That Dirty D Word

No, this is not an expletive. I’m talking about diet.  In America, we have begun to treat the word “diet” as a drastic elimination of “bad” foods for a short time to quickly lose weight.

Merriam-Webster says something a bit different.

Diet – a :  food and drink regularly provided or consumed

           b :  habitual nourishment

This is what I want to focus on today.  Habitual nourishment.  It’s time to stop focusing so much on “good” foods versus “bad” foods and focus more on whether what we are eating is nourishing our bodies.  We need to look at food, and our bodies, in a different perspective.

First, our bodies are the temple of God and need continual “renovation” to stay alive.  Most of us know this, but I find myself not really thinking about this.  Houses need maintenance to stay standing.  We’ve all seen houses about to fall over.  Condemned.  And it’s because it hasn’t been maintained.
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And, of course, no one wants to live there.

So many of us are living in bodies that are sick, aching, and tired, and if we are really honest with ourselves, we aren’t thrilled with living there.  But can we also be honest about the fact that our maintenance, our nutrition, is leaving our house in shambles?

So, let’s take a look at nutrition.

Calories

First, there are calories.  Those pesky things that everyone from Richard Simmons to Dr. Oz has talked about for decades, and has us running scared counting them like our lives depend on it.  Or our weight loss, at least.  What are calories really?  A calorie, in a nut shell, is the measurement used to describe the amount of energy in food.  Like an inch or a liter, a calorie states that a peanut has so many calories, or so many units your body can burn for energy.  But not all calories are made equal.  Some calories, like those in your favorite potato chip, are burnt very quickly because there isn’t a lot to them.  You get a burst of energy, and then crash just as quickly.  Some calories, like those found in roasted bone marrow, are much more complex and your body will use them over a longer period of time.  While it does help to know that you are getting enough calories to satisfy your basal metabolic rate (the amount needed for your body to breathe, think, and live) plus your activity level is important so you don’t weaken yourself.  A Starvation Diet, in which calories are cut too low, is the not recommended.  This can lead to illness and organ damage, so don’t think starving yourself will work.  Rather than focusing on weight loss only, let’s instead focus on getting the nutrients your body needs in a way it can effectively use them.  

Stay tuned for a post on Tuesday, where we will discuss the importance of nutrients for our body.

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