Lesson of the Week
A healthy eater: I eat to experience optimal health
Alton Brown says a balanced diet is the BEST medicine. Do you take the BEST medicine?
The BEST medicine is a healthy amount of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Think of eating like driving a car. You can go 90 mph on a 25 mph curve. You can run red lights. You can drive and text at the same time. But where will you end up? Most likely dead. The same is true of eating. You can over or under eat and end up physically debilitated. But why drive or eat poorly? Why suffer?
Take the BEST medicine — eat foods that have the appropriate amount of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Don’t know what is appropriate for your body? Have you ever wondered why you took twelve years of math in school, but never learned how to calculate the correct number of calories you need to be healthy or the amount of fat you can consume before becoming obese and ill?
Well, the time is now to take your math skills and put them to good use. There are many places you can go to get the resource you need to know the appropriate and healthy attenuation of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals – a healthy eating diet. You can go to your doctor, nutritionist, or a place like Weight Watchers to find out your best numbers. The right numbers will enable you to eat lots of good food.
So what would keep you from this simple BEST medicine?
1. Ignorance: You don’t know how to eat healthy – too many variables — calorie, fat, protein, carbohydrate, cholesterol, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. How should you measure and eat them?
2. Emotional problems: Your emotional state is like the temperature. Just as the temperature drives you to put on certain clothes, your emotional state could drive you to eat unhealthy things.
3. Don’t care: You really don’t care about eating healthy so you agree with the guy who wrote this several thousand years ago, “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we shall die!” (Isaiah 22: 13 Bible)
4. Cognitive issues: You are cognitively challenged and cannot make healthy choices.
5. Cultural issues: You eat certain foods because of your cultural group (e.g., living conditions, family, work, or economics).
6. Other or all of the above: You vacillate between these or any other reasons for not eating healthy.
How you behave in one area of your life is going to manifest itself in another – because life is not compartmentalized. If you have healthy eating practices, this attitude is going to manifest itself in other healthy behaviors. Therefore healthy eating contributes to a healthy mission. Be a healthy eater to add to your own potential, and that of your mission.
“A balanced diet may be the best medicine.
- Alton Brown, chef, author, cinematographer
Activity: Signs for Healthy Eating
Materials: Paper, pen, pencil, and/or art supplies to make traffic sign.
Time: Ten minutes to write and ten minutes for each person to discuss their results.
1. List ways you are not eating healthy.
2. For each item on the list, write the reason you are eating in that unhealthy way.
3. Choose one of the items for the following project: Take out a second sheet of paper and make a sign (that looks like a traffic sign). The sign is going to prompt you to do the right thing regarding the unhealthy eating behavior you have chosen and want to change. (For instance, a woman was addicted to waffle fries at a major chain fast food restaurant. She chose, “overeating waffle fries” as her behavior. Her reason was because she babysat near the store and this was a way of rewarding herself for babysitting. She made a traffic sign that read, “Danger, Do Not Enter – 19g fat, 400 calories”. She put the sign on the front seat of her car.)
4. Discuss the eating behavior, reason, and sign with the group. What did you learn from doing this activity?
5. For one month, put this sign in a place that will help you make a healthy change. Try to obey this sign as you would any other important safety indicator. This will help you become a more “healthy eater”.
I am a healthy eater, so I can …… We’d like to hear your story about being a healthy eater. Write your story below.