Today Dr. Luke will talk to us about an important topic for all people. That is the basic food groups and how to use them. Everyone in the world eats daily and need to know how to use the basic food groups to get adequate nutrition. Dr. Luke will start by using telling a story of a young mother.
Liu Ming Jia was a 35 year old mother who also worked. She and her husband had an 8 year old daughter. Thus Liu Ming Jia was very busy with work, home activities and helping her daughter with dance and music lessons. She barely had time to cook. She liked to cook though. One day she began to notice that her daughter was gaining weight. She asked her daughter he she was eating elsewhere or getting snacks and she said no. If this was so then why was she gaining weight? She was concerned as she had heard of bad side effects of gaining weight in children her age. What was Liu Ming Jia to do?
Liu Ming Jia continued to think about this problem. One day she met a friend and talked to her about this as well. Her friend told her that she was worrying too much about the problem but when she realized how serious she Liu Ming Jia was about the problem she decided she should help her. Liu Ming Jia’s friend had heard about a hospital which had some lectures about food. After checking into this and calling the hospital Liu Ming Jia and her friend decided that these lectures would help them with their questions. So they both went to these lectures.
The lecture was given by a pediatrician from the hospital. The doctor started by saying that most people do not understand how the food groups work so if the people in the audience had little understanding of this then they should not feel either stupid or anxious. This relieved Liu Ming Jia as she was sure she was the only person in the audience of 50 parents who did not know this. This made it easier for her to ask questions.
The pediatrician told the audience that there are three basic food groups. The first is protein, the second is carbohydrates and fats and the third is fruits and vegetables. She asked them what examples of each were. She stated that all meats are proteins. Carbohydrates are mostly thought of as breads. The fat was straight forward as were fruits and vegetables.
Then the doctor asked them a question. The pediatrician told them this was the most important question of the lecture. What was the function of each of the three groups just listed? Many people gave many different answers all of which the doctor said were good. However, the doctor told them that there is a very simple way to remember what each of the three groups did.
First, the proteins, they make you grow or building a body up. This is especially important for children as they from birth till about 18 years of age are growing a lot. Second, is the carbohydrates and their main function is going or giving energy to people. Again, the doctor said all of these are very important to children. They need a lot of energy. Finally was the fruits and vegetable and their main function is to help us glow or protect us.
The doctor shortened this to grow, go and glow. That was very easy to remember Liu Ming Jia thought. That would make food planning much easier.
The doctor told them at this point they would take a break for lunch and return in an hour. Liu Ming Jia and her friend went to get some lunch at a local restaurant. While at lunch they discussed the morning lecture and thought it was good, helpful and they were both glad they had decided to come.
Liu Ming Jia’s friend asked her a question. Her friend knew she exercised a lot and was fit and on the go a lot. However, did she have much glow in her life? Liu Ming Jia was surprised to have this question asked of her but she had to admit before responding that she did not have much glow in her life. She asked her friend why she asked such a question and her friend told her that it was because she did not see the happiness in life she had seen in the years before. Liu Ming Jia admitted she had lost a lot of the joy of life over past number of years and the recent worrying about her daughter’s weight caused more stress.
Liu Ming Jia’s friend told her about a person who had given her joy in her life she had never had before. That person was Jesus Christ. Liu Ming Jia’s friend went on to tell her how she had received Jesus Christ into her own life and then showed her a place in the Bible which said, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life…but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own (Matthew 6.25-27, 33, 34).’
Liu Ming Jia certainly thought this challenged her way of thinking. She did worry about all of these things and more, but especially about her daughter’s weight. Her friend went on to show her a different place in the Bible which showed, ‘Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us- yes, establish the work of our hands (Psalms 90.13-17).’
Liu Ming Jia’s friend told her that this was important to know. That God will establish the work of our hands. Part of this is helping our children. God can and will provide for us but we must know how this will happen. We know this through knowing God’s salvation for us through Jesus Christ. At this point they realized that it was important to return to the lecture. So they returned at once but Liu Ming Jia wanted to know more about this person Jesus and life through him.
Upon returning to the lecture the pediatrician gave some more examples of the different food groups. First, with the protein or the ‘growing’ component she said you should look on a child’s body as a building and then you put into the building builders who will help the building grow. If you take away the builders or the workman than a house stops growing. You must have the builders. If you take away the grow foods, a child’s growth is stunted. Liu Ming Jia recalled many people from the countryside who were very short and she often wondered if there food intake was not so good when they were young.
The second group, was the carbohydrates and fats or the ‘go’ foods. These provide us with energy. Think of a car or bicycle, the pediatrician said. If you take away the fuel for the care or the legs to make the bicycle go then you take away the energy to make the car or bike go. The same with these ‘go’ foods. Without them a child’s energy is much less than normal. These foods give a child energy.
Finally, the last food group is the fruits and vegetables or ‘glow’ foods. The pediatrician asked them to think about a fence. We have fences for protection. If you take a fence other people and animals can get in and destroy either people or things. The fence is needed for protection. The ‘glow’ foods are like this as they provide protection. Without them children will get sick more easily. The glow foods protect a child from disease.
Liu Ming Jia thought this was simple and clear, just what she needed. But how much of each group should she give a day. She raised her hand and asked this question and the doctor responded by saying this was a very good question. The doctor said think of 3 x 3. That is three meals a day with one food from each group at each meal. This is called a balance meal. How much of each food group at each meal the doctor asked? At least a bowl or two equivalents from each group. It is when a child eats too much or does not exercise that they start gaining weight. There are some medical conditions a child can have which can cause them to be overweight but this is not common and these disease can be easily evaluated.
After several more questions the lecture ended but both Liu Ming Jia and her friend thought they had acquired a lot of useful information to use in helping their families have healthier lives.
Upon leaving Liu Ming Jia asked her friend again about this person Jesus Christ. Her friend responded by saying that if we come into a personal relationship with him we can have eternal life. Liu Ming Jia asked how do you do this. First, her friend told her that we must see that we have sinned or done wrong before God and this sin separates us from God. She again showed her a place in the Bible which said, ‘but the scriptures declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe (Galatians 3.22).’ This means that all of us have sinned before God, i.e. the whole world. Not only is this but we slaves or prisoners of sin. However we come to faith in Jesus Christ and are given Jesus Christ’s promise to us.
What is that promise? That promise is new life now when we accept Jesus Christ and eternal life. The Bible says, ‘if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has past the new has come II Corinthians 5.17).’ This new creation we become gives us a new life. Jesus said, ‘I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10.10).’ Moreover Jesus also said that he would give us eternal life. Jesus said, ‘for God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believed in him would not perish but have everlasting life, for God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through would be saved (John 3.16, 17).’
Liu Ming Jia thought this was amazing. A new life now and forever, wow that sounded incredible and wonderful. Why did her sins separate her from God and how did Jesus forgive those sins. Her friend showed another place in the Bible which read, ‘once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation (Colossians 1.21-22).’ Liu Ming Jia’s friend explained this meant that our own behavior and thinking alienated us from God. But reconciled means that Jesus Christ took our sins on his body and this forgave them so we would not have to bear them. This allowed us to be holy in the sight of God and have no blemish and accusation. We are free, cleansed and made right before God so that now through Jesus Christ God can give us life now and forever.
Liu Ming Jia’s friend asked her if she wanted to receive this new life through Jesus Christ. Liu Ming Jia said that she did. Her friend asked her to pray the following prayer after her and really mean it. Liu Ming Jia prayed this prayer after her friend, ‘Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I have sinned and done wrong before you. I know that I need a savior to save me from these sins. I ask you to come into my life and save me from my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that after he died for my sins he rose from the dead and now lives and will live forever. I ask you to come into my life and give me new life and save me from my sins. I ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.’
After Liu Ming Jia prayed this prayer she had new life in Jesus Christ with a new purpose and meaning in life. She even had renewed purpose and joy in preparing meals for her family.
You too can gain this new life in Jesus Christ if you only will ask Jesus Christ into your life as Liu Ming Jia did and mean this prayer as she did.