Archive | December 2015

Will Your Next Diet Be Godly or Worldly?

“But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.” (Romans 8:9a)

 

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A Perfect Holiday to Add Cinnamon to Your Daily Diet

Merry Christmas! Forgive the reblog but this is such a busy week for everyone. But no one is too busy to bake holiday cookies and other treats, so let’s discuss one of my favorite spices in the Bible: Cinnamon: it’s beneficial for health.

Proverbs 7:17, ” I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.”

Originally, a native of Asia, it is now grown in over a hundred countries worldwide. The Chinese considered it a warming drug and cinammon pancakesbegan using it as medicine. Today it can be found in diverse products from chewing gum to suntan lotions and perfumes.  Sometimes sold as cinnamon sticks, it’s more commonly used in ground form.

The health benefits of cinnamon are amazing!

  1. It’s wonderful for diabetics because it efficiently regulates glucose levels by allowing insulin to be released more slowly into the system.
  2. Studies have shown that cinnamon is such a strong antioxidant that it can even stop certain cancer cells in its tracks!
  3. Antibacterial, it fights bacterial infections, even the deadly e coli bacteria.
  4. It’s also antifungal and has been known to cure athletes foot and yeast infections.
  5. It helps to strengthen our immune system
  6. Anti-inflammatory, it’s a good tonic for arthritic conditions.
  7. Cinnamon has anti-clotting properties.
  8. Reduces bad LDL cholesterol and raises good HDL cholesterol
  9. It’s an astringent.
  10. It stimulates circulation and regulates blood pressure.
  11. A blood purifier, it’s wonderful for the skin. Since honey has anti-bacterial properties as well, try mixing with cinnamon and apply as a facial.
  12. It’s been used as a stomach tonic for upset tummy, abdominal pains or bowel disturbances.
  13. It’s a great breath freshener, especially if you travel and can’t brush your teeth before meeting with someone.
  14. Rich in essential minerals, it contains manganese, iron and calcium. It’s also rich in fiber.
  15. It’s now considered to be an elevating brain enhancer. (Students should try adding cinnamon to their daily diet days before a test.) It’s currently being studied as a treatment in patients who exhibit dementia or Alzheimer like symptoms.
  16. It has been used a wonderful aroma therapy due to its calming elements.

It’s so easy to increase our cinnamon intake! 

  • It can be added to so many different recipes.  Remember how enticing the smell of a cinnamon roll is as you enter the mall? Or cinnamon toast as you walk into your kitchen? Yes, cinnamon is comfort food!
  • What would pumpkin, apple pie or bread pudding be without cinnamon?
  • Sprinkle it on a baked apple, applesauce or other fruit with walnuts or pecans for Essential Fatty Acids, fiber and nutrients.
  • Add it to hot cocoa, coffee or tea.
  • Add it to your morning oatmeal, French toast or yogurt for a great start to your day!
  • Place cinnamon sticks in warm cider or brew a wonderful popular German spiced winter wine called glühwein.

Cautions:

  • As in life, if a little is good, more is not necessarily better. Do not imbibe in excess! (Humans have this belief that if it’s natural, I can use as much as I want, wrong!)
  • Since cinnamon thins the blood it should not be used for those who are taking blood thinning medications without talking to your doctor.
  • Cinnamon could stimulate other body functions, such as bowel movements.
  • If you are pregnant, please discuss cinnamon with your doctor before ingesting.

Whatever you do, remember to honor God by living an abundant life for Him, making Him the real spice in your life!

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

Losing out – lessons learned from a Lhasa

“O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.” (Psalm 86:5)

Ever see the movie Gremlins? Our little Lhasa acts similarly to the little gremlins in the movie of the same name. Never. Ever. Get. Her. Wet!  After a bath or after going outside in a rain storm, she’ll run around the house like a crazy Banshee.  Who knows why she finds that exhilarating – but she does. Our new home has a room division which makes a perfect circular NASCAR track for her to run around.Jewel051208

Well, a few months ago, after walking her outside during yet another wet, dreary evening in northern Ohio, she began to run around her favorite race track yet again. All of a sudden from the other side of the wall, we heard a tremendous yelp. Immediately she comes limping into the living room with her left hind foot elevated. We felt around and it didn’t seem like she broke or dislocated her hip and she wasn’t whimpering. We had to endure a long evening before we could see our veterinarian.

Doesn’t it break your heart when you see the innocent suffer? Our vet recommended three options and we decided on rest, medication and a follow-up visit in a month first rather than an operation. We felt restricting her to a cage for six weeks would be worse than an uncertain outcome. She’d be so miserable.

And so began the month-long routine of resorting to camouflaging anti-inflammatory medication within a treat to give her medication. Sometimes it worked, other times she ran and hid. (It was a long recovery but I’m happy to report my little walking buddy is better now.)

One afternoon, soon after she was off all her required medication, I was creating a recipe for a dinner party and had a smidgen of leftover cheese. I called for our little Lhasa to come into the kitchen. She assumed the worse and refused to answer my call. When I searched for her, I found her hiding under the bed. It reminded me of God calling for Adam and Eve for fellowship after they disobeyed by partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Adam and Eve were afraid to face God. I knew where she was, but she afraid to face me too.

So like human nature.  Sometimes we miss out as well. It’s not fun to be out of our Master’s Will. Question: Are you?

This time of year is full of culinary  temptations. Do you hide food from others and sneakily consume it on the side so no one knows? Did you consume too much food and drink at the party last night? Are you ashamed of your lack of control? Rather than confess our overindulgence (gluttony) as sin, we also hide from God for fear of being disciplined.

God only wants our best but when He calls to us, do we assume the worst? My Lhasa had begun to believe that when she heard my call that it was only for more nasty tasting medication. So instead, she missed out on a treat that day.

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?”  (Romans 8:35) 

Having fellowship with God is such a treat, why would we ever want to miss out? Even tribulation has a reward if we find comfort and forgiveness in our Father’s Arms.

Facing a Festive but Challenging Time of Year

Was last year’s Christmas Season different from this year? Did you eat your way through the festivities and discover on January 2nd that you gained ten to fifteen pounds?  Pigging out at every party might have seemed like a good idea at the time but did you like yourself afterwards? Probably not!th6OLKD5EY

“You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires;”  (Ephesians 4:22)

How are you doing on your health plan this holiday season?  Are you facing temptations at every turn? Are co-workers bringing in goodies for the break room? Is hubby placing decadent gifts from work on the kitchen counter? Is your favorite holiday treat featured on television commercials every half hour?  And even church presents no sanctuary, as members outdo each other displaying their most caloric recipes at the Christmas Fellowship!

How can you honor your bodily temple and still enjoy the holiday festivities? Try to keep in mind what is most important. Realistically however, you are facing two dinners, a church potluck, a Christmas party and perhaps a New Year’s Celebration – that’s a lot!!!

It’s not easy but believe it or not, one can enjoy holiday festivities while maintaining a health plan. Recognize that the upcoming weeks are but a blurb on the timeline of one’s life. Here are some general tips to assist you as you face these challenges:

First, don’t arrive famished or you’ll lose control.

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28)

Check out the food table and choose healthy selections: shrimp cocktail, hummus with pita chips, fruit trays, crab or smoked salmon, grilled vegetables or a small veggie wrap are better choices than fatty dips and chips.  Even two party meatballs are better choices than the cheese trays.

Envision how you look as you eat. (Uncle Ralph talks with his mouth full – that’s disgusting!) Nibble and chew your food slowly like a proper guest! As you know, it takes twenty minutes for your brain to realize you’re full. If you’re still hungry after that, you’re eating too quickly or perhaps due to unconscious behavior. Recommendation: Keep your back to the food table and your hands occupied to avoid binging!

Don’t we hate that awkward feeling of not knowing what to do with our hands? So what do we do? We normally carry a drink in our hands. Try a glass of club soda with a slice of lemon, lime. or orange. Or choose carbonated water with a little fruit juice in a wine glass and no one will comment on why you aren’t drinking.  Remember alcoholic drinks are extremely caloric at 7 calories per gram (that’s about a 1/4 teaspoon.) That sure adds up!  Also, physiologically speaking, the body burns the alcohol before the fat, carbohydrates and protein, so you’ll probably gain weight.

Utilize more visualization skills. Example: Ladies, are you looking forward to wearing a special outfit this season? Perhaps a little black dress that makes you feel like a million bucks? Imagine how fantastic you’ll feel walking into that room and knowing you exhibit your best self! Can any amount of cheese and sausage ring replace that feeling? No!  Don’t allow food to become your god and avoid waking up with a food hangover, you’re better than that! A party lasts a few hours, fat can last forever!

Food should never be your god!

“Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things,” (Philippians 3:19)

Remember the Real Reason for the Christmas Season! Honor God!