You Are What You Eat

My mother had a favorite saying: “You are what you eat, and you are what you think.”

I’ve thought about the last part of that stateement over the years. You really are what you think. The Bible is filled with Scripture which talks about renewing the mind. The King James Version of the Bible gives us a verse which says “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”

You are what you think.

In a real sense, you are also what you eat.

Mackie Shilstone is a fitness guru known nationwide. He played football at Tulane “back in the day,” but he is best known for training professional athletes.

Recently, he sent out a report concerning foods which “cause” or “contribute to” depression. The reports originated from studies reported in the British Journal of Psychology and Journal of Rheumatology, and in books specializing on this topic.

The gist of the reports stated the foods we eat have a chemical reaction in our body that can either cause feelings of depression or help good feelings. Isn’t it amazing and wonderful that we can actually do something to help our feelings and to promote health?

What foods should you avoid? Foods high in fat and sugar and processed and fried foods may aid depression.

Foods rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and fish can actually have positive effects on your mood.

Mackie gave five his top five foods to stave off depression.

1. Vegetables–green leafy vegetables. Spinach and broccoli are good examples.

2. Fruits–Mackie cited blackberries, bananas, and watermelon as helpful in this area.

3. Seafood–Salmon and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation. Even shrimp is good for you.

4. Protein–Eggs, beans, and lentils are high in protein. Mackie says that getting foods high in protein is extremely important.

5. Whole grains, nuts, seeds–eat whole grain breads .

Our Christian theology teaches us our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Shouldn’t we care for this temple? Shouldn’t we do all within our power to care for the body given us by God? When we find ways to make ourselves more joyful and  more pleasant to be around, shouldn’t we embrace those practices?

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One Comment


  1. Ed Matthew
    Apr 25, 2012

    Mackie & Meg Farris have done a pretty good job of helping the public understand our bodies and its challenges. As a sports trainer I am sure Mackie would appreciate the control on your curve ball. Just as it is true in Scripture that truth is found in context and context takes effort. So it is true in finding the truth of each individual. There are curve balls, fast balls, sliders, knuckle balls, screw balls and all manners of wild pitches. One of my boys was a catcher. His main focus was to not let a ball go by him and guard home plate. He was pretty good. So are you at both catching and throwing. Pre-Katrina when I worked out at the same gym as Meg I learned she viewed salvation a bit differently and was not open to the Gospel but was very polite about it. From time to time I pray for her. I saw how hard she worked and how consistent she was in her fight against age and weight. Seems some of us “Christians” can learn a thing or three from Mackie and Meg. Then perhaps, as a Body, we would have their proper attention. After all, talk may be cheap and speech may be free, but it may and (in fact does) result in quite a penalty on both sides of the equation of life, here and hereafter.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. — Galatians 6:2 (NIV)