Today I’m lending my page to my friend and writer, Katherine Pasour. Her recently released book, Honoring God with My Body, gave me fresh perspectives on changing seasons and health. Psalm 139 reminds us that we are God’s special creation, “fearfully and wonderfully made”, and Katherine believes we should nurture all aspects of wellness. Read on for ideas for change to be beautiful. Her bio and information is found at the end of the article. Comment below and be entered into a drawing to receive a copy of her book,
Now, from Katherine:
Our calendars and cooler temperatures recently signaled the arrival of Fall. A meme on social media caught my eye as the season officially changed. Although I don’t recall the exact wording, the message was something like this:
“Fall reminds us that change can be beautiful.”
Hmm…often, we balk at change, don’t we? At the very least, change is hard, but like Fall, change can be beautiful for our lives.
Throughout our lifespan, it’s important for us to take care of our health. If we’ve developed some poor lifestyle choices, changing these habits to healthier behaviors can be a challenge.
But, changing lifestyle behaviors is possible.
Some actions that benefit our well-being—no matter our “season” of life—are healthy eating, regular physical activity, a rewarding social life, good sleep, finding joy in each day, and serving others. Whether we are a child, teen, adult, or in the category labelled “elderly” (as I approach that status, I’m not too thrilled about that label), we can use these behaviors to keep our bodies going strong.
Six actions to stay in the season of good health
What we eat—Fruits and vegetables are good for us—at any age. These powerhouses of nutrition provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Fresh or frozen are best and, as much as possible, avoid frying, adding salt, or high calorie seasonings or dressings. Try to select lean meats (fish or poultry) and limit consumption of red meat (beef and pork). If you’re able to eat grains, select whole wheat and other whole grains for your bread, cereal, and pasta choices. Skim milk and yogurt are good low fat dairy selections. Avoid added sugar, fats, fried foods, and anything high in sodium. Drink LOTS of water and limit sodas and other sweetened beverages.
Do these guidelines sound like you’ll never eat “good food” again? This doesn’t mean we must completely deprive ourselves of “treats” (those foods we love that are high in fat or sugar), but those unhealthy choices should be occasional rather than daily choices.
Daniel said to their guard: “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. At the end of ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.” (Daniel 1:12, 15) NIV*
Be active—No matter our age, physical activity is beneficial for us. Regular exercise keeps our heart strong; reduces our risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer; helps us maintain a healthier weight; strengthens our muscles; and helps control stress. If you’re not currently physically active, check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. You can find suggestions for a walking program** on my website or feel free to contact me for recommendations.
Social time you enjoy—Humans are created to be social, but it’s up to us to plan and participate in social experiences and events. They should be rewarding—something you look forward to. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, chose activities that help you feel good. If they’re activities that serve others (and you enjoy), that’s even better.
Good sleep—Sleep allows our body to rest and recuperate. We need seven to nine hours of sleep nightly. If you are a good sleeper, you are blessed. If you’re struggling, these recommendations can help:
- Avoid screen time (television, computer, phone, etc. for at least an hour before bedtime).
- Try to keep a regular schedule of going to bed and getting up.
- Avoid naps unless naps don’t prevent you from falling asleep at your usual bedtime.
- Try not to eat after seven in the evenings.
Have fun and laughter every day—Laughter is good medicine. Select activities and social interactions that bring joy—share laughter and joy with others.
Serve others—We are called to serve others. This can be through our career or vocation (our calling). If our vocation is our career, that’s even better. I’m a teacher—it’s my calling.
What is your calling—your gifts? (We all have them, so answering, “I don’t have any” isn’t an option). How can you use your gifts to bring joy to others, while you also work toward making healthier lifestyle choices?
Replacing some of your unhealthy habits with good ones improves self-esteem, leads to better management of your health, and improves your quality of life. You also have more energy to serve God and others and you can enjoy your season of good health.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
Change can be beautiful! What changes are you thinking about? Or if you’ve made changes, how have you seen their beauty?
Wishing you blessings on the journey,
*All scripture is from the NIV
Katherine Pasour is an author, teacher, farmer, and speaker with a passion for service. She blogs regularly at www.katherinepasour.com with a focus on faith, wellness, and the lessons nature teaches. She is a regular contributor to Refresh Bible Study Magazine, published by Lighthouse Bible Studies and has articles in several Bible Study compilations.
Katherine’s wellness Bible study, Honoring God with My Body: Journey to Wellness and a Healthy Lifestyle, published by Morgan James, is available from all major booksellers. Find her on Instagram at KatherinePasourAuthor and Twitter @KatherinePasour. You can also connect with Katherine Pssaour on Facebook