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Your Temple

Have you ever had one of those nightmares where your teeth fell off?

I have had several and they always send shivers down my spine. Recently the nightmare became real. I was contentedly munching on some mixed nuts with my daughter when I suddenly felt  a big hole on my first molar. It sent me on a panic. Upon further inspection, I saw that a big chunk of my tooth had cracked and fallen off. Worse, I had accidentlaly swallowed it. As a breastfeeding mom, I’d discovered too late that I was not taking enough calcium.

Several months ago, my mother-in-law urged me and my husband to have our blood chemistry checked. We had gained some weight and although we were not obese, she said we looked unhealthy. To our shock, we found out that our cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid and blood sugar levels were alarmingly high. At a relatively young age, we were walking timebombs for stroke, diabetes and heart disease. The demands of life had made us develop poor eating habits. We were eating too much, too late into the night and not getting enough sleep or exercise. We knew we had to make some lifestyle changes or suffer the consequences. Despite the abuse we put them through, our bodies have an amazing power to heal itself, given the right conditions. Within six months, our blood chemistry profile went back to normal. There was no strict regimen or medication. We just made better food choices and stopped eating before we became full. As a bonus, we also shed some weight without really trying. My husband Michael and I were glad we were able to reverse the damage before it was too late.

 

Sadly, it was a different story with my molar. During my emergency visit to the dentist,I was told that the tooth had been decaying for a long time from the inside, and since there was no visible damage outside, I was caught unaware. It was the first time I had lost a tooth through neglect. I now speak with a slight lisp and would have to wear a denture for the rest of my life. I am still recovering emotionally from the loss.

 

I don’t remember how many times I’d asked God to forgive me after this medical drama. Even after the blood chemistry scare, I realized that I had not learned my lesson. I was lax in taking calcium supplements and postponed my biannual dental check-ups. It is a painful reminder to me that I cannot eat as I please, do as I please or live as I please.

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This year my husband and I have resolved to make an effort to take good care of our bodies so that we can be better spouses, parents and Christians. How can we fulfill God’s purposes for us if we are sickly and constantly needing medical care?

 

These are some of the concrete steps we’re making:

 

Discipline ourselves to regularly take multivitamins and minerals.Let’s face it, we live in very stressful and polluted world. As much as we want to eat a balanced meal every day, we simply fall short for many different reasons. Taking daily supplements ensures that the body receives optimum levels of nutrition necessary for preserving health and preventing diseases.

 

Incorporate a workable exercise regimen into our weekly schedules. As a mom with an active toddler, I find it hard to go to the gym or even to set aside one whole hour for exercise. I have found that taking 10- to 30-minute mini-workouts are better for me. I can squeeze in short exercises twice during the day and still get the same benefits as one-full hour of exercise. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost a lot to find the right exercise regimen. Free articles, apps and videos abound in the internet. Aside from my compilation of exercise videos, I have downloaded a free app for a series of 10-minute cardiovascular and toning exercises for my tablet computer so that I can squeeze in a work-out wherever I may be.

 

Avoid eating deep-fried food at all cost. Deep frying not only makes food lose nutrients, the oxidation that happens as oil is burnt makes it very toxic to the body. But honestly, who can resist delicious fried chicken? I must admit I still can’t even at this age. I have learned, though, to start curbing my passion for anything fried by switching to baked food. I have discovered particularly that baked chicken or fish is not only as tasty as its fried counterpart, it is also much easier to prepare. And there is no need to waste a lot of cooking oil.

 

Limit our intake of sweets. An article in an issue of Reader’s Digest declared that sugar is so bad for the body it should be regulated as a drug. Sugar damages our bodies on  a cellular level, causing pre-mature aging, diabetes and the dreaded cancer. We know we need to avoid pastries and sodas, but we must also limit our rice and fruit juice intake as they get converted to sugar too. More so, while searching for the right formula for our toddler some months ago, we found out that many brands of baby formulas contain high-fructose corn syrup. Many pediatricians frown upon this type of sugar because it is an artificial sweetener that causes obesity and other health complications. Shame on those manufacturers who are lulling us to think that they are concerned about the health of our kids when they are, in fact, conditioning them to have a sweet tooth by putting the worst type of sugar in their products. In choosing a formula, look for one sweetened with lactose, which is naturally found in breast milk and something that the body can readily metabolize.

 

Let us honor God by taking better care of His temple in us. May you make this your prayer:

 

Dear God,

Thank you for giving us the gift of good health. Forgive us for the times we have abuse our bodies, thinking that we are invincible and that we will not reap the bad habits that we have sown. As we look forward to another year, give us the discipline to master our appetites and grant us the wisdom on how to eat and live right. May you be pleased and glorified in every aspect of our lives.

Amen.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) 

 

Do you desire to have a personal relationship with God?  Please click this link to have your questions answered. You may also leave me a note at jennifer_caspe@yahoo.com 

This article appeared in the 700 Club Asia’s Family Section in March 2013. Click here to view the original article.

 

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