Tag Archive | Fitness

Where’s Christmas . . .???

The other day I set out to find a small manger for a Christmas craft project I was working on. It could have been anything, an ornament, a Christmas card, even a figurine.

First I went to the Dollar Store. I found nothing Christian but two sets of Christmas cards with no manger scene on them. Next I went to Walmart (good luck there.) Nada. Then I walked through Home Depot – absolutely nothing Christian at all, but I could have purchased a red and green six foot dragon . . . what that has to do with Christmas I’ve yet to figure out.

A few days later I traveled to two shopping centers in another town. I checked out Michael’s craft store. The sweet girl acknowledged they used to carry them . . . but searching together, neither of us could find them anywhere. Neither did World Bazaar, J.C. Penny or T.J. Maxx.

Undoubtedly, I thought, Christian-run Hobby Lobby would carry a small manger scene, even if it was on a postcard! Yet once again, found nothing. I’m praying they were only sold out.

Finally I found a Lifeway Christian bookstore. Aha! I thought, of course I’ll find a manger scene here! And yes I did! It was on a box of spiced apple cider. Desperate to find anything that might work, I purchased the over-priced drink mix and cut out the cardboard manger scene on the front and pasted it on my craft project. (At least we’ll enjoy the beverage sometime during these cold winter months.)

Halfway through this hectic quest I felt like Charlie Brown, frustratingly asking where was Christmas??? I could find a plethora of Santa’s, sleighs, reindeer antlers, elf hats, chipmunks, cute bears and Grinch’s, but no Christ in Christmas!

Then I thought, I can certainly find Christmas at church.  Absolutely I’ll find Peace on Earth here during this Joyous Season. Instead I found a church member fussing in public, running around fuming, complaining, blaming others because they felt unappreciated in their position. (Hey, if your position is primarily to please people and not our Lord, get your priorities straight!)

Then yesterday, as my husband and I were finalizing the Christmas gifts and food for four community families in need; getting ready to drop off our many  congregation’s generous donations, I found it. Eureka!

THIS IS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT:  Christmas is about blessing others, not ourselves. Bringing smiles and true Joy to others!

As Jesus left his heavenly home, to be born in Bethlehem, living as a man among us, he understood that completely. He beheld some petty frustrations of his friends, as well as the slings and arrows of the Pharisees. He experienced the same feelings, joys, frustrations, challenges and laughter that we do.  He gave of himself, unselfishly. He sacrificed EVERYTHING, his very life for our pettiness, grumpiness, busyness and selfish behavior. That was the best GIFT he could ever give.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”   (John 3:16)

Christmas is all about giving unselfishly from one’s heart, as Jesus did as well.  Merry Christmas everyone – Always Remember the Reason for the Season.

 

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Green Tea on a Wintry Day Provides More Than Warmth!

What’s more comforting than a cup of tea on a frosty day? Sure, it’s nice to enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or steamy cocoa occasionally. There’s nothing wrong with that; anything’s fine in moderation! But  some experience the guilt of loading on plenty 0f additional goodies like whipped cream and cookies when trying to maintain control during the holiday season too.

A piping cup of green tea however provides so many healthy benefits, like great mental and physical health, you might offset your snack cravings.

Let’s look at Green Tea’s Benefits:

  1. Green tea is steamed rather than fermented. What that means to you is that it maintains it’s potency properties to heal quickly.
  2. Green tea protects brain cells from deteriorating and has proven to even restore cells, lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia challenges.
  3. It contains bioflavonoids which is a powerful immune system booster, reducing the risk of cancers and other infections. Scientists and doctors have tested it on those suffering from stomach, lung, breast, bladder, colon, liver, prostate, skin and intestinal cancers with great success.
  4. Its potent antioxidants (called catechins) build immunity against cancer-causing toxic nitrosamines formed from nitrates. (Bacon, cold cuts, salami and other cured meat contain nitrates.) 90% of nitrates are considered carcinogenic but surprisingly fruits and vegetables which also contain nitrates, are the 10% that aren’t. Why? Because all meat is acidic and vegetables are alkaline. More proof that cancer cells can’t exist in an alkaline environment which God knew it all along! (Please use my search engine to read my posts on the pH scale)
  5. Green tea is a detoxifier. That means that energy producing nutrients are absorbed quickly and begin to burn calories without having to battle against other toxic chemicals first within the intestines or bloodstream.
  6. It will kill the unhealthy bacteria in the mouth and on your teeth and gums. The Japanese routinely consume green tea after dessert and have far fewer cavities than western cultures. Less bad bacteria = better health overall.
  7. Green tea can lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol in your bloodstream.
  8. And of course what is good for your heart and circulatory system is also beneficial for your brain. Green tea boosts  memory retention and improves alertness.
  9. It stabilizes blood sugar. Therefore you won’t feel as hungry and it will assist with blood sugar challenges and diseases such as diabetes and hypoglycemia.
  10. Green tea contains an element which has proven to be helpful in preventing blood clots. Therefore if your family history is prone to strokes, arterial sclerosis or deep vein thrombosis, ask your doctor if this would beneficial for you.
  11. Bonus:  Drinking green tea stimulates your metabolism and burns about 100 calories daily. It transports the type of fat called triglycerides throughout your bloodstream which releases beneficial polyphenols, which in turn activate certain enzymes, burning fat.

One necessary precaution, if your physician has cautioned you against imbibing in any form of caffeine, it is best to avoid all types, even those in tea, coffee (and colas, which one should avoid anyway) until the condition improves or science proves it’s not a safety issue.

Isn’t God amazing? No wonder He placed Adam and Eve in a Garden! Some diet gurus might discount the benefits of green tea, but will quickly sell you a fad diet program or pill. Don’t be fooled. Listen to the Great Physician first.

“Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,” (Exodus 23:25)

 

WINTER HAIR CARE TIPS

The Christmas and holiday season will affect our skin and hair. This lovely lady is now following my blog and her practical tips are easy to read and follow.

Stress will affect the hair. (And you must admit this season is a stressful one!) Also all the social events, delicious but non-nutrient dense choices will wreck havick on our skin and hair. I’d also recommend a cinnamon and honey mask for your skin along with these great practices. Relax and don’t forget to breathe!!! Remember the real reason for the season, ❤

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”   ( Proverbs 31:30)

WOMEN 140

Hi friends,here I am with an another new post.In my previous post I shared my thought on how to pamper your skin during this winter season.After skin care we all think about our hair care regime because winter takes its toll with flying hair, dry scalp and styling problems caused by wearing hats. In the winter months, hair needs a lot of tender loving care.

Now that the winter months are upon us and the days are much colder, it’s time to start thinking about ways to protect our hair from the damage that the winter elements can cause. Here are some key tips and tricks to keep your hair and scalp healthy during winter.

Winter-Hair-Care-Tips

  1. CLEAN YOUR HAIR : Always make sure that your hair is clean and keep it dirt free. Pollution makes our scalp dirty,results itching problems and dandruff.One very simple tip is to wear a hat when out…

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How Do You Like Wearing Your Choices?

I Cor. 10:13,  “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide  a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

“But I have NO willpower, Ellie!”

So you don’t think you have any willpower, do you? What’s that technical term again? Oh I remember: “Hogwash!”

That same willpower which prevents you from telling your boss or that rude sales clerk what you really think of him/her, is the same willpower you should tap into to prevent yourself from losing control.  You’ve kept your “get healthy” goal for 28 days, but now you’re beginning to waver?

You have willpower, you simply have to recognize  and claim it.

Think about it logically. There are only three things that happen in any situation:

  1. The event itself.  
  2. The self talk 
  3. The reaction

Let me give you an example.  Your husband just called and suggested going out to dinner tonight to check out a new Mexican restaurant that just opened. Sounds better than the soup and salad you were preparing for tonight.  You’re very tempted. So what do you do?

That call was the event. You’re faced with a decision: stick to your weight loss plan or give i

You’ll go through a little self-talk:  I’d hate to disappoint my husband you know. The soup will save. I’ve been so good, maybe I could just give in this once. I could simply walk an extra mile when we get home tonight. But I’m sooooo on track to fit into that gorgeous New Year’s Eve dress. Do I really want to chance it won’t fit?

Finally,#3; reaction:  Whatever you decide, you own.  It was yours, no one elses.  No one else lives in your body but you!  Willpower is personal integrity – choosing to do the right thing. You already know what you should do. Talk yourself into success.

Another tip to build willpower: Tap into your visualization skills. Imagine that Mexican food smeared all over your body. Now imagine walking into the New Year’s event looking your best, most confident self!  Which is more important? A lifetime memory or a momentary pleasure? Which would make you feel more confident and special everyday, not just for one night?   That’s precisely your goal; a lifelong commitment of feeling special because you are!  Don’t give in to a fleeting moment’s temptation, be stronger than that! Feel great every day!

Create positive thoughts throughout the day to strengthen you.  Tell yourself, “I am a strong, competent person because I am a child of a very important King.” Memorize Scripture verses to assist you.

You were bought with a price by our Lord Jesus Christ. God stated that out of control eating is a disgrace to our Lord. (Philippians 3:19)

Did Jesus die for our out of control eating habits; for the sake of an entire Pepperidge Farm cake which we ate in one sitting?  Seems a little crazy, but sin is sin and Jesus died for all our sins . . . even making an idol out of food.

He’s already provided a way for you to overcome temptation. Now. Hold. Fast! Think ahead, strategize. Write down what you can do besides eat when you are  tempted: Create more flavorful, colorful meals/snacks, get out of the house, walk, avoid bringing favorite snacks into your home, watch a movie.

Be proactive – decide who is Lord of your life, food or God?

 

Enjoy the Company as Much as the Food!

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Sorry, but what better verse for Thanksgiving than this:

“whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things”  (Philippians 3:19)

It is common knowledge that between Halloween and New Year’s most people gain ten pounds. Now string that out to the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, not to mention the play-off games and we pile on additional poundage! Thinking it  over  next spring, when one’s clothes don’t fit anymore, it’s one of those “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments.

When is enough, enough? Why do our good intentions go by the wayside as we lose control at Thanksgiving, gorging ourselves on sweet potato casserole and pecan pie? Even Thanksgiving leftovers are great! Realize this day is special and still maintain discipline.

And how do we do that and not feel deprived?  It’s all about choices.

First, chew your food slowly while consuming quality nutrients.

Turkey is a lean protein with approximately 340 calories for 6 ounces. Lots of B vitamins and an enormous amount of minerals including selenium. Turkey makes us happier. Cut a smaller 3 ounce (170 calories) serving into tiny pieces, eat slowly and enjoy!

Want stuffing or mashed potatoes and gravy? Enjoy smaller portions: 1/4 cup of stuffing is 90 calories, 1/4 cup mashed potatoes is 75, a  drizzle of gravy over both is about 65. A 1/8 cup of sweet potatoes (without tons of brown sugar and marshmallows) are 40.

Your plate is already getting full!

Now you need veggies. Select broccoli or green beans (not the 225 calorie casserole!) at 25 calories per 1/2 cup or an entire cup of garden salad at 50 calories and a drizzle of  1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil and apple cider or balsamic vinegar with herbs at 60 calories.

Cranberry sauce is surprisingly high in calories. A sliver,  1/4 inch thick has 100 calories. Your choice: Is it worth it or would you rather have dessert? You’re in control of your decisions. Feel empowered yet?

A dinner roll has 110 calories, but sop up the gravy instead of buttering it, and you’ll save 60 calories towards dessert. Again consciously make the choice, “this or that.”

Without dessert, the caloric count above could total 1,000 calories, depending on your choices and drink selections.  Don’t be discouraged. Normally someone would consume 1400 to 2,500 calories daily depending on one’s weight or if he’s cutting down purposely for health reasons. It’s a special day but God doesn’t want you idolizing food!

There are specific factors that can instill discipline on Thanksgiving.

  1.  “Smoosh” out your selections so mentally it seems as if there’s more on your plate than you really have and no one will ask, “Is that all you’re eating?”
  2. At home beforehand use a measuring cup to visualize sizes before spooning out selections.
  3. Make this holiday a social occasion and not an eating occasion. Enjoy fellowship and stretch out the meal. It takes twenty minutes for one’s brain to recognize it’s full.
  4. Sit with your back to the food if your family serves buffet style or when done, remove your plate (or yourself) so you aren’t tempted.
  5. Drink only water with lemon with your meal and save even more calories! A 5 ounce glass of red wine has 125 calories.
  6. Take a walk after dinner. The fresh air will invigorate you and burn calories.

Wait to eat dessert.  Choose pumpkin pie over apple today. A 1/8 serving of apple pie is about 410 calories, pumpkin is 200 and pecan, 480 (with a dab of whipped cream increase those by 65 calories.)

Enjoy, don’t stress. God Supplies Bountiful Blessings; so please remember those today. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Are You Goal-Minded or Wandering Aimlessly?

My husband and I have crossed this country twelve times, as well as lived and traveled extensively in Europe. During my husband’s military career, when it was necessary to transfer to a new duty station, I would always be curious about our next home. I’d research as much as I could about the area, contacting the Chamber of Commerce for information, search for a realtor and so on.

As we traveled, we always had a map and a daily mileage goal. Without an intentionally defined goal we would have wandered aimlessly. We probably wouldn’t have reached our destination without a lot of frustration.

Doesn’t that also sound like many without a clear health goal?

The same principle applies. Before a smart person can accomplish an objective, they lay out a strategy of how to get there. As much as we’d like a “beam me up Scottie” instantaneous weight loss result, it’s not going to happen this side of Heaven. Besides that, the journey is as important as the destination. If we could have instantly arrived in Monterey, California from Washington DC, we would have missed the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Graceland and so much more! What a loss.

With health goals, you’d also be missing out too. Since 0nly you physically live inside your body, only you can develop strategies, overcome challenges, gain confidence and become victorious.

Don’t make goals complicated. Start with only one and build upon it.

Write out realistic goals and track progress.

In spite of advertising claims proclaiming, “you can lose 10 pounds in a week!” it ain’t gonna happen healthily! It takes 3,500 calories less each day to lose one pound of fat. Do you even consume that many daily calories daily? (Probably the only time I did was on a cruise and I was miserable!)

A slow, steady weight loss of 2, maybe even 3 pounds per week will allow your body to adjust and keep the weight off. If you lose too quickly your metabolism slows; believing you are ill, it attempts to hoard calories as protection.

Remember anyone can lose weight on fad diets but as a nutritional counselor for over twenty years, I haven’t met ONE person who kept it off on a crazy diet. Why?

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire”  (James 1:14)

Analyze why you eat as you do, (another blog.)

Eat for nutrients!

If you consume good quality nutrients, your body receives all you need for healthy living, creating an active metabolism. Then you’ll overcome cravings when, for example, your brain’s hypothalamus nags you for magnesium. Of course broccoli contains magnesium, so does chocolate – which one do you think you’ll choose?

Create small, reachable goals and make them fun!

Create a weekly spread-sheet chart. For each pound lost, fill in a block. For every five pounds you lose, reward yourself with a non-food reward. The more lost, the larger the reward: bath salts, body lotion, nail polish, new scarf, a book (maybe mine?) a CD, DVD . . . then a BRAND NEW CAR . . . sorry just kidding.

One important factor in weight loss: the only good diet is one you’ll be able to live on forever. God doesn’t expect you to suffer through rice cakes, sticks and twigs. He provided a bounty of natural, fantastic foods to enjoy. The more your body consumes nutritious choices, the more junk food cravings will disappear. Trust me, it happened to me.

Lastly, establish a close support group of positive, encouraging friends!

“Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.” (Proverbs 11:14)

 

Godly Wisdom Wins Every Time!

In Mathew 8:5-13 we learn of a Centurion who walked twenty miles along treacherous roads. Coming before Jesus, he asked him to heal his physically ill servant. Do you think the centurion consulted with  every physician, faith healer and specialist in Capernaum before he searched for the famous miracle worker whom he had heard turned water into wine? Possibly.  He was a product of his culture and the common practice of his era.

When we become desperate for a solution to our weight or health problem we might also; but only after attempting 28 possible solutions first, right? For aren’t we a product of our culture today? Instead of falling on our knees and asking Jesus first for guidance with any challenging situation, we seem to have a very common mind-set heard today, “Well, when all else fails, pray!”

I know, I know, twenty-twenty hindsight is perfect isn’t it? You might shake your head in disbelief but historically man hasn’t changed in over 2,000 years has he?

Let me give you an example of what I encountered as a nutritional counselor.

Working with doctors, I met with patients who had attempted countless popular diet plans. It seemed they tried every type of diet except what God set down in the Garden of Eden. Paleo, Atkins, Rice Diet, Protein shakes, weight loss pills . . . even a cookie diet! (Cookies, really???)

These upset the patient’s physiological well-being, creating a chemical imbalance, contributing to symptoms of diabetes, kidney stones, heart conditions, high cholesterol and countless other ailments. Many had now become obese due to “yo-yo” dieting.

Those patients came to me defeated, miserable, frustrated but hopeful someone knew how to rectify their complicated physical ailments. That’s true, someone wiser than me did and that’s our Heavenly Designer, God.

Have you seen all the diet plans out there? Most are unbalanced at best, dangerous at worst. God gave us the perfect diet: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and herbs. (Genesis 1:29) All fibrous foods. Then after the Flood He advised us to eat meat if we desired and we would remain healthier.

Restrictive and other crazy diets don’t work! Taking away nutrients only makes us weak in other physiological areas. A diet of only fruit doesn’t allow us to absorb 50 other necessary nutrients. Starvation only slows our metabolism if it doesn’t stop it completely.

Anything in moderation, God declared. (1 Corinthians 10:23) But nope – that’s not good enough for us. There must be something new and improved, right? Surely in 2,000 years a new diet has been discovered that is better than God’s plan!

God gave us a brain, let’s use it! Base our daily diet on what and how God wanted us to eat originally. Do you really think God created bananas, avocados, potatoes, sugar and then cried out, “whoops!!!”  No, that was man’s doing. A wise person takes care of his/her “earthly tent.”

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”  (James 1:5) HCSB

The more science discovers about our bodies, the more intricate we can see the Hand of God involved in it. To me, science actually proves the existence of God, (like He needs proving in the first place.) Do you really believe that the complicated, intricate, bacterial flagella simply evolved out of thin air or crystals rather than by Godly Design? It takes more faith to believe that, then it does that God created the heavens and the earth. But I’m not going to argue with you because Truth wins every time. Now or eternally.