Archive for August, 2009


August 27, 2009

My name is Douglas Neel and I am an Episcopal priest.  My family and live in Colorado, in a beautiful little town in the mountains called Pagosa Springs.  I have to say that I am intrigued by the way people lived at the time of Jesus.  I am especially curious about the way they ate and the impact their diets had on their lives and health.  For me, the pertinent question is not what would Jesus eat (today), but what and how did Jesus actually eat way back in the first century.

Several years ago, a friend – Joel Pugh – and I started researching and cooking with the intent of writing a book on first century food and feasts.  Joel is a businessman who is intensely interested in wine and bread making and in such eoteric things as first century economics.  I supplemented our research by starting a catering company that specialized in reenacting biblical feasts.  We wanted to actually test our research on groups in and around the city of Dallas.   We suspected our families were growing tired of chickpeas and lamb.  Joel still lives in Dallas.  I am now a mountain priest.

My goal with this blog is to chronicle my attempt to live on a first century diet for six months.  I want to find out for myself how healthy or unhealthy the first century lifestyle was.  I want to experience a diet that is high in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.  This is the food Jesus ate.  I know that I’ll have to give up such things as TV dinners, (no great loss), enchiladas, coffee, tea, sugar, tomatoes, and high fructise corn syrup. 

I plan to start in earnest on September 15, 2009 though I will actually begin the diet on September 1.  My first century pantry needs to be stocked and I have two engagements, one that includes home cooked Thai food that I must first fulfill.  Plus I have scheduled a visit with my doctor, just to make sure that I have his approval to proceed.