'm sure everybody wants to especially your listeners, they're listening. They're trying to they want to learn they want to implement it. This class is meant to show you exactly how to organize your schedule, super simple recipes, walk you through, okay, let's take this desire to be healthy. Let's take this clarity on your vision and your calling. And let's let's look at what it takes to just implement this. So I would love to offer that. If that's okay with you.

David Sandstrom 48:08
Absolutely. Do you have a link for that and website?

Robin McDonald 48:11
Yes. So it's capital P and capital H. So that's how to prioritize health, all capital letters and the number two for the two.

David Sandstrom 48:35
Okay, very good. And I will be sure to put that in the show notes as well. Awesome. Robin, thank you so much for being here. I enjoyed his conversations real blessing.

Robin McDonald 48:44
I did too. Thank you so much for having me, David.

David Sandstrom 48:48
For more, go to the show notes page at forward slash 88. There you can find audio as well as a video version of the podcast. I always include a downloadable transcript and some type of a content upgrade to help you go deeper with that episode. It was a pleasure serving you. Once again. Thanks for listening, and I'll talk with you next week. Be blessed

About the author 

David Sandstrom

I want to help you maximize your health potential so you can look and feel your best at any age. We do this by aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design for our spirit, mind, and body. I've been helping people maximize their health potential since 2005.

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