“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
Summer break is almost over. Soon the kids will be back to school. Gone will be road trips, campouts, and outings at the beach. Along with this is the food that comes with summer. The BBQ’s, desserts, eating out, trips to the ice cream parlor, and, oh, did I mention desserts? At the time of this article, I have actually lost seven pounds since the beginning of July. Partly because I just did not like the way I was feeling, and partly because I couldn’t figure out why. I felt bloated, fatigued, had heart palpitations, and everything else that goes with those symptoms. I knew I needed to change something so I started my diet. After experimenting with several things, I came to the conclusion the problem was too much sodium. I hadn’t realized how much sodium I was consuming on a daily basis.
To maintain a healthy heart, the National Heart Association recommends just 1500mg daily, an allowance of 500mg per meal. I started with the 2300mg recommended by my fitness app. Now I am keeping my sodium level at around 1500mg. The results have been amazing. Outside of losing seven pounds in just weeks, I also feel better. I have more energy. I am not tired throughout the day. My palpitations have gone away. My mountain biking has gotten better. Truthfully, I feel I am honoring and glorifying the Lord by being a good steward with this vessel He has given me.
Just to give you an example of how hard this is, most Americans consume around 3000-4000mg of sodium a day. That’s over one and a half teaspoons of salt per day. Imagine getting up and swallowing one to two teaspoons of salt in the morning. Basically, that’s what I was doing. At most restaurants, we can easily exceed our daily recommended intake of sodium in just one meal, sometimes with one item. Foods we purchase from grocery stores are filled with sodium.
My point being, like all things, it’s about moderation and awareness. “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable…” (1 Corinthians 10:23). I am reminded of Daniel when he made up his mind not to defile himself with King Nebuchadnezzar’s choice of food. Instead, he offered to test and compare their own appearance to those who were eating the king’s food (Daniel 1:12-13). The result was that they glorified the Lord by not defiling themselves, and their appearance seemed better than those who consumed the king’s food (Daniel 1:14-16).
Be mindful of what you eat. Glorify the Lord in all things, including your diet. Like sin, we can get used to those things in our culture, and before we know it we are hooked. The way we thought was good was actually leading us to destruction. The food is the same. I started at 202 pounds, and this evening I weigh 195. The goal for my age and height is 175, but my personal goal is 185. I will report later on my progress.
Grace and Peace! – GT