Winter Wellness: Wisdom Through the Ages
By Connie Pshigoda
From the beginning of time, women’s ability to adapt to their environment, provide and prepare for their family’s needs and bring a sense of curiosity and creativity into action has often meant the difference in whether a community thrives or just barely survives.
With advancements in education, research and technology, women have witnessed or participated in vast improvements within fashion, housing design and decor, automobiles, cooking appliances and techniques and even child raising. Most of us chuckle (and say a prayer of gratitude) when visiting museums and seeing the ways of life before our time. It is fun to see how Grandmother might have lived, but we would not want to return to those ways!
Yes, change is all around us. One area of transformation I am reluctant to embrace is with our modern day food supply. I believe the wise Christian woman must be aware of technology tampering with our sources of nourishment. Genesis 1:29 (NIV) reminds us of our true food source: 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.”
Genetically the human body has not changed from its original design. We still have two arms, two legs, one head, two eyes, one heart, one liver, one stomach, etc. just like our God-created ancestors. Our nutrient needs reflect those of our Biblical lineage. What Bible scholars have known for centuries, nutritionists and health organizations are only recently admitting may be beneficial for overall wellness.
Modern food technology cranks out refined, processed, adulterated, irradiated “food-like-edible- substances” that don’t resemble natural food. The devitalized ingredients consumed in a regular diet over a long period of time promote nutrient deficiencies often leading to degenerative disorders. Sadly, the United States is frequently referred to “the land of the overfed and undernourished.
How does the wise woman of God revolutionize her wellness–and her family’s–in the midst of the modern-day-mania around food and nutrition? First Corinthians 10:31 can be her daily guide and inspiration: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (NIV) I use these three action steps to simplify my wellness program for the winter season: Prepare, Protect and Prevent. Let’s look at each step in more detail to help you adapt them to your wellness life-style.
Prepare: This step promotes efficiency–time, energy and money–and that is one way in which the Christian woman has evolved! She is a good steward of her resources. There are several markets that offer fresh, seasonal and sometimes locally grown vegetables and fruit. Shop carefully for variety in flavor, color and texture insuring a full-range of nutrients. Also, include a variety of hormone and antibiotic-free, lean protein sources such as beef, chicken or turkey and cold-water (not farmed) fish. Try a variety of cooking techniques to add variety to your favorite menu. Healthy fats (essential fatty acids) include olive oil, flax seed, walnuts and sunflower seeds and avocado.
Protect: A healthy body and mind cannot be purchased at any price. Take care of what God gave you before you have to repair it. A well-balanced whole-food, (mostly plant foods) diet promotes normal bodily functions. Finishing the day with sound sleep provides repair and rest-oration for those body functions. Healthy relationships filled with laughter and prayer strengthen your health coat-of-armor. Any type of active move-ment will keep body parts (inner and outer) in much better working order. You don’t have to run marathons, just include extra movement throughout the day. Standing and marching in place is a good place to start.
Prevent: Benjamin Franklin’s famous saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” has been repeated by women for centuries. By taking the two previous action steps to greater health, we take great strides in preventing numerous maladies and disorders. When our body is nutritionally full, we look better, feel better and perform better and that allows us to do all that we do for God’s glory. God’s natural food sources provide nutrients for strength, stamina and endurance without added calories, salt or sugars. They help our body burn fat for fuel the way it is designed. Too much of the man-made fake foods (yeast foods, processed meats, sugary sweets) interfere with our natural design and signs of degeneration become more and more evident.
It takes a woman with godly wisdom and strength to be able to choose the optimal food source, nutrient values and presentation style to live wholly and honor her Creator through all generations.