Archive | June 2015

Ever Play the “Stranded Island” Game?

desert islandLet’s play a game, “If you were stranded on a deserted island, what  five foods would you want there?” As a nutritionist, I’m often asked what are my favorite nutritionally-based foods, so this is a variation on a theme.

So what foods would you take? Coke, French fries, chips, pie and ice cream? Fine in moderation but I pray you choose better. You wouldn’t survive long on that diet.

Let me tell you what I’d want: I’d take:  garlic, yogurt, olives, salmon, chocolate. I’m optimistic that I’d find fresh water there.

Garlic:  To me, everything tastes better with garlic!  Well, except milk. Once our dairy cows got into some wild onions. I imagine garlic would taste worse. (We consumed a lot of potato and onion soup that season.)

thM7XZYJU0Garlic is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and it’s an anticoagulant. It lowers blood pressure as well as thins the blood. Due to its alkaline pH and antioxidants, it heals wounds, cures the common cold faster and fights cancer.

One of the best reasons for consuming garlic? It boosts mood and has a calming affect on one’s mind. Everyone loves happy people. Of course you’d be alone so . . . at least you’d enjoy your own company. (I’m ever the optimist, see previous post.)

Yogurt:  Another antibacterial food which powerfully boosts the immune system. Yogurt provides lots of the healthy acidophilus and other bacteria for the intestinal tract to combat parasites and viruses. These powerful probiotics fight infections, ulcers, allergies and attack tumors. Studies have shown that yogurt metabolize body fat faster, thus assisting in weight control.

Yogurt’s loaded with protein, B2, B12, potassium, magnesium, zinc and calcium. Even my patients who were lactose intolerant could consume yogurt th6V56VXYBwith no side effects. But please avoid fillers and artificial sweeteners.

Olives: (First I’d have to learn how to cure them . . . but let’s imagine some of the chef’s pantry fell off the cruise ship with me. This is a fantasy post after all.) So olives are amazing with their omega-3 fatty acids which would combat the harsh rays of the sun while I’m languishing on the beach until rescued.

thWPZV0KYNOlives are a great source of copper (preventing the graying of my hair.) They’re packed with vitamin E, iron, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and dietary fiber.

Salmon:  So I guess this island will be in the Northwest territory. I could swim home but why? I’m queen of my own little island here! Anyway, salmon, my favorite fish, would be plentiful. Salmon controls high blood pressure and battles arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s been known to combat asthma and shorten debilitating migraine headaches. thFS2DSX4P

Salmon is incredibly rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium and protein. This food is an avid youth protector. It improves the skin and lessons wrinkles. Salmon also promotes cardiovascular health in every way.

Dark Chocolate: Filled with power-boosting flavonoids and polyphenol properties (all antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal.) These benefit the heart and entire cardiovascular system by increasing good HDL.  Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat which lowers blood pressure and delays blood clotting. Containing magnesium, potassium, iron and copper, it improves mental clarity, mood and retains natural hair color.thQA8AJL0L

On the  other hand, perhaps if stranded, I should just fast and worship the Lord and forget about my stomach. After all, He always provides for my needs!

“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 12-13)

Good Choices – Bad Choices . . . Your Choice

th1C0CR6EBLet’s face it, Satan does NOT want you to succeed. He will do anything in his power to steer Christians away from reaching positive godly goals. Whether it’s in our personal Bible Study or in our determination at avoiding overeating, he  despises anything we do to maintain a healthy earthy temple.

And don’t be fooled, you won’t easily be able to distinguish him, for Satan isn’t a cartoonish ugly red monster with horns and a pitchfork. Satan is a beautiful, enticing creature – the George Clooney of the angels. He is attractive and very tempting, literally.

Satan discerns our weaknesses, so whether it is  fried chicken, chocolate cake, being a people pleaser or preferring laziness, those temptations to do what isn’t best for us will “suddenly” appear when we are at our most vulnerable. If we fall to temptation, we feel discouraged, worthless and a failure.

How do we learn not give in to temptation?

First study Scripture! Quote I John 4:4 “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” when tempted. Believe that as a Christian you inherit power to overcome temptation! God’s on our side, He wants you to succeed!

Don’t try justifying your behavior. “Well, I’ve been so good, maybe God wants me to have this Butterfinger and Ellie did say anything was fine in moderation.”  Sure, but not if it’s trashing your healthy temple of the Holy Spirit and when there are some perfectly good grapes in the fridge!  James 1:13, “When tempted, no one is to say, “God is tempting me” For God cannot be tempted with evil, nor does he tempt anyone, but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”

You already know what to do! The Bible tells us to “Be holy for I am Holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)  Talk yourself into success but heaven forbid, if you give in, forgive yourself and go on. It’s not the end of the world, it’s simply a learning experience.  Visualize Satan laughing and keeping score if you fail. How dare he! But he hasn’t won yet!  It’s not how many times you fail, but how you react to failures that builds character and ensures strategies for success.

Imagine that you and your family were on vacation and driving to Disney World. You mistakenly take a wrong exit. Now what?  Do you turn to the back seat and state, “Sorry kids, Dad made a mistake, guess we have to give up, (sigh) vacation’s over.” Of course not! That’s ridiculous. You’d turn around, get back on the right road and continue toward your destination. You’re not a failure if you make a mistake. You’ve only discovered the correct road to get to your goal, which is Disney World.

Suppose you did give up? Can you imagine the howls of protest you’d hear? How could you consider giving up and disappointing your family?  In the same way, your health dedication  should inspire your entire family.

  1. You’re providing life lessons on self-denial, personal strength, fortitude and character.
  2. You’re demonstrating examples of overcoming challenges to reach a goal.
  3. You are a living example, showing them how to never give up on their dreams.

Don’t give in to temptations and Never Surrender to Satan’s whispering derogatory comments! Honor your personal temple of the Holy Spirit and continue to strive for excellence!

Corinthians 6:19  “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

 

Want to Live Longer? Be an Optimist!

happy peopleRecent studies have shown that those who live the longest have usually embraced life with an optimistic view. As Christians, that should be no surprise to us; after all, didn’t Paul actually profess,  “For to me, to go on living is the Messiah, and to die is gain”  (Philippians 1:21)

Being a Christian has no down side. Either way, we exist with HOPE.  It might be tough going now but we only exist here on Earth for a short while and our eternity is so much brighter. We live in a world of Grace and get to choose whether we’ll walk in the Light or grasp onto decadent darkness along the way. During my curious youth, sometimes I made foolish choices but quickly learned that Light is Better!

How we individually approach life is up to us, but wouldn’t you rather choose JOY? Are you an optimist? Here are some of the characteristics that optimists display:

1.  Optimists embody the present. I can personally attest that my patients who continually lived in the past, never outgrew the pain and sorrow they experienced. Those thoughts only provided a pathway of sorrow because they never dropped their heavy chains of memory, which they dragged behind them. But those who have accepted the fact that their past trials made them stronger as well as smarter, went on to achieve most goals they set out to accomplish.

2.  Optimists can shrug off stress more easily. Stress kills! It increases heart rate while releasing toxins which creates a acidic pH causing the possibility of debilitating diseases such as diabetes and cancers. On the other hand, smiling can boost one’s mood. By being an approachable personality, you’ll also create supportive and proactive friendships.

3.  Optimists are always growing, learning something new and different. They don’t live in a rut but are usually curious people and would rather experience, in moderation, all the great bounty the world has to offer. They don’t limit themselves to a ritual of “good” and “bad” food choices, believing the lies of diet gurus, but rather believe God’s Word of Genesis 1:29 an Genesis 9:3.

4.  Optimists look younger! They know what to eat and choose to eat as cleanly as possibly, without chemicals, dyes and artificial preservatives which ages. They’ll consume more garlic, onions,  legumes, high fiber whole grains and omega-3 fatty acid foods such as olive oil and fish than fattier alternatives because it offers a less aging lifestyle. They’ll avoid artificial sugars such as Splenda, choosing either less sugar or natural Truvia or Stevia instead.

5.  Optimists are “take charge” individuals and will discover a way around a challenge. They not only have a Plan B but a C and D as well! They experience life as one big chess game, becoming proactive rather than wallowing in self-pity. You’ll rarely hear a Christian state: Why did God do this to me? Rather, convicted by Faith, they accept personal responsibility and attempt to  live honorably. Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. Remember, as Christians our bodies house the temple of the Holy Spirit and we should adhere to the commitment we made to our Lord: “For it is written, “You must be holy, because I am holy.”  (1 Peter 1:16) 

6.  Optimists rarely make the same mistakes twice. Which brings me to this point: We live on Earth once, which coincidentally is the only time we can either accept God’s eternal Salvation or choose Hell. Please choose an Abundant, Happier Life: Choose Christ, Choose Joy!

Convicted Christianity and Healthy Living

“and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”  (Colossians 3:10)

Some want it all . . .  the large, luxurious home with the three car garage –  without committing the money it takes to maintain it.

Others long for the perfect marriage, children and happy home life without investing the time involved in cultivating those relationships.

Many desire all the benefits of Christianity too, without ever delving into the Bible. They have no idea what Christian commitment looks like. “Just get me into heaven with all the benefits without standing out like some fanatical Christian.” After all what would the co-workers think if all of a sudden they evoked the name of Jesus in thanks or prayed over their lunch?righteous robes

So it’s no surprise that many expect to be healthy without committing to what it takes to become healthier. Wishing doesn’t make it so. As my mother used to tell me; “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

Nowadays we live in a culture where “every kid gets a prize.” What’s this teaching the child? Only that they needn’t exert the effort, because everyone will reap the same reward either way. News Flash: this world is not fair and no one wins every prize! Some of us have larger physiques while some are built like sticks, but neither are necessarily healthy. Therefore a healthy lifestyle takes work too. It’s the work that makes life worthwhile!

The journey IS the destination. Along life’s journey, we learn we are each unique, different sizes with different personalities which reinforces individual strategies.  This allows YOU to develop successfully because you are the only one who lives inside your body. Sure you’ll have setbacks, we’re human but if humans were perfect already, why would we need the Lord?

And besides, it is only after we become aware of our faults that we become convicted and desire change. Just like Salvation! Similarly, it is only after we begin to eat more healthily, experiencing that wonderful vibrancy and Joy that true health and Salvation brings, that we have little desire to return to that decadent lifestyle which only brought sickness and pain. Praise God for a discerning spirit that chooses a vibrant lifestyle!

It takes conviction to continue and become as physically fit as God expects us to be. But occasionally in our humanity, we become complacent and just like the Israelites who longed for the days of plenty back in Egypt, we forget the Grace of God and occasionally long for decadence.

I discovered that recently after consuming an overly fattening meal at a party. I had conveniently forgotten that eating too many fried foods doesn’t exactly reap a healthy ending. My body rebelled and I was miserable. I remembered WHY I didn’t want to eat that way anymore. No benefit in it! I decided I definitely didn’t want to go back to a sluggish, lifeless existence when choosing a vibrant, healthy one is so much better!

Isn’t it great that God gives us the freedom to choose? We do not live in a legalistic world of “Thou shalt not . . .” when it comes to food.  I’ve spoken about this many times based on 1 Corinthians 10:23. Your body craves the benefit of nutrients to stay healthy and God has given us the desires of our hearts to choose among various items. I prefer nutrient-dense selections which produces more reward rather than processed, empty calories. I prefer feeling younger, more vibrant and alive! That’s my choice, what’s yours?