Enjoy the Company as Much as the Food!

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Sorry, but what better verse for Thanksgiving than this:

“whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things”  (Philippians 3:19)

It is common knowledge that between Halloween and New Year’s most people gain ten pounds. Now string that out to the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, not to mention the play-off games and we pile on additional poundage! Thinking it  over  next spring, when one’s clothes don’t fit anymore, it’s one of those “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments.

When is enough, enough? Why do our good intentions go by the wayside as we lose control at Thanksgiving, gorging ourselves on sweet potato casserole and pecan pie? Even Thanksgiving leftovers are great! Realize this day is special and still maintain discipline.

And how do we do that and not feel deprived?  It’s all about choices.

First, chew your food slowly while consuming quality nutrients.

Turkey is a lean protein with approximately 340 calories for 6 ounces. Lots of B vitamins and an enormous amount of minerals including selenium. Turkey makes us happier. Cut a smaller 3 ounce (170 calories) serving into tiny pieces, eat slowly and enjoy!

Want stuffing or mashed potatoes and gravy? Enjoy smaller portions: 1/4 cup of stuffing is 90 calories, 1/4 cup mashed potatoes is 75, a  drizzle of gravy over both is about 65. A 1/8 cup of sweet potatoes (without tons of brown sugar and marshmallows) are 40.

Your plate is already getting full!

Now you need veggies. Select broccoli or green beans (not the 225 calorie casserole!) at 25 calories per 1/2 cup or an entire cup of garden salad at 50 calories and a drizzle of  1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil and apple cider or balsamic vinegar with herbs at 60 calories.

Cranberry sauce is surprisingly high in calories. A sliver,  1/4 inch thick has 100 calories. Your choice: Is it worth it or would you rather have dessert? You’re in control of your decisions. Feel empowered yet?

A dinner roll has 110 calories, but sop up the gravy instead of buttering it, and you’ll save 60 calories towards dessert. Again consciously make the choice, “this or that.”

Without dessert, the caloric count above could total 1,000 calories, depending on your choices and drink selections.  Don’t be discouraged. Normally someone would consume 1400 to 2,500 calories daily depending on one’s weight or if he’s cutting down purposely for health reasons. It’s a special day but God doesn’t want you idolizing food!

There are specific factors that can instill discipline on Thanksgiving.

  1.  “Smoosh” out your selections so mentally it seems as if there’s more on your plate than you really have and no one will ask, “Is that all you’re eating?”
  2. At home beforehand use a measuring cup to visualize sizes before spooning out selections.
  3. Make this holiday a social occasion and not an eating occasion. Enjoy fellowship and stretch out the meal. It takes twenty minutes for one’s brain to recognize it’s full.
  4. Sit with your back to the food if your family serves buffet style or when done, remove your plate (or yourself) so you aren’t tempted.
  5. Drink only water with lemon with your meal and save even more calories! A 5 ounce glass of red wine has 125 calories.
  6. Take a walk after dinner. The fresh air will invigorate you and burn calories.

Wait to eat dessert.  Choose pumpkin pie over apple today. A 1/8 serving of apple pie is about 410 calories, pumpkin is 200 and pecan, 480 (with a dab of whipped cream increase those by 65 calories.)

Enjoy, don’t stress. God Supplies Bountiful Blessings; so please remember those today. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Change Your Mind Before You Change Your Body

Six years ago I took the “KLOVE Challenge.” It urged us, as Christians, to listen to only KLOVE radio for thirty days and see how it would change our life for the better. Now up until then I had listened mostly to Country, Oldies and Soft Rock stations.  However at the end of the thirty day challenge, I realized I not only thought differently, but seemed happier and more content. So I continued until it seemed I was only listening to good quality music with an uplifting message. It began to change my life for the better.

As time went along, I found myself editing what television programs I watched and what books I read too. It’s amazing how much smutty TV our children are subjected to! Then it becomes influential. So is it any wonder why our youth today have potty mouths, no boundaries and show disrespect for authority? What’s the children’s Christian song which begins, “O, Be careful little eyes what you see . . .”

The same can be said about everything in our lives which becomes habitual. Therefore strive for a healthier mindset.

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”   (Colossians 3:17)

A positive mindset even changes our nutritional habits!

When I worked in the corporate world, I considered myself “too important” to stop for lunch. If I did eat lunch, it was a fast food burger with fries and a shake. I woofed that down in ten minutes and rushed back to work.

Since I wasn’t consuming anything of quality, I was stressed out and sick quite a lot. It wasn’t until I left the fast-paced world of public relations and pursued a counseling degree that I began to slow down and consume more nutritious food. As time went on, I realized how invigorated and healthier I felt. Eureka! I thought, I’ve found the answer!!! Why doesn’t everyone know this?

As a curious person, I began to pursue more classes on psychology, physiology, biology, anatomy, a Biblical worldview . . . and I was hooked into Christian nutritional counseling. Science was proving how wonderfully designed by God we are! My greatest goal became encouraging others to change their diet and lifestyle sensibly, so they could see how much more energetic and vibrant they could feel also.

As time went on, the similarity between Christianity and nutritional applications became clear. And  like Salvation, I couldn’t make a difference until someone desired and recognized how and what needed changing. More times than not someone had to reach bottom before that determination kicked in. Usually a serious health issue or doctor’s warning did it.

Leaving old lifestyle habits behind and becoming a new creation is necessary! However, a pastor can preach Biblical Truth until he’s blue in the face, but until someone accepts that personally, there is no noticeable difference in a life.

Regarding nutrition, no suffering necessary! God gave us a bounty of wonderful choices to select from. He doesn’t expect us to eat unappetizing, tasteless food any more than He expects us to read only the Bible or watch only religious stations.  I had a friend who only read the Bible. No other books. I guess that’s commendable but there’s a world of Christian authors to pursue as well as great reads like To Kill a Mockingbird. So nutritionally speaking, having an occasional fried food isn’t terrible, but every day???  Use discretion and common sense. We should strive to honor Him in all we do, watch and say.

Are You Goal-Minded or Wandering Aimlessly?

My husband and I have crossed this country twelve times, as well as lived and traveled extensively in Europe. During my husband’s military career, when it was necessary to transfer to a new duty station, I would always be curious about our next home. I’d research as much as I could about the area, contacting the Chamber of Commerce for information, search for a realtor and so on.

As we traveled, we always had a map and a daily mileage goal. Without an intentionally defined goal we would have wandered aimlessly. We probably wouldn’t have reached our destination without a lot of frustration.

Doesn’t that also sound like many without a clear health goal?

The same principle applies. Before a smart person can accomplish an objective, they lay out a strategy of how to get there. As much as we’d like a “beam me up Scottie” instantaneous weight loss result, it’s not going to happen this side of Heaven. Besides that, the journey is as important as the destination. If we could have instantly arrived in Monterey, California from Washington DC, we would have missed the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Graceland and so much more! What a loss.

With health goals, you’d also be missing out too. Since 0nly you physically live inside your body, only you can develop strategies, overcome challenges, gain confidence and become victorious.

Don’t make goals complicated. Start with only one and build upon it.

Write out realistic goals and track progress.

In spite of advertising claims proclaiming, “you can lose 10 pounds in a week!” it ain’t gonna happen healthily! It takes 3,500 calories less each day to lose one pound of fat. Do you even consume that many daily calories daily? (Probably the only time I did was on a cruise and I was miserable!)

A slow, steady weight loss of 2, maybe even 3 pounds per week will allow your body to adjust and keep the weight off. If you lose too quickly your metabolism slows; believing you are ill, it attempts to hoard calories as protection.

Remember anyone can lose weight on fad diets but as a nutritional counselor for over twenty years, I haven’t met ONE person who kept it off on a crazy diet. Why?

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire”  (James 1:14)

Analyze why you eat as you do, (another blog.)

Eat for nutrients!

If you consume good quality nutrients, your body receives all you need for healthy living, creating an active metabolism. Then you’ll overcome cravings when, for example, your brain’s hypothalamus nags you for magnesium. Of course broccoli contains magnesium, so does chocolate – which one do you think you’ll choose?

Create small, reachable goals and make them fun!

Create a weekly spread-sheet chart. For each pound lost, fill in a block. For every five pounds you lose, reward yourself with a non-food reward. The more lost, the larger the reward: bath salts, body lotion, nail polish, new scarf, a book (maybe mine?) a CD, DVD . . . then a BRAND NEW CAR . . . sorry just kidding.

One important factor in weight loss: the only good diet is one you’ll be able to live on forever. God doesn’t expect you to suffer through rice cakes, sticks and twigs. He provided a bounty of natural, fantastic foods to enjoy. The more your body consumes nutritious choices, the more junk food cravings will disappear. Trust me, it happened to me.

Lastly, establish a close support group of positive, encouraging friends!

“Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.” (Proverbs 11:14)

 

Thank you for the Liebster Awards!

 

Thank you so much, His Perfect Timing (https://hisperfecttiming.blog  for two Liebster awards. It’s an honor to receive these from this lovely, dedicated blogger. I urge you to please check out her many diverse blog postings from healthcare and book reviews to lifestyle posts. It’ll really keep you busy and enlightened!

So here are the rules:

The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:

1) Acknowledge the blog who nominated you for this award.
2) Answer 11 questions the blogger gave you.
3) Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4) Nominate 11 blogs.
5) Notify them.
6) Give them 11 questions to answer

MY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER”

How did you get started blogging?

A. I began this blog five years ago after I began to notice the many similarities of mental, physical and Spiritual health to food and godly living.

Where do you find your inspiration?

A. I found inspiration from Biblical illustrations, my husband’s sermons, my pets, my bookshelves as well as specific questions from followers regarding healthy living.

Have you learned any important lessons along the way? 

A. Those who focus on people rather than their Creator will always be disappointed. God gives us patience to not expect perfection from others. B. Many are hurting; searching for encouragement, validation and purpose in life. C. Words and integrity matter. If you say you’ll do something, keep your word

What is one thing you can share with others about blogging?

A. One can accumulate friendships from all over the world through blogging and I look forward to seeing these fellow Christians in Heaven where we’ll have eternity to get to know each other in person!

Have you found blogging to be profitable?  If so, what’s the secret?

A. Nope, my blog is a ministry and so are my books – although I would hope that those who promised their review, would keep their word. If they didn’t enjoy it, contact me privately.

How long did it take for you to develop your own unique style?

I didn’t realize I had a distinct style until a lady contacted me in Arizona for a seminar. She told me, “I googled, ‘Speaker, Christian, nutritionist . . .’ and congrats, you’re it!” When God moved us from AZ to Ohio, I spoke at her women’s group and we became instant friends going on 3 years now.

Who would you like to read your blog that isn’t reading it now?

Those who are attempting dangerous fad diets! Attempting to become healthier through crazy and illogical ways is not how God intended us to live.

How much time do you spend on your blog every week?

A.  Probably a good 10-12 hours by researching, composing, posting and reading/replying to follow up questions.

How long have you been blogging?

A.  5 years without missing a week – (it might be time to take a sabbatical)

Where do you see your blog in the future?

A. Hopefully continuing to motivate others.

What one word describes you?

A.  Enthusiastic

SHARE 11 FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF:

Okay, 1. I grew up on a poor NJ dairy farm where 2. I learned how to work hard and self-discipline at an early age. 3. Tough circumstances early in life, taught me to have gratitude for the good times. 4. I gave my heart to the Lord at age 14. 5. I’ve been married 48 years this month to the same guy who has been a military man, golf pro and now a pastor. 6. I find life is never boring! 7. I enjoyed change because I could get rid of the “old me” and morph into a butterfly. (Who asks for 11 facts??? Yikes) 8. My favorite place on Earth is Sorrento, Italy. 9. Have visited 39 countries and islands. 10. Lived in West Berlin Germany when it was divided and 11. Wherever I am, I am content in the Lord and NE Ohio is the best place yet!

Nominate between 5 to 11 other bloggers..

As someone who appreciates ALL my wonderful followers. I realize many have now created a “No Awards Zone Allowed” blog and I won’t offend them. Therefore, I am opening this award up to those who enjoy these and have the time to work on this project. It’s wonderful to discover more about those who write to me. Love you all!

MY QUESTIONS FOR ANY NOMINEE 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why

What author (alive or dead) would you invite for a dinner party?

Favorite book

Favorite movie

What colors are in your home

What is your best talent

What were you like in high school

What was your first car

What’s your ideal vacation

Name an item on your bucket list

Are you a dog or cat person

 

 

Godly Wisdom Wins Every Time!

In Mathew 8:5-13 we learn of a Centurion who walked twenty miles along treacherous roads. Coming before Jesus, he asked him to heal his physically ill servant. Do you think the centurion consulted with  every physician, faith healer and specialist in Capernaum before he searched for the famous miracle worker whom he had heard turned water into wine? Possibly.  He was a product of his culture and the common practice of his era.

When we become desperate for a solution to our weight or health problem we might also; but only after attempting 28 possible solutions first, right? For aren’t we a product of our culture today? Instead of falling on our knees and asking Jesus first for guidance with any challenging situation, we seem to have a very common mind-set heard today, “Well, when all else fails, pray!”

I know, I know, twenty-twenty hindsight is perfect isn’t it? You might shake your head in disbelief but historically man hasn’t changed in over 2,000 years has he?

Let me give you an example of what I encountered as a nutritional counselor.

Working with doctors, I met with patients who had attempted countless popular diet plans. It seemed they tried every type of diet except what God set down in the Garden of Eden. Paleo, Atkins, Rice Diet, Protein shakes, weight loss pills . . . even a cookie diet! (Cookies, really???)

These upset the patient’s physiological well-being, creating a chemical imbalance, contributing to symptoms of diabetes, kidney stones, heart conditions, high cholesterol and countless other ailments. Many had now become obese due to “yo-yo” dieting.

Those patients came to me defeated, miserable, frustrated but hopeful someone knew how to rectify their complicated physical ailments. That’s true, someone wiser than me did and that’s our Heavenly Designer, God.

Have you seen all the diet plans out there? Most are unbalanced at best, dangerous at worst. God gave us the perfect diet: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and herbs. (Genesis 1:29) All fibrous foods. Then after the Flood He advised us to eat meat if we desired and we would remain healthier.

Restrictive and other crazy diets don’t work! Taking away nutrients only makes us weak in other physiological areas. A diet of only fruit doesn’t allow us to absorb 50 other necessary nutrients. Starvation only slows our metabolism if it doesn’t stop it completely.

Anything in moderation, God declared. (1 Corinthians 10:23) But nope – that’s not good enough for us. There must be something new and improved, right? Surely in 2,000 years a new diet has been discovered that is better than God’s plan!

God gave us a brain, let’s use it! Base our daily diet on what and how God wanted us to eat originally. Do you really think God created bananas, avocados, potatoes, sugar and then cried out, “whoops!!!”  No, that was man’s doing. A wise person takes care of his/her “earthly tent.”

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”  (James 1:5) HCSB

The more science discovers about our bodies, the more intricate we can see the Hand of God involved in it. To me, science actually proves the existence of God, (like He needs proving in the first place.) Do you really believe that the complicated, intricate, bacterial flagella simply evolved out of thin air or crystals rather than by Godly Design? It takes more faith to believe that, then it does that God created the heavens and the earth. But I’m not going to argue with you because Truth wins every time. Now or eternally.

 

Controlling Blood Sugar Produces Greater Weight Loss

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.”  (Psalm 139:14)

In order to derive the most benefit from nutrients, food must be broken down by enzymes. Specific ones are absorbed through the small intestine. A clean intestinal system will absorb nutrients quickly to jump-start your metabolism. Thus physiologically we lose weight faster.

But how do we do that? By first consuming fiber!

Fiber is essential in fostering good health and here’s why:

Suppose you had a garbage disposal in your home and nonchalantly threw scraps of food particles into it but never turned it on; what would happen?  It would build up, attract bugs and smell horrible!  And then when you finally did flip the switch, it would start grinding so slowly it might even stop if it’s too clogged.  Then you would have to snake out trapped particles or use something chemically to unclog it.

When one consumes mainly meat, fats, processed and low fiber foods, the intestines get clogged.  It’s harder therefore to move those through the colon. Since your body won’t absorb nutrients which are vital to life, your brain’s hypothalamus nags you to eat more food in search of necessary energy, thus you eat more calories but absorb fewer nutrients.

(Our digestive system is extremely complex so this is a simplified explanation.)

Strive to eat more fiber and keep your entire system working on less! Normally we need 25-35 grams of various fibers daily (approximately 4 grams equal one teaspoon.)

God advised Adam in Genesis 1:29 to consume whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs . . .  all fiber producing elements.  That’s why He placed Adam in a Garden – all our life-sustaining nutrients are available!

There is no fiber in protein or fat. Sorry, no matter how tough that meat was, there’s no fiber in its content.

There are two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Usually fruits, vegetables and whole grains include combinations of both.

Soluble fiber turns into a gel and helps lower one’s cholesterol.  Think apples, oranges, pears, beans and oats – all excellent sources of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber keeps our blood sugar levels steady so it’s easier to stand up to temptations. It also reduces the treacherous LDL cholesterol! Think of it as Liquid Plumr.

Insoluble fiber stays intact, it doesn’t break up as it travels through our system.  Think corn which basically exits intact. Whole grains such as potatoes, legumes, apple peels, beans and bran cereals are other excellent sources. Insoluble fiber  draws water into the intestines, making stools bulkier and easier to pass. It’s like Roto-Rooter.

Increase daily water content. If you ever dropped a piece of bread into the sink and watched it swell as water touched it, that’s what happens to fiber in your system. Fiber expands, creating a feeling of fullness. Fiber allows insulin to be released more slowly into your system, discouraging uncontrolled cravings.

If you consume a piece of fruit, add a bit of protein along with it such as a touch of peanut butter or piece of cheese. When choosing bread, remember the heavier the bread, the more fiber it contains.

If 60% of your daily calorie intake contains fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you’ll reduce your risk of colon cancer, heart disease, constipation, obesity, hemorrhoids and many other diseases. Remember, a man reaps what he sows, so strive to eat healthier to increase energy and lose weight.

Warning:  Increase fiber gradually. Excessive fiber intake may decrease the absorption of zinc, iron and calcium as well as promoting more gas. Take vitamin and mineral supplements separately from fiber.

Are You Part Of God’s Amazing Patchwork Design?

Once I watched a friend labor over a needlepoint project. From where I sat, tapestryit looked like a total mess. All those patchwork colors were joined in scrambled directions. What in the world was she working on? Was this her first attempt; was she over her head? Did she know what she was doing?

Then she turned it over. On the other side lay beautiful crosses atop a hillside of colorful flowers. Who knew??? It was so lovely and intricate; revealing a life lesson to me to not judge a piece of work until it is finished!

How very much like a needlepoint design, is God’s intricate work in us.

Several years ago I worked for a Christian drug recovery organization.  The women who arrived at the facility were messy, beaten down by life and shattered into pieces. Life’s choices hadn’t been good to them. Most had become drug addicts.

Sometimes their addiction began as a cry for attention. For some, it was to cover painful emotional attachments to everyday family issues, boyfriend or peer pressure situations. Others to dull the pain of loneliness, self esteem issues or friends urging them to join into the “thrill” of drugs and alcoholism.

Regretfully and unbelievably, several had begun their dangerous meth or drug habit merely to lose weight or worth. Now they’re addicted. What a half-truth Satan proclaims when he tells a young woman that she will gain beauty, popularity or lose weight through drugs. Weight loss? Of course – through malnutrition and death!

The half-truths of this world mislead many, just as it has since Adam and Eve. (“Surely you will not die . . .  ” Genesis 3:4) And any drug which artificially jumpstarts one’s metabolism will hang on to every pound after the “goal” is reached as an act of survival. Losing weight through manipulating drugs  WILL. NOT. WORK! Please do not even think of attempting a drug (diet pills) to lose weight if you are a Christian. You are God’s holy temple and drugs change your biochemistry and brain function!

Today many of these lovely women (but sadly not all) have conquered the satanic bonds that anchored them to this world’s view of beauty.

Those who placed their trust in Christ are now firmly anchored to His Truth of Salvation instead of drugs. They are healthier and happier as Christ demonstrates each one was worth the sacrifice He endured for them. They are now a child of the One True King! When their minds truly believed that, they began to act like the royalty they are.

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

A lured idol has a powerful tug of the heart. But the Word of God is stronger! I pray that the intricately woven Word of God will be able to assist you in resisting the ever present, powerful enticement towards a degrading lifestyle of weight loss pills and other fallacies.

If our life is God’s tapestry, it is unclear even to us how His work will turn out until our lives are completed. God’s prick of the needle can be painful as He works on us. And sometimes God needs to modify His creation by reworking the pattern if we go astray. (Genesis 50:20) His Patience and His Timing is perfect. He will never put us aside and forget about us.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)