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  • Writer's pictureLee Reeves

Book Review: The Maker's Diet by Jordan S. Rubin

The Maker's Diet, written by Jordan S. Rubin, is a thought-provoking book that explores the concept of achieving optimal health through a biblically-inspired approach to eating. On its face, this is a compelling idea, especially for a Christian. Besides, we may be more interested in how health was achieved within the last few thousand years than how we guess it was acquired in more primitive humans (see the Paleo diet).

The Maker's Diet book has some age (my copy was written in 2004). I found it in a Goodwill store in their book section. But I was excited to see it, and it does address the central question I've wondered about for some time: how did the ancient Hebrews, including Jesus and his disciples, eat? Our modern world is plagued with obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. We are clearly doing something wrong today.

The book begins with Rubin sharing his personal journey from suffering from a debilitating illness (Crohn's Disease) to reclaiming his health through a series of dietary changes. Rubin's story is compelling. He tried over 300 different interventions before arriving at the dietary changes described in the book. The book offers a refreshing perspective on nutrition, combining ancient wisdom with modern science to provide a holistic approach to healthy living.

At the core of The Maker's Diet is the belief that God's design for nutrition is perfect and that by adhering to the principles found in the Bible, one can achieve optimal health. Yes, that includes the food rules found in the Old Testament, including what constitutes clean and unclean foods. While I enjoy bacon, shrimp, and pork skins, there are some worthwhile arguments against consuming them. These so-called scavengers were not made for human consumption, he argues, but rather to clean up whatever is left in the fields or seas.

Rubin also emphasizes the importance of consuming organic, whole foods while eliminating processed and refined products from the diet. He also advocates for the inclusion of fermented foods, which he believes promote gut health and strengthen the immune system.

What sets this book apart from other diet books is its holistic approach to health. Rubin recognizes that nourishing the body is not the sole focus but acknowledges the significance of addressing different aspects of well-being, including exercise, sleep, stress management, and spirituality. By integrating these components into his dietary recommendations, Rubin provides readers with a comprehensive roadmap for achieving total wellness.

Throughout the book, Rubin backs up his claims with scientific evidence, referencing various studies and research findings. This scientific foundation adds credibility to his recommendations. Furthermore, he provides practical tips and recipes to assist readers in implementing dietary changes, making the transition to a healthier lifestyle more accessible.

One potential criticism of The Maker's Diet is its heavy reliance on anecdotal evidence. While Rubin's experiences and the stories of individuals following his program are inspiring, they do not necessarily constitute scientific proof. It would have benefited Rubin to include more scientific studies and expert opinions to support his claims.

Honestly, a gaping hole begging to be filled by the book is a lack of cited studies that shows that those adhering to this diet enjoy better health, fewer metabolic issues or a longer life. Though we are in modern times, some groups still eat in the ways Rubin advocates, including orthodox Jews who keep kosher dietary laws. Rubin says, "Despite our technological advancements, our physical bodies are still designed to consume and thrive on the same foods in the same proportions that our primitive ancestors ate thousands of years ago!" He makes logical sense but missed an opportunity to ground it more in science.

So what's the final verdict? Compelling. Worth the read. Much of what Rubin says in The Maker's Diet are arguments found in Metabolical by Robert Lustig (see my review), Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, Real Food by Nina Planck, and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. But with Biblical context - and that's not only a good thing, but it's also what makes this book worth the read.

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