Tag Archive | healthy-living

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)

Keeping our Brain Young Thru These Food Choices

God gave us a brain for a purpose and we should always aspire to honor God in the way it is used!

 “Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind?”  (Job 38: 3)

I love lists and to this day create lists as I head out to the grocery or department store.  Internet lists are also enticing to me. I especially get hooked by those intriguing articles that bait: “The Best Cities for Dog Lovers,” “100 Best Movies in History!” or some such title.

th[7]Anyway, if you enjoy fun facts as much as I do, here is my personal list on “Food Facts to Keep Brain Cells.”

Did you know . . . ?

Prunes, raisins, garlic, blueberries and blackberries contain so far, the highest rated ORAC’s (oxygen radical absorbency capacity) which determine the strongest antioxidant values of any fruit and vegetable tested.

Commercial grape juice and tomato juice surprising contain more antioxidants than the same fresh produce in the produce aisle?

Spinach, blueberries and strawberries improve short term memory! Any antioxidant will protect brain cells but these three actually restore brain receptors.  Strawberries with walnuts on a spinach salad with a little olive oil is really brain food!

Blueberries will help restore balance and coordination. (Which is important since we tend to lose those as we age.)

Green tea versus black tea: Green is higher in one antioxidant (50 cent word alert: epigallocatechin gallate)  but black tea is higher in all-around antioxidant potency. Those pre-packaged mixes contain little if any antioxidants, so brew your own.

Pregnant mothers especially, should be consuming eggs for the brain health of their babies. (As we all should.)  Eggs are one of the few foods that contain the amino acid, choline. And many dieters stay away from eggs mistakenly believing they are fattening.

The brain feeds primarily on glucose derived from complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. Fruits contain more ORAC’s overall than vegetables, although kale, spinach and Brussels sprouts rank very high. Although you will derive quick energy from a Snickers bar, you are consuming empty calories! Not recommended.

Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, milled flaxseed and fish oils keeps your brain cells flexible and fluid.

Eat Fish! Fish oil is amazing! It restores concentration through the brain/blood barrier, speeds up brain waves, calms mental stress and relieves depression. So eat fish, especially the fatty fishth[5] like salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel.  Brain cells are lined with Omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation. Therefore these good fats keep cells fluid, elastic  and fights inflammation. If you absolutely hate fish, then at least take a fish oil supplement such as cod liver oil.

Dark Chocolate boosts antioxidant protective polyphenols properties higher than red wine.

Now Change These Habits:

Quit Smoking! Smoking constricts major blood pathways to the brain which eventually decreases memory and mental capacity. Quit this filthy habit which has no redeeming value and hurts all around you, either through the air they breathe or the pain they’ll suffer when you become incapacitated!

Cut down on sugar! Did you know that high blood sugar stimulates a thickening of the blood vessel walls? No pun intended but think about that! How long do you want to retain your brain cells . . . perhaps just a little longer?

Try reducing colas and caffeinated products which can cause an imbalance in our bodily functions; increasing anxiety, sleep disruptions, higher blood pressure and ages cells. (2 cups of coffee or tea is fine.)

All through life, honor the LORD.

 “So I turned my mind to understand, to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things . . .” (Ecclesiastes 7:25 

 

No Such Thing As “Free” Food!

chinese buffetEver go to an “all you can eat” Buffet and rationalize, “I better eat enough because after all, it’s free food!” Six plates of food and five desserts later, you’re not feeling so great about your decision.

News Flash: “All you can eat” is never free. Overindulge and there’s a price to pay. It hangs on to you like a demon, causing heart and cholesterol problems.

When you think about it, nearly every disease can be traced back to what we place in our mouths. Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers, gout, diverticulitis . .  . it’s sad but basically true.  Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we self-destruct our precious temple of the Holy Spirit?

We wouldn’t think of entering the Temple of Jerusalem and throwing trash onto that sacred floor, would we? But in essence, that is exactly what we are doing when we consume all those processed meats, artificial chemicals and fast foods everyday. Trashing our personal temple.

Remember, food isn’t necessarily good or bad, it is simply food, a way to convert nutrients into energy. Anything’s fine in moderation, but consuming junky foods everyday leads to illness, denigrating our earthly temple.  Have we ever contemplated how our out of control actions delights Satan who despises our Lord and any who follow Him? By losing control over food, we make it an idol. We are worshipping at our personal “Temple of the Krispie Kreme.”

Joshua 24:15 “

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15, NKJV.

Choose this day whom you will serve! . . .  As for me and my house, I will serve the Lord!  Now it’s your choice. Please don’t create a graven image in the form of a donut or a potato chip.

But It Won’t Be There Tomorrow!  If you grew up poor, during the depression or in a huge family where you had to grab it before it was gone, you might also not believe food will be there tomorrow.  Your subconscious mindset is; “I better eat my fill today, while I can, before it’s all gone.”  That’s false thinking!

Talk yourself into success, creating a plan beforehand to foster self-control.

  • Remind yourself that food isn’t your controller!
  • Remember food isn’t free, eating too much at a buffet affects all your bodily functions. Choose health!
  • Visualize yourself in a battle with Satan. Are you going to let him win? NO! Believe 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  Tell Satan, “I win, you lose! Ha, ha!”
  • Socialize with others as you eat. slow down and concentrate and enjoy what you have on your plate. Remember it takes 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
  • Eat something small and healthy before going out, so you won’t be ravenous when you arrive and overindulge with the lust of the eyes. 1 John 2:16.
  • After being victorious, reward yourself with a non-food item, such as a hair product, hat, book, exercise video, sunglasses or movie when you overcome temptation.

Recite Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” and just do it!

Desiring To Be Intentionally Fit? A Must Read!

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” 

                                              (Philippians 2:12)                                                                

Inspirational author Mary Graziano Scro, epitomizes the total mind, body and Spiritual connection to fitness in her new book, Intentional Fitness: Working Out Your Salvation.Intentional Fitness  As Mary asserts early on, “Only by being intentional in our Spiritual life can we become intentionally fit in our personal lives.” So True!

Ms. Scro stresses that our life’s goal is not for man’s adoration but to honor and glorify our earthly body for our LORD.  Each of us should strive to be healthy, not only to be physically fit but to ultimately honor God and live as He designed us to live; with energy, vitality and True Joy.

Why then, when we desire to become healthy, certain obstacles prevent us from accomplishing that feat? Mary urges us to not believe Satan’s lies. The devil has no power over you unless you allow him to fill your mind with defeat. You are an imperfect being, so what? Aren’t we all? God understands our imperfections and is ready to restore us if we seek Him.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The author addresses the fact that to fully accomplish any health goal, one must understand how our inward thoughts and actions affect us. Recognizing what ingrained habits and thought-patterns obscure our path will allow us to rid ourselves of any sinful baggage which holds us back. Only then, using Godly principles, can we strive for success.

Intentional Fitness is aimed at dispensing practical applications and steps to reach personal goals and provides in-depth, thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter. Since each of us have different personalities and trials to overcome, each question will assist the reader in discovering what motivates his/her mind-set and actions toward victory or failure.

A1tH-+XJslL._SX80_[1]Wonderfully written and presented in her humorous, encouraging and motivating writing style, Mary Graziano Scro’s inspirational book is a short 108 page easy-to-read delight. Mary discloses personal analogies and illustrations which many of her readers will relate to. Her testimony of how she met her husband is priceless! She reveals how God answered her prayers and met her needs and will do so with you as well, if you are truly ready to lay your burdens down and let God take over.

Intentional Fitness: Working Out Your Salvation can be found on Amazon.com for only $2.99!  For that price you can even purchase an additional one for a friend!

 

Retaining a Healthy Control at Holiday Functions

party foodIt’s quite common at this festive time of year to overeat rich, decadent foods. It seems our will power is challenged greatly and can easily go out the window at the first sign of chocolate! How can we stay healthy while partying with family, friends, our church congregation as well as at employee Christmas parties during this season?

Let me tell you, it’s not easy but it can be done.

Be prepared. You already know Aunt Martha will bring her creamy, “to die for” chocolate peanut butter torte. So your choices are as follows:

Avoid consuming something else at the function that’s fattening. It’s not complicated; it’s simply an exchange method. Don’t eat mashed potatoes or buttery bread so you can enjoy a small slice of that torte for desert without guilt feelings. You’ve remained in control while selecting something you really desired. It’s being out of control that destroys us. Don’t allow food to become your idol by craving it more than a Christ centered mind-set!

You can work out the next day (and the following week as well, if you really pig out!) This is another trade-off method. Health has a cost and food is never free! Temptation will hang on you like a demon, destroying your temple of the Holy Spirit. But God is not a wicked parent who wants to take away your desert simply because you’ve been bad. He gave us free will and the good news is: you get to choose.

But not all choices are wise.

“Everything is permissible” . . . but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” . . . but not everything is constructive.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Conquer your cravings by beating them into submission. Okay, you ate it, you own it; now what? Remember to choose some type of exercise which is fun! Exercise shouldn’t be drudgery. By choosing what you enjoy, once again you are in control. Ask a friend to walk with you or walk your dog. Play in the snow, dance with your children, Zumba, jump rope, bike, play indoor tennis or buy a new exercise equipment or video.

Know yourself! Are you competitive, a socializer, shy or have a curious personality? Your temperament indicates how you’ll subconsciously react at functions.

  • If you’re a curious person, you’ll try some items simply to discover how they will taste.
  • If you are introverted, you’ll eat to keep your hands occupied
  • and a social person is a people pleaser; sometimes trying items simply to tell the creator how delicious and enjoyable something was.

Now none of these are wrong, well, unless you are out of control. (Are you recognizing a theme here?) Embrace your personality or change it, striving for excellence. Your choice.

Don’t go to any activity overly hungry! If you are starving, you’re tempting yourself to lose control. And if you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, you’ll lose even more control. Common sense; about an hour before you leave, have a piece of fruit with a little bit of peanut butter (for complex carbohydrate, fat and protein balance) and a cup of herbal tea.

So there are just a few ways you can enjoy your holiday parties without beating yourself up the next day. If you have additional suggestions to help others let me know. Thanks and blessings for a safe and controlled season

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”  (Colossians 3:2)

So A Funny Thing Happened On Our Way to Florida . . .

So Goodbye Arizona:

At our age, it seemed no one wanted an enthusiastic but older couple who simply wanted to follow God’s leading into ministry. With 27 years of schooling, a Seminary Master’s degree and two photo of Dave and Ellie 2Doctorate’s, who wouldn’t want my husband as a teaching pastor?  However, sending out resumes and receiving countless rejection letters became discouraging. News Flash: If you’re on a search committee, please don’t send a rejection letter stating you’ve decided to go in a “different direction.”  As Christians, Dave and I are going in the right direction, where is your church going???

So we then contemplated moving to The Villages in Florida, complacent to teaching adult Sunday School.  You know . . .  somewhere, hot , sunny and warm. Nearer our children.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression,  “Man plans . . .  God laughs?”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

“Out of the blue,” we received a call. A small town church in Ohio was looking for a compassionate pastor who would take the helm and grow their church.  After much prayer, many conference calls and a personal visit, we fell in love with the warmth of the congregation, (which more than substituted for the warmth of Florida.)

Arizona is a snow bird location but sadly the economy here hasn’t risen as other areas have. Everyone told us the prospect of selling our home quickly was remote, usually taking an average of eight months to sell. However we had a secret weapon: the Will of God! Faith believes that if God wants a mountain to move, it will move.

“There is no coincidence with God.” 

I’m hardly ever out in my front yard (everyone lives in their gravel-based backyards in Arizona)  but 7:30 that morning I was out sweeping off my walkway, preparing for a large realtor tour in a couple of hours. A man coincidentally drives up to our sign out front and picks up a flyer. He glances over at me and asks enthusiastically if I am the owner? When I confirmed I was, he wondered why his realtor hadn’t shown him this beauty before? Of course I joked it was even prettier inside.

His name was Bob from New Jersey. He was on a mission, here for only three days, searching for a home for his wife and him in a warmer climate. Would it be possible on short notice to view our home? He came by with his realtor immediately after the tour and within three hours we accepted his cash offer. He generously offered to purchase some of our furniture which he didn’t know, I had been praying to sell anyway.

Another coincidence was, that very morning at 6am, (9am Ohio time) we had been notified that our offer on the home we desired in Ohio had been accepted!  And the street name of the new home?  It happened to be my sister’s name who lived 75 miles away.  Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

So goodbye my beloved Arizona, goodbye cowboy hat and hello new adventure as we follow God’s chosen pathway for us. I want to  especially thank Pastor Sebastian Weaver,  Pastor Joe Quatrone and Storyad for their continuing, encouraging prayers for God’s Will to be done in our lives and the acceptance of whatever that might be!

 “For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”  (Ruth 1:16)

 

 

 

Thanks for the Versatile Blogger Award!

versatile-blogger[1]

I’d like to thank my good friend and versatile blogger himself, Liam, for another sweet award nomination; The Versatile Blogger Award. Appreciate his thoughtfulness but  need a larger home with a bigger mantel.

As the award states, I must tell you 7 interesting aspects of my life and nominate up to 15 others to pass it along.

Okay, so here’s the list:

1.  I haven’t blogged much over the past several weeks due to revising my book  “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese ” (Nutritional and life lessons God teaches us) for publication. It should be coming out the end of July. So exciting!!! Stay tuned!

2.  I was a tour guide in Europe for several years. Couldn’t believe I actually got paid for that fun job!

3.  I personally enjoy a wide range of reading genre’s, from apologetic Christian books to Jodi Picoult novels. Love “what if” intelligent works.

4. I don’t enjoy eating at restaurants but love to create my own recipes at home.

5. I was so crazy about horses as a child I created lots of stories about them. Now I blog about my dogs every once in a while, 🙂

6. Was always petrified of snakes and once got caught on our crossing bridge as a kid by one and screamed so loudly our neighbors from a quarter mile away came running!

7. Almost moved to Australia. We sold the car, got all the shots, my husband had a job lined up and then he was drafted. It became a road not traveled but I sure love all my Australian followers – so I guess I live through you all.

 

Okay, your turn:  My nominees to pass on the award.  Have fun!  All of my followers are fantastic and most of these are newer and yet have become great friends across the miles already. Wish I could nominate all of you.

  1. http://vanessaifm.wordpress.com
  2. http://storyland4.wordpress.com
  3. https://kimgosselinblog.wordpress.com
  4. http://chunkietocutie.wordpress.com
  5. http://lorriebowden.com
  6. http://iamavesselofgod.wordpress.com
  7. http://ohthethingsweshallsee.com
  8. http://idiotwriting.wordpress.com

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”  Philippians 1:3