Eden Eating (Bible and Vegetables)

20190627_110612_HDRIn 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.

20190627_110424_HDRVegetables 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).

2015 September SS2FE recipes 337If 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:

Local vs Organic Produce

Meat my Zucchini

 

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Diet vs. Exercise

From the red corner… weighing in at three meals a day plus snacks and beverages… said to have the potential to change your life… is Diet! From the blue corner… weighing in with sneakers and dumbbells… considered a champion of fitness… is Exercise!

Which of these contenders will win the title of Weight Loss Champion of the World? Which of our contenders—Diet or Exercise—will help you lose weight, keep that weight off, and stay healthy and fit for the rest of your life? Let’s find out!

diet vs exerciseRound One: They’re circling each other, calling out random numbers of calories. Exercise calls out 100 calories burned by walking a mile. Oh! Diet lands a solid hit with not consuming one half cup of spaghetti noodles to save that same 100 calories. The crowd roars! So much easier to eat fewer noodles than walk a mile.  Ding ding!

Round Two: Exercise takes an early lead! She barrels out of the blue corner with determination! Going to the gym for one, two, three, four hours a week! Diet stumbles, but is back on her feet. Exercise has burned off a lot of calories with that gym move. Is Diet down? No, Diet’s up! One of those hours spent in the kitchen instead of in the gym could have saved even more calories by cooking meals with lots of vegetables and prepping healthy snacks.  Ding ding!

Round Three: Exercise jabs at Diet. Diet throws a hook, bringing up studies that show diet helps you lose more weight than exercise in the short term. Ooo, that had to hurt. Exercise shakes it off and runs at Diet. Exercise has Diet trapped in the corner. Exercise is pummeling Diet with studies showing that 90% of people who lose weight and keep it off exercise regularly. Ding ding!

Round Four: Diet springs from her corner calling out calories like she did in Round One. Exercise just can’t compete with Diet’s speed cutting calories! Exercise is reeling, trying to keep her feet! She pulls back for a big swing! When cutting calories alone you lose muscle as well as fat, but BAM! With exercise you build muscle and burn more fat than with diet alone, leaving you leaner if not lighter. Diet is catching her breath against the ropes. There’s the bell!

Without a knockout, the judges can’t declare a winner! Diet and Exercise will have to share the Weight Loss Championship belt! Diet is awarded 80% of the belt and Exercise is awarded 20% of the belt. That’s right, folks, Diet gets the leather, and Exercise gets the buckle: Diet is a huge part of weight loss, but Exercise keeps it together.

Be a Champion of Health yourself by keeping both of these champions in your corner!

 

Run in such a way as to get the prize. …we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 1 Corinthians 9:24b,25b,26 (NIV)

 

 

Yoda’s Yoga

images (5)“Do or do not. There is no try.”

Oh, if only I had a little green linguistically challenged trainer who could hang on my back, spouting guru encouragement and inspiring me by lifting spaceships out of ponds. Instead, I have four little beige people I must dress and cobble and herd out the door like protesting cats. I feel like Luke when he sizes up that spaceship: I don’t think I’m strong enough. herdingcatsAnd why am I herding booger spurting beige cats wearing Spiderman masks into the spaceship stuck in a pond? To exercise. Be it rounding the block or driving to the YMCA, I am determined to burn a few hundred calories.

But I must be my own Yoda. “Use the Force, Katie.”

It’s great advice, actually: Do or do not, there is no try. Don’t think about it, just do it. When I think about going to the Y, I often talk myself out of it. I’ll go later. I’ll do some crunches while I watch TV tonight, I promise. It might rain. It’s raining. It did rain. Ooo, my weekly StumbleUpon email just arrived. I should probably clean instead. Pitiful.

There was one day just before Christmas when I finally tired of the filth that was my house (why clean in December when you can shop for presents?) and I cleaned for 3½ hours straight. That was a good workout. “The Force is strong in this one.” Unfortunately, that kind of cleaning bug only hits me on a solstice.

bigyoda2So I try not to think about it. Just do it. (Yes, Nike, I will accept sneakers as payment.) There is always something else I could do with that time, but nothing else I should do. And all of the stuff that needs to get done still gets done because exercise increases my energy. It’s kind of magical. Like Yoda.

“He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

He is the REAL Force.

 

Images are from:

http://www.starwarsreport.com/tag/yoda/

http://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.com/2012/10/classic-image-wisdom-never-dies.html

http://imsdemons.pvp101.net/2013/12/guide-herding-cats-or-brief-guide-to.html

Why I Don’t Run

I don’t run for exercise. Sometimes I wish I could, or would, because you burn so many calories so quickly, but it doesn’t work for me. I blame my boobs and my brain.

I know, all women have boobs, but my tatas are too big for running. (Note: I am not complaining, I am stating a fact. My boobs are wonderful; they’re just not built for running.) I have yet to meet a bra that can hold the Ladies in such a way that effectively fights the counter-bounce of gravity. To be comfortable, I have to tuck my elbows into my sides and make a shelf for my boobs with my forearms. Couple that with my gasping for air and I look like an asthmatic Tyrannosaurus Rex lumbering along.Trex run

My husband runs almost every day. I tried once. When I complained that I couldn’t breathe, he helpfully advised me to count to four as I breathe in and to four again as I breathe out. I tried it and it worked very well: I could breathe and running was easier, but I kept having flashbacks of Lamaze breathing during labor. Also, after two minutes of counting, my brain was bored. Me + bored + sweaty T-Rex = not a happy runner. I prefer to power walk while reading a book.

The only time I like to run is when I play soccer or some other competitive field sport. There’s something about chasing down my prey and stealing the ball that thrills me. It’s how T-Rexes like to run.

 

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. (1 Corinthians 9:26)

 

Help, They’re Taking my Excuses

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.

Unless…

bbc-vacuumExcuse #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.

Unless…

bbc-bikeExcuse #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.

So…

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?

BBC: Yes.

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

A Tale of Two Scrooges

scrooge_5212Ebenezer Scrooge strolled briskly down the sidewalk. His cane tapped out a satisfying rhythm with the coins clinking in his pocket. Odd sounding footsteps approached him from behind—more of a webbed toe flap than a step. He knew that sound. He turned to greet his colleague, but didn’t slow his pace.

“Scrooge McDuck! What brings you out this fine morning?”

Scrooge grinned and narrowed his eyes. “Wouldn’t you like to know, laddie?”

Ebenezer allowed Scrooge to catch up and walk alongside him. He studied the duck out of the corner of his eyes. Two wealthy men out for a stroll the morning after that study was released? Hardly a coincidence. “How’s your heart, Scrooge?”

McDuck flapped his wings once and gave a little hop. To a passerby it would look like a well dressed duck ruffling his feathers, but Ebenezer knew he’d startled his fowl friend. He’d guessed correctly and by the scowl on McDuck’s face, McDuck knew it too.

“How’s your own heart, Ebenezer? Still cold as gold in an iceberg?”

Ebenezer laughed. “You’ve lost, McDuck!”

mcduckScrooge pumped his wings and walked faster. “You eat low fat, cholesterol free gruel every day. Your arteries are as clean as a newly minted coin.”

Ebenezer lengthened his strides. “And you chase all over the earth with those three nephews of yours hunting for treasure. You swim in gold doubloons every day. I, on the other hand, sit at my desk all day counting money! This is the first exercise I’ve had in years!”

The two millionaires glared at one another and increased their pace. Sweat glistened on their foreheads and Ebenezer’s top hat tilted to one side.

They were so intent on one another that they didn’t see a young woman roller skating down the sidewalk toward them. McDuck managed to fly up into the air at the last moment, but Ebenezer power walked into her and sent them both sprawling into the grass. Ebenezer pushed himself onto his knees.

“My apologies, Madame! Are you hurt?”

The woman sat up and inspected her elbow where a fresh scrape was oozing red. “Why weren’t you watching where you were going?”

Ebenezer pointed at McDuck who was just landing on the grass beside them. “This scoundrel was trying to save more money than me!”

The woman’s eyebrows reached for the clouds. “Excuse me?”

Scrooge pulled a Band-Aid from a pocket in his vest and handed it to the woman. “The Journal of the American Heart Association just released a study showing that people who exercise save more money on health care each year than people who don’t. This old crank thinks his heart is in worse shape than mine.”

The woman pulled open the Band-Aid. “I don’t understand. What does his heart have to do with it?”

mcduck-swimmingEbenezer picked up his cane and stood. “The study focused on heart disease because many other studies have already shown that exercise is directly linked to heart health. If exercisers with heart disease save money and non-exercisers with heart disease don’t, we can draw a straight line between exercise and saving money. It’s an A=B, B=C, therefore A=C scenario.”

Scrooge’s eyes twinkled like silver in sunlight. “Those scientists saved themselves a kilt-load of cash by building on the work of their predecessors.”

Ebenezer nodded. “Indeed.”

The woman laid the Band-Aid across her scrape and pressed it into place. “And you want your heart to be bad because…”

Ebenezer held out his hand and helped the woman to her feet. “Because exercisers without heart disease saved about 500 dollars per year, but exercisers with heart disease saved up to 2500 dollars!”

“And they used less prescription medication and had fewer visits to the hospital,” added Scrooge.

“So if you exercise, you save money. The unhealthier you are when you start exercising, the more money you save,” said the woman. The millionaires nodded. “But the more you exercise, the healthier your heart will be and the less money you’ll save next year.”

Ebenezer scratched his head and frowned.

Scrooge lifted a feathered finger. “You’re forgetting the most important thing, lass. If we exercise, we not only save that 500 dollars every year, but we’ll live longer to enjoy it!”

The woman laughed and skated off down the sidewalk. Scrooge and Ebenezer watched her go.

“Maybe we should try roller staking,” said Scrooge.

“Don’t be ridiculous, McDuck, skates cost money.”

Scrooge winked up at his friend. “I can borrow them from my nephews.”

 

 

*http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/09/08/price-of-healthcare-report-american-heart-association-regular-exercise-save-money-2500-medical-costs-years/89992240/

*http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/want-to-keep-medical-costs-down-hit-the-gym_us_57d2d7b9e4b00642712d23c6

 

 

Images courtesy of: tvtropes.org (Ebenezer), gks2.com (McDuck), imgur.com (McDuck swimming)

Exercise, Weight Loss, and the Bible

p1020324The Bible as a lot to say about exercise. Unfortunately for our weight loss efforts, the Greek words translated as “exercise” have nothing to do with working out. The Bible talks about exercising kindness and authority, but has little to say on the subjects of weight lifting and lunges. Mostly we get are metaphors to “run the race” set out for us (Hebrews 12:1) and not to run or box aimlessly but to try to win the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-36).

P1000582There is one reference to literal working out. The word “gymnasia” in Greek is used in Timothy 4:8 where we’re told that “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”. There we have it, folks, the biblical endorsement of physical exercise, a motto for Christian fitness instructors everywhere: physical training is of “some value”. It’s not exactly poster worthy motivation. But lucky for us, the Bible was not written to help us lose weight, but to point us to eternal things that are way more important than our physical bodies.

While I can’t memorize verses about “feeling the burn”, I do get encouragement to exercise from looking at creation, both the creation account in Genesis and my created body. Our bodies were clearly designed to move, i.e. to exercise. Adam and Eve were tasked with gardening and animal husbandry, both of which require physical effort. Our body benefits when we exercise and suffers when we don’t. Exercise helps regulate our hormones and blood sugar, and keeps our circulatory, excretory and respiratory systems in tip top shape.

2013 August 106Exercise doesn’t have to involve hours of sweat or debilitatingly sore muscles, it just has to get your blood pumping and your muscles moving. Every little bit of exercise adds up and adds benefit, even as little as two minutes.

My favorite verse for exercise is Job 39:13 because I, like the ostrich, do not look graceful when I exercise, but I flap joyfully!

 

What motivates you to exercise?