the basics of
Have you heard?
It’s reported now that the flu this winter has already widespread and even reaching to epidemic proportions in 37 States of the US! If you or your family members are among the victims, I am so sorry!
Perhaps you’re wondering why I’m talking about health on a blog about SHALOM and WHOLENESS. Well, how do you feel when you’re sick? Or have a headache? Or an upset stomach? Or . . . you name it . . . I can tell you that after dealing with and surviving cancer, I’ve become quite tuned to how I fee physically. And when I don’t feel good, it affects every other aspect of my life. It affects my thinking, emotions, attitudes, and perspectives. If I’m not careful it can then affect my behavior, which is not helpful to relationship building! I’m guessing you may have experienced similar affects when dealing with health issues. So I think that health has a prominent place in our pursuit of SHALOM and WHOLENESS in our lives, as I’ll be talking more about in other posts.
I know it’s become a complicated issue these days, but it really is true that what we eat greatly affects the state of our health. So much so that, Katie, the Wellness Mama, says her motivation for her website ignited when she read in a parenting magazine that, “For the first time in centuries, the current generation of children is expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents did.” That was several years ago! Yikes! How much worse is the overall state of health by now?! Because more and more of the food we buy has been grown on monoculture farms, using herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and with GMO seeds. The unscientific food pyramid has been promoted for many years now. And with all the processed food-like products these days, who cooks from scratch with REAL FOOD grown in live soil?!
I’m not a clinician nor a nutritionist, but as a cancer survivor I’ve been fascinated over the years with how greatly our state of health is affected by what we eat. And I can testify that eating REAL FOOD has made a significant difference in my health and wellness. I’ll be writing a lot more about these issues, but for now, let’s take a look at some basic practices necessary for maintaining a healthy body.
Because good health is an important part of your enjoying a sense of overall shalom and wholeness. When you don’t feel good, you just can’t be at your best in all the other areas of your life. Basic healthy practices help you enjoy good physical vitality and to maintain a strong immune system. It is especially important to maintain good health during the winter and at other seasonal changes, when flus and viruses are on the rampage all around you.
Maintaining good overall health and a strong immune system helps to prevent disease from finding an inroad. This may not always be easy, and at times may even seem impossible. However, it is important to do our best, and then we have to commit all things to God, and trust Him to make up the difference, in His kind and merciful will.
~ of first importance ~
Spiritual health involves our inner wellbeing of spirit, beliefs, and relationships with God and with the people around us. And actually our spiritual health greatly affects every other aspect of your life. The inner wellbeing and wholeness of your soul can significantly affect the health of your body. And so good spiritual health is primary. For more discussions about spiritual shalom and wholeness, take a look at our other posts under the categories of WHOLENESS and PASTOR PAUL.
For now, let’s take a look at the basics of good health.
Basic Helps to Good Health
You probably intuitively know the basic building blocks for good health – and maybe have heard them all your life. So how well are you doing with actually practicing them? Take a few minutes to assess how you are really doing in these areas by testing yourself in the list below.
- Praise and Trust: Overcome worry, fear and anxiety with praise that expresses trust in God’s power and in His loving care of His children – it seems that God honors our praises to Him in all situations and circumstances, and especially in the most difficult and challenging times.
- Sleep: Nightly rest of at least 6-7 hours – 8 hours is best if possible.
- Exercise: Physical exercise helps to relieve stress and aids body functions towards good health in general. Walk briskly at least 20 minutes, or do a simple workout for at least 10 minutes a day – at least 3 – 4 days a week.
- Rest breaks: Take breaks from time to time – Sabbath rest, dates with your spouse, family times, etc. – purposefully stop to ENJOY the goodness and blessings of God together. 🙂
- Eat healthy foods as much as reasonably possible.
Here are some guidelines for healthy eating that we have found helpful in our family diet:
- Lime or lemon juice – squeeze a lime or lemon into a full glass of pure water in the morning before eating other food, and again before going to bed at night – very nutritious!
- Lots of fruit and especially fresh vegetables – Vegetables are the best source of most of the nutrients our bodies need. Adults should eat at least 1 – 2 cups of vegetables (raw or cooked) at each meal.
- Drink a LOT of clean pure water – at least 6 – 8 glasses every day.
- Seeds and nuts are packed with life giving nutrients – pumpkin, sunflower, watermelon, seseme, etc. are excellent sources of protein and calcium. Nuts are also healthy when eaten in small amounts every day.
- Good oils and fats – Olive oil (not heated), coconut oil, butter and other animal fats are the best oils and fats – vegetable oils are NOT HEALTHY AT ALL! However, it is best not to use too much of any kind of oil – some is good and needed, but in moderation.
- Brown rice instead of white rice – rice is healthy IF it has not been polished and the germ (grain core where life springs from) has not been removed.
- Minimal meat (beef, goat, chicken, etc.). It is good to substitute meat with fish or legumes (dried beans, peas, and lentils) 2-3 days a week, and include other good sources of protein as well.
- Minimize sugar (and artificial sweetners)! Sugar destroys the immune system! Substitute with small amounts of pure honey and other NATURAL sweeteners available in your area.
- Whole-wheat flour instead of white flour for bread, cakes, etc. – “chapati” or “atta” flour is a good Indian form of whole-wheat flour that is ground finely and nice to work with.
- Garlic and ginger – help fight against flus and viruses–find ways to include them in cooking throughout the year.
Test yourself – grade yourself on a scale of 1 – 5 for each of the above 14 items. Add up your points. What is your score – out of a total of 70 points possible?
Move to a New Level of Health WHOLENESS
So now that you have a good idea about your current health practices for enjoying health wholeness, now is a good time to begin moving to a new level. I challenge you to choose one or two (no more than three) of the above aspects where you scored lowest and most need to focus on for the next 10 days. Track your progress as you work to build these basic health practices into your lifestyle. If you’re already a “health nut” and are already doing all of them well, then try adding some bonus factors, like:
- Bone Broth – one of the most nutritious superfoods, and so simple and cheap to make. Check out Katie’s easy recipe – it’s free!
- Probiotics (friendly bacteria in your gut) – with fermented foods (like sauerkraut – homemade it’s great) and cultures (like yogurt, kefir, and kambucha) – I especially love my kefir, which doesn’t require the milk to be heated and it can just sit out at room temperature to culture.
- Other – your own new steps to better health wholeness and vitality.
Track your progress – get your “Health WHOLENESS” tracker to help you keep on track for the next 10 days as you intentionally work to build these basic good health practices into your lifestyle. Then go for another 10 days . . . and another . . . Click the button to get your free printable tracker!
Final Challenge – Be Salt & Light
~ to the glory of God! ~
Who do you know around you who is struggling with health issues? People often tend to think about eternal matters more during times of serious illness, and so they look to the people of God for answers. This provides a wonderful opportunity to allow the beauty of His grace to shine through you into their lives. As people see the Fruit of the Spirit in you, even in the midst of challenging times, God is glorified, and He can draw them to Himself. Where fear and gloom dominate people’s hearts, peace and joy are amazing and attractive. When most people are thinking only of themselves and their needs, love and compassion can melt their hearts, revealing that the power of God can truly transform hearts and lives. This is only possible as believers keep much in prayer, are into the Word of God, and stay continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Those who demonstrate such a victorious spirit shine as lights in the darkness around them.
May you know and experience God’s powerful grace to be shining lights in these challenging times.
You are the salt of the earth . . . You are the light of the world . . . let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16, NIV)
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