“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45 (NIV)
I was meeting with a friend the other day and telling her more about ShemaFit. As we discussed the goal of stewarding our bodies well, she exclaimed that many do not know how to care for this body God gave us. As I thought about her comment, I knew she had spoken some truth. So perhaps it might be helpful to break down the idea of stewarding the body into three general categories: Input, Output, & Restoration. All three components are critical health and wellness.
Today, we start with Input.
What goes into our bodies has a huge impact on what we can expect out of our bodies. It’s just like Jesus’ warning to guard what goes into our hearts and minds — for whatever we allow as Input will directly affect our Output. If we want to care for this body and steward it well, we need to guard the Input. Here are a few reminders:
- Monitor your food groups every day. At least half of what you eat every day should be fresh fruits and vegetables. (The fresher the better — meaning not canned, jarred, frozen, dried, etc. Second best would be fresh frozen.) Only one-fourth of your Input should be grains. (This is a challenge for many people I know.). Whole grains are best. That leaves one-fourth or more of your input from protein. Aim for lean protein like fish, chicken, and turkey.
- Watch your sugar intake. This can be challenging in modern society because so many things are processed and packaged, which often means hidden sugar. So, here are three helpful hints — avoid obvious sugar intake, avoid processed foods, and (if you can’t avoid processed foods) learn to read labels intelligently.
- Pay attention to yourself. One of the amazing things our body can do is to tell us what bothers it. Pay attention to signs of food allergies or sensitivities. Become curious about what makes your body work well and what makes it perform poorly. Pay attention to what it is telling you and respond in kindness. If you are like me, my sinuses do not respond well when I eat dairy. So I avoid dairy products. I still love ice cream and cheese, but I generally don’t eat them because I’ve learned that it hurts my body.
Bottom line is that it’s about learning to love and be tender to this amazing gift God has given you. Treat it well because, just like the heart, out of it flows the springs of life! (See Proverbs 4:23.)