Today’s Verse: 1 Corinthians 9:27
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
When we are young, we may diet to look better, and exercise to stay thin and trim. We want to look good. That’s why we go tanning even though we know how bad it is for us to be in the sun. That’s why fad diets and pills, tanning salons, and the sale of exercise equipment are multi-billion dollar businesses.
At some point in life however, health begins to take on a bigger meaning. This may be as a result of a reality check, like a heart attack or high blood pressure. It may be a warning from the doctor that we are pre-diabetic. Or it may just be something we decide is important to care about. Whatever the reason, there is science that proves that if you eat right and exercise moderately, many health problems will correct themselves. This is certainly true for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart health. (Not everyone can be helped, sometimes those genes just pre-dispose us to these things unfortunately).
Years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, I had gestational diabetes. This was serious and I had to give myself insulin injections twice a day. I was extremely concerned for my son’s health. I was told that if I did not exercise and eat right after the birth, that I had a very high chance of getting Type 2 diabetes by the time I was 40. That was my wake up call! I had watched my grandma die slowly from that disease, and did not want to repeat that in my lifetime! I realized I had to take charge of my own life.
I began a regular exercise program. I still swim, run, walk, or bike at least 5 days a week. I try to go at the same time every morning so that it just part of my day. I wake up, go to the gym or go for a run, and then I’m energized for the day. And my blood sugar levels are still within an accepted range, even as I prepare to turn 60 next year.
The diet part has been harder for me. I adore sweets and go on sugar binges. So, so bad, but I can’t help it. So I try to eat tons of fruits and veggies, very little red meat, lots of fish, and allow myself some sugar every day, but within reason. I go to the doctor every year and watch my blood sugar levels and my cholesterol. I live in fear of the day the doctor tells me “no more sugar”. Thankfully, God has been good to me and I feel like if I take care of the body He has given me, He will in turn take care of me.
I advise you now, while you are still young, to start thinking of the health benefits of diet and exercise, rather than just doing it to look good (that’s a great side benefit!) If it’s hard, ask God to help and guide you and He will be with you, every step of the way.
P.S. The menu samples I include in every blog post are great examples of how to eat well, and they always include dessert! Today’s dessert is one my favorites! Enjoy!
Living Healthy Menu (adapted from Prevention Magazine’s 28 Day Challenge)
Breakfast: Granola Berry Bowl
Top 5 oz. non-fat plain Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup low-fat granola and 1/2 cup each strawberries and blueberries. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds and 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed.
12 oz. coffee
Lunch: Veggie Flatbread
Top whole grain wrap with 3 sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup strips of green bell pepper, 1/2 sliced tomato, and 1 oz. grated skim mozzarella. Broil until cheese melts. Top with 1/4 sliced avocado.
12 oz. green tea or water
Dinner: Broiled Filet Mignon
Broil 3 oz. filet mignon.
1 small baked potato topped with 1 Tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt
Saute 1 cup brussels sprouts
12 oz herbal tea or water
6 graham cracker squares
1 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 Tbsp. apple butter
2 low-sodium stoned wheat crackers
5 baby carrots
2 Tbsp. low-fat ranch dressing