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Childhood, Adulthood and Happy Thanksgiving

To quote one of my favorite sayings of a Jesuit priest, “Show me the boy at 7 and I’ll show you the man he will become.” Oh, our wonderful formative years!

What we were like as a child stays within and in a moment we become what we once were.

That seems even more true as we approach the holiday season. Next up, Thanksgiving! One holiday meant to be celebrated by eating all day.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Let’s take a quiz shall we? These personality examples typify profiles of many patients I’ve counseled:

  1. Did you expect your Mom and Dad to complete your homework?
  2. Did your “mean” parents not allow you to watch television until you accomplished your chores?
  3. Did “Some Assembly Required” drive you bonkers, but stubborn and determined you finally got it right?!
  4. Or did you give up and let someone else complete that bookshelf?
  5. Were you the first to finish projects so you could have bragging rights?
  6. Did you procrastinate, waiting until the last-minute to finish anything?
  7. Think back to high school: a. Did you join many clubs? or b. join only to quit when you got bored?

Now how did you do?

#1. Personal responsibility is a foreign concept. At work, someone else can pick up the slack . . . eventually. There’s always someone else to do your work. You’ll start a diet on January 2nd and quit by the third week.

If 2. Now you’re in charge of your life and freedom is intoxicating! You’re rebellious and can do whatever you wish! That includes eating whatever you want. You have a desire to succeed but why give up freedom for more hassle? You infrequently reach goals.

3. You’re analytical, needing proof. How does this plan work? You’ll question, dissect and figure out how it’ll be successful before wasting your time or money. In weight loss it’s the counselor’s job is to educate you on the first visit or else. Once you commit, you’re determined to finish what you started. You’re a “Mom I can do it myself!” personality.

4. If circumstances become too complicated, it’s easier to give up. That includes marriage, employment, gym membership or weight loss. You need to establish “small goals to reach goals” so you won’t feel like a failure when large goals aren’t met. Two steps backward but five steps ahead.

5. Competitive, you make life a game. Always striving for short-term goals to makes life interesting, you’ll join a sports team or gym to be the best there. However since you have perfectionist standards, life sometimes becomes an “all or nothing” encounter. Competitive, you might be the heaviest in the crowd because of you desire to be #1! “I can out eat you! Just watch!”

6. Procrastinators never seem to find an ideal time to begin. There’s always a special party or a wedding coming up. “I’ll start next week” and of course next week never comes. A procrastinator usually fears failure, rejection, sets unrealistic goals or needs stimulation to meet deadlines.

7. a. If you joined and stuck it out, your word is your bond. You value your principles and reach goals. If b. then you’ll quit everything you begin. On a diet plan, you’re always searching for another quick fix. No one holds you accountable. Beware! Learn to hold yourself accountable, developing self-discipline. Quitting does nothing for an ego except defeat it.

You’re probably a combination of the above personalities. But understand, Satan wants us to feel defeated, to say, “Well, that’s the way God made me so I guess I’m stuck.” Pity party!

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Be disciplined and conquer any characteristics that aren’t advantageous. You’re worth it to God.

(Enjoy a controlled and Happy Thanksgiving – I’ll return first week in December.)

Water Helps Us Lose Weight, How???

You’ve always heard how water is essential to weight loss, right?

When I asked patients to increase water intake, occasionally they’d roll their eyes. “I know, I know,” they whined, “water makes us feel fuller.” Actually drinking water doesn’t make me feel full for long, does it for you?

Or someone might challenge me with “what about that woman in 1934 who died because she drank too much water???” (Obscure example.) Of course balance is key.

Know why:

“A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

Our God is a God of balance and doesn’t make mistakes! He’s created us well. More is not better and homeostatis (balance) is the key to true health.

There are certainly important physiological reasons why we should consume water! Water is the magical elixir in optimum health and it seems so obvious.

Our body is comprised of at least 70-75% water. Our brain: 75%. H2O – the “O” stands for oxygen of course. Oxygen transports energy. Oxygen helps the brain produce neurotransmitters and hormones. We won’t have as much brain fog so prevalent as we age if we hydrate more.

Unfortunately, cell performance deteriorates as we age. It’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics – everything’s winding down.

Water fights off aging. You’ll have fewer headaches, be less tired and cranky, retain mental capacity, blood pressure will be regulated and constipation won’t be an issue. Those who consume water have a more fluid, youthful, steady gait. Our knees and joints are safely cushioned; surrounded by water.

Water allows the kidneys to do their job of filtering out toxins, making our pH less acidic. We’re sick less often. I’ve used this illustration often but it’s important enough to repeat here:

Suppose one of your co-workers fails to come to work. The boss says you’ll be required to do that employee’s work along with your own. What happens? Your desk piles up with unfinished business, right? That’s the symbiotic relationship the liver has with the kidneys.

The kidneys filter out toxins. One of the most important responsibilities of the liver is to metabolize fat. When one doesn’t drink enough water, the liver has to step in, doing the work of the kidneys and thus cannot do its primary job. Therefore the body gets fatter.

Water transports nutrients and eliminates toxins. Electrolytes can then move messages efficiently. The accumulation of toxins places undo stress on the body, going into survival mode. (Survival mode slows down metabolism!) Blood begins to flow toward our outer extremities in our “fight or flight” mentality; thus away from our digestive system, virtually shutting it down.

Water cushions our vital organs, acting as a shock absorber. Once again, lack of water produces bodily stress. Water provides oxygen and therefore assists the energy cells: (mitochondria) in energizing our body. If we are dehydrated our blood pressure increases, our urine is darker and we feel sluggish and dull-headed.

Drink pure water – it takes metabolism longer to break down elements added to water. Cold water increases metabolism a bit. (Keep a pitcher of water/lemon in the fridge.) Warm beverages are comforting, a stress reliever.

Of course there are other side benefits as well. Water plumps up our skin and keeps us looking younger. Who doesn’t want to look younger? If we fail to hydrate, we fail to rid our skin of toxins and dry skin, acne, wrinkles and sun spots increase.

Therefore, consuming water gives us not only a young-at-heart attitude but younger looks as well. Thank you God for H2O!

 

 

 

Optimum Health: Challenging Our Teeter Totter Mind!

Life itself is one creative teeter totter ride – up/down/up/down. If we remained in one spot however, it would be stagnant, tedious. What fun is that?

Sometimes diets can become pretty stagnant too. Why continue to strive for a healthier, positive mindset when diets are so boring?

I can’t imagine existing on carrots, rice cakes and celery for months to lose weight. Yuk! 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. It’s physiologically essential for optimum health.

But lifetime 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 . . . in moderation. Then the next day, I am right back selecting healthier choices and not worrying about it

But don’t blame God for what we couldn’t control. 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.”

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.

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 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) 

Stay Balanced!

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 beast 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!

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 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)

A “Modified” Keto Diet?

Last week, did you happen to catch an MSN’s Health section headline with the proclamation, “How I lost weight with a modified Keto Diet!”

News Flash: If a diet is modified, it is NOT the same diet plan. If I modify my Mediterranean Diet plan, it becomes a DASH or Volumetrics Diet. All excellent by the way. But modifying the dangerous Keto diet is putting lipstick on a pig and dancing in toxic waste.

I glanced over her “modifications” and discovered she continued to consume bacon, salami and other dyed, chemically-based, highly-saturated, fattening foods containing very few nutrients and fiber. Where’s the nutrients???

Listen, your body is comprised of chemicals while food is a bunch of chemicals. I’m sure you’ve seen what happens in a lab when too many chemicals are mixed together – Kaboom!!! Do you want your body to become toxic chemicals?

When one consumes Keto’s fat-based diet, theoretically a body burns fat for energy. Well how does that work? Let me explain:

We’ve all seen how a rocket blasts into space, right? That plume of smoke emitted from the back of the rocket as it launches off its pad is similar to what the body does when it produces energy to move as well. But our energy fumes are primarily converted inside and those toxins need to exit our body through urine and sweat.

Dangerous conditions result when one fails to drink pure clean water (most dieters drink Diet Coke with even more chemicals like Splenda or aspartame.) If you don’t drink enough water, those toxic chemicals remain in your system, festering in your cells, compounding unhealthy, acidic conditions. If your body is acidic, it becomes a  test tube for cancers, high cholesterol, heart disease, liver and kidney conditions among many others.

I’m not a gambler and don’t want to wager on a diet prone to precarious life-threatening illnesses. I also haven’t met anyone who has KEPT their weight off by staying on this diet forever. As we all know, the only real and reasonable diet is one that you can maintain for a lifetime.

I am not saying that one can never have bacon again. I eat bacon, cheese and cold cuts occasionally. However if I have a ham sandwich for lunch, then I’ll have lean meat: chicken, pork loin, sirloin, salmon, fish and fibrous veggies for dinner.

1 Corinthians 10:23 states that anything is fine in moderation but not everything is beneficial. I created and follow the Biblical Diet Plan found in Genesis 1:29 where God told Adam to eat plant based foods and then Genesis 9:3 in which He told Noah after the Flood with its newly created environmental climate that it’s now fine to consume meat.

Don’t struggle with crazy restrictive diet plans believing you are pleasing God. I actually call this “The Penance Principal.” Several of my patients believed they had to suffer; consuming bland foods, “sticks and twigs” in order to please God. On the contrary, it’s a slap in the Face of God when you say, “Oh dear, why did You create eggs and bananas? This human scientist says they are bad for me. After all scientists know more than you, don’t they?” Wrong, and besides science is always changing, God does not!

“So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.” (1 Corinthians 1:20) NLT

As for me and my house, I will trust the Lord! (Joshua 24:15)

Eat nutritiously and prosper.

Caterpillar or Butterfly?

Does a butterfly look back on its life and wish it had remained a caterpillar? (I do wonder about strange things, don’t I?)

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder but most of us, if given a choice, would choose to be a butterfly I believe, rather than a caterpillar.

When it’s a caterpillar it’s pretty adorable; all soft and fluffy. And we usually “ooo” and “aah” over a butterfly and only “aahh, so cute!” over a caterpillar. Most of us just  aren’t content to be cute – we’d rather be beautiful, it’s human nature.

The caterpillar had the DNA inside him to change his nature, so do we? Some are naturally meant to be thinner than others; but we should ALL  desire to be our healthiest self. The butterfly eventually changed into the best of himself, so can you! Don’t be content to settle for a second best you.

Do you think the caterpillar knew its destiny or was it content to crawl around the leaves and up stems of flowers and never soar? Was it aware that it would eventually transform into a beautiful creature? I would think it was probably content in its ignorance. Just like discouraged dieters who sigh, “Well, I guess this is how I was made, so I’ll just accept it.”

In God’s timing, the caterpillar metamorphosed into a butterfly; and with its beautifully extended wings alighted on a flower for the first time. What a glorious accomplishment! Do you think it then grieved for its past life or rather rejoiced in its new abilities to fly? Did it ever wonder, “Why didn’t I do this sooner!”

So many of us are content in bodies that crawl or even stumble exhausted through life without any desire to reach greater heights! Strive for something better than mediocrity, you deserve it!

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

As a nutritionist, I usually heard a patient, after they met their goal, exclaim, “I feel wonderful! Why didn’t I do this sooner?!!!” In God’s timing He won’t force us to becomes healthier. It’s our decision. Only when we are ready to make him LORD over our choices will we be ready to become a new creation.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Don’t be content to drag yourself through your day with extra pounds and potential health issues. Are you tired of taking countless pills for blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a heart condition? Instead allow yourself to become a New Creation.

I very much enjoy watching the television show, Aerial America? Isn’t it amazing how soaring over this country can change our perspective on how we view objects we’ve seen countless times?! Isn’t it about time you saw life from a different perspective? Choose a healthier lifestyle and take control of your life.

Don’t crawl through life, SOAR with wings like the butterfly.

 

“How to Lose Weight in Five Easy Steps!”

Research shows that people gravitate to articles with this type of headline. I do too.

But how many nutritionists have heard the pleading words from a patient, “Just tell me what to do!” Like there’s a magic formula for rapid weight loss! The question is, will the same plan which works for Suzie, work for you?

Possibly, if it’s practical and nutritionally balanced like the Mediterranean Diet – but even then, we should realize we are all uniquely made.

We don’t see too many commercials any more with some beautiful person claiming “I’ve lost 58 pounds in a month . . . and you can too if you simply purchase “X.”

It’s the equivalent of: I’ve told you what to do, just do it and you too will look like me! Of course within a few months the weight comes back on and the dieter feels it’s his/her fault – I didn’t follow the formula correctly. Stupid me. Failure doesn’t do much for self esteem issues; (a reason we overeat.)

Weight loss success means knowing the “why” of it all. What are the personal habits and food idols which prevent you from succeeding? How’s your self-discipline? Is your lifestyle frantic? Are you currently battling a certain emotional trauma? Are you big-boned? Consider the fact that we all have a different physiological makeup, emotional background and discipline.

Health is a slow and steady individual process while learning to create new habits, eat balanced and overcome temptations in order to become a healthier version of oneself. It shouldn’t be about becoming a size two. Please don’t trust in an unreachable fantasy.

Salvation and nutrition are so similar in nature. You are the only one who can lose weight and become healthier. No one else can choose a different pathway except you. Sadly, lifestyle changes are not perfect pathways. It usually takes slow and steady progress to create new habits, avoid temptations and become a healthier version of you.

Jesus also knows each of us as individuals. He knew the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18–23) would never give up his wealth to follow him – it was his god. The Pharisees would never give up their power and recognize Jesus as Lord. Position and pride were their gods.

I ask you then, “What is your god?” Is it sleeping in instead of exercising? Consuming French fries each day instead of vegetables? Convenient Fast food instead of eating at home? None of these are wrong unless you love it more than your LORD.

Understand what’s keeping you from sucess. Take small steps to accomplish a goal. Reward yourself for each goal reached. Instant gratification never accomplishes much because nothing was done to achieve it and many people who win the lottery are broke within a few years without personal discipline.

Changing and becoming healthier improves character and when you sometimes fail, (which we all do) learn from it! It builds resolve!

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;” (1 Peter 1:5,6) 

How do you begin to change the inner self? First place the LORD over self. You’ll like that person you’ve become. What one cherishes, they take care of. Have you ever noticed that happy people are content with who they are? They aren’t necessarily the beautiful or thin people either! Contentment emanates from God’s Love. Appreciate Him enough to be your healthiest!

Can The Body Distinguish Between Natural Sugars vs. Added Sugars?

There is so much confusion out there regarding sugar consumption. This is one of the most practical posts I’ve read on the subject of distinguishing the difference. In fact everything Frieda writes is worth checking out! Please do: https://friedafontaine.wordpress.com

Let's Discuss Nutrition

selective focus photography of candies

The American diet is filled with too much sugar. It’s no wonder most Americans exceed the 50 grams recommended daily allowance. Many health and nutritional experts have brazenly referred to sugar as poison…and for a good reason. The excess consumption of sugar in the diet has been associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. 

Pick up any package at the grocery store and you’re likely to encounter ingredients such as corn syrup, cane sugar, molasses, etc. But there’s good news. By 2020 Nutrition Facts labels must reveal how much sugar in grams including the percentage Daily Value, on every package of food.

Are natural sugars better for us than added sugars? The answer is yes according to Dana Hunnes, a registered dietitian and adjunct assistant professor in the department of community health sciences at UCLA.

“If we eat a beet or if we eat…

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