When someone new hears that you’re an Adventist one of their first questions might be: “Are you vegetarian?” This belief that an outsider might have of Adventism is rooted in the guidelines for a healthy life that Ellen White wrote.
You may ask, who is Ellen White and what do Adventists believe about her? Well, under Fundamental Belief number 18, or the Gift of Prophecy, the official belief is that “Her writings speak with prophetic authority and provide comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction to the church. [...] Her role was to point people back to the Bible—never to replace it or supersede it.” 
Ellen White, co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, wrote many books filled with wisdom and guidance that build on the truths we find in the Bible. Part of this inspired wisdom includes advice on how to live a healthy life. She wrote a book entitled, “Counsels on Diet and Foods.”
Her advice tells us that “health is a great treasure. It is the richest possession that mortals can have. Wealth, honor, or learning is dearly purchased, if it be at the loss of the vigor of health. None of these attainments can secure happiness if health is wanting.” 
money, popularity, and education won’t make you happy if your body isn’t healthy.
The health message is so much more than don’t drink, don’t eat meat, don’t this or that. It’s about keeping our bodies healthy so that our minds are healthy, so that we can grow closer to God.
The point of taking care of our bodies is to keep our minds clear so that our hearts can hold more of Him and less of us.
Keeping a healthy and invigorated body looks like feeding it a variety of nutritious foods, drinking plenty of water, and exercising our muscles. But it also looks like culling our mental diets. What are we feeding our minds in terms of entertainment, social media, gossip, and even our thoughts?
Ultimately, we are a vessel to spread God’s love. If taking care of my body means that I will be happy in my body, but I’ll be able to share God’s love better, I want that.
What Adventists believe about the prophetic gift. (n.d.). Seventh-Day Adventist Church. https://www.adventist.org/gift-of-prophecy/
White, E. G. H., & White, J. (1938). Counsels on diet and foods. https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/384/info
Female Athlete. Photo by Jacob Lund from iStock.