Tag Archive | Nutritional education

Standing Fast for the Truth

It’s been about three weeks since you’ve begun your yearly “diet” program. You’ve trudged along, lost a few pounds but in your opinion, the weight isn’t coming off quickly enough. That “Lose 10 Pounds in Ten Days!” starts to sound really inviting. Please, please don’t fall for something that sounds good but isn’t nutritionally sound. delcious-salads

First there is no way anyone can lose 10 lbs. of dangerous fat in 10 days. 3500 calories will create one pound. How many calories do you consume daily? Right. So even if you starved yourself, eating nothing for 10 days you wouldn’t be healthy or lose 10 lbs. Instead you would lose muscle, brain, bone and heart muscle while your body searched for ways to keep your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate= the rate your body consumes calories) healthy. I don’t know about you but I don’t have that many brain cells to lose at my age!

Sometimes I feel like John the Baptist professing Truth among many false gods. Over the past 60 years, health fads created by false diet gurus have come and gone. They cry out, “I have the answer!” which become the no-carbs, all-carbs, no fats, mostly fat, only fruit, no sugar, high protein, even a bacon diet plan emerged over time! People will believe what they want to believe and the majority of diet plans out there aren’t proclaiming Truth.

First we are all uniquely made so of course all diets work for some people. However some are actually unbalanced and harmful to us, like diet pills and cutting out entire food groups. For example: high protein diets. The body can only tolerate so much protein before the kidneys start stressing out or even failing. If the kidneys are stressed, the liver must take over, doing the work of the kidneys. Do you know one of the primary function of the liver? It’s to metabolize fat.

One of my favorite sayings is a Chinese one stating, “Even if 5,000 men are wrong . . . they are still wrong.” Don’t follow the crowd going in the wrong direction on the Poseidon.

Stand for Truth. Start reading about physiology. You’ll develop confidence when you understand how God created our body to function. Consume a variety of nutrients. All nutrients have a different purpose and work for true wellness.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”  (2 Corinthians 4:16)

You can be healthy this year and not suffer! The primary way to safely lose weight and inches is to the old standby:

  1. Eat for nutrients. That means a variety of complex carbs, lean protein and good fats like omega 3’s. Choose various colors, food groups and remember anything’s fine in moderation.
  2. Drink water. Add lemon or fruit to make it a more alkaline and flavorful choice. Ditch the sodas!
  3. Exercise – find something you enjoy: dancing, biking, hiking, skiing, tennis, etc.
  4. Avoid food temptations – don’t bring them into the house, not even “for the kids.” (If you were an alcoholic would you bring alcohol into your home, resisting that challenge each day? So why bring cupcakes, potato chips or candy into your house? Why get the children addicted?)
  5. Stop gobbling your food! Savor it and enjoy the taste and texture of food for twenty minutes, the time it takes for your brain to know your stomach is full.
  6. Find some smaller plates instead of the ones used at King Henry VIII’s banquet. You’ll feel like you’ve eaten more because your brain tells you that.

Keep striving for your best! You can do it!!!

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Strategies to Keep Your Bones

Love that Arizona sunshine! It’s a loyal friend to anyone who enjoys walking because vitamin D is captured through sun exposure. Walking and lifting weights restores bone and builds muscle! Muscle efficiently burns fat. Two great combinations!

walking in the desertBeing small-boned, I’ve been steadfast about keeping beneficial bone as I’ve aged. Playing tennis, running, carrying my golf clubs, cross-country skiing – never thought I’d have to worry about osteoporosis. Wrong. It’s also an inherited disease.

Here are some tips so you can fight it every step of the way, pun intended, as I do.

Some in order to lose weight, will give up certain foods they consider fattening: nuts, dairy products, even fruit. All these protect against osteoporosis. You might be thinner but you’ll also be shorter!  Some mistakenly believe that since fruit contains sugar they should avoid it because insulin levels will rise, and in response, cravings too.  Well, I’ll tell you how smart God is: fresh fruit has fiber, especially in the skin like pears and apples. Fiber allows insulin to be released more slowly into the system, thus stabilizing blood sugar.  Now I’m not recommending a fruit salad, but fruits shouldn’t be discarded altogether when losing weight.

Since my mantra is; Eat for nutrients, reach for foods containing vitamins D, K and minerals calcium, magnesium and lessor known manganese and boron to sustain bone. The average person should incorporate at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 IU’s of vitamin D into their daily diet to maintain strong bones. Anyone over 50 should increase that amount to 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 IU’s of vitamin D.

God created one magnificent machine. Our body works together with Designed purpose. Without the mineral boron for example, it’s difficult for it to retain its calcium and magnesium levels. Simply drinking milk or eating a daily yogurt won’t guarantee strong bones.

  • Boron can be found in red grapes, apples, pears, apricots, prunes, dates, bananas, raisins, red wine, avocados, walnuts, cashews, peanut butter, pinto beans and legumes.
  • Boron also works to boost hormonal estrogen levels in the blood, keeping us emotionally balanced.

Dairy products are likely the first foods most think of when discussing bone retention:

  • The current fad is Greek yogurt which through the straining process contains more protein but up to 3x’s less calcium.  I prefer Stoney Farms, Mountain High, Dannon Natural and Stonyfield yogurt. 
  • 2% milk doesn’t mean 98% fat-free. To illustrate, visualize a carton of water containing only lemon juice.  Add a tablespoon of oil to the carton. Now 2% of the volume is fat and 98% isn’t. Therefore the manufacturer can claim it is 2%.  Tricky huh? Don’t be fooled, read the label and divide fat against total calories. Skim or 1% milk products contain more calcium %.
  • Cheese:  the lighter in color the less saturated fat it contains.

Giving up eggs? Eating only the whites? Another fad. Vitamin D is in the yolk, not the whites.

Ditching Grains? Giving up fortified cereals will give up your bones too. I love Great Grains with all the necessary ingredients for great bones: raisins, dates, pecans, fortified whole grains.

Fish is a necessity: salmon, tuna, sardines, crab, clams, trout and oysters contain calcium and beneficial vitamin D.

Drink pineapple juice, with seltzer water for a manganese infused drink instead of soda.

Avoid high protein diets which deplete calcium.

Cut down on caffeine and sodium.

Remember K for Kale! Also broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, collard and other leafy greens.

Walk daily. It literally restores life to your worn-out bones and prayerful praises to your spirit!

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25

Crack Your Shell To Be Useful

I’ve loved walnuts since I was a child. Those beautiful trees grew close to our farmhouse and I remember my brother and I gathering the nuts that fell to the ground and carrying them in to the kitchen. Our mother would ask us to crack the shell to remove the walnut meat inside. Then she would create wonderful recipes through the results of our hard work; coffee cakes, breads, even home-made ice cream.

Recently I failed terribly at something I wanted to do gloriously for the Lord. I prayed and studied that as a substitute teacher, God would be glorified through what I taught! I prayed all week and the Holy Spirit seemed to give me powerful illustrations to connect to that week’s Biblical text. Sadly, life stepped in, I lost my confidence (which rarely happens) and I failed miserably when I tried to convey the spiritual truths God gave me. It was just what Satan discouraged personwanted. I could almost hear him taunting, whispering in my ear, “Did you really think you could be as good as the regular teacher? She’s amazing!” The devil won that round because I became discouraged.

As I sat dejected, I began to think of those early spiritual leaders in the Bible who also became discouraged: Abraham, Moses, Job, Elijah, Peter, Paul . . . my goodness – did I think I was stronger than they were? Not even close! I began to praise God for my failure, for without it, I might have become complacent and prideful.  Those biblical figures didn’t wallow in self-pity but drew themselves up and did what was right for their LORD! No excuses, they confessed their insecurities and lack of faith and went on!

Hebrews 12: 11-13, “ No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

Remember the walnut? It is only after it’s been broken that it can it be useful. To simply remain in its shell would be purposeless. No bountiful recipe could be reaped. Occasionally God must break our human shell so the Holy Spirit can fill us, thus becoming a sweet Christian recipe. I felt useless and needed the meat of the Word to mend my broken spirit.    imagesCAIJ3M75

It’s ironic that walnuts are sometimes called the “King of Nuts.” They are valueable for health in many ways, but two ways are especially useful:  antioxidant, anti-inflammatory heart properties and for strengthening bone health.

Yes my sad, heavy heart needed restoring. It wasn’t long before the Word of God with its own anti-inflammatory properties, strengthened me. Asking for forgiveness, He raised me up with His gentle arms setting me on the right path once again. His powerful Words restored and strengthened my weary bones, giving me the determination to learn from my mistakes. I shook my fist in the devil’s face, prayed and searched for the good things this learning experience brought me.

I now praised God for failure! If you are also attempting to overcome obstacles, don’t give up at the first sign of adversity – don’t give the devil a foothold, eating away at your faith. Remember the shell must be broken before the results of goodness can be found!

John 16: 33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Are You the “Jonah” of the Family?

 

“What do you mean, am I the Jonah of the family?”

Well, how do you respond to God’s commands?  If God calls you to complete some specific godly task in life such as; witnessing to a neighbor who needs comfort, offering to clean the church, giving up fattening food because it’s a stumbling block to your children, do you comply or rebel?  Please remember if God asks us to do something and you rebel, you alone won’t be affected by the consequences.  Your friends, family, church members and perhaps others will be as well. Do you face or run away from your responsibilities?

Look at Jonah. When God asked him to go to Nineveh, he foolishly ran from God, trying to sail away from his obligations. But the Lord sent a storm which affected not only Jonah, but the entire crew of the ship.  That got his attention.

Now even though we might laugh at Jonah’s utter foolishness in thinking one can run away from God, (He’s everywhere) do we act any better at times? What Christ-like examples do we set?

God wants us to control ourselves to demonstrate a well-developed, disciplined life: 1 Peter 1:16,  because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

When God asks us to exemplify higher standards to our families and yet we continue to consume an abundance of rich junk food, don’t you think God notices?  To correct our resistant, foolish direction, He might allow the consequences of that behavior to catch up with us. We might develop a simple belly ache or something worse like diabetes.  Well that certainly got our attention right?!   Part of correction is to teach us patience, humility and obedience.

Now the question is, since He has our attention, do we turn from our wicked ways and start living and eating right or do we shake our fist at God and defiantly demand, Why did you allow this to happen, growing even more defiant, running away from God?

As believers, we are jeopardizing our individual temple of the Holy Spirit. We wouldn’t even think of entering the Holy Temple of Jerusalem and throwing trash on the floor, but that’s what we’re doing when we consume trashy, chemically laden food.  We shouldn’t be so flippant about our bodily temple because that’s neither reverent nor respectful.  God will get our attention in any way He can because He loves us.  He does not ignore disobedience, as Jonah discovered, no matter how much we feel we “got away with it.”

Now how does that relate to health? Well, God’s culinary rules are not difficult to understand and we should never disregard the commands of God to be holy! Eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, drink water and exercise. Listen to that still, small godly voice when you are faced with a challenge to do otherwise. God told us everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23) so enjoying a piece of chocolate isn’t bad.

The devil might be whispering “that food’s bad for you” but no food is good or bad, it’s simply nutrients, so choose the best. If you can control your emotional eating, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while. If not, resist temptation, go for a walk. Or eat and choose something lighter for dinner. But saying God’s creation of natural food is bad, is actually saying that God created something bad. What an arrogant slap in the face of God! Don’t do that. Honor the bodily temple God gave you!

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 ” Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

The Seabiscuit of Supplements . . . Alfalfa!

Genesis 1:29 “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

 

Alfalfa is truly the Seabiscuit of Supplements, referring to the quote by Tobey Maguire, “Though he be but little, he is fierce.”  Underrated, unrecognized, alfalfa really packs a power punch, giving more bang for the buck than, in my humble opinion, any other herbal!

Used in Biblical times, some claim it was the grass that brought back Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity. The Greeks, Arabs, Romans and Chinese used alfalfa for medicinal purposes for over 1500 years. Why aren’t more Americans using it? At less than $4 for 300 tablets, it’s a bargain!

All parts of the plant can be used, but most are familiar with alfalfa sprouts in the grocery store. If you buy sprouts, make sure you wash them thoroughly. These are excellent and nutritionally beneficial when added to salads and sandwiches. The alfalfa plant is a member of the humble pea family and can be consumed in many ways, including as a tea or juice.

Alfalfa used as an herbal remedy contains so many benefits in fact, it’s hard to know where to start! (Consult your doctor first if taking medication or pregnant.)

  1. Alfalfa includes nutrients which promote pituitary gland function, (also known as the ‘Master Gland’) regulates the thyroid, our hormonal balance, urine production and growth regulation.
  2. It contains 8 essential enzymes which digest complex and simple carbohydrates, proteins, fats, helping transport nutrients to the areas of the body for maximum metabolic usage. Great for weight loss and metabolic balance! Consume tablets with food for maximum benefit.
  3. Its roots grow deeply into the ground, (20 feet or more)  producing a plant extremely rich in minerals: magnesium, manganese, zinc, carotene, chloride, iron, copper, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. These, among other attributes, promote bone, hair growth and regulate heartbeat.
  4. It contains manganese, which studies have shown lowers blood sugar, therefore regulating diabetic insulin production.
  5. Contains vitamins A, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, C, D, B6, E and K.
  6. Vitamins A, C, E and the mineral Zinc are believed to dissolve kidney stones.
  7. Vitamin K is known to facilitate blood clotting so avoid if taking the drug Coumadin.
  8. It contains little known Vitamin U, which effectively cured 80% of peptic ulcers.
  9. Alfalfa has anti-inflammatory properties, used as a treatment for arthritic conditions.
  10. Antifungal, it destroys harmful yeast and other fungi infections.
  11. Alfalfa has a high fiber content and is a proveneffective treatment for high cholesterol.
  12. Alfalfa alkalines and detoxifies the body, creating a less stressed, more alkaline biochemistry.
  13. Contains chlorophyll, which assists with lowering bad LDL cholesterol.
  14. Used as a diuretic, it naturally reduces edema and bloating.
  15. Assisting digestion, can reduce irregularity and toxins in the intestinal tract.
  16. Alfalfa is high in silica which promotes milk flow in lactating women.
  17. It’s high in  active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and slows down the process of aging.
  18. Contains leutin which protects against macular degeneration and promotes eye health.
  19. Chloride – is an essential electrolyte has properties which purifies the body; regulates sugar, fat and starch metabolism.
  20. Higher in protein than most grains, alfalfa contains several essential amino acids like arginine, lysine, theronine and tryptophan, necessary bodily building blocks.

Cautions:

  • As with any supplement use common sense and balance your usage. Humans sometimes have a reckless, “If something’s good, more is better” mentality.
  • Alfalfa sprouts shouldn’t be used in excess, avoid if one has lupus.
  • If overused, a toxin amino acid known as canavanine has been known to cause a blood disorder Consult your doctor first if you have any doubts!

The Chemistry/Personality Test for Weight Loss

With the billions of people who have lived on this earth, no one has ever been exactly like YOU.  uniqueness

And yet God knows us intimately.

“You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.” Psalm 139: 3

With our individualized physiological/chemical structure, it is impossible to lump each of us into one specific weight loss program. In addition, our personality affects how each of us should approach a diet plan. Some people crave structured menus/packaged foods, while others want more independence to make their own choices. Some need education or encouragement daily, while some want to be well trained and left alone.

Since everyone is unique, certain diet plans might work for one but not for another. Some do well on a low-fat, carb enriched, Ornish plan for example, while others on the Atkins, Mediterranean, Zone or South Beach Diet. I’ve known some dieters, so adamant that theirs is the only way, the diet procures a cult status. I repeat: no one plan works for everyone. 

One Truth is known regarding our bodies; that in all we do, should be for the glory of God: 1 Corinthians 10:31. If a diet plan doesn’t detrimentally affect someone’s health, then I look on it similarly to ‘non-essential liberties’ in Christian doctrines.  If it doesn’t affect our Salvation, why argue over something we’ll only discover as Truth in heaven? 

I distinctly remember once discussing different diet plans with my patient, Mattie. When I attempted to discourage her from implementing the Rice Diet because it wasn’t a good fit for either her  personality or physical needs, she blurted out angrily, “Oh NO, Ellie! THAT one worked for me! It worked for me three times!”  She failed to see the irony in that statement. A good diet is one that works forever.  (The only time it wouldn’t is when one’s chemical structure changes due to illness, doctor prescribed medication or stress.)

In any diet plan, consult with your doctor, dietician or nutritionist about your physiology and try sensible solutions based only on a variance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. NEVER try dangerous diet pills or harmful chemicals which promise a long-term, quick fix it can’t deliver! I hope you’ll agree that each of us is diverse. Even identical twins, have a different personality and chemical makeup.  

This week I want to ask some questions and then we’ll discuss what ‘type’ of dieter you are on Wednesday.  So take the following test and discover something new about yourself.

Personality:  (Answer yes or no)

  1. I’ve already been on at least five diet plans
  2. I lead a very busy life
  3. I’m a curious person
  4. I’m very social
  5. I like making my own decisions
  6. I feel deprived on a diet
  7. I’d prefer structure in my diet plans
  8. I am very thrifty
  9. I’m never impulsive
  10. Food is extremely important in my life

Chemical Makeup:

  1. My hands and feet tend to be cold
  2. My hair/skin is on the dry side
  3. I gain weight usually around my waist
  4. I tend to crave sweet snacks
  5. I prefer chicken over steak
  6. I like onions on my burgers
  7. Raw salad is one of my favorite meals
  8. I like avocados
  9. I tend to sweat a lot
  10. Sometimes my personality tends to be anxious, irritable, jittery.
  11. I gain weight around my thighs/hips
  12. I prefer mayonnaise over mustard
  13. I could enjoy eating potatoes at every meal.
  14. I prefer salty snacks like potato chips, popcorn or pretzels
  15. I get hungry between meals
  16. Sweet foods like candy or cake usually taste too sweet to me

Isn’t it amazing how God knows us completely . . . our individual good and bad points in spite of how many lived on earth? Amazing! Strive to live for excellence!

“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3

On Wednesday, I’ll begin discussing what your answers indicate and which diet plans might be better for you so stay tuned!