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."