The Benefits of a Little Known Herb: Fenugreek

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There’s always something “new and improved” coming along, which catches the world’s attention. Fenugreek could be the “newest” 6,000 year old wonder-fad for weight loss and beauty being promoted on every magazine and health program around.

The good thing is, it works! But use caution here; just because something is good does not mean that more is better. Always use common sense when trying any herb because each person’s chemistry is unique and without caution, it could be  potentially dangerous. It’s how I learned I was deathly allergic to Echinacea.

  • Fenugreek contains many good nutritional properties such as vitamin C and iron, a perfect combination, since these should be taken in conjunction with each other for maximum absorption.
  • By reducing the bad LDL cholesterol in your system, it therefore lowers your risk of heart attacks. It also contains high levels of potassium which regulates heart function.
  • It assists with burning fat and developing a flatter belly (sorry, one must still exercise.)  This herb contains fiber which swells when taken with a large glass of water so it is very helpful in decreasing appetite and thus losing weight naturally.
  • It flushes out toxins and thus allows the kidney/liver symbiotic relationship to thrive. By doing so it cleans out your digestive system, producing more natural energy.
  • And wouldn’t anyone desire healthier, cleaner skin? By grinding the seeds into a paste and applying as a facial, has been shown to be extremely effective against skin irritations, breakouts and preventing scar tissue.
  • I have highly recommended it for women’s health issues such as hot flashes, mood swings or lack of libido because it balances hormone levels due to its containment of a plant estrogen. But please avoid if pregnant.
  • This herb has been tested and found to slow the rate that sugar is absorbed into the blood. Therefore, if used properly, it has been beneficial in treating diabetes . I caution you to speak to your doctor however before attempting to self-remedy any health concern.
  • It restores brain function and allows the brain process to retain information. It basically helps cells not wear out.  Don’t we all need that as we age?!
  • It has been known to soothe an irritated stomach, so if heartburn or digestive issues are a challenge, gradually add this into your daily routine as recommended on the label.

Not bad for a little advertised herb that can be found inexpensively at most health and drug stores.

Isn’t God Smart???  Way back in Genesis 1:29 He declared, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

God knew man would prefer simple instructions so He made easy to comply with instructions for maximum health. So why do we insist on following some crazy health plan that warns us against consuming legumes, whole grains or other restrictive diet plan with some made-up human formula? I prefer to follow God’s formula, don’t you?

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  (Joshua 24:15)

Where Do These Celebrities Get These Ideas???

thE41MPS7BI hardly ever watch afternoon television but the other day while I was packing, I turned on the TV to break the silence. I found a health program and listened intently as this celebrity cautioned against drinking distilled water!  She proclaimed to her entire audience that distilled water not only washes away minerals, but is dangerously acidic.

Say what . . . ???  Where did she get this incredibly crazy  advice and why did she pass it along to her audience without any authorized documentation? What a myth! And yet many will follow this celebrity’s declaration simply because of who she is, rather than ‘test the spirits’ to discern truth.

Distilled water is naturally pure water. It’s created by allowing the steam from the water to drip down and condense. Yes, some  minerals (as well as impurities) are filtered out, but we should get most of our minerals through fruits and vegetables anyway. Once again it’s a matter of balance. I’m sure you’ve heard that some have even died after they became imbalanced, losing too many electrolytes by over-drinking water – ANY water, not just distilled water.

When you hear someone declare, “Distilled water leaches minerals from your body,” it’s a half-truth. Hearing that, one might immediately panic, perceiving that valuable calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and other essential minerals are hemorrhaging out of your system.  These necessary minerals are alkaline forming and physiologically stay in our cells. It’s important for our body’s pH to remain on the alkaline side because it prevents acidic illnesses such as cancers and cardiovascular disease. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains (except wheat) test as alkaline.  Meat, processed foods, soft drinks and sugars are acidic. Simply  consume 5x’s more fruits and vegetables than meat and you’ll remain alkaline.

By using this scare tactic, some of what this celebrity stated exhibited plain ignorance. Yes, distilled water removes minerals from your system – dangerous ones that we don’t want to remain in our body. Doesn’t she realize that when one drinks any type of water (spring, tap, bottled)  it washes toxins out of our system? I wouldn’t want aluminum, chlorine, mercury or arsenic to remain in my system, would you? So continue to drink distilled water and stay healthy. And please don’t be confused by something called “deionized water,”  which is undrinkable,  used to clean computer boards and US Navy ships.

In our Christian life, we sometimes do the same, following a celebrity preacher because he’s got a nice smile and seems so sweet but never opens his Bible to profess the Word of the Lord. I’m sure Jim Jones was very charismatic too but look how many followed him into the pit of hell?  This is what happens when someone follows blindly without checking out all the facts before professing Truth. Don’t believe everything you hear. Test the spirits before following like sheep, whether it’s a preacher or a nutritional guru.

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1 )

 

 

 

When Change Happens, How Do You React?

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.”  (Psalm 39:4)

Have you noticed that during the worship service there seems to be a division concerning music on Sunday mornings?  One group longs to keep the old traditional hymns and the other wants to modernize its service with K-LOVE hits and a worship band. Polar opposites that create division and dissention.

How does God feel, I wonder, when He sees His people squabbling over such an thIYZOKL0Kissue? Churches have split because of this! Families will leave a church they’ve been attending for years because “after all, we ain’t never sung that before!”

News Flash:  Change happens whether we want it to or not, so embrace it if it glorifies God.

How do you react to change? It might affect your mental, spiritual and physical health.

Isn’t it silly to squabble about music? It reminds me of frustrated teenagers who scream, “I’m NOT being overly emotional!!!” as they slam their bedroom door in God’s Face.

I believe a good song transcends time or we would still be singing Stephen Foster verses.  Words have meaning!  I absolutely love K-Love. But I get impatient with “7/11″ songs.  You know the singing of the same 7 words 11 times.  I feel like shouting, “Okay, I GET it already . . . let’s sing something else now.”  During those songs my mind tends to wander and that’s not worship.  Change is inevitable or we’d only be singing, “Bringing in the Sheaves.” As long as the words and music praise our Lord and touch one’s heart, why argue?

What brought this rant on was that we have a fabulous little worship band with a young man who is very gifted musically. He is around 12 years old and he is sensational drummer. He is worshipping His Lord in a way which uses his God-given talents. What would happen if he wasn’t allowed to change?  If he was restricted to playing only 200-year-old hymns? I wondered if he’d eventually search elsewhere for an outlet, even a secular one! What a loss! This world lures our Christian children away with their false praise and pleasures all the time.

thG5O99N5CWhen I worked for a faith-based, drug rehabilitation center, I heard it repeatedly: “My parents didn’t care what I did.” “I was lonely” “My friends were closer than my family” “I just wanted attention.”  When they felt neglected or stifled in their environment, they rebelled, seeking solace from drugs, alcohol, sex . . . even cutting themselves.  At least feeling something, even pain, was better than numbing apathy.

Mentally, the brain will crave what it so longs for and will subconsciously search for an outlet through physiological pleasing chemicals. And the chemicals found in food increases weight. That’s a change for the worse. Let me add another nutritional point: it’s not unusual for your culinary tastes to change over time as well. I enjoy foods now that I hadn’t as a child . . . veggies anyone? Enjoy Gods’ diverse bounty for that is what He intended.

I expect you’ve also changed as a parent over time for the better.  Children need your godly guidance.

  • Keep the channels of communication open!
  • Communicate effectively and steer your children into using whatever talents they possess for good, even if it’s different from yours.
  • Keep your loved ones grounded within your family and the church.
  • Remember that most family members don’t want things. They’d rather have a personal relationship with you. Our Lord doesn’t need our material gifts either – He wants our heart and love . . . a personal relationship with us.

 

 

Coming Soon To A Bookstore Near You!

Those of you who have been published, know it’s always so exciting to see your years of hard work going into its final production stage! I’ve been assured that it won’t be long before mine will be available. As much as I enjoy my Kindle (and this will be available as an e-book too) there is nothing like touching the pages of an actual book, agree?!

The title of my book refers to an expression I proclaimed to many a patient while practicing nutritional counseling for over twenty years: Don’t settle for second best!

This is not meant to be just another diet book; it is meant to be a positive philosophy on how to honor God with our earthly bodies by choosing wisely.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”  (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)

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“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” (Nutritional & Life Lessons God Teaches Us) addresses how God never meant for us to live on complicated, fallacy-laden, restrictive diet plans which clearly reject our Maker’s fundamental psychological, physiological and spiritual truths.  God set Adam in a Garden and provided the perfect Master Plan for health.  Today however, people needlessly consume “sticks and twigs,” processed packaged foods, drink tasteless protein shakes or restrict their diet needlessly. Why?

God has already given us the perfect dietary plan in Genesis 1:29 and 9:3. Healthy living is not about denying oneself chocolate, cheese, eggs or any other food while consuming only rice cakes and celery. There is no need to suffer through some restrictive, unappetizing diet plan in the quest to obtain health. If one concentrates on nutrients, they will naturally be healthier. Since most already know that, why do we do what we don’t want to do? (to paraphrase the Apostle Paul.) We would never think of throwing trash in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, so why do we trash our own temple of the Holy Spirit with so many unhealthy foods? 

“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” is filled with useful illustrations, realistic applications and common sense! I pray that this encouraging and intriguing non-fiction work will encourage you to tackle the many mental, physical and spiritual connections to food which challenge you. Discover your true vitality through sensible eating, honoring God in the process!

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

I’m Okay, You’re (Maybe) Okay . . . but Your Child’s A Mess!

In the ’70s a popular book entitled, “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” became an extenuation of the “me” generation, fostered in the ’60s.

Over the years, hundreds of books were written meant to uncover why adults acted as they did. They touched on what motivates us, how we should view ourselves, what’s our sign and discovering what type of personality we have: Type A, B, and so on. It was all about “self.” These books were written, reflecting how people should view themselves. Everyone got placed in a box and tied with a brightly colored ribbon. It became the discussion in many a social situation.

th6YRBMKCUWhat a diversion toward self-centered thinking! Usually we are a combination of many personalities because God created each of us uniquely. That alone makes us special. For example, my husband and I respond differently to different stimuli. I’m more impulsive, my husband’s more methodical. I need to talk it out, he needs time to think it through . . .

Through it all, authors studied adults profusely and forgot about the children. Have you ever thought that perhaps the way we treat our children shouldn’t be the same as we treat an adult acquaintance? Our children are as individual as we are.  Each child has a distinctive personality and a separate need for recognition, discipline, acceptance and approval. No child should be placed in a box!

It’s extremely important for each parent to discover their child’s “Love Language.”

One child is more analytical, another is a bookworm and studious. These children desire stimulating conversation even more than hugs.  Praise and respect them for their curiosity and dedication to studies (and of course hug them anyway!)

An emotional or affectionate child would respond better to physical rewards such as a hug rather than a toy as a reward. He wants to know he is worth more than “things.” No amount of materialism can purchase this child’s love.  He needs to be assured that he is more than simply another possession or he’ll turn to food or drugs for unfulfilled comforting emotions.

Sometimes a child only wants time with their parents, but rarely finds it. Sometimes the parents are so busy keeping up with the ‘Joneses’, working sixty-hour weeks in order to reward their child with “things” rather than what their child’s soul longs for; attention. This creates a chasm between relationships, perhaps even one which will never fully heal. This child could grow up to be introverted, placing a protective shell around his heart to avoid hurtful relationships or perhaps become another workaholic. He might want to sit and enjoy a movie, snuggling with his child, but that’s considered unproductive time. So he continues to strive for his parents approval through hard work.

We are God’s child but perhaps we fail to see that He accepts us as we are, faults and all. Our Lord understands our Love Language! If we simply want to spend time with Him, wrapped in prayer, He’s always available to us. If we encounter challenges, we can rest in our Father’s Arms, finding comfort rather than criticism. If we are analytical, He’ll provide knowledge and wisdom through His Word so we can go on to teach others. God’s always attuned to our needs even before we know them ourselves.

Begin to teach your child the ways of our Lord early, remembering that most children first identify our Heavenly Father with their earthly father. Therefore, appreciate each child as the blessing from God they truly are!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  (3 John 1:4)

 

Changes Occur Over Time, Be Patient!

I once had a lovely patient we’ll call Jenny, who after losing 75 lbs., turned to me and sighed, “But when I look in a mirror Ellie, I still see this huge woman who didn’t accomplish anything!”

Unfortunately, this is a common misperception. Our mind doesn’t immediately recognize our successes. It mocks us: You didn’t really accomplish anything, you haven’t changed, you’re still  fat, you are the same failure you always have been, so just give up!

Don’t believe that line of thought – that’s stinkin’ thinkin’! The devil wants us to become discouraged and quit. He wants nothing more than to destroy a Christian’s temple of the Holy Spirit. Don’t believe the devil when he snickers and calls you are a failure! Some of my successful patients felt the same way. It can take a few weeks for your mind to catch up with your body image, so be patient with yourself.  Positive thinking is a habit after all, and changes take time before we are comfortable with them.

thYKDVNIMRJenny was never trapped!  To restore her positive attitude, I suggested some tangible actions to work on her self-image.  I advised her to write down all the activities she could do with her family now. I recommended that she find an old belt or piece of clothing and try it on and see the difference.  I asked her to find an old picture from a year ago and compare it to a new photo I took after she reached her goal.

“You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in the true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

By comparing her old self to her new self she discovered how far she actually had come. She was very successful even thought the devil was taunting her otherwise. She broke free of the mental, spiritual and physical bonds that had previously ensnared her.

Jenny alone lost her weight, and even though I gave her menus and common sense practices to follow, I couldn’t lose the weight for her, only she could do that.  It was her decision to put that training into use and decide if she would be successful. She alone had truly become a new creation, inside and out. She was a child of the King!  Eventually she developed confidence and walked into my office looking like the princess she had become. No more was her mind trapping her into believing that she had failed. It doesn’t please God when His children degrade themselves. How would you feel if your child said derogatory statements about himself?

We also accept salvation individually and put that decision into a sound spiritual habits. We must produce the fruit of the spirit.  We don’t always see that fruit of the spirit immediately either. We question our faith.  Sometimes it’s a two steps forward and one step back process. “I want to be joyful but, man . . . I woke up in such a lousy mood . . . and that boss of mine is such a  . . . and the dishwasher’s broken and the bills are due . . . ” sometimes we just don’t feel joyful, patient, kind or self-controlled. Forgive yourself, realize you’re human, not perfect. See yourself realistically and continue to strive for excellence. God made you special, meant for a purpose and you aren’t disposable!

Diabetes and Your Diet

While working with doctors in the ’90s, I specialized in diabetic care. “Joe,” a 55-year-old overweight patient was a Type 1 Diabetic. He had been injecting insulin shots for over 40 years. Joes’ obesity didn’t thBCI8XUYSallow insulin to reach his insulin-responsive muscles and was in danger of losing a limb. Through a better diet and daily exercise, he lost 75 pounds in 14 months. His blood sugar levels stabilized and I was extremely proud of his dedication to healthy habits.

One day in my office, he asked, “Ellie, can I tell you something?”

Immediately I thought, “Oh great, he’s decided to stop coming in.” What he said was even worse.

“I took myself off insulin two weeks ago,” he quietly stated.

For a Type 1 Diabetic, this was unheard of! I surmised that his body must have been delivering some insulin or perhaps he had been misdiagnosed 40 years ago. (I do not recommend any diabetic discontinuing insulin without a doctor’s approval!) Still two years later, he was still maintaining his weight loss and insulin stability.

In the twenty years since, diabetes has increased to epidemic proportions in this country. More children than ever have this disease. Why?

For one thing, we have become a Fast-Food-Nation with all its fatty selections. Surprisingly, fat is more detrimental to the diabetic than sugar. Fat clogs the arteries which stresses the body, which raises insulin. There are basically only three food groups: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. Since carbs produce glucose, most diabetics avoid carbs but reach for sugar-free items which are loaded with fat.  A practical diabetic diet should consist of 50% complex carbohydrates, 25% good lean protein and 25% beneficial fats like olive or canola oil, avocados, fatty fish and nuts. Avoid any chemically processed food. Make lean pork, sirloin, chicken, eggs, turkey and fish your preferred meat options.

The best habit diabetics can incorporate into their daily routine is routine. A diabetic needs to live a disciplined life. Eat systematically to keep blood sugar levels stable, meaning same time each day, every day: 8am, 10am snack, noon, 2pm snack, 6pm and always incorporate a small protein rich snack before bedtime. th5XPXWPBM

Moderate exercise is essential on a routine basis to avoid nerve damage and establish ways to release life’s stresses which raises insulin levels. The hormone epinephrine, created for the human “fight or flight” reaction, increases fatty acid production while shutting off insulin while under stress. Constant stress upsets pancreatic balance and solicits diabetes.

Certain foods regulate insulin:

Chromium. Chromium is like the doorknob which allows insulin to flow slowly into your system. Some foods containing this are mushrooms, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beets, turkey, shellfish, garlic, apples and basil.  Add garlic to as many foods as you can; pasta sauces, pork loin, chicken, breads,

The antioxidant lipoic acid, contained in spinach, potatoes, broccoli, liver and red meat, fights premature aging of the arteries (aging arteries makes the heart pump harder, increasing stress.)

Cinnamon allows your fat cells to recognize and respond to insulin more efficiently. Put it in cereals, over whole grain toast and fruit. Along with a half teaspoon of cinnamon, I place about a quarter teaspoon of turmeric in my coffee as well. Makes the smoothest cup of coffee I’ve ever tasted!

The best foods for a diabetic contain fiber. Fiber allows insulin to be dispensed more slowly into the blood stream. Diabetics however should avoid fruit salads since it’s too much sugar at one time. Fibrous foods mean fresh fruits with skin, vegetables, whole grains, cereals with 5 grams of fiber, nuts, seeds and herbs. Eat sensibly, your health depends on it!

 “Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,” Exodus 23: 25