Archive | July 2015

Food for the Mind, Body and Spirit!

When I became a Christian, I attended a very strict rules and regulations church.  There were so many do’s and don’ts that I didn’t understand the Joy of the Lord until years later. Isn’t that what we do with food sometimes also? When some go on a diet, they so strictly adhere to all the rules and regulations required that they forget to find the joyful benefits from the food they consume! When we eat well, we feel great, act accordingly and that pleases our Lord.

God wants us to become healthy for a reason. Every food has a nutritional purpose and that purpose spans the entire realm of mind, body and spirit. He wants us to find JOY in the bounty He provided.th[7]

Here are my suggestions to obtain a healthier mind, body and soul:

Heart:  Have you noticed that those who distain God are overall grumpier individuals? But those who love the Lord exhibit a happier and peaceful countenance. Healthy individuals haven’t made food an idol. Their heart is at peace because they recognize that God is Sovereign and therefore their mind and spirit can overcome obstacles, even when challenges arise like heart disease and other illnesses.

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:13)

The heart benefits from each of these:  L-carnitine which burns fat inside the mitochondria cells. Beef, fish, alfalfa, chicken and wheat contain L-carnitine. A diet rich in vitamin C, (citrus, red peppers, strawberries) B-6 (cabbage, milk, cantaloupe) and niacin (eggs, cereals, fish, chicken.) Additional foods that benefit the heart are garlic, onions and salmon.

Brain: Ditch the refined sugars! Sugar ages but a little sweetness satisfies the soul.  Consuming fruits such as strawberries and blueberries and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage maintain a strong memory.  Wheat germ, walnuts, green tea with powerful antioxidants boost memory. Consume foods rich in choline and lecithin for memory power (soy beans, egg yolks and liver.) These also restore telomeres, the end part of cells that retains youth.

“to be made new in the attitude of your minds;” (Ephesians 4:23)

Muscles:  Magnesium, calcium and potassium work in conjunction to maintain great muscle health. These can be found in bananas, wheat bran, beans, apricots, leafy greens, cocoa, sweet potato, orange juice and low fat yogurt.

By lifting weights you’ll create more muscle and therefore effectively burn fat throughout your body.

Bones: The expression “Use it or Lose it!” pertains here! Exercising our bones is an essential habit for long term health. Exercise improves mood as well as bones! If you can’t walk outside: climb stairs, lift weights or head to the gym! Increase your intake of  calcium,(salmon, yogurt, blackstrap molasses)  boron (apples, dried apricots, legumes, prunes, pears, leafy vegetables)  and manganese (whole wheat, pineapple, coconut, ginger, almonds, yams.)

“This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8)

Digestion: If one’s body is toxic, he’ll not be a happy camper. Detoxify by consuming approximately 8 glasses of water daily along with a water-based diet (soups, salads, vegetables and fruits)  Add probiotic foods that will destroy your unhealthy bacteria (good quality yogurt, kefir or sauerkraut while  producing good bacteria and  cranberry, onion or garlic which kill bad bacteria as well. Include both soluble (oatmeal, apples, pears, veggies) and insoluble fiber (bran, corn, produce skin) to you daily routine to escort toxins out of your system.

And of course food for the soul . . . ?  Dark Chocolate!  Filled with antioxidants, flavonoids and macronutrients – what could be better to satisfy us while we are reading our daily devotional?

Live Life Well! Become a New Creation!

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“Do As He Tells You . . . “

Most people are familiar with the miracle of Jesus changing the water into wine. What I’d like to focus on is how the servants reacted.  Mary had just told her Son that the host had run out of wine for the marriage celebration. Out of respect for his mother, Jesus had asked what he could do for her? These were her next words to the servants:

 “Do whatever he tells you.”  (John 2:5)

Notice that the servants immediately obeyed our Lord’s command.th9274KWM0

What they didn’t do was:

1.  Complain. Jesus isn’t boss over me! Who does he think he is?  No, they did as He told them . . . without hesitation.  So should we. God is Sovereign and should be our Master over all things. He commands us to keep our earthly temple Holy. Do as He tells us:

“For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) 

Yet we fill our temples with artificial chemicals and junk food which ultimately destroy. That doesn’t honor our Lord’s Sacrifice.

2.  Argue that he asked the impossible. (It’s only water! How can I offer this to my master!) No, they did so without debate for they believed Jesus would do something miraculous.

Do we believe or do we argue? It’s impossible for me to stay on a diet, I’ve failed so many times! Is this really important? Nothing is impossible with God if we focus on His Will for us.  Some patients have lost over a hundred pounds which they once thought was an impossible quest too. Train your mind to obey and conquer doubt with successful, focused goals.

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)

3. Find an excuse. They didn’t question if it would be too strenuous. (Gee we’ve got to carry these heavy jars where??? But I’m not strong enough.)  No, they found a way to complete their task.

Okay, be honest how would we react? For crying out loud, I exercised yesterday – and you think I should exercise again today? or I didn’t eat junk food yesterday so I can have junk food today. Discipline yourself.  Stop trying to justify your behavior. Just do it!

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:13)

Controlling our body isn’t easy even when we desire to. After we’ve decided to change, expect roadblocks and challenges soon afterwards.  You see, the devil knows our weaknesses and will throw temptations in front of us.

Expect:

Peer Pressure: But I made this just for you! Oh surely a little won’t hurt? Flee temptations.

Temptation:  Our favorite food will suddenly appear when we are the most vulnerable. Like chocolate, chips or donuts. Remember anything is fine in moderation but if it is a trigger food and we aren’t disciplined enough to control it, turn from it!!!  It’s a test and how do we feel when we fail at tests? Lousy. Never give in to the devil’s sneaky temptations. Remember Adam and Eve gave in and where are we now?

Mental trials: If our brain is tired, it will go searching for energy. Food is simply energy. Cut temptation off before it starts by consuming something nutritious every few hours.

Emotional Issues: Sometimes a cookie isn’t just a cookie. Sometimes a cookie represents comforting childhood memories of home and security.  Think before acting impulsively. Do it immediately without debate. Do as He tells you . . .

“Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:5)

The Power of Little Leucine in Weight Control

Remember this scene in the movie Seabiscuit? Toby McQuire proudly proclaims to the sportswriters surrounding him, “Though he be but little, he is fierce.”  That’s what I think of the little-known amino acid, leucine. It’s a little known amino acid with powerful abilities!thI1XNYUFU

A mighty warrior in the battle of weight loss, leucine heroically fights the weight loss battle for you by faithfully regulating blood sugar, maintaining muscle and stimulating cardiovascular health. Leucine is found in good quality protein like yogurt, cottage cheese, whey, brown rice, nuts, egg whites, fish, meat and poultry.

How does leucine work?  Well, God created this incredible earthly body which silently communicates functions within a network of corridors and components throughout the body.  For example; the hypothalamus summons nutrients as needed, the bloodstream directs nutrient direction, the liver is the chemical manufacturing plant and kidneys escort toxins the door. My, my . . . and some people believe all this intricacy happened by chance. God knew what He was doing all the time:

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;…”   (Psalm 139: 13-15)

But how does this little known amino acid assist in weight loss?  A 2008 article published in the Journal of Physiology discovered that a diet containing leucine prevented muscle loss and as you most likely know, muscle burns fat.  The more muscle one has, the more fat is efficiently burned in daily metabolism. Weight loss and exercise go hand in hand.

Leucine is not a complete protein however, which means it needs other amino acids (valine, isoleucine among others) to work properly. So it acts as a team player with other amino acids in this soccer game of metabolism.

Whey protein on the other hand, assists your body in making one of its most important antioxidant and immune supporter elements, glutathione.  According to renown author Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., founder and medical director of the UltraWellness Center, glutathione is the most important molecule necessary to maintain proper health. It slows aging and resists illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and dementia.  (No wonder the Mediterranean people look so vibrant and alive! Yogurt is a staple in their daily lives!)

Whey protein, the liquid by-product of milk contains lactose (milk sugar) water and other nutrients. It is a complete protein. Caution: whey can cause dietary discomfort if one is lactose intolerant. In fact, amino acids and hormones are nothing to experiment with because it could upset body chemistry. (I’d rather not play Russian roulette with my physiology, would you? Please don’t purchase individual supplements thinking you are getting a quick fix!)

Leucine and whey together produce higher metabolic exercise sessions. Whey is the thin, watery substance found in low-fat yogurts. Thick Greek yogurt has little whey protein(it’s strained out) and thus doesn’t produce the weight loss results many crave. Millions have jumped on this Greek yogurt fad. As for me and my house, I’d rather bring home low-fat, 1% Mountain High yogurt any day, which contain active pre and probiotic cultures with no added fillers or junk and skip the expensive Greek yogurt.

Hope this and the previous little post helped clarify one of the mysteries of why protein is essential in weight loss and vibrant health.

 

 

 

 

The Value of Protein in Weight Control

Protein is a well-known component for overall health.  But how does it work and how much does one need? Frankly not as much as some diet gurus proclaim.

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Some new diet plans encourage the dieter to consume 40%+ of their daily diet in protein, mostly meat protein. Why? Unless one is a body builder, this is not only unnecessary but dangerous! Meat is acidic and too much produces a dangerous pH level that is susceptible to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and various cancers.

Most dieters should be aware that vegetables, legumes, beans, corn, wheat, nuts all contain beneficial protein. As many know, rice or corn with beans is considered a complete protein with no saturated fat.

Protein foods only last in the body for 2-4 hours. Fatty meats, such as spare ribs, bacon, prime rib, rib eye and bratwurst are very high in saturated fat and are considered more of a fat than a protein. Of course there’s protein but the body is also absorbing 60% of fat with every bite.  Visualize that as pure lard and suddenly it’s not so enticing.

Remember anything is acceptable in moderation, meaning “once in a while,” as is professed in 1 Corinthians 10:23. Select wisely. Pair higher fat choices with a high fiber baked potato, baked apples, corn on the cob, baked beans or a salad rather than coleslaw, macaroni or potato salad. These high fiber foods help escort fat out of your system faster. (Fat lasts in your system for 5-7 hours.)

As in any metabolic functions, balance is key. Some form of protein should be eaten at each meal for ultimate weight control but 6-8 ounces of meat is all anyone needs daily. Consume too much protein and it affects the kidneys and liver.  Too little and the body breaks down muscle tissue for energy. Protein builds muscles, repairs tissues and promotes good mental health. But of the three major food groups of protein, fats and carbohydrates, protein is the lesser one we need, about 15-20%. Surprised?

Protein can factor into weight loss metabolism if one uses common sense. Let me give you an example. Yogurt is a packed with protein but full-fat yogurt contains 50% fat. Low-fat (1%)  yogurts has only a 20% fat content. The body doesn’t need to work as hard to break down the fat before it utilizes that valuable protein.

Protein helps burn up fat in three important ways:

  1. When you consume a protein food, you’ll use 25-35% of caloric energy to digest it.
  2. Protein helps to suppress the appetite simply by the fact that it stays in your system longer (2-4 hours) than sugary carbs (1-2 hours) and thus slows down glucose metabolism. When insulin levels remain steady, it reduces hunger. You’ll have fewer cravings, remain in control and eat less.
  3. Then, of course, protein builds muscle and muscle burns fat. It’s like a car engine that produces energy while you drive it or even as it idles at a stop sign.

So what are the best high protein foods?  Try these for maximum health: Spinach, avocado, baked beans, broccoli, white cheese, asparagus, carrots, chicken, beef filet, fish, cottage cheese, low fat milk, tofu and peanut butter.  But you also might be surprised to find potatoes, coconut, whole wheat bread, pasta, hummus, nuts, oranges, eggs and bananas on the list! Supposedly “off-limits” food!

God gave us an abundance of quality food for an enriching life. Enjoy a healthy life!

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Coming soon: How specific nutrients found in protein burn fat.

No Such Thing As “Free” Food!

chinese buffetEver go to an “all you can eat” Buffet and rationalize, “I better eat enough because after all, it’s free food!” Six plates of food and five desserts later, you’re not feeling so great about your decision.

News Flash: “All you can eat” is never free. Overindulge and there’s a price to pay. It hangs on to you like a demon, causing heart and cholesterol problems.

When you think about it, nearly every disease can be traced back to what we place in our mouths. Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers, gout, diverticulitis . .  . it’s sad but basically true.  Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we self-destruct our precious temple of the Holy Spirit?

We wouldn’t think of entering the Temple of Jerusalem and throwing trash onto that sacred floor, would we? But in essence, that is exactly what we are doing when we consume all those processed meats, artificial chemicals and fast foods everyday. Trashing our personal temple.

Remember, food isn’t necessarily good or bad, it is simply food, a way to convert nutrients into energy. Anything’s fine in moderation, but consuming junky foods everyday leads to illness, denigrating our earthly temple.  Have we ever contemplated how our out of control actions delights Satan who despises our Lord and any who follow Him? By losing control over food, we make it an idol. We are worshipping at our personal “Temple of the Krispie Kreme.”

Joshua 24:15 “

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15, NKJV.

Choose this day whom you will serve! . . .  As for me and my house, I will serve the Lord!  Now it’s your choice. Please don’t create a graven image in the form of a donut or a potato chip.

But It Won’t Be There Tomorrow!  If you grew up poor, during the depression or in a huge family where you had to grab it before it was gone, you might also not believe food will be there tomorrow.  Your subconscious mindset is; “I better eat my fill today, while I can, before it’s all gone.”  That’s false thinking!

Talk yourself into success, creating a plan beforehand to foster self-control.

  • Remind yourself that food isn’t your controller!
  • Remember food isn’t free, eating too much at a buffet affects all your bodily functions. Choose health!
  • Visualize yourself in a battle with Satan. Are you going to let him win? NO! Believe 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  Tell Satan, “I win, you lose! Ha, ha!”
  • Socialize with others as you eat. slow down and concentrate and enjoy what you have on your plate. Remember it takes 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
  • Eat something small and healthy before going out, so you won’t be ravenous when you arrive and overindulge with the lust of the eyes. 1 John 2:16.
  • After being victorious, reward yourself with a non-food item, such as a hair product, hat, book, exercise video, sunglasses or movie when you overcome temptation.

Recite Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” and just do it!