Every now and again we have those days where we feel a little flat. Where being nice to people is an effort, and all we want to do is get through the day without having to do too much. It’s not like this is the end of the world, an off day day here and there is completely normal. Sometimes we just need to take a break and recharge. But what if our off days are becoming more and more regular? What’s the deal? There are many things that cause us to feel flat, and a lot of the time we don’t have an explanation, let alone an answer. But it’s extremely difficult to be nice to somebody else when you’re not even being nice to yourself, so the answer starts with us.
If I could pick any person in the Bible to be most like, I would choose Daniel. Supposing I was born a boy, from Babylon, probably with brown hair and most likely above 5 feet tall, he is the one I’d choose.
Daniel’s story highlights so many positives that come from living a healthy lifestyle. The Bible even states that he and his friends were chosen to serve in the king’s palace on the basis of being “young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed and quick to understand.” I don’t know about you but I’d say that sounds like a pretty decent bunch of guys right there. The story of Daniel is one that emphasises the importance of following a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle, and plainly states the benefits that come of it.
God provided us with every single food and every single nutrient we need in order to be the happiest and healthiest we could be. Then we figured out that as humans, we could make stuff. So we went ahead and made our own food. Food that ended up making us sicker, grumpier, slower. So what if we stripped it back to the original plan? What if we could change the way we thought, the way we felt, and the way we treated other people, simply through the lifestyle we lived? Well, lucky for us, we can, and all we have to do is be more like Daniel.
Here’s a few examples of how foods can affect the way we feel:
Happy eats >> Walnuts are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, a form of omega-3 that boosts our mood and keeps us feeling chipper. Don’t like walnuts? Mangos, raspberries, green vegetables and fish are also good sources.
Energetic eats >> If you’re feeling sluggish, try eating some bananas, apples, yogurt or even just some lemon water to get you motivated.
Relaxing eats >> If the stress of life is getting to you, a handful of blueberries, cashew nuts, a bowl of porridge or even some dark chocolate can help keep the crazy at bay. They relax your body due to their antioxidants.
Peckish eats >> If nothing seems to fill you up, try a handful of nuts, yoghurt, brown pasta, scrambled eggs or a wholegrain sandwich. Weetbix is also a winner here.
Shameless eats >> If you feel like eating anything and everything you can get your hands on, popcorn (go easy on the butter and salt!), strawberries, watermelon and pretty much all vegetables are considered “zero calorie” foods, meaning they use more energy to digest than they actually contain. Make a fruit platter or chop up some veggies with low-fat dip and go for your life.
Not only were Daniel and his friends fit and strong, they were stable, level headed and likeable. They stood firm in their convictions, and when faced with an awkward situation, they stayed true to their character without being disrespectful. When I think of Dan and his friends, I think of dignified, honest men reflecting the goodness of God. And that can be us, with the help of a few fruits and vegetables. How easy is that!
Ellesha Knight lives in Melbourne, Victoria, and is studying a Masters of Occupational Therapy at La Trobe University.