We all know that Americans eat too much junk food. But figuring out what to do about it is complicated. Do we ban super-sized sodas? Do we all become vegetarians? Do we eat like the Italians? The Japanese? There are truly thousands of books, articles and websites out there, telling us how to eat more healthfully, but it can be hard to sort through all the conflicting information! Complicating it further: in our information age, much of what we do find seems to assume we either have an unlimited budget, multiple hours available to prepare a meal, or both.
We at the Clergy Health Initiative promote healthy eating choices because we believe that our bodies are gifts from God, which we have been charged with stewarding. We recognize that in our fast-paced culture, making these choices can be difficult, not to mention costly. Many pastors in our Spirited Life wellness program live in remote parts of North Carolina, where there is limited access to sources of fresh food. Despite these challenges, though, we continue to encourage and provide support for healthy eating, because we recognize the connection between mind, body and spirit. When our bodies feel well-nourished and cared for, we have more energy, we are able to think more clearly. Simply put, we feel better.
In this spirit of feeling better, we offer our final May giveaway — The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman. Bittman is best known for his cookbooks, How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Both are heralded for being full of recipes that are easy to follow, with affordable, down-to-earth ingredients. He also blogs for the New York Times, and his op-eds champion simple, healthful food and the pleasures of cooking — without assuming that you spend two hours making dinner every night.
The Food Matters Cookbook is one of Bittman’s newest offerings, and it draws the connection between the food choices we make and the environment. (He did an entertaining and informative TED talk on the topic, which you can find at the bottom of this post.) Bittman emphasizes that what is best for the environment is often times what is best for human health as well, and he offers 500+ recipes for “better living” that help the reader eat healthfully and sustainably. If you are looking for some inspiration for what to do with all that kale and swiss chard at the farmer’s market, or are looking for some ideas on making healthier desserts, this cookbook is for you!
As we move into the season of bounteous fresh food, let’s remember that God called all of creation GOOD, both the human body and earth that sustains us. Eating well does not have to cost a fortune, or be boring and tasteless! Let’s celebrate God’s provision for us by enjoying the good gifts of the land this season, and by tending with care the bodies in which we travel this life.
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This week we are giving away one copy of The Food Matters Cookbook!
There are 3 ways to be entered in our giveaway – just make sure to tell us what you did so we can count your entry!
- Take a moment to look back through the blog and find a post that catches your attention, then leave a comment with what you like about it! ( = 1 entry)
- “Like” the Clergy Health Initiative’s facebook page! ( = 1 entry)
- Share our blog with 5 friends, and tell them about the giveaway! ( = 1 entry)
You can enter as many times as you’d like, just make sure to leave us a comment ON THIS POST with how many entries are “due” to you! That’s right, if you e-mailed 25 friends (or tagged them in a post on Facebook) about the giveaway, and liked our Facebook page, and left a comment on a previous post, you would be entered 7 times! Thanks for celebrating with us by participating in the giveaway!
And the winner is Caren Bigelow Morgan! Congratulations! Please contact us Caren, and let us know where to mail your copy of this book!
Thanks to all who commented here on the blog or on our facebook page, and for supporting the work of the blog and making our one year “blogiversary” a great month!
Image by flickr user gruntzooki via Creative Commons
I liked you on facebook and posted a comment on the blog entry about Sabbath and the Duke Summer Institute. I’m headed back to FB to invite 40 friends!
Thank you for the update. I had been planning to get “Food & Their Healing Power.” I think it is about time we started paying attention to what we put in our bodies!
I often get questioned by patients about what is the best diet. I agree, there are so many options out there. Some are conflicting, others are complicated, and yet others require severe self discipline.
To be simple, I suggest to my patients to emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables of many color types. The less processing or cooking the better. On the flip side, I suggest avoiding or minimizing animal products and processed food (frozen, boxed, canned, etc.) I highly recommend the movie “Forks Over Knives” to learn about the health science on this matter. Also best is food from a local farmer, who does not use chemicals.. or better yet from your own back yard!
Eating right is crucial for the mind body spirit unit. It does cost time and money, but the rewards can never be substituted by health insurance or pills.
Over time, if one is fully devoted to a spiritual life, they will start to sense whether the food they eat is uplifting or down pulling in their body. This information is invaluable, because the true needs of the body are ever changing and cannot be known by a pre-determined recipe. In my life I’m surprised to find that something my body needs one month, it may no longer need later on.
The body is definitely our temple for God. Recognizing and meeting the needs of our mind, body and spirit definitely includes eating right! I agree completely with those sentiments.