Tag Archive | Weight loss

Living Sanely in a Topsy-Turvey World

What a topsy-turvey world we’re living in – Lord, please come soon! Right is wrong and worshipping rebellion is king. If Christians defend Truth, professing “wait that’s against God’s Word!” we are vilified. Therefore the majority remain silent and fearful. Isn’t silence compliance? We allow that unknowing frog in the frying pan to get cooked without even realizing the frog is us.

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

Even if I knew I could riot and break into an establishment, snatch money, merchandise, destroying and taking someone livelihood and get away with it, I wouldn’t! Have you noticed some condone this? People resort to crime and the police are supposed to be the bad guys? All of them??? (Isn’t that the definition of prejudice which the lawbreakers profess to hate?)

I don’t care what someone looks like – if they smile, are kind, courteous, I immediately want to be friends. If they are cruel, cantankerous, complaining, I avoid them. Choose your company wisely.

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

May I ask you something? Do you like what you see around you? No? Then make changes, starting with the one in the mirror. Are you someone you’d like to be friends with? Do you exemplify a kind nature? Begin with one kindness a day and become the compassionate, decent human being God wants you to be!

Start allowing God control over your life. A happy person is a healthy person in mind, body and spirit.

Face it – it’s been a challenging year. Isolation has led to depression which has led to consuming comfort foods for energy and to mask loneliness, boredom and pain. It takes a lot of discipline to resist sugary treats which both energizes a boring, stay-at-home existence and calms the restless soul.

Now you’ve added at least ten pounds to your girth and you’re blaming the government and God for that too. Did it not occur to you that one can exercise inside the home, read a book, sew, paint, clean or write instead? It’s your choice. (I’ve used this time to complete one of my sequels and have 60,000 plus words on the next one.)

Even if I knew I could consume restaurant food every night, I wouldn’t do it. First I enjoy creating meals with my own hands. Secondly, I crave a healthy lifestyle for my husband and myself more than food.

As a nutritionist, I’ve seen what happens when people constantly eat unhealthy foods. Fatty foods simply make us sluggish. It takes longer (5-7 hours) to burn fat for energy. Unhealthy food creates an acidic pH which leads to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, cancers and other illnesses. Is that your goal? “It’s my life, I’ll do what I want!” Okay . . . then own it. It’s your choice. Personally, I love God more than McBurgers and French fries. Don’t make food your idol.

Make healthy eating compliance easy. Anything is fine in moderation but primarily eat for nutrients!!! Fast food has very few nutrients but is awash in calories. Listen to your body and strive for a life filled with vitality, contentment and mental perceptiveness. A happy person doesn’t destroy other people’s property nor themselves!!!

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11)

Eyore or Pollyanna? Knowing Yourself in the Days of Corona

How are you facing the days of isolation amidst Corona Virus? With Fear?  Depression? Positivity? Gratefulness?

Use isolation as a time to reflect on how you react during challenges. Be Strong and Courageous!

A funny Facebook post proclaimed: “There are only 3 Ways to Come  out of this lockdown: a Hunk, a Chunk or a Drunk! Your Choice!”

This is meant to be cute, but in truth, it’s provides great insight in how we personally face adversity.

Be neither a Pollyanna nor an Eyore – be realistic.

A Hunk:

Some people are taking control and becoming more productive in this quiet isolation. They exercise, clean out closets, complete a project or fulfill another goal long discarded. I’m feverishly completing two fiction sequels while enjoying my plots and characters again.

Therefore, Become proactive!

Please stop any “victim mentality.” Stress kills! Turn your mind toward creating something productive. Step out in the fresh air, work to plant that garden, craft, read, create your own exercise area.

No excuses!!! One doesn’t need expensive equipment to be fit! I lift weights, plank, walk our dog, use stretch bands, etc. and have remained 18% body fat throughout. You can too, if you want it badly enough. Personally, I DO!

If you don’t, ask why? That’s a psychological issue and I’m here for you. Together with God’s Help we can conquer anything, even a virus. You’ll reemerge confident and strong. As Joshua proclaimed:

“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) CSV   (even in the pantry!)

A Chunk?

It’s not unusual to run to comfort food during trying times. Food like chips, chocolate, mac and cheese, French fries, fried chicken, ice cream all release comforting endorphins which subliminally create memories of happier days.

My heart goes out especially to those who live with food addictions. Nothing like being imprisoned where all our favorites are!

When going to the grocery store is our only entertainment, strive to develop Herculean discipline and strong mental toughness.

“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) CSV

A Drunk?

Sure, liquor makes the pain go away . . . for awhile. But then the heartaches return. I pray you haven’t lost one close to you during this epidemic. I can’t imagine the pain you must feel.

As a Christian, I know it’s even more important today to reach out to those who don’t know the Lord or where they are headed after they die. Believe it or not, dying from this virus is not the worse thing that can happen to you. Dying without Christ is!!!

“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”(Matthew 25:46)

I urge you to face this time without fear!

Although I was touched by someone who tested positive for Covid-19 and faced strict quarantine, I was not fearful. I have done everything I know of to build up my immunity defenses.  My antioxidant armor and shield are strong but I know if God’s Will is that my time on Earth is done, I’ll still be in Good Hands.

Know Your enemy and build your defenses!

I’m sure the Israelites did all they could to strengthen their defenses before going into battle. Most of the time God protected them but not always. God knows the number of my days and when they are fulfilled, then I’m ready to go. Until then I ‘ll honor Him.  Luke 10:27

 

Changing Your Diet Philosophy Forever

We are all on “diets.”  A diet only means what someone consumes each day, every day. A true diet plan is a lifelong one, something practical, restoring energy, metabolizing nutrients and one a person can realistically stay on. If not, they are only setting themselves up for yo-yo dieting. Ask yourself before you begin, “Is this how I can eat forever?” God gave us a bounty of nutrients and each has a purpose. Enjoy them all!

Whenever I hear of some diet guru claiming they’ve found the latest fad diet or pill, I shudder. Today, everyone is searching for an instant fix. I heard a great quip years ago which stated, only today’s generation will stand in front of a microwave and be angry it’s not quick enough! Everyone wants instant gratification!

There are so many qualified Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists in today’s world. Creating menus and assisting patients with overcoming their illnesses was challenging. I too, wanted to challenge and motivate others to be successful in their healthy aspirations, but I felt there was a step missing. The root cause in their self-destructing nature. Awareness is always the first step in recovery.

So I became a Nutritional Counselor. What I enjoy most about being a counselor is seeing the “lightbulb” come on when patients figured out for themselves, why they ate as they did. Until one recognizes why he/she acts in a particular way, they won’t change. They are only masking the problem. Therefore, change begins at the source.

Trusting in God’s guidance and my degree in counseling, I continued to study physiology, anatomy, biology as well as countless books on nutritional basics while working for family physicians to create my diet philosophy. I would never be so arrogant as to say I know all the answers. No one will really know until we are in front of God, our true Creator, and can ask Him.

Nutrition is a never-ending research project! But man’s truth has shifted with the wind – God’s Truth stands fast! A potato was as acceptable in the Garden of Eden as it is now. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Scripture has the answers. It contains Absolute Truths. They cannot be dismissed, even in advanced physiology. There’s a wonderful Chinese saying that states, “Even if 5,000 men are wrong, they are still wrong.”

I believe in Absolute Truth. God declared “It is Good” when He completed Creation. That meant fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and herbs were ALL under that umbrella, (Genesis 1:29, Genesis 9:3) debunking the Paleo, Keto, Atkins and various other restrictive diets (unless you have an illness or allergy preventing certain foods of course. Common sense prevails.)

Always go back to God’s basics. ” We are fearfully and wonderfully made . . .” (Psalm 139:14.) There’s a reason we need nutrient variation.

No matter how many times someone tries to create their own fad diet plan, it’s still a fad and the wrong way to lose weight forever. Just look at all the diets which have come and gone through the decades: grapefruit, cottage cheese, cabbage soup, Scarsdale, Atkins, cookie (no really, a cookie diet – that really educates the person doesn’t it.) liquid diets, and on and on.

Yet the nutritionally-based Mediterranean diet prevails as does the Volumetrics and DASH diets. I also like the NOON diet plan which also educates and stresses getting to the source.

So ask away, submit your question below, and in time I hope this blog will truly inspire you to become your own New Creation!

*** The above post is based on My Diet Philosophy which is posted on my main page.

“The Spring Keeper”

Last Sunday, our pastor included a wonderful illustration which I also found epitomizes our relationship between Christianity and nutrition.

The illustration by the late chaplain of the US Senate, Peter Marshall, was entitled, “The Keeper of the Spring.” Perhaps you’ve heard it before. Here’s the Cliff note version of it:

“It seems a spring at the top of an Austrian mountain provided water to a charming, picturesque village down below. The village council hardly saw the keeper and began questioning why they were paying for a service when they never saw the benefit. So they fired the Spring Keeper.

As time went on, leaves and debris began to clog the source of the well. Then downstream, leaves, twigs and debris muddied the water. It smelled and tasted badly. Tourists stopped coming, restaurants served less tasty food and the town lost its beauty and charm.

Finally the council realized its mistake and rehired the Spring Keeper, who restored the beauty of the stream at its source, thus restoring the village’s productivity.”

Do we always see the results of eating healthily?

I’d surmise that without clean, refreshing water the village became toxic in body and soul, losing its charm along with the tourist industry. Who wants to be around grumpy, toxic people?

I’ve written many posts on the benefits of water (please find via search engine) so that’s not the subject of my post today. Rather I believe my point is to encourage us to remain close to the source of true health.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Cleaning up the lake from the bottom only cleaned symptoms. Problems continued. Cleanliness had to begin at the source of the stream.

There are many people who believe fancy box diets or diet plans like Paleo and Keto will restore clean living. Sorry, that’s attempting to clean up symptoms, not the base of one’s health. Why psychologically and physiologically one eats. This only muddies the body with a diet one can’t exist on forever!

Our Lord wants us to honor him. How can we do that with a mouth that professes faith but throws trash into our earthly temple? “Be holy for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16 pleads. One wouldn’t throw trash on the floor of Jerusalem’s temple – so why do we trash our earthly one?

Clean up your unhealthy lifestyle at the source and you’ll naturally become happier, healthier and energetic. Even though it’s fine to eat anything in moderation, please strive to eat more wholesome healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, herbs, seeds and nuts. Consume only a small amount of meat daily, (6 ounces) and your body will remain more alkaline, less acidic.

Change your mindset at the source to become a more positive, happier individual. Others want to be around you. Gather encouraging friends around you, read inspirational books.

Fresh air improves the mind and circulation. If you haven’t exercised, get busy and just do it! Find something you enjoy, walking, dancing, biking, etc.

Don’t focus on what you don’t have, rather breathe deeply and count your blessings. Relaxation restores peace of mind and positive attitudes.

Ultimately we are simply passing through this world until we see God’s Face. When you feel life is drowning you in heartache and tribulation, get back to the living source of joy and happiness: Christ.

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

Football, Dr. Oz and Breakfast as a Team Sport

Super Bowl Sunday’s coming and both have strong teams. Your body’s a strong team too.

Imagine a football quarterback as the body of the “NUTRIENT” team. In order to win effectively, his metabolism needs a nutrient-dense offensive line. Without one, he has no defense against illness.

Now imagine in front of him are ten players, each representing unique nutritional functions: the center, (B’s) running back (D), tight end (C), corner back (magnesium) fullback (calcium) and wide receiver {omega 3s.) Other nutrients are on the bench ready to participate as needed.

If the team consisted of only fullbacks, how well would the team work? Not efficiently at all. Similarly, a diet consisting of fruit alone would prevent the body from absorbing over 50 vital nutrients for optimum health. We need nutrient variety as much as a football team needs various players to win.

Vitamins are utilized and dispersed through FOOD. B vitamins convert food into energy. Fat soluble vitamins need fat to be absorbed. No food in your stomach – no energy. No chewing, no enzymes either. Without enzymes, one cannot walk, talk, think or move!

Dr. Oz held more interviews January 22, again claiming, “We don’t need breakfast!”  Who’s we? I need breakfast.

“Eating breakfast isn’t based on any medicine,” he insisted.  Of course not, doctor – it’s not medicine, it’s based on physiology.

He insisted breakfast is simply “marketing hype.” Some advertisements ARE to blame for unhealthy children. I too wish children weren’t feed Sugar Smacks but consuming a healthy breakfast is important for physiological reasons. Any teacher who sees hyperactive children arriving or her student’s blood sugar slumping mid-morning will attest to that.

“Our ancestors didn’t eat right away, they had to hunt and gather.” Our ancestors??? Maybe Dr. Oz’s came from cavemen. Mine were created by God. Adam and Eve were created perfectly . Originally farmers, they probably ate grains and fruit for breakfast. (Naturally I’m not dogmatic about this because I wasn’t around then. We’ll find out in Heaven.)

It’s personal choice to eat or not eat immediately. Listen to your body. I usually wake up with coffee, eating about hour or later. No need to eat breakfast immediately, eat small meals but make them nutritious, not caloric.

Our body utilizes calories for energy – any food produces energy. But a calorie isn’t a calorie: donuts are empty calories, a banana is packed with B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, fiber, etc.

Simply cutting calories for weight loss won’t make us healthy. Every nutrient has an individual purpose. Without nutrients, it takes a toll on bodily functions.

When I worked in an office, sometimes I didn’t eat breakfast. However, around 10am, starving, I reached for the first thing I found in the break room for ENERGY: donuts or coffee cake. It takes Herculean effort to resist when hungry. By eating breakfast, it never tempted me. After awhile, I usually brought a healthy snack with me.

Dr. Oz thought everyone should eat brunch instead. Brunch??? How is that going to help the teacher, nurse, factory worker or myriad of others who can’t tell their boss, “Excuse me, I’ve got to eat brunch now.” You’ll have plenty of time to eat in the unemployment line.

“Listen to your body,” Dr. Oz suggests. I’ve said that from day one. But I also advised my patients to use common sense. Dr. Oz logic comes from viewing food as calories – I’m viewing food as nutrients.

Eat to have a healthy system filled with nutrients rather than simply food. Amen!

“Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments.”  (Psalm 119:66)

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!

Searching for Dieting Perfection? Not Gonna Happen!

Do you expect dieting perfection from yourself? Face it, you’re searching for an unrealistic goal. Continue toward healthy living and you’ll become your healthiest self.

There was only one perfect person born on earth, our Lord, and we are not him! If God doesn’t expect perfection from us; only obedience and goodness, why do we think we are better than Jesus at achieving it?

God made you human, not perfect. Give yourself a break! Realize that even if you make a mistake, you certainly can strive to do better in the future. Talk yourself into success. Mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn to overcome obstacles in the future!

“And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,” (Titus 2:12) NLT

Build your own strategies, but here are some suggestions to start you off. When you feel like eating, go for a ten minute walk up the street and ten minutes back, submerge yourself into an exciting novel, take a bubble bath or paint your nails – you can’t get into a potato chip bag with your nails wet, right? Write your strategies down so they’ll be available when you need them.

There’s a encouraging story about goodness versus perfection which goes like this:

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, the mighty Ruler of Galatica sent two space ships to earth . . . (well, I didn’t tell you it was a true story) . . . anyway, he told the first Explorer to travel to Earth and find everything that was perfect on the planet and bring all that he found back to him in his spacecraft.

To the other Explorer he ordered him to go to Earth and find everything that was good, and bring all he found back to him in his spaceship.

Well, time progressed and finally the first Explorer returned home. The King rubbed his hands together and jumped up and down, anxiously awaiting all the provisions he’d see. But the Galatican arrived back empty-handed.

“What is the meaning of this?” demanded the King.

“Oh Sire, what a despicable place this earth planet was! I searched everywhere! I could find nothing perfect on it at all! Why, there was pollution, people protested in mobs, I found war even on their playthings. Cars honked incessantly and it always rained in Seattle. Gas was $5 a gallon and this thing called fried butter was horrendous! I repeat nothing on Earth is perfect!”

Discouraged, the Ruler waited for the other explorer to return. Finally, the second explorer arrived home and was summoned to the Palace.

“Were you able to find anything good on Earth?” His King asked dejectedly.

“Oh gracious King, you wouldn’t believe all the good I found on planet Earth!” he exclaimed enthusiastically! “Why, there were birds singing, amazing sunsets, rainbows, beautiful homes and automobiles. The taste of ice cream is terrific! Why, I couldn’t bring all I found back to you, because there was just too much good in that world!”

So the moral of that story is, if you search for perfection you won’t find it anywhere, but search for good and it will be all around you.

“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5: 8-10) NLT

I urge you to continue to strive for excellence in your health quest!

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.