We’re all looking forward to Thanksgiving this week. More than ever, this year has taught us to value time with the people we love, and I cannot wait to catch up with some family I haven’t seen since before pandemic craziness started. Plus, I’m excited for an excuse to make James’ mom’s sweet potato casserole again!
Speaking of sweet potato casserole, this week is also famous (or infamous) for people overeating. There can be too much of a good thing if it disables us from being ready for God’s use.
I’m so thankful for my friend Susan Neal who agreed to share her wisdom on this topic. Susan is an author, speaker, and certified health and wellness coach whose background in nursing and health services led her to seek new ways to educate and coach people to overcome health challenges. Be encouraged and challenged by her guest post today!
Guest post by Susan Neal
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT)
Being physically available for God to use us by taking care of our temple is vital to our Christian walk. When you are healthy, you are more equipped to do what God calls you to do in this lifetime. Unfortunately, 50 percent of Americans suffer from a chronic illness and 40 percent experience obesity. These statistics break my heart, and I believe they break God’s heart too.
The standard American diet contributed to these staggering statistics. Unfortunately, it is easy to fall into the food addiction trap, and when we do, we are not taking care of our bodies. Every day we face food temptations. Our culture is full of enticing delicacies that are unhealthy but taste so good. Many times, we consume more than we planned to eat. We can become addicted to foods containing wheat, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup. These are the types of foods we need to avoid, as well as processed foods.
Deceptive food tempts us everywhere we turn, and we do not have the willpower to stop eating, so we binge. Paul struggled too: “The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate” Romans 7:14–15 (NLT). Therefore, we cannot fight this battle alone. We need God and his Word.
Ask God for Help with Our Diets
When we ask God for help with improving our diet, we gain access to his power. Through our weakness and reliance on him, we become stronger. The hardest step to improve your health and weight is deciding. Once you’ve made the decision, you are well on your way to attaining positive results.
A couple of spiritual tactics to use during your lifestyle change are:
- Ask God to help you, and make a commitment to him.
- Eat God’s food, not the food manufacturers.
- Choose a Bible verse to fight food temptation.
- Obtain an accountability/prayer partner.
When you start the journey to improve your eating habits, ask God to help you. Surrender and place your success in his loving hands. Rely on him during the journey.
Understand God’s Food Groups
God knew exactly what our bodies needed to be healthy so he created specific food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, nuts, and seeds. He did not give us food in boxes and bags that have been stripped of their nutrients to extend their shelf life. He gave humans a vast selection of fresh food since their bodies need a broad range of nutrients to function correctly.
- God created over one hundred vegetables and intended for us to consume a colorful assortment of them that are in season.
- Fruits could be considered God’s candy. Unfortunately, refined sugar tainted our pallet so we desire high-sugar foods instead. But we can wean ourselves off those man-made goodies and eat what God intended for us to enjoy.
- Nuts provide protein and omega 3 oils, which are essential for brain function.
- Meats also give us protein. But we do not want to consume meats with hormones and antibiotics. So be sure to purchase organic meats.
- Seeds contain trace minerals that your body needs in small amounts.
- Grains are another one of God’s food groups. Today’s modern wheat has been hybridized so it is prolific and drought resistant. Unfortunately, most people cannot digest the larger gluten molecule contained in it. So don’t eat wheat. Instead, eat other grains such as quinoa, organic oats, and brown rice.
Fight Food Temptation
To help you fight food temptation, select a Bible verse, and write it on an index card. You can memorize it or post it on your refrigerator or pantry. When tempted, recite the verse out loud and feel God’s power work within. Finally, ask a friend to become an accountability/prayer partner. Call on this person when tempted and when you need prayer.
“When we take care of our bodies, we honor the Lord.” ~ Susan Neal on @khogrefeparnellTweet
When we take care of our bodies, we honor the Lord. You only have one body, and it needs to last a lifetime. If you are healthy, you can fulfill the unique purpose God planned for you. You will also be a godly influence in the lives of those you love for a more extended period of time to help them grow into who God created them to be. You want to be here to mentor and nourish the next generation. You are God’s hands and feet to minister to the world. Keep your body healthy so you can do more for the kingdom of God.
To help you begin this journey, you can sign up to receive the ten appendices in the number one Amazon best seller, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates, at https://susanuneal.com/appendix. The appendices include fifty recipes, healthy eating guidelines, scripture verses, and a seven-day eating plan. Start taking care of your temple today!
Tempted to overindulge this Thanksgiving? Learn how to fight food temptation in this guest post by Susan Neal on @khogrefeparnellTweet
About the Author
Susan Neal RN, MBA, MHS, lives her life with a passion to help others improve their health so they can serve God better. She is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach with the American Association of Christian Counselors. Her mission is to improve the health of the body of Christ. She is the author of seven healthy living books. Her award winning number one Amazon best seller is 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. The sequel Christian Study Guide for 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates won the 2019 Directors Choice award. The third book in the series, Healthy Living Journal, won the Golden Scrolls award “2019 Best Inspirational Gift Book.” You can find Susan on SusanUNeal.com.
About 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates
Over half of Americans live with a chronic illness and forty percent suffer from obesity, primarily due to the overconsumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates provides a day-by-day plan to wean your body off these addictive products and regain your health. These changes in your eating habits will start your lifestyle journey to the abundant life Jesus wants you to experience, not a life filled with disease and poor health. You will learn how to:
- eliminate brain fog, cure diseases, and lose weight
- choose foods that benefit versus foods that damage—the ones God gave us to eat, not the food industry
- find healthy food alternatives and plan your menu
- recognize the emotional reasons we overeat and the science behind food addiction and a candida infection (overgrowth of yeast in the gut)
- identify food triggers and use God’s Word to fight impulsive eating
- locate resources—educational videos and books, meal planning, support organizations, and recipes.