Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Week 48

Be thankful!

No matter how well you eat, you will not feel great, filled with energy and vitality - unless you work on letting go of negative thoughts such as anger, worry, hurts, and bitterness.  All of these negative emotions produce toxins and destroy your health.  So this week of Thanksgiving, work on being thankful and be filled with joy! 

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Prov 12:18).  See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many (Hebrews 12:15).  A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Prov 17:22).  Better a meal of vegetables, where there is love, than a fattened calf with hatred (Prov 15:17). 

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thes 5:18).  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4: 5 - 6). 

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness;  come before Him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is He who made us, and we are His, we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.  Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.  For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100).

May you be filled with thanksgiving and thus joy this week of Thanksgiving.  Let the healing of these loving emotions be yours as you nourish your body with real foods that God has provided for us.  I have posted my recipes for our Thanksgiving meal.

I thank God that He has allowed me to share all that He has shown me about diet and health with you this year.

I thank God that I have so many of my recipes documented on-line now and thus I save so much time by not searching for them.

I thank God for my health and the health of my family.

I thank God for your successes this year and ask for His continued blessing to be upon you.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord; for His steadfast love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16: 34).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 47

Don't skip meals.

Get in the habit of eating three meals a day.  Even when we were adding a breakfast room onto our house and had construction things all around us, with concrete floors and bare sheetrock walls, we ate three home-cooked meals using real ingredients each day.  The boys were starting their breakfast with some pineapple (that we cut up) on this day before going to school.

This is especially important if you are trying to lose weight.  Skipping meals is not the way to lose weight; it slows your metabolism (the body's defense for times of starvation).  Instead, you want to kick start your metabolism in the morning.  So start your day with a good morning routine.  Then eat a good breakfast.  Make each of your meals substantial - just a piece of fruit for breakfast or a small salad for lunch is not a meal. 

Be careful though to not eat a lot of bready items or wheat-based items daily.  Today's wheat is creating lots of problems from arthritis to obesity for lots of people.  I try to find better quality wheat berries, which I grind to make my flour.  We seldom have pasta dishes or sandwich bread since I don't regularly make my own at home (be careful with your bread selection - most contain dough conditioners).  Our diet has changed over the years, as man continues to degrade and destroy the foods that God has given us to eat (for example, we also don't eat non-organic corn and rarely eat fish because of its toxins).

But be careful that you don't go to the other extreme (except for a short period of time for a medical condition), and severely restrict your diet cutting out an entire food group.  Many of today's diets are based on this concept, such as cutting all carbohydrates out of one's diet.  Remember, it is all about the quality of the ingredients you buy and the foods you eat.  Cut your consumption of wheat down (or out) but eat other good quality carbohydrates such as organic sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa.  Buy the best quality foods and ingredients you can, and be aware of how these foods are grown, raised, and handled. 

While it is important to not skip meals, it is also a good practice to not eat after dinner (to allow your body time to 'fast' each night), and not to snack throughout the day.  Hypoglycemia 'runs' in my family and I was on my way to developing problems in my early twenties.  I was told to eat small meals throughout the day.  At one point, I felt I would pass out in the morning when I got up if I did not eat immediately.  I also always carried snacks in my purse.  I think a lot of the problems like I had, that many people experience, stem from erratic blood sugar levels caused by sugar in one's diet.  Skip the processed sweets, stabilize your blood sugar and stabilize your eating to three regular meals a day.

I now seldom eat between meals.  I typically get up early (by 5 a.m.) and don't eat anything until 8 a.m.  I sip on my water and have some fresh fruit usually around 7:30 a.m.  Since I have cut sugar out of my diet (using only raw honey, maple syrup, and dried fruits for sweeteners), I don't have any problems feeling faint in the morning or throughout the day, even if I skip a meal.  I never carry snacks in my purse anymore.  But eating a diet of real foods cooked from scratch takes planning.

Work on creating a routine for yourself and eat three regular healthy meals each day.  If you are trying to lose weight, eat smaller portions, but eat balanced meals.  Plan out your meals, create a meal planner for your week, make sure you have the right ingredients and then follow it. 

If you are trying to lose weight, don't snack between meals, or if you do in the afternoon, have some fresh fruit, that is in season.  Your meals do not have to be complicated and make a huge mess in your kitchen.  We often have a one pot dish for a meal.  For instance last night we had Dudley's Stew over Yellow Rice.  I have posted lots of recipes now, work on making all of your meals with 100% real ingredients that God has given us.
"Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so."  Genesis 1:29 - 30  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Week 46

Thank God for the clues He gives you.

Pure, clean, beautiful - that is how I describe God's creation such as this small waterfall we happened upon when traveling through Oregon.  Being in areas of nature, untouched by man, refreshes my soul.  So does eating the real foods that God has provided for our nourishment.  I thank and praise God for these wonderful provisions for my senses (both the good food and the waterfalls in life).  It is easy to thank God for these obvious blessings!

But this week, I want you to thank God for some blessings that are not quite as obvious.  I hope that you have gone 100% with your diet and that you don't have the opportunity to do the challenge this week!  But when you slip-up, as I  do (and I'm sure will continue to occasionally do), this is a very important challenge to put into practice.  If you have fallen way off track with your diet, this may be an extremely difficult challenge for you.  However, I urge you to try.  

Here is what I wrote last year.  It is nice reading back on this experience and having it in the past!  Let me explain by describing the morning I had last year when I first wrote this post.

I woke late (for me) at about 6:30 a.m. feeling quite achy.  I stretched and winced from a headache.  As I woke fully, I became aware that I was also slightly congested, my hands felt a bit swollen, and I felt very sluggish.  This is very unusual for me - I typically wake feeling energetic and full of vitality and joy with no aches or pains.

Thanking God was not my first thought, unfortunately, but it was my second.  My first thought was, "Why do I feel so bad - ugh".  My second thought was - "Oh, I remember, I ate out twice yesterday.  Thank you, God, for letting me feel bad now and showing me why I make the effort to not eat the typical American diet of processed foods and white flour."  I was not being sarcastic, but genuinely sincere in my thanks.  I hope you can be too this week.

The day before I woke not feeling very good, I had eaten a lunch of a chicken pasta dish in a cream sauce, salad with dressing, and a roll.  If I had stopped with this, I probably would not have noticed many consequences the next morning.  But I then had part of a bread bowl with clam chowder for an early dinner, and snacked on a small bag of pretzels later in my hotel room.  I did skip all desserts and did not have any sugar but I still woke feeling quite poorly because my body is not used to all that enriched white flour and other preservatives and artificial ingredients that were in the foods. 

I thank God for these clues, these aches and pains, that my body gave me.  What I ate was loaded with toxins that my body was trying to deal with and I was feeling the effects.  This does not happen often, and nothing was overly addictive, so I didn't have to deal with more cravings.  But starting that morning, right when I woke, I was determined to make much better choices or to not eat.  I also thank God that it was so easy for me to see the link between what I ate and how I felt.  If your diet is not yet clean enough for you to understand this,  ask God to give you this gift, to help you to see the connection . 

My friends know that when they tell me of similar stories (of how they or their children have gotten sick after eating something they knew was junk), that I typically say - "Oh, thank God for that lesson for you."  I am not being mean by saying this; it is a heartfelt praise that God is so kind to give us these clues.

So this week, I want you to change your perspective.  If you have a headache or pain, after drinking a soda or eating a candy bar or eating some other processed foods, don't complain or look for some medication to relieve your symptoms.  Instead thank God that you get this feedback and use it to help you make better choices in the future.

After feeling unwell when I woke that morning, and thanking God, I then asked God to help me not make this same mistake again.  I could have eaten some food I had brought with me and skipped the lunch, and I certainly did not need to eat the packaged clam chowder and white bread from the bread bowl.  My resolve to not cheat was strengthened by this experience (again I thank God for how I felt when I woke).

Last year, I had been eating French bread and ciabatti rolls once or twice a week made with white flour (always better quality bread from Whole Foods so I could justify that it was o.k. to be eating it).  But I decided, no more.  Once I begin cheating, it is easy to continue.   Organic white flour, which is not as addictive like sweets with sugar for me, is easy to slowly sneak back into my diet since I don't get any noticeable clues or feedback the next day after eating it. 

Since I don't have intense cravings for more throughout the day or perceptible aches/pains, the fact I'm cheating weekly is less obvious.  The negative effects on my health are more subtle and thus much easier to justify.  Because of this cheating I had been doing, I was easily lured further.  Again, I thank God for the morning of waking and feeling bad to wake me up to what was happening! 

Don't wait to thank God when you experience these aches and pains - do it in the moment when you feel bad.  After getting up, drinking my water, and eating a couple of fresh pears I had brought with me on my trip, I was feeling fine.  If I had waited to recognize the signs and thank God for them, I would have missed the opportunity to strengthen my resolve and I would have gained nothing. 

So remember to thank God when you don't feel good after indulging or falling off track.  This is especially true if you have ever gone 100% in the past, eating only God's foods, even if for only a few days.   Thus you know what it feels like to have vitality and energy and no-pains or symptoms (such as chronic infections, sinus issues, etc.).

Thank you, Father, for getting me back on track and resetting my resolve to stay.  I pray this week that you too can change your perspective and thank God for the clues He gives you.

"Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me.  I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.  If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.  Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!"  Psalm 66:16 - 20. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Week 45

Make some homemade bone broth and healing soup.

I hope you resisted all of those sweets last week and continue to resist them through the holidays.  Germs are still everywhere though and it is always good to be prepared with God's medicine in advance of getting sick. 

I have documented in detail how to make homemade bone broths, and given you the recipe for healing soup.  At the first sign of illness (typically a sore throat in my family), serve up some healing soup.  You can make broth and freeze it (I like to always have a few containers in my freezer all winter long).  You can even prepare some healing soup in advance and freeze it, but wait to add the fresh herbs until you have reheated it and are ready to serve the soup.  To preserve the healing powers of the fresh herbs, you want to add them after you have removed the soup from the burner.

Why is this soup so beneficial?  It contains many healing nutrients.  The homemade bone broth (if made from animals bones or carcass from free-range animals raised in a natural environment and fed a natural diet) is rich in minerals that have been leeched from the bones and are easily absorbed by our bodies.  It also contains gelatin which aids digestion along with many other amazing properties which you can read more about through the Weston Price Foundation.  The fresh garlic and onion cooked in the soup possess excellent anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.  Load up on the garlic, mincing even more into individual bowls when fighting a bad cold.  The addition of fresh herbs is a way of using God's healing medicines, containing many healing properties (learn to use fresh herbs).

There is no substitute for making your own homemade bone broths (other than perhaps convincing a friend to make them for you!).  You cannot buy good quality broth in a can or carton.  If you have never made bone broth - take time this week to learn.  If you already know how to make broth, start planning to make a batch every week or two, it is a great addition for winter soups and stews, and if a regular part of your diet, can help you stay healthy this winter. 

Remember that the quality of the chicken or beef bones that you use is essential and get the best quality that you can.  We have many sources here in the DFW area - look at the end of the quality post for resources to find these sources.  If you consider the savings in doctor bills and for medications, it is worth the extra money you use up front to buy good quality foods.  If you use your food  as your medicine, foods that God has given to us, you will not only avoid side-effects of man-made medicines but build up your immunity in the process. 

"Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit."    3John 1:2