Archive | August 2015

Run Your Own Race

In the mid ’90s, two of my patients, a husband and wife, attempted to lose weight and get healthier together.thG890X9EB

Happily they both succeeded but not without frustrations. I knew the wife would have a harder time than her husband. I never said anything however. Although that sounds mean, my purpose was to keep “Jim” in the game.  He was attempting to get healthier only to appease his wife. “Three weeks, then I’m gone!” I needed to make weight loss fun as well as nutritious for him to stay. First I assured Jim there’s no magic formula, one needs to eat real food, not sticks and twigs.

I knew “Mary” was extremely competitive and would try even harder to beat Jim at his own game.  They ate a normal sensible diet, drank lots of water and exercised faithfully. Boy did they exercise!  They took brisk walks, swam and skied  together. On her day off, Mary found time to play tennis and lift small weights. She figured with all that extra activity she would surely win their agreed upon prize.

Not so. Each week at their weigh-in, Jim consistently lost more; usually a half pound more.  After nearly three months she was exasperated. “Okay, Ellie, what’s going on? You know how hard I’ve been working at this, so why am I not losing as much as my hubby?”

So I explained. “Muscle,” I informed her. “Men are more muscular and fat is burned up in muscle tissue. Women have softer edges and therefore more fat tissue for child bearing. But let’s do this,” I suggested, “I’ll take another picture and show that to you.”  (This was in the dark ages of the Polaroid camera.)

She looked over the developed photo and noticed a distinct difference in her size and facial features compared to the first. She nodded appreciatively.

“Now let’s measure you and I believe you’ll be impressed to see how your hard work has paid off.”  As the tape measure wrapped around her waist she gasped. She had lost four inches in a almost twelve weeks.

So the moral of this story is: Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! You are unique, a wonderful creation which God designed. Did Mary really want to look like her husband? No. We sometimes get caught up in competition. We all seem to want to look like Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford or Jennifer Lopez. I’m sure each of them is lovely but God doesn’t look at our outer appearance, He looks at our heart. How much does your grateful heart weigh? Are you blessed?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1) 

Run your own race! Embrace your uniqueness. We all have different body shapes. No matter who we are, there will always be others who have less or more: looks, money, luxurious homes . . .  you name it. Please don’t covet. Those items don’t necessarily make one happy. Joy comes from within. Be your best.

The question is: are you doing all you can to enrich your life and be the New Creation God desires for you? We each must stand before our Creator separately and give account for the life we lived within our body. Are you keeping yourself healthy or indulging in a food idol? Don’t worship food or allow it to control you. I promise if you continue to eat healthily, you’ll prefer fruit over donuts and vegetables over potato chips.


“Why Do I Crave Cokes?”

Although we live under Grace in this age and can pretty much do as we please with our physical bodies, we would do well to note that bodies are NOT our own. We were bought at a price.

Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own for you have been bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthian 6:19,20)

Christians prefer not to be a slave to any idol, even food. So why do some crave colas and other sugary drinks while others won’t touch the stuff?

thAN5J2C0SIt is a scientific fact that God designed each of us with a slightly different chemical make-up. It’s called DNA. Due to the fact that were are all chemically unique, our brains crave different nutrients. That’s why some crave saltier items like pretzels or potato chips while others crave chocolate and sweets.

Physically speaking, some crave food for needed energy. If you’ve been overworked or overstressed, your body wants instant energy and the sugar and caffeine would restore that energy level quickly. Sugars are released in your body in about 15 minutes. (Green tea would be a good energy substitute.)

Caffeine is also a drug and although okay in moderation, is addictive and washes away valuable B vitamins and other valuable nutrients. Lacking nutrients, you are hungry again. it’s a vicious cycle.

If you consume a nutritionally balanced diet, you’re naturally more energetic and derive your chemical energy from whole foods. Therefore craving junk food isn’t a desirable practice.

But why do some become addicted to Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) and Sucralose (Splenda) drinks?

These products change body chemistry, raising blood sugar levels and producing miserable side effects. Personally, having experienced adverse reactions, I totally avoid them. And I’m not alone as many of my patients have complained of shakiness, heart palpitations, skin rashes, stomach and kidney pains after consuming any product containing these artificial sugars.

Artificial drinks also tend to make one hungrier. There seems to be a connection between the ghrelin – leptin hormonal metabolic insulin response. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you you’re hungry while Leptin shuts off the “I’m hungry” response. Recent scientific studies have shown that  these chemicals can interfere with the leptin cut off lever, leaving a person desiring more food. artificial sugars

So if artificial sugars defeat the purpose of losing weight, then why risk additional health concerns by using these chemically produced items you can’t pronounce? The body doesn’t recognize these chemicals as food, therefore it cannot detoxify them so they remain in your liver forever.

Still crave cokes? It could be a comfort response too. We all eat for emotional reasons as well as physical. That’s why certain foods such as chocolate, ice cream and mac and cheese are called “comfort” foods. If you shared sodas with friends when younger, you might miss those friendships. Drinking a coke brings back a great memory! Or it simply makes you feel happy – and who wants to give up THAT feeling? By the way, I create my own sodas with carbonated flavored water (without artificial sweeteners) with a good quality fruit juice. Refreshing and it contains a few nutrients.

Bottom line: I urge you not to believe false advertising which only benefits the manufacturers of these products. These people don’t care about your body as God does. Aspartame and Splenda were created by chemists. My food was created by God. Before you purchase, research the ingredients.  If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it!




Lingering Choices of a Hippie Generation

In 1967, the popular rock band, The Grassroots, released a song entitled “Let’s Live for Today.” It epitomized the growing culture of the ’60s hippie generation. Since I look at health through a Biblical lens, I see a correlation here between virtuous and destructive living. Please indulge me.

hippie generationThe ’60s Hippie Generation enjoyed a “free love philosophy,” never worrying about tomorrow, grabbing hedonistic pleasure while they could. Looking back, what seemed like a good idea at the time turned out to be nothing but waking up the next morning with regrets, guilt or a splitting headache, bowing before a porcelain god.

Choose wisely.There is no free love – no free food. There’s a price to pay for good health. Have you also, when presented with a buffet, ever thought “free food!!!” Eat as much as we can today because it won’t be there tomorrow! Then, we’d wake up the next morning with a food hangover, our digestion system rebelling! Ugh.

Excess food creates acidity which generates various illnesses. Thankfully, God gave humans some common sense. When we know better, we make wiser choices. Enjoying nutritious flavorful food, with a disciplined attitude is actually beneficial. Eating cleanly is much more advantageous, so why go backwards? Consuming junk food shouldn’t seduce us. In Genesis 3:6 Eve saw that food was pleasing to the eye,  and we have been seduced by food ever since!  God is pleased when we conquer worldly pleasures and honor Him!

This ’60s philosophy of allowing others to live the way they want without boundaries became harmful. It morphed into an “I’m okay, you’re okay” attitude. You don’t trespass on my property and I won’t criticize yours.  This produced apathy. Where then, do we draw the line when someone cries out for help? “Sorry, too busy.” “You reaped what you sowed?” Apathy is the opposite of love. I make no apologies for caring and proclaiming 1 Corinthians 10:23 moderate food boundaries.  By Free Will you either accept or reject God’s dietary boundaries. Your choice, but there are no victimless crimes. Everyone you love suffers.

With the emergence of mid-century fast-food establishments, came an attitude of why cook when one  can simply make a quick stop and bring home dinner?  So what if it’s made from chemicals, preservatives and other items we can’t pronounce?  Kids will eat it when they won’t touch carrots! “Live and let live!” Busy parents justified: at least we’ll eat together. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease and childhood obesity increased accordingly as additional boxed foods adorned the shelves of many supermarkets.

We morphed into a “do our own thing” society. So few attend church nowadays so many have no clear direction ethically.  Parents have become friends not disciplinarians, allowing their children to live as they chose. Religion? Whatever you embrace darling, as long as it fulfills a need. The result? Children are floundering, snared by false doctrines and cultish beliefs. Crime soars.  If our young aren’t taught basic Biblical Truths and behaviors, we indeed reap what we sow. Their Spirit dies.

Well there definitely IS an eternal tomorrow. It’s called either Heaven or Hell and we can accept or reject that fact. I choose Heaven. To God, All Lives Matter!  Choose Life!

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”  (2 Timothy 4:3)