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Standing Fast for the Truth

It’s been about three weeks since you’ve begun your yearly “diet” program. You’ve trudged along, lost a few pounds but in your opinion, the weight isn’t coming off quickly enough. That “Lose 10 Pounds in Ten Days!” starts to sound really inviting. Please, please don’t fall for something that sounds good but isn’t nutritionally sound. delcious-salads

First there is no way anyone can lose 10 lbs. of dangerous fat in 10 days. 3500 calories will create one pound. How many calories do you consume daily? Right. So even if you starved yourself, eating nothing for 10 days you wouldn’t be healthy or lose 10 lbs. Instead you would lose muscle, brain, bone and heart muscle while your body searched for ways to keep your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate= the rate your body consumes calories) healthy. I don’t know about you but I don’t have that many brain cells to lose at my age!

Sometimes I feel like John the Baptist professing Truth among many false gods. Over the past 60 years, health fads created by false diet gurus have come and gone. They cry out, “I have the answer!” which become the no-carbs, all-carbs, no fats, mostly fat, only fruit, no sugar, high protein, even a bacon diet plan emerged over time! People will believe what they want to believe and the majority of diet plans out there aren’t proclaiming Truth.

First we are all uniquely made so of course all diets work for some people. However some are actually unbalanced and harmful to us, like diet pills and cutting out entire food groups. For example: high protein diets. The body can only tolerate so much protein before the kidneys start stressing out or even failing. If the kidneys are stressed, the liver must take over, doing the work of the kidneys. Do you know one of the primary function of the liver? It’s to metabolize fat.

One of my favorite sayings is a Chinese one stating, “Even if 5,000 men are wrong . . . they are still wrong.” Don’t follow the crowd going in the wrong direction on the Poseidon.

Stand for Truth. Start reading about physiology. You’ll develop confidence when you understand how God created our body to function. Consume a variety of nutrients. All nutrients have a different purpose and work for true wellness.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”  (2 Corinthians 4:16)

You can be healthy this year and not suffer! The primary way to safely lose weight and inches is to the old standby:

  1. Eat for nutrients. That means a variety of complex carbs, lean protein and good fats like omega 3’s. Choose various colors, food groups and remember anything’s fine in moderation.
  2. Drink water. Add lemon or fruit to make it a more alkaline and flavorful choice. Ditch the sodas!
  3. Exercise – find something you enjoy: dancing, biking, hiking, skiing, tennis, etc.
  4. Avoid food temptations – don’t bring them into the house, not even “for the kids.” (If you were an alcoholic would you bring alcohol into your home, resisting that challenge each day? So why bring cupcakes, potato chips or candy into your house? Why get the children addicted?)
  5. Stop gobbling your food! Savor it and enjoy the taste and texture of food for twenty minutes, the time it takes for your brain to know your stomach is full.
  6. Find some smaller plates instead of the ones used at King Henry VIII’s banquet. You’ll feel like you’ve eaten more because your brain tells you that.

Keep striving for your best! You can do it!!!

Smarter than God? Seriously?

God knows what’s best for us and desires to keep us from harm. I attempt to do the same with my family which includes our two dogs.

cj-looking-cuterThe other day I tried to explain to “Mr. No No” our new puppy, why chewing on an electrical cord wasn’t such a great idea. I even demonstrated the shaking, pulsating movement of being electrocuted but to no avail. He only cocked his head from side to side, looking at me as if I was crazy. Okay so maybe he’s not that dumb . . .  Anyway, he simply had to trust that I would keep him from harm and protect him.

So in the same way should we trust God.

As a nutritional counselor I seem to constantly be combatting dietary fallacies. For example, I was discussing dietary choices with a lovely gentleman who had recently been diagnosed with a heart condition. I suggested a few low-fat, nutritionally dense foods to build his immune system. This included shrimp. “I can’t eat that” Too much cholesterol!” Sigh. It’s typical of what I hear and read constantly in false diet plans. No eggs, avocados, potatoes, butter . . . you know the ones God made a mistake creating but He didn’t realize it until man pointed it out? (Not that man would ever make a mistake, right Flat-Earther’s?)

I ask, “Would God create a food, tell us everything is acceptable to eat and then change His Mind?” Could God make a mistake? No! I’ve often stated that after researching eggs back in 1992, I came to that same conclusion. Eggs metabolize differently in the body, increasing good cholesterol while decreasing bad LDL. But once again, anything in moderation.  (I’ve written enough about eggs and potatoes over the years. If interested, please use my search engine to read more posts on that subject.)

Consuming shrimp falls within that same concept. Recent studies conducted over a three and nine week shrimp-photoperiod monitored a group of people who consumed 10 ounces of shrimp daily. At the conclusion of the study, the subjects LDL cholesterol level rose slightly but not dangerously at all. What struck them as interesting was that the protective HDL cholesterol rose more while their unhealthy triglyceride levels dropped. Amazing statistics for an “unhealthy” food.

More good news, shrimp contains a unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoid nutrient astaxanthin. Translated in dog years, this means it provides substantial protection against heart ailments, nervous disorders, diabetes, colon cancer and muscular illnesses.  A single 4-ounce serving of shrimp contains 1-4 milligrams of astaxanthin.  Limit your shrimp intake to a moderate 6 ounces.

Also among the many vital nutrients found in shrimp are selenium, (a feel-good nutrient) omega 3’s, B3, B6, B-12, E, A, phosphorus, choline, copper, iodine and zinc which are all great for heart health.

This demonstrates once again that God’s Ways trump man’s ways. I don’t know about you but when I uncovered these facts, it only built my Faith that God knows better than us, always has, always will! So I suggest we trust God because no one’s smarter than Him.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Well “Nuts” To That Myth!

Back when I began my nutritional career, nuts were considered off the menu. “Too much fat!” experts claimed. Of course eggs, potatoes and chocolate were too. These are myths.

thKCICGCJJOnce all calories were considered equal, but actually they aren’t. We inhabit a wonderfully designed machine. Candy and fruit work in different biochemical ways.

Automobiles need oil, gas and regular tune-ups to work properly. Similarly, humans need a variety of nutrients to work efficiently. Clean Nutrients and proper maintenance produce a healthier body.

I love physiology and enjoy explaining why consuming these nutritious foods are beneficial to our well-being.  Just knowing that nuts are great for the skin and are anti-aging are two important points for me! A third is that they are fabulous for extending memory recall. We need those memory cells!

Nuts are packed with protein, enzymes, antioxidants and so many beneficial nutrients, among them many Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, B12, vitamin E, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and essential fatty acids.

Nuts are anti-inflammatory so anyone fighting arthritis, dementia or IBS type challenges would be advised to include them in your daily diet. They also lower blood pressure, heart disease and assist in the prevention of colon and prostate cancer. A little nut butter on an apple, banana or whole wheat toast should fill one up for several hours without cravings.

Nuts are rich in at least four 50-cent omega 3 words such as linoleic Cholesterol and fats clog one’s arteries but walnuts are excellent for brain and heart health. These nutrients enrich our heart and brain pathways preventing strokes, clogged arteries and heart attacks.

When I was a little kid, with so many walnut trees on our farm, my brother and I made a game of smashing all those shells to get the wonderful meat inside. I think we ate them all year round. If stored properly in a freezer or cool dark area, they’ll remain edible for months.

However:

  • In moderation, as in anything else, they’re fine. Brazil nuts however are high in the mineral selenium and can be toxic in large doses. Consume only about 2-3 to avoid overdosing.
  • Avoid the canned nut samplers produced with oils. They can become rancid more quickly.
  • Avoid processed nut butters with trans-fats which can clog arteries.

So why were these considered “bad” foods? Hate to say it but ignorance, bad science and unhealthy diet plans were reasons. Case in point, the Paleo Diet encourages nuts but nixes legumes and beans. Why? Even in moderation? It’s not practical.

Here’s an interesting comparison based on 1 cup of the following:

  • Walnuts = 1464 calories & 15.2 grams of fiber/148 grams fat (4 grams = 1 teaspoon)
  • Pecans = 1544 calories & 21.6 grams of fiber/163 grams fat (plus butter/sugar in pie)

or you could choose nutritious:

  • Split peas = 230 calories & 16 grams of fiber/1 tsp fat. Hearty soup anyone?
  • Black beans = 227 calories & 15 grams of fiber/<1 tsp fat. Great in Chili.
  • Pinto beans = 224 calories & 15.4 grams of fiber/<1 tsp. fat. High protein too.

Why not choose all of the above in moderation? Each of these foods provide excellent nutrition and none are bad for us. Each contain valuable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients to assist in proper functioning.

Once again, Genesis 1:29, God knew it all the time!  As always He expects us to use common sense. Any food can become a trigger to addiction or allergies. If one can’t resist overeating, don’t bring a product into the house. Balance is always essential for  proper health.

“For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity.” (Proverbs 2: 6,7)

 

 

 

A Nutritionist’s Opinion of Paleo

We live by Grace. So unless we’re under doctor supervision can pretty much eat what we want, even if it’s not good for us. Which brings me to the Paleo Diet and a question I was asked recently, “How good is it?”

Let’s be real; no one wakes up exclaiming, “Man, I can’t wait to feel unhealthy today!” Following this plan could do it though!

Besides my obvious objection of “my ancestors weren’t cavemen, sorry about yours,” I grant Paleo’s a catchy title and peaked my interest when it first debuted. double bacon cheeseburger paleo

I grew up on a farm when the rich soil produced abundant, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Nowadays we have depleted the soil, changed the chemical makeup of produce and wheat, adding chemicals and preservatives to foods to lengthen shelf life. “Enriched” bread might sound good on paper but the bran is removed and synthetic vitamins added to bring it up to normal standards  (minus the beneficial fiber.) High-fiber bread is nutrient-dense but off-limits on this diet.

Paleo has a short list of “eat this, not that.” I failed to see any practical physiological science behind it. It’s very confusing! Sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams are banned but further down they’re allowed “in moderation.” Define moderation.

Except for a few fruits and some vegetables, the fiber content is unhealthily low. High-fiber foods significantly lower the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, stroke and hypertension. One needs both soluble and insoluble fiber. One should consume 25 – 35 grams of fiber daily to prevent intestinal polyps, parasites, worms and other lovely creatures. (For that reason alone I wouldn’t trust this diet!)

Oatmeal and “cereals” are strictly no-no’s. No clarification is made between high-fiber Kashi brands, Raisin Bran,etc. or low-fiber Corn Flakes!

Lentils, legumes, pinto, kidney, red, black beans and peanuts are off limits. Why? These beneficial foods have both types of fiber plus protein, thiamine, E, folic acid, iron, magnesium. These help lower cholesterol!

No beets? One of the most nutrient-rich vegetables?

Pasta’s off the list too, not even white fiber pasta. Along with a nutritious lean beef/tomato sauce, rich in vitamin’s C and iron, it’s healthy.

No yogurt either! Again no distinction between high-quality, good-bacteria yogurt which gets right into the gut and the unhealthy type with added sweeteners. Of course sauerkraut has good bacteria – but for breakfast on an empty stomach? Ugh.

I never claim to be smarter than God. I trust Him when He indicated in Genesis 1:29 to consume whole grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds. Then in Genesis 9:3 God added meat to the menu.

Well what about meats?

“First one catches a rattlesnake or bear  . . .” Seriously it’s on the list! So is ostrich, kangaroo, turtle, 60% fat chicken wings and chemically-laden, nitrate-enriched bacon (but sirloin’s not!) Ground beef? There’s no restriction given between lower-fat 93% sirloin and 73% hamburger. So let’s see: it’s okay to consume a double bacon cheeseburger but Sirloin steaks, baked sweet potatoes, green beans and wholesome fibrous breads are off-limits? Do you see why I’m skeptical?

Yet, there’s always a little truth in any diet. Paleo distains chemical sweeteners, energy drinks, refined sugars and spam. Great, but so does the Mediterranean, MIND, Dash and Weight Watcher’s without gimmicks. What a complicated diet plan. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply follow God’s Plan? (According to the Creator of Heaven and Earth, 1 Corinthians 10:23, anything’s fine in moderation, even bacon cheeseburgers.) Please follow clear cut physiological Truth without gimmicks.

“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.” (Luke 12:23)

There is no money, only health, in recommending God’s Dietary Plan for my patients. Therefore: “As for me and my house I will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

 

 

 

So Many Diet Plans! Which to Choose?

The 2016 US News and World Report list of “Best Diet Plans” was recently balanced dietpublished. The top five diet plans didn’t change much since last year and it’s always gratifying to view those I highly recommend among the top 5.  Of course  all my diet plans are endorsed by the True Creator of all Good and Practical Diets. One’s which God knew, as our Designer, a person could remain on for life!

So the newest list is:

  • The Dash Diet
  • The Mind Diet (a combo of the DASH and Mediterranean diets, targeting mental function)
  • Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TCL)
  • Fertility Diet
  • Mayo Clinic Diet

All of these individual plans are variations on a theme. Each is based on a diversity of fibrous whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, lean meats and good fats. Oh my! . . .  I was so surprised . . . NOT! No matter how many times, diet gurus try to rearrange God’s message on dietary recommendations (Genesis 1:29, Genesis 9:3, Acts 10: 10-14, 1 Corinthians 10:23)  it all comes back to one basic truth: physiology.

Why do people get snared by false, fiber-less and sometimes dangerous programs? Well, desperation and hope can drive some to do crazy things. When someone diets and then gains weight back, panic ensues. I understand. No one wants to be embarrassed or perceived as a failure. People become desperate!

Case in point: In the ’90s, Oprah Winfrey set up a false diet center in a mall. The diet was based on eating only hot dogs and ice cream all day. Now, you’re probably thinking, that’s crazy, who would ever sign up for such an obviously fake diet plan? Well, I believe 41 people signed up in two days.  Did they actually believe that eating chemically-laden, nitrate-based, fatty meat and creamed, sugared saturated fat would lead to a healthier lifestyle? Probably not, but they were willing to try anything to lose weight.

If one understands physiology, he’ll know a diet restricting certain food categories will  lead to stronger cravings because our hypothalamus, (that little “mom” in our brain) is nagging us to consume other essential nutrients which our body needs! For example, a diet consisting only of fruit (grapefruit diet anyone?) lacks over 50 essential nutrients for a healthy metabolism. Moderation of all food groups is the key to success.

So don’t diet at all! Live and eat sensibly. My instructor is my LORD. If God is your teacher, then you’ll base your lifestyle on what the Word says, not on some outlandish diet claim urging you to spend money on false advertising.

Materialism is today’s worldly god. Everyone’s out for the almighty dollar. There is very little money in following God’s Simple, Sensible Eating Plan. It’s free. Many of my patients over the years have urged me to write my own “diet” plan. Actually I don’t believe in diets, only healthier lifestyles.

It’s my prayer that my posts will inspire others to follow God’s Plan. For what one truly needs cannot be found at the bottom of a carton of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. People need God to fill their soul with purpose and meaning.

 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6: 12-13 (NASB)

Another Year – Another Diet??? Really?

Once again it’s the silly season of weight loss. 45 million people began a diet plan last year, how many finished?  Yeah, you guessed it, not many.thYOIH74IR

I know most had the right intentions but life got in the way.  We aren’t perfect but sometimes all it takes is one failure and we quit! Consider this; if you had slowly but surely stayed on your “program”  how much less would you weigh this year: 20, 35, 50 or even 75 pounds?  Sigh, the “if only’s” guilt your mind now. Why do I quit everything I start? Why did I think I wasn’t worth it? Why am I a failure?

That’s where a nutritional counselor comes in. Get to the root of the problem. It’s a fact that until someone becomes aware of why they do as they do, they will never change. One must get to the “why” before they will experience success. What misconceptions must you overcome?

FACT:  There is no true instant gratification.  We must work for all we acquire through sacrifice or the results rarely last! Don’t agree?  How many sports stars falter when they acquire a multi-million dollar contract?  (Manziel come to mind?)  How many celebrity singers/movie stars fall upon the altar of hero-worship only to get hit by life’s reality stick of peer pressure, drugs, fan worship, million dollar contracts?  How many lottery winners lose it quickly to huge homes, sports cars and other toys they can’t afford?

Too much, too soon! The reward came about before the discipline to maintain it.  Same with weight loss. Your body needs time to adjust to change, “settle in” so to speak, allowing your mind to catch up with this new determined you.

FACT:  The  Process is more important than the progress!  Through the process you’ll learn how to handle challenges – be it defeating saboteurs, temptations, laziness, boredom or whatever and create strategies to overcome.  Through it all you’ll learn self-discipline and confidence so that nothing will stand in the way of a goal.

“Brothers I do not consider myself yet to take hold of it, But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13)

Create goals: chart and track them, what they are, how you accomplished them and the date achieved. Concentrate on your victories and you’ll begin to like this new you and never desire to return to your unhealthy self. That’s similar to true salvation!  Why would a Christian want to go back to the old life of debauchery and unspiritual living?

FACT: Weight loss is an individual challenge. Only you can lose weight, no one else can do it for you!  You are the only one who lives inside your body. You are totally responsible for everything you do whether it is exercising daily or placing food in your mouth. Your choice. Sound discouraging, right? But look at the JOY you experience when by your own determined actions you conquered and chose correctly.

. . . once again, just like Salvation. As much as I want someone to get healthy, they must want it more than I want it for them. I can’t make anyone healthy anymore than I can make them saved!

So my question is:  WHY do you want to get healthier?  What’s motivating you?

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”  (Colossians 3:23)

I’ll begin my blogging year with a series of practical posts on creating mental, physical and spiritual fitness in 2016. Please stay tuned,

 

 

 

 

“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!