I’ve long been a health nut. My kids call me “Dr. Mom,” and still summon me when health issues arise in their lives (or their kids’ lives). When they were little, I bought The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide and kept it under my side of the bed. When anyone got sick, I’d check the symptoms with the medical guide. Even when they weren’t sick, I’d pull the heavy volume out and pore through its pages.
These days I browse the internet. With countless websites pertaining to health, it’s important to glean information only from trustworthy sites and to compare data. I trust the sites that aren’t trying to sell me something, that are there simply to educate and inform.
That’s why I subscribe to Consumer Reports and its corresponding health newsletter. CR doesn’t sell advertising so it can be completely objective. Products and services reported on have been tested thoroughly and objectively. With my first issue came Consumer Reports The Best of Health: 280 Questions you’ve always wanted to ask your doctor.
Since I’ve long dealt with unrelenting symptoms of hypothyroid (and have written about it ad nauseum on this blog), I flipped to the thyroid section. I’d already known that broccoli and triclosan, an ingredient in antibacterial soap, interfered with the thyroid. I’d checked the labels of all the soap products in the house, replaced dish detergent and hand soap, and bought a packet of antibacterial hand wipes that didn’t contain triclosan to keep in my purse. You don’t know what’s in those hand soap dispensers in public restrooms.
My eyebrows raised when I read that soy may interfere with the absorption of synthroid, the medicine I take daily for low thyroid. Soy—and anything containing soy—can be consumed, but not until at least eight hours after taking the medicine. Once again I began reading labels—and was surprised by what all contained soy. My coffee creamer and my “healthy” cereal both contain soy. So does my multivitamin powder that’s supposed to have been formulated to boost thyroid function!
“It’s used as a filler,” my husband said when I told him. And here I’d thought soy was supposed to be good for you.
So I’m back to reading labels again. I’ll do anything to be healthy and feel well.
But do I have the same attitude when it comes to my spiritual health? Am I as careful with what I consume with my eyes and my ears as what I do with my mouth? I wouldn’t think of skipping a meal, yet how often do I forego a quiet time, when I read the Bible, meditate, and pray? What “fillers” have snuck into my life that, although they appeared to be good for me at first, really interfere with my relationship with God?
God doesn’t just want to be first in my life—He commands it: “I am the LORD your God . . . You must not have any other god but me” (Exodus 20:2, 3).
It’s too easy to let the fillers sneak in. Fillers are just that—they take up space but add no nutritional value.
I need to be a spiritual health nut, too.
As I examine my heart, soul, mind, and life this Lenten season, Lord, show me the fillers that threaten to take Your place. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Exodus 20:1-11