Update

The phone seems to bring more bad news than good news. As my mom dialed the doctor’s office to hear their “message” for me, I was prepared for the worst, but I tried to focus on how green the trees were. “Just be serene like Jesus was.”

I know that sounds really silly.

Finally, the suspense was over. “Her tests all came out fine,” the lady said, “we just wanted you to know that.”

I smiled, how could I not? I”m not diabetic! At least I think so- you’d think they would have told me, right?

Whatever, if fancy medical tests can’t find anything wrong with me, then I suppose it’s not my place to find out what’s wrong with me either.

What’s there left for me to do? How will I spend my time now that I no longer have much cause to worry about my health? I suppose there’s nothing left to do but praise God and pray for those who really are sick. You know, like I should have been doing all along. Life really is short- if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this, it’s that I must enjoy the moment- however imperfect, however dull, however fleeting- because I know that one day, I’ll remember fondly the flavor of this time in my life. You know, God willing.

I guess there’s not much time for me to worry about if I’ll be here tomorrow, or twenty years from now, or sixty years from now. Who can know for sure anyway? I’m here now- I guess that’s all that counts.

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Anxiously Chasing After Well-Being

It has happened. My mental health has caught up with my physical health.

It started a few weeks ago. If you read this blog, maybe you remember my crazy, frantic posts. That was precisely my state of mind. There was no peace, no rest in my mind. My heart was racing constantly, my brain was grinding its gears like a poorly oiled machine.

My appetite has been on the decline lately, which is weird for me. You see, I have always loved food. I was never a finicky eater. As a kid, I devoured the world. Five slices of pizza, three hotdogs, a half pound steak followed by an ice cream, nothing could faze me. A few episodes of acid relfux, however, served as a good wake-up call. When my growth spurt ended, this calmed down a little, but I was still capable of great fetes of feasting, and even took pride in this. No traumatizing event could keep me from eating for long. In fact, sometimes I would eat more in hard times to try to fill the void. 

For a while, I have had a concept of healthy eating, but didn’t follow through most of the time. I didn’t turn down the sweets, and I made no valiant effort to really change my lifestyle. 

I always thought that if I just ate real food, vegetables, and fruits (and some of the other stuff), then everything would be okay. 

So, anyway, now I’m eating about 1000 calories a day because I can’t eat any more, and even that seems like too much. Nothing seems to get along that well with my stomach. And this in it of itself may not be a problem. If I can get by on less, then why not? Many would probably love to have less appetite. Isn’t it just American culture that shuns any kind of minimalism?  

I am also experiencing diziness, lack of balance, fatigue, and some other symptoms as well that I would rather not go into.

What does it all mean? Are my efforts futile? Should I go on a cupcake diet and see if that does the trick? I do not deny that I am a little discouraged, but I wouldn’t say that it was all for nought. The reality is that I have been healthier relative to myself, but obviously I am not doing enough. I know I can do more. I know I can fight harder. Yesterday I went to Inn-n-Out (in my defense, I only had about 500 calories), and today I had a slice of homemade pizza even though I told myself I was only going to eat fruits and vegetables. So clearly I am not a total hippy-dippy, even though my body probably needs me to be. 

What I’ve learned from this is that sometimes being healthy isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sometimes you need to go to extremes, swallow your pride, and start eating tofu. I’ve learned that I need to stop being a crybaby- health problems are nothing new. I will accept this challenge from God. I will try to survive, I will try to stop worrying because anxiety is what triggered some of these problems in the first place. And I will see the doctor as soon as possible so I can stop wondering at least.

Why Sandwiches Are Evil

Okay, the title is kind of a joke to catch your attention… Did it work? But seriously, did you know that protein and starch is technically a bad food combination because one digests in an acid and one in alkaline? If you didn’t know, aren’t you really mad at me for telling you that? I found out the other day by doing a somewhat related Google search, and I know I was upset. I’d always believed the opposite- that protein and starch somehow balance each other out and go well together. I believed the food pyramid of lies. I’ll bet the pyramid builders didn’t want to rock the boat because they’re all in bed with the big food corporations. Okay, so I didn’t actually take it that far, but the resentment is real. 

There are actually many “bad food combinations.” You don’t usually hear about them in our if-it-tastes-good-eat-it society, but they are out there. In Asian cultures, these are more often heeded (but not necessarily the protein-starch one). You can dismiss them as old wives tales, and indeed, maybe some of the liver+x=death ones are exaggerations, but there might be something to it. I mean, don’t you sometimes get that less-than-awesome feeling after a meal for no apparent reason? 

These are some of the important ones, I think.

1. Egg + sweet potato- don’t do it!

2. Chicken + celery- contrary to everything we’ve believed in

3. Melons+anything

4. Acid+peanut butter (Actually, acid does not go well with protein in general, but this particular combo has ruined my day before. But it doesn’t affect some people)

5. Banana + milk- this one is for real

6. Spaghetti- I know, I want to cry 😦

7. Sugar and starch- still crying

 

The reality is that we will probably not follow the rules of food combining all the time because there are so many of them that I didn’t even mention here and life is very busy. But, I think awareness does help. If we know that protein+starch= :(, then we may do it less, throw in a legume (peanut, bean, pea) to help the process, or eat some veggies with it. Our bodies are forgiving, but we shouldn’t take advantage of this forgiveness all the time. 

 

Where I got this info:

No. 5 &6: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3615/10-Common-Food-Combinations-That-Wreak-Havoc-on-Your-Health.html

No. 1& 7 (Do check out this website): http://www.acidalkalinediet.net/correct-food-combining-principles.php

And the thing about the legumes: http://www.trustedhands.com/content/fcbeg.pdf

 

 

How a Chicken Skewer Changed My Life

Not because it was so delicious that I had to rethink everything. It wasn’t bad, besides that it was undercooked. Well, let me explain.

So there I was, leaving the library, reflecting on The Kingdom of God is Within You  which I would Recommend with a capital R, by the way. So I was thinking about how all our lives are filled with such insidious lies, how everything that we know and love and are accustomed to is so vastly different from God and His truth. And in the spirit of this, I decided to avoid the capitalist’s food court and get a chicken skewer from this booth whose sign had the word “mission” in it. I was down, so I bought one, liked it, and then went back for another, and a cookie. I wish that I hadn’t asked for the cookie or the second chicken now. I should have just let them keep the money for free since they were church kids, like they almost thought I was going to do. Sure that would have been weird, but well, not quite as weird as what happened next.

The second chicken skewer was questionable. I mean, one of the pieces was quite undercooked in the center.  I just sort of ate around the worst part. I don’t know why I took the chance in the first place. Why couldn’t I have just thrown it away and gotten something else? I knew it was a bad idea, why did I do it? I feel like such an idiot. And then I ate a cookie. A cookie is the last thing you need after eating questionable poultry!

And then, I became plagued by one of my many ridiculous moral dilemmas. Should I report the problem to the people at the booth? I knew it was going to be intensely awkward, especially since I had talked to the people there while I was buying it and they would remember me. For my own sake, I really didn’t want to go. Why complain? I’m just too shy for that. However, I was afraid that the problem would go unnoticed and someone would get sick. So I finally forced myself to go back, but I’m sure that it did no good and I only offended them. My conscience was not released like I thought it would be. Honestly, I don’t know why at times I am so conscientious and at other times, unscrupulous. 

Soon, I started to feel a little sick. I still feel a little sick. Well, it serves me right. I don’t regret trying to help the missionary booth, but I do regret feeling smug about it, and I suppose I also regret my cowardice. If I thought that alerting them was the right thing to do, why didn’t I do it right away, and do it in such a way that they wouldn’t get offended at all? And why did I eat the chicken in the first place when I saw it was undercooked?!

I was half-asleep driving home, and when I finally made it back safe, I rested in bed for a little while, reflecting on my life, God. I know that I might be overreacting a little, but at the same time, I’m not, because life can end at any moment. People die from sickness every day. Not to make light of it, but I think it’s ironic that often the most dangerous things are certain bacteria, which are so small that they can’t even be seen with the naked eye, and yet they can cause more destruction than big things like guns and armies and governments. I don’t know, just a thought. Anyway, I thought about life and death, and I came to the conclusion that in some ways, It may be kind of nice to die, because I would finally get to be with God. It would also be nice, I suppose, to have people, hopefully, appreciating me for once, and remembering me fondly, but I suppose this is a vain and self-indulgent reason to wish for the end of the life that God has so graciously given. And my life isn’t so bad, I don’t know why I complain so much. 

But at the very same time, I don’t really want to die, because I feel like I still have things that I want to do. I suppose that I worry about dying a little, mainly what people would think of me if I died for so silly a reason as a chicken skewer.

Of course, for the next couple weeks, I will be thinking about this chicken skewer and wondering if and when the salmonella will set in. Actually, I had salmonella as a small child and was hospitalized. Maybe that is why I fear it, because I am told of my light brush with death as a child. Well, I don’t want to deceive, I wasn’t that close to death, but not that far either, I guess you could say. 

I should always remember that life can end at any time, that life is too short to worry, and that I must rely on God for everything. Maybe this will also help me remember that I should be making more of an effort to do what I was really placed on this earth to do instead of “chickening out” all the time. Whatever it is, exactly, that I was put on this each to do. 

 

 

 

Apple and Gorgonzola Salad

 

 

Image

It tastes better than it looks!

Ingredients:

1 apple per person (or a pear, I guess), preferably organic

A reasonably, if not sensibly sized hunk of gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled by hand

Organic greens (Get a huge bag from Costco, they’re fresher somehow)

Olive Oil

Vinegar: Apple cider, champagne, whatever floats your boat

Some onion

Optional:

Walnuts

Black pepper

Salt at your own risk! You probably don’t need it because of the cheese.

Enjoy! Praise God!

 

The Meaning of Life, Lost and Found

Do you ever feel so human that it hurts? 

I was consumed by this sort of greed. This desire to eat that had little to do with physical hunger. It was almost overwhelming. I tried to work, tried to read, but all I felt was myself. A slave to the flesh, that is how I feel sometimes, We all have addictions, or if not addictions, we have vices that distract us from God, that can even take the place of God. Sure, it’s weird to put it that way, but how else can I put it? 

A slave to the flesh. I don’t want to be that way anymore. I do not want to live for pleasure, for survival, for meaninglessness. I can’t convince myself that the world is right. I can’t think of any noble philosophy that will satiate my desire for purpose. I can’t accept the fact that there is no purpose either. Call me a fool, but I simply refuse to believe that the universe was a convenient accident. Call me weak, but I can’t live without the love of Christ. Without the love of Christ, I refuse to live. Not that I should have faith merely to stay alive, however. 

There’s just got to be more than living then eating, sleeping, and reproducing. There’s got to be more to life than working, partying, and going to church. I tell you, there is a spiritual life, a spiritual self that I have become out of touch with, but a spiritual self that is much realer than the physical self. We must meet our spiritual being. We must meet God. That is what living is.

 

 

 

Romans Rapid-Fire Key Verses

If you haven’t read Romans, I would strongly encourage you to. Even if you have read it, it couldn’t hurt to read it again. This is actually my second time reading it, but I feel like the first time I didn’t get all that I should have gotten from it. I was too young and naive. especially recommend the Recovery Version. There’s so many little nuances and details that I’m sure you’ll discover new spiritual gems even if you’ve read it over before. 

Romans 12:2
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
2 Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.[b]

You don’t have to go with the flow or get with the times. Sin is still sin, no matter what people in reality shows are doing. 

Romans 12:3
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Amen to that! In our world of inflated egos and self-gratification, this is a breath of fresh air. Look at the last part. Did you ever notice that before? Our faith doesn’t even come from us. Our faith in God is also through God. Doesn’t that just burst your bubble? All of us who think we’re so wonderful and pious for believing in God? It’s not even us!

Romans 13:14
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

“Make no provision for the flesh.” That’s pretty tough. Don’t we always make provision for the flesh? We think that by allowing small divergences every once in a while, we are preventing some kind of explosion of sin. So we make provisions. The only problem is, God doesn’t just want us to have an outward appearance of righteousness, ie. “not doing anything realllyy bad.” He wants us to learn to hate sin, even sins that seem are tolerated in the eyes of the world.

This next one requires some more context. Paul is talking about how we should not judge each other based on food, or allow petty things to create unGodly tension.

Romans 14

4 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.

23 But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith;[l] for whatever does not proceed from faith[m] is sin.[n]

I hardly remember the last food choice that I didn’t have a few doubts about. Clearly, this is not a good sign. 

If you want to eat that bucket of twice deep fried chicken wings, apparently you can if you have faith. Or is there a statute of limitations? I really hope not, I like wings.

Everything that we do should be out of faith. That is what this verse is saying. I suppose faith can include believing that your body can digest meat. If you eat meat. If not, then that’s not a problem either. 

Maybe you could misinterpret this verse, thinking that you can do whatever you want as long as you “have faith.” But let me bring up two important points before you confuse yourself. 1. This verse seems to be talking only about food. Although I could very well be wrong, so maybe just forget this point. 2. If you are doing something that you know to be wrong out of faith… is that really faith? You can remember point 2.

Well, that’s all. Hope this was enlightening. God Bless!