I’m tired of being told how bad bread is for you. I’m sick of hearing how I should eliminate it from my diet. I’m fed up with the guilt over eating it. Bread has been the essence of nourishment for thousands of years. It’s sacred to people globally, marking the distinction between starvation and survival, famine versus feast. When did the theory that bread was evil begin? Sometime between Little House on the Prairie and today, things went wrong.
I was exercising with a friend when our workout instructor told us to eliminate all the white flour from our diet or we’d never shed a few of those unwanted, extra pounds. She challenged that even if we did all the sit-ups in the world, our little pooches that we carry in front would never disappear until we did. Bread turns into sugar which turns to fat.
My friend turned to me and countered, “Bread has been around since before Jesus! It can’t be that bad!” I thought that was a valid point to consider. Then she added, “Bread’s my downfall; I know it is, but I’m not taking it out of my life. If someone were to offer me a huge cake or a piece of fresh bread warm from the over with a pat of butter on it, I’d choose the bread every time.”
I had to agree. Don’t we all swoon at the sight of beautiful artisan bread? Doesn’t the yeasty smell send a wave of relaxation over you? Isn’t the taste and texture satisfying in your mouth? The act of baking bread for some is as meditative as praying.
Passing it around the table at family gatherings seems to seal the occasion as successful and filling. What would Thanksgiving be without the gushy rolls nestled between the mashed potatoes and cranberries? Would Olive Garden restaurants have ever achieved their popularity without their endless breadsticks?
Bread is life. Bread is sustenance. Bread is goodness, simple and pure. In the Bible, think of how often they ‘broke bread’ or the time 5,000 were fed from a single loaf. Of all the things God could provide for people, he chose bread. “Manna” rained down from heaven for forty years to feed the Israelites. I would’ve liked to have seen that.
If Jesus were to come to your house for dinner, I feel certain that he’d go for the bread first. He was a huge fan of it. Jesus not only ate bread throughout His life on earth, but was insistent on sharing it with those around him. What better endorsement could a person ever need?
I say, embrace the bread. Eat it, enjoy it, share it and feel satisfied. Deprivation only leads to unhappiness. Removing it from our diet only further separates us from our ancestors and our origin. A thousand years from now, bread will still exist. If it’s between bread and that little tummy that will never be flat, I say, choose the bread and buy Spanx.
Jesus loved carbs. That’s good enough for me.
May 9, 2013