The Daily Dietitian

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March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Get your plate in shape.”

March 9, 2012

They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior.  Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. Psalm 24:5-6

Try this for a quick, easy, and spring meal:

Load your plate with spinach leaves or mixed salad greens; top with sliced strawberries and mandarin oranges, sprinke with pecans or walnuts, drizzle with raspberry-walnut vinaigrette.  Yum!!!

March 8, 2012

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

Breads and grains are an important part of a healthy diet.  They provide fiber, energy  and many of the B vitamins necessary for using food as fuel in our bodies.  Whole grains are best so remember:  make half your grains whole.

March 7, 2012

Sometimes it helps to have a visual when determining portion sizes.  Below is a picture illustrating the proprotions you should have from each food group.  Does your plate look like this when having a meal?

March 6, 2012

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

We eat 92% of what we put on our plate (no matter what size plate we use), therefore the size of the plate matters.  Choose a salad plate or small dinner plate instead of the serving platter variety. Just as our food choices are important to health so are our portions.  We should eat when hungry and slow down to savor our meals. (Stats: Mindless Eating, Brian Wansink)

March 5, 2012

I have set my rainbow in the clouds… Genesis 9:13

How colorful is your plate?  Think rainbow as you think of all the colorful fruits and veggies there are and load up your plate with them.  Blueberries, eggplant, spinach, broccoli, kiwi, oranges, pumpkin, squash, lemons, strawberries, watermelon, radishes… Aim for 7 or more servings per day. 

March 2, 2012

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Are you aware of your mindless margin?  “What’s that,” you ask.  Each day there is a certain amount of food we consume that we aren’t even aware of – thus the concept of mindless eating.  For example, it happens when we eat in front of the TV, eat and multi-task, or nibble while we prepare a meal. The extra calories each day eventually catch up with our waistline and are revealed on the scales.  But, what if we could mindlessly eat less instead?  Stay tuned as we explore this idea in the days ahead.

March 1, 2012

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Get your plate in shape”.  So, how is your plate looking to today?

February 29, 2012

May the LORD bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Psalm 128:5

Often times, chips are a vehicle for eating dips.  So, why not make it a healthy dip?  Try the following with tortilla chips:  1 can northern white beans, drained; 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies; 2 cups leaf spinach, ½ tsp salt.  Put all ingredients in blender and mix well.   This recipe is low in fat and calories while being loaded with antioxidants that promote health.  Enjoy!

February 28, 2012

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7

Self-discipline.  Sometimes I question whether it exists in me.  But, clearly the Bible states that it does.  Perhaps it needs to be exercised to be strengthened, like most other good things in life.  In what ways can you practice self-discipline today?

February 27, 2012

Bible: Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Daniel 1:12

Bite: Have you ever considered fasting from some of your favorite indulgences?  Perhaps giving up caffeine or sweets for a week (or more) will help you have an accurate picture of how healthy your diet really is (or isn’t).  Give it a try.

Feb 24, 2012

The secret to changing eating habits…  Could this be the answer?

Feb 23, 2012

What’s the BEST diet?   Check it out

Feb 22, 2012

A new drug to treat obesity?  Check it out

Feb 21, 2012

Is ice cream addictive?  Check out this article

Feb 20, 2012
Bible: Let the wise listen and add to their learning,  and let the discerning get guidance. Proverbs 1:5

Bite: Check out this recent study that links diet soda consumption to increased risk of heart attack and stroke:
https://aom3.americaonthemove.org/~/media/99173B6AB5414C1388A8CC5E5E93A37E.ashx

It’s HEART week in honor of Valentine’s Day.  Each day will include something about our hearts – spiritually and physically.

February 17, 2012

Bible: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Bite: High levels of stress puts a strain on our heart.  Find ways to relax, reduce stress and keep a positive attitude. The health benefits may just put a smile on your face.

February 16, 2012

Bible: I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

Bite: Healthy weight is part of the picture of a healthy heart.  A healthy weight doesn’t guarantee a healthy heart, but is creates the best scenario.

February 15, 2012

Bible: Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:24

Bite: Aerobic exercise helps keep a heart strong and healthy.  Get moving for good health.

February 14, 2012

Bible: Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Bite:  Be sure to eat some salmon this week (and every week).  It’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which is great for the heart.

February 13, 2012

Bible: The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

Bite: According to The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Minute Maid Heart Wise juice is a wise choice.  Each 8 oz serving has 1 gram of plant sterols.  Two grams a day can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by roughly 10%.  

February 10, 2012

Bible: Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:17-18

Bite: Controlling our thoughts is essential to overcoming our struggles with making wise health choices. By filling our minds with His word, we gain power and run towards victory.

February 9, 2012

Bible: In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16

Bite: The evil one will hurl temptations and discouragement at us.  Faith is a powerful tool to overcome those obstacles.  Pray that God will help you grow in faith.

February 8, 2012

Bible: And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  Eph 6:15

Bite:  I like to envision that my favorite running shoes are part of my suiting up in God’s armor, especially when it comes to the battle of making consistent, healthy choices.

February 7, 2012

Bible: Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place. Ephesians 6:14

Bite:  Remember the truth about your identity in Christ and your purpose in Christ – a beloved child with calling to glorify Him.  Make healthy choices in an effort to feel your best and reach your potential.

February 6, 2012

Bible: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10-12

Bite:  Sometimes our struggles with food and health are the enemy’s attempt to distract us from God.  Be sure to suit up and find your strength and power in Him.  Stay tuned… tomorrow we’ll look at some of the equipment He’s given us.

This week: Five reasons NOT to diet

February 3, 2012

Bible: If you find honey, eat just enough – too much of it, and you will vomit. Proverbs 25:16

Reason #5: Diets often mean enduring foods you may not like… instead, focus on savoring the variety of God’s creation by eating slowly and stopping before full.

February 2, 2012

Bible: For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

Bite: Reason #4: God’s goal is not for us to be thin.

February 1, 2012

Bible:  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23.

Bite: Reason #3: The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor.  ~Author Unknown

January 31, 2012

Bible: But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2

Bite: Reaon #2 Dieting leads to preoccupation with food. 

January 30, 2012

Bible: The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”  Genesis 2:15-17

Bite: Reason #1  To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.  ~Mark Twain 

January 27, 2012

Bible: If you find honey, eat just enough, too much of it, and you will vomit.Proverbs 25:16

Bite: The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor.  ~Chinese Proverb

January 26, 2012

Bible: Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food…God saw all that he had made, and it was very good Genesis 1:29,31

Bite: Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.  ~Voltaire

January 25, 2012

Bible:  The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. Exodus 16:31

Bite: The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul, or we get fat.” — Albert Einstein

January 24, 2012

Bible: All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

Bite: Great eaters and great sleepers are incapable of anything else that is great.  ~Henry IV of France

January 23, 2012

(Note: This week, I’ll share a series of quotes — some funny, but all true.  Hope you enjoy!)

Bible: Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Psalm 51:6

Bite: “Don’t fall for gimmicks. The only tried-and-true way to lose 10 pounds in 48 hours is food poisoning.” Jason Gay, Wall Street Journal (online article, Jan 2012)

January 20, 2012

Bible: I give you all the finest olive oil and all the finest new wine and grain they give the LORD as the firstfruits of their harvest. Numbers 18:12

Bite: Finally, let’s look at the Mediterranean diet.  Most know for being rich in olive oil, it also includes other sources of good fats (nuts and fish), lean proteins, antioxidant laden fruits and veggies, and a moderate amount of wine. The diet (along with activity as a part of life) has been linked to a longer life and a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.

January 19, 2012

Bible: Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes its hard appearance. Ecclesiastes 8:1

Bite: As we continue examine the diets of other countries , we can learn from their successes.  Today, I’ll highlight the French lifestyle.  While they enjoy some rich foods, they also consume small portions and linger over meals.  Slowing down decreases the risk of overeating and allows time for fellowship with friends – an extra measure for reducing stress.  Additionally, walking is a routine and functional way of life, thus increasing physical activity while decreasing the amount of time spent engaged in sedentary activities.  

January 18, 2012

Bible: The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15

Bite: From the time of creation, we were created to work.  In Scandinavian countries, farm to table is a way of life still to this day.  Therefore, their diets are rich in plant foods and omega-3 fatty acids, with the added benefit of the activity needed to grow and harvest the foods.  Scientific evidence demonstrates that they are healthier in many regards, so let’ learn from their healthy lifestyle.

January 17, 2012

Bible: Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:17

Bite:  For the remainder of the week, I’ll share health habits of other cultures that experience lower levels of obesity and chronic disease.  I’ll start with Japan.  What’s working for them: they engage in the practice of eating until 80% full and live spiritual lives that include prayer and meditation to help reduce stress.  Low cancer rates are believed to be due to a high-fiber plant-based diet of rice, soy, cruciferous and sea vegetables, fruit, omega-3-rich fatty fish, and limited amounts of dairy and meat. They also value family connections, increasing a sense of belonging while lowering stress and risk of chronic disease.  (Source: Health.com via CNN)

January 16, 2012

Bible: But since we belong to the day, let us be self controlled. 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Bite: A healthy lifestyle is about our pattern of choices, not a single act.  So, just as a one-time overindulgence doesn’t lead to our doom and destruction, a single day of healthful eating won’t reverse all ill effects.  Instead, consider making small choices that you can maintain over a period of time.  You’ll begin to see the cumulative effects of making small changes.  Check out the link below to get easy ideas on how to cut 100 calories at a time.

January 13, 2012

Bible: For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will fill you with joy. Proverbs 2:10 (NLT)

Bite:  Between food industry marketing efforts, differing research findings, and an array of opinions, it’s often difficult for consumers to discern the truth in the field of nutrition.  For example, high fructose corn syrup gets a bad rap these days.  But did you know that a 12 oz soda made with HFCS has about the same amount of fructose as a medium apple? About 50 percent of the sugar in HFCS comes from fructose and the other 50 percent from glucose, so yes, there’s more sugar in the soda than the apple.  And yes, as Americans we consume too much sugar as a whole. But HFCS isn’t all that different from table sugar and it contains the same amount of fructose as agave nectar/syrup, a popular new sweetener.  I’m not condoning or condemning any sweetener.  Instead, I encourage you to not react so quickly to claims you hear in various places, but to do your homework and make decisions based on knowledge and wisdom.

January 12, 2012

Bible: Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

Bite: As a general rule, portion sizes in the U.S. are too large and lead to consuming excess calories. When eating out, consider a half portion or kids meal. Chick-fil-A just announced a healthier kids meal including grilled nuggets with a fruit cup or applesauce. Choose the 6 piece option with 1 percent milk and the meal comes in under 300 calories while packing excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and protein.

January 11, 2012

Bible: And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (Romans 12:1 NLT)

Bite: If you’re interested in long term weight loss, ditch the fad diets and look for one that focuses on a healthy lifestyle. U.S. News and World Report recently rated some popular diets currently on the market. Check out their ratings at: http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-healthy-eating-dietswww.eatright.orghttps://www.choosemyplate.gov/SuperTracker/default.aspx

January 10, 2012

Bible: “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. Daniel 1:12-13,15

Bite: I’m not sure about you, but I sometimes struggle to get enough vegetables and fruits in the winter. So, I’ve started experimenting with smoothies. Here’s a personal favorite (and my kids love it too!):

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup raw spinach
1 orange, peeled and cut
1/2 cup orange juice
Optional: sweetener to taste
Pour all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Try experimenting on your own too… I also enjoy a blend of carrots and applesauce.

January 9, 2012

Bible: God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. Genesis 35:10

Bite: Change can be a good thing. The American Dietetic Association, the world’s largest organization of nutrition professionals has changed their name. Now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the group will continue to promote health and nutrition based on scientific evidence and knowledge. Check out their web site at:

January 6, 2012

Bible: He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Bite: In the dieting world, there seem to be so many rules about food.  Don’t eat this, don’t eat that.  And what’s the deal with carbohydrates being portrayed as evil?  Jesus Himself is called the Bread of Life.  Carbohydrates supply us with the energy our body needs for daily living and the essential B vitamins needed to use that energy in our bodies.  So, make the most of your carbohydrate intake by choosing the complex ones and enjoy those breads, pastas, and grains without guilt.

January 5, 2012

Bible: Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Bite:  Did you know that the current Dietary Guidelines recommend eating three ½ cup servings of beans, peas, or lentils each week?  Not only are they a great source of fiber and antioxidants, they’re a great way to curb hunger while filling up on a lower calorie entrée (think: weight loss tip).  And, in the current economy, what a great to save money!  So, this week consider adding beans – hummus, soups, burritos, edamame, chili,etc.  Check out an online recipe web site for ideas.

January 4, 2012

Bible:  She gets up while it is still dark; She watches over the affairs of her household  and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31: 15, 27

Bite:  I’m not into endorsing products, but here’s something you may want to check out.  It’s an app for your iPhone or iPad that turns your workout into an outdoor adventure.  According to the web site for  the Virtual Active: BitGym Edition app, “Virtual Active transports you to 10 extraordinary locations ranging from the Swiss Alps to the Venice canals, ensuring that your workout will never be boring.” (Note: There is a free sample but the remaining scenes have a fee.)  The point: be creative in your exercising.  Although the winter months may pose a challenge to getting outside and enduring the cold weather, there are some creative ways to liven up the gym equipment.  Happy exercising!

January 3, 2012

Bible: So the wall was completed… in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6:15-16

Bite:  Are you allowing God to do a mighty work in your life?  Are you cooperating with His desires for you?  Are you willing to work hard to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle?  Jumpstart your day with prayer and exercise – you can even multi-task and do both at the same time. Find time today to add an extra 15 minutes of physical activity and listen for God’s guidance as you do.  Is He calling you to make a healthy change?

January 2, 2012

Bible: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Bite: The New Year is the perfect time to think about new habits – and how to form good ones.  Pick one thing to work on this week related to eating or exercise and start today!  Check out this new online tool for tracking goals, weight, nutrient content of food, etc.:

January 1, 2012

Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Psalm 34:8

Start each day with a healthy and delicious breakfast as a way to fuel up for the day and fill your mind with God’s goodness.  Here’s a quick and easy idea:

Apple Spice Oatmeal

Prepare plain oatmeal as directed (I use quick oats with milk in the microwave).  Once cooked, stir in 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice (or substitute cinnamon and other spices).  For a personal favorite (but optional) add golden raisins.  Enjoy!

2011: Join Registered Dietitian, Cindy Shufflebarger, each day as she shares information and inspiration to encourage you in your journey to a healthy weight. Click on the dated entry below to view the video of the day

12-31-11 Devotion

This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 NIV

Wherever you are today, I pray that you’re looking forward to what God has in store for 2012.  He is in the business of restoration and making all things new.  I challenge you to seek Him and allow Him to work in all areas of your life.  I, too, will be doing a new thing with The Daily Dietitian beginning tomorrow.  I hope you’ll join me.   Blessings for the New Year!

12-30-11 Devotion

Psalm 23: 1-3 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

I can’t think of a better way to enter a new year than to hang onto to these verses.  I pray that you let Him be your guide this year – in all things – and experience the richness of His peace and blessings.

12-29-11 Devotion

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.  Haggai 1:7

What better time of year to reflect on our actions and attitudes than the New Year?  So where are you?  Are you making the healthy choices you’d hoped?  Are you using food for fuel instead of comfort and other reasons?  I pray that we all stop and evaluate where we are in this journey.  Let’s consider our ways thoughtfully as we seek God best for our lives.

12-28-11 Devotion

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalm 103:1-2 NLT

Praise changes things.  It changes our thoughts and perspective.  It changes our attitude and actions.  I invite you to spend some time praising God for all His goodness – it will do your mind and body good.

12-27-11 Devotion

As we approach the New Year, I’m reminded of all the resolutions that will be declared.  Many will be related to weight loss.   And, yes, most of those will be executed with a diet… and the majority forgotten by March (or sooner).  I don’t say this to be a cynic or to discourage.  I say it because the statistics support it.  Most weight lost this year, will be regained.  Yet, we continue to try the same methods that are simply packaged differently.  My prayer is that this year, you’ll try something new.  I mean, really new.  Be bold and ditch the diet.  Instead, add one new healthy behavior at a time until it’s mastered, then add the next.  For example, set a goal to eat only when hungry.  Once you consistently adhere to this, add another such as a drink 8 glasses of water per day.  There are probably a hundred different ways to improve your diet and physical activity levels.  Make a list and start tackling them ONE at a time.  And remember to celebrate each success.  If you keep at it, you’ll be healthier by the end of the year without being overwhelmed by extreme changes, thus increasing your likelihood to maintain long term success.   Here’s to your health in the coming year!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

12-26-11 Devotion

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31

God wants us to succeed in making healthy choices.  He’s on our side.  And, although it’s an ongoing process that seems laborious at times, let’s not get discouraged.

12-25-11 Devotion

So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them. Nehemiah 8:12

May you hear the message and understand God’s precious gift today… and celebrate with great joy.  Merry Christmas!

12-24-11 The Gift

I am humbled today as I think about the birth of Jesus.  He arrived in a stable surrounded by the sounds and smells of animals.  In a city that was bustling with crowds and activity, no one made room for Him elsewhere. 

Yet, He came anyway. 

The same is true today.  He’s here in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life.  Are we making room?

When we make room for Him, we’ll experience peace in the busyness, satisfaction when all else is disappointing, and love and comfort that can’t compare.  I pray that you choose to open the gift from God this Christmas… and accept all that Jesus came to be.

Merry Christmas my friends!

12-23-11 Don’t Panic

Perhaps you’ve already been inundated with parties, treats and edible gifts… and Christmas isn’t even here yet.  You may even be scared to look at the scales.  But don’t panic. 

Instead, take action and get moving. 

Here are 5 ways to burn more calories each day:

  1. Whether it’s your cell or your cordless land line, only talk on the phone if you’re walking around.
  2. Take an extra lap around the store each time you shop.  If you’re like me and have made multiple last minute trips, think of all the calories you’ll burn.
  3. Reduce your stress and take the dog for an extra walk… if you don’t have a dog, take a walk anyway.
  4. While waiting for the batches of cookies to come out of the oven, walk up and down your stairs or through various rooms in your house… get double duty by making it a prayer walk.
  5. Dance to Christmas music each night for 20 minutes.

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-22-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-21-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-20-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-19-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-18-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-16-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-15-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-14-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-13-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-12-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-11-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-10-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-9-11

Daily Devotion 12-8-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-7-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-6-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 12-5-11

12-4-11 Devotion

“So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” The people replied, “We would never abandon the Lord and serve other gods.  Joshua 24: 14-16

Although it’s not pleasant to consider, are there other gods in our lives that we choose?  The god of comfort that condones laziness?  Or the god of self gratification that always wants the treats in lieu of fruits, vegetables, and healthy sources of protein?  What about the god of emotions that demands food for comfort?  Let’s remember who we really serve and make the choice to honor him with our actions.

12-3-11 Devotion

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.  Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 NLT

What do we hunger for?  Purpose, attention, acceptance, unconditional love, success…  Only God can fulfill those longings.  Yet, we sometimes turn to food for comfort when we’re frustrated or feeling lost.  God created us with physiological needs and emotional ones.  And He provides for us.  Let’s let Him take care of both instead of finding substitutes that leave us disillusioned and dissatisfied.

12-2-11 Devotion

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. 

I make unhealthy food and exercise choices when I’m tired or stressed. And, at the moment I’m feeling tired and overwhelmed by several situations in my life.  Thankfully, this passage encourages me.  I love the image of movement and strength.  The thought of soaring and running sounds therapeutic and exhilarating.  And so, I’m looking to God for my strength and energy.  As I renew my thoughts and attitudes, I know that my choices will follow.  I pray that you, too, find peace in comfort in our wonderful Lord.

12-1-11 Devotion

O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:1-3

What is your request today?  Nothing is too big or too small for God to handle.  During this season of expectation as we get closer and closer to the celebration of Christmas day, let’s be bold in approaching God’s throne of grace and mercy. Lay it all before him,  then wait with great expectation.

11-30-11 Devotion

Dear Father,

Please help me to honor you in all I say and do today.  Lord, give me the desire to make healthy choices so I may have a strong body, ready for your service.  Strengthen me and guide me.  May I reach the potential you have ordained for me.  May I experience you love and grace today as I sense your presence.  In Jesus name I pray, amen.

11-29-11 Devotion

“Jesus has diagnosed the pain of the world and written the book on its treatment.  We can trust him.”  Max Lucado

Do we really believe that the Bible has all the answers for our struggles?  I hope so!  His word is alive and active, it’s real and relevant, it’s wisdom and truth.  When we order our lives with God’s precepts, we’ll see change and victory.  It may not be easy, but it’s spelled out in Scripture. 

The question is: are we reading it, studying it and applying it to our lives?

11-28-11 Devotion

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Benjamin Franklin

Have a plan for the holiday festivities.  Consider all the things that derail your efforts to make healthy choices.  Busyness, stress, sleep deprivation, exposure to delectable foods – make a plan to reduce these distractions so you have less obstacles to overcome in making good decisions.

Remember, even if you’re not able to fully execute your plan, you’ll be closer to your goal by taking the first step.

11-27-11 Devotion

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you.  I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. Psalm 9: 1-2

Praising God is the best way to experience victory.  Whether you’re wrestling with discouraging thoughts or undesirable behavior, lifting your praise to the Father is the first step in making change.  The more you praise Him, the greater clarity you’ll have.  And as you focus on Him, your priorities and decisions will align with His.  Start and end your day by praising Him and look for the positive changes that follow.

11-26-11 Devotion

Thanksgiving through Christmas seems to be a month long feeding fest – the parties, the baking, and the family gatherings.  And with most Americans gaining 3-5 pounds during the holidays, the thought of losing weight is a little daunting. 

Keep this in mind when setting goals for this month.  Allow yourself some time to enjoy the food and festivities while striving for moderation and balance.  Perhaps weight maintenance is an appropriate goal during this month.  It’s about a lifestyle, not a diet.  And since the holidays come every year, experiment with what strategies work best for you so you know how to be successful in the years to come.  No one says you have to get it perfect on the first try. 

“Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.” Saint Augustine 

 

11-25-11 Devotion
Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil–this is a gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:19

Client 1has lost 50 pounds and is wearing their goal clothing size 8. They record and consider everything they eat to maintain the loss and often skip social events to avoid weight gain. Client 2 has lost 25 pounds (she now wears a size 10) which has resulted in more energy and improved health as indicated by lab values. She continues to enjoy favorite foods and balances her eating and physical activity. She is mindful of what she eats, but does not follow a strict diet or calorie limit.

So, who is most successful with their weight loss efforts? The answer depends on your goals and the lifestyle you desire.

In my opinion, client 2 is more successful because they are able to still enjoy eating and food instead having to constantly monitor it. I pray that you will consider what success looks like for you and allow yourself to enjoy life along the way.

11-24-11 Devotion

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy a day of food, family, friends, or other traditions. But mostly, I pray that you spend time reflecting and giving thanks. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1
11-23-11 Devotion

On the eve of Thanksgiving, I want to address an important concept (and hopefully) well developed practice in your life.

Balance.

Finding balance is a challenge for most people.  How do we balance celebration and moderation?  It is possible for the two to co-exist?

The thing to remember is that often we tip the pendulum one way of the other and then find some area of correction.  It’s rarely static.  With that in mind, remember that one meal will not necessarily spoil the big picture.  (Although it can leave you feeling stuffed and miserable.)

So, what should you do to find balance on Thanksgiving?  Start by making a general plan.  It’s important to celebrate and enjoy your food and fellowship on Thanksgiving. But make some decisions to help guide your choices.  Perhaps you won’t consider any foods “off-limits” but you’ll commit to having only one plateful of food instead of returning for seconds.  Or, another strategy is to limit liquid calories.  By drinking water instead other sweetened beverages, you can truly savor foods that are more satisfying.  Or, you may set some boundaries with sweets and plan to have one dessert instead of three helpings. 

Do what works for you.  But give it some thought so you can enjoy your day without regrets.  And remember:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. Psalm 92:1 NLT

 11-22-11 Devotion

Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. Psalm 119:18 NLT

Sometimes we’re too close to a situation to see the truth of our circumstances.  But, God can reveal His truth in varies ways.  What truths are you wrestling with today?  Is it the truth that you are a beautiful creation of His no matter what your shape or size? Is it the truth that you’re too busy to give Him your best and to properly care for yourself?  Is it the truth that food is a gift and you should savor and enjoy it?  Is it the truth that you spend too much time watching TV and filling your mind with worldly influences? 

None of these may apply to you… or all of them may.  The beauty is that God can show us His truth.  I challenge you to invite Him to work in your life as you pray for Him to open your eyes.

11-21-11 Devotion

What instruction is God giving you today?  Is He calling you to take action with your health behavior?  Perhaps He wants you to be more physically active.  Maybe He wants you to only eat when hungry instead using food as comfort.    

I encourage you to pray and ask Him to show you what He wants you to do.  He will answer through Scripture, the Holy Spirit prompting you, other people encouraging your or through your church.  Look and listen after asking.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

11-20-11 Devotion

Sometimes God’s instructions seem counter to worldly wisdom.  They don’t make sense.  As the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they had to first overtake Jericho.  But, instead of typical war tactics and strategies, God commanded them to march around the city blowing trumpets.  And their obedience yielded a victory. 

The idea of our relationship with God taking priority over our eating plan may sound odd.  Yet, our relationship with Him is the basis from which our decisions and choices will flow.  Pray that God will draw you near and give you a deep desire to honor Him with all aspects of your life.  May you experience victory as you choose obedience to His word and ways.

Joshua 6

11-19-11 Devotion

God’s ultimate desire for us is not thinness – it’s a close, personal relationship with Him.  The time the Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness was a time of discovery and growth.  Although they would have set backs, God continued to reveal Himself to the people.  Likewise, God is more interested in our personal growth and devotion to Him.  If we’re so consumed by our desire to be thin, we’re distracted from our ultimate purpose.  Of course God wants us to be healthy. When we are, we feel better and are better able to reach our full potential.   But He wants to be our first priority.  Let’s not lose sight of that.

His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:27 NLT

11-18-11 Devotion

After the Israelites were set free from 400+ years of captivity by the Egyptians, where were they?  Were they immediately transplanted in the Promised Land? 

No.  They were free but they weren’t at their final destination.  They still had to travel to get there.  Along the way, they’d see God’s power and glory (think: parting of the Red Sea, manna, water from a rock…) yet they’d lose focus and faith, choosing to whine and complain instead.  And so, there was growing that needed to occur during that journey. 

Are you and I really that different?  We have freedom in Christ, yet we wander, lose our focus and complain to God that this journey is difficult. Let’s learn from the Israelites – what should have taken 11 days became 40 years of wandering for them.  Cling to God and His word and ways and perhaps we’ll make it to our promised land a little sooner than they did.

See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him. Exodus 23:20-21

11-17-11 Devotion

I find that our natural inclination is to want a prescription for how to lose weight.  We want to know what we should eat and what we shouldn’t eat.  We want rules.  We want each day planned out.  Yet, we struggle with rigidity.  Then we break the self imposed rules and plan and begin the ever present cycle of the war within. 

What if I told you that you could be free from all the rules and still lose weight? Would you want it? Would you be willing to leave behind your old beliefs about food, weight and your body? Do you believe it’s possible?  We’ll explore this in much greater detail over the next few days, but begin by pondering on this verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge Him and He make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

11-16-11 Devotion

Did you know that our bodies are designed to work? That might not be a pleasant thought to some, but it’s the truth.  We have approximately 640 muscles and 206 bones.  And God intended man to work in the garden of Eden – to take care of it.  Unfortunately, after the fall of man, we were destined to a life of toil and hard work.  Yet, how many of actually experience that today?  Most of us lead fairly sedentary lives.  And in order to get enough physical activity we have to make a conscious decision and effort to do so.  Today, I challenge to increase you level of activity.  Whatever you’re currently doing, find ways to increase the amount of times, number of days or intensity of the activity.  As physical activity increases, we feel better, sleep better, stress less and manage our weight better.  Make the decision to be better today!

A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway.  Proverbs 15:19 NLT

11-15-11 Devotion

As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. Psalm 119:143 NLT

What do we do when we’re stressed?  Do we eat comfort foods? Do we overeat?  Do we eat even though we’re not hungry?  Do we stop exercising because we’re too busy?  Do we sit in front of the TV like zombies because we’re too overwhelmed to function? 

The decisions we make when we’re stressed are critical to how quickly we move back into a place of peace and joy.  Healthy food choices and exercise relieve stress.  Productivity and proper rest reduce stress.  Seeking God’s truth and promises help us adjust our focus and perspective… resulting in joy and comfort.  I challenge you to be mindful of the decisions you make when you’re stressed.  Plan ahead if you know you’re going to have a stressful week.  Have a friend that checks in periodically so you can break the cycle stress.  Keep Bible verses readily available to encourage you when you start getting stressed.  Most importantly, seek God daily, and you’ll be less likely to slip into the cycle of poor choices due to stress.

11-14-11 Devotion

‎”The Lord does not look so much at the magnitude of anything we do as at the love with which we do it” ~Teresa of Arila (1515-1582)

A friend shared this quote and I can’t help to think of the many applications in life that it has… including our health and lifestyle choices.  In our many efforts at weight loss, God does not see us a number on the scale.  He sees us as His beautiful creation and child.  Let’s free ourselves from being defined by such measures.  Instead, look to the ways in which we honor and glorify Him.  How do we demonstrate our love to Him?  When it beccomes about loving Him, it’s easier to make the wise choice.  I pray that you’ll consider your motives.  Are your efforts about your image and personal weight goals or are they an expression of your love for Him?  When our hearts and motives are in the right place, our actions will be quicker to follow.

11-13-11 Devotion

And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.  Genesis 2:3

Rest.  Sometimes we’re so busy that we forget our need for rest.  Yet, the reality is that although we’re created to work, God also built in a need for rest.  We need it physiologically.  We need it mentally and emotionally.  Appropriate times of rest and refreshment can actually increase productivity.  And lack of sleep can result in hormone shifts that increase appetite and eating.  So, remember to make time for rest, including adequate nightly sleep and rest from the busyness of life.  It can have an lasting impact on your health.

11-12-11 Devotion

Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:11-12

Life often requires endurance.  Keeping the commitment to make healthy choices is no different.  There are days when we don’t feel like it.  But, God can strengthen us when we ask.  But perhaps you don’t even feel like asking.  There are times that we want to continue in our old ways instead of making positive change.  If that’s the case, I challenge you to ask Him to give you the desire. 

If you already possess the desire, ask Him strength and encouragement? And remember, to always give thanks.  We are His children and have access to all His benefits as such.  Keep making the right choice even when it’s hard.  Put one foot in front of the other and you’ll make progress in this journey.  Be strong in Him and you will experience the joy and delight of His victory!

11-11-11 Devotion

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’” Job 37: 5-6

Today, I pray that God will do a mighty work in your life.  May He draw you near to Him and reveal His perfect ways.  May you be filled with His Spirit and experience His great power… whatever your needs may be.

11-10-11 Devotion

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

As a health professional, I believe that physical fitness is essential.  Healthy eating is essential.  They impact the way we feel, think and live.  Yet, we can become so consumed with our health behavior that we become imbalanced in our approach to life.

God should be our first priority – loving Him, serving Him, honoring Him, seeking our purpose in Him.  In our quest to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, let’s not lose sight of this important truth.  Let our efforts to stay healthy honor Him, not overshadow Him.

11-9-11 Devotion

Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”  “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:29-34

Esau’s birthright was a double portion of the family inheritance and the honor of becoming the family’s leader.  Yet, he gave it all up for the temporary satisfaction of a bowl of stew.

Let’s not be as short sighted as Esau and give up our health, peace, or self worth for something as temporary as a tempting food.

11-8-11 Devotion

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5

God blesses us with good food.  He provides in abundance.  Yet, He also offers boundaries.  As we dine with Him at His table, we can be secure and enjoy good health.  What does this mean practically?  We need to eat for the primary purpose of nourishment and fuel for our bodies – eating when hungry and stopping at comfortably satisfied, not stuffed.  Use today to focus on eating for the right reasons, but enjoy what you eat.

11-7-11 Devotion

Our final foe is the enemy.  The Bible tells us that Satan is prowling around looking for someone to devour.  How does he do that with food and dieting?  He wants our thoughts consumed by things other than God.  So, when we’re obsessed about a diet or our bodies, we’re crowding out room for God… one point for the enemy.

Prayer, memory verses, and daily quiet time with God are a great defense. But, don’t get discouraged if you feel like you get distracted.  Redirect your thoughts and get back on track… focused on God.  He is your strength and shield.

Do not be afraid… I am your shield, your very great reward. Genesis 15:1

11-6-11 Devotion

Yesterday, I mentioned that in addition to our flesh, we’re fighting against the world in this battle of maintaining a healthy weight.  This happens in a variety of ways.  Our lifestyles are much less active than in the past, while food and portions continue to grow.  We’ve moved away from well-balanced, plant-based meals and have allowed the fast foods of the world to enter our homes and bodies too often.   We believe the air brushed images on magazines and measure our self worth by our size and outward appearance. 

Although these aren’t the only issues, it’s clear that our environment isn’t entirely conducive to living a healthy lifestyle.  Instead we have to make a conscious decision and work diligently at it.  It doesn’t just happen.  We have to fight for it.

But, be encouraged:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  2 Corinthians 10:3-4

Let’s use God’s weapons as we fight the war.  Trust that He’s on our side and He wants us to succeed.

11-5-11 Devotion

In this journey to a healthy weight, we battle three things: our flesh, the world, and the enemy.  Our fleshly battles include cravings, desires for comfort, habits, laziness, and a long list of other items.  We see in Matthew 26:41 that our spirit and flesh are often in disagreement (the spirit is willing, but the body is weak).  And so, we need to be armed with weapons to subdue our fleshly desire.  This starts with prayer, but needs to include God’s truth and His very word – the Bible. I encourage you to post Scripture and healthy reminders in places where you struggle with temptation – at your desk, on the refrigerator, in the pantry, on the remote control (to encourage you to do something physically active instead).  Our temptations vary because we’re unique.  Identify your weaknesses and find what works for you.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

11-4-11 Devotion

Are you someone plagued by cravings?  Maybe it’s the mid-afternoon slump that leaves you longing for vending machine munchies.  Or perhaps it’s the before bedtime snacks that call out to you.   If so, take note.  Specifically, take note of the time of day when cravings most often strike. Often times, they are routine and occur at approximately the same time each day. 

After determining problem times, find an activity that prohibits eating and engage in that activity during the 1-2 hour window around your craving time.  Consider taking a walk or meeting a friend at the park.  Go to the library. Commit to do chores or help a neighbor.  Brainstorm ideas on how to occupy that time with non-food activities.  Break the cycle and over time, you’ll likely experience a decrease in cravings.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

11-3-11 Devotion

 

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

God calls us from our darkness.  Darkness can manifest itself in many ways in respect to how we approach our health.  We may not want to see our behavior for what it really is, so we ignore it or rationalize it.  We may not want to change our behavior, so we make excuses for it or willfully turn the other way.  We may not realize how our choices are impacting us so we continue in our naivety. We continue in the darkness.

Yet, God can shed light on our circumstances.  He wants to bring us out of darkness into His light.  Although the brightness can be a painful, revealing experience, it ultimately leads to healing and health – both physically and spiritually.  I pray that you’ll invite God to shine His light into your life and reveal ways to improve your health habits.  And, may you praise Him for the drawing you closer as you celebrate His goodness.

11-2-11 Devotion

Don’t be fooled by the ridiculous claims.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Losing weight is hard work.  (Of course, I realize that message won’t sell any books.)  It takes diligence, self control, patience, perseverance and effort to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off.  BUT, don’t let that discourage you.  God is on our side.  He wants us successful in being healthy.  He wants up to feel good and energetic.  So, you can expect that He will encourage and guide you.  The secret is that His encouragement and instruction comes from His Word – the Bible.  If you need a good place to start, begin reading the book of Proverbs.  Try a chapter each day and make notes of how He give practical tips for living. 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in the righteousness.  2 Timothy 3:16

11-1-11 Devotion

We hear so much in the media about weight loss.  But what is the truth?  Carbs… yes or no?  Protein… how much is too much?  Eat this food.  Don’t eat that food.  Take this supplement. Eat only while standing up.  Only eat green food on Wednesdays between 12:00 and 2:00. 

Ugh!!!

The truth is that to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume.  Period.  No magic. No shortcuts.  No other way, short of an act of God.  Yet, there’s a plethora of claims that are contrary to the truth. 

As individuals, the techniques that are successful may vary.  Yet, the truth remains that we have to offset the energy balance equation to evoke a change on the scales.

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.  John 8:32

10-31-11 Devotion

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”  2 Peter 1:3-9

10-30-11 Devotion

Today, our pastor preached on the story of David and Goliath and summarized the types of giants we face based on this particular passage of Scripture.  He highlighted three – relational, expectations, and obstacles. 

Our giants related to a healthy weight really aren’t that different.  Often times there are relational issues that either cause or exasperate our struggles with food intake and physical activity levels.  Likewise, the expectations of others – defined by TV, culture, or others’ opinions – as well as our own unrealistic expectations can add stress to our lives and make it difficult to make healthy choices.  Finally, there’s a lengthy list of obstacles – jobs, living conditions, busyness, finances, etc. – that influence our health behavior.

Yet, we see that David, even though he was the unlikely hero, defeated Goliath. 

How? 

Equipped with a few rocks and the God’s strength. 

Let’s not let our giants overwhelm us.  Instead, let’s use our available resources, exercise faith and obedience as seek God’s direction and wisdom.

David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him. 1Samuel 17:32 

10-29-11 Devotion

I struggled to get out of bed.  It was dark, rainy, and cold.  My bed was warm and comfy.  Yet, I heaved my feet to the floor and stood.  As I prepared for a run with my training team, I questioned my sanity. 

As I went to the computer to print the route for the morning, I was desperate for a word of encouragement.  So, I clicked on a Bible verse site to check out the word of the day, and I delighted in what I read: 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Romans 12:1

This run certainly ranked sacrificial in my book.  More importantly, I was reminded that it would serve as an act of worship.  Perhaps that’s not the exact context of the verse, but making healthy choices honors God.  At a time when I’d rather climb back in bed, I chose to offer my choice to exercise to God.  A small offering, but one reflective of my heart.  Denying my flesh is never easy, yet He strengthens me.  And at the perfect time and in His perfect way, He encourages me as He did this morning with His Word.

Be encouraged in this journey to a healthy weight.  And remember, you can worship Him with your choices.

10-28-11 Devotion

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

God did not create us to be all one shape and size.  He created you to be uniquely you.  This includes your personality, interests, abilities and appearance. 

Our worth should be measured by God’s standard, and that’s the condition of our heart.  Are we seeking to honor Him?  Are we serving Him and loving others?  Do our thoughts and actions bring honor and glory to Him?  Do we trust in Him and life a live of faith? 

These are the things that are pleasing to Him, so our time is well spent investing energy here.  Yes, we need to physically fit and healthy to live out our greatest potential in Him, but let’s make sure that we’re determining our worth through Him, not the expectations and definitions of the world.

 10-27-11 Devotion

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

As the year begins to wind down, I want to review the topics from the beginning of the year.  I’ll start with our identity. 

Throughout Scripture, we’re reminded that we are children of God.  Therefore, we are also loved and accepted by Him.  This is our true identity.  Not our appearance, size or shape. 

We need to remember this core foundation in order to be truly successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.  Otherwise, we do it for the wrong reasons and we’ll relapse.  It’s a hard enough journey – let’s not add an unstable foundation to the list of challenges.

You are a beautiful creation.  Bask in His love and truth.

10-26-11 Devotion

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.  Romans 8:12

What a powerful verse!  We have no obligation to our sinful nature.  We don’t have to respond to it.  We have freedom to choose God’s power and Holy Spirit in us.  I know that sounds easier than it really is, but I hope you’ll consider it. 

Think about what it really means.  We have a choice about every action we take. We choose to get up and exercise or sleep in a little later.  We choose to indulge in a second helping or find contentment in the first. We choose whether we balance our day with healthy food choices or tip the scales towards the frivolous. 

At times, I have found it helpful to release an audible “no” when wrestling with temptation.  Even better, is when I follow it with a verse from Scripture… and this is a great one!

Remember, every action is a choice.  And, according to this verse, we have no obligation to give in to the temptations of our flesh.  I hope this empowers you.  I hope it encourages and motivates you. Be strengthened knowing God is on your side.

10-25-11 Devotion

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit. Romans 8:9a

Remember, you belong to the Lord.  There’s a long list of benefits that come with this title. (See Ephesians 1:3-14 for a few of those benefits.)  There are also some responsibilities.  We should honor God with our bodies as we prepare ourselves for service to Him.  We need to be prepared to carry out His calling for us.  And, being prepared means seeking excellence (not perfection).   Let’s go the extra mile and remember that we’re filled with the Holy Spirit – His power, His strength, His goodness – so let it show in all we do.

 10-24-11 Devotion

The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  Romans 8:7-8

The ultimate dilemma for those who struggle with food is the necessity that we have for it each day.  We can’t abstain from food.  We have to have it to sustain life.  We even have a physiological response – hunger – that reminds us of our need.  So, are we supposed to deny our flesh? 

No.  We need to acknowledge our hunger and respond appropriately with healthy food choices and actions.  This includes eating slowly enough to know when we’re full and stopping at that time.   The problem comes when we believe that we must have certain foods in order to be satisfied.  Our mind is then led by our flesh, faulty thinking ensues, and we make choices that are contrary to maintaining good health.  The reality is that adequate caloric intake (whether it comes from an apple or cookies) will satiate our physical energy needs (though not all nutrient needs).  Yet, there are cravings, feelings, and thoughts that leave us longing for more.  We need to be careful that we don’t let these fleshly desires overrule our commitment to health. 

Remember, it is pleasing to God and honors Him when we make wise food choices and take care of our bodies.  I pray that you’ll see it as a privilege instead of a duty.

10-23-11 Devotion

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  Romans 8:6

Death vs. life.  It sounds like an easy choice.  Yet, we struggle. 

Our minds are powerful and what we feed them determines how well they work.  I challenge you to fill yourselves daily with the Word of God.  Read it.  Meditate on it.  Saturate your thoughts with it.  There is power in it that results in a peace that is beyond our understanding.

10-22-11 Devotion

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Romans 8:5

Where our minds go, so we go.  So, what are we focused on?  Are we focused on God’s strength and goodness or are we focused on our fleshly desires?  Our flesh screams for comfort and ease.  So how often do we give in? 

We need to remember the importance of rest and recreation.  God tells us that there’s a time for both.  Actually, we need daily rest in the form of sleep.  When we forfeit sleep, our minds struggle to focus and the battle worsens.  Sleep is an important factor in the health equation.  It’s that rest that restores our physical bodies and equips us for exercise and mental acuity. 

We struggle in our choices when we’re sleep deprived, so let’s not deny our bodies of this need for the sake of busyness. Rest. Then choose to live in the Spirit.

10-21-11 Devotion

When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. Romans 7:5 NLT

I hate diets.  They work to produce weight loss, yet they don’t.  What do I mean by that?  Diets are not successful in yielding long term success.  Most everyone gains back the weight (and then some) that is lost as the result of the diet. 

Here’s the abridged version of my theory on why that happens:  Diets have too many rules and restrictions.  Eat this, don’t eat that.  Count this calorie and that point.  Don’t eat after a certain time and only eat this specific combination of foods.  Rules, rules and more rules.  But God didn’t give us any of those rules about food.  He supplied our needs with an abundance of variety.  He even wants us to enjoy them.  So, diets create the whole “forbidden fruit” scenario setting us up to want what we perceive we can’t have.  These food laws (aka diets) increase our desires for more food. 

God wants us to experience freedom in Him.  Instead, we find ourselves consumed by food.  Let’s seek the freedom He’s given us as we remember that we’re no longer controlled by our old nature.

10-20-11 Devotion

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:8

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t like to think about consequences when I’m eating.  And, why should we?  Really, how will one meal produce a lasting, negative outcome?  While there’s some truth in that, it’s risky thinking.  One meal becomes two; two becomes three; and before we know it, we’ve developed a habit.  The problem with eating habits is that sometimes it takes years before the consequences emerge, yet, then it’s difficult to reverse the effects.

I pray that you’ll invest in your future by making healthy choices today.  God will bless your efforts.

10-19-11 Devotion

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24

How often do you stop and remember that you’re a child of God?  There’s power in that simple act.  Because as we focus on our identity we come to realize the power we have in Him.  That, of course, doesn’t mean that everything is easy for us, but it means that it’s possible in His power. 

Be encouraged today that you have the power of the Holy Spirit residing in you and the fact that you are a new creature in Christ.  Leave behind the fleshly desires of the past as you look forward to freedom in Him for the future.

10-18-11 Devotion

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh. Galatians 5:13a

God has given us an abundance of food for our nourishment and enjoyment.  The variety is huge – consider the tastes, textures, combinations, food groups, and even colors.  He’s even given us the freedom to choose knowing that by eating a variety our physical needs will be met.  But, we need to remember not to abuse that freedom.  We step out of bounds when we use food to satisfy emotional needs or when we constantly succumb to our cravings.   Let’s remember that our freedom is in Christ and not sacrifice or starve our spiritual selves by stuffing our physical bodies.

10-17-11 Devotion

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:3-5

We all have fleshly cravings.  They begin as thoughts and feelings, but later result in actions.  However, the Bible tells us that we don’t have to succumb to them.    Although it’s difficult, God gives us the power to resist when we seek Him and are filled with His Spirit.  Today, let that describe who we are.

10-16-11 Devotion

For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.           1 John 2:16

How immersed are we in the world?  How does the world influence our healthy behaviors? 

Here’s a short list formed after brief thought:

  • It draws us to watch TV, spend time on social media, and web based entertainment, robbing us of time to devote to physical activity.
  • It necessitates fast food options because we’re so busy and overscheduled.
  • It encourages us to hire house cleaners (further reducing our activity levels) because our homes are large and our time is not.
  • It tells us we can have our cake and eat it too.
  • It encourages us to live by our feelings and desires instead of considering consequences.
  • Etc, etc, etc.

We’re inundated with signals from the world that are seemingly benign but are really causing havoc with our weight.  Our challenge is to stay focused on God to minimize the effects of the world.

10-15-11 Devotion

Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?  Galatians 3:3

Do you ever try to take matters into your own hands?  Maybe it’s not intentional.  Maybe it happens because we’re used to being independent and self-sufficient.  However, in God’s economy, those traits produce less than desirable results.  It’s only when we’re operating in the Spirit that we find true success.  And here’s the most important part to remember:  it’s a daily, hour by hour walk in the Spirit that yields lasting results.  We can’t be hit or miss and expect great things.  Great things only come from Him, not the work of ourselves.

If you’re struggling with a season of relapse or just getting started, remember that a relationship with Christ is the key ingredient.  Seek Him first every day and the rest will follow.

10-14-11 Devotion

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.  John 6:63

In God’s economy, the flesh counts for nothing. Yet we struggle with our flesh everyday.  How often do we want to make the right choice, but don’t feel like doing it.  I’ve tried to be attentive to how often this occurs in my day.  Some days it’s too numerous to count. But God assures us that it’s worth our while to deny our flesh and there is great gain for living in the Spirit.

Oh how quickly we forget that the Spirit gives life.  Let’s be Spirit led and Spirit fed as we seek to overcome our flesh.

10-13-11 Devotion

My alarm sounded and my fleshed screamed to stay in bed.  I didn’t want to get up.  It was raining.  My bed was warm.  But, just the night before, I had renewed my commitment to getting up a little earlier to do my Bible study and prepare for my day.  I hit the snooze button and said a quick prayer.  I hit the snooze button again and said another quick prayer.  Finally, I determined to drag myself out of bed.  I was up and working on my study.  Next, I was off to the computer to write a devotion.  I had been struggling with what to write about, but had an a-ha moment.  The struggle of our flesh… why hadn’t I seen it earlier?  As I began to explore this idea in the Bible, I discovered that there are 20+ passages that spoke to the issue.  Obviously, it’s important to God and he knows we struggle with this. 

I was delighted to make the discovery.  But here’s best part:  God rewarded my efforts to deny my flesh immediately.  Perhaps to make a point with me.  But whatever the case, He gave me material on the very issue with which I struggle.   Once I was obedient to His leading to get out of bed and begin my quiet time with Him (even though I didn’t want to wake up), He supplied what I had been asking.  He was waiting for me to take that step despite the discomfort it caused and make the effort to choose Him.

My prayer is that each day, we’ll commit to doing the right thing – whether it’s related to exercise or nutrition –even when it’s not comfortable.

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Matthew 26:41

10-12-11 Devotion

Our flesh is in direct opposition to what’s best for us.  Yet, denying our flesh is hard.  It wants more rest, more food, more comfort… But, we’ll be blessed when we choose God’s ways over our fleshly desires. 

We will explore this truth over the next several days.  I pray that you’ll ponder the follow verse and ask God how it applies to you today.

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. Galatians 5:17

10-11-11 Devotion

How is it that so many of our thoughts are consumed by what we’re going to eat?  We make grocery lists, we plan our meals, we make dinner plans with friends, we keep menus in our desk drawer for an emergenc y take-out meal.  It seems that much of our lives revolve around food.  And, rarely do we skip a meal. 

Yet, how often do we focus on spiritual food – specifically God’s Word.  Do we rush home so we can read our Bible, or keep one tucked in the car or office so we can refer to it throughout the day?  Are we quick to seek guidance from the Bible or plan our week according to it? 

Our spiritual, mental, and physical beings operate in tandem.  When one is neglected the other areas show signs of weakness as well.  Let’s not forget our spiritual nutrition – it’s the foundation for our health.

For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.  John 6:33

10-10-11 Devotion

As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go meet with God?  My tears have been my food day and night.  Psalm 42:1-3

Do we seek God to satisfy our thirst and desires?  Do we long to spend time with Him everyday or is He crowded out of our busy lives?  He’s calling and patiently waiting for us.  When we show up with expectant hearts, He fills us with His good things.  Don’t miss out on His power in your life today.

10-9-11 Devotion

I was reminded today in the sermon that we are created for a purpose — a God given purpose. As I pondered that thought, it also occurred that Satan doesn’t want us to achieve that purpose. He wants to derail us.  And he does so through a multitude of tactics - worry, stress, busyness. He also lures us away from God as we become consumed with worldly things such as money, success, maintaining our image, food, comfort, and even laziness. He will use anything to distract us.

My point — let’s not letting healthy eating and exercise trump our relationship with God. Are they important?  Absolutely.  But, in our effort to please God let’s not become so consumed by our health choices that we place that goal above spending time with God.

Finding balance can be tough, but when we seek Him first, other areas of our life can take their proper place.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33

10-8-11 Devotion

“The reason the Israelites spent 40 futile years wandering in the wilderness was not that God could not give them victory in Canaan. He could have easily done that. However, God took them into the wilderness for 40 years in order to establish a proper relationship with them.” (Henry Blackaby, Spiritual Leadership)

Where are we in our relationship with God?  Is He wanting to first draw us closer to Him before we experience victory in this struggle with health behavior and weight?  Is He our first priority?

He ultimately wants a relationship, not results.  I pray that we seek Him each day!

 

10-7-11 Devotion

While we’re on the topic of fasting, let’s look at some numbers and examples.  If you were to give up 30 minutes of television per day and substitute that time with brisk walking, you’d burn an extra 150 calories and possibly avoid additional calories that you might have consumed while watching TV. Daily, this equates to a 16 pound weight loss in one year! It amazes me that one small change can have such a large impact.

Or, instead of eating a cup of ice cream before bed each night, you reduced it to 1/2 cup. You’d save 160 calories equating to 17 pounds lost in a year.

Small changes over time can add up to significant benefits. Is there something from which you’d be willing to fast in an expression of devotion to God? If so, I encourage you to act.  He will bless your efforts in more ways than one.

10-6-11 Devotion

Once again, I’m reminded of the practice of fasting. Not necessarily the act of giving up food, but the decision to give up something that distracts us fromGod.  Although we shouldn’t use fasting in an effort to manipulate God, it certainly is a practical way to draw closer to Him. When we remove distractions and focus on Him, we can align our will and priorities with His.

So, what does this have to do with a healthy weight?

Sometimes we believe that we don’t have time to exercise or eat healthy. Our perception is that it requires more time than we have. Yet, the reality is (at least in  my life) that if I’m completely honest, there are wasteful times sprinkled through my day.

If this is the case, I hope you’ll reclaim some of that time by fasting from frivolous activities that consume your time and interfere with choices that honor God.

She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Luke 2:37

10-5-11 Devotion

So, you had a bad day. You went to the fair and had a philly cheese steak, fried oreos, and some cotton candy. Oops, and some funnel cake. Do you jus t give up on the rest of the week? Do you beat yourself up and remind yourself that you failed again?

It’s never too late to try again. God extends His grace when we come to Him with the right attitude. Let’s not relive our past mistakes. Instead, run to Him for His direction and encouragement. Ask Him to give you a heart for healthy living and a strong desire to take care of the temple of the Holy Spirit – your body. He’s always ready for our return. Let’s not delay taking action!

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

10-4-11 Devotion

As I look at my calendar and my To Do list, I feel like I’m being dragged behind a speeding truck. I can’t quite keep up and life just keeps on going. It’s on days like this that eating healthy is extremely important, yet seems most difficult. So, what are we to do?

Plan, prep and pray!

Plan ahead each week. Look at your schedule and identify days or situations that will be challenging. Prepare in advance how you’ll handle them. If it’s a matter of busyness, keep healthy on-the-go type foods available and easily accessible – fresh fruit, fruit cups, string cheese, yogurt, etc. And, as always, pray for God’s strength and protection from temptation. Remember, it’s all about honoring Him in our choices.

10-3-11 Devotion

Today begins a week long challenge! Because we all learn and process in different ways, I want to try a different approach. I want everyone to take pictures of what they eat each day as a way to track intake. You can choose to eat whatever you want, but be sure to take a picture of it first (and possibly after, if you didn’t eat it all). Along with that, take one picture each day of something you’re thankful for.

Have fun with this… you can even share your pics with me via email. But also make note of whether taking pictures changes anything about the choices you make about your food.

The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. LORD save us! LORD grant us success! Psalm 118:24-25

10-2-11 Devotion

How often do we thank God for our food? If it’s at every meal, is it truly sincere or is it habit? Perhaps that’s a tough question if we really think about it, because it reveals the condition of our heart. Often times, I forget to see food as a provision from God – His way of meeting our daily physical needs. I even forget to view it as a blessing. Instead, I often have a distorted view of food. I take it for granted, I see it as a source of enjoyment and pleasure, and I misuse it as a item of comfort.

I challenge you to think about your attitudes towards food. Is there anything in your thinking that needs to change?

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 23-24

10-1-11 Devotion

Consequences

We don’t like to think about consequences, but I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “A ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” Prevention is indeed easier than the cure to most things. There are real consequences to our health behaviors. Over eating or improper eating can lead to an array of health conditions – diabetes, overweight, cancer, heart disease, hypertension. The test is whether or not we let our knowledge of this impact our decisions or if we ignore it and walk the path towards disease. Food and inactivity both seem very benign when looked at in the context of one day. But, the bad habits that develop can rob us of quality and/or length of life.

What will motivate you to make the best choices every day?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. Psalm 111:10

9-30-11 Devotion

Confused!

With so many diet books around certain beliefs have become trendy. For example, the low carb mentality still lingers and we’re seeing a resurgence of vegetarian and vegan diets. So what are we really supposed to eat?

From a biblical and nutrition standpoint, both carbohydrates and meats are good for us. God gave us vegetation from the beginning including fruit (carbohydrates) from the trees. And after the flood, He ordains the consumption of meat. All throughout the Old Testament we hear of various harvests and offerings, including grain (carbohydrates). Jesus Himself is called the Bread of Life and demonstrates how we need Him to sustain our spiritual lives, similar to how our bodies need bread for physical life.

With all this in mind, I am suspicious of diets that eliminate food groups are call certain foods bad. God created a plethora of foods for us to consume and supports our need for a variety a nutrients through a variety of foods. I pray that you’ll see a well balanced diet and enjoy God’s goodness.

All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables. Genesis 9:2-3

9-29-11 Devotion

Start your day off right. Think breakfast and Bible time. We need spiritual and physical food to sustain use each day. A small healthy breakfast gives you the energy you need to start the day and can prevent overindulgences mid-morning or mid-day. Likewise, we need spiritual food to strengthen us each day. We wouldn’t neglect feeding our bodies, let’s not forget our mind and spirit.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8

9-28-11 Devotion

I’m currently studying the book of Genesis and was reminded of the first temptation and fall of man. I’m still intrigued that it involved eating fruit from a tree. And Eve didn’t eat it because she was hungry. She ate it because she thought (through the lies of the serpent) that it would give her something she was missing. When in reality, God had given her everything she needed. And it was perfection. Yet, she thought she was missing out and thus ate the forbidden fruit.

In what ways do we fall to the same temptation?

Genesis 2-3

9-27-11 Devotion

God has given us freedom of choice. This includes a huge range of foods. While I believe He wants us to enjoy such foods, I think He provided them to meet our needs. Let’s remember why we eat – for nourishment and energy as we live our lives for Him.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

9-26-11 Devotion

I’ve been stuck in a funk for about three weeks now. I’ve cried, slept, wandered aimlessly, engaged in emotional eating and lost my patience on many days. Although I could see that my attitude and actions needed a serious overhaul, I couldn’t quite make it happen. I tried to shake the attitude and feelings, but didn’t have much success. My days weren’t constantly filled with unruly emotions, but they seemed to be lurking and so clouded my perspective. There were plenty of little things that were fueling my mood, but none of them alone should have evoked such a response.

Amazingly, I feel better today – my thoughts are clearer and I’m at peace. I find it interesting that my new energy and mood arrived on the day I gave up drinking diet sodas. Coincidence? I don’t know. All I know is that I was drinking too, too many each day and I haven’t wanted to part ways even though I knew I needed too. I rationalized that I wouldn’t be able to make it through my day with them.

And today, not only did I make it through my day, I’ve felt the best I have in the past several weeks. The stressors in my life have not disappeared. The only change I’ve made was the removal of soda from my diet.

I share this not to condemn anyone for drinking diet sodas. Instead, I want it to serve as a reminder that what we’re filling our bodies with can indeed impact our mood. I encourage you take an inventory of your eating habits and determine if certain foods are triggering undesired responses.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:7-8

9-25-11 Devotion

What strategies work best for helping you manage your weight? Do you struggle more with food or with exercise? What things have worked for you in the past? What’s working for you right now?

Periodically, it’s important to evaluate where you are in this journey. To best determine your success, it’s important to have a vision for where you’re going but also to look to the past to see how you’ve come to where you are. I find that my progress is cyclical – not always moving forward. This frustrates me, but the quicker I’m able to identify my missteps, the quicker I can redirect my path.

Keeping track of my intake, a focus and effort to drink more water and daily walking are the most effective tools for me in maintaining a healthy weight. I challenge you to take an inventory of what works best for you and revisit those strategies if they’ve been sitting idle somewhere else.

Even though it’s hard work, keep your eye on the goal and you’ll keep moving forward.

A hard worker will have plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty. Proverbs 28:19

9-24-11 Devotion:

Is your choice of drink sabotaging your efforts to shrink your waistline?

A report this summer from the San Antonio Longitudinal Study on Aging showed that diet soda drinkers had larger waistlines than nondrinkers and the researches are suggesting that “promoting artificially sweetened beverages as a healthy alternative may be ill-advised.” (Note: This is a well designed, legitimate study, not some random project out to prove a point.)

Yet, we also know that taking in excess calories leads to weight gain. With liquid calories easy and quick to consume, what should be drinking? While certain habits die hard (think coffee and soda), the healthiest drink around is still water. It’s been around since creation, yet we often desire something with more flavor. I, too, get bored with water sometimes and revert back to drinking sodas. However, I always regret the decision because one soda quickly turns into a daily habit for me. The result: I have to “quit” drinking sodas again, which is never pleasant. Here are few ideas for healthy drinks:

  • Add lemon, lime, cucumber slices, or crushed mint leaves to your water for a refreshing change of taste;
  • Try switching to tea without sweeteners. Gradually reduce the amount of sugar each day until your acquire a taste for unsweetened. Tea is a great source of antioxidants;
  • If you miss the carbonation of soda, try adding a couple of ounces of cranberry juice to a glass of club soda. The juice will add a few calories, but will be considerably less than soda.

Cheers!

He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas. Psalms 78:15

9-23-11 Devotion:

Do you ever have those days when you just don’t feel like making a meal, let alone a worrying about finding something healthy to eat. Do you run to the nearest fast food restaurant and grab some grub instead? Some prior planning can help keep you on track during the difficult days. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Make some healthy meals on the weekend and freeze them so they’re quick and easy when you don’t feel like cooking.
  2. Keep some meal replacements on hand. This doesn’t mean you have to stock liquid shakes in your pantry. Think outside the box. It could be a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit – instant meal. Or yogurt with granola and fruit. Make a list and be prepared.
  3. Find some quick and easy recipes. Here’s one to start: Black Bean Soup – 2 cans black beans, rinsed, 1 cup salsa, 1 ½ cups vegetable stock, 1 tsp cumin. Put all ingredients in blender for approximately 45 seconds. Transfer to saucepan and heat. Serve with fruit.

Remember, there are times that we need to have strategies in place so that we can be successful in our overall plan of wellness.

“All this,” David said, “I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan.”

1 Chronicles 28:19

9-22-11 Devotion:

As we wrap up the great sugar debate, I’ll address the million dollar question: how much is too much? And here is the decisive answer you been waiting for: it depends! Great answer, right? Please don’t let it frustrate you. The truth is I can’t give you the answer. Health experts recommend that women not get more than about 100 calories per day from added sugar (men get about 50% more). But, if you’re especially active, you may be able to get away with consuming more without ill effects.

The real issue (in my opinion) is our attitude towards sweets. Are we indifferent towards them (take ‘em or leave ‘em) or are they a must have? Do we have them at celebrations and other special occasions or do we use them to comfort us and get us through the day? I believe this is the heart of the matter. Nothing will satisfy us like God can and if we’re using any kind of food to seek comfort, we may want to rethink our motives and behavior.

That said, the issue of how much is between you and God. Take an honest inventory of your current habits and attitudes. Invite God to show what He thinks about it… you might be quick to get a sense of what He wants as He confirms you’re on the right track, gently nudges you towards a healthier path, or posts a neon warning sign and leads you to drastic change.

I challenge you to be brave enough to ask Him and then follow His leading.

You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. Psalm 63:5

9-21-11 Devotion:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Yesterday, I shared that it’s ok to consume sugar. But, there is a caveat. We shouldn’t indulge to the point of gluttony. This brings about two issues – how much sugar is too much and what if I can’t stop once I start. I’ll address the first question tomorrow. For now, let’s look at the issue of not being able to stop once started.

Some people struggle with their desire for sweets. They feel that once they start eating them, they lose all control. Or, once they start, they have to have eat sweets everyday or with every meal. If that describes your behavior, then perhaps abstinence is a good starting point for you. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t ever have then again, but perhaps you need to disrupt the cycle for a few days or even a few weeks. Take time to discover why you want sweets. Every so often, it helps to jump start our commitment to healthy eating. Finding healthy forms of sweets such as whole fruits is a great way to do that.

I challenge you to assess where you are right now. Do you eat a healthy diet or are you out of balance?

9-20-11 Devotion:

If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Numbers 14:8

Today, I’m stepping cautiously into a great debate – is it ok to eat sugar? Current food trends include eating strictly organic and avoiding sugar at all costs. Some even claim that sugar is physiologically addictive, eliciting a response to that of an alcoholic or drug addict. However, the scientific community has not been able to substantiate this claim.

I support the idea that eating sweets begets more sweets. We’re born with a preference for sweetness, and so often we indulge or even overindulge. But does this mean that sweets are bad? I believe that God wants us to enjoy food. This includes sugar. Although sugar is processed, it comes from a natural source. And, similar to honey, it reacts the same way in our body as other sweeteners – it’s used for energy or stored as fat.

With that said, I think sugar is ok in moderation. In abundance, it can sabotage our efforts to lose weight.

To be continued…

9-19-11 Devotion:

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103: 1,5

How do you seek satisfaction? Is it through power, recognition, praise or some intangible way? Or, do you seek satisfaction through something tangible like wealth and possessions?

Beware. If we’re seeking satisfaction through anything worldly, we will eventually be disappointed and therefore have an insatiable need for more. Not because those things are addictive, but because the rush we feel once acquiring them quickly fades.

The same holds true for food. We have a physical need for food. And God has also ordained food as part of celebrations and even refers to it as a blessing. But, we need to be careful in our attitudes towards food. Remember its place. It is simply food – it satisfies our physical hunger. Beyond that, it is powerless.

God is the one who offers full satisfaction. Let’s seek Him for all our desires and praise Him along the way for the good things He provides.

Devotion for 9-18-11

Today was another bad run. My injured knee raged with pain until I could no longer endure it. And so after laboring for nearly seven miles, my knee quit. I was still nearly three miles from my car and had no choice but to continue the course. And so I walked. Well, sort of. It was more like a hobble. As I limped along, my thoughts raced in different directions. I quickly went from mildly annoyed, to amply agitated. Things weren’t going as planned and I was tired of having to try new strategies. I simply wanted my plan to work.

My real frustration was in the fact that I hadn’t had an incident that led to the injury. It was caused by overuse and the constant, repetitive pounding on my knee which was already possibly askew due to a tight ligament.

Where am I going with all this? I seem to be in a season of redirecting, refocusing, and making alternate plans. Perhaps it’s to help me to get out of a rut. Perhaps it’s to work on flexibility or letting go of my plans. I share all that to say, I’m changing the format of The Daily Dietitian Devotion for the next few days as well. I will be writing it – not as lengthy as this one, but hopefully something inspiring and challenging. I hope to surprise you with a little variety so please stay with me as I rest from the routine of the video process. Please pray that I find inspiration from the still, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit.

In the meantime, I challenge you to revisit any areas related to your health that may need redirecting. Peace and blessings!

Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 9-17-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 9-16-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 9-15-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 9-13-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 9-12-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 9-11-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 8-31-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 8-28-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 8-21-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 8-20-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 8-19-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 8-18-11

The Daily Dietitian 8-17-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 7-31-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 7-24-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 7-23-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 7-22-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 7-21-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 7-17-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 6-22-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-31-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-27-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-26-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-25-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-24-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-17-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-15-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-14-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-13-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-12-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 5-11-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-10-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-9-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-8-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-7-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-6-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-5-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-4-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-3-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-2-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 5-1-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion – 4-30-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-29-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-28-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-27-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-26-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-25-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-24-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-22-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-21-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-19-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-18-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-17-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-16-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-15-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-13-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-12-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-11-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 4-10-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 3-31-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 3-15-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 3-14-11

The Weekend Daily Dietitian Devotion (March 12-13, 2011) (pdf)

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 3-11-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 3-10-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 3-9-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 3-8-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-28-11

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The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-24-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-23-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-22-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-21-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-20-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-19-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-18-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-17-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-16-11

The Daily Dietitian Devotion 2-15-11

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