• Chelsea-Shay Friesen

MY WHOLE 30 - Diet, Depression, & Spiritual Discipline

WHOLE 30 was WAY more that I bargained for!!! Here's what I mean...

Do you think your food consumption or avoidance can be a reflection of your overall discipline in life?

Do you think what you eat affects how you are experiencing God?

Do you think that God CARES about what you eat and how you treat your body?

When I started the Whole 30 at the beginning of January, I found myself asking these questions.

This past year I walked through a season of depression from July through October, and during that time I found myself desperate for help and healing. So I began to take stock of every area of my life, seeking to find small victories in what felt like a waking hell.

I asked:

  • Could my mental health be improved if I worked out?

  • Could my mental health be improved if I improved my diet?

  • Etc.( you get the point)

I did this over every major area of my life. And in every area, I decided to make some small changes that I believed would position me in a better place to experience and delight in the Lord.

And then one day, By God’s grace alone, after many adjustments in my mind, body, and faith, I woke up to discover that I had been healed of my depression.


It was shocking, honestly. I didn’t expect it to pass from me so suddenly! Praise God it was gone, but what the heck? That was nothing short of miraculous! And I wondered, what role did my eating and activity habits play in this process?

And then the New Year came, and as I reflected on the previous months I began to wonder a new thought…

Does my food intake and activity level affect my faith? Obvi it helps me physically, and to some degree mentally, but does that extend to my spirit and my soul?

So I decided to do a little experiment!

I would take on two goals: 1) working out more regularly, and 2) tightening up my eating habits for a short stint of time, with the purpose of seeing if my faith would correlate in any way!


As I trained my body away from certain foods and towards certain activities, I noticed that my discipline level increased in EVERY area of my life! I found it easier to turn off the TV and fight for my quiet time. I found it easier to get off Instagram and focus on Scripture memory. I found it easier to get off of Pinterest and actually write down my own thoughtful reflections.

By being disciplined in my appetite and activities, I was seeing growth in my spiritual discipline!

The diet itself had little to do with these results, but the act of training my self-control was rippling out into the far corners of my being.

It has been 30 days since I started the Whole 30, and my conclusion is clear.

God cares about YOU! And He cares about your body! So treat it with care!

I truly believe that taking care of your body honors the Lord and allows you to experience a richer spiritual walk with God.

The hard thing you have to determine for yourself is what does “taking care of your body” mean for you?

There is NOT a “right way” to eat OR be active. That would be psycho to even suggest.

Scripture talks about this very clearly in Romans 14:3-4, which says that "those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.”

God tells us not to judge how other people eat, He alone knows the heart and HE alone will determine if we managed our bodily assets in a holy manner!

So let me be super-duper clear when I say that I don’t think the Whole 30 is for everyone, and I don’t think it is a sustainable lifestyle for most people.

But I do think that creating a culture of discipline in some areas can have big impacts in other areas too.

As Proverbs 13:4 (ESV) says, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”

When you treat your body with Christ-centered excellence and a well-balanced self-discipline, the culture you are creating in your temporary skin will spread to your eternal spirit.

P.S. I plan on eating a sugar cookie shaped like a heart tomorrow morning for breakfast! #peaceoutwhole30