Love Your Body—In All Life Seasons

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

It’s Love Your Body Monday again. How do the months roll by so quickly? In my online About His Work Ministries newsletter this month, I actually wrote about how living in a state with four distinct seasons makes the year seem to fly by. And as the months go . . . so go the years and the body changes that occur in each of those life seasons.

Eating with Purpose in Every Season

A woman my age told me she felt her usefulness was over and she was just waiting for the Lord to take her home. That was shocking because I wake up every morning with a new sense of purpose and direction to accomplish what God has planned for me that day. I assured God could use her wisdom and experience to help mentor others if she would let Him.

I recently read an article that said those who live with purpose, live longer. I think that’s true for any age. When you’re younger, if you have a sense of purpose for your life, you’re not going to abuse your body with drugs, alcohol, permissive sex, poor eating habits etc. You have your eyes set on the future whether it’s college, a career, a marriage, parenting, contributing to making the world a better place. . . and you want to be healthy enough to enjoy it.

Living with purpose and a goal applies to the aging process too. How we treat our bodies when we’re younger plays a big role in how we age. But it’s never too early, or too late, to eat healthy and establish healthy lifestyle habits.

There’s an eighty-eight year old couple in our church, and the husband was excited that he got his driver’s license renewed for four more years! He’s funny, energetic, trim, and sharp. When we ran into them at a Mexican restaurant celebrating his license renewal, they invited us to eat with them. I asked how he stayed in such good shape and his answer was, “I’ve always been active. When I was younger, I was in sports, then career military. After I retired, I always had an active job that kept me physically fit. Now I stay busy doing things around the yard and house.” I wouldn’t be surprised if he still chops his own wood for their cabin stove.

For dinner, they each ordered two tacos—that’s it. He ate both of his and she took one home. Except for her eyesight going, she’s just as spunky, funny, energetic, and enjoying life as much as he is! That’s how I want to age, but it doesn’t just happen without effort.

Do We Treat Our Cars Better than Our Bodies?

After much prayer, my husband and I decided we needed to buy a new car. In twenty-five years of marriage, it’s only the third car we’ve owned. We take extremely good care of our cars so they’ll serve us well. We put in the right gas, take them in for regular checkups, replace tires when needed, watch the fluid levels, don’t put off getting assistance when the engine light keeps flashing . . . . We make an investment in keeping our cars running well so they will serve us well and keep us safe when we’re driving. The extra care could prevent us from having inconvenient breakdowns, protect us from injury, or even death in an accident so we want to keep it as dependable and smooth running as we can.

Dave, being the manual reader, is devouring the “books” that came with our new car so we understand how it works and what we need to do to maintain it and keep it running well.

Maybe you do the same thing with your cars for the same reasons. Yet, I often point out that many people take better care of their cars, which they don’t expect to last their lifetime, than they do their bodies. They would never think of putting in the wrong kind of gas or pouring alcohol or lard in the gas tank, but what about the “fuel” we put in our precious bodies.

If you’re a parent, you followed careful instructions what to feed your baby. You didn’t feed them anything that would harm their precious bodies. You listened to the doctor when to introduce new foods at what age and you took them in for their scheduled checkups. But as they grow older and start exerting their own will, it’s easier to give in to unhealthy snacks and foods because they like them better than healthy food and it’s less trouble. But what will this do to their still precious bodies as they grow into adulthood? We seldom see studies on this.

When people lived on rural farms, far from town, they ate what they brought home from an occasional trip to town and what they grew. That meant if the kids were hungry, they ate what was on the table or went to bed hungry. There was no running down to the market or driving by fast food. Unfortunately, with the wide array of food choices we have today, our families could easily eat less healthy than previous generations. Kids often tell parents what they will eat and not eat, and because the refrigerator and pantry are full, it’s easier to give into their demands than take a stand for their health.

Know What You’re Putting Into Your Body’s “Fuel Tank”!

As we move into the adulthood season and can make our own food choices, we often throw away the “healthy fuel tank manual” and stop watching what we put in our own precious bodies. In a previous post, Love Your Body—Read Labels, I talked about the importance of being an avid label reader and checking dates. Last week, I was at the market checking dates on packages of lettuce, and the woman next to me asked where she would find a date? I showed her, but thought, I wonder how many packages of lettuce she’s thrown away because it was ready to spoil?! Hint: they usually put the older dates in front.

Even something “healthy,” like sheep’s milk cheese, I read the labels between two different brands. One label, which was cheaper, had other things added than the simple ingredients to make cheese. Read the labels on corn tortillas. You’d be surprised how some brands have much more than corn, lime, and maybe a little salt. All those ingredients you don’t recognize on labels are preservatives.

Here’s my Point!

No matter what season of life you’re in, God wants you to take care of the body He gave you. We may not like some of our features, but they’re ours and God thought they were perfect for us. And how magnificent to think that He made us in His own image! So let’s show Him honor by honoring His creation. You. And. Me!

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

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I’m getting so excited to share Mentoring for All Seasons with you. Remember it’s available right NOW for pre-order and preorders usually arrive before the September 12 release date!

Also, if you have a blog where I could be a guest, or would like to be on the Launch Team to help spread the word from coast to coast, woman to woman, please contact me.

Author Bio

Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of 19 books. Her latest release is Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. (September 12, 2017)

She is also the author of Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten; The Team That Jesus Built; Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby?; Dear God They Say It’s Cancer; Dear God, He’s Home!; Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter; Face-to-Face Bible study Series; and Woman to Woman Mentoring: How to Start, Grow, & Maintain a Mentoring Ministry Resources.

She is the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries.

Visit Janet and sign up for her Monday Morning blog and online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com

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Love Your Body: Use Your Freedoms Wisely

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Last Monday was actually Love Your Body Monday, but as I mentioned in that post, Why I Have Hope for Katy Perry, I felt led that someone needed me to write about prodigals last week. So I’m switching Mondays on you, ha ha.

This week, we celebrate our Independence on the 4th of July. While I could write an entire post on how important it is to remember that we’re in a battle to maintain our religious freedoms and independence from government and special interest groups trying to take away those freedoms and misinterpret what our founding fathers wanted for us, I’m going to refer you to a great article by Todd Starnes, Teens Threatened with Arrest for Praying—in America! Todd gives a shout out for every Christian not to become complacent as we watch yet another cross torn down, or a 10 Commandments monument destroyed. People doing these sacrilegious acts are clueless that nothing can destroy the Cross or the will or presence of God—not a wrecking ball, sludge hammer, car, dynamite, unfair law—yep God’s still omnipresent and omnipotent!

But I diverse, let’s get back to how independence effects our bodies and our health. Once we move into our teens and adulthood, we usually have freedom to determine what we eat, when we eat it, and how much we eat. I remember when I went off to college and staying in the dorms came with an all-you-can-eat meal pass in the cafeteria! After growing up with my mom carefully portioning out food on our plates and determining what we ate, it was amazing and a little overwhelming to have so many food choices! Some foods I’d never even tried before. Since I was getting a degree in Dietetics, I made wise choices (for the most part LOL), but let’s just say it’s a good thing I didn’t have a car and had to do a lot of walking around campus!

Often the resistance people have to eating healthy is that it’s their body and they’ll do what they want with it, whether it’s unhealthy eating and drinking, or even drugs, cigarettes, promiscuous sex, and sadly abortion. But thinking of our bodies as our own is a false statement fed and fueled by the father of lies who can’t create anything but deterioration, destruction, and decay.

God created every person. No one created himself or herself, and no one comes into being except through God. Every atheist or unbeliever, who by birth becomes part of “mankind,” has to admit he or she was created by something, even if they don’t believe the Scriptures that affirm it is was God! I wonder who or what they think made them and breathed life into them?!

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

God does care about what we do with the body He gave each of us. It’s not our body, it’s His. We aren’t supposed to treat our God-given body like it’s worthless to anyone but us. When you think of the intricate workings of our bodies that sustain life, it’s almost more than our minds can conceive. I’m sure every doctor who studies the body has to stand in awe. It’s hard to imagine any of them could not be believers, and yet, I had a radiation oncologist who was an atheist!

God cares how we treat His intricate temple that comprises our body, soul, and spirit:

“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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:10-20

God cares so much about your body that He even knows the hairs on your head, and those that fall. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30

Now it’s true that God isn’t going to love us any more or less based on how we treat our body, and He has given us free will. But when He created man and woman, He did say that it was good. He was pleased with His creation, and before the fall I have to believe that the Garden of Eden was full of fabulous food! Everything Adam and Eve had at their fingertips would have nourished them and kept them healthy. But we all know what happened when they gave into Satan’s temptation by eating what they weren’t supposed to eat and God cast them out of the garden. They had to start making their own food choices, just like we do.

One last point I want to make is that some people can eat whatever they want without any problems of weight or health issues. I hope you savor that freedom, but don’t boast about it because not everyone is like you. Be considerate with your freedoms, especially as we enter a holiday weekend remember:

Maybe you can eat steak, ribs, and hamburgers, but someone else is trying to lower red and fatty meat intake because of high cholesterol or cancer. Don’t berate them; offer an alternative choice like fish, chicken or turkey.

Maybe you’re a meat lover, but someone else is vegetarian. Have many veggies and salads available.

Maybe you can eat desserts with no concern for weight gain, but someone else is trying to lose weight, is a diabetic, or history of cancer. Don’t tempt them with gooey concoctions that will only make them feel guilty later or maybe seriously hurt their health. Offer fruit and light cheese to your dessert menu.

Maybe you can drink a glass of wine or have a beer, but someone else doesn’t drink, can’t tolerate alcohol without getting drunk, is an alcoholic, or young children and teens are watching. More accidents happen from drinking on holiday weekends than from any other cause. There are so many nonalcoholic sparkling alternatives and parties really are more fun when everyone has their faculties about them and is coherent.

Here’s the bottom line, just because you have the “right” to do something doesn’t make it righteous. With freedom comes responsibility . . .

“It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do. But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:8-9 NLT

I pray each of you has a happy, healthy, safe Independence and Freedom in God we Trust Day!

Janet

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Love Your Body—Go Nuts for Nuts

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

“My mom always has her bag of nuts with her!”

My daughter, Kim, made that comment when my daughter-in-law asked her what she should prepare for my hubby and me when we were coming to visit since she knew we try to eat healthy, raw, and organic. Kim was saying: don’t worry about it. If my mom can’t find enough to eat, she’ll snack on her nut concoction.

cracked walnuts

I’ve always enjoyed a variety of nuts since I was a kid. I remember sitting with my mom shelling walnuts for hours from big bags we would fill from the walnut orchards that used to be so prevalent in Southern California. After their harvest, they let the public come through and glean walnuts. Great memories and great walnuts! My heart breaks as I watch so many of these walnut orchards destroyed to build new houses. I want to scream: “Don’t you know how good those walnuts are for you and how long it took for those trees to grow?” But I don’t think anyone would listen to me.

We always had walnuts. We baked with walnuts and loved just snacking on them. I can remember eating as many as I shelled!

Then as I grew older and was always watching my weight, I started hearing how high in calories nuts were and I treated them like a delicacy…only adding to banana nut bread or an occasional crumb topping or Waldorf salad (apples, celery, and walnuts). But then there was a trend to put nuts in salads and I was all over that. How had we missed all those years how delicious walnuts or pecans are in a salad with strawberries or pears or any array of fruit? Oh and that was something new too. Salads didn’t just need to be veggies and tomatoes—fresh fruit of all kinds is fabulous in a green salad and topped with nuts and raspberry salad dressing, a real treat.

salad

Cancer Changed Everything

So over the years, I enjoyed nuts sparingly and guiltily. But all that changed when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and began researching the best foods for fighting cancer. At the top of the list were nuts! Not just any kind of nuts though: organic and raw were the best because the high roasting temperatures used in roasting nuts can destroy many of the good nutrients and the pesticides sprayed on nonorganic nuts negate much of their nutritional value.

Nuts are little gifts from God, packed with powerful nutrients for not only fighting cancer, but heart disease, high cholesterol, endocrine and inflammatory problemsthe list is endless. Yes, they have calories, but they are such a concentrated source of nutrition, that you don’t have to eat many to gain the benefits. Nuts are good calories. Calories you want to include in your diet while you eliminate wasted calories.

So I make my own “trail mix” with a variety of organic, raw, unsalted, and if possible, sprouted, nuts. I always start with almonds, cashews, and walnuts, and then I might add pistachios, shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, macadamias, Brazil nuts, or pecans. Sometimes I add dried unsulphured fruit, but usually, it’s just a mixture of nuts, which I take with me everywhere and keep on my desk in my office while I’m writing!

Remember that raw nuts are unprocessed so keep any extras in the refrigerator or freezer. I like to buy raw, organic nuts in bulk and then freeze them. Then I’ll defrost some and make a big batch of my “trail mix” combining a variety of nuts and portion into smaller bags that I keep in the refrigerator and take out one bag at a time to enjoy.

Yes, if you walked into my office today, you would see my bag of nuts . . . in fact I just had a handful while I was writing this. If you looked in my travel bag, yep there would be a bag of nuts. When hubby and I go to town for the day, you guessed it, I have my bag of nuts if I want a snack while we’re shopping or watching soccer games or hanging out with the family.

It doesn’t take many of these powerhouse gifts from God, so a handful or two will do you nicely and probably quench your appetite so you don’t eat so much at the next meal. Think how much better this is for you than a bag of chips or candy bar or even popcorn. Popcorn does not have the nutrients of nuts, but you can add nuts to your popcorn and that’s yummy too.

Check out These Websites

So I’ve researched a couple of websites that I think you will enjoy. The first one, Why You Should Go Nuts for Nuts is one I really like. On the first page, after you read the introduction, hit on “View All” and it will take you to pictures of different nuts. When you hit on the picture, you’ll get a summary of all the health benefits of that particular nut.

And here’s a great article about walnuts, 10 Surprising Facts About Walnuts.

Tips for Going Nuts

  • If you find nuts hard to chew, try grinding them and adding to your recipes or chopping them.
  • Add nuts to your salads, cereal, oatmeal, granola, cereal, vegetables, cookies, cobblers . . . the list is endless.
  • If you can’t go raw nuts, Dr. Oz says in his book, You On a Diet, that it’s OK to cook them at 275 degrees for 9-12 minutes to roast without damaging the good oils and nutrients.
  • If raw organic are too expensive, I would opt for at least raw because roasting at high temperatures damages most of the nutrients. You might wash them off and then do a light roasting, as I mentioned above.
  • If you don’t like a particular nut, no problem. There are so many to choose from.
  • Substitute almond milk for regular milk. Some people like to make their own almond milk and I just discovered how to make walnut milk. Yummy!

What are some ways you’ve found to use nuts?

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*Pictures are from the websites listed in the article.

Love Your Body

Love your Body

 February is the universal month of love. As Christians, we know Jesus loves us and we love Him. Scripture also tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” How can we fulfill this Scripture if we don’t love ourselves? Maybe we even love others more than we love ourselves.

There are some Christians who don’t love themselves because of their past, even though they know God has forgiven them—they just need to forgive themselves. Many women don’t love their bodies. God made us body and soul, and loving one should mean loving the other.

Love Your Body More Than Your Car

Loving our bodies means treating them better than we treat our cars. We put the right type of gasoline and oil into our cars to keep them running smoothly, yet many put unwholesome foods into their bodies, which they want to serve them longer than a car!

I also often say that some women love their husbands to death. By that I mean, they’re giving him all the food he loves, even when his body doesn’t love it.

Florence Nightingale of Dietetics

My first career out of college was as a Registered Dietitian. I had great hopes for being the Florence Nightingale of dietetics and everyone would be so eager to learn how to eat healthier. It turned out to be a thankless career because most people would rather take a pill than change their diet. But I’ve always fed my family healthy, and my daughter is a fitness instructor and my husband is healthier than 97% of the men his age (per his doctor at this last physical).

New “Love Your Body” Blog Post

Today, I’m thrilled that there is much more interest in healthy eating, but there is also much misinformation. The Lord has been impressing on me to write on healthy eating in this Monday Morning Blog. So starting today, I’ll be writing a “Love Your Body” post on the last Monday of the month, and we’ll be discussing a wide variety of topics related to the foods we choose to feed ourselves and our families.

Your Body, Christ’s Temple

God, our Creator, has much to say in the Bible about how we should treat our bodies. I’ve been reading through Leviticus and am impressed with the detail God gave the Israelites on how to have a healthy body. Today, we’re inundated with information from advertisers who want us to eat their food and from those who claim to be nutritional “experts”. It’s hard to know what to believe, so we’ll be discussing easy to apply ideas and suggestions for being good stewards of the temple in which Christ dwells—our bodies! (1 Corinthians 3:16)

I was thrilled when asked to write God’s Best For Your Life for First Place 4 Health.Gods Best for Your Life Cover I loved writing this book on how to balance the spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental aspects of living God’s way.You can do this study on your own, or how about starting a group and support each other in loving yourself the way God loves you. There’s a Leader’s Guide in each book.

What Do You Want to Talk About?

Please leave a comment below on topics you would like me to discuss and questions you have about healthy eating. I might not know the answer, but I’ll do my best to research and give you my thoughts.

“Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.”

1 Thessalonians 4:4-5, The Message