(In honor of my husband, who loves to hike and whose birthday is today!)
Cucumbers are abundant and delicious this time of year. Click on the links below for reasons why cucumbers are fantastic for your health and recipes to give you new ways to eat them.
On top of the catalogue Gardening Life.
The list listed planks, and burpees, and crunches,
Box jumps, and twists, and lateral raises.
Bob studied the list. He thought long and hard.
Then he stared out the window at part of the yard.
I’ll make it, thought Bob, I’ll make it today!
She’ll be so surprised, she won’t know what to say.
Staring at all of the planks of wood.
“She didn’t list a number, but ‘box jumps’ makes it clear.
A box is four sides of lumber. I’ll need four planks from here.”
The list said ‘burpees’—“That one’s easy.
I’ll buy seeds of carrots, peasies.”
Bob grabbed seeds from every bracket,
Filled the cart with Burpee packets.
Next was ‘crunches’, grabbed a bag. “Hey!
Must mean gravel for a walkway.”
“She wrote ‘twists’, but they’re called screws!”
‘Lateral raises’ he took to mean
Lattices for growing beans.
He checked off each item and loaded the van.
“My wife’s going to be so proud of her man!”
Hauling and building, he cheerfully toiled.
His wife came home—“Come look at the yard, Hon!
I found your list and built a box garden!”
His wife took the list. She stared then she smiled
At the new plank box in which dirt was piled.
“I love it, Dear. You’re a wonderful man.
Though the list you found was my workout plan.”
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and food. “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. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so (Genesis 1:29-30).
God created us to be vegetarians.
Wait! Come back! I love bacon too! I’m not going to try to convince you to be a vegetarian, just a veggie-consumer-ian. Bear with me.
We were created to eat plants all day and play outside. That makes us sound like kindergartners with vegan parents, but it’s true. God created an herbivore world with no death and therefore no meat on the plates. There was also no obesity, heart disease or body image hang-ups. Plants are low calorie and gardening is exercise (wrestling with lions is too; you know Eve spent her afternoons snuggling those beasts into submission), so weight gain was never an issue.
Vegetables have nutrients, fiber and water and many have complete proteins or combine to make complete proteins. Scientists are discovering that many vegetables have chemical compounds that improve our health and fight disease. They do so much more for us than fill our bellies. Our bodies are designed to digest plants and the closer to plant form (not processed) you can eat them, the better.
For those of you who are wondering, God approved eating meat after the global flood. The flood changed the climate of the planet and plant varieties were more limited afterwards. Knowing that it would be harder for humans to feed themselves, God gave his official blessing to become omnivores. “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything” (Genesis 9:3).
If you’re not a vegetable fan and can’t imagine eating plants all day and calling that Paradise, keep in mind that Eden had better plants than we do today. Take my Grandpa’s strawberries, for example. They didn’t come from a big chain store. Their straw-babies and great grand-planties were handed down through the years from neighbor to friend to family. Grandpa’s strawberries don’t taste like store bought berries. Their flavor is unique: still a strawberry, but so much better. It makes me wonder how many more plant flavors there were before mass production of food (and before that the global flood) limited what’s available.
But don’t despair! Today’s vegetables can be as delicious as they are nutritious. They just need a little help sometimes: some bullion mixed into a stir fry, a little butter and salt after steaming, hummus or dressing to dip into, and so on. My point is that our bodies were created to eat plants: whole grains, legumes, beans, vegetables, fruit. Plants are important and we should eat a lot of them. They do a body so so good.
For more vegetable inspiration:
The BBC is out to get me. Out to get me healthy, that is. They keep publishing news about studies that show there is no wrong way to exercise. First researchers set the exercise bar at 150 minutes per week. That’s two and a half hours, which sounds like a lot, but if you break it up into 30 minutes a day, five days a week, it becomes very doable.
Excuse #1: I can’t make it to the gym five days a week this week because my kid is sick, my other kid has a dentist appointment, it’s snowing, my car’s in the shop, there’s a Downton Abbey marathon on TV, my sneakers don’t match my only clean t-shirt, and no one wants to sweat on a Friday. May as well give up.
BBC: Your exercise doesn’t have to be done in a gym and doesn’t have to be 30 minutes in a row. Every little bit of exercise adds up, so five minutes of walking because you parked at the back of the parking lot, or ten minutes vacuuming the house, or 7 minutes pulling weeds in the garden, or 20 minutes shoveling snow all add up. No excuses.
Excuse #2: I have a sedentary job and a busy schedule driving here and there and the only time I can do any real exercising is on the weekends. But going for a hike or playing tennis or taking a long bike ride doesn’t count, right? I mean, if most of my exercise is all in one day, it doesn’t do any good, does it?
BBC: Actually, it does; it does a lot of good. It does almost as much good as spreading the exercise out over five days. Again, moving your body for 150 minutes per week is what’s important, not how those minutes are grouped together.
There’s no wrong way to exercise? Every little bit counts and every a lot bit counts and all of it adds up to reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and type two diabetes, not to mention looking and feeling fantastic?
Then I’d better get moving. No excuses. BBC, can you please publish an article on how eating chocolate burns fat?
BBC: When a scientific study proves it, sure.
Sticking with the non-fiction, then, are you? Fair enough.
“For in him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28a
Weekend exercise alone ‘has significant health benefits’ http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38560616
Could Vacuuming Save the Nation? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/3670523.stm
Happy 40th birthday to ME!
I clearly remember being 33 and wanting to lose weight but not wanting to put in the work that I knew weight loss would take. I remember thinking “Do I still want to look and feel like this when I’m 40?” That was one of the deciding factors for me that motivated me to lose weight NOW. What do I want to be like when I’m 40? If I keep doing what I’m doing today, where will I be in ten years? Am I okay with that?
I am so incredibly glad I took the time and made the effort to struggle, to fail, to try again, and to succeed in getting healthier and thinner. I remember what it felt like to be very overweight and I prefer how I feel now. It was worth it. Now I’m 40 and I’m reaping the benefits of 33 year old me’s determination.
Way to go younger me! Happy birthday!
Do you have any milestones approaching? What are your dreams for that milestone?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17