“Don’t hesitate to acknowledge that these vegetables in conjunction with the cliché statement, “Eat Your Vegetables,” have some actual, disease prevention, medicinal purposes and meaning behind them.” Brooke Bulatek
How are you getting your children to eat vegetables?
So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the rich foods and wines. (Dan. 1:16; NLT)
Remember when your mother told you to eat your vegetables? Well, now they’re finding some pretty good reasons why mom was right.
I bet you didn’t know that there’s a specific category of veggies that contain very specific phytonutrients that actually assist in the fight against belly fat. (Don’t feel bad, mom probably didn’t know either.) Allow me to elaborate…
If you’ve been reading our DG’s for any length of time, you probably already know that there are certain chemicals in our food supply and in our environment, such as pesticides, herbicides, and certain petrochemicals from household cleaners, cosmetics, etc., that can act as xenoestrogens.
Xenoestrogens are chemicals that have an estrogenic effect on the body. Excessive exposure can cause hormonal imbalance in both men and women. Bottom line, xenoestrogens can wreak havoc in the body irregardless of gender.
These estrogenic chemicals that we’re exposed to on a daily basis will cause your body to store abdominal fat, as well as create several other significant problems.
So here’s where this specific category of phytonutrient-rich vegetables become important…
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, et al. contain specific and unique phytonutrients such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) that help to fight against these estrogenic compounds. By fighting against these abdominal fat stimulating estrogenic chemicals, this can help you in the battle against belly fat!
So there you go — just one more excuse to do what mom always told you to do and eat more broccoli! I’ve really learned to like cauliflower in the last several years too — melt a little grass-fed cheese and some organic butter on it and it’s great!
We’ve found a new resource that describes at least a dozen other specific foods, teas, spices, etc that help to combat the xenoestrogens, and can therefore help you to burn that belly fat faster.
Check out today’s Link of the Day and be sure to make sure to get your copy before the price doubles later this week.
Father, we thank You again that You have provided food choices that give our bodies what they need to function according to design.
Link of the Day
Fat Burning Foods or…Fat-Storing Foods?
Blessings on you as you increase the number of servings of cruciferous vegetables you eat this week.
Photo by Calc-tufa
I wanted to share a pretty unique article with you today from my trusted colleague and Nutrition Specialist Mike Geary.
You probably thought you already knew everything you needed to know about trans fats, but this article may surprise you…
co-Author – The Fat Burning KitchenWe all know that trans fats are horrible for your health right? But what if I told you that there is a specific type of trans fat that’s natural (not man-made) and actually helps you to lose fat faster and build lean muscle?
Well, check out the excerpt from my new program that I co-authored called The Fat Burning Kitchen below:
“…Not many people know this fact, but CLA [Conjugated Linoleic Acid] is actually a natural form of trans fat, but it is FAR different than the artificial trans fats from hydrogenated oils that are so deadly and that you hear all of the negative information about. CLA is actually one of the only healthy trans fats in existence.
“CLA is a natural form of healthy trans fat that occurs in the fat on the meat, and in the dairy from ruminant animals such as cattle, bison, deer, goats, sheep, kangaroo, etc. CLA in natural form has been shown to help in burning off abdominal fat and also maintaining or even building lean muscle.
“Warning: do NOT use CLA supplements as they contain an artificially created form of CLA that is a different CLA isomer compared to the natural CLA isomer that’s found in meats and dairy from ruminant animals. The CLA isomer found in CLA supplements can have negative effects in the body and is more similar to an artificial trans fat. The only form of CLA is that going to benefit your health and help you to reduce body fat is the natural CLA isomers from grass-fed beef, bison, venison, etc or from grass-fed raw milk or cheeses.
“Also, grass-fed meats and dairy contain 3-5 times the CLA of grain fed meats, so avoid your typical grain-fed grocery store meats.”
There you have it…there actually IS such a thing as a healthy trans fat…bet you didn’t know that!
This was an excerpt from my brand new program I just co-authored with an extremely knowledgeable nutrition expert named Catherine Ebeling.
The program is called The Fat Burning Kitchen.
Because this is our launch week… you can grab the program for half price this week only. The price will double in a few days at the end of the week.
Get your copy today so you don’t miss out on the half price special.
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Photo by etharooni
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Ambrose Bierce
What happens to you when you are around folks who are angry?
And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. (Eph. 4:26, 27; NLT)
I love sales and marketing. I have a great deal of respect for a truly professional sales person who sees his profession as a problem solver. I enjoy watching good marketing campaigns “do their thing.” Some people are gifted with incredibly creative and persuasive skills. I’ve spent most of my working career around sales and marketing professionals and love watch to those in that profession utilize their gifts. (Maybe that’s because those are a couple of gifts that I’ve never been particularly strong in.)
But occasionally, even the best make mistakes too. And usually, when they do they are huge blunders. In doing a little research for this DG, I just googled “marketing blunders” and have had a great time laughing at some of the best — best blunders, that is. For example, Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.” (www.digitaldreams.com).
Here’s another — In 2004, Target made a huge blunder, right as the Christmas shopping season was gearing up. Target announced that the Salvation Army was no longer welcomed to ring their bells outside of any Target store. Salvation Army bell ringers have become synonymous with Christmas after a century of tradition. Shoppers were outraged, and rival Wal-Mart, sensing an opportunity to draw blood in its battle against Target, announced plans to match customer donations at its stores. (www.associatedcontent.com)
It’s like a giant chess game…one person makes a spectacularly dumb move and then the other player can move in and enjoy an incredible advantage for a season. Now, I’ve got another candidate for classic blunders of 2009. Several years ago, I’m not sure when, McDonald’s came out with a promotion called Happy Meals. With that brilliant move, Mickey D enlisted all the children as corporate marketing representatives. Try driving by a McDonald’s with a youngster in the car.
I don’t know the “behind the scenes story,” but recently one of McDonald’s rivals, Burger King, introduced an Angry Sauce which they serve on Angry Chicken Sandwiches. And to further promote this wonderful idea, at the Burger King web site you can actually send someone you are angry with a wonderful Angry Gram in which an angry hamburger yells at your target. How clever!
Think about this for a minute (apparently Burger King didn’t), but where would you rather go for a quick sandwich — where people are happy or where people are angry? Do we really need more anger around us? Anger is a major issue in our society anymore. We have people going postal and others boiling in traffic to the point of road rage. We even have elected representatives yelling at each other in public meetings. Good grief!
Incidentally, I learned about this brilliantly insane marketing campaign from a magnificently written blog post called to my attention last week. I’ve made the link to that blog today’s Link of the Day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about this since I first read about it. I’m hoping that writing a DG about it will help me get it out of my mind. All I can do is shake my head and ask, “What are they thinking?” Please give me you take on this. Maybe I’m missing something here.
Father, I thank You for our emotions and for our ability to control those emotions. I thank You for the many professionals and semi-professionals who are helping people who are dealing with anger and anger management issues. I further thank You for the admonition to not let the sun go down on our anger. Grant us the grace to comply.
Link of the Day
What You Can Learn from a Burger
Blessings on you as you choose to avoid anger as much as possible this coming week.
Photo by sizumaru
“Yes, eating dark chocolate has been shown to be beneficial for releasing an important brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine aids in learning and memory.” Steven Aitchison (Sorry, I couldn’t resist using that quote.)
What kind of brain maintenance program do you have?
Alcohol and prostitution have robbed my people of their brains. (Hosea 4:11; NLT)
Those of you who have been around awhile know that I have this fascination with all that has been discovered and written about with that last couple of decades about the human brain. As I mature, I am determined to do all I can do to prevent the onset of “Senior Moments.” Last week I ran across an incredible list of brain maintenance suggestions on a blog post which I am including as today’s link.
Actually, it’s a fairly long list of activities, but the whole list can be read in just a few minutes. The Idea is not to do them them all, but to pick out a few of your favorites and do them with a measure of consistency. But you will note that veggin’ in front of the household Cyclops did not make the list.
It’s a fun list to read, and there are some pleasant surprises on it. So, even if you’re not facing senior momentitis in the near future, it will be a very good investment of your time to look over the list. I predict you’ll be glad you did.
Father, we are so grateful for our incredible brains — and even more grateful that You are revealing ways that we can keep it at peak performance.
Link of the Day
47 Ways to Fine Tune Your Brain
Blessings on you as you begin your brain maintenance program today!
Photo by The B-roll
“How a person eats can make a big difference in how much they weigh and in overall health and well being.” Lucy Beale
How aware are you of your own eating habits?
…and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. (Prov. 23:2; NIV)
I was raised being a “licker.” I saw my mother lick the spatula when baking a cake or making cookies. When putting food away after a meal, she licked the spoon. I followed suit. Who doesn’t like to lick chocolate cake batter?
Once I began eating a diet of whole foods, the licking didn’t stop. I just licked healthy cake batter. I’ve enjoyed cooking and baking since I was a young girl. When one cooks, they taste. If I make chicken salad, I taste it to see if it needs more seasoning. Is the chili spicy enough? Does this dressing need more vinegar? Through the years however I have become more aware of when I’m not just tasting for tasting sake, but eating…for eating sake.
Lucy Beale’s latest newsletter addressed this issue as well. She begins by saying that there is a wealth of information available on what to eat, but not how to eat. I’ve certainly written my share of what to eat and what not to eat, but haven’t done much with the how. Yes, we’ve all heard and read about using smaller plates, laying our fork down between bites and measuring our food. However, I believe it’s also important to become aware of how we’re actually eating. How aware are you of when you’re eating and what you’re eating?
Lucy said some of her worst habits were eating fast, never giving thanks before eating, eating the food off of other family member’s plates, eating in bed and eating while standing up. I’m sure none of you do those things. She mentions other bad habits that she didn’t do, such as eating while texting, (that’s for our younger generation), talking on the phone while eating, and raiding the refrigerator at night.
For me, growing up on a busy dairy farm with an older brother and several farmhands meant we all needed to eat fast, if we wanted to make sure we got the food we desired. I also remember of when working as a nurse, we would hurry to the cafeteria and gulp down some food and get back to our patients. There was no time for a leisurely meal. Now, even though Jerry and I eat a very healthy diet of organic, whole foods, we’re still learning how to not eat too much of a good thing.
Some keys Lucy mentions for eating in a healthier manner are:
- Turn off the media (cell phone, computer, ipod) when eating
- Sit down to eat
- Say grace before eating
- Eat in the kitchen or dining room
- Fill the plates from the stove with moderate-size portions and don’t return for more
- Avoid challenging conversations during meals
- Eat slowly
- Enjoy your food…every single bite
- Eat foods that nourish your body, not just give empty calories.
Be blessed as you continue on your journey to a healthy life!
Father, we commit our eating habits to you. Thank you for showing us how to eat in a healthy manner that glorifies you.
Link of the Day
7 Unhealthy Eating Habits of Unproductive Bloggers
Blessings on you as you become more aware of how you’re eating.
Photo by chatirygirl
“You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more.” Morpheus (The Matrix)
Which pill would you choose? The blue pill or the red pill? The pharmaceutical drug or the sugar pill?
“What is truth?” Pilate asked. (John 18:38a; NLT)
The Placebo Effect — If you’re like most of us, that very phrase smacks of negativity and disdain. We’ve long had it drummed into our minds that only medicine has any lasting effect and anything less that a pharmaceutical drug is a waste of time, money, and even hope.
Let’s turn to the highly reliable Wikipedia for some help on this one. The first sentence in the definition of placebo is, “A placebo is a sham medical intervention.” Note the use of the word “sham.” It absolutely drips with ugliness and negativity. Nothing good could ever be called a sham, unless it was used to cover a pillow, right? So you don’t really have to read much further to sense the attitude of the author(s) toward placebos.
Yet, and get this…less than two years ago, the media was writing stories about a about a ground breaking clinical study on the use of placebos. (Time Magazine, Bloomberg.com, et al.). Almost fifty percent of the doctors in the survey reported prescribing placebos over the previous year. When asked why they would prescribe a placebo to a patient, ninety-six percent of the doctors doing so said they believed they would see a clinical, therapeutic result after prescribing a placebo. In other words, because their patients believed they would feel relief after taking a sugar pill, their bodies actually felt relief. Their patients’ bodies actually produced a healing effect based upon their belief that the placebo would work.
Hmmmm…is there an elephant in the room? Do you suppose any of that group of half of the doctors studied would publicly admit to using a “sham medical intervention?” Seems like that would invite a review board to investigate their worthiness to practice medicine.
Let me ask you a question — understanding the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, if you had the choice between a drug and a harmless sugar pill that produced the same result, which would you choose? I don’t even have to think twice about than one; it’s a classic “no-brainer” in my book. (I suppose you might think I have no brains if I chose the sugar pill, but to each his own.)
Fast forward a couple of years to an article that came out just two weeks ago this year titled, “Placebo Effect Regularly Beats Pharmaceutical Drugs.” (I’ve included that article as today’s link.) Fascinating article. It says, “The fact that an increasing number of medications are unable to beat sugar pills has thrown the industry into crisis and that half of all drugs that fail in late-stage trials drop out because of their inability to beat sugar pills.”
I love the next thought from the article, “It’s interesting because placebo pills are often sugar pills, and sugar is known to depress the immune system for hours after it’s taken. So, in truth, drug companies are having a difficult time competing against an immune system depressant.” I’ll leave the rest of the article for you to digest.
What does all this tell us about the power of our brain and our beliefs? What’s really going on here? Sounds like some interesting questions for a couple of future Daily Grams.
Pass the sugar, please.
Father, we ask for Your guidance as we make choices about our medical care.
Link of the Day
Placebo Effect Regularly Beats Pharmaceutical Drugs
Blessings on you as you ponder the power of what you believe.
Photo by e-magic
“Wellness coaching is a powerful relationship between a client and coach which explores the client’s greatest health concerns and goals, the obstacles to achieving those goals, and strategies to overcome the obstacles.” Ellen Goldman
What do you think it would be like to work with a Wellness Coach?
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Prov. 27:17;NIV)
Most of you who have followed our posts for any length of time know that I am passionate about educating and empowering others about wellness. Since my own health was nearly destroyed, I have a tremendous appreciation for being well. And I want others to be “well” along with me. If I can prevent anyone from walking through what I did, I’ll teach and preach wellness as long as I have breath.
Perhaps you’ve wondered, “What does Sharon really do? How does having a wellness coach work? How could she help me?” Many people know what they need to do to walk in better health. They know they need to exercise more, eat less fast food, and drink more water. But, they don’t do it! They might make a declaration of “No more fast food!” The first week they do well at avoiding the golden arches. They actually make a few meals from scratch and eat at home several nights. The next week finds their schedule even busier than the week before and their SUV automatically swerves into the “drive-through” for a burger and fries. “Supersize that while you’re at it!” Before long they’re lured back into the habitual use of fast food. They feel defeated and discouraged but they really don’t know how to make lasting change.
A wellness coach rides in on a white horse to the rescue. Well, that’s a stretch but it sure sounds good. Seriously, working with a wellness coach can prevent that kind of self-sabotaging behavior. Having encouragement, support, and accountability provides what the client needs to walk out their plan. When I work with a client, we look at their desired goals and outcomes they would like to reach. Some people are ready to dig in and attack it all…their eating, their exercise, their stress levels, etc. Other clients want and need to take it a little slower…even one thing at a time.
Initially I do an assessment with the client to determine where they are with their current level of health and wellness. How well are they sleeping? What are their energy levels like each day? How satisfied are they with their current weight? How much water are they really drinking each day? As I ask specific questions, the client begins to really ponder where they are in relation to their health and how far away they are from the mark. Then we begin setting simple, realistic and reachable goals or action items. We set up an accountability structure as a safeguard for the client…not as a tool to clobber them over the head. They get excited at the thought that they can make lasting change. If someone is drinking four diet sodas a day, we’ll explore this. What is this doing for them? What will it take for them to stop doing this? I do a lot of educating when I work with a client. I not only tell them why something isn’t good for them, I offer replacements of healthier options and I offer resources for them to do their own research to substantiate what I’ve told them.
We talk together for about an hour, two to three times per month depending on their need. They can send emails to me with questions in between calls. We work on everything from how much water they really need to be drinking to what time they’re going to bed each night. (I once worked with a client for three months on her getting to bed before midnight.) Even though someone says they want to make changes, there are many aspects involved with making the lasting change. A coach can and does bring much needed help and support so the client can become and stay WELL.
Father, we are so grateful that our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank You for giving us wisdom on how to care for them.
Link of the Day
The Christian Coaching Center – Wellness Coaching
Blessings on you as you ponder what it would be like to work with a wellness coach.
Photo by Dominique Sanchez
“Medicine has turned its back on magnesium because most of the funding for medical research now comes from drug companies. Magnesium is not a patented drug and therefore will not be studied by drug companies, except to try to disprove its action.” Dr. Joseph Mercola
Why do you think your body needs magnesium?
One of the unsung minerals in the body is magnesium. It’s also one of the most important minerals in the body. Dr. David Frahm says that magnesium is vital for over 300 enzyme systems that spark the chemical reaction that run the body. Magnesium is a building block of health. It’s needed for fatty acid, protein and bone formation. According to Dr. Don Colbert, magnesium is used in making new cells, in relaxing muscles, and in the clotting of blood.
Magnesium is critical to optimal heart function. It improves energy production in the heart, dilates arteries, and improves oxygen delivery to the heart. It helps keep heart rhythm steady. Magnesium also plays a major role in maintaining blood pressure within acceptable levels.
Magnesium is depleted by things such as alcohol, antibiotics, caffeine, distilled water, loud noises, refined grain products (white bread, pastries, cold cereals), carbonated soft drinks, smoking, stress, and unfriendly sweeteners such as sugar, aspartame, and Sucralose.
Deficiency of magnesium can lead to a vast number of symptoms. Some of which are:
- Muscle cramps — magnesium helps to relax muscles. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function.
- Restless leg syndrome — may well be alleviated with daily magnesium supplementation.
- Anxiety — a deficiency of magnesium can cause an increase in adrenaline being produced which can lead to a feeling of anxiety.
- Allergies and asthma — magnesium is required for the body to reduce histamine levels that are increased due to allergens.
- Osteoporosis — magnesium helps to keep bones strong.
A few other symptoms of magnesium deficiency are constipation, headaches, personality changes, and coronary spasms.
Magnesium is found in dark, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. So, one more reason to “eat your vegetables.” Supplementing with magnesium is also recommended. Jerry and I both take added magnesium from a high quality source.
Link of the Day
The Miracle of Magnesium
Blessings on you as you eat more green vegetables.
Photo by pink_fish13
“Do something every day to improve your mind — learn a new word, do an anagram puzzle, sudoku your mind, read a book, read a stimulating blog post, anything that will help your mind just a little. Just a little turns into something huge.” Steven Aitchison
When’s the last time you did a little calisthenics for your brain?
From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive. (Prov. 16:23; NLV)
It’s been almost two whole weeks since I’ve posted something about the brain or the mind. As you know this is one of my favorite topics. (It would be an interesting study to analyze why this is so, wouldn’t it?) Two weeks ago I posted “Brain Maintenance Program” in which I referenced a great blog post that listed 47 ways to tune up your brain. (If you missed that article, I encourage you to click the link and check it out.)
Onward and upward — this week, the Link of the Day lists no less than “100 Ways to Develop Your Mind.” (Actually, there are 101 as the author’s last item suggests that you always over deliver on your promises.) Again, the list is quite long, and there are some real surprises in it, but it does cause you to stop and realize that our brain is just like any other muscle and needs purposeful exercise in order to stay strong, healthy, and agile. “Use it or lose it” applies to our minds just as much as it does with any other muscle group.
I don’t recommend that you try everything on the list, nor even a majority. I propose that you use the list to generate some new ideas on ways to develop your mind. After all, it’s the only one you’ll ever have. You can’t go down to the brain store and get a replacement when the one you’ve got now fails because of misuse or lack or use. God gave you your mind for a purpose, and at the risk of repeating myself, it wasn’t to “zone out” watching TV or reading the newspaper. I’m a little disappointed that the list of 101 doesn’t include my favorite from the list of 47, i.e., Eat Dark Chocolate. So while there is some redundancy, the two lists are different in many respects.
Interestingly enough, neither list includes one of the best ways I know of to develop your brain (and spirit, for that matter), and that’s journaling. Dr. Randy Peck, whom you’ll recognize as one of the co-authors of our UNCOMMON Wellness Coaching audio series and ebook, will be starting a 4-week webinar series on journaling early next month. Keep your eye on his blog, http://journaling777.com for details or let me know that you’re interested and I’ll make sure you receive the registration details as soon as they become available.
Choose to have a magnificent week!
Father, again we thank You for the purpose or call you have on our life, and we especially thank You that You have given us the talents, skills, and mind to be able to carry out that purpose.
Link of the Day
100 Ways To Develop Your Mind
Blessings on you as you take your brain for a walk (or a jog?) today.
Photo by Mykl Roventine