Developing Eating Habits for a Long, Healthy Life
We Can Control What We Put Into Our Mouths
There are a lot of things that we cannot control in life. We cannot control the weather, the air that we breathe and we can’t control the people around us. But we can control what we put into our mouths. Many people don’t realize today the reason they don’t feel well and the reason they don’t have any energy. They’re dealing with headaches and allergies and sometimes even more serious, chronic illnesses, simply because of what they’re putting into their system everyday.
Americans lead the world in heart disease. We have more cancer here per person than any other nation. We are the heaviest country with more people overweight. Some of this is hereditary, but much of it is because of the poor habits that we’ve developed concerning eating and because of the food that we are choosing.
And a lot of times, we’re praying for God to give us a miracle. “God, I don’t feel well.” “God, I need more energy.” And “God, take away these headaches. ”
Well, we really don’t need a miracle; we need a lifestyle change. We need to develop better habits to take care of our temple.
One expert said, the food in America was designed to sustain life but it was not designed to sustain health.
A hundred years ago, we didn’t have the heart disease and the cancer that we have today. What’s changed? Our diet. We live off of much more processed, refined foods; foods that have chemicals and preservatives to make them last longer but they’re not necessarily good for us.
We’ve developed bad habits of eating junk foods, eating too much food, and not drinking enough water. All of these things can be harmful to us.
We can learn a lot about the benefits from healthy eating from Daniel in the Bible. He knew the importance of eating a healthy diet. When he was a young man, just a teenager, the king in that region told the officials to go find the strongest, healthiest, most intelligent young men to serve in the king’s court. And Daniel was chosen. The officials were instructed to feed these young men with the king’s rich, fancy foods and to give them plenty of wine. The king wanted them to be the strongest and healthiest as they possibly could be.
But Daniel was a breed apart. He served God with his whole heart. Because he knew some of those foods had been offered up to idols and knew many of them were not good for him, he told the official, “I don’t want to eat this food. Just give me fresh vegetables and water.”
The official didn’t know what to think. Finally, he said, “All right Daniel, we’ll let you try this for a little while. But in a few days, we’re going to see how you compare to these other young men.”
Ten days later, the Bible says, Daniel was stronger, healthier, and he ended up 10 times smarter than the other young men. Yes, he had God’s blessings and favor but he was also putting the right fuels into his temple. While the other guys were eating their donuts, and candy bars and junk food, Daniel was filling up on nutritious foods.
I wonder how much smarter we would be if we’d just start eating the right foods? I wonder how much more creative, more energetic, and more productive we’d be if we’d eliminate a few of the sugars and instead, start eating more fruit. Or, if we’d start snacking on nuts and raisins and give up some of the colas and candy bars. It worked for Daniel. I bet it’d work for us.
I read about a small group of islands called Micronesia, over in the Pacific Ocean, not too far from the Philippines. For hundreds of years, this one particular island was inhabited by natives. They ate the traditional Polynesian diet: fruits and vegetables, coconuts and fresh fish. And as you can imagine, their health was extremely well. Very rarely did they have any kind of sickness and disease.
But after World War II, they discovered that the land was rich in phosphates and all kinds of minerals. So these big companies from the West came over and started to harvest the minerals, causing the people to become extremely wealthy. So much so, they quit farming. They quit fishing. They no longer had to rely on their natural sources for their food, the land and the sea. They started importing canned foods, frozen dinners, bakery items, colas, and candy bars from all over the world. They were on cloud nine.
They replaced their fruits and vegetables with desserts and bakery items. White flour and sugar filled products became the main source for food. And as you guessed it, their health began to severely decline. They started seeing diseases that they have never seen before: heart disease, cancers, and tumors. Do you know today, sadly, one in three people on that little island suffer from diabetes. What’s the difference? Obviously what they’re eating. And the only way to reverse a curse like that is to go back to the source and start eating more healthy.
Decide today to take care of your temple. Don’t put things in that you know shouldn’t be in. Limit the sugars. Limit the caffeine. Drink more water. Eat more fruits and vegetables and don’t live off of these packaged lunchmeats. Eat more organic when you can. More baked and less fried.
I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get! I don’t want to get stagnant in life. I don’t want to come to a peak in my intelligence or a peak in my creativity just because I’m not putting the right nutrition in. I don’t want to be an old man falling apart. I want to be like Caleb; at eighty years old, and be able to say, “God, give me another mountain. Give me something else to do.”
I want you to be the happiest, healthiest, most prosperous people around. But you’ve got to do your part. Discipline yourself to make healthy choices. You may be fine now, but if you’re abusing your body later on it’s going to catch up to you.
That’s my prayer for each one of you. You can become all God’s created you to be. If you will make choices for your health and start developing better eating habits, then you’ll be just like Daniel and you’ll get stronger, healthier and wiser. You’ll even be better looking!