Many of you know about my gluten-free journey (you can read more here and here) and how it has greatly improved my health and comfort level when it comes to food and healthy eating. Since Elijah was born, we’ve noticed that he has been a little more sensitive to things that Jael was. He had a hard time with formula, even though he barely got any breast milk in the first place due to health issues. We switched formulas several times because his little tummy couldn’t handle several kinds. And when he started having reflux issues, we found out [regretfully] that he cannot tolerate rice cereal. At least yet.
So that has really caused me to think a lot about food and what we put into our bodies. I’ve been slowly changing our entire house over to gluten-free. I was pretty much the only person eating that way, but as I discovered more and more the junk that is still in “healthy” alternatives, we decided a gluten-free lifestyle would be best for us.
So why do I share this? It is not to convince you to eat gluten-free, drink raw milk, or organic only. While I believe in all these things, your lifestyle choices are yours.
I just want to encourage you to be intentional in what you’re putting in your body. What are you doing to keep your body healthy and clean? The Word talks about our bodies being a temple:
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. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I don’t know about you, but that “bought with a price” is convicting to me. If Jesus died on the cross to save us and give us LIFE, I should take care of this life and body that was purchased with a payment I could never repay. So all I want to simply say is this: take care of your body. If that means taking a walk or ditching a daily burger…do it. Life is so much more precious than to waste it away with clogged arteries and feeling sluggish all the time. [Obviously, if you have things by heredity, then I’m not trying to criticize you…of course!! But I do want to challenge you to live a healthy life! There are people who want you around for a while!]
So what can you do to be intentional with your health? Even if you don’t feel “unhealthy,” I believe there are some things you can do to enhance your living and start giving your body what it needs [and taking away what it doesn’t].
1. Take a multivitamin.
I can’t tell you what a difference this simple step can make. Our bodies are often depleted of the things that keep us energized and feeling fresh. If you’re already doing this, start researching. What supplements can you incorporate into your vitamin regimen that you aren’t taking? I take a multivitamin and fish oil faithfully. Occasionally, I will pop something else if I need it…for example, I take a B-12 those mornings that Elijah doesn’t sleep well [and I’ve been taking them more frequently lately since he is teething!] because B-12 gives you energy. But at the very least a multivitamin. Got that?? ;)
2. Start a food diary.
You may find that some foods make you feel tired, bloated, crampy, etc. If you can eliminate [or just severely cut back] foods that make you feel icky, your health will start to improve. You’ll notice patterns, things you can’t eat at certain times a day, etc. Believe me, cutting out the foods that make you not 100% is COMPLETELY worth the sacrifice!! Did you know that there are several things we may pass off as something we just must live with when there is really an underlying reason for it? For example, gluten gives me gas, bloating, headaches, body aches, and extreme fatigue! Imagine my surprise when I cut out gluten and these symptoms …that I thought were just because of a fast-paced lifestyle… disappeared completely! Just try it for a week.
3. Meal plan and stick to the good ol’ fashioned food groups
Baked chicken, a veggie, a salad, just balance your meal! Start cutting out those processed foods [white flour hamburger buns, frozen foods, etc.]. By meal planning and shopping for that plan at the start of the week, you’ll also cut out the temptation to just grab something quick from a drive through because you don’t have anything for dinner.
4. Keep your body energized all day long
You’ve probably heard people talk about eating five times a day. If you do this right [and not use it as an excuse to eat junk more often], you can actually lose weight. When I started eating gluten-free, I was discouraged and didn’t know of my options. So I would eat something small for breakfast [cottage cheese and a banana with a cup of coffee], but because I had eaten small, I was hungry by 10:30. So I would eat again. An apple, a cup of juice, a handful of almonds, etc. Then I would eat lunch at like 12:30, another snack at 2:30, and dinner at 5:30. I would eat small portions and only fresh ingredients and started to lose weight. I felt full, satisfied, and had energy to last.
5. Stay hydrated
Your body needs water. Headaches, body aches, and more can be the result of a dehydrated body. Plus, water gives energy. [Starting to see a theme?]
6. Stay active
I know this is hard. If you’ve got a full-time job working in an office, raising kids, are involved heavily in church, etc., trying to fit in exercise is tricky. And I haven’t worked out in a gym environment in about two years. But, like one of my college professors once said, plan to exercise. Park a little further away from the grocery store and walk a little extra, take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. These things won’t make you lose 30 pounds in three months, but they’ll help. If you just simply can’t get out of the house, rent a workout dvd. I do The 10 Minute Yoga Solution on Netflix. Its on streaming so I can do it whenever I want to.
I am no expert. I am just someone who feels better when I take care of my body. And I want to encourage you, friends, to do the same. Not only is it a biblical call, but don’t you want to feel better?? :) What are some ways you’re intentional to keep yourself healthy and feeling good?