Laurette Willis –
“Bless the Lord, O my soul…who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:1, 5 NKJV).”
God didn’t arbitrarily forbid the Jews from eating certain foods. God doesn’t operate under the law of “whim.” Every meat deemed unclean by God is unfit for human consumption.
In 1953 science caught up with the Bible when Dr. David Macht of Johns Hopkins University published a study on the toxicity of animals listed as clean and unclean in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. He ran tests to determine their toxic effects on a controlled growth culture in his laboratory (“An Experimental Pharmacological Appreciation of Leviticus XI and Deuteronomy XIV,” Bulletin of Historical Medicine, Johns Hopkins University).
Not surprisingly, every animal God calls toxic, science finds toxic, too. Unclean animals include: swine, horse, rabbit, squirrel, dog, cat, bear, opossum, groundhog and rat. The clean animals (cloven-hoofed and chew the cud) include cattle, goats, sheep, oxen and deer. Interestingly, the blood of all animals is more toxic than the flesh.
Many of the animals God calls unclean eat flesh or have parasites that would sicken or kill humans. Pigs, bears and vultures eat decaying flesh. Wolves, lions and other predators often prey on the weakest, sickliest animals in a herd.
Jesus, being a devout Jew, did not eat pork. In fact He used pigs as receptacles for the demons within the Gadarene demoniac (Luke 8:22-39)! The man was set free when Jesus evicted the demons from him and sent them into a herd of swine. The pigs were destroyed when they plunged off a cliff into the lake and drowned.
Clean birds include poultry (chicken, turkey, geese), ducks, pigeons and quail. Many supermarkets now carry organic chicken products raised without antibiotics or hormones. We certainly don’t need to be ingesting synthetic estrogen (a hormone typically given to chickens). Pre-menopausal, peri-menopausal and menopausal women need to be especially aware that hormonal imbalances may be linked to synthetic estrogen and estrogen-producing foods.
Instead of pork, how about turkey franks or kosher beef hot dogs once in a while? A stir fry with fresh vegetables, crumbled organic or GreenFed™ burger, slivered almonds and water chestnuts is a quick and easy dinner your family will love. If you’re concerned about estrogen-producing foods, try fermented soy products such as tempeh instead of regular soy.
Archeological Evidence of Benefits of Eating Clean
Moses, who received the dietary and hygiene system from God, had been trained as a prince of Egypt in the most advanced medical system of his day. Yet Moses did not advocate the Egyptian way of avoiding disease. Forensic examinations of mummified Egyptians show that the wealthiest Egyptians didn’t seem to benefit from the best that their physicians had to offer. They suffered from many of the same diseases of our day. Many researchers believe this is due to their taste for unhealthful foods and disregard for hygiene, contrary to God’s directive to the Hebrews through Moses.
In short: Detox, eat clean, eat lean and always eat green (lots of veggies!).
By Laurette Willis –
“My times are in Your hand” (Psalm 31:15 NKJV).
I’m often asked what time of day I consider the best time to exercise. The short answer is, “Any time you will exercise is the best time!” Additionally, once you have a routine established, stick with it.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), those who exercise in the morning are most successful in making exercise a habit. ACE also recommends that if you prefer an early morning workout, “emphasize stretching and a good warm-up to insure that your body is ready for action.”
In recent years, scientists have been exploring the area of “circadian rhythms,” the internal clocks God put in place within our physical bodies.
You’ve GOT RHYTHM…
Circadian rhythms, the daily cycles that govern certain physical processes, originate in the hypothalamus just above the brain stem. They regulate everything from body temperature and blood pressure to metabolism.
The influence of circadian rhythms on body temperature seems to have the greatest effect on the quality of the workout we have. When your body temperature is at its highest, your workouts appear to be more productive. They are likely to be less productive when your body temperature is low.
Your body temperature is lowest one to three hours before you wake up in the morning, and at its highest late in the afternoon. Later in the day your muscles are warmer and more flexible, reaction time is quicker, blood pressure and resting heart rate are lower, and strength is at its peak.
Since studies have shown that exercise during these late afternoon/early evening hours produces better results, this may be a good choice for you. However, if you are a procrastinator (as I have been!), it may be wiser to stick to early morning workouts so you don’t melt into the couch after a hard day at the office.
Finding Your Peak Body Temperature
This will take a bit of work, but it will be worth it if you really want to know your circadian peak body temperature.
1. Record your temperature every couple of hours for 5 or 6 days in a row. Body temps usually fluctuate by 1.5 degrees plus or minus throughout the day.
2. Try exercising during the period 3 hours after your highest body temperature.
For most people, this will fall in the range between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. If you are an early bird or night owl, the times may fluctuate 2-3 hours on either side of that, so adjust accordingly.
The ABSOLUTE BEST Time to Exercise
If stress relief is your goal, exercise always works, all of the time. And if you’re wondering when it’s best to train for an upcoming event, it all depends on what time you’ll actually be competing. If an upcoming marathon begins at 7:00 a.m., try training at that time of day.
In addition, combining exercise with the Word and prayer can help make a good habit even better–transforming your workouts into worship!
Laurette Willis –
“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1 NKJV).
While exercise was not a priority in Biblical times, Paul instructs us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice.” Each of us is advised to take care of our body since it is the “temple of the Holy Spirit.”
Here’s a sobering question: do you think we’ll be required to give an accounting to the Lord for the stewardship of our bodies and how well we’ve taken care of them?
That’s a frightening thought for most of us! “You are not your own,” Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19. “For you were bought at a price” (the shed blood of Jesus Christ).
Could that mean your body is not yours, but the Lord’s? How well are we, as stewards, caring for the Lord’s property?
The good news is that since your body belongs to the Lord, He has a vested interest in helping you care for it. Your body is not only the temple of His Holy Spirit, it’s what you need to be able to walk around on this earth and spread the good news that Jesus is Lord!
The more fit and healthy you are, the greater the probability is that you will be around longer to carry out His will for your life.
The enemy wants you to fail at your task, to fail horribly and go to heaven before your time. He doesn’t really care that you’re going to heaven–he just doesn’t want you to take anyone else with you!
If your body is out-of-shape and lacking energy, it’s difficult to do all the Lord is calling you to do. But you and the Lord working together can change that!
“What?!” you ask. “The Lord needs my help? But He’s omnipotent, all-powerful and in control!” Well, yes–and no. He is all-powerful, but He will not wrestle the cake fork out of your hand or pick up the strings like a grand marionette master and animate your body to take a brisk walk. We are the ones who have to exercise our will to exercise our body and “choose life.”
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV).
Everyday choices are set before us that add to our lives or take from them. Select just one thing you can do today that you know would be life-engendering to your body (drink more water, eat a cup of raw vegetables in a salad, exercise your God-given body for 20-30 minutes, bless your life and loved ones by speaking God’s promises over yourself and your family—out loud!).
Present your body to God today (including what you do, hear, see and say) as an act of worship. Since you cannot “out-give” God, you will discover He will bless, beautify and strengthen everything you present to Him.
By Laurette Willis –
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23 NKJV).
This proverb of King Solomon’s is not referring to physical cardio training, but spiritual. We want to keep watch over what we are meditating on in our hearts.
Is there unforgiveness or bitterness? Envy? Worry? If so, the answer is to exercise. Exercise forgiveness, repentance and then cast your cares upon the Lord.
Being what I call a “Fit Witness” is wonderful—not only for you—but the people around you. They will want to know your secret, and you can begin explaining your blessing with words like “by the grace of God.” Then you can mention how you like to combine faith and fitness (such as doing PraiseMoves or prayer-walking).
As a child of God, you are a steward or caretaker of the body the Lord has given you. Did you know your body actually belongs to Him?
“For you are bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV).
Both your spirit and your body are God’s property. Don’t let that scare you if you haven’t been taking good enough care of His property. Instead, realize He has a vested interest in helping you take care of your body. Ask Him to help you and then cooperate with Him by doing physical exercise such as cardio training.
Physical Cardio Training
Cardiovascular training involves any activity that requires the use of the large muscle groups of the body in a regular and uninterrupted manner. It elevates the heart rate between 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Some examples of cardio training include brisk walking, running, aerobics, cycling, elliptical training and rowing.
How Much Cardio?
Most experts agree that cardiovascular training should last for 20 to 60 minutes, with the normal range being 30 to 40 minutes per session. Cardio should be performed a minimum of three days per week, with four to five days being optimal.
What Are the Benefits of Cardio Training?
1. Burns calories
2. Helps you lose excess body fat
3. Strengthens heart and lungs
4. Elevates your mood (a real blues buster!)
5. Adds variety to your workout routine
When to Do Cardio Training?
Most people find exercising earlier in the day best—so you don’t put it off! Some find after work is best for them. But almost any time you exercise is fine. Just do it! Avoid doing cardio exercises before bedtime. You may have a difficult time sleeping if you exercise late at night as the energy level of the body will be elevated for a while.
If you are doing weight training, try doing some cardio exercises right after, not before.
A protein shake 30 minutes before cardio ensures that you’ll have energy and won’t burn muscle protein during your workout. It’s best to exercise two hours after a large meal.
Combine Physical and Spiritual Cardio
Select a scripture for the day and meditate on it while you are working out. Consider the scripture piece-by-piece and ask the Holy Spirit (our Teacher and Guide) to reveal hidden truths to you.
Build your faith muscles by speaking the scripture out loud as you are working out so you can hear yourself saying it. Remember, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV).
Combining these two forms of cardio exercise will help you to keep your physical and spiritual heart with all diligence!
By Laurette Willis –
Does fitness begin by doing physical acrobatics or is it mental acrobatics that must come first? God gives us the answer in Romans 12:2 (NIV). “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
It’s what’s on your mind that counts! It’s estimated that we think about 60,000 thoughts per day at a speed of 600-800 words per minute.
Do you find your thoughts consistently running along positive paths or negative ones? When something bad happens do you think or say, “It figures. Nothing good ever happens to me.” Or do you say, “You know what? I’m not moved by this because God says in Psalm 34, ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all,’ so I’m coming out of this one, too!”
Does God “tell it like it is”?
Why are people who quote God’s Word called extremists and fanatics while those who quote Murphy’s Law are considered realists who are just telling it like it is? Did you know God never told us to “tell it like it is?” In fact, if that were the way God operated, creation would not have happened.
Imagine if God had stepped out into the black void of space and said, “Hey, it sure is dark out here.” It would still be dark! God chose not to “tell it like it is.” Instead He “calls those things which do not exist as though they did”(Romans 4:17 KJV).
He used His Word and said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3 NIV). And there was light. Since we’re made in the image of God and Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be “imitators of God as dear children,” doesn’t it make sense to say what God says instead of what the enemy and the world say?
Start Looking in a New Mirror
Thinking and speaking God’s words and thoughts will change you! Your faith will grow as you hear the Word of God. You will begin to see yourself in a new light with a new mirror: the Word of God. It will become easier for you to encourage and bring hope to others, for you’ll begin to know that the Lord can help them. Situations that used to baffle you will become easier to understand.
Health and fitness issues will also become easier to solve, for godly fitness is tied to what the Lord is telling you that you can and should do to take care of your body. Your health and fitness also depends on the development of the fruit of the Spirit–especially self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23)–more than any diet or exercise routine.
Look at yourself in the mirror of God’s Word today. You will LOVE the way you look..in Him!