Archive | November 2013

Honestly! Are These Studies “Nuts” or What???

In the Sunday paper yesterday I came across a headline from the Associated Press proclaiming, “Researchers link eating nuts to good health, low death risks.” Sigh. I wonder how much that project cost us when common sense costs nothing?

Read Genesis 1:29 and images[3]you’ll see that the nut was one of the good items which God created and advised Adam to eat.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;” Proverbs 2:6

Here we have yet another study professing shock that a food supposedly bad for us at one time, actually holds beneficial  nutritional value. The study goes on to report that 119,000 people who ate nuts practically every day had a 20% less percentage of dying of any disease than those who avoided nuts. Those participating found heart disease dropped 29% and cancer risk 11%.

This was true of any variety of nut they tested; almonds, pistachios, walnuts, even peanuts.  It didn’t however test how they were prepared, meaning salted, oiled, raw or roasted. If that important factor had been added to the equation, I believe results might have been decidedly higher. Peanuts eaten dry-roasted would likely yield a different result than consuming typical peanut butter with hydrogenated oil.

A bonus was that the study’s participants actually remained thinner!

Since I seem to be developing a theme lately regarding false claims about wholesome foods, I thought I’d clear up some confusion about the lowly nut. (and no, I’m not talkin’ about your Uncle Sal)

Unbelievably this article actually stated: Researchers don’t know why nuts may boost health . . .”  but went on to inform us of the cholesterol and inflammation lowering hypotheses found in other studies as well. My goodness, researcher, non-celebrity, nutritionist me, could have advised them why nuts are beneficial to health.  How many other costly studies do we need, in order to know basic nutritional science?!

Want to know a few reasons why nuts are beneficial?  Here’s why:

Nuts contain magnesium, an essential nutrient needed for enzyme activity. Enzymes are necessary for all metabolic properties. Magnesium, also used in conjunction with calcium and potassium, regulate heart function.

Nuts are high in vitamin E which of course protects against artery damaging heart disease.

Nuts have blood thinning properties which assists in preventing blood clots, making your blood more elastic, thus cutting down on heart disease.

Nuts also contain alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-tocopherol, two 50 cent words which reduces the risk of coronary heart disease with its anti-arrhythmic properties.

Ellagic acid in nuts, prevent lung, esophagus, liver and skin cancers.

Nuts contain Fiber. Fiber allows insulin to be released more slowly into our system, thus regulating blood sugar. Peanuts are especially beneficial, therefore diabetics would benefit from a small handful (1/4 cup) nuts.

Fiber from nuts also protect one from colon cancer by escorting toxins out of our system so they don’t fester in our digestion tract.

Brazil nuts contain selenium, an antioxidant which lowers the risk of cancers and heart disease. Selenium also improves mood, which reduces stress. (But one should only take two a day because they’re toxic in large doses!)

Nuts are rich in oleic and omega-3 essential fatty acids – not only heart healthy but benefits healthier skin and hair.

This doesn’t give one license to over-indulge, but any food’s fine in moderation. God instilled us with common sense for a reason and if I need a study, it’ll be Biblical. My soul already revealed that truth to me.

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”             3 John 1:2

The Actual Grain Brain Connection

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

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Dr. Perlmutter, well-known neurologist, has released a new book, Grain Brain. It’s on track to be the newest fad in healthcare.

One advertising headline screamed, “The devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar and carbs on the brain with a 30 day plan to achieve optimum health.”

Oh my, the truth, who knew???  (tongue firmly planted in cheek)

This is how Barnes & Noble has touted its release: Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD,  blows the lid off a topic that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more.”

Man, it’s always something isn’t it?  Actually those who should avoid gluten (found in wheat, barley, rye and perhaps oats), are those with Celiac disease, a debilitating autoimmune condition in which the body perceives gluton as a threat and damages the lining of the small intestine.

But my goodness, this doctor is leading people in a wrong direction. Did God lie? Make a mistake? If so, it would be God’s first mistake in man’s 6,000 . . .  oh wait, make that 69.9 million years if you’re an evolutionist.  Guess you know I’m not.

“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”   Numbers 23:19

Here’s why I’ll stick to Gods’ plan:

  1. Man has been consuming complex carbohydrates since the Garden of Eden, which God endorsed as he  instructed Adam.
  2. Jesus stated that he was the Bread of Life. He’s God! He cannot lie!  I doubt He misspoke or knowingly stated that whoever came unto me would be susceptible to dementia! Do you?
  3. The brain feeds primarily on glucose derived from carbohydrates. Consume complex types: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds NOT donuts and candy!
  4. The Far East and other cultures consume far more carbohydrates than we do and yet have much lower rates of dementia and other illnesses than the US which consumes a more fatty diet.
  5. In his interview, Dr. Perlmutter encourages modern society to go back to an early man diet; 75% fat and 5% carbs.  Excuse me, not true. Early man’s diet consisted of one given by God when He placed Adam  in the Garden of Eden.

“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29.  

Man didn’t eat meat until after the flood!  Genesis 9:3.

I could write pages on the benefits of whole grains and how complex carbohydrate’s benefit bodily functions but here are just a few:

  1. Whole grains contain fiber, a necessity for good digestion. Fiber escorts toxins out of our system so the liver is cleaner,  allowing for dispersing of nutrients more effectively.
  2. Whole grains contain beneficial B vitamins which improve mood and convert carbs, protein and fats into energy.
  3. Whole grains are a good source of magnesium, iron, manganese, selenium, Vitamin E, and valuable antioxidants which prevent aging among other benefits.
  4. One can develop allergies in anything if one consumes the same food all the time. Consume a variety of whole grains to prevent this: amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, wild rice, couscous.
  5. Whole grain (complex carbs) regulates blood sugar by allowing insulin to be released more slowly into our systems, thus benefiting diabetics.
  6. Whole grains escort the sludge through our veins, thus preventing heart disease and colon cancers.
  7. Since whole grain contains valuable fiber which expands when drinking water, it helps with weight management too!
So you make the call  . . . do you believe in Grain Brain’s theory or God’s Truth?

What Is Worth Fighting For?

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Veterans Day flagToday is Veterans Day. As a former military wife, I can personally appreciate the sacrifice our veterans have endured for our freedom today. We should honor it greatly and never forget how much entire families have endured so others could live in safety and comfort.

I’ve noticed that being a member of the military and a member of God’s Army are very similar:

A great soldier is required to live by a Code of Conduct.  How one lives a life on and off the field of battle is indicative of one’s character. Whether a soldier is a new recruit, enlisted or military officer, each one is expected to live up to higher standards.

As Christians it is necessary for us to do the same. We can’t claim to be a dedicated soldier in God’s army one minute and then destroy our testimony by practicing worldly pleasures the next. We need to conduct ourselves as one who has a higher calling. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

It requires great personal discipline to put on a military uniform. Christians too, are told to put on the whole armor of God. Christians aren’t perfect anymore than soldiers are. However as military personnel are required to strive for excellence, Christians are to do likewise.

I am continually astounded to hear of Medal of Honor recipients who, with no regard for their own safety, bravely go back into battle to save fellow soldiers. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 5:13 

Those few who survive are very modest about their accomplishments and never consider themselves a hero. The odds are that sometime throughout history, someone was saved by that act of bravery who hadn’t deserved it as much as the one who died in the hero’s place.

How extremely Christ-like. We’ve all had a nemesis who simply rubbed us the wrong way. In our humanity we’ve thought, Someday that person will get what he deserves. And yet Christ died for that person as well. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.” Romans 5:6,7. 

We are continually in combat, even in a free country. Remember the terrible days of the Vietnam War, when our military came home after completing their duty only to be spat upon and disrespected?

Today all over the world, Christians are beginning to experience that same mentality. Sadly it’s not only in foreign countries but also on college campuses, high schools and middle schools. Children can’t wear a cross, pray or carry a Bible without being taunted by classmates or professors for their beliefs. 1 Corinthians 6:13 exhorts us “Remain alert. Keep standing firm in your faith. Keep on being courageous and strong.”

A dedicated soldier follows the orders of his Commander and so should we. 2 Timothy 2:4 “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”

We are in a war today. We fight against the powers of Satan and his worldly pleasures. Ephesians 6:12.  Who will you serve? Who is your Commanding Officer?  Stand Fast with Christ, remaining focused on your Ultimate Victory: Eternal Life!

I’m Humbled to Receive Two Awards

I am very honored to receive another award from one of my most loving and encouraging readers, Christine. She produces the creative blog:   www.oursoulspurpose.com  inspiring others to express gratitude, forgiveness and unconditional love in their daily lives. What a versatile writer she is!  I am so grateful to the “blogosphere” for the opportunity to gather so many friends from all around the world into my life!

I can’t wait to pass this on to several deserving blogging friends who have touched my heart this past year. I’ve chosen 10 below and would have chosen more but I saw some of them had already won these already! Please nominate 3-10 special bloggers who you think would like it.

Sunshine Award – Isn’t this a pretty award?  It’s going to look so great on my “mantel”!sunshine-award[1]

To accept the Sunshine Award, please do the following:

1. Display the Award on your Blog.

2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.

3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award- ‘who positively and creatively inspire others’ in the blogosphere.

4. Link your awardees in the post and notify them that they are being awarded with a comment.

Inner Peace Awardinner peace award

The only ‘rule’ for the Inner Peace Award is that you write a short piece on why you are accepting it. Here’s mine:

“Although  I grew up in an extremely violent, tumultuous home, somehow I knew, even as a child, that Jesus was with me and kept me safe for a purpose. As a child, the Lord even then, provided a safe inner peace called hope. Looking back in hindsight, I know all the experiences in my life made me a stronger, more independent person and I praise God for them because it allows me to reach out to others today.

“Inner peace” is bestowed by Christ. Joy is a choice and how dare someone try to take that away from me! Perhaps that is why I am drawn to those who have an inner peace within themselves despite the personal storms in their own life.  I choose to smile and I chose nominees who do the same.”

Then write 10 interesting things about you. Here’s mine:

  1. The best thing about Arizona is that I can wear flowing sundresses or comfortable jeans nine months of the year!
  2. I’ve loved living in another country and with America progressing the way it is, has made it very tempting to do so again.
  3. But then I’d miss my daughter, son and five grandchildren too much.
  4. As a farm girl, had unusual pets, including a raccoon and a pet skunk.
  5. Besides writing, reading and traveling are my passions.
  6. I enjoy cooking and creating new recipes so much, we hardly ever eat out.
  7. My greatest weakness? I’m sometimes impulsive – but I’m working on that.
  8. My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.
  9. I almost drowned in a boating accident when I was four  and a half years old, which makes me terrified of being under water.
  10. I walk twice each day with my two dogs, a Lhasa Apso and a golden Cocker Spaniel which works out to be about 2-4 miles each day. They nag me more than any human ever can!

So here’s my nominations and I am truly honored to pass these two awards on.  I chose each nominee thoughtfully because every one has either overcome adversity or have inspirational testimonies, showing us how to truly sustain sunshine daily in our souls:

1.  www.storyland4.wordpress.com

2.  www.futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com

3.  www.homemakingwithheart.com

4.  www.thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com

5.  www.honkifyourevegan.com

6.  www.freedomborn.wordpress.com

7.  www.ibeatovca.wordpress.com

8.  www.manfonhealth.wordpress.com

9.  http://isingbecauseimfree.wordpress.com/

10.  www.saminaiqbal27.wordpress.com/

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,” Philippians 1:3

The Components that Keep Relationships Together

happy couple 2What does it take to keep a relationship strong? I can suggest four components and I hope you’ll comment on more.

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”

 

God, time, communication and laughter in my opinion, is the glue that holds any relationship together.

GOD is the Anchor. He instills a moral compass as well as the Golden Rule. There is no coincidence with God. He brought you together for a reason. Do you care? That which you care about, you take care of. Protect each other’s feelings through a lifetime commitment of love and respect.

LAUGHTER keeps a relationship young-at-heart. What seems like a crisis  in a relationship can often be a learning experience which over time is usually laughed about when relating that story to family and friends years later. Don’t sweat the small stuff, as the saying goes. In perspective, it’s all small stuff. Only what we do for our Lord matters.

TIME. In a strong, loving, balanced relationship, a couple should continually allocate more time together than apart. Never stop supporting, learning and growing together! God created us as complex creatures. It’s exciting to discover new interests that add to a couple’s extensive memory portfolio in marriage!

Communicate! Don’t let your relationships become complacent! Complacency leads to boredom. Sadly, many marriages are disposable in today’s throw-away society. How many times while counseling did I heard the phrase: “We used to talk for hours, but he doesn’t communicate with me anymore!” I can’t believe in life you can’t find something to talk about:  vacation plans, politics, sports, travel, world events, work, music, television shows, a joke you heard, a Bible study point of view . . . there’s literally a world of items to discuss!  Wouldn’t most women would prefer good communication from the heart than a gift from the store?

Real one-on-one communication in this age seems to be disintegrating as quickly as paper books. Twitter, Texting and Facebook have emerged as conversations without actual voices. A happy face icon is replacing actual laughter and a physical hug and in this extremely mobile modern world, even close friendships can dissolve quickly.

A study conducted by the University of North Carolina indicated that stress levels were lowered when participants hugged each other. Hugging releases chemical feel-good endorphins such as oxytocin, described as a hormone of love and the neurotransmitter serotonin. This allows us emotionally to feel safe, secure and in trusted hands. No amount of x’s and o’s attached to an internet hug can replace a physical one!

When one feels an emptiness in their spirit, something must fill that love hunger.  People try drugs, alcohol, sex or food to fill the loneliness, stress, restlessness, depression, boredom and countless other emotions in their lives.  Each changes physical chemistry with its myriad of feel-good hormonal components. It’s difficult to give up something that makes one feel good but ultimately these choices bring destruction.

Jesus understands. He’s felt the isolation, betrayal, sadness, taunting and any emotion you’ve felt. He wants to be that safe place for you to find comfort and restore your relationship. Actually the Lord is the only one who can!

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

It takes commitment, patience and the Lord as the center of any relationship to ensure longevity. Reach out to Him!