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Dr. Oz Says “Skip Breakfast!” Should We?

In a video-taped interview this week with Fox News, Dr. Oz admits that doctors don’t learn much about nutrition in med school. I wondered then, how did he discover this remarkable “new” idea of skipping breakfast? He learned this dietary concept through Hugh Jackman. A terrific, talented and one of my favorite actors, but hardly an expert on physiological nutrition.

Dr. Oz went on to claim the average person eats continually over a 17 hour day. Very few healthy people I know eat “continuously.” If consuming potato chips at 11pm is a habit, then we have a counseling problem.

I do agree that eating before bedtime is not beneficial to sleep. Sleep releases beneficial growth hormones – lack of it leads to mental deterioration, internal stress and illness.

“I think for 2020, the first thing I’m going to do is ban breakfast,” the celebrity doctor recently told TMZ. “I don’t think we need to eat breakfast. That’s an advertising ploy.”

Well that settles it doesn’t it? If that bastion of newsworthy journalism, TMZ broadcasts it – then it must be true.

Dr. Oz goes on: “Unfortunately, a lot of the dogma that we were fed for decades came out of advertisements. It wasn’t really based on the truth around our health.”

Well that’s true – advertisements are meant to manipulate the public into purchasing their product; but let’s break his statement down.

Never did the doctor clarify what a healthy versus unhealthy breakfast is. Eggs contain countless nutrients which I’ve written about, whole wheat French toast is better than white. There’s a huge distinction between sugary Honey Smacks with a quarter teaspoon of fiber and 5 teaspoons of sugar and Shredded Wheat with a quarter teaspoon of sugar and two teaspoons of fiber. Add a banana, berries and cinnamon for nutritious fructose and added fiber because fiber also allows the body to rid itself of toxins through bowel movements.

Thankfully Mark Wahlberg (who wakes up at 2:30am and eats breakfast at 3:15) and Dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, the manager of wellness nutrition services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute respectfully disagreed with Dr. Oz’s finding.

In response, Dr. Oz shot Mark down, “Well, powerful medical literature and lots of athletes support me and show that intermittent fasting flips the switch so it bolsters your physical and your mental performance.”

Great, I can recruit just as many athletic directors and dietitians who would declare the opposite. But the response of “Oh yeah, did not,” “Did too,” is kind of childish isn’t it? Even if 5,000 men are wrong, they’re still wrong! (old Chinese saying.)

We are all uniquely created. I don’t eat breakfast immediately either – I like to be awake. I don’t measure portion sizes anymore – after measuring several times, usually you’ll know how much is normal.

I DO eat for nutrients. My morning begins around 7am with two cups of coffee, creamer, cinnamon and turmeric, an hour later, ¾ cup of quality yogurt, walnuts, berries and milled flaxseed. About 1/2 to 1 hour later, whole grain cereal and a half banana. At lunch I’ll have variety: a small salad, a half sandwich or planned-overs from the night before. Dinner consists of 3-4 ounces of meat with 5xs more veggies. A small dessert is eaten about 2 hours later. Sometimes in the afternoon I’ll eat a square of dark chocolate.

For my dietary advice I will go to The Great Physician. He lovingly created us individually according to Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5. In Exodus 16:21, God ordered the Israelites to gather manna every morning. Even God believed in breakfast! I’ll cast my lot with my LORD. I believe God’s smarter than any man.

Searching for Dieting Perfection? Not Gonna Happen!

Do you expect dieting perfection from yourself? Face it, you’re searching for an unrealistic goal. Continue toward healthy living and you’ll become your healthiest self.

There was only one perfect person born on earth, our Lord, and we are not him! If God doesn’t expect perfection from us; only obedience and goodness, why do we think we are better than Jesus at achieving it?

God made you human, not perfect. Give yourself a break! Realize that even if you make a mistake, you certainly can strive to do better in the future. Talk yourself into success. Mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn to overcome obstacles in the future!

“And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,” (Titus 2:12) NLT

Build your own strategies, but here are some suggestions to start you off. When you feel like eating, go for a ten minute walk up the street and ten minutes back, submerge yourself into an exciting novel, take a bubble bath or paint your nails – you can’t get into a potato chip bag with your nails wet, right? Write your strategies down so they’ll be available when you need them.

There’s a encouraging story about goodness versus perfection which goes like this:

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, the mighty Ruler of Galatica sent two space ships to earth . . . (well, I didn’t tell you it was a true story) . . . anyway, he told the first Explorer to travel to Earth and find everything that was perfect on the planet and bring all that he found back to him in his spacecraft.

To the other Explorer he ordered him to go to Earth and find everything that was good, and bring all he found back to him in his spaceship.

Well, time progressed and finally the first Explorer returned home. The King rubbed his hands together and jumped up and down, anxiously awaiting all the provisions he’d see. But the Galatican arrived back empty-handed.

“What is the meaning of this?” demanded the King.

“Oh Sire, what a despicable place this earth planet was! I searched everywhere! I could find nothing perfect on it at all! Why, there was pollution, people protested in mobs, I found war even on their playthings. Cars honked incessantly and it always rained in Seattle. Gas was $5 a gallon and this thing called fried butter was horrendous! I repeat nothing on Earth is perfect!”

Discouraged, the Ruler waited for the other explorer to return. Finally, the second explorer arrived home and was summoned to the Palace.

“Were you able to find anything good on Earth?” His King asked dejectedly.

“Oh gracious King, you wouldn’t believe all the good I found on planet Earth!” he exclaimed enthusiastically! “Why, there were birds singing, amazing sunsets, rainbows, beautiful homes and automobiles. The taste of ice cream is terrific! Why, I couldn’t bring all I found back to you, because there was just too much good in that world!”

So the moral of that story is, if you search for perfection you won’t find it anywhere, but search for good and it will be all around you.

“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5: 8-10) NLT

I urge you to continue to strive for excellence in your health quest!

What are You waiting For? Get Healthy Now!

We’re approaching that time of year again when approximately 45% of people resolve to go on a diet and 70% resolve to become healthier. They check out diet program after diet program, read countless magazine articles professing a secret formula, spend a fortune on boxed food and profess, “The eighteenth time is the charm! This time it will happen! This year, I’m resolved!”

That resolve usually lasts 2-3 weeks. But hope springs eternal – Your friend said she lost 20 pounds in a week on yet another diet and surely if she did, so will you!!! Nope.

Why don’t these programs work? Because each of us have different physiology, personalities, stress levels, metabolism, employment, family responsibilities, etcetera,  etcetera . . . Next, even if you eliminate 3500 calories, the amount needed to lose a pound each day, for a week, you’d only lose seven pounds.

Face it, everyone knows how to lose weight. Eat less, exercise more. Drink water, exercise, slow down and consume smaller portions. Easy peasy, everyone says – until everyone fails. Then everyone believes they have no willpower, they give up and pompously declare, “Well, this is how God made me, therefore, “so be it.”

Wrong! God wants you healthy whether you’re a size twelve or two. Health is more important than weight loss.  True health incorporates energy level, how your clothes fit, emotional wellness, whether you are mentally alert or “fuzz-brained.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overheard someone speak about their current diet announcing proudly, “I’m cutting out all carbs!” while the companion nods his head in agreement.  AAARGGHH! (If you don’t consume wholesome carbohydrates, your brain doesn’t get energized daily. Our brain feeds on glucose, a carbohydrate!)

It gets discouraging when few listen to the nutritionist who has kept her weight off for thirty years but they follow false diet gurus. Now I don’t expect you to be a size two, but I do practice what I preach and enjoy a vibrant and energetic lifestyle – I only want you to also.

What I follow is a diet plan based on Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 9:3. Anything is fine in moderation. Very similar to the Mediterranean, DASH or Volumetrics diet plan. Over the next few weeks I’ll offer the “why” and provide practical applications.

For now: Consume five times more veggies and fruit than meat on your plate. Eat healthy omega 3 fats and wholesome whole grains. In leu of processed foods, choose fibrous foods. Next exercise, relax and don’t sweat the small stuff.

No one gets healthier unless they are mentally, physically or spiritually ready to. It’s the main reason I started this blog and wrote, Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us) available on amazon.com.

Everyone starts out with good intentions. No one starts out wanting to fail; it’s humiliating!  But people self-destruct for different reasons;  could be educational fallacies, while other times psychological. Do you realize that sometimes when you reach for a cookie, it’s not a cookie that you desire but the warmth and security of family memories?

Having a goal to become healthier is more important than weight loss. Building muscle creates the physiological furnace that burns fat. Get moving! Exercise releases feel-good endorphins; so find some form of exercise you enjoy! Walking, gardening, dancing, biking . . . Being out in the fresh air contributes to an extra endorphin bonus.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll provide practical information so you won’t “spin your wheels” on another useless diet program. Get Healthy Now!

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

 

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.)

Feeding on Ashes

“He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” (Isaiah 44:14–20)

With an abundance of great culinary choices, why do we continue to choose unwisely? Why do some choose to feed on ashes? That’s unnecessary. If one eats as God intended, even if you have a debilitating illness (which be honest, unhealthy food choices most likely contributed to) it can greatly change your quality of life.

Some follow what I call, “the penance principle” when they decide to follow a “diet.” Believing they must flagellate myself and suffer or God won’t bless them. That means rice cakes and celery sticks every day.

Some (and this is sad – even some CHRISTIANS) follow a magical formula proposed by some health professional. After all, with modern science, those diet gurus must know more than God. I’m talking about the Paleo, Atkins, Paleo which restricts a certain food or entire category of foods while proclaiming the same unbiblical notion repeatedly.

These are False and all have the same theme! There is nothing new under the sun.

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Don’t we realize what a slap in the face of God it is to follow a false teacher rather than HIm? To say, “Well, God made a mistake, I know better now.”

I prefer to follow and profess God’s Will:

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. (Genesis 1:29)

Every nutrient needed for optimum health can be found in the rain forests and family farms. God bless the farmers! I believe that after the world-wide flood, the atmosphere and probably our physiological chemistry needs changed (and animals could over-populate the earth) God declared:

“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” (Genesis 9:3)

Must I remind you that doesn’t give us license to gorge ourselves, destroying our temples with fattening, processed, chemically-infused foods?

In “1 Corinthians 10:23 we read: “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.”

We need to practice self-control and make wise choices.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,”  (Ephesians 5:15-18)

Whatever takes the place of God, preventing us from maintaining control; preferring that item to God becomes an idol. Replace the word wine with chocolate, French fries, colas, fast food, smoking, sports, television even and you understand what I’m talking about.

God did not create a robotic nature for humans. He wants us to follow Him out of our own free will, out of Love. It’s our choice. I choose our Lord over French fries.  Easy choice.

Disclaimer: Yes I know some consume charcoal as medicine but that’s not God’s or my intended content here.

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)

Healthy Encouragement to Succeed!

One of the best selling writers, Jerry Jenkins, expressed it very well: “I’ve made it my life’s work to coach writers because I’d love to see you enjoy the benefits I’ve enjoyed.” Well said, Mr. Jenkins.

I’m an author of several books, as well as a nutritional counselor. Like Mr. Jenkins, I urge and coach others to strive for healthier living because I want to see everyone enjoy the benefits I’ve enjoyed. By eating sensibly, you’ll obtain increased energy, more muscle (which burns fat), improved moods and a fit physique. I want you to feel JOY!  

I have no ulterior motive. Sure, I’d love to sell many more books, what author wouldn’t? And I enjoy hearing how I’ve  helped others. But have you noticed what’s happened to our culture over the past fifty years? With an abundance of fast-food locations, conveniently-packaged, chemically-based food choices, we’ve created an environment plagued by obesity.

One nurse I worked with years ago, playfully teased me at lunch in front of a group while eating a spoonful of icing. “Watch out, we’re being baaad and here comes the Food Police!” As she withdrew another huge spoonful from the container, she taunted, “Look Ellie, I never knew Crisco and powered sugar could taste so good! Mmmm.”

Okay, funny but some don’t get it! The icing isn’t bad. Losing control while not understanding why or not caring is!!! In fact, I’ll eat icing sometimes; but not much because although there’s pleasure in sugar, there are few nutrients. Sugar releases valuable serotonin but too much sugar creates moodiness, the “jitters” and ages us. Want that?

Even sadder is the fact that many do nothing to educate themselves regarding why and how to control their impulses. I have no willpower, they believe. Hardly. That same willpower which prevents us from telling off our mother-in-law is the same willpower we tap into when we need resistance. We have willpower, it simply needs to be prioritized.

There are other reasons why people overindulge besides lack of willpower – occasionally it’s emotional while other times it’s physical: medication, insulin production, inherited DNA among several.

A few suggestions to resist and overcome:

  1. Recognize why you crave this particular food. Let’s use icing as an example. We never truly outgrow our childhood. Perhaps you’re experiencing a horrific day and all you want to do now is feel the same secure warm-blanket-closeness you felt when your mom let you lick the spoon. Understand your feelings might not be about true hunger but what’s eating at you.
  2. A little icing is fine but if you can’t control your temptations, for heaven-sakes, don’t bring it into the house. Use sliced fruit or a drizzle of melted chocolate as a topping instead.
  3. Understand this: God wants you happy and healthy. If you can’t resist – get out of the house and go walking, biking, gardening or some other fresh air activity for at least twenty minutes. (If it’s in your house, it’s in your mouth!) You can also read, write, watch a movie or something which will get your mind off eating.
  4. Personal favorite:  paint your nails!  (Okay, men, grease an axel.) We can’t get into a bag of chips if our nails are gooey. If that doesn’t work, take a bubble bath, wash your hair or call a supportive friend.

I wish people realized when a loved one suffers, everyone who cares about them does as well, especially God!

 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Live Vibrantly Healthy!