As the Christian prayer Our Father teaches most people engaged in leading a spiritual life also are in continuous search for what God wants of them to contribute to his kingdom on earth. Or, how would they imagine God’s job description at that time. Not always, but normally, good health is presupposed for a proper performance evaluation. One of the constantly available promotors of good health practice comes through monthly blurbs frequently with valuable dietary tips from a famous university’s medical school or a non-profit organization. Depending on each individual such tips can not only strengthen resolve to perform properly in God’s service, but be a guide on how to integrate bodily care, so closely related to the physical disposition  needed for spiritual seeking, into the search for and service of God.

 As an example, an issue of a typical health letter contrasts 10 super foods with a careful, very tempting, selection of 10 dishes/snacks offered by the advertising media more interested in the bottom line than the health of the consumer. Every individual, of course, has different needs and tolerances and one function of our life of the spirit is to know ourselves and the weaknesses that irrational desires can fashion in us. Three of the 10 mentioned both super foods and the unhealthy dishes, for most people anyway, illustrate the temptations faced and easy alternatives for anyone who tries to eat rationally. Proper handling the bodily needs for nourishing food can become easier with determination over time and basic acquaintance with a good diet. Feeling better, and lasting a lot longer, should heighten performance in a contribution to God’s kingdom.

 The first temptation, dubbed Macadoozy in one health letter, refers to Uno Chicago Grill’s Deep Dish macaroni and 3 cheeses. It offers 1,980 calories (a full day’s worth), 71 grams of saturated fat (3 ½ days’ worth), and 3,110 mg of sodium (2 days’ worth). Macaroni and cheese a diet staple a few decades ago is back dressed in a tempter’s guise.

The second called Triple Bypass can be ordered in Olive Garden’s menu under the title of Tour of Italy: homemade lasagna, lightly breaded chicken parmigiana, and creamy fettuccine alfredo. The Tour’s potential challenge to a normal body (sustaining a seeking spirit) gives the eater 1,450 calories or 1,740 if you order an accompanying salad (nearly a day’s worth) and 4,960 mg of sodium (3 days’worth) and 33 grams of saturated fat, all in a single meal. That’s a Tour that might  take down some unsuspecting tourists.

Third temptation for those endowed with a large sweet tooth: The Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake. It weighs three quarters of a pound and if it could stand up, would measure 6 inches tall, with 1,900 calories and 62 grams of saturated fat (3 days’ worth). If you don’t want to damage that sweet tooth, don’t let the Truffle Cake fall on you.

 Attractive Alternatives

The super foods: Sweet Potatoes, “A nutritional superstar—one of the best vegetables you can eat.” as quoted from the health letter. The letter adds a scrumptious recipe for serving a readily available but these days not so popular vegetable.

Secondly: Unsweetened Greek Yogurt can be mixed with other ingredients in various forms, such as the traditional parfait, or with naturally sweet berries, and/or whole grain cereals. A cup of plain, non-fat yogurt at 130 calories provides you with 23 grams of protein, but the heart conscious should take note of the 10 mg of cholesterol.

Finally: Watermelon described in the letter as “…a heavyweight in the nutrient department.” Although they are normally a seasonal product, a standard serving of approximately “…two cups at 90 fat-free, salt-free calories, has one-third of a day’s vitamins A and C, a nice shot of potassium, and a healthy dose of  lycopene…” This, only a picnic stable decades ago, now can be found during several months of the year in any supermarket.

 BON APPETITE while you strive to work for God’s kingdom.

(The information and quotes for this note was based on the Nutrition Action Healthletter, published for Consumers by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public interest, Washington D.C. 20005).


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