Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

Take Care of Yourself

June 3, 2016

“I translate theology into English.”

Somewhere in a conversation, that thought occurred to me. I do that with technology, too.

Sometimes, though, we need to go beyond theology. We read about the great thinkers of the faith. Or the great leaders. We sometimes stop with what they wrote, or with saints, with the weird things they did.

I get annoyed. We don’t teach leaders how to take care of themselves. We don’t teach Jesus followers how to take care of themselves, either. Many of the leaders left traces of their lifestyles that would teach as much as their words.

Caregivers know, or soon learn, that they must take care of themselves and keep themselves healthy and balanced if they are going to be able to help others. “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others,” the flight attendant intones at the beginning of every flight.

Part of the message of Keven L. Meyer’s book, The Simple Leader, advises us to use the principles of Lean and Zen to take care of ourselves, too.

  • Simplify our environment–get rid of clutter around us and organize what’s left
  • Simplify our minds–get rid of the clutter there, too; learn to be aware of the present–where we are, people and things around us, sights/sounds, conversations, focus on what you’re doing
  • Simplify our nutrition–use Lean principles of reducing waste by eating healthy foods, not preparing or trying to eat too much–that is waste and we remove waste
  • Focus–on where you are right this moment
  • Focus–on one task at a time
  • Focus–on the other person in a conversation
  • Awareness–of what we eat, eating slowly with awareness of flavor and texture, eating foods that are good to our bodies and minds
  • Awareness–of the other person, what are they thinking and feeling (not my response)
  • Awareness–of our purpose and the type of person we want to be, and where we are right now relative to those

All of these impact the type of leader we will be–and the type of person we’ll become. Go and take care of yourself, too.

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.