“Walnuts are better than cookies, French fries or potato chips when you need a snack.” Dr. Elaine Hardman
So their father, Jacob, finally said to them, “If it can’t be avoided, then at least do this. Fill your bags with the best products of the land. Take them to the man as gifts — balm, honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. (Gen. 43:11; NLT)
For years, my number one snack has been nuts. (BTW, peanuts don’t count as they are technically a legume, a member of the pea family like soybeans and pinto beans. They are nuts in name only, i.e., posers. 😉 ) Anytime I feel like a snack, I’ll visit our stash of nuts in the cupboard. I’ll usually find almonds, walnuts, pecans, and sometimes cashews.
For the last couple of weeks we have been following Sharon’s AIEP and therefore have been limited to almonds and walnuts. This week, in Phase 2, we’re adding pecans back. Somewhere down the road, phase 3 or beyond, we’ll be able to enjoy cashews again…and my all-time favorite snack, dark chocolate-covered almonds. Something to look forward to.
Not sure why I like nuts so much, but I’ll reach for nuts over almost any snack. And no, it’s not because of the salt, for the nuts I’m referring to are all soaked and dried according to the routine Sharon discussed in an earlier DG. So they’re not salty. But they are crunchy. And I think that’s what I really like the most. As I’m fond of saying, I like to exercise my teeth.
Turns out that there are some interesting benefits associated with nuts. I’ve included a link today that talks about the following:
- eating pistachios lowers the risk of lung cancer
- a diet rich in nuts may help prevent age-related blindness aka age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- walnuts appear to have breast cancer-fighting properties
- nuts are heart healthy because they dramatically improve blood cholesterol levels, without drugs
All this is great news for a nut lover like me. I’m delighted to share the news with you, BUT — But please keep all this great info under your hat. All the above are blatant healing claims that only pharmaceutical drugs are lawfully allowed to make in this country. In fact, any medical professional who promotes a non-drug substance to cure any disease is subject to losing his or her license. Don’t believe me? Check out the following incredible story:
“The FDA is now threatening cherry growers with raids to confiscate their cherries, haul them into court, and put them out of business for doing one simple thing that the FDA cannot stand to allow: The distribution of scientific information describing the health benefits of cherries. Mike Adams
So don’t tell anybody that I told you how good nuts are for you. Shhhhhhh…
Father, we thank you for nut trees and the amazing health benefits you designed into them.
Link of the Day
Eating Walnuts may Prevent Breast Cancer
Photo by Zen Like Jen
“Love at first sight saves a lot of time.” Anonymous
A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. (Prov. 15:17; NLT)
Well, it’s June, and tis the season — for love and weddings, that is.
I was searching for a topic for a DG to finish off the week, and as I went back through some ideas that I had filed away, I ran across this delightful video story about love at first sight. (And trust me — it’s not what you think.)
Some time ago we tried to end each week with a light-hearted video, and I thought this might be the perfect end to your perfect week. Every time I watch this, I can’t help but smile. I believe you will have the same reaction.
So with all that said, please accept the prayers of The Coaching Pair that you would have an absolutely awesome weekend. See you next week!
Father, there are several lessons for each of us in this short video. Please use it to whisper in our heart that which You would have us takeaway.
Link of the Day
The Orangutan and the Hound
Photo by giarose
“Today, success in the pharmaceutical industry has more to do with the public relations motive that goes after a target group with fervor and savvy in order to convince people to believe they are sick and require medical intervention, than with the science behind it.” Dr. Tara Macart
He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them. (2 Thess. 2:10; NLT)
I ran across a very insightful blog post by a Canadian doctor who poses some very interesting questions. Is the practice of advertising pharmaceutical drugs like any other consumer product helping or hurting our overall societal health? It is education that is occurring? Or is it marketing pure and simple? (The story of Little Red Riding Hood comes to mind as I write this.) Are we educating our population to become hypochondriacs?
Obviously, advertising drugs is hugely effective or we wouldn’t see so many drug-related commercials on TV. The real question is, “Does the increase in sales mean that more people ‘woke up’ to the fact that they had such-and-such disease and finally sought medical care, or does it mean that more and more people were ‘talked into’ the fact that they had that disease?” You know, the power of suggestion.
What’s a doctor to do if a patient marches in and demands a prescription to a particular drug? Especially when the doctor knows full well that if he/she refuses, the patient will walk down the street and find another doctor who will honor the request. After all, the pill is so easy to take and the results look so wonderful. Get a life!!!
Our society has banned alcohol and tobacco advertising because we finally woke up to the fact that they were harmful. More and more research is showing that pharmaceutical drugs are just as harmful if not more so. At best they are a band-aid covering symptoms without addressing what caused the problem in the first place.
But, these band-aids don’t just cover, they then become a cause, in and of themselves, of other, probably more serious problems. Don’t believe me? Just listen to the machine gun disclaimers after each TV drug ad or read the fine print after each magazine drug ad. You’re usually better off with the original condition than with the side effects.
I encourage you to read Dr. Macart’s blog post that I’ve made today’s link. She also mentions a few other slight-of-hand tricks of the trade to enhance drug sales like changing the threshold of a disease definition. Folks, when you need ’em, drugs can be marvelous inventions. But when you don’t need ’em…
Father, save us from ourselves. It’s against our law to advertise the curative power of those things you provided for us, while it’s within the law to advertise those imitations we make.
Link of the Day
Are we selling sickness?
Photo by HollywoodPimp
To reiterate a bit, a little over three weeks ago, Jerry and I started on an anti-inflammatory eating plan. The purpose of the eating plan is to stabilize blood sugar levels, balance hormonal levels, and decrease inflammation in the body. Watch this video and I’ll give you some insight to how it’s going for us.
Here’s what we ate on Day 25. Wow! I never dreamed that I would post what I’ve eaten for all the world to see for 25 days. It seemed a bit daunting at the onset but like most things done over time, it’s become a habit and is developing its own rhythm.
- Goat yogurt with fresh blueberries, strawberries, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almond butter, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and Super Seed
- Leftover hamburgers, marinated vegetables, and black bean salad
- Goat cheese
- Salmon patties made with wild caught, canned salmon, chopped celery and onion, beaten egg, almond meal and cayenne pepper, pan seared in coconut oil
- Yellow summer squash and onion stir fried in coconut oil. Seasoned with ground chipotle pepper and Herbamare.
- Coleslaw with red and green cabbage; Vegenaise, and apple cider vinegar dressing
Our daughter knows her Daddy well. Part of his birthday gift from her and her family was a bottle of ground chipotle pepper. Actually, Jerry purposed to introduce her to “hot and spicy foods” when she was a little girl. And it stuck. Now, she’s sending him some great smoky, ground hot pepper. It has such a wonderful aroma and really added flavor to the squash.
“The more people increase their wealth, the greater proportion of their income they spend on wellness.” Paul Zane Pilzer
These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! (Psa. 73:7; NLT)
I happened to run across a fascinating article on AOL last week that described a study by the University of Washington that concluded that “The percentage of obese shoppers is almost 10 times higher at low-cost grocery stores, compared with more upscale stores. And poverty is the key reason.” I found the article fascinating for several reasons (BTW, the article is today’s Link of the Day.)
First of all, the conclusions of the study are likely valid, but there is a lot more going on than just poverty. In fact, one of the commenters on the article wrote (sarcastically, I hope), “What a terrible conclusion! Obesity is caused by poverty? Really? People just can’t afford to not eat too much? Give me a break. Only in America.” While amusing, that misses the whole point as well. It’s not about eating too much nearly as much as it is about eating the wrong things.
The second thing I found fascinating about the article was the comments that poured in as a result. As a blogger, I know how difficult it can be to get people to comment on your blog. You usually have to write something very controversial and then have very thick skin to weather the result. This article scored and scored big as they had 283 impassioned comments after about four days. And while who has time to read them all, the first page of 20 will give you a feeling for the controversy. One of the major issues is that it appears politically incorrect to associate obesity with poverty. My, my. Give me a break!!!
The third thing was that the article triggered some very interesting (to me, anyway) reflections on my part. It used to be that fatness was associated with success and comfortableness. Wikipedia writes, “For most of human history mankind struggled with food scarcity. Obesity has thus historically been viewed as a sign of wealth and prosperity.” Except I suspect that the politically correct word of the day was “portly” rather than “obese.” (Ever wonder what’s the difference?)
Along those same lines, William Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar in the late 1500’s in which Caesar said, “Let me have men about me that are fat; Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’nights; Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much, such men are dangerous.” Isn’t that a hoot? Old Jules should feel very safe and secure in today’s society.
Wikipedia tells us that “During the 19th century, views on obesity changed in the Western world. After centuries of obesity being synonymous with wealth and social status, slimness began to be seen as the desirable standard.” So that’s where we find ourselves today. It’s just a matter of time before our cultural norms will be modified once again to reflect reality. I guess that’s the way it works.
Father, I find myself wondering sometimes if you’re laughing or crying as you watch things unfold. I find it amazing how powerful the human mind is in rationalizing it’s activities.
Link of the Day
Skinniest People Grocery Shop HERE
Photo by Kim & Amy
“Isabel , what do you mean you went out to dinner? I thought you locked yourself up in your house and only ate directly from your own refrigerator and never left the house?”
If you are a big eater, put a knife to your throat. (Prov. 23:2; NLT)
I’ve returned to writing my Daily Gram articles of news and information on living the healthiest lifestyle you can live. One of the people that we follow and recommend is a woman named Isabel. We’re referred to her material before. She recently wrote an excellent article on dining out. It was her birthday and they celebrated by dining out in a restaurant.
People who know us, know that we don’t dine out often. Special occasions with friends would be the primary occurrence. This past weekend we were privileged to help celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of dear friends. Their family blessed them with a lovely party on a dining and cruise ship that sails a local river for several hours in the evening. Dinner, dancing, and entertainment were all part of the program.
Jerry and I were able to enjoy a nice meal that was served buffet style. The first offering was a tossed salad. I tried to pick out the darker greens and vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes as opposed to eating the iceberg lettuce. There was a white, creamy dressing that I could easily eliminate (too many unknowns in it.) I put one small spoonful of balsamic vinaigrette on top.
Next on the buffet line were steamed Asian-style vegetables with no sauce. I choose some of those. There was also pasta, sauce, and meatballs. I passed on that. (I sometimes might eat the meatballs but these actually looked like they were fried, and I didn’t know what kind of meat they contained.) Next was a stuffed chicken breast piece. I could see spinach in the stuffing and what looked like ricotta cheese. I took some of this. That is what it turned out to be and they were tasty. (I would have passed if they were stuffed with seafood or bread stuffing.) Oh, there was another side of steamed vegetables with carrots, parsnips, peppers, squash, and onions which was very good. There was also some type of rice dish as well as mashed potatoes. I passed on both of those.
Then there was pan seared salmon. This was very yummy. No, I don’t know if it was wild caught. Anyone’s guess. It did taste fresh and healthy and was nicely done. I enjoyed this and the steamed vegetables the most. There was roast beef and ham at the end of the buffet table that the chef was carving and serving. I chose neither. Once I sat down I saw others with various rolls and breads. I never even saw them on the table. I would have passed had I seen them. So, we enjoyed a very nice meal which was quite satisfying. Anniversary cake was served, which I passed on. We were also brought a dessert plate with a piece of cheesecake and a dollop of chocolate mousse. I took a bite of each and later wished I hadn’t. My stomach felt heavy. Remember we’ve been on the AIEP and hadn’t had anything sweet for many weeks.
Back to Isabel and her article, allow me to share with you some of her bullet points on eating out that she made in the article. It lines up closely with what we chose to eat on the cruise ship.
- Look for the healthy protein on the menu first. Chances are you’re not going to find grass-fed meat and free-range poultry (although many restaurants do carry them now) but since you are not eating out every day of the week (I hope) just look for your best option.
- Eliminate the complex carb choice from your meal and ask for a vegetable replacement instead. If the dish comes with rice, potatoes, or pasta, ask if they have different vegetables available and choose a few of those.
- Imagine there is poison on the bottom of the bread basket. Ok, ok, I don’t have to be so dramatic. There really is no reason to fill up on tons of bread when you have a yummy meal coming really soon.
- Schedule a cheat meal once a week. I will usually share a dessert with my husband over the weekend when we go out and that is my “treat” for the week.
Remember, healthy eating does not have to mean locking yourself up in a closet and never going out in the real world…that would be completely unrealistic and not something anyone could do. Walk into each social situation with a game plan and you’ll find that you can still enjoy life and feel great and look great at the same time!
Father we are so grateful for Your love and grace for us and that You never ever give up on us!
Link of the Day
The Diet Solution
Photo by silver marquis
“We all take great pains to make sure our clothes are clean and fresh, but, ironically, the very detergents that we use to make our clothes ‘clean’ may actually be leaving them worse off than they were before we threw them in the wash.” SixWise.com
The people being purified must complete the cleansing ceremony by washing their clothes,…(Lev.14:8a;NLT)
Years ago when I was so sensitive to fragrances, chemicals, and various scents, I developed a hate relationship with laundry detergents. For a number of years the only thing I could use to wash our clothing was baking soda and old-fashioned Borax. Read more on Toxic Laundry Detergents…
“Energy drinks are marketed as ‘dietary supplements”‘ and the Food and Drug Administration’s caffeine content limit of 71 milligrams per 12-ounce can doesn’t apply. As a result, consumers remain in the dark about the dangers of energy drinks.” Andy Moodie
They conceive trouble and evil, and their hearts give birth only to deceit. (Job 15:35; NLT)
There are a couple of other well-known authors out there that we easily and quickly endorse their writing and products because their views on nutrition are so closely aligned to our own. (Notice that I didn’t say exactly — but close enough.) One of those is Mike Geary, who is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Specialist. He’s also the best-selling author of a great and inexpensive resource, The Truth About Six Pack Abs. Don’t let the title deceive you, this resource is as much about what you eat as it is about how you exercise. (Please note that we are affiliates of Mike’s for this resource, and if you choose to make a purchase we do get a small reward for directing you to it.)
The following article is one of Mike’s latest, and so right on, that I was eager to share it with you:
The Energy Drink Scam — Do Energy Drinks Actually Help You, or Just Give You a Fatter Gut?
Today I have a little rant on energy drinks…
I receive a ton of questions about all of these new “energy” drinks that have hit the market over the last few years. They seem to be all the rage, especially with the youth, and they promise you the world with outrageous claims of all of the super energy that you are going to have, and how you’ll become the best athlete in the world, start lifting cars over your head, and get a perfect body.
So a couple questions arise:
- Are these “energy” drinks really any good for you?
- Do they actually increase your energy?
- Do they really have some sort of magical energy formula?
- Will they help you lose weight?
First of all, let’s look at what most of these energy drinks are usually made of. Most of them are simply carbonated water loaded with gut-fattening high fructose corn syrup (or other added sugars), caffeine, the amino acid taurine, and some crappy vitamins added for show to trick you into thinking there’s something healthy about these concoctions.
Let’s start with the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Well, here we’ve got empty calories that will go straight to your belly fat, and that are possibly even WORSE for you than plain old refined sugar (although that’s up for debate, but semantics in the big picture). Some energy drinks use other added sugars instead of HFCS, but it doesn’t really matter, because they are all gut-fattening empty calories with no nutritional benefit.
Ok, so you say that they have low-sugar or sugar-free varieties as an alternative to the HFCS-laden energy drinks. Yes, but now you have the problem of the harmful chemicals in the artificial sweeteners which have their own set of health dangers.
Another problem with artificial sweeteners is that there are some researchers that believe artificial sweetener use leads people to inadvertently consume more calories and gain more weight in the long run. I won’t go into the details on that because that would fill up an entire discussion by itself. Just trust me that artificial sweeteners and artificial chemicals in food in general, are all bad news for your body! It’s never a good idea to try to “trick” your body with artificial tastes.
What about the caffeine?
Well, first of all, caffeine doesn’t in itself provide “energy”. Technically, the only substance that actually provides energy is calories (from carbs, protein, and fat).
However, caffeine can be an aid for livening or waking some people up, by means of stimulating the central nervous system.
Instead of caffeine added to some carbonated “energy” drink, I’d rather get my caffeine from a natural source like green, white, or oolong teas (or my new favorite – yerba mate teas), which actually provide powerful healthy antioxidants too!
Keep in mind though, if you’re a regular coffee drinker, you probably have some level of addiction to caffeine and probably wouldn’t receive too much benefit from the caffeine in an energy drink anyway.
Tip: try to drink more tea and reduce your coffee intake to only a couple days per week max to reduce your dependency on caffeine. Most teas contain much less caffeine than coffee, and some teas (such as green, white, and oolong) contain synergistic phytochemicals that work to slow the response of the caffeine that they do contain. This means you get a milder response from the caffeine in green, oolong, or white teas compared to the harsher jittery response that some people get from coffee.
Now what about that so called magical blend of taurine and B-vitamins that they load into these energy drinks?
Well, big deal…you get taurine in almost any protein source. And the vast majority of those artificially added B-vitamins are simply coming right out into the toilet in your pee. Vitamins are best obtained naturally from a REAL food source, not artificially added to some carbonated drink. Your body just doesn’t use fake sources of vitamins as readily as natural sources from real food.
So as you can see, in my opinion, I give all of these energy drinks a big time THUMBS DOWN! Don’t fall for the ridiculous marketing of all of these so-called “energy drinks”.
Father, one of the downsides to our busy lifestyle is that we get to thinking that we don’t have enough time to get it all done which leads to abusing our bodies by not getting enough rest and too much stress, which leads to chemical answers such as we see here, which only add to our body’s stress and abuse. Please save us from ourselves.
Link of the Day
The Truth About Six-Pack Abs
Photo by Tim O’Bryan
“Fabric softeners are made to stay in your clothing for long periods of time. As such, chemicals are slowly released either into the air for you to inhale or onto your skin for you to absorb. Dryer sheets are particularly noxious because they are heated in the dryer and the chemicals are released through dryer vents and out into the environment.” B Williams
In my last DG, I wrote about the toxicity of common laundry detergents. While doing research for that article, I was reminded that it’s not only the laundry detergents that are toxic, fabric softeners and dryer sheets are equally as toxic.
In that DG I spoke of my own sensitivity to laundry detergents years ago. At that time, I was only able to use baking soda and borax to wash our laundry. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets were quickly eliminated due to their sickening scent and frightening fragrance. I’ve never used them since and it’s been 25 years! So, I really had forgotten their toxicity level.
One of the main reasons fabric softeners are used is to decrease static cling from synthetic fabrics. When synthetic fibers are heated, they don’t smell good…thus more reasons for the hefty dose of “fragrance.” When drying cotton clothing and other natural fibers in the dryer, static cling is a non-issue.
Today’s link says, “In other words, remove all the added fragrance that endears people to fabric softeners and — like the cliché wolf in sheep’s clothing — the real smells of the chemical-laced fabric softener and the synthetic fabrics they were designed around may prompt people to shoot their laundry machines and be done with it.”
The article goes on to list various health effects from exposure to the chemicals in fabric softeners.
- Central nervous system disorders and headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased blood pressure
- Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
- Pancreatic cancer
Some serious consequences for “smelly” clothes!
At times, I’ve purchased clothing from a consignment or thrift store. In my attempts to rid the clothing of that “horrible smell,” I have nearly worn the clothing out from washing it so many times. I was thinking it was from the laundry detergent, but now I realize it was from the dryer sheets or fabric softeners that have become embedded in the fabric. Yucko!
Today’s link provides further information on the damages these products cause to the human body. It also provides alternatives to use instead of commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets.
Father, we are so thankful for the protection You give to us each and every day, even when we’re so totally unaware.
Link of the Day
The Toxic Danger of Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets
Photo by Sharon
“Cooking with herbs and spices goes a long way to achieving a cook’s desire to serve delicious food.” www.suite101.com
I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. (Gen. 9:3; NKJ)
Knowing how to season food using herbs and spices can be the determining factor between a great dish and one that no one wants to eat.
Be courageous in your use of herbs. Start with what you know and then branch out little by little trying a new herb every week or so.
In today’s video clip, I go over common herbs that I use in everyday cooking. I’ve talked about them according to how I use them in certain cuisines and dishes. Enjoy!
Father, we thank You for all of the wonderful herbs and plants that You have given us to eat and enjoy!