Monday, December 24, 2012

Become A Friend of God

I can only imagine the utmost joy that Mary felt when she saw the face of her son, Jesus, for the first time.  I know how much joy I felt when I gave birth to our firstborn daughter four years ago, & then our son a few months ago.

In my eyes, there is not much that trumps a baby that smiles for no other reason than looking at someone that is smiling at them.  It does not take much for a baby to smile.  Why can't we all be like that?  Think about how Jesus smiles at His children, & especially when they give their whole self to Him.  Why not consider giving your whole self to Him since He died on the cross to do the same for us?

To show our daughter the true meaning of Christmas, we went to a nursing home tonight to hand out Christmas cards, & bless the lives of the elderly people who might not have loved ones to share the holidays with.  It truly touched my heart to see our daughter bring a smile to their faces with her Rudolph nose & antlers.

This Christmas, why don't you take a minute to sew some joy & hope into someone's life.  Someday we all will seek His face, & we want to make sure that we make a Godly impact on earth by being a light to the lost!

*Merry Christmas!*

"Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. - Deuteronomy 34:10

One of the great differences between Moses and any other character in the Bible is how God describes Moses. Moses was a friend of God, and he met God face to face. "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend" (Ex. 33:11a). So often, we view others for what they can do for us, instead of who they are. There is a difference between being a servant and being a friend. There is a difference between being an employee and being a son.

Do you seek God's face, or do you find that you spend more time seeking His hand? God wants us to seek Him for our every need. However, there is a higher calling for every believer. That is to seek God's face, and to see Him for His love and tenderness toward us as His children. He can provide for our physical needs, but when we see Him face to face, we are changed. We no longer see Him as one to be feared as much as one to know intimately. We no longer view Him for what He can give to us, but for what He already has given for us.

When we see Jesus face to face, we are no longer slaves, but friends. We do not fear Him as a slave fears his master. We have entered a new kind of relationship-a relationship that has mutual respect and care.

Today, Jesus is calling you to seek His face, not just His hand. When you seek His face, you will know His provision and His mercy in all aspects of life. Seek His face today and become a friend of God."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Psalm 62:5-6

I have not posted in a while, because I have been busy with our newest addition & 4 year-old daughter.

The below paragraphs are encouraging!  We all want a cookie cutter life where there are no worries.  However, that will never be the case here on earth.  We can only expect the perfect life--utter bliss--when we get to Heaven!  So, learn to turn all your worries over to God; read the Bible daily so that your living your life according to His will for you; & enjoy life as He intended us to no matter what your circumstances are.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. - Proverbs 13:12

Life is filled with disappointments. Many of God's greatest servants experienced deep disappointment in their journeys of faithfulness to God. Joseph, after spending years as a slave and in jail for crimes that he did not commit, revealed deep disappointment when he was forgotten another two years in prison. John the Baptist, when awaiting execution, doubted whether Jesus was, in fact, the Christ because he was sitting there awaiting his death. Elijah, losing all hope and despondent to the point of death, asked God to take his life in the desert; and Peter, who left his fishing business and invested three years of his life only to watch his Savior crucified, wondered whether the purpose of those three years could be justified.

When life doesn't add up, it leaves the heart sick. When we have done all we know to do and the formula has not worked, it leaves us questioning. These are times that try the very souls of men. There is no human sense to be made of it. We are left with a choice: to cling or not to cling. There are times when holding on to our Master's robe is all that we can do. It is all that He wants us to do.

The heights by great men reached and kept

Were not obtained by sudden flight;

But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night.

Standing on what too long we bore,

With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,

We may discern-unseen before-

A path to higher destinies!


There is only one answer to life's disappointments. Like the psalmist, we must "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken" (Ps. 62:5-6)."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Why Sleep Is So Important

Please take a few minutes to click on the below link & read the article.  The article brings light to an issue that I have struggled with for many years, which is sleep.  Over an extended period of time, I have not gotten a sufficient night's sleep, & especially now that we have a newborn baby in the house.

However, I believe that ever since I had the baby a little over a month ago, my hormones are back in check, & I have been sleeping a lot better at night--that is, when the baby is sleeping.

The one thing that stuck out to me in the article was the paragraph that said, ""Anyone who uses an alarm clock "is by definition sleep-deprived," Mahowald said, "because if the brain had received the amount of sleep it wanted, you would have woken up before the alarm went off.""  I find that so true!

The answer to the problem is to attempt to get plenty of sleep each night!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Power of Our Words

This is a great reminder of the power of our words!

"“The tongue has the power of life and death...”
(Proverbs 18:21, NIV)

God has given us amazing power through the use of our words. God created the world with the words He spoke, and we also have creative power with the words that we speak.

Maybe you aren’t where you want to be in life today. Could it be because of the words you’ve spoken in your past? Have you spoken words of death by saying things like, “I’ll never rise any higher; I’ve gone as far as I can go?” Or maybe you’ve said, “I’ll never break this addiction. I’ve had it too long; it’s too hard.” Now, you are eating the fruit of those words — you’re still in the same place.

If you are ready to change your situation, then it’s time to change what you say about your situation. If you want a different harvest, you have to change the seeds you are sowing. Today, choose to speak life over your future. Let your attitude be, “This may be the way it’s been in the past, but this is not the way it’s staying. I’m coming up higher. I may feel weak, but my declaration is that I am strong.” Speak life, choose life, and move forward in His victory and blessing.

Father in heaven, I repent for speaking words of death and sowing defeat in my own life. I ask that You uproot any negative crop from the past and help me speak words of faith so that I can walk in victory in every area of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Could Fructose Promote Cancer?

Sorry, I have not wrote posts in a few weeks.  But I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, & we have been adjusting to having a new addition in our household.

Below is a link to an interesting article about whether or not fructose fuels cancer.  Please take a few minutes to read the article.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tips to Naturally Lower Your Blood Pressure

Being that I am pregnant, I have my blood pressure checked at every appointment.  Thankfully, my blood pressure has always been normal, so I am happy about that.  But I have family members who have to be careful with regard to their blood pressure, & they have to closely monitor it.

So, if you are one of those people who needs to monitor your blood pressure occasionally or frequently, please consider the below tips that I read about in one of the health-related emails I receive.  I believe that if you can be proactive about your health by incorporating the natural approach into your lifestyle, it might keep you from having to add another pill to your regimen.

"Has your doctor or pharmacist told you your blood pressure is too high? Elevated blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is two or more blood pressure readings greater than 140 mmHg systolic (top number) or greater than 90 mmHg diastolic (bottom number). Try these easy steps to lowering your blood pressure through diet and lifestyle:
  • Low-Salt Diet
    Minimize consumption of restaurant foods and packaged foods, including canned soups and frozen entrees, which may be high in sodium. Read food labels and eat less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day, or about 3.75 grams or 2/3 teaspoon of table salt. Leave the salt shaker behind and be creative with herbs and spices. Explore ways to enhance the taste of foods with salt-free flavors such as lemon, garlic, ginger, sage, rosemary, thyme and curry.

  • Moderate Physical Activity
    Increase physical activity to 30 to 60 minutes a day. Remember that every little bit counts, including taking the stairs, walking around the block on breaks, parking farther away in the parking lot, or getting off at an earlier bus stop. If you are overweight, a loss of 10 pounds can help lower your blood pressure. It is always a good idea to schedule a physical exam with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

  • Moderate Alcohol Intake and No Smoking
    Avoid smoking and excess alcohol as these can increase your blood pressure. Substitute with delicious nonalcoholic fruit drinks and herbal teas such as hibiscus tea, pomegranate juice and green tea.

  • Stress Reduction
    Find calming ways to decrease your stress and blood pressure through deep breathing, meditation, counseling, yoga or qigong.

  • Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
    Fruits and vegetables provide great sources of blood pressure-lowering nutrients such as potassium and magnesium. Magnesium-rich foods include black beans, okra, spinach, pumpkin seeds and squash seeds. Unless you have kidney disease, you should increase consumption of foods high in potassium such as apricots, bananas, beets, Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe.

These simple dietary and lifestyle changes are safe and effective ways to lower your blood pressure. Uncontrolled hypertension puts you at an increased risk for heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney damage and blindness."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reevaluate Your Daily Agenda

Something to ponder...

“One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”

- Elisabeth Elliot

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ann Romney's 2012 Republican National Convention Speech

If you were not able to watch Ann Romney's speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention, please take the time to watch the video.  In my eyes, she did an outstanding job, & touched mine & my husband's hearts!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guidelines for Healthy Food

Follow the below instructions to ensure healthy eating habits.

When you go to the grocery store, please read the labels, & try to shop at local, organic produce stands, if you have them at your discretion.  Personally, I like to support local farmers.

"In your search for healthy food to feed your family, here is what to look for, whether you're at the grocery store or farmers' market. Foods that meet these standards will almost always be a wise choice:
  1. Grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)
  2. Not genetically modified
  3. Contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
  4. Does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives (for fresh produce, you can now add the presence of MAP coatings or 'edible packaging')
  5. Fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)
  6. Did not come from a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO, a.k.a. factory farm)
  7. Grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
  8. Grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)"
- Dr. Mercola

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tips for Osteoarthritis Pain

Even though I do not personally battle with osteoarthritis pain, I know that there are a lot of people that struggle with it.  I found this article to be helpful & informative!

"The warming Seattle weather is giving many of us incentive to enjoy the outdoors and become more active. For some, increased activity can flare-up arthritis pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. The following are five natural ways to address arthritic pain:

Weight Loss

If someone is overweight, this is indeed a great goal to include in any comprehensive plan to address osteoarthritis. Even modest decreases in weight can improve joint function. Appropriate rest after a flare-up of pain is also critical for preventing excessive wear on arthritic joints. Generally, 12 to 24 hours of rest after an episode of acute inflammatory pain is adequate. Too much rest can lead to atrophy of muscles and lessened joint mobility.

Topical Creams

Topical capsaicin cream has been shown to be effective for osteoarthritis pain. Capsaicin is a compound extracted from cayenne, or Capsicum species, peppers. Creams with 0.25 percent to 0.75 percent capsaicin, and sometimes even less, have been shown to be temporarily effective for decreasing joint pain. The cream is typically applied to affected joints up to three times a day.

Alternating Hot, Cool Moisture

Contrast hydrotherapy is another simple home remedy that can decrease joint pain and soreness. Simply put, the topical application of alternating hot and cool moisture helps the body’s blood vessels to expand and contract, essentially acting as a circulatory pump. Improved circulation to the body’s muscles and joints will naturally enhance the health and healing of joint tissues, speeding the removal of cellular wastes and hastening the arrival of nourishing nutrients. Contrast hydrotherapy can be done in the shower, with at least three cycles of three minutes of hot water followed by 30 seconds of cold or cool water. It can be applied to a specific area of the body or joint in the shower or outside the bath with moistened towels. The degree of heat or cold should be only to tolerance, and persons with diabetes, asthma or Raynaud’s conditions should avoid very cold applications.

Anti-inflammatory Diet

For the extra motivated, an anti-inflammatory diet can be very effective. Although osteoarthritis is not always an inflammatory process, many patients have benefitted from following an anti-inflammatory diet. Specifically the diet has helped to reduce pain and increase mobility, in addition to its added cardioprotective and other benefits. There are many types of anti-inflammatory diets out there, but a good starting place is Dr. Jessica Black’s The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book, published in 2006.

Lastly, it’s important for anyone with arthritis pain to see their health care providers for continued management and monitoring. A trip to a qualified Chinese herbalist would be ideal, for individualized herbal treatments specific to each person’s unique presentation."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Make A Joyful Noise!

I need to practice waking up everyday praising Him for everything we have!

"“Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds”
(Psalm 149:5, NKJV)

As you woke up this morning, what was the first thing that went through your mind? Did you wake up with a song of praise on your lips?

When we start the day in worship, we start the day connected to Almighty God. When we live a lifestyle of praise, it shows that our faith is constantly in Him. We make glorifying God a priority. It’s not secondary, “Oh, if I have time.” No, you’re always talking about God’s goodness. You’re constantly telling your friends how God has blessed you. In your car, you’re singing songs of praise. At the office, under your breath, you’re thanking God for His favor. You get up in the morning and say, “God, I love You today. I praise You today. Thank You for another beautiful day.” Then, when you go to bed at night, you bless Him for His faithfulness!

Friend, when you have the high praises of God coming out of your mouth, the scripture says Almighty God will go to war against your enemies. Praise precedes the victory, so start the day right and live a lifestyle of praise!

Father, thank You for Your good and precious promises to me! I choose to receive Your goodness by faith and sing a song of praise to You. I commit the day to You and make praising You a priority. Thank You for working on my behalf in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Healthy & Quick Meal Tips

Personally, I am not one who plans a week's worth of meals the week before even though I should.  I usually figure out what to make for dinner the day of, & I inevitably have to go to the grocery store that day to get the ingredients that I do not have on-hand.  If I would only plan seven days worth of meals prior to the following week, then I could go to the grocery store & get everything I need.  It would be even better to plan 14 days worth of meals.

So, I am all about tips to help me in the area of meal planning.

"Do you ever feel like the day has just passed you by? You're not alone. As our days seem to become busier and busier, it's crucial to make sure our brains and bodies are getting enough nutrition to stay strong, sharp and healthy.

Fortunately, healthy home-cooked food doesn't always require hours in the kitchen. Follow these tips to keep up your busy schedule without sacrificing nutrition.
  • Use a pressure cooker to reduce cooking times of beans and other foods.
  • Use a crock-pot (slow cooker) to reduce time spent in the kitchen. It cooks food at a low steady heat allowing for unattended cooking.
  • Freeze leftovers in single-size portions. Take a portion out of the freezer and place in the fridge the night before for a quick lunch or dinner the following day.
  • Buy prepared deli foods from PCC or Whole Foods as side dishes or to add to salads.
  • Keep the following on hand to add to salads, soups and other meals:
  • Protein sources:
    • Pre-cooked whole grains like quinoa, barley or brown rice
    • Pre-cooked beans stored in the refrigerator or freezer or canned beans. Be sure to rinse the beans to reduce excess sodium.
    • Marinated and baked tofu or tempeh
    • Hard-boil eggs chilled in the fridge (will keep for 5-7 days in the refrigerator)
  • Vegetables & fruits:
    • Shredded cabbage, kale, chard, or any other green leafy vegetable
    • Frozen vegetables as a backup, if fresh vegetables are not available
    • Frozen fruit such as raspberries, blueberries, or pineapple to quickly add a serving of fruit to dinner or to the breakfast cereal or smoothie. Thaw only amount of fruit needed in the refrigerator, under running water or microwave.
  • Herbs, spices, sauces & dressings:
    • At least one or two homemade dressings and sauces.
    • Dried herbs and spice mixtures
    • Prepared curries and simmer sauces for quick flavor."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Consequences of Faith

A fully devoted life for Christ has hardships that are intended to draw us closer to Him.  So, please do not give up, and ask God for help during the difficult times, as opposed to handling the challenges on your own.

""We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." Romans 6:4

If you commit yourself to live for Christ in and through your work life, there will be a consequence of faith. You could avoid much hardship and take a much easier road in life if you do not choose to live an obedient life of faith in Christ. This is a spiritual law. None of us is excluded from identification with the cross.

When we commit ourselves to fully follow Christ, He begins a "circumcision" process in each of us designed to rid all that is of the world system from our lives. This circumcision is required of every believer. Moses had much preparation from God for His calling to free the people of Israel from Egypt. He spent years in training as a young boy in the family of Pharaoh. He tried to free the people through the flesh by killing an Egyptian. That cost him 40 years in the desert of loneliness and toil before God said he was prepared to free the people from their suffering. God invested much in Moses; however, that preparation was not enough. Experience and preparation had to be mixed with obedience. God required his family to be circumcised. Moses failed to circumcise his son before returning to Egypt. This was so important to God that He was going to kill Moses if he did not uphold his commandment. "At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses and was about to kill him" (Ex. 4:24).

Are there any areas in your life that have not come under the lordship of Christ? Is there any lack of obedience that will prevent you from being used fully by the Lord? Ask Him to show you this today so that you might be fully used of God."

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I read Jim Daly's post from yesterday on Focus on the Family's site.  The post was concerning the controversy with what was said by the President of Chick-fil-A.  Below is the link to read what Jim wrote.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday's Quote

Great quote!

“I want the presence of God Himself, or I don't want anything at all to do with religion... I want all that God has or I don't want any.”

- A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Faith & Expectancy

Three words...  Never.Lose.Faith!

"“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you”
(Matthew 7:7, NLT)

Is there something you are believing God for today? Does it seem like it’s taking a long time to come to pass? Be encouraged because the Bible says that through faith and patience you will inherit His promises! If you’ll stay in faith, if you’ll keep on seeking Him, it won’t be long until you see that breakthrough!

The problem is that most people give up just before they get their miracle. They stop when things get hard or when they don’t get the answer they want the first time. But today’s verse encourages us to continually ask and continually seek. That doesn’t mean that we seek Him one time and then stop. No, we seek Him until we have the promise!

Today, submit your prayers to the Lord and keep an attitude of faith and expectancy. Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking on the door, and it will be opened to you. Know that God is working behind the scenes. He is perfecting whatever concerns you. Don’t give up! Instead, start thanking Him for His faithfulness in your life. Thank Him for His promise that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek after Him!

Father in heaven, thank You for giving me a diligent spirit. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Give me strength to stand and seek You until I see Your promises fulfilled in every area of my life in Jesus’ name! Amen."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Cost of Freedom

Please take a couple of minutes to watch the below video.  I watched it on CBN this afternoon, and it is a great reminder of the men and women who served/serve our country to give us freedom and protect us from harm.

Have a great 4th of July!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Brief Explanation on High-Fructose Corn Syrup

I do not always look at labels on the foods and such that I purchase.  However, when it comes to high-fructose corn syrup, I try to avoid it as much as possible, and especially since diabetes runs in mine and my husband's families.

I have issues with hypoglycemia/low blood sugar, and notice that if I consume more sugar than I should, a few hours later I have heart palpitations and feel weak and lethargic.  As such, I try to steer clear of sugar cane.  If I want something sweet to tie me over, I almost always have an organic 80% cocoa dark chocolate bar in the fridge to eat a nibble or two of, which is much better for me, my husband and daughter to consume.

The below article explains in brief a little about high-fructose corn syrup.

"This is one in an occasional series on nutrition topics.

Buzzword: High-fructose corn syrup

The Mystery: Is high-fructose corn syrup responsible for the obesity epidemic, or isn't it? Is it worse for us to eat than sugar? Should we avoid it in the grocery store or is it really just the same as sugar?

The Expert: Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Channing Lab and Brigham and Women's Hospital; and director of the Boston Obesity Nutrition Research Center, Epidemiology and Genetics Core.

Q: What is high-fructose corn syrup?

A: High-fructose corn syrup is made of corn. The starch is converted into sugar through a process called hydrolysis. The finished product typically consists of about 55 percent fructose, 40 percent glucose and other minor sugars and other ingredients.

Q: How is that different from table sugar?

A: Table sugar, called sucrose, is made from sugar cane [or beets] and is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose.

Q: What makes high-fructose corn syrup different? Why is it used in place of sugar?

A: It's cheap, it's much cheaper than table sugar. That's one of the main reasons it has been used ubiquitously in the U.S. food supply. Metabolically they are not substantially different.

Q: Does that mean it's fine to eat?

A: We should worry about sugar in general. On a gram-for-gram basis, high-fructose corn syrup may not be worse than table sugar but there is just too much in our food supply, especially in [the form of] soft drinks. Because it's cheap, consumption of high-fructose corn syrup has gone up so much in recent decades and has become one of the main sources of calories in our diet.

The Takeaway: High-fructose corn syrup, sugar, and caloric sweeteners by any other name deliver a lot of empty (non-nutritive) calories. For better health, avoid products with added sugar, whether it comes from corn, sugar cane or beets."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Six Symptoms That Need Addressed

Please read the below article as being informed may potentially save a life.

"As we get older, even those of us in the best of health will have various unusual symptoms. Some boomers and seniors ignore these problems or dismiss them as part of aging. But these six symptoms should never be ignored; they should be diagnosed as soon as possible:

- SHARP PAIN IN A JOINT: It could be nothing. Maybe you bumped your elbow or knee without even noticing it. But sudden sharp pain in a joint, especially if it gets worse or does not go away after a day or two, could be something more serious. If the pain occurs more than once, see a doctor. In some cities, there are sports clinics that offer free preliminary examinations that will let you know if you need a more thorough look at the problem.

- SUDDEN HEADACHES: If you suddenly begin experiencing frequent headaches for the first time in your life, see your regular physician first. He or she can help decide whether the symptom is serious enough to see a neurologist. Even if aspirin or ibuprofen relieves the headaches, do not rely solely on such medication. Find out what is causing the pain.

- UNEXPLAINED BLEEDING: If you pass blood from the rectum or genitals on more than one occasion, or if you suddenly begin having nosebleeds or spitting up blood, that symptom needs an immediate examination. If the bleeding comes from a body opening below the waist, you probably will need to see a gastrointestinal specialist.

- EXTREME TENDERNESS IN ANY BODY PART: If you experience a new and somewhat constant pain in a fleshy body part, and it does not stop within a week, have a doctor examine the site. In fact, this can actually be an emergency if the pain is located between the ribs and hips. You may have swallowed a sharp object that is piercing tissues or there may be an intestinal blockage. Never dismiss lingering mid-body pain as "just a stomach ache."

- STRANGE LUMPS UNDER THE SKIN: The appearance of a lump under the skin, no matter where it appears on your body, is suspicious. Do not ever ignore it. It probably is not a malignant lump, but it is always best to make sure with a biopsy.

- STRANGE MARKS ON THE SKIN: Most people know that changes in a mole need to be diagnosed. But moles are not the only thing on skin that could be serious. An annual skin examination of your entire body is a good thing. But if a patch of skin becomes red and flaky, or turns white or darkens, do not wait for that annual exam. Have it looked at right away.

Never allow the cost of a doctor visit or co-payment stop you from seeing a doctor. If you are in a dire financial situation, and do not know of a church or charitable organization that can offer help, make a doctors appointment anyway. You can make payment arrangements when the examination is over, and the physicians staff may even know of ways to find financial help.

If the only doctor you know is your family practitioner, and you need a specialist, you can ask for a recommendation or use the Internet to search for one locally. If the specialist has a long waiting list, your practitioner may intervene to arrange an appointment sooner. Call your regular doctors office to discuss the issue so that you do not have to pay for an extra office visit."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

5 Year-Old Girl Sings A Beautiful Song

Please take a minute to click on the below link and watch the five year-old girl sing the song, "Above All."  She had to memorize almost six minutes worth of song and words.  I hope it touches your heart as much as it touched mine--especially since our daughter will be five years-old next year.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How To Pray With Your Children

I read the below article on Focus on the Family's Web site, and thought that I would share it since it is one of the many important aspects of parenting.

"No matter how old your children are, it's never too late to begin praying with them.

Perhaps you've never prayed with your children. But no matter how old they are, it's never too late to start. It helps to remember that prayer is simply a conversation with God.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1) Newspaper Prayer. Try this idea at the beginning of the day as you're eating breakfast. Have each family member take a portion of the newspaper and circle items that he or she feels need to be prayed for. Then ask family members to pray for the things they circled in the paper.

2) Sentence Prayer. You can help your children pray aloud by giving them a sentence to complete, such as:
  • "Lord, I thank you for …"
  • "Lord, forgive me for …"
  • "Lord, help my friend …"
  • "Lord, help me be more …"
  • "Lord, help me to let go of …"
  • "Lord, give me the courage to …"
  • "Lord, one of the fears I need help with is …"
3) Highs and Lows. Ask your children what their "highs" were from the day, and then ask them about their "lows" from the day. Share your highs and lows as well, and then pray for them together.

4) Prayer Journal. Share your prayer requests with the other members of your family and then record them in a prayer journal. One person can pray for all the requests you've listed for the day. The next time you pray together, look over the requests you listed previously and update any changes and answers. This is a good way to see how God has been active in your prayer lives.

5) A.C.T.S. Prayer. This is a well-known form of prayer that is easy to remember:
  • A stands for “adoration.” Begin the prayer by simply adoring God for who He is.
  • C stands for “confession.” Spend some time confessing your sins.
  • T stands for “thanksgiving.” Take time to thank God for the blessings that He has given to you and your family.
  • S stands for “supplication.” Lift up specific areas of your life in which you need God to supply for your needs."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Don't Worry Yourself Sick!

I tend to worry, so the below message speaks to me.  I am going to make it a note to memorize Matthew 6:27.

"“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
(Matthew 6:27, NIV)

Is there something that you are worrying about today? To worry means to allow something to revolve in your mind over and over again. God doesn’t want you to live worried or anxious about anything. He knows that worry steals your peace and joy. It affects every area of your life. Have you heard the saying, “Don’t worry yourself sick?” That’s because worrying affects your physical body. It affects your sleep. You won’t ever gain anything by worrying; in fact, you’ll lose precious moments that you can never get back again. The good news is that God has promised that you can have victory over worry. It starts by making the choice to trust in Him. When you cast your cares on Him, He will give you His peace.

Decide today to put an end to worry in your life. Choose to feed your faith and fill your mind with God's promises. As you focus on God’s Word, you’ll drive out worry and fill your heart with faith and expectancy; and you’ll be empowered to move forward into the life of blessing He has in store for you!

Heavenly Father, today I choose to put an end to worry in my life. I choose to feed my faith by studying Your promises and declaring Your Word over my life. Help me to totally trust in You today and every day in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Conception to Birth

This is a very cool video about conception to birth that I watched once by myself, and then with my husband!  I found it extremely interesting and informative, because I am currently pregnant with our second child.  However, even if you are not pregnant, it is still worth watching.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Are Video Games Appropriate For Children?

Please click on the below link and read the Focus on the Family article regarding letting children play video games.  I am not an advocate for video games, because of how addicting they can become.  I know that some games are educational, and I believe that if allotted a certain amount of time, it is okay.  However, I am conservative when it comes to playtime and having an imagination, so I am all about playtime being indoors without the T.V. on, or outside--weather permitting, of course.

Please share with me your thoughts about video games.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spring Into Great Health!

This is a very interesting article about detoxing, even though I am not able to detox since I am pregnant!  However, some of the cleansing ingredients mentioned are foods that are perfectly okay to eat while pregnant.

"Spring is a time of renewal for the Earth, but also for our bodies. For centuries, religions around the world have practiced spring detoxifications to heal the body, mind and spirit, and that tradition continues today in many cultures.

“Springtime is a great time for a cleanse because a lot of the foods that are coming up right now — greens, asparagus, artichokes — support normal detoxification pathways in the liver, kidneys, intestines and even the skin,” says Debra Brammer, ND, clinical dean of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

So how do you know if you should do a detox?

Dr. Brammer says a cleanse that’s based on foods rather than just on liquids can be beneficial to almost everyone, especially those suffering from common spring complaints and other ailments including:
  • Allergies
  • Insomnia
  • High cholesterol
  • Constipation
For all of these issues, try simplifying your diet as you increase your intake of detoxifying foods and adjust your intake of other foods.

Stick with beans, fish and poultry for your protein, and for your fruits and vegetables, “Eat a rainbow of colors so you’re getting every food group out there,” Dr. Brammer says.

Meanwhile, decrease consumption of starches such as white rice and bread, and replace them with whole grains including brown rice, quinoa and millet. And be sure to drink plenty of water.

Recipe for a General Spring Detox

Because a spring detox lets you shift your diet from winter foods to spring foods, you’ll want to focus on fresh, seasonal produce, including:
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Leafy green vegetables (such as red chard and mustard greens)
  • Spring onions
These detoxifying foods help make sure the liver and kidneys process hormones and other substances that have been taken in by the body. Seasonal herbs can also be beneficial during your detox:
  • Dandelion leaf or dandelion flower
  • Sorrel
  • Red clover flower, which works on the lungs and also on the lymph system
  • Burdock root
“You can make a spring tea that has all of these lovely herbs in it,” Dr. Brammer says. “You might want to throw in some mint if you’re a warmer person; if you’re a colder person, put in some ginger.”

Spring Allergies

To address more specific complaints such as hay fever and other spring allergies, Dr. Brammer recommends adding vitamin C, zinc and carotenoids to help stabilize your over-reactive immune cells.

In addition to the above detoxifying vegetables and herbs, she also recommends boosting your vitamin C intake with more:
  • Bitter leafy greens, which can be eaten raw or cooked
  • Carrots
  • Yellow and orange vegetables
  • Berries
  • Rose hips, which can be eaten in or made into a tea

After a winter starved of the sun, we can never seem to get enough of the outdoors when spring rolls around. But for some of us, that upswing in energy can also lead to insomnia, Dr. Brammer says.

The general spring detox can help your body adjust to spring, but Dr. Brammer also suggests you try expelling some of that extra energy by increasing your exercise, preferably in the morning or late afternoon.

She also suggests you create quiet time before bedtime by avoiding computer and TV use, instead maybe reading a calming book.

A tepid bath with 1 cup of Epsom salts, lemon verbena or lavender essential oil can help calm you down, or try a relaxing tea a half-hour before bed made of:
  • Chamomile
  • Skullcap
  • Passionflower
  • Lavender
“These herbs are very calming to the mind so that you can let go and go to bed,” Dr. Brammer says.

High Cholesterol

If you suffer from high cholesterol, spring is the perfect time to start fighting back. Some herbs and vegetables that are particularly helpful at reducing “bad” cholesterol include:
  • Dandelion root
  • Sorrel
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus

Spring is also an ideal time to battle any issues you’ve been having with constipation, which can be caused by a lack of fiber, stress, a nutrient deficiency or eating the heavier foods that are more prevalent in winter, Dr. Brammer says. You can simply try the general spring detox to treat constipation, but the more fiber you can add to your detox diet, the better.

“And fiber, of course, is in everything that’s fresh,” Dr. Brammer says. Increase your intake of both spring vegetables and fruits, and be sure to add plenty of leafy green vegetables, which also are chock-full of antioxidants to help minimize cell damage.

The Pitfalls of a Liquid-Only Detox

Although it might be tempting to try a trendy liquid-only detox diet, such as the Master Cleanse or juice detox diets, Dr. Brammer warns against cutting food from your diet unless you’re able to cut back on your activity as well.

“If you are still working the same number of hours and you’re still dealing with the same pressure,” she says, “a heavy detox can deplete your energy and leave you more prone to getting sick.”

Depriving your body of the nutrition it needs also puts stress on the body, as opposed to the spring detox Dr. Brammer recommends, which “fuels the body with the nutrition it needs to start healing.”"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

God's Pruning Process

"“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful”
(John 15:2, NIV)

In life, we all go through a pruning process. God will prune our lives so that we can bear much fruit. To “prune” means something is cut away, something is removed. In other words, maybe a good friend that you counted on moved to another city. Maybe a business shut down that you were connected to, or a relationship went a different direction.

Friend, God knows what you need in your life in order to grow and flourish. Sometimes when things happen that we don’t understand, we have to just trust that He is working behind the scenes preparing you for increase, preparing you to go to another level. Don’t put a question mark where God has placed a period.

When you’re going through transition, don’t get bitter. Don’t get down and think it’s the end. Don’t start thinking that you’re a failure. Have the attitude, “God, I let this go knowing that it was only temporary provision, and what You have in my future will be greater than what I’m letting go of.” If you will accept the change and stay in faith, God will open new doors. He will bring new opportunities, new friendships, and take you to another level of His glory!

Father, thank You for loving me enough to work in my life. Today I release the things I don’t understand into Your hands. I believe that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. I believe that You have good things in store for my future. I choose to wait on You and trust You now and forevermore in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Cost of Obedience To God

When I was younger, I always thought, like most children, that life was going to be perfect.  I always envisioned my life as being princess-like--free from any trials.  However, reality finally set in after I graduated from college and got married.  Health issues came over me, and were a wake up call that I need to start giving my troubles to God, and reevaluate how I need to better care for myself. 

Trust me...  Through prayer, God has brought me a long way, and positively impacted and transformed my life!  But most importantly, He has humbled me.  And even though I am not where He wants me to be, I feel as though I am a lot better off than I was.

So, my advice to you is to fervently pray everyday that God gives you the strength to get through the roadblocks you experience without getting discouraged.

"Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and You have not rescued Your people at all. - Exodus 5:23

Have you ever felt like you have been obedient to the Lord for something He called you to do and all you get are more roadblocks? This is the way Moses felt. When Moses went to tell Pharaoh to release the people because God said so, Pharaoh simply got angry and made the people make bricks without straw. Moses caught the blame for this from the people. Moses was just learning what obedience really means in God's Kingdom. You see Moses had not even begun to release plagues upon Egypt. He hadn't even gotten started yet in his calling, and he was complaining about his circumstances. There were many more encounters with Pharaoh to come, and many more plagues with no deliverances in sight. Why would God tell Moses that He is going to deliver them and not do it?

It was all in timing. God never said when He was going to deliver. He just said He would. In the next chapter, we find Moses arguing with God about not being capable of the job God had called him to:

But Moses said to the Lord, "If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?" Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and He commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 6:12-13).

Do you get the feeling God was losing His patience?

God had a good reason for His delays. He said, "And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out My hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it" (Ex. 7:5). God not only wanted the people of Israel but also the Egyptians to know Him. It would be the greatest show of God's power on earth.

God often causes delays in our lives that we cannot understand. Sometimes it seems our obedience is not getting rewarded. Jesus said He learned obedience through the things He suffered (see Heb. 5:8). Imagine that - Jesus having to learn obedience. What does that say for you and me? Sometimes God's delays are simply because He wants more glory in the situation, more recognition, more Christ-likeness in you and me through greater patience and obedience. Faint not, for the promise may yet come."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Taste the Rainbow of Health-Enhancing Fruits & Vegetables

I am glad that I read the below article regarding ways to boost your health through colorful fruits and vegetables, and especially since I am pregnant and trying to make sure that I eat healthy for myself and the baby.  It is articles of the such that I like posting about, because I am all about sharing information that both myself and readers will positively benefit from!

My whole dilemma with preparing meals is knowing what to make that is completely healthy--my goal is to have a healthy, happy family.  The hardest part about it is when I find recipes I want to make I usually never have all the ingredients for it, which requires me to go to the store.  I always plan meals the day of, and really should make it a point to plan each week's meals the week before to save myself the hassle of being ill-prepared.

I always say that if we had our own personal chef it would make my life a whole lot easier!  But who would not love to have their own personal chef?  All I would have to do is let he or she know what types of meals I would like prepared, and voila!  But that is just a dream :)  So, my job is to research the most real food recipes out there, and do the best that I can to create them.

Please share with me how you plan your weekly menus.

"Filling your plate with colorful fruits and veggies doesn't just make your plate look pretty - it also provides antioxidants and other health-enhancing vitamins and minerals. "We get different nutrients from different foods, so eating a variety of produce in different colors is one of the easiest ways to ensure we're getting a full range of nutrients," explains Vandana Sheth, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In fact, one quick way to determine whether you're eating a balanced meal is to check your plate for at least three different hues. Here, 10 bright ideas for loading up on foods that fight cancer, boost vision, and improve your health in other ways.

Red: Beets

A crimson tint indicates that a fruit or vegetable may promote a healthy heart, boost vision and immunity, and cut down on cancer risks. Beets are a prime example of the healing power of the color red. Their hue comes from betacyanins, a substance linked to fighting cancer in laboratory mice. The vegetable also contains nitrate, which may lower your blood pressure and can halt dementia in older adults by improving blood flow to the brain.

Red: Cherries

The antioxidant-packed ruby spheres are more than just an ice cream topping. Bing cherries may lower your risk for arthritis, heart disease and cancer by fighting inflammation, according to a USDA study. If you'd rather drink your nutrients, guzzle a tart cherry juice. What's more, a 2010 study found that the beverage may help you sleep better with its high melatonin content. It may also reduce muscle damage in athletes, reports research from London.

Red: Tomato

A tomato's rosy complexion comes from lycopene, a phytochemical that helps protect against prostate cancer. While most fruits and vegetables lose some of their antioxidant mojo once they're cooked, cooking tomatoes actually enhances their lycopene content, according to Sheth. This means that even when tomatoes are out of season you can reap their health benefits through tomato sauce or tomato paste.

Orange: Sweet Potatoes

Orange fruits and veggies get their color from beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant that's converted to vitamin A in our bodies. The substance may protect the skin from UV rays and help prevent vision loss. Sweet potatoes are no exception. In addition to delivering nearly four times your recommended vitamin A allowance, a serving supply you with blood-pressure-friendly potassium, immunity-boosting vitamin C and slimming fiber. Orange you glad you know?

Yellow: Pineapple

The tropical fruit delivers 131 percent of your daily vitamin C intake and also supplies you with bromelain, an enzyme that helps with indigestion, reduces inflammation and may prevent heart disease, Sheth says. Mounting research also indicates that bromelain has cancer-fighting properties.

Green: Broccoli

Emerald veggies like broccoli and bok choy support a healthy immune system. These cruciferous veggies contain a protein that helps intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) - immune cells that line and protect the gut and skin - function properly, according to 2011 research published in Cell. Broccoli's also a great way to get your green on because it contains relatively high levels of protein (3 grams per cup), vitamin C (135 percent of your daily value), and vitamin K (116 percent of your daily value).

Green: Spinach

When it comes to greens, the deeper and more intense the color, the more nutrition you'll get, Sheth says. Choose kale, spinach or collard greens rather than iceberg lettuce. Popeye's favorite will hit you with significant helpings of calcium, potassium and vitamins A and K. Not to mention, the nitrate in spinach can help muscles perform more efficiently, according to a 2011 study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Blue: Blueberries

Natural foods with a blue or purple glow contain anthocyanins, a phytonutrient known to be a superfood, according to Sheth. "These foods decrease our risk for macular degeneration and prevent certain cancers and strokes," she says. A higher intake of anthocyanins has also been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Blueberries are a superstar in their own right, serving up more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy doses of vitamins K and C, fiber and manganese.

Purple: Grapes

Grapes possess an antioxidant trump card, of sorts: resveratrol. Many studies indicate that the substance may chip away at a number of different types of cancers and prevent against heart disease. To boot, the nutritious orbs may also prevent age-related blindness, according to research from California Table Grape Commission. They'll also give you substantial amounts of vitamins K and C.

White: Banana

You may not think pale foods fit this technicolour food scheme, but white fruits and veggies can be beneficial to your health. "More and more people say to stay away from white foods, but naturally occurring white foods give us good nutrients," says Sheth. In fact fruits with white flesh - such as bananas, apples, pears and cauliflower - may keep strokes away, according to a Dutch study published in the journal Stroke. Bananas' concentration of B6 and potassium - which can boost your mood and help your heart, respectively - make them a solid achromatic choice."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Household Toxins to Avoid

Since this is the time of year for spring cleaning, I found the below article appropriate.  We all should avoid toxic overload, and avoid purchasing products with potentially harmful ingredients.  I have made it my mission to rid our kitchen and bathroom cabinets of products with harmful ingredients--and especially since we have a 3 year-old daughter and a baby on the way--and have replaced them with healthier options.

After reading the article, I found that I need to purchase a new shower curtain, because everytime I take a shower, I smell the PVC and phalate--my sense of smell is heightened due to being pregnant.  Actually, the smell of the shower curtain bothers me so much that I cannot wait to get out of the shower.

"Mainstream medical literature generally agrees that many of the chemicals we have put into our environment are linked to myriad illnesses. These toxic effects occur at very low exposure levels, so it’s important to learn how to reduce our exposure to the chemicals that already are part of our daily lives.

John Hibbs, ND, is a senior faculty supervisor at Bastyr Center who teaches environmental medicine and toxicology curriculum at Bastyr University. “The most important thing you can do to prevent illness from chronic exposure to chemicals is to stop the exposure,” says Dr. Hibbs.

He points out that reducing exposure to household toxins need not be expensive or time-consuming, especially considering that household dust is a major culprit in spreading many chemicals. “Take your shoes off at the door when you come in from outside and vacuum more often,” says Dr. Hibbs. “You’ll see real gain in removing toxic exposure from the home.”

As you go about your spring cleaning this year, consider these five sources of toxicity. While not a comprehensive list of common household toxins, these are some of the most dangerous and surprising offenders:

1. Mercury
Chronic exposure to mercury can lead to brain problems such as Parkinson’s disease, lowered immunity and hormonal disruptions. Common sources of mercury exposure include fish and florescent light bulbs. Dr. Hibbs advises following the
EPA fish advisory, and also explains that eating fiber with fish can reduce exposure. “If you eat fiber with your fish – eat an apple or some whole grain, or beans – it binds with the mercury that was in the fish in the intestines and takes it on out with the stool, keeping most of the mercury from being absorbed in the first place,” he says. Dr. Hibbs acknowledges the energy-saving benefit of newer florescent bulbs, but cautions that they still contain mercury and must be handled with care. “When a florescent bulb breaks, that actually represents a very significant toxic hazard,” he says. “Ventilate like crazy and then stay out of there for a few hours before cleaning up.”

2. Aluminum
Aluminum is a neurotoxin that has been proved to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease as well as other issues with cognition and memory. Aluminum is extremely common and is frequently found in beverage containers and cooking pots and pans. “My advice is to stop using aluminum cookware – pots, pans, baking dishes and so forth – especially at high heat and especially when cooking acidic materials,” Dr. Hibbs says. He also recommends against using aluminum foil in high-heat cooking, as the aluminum can vaporize into the air and into the food.

3. Benzene, Toluene and Xylene
These volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are associated with many health issues including nervous system problems and especially with bone marrow toxicity, leading to injury and leukemia. “When I have a patient with chronic leukemia in my practice, one of the first things I do is check their body load of benzene, toluene, etc., and talk to them about an effective cleansing regimen – and it usually helps,” Dr. Hibbs says. These compounds are commonly found in outside dirt, so the best way to reduce exposure is to remove shoes when entering the home and vacuum carpets often.

4. Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Alklyphenol ethoxylates (APEs) and Propylene Glycol
These chemicals, found in many household cleaners, are also VOCs associated with many of the same health issues listed above, including reduced function in the nervous system, immune system, and the liver and kidneys. In addition to household cleaners, these chemicals may be found in degreasers, mothballs, cosmetics and at commercial dry cleaners. To reduce exposure, Dr. Hibbs recommends cleaning with simple ingredients like soap, water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and elbow grease. “I’m not a fan of dry-cleaning,” says Dr. Hibbs, “but if I need to dry-clean a blanket or a jacket, what I’ll do is hang it in the garage for a few days and let it off-gas before I bring it into the house.”

5. Phalates (plastic) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
“These chemicals are measurable in all of our bodies, all over the world,” says Dr. Hibbs. Phalates and PVC are toxic to the liver, kidney and lungs and may cause birth defects and fertility issues. They are extremely common in household items including food containers, flooring, vinyl and adhesives. “That stuff you smell when you open up a new vinyl shower curtain – that’s PVC and phalate,” Dr. HibbsHibbs. “They’re not perfect but they’re a whole lot better. I still wouldn’t heat them, as it will increase their volatilization.”"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Vitamin Deficiency Associated with Allergies

Allergy season is in full swing right now, and the pollen count is the worst it has ever been, which does not help anyone with allergy-related issues.

For the past few weeks, I have struggled with allergy/sinus headaches that have literally kept me from doing some of my normal everyday activities.  And since I am pregnant, I am limited to what I can take, so I let the headaches run their course.

I thought that a contributor of my allergy/sinus headaches could be the dust on our bedroom ceiling fan-- which I just cleaned--because my headaches would usually start once I woke up in the morning.  However, for all I know, it could be a number of factors that are contributing to my headaches.

Thankfully, I did not wake up with a headache today, and feel really good!

I found the below article interesting.  Many people do not realize that several health-related issues can be tied to vitamin deficiencies, which is why I am so intrigued by reading these types of topics.

"Low Folate Could Contribute to Allergies

The prevalence of allergies and asthma have been on the rise over the past three decades, a trend encompassing all age groups, leading scientists to search for reasons. Declining air quality—both indoors and outside—is one widely examined possible culprit. Now evidence from a recent report from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, points to another contributing factor: low levels of folate (the natural form of folic acid) in the body.

Folate linked to less wheezing

NHANES is a large ongoing study examining the influences of nutrition and lifestyle on health and disease. Data collected for the recent report came from 8,083 children and adults enrolled in NHANES who underwent blood tests to measure folate levels and levels of antibodies known to be involved in allergic reactions. They also answered questions about whether they had been found by a doctor to have wheezing (a symptom of airway inflammation) or asthma in the previous year.

When the people in the study were grouped according to their folate levels, those with the lowest levels were the most likely to have high total levels of allergy-related antibodies. They were also the most likely to have high levels of antibodies to specific allergens such as dust mites, cat, and dog, and to have had wheezing in the previous year. In contrast, the people with the highest folate levels had the lowest levels of total and specific allergy-related antibodies and were the least likely to have wheezing.

Nutrition for allergy prevention

Folate, part of the B vitamin-complex is found abundantly in nature. Folate-rich foods include whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and some fruits like avocados and strawberries. Folate plays a critical role in cell division, and its importance to the developing fetus came to light in the 1970s when congenital neural tube defects and cleft palate were linked to low levels during pregnancy. Efforts to increase intake through education and fortification programs have helped improve folate status in many parts of the world; nevertheless, it remains one of the most common vitamin deficiencies worldwide.

More recent research has shed light on folate’s importance in modulating the immune system and preventing inflammatory processes that can lead to diseases such as cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Although it only provides preliminary evidence, the new report from NHANES could lead to a broader understanding of the importance of folate-rich foods in disease prevention. “[Our] findings suggest that dietary folic acid and factors regulating its metabolism might play an important role in the development and perpetuation of allergy and asthma,” the study’s authors said.

Getting enough folate

With so much evidence pointing toward folate’s importance in preventing chronic disease, it’s a good idea to evaluate your diet and be sure you are getting enough.

  • Eat leafy greens every day. Try spinach, asparagus, and collard greens. Dark green lettuces can also be good sources, especially because they are not heated—some folate is lost during cooking.
  • Choose whole grain breakfast cereals or cereals that are fortified with folic acid.
  • Include lentils and beans, like pintos, black, and garbanzo beans, in soups and on salads, or try beans, brown rice, and avocado for a main dish.
  • Consider a multivitamin. Folic acid, the form of folate used in supplements, is very effective for improving folate status."