Ruminations from the Beach

Today’s verse:  1 Corinthians 6: 19-20   “19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

I just returned from a super relaxing week at the beach.   There is nothing that can melt away stress better for me than laying in bed at night and listening to the ocean roll in and out.  Although it was unbearably hot in the sun, there was always a nice (albeit warm) breeze blowing down by the waterfront to keep me cool during the day.

There were two things that  struck me most while lying on the beach people-watching. One was the amount of obese people in this country.   It was absolutely frightening to see how many people are so overweight. I’m not talking about people with a little bit of belly flab, I’m talking about the seriously obese people.    Good for those that were out walking or riding bikes, perhaps trying to fight the fat.  But others, OMG!

In spite of all the “health food” that is now available at fast food places, and the fact that vending machines at schools no longer offer sugary drinks and snacks, there are still an enormous amount of overweight people wandering this earth.  The saddest part is to see the children following in the parents footsteps. They are doomed to a life of “unhealth”:   diabetes, heart conditions, high blood pressure, bad joints, ridicule from others, etc.  I wish there was a way to get through to them about the dangers of their lifestyle.  I am sure they have heard all the arguments, and many would say that they are happy  just as they are, but I pray that they will finally see the light and try to lose the weight.

The second thing that set me to wondering – the amount of sun worshipers on the beach.   We all know the dangers of skin cancer.  Having twice been treated for squamous cell carcinoma (we lived outside most of the summer during my childhood instead of in front of a screen), I try to keep my skin smothered in sun tan lotion.   I, too, am after that ever-elusive bronze glow that makes us look so healthy and fit, but I am careful about how I get there. I was amazed at the number of people on the beach that stayed for hours, and I never saw them apply (or re-apply) lotion. Isn’t anyone concerned about the danger?  I saw lots of older women whose skin also looked like leather, having spent years in the sun.  Their tans were not even pretty – they looked muddy brown to me.  The dangers of being vain, to look pretty, are not worth the consequences.

God gives us a beautiful body and we set out to destroy it, either through over-eating, over-tanning, drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc.  We need to honor the body that God has given us.  It is his temple and we need to take care of it.    I pray for all of you that are trying to return to health and a good lifestyle, and I pray for all of those that have yet to realize that they need to return to health.  Blessings on everyone is their journey to health! 

Today’s Healthy Living Recipe

Salads are so good for you, and are so easy to make during summer when you can great vegetables and fruits from the farmers markets.  This week will provide a sampling of some excellent salads – eat to be healthy!

Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss   (uses fresh from the garden herbs!)

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch wedges
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preparation

Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gently toss together chicken, tomatoes, onion, basil, chives, parsley, and thyme in a large bowl. Add vinegar mixture, and gently toss until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately, or cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour.

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