Healthy Encouragement to Succeed!

One of the best selling writers, Jerry Jenkins, expressed it very well: “I’ve made it my life’s work to coach writers because I’d love to see you enjoy the benefits I’ve enjoyed.” Well said, Mr. Jenkins.

I’m an author of several books, as well as a nutritional counselor. Like Mr. Jenkins, I urge and coach others to strive for healthier living because I want to see everyone enjoy the benefits I’ve enjoyed. By eating sensibly, you’ll obtain increased energy, more muscle (which burns fat), improved moods and a fit physique. I want you to feel JOY!  

I have no ulterior motive. Sure, I’d love to sell many more books, what author wouldn’t? And I enjoy hearing how I’ve  helped others. But have you noticed what’s happened to our culture over the past fifty years? With an abundance of fast-food locations, conveniently-packaged, chemically-based food choices, we’ve created an environment plagued by obesity.

One nurse I worked with years ago, playfully teased me at lunch in front of a group while eating a spoonful of icing. “Watch out, we’re being baaad and here comes the Food Police!” As she withdrew another huge spoonful from the container, she taunted, “Look Ellie, I never knew Crisco and powered sugar could taste so good! Mmmm.”

Okay, funny but some don’t get it! The icing isn’t bad. Losing control while not understanding why or not caring is!!! In fact, I’ll eat icing sometimes; but not much because although there’s pleasure in sugar, there are few nutrients. Sugar releases valuable serotonin but too much sugar creates moodiness, the “jitters” and ages us. Want that?

Even sadder is the fact that many do nothing to educate themselves regarding why and how to control their impulses. I have no willpower, they believe. Hardly. That same willpower which prevents us from telling off our mother-in-law is the same willpower we tap into when we need resistance. We have willpower, it simply needs to be prioritized.

There are other reasons why people overindulge besides lack of willpower – occasionally it’s emotional while other times it’s physical: medication, insulin production, inherited DNA among several.

A few suggestions to resist and overcome:

  1. Recognize why you crave this particular food. Let’s use icing as an example. We never truly outgrow our childhood. Perhaps you’re experiencing a horrific day and all you want to do now is feel the same secure warm-blanket-closeness you felt when your mom let you lick the spoon. Understand your feelings might not be about true hunger but what’s eating at you.
  2. A little icing is fine but if you can’t control your temptations, for heaven-sakes, don’t bring it into the house. Use sliced fruit or a drizzle of melted chocolate as a topping instead.
  3. Understand this: God wants you happy and healthy. If you can’t resist – get out of the house and go walking, biking, gardening or some other fresh air activity for at least twenty minutes. (If it’s in your house, it’s in your mouth!) You can also read, write, watch a movie or something which will get your mind off eating.
  4. Personal favorite:  paint your nails!  (Okay, men, grease an axel.) We can’t get into a bag of chips if our nails are gooey. If that doesn’t work, take a bubble bath, wash your hair or call a supportive friend.

I wish people realized when a loved one suffers, everyone who cares about them does as well, especially God!

 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Live Vibrantly Healthy!

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News Flash??????? Red Meat’s Now Okay!

Oh gracious, stop the Presses; there’s been a remarkable News Flash proclaiming: “Red Meat is NOW acceptable to eat!”

Well, when wasn’t it? Oh right, about thirty years ago when scientific studies came out claiming it caused horrific artery blockage, while little nutritionist me, was scoffed by declaring, “it’s fine in moderation.”

“He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” (Isaiah 44:14–20)

This recent study didn’t go into detail as to how much red meat one should reasonably consume. Nor did I see where it even distinguished between the skinnier sirloin or filet mignon, as opposed to fattier prime rib or 73% hamburger.

Why is that important? First, one cut of beef is not the same as another. Secondly, more is not better. Depending on its type, it takes longer to digest the protein and fat in beef, from 4-8 hours. (Plant/fruit/grain protein is normally 2-4  hours.)

Of course red meat is very beneficial in moderation. Red meat contains iron for red blood cells and is one of the only protein ways to obtain B12 as well.

But so many misconceptions! I was appalled when I overheard a trade show vendor pitching a product which supposedly absorbed fat. She proclaimed as her selling point: ” . . . and red meat rots in your stomach!” People believed this claim!

Actually, stomach acid has a pH of 1- 3, about the same as battery acid. This acidic environment helps create pepsin, the enzyme which breaks down food in the stomach. Not much can survive intact within that acidic pH!

But I can hear the critics exclaim, “How then are we to know what to believe? Nutritional scientists are always changing their minds on what we can eat!”

Well, that’s what happens when people listen to science. They begin to worship the creation instead of the Creator. My Creator God told me in Genesis 9:3 that it was perfectly all right to consume meat. So I do . . . in moderation . . . as I’m also told in 1 Corinthians 10:23. What’s moderation? About 6-8 ounces of meat per day.

Balance is needed. Red meat has many benefits: It’s high in minerals including zinc, iron. phosphorus and selenium, a “feel-good” nutrient. It also contains amino acids and the antioxidant Glutathione. L-Carnitine metabolizes fat and is proactive in heart health.

But beef has a few precautions as well.

Cows nowadays are pumped up with growth hormones to hurry beef off to market. People ingest these hormones because they’re eating out much more – especially at convenient, fast food restaurants. Young people are affected greatly. Why do you think children as young as 8 – 9 approach puberty sooner?

I know someday, someone will sit near me consuming a huge 20 ounce bacon-wrapped steak, happily stuffing themselves into oblivion because some study told them it was okay to do so.

Regarding the study, I’d need to know more. It simply acknowledged it used a large, diversified demographic and geographical group. I’m skeptical. What type/categories of people participated?

We are all unique with a different physiological makeup. Did they use many more athletic high school and college aged men who worked out five times per week, an elderly or overweight population or those who took a cholesterol-lowering drug daily? Who paid for this study? Was it the beef industry or someone with an agenda regarding the outcome?

I urge you to never become a sheep when reading any study. Don’t follow blindly. I know what I believe and why. I’d rather trust God than men. Men make mistakes, God does not!

 

Adrift in a Sea of Nutritional Myths

When are we going to learn that God is actually smarter than we are? When are we going to trust that what He proclaimed  6,000 years ago nutritionally, is still Truth for today?

There are plenty of false diet gurus who testify how, by abstaining from this particular food type, you’ll lose weight. Please don’t be a sheep and follow blindly. We must realize if someone is pushing a diet agenda, there’s usually something profitable for the one doing the pushing!

God has no agenda except keeping you healthy in order to honor Him. He wants you to live a vibrant, productive life. He’s not Lucy waiting to take away your fun. Follow His dietary plan in Genesis 1:29 & 9:3 and enjoy a healthy life!

Contrary to what many scientists believe, our DNA wasn’t derived from apes, crystals or aliens. God created Adam with the perfect brain and physique with the intention of avoiding the Second Law of Thermodynamics when He said, “Do Not Eat!” But Adam believed a false prophet (Satan) and ate what was never intended for him. Mankind has deteriorated ever since. Lucky us.

“Discretion will watch over you, and understanding will guard you.”   (Proverbs 2:11)

Use discretion! Let’s look at some food fallacies people believe today. Avoiding: 

Bread.  A 1970’s Scandinavian study discovered when men consumed twelve slices of bread every day for weeks, rather than gain, they lost weight. Full of B vitamins, whole grains convert fats, proteins and carbs into energy. Fiber in hearty bread attaches to cholesterol, moving sludge out of one’s system, allowing the absorption of nutrients, which process food into energy.

Avocados: Physiologically, this fruit contains monounsaturated fat which attacks lousy LDL cholesterol and the stress hormone, cortisol which produces acid, creating toxins, which increases one’s waistline.

Pork: Pork loin contains less fat than the equivalent amount of skinless chicken breast. It contains thiamine, a calming B vitamin which overcomes stress. Choline and amino acids assist with metabolic processes.

Coconut: medium-chain trigylcerides and lauric acid target belly fat. This is one food stressed on the Keto Diet and why it works for some but overall Keto is a dangerous diet plan and never one I’d recommend!

Bananas: This often maligned fruit is one everyone should purchase! Magnesium, potassium, B’s, even vitamin C! Chocked full of fiber, it allows insulin to be released more slowly into your system, thus less hunger pains. Starts out as a starch. becoming more of a simple carbohydrate as it ripens (still nutritious.)

Nuts: Nuts are packed with protein, enzymes, antioxidants and so many beneficial nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B12, vitamin E, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and essential fatty acids. Pistachios fight cortisol, the stress hormone and walnuts are fabulous for cognitive retention!

Eggs:  Eat for nutrients!  A, D, E, B6, B12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, iron, choline, folate, selenium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and vital amino acids among other nutrients, nuff’ said?

Beans/lentils: The Paleo diet says avoid them. Really? These beneficial foods have both soluble and insoluble fiber plus protein, thiamine, E, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, etc. etc. . . .  what do you think???

Milk/ Cheese: Calcium/D for strong bones and muscle mass, (muscle burns fat.) Probiotics and whey for weight loss and digestive health.

You’ve probably guessed by now that God’s simple diet plan is the most beneficial, while offering Moderation!  I believe I’ll follow it, will you?

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

 

A “Modified” Keto Diet?

Last week, did you happen to catch an MSN’s Health section headline with the proclamation, “How I lost weight with a modified Keto Diet!”

News Flash: If a diet is modified, it is NOT the same diet plan. If I modify my Mediterranean Diet plan, it becomes a DASH or Volumetrics Diet. All excellent by the way. But modifying the dangerous Keto diet is putting lipstick on a pig and dancing in toxic waste.

I glanced over her “modifications” and discovered she continued to consume bacon, salami and other dyed, chemically-based, highly-saturated, fattening foods containing very few nutrients and fiber. Where’s the nutrients???

Listen, your body is comprised of chemicals while food is a bunch of chemicals. I’m sure you’ve seen what happens in a lab when too many chemicals are mixed together – Kaboom!!! Do you want your body to become toxic chemicals?

When one consumes Keto’s fat-based diet, theoretically a body burns fat for energy. Well how does that work? Let me explain:

We’ve all seen how a rocket blasts into space, right? That plume of smoke emitted from the back of the rocket as it launches off its pad is similar to what the body does when it produces energy to move as well. But our energy fumes are primarily converted inside and those toxins need to exit our body through urine and sweat.

Dangerous conditions result when one fails to drink pure clean water (most dieters drink Diet Coke with even more chemicals like Splenda or aspartame.) If you don’t drink enough water, those toxic chemicals remain in your system, festering in your cells, compounding unhealthy, acidic conditions. If your body is acidic, it becomes a  test tube for cancers, high cholesterol, heart disease, liver and kidney conditions among many others.

I’m not a gambler and don’t want to wager on a diet prone to precarious life-threatening illnesses. I also haven’t met anyone who has KEPT their weight off by staying on this diet forever. As we all know, the only real and reasonable diet is one that you can maintain for a lifetime.

I am not saying that one can never have bacon again. I eat bacon, cheese and cold cuts occasionally. However if I have a ham sandwich for lunch, then I’ll have lean meat: chicken, pork loin, sirloin, salmon, fish and fibrous veggies for dinner.

1 Corinthians 10:23 states that anything is fine in moderation but not everything is beneficial. I created and follow the Biblical Diet Plan found in Genesis 1:29 where God told Adam to eat plant based foods and then Genesis 9:3 in which He told Noah after the Flood with its newly created environmental climate that it’s now fine to consume meat.

Don’t struggle with crazy restrictive diet plans believing you are pleasing God. I actually call this “The Penance Principal.” Several of my patients believed they had to suffer; consuming bland foods, “sticks and twigs” in order to please God. On the contrary, it’s a slap in the Face of God when you say, “Oh dear, why did You create eggs and bananas? This human scientist says they are bad for me. After all scientists know more than you, don’t they?” Wrong, and besides science is always changing, God does not!

“So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.” (1 Corinthians 1:20) NLT

As for me and my house, I will trust the Lord! (Joshua 24:15)

Eat nutritiously and prosper.

Caterpillar or Butterfly?

Does a butterfly look back on its life and wish it had remained a caterpillar? (I do wonder about strange things, don’t I?)

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder but most of us, if given a choice, would choose to be a butterfly I believe, rather than a caterpillar.

When it’s a caterpillar it’s pretty adorable; all soft and fluffy. And we usually “ooo” and “aah” over a butterfly and only “aahh, so cute!” over a caterpillar. Most of us just  aren’t content to be cute – we’d rather be beautiful, it’s human nature.

The caterpillar had the DNA inside him to change his nature, so do we? Some are naturally meant to be thinner than others; but we should ALL  desire to be our healthiest self. The butterfly eventually changed into the best of himself, so can you! Don’t be content to settle for a second best you.

Do you think the caterpillar knew its destiny or was it content to crawl around the leaves and up stems of flowers and never soar? Was it aware that it would eventually transform into a beautiful creature? I would think it was probably content in its ignorance. Just like discouraged dieters who sigh, “Well, I guess this is how I was made, so I’ll just accept it.”

In God’s timing, the caterpillar metamorphosed into a butterfly; and with its beautifully extended wings alighted on a flower for the first time. What a glorious accomplishment! Do you think it then grieved for its past life or rather rejoiced in its new abilities to fly? Did it ever wonder, “Why didn’t I do this sooner!”

So many of us are content in bodies that crawl or even stumble exhausted through life without any desire to reach greater heights! Strive for something better than mediocrity, you deserve it!

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

As a nutritionist, I usually heard a patient, after they met their goal, exclaim, “I feel wonderful! Why didn’t I do this sooner?!!!” In God’s timing He won’t force us to becomes healthier. It’s our decision. Only when we are ready to make him LORD over our choices will we be ready to become a new creation.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Don’t be content to drag yourself through your day with extra pounds and potential health issues. Are you tired of taking countless pills for blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a heart condition? Instead allow yourself to become a New Creation.

I very much enjoy watching the television show, Aerial America? Isn’t it amazing how soaring over this country can change our perspective on how we view objects we’ve seen countless times?! Isn’t it about time you saw life from a different perspective? Choose a healthier lifestyle and take control of your life.

Don’t crawl through life, SOAR with wings like the butterfly.

 

“How to Lose Weight in Five Easy Steps!”

Research shows that people gravitate to articles with this type of headline. I do too.

But how many nutritionists have heard the pleading words from a patient, “Just tell me what to do!” Like there’s a magic formula for rapid weight loss! The question is, will the same plan which works for Suzie, work for you?

Possibly, if it’s practical and nutritionally balanced like the Mediterranean Diet – but even then, we should realize we are all uniquely made.

We don’t see too many commercials any more with some beautiful person claiming “I’ve lost 58 pounds in a month . . . and you can too if you simply purchase “X.”

It’s the equivalent of: I’ve told you what to do, just do it and you too will look like me! Of course within a few months the weight comes back on and the dieter feels it’s his/her fault – I didn’t follow the formula correctly. Stupid me. Failure doesn’t do much for self esteem issues; (a reason we overeat.)

Weight loss success means knowing the “why” of it all. What are the personal habits and food idols which prevent you from succeeding? How’s your self-discipline? Is your lifestyle frantic? Are you currently battling a certain emotional trauma? Are you big-boned? Consider the fact that we all have a different physiological makeup, emotional background and discipline.

Health is a slow and steady individual process while learning to create new habits, eat balanced and overcome temptations in order to become a healthier version of oneself. It shouldn’t be about becoming a size two. Please don’t trust in an unreachable fantasy.

Salvation and nutrition are so similar in nature. You are the only one who can lose weight and become healthier. No one else can choose a different pathway except you. Sadly, lifestyle changes are not perfect pathways. It usually takes slow and steady progress to create new habits, avoid temptations and become a healthier version of you.

Jesus also knows each of us as individuals. He knew the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18–23) would never give up his wealth to follow him – it was his god. The Pharisees would never give up their power and recognize Jesus as Lord. Position and pride were their gods.

I ask you then, “What is your god?” Is it sleeping in instead of exercising? Consuming French fries each day instead of vegetables? Convenient Fast food instead of eating at home? None of these are wrong unless you love it more than your LORD.

Understand what’s keeping you from sucess. Take small steps to accomplish a goal. Reward yourself for each goal reached. Instant gratification never accomplishes much because nothing was done to achieve it and many people who win the lottery are broke within a few years without personal discipline.

Changing and becoming healthier improves character and when you sometimes fail, (which we all do) learn from it! It builds resolve!

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;” (1 Peter 1:5,6) 

How do you begin to change the inner self? First place the LORD over self. You’ll like that person you’ve become. What one cherishes, they take care of. Have you ever noticed that happy people are content with who they are? They aren’t necessarily the beautiful or thin people either! Contentment emanates from God’s Love. Appreciate Him enough to be your healthiest!

Braving Our Personal Storms in Life

As we sit here, enjoying a beautiful sunset over western Florida, escaping the wrath of Hurricane Dorian, I can’t help but wonder how many have cried out, “Why, God?” when destruction hits.

Why does God allow storms to enter our lives? How are we to deal with them?

Reflecting, I saw a comparison of personal godly storms and how we can get through them by trusting God.

God is Loving in spite of our rebellion

Twice in our married life we have turned from God, who brought us back through loving discipline. True, we suffered and are still reaping consequences but never have we complained it’s God’s Fault!!! In fact God graciously forgave our immaturity and we’ve learned from that experience. It’s helped us to counsel others because we’ve “been there.” We accepted the fact that we were far away from God’s Will and absolutely recognized we deserved more punishment than our loving LORD dished out.

Have you ever strayed from healthier eating? Of course, everyone has. When you did, what were the consequences? Stomach ache? Fatigue? Diabetes? Something worse? Well, did God force you to eat those double cheeseburgers – make you ill? No, we did it to ourselves and must accept the consequences. God however, graciously prepared a way of escape with wisdom, medications, exercise, healthier foods . . . and you know what? I bet you like yourself better when you eat better!

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) LSV

As a father lovingly disciplines a child, God warns us, might even punish us for what we have done. Just look at King David and what resulted after his sin with Bathsheba. God doesn’t play favorites.

God sometimes creates storms to navigate us to safer ports.

Last year we were working in a toxic environment but prayed we could still make a difference. God loved us enough to prod us out of that unhealthy environment and to move us into a blessed Christian opportunity and lifestyle experience.

Sometimes we remain in an environment we shouldn’t. We settle for mediocrity. Nutritionally, have you ever thought, “Okay, one piece won’t harm me.” However one leads to another and suddenly it’s ten extra pounds gained. Don’t settle in a bad habit! God desires so much more for you.

Knowing God’s Word Prevent Storms

False prophets twist and turn God’s Word around making it sound better to anyone wanting to believe it. I saw this with politicians while working in public relations. They proclaimed promises the crowd wanted to hear. People who fall for these haven’t researched what Truth is! There’s little distinction between false prophets or false diet gurus. Know what you should believe and why. Do. Your. Research. Understanding physiology is important!

God is Good. He instilled in us common sense. Provided great nutritious foods to enjoy. Therefore eat what you desire in moderation. Avoid man-made, chemically-based foods most of the time, consume good fats and colorful food. If you crave a particular food, ask why. Are you physically hungry, sad, bored, lonely, stressed? Decide for yourself whether you are really hungry or simply emotional. Know yourself.

It’s not easy traveling a Christian path. Nor is it easy reaching a healthier goal. In nutrition no one wants to suffer, yet everyone wants a quick fix. There is no need to continuously sacrifice. Enjoy His Bounty and Stay Healthy in Body and Spirit.