Filed under Homemaking Eating and Mealtime
To kick off our foodtalk series, we are pleased to welcome David Kotter and Dr. Jeffrey Trimark, authors of the forthcoming book, Eat and Be Content. First, let me introduce them to you:
David Kotter has served as a pastor at CrossWay Community Church since it was planted eight years ago in Kenosha. Recently, God has called David to serve as the Executive Director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Dr. Jeff Trimark is the President of the Medical Staff of the United Hospital System in Kenosha, Wisconsin. For five years Jeff has served as an elder on the leadership team of CrossWay Community Church.
Together, Jeff and David have developed and taught the workshop “Eat and Be Content” over the last three years. (Download this extended bio to learn more about their background and qualifications.)
Thank you both for being our guests here at girltalk and thank you for being willing to share with our readers the combined insight God has given you about eating to the glory of God.
Because you are a pastor and a medical doctor respectively, your book offers a unique perspective. There is humble, caring, and straight-shooting counsel that is rooted in God’s Word. But you also provide sensible advice for healthy eating that is based on sound medical research. We know our readers will greatly benefit from your book—which is due out by the end of 2008.
To begin with, David Kotter, can you give us a short summary of what your book is about, and also what it is not?
Thank you, Nicole. We are glad to have this opportunity to speak with the girltalk readers. First of all, let me clarify that Eat and Be Content is not a diet book. This book is not about the stomach, but the human heart—not the cardiac muscle, but the biblical seat of the mind, will and emotions. It is not about losing weight in a Christian way, but about understanding eating as a moral act and learning to eat for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). The ultimate goal is not to be trim and attractive but to be content with the good gift of food, grow in sanctification, and increasingly hunger for God Himself. The purpose of Eat and Be Content is to enable Christians to turn from sinful to godly eating through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
David, the genesis of this book began, as you say, “with a gripping headline from a local paper.” Tell us about it:
Yes, I picked up the morning newspaper one day and the headlines stated that the rates of obesity in the country were at unhealthy and unprecedented levels. But that was not all; a chart showed that the state where I lived was above the national average. Specifically the chart revealed my county was above the state average. Slowly my brain assimilated the information: I was living in one of the heaviest communities of one of the heaviest states ever in the history of man.
My own bathroom scale mechanically declared the rest of the story: I was heavier than I had ever been in my life. Heavier than I wanted to be. Both the national and personal realities vaguely bothered me in the back of my mind, but never enough to make any significant changes. I tried to ignore these annoying thoughts. Even if I had wanted to make a change, I didn’t really know what to do. I ate and exercised just about the same as everyone else I knew. Yet every year I gained weight, and apparently from the newspaper, so did just about everyone else.
Soon after that, you had breakfast with your good friend, and medical doctor, Jeff Trimark. What happened at that breakfast?
As I settled in to talk, I ordered “the usual”: eggs, bacon, toast and hash browns. But God had something unusual in mind for us: Jeff asked to substitute Canadian bacon for the regular bacon in his breakfast. I don’t normally analyze what people order, but this was different and for some reason it stuck in my brain. To me, bacon was bacon, sausage was sausage, and I always ordered what looked good and was affordable. In fact, bigger was often better, by my reckoning.
When the steaming food, arrived I asked about the substitution. Jeff answered that Canadian bacon tasted just as good to him, but had several fewer grams of saturated fat per slice. I glanced down and realized that I really had no idea what was on my plate. It was affordable (it was a daily special), and it would taste good (I had eaten that breakfast many times before), but in four decades of life I had never stopped to seriously consider the nutritional content of anything that I ate.
Over the next several months, under Dr. Trimark’s patient tutelage, I realized how many foolish choices I had been making at mealtimes, and that it was no surprise that I was heavier than ever. I also learned that I did not need to hire a professional dietician, carry a little scale around to weigh out meager portions of food, or track the latest medical research trumpeted in headlines and echoed in advertisements. Just a few simple “rules of thumb” based on well-established medical research could guide a typical guy like me through a typical day. I was actually enjoying eating more.
That’s a great place to stop…tomorrow we’ll pick up with more of our interview with David Kotter and Dr. Jeffrey Trimark.