The healthy habits for life that are important for a happy marriage are good grooming, a sustainable healthy diet, consistent exercise, and a regular sleep schedule. As a believer in Christ, stewardship of your body is actually part of your worship of God! Romans 12:1 says, "Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." Take a moment and evaluate your own healthy habits for life:
Though the Bible does not set rules for grooming, it does clearly communicate the principle of stewardship, which affects every area of life. Since God made everything, he owns everything--including our physical bodies. I Corinthians 6:19-20 states, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." How's his "temple" looking lately?
God’s desire is that we are clean inside and out. (Matthew [23:26]). There are many verses that speak of washing your clothes and body. (See also Leviticus 16:4, 24, 26, 28). This is especially important when it comes to being around people in social contexts, such as church, business meetings, and other social gatherings. Paul reminds us in Romans [12:10], “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” We love and honor one another by being attentive to personal hygiene--bathing, putting on clean clothes, and by brushing & flossing regularly.
Everyday we get to choose what we will eat. The first temptation man faced in the Garden of Eden is the same one we still face today. Modern society has made this choice even more difficult by making junk food extremely accessible everywhere we look—fast food restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, and check out stands. Add to that the miseducation going on through public television, the internet, and what comes through the mail; it’s a recipe for obesity and rampant illness. Basically, it works like this—refined sugar is added to most [processed foods to make them sell better, then they are priced to sell. The consumer buys them because they are promoted as less expensive; but, ironically, they come at a high price to our health.
The Real Expense of Processed Foods
According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, “We eat more refined sugar today than our parents and grandparents did three decades ago, which has resulted in increasing obesity rates among adults and children. Obesity has been associated with certain cancers, including breast, prostate, uterine, colorectal, and pancreatic.
Part of learning healthy habits for life involves eating healthy foods. This doesn't have to be boring! Fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and apples are high in antioxidants, and may reduce your cancer risk. Furthemore, the fiber in fruit, found mainly in its skin, suppresses your appetite, which prevents overeating. Our clinical oncology dietitians recommend eating whole foods that are low in refined sugars. Whole foods refer to foods that are either unprocessed, such as fruit and vegetables, or minimally processed, such as whole grains.
Boost your Endocrine System
Plus is the only dietary supplement that we have used every month without fail because it has a profound impact the endocrine system. It has been formulated and patented exclusively by Mannatech, and so it is not available in stores. Plus has been a source of much relief for many women who suffer from hormonal imbalance. It is formulated with a unique blend of natural ingredients, like those found in Wild Yam root. *It supports breast, prostate, bone, and colon health. *It also supports the immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA are are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
How much refined sugar is too much?
Don't worry so much about the sugars that are present in natural foods. The body can assimilate fructose and glucose as it is naturally present in food; but free sugars contribute to weight gain and other health conditions, such as diabetes. Processed foods are usually loaded with sugar, and most often have no minimum daily requirement for sugar listed on the package. In summary, eating more sugar than our bodies can handle produces weight gain, lethargy, depression, disease, and inflammation. According to the World Heath Organization, only 10% of our diet should be sugar.
Scriptures related to healthy eating
If you’re often fatigued or trying to lose some weight, doctors recommend that we only make dietary changes that we can sustain for the long haul. The Mediterranean diet is the one many doctors recommend. Compare that with Paleo, which is also a good one.
The Bible mentions an excellent diet plan in the book of Daniel. (We refer to it as "The Daniel Plan". It's very simple. Try it for 10 days and see how it goes. You may notice a big difference if you are overweight or there are a lot of toxins in your body.
Healthy Habits for Life -- Nutrition in a Nutshell
- Stop consuming sugary drinks entirely. Drink lots of pure water instead.
- Limit or eliminate caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
- Avoid processed foods! Your diet should primarily consist of organic vegetables and proteins.
- Keep your plan sustainable by choosing meals that are both delicious, affordable, and easily repeatable.
Develop a routine of exercise that fits your age and lifestyle. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
- Aerobic activity. "Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. Greater amounts of exercise will provide even greater health benefit. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefit."
- Strength training. "Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions."
I have found that I am much more consistent at exercise if I do something every day, even if it is short. My present routine is 20 minutes of aerobic exercise (stationary bike), plus a variety of muscle strengthening exercises. Weather permitting, Meg and I like to go out and work in our yard for least a few hours per week. This way we are doing something enjoyable together, getting some good exercise, and making something beautiful all at the same time! Everyone will approach this differently, but whatever you do, be as consistent as you can. It's all part of healthy habits for life.
The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness says, "More than half of us don't get enough sleep, and often, our sleep is not restful. Your brain and body age faster with lack of sleep. Sleep is brain food, so consider sleep a sacred time. Make restful sleep a priority with these tips:
- If you can, try not to take your worries to bed with you.
- Relax your body and mind before going to sleep. A relaxing routine may include a warm bath, soothing reading, deep breathing or eating a light snack.
- If a worry keeps bothering you, write it in a journal or try your best to postpone thinking about it until the morning."
In my own life, I've discovered that science does not have the answer to every problem we face in life. I've put up with a "sleep disorder" for over 50 years. I went to a sleep clinic, and they prescribed drugs that ended up making things worse. In the end, I discovered that my problem was spiritually-based, not chemically based. God has given each of his children special gifts to help others. I needed what we call "laser-targeted prayer". (Sometimes we don't receive what we ask for in prayer because we are not specific enough.) Long story short--we found a Christian ministry in our town that specializes in praying in a way that brings results. They quickly discerned the source of the problem and showed me how to pray specifically to end it. My sleep problems took a dramatic change for the better!
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