A new year stretches before you with the opportunity filled with the potential to deepen your relationship with your heavenly Father and to increase your ability to fulfill the special plan He has just for you! You are more likely to fulfill that plan if you are spiritually and physically fit. How are you beginning the new year? Are you approaching it with a solid understanding of the nutritional requirements necessary for spiritual and physical vitality or are you randomly starting it without a deliberate dietary plan?
Physically you know that your body has specific nutritional requirements in order to function properly. When you stand on the scale and observe the weight that it records your response may be, “I surely have more than fulfilled those requirements in the past, and now it is time for me to get back on track with a plan for my nutritional intake”! Kelsey is going to give you great practical tips on how to take the steps to help you to do that.
An intentional spiritual dietary plan is as essential to your spiritual growth as a deliberate dietary plan is fundamental to your physical well-being. 1 Peter 2:2-3 teaches that “spiritual growth is marked by a craving and a delight in God’s Word with the intensity with which a baby craves milk. A Christian develops a desire for the truth of God’s Word by:
- remembering his life’s source (“the word of the LORD endures forever”—1 Peter 1:25).
- eliminating sin from his life (“laying aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy, and envy and all slander”—1 Peter 2:1).
- admitting his need for God’s truth (“as newborn babes”—1 Peter 2:2).
- pursuing spiritual growth (“that you may grow thereby” —1 Peter 2:2).
- surveying his blessings ( “Lord is gracious”—1 Peter 2:3).” (John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible (Nashville: Word: 1997), note at 1 Peter 2:2, desire the pure milk of the word.)
When you make sound nutritional choices you have the opportunity to dramatically reduce your risk for many health challenges. The same is true in your spiritual life—when you decide to ingest a regular diet of God’s Word, spiritual vitality results. According to Psalm 119, an excellent Spiritual Nutrition Guide, God’s Word is your . . .
- source of blessing (vs. 1-8).
- challenge to holiness (vs. 9-16).
- teacher(vs. 17-24).
- source of strength and renewal (vs.25-32).
- direction for life priorities (vs. 33-40).
- reminder of God’s unfailing love (vs. 41-48).
- comfort in suffering (vs. 49-56).
- portion (vs. 57-64).
- standard for correction (vs. 65-72).
- source of consolation (vs. 73-80).
- hope for revival (vs. 81-88).
- unwavering standard (vs. 89-96).
- foundation for wisdom, understanding, and insight (vs.97-104 ).
- direction for life (vs. 105-112).
- shield (vs. 113-120).
- surety (vs. 121-128).
- starting point for understanding (vs. 129-136).
- reference for pure counsel (vs. 137-144).
- response to cries for help (vs. 145-152).
- deliverance (vs. 153-160).
- basis for peace (vs. 161-168).
- reason for praise (vs. 169-176).
As you joyfully anticipate a new year, purpose, through our Lord’s strength, to improve both your physical and spiritual nutritional habits. Remember, the wise woman of Proverbs 31 understands her physical and spiritual nutritional requirements (Prov. 31:10-31). Kelsey’s timely information will assist you in practicing this biblical principle.
As believers and stewards of God’s resources, we should seek to honor God with our bodies by fueling it with the nutrients and support that the Creator intended (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Here are a few tips to help you as you strive to please the Lord this New Year with your diet.
- Use programs such as MyFitnessPal as an aid to understanding your body’s daily needs depending on your age, weight, gender, fitness level, and weight loss goals. Programs such as these help you learn to portion your food based on your body’s caloric needs, to choose foods that will meet your daily recommended nutrient intake, to watch your fat and sugar consumption, and to add exercise to your lifestyle. Although these programs can be a helpful aid, they easily can become an obsession if not guarded.
- Eat plenty of protein. Proteins help stabilize your blood sugar and give you a feeling of fullness that lasts, helping your body stay content longer on fewer calories. Choose complete proteins low in saturated fats such as chicken, eggs, or light cheese. Incomplete proteins, such as grains, legumes, and nuts/seeds, can also be paired together to make a complete protein. Some examples of paired proteins would be peanut butter toast, hummus and pita bread, and beans and brown rice.
- Don’t neglect to eat healthy fats. Choose unsaturated or short chain fats such as found in avocados, nuts, fish, olive oil, and coconut oil. Adding healthy fats to your diet will give your body a feeling of satiety after meals that will help curb cravings. Fat has 9 calories per gram while proteins and carbohydrates have only 4 calories per gram. Because of this caloric density, foods high in fats should be eaten in moderation.
- Watch your sugar intake. Eating too many sweets causes your blood sugar to be unstable, signaling to your body that you are hungry, regardless of your bodies true caloric needs. If you are craving sugar, try eating protein or foods with healthy fats to satisfy your appetite. Healthier sugars, such as fruit, are also a good option, as long as they are eaten in moderation.
- Load your plate with fiber-filling vegetables. Vegetables are very low in calories, high in nutrients, and packed with fiber that makes you feel full quicker and longer. Eating a larger portion of vegetables before any other component of your meal will help you fill up with fewer calories, promoting healthy weight loss.
- Give yourself a reward. Remember, healthy weight loss and dieting isn’t a quick fix—it’s a lifestyle. After a hard day’s work, reward yourself with a small treat, such as a dove dark chocolate. This treat should act as an incentive throughout the day to help keep you focused on a healthier lifestyle yet with room for rewards.
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
God has said, “Be strong and of good courage: do not be afraid, nor be dismayed. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Therefore I may boldly say, “Though I do not know what the new year holds I can rest in the understanding that God will give me what I need.”
A GIFT FOR YOU!
If you would like a sample chapter of The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook simply click on “Contact Pat” and make your request.
Blessings on your day as you focus on making your house a home!