19 October 2013

Eating Healthy Meals (A Habit for Day 19)

I completely believe physical health, as far as it's in your power to be healthy, effects your mental and spiritual life in a powerful way.  The Bible makes it even more clear than that:

"Know ye not that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."  1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
In other words, take good care of the person Jesus bought with His life.  Part of being His means you keep yourself in as good of working order as you can--and you'll reap the benefits of having energy and feeling good, too.

Good nutrition starts before you drive to the store.

You know what happens if you get to the grocery store and you're hungry, right?

You'll buy anything you see, and everything will look good to you.  You're more likely to go way over budget as well as buy more food you can just open and eat in a hurry...which is often not very healthy food.

To avoid buying things you know won't be good for you, make a menu--or at least a grocery list--before you go to the store.  Then try to buy only the items written on your list.  Even if ice cream sandwiches are buy one get one free that week.

Then make your menu one that's easily doable for you, so you don't let the healthy food you've bought go to waste because you don't have time to make the fancy meals you planned.

Load up on fresh produce before you buy anything else.

Several years ago, I discovered that if I started my shopping in the produce section, with fresh fruits and vegetables, these would become the foundation for my meals.  

I'm also weird enough to keep track of my spending as I go, and if I start out in the produce section, the non-fresh items on my list are the ones that get left in the store if it looks like I'm going to go over budget.  Produce is harder to put back on the shelf if I decide I need to adjust the list before I go stand in line.

Do your research

I'm not here to tell you precisely what you should or shouldn't eat.  You have unique tastes and needs, and I can't possibly design a one-size-fits-all type of diet with any specificity.

If you do physical labor for a living, you'll need more and different kinds of food than people who are primarily sedentary in their work.  If you live in Siberia but I live in Papua New Guinea, we can both eat a healthy diet, but it's going to look about as different as night and day.

So research what works for your needs, your budget, your geographic area.  Avoid food and diet fads, and stick with the basics.

A resource my husband and I love to use is a web site called the World's Healthiest Foods.  The site gives common foods, their nutritional properties and benefits, and recipes featuring that food, as well as an in-depth "nutritional profile" which gives lists of studies and source materials.

One disclaimer about the site:  while most of the foods listed are quite healthy, a few of the foods, in my opinion, would better be called "nutrient dense" because while they do contain high levels of some types of nutrients, there are also drawbacks to eating them.

Man shall not live by bread alone...

Once again, a little familiarity with the Bible will show how Jesus linked Himself with the imagery of our every-day needs, reminding us He is even more necessary to us than the food we eat.

"And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live."  Dueteronomy 8:3

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst."  John 6:35

Maybe our trials--the times we hunger in life--are the times Jesus draws nearest, hoping we'll remember the lesson He tried to teach the Israelites in the wilderness.  Maybe He's stretching us thin to drive us back to the only Word that gives life, Jesus Himself.

Perhaps before we sit down to make our next menu or grocery list, we should sit down and think about the words that make up our mental menus.  Does the bread of life make up enough of our diet, or are we still hungering and thirsting after things that can never fill?

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  1. This is great advice. Your body is a temple, and I also believe that you have an obligation to take care of it. Not to mention that life is so much better when you are healthy.

    Your advice reminds me of 'lead me not into temptation...' Avoiding temptation in the grocery store is a great strategy.

    Might I just add that you want to focus on eating the foods that God gave us. Not the fake foods that man has made. God's foods will nourish us. Man's foods will destroy us.

    Thanks for a great post.

  2. Again- I love how you bring out a more rounded understanding of why it is important to make good choices all through our lives.
    Lisa :O)


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