Archive | April 2014

Patchwork Lives

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The Healing Power of Foods

 Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health physically just as you are spiritually.” (3 John 2)

God placed Adam in a Garden for a reason – remember He is smarter than we are, (although some diet gurus feel otherwise when presenting their complicated weight loss programs.)

th[6]Everything that heals seems to have its foundation in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs:

Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables contain isothiocyanates, a fifty cent word which defends us against cancers, especially colon cancer. These vegetables contain protective chemicals; indoles and detoxifying enzymes which prevent cell damage. (anti-aging secrets?) Cabbage has been known to heal ulcers.

These are all our dieting friends, being low in calories and high in fiber. They attract and escort fats out of your system quickly and are high in cancer fighting nutrient boosting phytonutrients.  They also destroy cancer cells before they can harm. Filled with fiber, magnesium, iron, beta carotene potassium, thiamine, Vitamins K, E, C, and so much more!  These are best eaten raw or lightly cooked to release their healing properties.

Garlic: My personal favorite!! It’s antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic, fights inflammation, infections and stimulates the immune system. It kills parasites, controls digestive problems as well as fights respiratory illnesses like bronchitis or asthma. It even worked as an antibiotic during WWII. It ends to lose its healing properties if burnt however.

Garlic contains the valuable healing property of allicin. Garlic can heal wounds and prevent cancers. This fragrant bulb will work to open up the lungs, balance blood sugar, control blood pressure and circulation. It will lower bad LDL while increasing good HDL cholesterol. It is great on meats, Italian, Asian and so many ethnic recipes! Because garlic contains high levels of selenium, it improves our mood. Why anyone wouldn’t consume as much garlic weekly as they can beats me!

Onions: Similar to garlic, onions have many health benefits! Onions increase good HDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation, fights infection and are powerful cardiovascular agents. Onions contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant which prevents cell deterioration and cancers. It’s also excellent in fighting off diabetes because it contains the mineral chromium, which regulates insulin. New studies are to be released soon regarding a scientific discovery; a compound in onions inhibits bone loss. Choose colorful red, green or yellow onions because they contain more beneficial chemicals than white.

Spinach is high in fiber, vitamin A, C, E, K, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc, selenium and lutein (for eye health). Spinach is a powerful cancer fighter and men especially, should consume it because it helps prevent prostate cancer. Its dark green color contains chlorophyll which detoxifies the body and is another cancer fighter. It’s vitamin A content supports a beautiful skin. Also helps in fighting inflammation, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Its high water-density makes it a perfect addition to a diet.

Strawberries fight free radicals with its antioxidant powers. It is high in fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C and manganese (preventing bone loss). These have compounds that assist in memory function, plus they taste so amazing!

Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins C, E and other antioxidants plus fiber which can control diabetes. Plus they contain B vitamins, B6 and folate, which help with brain function.

Cantaloupe contains more potassium than a banana. This fruit will help prevent heart attacks, thins the blood and has a calming effect on the body. Also, cantaloupe is a natural diuretic, it releases sodium.

I could go on and on.  All of these foods improve digestion, memory, energy levels and mood. Most importantly, you will be able to lead the vibrant, healthy life God meant you to have!

Running out of gas?

dog running in circlesSo I was walking my little white Lhasa the other day when I stopped and spoke to our friendly neighbor who keeps an eye on our house while we are away. He was cleaning out his garage and I asked him how it was going? He sighed and told me this terribly sad story:

“aah, not so good Ellie.” he sad sadly shaking his head, “I was cleaning out the front of my garage yesterday when I placed a pan of gasoline on the  driveway. A little dog came up and started drinking it before I could stop him. He then started acting berserk, going round and round as fast as can be. Then he suddenly stopped dead in his tracks and keeled over.”

Well, being a tender-hearted person, I teared up and asked, “Oh how sad! . . .  he died?”

“Nope, he just ran out of gas.”

EEEER!!! I couldn’t believe I fell for that old joke! Reminder to self: Jesus did say, “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.”  (Mark 12:31)

Well, as I continued along my path, I focused my thoughts on God as I usually do and came up with a Spiritual principle I can derive even from THIS illustration.

How many of you have seen brand new Christians get excitedly “gassed up” on the Word of God? They are ON FIRE for the Lord! They remind me of a pendulum which wildly sways from one side to the other. I am so happy they found the Lord but I am also apprehensive. For I have seen what happens next over and over again. When the first challenge comes, they run out of gas. They shake their fist at God and wonder how He could treat them so badly? They turn away before anchoring themselves to the Word of God.

God never guarantees smooth sailing as a Christian. In fact, Christ declared just the opposite.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

As a Christian, be prepared for conflict and discouragement. Be secured in the Word.  A Spiritual walk over a lifetime usually consists of many steps forward and one or two steps back. The important aspect of this is to continue growing and moving forward because our Lord’s welcoming arms are outstretched, waiting for us. God doesn’t change his mind. He is constant. He will never disown us, even when we rebel or do something incredibly foolish like return to our old, degrading habits.

As I continued along, another thought crossed my mind regarding the above illustration; that of a link between spirituality and health. How many health-seekers start out fanatically gung-ho and suddenly after three weeks run out of gas?!  They had declared they had found the perfect diet plan! “This one says I can lose 26 pounds in two weeks! All I have to do is give up all carbs and run ten miles each day.”

How realistic is that? Not very if you have read my past blogs.

They profess to all how wonderful this complicated but beneficial new plan is. They want everyone to try it because after all, it’s truth! . . .  until it isn’t. It worked for this celebrity, why didn’t it work for me?  It simply turns out to be another diet guru’s false plan.

Real change starts from within and is grounded in factual, Absolute Truth. Remember to keep yourself anchored to the Word of God and He will direct your paths.

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

Who Does Rejection Hurt Most?

hiking in the hot summer heat“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4;10

Summer in Arizona occasionally reaches a stifling 120 degrees or more, but usually it remains around a cool 112-115. I love hot weather! Occasionally I see people however, who hike, bike or even run in this heat. I suspect it is a macho thing and I say a silent prayer that they have consumed enough fluids.

Sadly every year, some succumb to a heat exhaustion or heat stroke unnecessarily because they fail to bring life-sustaining water with them. Or drink water, even when it is offered along the trail. I believe it was last summer when this exact scenario occurred. A couple hiking up a nearby mountain in extremely high heat, was offered water along the trail but refused it, only to be overcome by dehydration, needing rescuing later.

Living in the desert is a metaphor for life. Many ideas come to mind and this one I wanted to share with you:

Have you ever had someone who needed what you had to offer but steadfastly refused it?  For example, I have partnered with male golfers who, to put it kindly, could have benefited from lessons. Rather than request a practical golf tip from my golf pro husband, who would have freely provided one, they purchased some new gimmick promising to reduce ten points off their handicap.  Another one purchased a new set of golf clubs, concluding that was the answer! All the new equipment in the world won’t fix the real problem because success begins from within the mind and the heart. Awareness is the first step to change.

I’m sure other nutritionists, dietitians and fitness instructors can identify with this scenario as well. Occasionally I offer my nutritional expertise to Christian friends who are about to attempt some harmful, crazy diet plan.  Because this is my ministry, I expect no monetary retribution; only the relief of seeing someone turn from false diet gurus and become healthier for our Lord.

I had a friend at a previous church who weekly professed to me how much she enjoyed reading my blog. She exclaimed happily how certain posts had motivated her toward her healthy pursuit. (Although I might have encouraged, it is always God who motivates one to change, not me. I am only the messenger.)  Regretfully when we chose another church to attend, she refused to follow my blog anymore. Who did she hurt more? Me, herself or God?

Sadly, when I picture people refusing help, I visualize our Lord kindly offering free, Living Water which sadly, most toss aside. Rejection. Whom did that act of rejecting Jesus’s Living Water hurt most: Christ or the one who refused the gift of eternal life?

This world we live in is a parched, unsurvivable desert. We are only here for a short time for no one will get out of this life alive. We can choose this day to accept the eternal Living Water Jesus willingly offers or reject it and hike a mountain of worldly challenges alone. I urge you not to remain in a desert wasteland forever. Choose the Living Water of our Lord and live!

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38