How can a missionary possibly have an exercise and eating routine when her life is anything but routine?
Have a variety of options ready and have a plan A, B, C, D...
Some of these plans are free or low cost. Others are a little more of an investment, but think of them as an investment in ministry. The healthier we are when we return to the field, the more the ministry will benefit due to increased endurance, energy, and strength as well as the mental benefits of being healthier.
1 Corinthians 6:20 "For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Navigating the Hotel Continental Breakfast
Missionaries frequently stay in hotels. Many of those hotels come with a free continental breakfast. So want a sneak peek of what Kristine and I would choose at these hotels?
Here is a sample of what is served at a typical hotel breakfast:
Two types of yogurt, fruit cups, butters and cream cheese, boiled eggs
Flavored oatmeal, granola, raisins
Variety of breads and pastries
Fresh fruits and waffles
Sausage and scrambled eggs
Not pictured: Four types of cereals (usually similar to Frosted Mini Wheats, Honey Nut Cheerios, Fruit Loops, and Raisin Bran.)
Also not pictured: Skim and 2% milk, juices, coffee, water, and hot tea
So what would we choose?
Of what you have shown, I would choose the eggs and sausage. Today they did not have protein. It was potatoes and sausage gravy with biscuits, so I had an English muffin with peanut butter. I usually do not eat bread. The yogurt usually has sugar, so I don't get that. If it was sugar free I would. Everything else has sugar or processed carbs. I like apples, but not for breakfast. Yesterday they had Kashi cereal that was low in sugar, so I ate it with skim milk. Some Kashi cereal is in high sugar, so you have to be careful.
Kristine's typical hotel breakfast looks like this:
My "go to" hotel selections... banana, Honey Nut Cheerios, skim milk, and egg. If I know it will be a long time before I get to eat again (like on Sundays) I will add another protein like sausage. That covers a fruit, grain, protein, and dairy. If there are no Cheerios, I look for a piece of wheat toast and scan the yogurt contents. If it is Greek yogurt with a low carb content, I will use that as my dairy. If it isn't low carb, no yogurt for me!
Charity's typical hotel breakfast looks like this:
Charity's Gym BagOne of my favorite things is when a supporting church houses us in a hotel with a fitness center. Keeping up with an exercise routine is easy that way! I simply get up bright and early and get the day kicked off in a sweat.
|Whitby, Canada hotel|
But what do I do if there is no fitness center or if we are in a prophet's chamber? Time for Plan B. Our family invested in a YMCA membership while we are stateside. This also helps the whole family with their fitness needs. After all, the kids are sitting in a van traveling all the time too! The membership is valid at YMCA's across the country. The kids love it, and it is great family time as we work together and encourage each other.
If finances are tight (um, we are missionaries on tight budgets,) talk to the manager at the facility closest to you. We have found that they will work with you! Other things our family likes about the YMCA are the family atmosphere and the access to other activities (pool, basketball courts, etc.)
Time for Plan C.
I carry a gym bag of goodies everywhere we go. I can make the exercise routine work in some pretty tight places like hotel rooms.