Tag Archive | overcoming temptation

Surviving the “Eating” Season

This time of year, one might receive more dinner party invitations than time allows. So how can one stick with an eating plan without adding inches to the waistline? First, don’t stress out.

ELLIE’S “HOLIDAY HEALTHY-EATING” PLAN

Policies to Strive For: 

  • Start out with a (if possible) smaller  plate. Strive for 5x’s more vegetables covering it than meat. Simple. No weighing or measuring.
  • Cover your plate with nutrient dense vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, peas, red/green peppers, onions, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts.  (Physiologically, these foods create an alkaline environment in which cancer cells cannot thrive.)
  • Consume 4-5 cups of vegetables daily. Vegetables are primarily water so you’ll hydrate yourself while consuming nutrients and fiber!
  • Lean meats:  3-4 ounces of lean meat is all you need at one time, (approximate the size of a deck of cards).
  • Your body needs variety. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, phytonutrients have different responsibilities. Everything’s meant to work together for good. Disregarding a vital nutrient will change your body’s chemistry.

Don’t allow guilt or faulty thinking to blind you to facts:

Many dieters avoid beef.  There’s no need to do so. London Broil, Filet Mignon, Sirloin Steak, Tenderloin, eye of round or top round have approximately 6 grams of fat per 3.5 oz serving.  Dark meat chicken, (legs/thighs) actually has a higher fat content at 11 grams per serving.

Beef also contains high amounts of B12 which is an energy vitamin!  That doesn’t mean you should eat beef every night. Consume  chicken, turkey or pork for variety. But a steak sandwich?  No problem.  Grill Sirloin, slice 3 oz, place on a whole grain roll, smother it in grilled mushrooms, peppers and onions, even add a thin slice of mozzarella. Include a green salad with 1 tbsp dressing. Are you suffering? No. Food should have flavor and be enjoyable to eat!

Lean pork, (loin) contains Thiamine, the “feel-good” vitamin.  Add herbs, garlic, fruit, seasonings and consume nutrients!

Any broiled, grilled or baked fish; Tilapia, salmon, Swai, halibut, codfish, shrimp are wonderful additions to your eating plan.  Add seasoning such as lemon, herbs, wine or salsa over fish for variety.

Add a whole grain; potatoes, corn, brown rice, barley, pasta. You mean I can eat potatoes too?  Aren’t potatoes bad for me?  A potato contains vitamins A, E, D, K, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, choline, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. Does that sound like something God wants you to avoid?  Resist covering with tons of butter, sour cream or drowning it in oil and it’ll stay healthy. Sweet potatoes are even more nutritious!

Pasta? Again, buy fibrous whole grain. Create tomato sauces with lots of vegetables! I’ve replaced heavy cream with a smaller amount of Neuchâtel/light cream cheese and parmesan, creating a fabulous 20% fat alfredo sauce!

Your typical dinner should look like this:  60% fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 15% comprise grilled, broiled or baked lean protein. The rest, 25%, can be filled with good fats: olive, canola oil, avocados, salad dressing, coconut, nuts or an occasional desert. We are adults, we live under grace and we can choose what we want.

Begin your New Year determined to be a New Creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

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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.

 

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)

 

 

 

Power Through the Tough Times!

Last week my little dog and I were walking, as we do every morning, when we noticed a man laboring on his morning run across the street. He was quite overweight and our walk kept pace with his run but God bless him literally, that man didn’t give up! I silently cheered him on as he rounded the curve and headed off in another direction.  I prayed that fat-marathon-runner1[1]other direction lead to a health improvement.

This morning we saw him again, trudging away. Perhaps eventually, I can get him to wave but he seemed focused on his breathing and didn’t glance over at us at all. Perhaps he was embarrassed, who knows? It’s tough to start anything new and not feel self-conscious.

Yes sometimes embarrassment stops us from accomplishing something before we even get started! Have you ever tried to witness to someone? Scary! At first you might be self-conscious, but as Jesus infuses your life, it will become second nature to discuss Biblical issues.  No one starts off being an evangelist like Billy Graham. Truth be told, even Billy Graham didn’t start off being Billy Graham. He was petrified during his first sermon! It becomes easier as the Holy Spirit becomes your power!

No one really starts off in life obese either. But along life’s road we might gain a few pounds. Then it’s ten and eventually much more. If we immediately learn to nip the first five pounds in the bud, it sure is easier to manage that weight gain. So let the Holy Spirit work within and be inspired by the Apostle Paul’s words:

“Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” ( 1 Corinthians 9:27)

A patient once protested, “How would you know how I feel? You’ve never had a weight problem in your life!” Mmm, assumptions. Little did they know I had and gain weight very easily. But so what? My job wasn’t a “can you top this” position. It wouldn’t make any difference – she couldn’t compare herself to anyone else, including me. Besides, would anyone feel any better knowing I was dying of cancer if they were dying of heart disease? No! Pursuing health is based on individual physiology.

For me, I’ve learned to keep my weight within a range. I seldom weigh myself, rather I know how my clothes fit. If they are tighter, I instantly take action to drink water, eat less and exercise more. Voila’! In no time I am back at my normal healthy weight, because I discipline my body into submission.

We had a super-duper exercise bike in our living room. (Bless my sweet hubby.) I mean, I thought I was in shape. I used to play tennis for hours, run five miles a day, play racquetball, walk the golf course carrying clubs . . .  so I thought. “piece of cake.”  Wrong. My first experience riding that bike,  I was in agony within three minutes! It would have been so easy to quit, but being stubborn, I refused! Soon I was riding six minutes, than ten, then twenty . . . then it was faster or intervals or anything to make it interesting.  Watching television while on it made the time wiz by. Don’t. Ever. Give. Up!

Everyone has to start somewhere! That jogger’s tenacity was an inspiration to me and should be to all. I hope I see him daily for I am cheering alongside him.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”                    (Philippians 3:14)