We visited in Austin Texas last month and witnessed a freak night-time hail storm that made national news. As we entered the driveway after a lovely warm day spent outdoors with grandchildren, all of us wearing summer attire, the temperature plummeted and the wind started to blow fiercely, roaring like a train. Lightning flashed steadily creating an eerie flickering over the entire horizon. Wondering what on earth it could be, we were shocked when there was a horrible pelting on all the windows and the roof. It was far too intense to be rain. We were truly afraid that big picture windows that faced the street would quickly shatter. What could it be?
HAIL! The car had been left in the driveway, and we dashed to get the garage door open and the car inside. We then watched from inside, feeling that we were witness to an epic storm of truly biblical proportions. How could there be ice balls the size of huge marbles when two hours ago we’d been barefoot playing in the sand at the playground?
My sister joked, “The only thing missing is Charlton Heston in the driveway shouting “Let my people go!”
When it finally ended, the driveway was filled with hail stones that we measured with a ruler. Many were an inch or more. The next morning, the entire neighborhood was littered with tree limbs and leaves, and neighbors surveying their homes. As the weeks of assessing the damage have continued, landscapes, roofs, windows, cars, and more were totaled. The bill for our car being in the driveway those first 2-3 minutes came in at about $2,000.
For all of us present that night, as it is with all gargantuan weather experiences, one knows that only God is in charge of this old world. Our personal freedom of choice is relegated simply to our own behaviors and decisions.
It brought Moses and the children of Israel to life and all week I pondered over the miracles … the drama, the devastation.
Of course, being a foodie, I’m fascinated as we all are with the Lord’s plan for feeding Moses and the vast hosts of wandering Israelites. I do believe that manna was the very first fast food! Delivered fresh, sweet and ready to eat right to your front yard six days of the week, surely this was the inspiration for Domino’s pizza delivery.
Although it tasted like honey wafers, it is very clear that it didn’t come in a six-pack variety of flavors, nor were there fun toppings to perk it up when the taste, though delicious and honey-like, became tiresome. That aside, manna was clearly of superior nutritional quality and satisfying. A daily omer (a unit of measure that is roughly 2 quarts, and a bit more or less depending on age and size) was eaten for 40 years and provided for the Israelites as they traveled. This 40 years was long enough to establish a strong and healthy new generation.
As a wife and mother with endless family meals in both my history and future, think of the time they saved in meal preparation and clean-up! I confess, I’m impressed with the simplicity of it all, as one of my favorite parts of our own Fast Sunday is the time we have to do other things with less time spent in meal preparation, eating and clean-up.
It’s a fascinating thing to look back on the Israelites and this ancient period of history. Though we marvel at their immaturity and responses to God and Moses, I wonder how they would view our world today, especially with regard to the wide variety and choices of food, especially in the United States. No doubt they, like returning missionaries and the military who have been abroad for a long time, would probably be overwhelmed with the sheer number of selections and easy convenience of foods, both natural and processed, the soft drinks, breads, meats, snacks and treat foods that are constantly provided in irresistible packaging and compellingly advertised.
The Israelites would look at us and wonder why so many of us are overweight. With a quick education on the fact that too many calories turns into stored fat, they would see that they had their challenges and we have ours: one of the great, undeniable realities of these latter days is the very evident fact that many of us just eat too much.
Perhaps we are overwhelmed too. We hardly know when or where to start and finish our personal eating each day. How easy it is to just keep eating because it tastes so good and is so convenient with old favorites and stand-bys joining delicious new offerings and creations almost continually. For many of us who graze this way through our days, to be truly hungry and ready for a nutritious meal is an irregular, unusual event.
It was impossible for the Israelites to overindulge because the manna developed worms and rotted if they took too much or tried to make it last. Once again, how simple! What an easy way to maintain your weight! We would all benefit from the Lord intervening on what, when and how much we’re supposed to eat. Since that is not part of the program for us as Latter Day Saints in 2015, I am ever grateful for Jane Birch’s healthy living program based on the Word of Wisdom and more specifically outlined at www.forksoverknives.com
While the eating may seem rigid and extreme and you might say, as many do “I could never do that! Whole food plant based eating is nothing short of a Las Vegas smorgasbord compared to a daily omer of nothing but manna. I’m quite sure the Israelites would have been thrilled with the variety and amounts on these very healthy eating plans.
Stepping back, the Lord simplified more than just eating for the Israelites. He cured their venomous snake bites by having them simply look at the snake on a pole. Not everyone believed it, of course, and they perished, even as we avoid simple things like slipping out for a brisk walk several times a week or eliminating soda or sugar 90% of the time to manage our health.
He simplified the greater laws he originally wanted to give them by reducing them to ten simple, yet profound commandments.
Your Personal Ten Commandments
I have a very strong testimony that he will do the same for us in a very personal way as we strive to create the health that makes us happier, healthier, better and more energetic servants. No, it’s not easy, but no, it’s not impossible. We can create our own inspired, personal Ten Commandments of Health to help us along, and I’ve provided some lists to get us started in choose or own personal top ten. I wish Charlton Heston could personally deliver them, but the Spirit will sweetly guide as you prayerfully choose your most important ten. They don’t need to be written in stone, but you might want to print them out.
Dr. Mehmet Oz
1: Thou Shalt Not Wear Pants That Stretch
“When you wear stretchy clothes, it’s difficult to tell if you are gaining weight because you gain weight without realizing it. When you wear clothes that fit with a set size you let clothes be your gauge. They alert your body if something is getting a little tight so you can correct the course early on.”
2: Thou Shalt Not Keep “Fat Clothes” in Your Closet
“I don’t want anybody out there who’s losing their weight thinking, ‘it’s okay if I overate a little bit, it’s not a problem because I can still wear these clothes.’”
3: Thou Shalt Not Eat Meat That Walks on Four Legs More Than One Time a Week
“The reason is that there’s less saturated fat in animals that walk on two legs like chickens, or don’t have any legs like fish. Additionally, women who eat large amounts of red meat more than once a week actually have 50 percent higher chance of dying of heart disease. They also have higher cancer rates, so there are double benefits from the third commandment.”
4: Thou Shalt Not Graze or Browse in Search of Prey
“You need to plan before you go to the fridge. Too many times we’re wandering like reptiles foraging for food. We make food decisions. You want to create the plate that you’re going to eat using your brain rather than impulses that lead you to naturally overeat, which is what happens when you’re hungry and going in there five to seven times a day.”
5: Thou Shall Not Eat After 7:30 PM
“The average American goes to bed around 10:00 p.m. You need to have two hours of time between when you eat your dinner and when you go to bed. When you eat late at night, a couple of things happen. First of all, you’re more likely to be eating in front of the TV, which means you’re distracted and likely to eat more. You also tend to get high calorie snacks in the late night hours. Try to move your meals up a tiny little bit whatever way you can to make 7:30 p.m. your ideal cut off time.”
6: Thou Shall Not Pile Food on a Plate More than One Inch High or Two Inches to the Edge of the Plate
“Larger portions mean a lot more calories.”
7: Thou Shalt Not Chew Less Than 20 Bites
“When you’re chewing, your body is beginning to process the reality that you’re putting food in it. It takes awhile for those hormones to circle back. The perception of fullness depends completely on back and forth chemistry between your stomach and your brain. As you chew, you give yourself several minutes for that processing to occur. So you’re helping your biology of blubber take you to a weight that you could be happy at.”
8: Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbors Plate
“These snacks, these little bites from someone else’s sandwich, these little sweets, whatever it is, it adds up. It adds up, on average, to over 1,000 calories a day. That’s why grazers, believe it or not, are getting into trouble. These calories count with all the other calories you already eat.”
9: Thou Shalt Not Carry Small Bills
“The reason, vending machines. Vending machines love small bills, and human beings like putting small bills in vending machines. With this temptation it’s too easy to get 100 or 200 extra calories of food. Most people buy more because they’re not going to pocket the extra change. The result is you feed there over and over again. I want you to leave the house without small bills in your pocket. You won’t want to break a $20 bill in order to buy junk foods in a vending machine.”
10: Thou Shall Not Eat Standing Up or in a Car
“Eat a preplanned meal while you’re stationary, and eat it while you’re sitting down. You will actually know what you’re doing. You are aware, you’re not distracted and you’re not rushing; most important, you are not overeating.”
I loved the following from a weight trainer and fitness I admire from Florida:
You must believe and have faith that you will succeed. The more you fail and the more you are rejected the closer you are to victory. Vision is a dream or goal with a deadline. Write your vision with your goals and never close site of them.
- Healthy Life Style
Your body is your temple. If you don’t take care of your body where will you live?
- No Vices Stay away from soft drinks, white sugar and flour.B. Peaceful Living Find a private place to have a peaceful time for your self to relax and pray. Eat in a peaceful environment with good company. Eat slowly and chew your food twenty to fifty times.
C. Rest Work and play hard six days a week but make sure you take one day off for rest and relaxation. Even the almighty God rested on the seventh day. Get a good nights sleep every day. The body repairs while you sleep.
- No Negative Thoughts or People
Think positive; keep all negative thoughts out of your mind such as fear, hate and envy. FEAR is False Expectations Appearing Real. Negative people will keep you from success. Keep them away from you and your life.
- Eat Healthy Foods We all know what healthy foods and unhealthy foods are. Foods as close to the way God made them are healthy. Man made processed, refined and altered foods are unhealthy.
Drink Water, Water and more Pure Water, 8 to 10 glasses a day. Our bodies are almost 85 % water. Next to oxygen, water is the most important element for staying alive. We can’t survive without it.
- Functional Anaerobic Exercising
Functional training is the way that we use our bodies daily by using different muscles in our body together simultaneously. Examples of some functional exercises are Kettlebells, Olympic Weight Lifting, Pilates, Indian Club Swinging, rope climbing and Calisthenics. Muscle specific weight machine training is not functional, yet it is a lot better then sitting around the house eating and channel surfing.
- Aerobic Exercising
You need at least a 20 min aerobic workout to stay in good cardiovascular shape. Jogging, sprinting, kettlebell training, swimming and riding a bicycle will give you an aerobic workout. The aerobic workout that burns the most calories is still kickboxing. Keep your cardio workouts fun and functional. Make sure that you get speed, bursting power and balance in your workout so stay away from fixed bicycles and treadmills.
Stretching relaxes your body, reduces muscle tension, increase range of motion, prevents injury, promotes circulation and reduces lactic acid that is produced after a workout. Great forms of stretching are Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga. Stretching is the most neglected physical activity.
- Breathing Exercise
Oxygen is the most important element keeping us alive. You can not survive more than a few minutes without oxygen. Go out doors and breathe fresh air daily. Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Gong will teach you great techniques for healthy breathing.
The sun is a powerful healer. It kills germs and relaxes you. It helps your body absorb calcium and creates vitamin D. Remember light brings life and darkness brings death.
It is good to periodically skip a meal or two and give the digestive track a break.
More Ten Commandments
There are even several books at Amazon with the “Ten Commandments” principles!
You can check them out yourself there. Even a summary of the table of contents will give you great direction. Just put in “Ten Commandments for Health.” In the search box at Amazon.com
Preparing this article, I’m inspired for myself! Already the Spirit is whispering my very own Ten Commandments to me saying, “Carolyn, I love you! This is important.”
Here Are My Top Three Ten Commandments
- Thou shalt not eat cookies when alone, tired or avoiding paperwork. (I work for several hours a day at an elementary school where there is a never-ending flow of cookies, and tasty kids treats.)
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s body height or or legs. (I’m less than 5′ tall and bottom/hip/thigh heavy) Instead be grateful that your legs, though not long and slender, work fabulously and serve you well!
- Thou shalt be realistic and and embrace the higher ends of your healthy weight range.(A bummer, but not the end of the world! What a waste of time and energy to dwell on what’s never going to happen and is not nearly as big a deal as the media wants us to believe.)
Record Your Ten Commandments
OK! Now it’s up to you. Go write your own!
Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success, One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life, available HERE.
She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She and her husband Bob are the parents of five children and grandparents of eight. They live in the Washington D.C. area where she is the Primary chorister and they team-teach Missionary Preparation for the Annandale Stake CES Institute program.
Click HERE to learn more about them and the herbal detox product they share at Meridian!