Tag Archive | Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Many Benefits of Increasing Water Intake

If ‘dieting’ is giving you a headache, making you grumpy or feeling out of sorts, there’s an easy fix. Increase your water intake. Why, you ask?

There are many reasons to drink water and my favorite is this:

Have you ever worked in an office when someone was ill and you had to take over their job that day? What then happened to your desk? Your paperwork began to pile up, resulting in not being able to accomplish all of your responsibilities, right?

Well, God created a similar relationship between our kidneys and liver. When we don’t drink enough water, the kidneys are basically “out sick” and the liver has to take over. One of the liver’s major job is to metabolize fat, which it can’t do because it’s currently working for the kidneys. Therefore, fat cells increase. Increasing water will allow us to reach and maintain a healthy weight naturally and painlessly.

Did you think drinking water was simply to make you full? Yes, water (especially with lemon) does suppress the appetite by alkalizing one’s pH, but that’s not the main reason you should hydrate. It’s physiology. God created our bodies as this incredible machine. Women consist approximately of 50-60% water and men, 60-70%! (The more muscular, the more water you contain.)

Consider also these important incentives for drinking water:

  1. When your body is thirsty, your brain sends out hunger signals because all food contains water. Drink a glass of water and after ten minutes, see if the hunger pains depart. If you’re still hungry, eat something small and water-based, such as an apple, orange or berries.
  2. The more we eat, the more water we need to dilute our food. Eight glasses daily is a great start, but the heavier you are, increase intake. If you can’t stand water add a slice of lemon. Try pure seltzer water and add a splash of orange, cranberry or pomegranate juice for a “soda.”
  3. Besides rehydrating your skin, water dilutes your veins and improves circulation.
  4. You’ll begin to feel more energetic when you hydrate because your body isn’t resisting the toxins that tire you.
  5. Water assists in muscle tone, preventing your muscles from cramping up.
  6. Water gets rid of toxins, relieves constipation, ridding the intestines of waste, thereby allowing absorption of more nutrients.
  7. Water flushes away those toxins, making us less cranky. 
  8. Drinking more water is the best treatment for edema and other fluid retention problems. Diuretics are only a temporary solution because it forces water out of your system. Your body recognizes that’s not natural and retains water to protect you.
  9. Relieving constipation, it rids the intestines of waste, therefore allows absorption of more nutrients.
  10. We think more clearly and helps eliminate headaches.
  11. Water moisturizes the skin, making us look younger than we are! That alone is a great incentive!

What type of water is best? There’s no need to go out and buy expensive bottled water, you might not get what you think! Spring water depends on the spring it comes from, those drinking water bottles sometimes are plain tap water. I recommend distilled water in the gallon bottles.

“But Ellie, that’s what I put in my iron,” you protest. Distilled water is steamed and drips down in a purified state. It’s pure water. (Anytime an element is added to water, it takes longer for the body to break it down.)

Jesus gives us the Living Water which refreshes our Soul. Remember that’s the BEST WATER ever!

“He believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

Drink up!

 

 

 

 

Have You Tried the Sausage and Ice Cream Diet?

So how many diets have you tried already? The no-fat, no-taste diet? The no sugar-penance diet? The no-carb diet plan? The bacon and cheese diet?

By now, have you realized the only thing lighter is your wallet? This is the time of year when normally sensible humans start believing in unicorns and Big Foot.

There is no magic formula to lose those pounds. If there were, everyone would be following one diet plan instead of grasping at rainbows.

False diet gurus are nothing but modern day snake oil salesmen. They get richer while you get fatter. I’m always amazed how many believe their proclamations: “by consuming sausage and ice cream you will lose weight while remaining healthy.” Those are the same people who laugh at me, as a Christian for believing God created mankind and I trust in Him. I have physiological proof for my diet, do they?

There’s a reason God created the three food groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats – the Absolute Laws of Physics don’t change! Our bodies don’t “evolve” into different creatures!

FACT: The body needs nutrients to survive and to work as a well-run machine. FACT: The body needs balance – the three legged chair of nutrients carbohydrates, proteins and fats creates a balanced physiological system. FACT: Missing essential nutrients upsets nutrient balance, resulting in  bodily chemical chaos.

Every nutrient has a purpose. Skipping certain nutrients increases the possibility of illness such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol or worse. Without balance you set yourself up for Metabolic Syndrome. MS is similar to the domino affect. For example, consuming too much fat makes your heart work harder, resulting in higher LDL cholesterol which leads to heart disease, which leads to stress, leading to potential nerve damage – you get the picture.

To empathize how desperate people are to lose weight, I remind you of the time Rachel Ray posted this advertisement:

Wanted: Volunteers to test new diet program. Some foods are toxic and will cause blindness and death. Call 555-. . . . . . .

You think this is too farfetched? Wonder, who in the world would sign up for such a crazy plan??? Well, over 1400 people, that’s who.

Oh I’d never fall for that, you protest. Really? If you believe that the Keto Diet can assist in weight loss for a lifetime, I urge you to place oil in your gas tank and see how long that works for your car.

Even Paleo has changed their recommended diet foods to include more balanced offers. But Paleo still for some reason, rejects legumes, cereal grains and potatoes – all fibrous selections. (Yes avoid sugary cereals but Oatmeal, Raisin Bran and Kashi brands are far different from Fruit Loots. And they don’t clarify that oily French Fries everyday is far worse than a fiber-rich, nutrient-dense baked potato.) God’s diet never changes its mind.

Don’t follow blindly, question everything about a diet plan.

It’s simple: anything God created, should be fine in moderation. It’s man that messes things up. Be careful with processed foods. Consuming all those chemicals in one’s body festers inside us like a chemistry set. We all know what happens if too many chemicals come in contact with each other . . . disastrous results!!!

Try to eat as many whole foods as possible. Even eat those in moderation. I’ve even counseled overweight vegetarians. Live smartly and eat well.

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”  (Psalm 34:8)

God’s Plan doesn’t restrict your culinary enjoyment; He simply urges sensible eating!

So Today’s the Day? Start with a Basic Overview

“This is the day,” you vow.  You and millions of your closest friends pledge to lose those pesky pounds you’ve gained over the holidays, January 2nd. Good for you.

Here’s my first advice:   Don’t Stress About It!!! Anything’s fine in moderation.

Start with the basics. When a the golf pro begins golf lessons he always starts with the basics: grip, aim, stance, etc. It’s the same with a health quest: start with the basics.

Begin with realistic, smaller goals. Don’t attempt everything at once – it’s too overwhelming. You’ll get frustrated and quit. Start small:

  1. Consider why you want to change. If you’re not ready you’re simply spinning your wheels. Start when you’re determined.
  2. Recognize what you’re eating now, is it primarily processed foods or whole foods? Whole foods should be one of your first goals.
  3.  How much stress is in your life?  Stress changes chemistry into a acidic pH which creates hunger pangs and worse, illness. Practice relaxation techniques, soft music, massages, aroma therapy . . .
  4. Do you eat too quickly? Why? Do you lead a hectic life? Put that fork down in between bites and savor your food. Chewing releases enzymes.
  5.  How much exercise do you incorporate into your daily routine? Find something you enjoy; walking, gardening, pickleball, dancing . . . exercise should be play. You know: fun! It was when we were kids, why not now?
  6.  Are you skipping an entire food group because of crazy diet fallacies? Contrary to popular belief there are only three food groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. (water, mineral, vitamins are included in those basic food groups already.)

Target one unhealthy habit a week. I know, I know, we live in an instant gratification society and everyone wants instant weight loss. Quick weight loss doesn’t stay off. Physiologically, your body will rebel and hold on to calories to “protect you.”

There’s a cute saying I heard years ago which professed: Today’s generation is the only one who can stand in front of a microwave and complain it’s not fast enough!

Slow down!!! Trying to accomplish too much only leads to frustration. But surely you can overcome ONE habit and then go on to the next, right?

Conquering a bad habit by replacing it with a good one builds discipline and self-esteem.

Let’s say you want to eat healthier. Start out small – by adding more vegetables and different whole foods and less processed foods into the daily mix. Search for interesting recipes which are simple to make and chocked full of nutrients. Eat for nutrients!

“But carbs are fattening!” You declare.  Not if  you eat fruits, veggies and whole grains. In fact that’s where we get most of our B vitamins. A whole grain means corn, sweet potato, flaxseed, beans, quinoa, couscous, oatmeal, whole wheat or whole grain pasta to name a few.

Please distinguish the simple versus complex carb difference. Whole grains are packed with B vitamins. Riboflavin, Thiamine, Niacin and the various other B’s convert fats, protein and carbohydrates into energy. If you fail to eat complex carbs how are you going to absorb B vitamins? Become cognizant of what you eat.

Are you planning to weigh yourself daily? Some dieters swear by it; but I wouldn’t recommend it. A pint = a pound and sodium holds water weight. Rather weigh yourself once weekly at the same time. In the meantime, how do your clothes fit? Take a photo and compare your facial characteristics a month later. You’ll probably notice a thinner face. That’s true, noticeable progress.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” (Colossians 3:23)

This has only been an overview. In the next few weeks we’ll dig more deeply into our mental, physiological and spiritual relationship to food.

Childhood, Adulthood and Happy Thanksgiving

To quote one of my favorite sayings of a Jesuit priest, “Show me the boy at 7 and I’ll show you the man he will become.” Oh, our wonderful formative years!

What we were like as a child stays within and in a moment we become what we once were.

That seems even more true as we approach the holiday season. Next up, Thanksgiving! One holiday meant to be celebrated by eating all day.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Let’s take a quiz shall we? These personality examples typify profiles of many patients I’ve counseled:

  1. Did you expect your Mom and Dad to complete your homework?
  2. Did your “mean” parents not allow you to watch television until you accomplished your chores?
  3. Did “Some Assembly Required” drive you bonkers, but stubborn and determined you finally got it right?!
  4. Or did you give up and let someone else complete that bookshelf?
  5. Were you the first to finish projects so you could have bragging rights?
  6. Did you procrastinate, waiting until the last-minute to finish anything?
  7. Think back to high school: a. Did you join many clubs? or b. join only to quit when you got bored?

Now how did you do?

#1. Personal responsibility is a foreign concept. At work, someone else can pick up the slack . . . eventually. There’s always someone else to do your work. You’ll start a diet on January 2nd and quit by the third week.

If 2. Now you’re in charge of your life and freedom is intoxicating! You’re rebellious and can do whatever you wish! That includes eating whatever you want. You have a desire to succeed but why give up freedom for more hassle? You infrequently reach goals.

3. You’re analytical, needing proof. How does this plan work? You’ll question, dissect and figure out how it’ll be successful before wasting your time or money. In weight loss it’s the counselor’s job is to educate you on the first visit or else. Once you commit, you’re determined to finish what you started. You’re a “Mom I can do it myself!” personality.

4. If circumstances become too complicated, it’s easier to give up. That includes marriage, employment, gym membership or weight loss. You need to establish “small goals to reach goals” so you won’t feel like a failure when large goals aren’t met. Two steps backward but five steps ahead.

5. Competitive, you make life a game. Always striving for short-term goals to makes life interesting, you’ll join a sports team or gym to be the best there. However since you have perfectionist standards, life sometimes becomes an “all or nothing” encounter. Competitive, you might be the heaviest in the crowd because of you desire to be #1! “I can out eat you! Just watch!”

6. Procrastinators never seem to find an ideal time to begin. There’s always a special party or a wedding coming up. “I’ll start next week” and of course next week never comes. A procrastinator usually fears failure, rejection, sets unrealistic goals or needs stimulation to meet deadlines.

7. a. If you joined and stuck it out, your word is your bond. You value your principles and reach goals. If b. then you’ll quit everything you begin. On a diet plan, you’re always searching for another quick fix. No one holds you accountable. Beware! Learn to hold yourself accountable, developing self-discipline. Quitting does nothing for an ego except defeat it.

You’re probably a combination of the above personalities. But understand, Satan wants us to feel defeated, to say, “Well, that’s the way God made me so I guess I’m stuck.” Pity party!

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Be disciplined and conquer any characteristics that aren’t advantageous. You’re worth it to God.

(Enjoy a controlled and Happy Thanksgiving – I’ll return first week in December.)

Feeding on Ashes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I prefer to follow and profess God’s Will:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water Helps Us Lose Weight, How???

You’ve always heard how water is essential to weight loss, right?

When I asked patients to increase water intake, occasionally they’d roll their eyes. “I know, I know,” they whined, “water makes us feel fuller.” Actually drinking water doesn’t make me feel full for long, does it for you?

Or someone might challenge me with “what about that woman in 1934 who died because she drank too much water???” (Obscure example.) Of course balance is key.

Know why:

“A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

Our God is a God of balance and doesn’t make mistakes! He’s created us well. More is not better and homeostatis (balance) is the key to true health.

There are certainly important physiological reasons why we should consume water! Water is the magical elixir in optimum health and it seems so obvious.

Our body is comprised of at least 70-75% water. Our brain: 75%. H2O – the “O” stands for oxygen of course. Oxygen transports energy. Oxygen helps the brain produce neurotransmitters and hormones. We won’t have as much brain fog so prevalent as we age if we hydrate more.

Unfortunately, cell performance deteriorates as we age. It’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics – everything’s winding down.

Water fights off aging. You’ll have fewer headaches, be less tired and cranky, retain mental capacity, blood pressure will be regulated and constipation won’t be an issue. Those who consume water have a more fluid, youthful, steady gait. Our knees and joints are safely cushioned; surrounded by water.

Water allows the kidneys to do their job of filtering out toxins, making our pH less acidic. We’re sick less often. I’ve used this illustration often but it’s important enough to repeat here:

Suppose one of your co-workers fails to come to work. The boss says you’ll be required to do that employee’s work along with your own. What happens? Your desk piles up with unfinished business, right? That’s the symbiotic relationship the liver has with the kidneys.

The kidneys filter out toxins. One of the most important responsibilities of the liver is to metabolize fat. When one doesn’t drink enough water, the liver has to step in, doing the work of the kidneys and thus cannot do its primary job. Therefore the body gets fatter.

Water transports nutrients and eliminates toxins. Electrolytes can then move messages efficiently. The accumulation of toxins places undo stress on the body, going into survival mode. (Survival mode slows down metabolism!) Blood begins to flow toward our outer extremities in our “fight or flight” mentality; thus away from our digestive system, virtually shutting it down.

Water cushions our vital organs, acting as a shock absorber. Once again, lack of water produces bodily stress. Water provides oxygen and therefore assists the energy cells: (mitochondria) in energizing our body. If we are dehydrated our blood pressure increases, our urine is darker and we feel sluggish and dull-headed.

Drink pure water – it takes metabolism longer to break down elements added to water. Cold water increases metabolism a bit. (Keep a pitcher of water/lemon in the fridge.) Warm beverages are comforting, a stress reliever.

Of course there are other side benefits as well. Water plumps up our skin and keeps us looking younger. Who doesn’t want to look younger? If we fail to hydrate, we fail to rid our skin of toxins and dry skin, acne, wrinkles and sun spots increase.

Therefore, consuming water gives us not only a young-at-heart attitude but younger looks as well. Thank you God for H2O!