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

 

 

What Is The Right Stuff?

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

I believe in eating as naturally as possible. Artificial ingredients, dyes and chemically-altered, processed food items all change body chemistry. It seems every time man comes up with a new idea: oleo versus butter, artificial sugars versus real sugar, Egg Beaters versus real eggs, God’s ideas best man’s ideas each time!

My “Garden of Eden Diet” is just that. Based on Genesis 1:29, it encourages humans to consume natural fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and herbs as God commanded. Meat protein, which we were advised to consume only after the Flood (Genesis 9:3) is rich in B12, but other than that, every nutrient to sustain life as well as heal the body, is found in Genesis 1:29.thHBOF3H4Z

God originally designed us to live forever but sin destroyed that and the Second Law of Thermodynamics began to apply. That Law states that everything in life is winding down and wearing out, humans included. (That alone should shoot down the evolutionary theory that through evolution, man progressed into a better life over millions of years.)

But back to nutrition. When we consume chemically modified food, those chemicals land in the liver, the clearing house for the body. Once there, most never, ever leave! Of course we can give ourselves a fighting chance by detoxifying our system but even then, some toxins remain. Tell me, when studying chemistry in high school or college, what happens if too many of the wrong chemicals are placed in a testing tube? You’re right, most of the time, the chemicals fester, churn and then blow up. Do you enjoy being a human chemistry lab today?  All those toxins in our body fester, churn and turn into debilitating illnesses. And we have more man-made chemicals in foods than ever before!

Sadly, we can’t get away from every toxin, pesticide, fertilizer, GMO or other questionable food treatment. Life goes on and we must use common sense, trust in God and live without fear or there would be nothing left for us to consume! Also most people nowadays don’t garden and must rely on supermarkets for their food supply.  But we can certainly and voluntarily stay away from artificial  sugars, colas, chemically-processed and fast food. TIP:  If you want a soda, place seltzer water and ice into a glass and fill the remainder with orange, grape, cranberry or other quality juice. Seltzer contains no sodium, thereby you’ll keep your bones longer. High salt intake is linked to a loss of calcium and thus a deterioration of bone structure.

Organic products are wonderful but don’t be fooled. Realistically organics are only as good as the farm next to it. When the neighboring farm is sprayed with chemicals and the wind blows, unfortunately your organic farm isn’t as much anymore. And if it uses the same water supply, chemicals get into the water and affect results too. So what can you do? Buy in season and as much locally grown produce as possible or plant your own fruit trees and garden.

Bottom line: How do you think God views a Christian who defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, with gluttonous, selfish desires, pleasing his body rather than his soul? You’re right, I’m sure it grieves Him or makes Him angry. Let’s strive to honor God with our bodies by remembering God’s strong Words:

“If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:17)

Our Temple is Only as Strong as Its Foundation!

I was privileged to accompany a friend on a house hunting trip recently. It felt like House Hunters, my favorite show! As we viewed different houses however, I saw a correlation between homes and spirituality.

Several homes had absolutely wonderful curb appeal. The photos which looked gorgeous on the internet were nothing like the home we viewed!  It was obvious that there was much renovation to be done! 1960s carpets, old appliances, there would be walls to tear down and it smelled badly. Mmmm, how typical to someone who looks so stunning on the outside but as soon as they open their mouth, unkind behavior or foul language comes spewing out. Just like that house, those people need a renovation! They need God’s Word which cleanses the soul and restructures lives into True Beauty.thJY50XUAM

One lovely home, which she thought via the internet, would be “the one,” had several massive cracks in the basement walls. Foundations are tricky things, it could be the prettiest home on the block, but if it falls apart, it’s not so great.

A Christian’s testimony is only as good as its foundation as well! Someone might look like ‘the one,’ but if she/he is not grounded in the Word of God, massive cracks can appear in the lives of those Christians. It is never wise to build your marriage, personal friendship or business relationship on a cracked foundation. Rather stand solidly on the Word of God!

One home’s owner had just entered an assisted living facility. The house was on a quiet, secluded lot with lovely trees surrounding the property. Looked promising, but upon walking up the driveway, it was obvious that the home needed a new garage door and roof. It was even sadder on the inside. The house hadn’t been updated since 1955, the year it was built.  Linoleum floors and an indoor shuffleboard court, graced the premises.  An original pink built-in oven and other 1950 appliances  covered the kitchen. (When I saw the horror on my friends face, I jokingly suggested that the stove could be sold on eBay, but . . . somehow that didn’t entice her.)

Some Christians are like that. They get stuck in the past and never grow in grace. After the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the late 1940s, new translations validated and reflected the Word of God as accurately as possible. Searching and reading other translations is fine as long as they are grounded in Truth.

th8N5LFIVGThe last home we viewed had nothing special about the exterior. In fact she had no interest in seeing it at first. But since the realtor had to leave a card, we shrugged and reluctantly went inside. Well built, this home was exactly what she had wanted from the start. In a  lovely setting, it sported updated features like plush carpet and renovated bathrooms. It turned out to be the perfect home after all!

Are we biased when we view others? Do we welcome only those who are attractive or wealthy? Or do we see each visitor as a potential brother and sister in Christ?  Once we welcomed a passing drifter to our Sunday School. What a surprise to discover that he knew more about the Bible than most of us! This certainly pleased God more than his appearance!

Therefore let your godly temple become a New Creation, strongly built upon a Firm Foundation.

However, God’s solid foundation still stands. It has this inscription on it: “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord must turn away from evil.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

 

 

 

Practical Tips To Reach Your Health Goals

“But why do I need to be healthy anyway?  After all, my body’s only temporary, right?” thEFT3JIEZ

So who cares if you’re 110 lbs or 610 lbs as long as you’re happy, right?

Well, God cares.  He gave you the gift of life and if you abuse your body, it grieves Him. Would you want to see your child abuse himself? Course not!  We are commanded to honor God with our bodies!

1 Peter 1:16, “For it is written, You must be holy, because I am holy.”

To ensure personal success, establish your game plan:

1. Winners know who they are.  You are unique, revel in that. Build your worth around your personality, love for God, others and family. Real beauty comes from within and there are some mean-spirited people I’d prefer not to be around, agree?

2.Become conscious of how you react to food. Are you really hungry or just provoked by a feeling? Do you bring tempting junk into your home? Do you eat quickly or dine leisurely with friends and family?  It takes 20 minutes for your brain to know that you’re full, so relax and enjoy your food.

3.  Build a support system for accountability/encouragement. God declared that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. Your friends and family care if you’re unhealthy. Some of my patients have sat by bedsides feeling guilty because they couldn’t get loved ones to quit smoking or commit to a healthier lifestyle. Love yourself enough to change for their consciences as well as your own.thK0E020A0

4. Successful people are committed to reaching goals. They don’t allow set-backs to deter them. Sometimes you’ll be ten steps forward and then four steps back, but you’re still going forward! As a Christian, is there anything that would entice you to go back to your unsaved lifestyle? Hope not! Realize that God doesn’t expect perfection from you, only obedience – don’t expect it from yourself.

5Successful people develop strategies. They have created strategies to overcome temptations before they arise. Outside influences don’t control them. They know honoring God is more important than establishing a fattening treat as their idol.

6. They find pleasure in other things besides food! Develop a hobby, write, paint, exercise, garden, learn a new skill.  It’s not selfish to find satisfaction in a well-rounded Christian lifestyle! Don’t allow eating to be the highlight of your life.

7.  Motivated people use visualization skills.  Try visualizing yourself covered in beef fat. Visualize eating raw chicken skin, mmm . . . or bacon grease coursing throughout your veins.  Not very attractive. Think of your heart as a separate entity, faithfully working day and night to keep you alive.  It deserves better!

8Winners are confident people! Aren’t you drawn to confident leaders? Just think how confident you become, because no one else can lose your weight but you!! If you can lose weight you can do anything, so walk like a winner!thTYH1U8BL

9. Winners become educated. They know why they eat and where the temptations are. They control their daily fat intake and rarely eat junk food which ages the body. They exercise for the pure joy of it!  They’ve learned how the body works. What a fascinating machine God gave us!

10. Feeling great is their everyday routine. It’s something they strive for. Being healthy improves your looks, energy level, longevity, self-esteem and is a testimony to how God gloriously rules in your life. They smile more!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Live life abundantly!

Are You Resting or Laboring This Labor Day?

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Happy Labor Day. I trust you are enjoying a holiday BBQ or some other form of rest and relaxation today. I’m learned to safely rest in our Lord Will and my hope is that you do too.

This morning I started walking my little Lhasa as I do each morning, when once again she heard faraway gun shots out in the farmer’s field near our home. Immediately Jewel got skittish and turned for home, even though I was there and holding on to her securely. She had nothing to fear and yet didn’t trust that I would protect her in any circumstance that arose. I’d never allow harm to come to her!

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How like us she acted, when we fail to trust in our Savior when circumstances beyond our control arise. Rather than trust that I would keep her safe from harm, Jewel would rather run home and hide under the bed! She’s kind of like that ostrich who thinks if she’s not seen, she’s protected. Well sin is everywhere and has a way of finding us. Unless we put on the full armor our God for protection, we are vulnerable to outside influences too. No amount of hiding will prevent tribulation from happening in this world. When my husband returned, she found comfort in his arms.

Just like Jewel, when trouble arises, we fail to trust that our Champion will protect us! Do we find comfort and refuge in our Father’s Everlasting Arms?

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!…” (Psalm 34:7)

I decided to take our beautiful Cocker Spaniel for a walk instead. He was delighted to spend time together! God also rejoices when we want to spend time with Him. Do you spend time with our Lord daily? He misses you!

And nothing seems to faze our Cocker Spaniel! In fact I knew he would protect ME, his master at any cost. In the same way we must protect our Master when attacks against Christ and Christianity occur. Stand firm! In today’s world there IS a war on Christianity. Don’t cower against the slings and arrows of the devil for he’s nothing compared to you! (1 John 4:4)  The Bible confirms Absolute Truth and we should stand up for that Truth, defending it with the confidence and backing of Scripture! Therefore memorize practical Scripture verses when needed.

Then as my Cocker and I turned a corner, who did we see but the man I wrote about in my blog “Power Through the Tough Times!”  When we had first met this sweet heavy-set man, he had been trudging through a run a couple of months ago. Our walk was faster than his run. I figured he had gotten discouraged and had given up. But there he was, still running once again. It looked like he had lost about twenty-five pounds by now.  I so wanted to call out an encouraging word but he was already too far away. Even though he was slow, he never, ever gave up! Neither should we. If you had started losing weight a few months ago, you’d be thinner now too, so never, ever give up!
 Continue pressing on toward your mark: Philippians 3:14 for we have an encouraging Champion too!
               

What’s an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

May I ask you a question? If your doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory diet but didn’t explain what he meant, would you know what to eat?  Probably not. It’s one of those  “dog year” questions.  Someone needs to clarify what the term ‘anti-inflammatory diet’ means in practical terms so you can relate. Well this is what happened to a good friend of mine recently and I told her I could help her out with the terminology.

The anti-inflammatory diet isn’t a “diet” as much as a lifestyle choice. One thing is certain however, not addressing the problem will only create larger ones down the road! Chronic inflammation is nothing to fool around with. It is not a “little” problem that if you thOKW4XVKEignore will simply go away. Chronic inflammation can eventually cause intense health issues including heart disease, IBS, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cancers. What causes inflammation? Stress is a major contributor and in today’s world who isn’t under stress? Find ways to relieve daily stress through exercise, fragrant bubble baths, relaxing to soft music, fresh air, massages or anything else that relaxes you.

A good anti-inflammatory diet consists of: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and whole grains such as corn, oats, quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat (kashi).  In truth, if you eat as God instructed Adam in the Garden of Eden, you’ll add a lot more life in your years.

You’ll want to strive to keep your body at a more alkaline pH instead of an acidic balance.  Coffee, alcohol and soft drinks are incredibly acidic so cut down. Increase your water intake with lemon (surprisingly an alkaline food. Use my search engine to read “Water with Lemon”)

Most complex carbohydrates foods are alkaline. Every meat is acidic, especially the processed meats with dyes and chemicals such as cold cuts and hot dogs, so consume lean protein like fish, chicken, sirloin and pork loin. Sugar and artificial chemically treated foods are highly acidic. Avoid! Unfortunately so are the nightshade plants like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant. This doesn’t mean you must give them up entirely, but only consume occasionally. Balance is the key here.

Wheat, unfortunately, is on the acidic side of the scale. However whole wheat contains a great deal of fiber, so only avoid enriched breads and balance whole wheat products with more fruits and vegetables. Try to consume fiber-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, beans and lentils. The fiber helps remove toxins from your system so they won’t cause damaging inflammation.

One characteristic of the anti-inflammatory diet is the recommended inclusion of omega-rich fatty acids, especially omega 3’s. These consists of milled flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil (best used cold), avocados, good fatty fish like salmon, cod and sardines.

Avoid salt and choose to flavor your foods with good herbs. Garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and capsaicin  are especially helpful with their anti-inflammatory properties! Alfalfa tablets are beneficial as well.  And don’t worry about not enjoying any treats either. A good dark chocolate contains a great deal of antioxidants as does a glass of red wine.

Do you see the pattern here? If you simply eat healthier and consume more whole foods and rid yourself of the artificially flavored, chemically processed boxed foods, you might pick up at the supermarket for “convenience”, you can enjoy so much more than you thought you could! Convenience or fast food is to be avoided for there is nothing convenient about pain and inflammation doesn’t dissipate quickly!

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

 

 

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