By Silk- Jazmyne Hindus
One morning as I made breakfast for myself, my best friend walked into the kitchen. She too was hungry, and asked what I was cooking. I replied, “Turkey bacon, egg whites, whole wheat bread, and soy milk.” I smiled proudly. “Want some?” She then screwed up her nose and said, “Fake bacon, fake eggs and fake milk … No, thank you.” Many people have the same response to the idea of a healthy diet.
My parents are in the medical field. My mother has been in emergency medicine for decades, and is currently attending nursing school. My stepfather is a surgical assistant in a hospital in Virginia. My father is a nurse in the Los Angeles prison system. To outsiders, my desire not to pursue a medical career seems strange, but everyone who knows me understands that I strongly dislike seeing blood, infections, or wounds. Although, I don’t share my parents’ passion for the healthcare profession, I am aware of the benefits of following a healthy lifestyle, and not just because modern medicine says so.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Caring for your body isn’t for merely looking good at the beach, it’s an instruction to safeguard a gift. With this in mind, many abstain from alcohol and tobacco, yet never consider the affects of the food they are consuming.
“Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.” (National Cancer Institute -1)
Though no solitary cause of cancer has been found, many scientists and health professionals have speculated that the chemicals in our food supply could be a contributing factor. “Cancer-promoting foods are typically rich in refined sugars, processed carbohydrates, preservatives and byproducts of deep frying.” Dr. Chad Stone, cancer researcher based in the Pacific Northwest (2)
You don’t have to move out to a rural area to grow your own produce and raise your own cattle; there are simpler ways to improve your diet:
- According to biology online, organic refers to food, which is “grown without using or applying as many synthetic pesticides, fungicides, inorganic fertilizers, or preservatives.” (3)
- Whole Foods is the world’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods; however, you’ve probably seen more Publix and Winn Dixie stores in your neighborhood. Don’t fret, they each carry organic options; Publix has an entire line called Greenwise which features not only produce, but also pasta and meat.
- You may be saying, “I’m a carnivore, what’s an alternative to the everyday meat?” and the answer is free range. Local cattle farmers allow their cows, chickens, and pigs to wander free, eating what’s natural to their diet. The better the animal is taken care of, the higher quality the meat will be. While living in Miami, FL near the Coral Gables area, my local Publix carried kosher options. These foods are associated with those practicing the Jewish faith’s dietary laws but anyone can benefit from eating Kosher. I made a habit of eating the beef and chicken; when cooking it, there was no blood and very little fat, after a meal I felt full without feeling lethargic.
Avoid Sugar and Caffeine
- The average twelve ounce can of soda contains anywhere from thirty to forty milligrams of caffeine. In small amounts, it’s not very harmful; however, think about how often you have a can of soda or drink coffee. This chemical stimulates the central nervous system and if consumed in large amounts consistently, one can become dependent. If you need that midday pick me up, try fresh fruit. The natural stimulants they contain will deliver the energy you need.
- Sugar isn’t only in soft drinks: many juices are mostly water, sugar, and food coloring. If you don’t have time to squeeze your own juice, try organic or choose a juice with the least amount of sugar.
- National chains produce highly processed foods. They are shipped from one place to another and must be preserved during the ride. There are rumors that the average fast food hamburger can be set out for months without molding. “Molds are microscopic organisms that live on plant or animal matter. They aid in the break down of dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment.” New York, Department of Health (4). Lack of mold, points to nonorganic materials: if mold can’t break it down, how do your intestines?
- “A woman aged 19 to 30 needs between 2,000 and 2,400 calories daily. A woman 31 to 50 needs 1,800 to 2,200 calories daily. Women over age 51 need 1,600 to 2,200 calories daily.” Andrea Cespedes: professional chef and nutritionist. (5)
- “Daily caloric allowances for men should in general total about 2,000 to 2,800.” Sarah Billian: food, nutrition, health journalist and blogger. (6)
- The average hamburger at a fast food restaurant averages one thousand two hundred forty five calories, not to mention the saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and carbohydrates it contains.
We only receive one body while here on earth and proper maintenance will ensure a higher quality of life. Health is holistic: it consists of mind, body, and soul. Taking care of yourself physically doesn’t have to be daunting; small, but effective changes of eating habits can increase your energy and ability to focus. Guard and care for your body like the precious temple that it is!
Silk- Jazmyne Hindus
Contributing Writer, B.L.O.G. Magazine
Silk- Jazmyne Hindus is a recent graduate of Florida International University with a Degree in Communications and is currently working part time as a Promotions Assistant for CBS Radio Tampa/St. Pete. Deciding to take time off before continuing her education, she moved home to nanny her eight-year-old cousin while her mother completes her nursing degree. Her current responsibilities have made her aware of the time, patience, and love people (especially children) need. In her spare time she reads and writes poetry and short stories. She has always had a love of art; her family encouraged her passion for writing, but until recently she always considered it a hobby. She currently plans to pursue a MFA in Creative Writing in order to become a college professor and novelist. She would like to publish her first book before the age of 35.
1) “What Is Cancer? – National Cancer Institute .” Comprehensive Cancer Information – National Cancer Institute . National Institute of Health, n.d. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/cancerlibrary/what-is-cancer>.
2) Stone, Dr. Chad. “Top 5 Cancer Causing Foods | LIVESTRONG.COM.” LIVESTRONG.COM – Lose Weight & Get Fit with Diet, Nutrition & Fitness Tools | LIVESTRONG.COM. Livestrong, n.d. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/81614-top-cancer-causing-foods/>
3) “Organic – definition from Biology-Online.org.” Life Science Reference – Biology Online. NY Department of Health, n.d. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Organic>.
4) “Information About Mold.” Department of Health, New York. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2012. <http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/7287
5) Cespedes, Andrea. “Daily Recommended Caloric Intake For Women | LIVESTRONG.COM.” LIVESTRONG.COM – Lose Weight & Get Fit with Diet, Nutrition & Fitness Tools | LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/360444-daily-recommended-caloric-intake-for-women/>.
6) Billian, Sarah . “Recommended Caloric Intake For A Male | LIVESTRONG.COM.” LIVESTRONG.COM – Lose Weight & Get Fit with Diet, Nutrition & Fitness Tools | LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/358434-recommended-caloric-intake-for-a-male/>.