Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Healthy Living

Good morning to all! I have been inspired by my friend Chris to post about my "healthy living" lifestyle. Chris has recently started a new exercise and diet regimen and I thought I would share mine. I really enjoy working out. For many people, exercise is tedious or boring or intimidating, but for me, it's my destresser. I really NEED to walk after many of my days at work. Justin and I also love to do active things. We enjoy walking together, throwing frisbee or football, playing basketball; these are things that we naturally enjoy doing. We have a card game that pushes us to do all sit-ups and crunches. Sitting on the couch watching t.v. is just not something either of us can do for extended periods of time, though, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. Exercise truly is a hobby for our family.

With that said, I also LOVE to cook and cooking healthy is also something I enjoy. I don't really see the point in cooking things in grease when you can use olive oil or using whole milk and cheese when reduced fat is available. I also despise tons of processed food. Again, this is not everyone's opinions, and trust me, I totally get the convenience of it, but our family tries to do it in moderation. Eating whole foods, including lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables just make you feel better! Processed food takes out many of the natural nutrients God put in the ingredients in the first place, so I TRY to stick with as many natural foods as possible. Again, we definitely enjoy our share of Hamburger Helper and granola bars, but again, in moderation.

Please don't get me wrong, I enjoy some doughnuts and some potatoe chips just like everyone else, but we try to do it sparingly. Again, it's a lifestyle that Justin and I are both passionate about. With that said, I definitely want to promote a book that my sweet friend Elizabeth shared with me...In Defense of Food. It's a very interesting and practical read. Definitely look into it.

A main reason why I think eating natural foods is best is because it's not a fad diet. We have all seen the Jenny Craig commercial with Kirsty Ally and bless her heart, she can't stay at a healthy weight. God created certain foods to grow and flourish (fruits, vegetables, cheese, milk, yogurt, meats) These all naturally occur in our environment...they were not man made in a factory. With that said, God's way has to be best, right?

I think the most important thing to remember is moderation is key to everything in life. Too much of anything is a bad thing, the old adage goes. So, I do not starve myself, nor do I deny myself. If I want some ice cream, I eat ice cream. I get an appropriate serving and enjoy myself. However, I do not eat ice cream every day nor do I consume several servings in one sitting (well, I again, try not to).

I think it's so important to remember the lifestyle we live has been created by our busy schedules in desperate need for convenience. My grandparents' generation walked to the bus stop every day (1 mile 1 way-There's my 2 mile daily walk right there.) They gardened and ate their own food and drank milk from their own cows. They slaughtered their own pigs. Simple chores like washing clothes was hard work. (Hand washing everything, going through the ringer, and hanging everything on a line.) People naturally ate better and exercised in every day routines. We are now expected, as busy as we are, to make time to go to the gym and make meals comprable to our earlier generations and we question why everyone is having heart attacks and cancer. Whew...

So, I encourage you to be healthy. Enjoy the foods you love and find means of exercise that you enjoy doing. If you hate running, don't do it! Find something you love and stick with it. Try to have a balanced diet and allow yourself one small treat (less than 150 calories) a day.

Lastly, I do have to throw in a plug for the home video "The Shred". I was encouraged by some girls in Sunday School to try it and it really is the best at home video I've ever done. :)