Monday, March 19, 2007

Making Do on Monday: Cultivating Health

I have some thoughts on health in general today.

First of all, I think that a healthy diet is essential not just for our physical well-being but also for our mental and spiritual well-being. Eating good, wholesome food helps me to feel better overall, assisting me in my mood and everyday presence and state of mind. I don't know about some of you, but I feel that I get more done around the house and tend to be a better, more attentive mama when I have groomed myself first, so to speak. (IE, when I have brushed my hair, gotten dressed, scrubbed my face and mouth and have made a reasonable effort to make myself look lovely and well-put-together.) My diet is the same way. When I eat healthy foods, I feel better, and therefore usually do better.

A healthy diet is, in my mind, also an issue of responsibility. It is our responsibility as mothers, primarily. Our vocation is a very physical one; we nurse babies, grow them in our wombs and give birth to them. What we eat directly effects our children as well as our ability to be good mothers. It is also, in my mind, our responsibility to be healthy not just as mothers, but as Christians! We've been given these beautiful bodies by God, our Creator. It is up to us to maintain them, nourish them, to have reverence towards them.

Our children: They have been entrusted to us. These beautiful little children of ours are not just ours to guide in mind and spirit, but in bodies as well. Sure, the spirit is indeed more important than the body.. but we would be doing them a disservice by not trying to instill in them a sense of health, of good sense in food-intake, and by giving them junk left and right.

A healthy America: Unfortunately we live in a very obese country. Go against the grain! Raise healthy, strong children! A healthy body is not just effected by the consuming of foods but by the lifestyle we lead. Walk to places you can walk to. Stay active. Stay away from the TV. (I read somewhere a while back that watching TV actually decreases your brain cell production. Don't have any way of backing this up!) Weight control is not just a matter of keeping our bodies active but of keeping our minds active. Don't let your mind go squash! Cultivate it.. read a book, don't turn on the TV. If you can't stay still to read, then turn on your favorite edifying talk show... or a story-CD... educate the mind. Go into the burger restaurant instead of through the drive-thru... the list could go on! There are several lifestyle choices we can make day-to-day for our own health and for the health of our children.

Let me clarify what I mean by "healthy". Obviously to eat all-natural, organic foods would be the ideal. However, financially this is not an option for most of us at this point. The first step is simply eating whole foods: Real foods. Good, real, solid foods! What I think is irresponsible is to consistently eat junk food, fast food, TV dinners, etc. If you have the money to spend, treat yourself to shopping for the family at delightful stores such as Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and.. my favorite (because it's affordable and different)- Trader Joe's. If you are more strapped financially and are shopping at the cheapest place in town, just put the focus on real, simple foods in bulk.
Some examples of healthy foods would be... fresh vegetables. Whole grains. Real peanut butter. (Not sugary Jif or Peter Pan.) Whole Wheat bread. Rice and Beans. Pure juices (not ones that contain artificial flavors or sugar.) Yogurt. Olive Oil. Real cream for your coffee; not chemical-loaded "creamers" with artificial everything. Oatmeal. Honey. Etc.

In general, think PURE. Think REAL. Think low-sugar. Don't let the labels deceive you though! "Sugar Free" usually means that it's sweetened with chemicals instead... I could go on about what I think is healthy but this post is more about the importance of being healthy, not a how-to-be-healthy post! I've gone on long enough as it is... and now I'll spare you and stop lecturing/rambling on about what is one of my most passionate subjects, which is our health. Happy meal-times.

~Sia, Vancouver, WA


one of us :: 6:51 AM :: 2 Comments