Archive | March 2015

Outsmarting an Advertiser’s Half-Truths

Have you ever been in a grocery store aisle and asked yourself, “How in the world do I know which product is healthy?” You do your research, that’s how: study the label, serving size, ingredients and so on.  Similarly, when someone expresses Biblical Truth, how do you know if it’s actually Truth or a half-truth? You study your Bible, that’s how!

“Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty or riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me.” (Proverbs 30:8)

Therefore, as in your Christian walk, I don’t want you to be fooled by misinformation either:

“Is 2% milk really 98% fat-free?” th2KMDLVOH

If asked, how many would say, “yes”?  Probably many. Truth be told, it’s not and here’s why:

2% milk is actually 40% saturated fat.  “How’d they get away with that????” you indignantly ask. Unfortunately people believe what they are told  People are very trusting while advertisers pursue their almighty dollar.

That 2% statistic is based on volume not calories. For example, if I have a gallon of lemon juice and drop two tablespoons of olive oil into that container, only 2% of the total volume is now fat.  However, now it represents almost all of the calories contained within it: 98% fat calories.

  • To break yourself from 2% milk, use visualization skills. Every time your family sits down to a glass of 2% milk, visualize 40% as pure butter. Whole milk is worse at 50% fat, 1% is approximately 20% and skim milk, although it carries trace amounts of fat, can be classified as fat-free due to regulatory cut-off levels. Nowadays, skim tastes extremely similar to 1% so give it a try.  Do you know that skim milk actually contains more nutrients and protein than regular milk?  Sure does!

 “Are enriched  foods better for us?”

When you think of the word, enriched, you’d think it means “better than” right?  Actually it simply means “up to”.  To keep wheat products fresher longer, (the oils in wheat germ spoil faster) they take the rich, nutrient-dense wheat germ out of the flour, breads, pastas and cereals to lengthen shelf life. Then they infuse the resulting, processed product with a few vitamins and minerals to make up for it.

  • Choose whole grains as much as possible.  Whole grain is classified as the entire seed or plant: oatmeal, corn, brown rice, potatoes, whole wheat bread and pastas. Not only do you benefit from nutrients, you also consume valuable fiber for colon health!

“Are salads a healthier alternative?”

th9MNFWJ0NNot if you pour high fat cheese, egg, bacon bits, croutons and high fat salad dressing over it! Neither are taco salads, coleslaw, potato, tuna and macaroni salad smothered in mayonnaise a great choice either.

  • Consume dark greens with garden vegetables, then add chicken, Canadian bacon or white meat turkey.
  • Salad dressing is the #1 fat item people consume daily. Create your own vinaigrettes using herbs, spices, vinegar and infused oils.

“Are fresh fruits and vegetables more nutritious than frozen or canned?”

Growing up on a New Jersey farm, there was nothing better than a tomato right out of the garden!  Unfortunately, how many have a garden?  Usually one gets to the store where the produce sat, you buy it, take it home, it sits around losing nutrients, then you finally eat it days later.

  • Fresh is absolutely best if consumed quickly but days of waiting allow produce to lose valuable nutrients. Frozen is picked and flash-frozen immediately so frozen’s another good choice. Canned foods contain sodium and usually preservatives. Drink lots of water afterwards to wash excess sodium away.

Don’t believe everything you read, eat wisely and remember anything is fine in moderation!


Dining “Through the Numbers” Without a Clue!

So here we go again. I caught this article in our local newspaper this morning under the headline, “Health by the Numbers.”  As I’m shaking my head in bewilderment, I discover yet another doctor with all the degrees I’d ever hope to achieve, who can’t convey physiological sense to the average health conscious dieter.

How easily could you decipher what she wrote below?

“1 or .5  This is the amount of protein you need daily. To maintain your muscle mass you need protein. About .5 grams per pound of body weight will do it. So a 200 pound man needs 100 grams of protein per day to protect his muscle. If you want to build muscle, shoot for 1 gram per pound of body weight. Every pound of muscle you have burns 50-70 calories per day.thT71TRN7Y

Got that?  My first question is, do you have any idea how much a gram is? What does this article mean to you in dog years? Don’t worry, most people haven’t a clue. Therefore, how could you figure out how much 100 grams would be in the first place? As far as I know, no container of meat is packaged in grams, only pounds and ounces.

Can you imagine trying to enjoy a meal at a restaurant and keeping track of your protein intake? What kind of a look would your server give you if you innocently asked how many grams of protein are in that sirloin steak or potato?  Yeah, I thought so too.

And most people believe protein is only found in meat but protein also resides in fruits and vegetables too. So according to the above article, that would need to be factored into the equation as well. How complicated do you want your daily diet plan to be?

Here are some of the top vegetable protein contenders (in grams per cup)

  1. Soybeans = 29
  2. Lentils = 18
  3. Beans and spinach = 13
  4. Peas, sun dried tomatoes = 9
  5. Potatoes = 5

Then there is the avocado which is technically a fruit, although most classify it as a vegetable. It contains approximately 8 grams of protein per cup . . . aaahhh, I see avocado in of my salad and I don’t know how much was placed in it!!!

So let me give you the answer to the question before you tune out on me. First, approximately 4 grams equal one teaspoon. (Everyone knows what size a teaspoon is.)

  • Divide 100 grams by 4 which is the average grams in a teaspoon.
  • This equals 25 teaspoons which should then be divided by 3 (the number of teaspoons in a tablespoon)
  • This equals 8 tablespoons which amounts to 1/2 cup.
  • 1/2 cup equals 4 ounces or about the size of the palm of a women’s hand

Would you rather carry a calculator around with you or eat as normal people do? How about simply using common sense? Have a garden salad for lunch with 2 ounces of grilled chicken, tuna or salmon and for dinner have a lean pork chop, teriyaki style with oriental vegetables?  Bring half home for tomorrow.

A human only needs about 6 oz. of meat per day. Even less complicated is to do as I recommend: consume 5x’s more fruits and vegetables than meat on your plate, Consume a Mediterranean type diet. (DASH, Volumetrics)  Use less sugar and less salad dressing than required. Life shouldn’t be this difficult!

“And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)



Aging Gracefully Through Food Choices

 “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

woman in clay jarNutrition plays a huge role in creating a younger you. But daily free radicals and sunshine steal oxygen from the skin.  Choosing colorful, nutrient-dense foods as much as possible will ward off that damage.

Studies show that those who consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, olive oil and nuts look younger. Did you know that residents of Greece, Australia and Sweden have fewer wrinkles due to their diet? We could also, but we eat too much acidic meat, dairy, fat and sugar and fill our godly temple with processed junk!

Unfortunately our skin gets thinner as we age, making it difficult to retain moisture. Therefore, try to limit sugar-rich foods, because through the metabolic process of glycation, this allows sugar to attach to molecules in our bloodstream, forming harmful new molecules and dehydrating skin. These ironically are called: (AGEs)  “advanced glycation end products.” Our skin also then loses valuable collagen and elastin which keeps our skin firm and elastic.  The more processed sugar we eat, the faster we’ll age. Is that daily donut worth it to you?

Want a tip that restores youth back into your step?  Eat for nutrients!!!

  1. Half a cup of blueberries or other dark berries help restore healthy circulation and fights inflammation. Eggplant prevents wrinkles with its inflammation fighting properties! Mousaka, anyone?
  2. Watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers, raw spinach, celery and fruits are great detoxifying, water-based nutrients.
  3. Calcium and Vitamin C bind collagen together, making low-fat yogurt with strawberries sound delightfully delicious. One fruit with enormous Vitamin C properties is Kiwi.
  4. The mineral Silica, found in alfalfa, brown rice, soybeans and green leafy vegetables, also assists with collagen formation.
  5. Aloe has 75 nutritional components and digestive enzymes which remove toxins, plump up the skin, prevents sun damage among other attributes.
  6. Beta Carotene enriched spinach, broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, oranges and other greens protects against sun damage. Anti-oxidant Vitamin E foods; sunflower seeds, milled flax-seed, olive oil, avocado, Vitamin C found in red peppers and selenium found in Brazil nuts fight free radicals which break down and age our skin. Don’t overdo Brazil nuts however; they can be toxic. Two are sufficient.
  7. Red wine and red grape juice are good deterrents with an anti-aging nutrient, resveratrol. Wine also kills e coli and lowers cholesterol.
  8. Malic acid and alpha hydroxy found in apricots, sloughs off dry sun-damaged skin.
  9. Foods like tomatoes, garlic, bell peppers and blueberries strengthen our skin, avoiding sagging.

Ever have dark circles under your eyes? Try these tips:

  1. Walnuts. They are high in the amino acid arginine which relaxes constricted blood vessels and improves blood from pooling under the eye area.
  2. Vitamin K foods; broccoli, spinach, liver, alfalfa, help erase dark circles as well.
  3. Salmon with its Omega 3 fatty acids calms the inflammatory agents that cause puffiness.
  4. Detoxify the liver by consuming more carrot juice, lemon, cucumbers and water.

Truth be told, we temporarily inhabit jars of clay. Beauty is fleeting and will not last, but the JOY of the Lord lasts forever! We are commanded to be Holy! Eat well to show others that Christians are disciplined, vibrant and positive representatives of Christ. Never for vain or selfish reasons. I remind you that God sees our heart and that’s the only beauty He truly cares about!

  ” . . . For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”  (1 Samuel 16:7)

Health is One Enormous Teeter Totter Ride!

I  don’t remember who wrote this but it is worth repeating for its Truth:  “We can’t blame God for not being in circumstances we stepped outside of him to make happen. Sometimes consequences make great teachers.”thX8QPMK4S

Sometimes life can become pretty discouraging, can’t it? Why continue to strive for a healthier, positive mindset when it’s so frustrating?  Galatians 6:9 advises us; “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Circumstances can seem overwhelming and achievement unattainable. Whether it is trials with health, family matters, finances or employment, success seems  out of reach. However, many times we’ve looked back over our lives and noticed that all our trials have worked to produce a stronger Christian. It has refined us as gold and now we wouldn’t change our past for anything, for it has made us who we are.

Similarly, when one attempts to establish a healthier lifestyle, it seems culinary temptations cross our paths daily. It’s frustrating because Satan knows our weaknesses. We certainly we battle a formidable opponent:

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) 

It takes an enormous amount of effort to remain on that health plan when ice cream or cheese fries whisper our name. That is why we need a battle plan, a strategy to resist, knowing that temptations don’t come from God, but from the devil.

First thing I do is memorize Scripture. Satan knows Scripture. That is how he tried to tempt our Lord after Jesus fasted in the desert. Scripture allows us to stand fast, remaining confident and vigilant. Quote some heavy-duty Scripture such as 1 John 4:4 and eventually the devil will tire of his game.

Next, envision that devil triumphantly announcing to all, that we follow him now instead of our Lord. His crafty temptations ensnared us. Impossible you say?  Well, creating a god out of cheese is no different than creating a golden calf, isn’t it? It’s an idol. We are worshiping a food item more than God. How silly to reduce our testimony to a block of cheese, when our Lord has done so much for us!

Life itself, is like a teeter totter ride. If it remained in one spot – it would be stagnant, tedious. It’s the same with a diet plan. I can’t imagine existing on carrots, rice cakes and celery for months to lose weight. Boring! And yet I can’t imagine a diet of chemically processed fast food or boxed meals all the time either! Eat a variety of nutrients.

Daily diets can be like riding a teeter totter too. Some days I eat an extremely healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and yet some days I look forward to BBQ ribs, fries and coleslaw. However, the next day I am right back selecting healthier choices and not worrying about it.

Every day produces highs and lows, so go with it. Let’s vary our diet, make wiser choices over the course of our life and glory in our godly accomplishments. Ups and downs . . . remember that life is one endless teeter totter ride. So don’t fall off or stay down for long. There’s a magnificent view on top!

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3: 13b-14)

Choose a Healthier Lifestyle with These Foods!

 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” (2 Corinthians 4: 7-9)

th50DC1NNZNo one wants to lose vibrancy as we age.  Unfortunately natural aging is the second law of thermodynamics. This scientific law states: ‘everything is winding down’.  That alone would convince me that evolution is bunk. How can evolutionists believe we are evolving to a higher plain, if they also believe in this fundamental law of physics?

Thanks to Adam, we are resigned to this fragile clay jar we inhabit until God calls us Home.

Some accept aging gracefully but I’m not one of them. I want to live as energetically and actively as possible, while honoring my temple of the Holy Spirit! Consuming healthier food, which improves our mood and vitality level, is one way to do that.

Here’s how we all can live life more vibrantly:

  1. Consume higher quality foods.  If you  never changed the oil in your automobile but then drove it 55,000 miles, how would it respond? Not very well. So consider how your heart feels if it has to pump blood through miles of blocked arteries to run your engine after it’s been clogged by chemically-processed, fattening fast-food! Visualize all that sludge creeping through your veins. Yuck.
  2. How energetic do you feel when you’re ill or are fighting the pain of arthritis? Not very! Omega 3’s also boosts the immune system and is anti-inflammatory. (You’ll be able to hold onto that exercise equipment without cringing.) By consuming Omega 3’s instead of saturated fats, you’ll be lubricating your metabolic engine. Where can you find these vital nutrients? In olive and canola oil, halibut, wild caught salmon, tuna, oysters, trout, eggs, yogurt, peanut butter, oatmeal, walnuts, milled flaxseed, pasta, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale and cod liver oil.
  3. Snack on berries and other colorful fruit!  Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, red grapes (resveratrol), plums, oranges or other fruit.
  4. Consume more fish, especially salmon, because it restores brain cells and fights dementia. You’ll remember those funny stories you want tell your grandchildren.
  5. Eat breakfast! Consume a good high (5+ grams) fiber cereal: Shredded Wheat, Great Grains, Grape Nuts, Raisin Bran. Fiber naturally rids your body of toxins and restores natural energy balance. Increase your fiber naturally through whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits! thO3A9WXY0
  6. Drink more water. Water plumps up your arteries and removes dangerous toxins out of your system, restoring one’s energy and mental clarity.
  7. Coffee, green tea, a glass of red wine and dark chocolate all contain powerful antioxidants. Recently conducted studies have shown these likely ward off Alzheimer’s.
  8. Spice up your life with herbs and seasonings: curry, cinnamon, mint, parsley, turmeric, tabasco, paprika, garlic and virtually any seasoning except salt. (Blood pressure tends to rise over your lifetime.)  Seniors sometimes lose their sense of taste and tend to eat blander foods but spices stimulate brain cells, releasing serotonin; another feel-good neurotransmitter!
  9. Add low-fat dairy and dark leafy vegetables for calcium.  Did you realize that skim milk actually has a higher protein percentage than other milk?  Calcium is extremely important for shrinking, thinning bones.  Add a walk, weight-bearing exercises and consume a 1200 mg. calcium and one 1000 IU vitamin D supplement daily. But please take these with food to absorb.
  10. Put on a Smile! True beauty comes from within. A positive attitude makes others want to know you! Surround yourself with friends. Praise God for the precious life He gave you!

“Go on, take a bite . . . who will it hurt?”

thX4C0LJ0W” . . . She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”  (Genesis 3:6b)

Last week in Genesis 3: 6a – we discussed how Eve was tempted by Satan. As she observed the fruit of the tree, she was persuaded that it would provide great wisdom. But isn’t wisdom apart from God, dangerous?  Remember when Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park remarked: “Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

If only Eve had first considered if she should. God had given Adam and Eve a perfect environment, providing every food in the Garden edible but one, and yet that wasn’t enough. The one she shouldn’t have was the one she wanted. That one would give her power, the devil professed. So she disobeyed, placing her own desire above God’s, and by doing so, brought down her entire family.

Have we ever wondered if we would have been stronger than Eve?  Could we have resisted the temptation of the devil? How do we handle temptations?  Are we strong enough to resist or do we, even now, give in during a moment of weakness?

As it proclaims in 1 Corinthians 10:23, God gave us Free Will to consume anything. Although any food is permissible in moderation, not all provisions are beneficial for our health. In other words, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Human nature never changes, does it? We tell ourselves, just as Eve did, “What harm could come of consuming a 1,600 calorie double bacon cheeseburger? So what? I’m not harming anyone!”

We can act like spoiled children at times. Do we want more? Well, sometimes we want it ALL . . . with French fries and a chemically-based sugary soda! If you gave your child all he/she desired, would that be good for them? They most likely would become spoiled and self-indulgent. Yet today, we indulge our children with everything the world has to offer: iPhones, Facebook, “Selfies,” automobiles, televisions, computers, even chemically-prepared processed dinners and fast food.  What has happened to our family because of our it?

Haven’t we figured out after all this time, there are no victimless crimes? Do we think our sin of gluttony and overindulgence doesn’t affect anyone else?! Sitting by a hospital bed while a beloved family member wastes away from cancer, diabetes, stroke, kidney or heart disease caused by chemically-processed overindulgence, affects everyone who loved them. We suffer!

I don’t know who created the dinners at Adam and Eve’s home, but this I do know: the choice she offered Adam, forever affected those around her. Mankind has been enticed ever since with right or wrong choices. Do we still desire food even more than God sometimes?  Unfortunately, yes. When temptation occurs, remember that there are no “victimless” crimes. Everyone suffers. If we make wrong choices and allow certain foods or gluttony to become our god, it can also wreak havoc, affecting those around us.

God has  given you the desires of your heart here on Earth, it’s called Free Will. Where will that lead? To rebellion or sacrificial love?

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.…”  (Galatians 5: 16-17)