Lifestyle is a very important part of health. How we live, what we eat, drink, how much sleep or rest, exercise, get fresh air or sunshine, whether we abstain from harmful habits and how we handle everyday stress in our lives, all play an important role in our health. By incorporating these health principles into our lifestyles, we will experience improved healthy outcomes.
"And God called the firmament Heaven." Genesis 1:8
The Most essential element to sustain life is oxygen.
Without food you will die in a few weeks.
Without water you will die in a few days.
Without air you will die in a few minutes.
Blood and cells are dependent upon oxygen.
Fresh air invigorates the vital organs and aids the system in ridding itself of accumulated impurities. Fresh air also brings life to the skin and has a decided influence on the mind. Fresh air contains negative ions which help to immune system fight disease. The lack of fresh air causes specific problems such as fevers, colds, and lung diseases.
"The stomach, liver, lungs and brain are suffering for want of deep, full inspirations of air which would electrify the blood and impart to it a bright, lively color, and which alone can keep it pure, and give tone and vigor to every part of the living machinery."—Ellen G. White, Testimonies Vol. 2, pp. 67-68
In the morning, step outside and breathe deeply; then expel all the air in your lungs. Repeat this about 3 or 4 times. Have fresh air ventilating in your home day and night. Exercise in the open air will promote good circulation. air is the free blessing of Heaven.
"In the matchless gift of His Son, God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who chose to breathe this life-giving atmosphere will live and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus."—Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 68
"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day." Genesis 1:16
Every living thing in our world is dependent on sunlight. Without sunlight nothing would live. the following discoveries show the benefits derived from the sun: It lowers blood sugar and blood pressure; it lowers cholesterol by converting it to vitamin D; it utilizes calcium and phosphorus; it increases red blood cells; it increases white blood cells; it strengthens the immune system; it calms the nerves and increases adrenaline; it destroys germs on the skin; it reverses jaundice; it increases circulation; and it helps eliminate pesticides and other chemicals from the system.
"Pure air, good water, sunshine, the beautiful surroundings of nature...these are God's means for restoring the sick to health."—Ellen G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 7, p. 85
Start the day with exposing your face and body to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes. Gradually increase your time to 30 to 45 minutes daily. DO NOT GET A SUNBURN. The best time for sunbathing is between 9:00 and 10:00 AM and between 4:30 and 5:30 PM.
"As the flower turns to the sun, that the bright beams may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should we turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that Heaven's light may shine upon us, that our character may be developed in to the likeness of Christ."—Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 68
"Out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is...good for food." Genesis 2:9
Abstemiousness means temperance. True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything harmful and to use judiciously that which is healthful.
Avoid anything that is harmful to your body. This includes liquor, drugs, tobacco, overeating, eating between meals, sugar-laden foods, strong condiments and spices, all caffeinated foods (chocolates and some sodas contain caffeine, as do coffee and tea), large combinations of foods, grease and fat, excess salt, and animal foods. "Indulgence in eating too frequently, and in too large quantities, overtaxes the digestive organs, and produces a feverish state of the system. The blood becomes impure, and then diseases of various kinds occur."—Review and Herald, September 5, 1899
"Abstemiousness in diet and control of the passions, will preserve the intellect and give mental and moral vigor, enabling men to bring all their propensities under the control of the higher powers, and to discern between right and wrong, the sacred and the common."—Ellen G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 491
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1,2
"He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made." Genesis 2:2
The greatest remedy for being tired is SLEEP.
The body requires plenty of rest to heal.
Sleep is the greatest rejuvenator; it restores strength to muscles, nerves, and brain.
During sleep the body repairs, reenergizes, and prepares for renewed activity.
One hour of sleep before midnight is equal to 2 hours of sleep after midnight.
During a day of work and activity, toxins build up in our system which cannot immediately be thrown off. These toxins product fatigue—that well-known weariness at the end of the day. Sleep gives the body time to expel wastes and to make repairs.
"The stomach, when we lie down to rest, should have its work done, that it may enjoy rest, as well as other portions of the body. The work of digestion should not be carried on through any period of the sleeping hours."—Ellen G. White, Healthful Living, p. 84
Rest is not synonymous with sleep. Four types of rest are:
Physical Rest—sitting, lying down, or relaxing. Not eating late at night or before bed.
Sensory Rest—quietness and refraining from using the eyes.
Emotional Rest—a withdrawing from the ups and downs caused by personal interaction.
Mental Rest—a detaching of the mind from all intellectual demands or activity.
Your Prescription: First, get the sleep your body needs, 8 hours a day and several hours before midnight. Second, do not neglect that important rest we need, such as taking morning walks, sitting in a jacuzzi or by a mountainside, looking at a forest or lake, going to the ocean, or reading the Scriptures.
"A life in Christ is a life of restfulness. There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there should be an abiding peaceful trust. Your hope is not in yourself; it is in Christ. Your weakness is united to His strength, your ignorance to His wisdom, your frailty to His enduring might....Let the mind dwell upon His love, upon the beauty, the perfection of His character.."—Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 70
"The Lord God put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15
"God designed that the living machinery should be in daily activity. For in this activity or motion is its preserving power.... The more we exercise, the better will be the circulation of the blood."—Ellen G. White, Healthful Living, pp. 131-132
"There is no exercise that can take the place of walking. by it the circulation of the blood is greatly improved. Walking, in all cases where it is possible, is the best remedy for the diseased bodies, because in this, all of the organs of the body are brought into use."—Ellen G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 78
"Moderate exercise every day will impart strength to the muscles, which without exercise become flabby and enfeebled."—Ellen G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 533
"Exercise will aid in the work of digestion. Take a walk after a meal; but no violent exercise after a full meal."—Ellen G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 530
"Morning exercise, walking in the free, invigorating air of heaven, or cultivating flowers, small fruits, and vegetables, is the surest safeguard against colds, coughs, congestion of the brain, inflammation of the liver, the kidneys, and the lungs, and a hundred other diseases."—Ellen G. White, Healthful Living, p. 176-177
Studies are finding that exercise is an important factor in the fight against cancer.
"If physical exercise were combined with mental exertion, the blood would be quickened in its circulation, the action of the heart would be more perfect, impure matter would be thrown off, and new life and vigor would be experienced in every part of the body."—Ellen G. White, Counsels on Health, p. 572
"Those who thus exercise the Christian graces will grow and will become strong to work for God. They will have a clear spiritual perceptions, a steady growing faith, and an increased power in prayer.... Strength comes by exercise. Activity is the very condition of life. Those who endeavor to maintain a Christian life by passively accepting the blessing that come through the means of grace, and doing nothing for Christ, are simply trying to live by eating without working.... A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers, not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had."—Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 80
"And a river went out of Eden and watered the garden." Genesis 2:10
The body requires water constantly. Most of this water is recycled within the body itself. However, it must have a replacement of eight glasses of water per day. Cleansing of waste material is a daily task for the body, not only from its own wastes, but from the constant bombardment of germs and viruses, and in today's society, from chemicals and drugs. If the body is not thoroughly cleansed, it is forced to break down. "Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues.... Drink some, a little time before or after a meal."—Ellen G. White, Healthful Living, p. 226
Lack of water. If we do not drink enough water, we will pay for it. We have close to 60,000 miles of blood vessels in our body. That is enough to go around the earth at the equator two and one-half times. Our red blood cells travel through 60,000 miles of blood vessels at a speed of about 43 miles an hour. When we do not drink enough water, the first place the body takes water from is the blood; it next takes water from the bones. You have heard of dry bones! The next place it takes the water from is the liver, then the skin (that is why we have premature aging), then from the brain (cerebral dehydration), then from the cells. Cell dehydration is one reason we have pain.
Frequent bathing is very beneficial, especially at night before retiring or upon arising in the morning. "The bath soothes the nerves. It promotes general perspiration, quickens the circulation, overcomes obstruction in the system, and acts beneficially on the kidneys and the urinary organs. Bathing helps the bowels, stomach, and liver, giving energy and new life to each. It also promotes digestion and instead of the system being weakened, it is strengthened...and a more easy and regular flow of the blood through all the blood vessels is obtained."—Ellen G. White, Counsels on Health, p. 104
"Impurities are constantly and imperceptibly passing from the body, through the pores, and if the surface of the skin is not kept in a healthy condition, the system is burdened with impure matter....and if the garments worn are not frequently cleansed...the pores of the skin absorb again the waste matter thrown off. The impurities of the body... are taken back into the blood, and forced upon the internal organs."—Ellen G. White, Healthful Living, p. 143
Food should not be washed down, and no drink is needed with meals. Eat slowly and allow the saliva to mingle with the food. The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest, for the liquid must first be absorbed.
Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Taken with meals, water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands, and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. The best time to drink your water is a half hour before or an hour after your meals. A couple large glasses of hot water first thing in the morning will assist your bowels in elimination.
Other benefits of water are hydrotherapy, hot and cold fomentation, enemas, etc.
"God is the source of life and light and joy to the universe. Like rays of light from the sun, like the streams of living water bursting from a living spring, blessings flow out from Him to all His creatures. And wherever the life of God is in the hearts of men, it will flow out to others in love and blessing."—Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 77
"And God said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed...and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat (food)." Genesis 1:29
Proper nutrition is vital to good health. Food that is devitalized cannot supply the vitamins and minerals it lacks. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we choose wisely the food that goes on our table. Vegetables and fruits should be making the greater proportion of our meals, along with whole grains, beans, legumes, and seeds. Nuts can be included in small amounts. From our food, we will obtain all the elements essential for good health: vitamins, minerals, water, carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber.
Foods should be prepared with simplicity and variation, perhaps only three or four dishes at a meal, and properly cooked. Food should be carefully chosen and prepared with intelligence and skill. Avoid the use of grease in foods. Lard, butter, and hydrogenated vegetable fats may be classified as grease. If using oil, use natural oils sparingly, such as olive, flax, and keep it refrigerated.
Avoid sugar. It is not good for the stomach, because it causes fermentation. Milk and sugar clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain. Sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat.
Eat raw vegetable salads or raw fruits before the main course. This will stimulate and assist digestion, and help avoid overeating of cooked foods. Fruits and vegetables should not be eaten at the same meal. Eat fruits at one meal and vegetables at another.
Eat sparingly—for strength and not for drunkenness. The benefit you derive from your food does not depend so much upon the amount eaten, as upon its proper combination and thorough digestion. Neither does gratification of taste depend so much upon the amount of food swallowed as upon the length of time it remains in the mouth. Overeating clogs the machinery and weakens the moral power to resist other passions.
Eat at regular intervals, allowing 5-6 hours to elapse between meals. Do not eat a morsel of food between meals. When hungry between meals, drink a large glass of cool water. Do not eat before going to bed. The stomach must not be constantly at work, but have periods of rest.
Take time to eat and enjoy mealtimes. Avoid eating compulsively or when emotionally upset, in pain, or overtired.
Eat a substantial breakfast. In the morning, after a good night's rest, the stomach is far better able to digest a hearty meal than at other meals of the day. The practice of eating a little or no breakfast and a heavy supper may be conducive to putting on unwanted pounds.
Two meals a day are better than three; but if a third meal is eaten at all, it should be light, and eaten several hours before going to bed. Example: two meals—8 AM and 3 PM or three meals—6 AM, 12 PM, and 6 PM.
In grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are found all the food elements to make good blood.
REMEMBER, include in the diet a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, more raw foods, whole grain cereals and breads, vegetable proteins from sources such as dry beans, peas, and other legumes (soybeans, garbanzos, kidney beans, pintos, lentils, etc.), tofu, nuts, seeds, and soybean or rice milk. Our recommendations are a high starch, low fat, and moderate protein diet that includes plenty of raw fruits and vegetables.
Reduce the fats, oils, salt, and sugars in the diet and avoid high cholesterol foods such as eggs, cheese, butter, and meats. All animal foods contain cholesterol, and that includes chicken and fish. Let the diet reform be progressive! Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, and 10:31:
"What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
8—Trust in Divine Power
"And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man." Genesis 2:22
Who is the Great Physician?
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and the He is a rewarded of them that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
From whom does all healing come?
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ...it shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." Proverbs 3:5, 8
"If thou will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandment, and keep His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee." Exodus 15:26
What is His desire for your life?
"Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospereth." 3 John 2
"Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments...which I command thee this day, to do them...and the Lord will take away all sickness and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt...upon thee." Deuteronomy 7:11, 15
Does He want our complete restoration?
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Does a lack of trust create a negative influence?
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22
"A sound heart is the life of the flesh; but envy the rottenness of the bones." Proverbs 14:30
Remember, worry, stress, and depression bring decay, disease, and death. The immune system is strengthened by trusting God.
The foundation of all health is in the acceptance of the blessings which the Creator has provided for us. Foremost of these is the privilege we have of choosing our Saviour to be our Guide as well as our Great Physician. In fact, the divine purpose of our physical healing is to make us more inclined to accept the spiritual healing Christ longs to perform upon our hearts.
There is an inexpressible peace that comes to one who has learned to trust in God and to lay all things in His hands. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, "Come unto Me...and I will give your rest." Rest from sorrow, rest from fear, and rest from insecurity. But first we must come to Him as our Great Physician. We must trust Him before we can understand and practice His profession or reveal His wisdom and love. The let us resign ourselves to do His will, and endeavor faithfully to follow every instruction He gives for when we come to God, we must be willing to acknowledge and accept His ways as best for us, and follow them, regardless of our own personal preference and prejudices. There may be times when we may not discern His wisdom in certain events, but it is on these occasions that we especially honor Him by our faith. By being obedient to Him in those things which He asks of us—be it in the physical or spiritual realm—we shall discover that He is guiding us on our way to complete healing.
"Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God.... 'The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy.' James 5:11. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them.... Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy, cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. 'He healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds. 'Psalm 147:3." — Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 100
The following quotes comprise an excellent prescription for a successful lifestyle: "Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Holy Spirit, God speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to Him. In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual intercourse with our heavenly Father...
"Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend... Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.
"He [Jesus] found comfort and joy in communion with His Father. And if the Saviour of men, the Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of fervent, constant prayer." Ibid, pp. 64, 65
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in and sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20
May we never forget:
"And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day." Deuteronomy 7:24
Reference books: The King James Bible, Council on Diets and Foods by Ellen G. White