“Would you please pick up some smoked paprika on your way home?”
“Would you please run over to the neighbor’s and borrow a cup of flour?”
“How soon could you deliver some milk?”
Have you ever been in the middle of making a meal and discovered that you’re missing a key ingredient? This happens to me fairly regularly because I’m not very good at planning. In contrast, I have a friend who is really good at meal planning and I’m always super impressed with her! She thinks about what she wants to eat for the week, gets the groceries for those meals and makes everything on Saturday. She puts these meals in storage containers and pulls out a container each day for her meals. She personifies meal planning and I’m massively inspired by her!
Because I’m not so good at meal planning, I find myself zipping through various fast food drive-ins and eating food that’s not very healthy. The natural results of eating less-than-healthy food is weight gain, less energy and other various undesirable outcomes.
Some principles of healthy eating might include:
- fresh is better than processed food,
- planning meals rather than convenience eating (grab and go),
- balanced intake (mixture of protein, veggies, etc.), and
- water more than soda.
These principles can align with similar concepts that are essential for our mental health and soul condition.
If we think about these principles and apply them to the intakes we put into our souls, there are some helpful similarities. For example, if we listen or watch the news and allow it to shape our outlook and decisions, this highly processed “soul food” will be very toxic and even destructive to our souls. Processed food for the soul has lots of “flesh” flavoring and ingredients, appealing to our flesh described in Galatians 5:19-21. In contrast, God’s Word is fresh food for our soul–nutritious, truthful, sustaining and illuminating.
Furthermore, the “grab and go” convenience food for our souls (a random sermon podcast, YouTube church service at our convenience, an Instagram post we read and share with our friends), while they might help for a quick second, there’s nothing better than steady time with God that we integrate into our daily routines. When I faithfully feed my soul with God’s Word and have routine prayer / fellowship, I’m more settled, fulfilled, healthy, loving, gracious and wise.
Additionally, I find it very rewarding to have a mixed intake of Bible, prayer, worship, community and reflection. In the past, I’ve binged on one of these things at the expense of including a broader diet of all nutritious intakes. The imbalance wasn’t healthy for me and I found myself less settled and fulfilled, craving a more integrated and balanced consumption of these key spiritual “foods.”
Finally, if we think about soda being an alternative to water, for a spiritual context, let’s consider that water is the most natural form of hydration known for the human body. In relation to keeping our soul hydrated, maybe the best way we can do this is to follow the lead of Mary, Jesus’s mom. In Luke 1:46 (NKJV), Mary says, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” To keep our souls buoyant, hydrated and functioning in our daily living, let’s actively choose to magnify the Lord over the things we face and struggle with throughout each day.
When we think about meal planning, let’s not only consider what this means for our physical eating, but let’s be very purposeful about the meal planning we do to give our souls proper nutrition, care and feeding!