While thousands of books have been written about diet and nutrition, Living Temple or Rundown Shack? takes a unique approach. The slim book, by Sue Eudy Godwin, a devout Christian, examines nutrition and health through a Christian lens, emphasizing personal responsibility (to God) to take control of one’s health and well-being.
The author devotes the bulk of the book Â¬–nearly three-quarters– to substantiating her belief that God expects every Christian to seek His help, then apply self-discipline and good conscience to achieve wellness. According to Godwin, “God really deserves more from us than afterthought stewardship of life and the body he gave us.” The rest of the book is devoted to simple ways to stay healthy, providing examples of prudent living that will sustain wellness and longevity. Godwin encourages exercise, such as walking and swimming, and eating fruits and vegetables.
While the author’s purview is respectable and she has the best of intentions to motivate and inspire, her nutrition advice is outdated and many of her statements are highly questionable (i.e., “The practice of circumcision has freed many Jewish men from cancer.”) Many of her scientific references are nearly 30 years old, and her dietary recommendations are inaccurate. She cites the Food Guide Pyramid, which has been retired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 2010. In addition, some books in her suggested reading list are out-of-print, and her primary source of nutrition information is the physician, not the Registered Dietitian, who is presently regarded as the pre-eminent expert on diet and health.
That said, Godwin’s book may offer motivation for mature, devout Christians who have never before eaten healthfully or exercised and want to begin changing their health for the better. As the author says, “You are never too old to improve your health and the ability to help yourself to life.”