Tag Archive | Christian diets

If We Want to Be Great at Anything . . .

Recently I read an exceptional article by author/blogger Anne R. Allen entitled: “Don’t derail your writing career before it starts” found at http://annerallen.com.  Totally inspirational! I trust it will inspire you too!

Seeing life through a Spiritual lens, I instantly recognized a correlation between writing successfully to our Christian walk and/or healthier lifestyle.writing a novel photo

Anne R. Allen began: “We all make mistakes. It’s how we learn. But some mistakes have the potential to end a writing career before it starts. Today I’m talking about the things a lot of writers do that can keep them from having a career—or derail it for a long time. How do I know about them? I did a lot of this stuff myself.”

Ms. Allen, a brilliant, accomplished author, is humble regarding her successful career. She didn’t brag about being the best novelist since Charlotte Bronte; rather she gives credit to those around her who encouraged and assisted her toward that success. She infers how we don’t live in a vacuum; it truly takes a team to create a well-rounded work. I also acknowledge that without other friend’s expertize advising and cheering me on, my most recent work, Casey’s Journey, would have been a struggle.

Have you seen the movie, Becoming Jane or Little Women? Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott weren’t successful overnight were they? They had plenty of rejections, tossed away pages and rewritten manuscripts. Thankfully however, they never quit. But what if they had given up, discouraged by those rejection letters? We never would have the masterpieces we have today!

Compare this with any lifestyle endeavor. Please don’t derail any healthy lifestyle quest by giving up, feeling defeated or quit out of fear. As a nutritional counselor, one remark I often heard was, “Why did I wait so long to do this?!” Expecting perfection, fear of failure or even fear of success holds us back. (After all, if I’m successful in this, they’ll expect more from me!)

That victorious feeling after conquering challenges and insecurities is worth the struggle. (Which coincidentally is one theme in my first novel, Sometimes Marriage is a Real Crime, shameless plug.) We’ll continually make mistakes so learn from them and move on, strive for excellence not perfection.

It takes practice to write well. Don’t expect perfection right away or ever. My first manuscript took forever to finish because I was afraid of embarrassing imperfections and grammar mistakes. It’s been decades since I’ve attended school and punctuation has changed over the years. If we want to succeed, we must keep working at it! As a Christian, I’ll never be perfect so please don’t look at me, look to Christ.

We’ll make mistakes in our lifestyle challenges too. Regarding physical and spiritual health: Always look for Truth. Notice all the fad diets over the years? And yet if you compare those with sensible physiology, (truth) we can disregard 99% of them as fads (untruths!) It was extremely satisfying recently to discover health “experts” declaring the Mediterranean Diet as the Best of the Best. Really? I’ve been saying that for twenty-five years. It’s the Biblical Diet from Genesis 9:3 which God gave us first; Physiological Truth!

Last but not least, Anne proposed: in order to be a great writer, we need to be avid readers. If I want to write intelligent works I must read intelligent novelists. Likewise, if we desire a healthier lifestyle, we must compare current health claims to the Great Physician’s Manuscript, The Bible.

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

 

 

Advertisement

Cholesterol and Fats – The myths and the legends!!

Sally Cronin is one of the most knowledgeable and practical nutritionists I know. There is a ton of information in her article and I simply had to pass this along. Enjoy and take heed, blessings

“Okay, So What About the Paleo Diet?”

Asked about this diet recently, I have procrastinated answering, for Paleo is controversial.

thCVDZBWXFFrankly, I find the Paleo diet with its many restrictions, confusing. It ranks right up there with the Atkins and Cabbage Soup diet. It’s complicated and I failed to see many scientific facts to back up its claims. My motto has always been eat for nutrients, not calories, not fat grams nor formulaic restrictions. For as God proclaimed:

“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.”  (I Corinthians 10:23)

As for the Paleo Diet, it proclaims, “Thou shalt NOT consume . . . ” these items:

Cereals: Broad stroke of the pen here which needs clarification. There is a big difference between consuming Rice Krispies with no fiber and Grape Nuts with nearly two teaspoons. Fiber is essential for maximum health because it removes dangerous toxins from our digestive system.

Grains: Another fiber. We are to eliminate oatmeal, corn, potatoes, wheat and bread. Confusing. So whole grain fibrous bread is categorized right beside white? (White makes a better eraser than a bread.) Again no scientific evidence to back it up. I, on the other hand, have countless Bible verses conveying how our Lord ate bread.

Legumes:  This includes all types of beans, (navy, black, pinto, kidney, peanuts, etc.) and peas with 7-8 grams of fiber. What vegetable would one substitute for fiber? 28 lbs. of broccoli???

Dairy:  What? Not even high quality yogurt with all its probiotic properties to protect/build the immune system?  If one isn’t consuming 35 grams of fiber on this plan, then how do we combat the gross parasites and bacteria in our system?

Refined sugar:  There are many types of sugar but the brain feeds primarily on glucose. This diet should clarify what it means by refined sugar as opposed to glucose. Cut down and use sensibly. Anything is fine in moderation.

Potatoes?  Seriously? I’ve written about this nutrient-dense whole grain countless times already in my blog. Please use search engine.

Processed foods:  Finally, something I agree with. Processed foods are a ticking time bomb. Why place chemically processed, dyed or artificially flavored foods into your system to fester with other bodily chemicals? Especially if one is not consuming much fiber which moves toxins from your system!

And yet I found under the list of “approved” foods, bacon! Isn’t that hypocritical?! Bacon is one of the most chemically processed foods there is. Don’t tell me I can’t eat black beans but I bacon is great for me.

Overly salty foods: Salt is an acquired taste and it’s found in all foods already. Good advice.

Refined vegetable oils: I agree to a certain extent. Choosing olive, coconut, flaxseed, sesame oils or even real butter over refined oils are healthier. However I’d add canola oil with its essential omega-3 fatty acids, to the list as well as well.

So there you have it. It’s your choice. Are you going to live by strict dietary rules and regulations, as those offered in the days of the Pharisees, or are you living under grace and are free to enjoy anything in moderation?  Oh, and one more thing: you have Free Will to believe anything. I prefer to believe that my ancestors were designed and given a diet by God, not cave men. It’s called Faith.

 

Coming Soon To A Bookstore Near You!

Those of you who have been published, know it’s always so exciting to see your years of hard work going into its final production stage! I’ve been assured that it won’t be long before mine will be available. As much as I enjoy my Kindle (and this will be available as an e-book too) there is nothing like touching the pages of an actual book, agree?!

The title of my book refers to an expression I proclaimed to many a patient while practicing nutritional counseling for over twenty years: Don’t settle for second best!

This is not meant to be just another diet book; it is meant to be a positive philosophy on how to honor God with our earthly bodies by choosing wisely.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”  (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)

9781478731818_cov.ai

“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” (Nutritional & Life Lessons God Teaches Us) addresses how God never meant for us to live on complicated, fallacy-laden, restrictive diet plans which clearly reject our Maker’s fundamental psychological, physiological and spiritual truths.  God set Adam in a Garden and provided the perfect Master Plan for health.  Today however, people needlessly consume “sticks and twigs,” processed packaged foods, drink tasteless protein shakes or restrict their diet needlessly. Why?

God has already given us the perfect dietary plan in Genesis 1:29 and 9:3. Healthy living is not about denying oneself chocolate, cheese, eggs or any other food while consuming only rice cakes and celery. There is no need to suffer through some restrictive, unappetizing diet plan in the quest to obtain health. If one concentrates on nutrients, they will naturally be healthier. Since most already know that, why do we do what we don’t want to do? (to paraphrase the Apostle Paul.) We would never think of throwing trash in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, so why do we trash our own temple of the Holy Spirit with so many unhealthy foods? 

“Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” is filled with useful illustrations, realistic applications and common sense! I pray that this encouraging and intriguing non-fiction work will encourage you to tackle the many mental, physical and spiritual connections to food which challenge you. Discover your true vitality through sensible eating, honoring God in the process!

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

It’s That Time of Year Again . . .

No, I’m not talking about hearing the first Christmas Carol of the season (although amazingly I heard it yesterday)  I’m speaking of the sneezing, sniffling nose and itchy eye Fall season.  Unfortunately just when we can open our allergy seasonwindows again to let in fresh air, the pollen and ragweed seems to be most prevalent! What’s a person to do?  Prepare beforehand!

Contrary to popular belief, histamine is not our enemy! It’s simply one powerful tool God uses to balance His fantastic human creation! Histamine is an influential way the body protects us by dilating blood vessels and stimulating secretions from the glands which release protein from our cells so we can flush away foreign particles. Amazing isn’t it? . . . and some think this all happened by chance.

Antihistamines such as Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra and Triaminic, meant to protect the body are to be taken only rarely. They are drugs and therefore have side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, irritability, dizziness, irregular heartbeat . . .  oh joy.  These antihistamines were developed by man to “help” us overcome histamines. God however created natural antihistamines in food as a way to balance our system. So who do you think I put my trust in?

Please understand that I am not against drugs, only man’s chronic use of them. When God stated in 1 Corinthians 10: 13 that He would always provide a way to escape, was He perhaps including natural health remedies as well? Start now to protect your immune system through these natural antihistamine remedies found in food:

1. Vitamin C

So much to choose from: all citrus fruits, cranberries, garlic, lettuce, strawberries, mangoes, papaya, cabbage, cantaloupe, asparagus, cayenne pepper, green peas, radishes, potatoes, kiwi, raspberries, tomatoes, honeydew, pineapple, red and green peppers, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,  green onions . . .  whew, take a breath!

2. Quercetin

A powerful antioxidant that also contains  natural antihistamine properties which help stabilize cells to prevent the release of histamine. It can be found in citrus fruits, onions, garlic, apples, tea, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, legumes, berries and buckwheat.

3. Include Omega 3 Fatty Acids found in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines as well as olive, canola oil and walnuts.

4. Green, chamomile, ginger and herbal teas contains powerful antioxidant powers.  It blocks histamine production and shuts down the body’s receptors that react to allergens.

5Local Honey:  Bees of course ingest the pollen from the area fauna and then we, by consuming their local honey, can build up a tolerance against local allergy-induced causes. Add honey to the tea and Bam! You’ve got double whammy protection!

6. Hot peppers, horseradish, wasabi, cayenne pepper, spicy ginger, tabasco sauce . . .  anything that will make your nose run will clear out your lungs too, allowing you to breathe better.

7Garlic –  My favorite all round protective food, garlic can be eaten raw in salad dressings, prepared as a dip for whole grain bread or used in a myriad of recipes for beef, chicken, pork or fish and of course pasta. Garlic restores and builds the immune system!

8. The probiotic effect of Yogurt. Try low-fat Mountain High, Stoney Field Farms, Fage, Brown Cow or Dannon Natural Yogurt with berries, walnuts, sprinkled with milled flax-seed for some immune-building protection.

9. Consume even more WATER  this time of year to wash out toxins and protect your cells.free from allergy season

 “Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37: 3-4

Try God’s Medicinal Garden to have an allergy-free season!

Does Anyone Find Satisfaction in a Lifetime of Diets?

 “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly”   1 Timothy 4:7

family exercsing together

I was gently explaining to Alison, who wanted to lose nearly 250 pounds, why diets don’t work. As I began to list several of them, I mentioned the Rice Diet. All of a sudden she became enraged, ” Listen Ellie, I know the others don’t work because I tried all of them.  But the Rice Diet . . . that one works!  I know because it worked for me,  3 times!!!”

Oh my. She didn’t get it. If you lose and gain it all back (and then some), then a diet doesn’t work.

The only diet that works is one a person can stay on for life! Would you enjoy eating only cabbage soup for the rest of your life?  I wouldn’t! Nor would I want to give up chocolate or French fries forever.  Eating a variety of foods allows the body to function properly. If you only eat a fruit diet for example, your body is deprived of over 50 essential nutrients needed to sustain normal function.

In fact, dieting incorrectly destroys muscle tissue and it’s muscle tissue that burns fat. Do not destroy the Holy Spirit’s temple . . . you!

Without proper knowledge of how our body works, we’re only spinning our wheels and we’ll gain the weight back. That’s why exercise should be a daily routine.

Now I can hear you sigh, “You mean I have to exercise every day?”

“Oh dear,” I reply. “You mean I have to brush my teeth every day?” Yes. That is unless you enjoy rotting teeth and bad breath.  You choose to brush your teeth each day because the pay off is better than the alternative. Same as health.

Make exercise  fun first of all, and then incorporate different types into your routine so you don’t get bored.  Just like food!  Variety really is the spice of life. Walking, golfing, biking, gardening, dancing – it’s all exercise. Chicken, yogurt, flaxseed, fish, spinach, ice cream – it’s all nutrients.  As each exercise works different muscle groups, nutrients provide different metabolic benefits as well. Therefore we need variety.

In order to enjoy life:  relationships, exercise, food and your occupation should be satisfying.  You should look forward to playing tennis with friends, going to work and sitting down to a plate of colorful, nutritious foods. If one doesn’t find contentment, something else will fill that void.  Addictions to food, alcohol, drugs, even fad diets and exercise, numb the pain but the pain remains nonetheless. Suddenly you’re trapped in a downward spiral.

Luke 21:34 ““But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap”

Life is about choices. One can choose to be unhappy, unhealthy, suppressed – OR – vibrantly alive and spiritually fulfilled. There is only one way to be truly happy in life. Allow God to fill that physical and spiritual void with Joy.  I chose God, how about you?

Why People Quit Diet Plans

discouraged dieter (2)Has anyone ever woken up and exclaimed, “Man I’m so happy I’m unhealthy today!  Thank you Lord!”  Of course not! Then why does someone, after deciding they want to get healthier, give up?

For a number of reasons:

1.  Diet plans are too complicated.  Some require a precise formula of carbohydrates, protein or fat grams and then breaking those down into caloric intakes.  Very few people can calculate in their head to figure out fat and sugar gram  percentages.  And every food breaks down into a combination of carbohydrate, protein or fat – so how can one even determine that realistically?

2.  Some require weighing and measuring.  Who wants to weigh and measure every single item they place in their mouth forever? However, I do recommend this for a short period of time to educate ourselves on how large something is.

3.  Some expect the same results as the celebrity spokesmodel.  Those celebrities have had an entourage of help. They live in large homes with the latest exercise equipment and have access to personal chefs and a masseuse. They are offered professional counselors to whom they are accountable. And don’t forget the loss of big bucks if they don’t produce results!  That’s an incentive!

4. A plan doesn’t fit into every day life.  Does your profession require a lot of travel?  If so, it’s unrealistic to consider being on boxed meal plans. How would the meals survive a flight?  And if you drove, it would require a cooler with dry ice and a hotel room with a kitchen. And think of all those wonderfully tempting local restaurants on your drive through town? The first time you ate at a restaurant, it would off-set any weight loss progress, you’d probably get discouraged and give up. Does your job require that you meet with clients, have unscheduled business meetings, or have an unstructured work environment? Once again this type of plan wouldn’t easily work for you.

5.  Some find the plan too restrictive.  (Thou shalt NOT have chocolate!)  Do you want to give up chocolate forever?  I don’t.  Nor do I want to give up a sirloin steak or BBQ ribs occasionally. A good day-to-day diet is a well-rounded one that includes balanced meals of all three nutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fats.

6.  If it’s unbalanced nutritionally you’ll always fight cravings but think it’s simply a lack of willpower. Your brain’s hypothalamus controls your appetite and it’s like a miniature mother telling you that you’re low on a specific nutrient. It’ll nag you until you give in and restore balanced body chemistry.

7.  Sometimes life gets in the way and a diet plan doesn’t take into consideration real life routines.  What about a party?  A Wedding? A Class Reunion? A neighbor’s last-minute BBQ? A church potluck? Find a dietitian or nutritional counselor who will incorporate common-sense lifestyle practices into your daily routine.

Conclusion: Dieters get into trouble when they are swayed by unrealistic or false promises, just as Adam and Eve did at the beginning of time.

  1. A ‘diet’ is simply what one eats on a daily basis.
  2. Striving to place only nutrient-dense,wholesome foods into our bodies and building muscle which burns fat, is the key! 
  3. Health requires education, dedication, accountability and self-discipline.
  4. Understand as much as you can regarding  physiology and psychology – recognizing that God created a complicated machine.
  5. Strive for mental, physical, spiritual health, not simply weight loss, and include God as your Balance!

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.‘’  Psalm 139:14

Chew, Chew, Chew Your Food . . .

When we were children we didn’t listen to our parents, did we?  We thought they didn’t know what they were talking about. They even tried scare tactics!  “If you don’t stop pouting, your face is gonna freeze that way!” or “You know there are millions of children starving in China, so you better eat that!” . . . yeah, yeah, send it to them.

My mother, bless her heart, even tried creating a game.  She used the rhyming cadence of “chew, “chew, chew  your food . . .  ”  to “Row your Boat.”  Oh I was a stubborn kid!!!  Hated peas most of all . . .  had to sit at the table until I finished them.  Once after they left the room, I lined the leftover peas on the banister, ran in and shouted, “I’m done!”   That day I learned that peas taste better than soap.  (Today I love peas.)

As I continued my nutritional studies, I discovered my mom was smart.  It IS important to chew!  Who knew? Chewing actually releases enzymes!

What the heck are enzymes and why should I care?  Glad you asked!

Imagine your body is a new home that’s ready to be moved into, with the boxes piled up on the front lawn.  A moving company is waiting to place those boxed items inside the house; plates, small appliances, furniture, boxes of clothes and antiques, etc.  Food, packed with nutrients, are like the boxes sitting on the lawn. Enzymes are the workers who transport those items into the house.

In other words enzymes are like a “chemical moving company” packing proteins, fats and carbohydrates into boxes and placing them into the rooms they belong: kitchen, den, bedrooms . . .  Even the most beautiful crystal glasses won’t be useful if they just sit there on the lawn. Someone has to move them into their proper places or they’re worthless. Remember:  your body is the building and enzymes are the movers.

Digestion can’t happen without enzymes No vitamin, mineral or hormone can work without enzymes. Nor can we breathe, eat or walk without enzymes, so when digestion is poor, even the BEST eating plan won’t work!

Chewing food well, releases the enzymes found in saliva, the stomach, intestines and mitochondria.

  • Amylase enzymes breaks up carbohydrates
  • Protease disperses proteins
  • Lipase distributes fats
  • Cellulose digest soluble fiber
  • Disaccharidase digest sugars

Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva – the more we chew, the more enzymes we release. Digestion then stimulates the hypothalamus gland, the control center in the brain which regulates daily activities  such as appetite, nervous system, moods and the senses. Powerful, complicated stuff!  And some believe all this “complicated stuff” evolved from mud clumps!

Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for me?” 

Honestly now!! Imagine, a man and a woman evolving at the exact same time over the millions of years some believe our earth existed.  Sorry, it takes more faith to believe that then it does to believe that man was created by a Heavenly Designer.

Psalm 139:13-15  “For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful,  I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Praise God that we are fearfully and wonderfully made! Now go forth and chew!