“There is more information in one Sunday edition of a big city newspaper than the average person took in during their entire life 200 years ago.” Jonathan Wells
How many hours of sleep do you get each night on average?
Suddenly, a terrible storm came up, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. (Matt. 8:24; NLT)
I was doing a little research to supplement our final wellness class today. The topic is rest — the sixth (and final) key factor to wellness as outlined by our UNCOMMON Wellness Coaching ebook. I found a couple of blog posts which had some fascinating and little known facts about sleep. I’ve included both posts as Links of the Day, but what follows is a gleaning of some of the more interesting facts from the two posts.
During sleep our brain is, in fact, extraordinarily active. As it turns out, much of that activity helps the brain to learn and remember. There is a consolidation process that brain goes through while we are asleep that helps us restore what was forgotten during the day. During sleep, the brain selectively preserves certain emotionally charged memories and discards others. Finally, the brain replays the events of the day allowing us to firmly establish the order of those events. Makes me wonder if one can “program” their brain as to which memories to keep and which to discard?
After first learning a task or process, our performance of that task will almost always improve after sleep. Maybe the brain is practicing? This finding leads some to speculate that we need an hour of sleep for every two hours of being awake. How are you doing in this area? Are you anywhere close to the 2 to 1 ratio?
Teenagers need more sleep than any other age group except babies, typically nine or more hours per night. People who sleep eight hours score better on mental tests than people who sleep six. Where were these statistics when I was going to college? What also immediately pops into my mind when I see this information is the craziness of the residency programs most med students must survive. (Or is it more accurate to say that most patients of med students must survive?)
Using an alarm clock to force yourself awake unnaturally is bad for you. Now here’s a fact that I bet virtually everyone who reads this already knew. We just didn’t have the scientific backing to prove our intuition. Now we do. So live out your fantasy and smash that bugger with a hammer. But, you will have to train yourself to wake up naturally without it. Fairly easy to do the blog asserts, so you’ll have to read the blog post for instruction on how. BTW, not to brag, but we haven’t used an alarm clock for years. Love it!!!
So, I encourage you to scan the two blog posts I’ve included. There is a lot more fascinating information about sleep found within. I just skimmed the “tree tops.” And get some sleep!!!
Father, help us realize that sleep is not a waste of time. Help us dispel the lie that only lazy people sleep 7-8 hours a night. Speak to our hearts about our personal sleep habits.
“The only constant in life is change” unknown
How do you respond to change?
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17; NIV)
A little over a year ago, I published a DG titled “Did You Know” that was written around a YouTube link of the same name. A couple days ago, I received a tweet about another “Did You Know” YouTube video which I’m providing as today’s link. I compared the two and this one seems to have some new and different information. I still find myself amazed by the statistics offered by these videos. Even if you remember my old post, I believe you will find this one a fascinating refresher of what’s happening around us.
“Did You Know” is all about change. For some, change is exciting — while for others change is terribly stressful. Part of the reason that change can be so stressful is because it reminds us that we are not in control. But if truth be known…we never were in control. So does that mean we’re reduced to victims? Well, that seems to be a very popular viewpoint these days, but here again, truth be known, we’re only the victim if we choose to be.
You see, we do have control — indeed total control — over how we handle change. If we choose to get all concerned about how bad things are going to be, we are choosing to experience stress and most likely will be rewarded with some of those bad outcomes that we are so anxious about. If, on the other hand, we choose to look for the good that can come from the change, we can relax and look forward to the positive outcomes.
One result that comes from almost any change is growth. Growth because we’re “pushed” from our comfort zone and forced to learn to adapt to new circumstances. Approached with the right attitude, we almost always will look back on the way things were and be grateful for the change that forced us to improve. Let’s face it — we live in exciting times. Change is occurring at ever increasing speed. We have the blessing of being able to experience more of life in a decade than our ancestors did in a lifetime.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Deut. 30:19 wherein God challenges us by saying, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.” Notice however, that He doesn’t just end it there. He coaches us to His preferred response as He continues with, “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Am I being too presumptuous when I label that as excellent advice? Which will you choose?
Father, we thank You for the gift of living in amazing times such as these. We also thank You for providing us with the anchor of a never-changing God.
Link of the Day
Did You Know?
Blessings on you as you expectantly adapt to the exciting new changes that are happening to you this very week.
“Never should one morsel of swine’s flesh be placed upon your table.” Ellen White
How aware are you of what eating pork does to the human body?
And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. (Lev. 11:7; NIV)
Some might say that I’ve gone from “preachin’ to meddlin’” as I write about this topic. America has a love affair with pork. Dr. Jordan Rubin says that he’s met people who have an emotional attachment to pork, eating bacon for breakfast and pork chops with mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner. Perhaps that’s the way you were raised and you might even feel the same way.
I grew up on a dairy farm and we had pigs. I actually loved eating pork. Ham was one of my favorite meats. As I think of that now, my body shudders at the thought. Pigs are dirty, smelly, and sloppy. They also eat filth and slop and anything that’s thrown their way.
When Jerry and I were first married and reading Scripture together, we came across the scriptures in Leviticus and Deuteronomy where God informs the Hebrew people what to eat and what NOT to eat. He classified certain animals as clean versus unclean. He recommended a number of clean meats to eat such as cows, goats, sheep, oxen, deer, and buffalo. However, he clearly stated not to eat swine and called them “detestable.” Was He being mean? No, God knew all about their physiology. He created them to be nature’s garbage cleaners.
Quoting Dr. Rubin, “Pigs will chomp on pails of you-know-what and not be bothered in the least. They will derive nutrition from human excrement dredged from a latrine pit, eliminating a sanitary problem for their rural masters. Even their own waste tastes fine to them. Pigs have a simple stomach arrangement. Whatever a pig eats goes straight into a simple stomach, where it’s rudimentarily digested and pushed out the back end. Total transit time: 4 hours.” Compare this to the sophisticated digestion process of a cow or buffalo. These animals eat grasses, alfalfa, and hay, a vegetarian diet. These animals take a leisurely twenty-four hours to digest their food. Remember when you eat the meat of animals, you’re actually eating what they ate.
Dr. Rex Russell says, “Pigs are gluttonous, never knowing when to stop eating. Their stomach acids become diluted because of the volume of food, allowing all kinds of vermin to pass through this protective barrier. Parasites, bacteria, viruses, and toxins can pass into the pig’s flesh because of overeating. These toxins and infectious agents can be passed on to humans when they eat a pig’s flesh.” He goes on to state that in the United States, three of the six most common food borne parasitic diseases of humans are associated with pork consumption. These include toxoplasmosis, taeniasis or cysticerosis (caused by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium) and trichinellosis.
Father, we are so thankful for Your Word and for Your Truth that guides us into all truth. We ask that You reveal Your wisdom to each of us.
Link of the Day
Pork and More – Unclean for All Stomachs Not Only the Jewish Kind
Blessings on you as you consider the many reasons why you would want to avoid eating pork.
“Victim and responsible have nothing to do with the truth.” Brian Klemmer
What if you were the cause of everything you experience? (Hint — you are!)
Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8; NLT)
In my last DG I made the statement, “We do have control — indeed total control — over how we handle change.” I was thinking about that some more, and feel that it would be good to explore that rather dogmatic statement a little further. My thinking on this goes back to an incredible book that I read many, many years ago by Brian Klemmer titled If how-to’s were enough We would all be skinny, rich and happy! Amazing book! Timeless wisdom.
He devotes a whole chapter to victim versus responsible. One of the most memorable word pictures he paints revolves around the old Jefferson nickel. If you were looking at the heads side and were asked to describe what you see, you would describe an engraved portrait of President Thomas Jefferson. If someone else were looking at the tails side and were asked to describe that same coin, they would think you were a nut case, because what they would be seeing would be an engraving of the Monticello homestead.
Which viewpoint is right? Well, the obvious answer (obvious only because we understand the scenario) is that both are right. How can there be two totally correct viewpoints of the very same thing? What’s all that got to do with anything you might be asking. Well, stop and think about the last time you were totally certain that your viewpoint was correct, and absolutely amazed that other people couldn’t see things as you saw them. Hopefully (if you’re honest with yourself) you’ll be able to think of more than just a few such situations. We all fall into that thinking pattern all too easily.
Now, transfer that concept of two different viewpoints of the same thing to the last time you can remember that someone did something to you that you were not happy about. You could see yourself as a victim — poor me; look at the bad thing they did to me. Or you could see the same incident from the viewpoint of your being at cause in one way or another for what happened. (Please note that I did not say you were at fault or to blame; just responsible in that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time through some choice that you made back there somewhere.) Observe that there is one incident, but two totally opposite viewpoints.
What I’m trying to say in all this is that it’s your choice which of the two viewpoints you decide to hold. Nobody’s choice but yours. You have total control over that choice! If you choose the victim viewpoint, you will likely feel some negative emotions as you review the incident. But even more important, there is NO HOPE for a solution. Being a victim and having a solution are mutually exclusive! If there’s a solution in sight, you can no longer be a victim.
If, on the other hand, you chose to adopt the responsible viewpoint, i.e., due to one or more of your decisions in the past, you were at cause for the incident, then the possibility for a solution now exists. Again, no blame here — just responsibility. Maybe you were indeed wronged, but you made choices which put you in the path of that undesirable situation. Note the dramatic shift in emotions. No longer negative, because there is now the possibility of a solution.
Can you see what just happened? Just by changing your viewpoint, you went from a zero probability for solution to maybe a 50-50 probability. Now, for the “no-brainer” question of the week: Which odds would you rather play? Zero to 50-50 just by the choice of which viewpoint you adopt.
Why does everybody (well almost everybody) seem to always choose the victim viewpoint? I would love to hear your comments on this amazing quirk of human behavior.
Father, we ask for the grace to make it clear to us when we are choosing the victim point of view. Grant us the courage to stand up and be responsible.
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you purpose to choose the be responsible for everything you experience.
“I recommend only three types of fats to my clients: extra virgin olive oil, organic or, preferably raw butter, and organic coconut oil.” Mary G. Enig, Ph. D.
Have you begun using coconut oil yet? Why or why not?
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen. (Rom. 1:25; NIV)
If you’ve read some of what I’ve written before, you know that I’m a huge proponent of coconut oil. Coconut oil is finally becoming more and more well-known and accepted as a very good fat. Today’s post comes from a very recent article on Naturalnews.com. “A recent study reveals new evidence that could turn the tide in the ongoing debate about which fats are the healthier choice: saturated fats like coconut oil or polyunsaturated fats like soybean oil. Many natural food experts will tell you without question that coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats, but since giants like the Food and Drug Administration and the American Diabetes Association maintain that saturated fats are bad, the public is tossed back and forth between two polar beliefs.
“The study — which is yet to be published in print — included 40 women between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. All of the women were instructed to follow the same balanced, low-calorie diet while maintaining a moderate daily exercise routine over a 12-week period. Half of the women were given a 30 ml supplement of coconut oil each day, while the other half was given 30 ml of soybean oil. Over the course of the study, overall carbohydrate and caloric intake decreased. Fat, protein and fiber intake remained unchanged during the study.
“One week before the study and one week after, the women were evaluated on a number of factors: waist circumference, lipid levels, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were all noted, as well as the HDL:LDL ratio. At the beginning of the study there was no significant difference in these factors in either group of women.
“At the end of the study, both groups showed a decrease in body mass index (BMI), but only the women taking coconut oil showed a notable decrease in waist circumference as well. Evidence shows that a decrease in waist circumference can significantly lower one’s risk for conditions like type II diabetes and heart disease.
“The study also showed that the women taking coconut oil had an improved cholesterol profile, with higher HDL levels and a higher HDL:LDL ratio. Those taking soybean oil, however, did not receive the same benefits. In fact, the soybean oil group had higher total cholesterol, higher LDL cholesterol, lower HDL cholesterol, and a lower HDL:LDL ratio.
“In the words of the study authors: ‘It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.’
“In layman’s terms, results like this completely contradict what the FDA and other major associations have been spoon-feeding the public for decades while the rate of disease and obesity climb at alarming rates. Maybe it’s time to rethink our conventional theories about fats.”
I couldn’t agree more!
Father, we thank You for all of the wonderful foods that You have provided for us. Thank You for teaching us what are the very best foods to eat.
Link of the Day
The Smarter Oil Alternative
Blessings on you as you explore the use of coconut oil.
Wellness is the journey; health is the destination.” Dr. John J. Collins
How would you define wellness?
O LORD my God, I cried out to you for help, and you restored my health. (Psa. 30:2; NLT)
I ran across a powerful video over the weekend, wherein a chiropractor in Oregon provides one of the best explanations of wellness that we have ever heard. The video is today’s link. Bottom line, Dr. Collins succinctly defines wellness as living in ways that result in health, i.e., eating, moving, thinking, sleeping properly, et al.
Similarly, Dr. Collins defines health as a condition where your cells are functioning properly. That distinction between wellness and health makes it very clear that the two terms are not interchangeable. Wellness yields health.
The rub with all this is that you first must know how to live properly. Most people don’t. And unfortunately, many medical professionals don’t know either. You see, the medical profession, by and large, is trained to focus on diagnosing an illness, i.e., labeling it, and then based on that diagnosis, to prescribe a substance to suppress the symptoms. Rarely do they address the behavior that precipitated the illness in the first place.
A wellness practitioner on the other hand, will focus on only supplying the body what it needs for proper cell function while at the same time withdrawing those things that are keeping those cells from functioning properly. It is not an unreasonable generalization to say that the majority of people are lacking in the basics needed for proper cell function such as adequate hydration, adequate movement, adequate nutrition (including supplementation), adequate rest, and stress management strategies. According to Dr. Collins’ definitions, supplying those essentials will result in health — 100% of the time.
This way of defining wellness so resonates with us since it is totally congruent with the message presented in our ebook, UNCOMMON Wellness Coaching. In that book, we spend a considerable amount of time looking at each of those basic necessities for proper cell function. We encourage you to click on the title above and download the first chapter of the book to judge for yourself whether or not it will provide the kind of guidance that will lead you into health.
How’s this for a new slogan? “Better living through wellness — not chemistry.”
Father, again we thank You for an incredibly designed physical body that virtually heals itself when provided with the basic necessities. Grant us the grace to recognize just how easy it is to enjoy great health.
Link of the Day
What is Wellness?
Blessings on you as you choose wellness instead of chemistry.
“Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.” Winston Churchill
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you score your overall level of persistence? Examples? Are you satisfied with that score?
Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. (2 Tim. 4:2; NLT)
Yesterday, I saw a Tweet from Max Lucado (many of you will be very familiar with that name). Yes, Max is a very active tweeter. If you’re so inclined, you can follow him at http://twitter.com/MaxLucado.
Anyway, Max tweeted “This is an inspirational clip. Best viewed with tissue at hand:).” So, I followed the link and am glad that I did. The clip that Lucado was recommending is today’s Link of the Day.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a Daily Gram about an overcomer. It seems that there was a real string of them for a while last year. While this one is not quite as amazing as some that I’ve featured in the past, this is still a magnificent story of overcoming incredible odds to achieve a goal. Persistence is such an important character trait. Giving up is so easy any more. It’s almost expected these days. Here’s a video you might want to keep and watch again during those hard times when you’re fighting the temptation to toss in the towel.
In any event, grab a tissue as Max Lucado suggests and enjoy the story of D. J. Gregory — Walk On!!!
BTW, there’s more on D.J.’s blog at http://www.pgatour.com/2008/r/dj.blog/index.html.
Father, we are so blessed and grateful that You never give up on us. Thank You, thank You, thank You!
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you resolve not to quit.
“The only reason I made a commercial for American Express was to pay for my American Express bill.” Peter Ustinov
What is the most memorable commercial you ever saw? What made it memorable?
Any story sounds true until someone sets the record straight. (Prov. 18:17; NIV)
We don’t watch much TV at our house, but when we do I am quickly reminded about that necessary evil — commercials. Over the years, I seen a few commercials that I really enjoyed, but they are few and far between. I always look forward to the commercials during the Super Bowl, but even those have not been as good as I recall they used to be. With all that creativity and a virtually unlimited budget, you would think that commercials could deliver value first, and then recognize that a memorable commercial will leave favorable impressions which will then convert to sales.
Fortunately, with the Internet, the really good commercials do rise to the top and become almost viral as they are passed around. All that is to set you up for a commercial “double-feature” to wrap up this week of Daily Grams. I believe you will really enjoy them both. Both convey strong messages, one set up with humor and the other with a very poignant short story.
I hope you enjoy our little “commercial break.” Make yourself a magnificent weekend!!!
Father, we thank You for the greatest story ever told.
Blessings on you as you enjoy your weekend. See ya Monday!