by Eric Martinez, MHSCCC Alumni
In this day and age, many factors play a key role in our diets: the economy and the fluctuating prices of groceries, supply and demand, the cost of buying healthier foods (or, in reality, foods that are said to be healthier for you), and the time it takes to prepare your meals. Whether you need to cook something as fast as possible, or keep the complicated nature of the dish to a minimum, whatever your reasoning behind finding it difficult to eat healthy is, there’s always a solution to whatever roadblocks you run into. If that is your goal, or you wish to live a healthier lifestyle, I believe it all starts with our diets.
Here at the Murrieta Hot Springs Conference Center, my team and I have made a commitment to try to better our food and make it a healthier overall experience without compromising on quality, flavor, and overall excellency of the dishes we make. For our retreat guests, the student body of the Calvary Chapel Bible College, and our staff here at the Murrieta Hot Springs Christian Conference Center, we strive to serve the healthiest options.
Some of the major things to keep in mind when trying to eat healthy are watching your bad carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates classified as “bad” are those that are highly processed and have little nutritional value. Harvard School of Public Health reports, “Refined grains and sugars contribute to diabetes, heart disease and weight gain”. Examples of bad carbs include white bread, regular pasta, white rice, sugary drinks such as sodas, pastries, and sweets, like candy bars and ice cream. Such foods provide carbohydrates and calories, but few additional nutrients. We also want to stay away from products containing MSG and High Fructose Corn Syrup; these are also very bad for you.
Positive carbs for us to take in, called beneficial carbs, are those that are minimally processed and rich in nutrients like fiber. Examples include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Whole grains include, but are not limited to, whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa, whole grain couscous and bulgur. Legumes include lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and black, pinto, navy and lima beans. Although they lack fiber, low-fat milk and yogurt are rich in nutrients such as protein and calcium and are classified as good carbs. Small amounts of good carbs are present in nuts and seeds, as well.
Having a balanced diet is extremely important. Not over-eating and also not eating two hours before you go to bed in the evening plays a huge role. With any diet or change in lifestyle we must have discipline. Without staying disciplined to what we are trying to accomplish, we will not succeed. Along with trying to lead a better lifestyle with our diet we must also strive to exercise regularly and develop a set routine to aid in bettering ourselves overall.
The Lord has given us earthly bodies as temples for the Holy Spirit. We need to be good stewards and take care of ourselves. By having a healthy diet, exercising frequently, and getting adequate sleep, our bodies will be in the best condition, able to serve the Lord with vigor.