A month into 2019 and I’ve broken my New Year’s goal of eating better.
Being in the third trimester of my second pregnancy, struggling to keep up with a growing list of freelance work, trying to get my house ready for my second child, and having my entire household be sick for the past week or two, I’ve fallen out of the habit of preparing healthy meals for my family.
Let’s just say I’ve eaten more spicy ramen than I’m proud of recently…
Around this time of year it’s hard for many people to stay motivated to eat healthy. In a lot of places the weather calls for big sweatshirts and leggings, so a lot of people aren’t so focused on their “Summer bodies,” and the short, cold days just make us want to sleep and eat comfort food.
Studies show peoples’ carbohydrate cravings rise around the winter time, as eating carbs boosts our serotonin levels and makes us feel temporarily good when the sun is going down at 5pm in a lot of places.
Which might explain why, against my better judgement, I have been subsisting off of spicy ramen, peanut butter and jelly, nachos, and chocolate for a good couple of weeks. Not to say I haven’t been getting in some fruits and veggies…mainly the ones my son doesn’t eat…but it’s been a good amount of the aforementioned.
And as much as I would love to have this as my standard diet, man cannot live on ramen noodles alone. It’s just not good for us.
God gave us a variety of things to supply us nourishment (Genesis 1:29), from fruits and veggies to fish and foul. It’s no coincidence that the healthiest things for us come right from the Earth that God made.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, as mentioned earlier in 1 Corinthians 6:19, and since these bodies are temporary but necessary in carrying out God’s work, we need to take good care of them.
So why is it so hard to maintain a healthy, balanced diet sometimes?
I’m in a busy part in my life, as I’m sure most of you are. Between school and/or work, our social lives, church and ministry work, and whatever other commitments we have, it can be hard to prioritize meal prepping and taking the time to cook healthy foods. It’s just so easy to go through a drive through and pretend a crispy chicken sandwich is really much healthier than the double bacon cheeseburger we had the other day.
But, if we keep relying on convenience foods, such as crispy chicken sandwiches and ramen noodles, it starts to catch up with us after not too long. We get sluggish and foggy and less capable of carrying out our daily tasks and important works.
Our bodies are vessels to take us from place to place and give us a means to carry out God’s work. In a sense we’re renting these vessels. Think about a rental car–most of you would probably be extra careful with it: driving slow, putting good fuel in it, making sure you don’t break too hard, etc.
We should be as mindful with our own bodies. Even though we are not taking them with us after we’re gone, we still need them to get us from A to B in the meantime.
How can we make sure we’re filling our bodies with the nourishment God intended to fuel our bodies?
In my child-free busy-ness days I would often throw together a healthy wrap with some shredded chicken, lettuce and/or spinach, and some hummus. Then I’d grab a pre-made smoothie such as a Naked or Odwalla drink filled with fruits and veggies, and maybe a granola bar if it was going to be a long day. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than running through a taco bell on my lunch break.
Prepping meals can seem like a hassle, but God wants us to be healthy and take care of ourselves. At the end of the day, when we’re feeling good, we can do more good. Our temple is worth the effort.