“What better way to celebrate summer than with a delicious and patriotic dessert!” Cheri Sicard
What will you be doing on this July 4th to demonstrate your patriotism?
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. (Ps 36:8; NKJ)
A new month begins today! It’s actually one of my favorite months of the year since my mother brought me into the world in July. I loved having a summer birthday when growing up and always felt sorry for other classmates who had their birthdays during the school year.
Anyway, dare I really do this? I’m thinking of doing desserts for the month of July….and I see that there are five Tuesdays in the month. That’s a lot of sweet stuff. Growing up on a busy dairy farm with hired men and company coming and going, desserts were always a mainstay on our table. I learned to bake cakes, cookies and pies as a young girl. Of course, I loved to eat them as well!
Once I started on the road to natural health, I begin making a shift to using more whole food ingredients for desserts. I haven’t used (or bought) white sugar or white flour in thirty years. However, I have created some delicious desserts using whole grain flours, honey, and maple syrup. Several years ago Jerry and I both realized that we needed to cut back on our desserts, even though they contained whole food ingredients. Now, desserts are a special treat for special occasions.
As I began pondering what to make for a patriotic dessert, I was rather appalled at some of the recipes I found on the Internet. Do real people still use things like Dream Whip and Cool Whip? Most recipes I found were full of artificial ingredients, artificial colorings, preservatives, and sugar. I went on a quest to develop a patriotic dessert that uses real food. Granted, today’s dessert is rich and a small piece goes a long way, but it contains 100% real food. Enjoy the red, white, and blue!
Father, we are so grateful for what July 4th represents to our country. May none of us take our freedom for granted.
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you enjoy some Patriotic Cheesecake!
“We teach people how to create a specific vision for their future and then take specific action steps to achieve it. We have demonstrated that more powerful results are achieved when people focus on ‘creating a desired outcome’ rather than on ‘fixing problems.'” URDT web site
In what areas of your life have you been challenged to stop “fixing problems” and switch your focus to the “desired outcome?”
So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. (1 Corinthians 9:26a; NLT)
Over the last couple of weeks, I focused on an incredible book that I was reading by Robert Fritz entitled Your Life as Art. My mind was stretched and my paradigm significantly altered. I attempted to convey some of what I was learning in the series of DGs that started on 6/18 and ended on 6/27. (BTW, a great way to see past DGs is to go to my blog, http://thecoachingpair.com/blog/.)
Over the weekend, it was called to my attention that the creative process that Fritz writes about is not only used in several Fortune 500 companies as well as small entrepreneurial start-ups in this country, but is also being used by a non-profit organization in Uganda to create “rural development through human development.” Uganda Rural Development Training (URDT) trains people who live on less than $1 per day to take a visionary, entrepreneurial approach to developing their own lives, families, and communities.
Has URDT been effective? You be the judge. “Since URDT arrived in the district, the rural village where it is located has become a ‘boom town,’ growing tenfold in size. URDT graduates have created many local businesses that employ themselves and others, and URDT has worked with villagers to improve local roads for better access to markets. Other indicators, such as health, sanitation and girls’ education, have also improved markedly.”
In today’s Link of the Day, I urge you to read the first column of the page down to the section entitled “Looking Ahead: Strategy for 2006-2008,” but at a minimum, don’t miss the section entitled, “URDT’s ‘Visionary’ Approach.”
Hmmmm…apparently this stuff really works!
Lord, how exciting it is to see an approach to help us reach our goals and preferred futures that works across cultural barriers. I’m so grateful for Your bringing this to my attention so that I could pass it along to others.
Link of the Day
Uganda Rural Development Training
Blessings on you as you switch your focus from your problems to your desired future.
“Numerous studies have found that nitrites contribute to a variety of negative health effects.” SixWise.com
How aware are you of when you’re eating sodium nitrite?
In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. (Prov. 23:32; NIV)
Sodium nitrite (or sodium nitrate) is widely used in processed meats primarily as a preservative, color fixative, and flavoring agent. It is now widely known and understood that these processed meats cause cancer.
A reliable source says, “One of the most powerful cancer-promoting food ingredients of all is called sodium nitrate. This is an ingredient that is added to virtually all packaged meat products including hot dogs, pepperoni, ham, lunchmeat and other similar products. You’ll also find it in bacon, sausages, and most breakfast meats. It’s listed right on the ingredients labels of all of these foods.”
So, if you’re eating hot dogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish, or any other type of processed meat, you are almost assuredly consuming nitrites.
Numerous studies have found that nitrites contribute to a variety of health issues. Some of which include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), DNA Mutations, and an increase in brain tumors of children born to mothers who consumed high amounts of cured meats during pregnancy. However, the biggest concern of eating these processed meats is that the nitrites are converted to nitrosamines which are extremely carcinogenic (cancer causing) substances.
Colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, and cancer of the pancreas top the list. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, people who ate the most processed meats were 50 percent more likely to develop lower colon cancer. Accordingly, a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute indicated that people who ate the most processed meats had a 68 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
I’ve personally known individuals who have consumed high amounts of sausages, bacon and processed luncheon meats who have developed colon cancer. In the midst of all this doom and gloom, there is good news. There are food manufacturers who make nitrite-free bacon and sausage. There are also all-beef, turkey and chicken, nitrite free hot dogs available. Begin reading your food labels and see how you and your family can avoid these “nasty nitrites.”
Father, we are thankful that we have so many healthy choices available to us. Bless our readers as they continue to learn of the best choices for themselves and their families.
Link of the Day
How to give yourself cancer in five easy steps
Blessings on you as you continue reading your food labels.
“I have days of freedom because you had days of fear.” The Kuhlmann Sisters
What are your plans for this holiday?
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (Romans 13:4; KJV)
Ahhhh…The Fourth of July…Independence Day! A very special holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring our independence from Great Britain. As Wikipedia puts it, it is a holiday “commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, picnics, baseball games, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government and traditions of the United States, but is often also viewed as simply a summer festival, apart from its patriotic overtones.”
Our church has invited all current and former military men and women to wear their uniforms this coming Sunday, along with all the other uniformed public servants such as police officers, firemen, et al. This will be kind of a combo Memorial Day, Independence Day tribute to the members of our congregation who serve their country and community in a position of incredible significance. It will indeed be a special day. I’m really looking forward to it. You see, our church has an unusually high number of military folks, probably due to the background of our pastor who is retired from the Navy. We are truly blessed.
The closest I ever got to wearing a uniform was in the Boy Scouts. I had some physical issues that prevented me from serving my country in the military. I would have dearly loved to have gone to one of the academies. I’ve always had a very special place in my heart for the discipline, honor, and commitment of those who wear uniforms. The mere act of putting on a uniform is a deeply symbolic act that expresses a deep and selfless commitment to serve others unselfishly.
I found the following words on the Internet…words spoken by a high school senior as part of a tribute to Memorial day: As someone in uniform “walks past, children stare in awe and veterans salute. This respect is earned through the meaning that the uniform carries. It isn’t simply for show, to decorate with pretty ribbons and sashes. Instead, it is to show that person’s dedication and willingness to serve. They serve each and every one of us by defending the nation in which we live today.” Wow! Wish I would have said that.
While on the Internet, I found one other item I would like to share with you on this special day. I found some lyrics to a song written about a decade ago. One line that really jumped out at me says, “I have days of freedom because you had days of fear.” The Link of the Day was sent to us by a young military wife in our church whose husband serves our country as a pilot.
I pray that we all take a moment during our holiday festivities and remember our uniformed public defenders and servants. We have cause to be very grateful.
You Are the Ones (The Kuhlmann Sisters Copyright 1998)
You are the ones who fought for my freedom
You are the ones who gave it all
You are the ones with bravery and honor
You are the ones who answered the call
Now I have days of freedom because you had days of fear
Your loved ones always waiting, your mission always clear.
You are the ones who fought for this country
You are the ones who took a stand
You are the ones with bravery and courage
You are the ones who risked your lives to defend this land
Now I have days of freedom because you had days of fear
And what many take for granted, to me is very clear
Looking at you through grateful eyes
I am amazed at the great price that you paid
Looking at you through grateful eyes
I realize the magnitude of your sacrifice
And I’m looking at you through grateful eyes.
Lord, we truly are grateful for the men and women who have served us so selflessly making it possible for us to celebrate this special holiday. May each and every one of them and their families feel very honored and loved by the rest of us.
Link of the Day
Take Just One Minute
Blessings as you pay tribute to the significance of this day.
“The way we live is directly attributable to the sky rocketing costs of health care.” From a recent RAND study
What would you like your health to be like in six months?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. (Rom. 12:1; NIV)
I’ve been thinking about health and wellness a good bit lately. No, this is not a prelude to an announcement. But I am learning that thinking about wellness is not something many people do…unless they are sick. Even then, they aren’t really focused on wellness. In fact, they are actually focusing on how to make their illness go away so that they can forget about their health once again. Begins to remind me of that oft quoted definition of insanity.
I suppose it’s human nature, but we don’t think much about our toes, unless one or more of them is sore. We don’t think about how much we need and use our thumb, unless it is sore. Then it sticks out like a…. So I guess it’s natural to not think about being healthy, until we’re not. That’s really tragic, though. It is really so simple to dramatically improve our health if we would just practice a few (four actually) simple steps. But more about that later.
Have you ever thought about the value (i.e., payback) of good health or wellness? Probably not…for all the same reasons as above. We’ve all got more important things to think about, right? Well, I would like to propose that health adds value or brings benefits to every moment of our lives. Beside to ourselves, health adds value to our families, to our friends, to our work, to our community, and to our country. Overstatement? Hype? To answer that, turn the thought over and ask what are the consequences of not having good health? How about the consequences to your family? To your friends. To your work? To your community? And finally, to your country? Something tells me that the consequences would feel far more significant if we were not so used to living with them on a daily basis.
First of all, what is wellness to you? It’s probably different for you than it is for me. A great coaching question is to ask yourself, “What would I like my health to be like in six months?” To be valid, your answer must describe what you want to be or do…not what you want to be free from. For some it might be to run a marathon. For someone else, it might be to be able to walk to the mailbox to get the mail without getting winded. There are probably as many short-term health goals as there are people to ask.
Then ask yourself, “What would I like my health to be 20 years down the road?” Think about how old you’ll be in 20 years and what would you like to be able to do when you’re that age. Here again, everybody’s answer is going to be different, although there is likely to be some commonality, such as energy, stamina, mental acuity, flexibility, etc.
Then applying the creative process that we’ve been talking about for the last week or two, how would you describe your state of health right now, i.e., your current reality? Do you find that comparing your desired future with your current reality motivates you to take some action that will move you toward your goal? That’s structural tension that you’re feeling.
It’s my intention over the next several DG’s to briefly discuss those four simple steps that I promised you would dramatically improve your current reality–no matter how bad or how good that current reality is. Interested? See you on Wednesday. Not interested? Come back in a couple of weeks or so. We’ll still be here–in fact, we’ll leave the porch light on for you.
BTW, last December (12/14), I wrote a DG entitled, “Wellness…What’s All the Fuss?” I included a little assessment as the link because it’s been so long since most have experienced wellness (if ever) that they don’t really understand what it is. I’m including that assessment again as today’s link because I believe it’s a great starting point for this little series.
Lord, we thank You that great health is Your best for us. We thank You that You have made it possible for us to move toward great health with a few simple lifestyle changes. We ask that You grant us the grace to begin to make those changes and realize the blessings that come from a healthy body.
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you make the decision to become pro active regarding your health.
“It’s nice to eat a good hunk of beef but you want a light dessert, too.” Arthur Fiedler, American Conductor
When was the last time you ate mangoes? How about kiwi fruit?
All your fortresses are like fig trees with their first ripe fruit; when they are shaken, the figs fall into the mouth of the eater. (Nahum 3:12; NIV)
We’re featuring desserts for the month of July. Did anyone make the Patriotic Cheesecake? I’m curious about what you thought of the recipe? Since that was a rather rich dessert, this week I’ve developed a lighter, raw dessert. I actually got the idea for this recipe from a book entitled, Raw Food Made Easy.
I used mangoes, kiwi fruit and avocados to make a refreshing fruit tart. If you’re not familiar with mangoes, let me introduce you. The delicious and juicy mango has long been one of the world’s most popular fruits. According to various information websites, I’ve learned that the mango’s flavor is often described as an exotic mix of pineapple and peach. Mangoes are available from April to September, with June and July being the most plentiful time and offering the best price.
When buying a mango, make sure it has a tropical fruity aroma; unripe mangoes have no scent. A fresh mango will give slightly to the touch, but stay away from very soft or bruised fruit. Some mangoes ripen to a combination of raspberry, orange and green shades, while other varieties are golden yellow or green when ripe. If your mangoes aren’t quite ripe, storing them in a paper bag for a few days will help them along. The size can vary, but larger mangoes will have more fruit in relation to the pit. If you’d like to know how to peel and eat a mango or learn more about a mango in general feel free to look at http://www.freshmangoes.com/aboutmangos/index.html.
Kiwi fruit, also known as “kiwi”, is another wonderful yet less common fruit. This fruit consists of a hairy, brown peel containing green flesh, with white pulp in the center, surrounded by black, edible seeds. The fruit has a sweet taste, similar to a mixture of banana, pineapple and strawberry. When shopping for kiwi fruit, select firm, unblemished fruit. The size of the fruit does not affect taste. Smaller kiwi fruit taste the same as larger ones.
Press the outside of the fruit with your thumb. If it gives to slight pressure, the kiwi fruit is ripe. If you apply pressure and the fruit doesn’t give at all, it’s not ready to eat. Once ripe, kiwi fruit will keep for several days at room temperature and several weeks in the refrigerator. I’ve noticed that organically grown kiwi fruit are comparable in price with commercially grown, so do price comparisons. I’m a firm believer that the organic ones have more taste and flavor along with more nutrients.
Enjoy the tart and don’t be intimidated if you’ve not purchased some of these ingredients before. I know you can do it!
Father, we are so grateful for summer and the wonderful bounty this time of year brings to us.
Link of the Day
Raw Tropical Tart
Blessings on you as you explore some new foods.
“We have made the mistake of assuming that because water is freely available and costs nothing, the body cannot possibly fall short of it. I believe that most physical pains are signals that the body needs rehydrating–and that we ignore these signals at our peril.” Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj
How much water do you drink on an average day?
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2; NKJ)
On Monday, I began a two-week series entitled, “Four Simple Steps to Great Health.” Today, I’m ready to reveal the first step. Are you ready for this? Drum roll please….
The first simple step to great health, is to drink more water than you already do. How’s that for simple? Notice that I didn’t say how many glasses or ounces of water you need to drink every day, although there are some guidelines that the experts suggest. But we’re into simple here. And to keep it simple, just drink more. Drink more this week than you did last week. I didn’t even say how much more. You decide. It’s really up to you how fast you want to resolve that structural tension between your current reality and your desired goal.
So, if you’re only drinking one glass of water a day on average, make it two this week–or even one and a half. I’ll guarantee you that’s a step in the right direction. Just keep doing those little steps on a consistent basis, and before you know it, they will have added up to a giant step or two.
Why water? Well, if you really want to know, go read Sharon’s 11/1/07 DG entitled, “Elixir of Life! and then read the link. And for further reinforcement, read her 11/8 DG and associated link. It’s all good information, but to simplify all that great advice, just drink a little more water than you did last week and you’ll be on your way to great health.
Step two? Tune in Friday. See you then. In the meantime, have a drink on me (of water that is).
Lord, we thank You for the gift of water and we ask for the grace to restore our natural thirst to the levels to keep our bodies properly hydrated for our optimal health.
Llink of the Day
Healing with water: the work of “water cure” pioneer Dr. Batmanghelidj
Blessings as you drink another glass of water today.
“A Monsanto declassified file stated that ‘we can’t afford to lose one dollar’ to worries about PCB toxicity.” Organic Consumers Association
How much GE food are you eating?
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips. Selah (Psa. 140:3; NIV)
Talking about this subject will not win me any friends nor will I have my phone ringing off the hook with people wanting more information. However, those of you who know me, know that I feel “called” to reveal truth (and expose lies) around the food and drug industry. The issue of GMO foods can no longer slide under the radar. Today’s link offers a mouth-dropping expose on the company responsible for the rapid demise of our food supply.
For years I’ve known that Monsanto was responsible for manufacturing and marketing aspartame, the artificial sweetener that is poisoning our nation, one soft drink at a time. In more recent years, great controversy has arisen around this entire GMO food subject. I’m not extremely knowledgeable about this, but there is enough information now available to warrant blowing the whistle of alarm.
According to Wikipedia.com, a genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. With this technology, DNA molecules from different sources are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism and causes it to acquire modified traits.
Another source says it a little more directly. “Genetic Engineering (GE) is a radical new technology that manipulates the genes and DNA — the building blocks of all living things. Unlike traditional breeding, genetic engineering creates new life forms that would never occur in nature, creating new and unpredictable health and environmental risks. To create GE crops, genes from bacteria, viruses, plants, animals and even humans have been inserted into plants like soybeans, corn, canola, and cotton.” This goes totally against God’s design for life and health.
In his book, Seeds of Deception, Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating, Jeffrey Smith, a former executive with the leading independent laboratory testing for GM presence in foods, documents the serious health dangers of these foods and explains how corporate influence and government collusion have been used to cover them up. Today’s article merely introduces the subject of GMO foods. There is other valuable information available on the Internet and through published books. Begin searching out the truth on what you’re really eating.
Father, we don’t walk in fear but we do want to take care of our bodies in a responsible way. Thank you for giving us wisdom to discern truth.
Link of the Day
The Most Evil Company on the Planet — Monsanto
Blessings on you as you continue to learn more about what you’re eating and drinking.
“When you really think about it, you’ll realize that your health is your responsibility, not your mother’s, not your spouse’s, not your insurance company’s, not the government’s…and not God’s.” Dr. David Ajibade
How much physical activity is a part of your average day?
Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. (1 Tim. 4:8; NLT)
Ready for the second simple step to great health? If you just arrived and you’re wondering what this is all about, take a quick look at Monday’s DG for the overview, and then Wednesday’s for the first step. Now for the second step, let’s hear the drum roll again, please!
The second simple step to great heath is exercise, or as one of my exercise-phobic friends prefers, “activity.” I bet you already guessed that one, didn’t you? Yep, God designed our bodies to move. Not to sit behind a desk only to go home at night and sit on the couch in front of the resident cyclopes.
Here again, I’m not saying you have to exercise so many times a week for so many minutes doing such and such exercise. No, I’m just saying move more this week than you did last week. For some of you, you didn’t move much last week, so a little improvement will be a fantastic breakthrough. For others of you, the situation is entirely different. Again, it’s your call to decide how much more is reasonable. Better a little more that you do consistently, than a lot more that you find excuses to avoid doing.
Bottom line, folks, exercise is not optional! If you want to get the expert view, check out Sharon’s 10/11/07 DG entitled, “You Knew It Was Coming.” Don’t let yourself get intimidated, though…just move more this week than you did last. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Lest you get spoiled, the Third Simple Step is a little more challenging than the first two, but I believe when you hear it, you will agree that it is pretty simple as well. Have a great weekend! See you on Monday.
Lord, we thank you for the wonderful miracle of the human body. We thank you that the keys to great health are so incredibly simple in spite of the fact the the body is so amazingly complex–complex beyond our understanding. Lord, give us the grace to do the simple things and not spend so much time looking for the complex (and costly).
Link of the Day
The Miraculous Healing Power of Exercise
Blessings on you as you purpose to move a little more today than you did yesterday.
“If the doctor of today does not become the nutritionist of tomorrow, the nutritionist of today will become the doctor of tomorrow.” Thomas A. Edison
How many servings of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and the like do you eat in an average day?
Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you. (Acts 27:34; NKJ)
Welcome back. I pray you had a great weekend and now you’re sitting on the edge of your seat waiting the announcement of the third step. A little drum roll and may I have the card please?
The third simple step to great health is to eat more superfoods. Superfoods? Food with a red cape and a big “S” emblazoned on it somewhere? No, no, no…superfood is simply nutrition-rich food. Today’s link is a list of foods that most consider to be superfoods. I bet you could name most of them with out even looking. And no, donuts are not on the list–but dark chocolate is, hallelujah!
My resident expert, Sharon, wrote a short article about superfoods as recently as two months ago (5/8/08). She even included a link that was a list of superfoods (the link I’m using today is similar, but a little simpler in my view). Sharon likes to call them “God-foods.” Whole books have been written on this topic. But again, for most of us, we need to keep it simple.
The simple bottom line is eat more superfoods this week than you did last. How many superfoods should you eat? How many more than last week? All up to you. If you only eat one a day on average (and believe it or not, there are some who don’t even eat one a week), then adding one or two superfoods a day is going to begin to make a big difference. The issue is simply “more,” not how many more.
Simple enough, right? So see…as I predicted, a little more complex than water and exercise, but with the help of a list, it’s just as easy. Only one more simple step to go. Tune in again on Wednesday and get the final simple step to great health. See you then.
Lord, we thank You for the food You provide–the God-foods. Try as they may, man has still not been able to improve perfection. We thank You that not only did You design our bodies to run on natural foods, but that you also provided those foods. We simply couldn’t ask for better care.
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you purpose to add one superfood to your diet this very day.