Why I’m Wary of the Glycemic Index

thEN89HMNTThe Glycemic Index was created in 1980 by the world-famous professor and physician, Dr. David J. Jenkins.  This graphed theory apparently shows how long it takes carbohydrates to break down into sugar.  His good intentions and clinical research has assisted many diabetics in regulating their blood sugar challenges.

But there was always something that made me uneasy about endorsing his findings and recommending this to my patients. I had too many questions. Why were all rice, cereals and breads lumped into one category? How could a nutrient-dense potato be as detrimental as a pastry with none? Raisin Bran is certainly better than Cornflakes and I don’t consider whole grain bread on par with enriched white. Nevertheless, unless the results have been ratified into more defined categories over the years, they were considered  on the same level.

This fact wouldn’t actually make me more at ease because man’s ideas have always changed over time, but my God Never Changes. God’s Knowledge trumps man’s knowledge every time. I trust God.  Each one of us is uniquely God designed. The glycemic index is intended to put each of us in a box. Well, sometimes a square peg can’t fit into a round hole no matter how diligently man tries to redesign it!

Regarding their clinical studies; I wanted to know how many participants were athletes as opposed to couch potatoes? What % of body fat were they? (muscle burns sugar) What was eaten before they attempted the test? How many hours before? (Carbohydrates remain in your system for 2-3 hours while protein stays for 4-5 and fat for 7 hours.) How did lifestyles factor into the tests? Each person has different daily stresses which affects our chemical make-up. Were some participants under family or work stress? Stress raises insulin with it’s “fight or flight” effect.

What about the fiber content of foods? I didn’t see where the glycemic index took that into consideration. Fiber allows insulin to be released more slowly into bodily systems so there are fewer blood sugar spikes. If one is following a low glycemic index, definite instructions must come with it! Long grain rice is more fibrous than quick cooking rice. I, along with the American Diabetic Association, recommends high fiber foods such as whole grains, beans, legumes while cutting down on unhealthy fats. According to the glycemic index however, one can head to Pizza Hut, consume half a pizza and then head to Ben and Jerry’s for some low glycemic ice cream. Whoopee, I like that diet!

Consuming LESS fibrous foods allows the body to release its water storage. Yes, one will lose weight.  Not consuming carbs means less water weight, but it’s a mirage. Fiber attracts water to help with its digestive tract. As soon as you consume fiber, your body will absorb water naturally, but you’ll believe carbohydrates are the culprit.

Here’s another reason: Processed foods with all its artificial chemical ingredients are lumped alongside pumpkin with all its nutrients. Pumpkin contains vitamins A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, plus amino acids and more! How could they be equal?

To me the glycemic index doesn’t add up. So what other would I recommend? What’s my mantra again? Eat for nutrients:  Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and lean protein will provide a healthy, balanced, joyful God-enriched life! (Genesis 1:29 & 9:3)

 

“But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Psalm 81:16

 

 

 

 

Plug Into the Best Power Source!

What did we ever do without the internet? How did we survive?

Yesterday, our internet went down and with it all of our computers, iPads, Kindles and whatever else was hooked up to it! So trying to be helpful, I called our internet provider, intending to have it running normally by the time my husband returned from work. Kudos to the good wife, me! (Besides, I wanted to post a blog.)

thK66AABRYIsn’t it frustrating trying to discuss internet challenges with a technician over the phone when one isn’t a tech himself? And if that’s not enough hassle, why do we need to repeat the same info to yet another person on the other end of the line, as we did to the first and second representative! Why?

“Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.” (Romans 12: 11-12)

Remind me never to pray again for patience, for God has a strange way of teaching me that character trait.

So back to my computer challenge: unless I knew computer terminology, which I don’t,  I was at a loss. Yes, I told her, I checked the connections. Yes, I’d find the modem model number for her . . . eventually. Huh . . . what do you mean, what else did we have connected to the modem? Beat’s me. Had she meant that particular computer terminal or did she mean connected to all the other devices throughout the house???

Finally I did what every other sweet, helpful, loyal wife would do, I said, “Forget it, I’ll just have my husband call you when he returns from work. Thank you for your time.”

And yet, even in THIS I found Spiritual and nutritional principals.

First, always be nice to computer technicians, they have a frustrating job.

Second, since I wasn’t researching on my computer, writing or answering comments from mine or other blogs, I went through closets, dusted shelves and cleaned the grout on my kitchen counters. What a sense of accomplishment THAT was! Afterwards, I curled up and read an interesting devotional I’ve been attempting to get to. A peaceful and intimate afternoon with our Lord, how refreshing. Isn’t spending time with the One who gave us Life, comforting?!

Praise God we don’t have to go through a series of voice messages (aren’t they frustrating?) in our prayer life before we reach the One who answers all our questions. Sometimes of course, prayers aren’t answered in the way we expect or as quickly as we wish, but He does provide for all our needs nevertheless. His timing is always perfect..

Thirdly, nutritionally, how similar to those who want instant gratification in weight loss too. Perhaps, like me who doesn’t understand computer terminology, do you get impatient with nutritional terminology and become impatient as well? Patients have asked me: How am I supposed to know how much 20 grams is anyway?! Forget it. (4 grams equal a teaspoon by the way.) Some are too impatient to follow practical instructions and would rather search for an easier fix for quicker weight loss. Don’t. Do. That! You will be setting yourself up for yo-yo dieting and future health issues. Understanding physiology takes time, but it is certainly worth the journey.

One good thing came from all this however. I didn’t destroy my hubby’s computer or lose any files. See, there is always something to praise God for!

Longing for the “Good Old Days.”

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.                       (Amos 8:11)

thUZA3K7LDWell, it has happened. I must have finally become “old.”  I am longing for the good old days.  I remember a time in the 1950s when my grandfather declared that Rock and Roll was destroying today’s youth! Now those songs seem so innocent compared to the Rap and Rock lyrics heard today.

I know we tend to build on memory and make the past better than it was, but I don’t recall a previous time when the world was as out of control as it is today!  Even during two terrible world wars, most people still had respect for one another. Not today. And even in the ’50s and ’60s, there were strip clubs and pornography but it wasn’t blatantly viewed daily on television as we have now.  Even during the angry generation of the 1960s, if a man swore in front of me, he’d immediately apologize afterwards. Now young men in stores casually drop f-bombs and think nothing of it. I have seen little girls go from wearing patent leather shoes to high heels and butt-exposing shorts with no regard to modesty, while her mom apparently approves because she’s wearing a matching outfit.

Heard nightly on the news, radical groups want to convert others to their religion. I ask you, ‘Why would we EVER want to become them? Their ways are neither loving nor uplifting.” And I am not only talking about radical Middle Eastern religions but our own as well! When viewing someone’s unkind Christian remarks, what would make us desire their religion? I follow NO religion . . .  I follow Christ!

In today’s world of apathy and depravity, how many long to hear the sweet words of our Lord? You’re right, not many.  We have a great famine in our country and it’s not for lack of food. (66% of our country is overweight and don’t care! They’d rather follow a famous diet guru instead of God’s healthy plan.) The famine I speak of however, is a famine for Moral Truth. Younger generations are sheep wandering in a swamp of destruction. How much farther can our nation plummet into the muck before we’ll perish? Who has the courage to stand out with Godly Conviction, declaring “enough!” and lead us out of our pit?

Today we see our youth innocuous to suffering, either due to ignorance, (no one has shown them Jesus) apathy (which is the opposite of love and a shield against pain) or blatant disregard for rules and regulations. After all, taking drugs isn’t hurting anyone else! Must I remind you that we don’t live in a vacuum? Everything we do affects someone else! It’s a theory called the “Butterfly Effect.”

I believe your neighbor is thirsting for the Word of God (and everyone is our neighbor!) All you have to do is speak out.  I realize it’s scary at first to profess Christ, but it gets easier as Jesus controls your life. Pray for opportunities and they will come. Don’t be afraid, for won’t it be more embarrassing if before they are sentenced to an eternity in hell,  they ask God, “But why didn’t Ellie just tell me about Christ?”  As Christians, remember we never stand alone! Put on that full Armor of God and don’t hesitate to spread the Word of Truth!    Joshua 24:15

An Analogy Regarding Trust

I’m back after a 10 day vacation and ready to resume posting blogs once again. Thanks for your patience. We had an enjoyable but whirl-wind trip and I am very grateful we don’t fly too often. To all the followers who recently joined my little blog, although I haven’t had time to respond, I appreciate you!

While away, we had to leave our pups in our veterinarian’s kennel and we were so happy to see their smiling faces once again when we returned!

As I was feeding our little Lhasa, Jewel, that first day back, I patted her on the head as I usually did. Surprisingly however, she tensed and growled at me, distrustful. I could only surmise that she thought I was going to take away her food, one of her joys of living. How could she think that??? We’ve never given her any reason to distrust us! On the contrary, our pooches live pampered lives with plenty of belly rubs, daily walks and treats. As I fed her the next day, I continued to stroke her head until she realized she had nothing to fear. Gradually she began to trust me again, realizing I only had her best interests at heart.

thVRSMWZ7SWhen we are away from God for a time, do we do the same? God has never given us reason to distrust Him. Rather He bestowed on us bountiful blessings and yet sometimes we believe He wants to take away our reason for living too! God said we have nothing to fear if we follow Him and yet how many Christians fail to trust God when challenges arise? As soon as an illness, financial, weight gain, relationship or other challenge arises, we impatiently turn from God who has the answers, and search for humanistic ones. After all, a humanistic ‘expert’ we can see, but a relationship with God is based on faith.

Have patience, for even with God, a relationship usually takes time. Trust issues are building blocks that grow. In today’s world we normally don’t trust someone immediately, for we don’t know them well. Who knows, their smile could be a façade to scam us? But why don’t we build trust in our true God who has known us since before the world began? (Psalm 139)  Let’s begin by reading, understanding and memorizing Scripture! (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 37: 3-6, Psalm 118:8)  The more we are in the Word, the more we recognize God’s Guiding Hand and blessings abounding in our lives. We realize He knew best all along and that builds trust.

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 
My times are in Your hand. (Psalm 31:14-15)

But what if Jewel was coveting her possessions?  She had shared a large kennel with her Cocker Spaniel brother and perhaps thought he would eat it, even though he is so gentle, he’s never taken anything of hers before, not even her toys. How human-like these dogs are! Humans are so afraid of loss that we’ll covet material possessions more than our LORD. Our home, food, automobiles, time . . .  all our possessions are God’s! We only borrow them for a short time on earth. What awaits us in heaven is so much grander.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

Even if we lost everything, our souls belong to the Lord and that possession can never be taken away!

“What Difference Will It Make?”

thGVZJYTG2Lately the phrase “What difference does it make?” has become a punch-line. It has flippantly been construed as “So what?” “Why do you care?” “Won’t change anything!”

Have you felt the same way? Thought one little action wouldn’t make a bit of difference? Well life’s circumstances DO make a difference!  One vote changed history and so did one tent meeting the night Billy Graham was saved. One person or action does make a difference!

It will make a difference to your entire mind, body and spirit:

In your mental aspect, perception becomes reality.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a)

There was a time as a beginning golfer, I apprehensively approached  any golf shot that needed to be hit over a water hazard. After my ball landed in the water, I’d mutter, “I knew I was going to do that.” My golf pro husband would then tell me, “Well, that’s why you did. If you think you will, you will.”  I had created a self-professing prophesy. It took a while to mentally change my outlook to one of confidence, but I did. Now, I walk onto the tee-box and mentally state, “I own this hole!” By doing so, I have been able to view a successful shot in my mind and thus conquered my insecurities. So what difference does a mental outlook make? It either instills confidence or holds you back. Choose confidence, it’s better.

With your spirit, it affects attitude and demeanor.

Growing up were you instilled with an encouraging “can-do” personality?  Or did you feel unloved, worthless? Did you feel defeated by circumstances, classmates and family?   Were words spoken by a boss or co-worker used as a sword, wounding your spirit? Did it get so bad you regretted that you were even born? A broken spirit is more difficult to mend than a broken bone. Please don’t believe the lies of the devil who whispers in your ear that you are useless. You have worth because God created you. He knew you before you were born and loved you even then. When we allow the world to overcome our spirit, we will incur ramifications and needless suffering. Choose JOY.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

To your physical being, it changes health and outer appearance.

Before you sit down to consume the entire bag of candy, Frito’s or potato chips in front of the TV, ask yourself, “What difference will it make?” Will that overly processed, chemically altered food enrich your life or eventually destroy it through illness? Will it give you more energy? Prevent artery clogging heart disease? Will it allow you to dance at your child’s wedding, hike a mountain or play with your children? Or will you feel sluggish and pass up any opportunity for companionship because you are too exhausted carrying around excess weight?

Ask yourself before you overindulge and destroy your godly temple with junk food, “What difference will this make?” Which action will encourage you to strive for excellence in your daily walk with the Lord? No contest . . . choose mental, physical and spiritual health!

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3: 13-14)

 

Would You Be a Winner at the Westminster Dog Show?

thMBW82FMMHave you ever watched The Westminster Dog Show on TV?  When you watched it for the first time, I bet you wondered how in the world someone could judge a Border Collie against a Scottish Terrier or Bloodhound, right?

As the commentator explains during each year’s show, each breed is judged against its own standard. Meaning, is this the best example of any Border Collie as required by its standard in the American Kennel Club rule book?

Well, that Pug is never actually judged against that cute little Bichon Frisé. That would be unfair.  Why?  Because he doesn’t have the same bone structure, temperament, looks or characteristics of the other breed, that’s why. Each dog is created uniquely.

So are we. Each one of us is unique. And as such, we need to judge ourselves against the standards found in our rule book; God’s Holy Bible. Ask yourself, “Do I exemplify Jesus’s high standards?”

Someone attempting to become healthier is addressing a similar challenge. We are each unique. We are commanded to strive for personal excellence, not compete against the world’s standards of beauty.

“. . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

I am unique. My bone structure is different than Mary’s and my personality’s different from Andrea’s.  But why would someone want to be me? Am I representing God’s image as one to aspire to?  I realize God loves me as I am, but that shouldn’t give me license to abuse my earthly body.  So I must ask myself, am I the best Ellie, (or Sandy, Judy, Fred) that I could be according to the standards God set for me?

Some scoff, “Why is it important for Christians to be healthy in the first place?  After all, these bodies are only temporary, right?”

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)  

Some say we’ll live forever in our beautiful new bodies anyway, so why not live life to the fullest now? Why? Because we are commanded by Scriptures to keep our bodies holy, that’s why.  Lust, gluttony and being out-of-control is sin!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 states, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

Every woman was not meant to be 120 lbs. and look like Jennifer Aniston.  Every man was not meant to be 6ft. and 190 lbs. and look like George Clooney.  It would be a pretty boring world if we did.  Do you remember an old Twilight Zone episode based on the concept of beauty? In the future, a one-world society discourages individuality and insures that all human kind exemplifies only several basic models of beauty. Everyone looked, spoke and acted alike, losing their identity. Robotic. So who are we to shake our fist at God and complain about how he made us? Embrace your differences for the world’s idea of beauty changes but God’s heart doesn’t.

Have you ever noticed how people so often resemble their pets? Well perhaps you’re a poodle, Cocker spaniel, bulldog or a bloodhound, but all dogs are cute in their own way and each has value! You have worth simply because you are!

 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” (Psalm 139:14)

Allow Your Children the Luxury of Being Imperfect Beings

thGYLDRKTHWe live in an age in which “everyone gets a prize.” Parents not wanting to disappoint their children, give every participant a ribbon. The world is unfair; in life, everyone does not get a prize.

James heard daily how incredibly special he could be because his older brother was a star athlete. His parents believed that their younger son could also be the  best player on his Little League team as well. Unfortunately this was unmerited praise for he was not. Professing to be Christians, James’s parents attended church and appeared to live godly lives until they attended their son’s Christian school games. That is when their testimony soured. His parents embarrassed their son with their cat-calls and criticism of the other team.  Every coach who benched him “Didn’t know what he was doing, was stupid and a lousy coach.”

Children need realistic boundaries, balance, guidelines and goals. Each child has a different personality and skill level. James loved books more than sports and dreamed of being a famous chef. But his parents continually urged him toward goals which were unrealistic. So few high school players ever go on to become a pro athlete and when James failed to win a college baseball scholarship, he felt like a total failure. He’d never be his brother. As James lived with the daily pressure of his parent’s expectations, he became increasingly resentful and bitter. I’ll never be good enough for them!

Upon entering the real world and away from his parents, James believed life would be easier but it wasn’t. To James, having grown up in an all or nothing environment, he didn’t possess the social skills needed in the business world and failed at every job he tried. But he had found his champion hobby . . . becoming a champion eater and 388 pounds.

He searched for an outlet to fill the emotional emptiness in his life. Food was that substance. James innately discovered that certain chemicals released through food, created feelings of pleasure, especially sugary foods. The more he ate, the more he could numb the pain of his parents nagging. Chemicals satiated his love hunger.

Addiction is addiction is addiction. If it hadn’t been food, it would have been smoking, shopping, alcohol, drugs, gambling or even television. Something needed to fill his inadequacy within. Whatever chemically makes one feel so good it can’t be given it up is an addiction. It masks the pain through its chemical attributes. It’s the reason why many addicts run from one addiction to the other, trying to fill emotional gaps in their lives.

As a child of God, we need to realize that we are each different but useful to Him even with our imperfections. I’d urge you to read to your children the many examples of flawed people who were used by God: Jonah was a coward, David was a cheater, Paul was a murderer, Moses stuttered, Thomas doubted and so on. Allow your own children the luxury of being imperfect. Teach them it is okay to fail if we rise up again! Life is a continuous learning experience and we learn from our mistakes. Each child has a unique personality and reward them with your love because of that!

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”  (Galatians 5:16 )