by Barbara Latta
Katherine Pasour’s book, Honoring God with My Body: Journey to Wellness and a Healthy Lifestyle, shows us ways to remain fit and healthy in every aspect of our lives. I think you will enjoy hearing from Katherine as she shares her thoughts about her lifestyle of wellness and how she came to write this book. Check out a surprise at the end of the post!
How did you become a proponent of health and fitness?
As a child, healthy eating was the rule in our house. We had an enormous garden in the summer and froze vegetables every year. My mother, even though she had a full-time job teaching school, always had a home cooked meal every evening. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I discovered sugar and fast food. By young adulthood, I was chubby. Only an active lifestyle and farm work saved me from being a blimp. It took years, but I studied and learned about healthy nutrition and became more regular with physical activity.
What gave you the idea to write this book?
I saw the need—others struggling with their weight, with chronic diseases, with lack of understanding about appropriate exercise for their time in life—and I wanted to help. After retirement, I wrote a Bible study, and offered it to my church and community over a period of several years. Their feedback guided me to make changes and this study became Honoring God with My Body: Journey to Wellness and a Healthy Lifestyle.
It is difficult to pinpoint only one health tip, but what would you consider something at the top of the list?
Finding something active, age appropriate, that we can do safely and regularly does miracles for our bodies such as: a stronger heart; management of our weight and blood pressure; reduction of “bad” cholesterol; prevention of chronic disease; increase in energy level; and much more.
I like the way you connected all aspects of life to health and wellness such as mental, spiritual, social, as well as physical. What led you to these discoveries?
My background is in health and physical education. At my university, I worked with students who were going to become teachers, teaching classes to help prepare them with knowledge and skills to teach. Most textbooks often focus on the different aspects of health but lack information on how these many dimensions connect to influence our overall health. When we examine physical, mental, emotional, social, vocation, and spiritual health in isolation, we fail to see how strongly these strands of health interact. If we are struggling in one area, it affects all the others. I believe it is important for us to recognize the vital necessity of finding balance.
How have you incorporated these practices in ways that the younger set can enjoy without it seeming tedious to them?
- One strategy is to limit the amount of unhealthy snack choices in the house and the number of times we consume fast food, processed foods, and foods with high sugar content. Children will develop habits of eating healthy foods if their caregivers do the same. That’s not to say that on special occasions (such a birthdays) we shouldn’t eat cake or desserts. But it is important to remember, occasional is the key word when it comes to consuming fast food, sugary snacks, fried foods, and high fat foods.
- Reading labels on what we buy helps us recognize what we’re putting into our bodies. As much as possible, buy whole foods (in their original condition and prepare them at home). I know time is a struggle for many families (it was for me, too). Many folks try to prepare healthy meals on weekends to be ready for the weekday fast lane.
- Children naturally enjoy play and physical activity. Healthy habits started at a young age are more likely to continue. I play with my grandchildren, and we go for walks. Making healthy nutrition choices is harder, but as parents and grandparents, it is of vital importance for us to be good examples. We cannot expect our children to make healthy choices if we don’t.
- Keep healthy foods in the house: lots of fresh fruits and vegetables; avoid fast food foods and processed foods (i.e. deli meat, pre-prepared foods) as much as possible (I know in this fast-paced life, we all eat fast food sometimes, but remember the mantra—occasional, not a regular habit, on those unhealthy foods).
Do you have a healing testimony you would like to share?
My husband passed away from cancer in the midst of the pandemic. We’d been isolated for months, and I cared for him at home. Following his death, walking helped me deal with the immense burden of loneliness and grief. As I walked in the silence of God’s creation, He sent His tender mercies upon my exhausted shoulders and broken heart. Although the grief never passes away, I still find God’s blessings of mercy and peace amidst His trees, flowers, streams, and pathways.
One of your chapters discussed fasting in a spiritual sense by denying our bodies the food or other things it wants. Can you elaborate on this topic in more detail and discuss how fasting can honor God? In the physical realm, what does fasting do for the body?
Fasting, in broad terms, refers to denying ourselves something. Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness to prepare for His ministry (Matthew 4:1-2, Luke 4:1-2). He ate nothing. During this time, he focused on prayer and preparing Himself for what was to come.
The action of fasting takes our focus off ourselves, and our perceived needs, and allows us to fully focus on our relationship with God. Fasting is not only a cleansing of our heart and mind to be in communion with God, fasting can be of benefit for our physical body to help cleanse chemicals and impurities (this works best if during our fast we drink lots of water, the very best beverage for us, no matter our age).
Honoring God with My Body: Journey to Wellness and a Healthy Lifestyle is available for pre-order and will be released on October 4.
I gained a lot of knowledge from Katherine’s advice, and I hope you did too. Please feel free to share some of your health tips.
Here’s the surprise: I will draw from the names of those who comment between Friday, September 30 and Thursday, October 6 at midnight ET for a free copy of Honoring God with My Body, Journey to Wellness and a Healthy Lifestyle.
Katherine Pasour is an author, teacher, farmer, and speaker with a passion for service. She blogs regularly at www.katherinepasour.com with a focus on faith, wellness, and the lessons nature teaches. Psalm 139 reminds us that we are God’s special creation, “fearfully and wonderfully made”, thus Katherine believes we should nurture all aspects of wellness in service to our Lord. She is a regular contributor to Refresh Bible Study Magazine, published by Lighthouse Bible Studies. Katherine has articles in several Bible Study compilations, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character (2018); Feed Your Soul with the Word of God (2019); and The Power to Make a Difference (2019). Katherine’s wellness Bible study, Honoring God with My Body: Journey to Wellness and a Healthy Lifestyle, published by Morgan James, releases October 4, 2022 and is available from all major booksellers. You can connect with Katherine on Facebook and Instagram at KatherinePasourAuthor and Twitter @KatherinePasour.