Posts Tagged ‘eating’

The Body As The Temple of the Soul

March 18, 2016

The apostle Paul loved sports metaphors. He often discussed training using the example of athletes.

He also talked about the body as a temple.

We need to take care of our bodies. We need to maintain the best health we can and be in the best shape we can. We’re not all going to be body builders or anything, but we can be fit within our limits, healthy within our limits.

It is hard to concentrate on prayer or study or to be of service to others if we are always tired. If our concentration is lacking due to poor nutrition. If we can’t sit up straight due to weak abs.

Check out leaders. Often they have plenty of energy and fitness.

I’ve been reading a lot lately on nutrition. Just finished a book that began as a great report and survey of science regarding how bad simple carbohydrates are for our bodies. We consume way too much sugar. High fructose corn syrup, a sugar substitute in processed foods and drinks, goes straight to fat. White flour–not good.

The author of the book warned readers in the beginning that his conclusion would be controversial. I thought, with this great science, how could that be.

Well, he left science behind. His transition was a page or so discussing the glycemic index.

That’s a measure of how fast carbs are digested. The slower, the better. Whole grains are better than processed simple carbs. He mentioned the science of this briefly. Then jumped immediately into non-science.

He said someone asked a paleontologist what our first ancestors ate thousands of years ago. He said, meat. Lots of meat, and then maybe whatever plants they could pull off and eat.

Voila–the paleo diet. Supposedly this is what our genes are built to thrive on.

But, wait a minute. There’s no science in this. It ignores the science of glycemic index. It also ignores our ancestors who learned to cultivate grains, built civilizations and cities, practiced art and engineering, and lived longer and healthier lives.

Mostly in America we eat way too much. The dual problems are too much sugar (which is in everything) and too much food.

Train like an athlete. Eat lean protein, complex carbs, plenty of water (maybe some with coffee brewed in it ;-), lots of vegetables. Get plenty of appropriate exercise–walking, running, weight lifting, Yoga or Pilates, etc.

Your energy will go up. Miscellaneous health issues will disappear–although unfortunately maybe not the bigger ones. But you’ll still feel better.

Take care of the temple of the soul. It will help your spiritual discipline. It will help your leadership.

Teach About the Whole Body

October 15, 2015

The Christian church, especially the Protestant tradition that I’ve grown up in, focuses almost exclusively on the “soul”. Most Protestant denominations, at least in the US, focus on salvation messages.

Thanks perhaps to Dave Ramsey, more and more churches are beginning to discuss money not in terms of law–you should give more money to the church–but in terms spiritual development. How you manage your finances is an important part of your overall spiritual focus and development.

I hear almost nothing about taking care of your body. This “temple of the soul” as Paul says.

It’s not like the Bible is silent on the issue. Many of the Mosaic laws are in reality health laws. Of course, like all religious laws they quickly get taken to the extreme and the initial reason lost.

There is the “Daniel diet” that has gone around. You know, when the Babylonian king picked a group of Hebrew young men to join his leadership academy, they asked to stay on a healthy diet rather than the foods rich in fat and sweet and alcohol. After a trial run, they proved to be more healthy than the others, so they were allowed their own diet.

If you take care of your body, you are in better shape to pursue your spiritual development.

Taking care of your body does not mean that there is no illness or physical debilitation. Some of that is unavoidable genetics. Some accident. 

All of us can be like Daniel and watch what we eat. We could be vegetarian or allow ourselves some meat. Either works. But eating more of your diet from plant sources, eliminating excess fat and sugar, eliminating sodas, eating until 80% full, drinking more water, dining rather than gulping down your meals (like I did last night proofreading some PowerPoint slides while eating) all work for the betterment of our bodies. We can practice this no matter what we have.

Even those who have physical challenges can get some form of exercise. For those who can walk, few things are better than long walks in nature. For those who can run–run. Resistance exercises like some form of weight lifiting build muscles and bone. Mind/body fitness like Yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates tone the whole body. Yoga is good for people with a number of chronic physical problems who can’t exercise any other way.

Lots of things contribute to our spiritual health. We need teach about mind, body, and soul so that we are fit for the race set before us.