Friday, February 19, 2010

Road to Health, Part 2: Health Food vs. Diet Food

Throughout the twists and turns of my journey to health, I hit a fork in my road. Do I want to just be skinny or do I want to be healthy?

A couple of years ago, I joined a weight-loss support group. This certain group also sold their own food in grocery stores. My favorite was their snack cakes. If I ate really well, I could eat two or three snack cakes. One day, I decided to read the ingredients in these tasty morsels and was shocked at what they contained. Sugar, partially hydrogenated oils, enriched, bleached flour, and so on. This seemed to contradict the information they were teaching in their meetings. It also contradicted what a lot of nutritionists were teaching as well.

Too much sugar can lead to diabetes. Partially hydrogenated oils clog arteries and raise cholesterol levels. Enriched, bleached flour has no nutritional value and can also lead to diabetes. Were these little snack cakes worth my health?

That's when I made my decision to be healthy. I've been far from perfect, but now I'm conscious of it. I've been looking at different ways of eating - low-carb, high-protein, vegetarian, and so on. I think I've come across a way of eating that will benefit myself as well as my family. It's called "clean eating." Basically, you eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and lean meats. They should be minimally processed and no artificial anything added. It's a new way of eating and like I said, I'm not perfect. It's a slow process, but I have seen results when I do stick to the clean eating plan. I lost weight and my skin cleared up. I had more energy and was ready to start the day, instead of waking up groggy. Now that I'm feeling better, I plan to resume this plan.

What's your opinion regarding health food and diet food? I'd love to hear it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Road to Health Part 1: What Health is to Me

After being sick for the past two and a half weeks, I've had plenty of time to think about health. In times of frustration, I even thought about bargaining with God: "If you make me well, I will do more to be healthy." I stopped short of making the bargain because I fear failure. Maybe it's not really a fear, I just know from my past that I usually fail at this task.

And that's where my problem is: I depend upon myself and not the Lord. I'm learning that health has to do more with my total package: spirit, mind, and body. I am an emotional eater. I eat when I'm stressed, angry, and depressed. A vicious pattern occurs when I emotionally eat. I feel some emotion, so I eat to numb myself. Then I feel guilty for eating, and eat again. What's wrong with this picture? Aren't I, as a Christian, supposed to depend on the Lord for my strength and comfort? Instead, I take matters into my own hands, with disastrous results.

Here is what it looks like to depend on the Lord: Once I relay my feelings to the Lord, my mental state will change because my spirit feels peace. Once I feel peace, then I will no longer feel anxious and want to eat. I may still have some of the emotional energy left, but that is when I should go for a walk and pray.

I know, easier said than done. This is my thought though: Just as my vicious pattern of emotional eating became a habit, then after some conscious effort and lots of prayer, the new spiritual pattern should become a habit as well. The Word of God offers me hope: "Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established," (Proverbs 16:3). Also, Proverbs 16:9 says "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." You see, if I dedicate myself and my plans to the Lord, He will establish my path for me. One more bit of encouragment comes from Psalm 118:7: "The LORD is on my side as my helper."

Health to me is no longer the idea of looking great in a pair of skinny jeans. Rather it is being physically, mentally, and most importantly spiritually healthy in the Lord. It is allowing myself to feel my emotions and handle them in a spiritually mature manner. A mountainous journey lies ahead, but I know the Lord will not only set my path for me, He will be there every step of the way, helping me overcome my obstacles.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Road to Health: A New Series

I am starting a new series about health. I've been researching topics regarding health and food and am trying to apply some of these principals to my family's way of life. I want to explore the responsibilities, if any, a Christian has in taking care of her body. I also want to discuss preventative healthcare vs. our current way of looking at healthcare.

I've battled with my weight for numerous years. When I was younger, I wanted to lose weight so I would look like the skinny models in the fashion magazines. Now I want to lose weight for other reasons - health, energy, and obedience. I also want to model healthy eating habits for my children so they won't grow up with the same issues.

I look forward to sharing this information with you. I also look forward to hearing your thoughts as well.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Word Study: Jealous

Exodus 34:14 "(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.)"

Jealous: from the Hebrew word "qana" meaning "zealous or jealous" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance).

This is one of those instances where it is important to understand the original meaning of the word in order to fully comprehend its context. I've heard some people (including a famous talk show host) say that verses like this mean God is jealous of us. Really? I sincerely want to ask "Why? Why would our Creator be jealous of us?"

The answer is He is not jealous of us, but rather for us. He loves us so much that He wants to be number one in our heart just as we are in His. He loves us so much, He sent His Son to die for us.

I find it interesting that the Hebrew word also connotates "zealous." According to, zealous means "ardently active, devoted." Synonyms include enthusiastic, eager, and passionate. God is passionate for us. He is devoted to us. Of everything I know about the LORD (and trust me, I have plenty to learn still), this explanation of His jealousy is in tune with who He is.

This is just an example of why it is important to learn the original context of scripture before dismissing it. More people would live in truth and know who God truly is instead of a misconception.