Archive | January 2015

Morning Has Broken . . . and with it, Breakfast! So Now What?

So enough already, right? It’s great knowing that we should avoid all these crazy diet plans, but now what?  You are probably wondering, if I can’t follow the diets Ellie wrote about, then how am I supposed to eat?

thEOOZWF3UTo answer that, I’m starting a new series on sensible daily eating plans. Not only what one should eat but why they should. That’s actually an easy  question to answer. We should eat like the well-run machine God created us to be. Are you ready and willing to follow God’s Will?

“Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.”  (Psalm 119:73)

God created us with physiological engines. You wouldn’t expect a car to run efficiently without gasoline or oil, nor a refrigerator without electricity, so our body needs to generate the right energy as well.

Think of a train’s steam engine.  As long as the engineer continues to stoke the engine with coal or wood, the train contentedly moves along. If he falls asleep on the job however, and fails to do so, the engine begins to run out of steam and slows to a stop. Same with us. If we fail to eat regularly, we’ll also run out of steam.

In the morning we’ve been without food for 6-8 hours. If we fail to eat, our brain will determine we are ill and will slow our metabolism so it can disperse those calories when necessary. It can’t comprehend we would want to starve on purpose. It’s protecting us. Therefore, eating mini-meals throughout the day, will naturally allow us to think, move and operate effectively.

Start with breakfast:

Quick energy is what we need each morning so  we can wake up our brain, which runs almost exclusively on glucose, a sugar. That means carbohydrates which enter our blood stream in about 15 minutes – but carbs only last for about 2-3 hours at a time.

Have you noticed that if you have a sugary donut, your body is energized but then crashes quickly? You probably get hungry, spacy and perhaps jittery within an hour or two. If you don’t want to crash mentally or physically, consume any high fiber complex carbohydrate such as Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, Kashi or Raisin Bran (with 1% milk) for quick energy but fiber for sustaining energy. Fiber allows insulin to be released more slowly into your system, thus you won’t get that jittery feeling in an hour.

And I’d much rather see someone add a little real sugar (at 16 calories per teaspoon) than spoon any chemically created artificial sugar into their coffee or tea. Why consume unnatural processed food with absolutely no nutritional value? You’ll become a walking chemistry experiment, ready to erupt with cancer or illnesses when processed chemicals collide!

You’ll need to sustain that energy with a little (2-3 ounces) quality protein which lasts about 4-5 hours in your system. Low-fat, good-quality yogurt with a serving of fruit and sprinkled with milled flaxseed  or low-fat ham, Canadian bacon, eggs, 1% milk is wonderful. Even bagels, toast, Buckwheat pancakes or waffles are fine in moderation. But go easy on the syrup or add fresh fruit instead. Add a little peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese spread on your bagel for sustained energy.

Finally, we need to keep our machine well-oiled by consuming good quality fats like real butter, milled flaxseed, coconut or almond milk. (Fat remains 5-7 hours.)  Consume a banana, apple with cheese or graham cracker with peanut butter as a mid-morning snack.

It’s all about balance, not lack of willpower! By eating sensibly, the weight will drop naturally. You’ll never starve yourself into natural health and health is always more important than weight loss!

 

 

 

Crazy or Sensible? Debating the Atkins Diet Plan

I was at a pancake breakfast fundraiser one morning, when a sweet young lady looked at what I was consuming and commented, “Wow, I never touch orange juice, that stuff is pure poison!” as she placed a fourth strip of bacon into her mouth.  Sure enough she was on the Atkins Diet. Let’s see, I was drinking something that was filled with vitamin  C, potassium, magnesium, folate, B6, calcium, vitamin A, niacin and iron.  She was eating a food that contained preservatives, nitrates and cholesterol laden saturated fat. We all have a choice – You make the call.

I Timothy 4:7,8 ” Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

thB7VM6I7KThe basic principle behind the Atkins Diet is nothing new, it was proposed in 1863 by a London undertaker. Ironic to say the least. The Atkins Diet is not how God created us to eat.  In the Garden of Eden He advised Adam to consume every seed bearing fruit, plant and tree for food. (Genesis 1:29) The last time I checked, an orange was from a seed bearing tree. Fruits, (carbohydrates) are not allowed on Atkins. But when God speaks, I listen.

I’m amazed at how many people follow this diet! I know it can work for some people because we all have a different chemical make-up, but here is a list of physiological reasons why, as a nutritionist, I’d personally never recommend this diet plan:

  • There’s a higher risk of high cholesterol and kidney stones.
  • When your body is unable to burn glucose it turns to burning fat, which produces a body chemical called ketones. As Ketones rise, uric acid increases, as does gout possibilities.
  • Toxins fester in the fat cells due to chemicals and hormones being released in a higher body-fat environment, changing your personality for the worse.
  • The body doesn’t receive enough diverse vitamins or minerals, but does receive too much iron.
  • Too many fat soluble vitamins, (A,D, E, K and selenium) are released, which are toxic in large doses.
  • Abnormal heart rhythms rise due to a forced excretion of potassium & sodium while not retaining enough magnesium.
  • Without the high fiber intake from whole grains, cholesterol levels rise, as does a risk of colon cancer, when all waste isn’t excreted from the body.
  • This diet produces a ph on the acidic side. Cancers thrive in an acidic environment. Want to roll the dice?
  • Processed meat contains enormous amounts of nitrates, fats, dyes and salt, increasing cancer risk.
  • It works due to water loss. Carbohydrates are the nutrients that hold water in the body and the dieter’s not consuming carbs.  When they’ve gone back to eating carbs after they’ve quit the Atkins Diet, water is retained, therefore making one believe carbs are the problem.

Dr. Atkins called his idea a “Diet Revolution“.  Who and what was he rebelling against . . .  God’s perfect design to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains??? The Atkins Diet excludes fruits and starchy vegetables which God ordained for us to eat in the Garden of Eden.

As a Christian, I’d rather not rebel against my LORD, would you?  “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 10:23) 

It’s your choice. Choose to honor God by eating healthier.

(an excerpt from my book)9781478731818_cov.ai

Weight Loss From Pills, Pills, Magical Pills . . . ?

th9B39TVQKThere are so many “magical pills” available!! In the past, Redux, phen-phen, ephedra, Meridia and equivalents were offered and then taken off the shelves due to health concerns. What started out as a quick fix, quickly became a horror story of medical complications and even death. Many contain huge amounts of caffeine or artificial stimulants which revs up the metabolism artificially. When the body adjusts, the patient needs more medication for the drug to work effectively.

In some cases the pill produced heart palpitations, shakes and other symptoms simply because the patient was taking a form of Speed. Is this how God wants us to live? I don’t think so!   See Genesis 1:29.

Artificial stimulants cause very rapid weight loss, which forces the body to do something it perceives as abnormal. When one loses too quickly, the brain believes it is being threatened by illness and begins to protect itself. Oh sure, they’ll lose weight rapidly over the first 6 months . . . then their body will adjust accordingly. They’ll need stronger and stronger drugs to compete with their body’s protective instincts. In other words the body is being tricked into submission. Think about that . . .  the temple of the Holy Spirit is being tricked into submission. Who else wants to trick us into submission? That’s right, Satan.

“Be self-controlled and alert,  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8)

Satan would like nothing better than to have you addicted to drugs which could destroy God’s temple.  Stand strong!  I don’t believe a Christian has any business being around drugs that act like Speed and creates side effects such:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • An increase of toxins in the body
  • Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • A feeling of being out of control
  • Increased headaches

Some patients have complained, “But it’s too expensive to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”  Not as expensive as having a stroke, heart attack or being on daily medication. Diet pills can cost $200 or more per month!

Pills also can produce embarrassing side affects such as loose and uncontrolled bowel movements. Now that’s being the life of the party, isn’t it?!

Most importantly, have they learned anything by taking medication? Have they practiced self-discipline, discovered sensible applicable nutritional information or strategies to live better?  How are they going to eat after they’ve reached their goal if they don’t understand portion control and what nutrients do for them? When they go back to eating regular meals, their body will cling to every calorie because it might be “attacked” again.

Carbohydrates absorb water, so by consuming carbohydrates again, (especially starchy carbs like fibrous whole grain bread, needed for digestive health)  they’ll increase water weight. Then they will mistakenly believe that carbs are making them “fat.”  They will start gaining and attempt another quick fix. That’s the beginning of yo-yo dieting. Each time one gains, it’s harder to lose.

I urge you to avoid any false diet ideas and honor God with your body!

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body”  (1 Corinthians 6:19 – 20)

Dying To Be Thin!

th8F7O7EN1How many of you, reading this, would sign up for the following weight loss program if it clearly stated the following:

        “Volunteers needed to test a new diet program.  Some foods are toxic and will cause paralysis and blindness.”

I’m sure none of you, right? Clearly this plan states that this eating plan would cause blindness and paralysis for attempting it.  It’s crazy! However, a few years ago, Rachel Ray conducted an experiment on her webpage (she certainly didn’t endorse this!) requesting volunteers to sign up for this particular weight loss plan.  Over 1,400 people signed up!! Unbelievable! Literally, some people are dying to be thin for a perceived world-view body image.

You might think the above false diet plan is an amazingly ridiculous example of losing weight, but think about your own diet choices in the past. How many of you have tried liquid diets, the Atkins Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, cottage cheese diet, grapefruit diet, no-carbs, no-fat, diet pills; it goes on and on and on . . .  there is no “one size fits all” diet plan, everyone is physiologically different. But this isn’t how God originally created us to live. He placed Adam in a garden and gave him fruits,vegetables and whole grains to eat. Meat came later after the flood.

It’s amazing how God has created each one of us with a unique physiology!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13) 

What a fabulous DNA we have! No other person on earth who has ever lived or is living is exactly like you. It boggles the mind when you think of the billions of people who have existed on this earth and yet, no one looked or acted just like you.

In today’s society everyone seems celebrity conscious.  Everyone wants to look like Kim Kardashian or Brad Pitt.  People are so desperate to lose a few pounds that they will even risk their health to do so! Why would we want to destroy our earthy temple? Be content with who you are: Phil 4:11 ” . . . I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances,” or take steps to change yourself.

  • Write a list of what makes you special, what you like about yourself.
  • Then write down what you don’t like about yourself.
  • What can you change and not change?
  • That which you can change, start creating strategies to overcome them. (Be kinder, think before speaking, be socialable, study harder)
  • If you can’t change, ex: physical looks, if you haven’t enough money to get a chin implant, then accept yourself for who you are.

 

Failure to accept who we are begins in childhood and can deter us from all types of goals. If you had parents who expected perfection from you, constantly comparing you to siblings, you might believe you are never good enough and stuff those feelings down with comfort foods.  You might equate eating everything on your plate with appreciation and love, because parents praised instead of criticized when you did.thODH7X3T7

If you were fortunate enough to have a parent who encouraged you and told you could do anything if you put your mind to it, you probably still hold that mindset today. Phil 4:13 states, ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Realize you are special simply because God made you! He didn’t create a robot world – we each have good and bad characteristics which makes us interesting.  Take steps to accept yourself.

REMEMBER:  You are SPECIAL simply because you Are . . . and GOD DOESN’T MAKE JUNK!

“Okay, So What About the Paleo Diet?”

Asked about this diet recently, I have procrastinated answering, for Paleo is controversial.

thCVDZBWXFFrankly, I find the Paleo diet with its many restrictions, confusing. It ranks right up there with the Atkins and Cabbage Soup diet. It’s complicated and I failed to see many scientific facts to back up its claims. My motto has always been eat for nutrients, not calories, not fat grams nor formulaic restrictions. For as God proclaimed:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.”  (I Corinthians 10:23)

As for the Paleo Diet, it proclaims, “Thou shalt NOT consume . . . ” these items:

Cereals: Broad stroke of the pen here which needs clarification. There is a big difference between consuming Rice Krispies with no fiber and Grape Nuts with nearly two teaspoons. Fiber is essential for maximum health because it removes dangerous toxins from our digestive system.

Grains: Another fiber. We are to eliminate oatmeal, corn, potatoes, wheat and bread. Confusing. So whole grain fibrous bread is categorized right beside white? (White makes a better eraser than a bread.) Again no scientific evidence to back it up. I, on the other hand, have countless Bible verses conveying how our Lord ate bread.

Legumes:  This includes all types of beans, (navy, black, pinto, kidney, peanuts, etc.) and peas with 7-8 grams of fiber. What vegetable would one substitute for fiber? 28 lbs. of broccoli???

Dairy:  What? Not even high quality yogurt with all its probiotic properties to protect/build the immune system?  If one isn’t consuming 35 grams of fiber on this plan, then how do we combat the gross parasites and bacteria in our system?

Refined sugar:  There are many types of sugar but the brain feeds primarily on glucose. This diet should clarify what it means by refined sugar as opposed to glucose. Cut down and use sensibly. Anything is fine in moderation.

Potatoes?  Seriously? I’ve written about this nutrient-dense whole grain countless times already in my blog. Please use search engine.

Processed foods:  Finally, something I agree with. Processed foods are a ticking time bomb. Why place chemically processed, dyed or artificially flavored foods into your system to fester with other bodily chemicals? Especially if one is not consuming much fiber which moves toxins from your system!

And yet I found under the list of “approved” foods, bacon! Isn’t that hypocritical?! Bacon is one of the most chemically processed foods there is. Don’t tell me I can’t eat black beans but I bacon is great for me.

Overly salty foods: Salt is an acquired taste and it’s found in all foods already. Good advice.

Refined vegetable oils: I agree to a certain extent. Choosing olive, coconut, flaxseed, sesame oils or even real butter over refined oils are healthier. However I’d add canola oil with its essential omega-3 fatty acids, to the list as well as well.

So there you have it. It’s your choice. Are you going to live by strict dietary rules and regulations, as those offered in the days of the Pharisees, or are you living under grace and are free to enjoy anything in moderation?  Oh, and one more thing: you have Free Will to believe anything. I prefer to believe that my ancestors were designed and given a diet by God, not cave men. It’s called Faith.

 

Deciphering Diet Categories to Reduce Confusion

A person could go bonkers trying to decipher which diet plan is best for them. This pursuit is confusing and discouraging. To help you decide which diets are healthy, I’d like to categorize them.thDS4IFHBA

Fact: All diets claim weight loss . . .  but most dieters won’t keep weight off forever. (Actually that is what’s best about counseling, discovering why someone doesn’t.)

Let’s face it, there are actually only three food groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. All diets break up into this combination. Then adding water, vitamins and minerals, you have the basis of nutrients. Therefore mathematically, there are only a certain number of physiologically sound plans which actually lose weight safely:

1.  The practical diet plan which stresses plant-based food, lean protein and good fat in balanced ways, losing pounds gradually. These are the Mediterranean, Dash, TLC, Flexitarian and Volumetrics Diet, all variations on a theme.

Any of these plans I highly recommend – they are all simply variations on God’s theme of Genesis 1:29 and 9:3. You’ll lose sensibly. Add exercise which increases muscle, and you’ll lose faster because muscle burns fat. Lose a pound or two weekly and most likely you’ll keep weight off for a lifetime. And as you lose, you are learning self-discipline because no one has lost this weight but you. You, not gimmicks have conquered bad habits!

2.  The restrictive food group diet plans; Atkins, Paleo, Fat-Free, Sugar-Free.

God created us nutritionally balanced for a reason. All food  groups and nutrients work together to create a well-run machine. An engine won’t run efficiently without a balance of gas and oil. Our bodily machine can’t run effectively without glucose and essential fatty acids for brain power, carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle. More details on this category in upcoming posts.

3.  Then we have the rapid weight loss diet plan: starvation diets, cabbage soup, protein drinks or any type using diet pills.

It is mathematically impossible to lose 10 pounds of fat in 10 days!  And with these you are playing Russian Roulette with brain cells, muscles and heart tissue.  Do you feel lucky?  Not for long because you’ll gain it all back as extra fat, which is harder for your body to burn!

4.  The boxed plans: Jenny Craig, Nutrisytem, Weight Watchers.

I like Weight Watcher’s because it educates and includes a support system for its members. One is taught to count calories however, and every calorie is not equal and if one counts points, it’s complicated. How is an avocado classified? As a carb, protein or fat?  It contains all three.

Jenny Craig has coaches who educate and encourage their clients and although their boxed food teaches portion control, their food is expensive and gets boring quickly. Not bad if you can afford it.

I caught a Nutrisystem commercial yesterday gleefully professing losing five pounds in a week if you’d try their program. Talk about castles in the sky! Common sense:  3500 calories equal one pound of fat lost.  To lose 5 lbs. of fat in a week, one would have to cut out 2500 calories per day!  And you’d be losing brain, bone, muscle tissue also but mostly water weight! Desperate dieters expect to lose fat and fall for this claim.

5.  Diets that are targeted toward chronic illness, such as Gluten-free, (for Celiac patients) heart healthy (Ornish) and Diabetic Diets, (ADA)

Excellent for those who need it. I’ve endorsed the ADA Diet a lot since I specialized in diabetic care while working for physicians. Gluten-free claims are primarily fads but we live under grace and if one wants to live gluten-fee .  . . fine. Gluten is a protein that gives breads, pizza dough, bagels and other grains its chewiness.

6.  Then the absolute crazy category such as a Hot Dog, Cookie or Grapefruit and Egg Diet.  Remember a real diet is one you can stay on for life?  Must I clarify?

“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”  (Colossians 2:8)

 

 

To Veg or Not to Veg . . . That’s an Interesting Question

A Vegetarian Diet is an interesting and sometimes controversial subject. Even though I’m not a vegetarian, by faith I follow God’s laws – so what does He say about it?

vegie diet

God intended man to be vegetarian according to Genesis 1:29 “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.” So we were designed for it.

Originally the world had a different climate structure. It was only after the Flood that God said, “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” Genesis 9:3. I suspect it was not only due to climate change, but the fact that animals multiply faster than humans and would over-populate the earth and mankind itself.

Vegetarian diets can be plant-based only, or one which allows eggs, cheese and milk products. In this matter, God gives you choice, conscience and the desires of your heart. He only wants you to be self-controlled, healthy and to honor your personal temple. Isn’t it gluttony to devour that advertised 72 oz. rib-eye monstrosity which creates a dangerously acidic pH? Meat’s a side dish.

A vegetarian diet makes sense:

  1. What are the most common diseases today? Heart ailments, kidney disease, cancers, hypertension, high cholesterol. A true Vegetarian has fewer health concerns. Since cholesterol is only found in the liver, many of these diseases could be eliminated or reduced through a vegetarian diet.
  2. When one consumes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, one is ingesting a healthier, higher fiber diet. This naturally lowers the risk of colon cancer as well as the diseases already vegie diet toomentioned. (There is no fiber content in meat no matter how tough it is!) 
  3. A vegetarian diet is extremely colorful, containing more complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals (like lycopene) and flavonoids which boost our protective physiology. 
  4. I grew up on a dairy farm where cows were raised pretty much organically back then. Today however, animals are raised with so many growth hormones, consuming meat products are causing a rise in the puberty rate at a much younger age . . . another health concern.
  5. Beneficial Omega 3’s can be found in nuts, avocados, flaxseed, canola, olive oil and other plants, nuts and seeds.
  6. In the book of Daniel verses 1: 1-21, he not only survived but thrived on a diet of vegetables and water.
  7. A vegetarian diet is a very controlled one which, if practiced correctly, creates a well-disciplined individual.

Cautions:

  • Vitamin B12 access is primarily derived from animals. However I believe that vegetables grown in organic soil (manure based) would hopefully produce enough B12 to sustain a healthy vegetarian diet. Otherwise a supplement is needed.
  • Beware:  A vegetarian diet doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Saturated fat is found in whole milk and cheese. I’ve counseled several vegetarians who were well over 200 lbs. primarily because they ate mac and cheese, creamy pasta sauces, French fries, butter and trans fat items such as potato chips and cookies.
  • Your balance awareness is essential! Not ingesting macro and micro nutrients could produce depression, hair loss, anemia, lethargy . . . so listen to your body signals.

So then why shouldn’t we all adopt a Vegan lifestyle?

  1. Because God advised us to consume meat after the world-wide Flood. See fourth paragraph. Unless the world’s animal production was drastically curtailed, animals would overrun the earth. Just look at countries where animals are considered sacred and what happened to the environment there. That’s man’s choice.
  2. God told the Israelites to eat lamb, bitter herbs, unleavened bread to remember the Passover. Exodus 12:8-9
  3. God laid out strict dietary laws in Leviticus 11 for health and sanitary reasons.
  4. Jesus offered fish to others and being God, He wouldn’t offer anything that would harm His people.
  5. In order to derive enough B12 in a vegan diet, purchasing organics would be the most beneficial. That usually means additional expenses.
  6. It’s difficult to dine out at restaurants or with friends who aren’t vegans.
  7. It’s challenging to find recipes (seek WordPress food blogs) which adhere to a vegan lifestyle and one must constantly combine (ex: beans and rice) to ingest the proper balance of nutrients.

So What does God Want? . . .  Obedience and Common Sense

  1. He laid out strict laws as to what animals to consume in the Old Testament Deuteronomy 14: 3-20 and the New Testament in Acts 10:10-15.
  2. Jesus ate fish. Luke 24: 41-43
  3. Jesus ate the Passover feast while on earth.  Luke 22: 14-15
  4. In Acts 11:5, Peter was told what he could now eat and it included meat. “”The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’

Should one consider a vegetarian diet? Although I don’t adhere to one, I would highly recommend it!

“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” 1 Timothy 4: 4-5