The Mediterranean diet is one of easiest and healthiest diets to follow. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts are the basis of the diet with fish replacing meat and olive oil replacing butter. It is fun and easy to cook this way.
Start with a whole grain like pasta or rice and toss in some seasonal vegetables, nuts and beans. Use spices to flavor the meal rather than salt and add fish two or three times a week. Serve with a whole grain bread dipped in olive oil rather than butter. It is that easy.
Trouble comes when we take the healthy meal above and put a layer of cheese on it to melt in the oven for a few minutes. Or, we take our healthy fish and coat it with buttery bread crumbs or some sort of batter and fry it. These additions sure do taste great but they add calories and fats, and well, ruin the healthy meal.
Loving God is pretty simple, too: just spend some time with Him. We can pray by talking with Him as we go through our day, by giving Him praise through music, and by thanking Him for our blessings. Keeping God in the “now” by focusing on His presence in our lives is a healthy way to keep calm, lessen the anxiety in our lives, and feel the joy that is key to overall health.
Trouble comes when we take our natural way of experiencing God and coat it with rules. God already knows we are not perfect but somehow we forget that. We start thinking we must be perfect by following this or that rule or God will not be pleased. We must go to church every Sunday, we must read our Bible every day, we must not swear, we must not drink, we must not…you fill in the blank.
Many of these “rules” are good ones to follow, but they are not what God looks at. God looks at our heart and discerns if we are following these rules out of love for Him and His people, or if we are doing them out of pride. If God is pleased with a broken and contrite heart, then our posture must be to continually try to improve our spiritual strength and realize that a few steps in the wrong direction will not keep us from Him. Knowing where we stand with God is the first step in experiencing His presence.
Let’s face it, we are in a battle down here and we are going to get hurt by life, but the Lord of Life knows us through and through. Christ has opened the door to us to experience God first hand. We no longer need a priest to make sacrifices for our shortcomings, instead, Jesus himself, was and is our sacrifice. So we invite Him into our lives with full awareness that we are going to mess up, repeatedly, even habitually, but through His grace He will transform our hearts and help us to become His glory. He will do this individually and in union with others as His church.