How Our Family Traditions Affect Us As Adults

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When I was young, the holiday season typically lasted from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. But it doesn’t seem that way nowadays. We celebrate the holidays starting at Halloween and ending at the Super Bowl or Valentine’s Day. Think about this: all those activities surround food. It should be about celebrating family and friends, with food as a side dish, not the main course.

How did your family celebrate holidays?  Did your family throw massive yearly parties? Did mom spoil you with abundant recipes for cookies, pies, brownies?  Do you constantly bake treats because you failed to receive them as a child? Do you carry on habits simply because it’s tradition? Family times can be both joyful and also trying. (Tribulation worketh patience.)

“Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”  (Psalm 50:5)

How we react around food has to do with how we were raised. I was poor growing up, therefore when I am at a buffet, I have a hard time stopping at just one plate of food. After all it might not be there tomorrow!  It was only after I realized why I acted as I did, that I changed. So let’s discuss this important subliminal subject.

Adults habits have much to do with the environment we grew up in.

  • Were holidays fun, expressive, over the top events where the entire family gathered together to celebrate around a table of immense bounty?  Do they still represent happy, carefree times? We all want to recapture youth. Sometimes holidays are subconsciously more than an event, it reprises those days of security and innocence once again.
  • Was it a time when Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Ethel arrived loaded down with gift packages and gave you sloppy kisses, embarrassing you to death? Do you carry guilt feelings from those days of ingratitude or a  feeling of sadness, for those days are lost forever, except in your memory?
  • Perhaps you came from a broken home where it was simply you, your mom and siblings watching holiday TV shows to pass the time? Now you’ve placed a shell around your heart and pretend “it doesn’t matter anyway” in a spirit of denial?
  • Were you poor growing up, so having something home-made and from the someone’s heart means more than a Cartier watch?
  • Or did your parents resent having little money to waste on gifts or family dinners, so you go overboard now to make up for it?

Seize moments to spread happiness. I will always regret a  situation I allowed to pass me by. One of my money-challenged  patients arrived at her appointment incredibly joyful about the large chicken her family would share at Thanksgiving. Inside my head, (God’s urging I’m sure) I thought of purchasing a large turkey and leaving it anonymously on her doorstep. I will always regret not acting on that small act of kindness.

How much do you spend on your holiday bounty now? Is it all about the presents or is time more important than money to you? Did you remain thrifty or demonstratively generous, creating too many recipes, possibly going into debt to make up for lost time? Are holidays even important?

Remember get-together’s are not about gifts and “stuff.” Stuff wears out – only love, kindness and memories are important.  It pleases God when we appreciate the True Bounty He has given us, which is the greatest gift of all and asks nothing in return except Love. We strive for excellence because of our relationship and love for Him.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”  (Romans 12:12)

 

Healthy Potato Chips??? Really?

thN961LBREWhat is it about these celebrities and endorsements regarding food? It never fails to amaze me how people will totally follow some advice spoken by a popular figure but fail to research Truth.

I heard a very respected, female morning news anchor (who I truly enjoy listening to) excitedly announce recently, ” . . . and they are gluten-free!!!” insinuating that the type of potato chips she was sampling was a healthy alternative to junk food.

News Flash:  Potatoes have no gluten and have always BEEN gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley which gives bread its chewiness. Have you ever eaten a “chewy” potato? Hope not.

Besides that, these are POTATO CHIPS  containing nearly two teaspoons of fat per 1 ounce and 140 calories! (And who can stop at one ounce?) And if you are a curious person (as I am) you’d probably try each type and overload on those fat calories. Healthy? God gave you free will, you make the call. If you indulge, drink water and exercise to burn it off. Then you are in control, rather than the potato chip controlling you.

For a fun holiday treat, Boulder Canyon Kettle Cooked Canyon Cut Potato Chips might be a better alternative than regular chips at 3 teaspoons of fat per ounce, but make no mistake, this is not a healthy food. Remember as we read in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “”I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.” Losing control by overindulging is never constructive to the spirit.

Potatoes without tons of butter, bacon, sour cream and cheese, are extremely healthy but still get a bad rap when it comes to diets. A potato contains vitamins A, E, D, K, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, choline, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and the potato skin contains an average of 4 grams of valuable fiber. God placed the potato in the Garden of Eden and urged us to consume it. (Genesis 1:29) Who are these fallible diet gurus to say God made a mistake?

My mantra, which I have emphasized over and over again is, Eat For Nutrients, not calories, fat grams or any one food group. Balance is the key to health and anything is fine in moderation. Please don’t be manipulated by misleading advertising.

This reminds me of the perplexed man I met at the grocery store one day.  I noticed him taking one bottle of cooking oil after another off the shelf, diligently searching over each label. When I asked if he needed help; he replied that he was looking for one which contained no cholesterol. I gently told him that no oil contained cholesterol. But he announced, “But one particular oil stated it contained NO cholesterol and I can’t remember which one.”  I politely told him that since cholesterol is only made by the liver and olives and other vegetables have no liver, there’s no fear of selecting any one of those on the shelf. None had cholesterol, advertisers were simply manipulating the public. He seemed skeptical and I moved on.

Oh well. I’ll pray that you prefer to not be a media sheep following any advice without checking it out.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”  (1 Corinthians 1:25)

 

Becoming a New Creation

Ellie www.newcreationsministries.wordpress.com/:

When I’ve been asked why I became a nutritional counselor, the following post is why. It’s the same reason Jesus continued with His Ministry even though He knew others would scoff and follow false gods filled with complicated policies and procedures to be saved instead of Simple Truth. Our Lord went to the cross because He loved us and wanted to give us True Health for Eternity. We should love our Lord more than chocolate or potato chips.

I will continue to pray for my dear friend Storyad and her courage and convictions to follow her commitment to become a New Creation for Christ! It’s a big step to announce it and follow through with the world watching – I know she can do it because she is surrounded by those who will encourage and love her! Especially me!

Originally posted on At The Well:

Ellie's book!!!

Ellie’s book!!!

Welcome to the start of my new blogging series on adjusting to a healthier lifestyle. In June I embarked on a journey with some fellow bloggers to lose weight and learn about making healthier choices in food and exercise. Since then I have lost 11 pounds and gone from a size eighteen to a fourteen. I hope to continue to gradually lose more weight and learn to take better care of myself and my family. I’ll be using the book “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese…Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us” by Ellie Marrandette. Ellie writes over at New Creation Ministries and I encourage you to click on over and get to know her a little. (She is one of my very favorite bloggers and I am blessed to call her friend.)

At this point in my weight-loss journey I need help keeping focused on my goal. The newness…

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Discovering Arizona Versus Ohio’s Culinary Habits

thH60L760RIt’s SNOWING outside our new home in Ohio!!! My hubby and I haven’t seen snow since 1992. It’s beautiful, even the dogs enjoy frolicking in the stuff. Great, but now that I’ve seen snow in all its glory, spring can’t come soon enough! If we can’t cross-country ski in it, I’ll stay inside. Can’t remember how to drive in it . . . and don’t own snowshoes. I don’t enjoy hibernating but that’s the tendency for many during inclement weather. Stay home and watch movies all day long.

Have you ever noticed how as the temperatures change, so do your food cravings?  In summer of course, we might long for an ice cream sundae, iced tea, cool salads or watermelon and when it’s overcast and snowing, we crave chili, stews, banana bread, hot cocoa or chocolate chip cookies.

I remembering joking about my winter weight versus summer weight but in Arizona I kept a constant weight and daily exercise was so much easier to maintain. But if you long for hot fudge cake and pumpkin bread, remember anything is fine in moderation.

If you are in control of your cravings and your cravings don’t control you, you can make good quality, seasonal selections and still maintain a healthy weight. But if certain foods are a trigger and you go off the deep end and can’t stop eating, stay away from those temptations. Why make food a golden idol of worship?

“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”( Philippians 3:19)

Try these flavorful ways to cook or bake:

  1. Use less sugar and butter in baking. Tastes can be re-trained.  It’s amazing how greasy or sweet foods taste after you return to consuming them. I’ve never, but some have used applesauce or other fruit to retain texture and moisture. I’d like to know if any readers have tried it and how it worked.
  2. Salt is an acquired taste. Usually babies grimace when tasting salt for the first time. Gradually cut down and add more herbs, garlic and even vinegar to bring out flavors.
  3. When you create your beef recipes such as Hungarian goulash, stew or chili recipes, brown your meat and place in a colander and rinse gently with hot water. Then place it back in the crock pot.  It’s herbs, spices and seasonings that make food tasty. Fat only coats the tongue, so the brain craves more of it to satisfy.
  4. The tendency in winter to eat larger portions, so during these months, remember to substitute smaller lunch plates for your dinner portions.
  5. If salads don’t seem to satisfy during these cold winter months, substitute them with cooked apples or other fruit flavored with cinnamon, an insulin stabilizer.
  6. Hot soups make another great salad substitute. Replace heavier cream soups with a combination of light evaporated milk and 1% milk to lower its caloric count.
  7. Light broth soups can be created with lots of great hearty, filling vegetables. Remember potatoes, corn, carrots, turnips, etc. are not fattening and provide wonderful nutrients and fiber.  Fibrous foods expand and keep you fuller longer.
  8. If you over-indulge, forgive yourself and eat less fattening foods during future meals. Remember you’re human and overeating is not an unforgiveable sin. Just remember that you should love the Lord more than food!

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Search for ways to create less fattening varieties of foods and if you have a suggestion I’d love to include for others through my comment section.

 

 

Thank you for “One Lovely Blog Award”

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This post is long overdue. It arrived the day before we left Arizona and I promised to pass it along as soon as I could, so thank you Heather for your patience. Now that we have the internet installed in our new home. I hope to get back to writing regularly.

So thank you Heather for thinking of me. What a sweet surprise and such a lovely award. I am always humbled when someone believes my work is worthy of recognition.  You can check out Heather’s blog at   http://heatherbergdahl.com  or http://survivemedschool.blogspot.com/.  Currently she is a hard working student and amazingly versatile!  Who knew this beautiful young lady, who looks like a fashion model, works on automobiles with the same surgical procedures as she does attending medical school? (I hope she’s one the “Versatile Blogging Award” as well!)

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself
  • Nominate  (up to if you’re new to blogging) 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blog.

So 7 things people might not know about me:

  1. I recently moved from Arizona to Ohio  (Whither thou goest) to join my husband at his pastor position of a small, loving congregation.
  2. Some of my blogging friends have become as close as family!
  3. I have had a recent book published entitled, “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese . . .”  a perfect Christmas gift! Great for women’s Bible studies too!
  4. I participated in theater when I was younger and was a children’s theater director for a couple of years.
  5. I have been a military wife, golf pro’s wife and now a pastor’s wife all wrapped around one guy.
  6. I was once overweight but keep healthy and control my weight through the discipline of loving God more than chocolate or processed foods.
  7. Been to 49 states and I’m happy to say that Ohio has some of the friendliest residents in the US!

Now to nominate up to 15 bloggers deserving of this award. All of these are truly lovely and worth discovering:

  1. http://confusingtheenemy.wordpress.com/
  2. http://captivedreamswindow.wordpress.com/
  3. http://imconfident.wordpress.com/
  4. http://kindnessblog.com/
  5. http://energywriter.me/
  6. http://jodythomae.com/
  7. http://godthang.wordpress.com/
  8. http://speaktruthinlove1.wordpress.com/
  9. http://fromtrextotigress.com/
  10. http://thisbeautifullyimperfectlife.com/
  11. http://intentionaloverflow.wordpress.com/
  12. https://ashleypaigesmith25.wordpress.com/
  13. http://nothappeninonmywatch.wordpress.com/
  14. http://kimgosselinblog.com/
  15. https://brake5.wordpress.com/

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”  (Philippians 3:1)

 

“Oh, Am I SAD!”

Next to fibromyalgia, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is probably the most misunderstood. Personally, I know it’s real. I knew moving from sunny Arizona (98% sunshiny days) to Ohio (40%) would be a challenge. I need sunshine!!! In the past 10 days, I’ve seen my beloved sunshine only 4 days.

Since moving to Savannah isn’t an option, how can I combat this? As a Christian, my first thought is faith. God wouldn’t call us here without a plan to overcome this medical challenge of mine. My God supplies all my needs.

Being a nutritionist, my primary defense is a nutritional one. If you suffer from SAD as I do, I’d recommend these tips:

  1. Poor diet affects SAD. It’s a downward cycle. The brain and body feel lethargic – on these days I have no energy and would prefer to vegetate in front of the TV or read a good book. Therefore to create energy, my hypothalamus, (the little traffic cop in our brain) will crave simple, sugary carbohydrates which after an insulin crash a few hours later, is its worse choice!What the body needs is good, fibrous, complex carbohydrates such as beans, legumes, whole grains (not wheat) walnuts, fruits and vegetables with its B complex vitamins. Along with these, choose high protein foods, such as pork, turkey, peanuts, fish and chicken
  2. Consume a daily Vitamin D tablet with food. Remember Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so it only works with other foods. One can’t simply pop a pill and expect it to work. This is also a case of “if some is good, more is NOT better.” Vitamin D can build up to dangerous levels in your system if taken to extreme.There are three ways to get your vitamin D, through sunshine and foods such as egg yolks, milk, salmon, sweet potatoes, tuna, vegetable oils, butter and supplements.
  3. I’d recommend adding hot, spicy selections to your weekly menu: horseradish, hot sauce, tabasco, wasabi, chili peppers, red pepper flakes and anything which stimulates brain circulation, produces a happier you.
  4. Garlic, leeks, onions increase serotonin in the brain, which is the “feel good” neurotransmitter which plays a huge role in your mood, appetite and sleep patterns.
  5. Increase omega 3 fatty acid intake through fish oils, milled flaxseed or primrose oils. By increasing the right type of fat, it keeps our moods and behaviors positive and reinforces our brain’s memory which is less frustrating for everyone.
  6. Tyrosine found in spinach, beans, legumes, bananas, pumpkin seeds, avocados is a great good mood stimulator.

The next defenses are social situations:

  1. Don’t hibernate! Get out of the house, call, Facebook or email friends to stay in touch. Laughter really is the best medicine.
  2. Apply music therapy. Happy music creates a happier, positive mood.
  3. Exercise improves mood! Dance to that music or get out and walk, weather permitting. Fresh air improves the mood as well.
  4. Consider light therapy. Natural sunlight is balanced light and allows us to maintain optimum health. Consult with your doctor to see if light therapy would be covered under your health insurance.

Some struggle in a world of darkness today. But someday, the Son will be our Ultimate Light Therapy. He contains all the therapy we need for abundant life and health! Let your personal life shine!

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines over you. For look, darkness covers the earth and total darkness the people. But the Lord will shine over you, and his glory will appear over you.” (Isaiah 60:1-2)

So A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way to Florida . . .

So Goodbye Arizona:

At our age, it seemed no one wanted an enthusiastic but older couple who simply wanted to follow God’s leading into ministry. With 27 years of schooling, a Seminary Master’s degree and two photo of Dave and Ellie 2Doctorate’s, who wouldn’t want my husband as a teaching pastor?  However, sending out resumes and receiving countless rejection letters became discouraging. News Flash: If you’re on a search committee, please don’t send a rejection letter stating you’ve decided to go in a “different direction.”  As Christians, Dave and I are going in the right direction, where is your church going???

So we then contemplated moving to The Villages in Florida, complacent to teaching adult Sunday School.  You know . . .  somewhere, hot , sunny and warm. Nearer our children.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression,  “Man plans . . .  God laughs?”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

“Out of the blue,” we received a call. A small town church in Ohio was looking for a compassionate pastor who would take the helm and grow their church.  After much prayer, many conference calls and a personal visit, we fell in love with the warmth of the congregation, (which more than substituted for the warmth of Florida.)

Arizona is a snow bird location but sadly the economy here hasn’t risen as other areas have. Everyone told us the prospect of selling our home quickly was remote, usually taking an average of eight months to sell. However we had a secret weapon: the Will of God! Faith believes that if God wants a mountain to move, it will move.

“There is no coincidence with God.” 

I’m hardly ever out in my front yard (everyone lives in their gravel-based backyards in Arizona)  but 7:30 that morning I was out sweeping off my walkway, preparing for a large realtor tour in a couple of hours. A man coincidentally drives up to our sign out front and picks up a flyer. He glances over at me and asks enthusiastically if I am the owner? When I confirmed I was, he wondered why his realtor hadn’t shown him this beauty before? Of course I joked it was even prettier inside.

His name was Bob from New Jersey. He was on a mission, here for only three days, searching for a home for his wife and him in a warmer climate. Would it be possible on short notice to view our home? He came by with his realtor immediately after the tour and within three hours we accepted his cash offer. He generously offered to purchase some of our furniture which he didn’t know, I had been praying to sell anyway.

Another coincidence was, that very morning at 6am, (9am Ohio time) we had been notified that our offer on the home we desired in Ohio had been accepted!  And the street name of the new home?  It happened to be my sister’s name who lived 75 miles away.  Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

So goodbye my beloved Arizona, goodbye cowboy hat and hello new adventure as we follow God’s chosen pathway for us. I want to  especially thank Pastor Sebastian Weaver,  Pastor Joe Quatrone and Storyad for their continuing, encouraging prayers for God’s Will to be done in our lives and the acceptance of whatever that might be!

 “For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”  (Ruth 1:16)