Laura Harris Smith was inspired to write The 30-Day Faith Detox when after years spent parenting six kids, ministering in churches, writing and speaking, Smith was unknowingly teetering on the brink of adrenal failure and desperately needed to detox. When tests indicated some of her body systems had already begun shutting down, she was told to make changes or die. Following her personal experiences, Smith wanted to teach people that they can change their lives by what they put in their mouths.
Smith underwent a serious body detox using food as medicine while also increasing physical rest time. Adding to this body and mind recovery was a spiritual renewal using Scripture and prayer. She turned her diagnosis around in six short months, and she discovered a faith surge unlike she’d experienced even in 25-years of ministry. It was this experience that convinced Smith God had created spiritual health to be directly related to physical and emotional health.
Now a certified nutritional counselor, Smith is sharing her program in The 30-Day Faith Detox: Renew Your Mind, Cleanse Your Body, Heal Your Spirit. This program focuses on the whole self—mind, body and spirit. According to Smith, when our bodies are not working properly, that is a possible sign our faith isn’t either.
Sonoma Christian Home interviewed Smith at the National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention about her journey in healing and her 30-Day Faith Detox Program. Editor at Large, Ginny Dent Brant, reports.
SCH – Share with us about the crisis that inspired you to write this book.
LHS – As a mom of six children, a writer, speaker, and co-pastor of a church, my life caught up with me. I love what I do, and I was working 16-20 hours a day and getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night. But a doctor’s appointment revealed my cholesterol was up, my thyroid was slowing to a snail’s pace, and my blood sugar showed I was pre-diabetic. I could not figure out what was going on.
I now know that when you do not sleep, your organs will go to sleep for you. The doctor did one more test to assess my adrenalin—the cortisol in my body. That test revealed I was stage three. At stage four all your organs shut down and you die. I was told to make changes or die. I researched sleep studies to learn what happens to your body when you don’t sleep. God used work to teach me about sleep because I was writing a book on dreams and talking to many sleep doctors. It was work that was keeping me from sleeping.
My doctors told me it would take 18-24 months to heal and get my organs back up running properly again. I went on total bed rest. Out of that crisis, I learned about sleep health and to use food as medicine. I now try to get eight hours of sleep each night.
I believe in God as healer. I went to Him first to ask for healing because miracles are free, and I have had many instant miracles before. But He required me to cooperate with Him on this one. I knew the Lord had sequestered me and He had my ear. I obtained the advice of a master nutritionist, and we used everything from the third day of creation including whole food supplements. By using food as medicine and getting adequate rest, I was back to health in six months. I emerged with my previous book, Seeing the Voice of God: What God is Telling You Through Dreams and Visions, which I had written during the bed rest.
SCH – Tell us about the significance of your book?
LHS – My latest book is a 30-day faith program. I believe there are 30 common faith toxins we all deal with that bring our faith down. The enemy pushes hard against our faith so he can deplete our faith. As someone in ministry, I noticed when people came to the altar for prayer they came for five reasons: finances, health, relationships, social influences, or their personal identity.
From my own personal crisis, I thought, if we can have people to take a month and invest in themselves spending six days digging deeply in each of these categories, we can promote healing. We start with your spirit by going to the Scriptures first, tethering you back to God’s word. I help you to understand why you went through what you went through, why God allowed it, and assess how did you do coming out of it. Then we look at your mind and the emotional residues such as anger, bitterness, grief, etc. We need to confront and remove these toxins from our lives. We have healing prayers for all of these emotions that influence the mind. Then we turn our attention to your body with a correlating detox through smoothies, colorful salads, comforting soups, delicious entrees, snack shakes, and other dietary suggestions.
For example, when we are dealing with relationships, we will spend six days digging deep into every relationship through God’s word. Then we physically detox your heart and your cardiovascular system. During this time period, we will be eating colors from the red family such as strawberries, red grapes, tomatoes, etc. Different colors of fruits and vegetables are beneficial for different organs. By the end of the 30 days, we will have detoxed all 15 of your body systems for a total body detox. So we are detoxing our faith by renewing our minds, cleansing our bodies, and healing our spirits in 30 days.
My crisis taught me that God had already provided so much for us through nature, if we would ingest it. I fell in love with Him for that. I felt that I owed it to my readers, to reinvent myself at age 49, and go back to school to become certified as a nutritionist. I knew that my next book would have this message it in. I knew I had to learn more about nutrition to help people with their bodies. So I did.
SCH – Tell us about the toxins of disappointment, discouragement, and despair and how they adversely affect our health.
LHS – The Bible says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If you are walking around discouraged and disappointed, you are draining your body. Strife leads to sickness. You may be a strong Christian, and you may be praying through that trial. But you may be suppressing your emotions, and you may not be taking care of your body. If so, then you are only treating one third of yourself. If you are dealing with disappointment, discouragement and doubt, and you are not approaching it with your body, mind, and spirit, it’s going to show up in your body. These toxins can contaminate even the strongest faith. We must flush out spiritual and mental toxins.
They are now linking certain emotions to diseases: such as unforgiveness to cancer; bitterness to fibromyalgia; and jealousy or envy to arthritis. Proverbs even says, “Envy is like rottenness to the bones.” None of this is news to God. He knows that our minds affect our spirit. That is not to say that everyone who is coveting something is going to get arthritis, or everyone who is bitter will end up with cancer. A Harvard study now shows that the brain and the stomach should be considered one organ system. We must realize that what we eat affects how we think. And I think scripturally that what you think affects what you believe.
We have to be mindful of how the enemy works. In the past few decades, the church has done a great job of educating us about spiritual warfare, but not against bodily warfare. Even if God chooses to heal us miraculously, we need to be mindful of how we are going to maintain that healing. We must bear responsibility for taking care of our bodies. If we are careful what we put on our plate, we will have fewer health crises to ask God to intervene in.
SCH – What do you share about environmental toxins?
LHS – There are environmental toxins around us everywhere we go and where we work, sleep and travel. God has already given us ways to filter these toxins through our skin, our liver, our kidneys, and our lungs. So when you are exposed to these toxins, your body can better deal with them. When you eat junk food, you simply clog those systems. We need to fuel our bodies with the right foods. My husband and I have also installed a whole house water filter to reduce the toxins such as chlorine and fluoride that our bodies are exposed to through water.
Psalm 139 tells us, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” But we should be fearfully and wonderfully taking care of ourselves.
SCH – Laura, my husband and I have done the same thing due to the crisis with my cancer journey. We must all look for ways to reduce toxins and enhance our bodies with nutrition so we can build our immune systems, especially as we age. This is why I was so interested in your book.
As someone who has read Smith’s book, I can only say that the devotionals are deep and inspirational. In addition, her smoothies are great, and her advice to detox your body, mind and spirit is an important step to spiritual health. Spiritual health is directly related to physical and emotional health. The three cannot be separated. This book can enable you to renew your body, mind, and spirit.
For more information, visit Laura Harris Smith’s website