Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How To Get The Most Nutritional Value Out of Your Vegetables

Have you ever wondered if you should cook or steam your vegetables, or eat them raw?  Well, I have.  So, in case you are wondering, or if I peaked your interest, please read the article below.

"Getting the most out of your vegetables

Vegetables are healthy foods bursting with vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, and they should be on everyone's plate every day.

Each type of vegetable offers its own nutritive substances and people can cover their nutritional needs by eating a variety of them, said Silke Restemeyer of the German nutrition organization. Thus, an A (as in aubergine) to Z (as in zucchini) approach is best for getting the most out of the wide variety of vegetables.

Nutritionists warn, however, that vegetables can lose a lot of their nutritional value when they are cooked. They agree that steaming is the best way to prepare them, but they also note that of the recommended five portions of vegetables and fruits a person should eat, at least one should be raw or in a salad.

"Basically, uncooked vegetables are the richest in vital substances," said Restemeyer.

But of course, people can eat whatever tastes best to them. For some that means lightly steamed, while others would rather have them stewed, braised, grilled or roasted. And while one person likes them well-seasoned, another prefers them in a cream sauce.

Heat is what causes vegetables to lose their nutrients, but there is a big difference between the extent to which they are lost depending on the cooking method used.

"Among the most nutrient-preserving ways to cook vegetables are steaming, cooking them in their own juices or with just a little bit of water, wine or broth," said Margret Morlo of an association in Germany devoted to nutrition and diet.

The reason is not solely that many vitamins, including C and B1, as well as all minerals are water-soluble and because these methods use little water the vitamins and minerals remain in the food. Usually, they are steamed at a low temperature and only until the vegetables are al dente. Steaming them at a high heat for too long destroys their nutritional content.

Vegetables such as carrots retain a similar amount of their nutrients when they are cooked in water. This can be done in a steamer or in a regular pot with a vegetable sieve. Another way to preserve nutrients is to cook the vegetables in hot oil in a skillet or wok until the vegetables are al dente.

Yet another alternative is to marinate the vegetables and then grill them or roast them in the oven for 30 minutes, said Carsten Voigt of an association for cooks in Germany. "These methods are equally as protective of the nutrients and you obtain a delicious roasted flavour," he said.

The cooking methods that cause the greatest loss of nutrients are slow cooking in a lot of liquid at high temperatures - 75 to 95 degrees Celsius - and classic simmering. Shorter cooking times mean fewer vitamins are lost compared with longer cooking times, said Voigt. In addition, cooking experts recommend using as little liquid as possible because the more liquid in the pot, the greater amount of minerals lost.

For the same reason vegetables shouldn't be cut in small pieces or peeled before being prepared. "Removing the peel is a shame because it contains the highest vitamin content and the most flavour," said Voigt.

There are a few other tricks that can minimize the loss of nutrients. "The lid should be tightly closed and seldom opened when cooking vegetables so that as little of the nutrients as possible can evaporate," said Morlo. The water remaining in the pot, along with any nutrients that it has absorbed, can be used in a sauce or broth poured over the vegetables.

Cooks also should be aware that not every way to cook vegetables is appropriate for every type of vegetable. Firm vegetables such as beetroot are best suited for cooking, while soft vegetables such as broccoli should be steamed. The question of whether to cook a vegetable or eat it raw also depends on the type.

Some vegetables such as cabbage become more digestible when cooked. Raw green beans, for example, must be cooked for 10 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius to neutralise a protein that can be toxic if consumed by humans. In addition there are nutrients in plants that the body can make better use of when cooked. These include secondary nutrients such as lycopene in tomatoes.

Ripeness is another factor in ensuring that vegetables have as many nutrients as possible. They are at their peak in terms of nutrition when they are ripe and fresh. Finally, vegetables should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

The message below goes hand-in-hand with what Thanksgiving is all about.  Please take a minute to thank your loved ones for being a special part of your life.

I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

"“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34, AMP)

No matter what is going on in life, you can find a reason to thank God. What you dwell on is what you will draw into your life. You can either focus on your problems, or you can focus on your blessings. The question is: do you want more problems, or do you want more blessings?

One thing I’ve noticed is that when you live with an attitude of constant gratitude, not only do you thank God for what He’s done in your life, you start thanking Him for what He will do in your life. You thank Him for opening doors for you. You thank Him for increasing you. You thank Him for bringing the right people into your life. When you say “thank you” to God for the things that are coming, it’s really a declaration of your faith in Him. You are saying in essence, “God, I’m so sure of Your goodness, I’m so sure that You’re working in my life that I’m going to thank You right now for what You are going to do tomorrow!”

Friend, that’s the kind of faith that pleases God. When we trust in His goodness and believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, that pleases His heart so much. So today, have an attitude of gratitude. Let your faith say thank you. Praise Him throughout the day with a humble heart and watch what He will do on your behalf!



Father in heaven, thank You for another day to praise You. Thank You for all You have done in my life. Help me see Your hand of blessing as I continually acknowledge and praise Your name in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Something to always keep in mind...  "Remember, you may choose your sin, but you cannot choose the consequences."  That is short, sweet and to the point!

Confess and repent!  And most importantly, always live for God, not yourself!  Jesus lived for us when He died on the cross for our sins.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are You Ready & Obedient?

I hope this speaks to you as much as it did to me.

I want to obedient and ready when He calls me into service!

"I'm not ready!

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me. And lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23). Please show me where I am wrong and give me the wisdom, courage, and conviction to repent and to always do what is right. This I pray, in the name of Jesus, dear God. Amen.

But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'" (2 Cor 12:9).

If there is one thing that is consistent throughout scripture, it is this: God calls people when they are not ready. God will never call you into service when you think you are ready. This is intentional on God's part.

And, you can be sure when God calls you, you will have similar responses as Saul did when he was called to be the first king, or Gideon, when he was called to take down the idols in his nation, or Moses, when he was called to deliver his people from Egypt.

Saul answered, "But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?" (1 Sam 9:21).
"But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family" (Judg 6:15).

But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" (Ex 3:11).

When God calls, you will most likely be in the most unlikely circumstances to receive that call. You will be in the midst of a crisis, you will lack resources, you will not have the skills you think you need. This too is the way of God. God does this because He wants you to know your call is only based on His ability, not yours. When you think it is based on you, this is a false humility. And, it is unbelief and disobedience on your part.

Has God called you to something you have failed to do because you felt you were not ready? Repent before the Lord and let God accomplish great things through you."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Natural Remedies For Colds & Flu

We all know that when winter is here colds, the flu, etc. are rampant.  I am all about taking preventative measures to keep my family and I healthy.  So, I thought I would share an email that I received regarding natural cold and flu remedies.  Please note that you should consult your doctor before using any remedies.

"Natural Cold and Flu Remedies: Do They Help?

With the increased attention on the cold-and-flu season this year has predictably come stronger claims on both ends of the treatment spectrum: from those who cling fervently to favorite remedies that may or may not be supported by research, to conservative practitioners who dismiss anything but flu shots and decongestants as a waste of time and money.

As might be expected, for many people the answer lies somewhere in between: There is simply too much research to completely dismiss some traditional remedies, but not enough to call any one treatment an actual “cure.” While it is common to have studies with differing results, it is important to look at both the study details and the entire body of research to really understand what they are telling us. Keep in mind too that sometimes “a lack of evidence” means that a treatment has simply not been studied, but traditional use may in some cases suggest benefit.

Though most of these much-talked-about remedies below have had their share of research demonstrating both sides of the issue, they ultimately remain well supported as steps to shorten the life of a cold or flu and may help you get back on your feet.

1. Boost immunity with supportive supplements

While evidence on the effectiveness for preventing infections is mixed, immune-boosting supplements may help strengthen your body’s defense system. A short list includes:
  • Vitamin C—Studies have shown a higher-than-normal dose of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day may make your cold shorter and milder. (These amounts are tolerated by most people but may cause diarrhea in others, so pay attention to how your body reacts.)
  • Echinacea—At the onset of a cold or flu, 3 to 4 ml of echinacea in a liquid preparation or 300 mg of a powdered form in capsule or tablet can be taken every two hours for the first day of illness, then three times per day for a total of seven to ten days. Though not inconclusive, some studies have shown it may shorten the duration of a cold in adults. It has not been shown to be effective for children.
  • Zinc lozenges—Lozenges containing zinc gluconate, zinc gluconate-glycine, or zinc acetate, providing 13 to 25 mg every two hours, may help slow the cold virus and shorten the illness. (Avoid zinc sprays, however, as recent reports confirm that they may sometimes seriously damage sense of smell.)
  • Andrographis—Studies have supported using 48 to 60 mg of standardized andrographolides (the active constituent in this herb) in two to three divided doses daily to improve cold symptoms.
Remember, if you are managing other health conditions with medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist to check for interactions. 

2. Get your Zs and your fluids 

In addition to the common courtesy of keeping your germs to yourself and thereby not infecting coworkers and schoolmates, Dr. Woodson Merrell of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City advises staying home if you are ill. “You are more likely to rest and drink more fluids in an unstructured home environment,” she says. 
  • Stay hydrated—Noncaffeinated, nonalcoholic drinks, including water and low-sugar juices, may help loosen and clear out mucus, soothe a sore throat, and replace fluid loss due to a fever or runny nose. Warm liquids, like herbal teas or soups, not only hydrate but their heat may also help fight off the infection and relieve congestion. According to Jane Lininger, DC, hot ginger tea with lemon and honey may help decongest and just generally make you feel better. 
  • Take it easy—Lie down, stay warm, and sleep if you feel tired. This keeps all the body’s energy available for combating the virus. If you have trouble relaxing, dim the lights, watch your favorite movie, or take a bath.
3. Don’t dry out—humidity helps

Because the cold and flu thrive in cold, dry environments, you can help boot out the virus infection by staying warm and raising humidity levels. Also, at very low levels of humidity, the nose mucus dries up and isn’t able to defend as well against harmful viruses and bacteria.
  • Use a nasal mist to keep your nose mucus moist. A saline rinse with a “neti pot” has been shown in some studies to decrease sick time.
  • Use a humidifier at work and home.
  • Warm your hands and put your face over the rising steam as you sip your herbal tea."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Be Careful of the False Lover

I heard something today that stuck with me, which was "Worship the Creator, not the created."  Do not let people and things become your idol!  Pray that He removes any idols from your life.

"God, please show me how you want me to use the skills, spiritual gifts, resources you have given me and the relationships you have allowed me to have to prepare for the great harvest You have planned. I pray that I will be a tool in your hands to draw people to you. With that in mind, I ask you to please forgive me of my sins, sins that stand in the way of a closer fellowship with you and that would be a hindrance to my living testimony. Please help me start fresh and new again right now. Thank you and bless you, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Ps 30:5).

When a measured assault enters our life we often respond in two different ways. The pain caused by the assault drives us to a place of either embracing the pain or we embrace anything that will make us feel better. That becomes the entry door to a false lover. Men and women each seek to avoid pain in different ways. Larry Crabb has summarized these two unique strategies often used to avoid deep pain:

All of us are trapped by addiction to a desire for something less than God. For many women, that something less is relational control. "I will not be hurt again and I will not let people I love be hurt. I'll see to it that what I fear never happens again." They therefore live in terror of vulnerably presenting themselves to anyone and instead become determined managers of people. Their true femininity remains safely tucked away behind the walls of relational control.
More common in men is an addiction to non-relational control. "I will experience deep and consuming satisfaction without ever having to relate meaningfully with anyone." They keep things shallow and safe with family and friends and feel driven to experience a joy they never feel, a joy that only deep relating can provide. Their commitment is twofold: to never risk revealing inadequacy by drawing close to people and, without breaking that commitment, to feel powerful and alive. Power in business and illicit sex are favorite strategies for reaching that goal.1

Many times we seek to deal with our pain through various forms of addictions designed to resolve the inner pain we feel. All addictions represent a counterfeit desire for genuine love and intimacy. We conclude these lesser desires are legitimate needs instead of band-aids of our fleshly soul. These addiction lovers become isolation chambers created for ourselves designed to mask our pain.

Every human being has a desire to be loved. When we do not feel loved because of some event in our lives we seek to reconcile this emotional pain. So, if you are fighting any kind of addiction--over control of people, sex, drugs, alcohol, workaholism, shopping, overeating--you are seeking to fill a void only God can fill.

Pain has a useful purpose in our lives. Facing it, rather than medicating it, allows us to move to a place of discovering a capacity for a different kind of joy. That is the purpose of pain. We must let inner pain do its work by experiencing it fully. It feels like a contradiction to actually embrace the pain, but it is the only remedy for moving past it so it can yield its purpose in our lives. Otherwise we will remain unaware of our deeper desire for God and be driven toward a false lover."