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Concerned About Aging Well? Eat These Foods

My birthday is this week. With age comes wisdom and confidence but sadly in the U.S., age isn’t honored as it is in other countries. I wouldn’t want to be 20 again but I sure don’t enjoy seeing the wrinkles that currently adorn my face. I was concerned about the hot dry climate of Arizona producing wrinkles until we moved to the  frigid, wintry, windy area of Ohio. It’s worse!

“And you have filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me bears witness to my face. (Job 16:8) NKJ

Does your face represent impatience, worry or peace? To look younger: relax, exercise more, eat nutritious food and place your trust in the Lord.

Less Wrinkly Skin = Less Sugar which is easier said than done. When it’s dreary outside my first inclination is to bake. Instead create hearty soups like vegetable or chicken noodle.

I find it ironic that  glycation, the process of metabolizing sugar in our bloodstream, attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules is called “advanced glycation end products” or “AGEs” for short.

Try Herbal Teas: Teas wash out toxins from our system and gives a natural glow. I like green tea and often consume flavored herbal teas. I especially enjoy pomegranate, berry, orange spice or acaia berry tea. Each promotes collagen production and circulation.

Increase Turmeric, Curcumin and Cinnamon: Turmeric, found in mustard, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Used for centuries in Eastern and Asian cooking, curcumin which can be purchased separately, also helps relieve acne. Sprinkle it over soup, rice, frittatas, egg dishes and I’ve sprinkled each in my coffee which created the smoothest cup I’ve ever consumed.

Probiotic Foods: Attempt to decrease the harmful bacteria in our digestion system by increasing healthy probiotic  bacteria which fight infections and acne in our skin. Garlic, onions, yogurt (containing live cultures, not pasteurized – look at the label)  Remember that healthy bacteria in our colon equals healthy skin.

Probiotics is the good bacteria found in asparagus, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, pickles and cultured buttermilk and it promotes the growth of this healthy bacteria.

Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Collard and other Greens:  These foods contain zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that evens skin tone and brings out our natural radiance. It’s best to steam these greens to increase nutritional value.

Milled Flaxseed, Avocados,Wheat Germ: Have a dry complexion? The omega 3’s in these are beneficial for retaining youthful skin. All contain ceramides, a fat molecule that locks in moisture and promotes a natural glow.

Combining Vitamin A and C foods restores collagen and elasticity.

Red Meat: Surprised? Red meat is not the enemy as claimed by some false diet gurus! Red meat contains alpha lipoic acid, another antioxidant that promotes healthy collagen and consuming it is one of the few ways to acquire vitamin B12. This vitamin will revitalize energy levels and brain function. It contains nutrients which effectively calm the body, thereby producing less skin breakouts.

Choose 3 – 6 ounces occasionally of lean red meat like “loin”, “round” or London Broil.

Pomegranate Juice, Blueberries, Cranberries and Red Wine contains antioxidants to combat free-radical damage and pomegranates are three times the most potent.

Tuna, Sardines, Oysters, Cod: Even though they sometimes aren’t the most popular fish, they contain antioxidant-protecting selenium, along with omega-3 fatty acids to prevent skin redness and irritation.

Oysters and shrimp are rich sources of zinc which prevents breakouts and restores clear skin. Zinc is also microbial; therefore will protect against illnesses when fighting a cold or flu.

With all this said, remember God cares more about our soul than our outer shell! True beauty comes from within.

Do You Enjoy Being a Human Chemistry Set?

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

I believe in eating as naturally as possible. Artificial ingredients, dyes and chemically-altered, processed food choices change body chemistry. It seems every time man comes up with a new idea: oleo versus butter, artificial sugars versus real sugar, Egg Beaters versus real eggs, God’s ideas best man’s ideas every time!

I base my personal sensible diet on Genesis 1:29 & 9:3 which encourages consumption of natural fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and herbs. Meat protein, which God advised us to consume only after the Flood (Genesis 9:3) is rich in B12, but other than that, every nutrient to sustain life as well as heal the body, is found in Genesis 1:29.

God originally designed us to live forever but sin destroyed Eden and the Second Law of Thermodynamics began to apply. That Law states that everything on Earth is winding down and wearing out, humans included.

(That alone should contradict man’s theory that through evolution, man progressed into a better life over millions of years.) But back to nutrition.

When we consume chemically modified food, those chemicals land in the liver, the clearing house for the body. Since the liver can’t metabolize these chemicals, they remain. Of course we can give ourselves a fighting chance by detoxifying our system but even then, some toxins remain. Tell me, when studying chemistry in high school or college, what happens if too many dangerous chemicals are placed in a testing tube? You’re right, most of the time, the chemicals corrode, churn and then blow up.

Do you enjoy being a human chemistry lab?  All those toxins in our body fester, create an acidic environment, ulcerate and turn into debilitating illnesses. And we have more man-made chemicals in foods than ever before!

Sadly, we can’t get away from every toxin, pesticide, fertilizer, GMO or other questionable food treatment. Life goes on and we must use common sense, trust God and live without fear or there would be nothing left for us to consume!

Also most people nowadays don’t garden and must rely on supermarkets for their food supply.  But we can certainly and voluntarily stay away from artificial  sugars, colas, chemically-processed and fast food. TIP:  If you want a soda, place seltzer water and ice into a glass and fill the remainder with orange, grape, cranberry or other quality juice. Seltzer contains no sodium, thereby you’ll keep your bones longer. High salt intake is linked to a loss of calcium and thus a deterioration of bone structure.

Organic products are wonderful but don’t be fooled. Realistically organics are only as good as the farm next to it. When the neighboring farm is sprayed with chemicals and the wind blows, unfortunately your organic farm isn’t as much anymore. And if it uses the same water supply, chemicals get into the water and affect results too. So what can you do? Buy in season and as much locally grown produce as possible or plant your own fruit trees and garden.

Bottom line: How do you think God views a Christian who purposely defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, with gluttonous, selfish desires, pleasing his body rather than his soul? You’re right, I’m sure it grieves Him or makes Him angry. Let’s strive to honor God with our bodies by remembering God’s strong Words:

“If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:17)

The SIRTFOOD Diet Plan, Fact or Fallacy?

“The Sirtfood Diet has replaced the paleo and dukan diet to become one of the most talked-about diet trends.” red-wine-and-chocolate

Lose 7 lbs. in 7 days!!!” is pie in the sky too because it’s mostly water weight not fat you’re losing.

Exchange the word trend with fad and you’d get it right. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad plan, because it will shake up your metabolism and it is only for seven days.

I dislike however how people get lured in by a celebrity rather than relying on God’s original dietary decrees. So what if Adele lost weight, so did Oprah many, many times. The only good diet is one you’ll stay on for life. (And can one develop good habits in seven days? I doubt it.)

So what’s all the hype about? What are these SIRT  “Silent Information Regulator” proteins?

SIRT1 has been around for at least a decade but all seven of the SIRT7 proteins, amino acids and enzymes cofactor with cell growth, (found in food) play a role in stress resistance, assistance in insulin regulation, reducing oxidative cell damage while increasing energy metabolism. In fact consuming all three sensible food groups; complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats will do that too. (I see a series of diets in the future using all seven SIRT’s.)

At least this plan is better than the Paleo diet because it stresses healthier nutrients like green tea, blueberries, turmeric, kale, apples, parsley and citrus fruits, even red wine and dark chocolate, wow! Resveratrol anyone? All of these are indeed excellent and effective for weight loss. But that’s how I eat now, anything in moderation without “dieting.”  (1 Corinthians 10:23)

There are several physiological truths that factor into this plan to make it recommendable. I’ve touched on many of these same truths for free:

  1. Eat for nutrients and you’ll lose weight and stay healthier.
  2. Every nutrient has a purpose and if you consume a well-rounded diet plan, you’ll naturally be healthier.
  3. An alkaline diet creates a less hectic lifestyle. Good stress = better metabolism.
  4. Fruits and vegetables create an alkaline environment, avoiding heart diseases, cancers, etc.

God’s Common Sense Free Diet Plan based on Genesis 1:29 & 9:3 stands the test of time. For the past 4 1/2 years New Creations Ministries has been spouting healthy eating plans with my mantra, Eat for nutrients!  Along comes the Sirtfood Diet Plan and voila’, all of a sudden everyone is talking about nutrients.

This diet sounds great and in some ways it is. Except it advocates easy-ways-to-lose weight loss with half-truths once again.  

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” (2 Timothy 4:3)

Where it’s off-base:

The basic premise of this “new” diet plan is simple. Starve yourself on 800/1000 calorie a day for 3 days and then consume around 1500-1600 calories per day for 4/5 days.

So let’s address this low-calorie suggestion. Whenever you commit to a starvation plan, your brain will believe you are sick and will slow your metabolism to a crawl. When you decide to eat normally, you’ll likely gain weight. It’s your body’s innate defense ability.

But does this book explain how nutrients work in conjunction with metabolism? (If not use my search engine and you’ll discover WHY.) Address cravings?  Does it teach how to create good habits, overcome temptations when pressured at a party or family dinner? Doubt it, you’re on your own then or purchase my book, “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese . . .” (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us)

Therefore exercise to maintain normal metabolism. Vary nutrient-dense foods throughout the day so your body doesn’t believe you’re starving. Increase water intake to flush ketones (toxic chemicals) out of your system.

As I said, the SIRT diet isn’t bad but is this how you’ll eat throughout life? I’d rather recommend the Mediterranean, DASH or Weight Watchers for a lifetime diet plan. Stay healthy!

 

 

 

Following an Anti-inflammatory Diet

If your physician has prescribed an ‘anti-inflammatory diet’ would you know what to eat?  Probably not. It’s one of those  “dog year” questions (relatable in practical terms.) It has to do with the pH scale’s acidic/alkaline relationship.  The more acidic one is, the more prone to illness one becomes.ph-scale

Imagine the pH scale being in a straight line from 1-14.  7 is neutral, (like pure water.) 1 is acidic, (like battery acid) and anything above is considered alkaline.  Balance is what it’s all about. Try to maintain a pH around  7.3 – 7.4.

Coffee, alcohol and soft drinks are incredibly acidic so cut down. Increase your water intake with lemon. Although you’ll notice lemon and vinegar is acidic on the pH scale, each actually metabolizes into an alkaline food. (God knew it all the time!)

The anti-inflammatory diet isn’t a “diet” as much as a lifestyle choice. One thing is certain however, not addressing your health concerns will only create larger ones down the road! Chronic inflammation is dangerous! It is not a “little” problem if you ignore will simply go away. Chronic inflammation can eventually cause intense health issues including heart disease, IBS, colitis, arthritis, dementia, kidney disease and cancers.

What causes inflammation? Stress is a major contributor and in today’s world who isn’t under stress? Find ways to relieve daily stress through exercise, relaxing bubble baths, soft music, fresh air, massages or anything that calms you besides food.

A healthy anti-inflammatory diet is on the alkaline side of the pH scale. It primarily consists of: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and whole grains such as oats, quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat (kashi).  In truth, if you eat as God instructed Adam in the Garden of Eden, you’ll add a lot more life in your years.

Every meat is acidic, especially the processed meats with dyes and chemicals such as cold cuts, bacon or hot dogs, so consume lean protein like fish, chicken, sirloin and pork loin.

Sugar and artificial chemically treated foods are highly acidic. Unfortunately so are the nightshade plants like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant. This doesn’t mean you must give them up entirely, but only consume occasionally. Balance is the key here.

Wheat, unfortunately, is on the acidic side of the scale. However whole wheat contains a great deal of fiber, so only avoid enriched breads and balance whole wheat products with more fruits and vegetables. Try to consume fiber-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes, corn, squash, alfalfa, beans and lentils. The fiber helps remove toxins from your system and avoids damaging inflammation. Increase water consumption also.

One characteristic of the anti-inflammatory diet is the recommended inclusion of omega-rich fatty acids, especially omega 3’s. These consists of milled flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil (best used cold), avocados, good fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines.

Avoid salt and choose to flavor your foods with healthy herbs. Garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and capsaicin are especially helpful with their anti-inflammatory properties!  And don’t worry about not enjoying any treats either. A good dark chocolate contains a great deal of antioxidants as does a glass of red wine.

Do you see the pattern here? You can enjoy so much more than you thought you could! Simply eat healthier and consume more whole foods to rid yourself of the artificially flavored, chemically processed boxed foods you might pick up at the supermarket for “convenience.” There is nothing convenient about pain and inflammation! Strive for a happier, healthier lifestyle.

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

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!!!

Teamwork!

As the head of our Women’s Ministry at our church, I am required to present a report during our quarterly business meeting. Thankfully our little church is growing. When we arrived two years ago, only a few did most of the work. Some were simply worn out or discouraged and I consistently heard “I just can’t do another thing, Ellie.”

Nor would I ask them to for practical reasons. God wants us to want to, not because we have to!

women-working-as-teamIf God doesn’t equip us to do certain church work, doesn’t that simply cause frustration and discouragement when we try? God doesn’t promise to bless us for activities He didn’t ask us to implement in the first place. Sure it might guilt us to seemingly do the right thing, but it’s not God’s plan. It’s actually a lack of faith to think God wouldn’t send the right person!

When I’ve been asked to run a church activity which I knew I wasn’t equipped for, I’d have no qualms about saying sweetly, “I think I’ll let someone else be blessed by doing that.” God timing is never wrong and He always sent the best person when I’ve stepped aside.

In a church setting, it’s exciting to see possibilities where individuals can reach out to others in need using our member’s diverse talents  (sewing, baking, crocheting or creating fruit/flower baskets.) And if each woman used her personal Spiritual gift of hospitality, helps, administration, Evangelism . . . it would affect the Spiritual growth of the church. Teamwork!

Since I view most things through a nutritional lens, I see a practical nutritional application here as well.

NUTRITIONALLY SPEAKING:

The body needs nutrients working in conjunction with one another to remain healthy. Every vitamin, mineral, amino acid, phytochemical and enzyme in our body has a particular “talent.” God’s gift to us is that it works in conjunction with other nutrients to spark our metabolism to proper action.

Vitamin C should combine with iron for maximum effectiveness. Potassium balances out sodium. Magnesium should combine with vitamin K and D to absorb and regulate calcium. Calcium also processes zinc and if the body doesn’t get enough zinc it can’t process vitamin A. Folic Acid interacts with vitamins B and C to synthesis amino acids and regulate blood flow.In other words: eating well produces a great team! (And some believe this all happened by chance, whew!)

Occasionally I’ll overhear the comment, “Oh, I’m cutting out carbs.” (or fat, red meat, starches, sugars.) Well wouldn’t that be foolish? What happens to a vital nutrient at that point? A metabolic player is benched!

Don’t cut out any one food group. Almost every food is a combination of carbohydrate, fat and protein. A banana begins as a complex starchier carbohydrate and transforms into a simple carbohydrate as it ripens. An avocado is a considered a veggie but is actually a fruit with its pit and is a good source of omega 3 fat. B12 is primarily found in red meat.

Keep your physical vibrancy together by consuming a well-rounded team diet. (Diet simply means what you consume each day.) Love yourself enough to think of your vital organs as separate entities, each continually working non-stop, allowing you to live an invigorated life.

“From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”  (Ephesians 4:16) 

If we respect our LORD as Leader of our team, we’ll always be winners in this life and the next!