It’s that day again! Half way through the week and only 2 days until I’m Healthy Living Summit-bound. Wahoo! (insert face full of mixed emotions: nerves+excitement=) Since it’s Wednesday, let’s jump right into the *new* usual with another instalment of “WIAW!”
Breakfast one morning: a mix of blueberries, almond butter, Kashi go-lean crunch, chia seeds, cinnamon, half a banana, and almond milk. ..plus black coffee on the side, of course. DELISH!
Lunch & afternoon snack: A fried egg with a bit of ketchup and spinach on a tortilla with nutritional yeast plus a his & hers smoothie post-run together (can you guys by the color whose is whose?!).
Delicious, all-real ingredient snacks that are great on the go!
Dinner: mini pizzas from the Calgary Farmer’s Market! They turned out to be pretty good! All real ingredients and inspired by the native-Brazilians-now-turned-Calgarians who own the shop!
Another breakfast I had to share: one of Ashley’s buckwheat bakes! With plain yogurt and bananas on it for me – hit.the.spot. I had half (pictured above), worked out, then ate the other half – perfect!
Fresh Garden Raspberries!
Popcorn with nutritional yeast for a movie snack! Yep – I’ve discovered this tasty and nutritious topping and I’m not going back!
Unpictured throughout the week is, of course, bites and swallows of other delicious goods, namely Mama Pea’s peanut butter chocolate chip dough balls as I’ve made them a few times for others this week!
Wealthy vs. Healthy
Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Mikey spent some of his morning reading from a passage in the Bible that really struck him. He immediately thought it would make an interesting blog post topic so we chatted a bit and the idea behind this post was born. This is why he thought it might fit on a “healthy living blog” like mine (in his own words): “It’s totally crazy that this was written 3 thousand years ago, and yet seems like it could be an excerpt from the hottest, new healthy living book. True wisdom is timeless…” So, what was he referencing?
Ecclesiastes is a book that sheds light on the dark philosophy of a person who sought peace apart from God and in the end realized how futile that was. The author moves through the topics of wealth, wisdom, popularity, and pleasure and, after indulging and seeking meaning in each facet of life, discards them as meaningless. Although true faith is not a series of rules or regulations as judgments and preconceived notions might make Christianity out to be, this book is essentially, one of how we ought not to live and reveals the emptiness of living for ourselves alone.
With that brief introduction as our background then, the chapter that Mikey was struck by was chapter 5, which speaks to the “futility of wealth.” Solomon (the author), writes,
“How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. Sow what is the advantage of wealth – except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers! People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich are always worrying and seldom get a good night’s sleep… And this, too, is a very serious problem. As people come into this world, so they depart. All their hard work is for nothing. They have been working for the wind, and everything will be swept away. Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud – frustrated, discouraged, and angry. Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat well, drink a good glass of wine and enjoy their work – whatever they do under the sun – for however God lets them live. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life – that is indeed a gift from God. People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy.” – Ecc. 5: 10-12; 16-20.
What an interesting text! There is so much to say about it and I am left with a few questions that I want to put on the table as food for thought:
What are you striving for? (riches, work, health?)
Do you think there is a connection between working hard and enjoying our work? (and if so, do you experience both of those, or is work something you “get through?”)
Are you taking care of your body so you can enjoy the good things God gives?
Of course, I pose these questions to myself, too, and use this text as a great reminder for what really matters in life – what’s really worth striving toward. For me, that answer is simple in speech yet difficult in practice: to love God and love people. If I (along with Mikey – us as a unit!) are doing those two things, we are living in accordance with how Jesus calls us to live in the Bible.
In doing so, we are meant to work – to work hard, but not to strive for work and riches – and I am grateful that my job (as a personal trainer although I’m currently in between jobs) is one in which I do receive a lot of fulfillment! I don’t take this for granted and know that not everyone has this opportunity. But it’s still work – you have to be “on” for every client and often work odd hours, usually going by others’ schedule rather than your own. It’s interesting to think that maybe there is supposed to some sort of connection between work and enjoyment, and if that’s the case, I think we may have lost that (at least in North America). Many struggle to “get through” the week, can’t wait until Friday, take a break and then dread Mondays. Our jobs support our lifestyles. Perhaps we’ve learned to live with too much, which isn’t cultivating a healthy life on many levels, and our jobs then become a means to an end.
From my trip to Morocco – a tannery – apparently the third hardest job in the world. And we complain about our working conditions!
The link then, between health and wealth, is an fascinating one. Most anyone who has ever done a “missions trip” or even visited a third world country and seen the way others live and the happiness with which many of them live knows what I’m getting at here! When we’re pursuing riches, directly or indirectly (it can be tough not to live that way with our culture pushing in on us from all sides!), and our health often suffers. How are you investing in your health? Backing up a bit, how would you define “health?” Going a little deeper now, how do you practice health (we may define it one way but live it another – just skating by and relying on coffee to keep us trucking or beating ourselves up after 2 slices of cake instead of 1)?
My picture of “healthy”:” living life with friends.
It is crazy, as Mikey shared, that this truth remains timeless. That seeking after riches and wealth does not yield a happy life; that if we are focused on work we cannot enjoy life; that when given blessings we should be well enough to enjoy them. Rather than focus on our food, focus on our workouts, focus on how tough our jobs are making life right now, maybe we need to do a check. What are we striving for? And then, are we enjoying life? Because it sure isn’t worth stressing over if you have a glass of wine at the end of the day, if you skip a workout and sleep in instead, if you’ve broken your budget once or twice this month. Instead, maybe we need to practice some self-control with our spending so we can enjoy the people around us more, focus on a bigger purpose than getting the promotion or new car, and take care of bodies while giving ourselves grace for the journey so we can enjoy life more.
That’s what I want my blog to be about; “Life to the Full: Living Life One Run, Bite, & Experience at a Time.” Furthermore, that’s what I want my life to be about! So what if I’m not the weight I want to be? I feel good, I’m strong, and I’m happy in my clothes. So what if I’m in between work? God will provide. In the meantime, there are plenty of ways to help out around the house and in our lives. So what if I had some ice cream with a crushed cookie? If I can enjoy that as much as a healthy green smoothie, then maybe that’s part of life too!
Not counting calories, just enjoying a brew with the bro; good food & wine!
Deep thoughts. From my husband. Who read them in the Bible. And what about thoughts from you? How do you interpret this ancient truth? Do you see it playing out in your own life? I’m glad Mikey shared his insights with me before I leave for the HLS early Friday morning because it gives me the opportunity to look into my heart, into my life, into the way I’m blogging, and try to see if what I say I believe and how I’m living are truly lining up. It reminds me to leave my mask at home and be who God created me to be, just as I am right now, not 2 years ago or who I want to become. And it reminds me of the truth that if I’m focused on loving God and loving people, the rest will fall into place and I will indeed see that “God has given [me] reasons for joy”!
ENJOY the rest of your week as you work hard, strive for more than just work, & stay healthy so that you can enjoy life as God gives graciously to us,