Bellevue Seventh-day Adventist Church
Bellevue Seventh-day Adventist Church


In a world that has become extremely fast-paced and hard to keep up with, we don't want to forget the important things in life. One of these is our health, which sometimes gets moved to the back burner as we try to keep up with the rest of our lives.

We at the Bellevue Seventh Day Adventist church (and specifically our Health Department) want to help by starting this "Let's Grow Healthy" website to add weekly practical tips and information on all the areas of our health. Our goal is to post reminders of what we already know, and to share more information as it becomes available—so we can all keep growing in health!

With this we hope to motivate ourselves to take care of our bodies, and in some cases even reverse some of our health problems, by simply practicing a few things that can change our lives; and in that way fully glorify God with our healthy minds and bodies. So, "Let's Grow in Health" together, as we check for the tips every week!

Martha Hammen

Bellevue Seventh-day Adventist Church Health Coordinator




The Air We Breath

We have heard what scientists say about air, now, let’s see what
God says about it!

He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. Acts 17:25  

Air is the free blessing of heaven, calculated to electrify the whole system.
The lungs are constantly throwing off impurities, and they need to be constantly supplied with fresh air.  We are more dependent upon the air we breathe than upon the food we eat. Men and women, young and old, who desire health, and who would enjoy active life, should remember that they cannot have these without a good circulation. Whatever their business and inclinations, they should make up their minds to exercise in the open air as much as they can. They should feel it a religious duty to overcome the conditions of health which have kept them confined indoors, deprived of exercise in the open air. 

Air, the precious boon (blessing or benefit) of heaven, which all may have, will bless you with its invigorating influence if you will not refuse its entrance. Welcome it, cultivate a love for it, and it will prove a precious soother of the nerves. . . . The influence of pure, fresh air is to cause the blood to circulate healthfully through the system. It refreshes the body and tends to render it strong and healthy, while at the same time its influence is decidedly felt upon the mind, imparting a degree of composure and serenity. It excites the appetite and renders the digestion of food more perfect, and induces sound, sweet sleep. 

The pure, invigorating air of heaven is God's free gift to men and women, and it is impossible for them to be cheerful, healthful, and happy unless they appreciate these rich bounties and allow them to answer the purpose for which they were designed.
The free, pure air of heaven is one of the richest blessings we can enjoy.
         --My Life Today - Page 142

Breakfast and Weight

Have you ever tried to loose wait by skipping breakfast, thinking that you’ll be consuming fewer calories during the day?

Researchers have studied the habits of people who have lost a significant amount of weight, and kept it off.   They discovered that people who skipped breakfast ate just as many calories during the day, as those who ate breakfast.  But eating breakfast can increase your metabolism by 4 - 5%, per year, that represents losing eight pounds – even without making any other changes.   

Furthermore, it showed that timing of when you eat the bulk of your calories, will also impact weight.  This is something that sumo wrestlers know.  In order to gain weight, they eat their biggest meal closest to bedtime.   Sadly this is also the meal plan that most people follow, being this the only time they can sit down, relax, and enjoy their food.  But this may be one reason why so many have difficulty losing weight.

One study of 93 overweight women was designed to provide 1400 calories per day.  One group ate 700 calories for breakfast, 500 calories for lunch, and 200 calories for dinner.  For the other group, this was reversed – they ate the same number of calories for lunch,  but ate 200 for breakfast, and 700 for dinner.  After 12 weeks, those consuming the bulk of the calories in the evening lost an average of 7.3 pounds, and 1.4 inches off their waist.  And the group consuming the same number of calories, but eating the bulk at Breakfast lost an average of 17.8 pounds, and 3 inches off their waist!  They also lower their levels of ghrelin, which regulates hunger, they didn’t feel as hungry.   So, what if you’re not hungry in the morning?  Try skipping dinner for a few nights, you will find that breakfast begins to look more attractive and you’ll be surprised how soundly you’ll sleep at night!

Taking the “Fast” Track to Improved Immunity

Dr. Joel Fuhrman says that the concept of therapeutic fasting is not new, yet only recently have its profound immune boosting benefits been discovered.

Fasting works because the body has the capacity to heal when the obstacles to healing are removed. Fasting promotes accelerated healing and is a valuable treatment for a variety of medical conditions. Fasting is a powerful healing modality that has been used for many years, but only now are research studies uncovering specifically how fasting works on a cellular level.

The results of these new studies are now generating more interest in fasting. During the first 24-48 hours of fasting glycogen stores (the body’s stored glucose for energy) are depleted. This sets off complex biochemical pathways in the body that aim to conserve energy while adequately fueling vital organs, and these energy conserving mechanisms may have beneficial side effects.

A recent study suggests that fasting promotes the regenerative capacity of the immune system that could benefit cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and healthy individuals too. This promising and exciting research suggests that occasional fasting could have profound immune-boosting benefits for healthy individuals and those undergoing chemotherapy. By simulating an energy shortage with a few days of fasting, we can jumpstart the immune system’s natural self-renewing capacity, exchanging old immune cells for new ones.

Fasting… who knew that giving a break to the mouth and stomach occasionally could reap good benefits!!

Vegetarian Protein - Myths and Facts

Part 1 of 5: The Myth of Protein In Vegetarian Diets

The top question most vegetarians are asked is: "Where do you get your protein?"

The first question from people who are considering a vegetarian diet is: "How will I get enough protein?"

The protein myth is so widely accepted in our culture that even vegetarians believe it!

The Protein Myth Goes Like This:
   1. Protein is the most important nutrient in our diet.
   2. Protein from meat, fish, poultry, milk and eggs is superior to the incomplete protein from plant sources.
   3. Meat is the best protein source, and other foods have little or no protein.
   4. A vegetarian diet doesn't have enough protein, and is therefore unhealthy.

Vegetarian Protein Facts

Over the last few decades, widespread practical experience, traditional knowledge, and hundreds of scientific health studies all tell a different story about vegetarian protein.

   1. Too much protein is as harmful as too little, and is linked with shorter life expectancy, increased cancer and heart disease risk, widespread obesity and diabetes, osteoporosis, kidney stress, and bad digestion
   2. High protein-diets bring about temporary weight-loss, at the expense of overall health, and people quickly regain weight once they return to a normal diet
   3. A varied vegetarian diet with a balance of protein, fats & carbohydrates, and adequate calorie intake provides more than enough protein
   4. Complete animal protein is not superior to complete protein from more than one plant source – they give the same result in different ways
   5. Protein from plant sources doesn't include excess calories from fat, toxic residues, or an overabundance of protein, which stresses the kidneys.

Part 2-A: What is Protein?

Protein is one of the three required macronutrients for humans. And what is a Macronutrient you say: A Macronutrient is a substance required in relatively large amounts by living  organisms, in this case we humans.  Carbohydrates and fats are the other two macronutrients required for life.

   1. Proteins are body builders.  All living tissue contains protein.
   2. Protein supports and maintains our blood, organs, muscles, hair, skin, and nails.  Many hormones are proteins (like insulin).
   3. Proteins are the body's most abundant organic compound- more abundant than fat and Carbohydrates. 65% of the total body protein lies in the skeletal muscles.
   4. There are more than 50,000 different proteins in our bodies, made from 20 or more amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.

Part 2-B: What is Protein?

Protein tissues in our bodies are continuously broken down and rebuilt throughout the day. In other terms, it’s like we're constantly dying and being reborn.

In this process the body efficiently recycles the nitrogen from the degraded proteins to use for making new tissue. A small amount of nitrogen leaves the body daily in sloughed-off skin, growing hair and nails, and various secretions and excretions.

Protein from food replaces the amino acids and nitrogen we lose. During digestion, this protein is broken down into amino acids to form an amino acid pool, which the body uses to make new proteins for growth and tissue repair.

We must eat regularly to keep adding to this pool, because we don't have storage for proteins like we do for fats or carbohydrates. So our protein requirement it’s for just enough amino acids to replace those that are lost.

Nine of these amino acids are "essential," because they can't be synthesized, but must be brought in from outside, meaning from food.  These nine essential amino acids allow our bodies to synthesize the other eleven.

Of the nine essential amino acids, six are abundant in many foods, and three are not, so they're known as the limiting amino acids. These three limiting amino acids are critical, as they determine whether a food has complete protein. Without them, the remaining amino acids can't make new protein.

Part 3 -- So, Where is the Vegetarian Protein?

Protein-rich foods, with all nine essential amino acids, are called "complete protein." And complete protein is found in animal foods.  The only non-animal food that has this complete protein is soybeans (and soy products).

Plant-based proteins are found in legumes, grains, nuts or seeds – and they contain all the essential amino acids; but one or two will be low enough not to count.  For that reason these foods are called "incomplete protein."  So, combining a legume with a grain will make a complete protein.

Keep this in mind! Complete protein isn't superior to incomplete protein - it's just simpler. Animal protein is supplied in one food (e.g. fish) while vegetable protein is supplied in two (e.g. beans and rice). Either way, you're covered. The proteins are made of the same amino acids, and their chemistry is exactly the same, no matter the food source.

Some well known food combinations for complete protein are: beans and cornbread, red beans and rice, stir-fried vegetables with tofu over rice, baked beans or any kind of beans, including lentils, on whole wheat bread, whole grain cereal and milk.  Just eat any grains and any legumes sometime during the same day. That's all!

Remember that all plant foods, including vegetables, contain some protein, some quite a bit, like broccoli, and everything you eat will contribute to your total protein intake.

Main Vegetarian Protein Sources:

Nuts -- Almonds, cashews, walnuts

Seeds-- Sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, flaxseeds. Nuts and seeds  are a source of mono-unsaturated fats, like Walnuts and flaxseeds are good sources of vital Omega 3's, so often missing even in vegetarian diets.

Legumes -- Peas, beans, lentils, peanuts (which supply great quantities of protein, 12-15 grams/cup)

Grains and Cereals – Amaranth, barley, corn, rye, oats, millet, quinoa, rice, spelt, wheat (you’ll find them in bread, flour, pasta and seitan or wheat gluten) and your should eat them in combination with other foods.

Soy Products -- Tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, soymilk. Foods like TVP, tofu, seitan are concentrated sources of protein. TVP is almost all soy protein, and seitan is basically almost all wheat protein (gluten).

Vegetables like broccoli and potatoes supply significant amounts of protein. Even a banana supplies a gram of protein.

Dairy Products -- You will also find protein in dairy products.
From a protein point of view, it isn't strictly necessary to have dairy and egg. Because they're familiar, they ease the vegetarian transition, and supply Vitamin B12. But they are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Try to avoid being overly dependent on them for vegetarian protein.

So there you have it!  Protein is in almost in any plant base food.  So, eat a variety of plant - based foods and you’ll be covered! No need to worry!

Leafy Greens -- Ranked and Rated!

"Greens are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health," says Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, a culinary educator in Northern California and the author of The Veggie Queen. That's because leafy vegetables are brimming with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer. Even so, Americans are not eating as many vegetables each day as dietary experts recommend.

To encourage you to put more leafy vegetables on your plate, Nussinow was asked to rank the country's most widely-eaten greens from most nutritious to least. Here's the top 10 list:

1.    Kale: This nutrition powerhouse "offers everything you want in a leafy green," says Nussinow, who gave it her first-place ranking. It's an excellent source of vitamins A C, and K, has a good amount of calcium for a vegetable, and also supplies folate and potassium. Kale's ruffle-edged leaves may range in color from cream to purple to black depending on the variety.

Before cooking with kale, collards, turnips, and chard, Nussinow recommends swishing the greens in a water-filled sink, draining the sink, then repeating this rinse until the leaves are dirt-free. Her favorite cooking method for these four greens is to rub the leaves in olive oil or tahini (sesame paste) and cook them for five minutes with garlic, olive oil, and broth.

So, Kale is number 1 in this powerhouse list. If you’ve never had it, look for recipes online and Give it a try! There’s bound  to be at least one recipe you will enjoy!

2.  Collards: Used in Southern-style cooking, collard greens are similar in nutrition to kale. But they have a heartier and chewier texture and a stronger cabbage-like taste. "Collards are an under-appreciated vegetable and most people don't know about them," suggests Nussinow. She says they're also popular with the raw food movement because the wide leaves are used as a wrapper instead of tortillas or bread. Down South, collards are typically slow cooked with a kind of meat. We can eat it healthier by adding it to a bean soup or pasta. A half a cup has 25 calories.

3.  Turnip greens: "If you buy turnips with the tops on, you get two vegetables in one," says Nussinow Turnip leaves are another Southern favorite. More tender than other greens and needing less cooking, this sharp-flavored leaf is low in calories yet loaded with vitamins A,C, and K as well as calcium.

I have never eaten turnip greens but I will give them a try. I found quite a few recipes online--just search on: Vegetarian Turnip Green Recipes.  If you have a good recipe, let me know!  We need to be courageous and I challenge you to try something new for our good health!  I know I will.

4.  Swiss chard: With red stems, stalks, and veins on its leaves, Swiss chard has a beet-like taste and soft texture that's perfect for sauteeing. Both Swiss chard and spinach contain oxalates, which are slightly reduced by cooking and can bind to calcium, a concern for people prone to kidney stones. Chard contains 15 calories in one-half cup and is a good source of vitamins A and C. Nussinow likes to make a sweet-and-sour chard by adding raisins and vinegar to the cooked greens.

5.  Spinach: Popeye's favorite vegetable has 20 calories per serving, plus it's packed with vitamins A and C, as well as folate. And because heat reduces the green's oxalate content, freeing up its dietary calcium, "cooked spinach gives you more nutrition than raw," says Nussinow. Spinach leaves can be cooked quickly in the water that remains on them after rinsing, or they can be eaten raw in salads. Bags of frozen chopped spinach are more convenient to use than block kinds, and this mild-flavored vegetable can be added to soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles.

6.  Mustard greens: Another Southern green with a similar nutrition profile to turnip leaves and collards, mustard greens have scalloped edges and come in red and green varieties. They have a peppery taste and give off a mustardy smell during cooking. Their spiciness can be toned down by adding an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, toward the end of cooking, suggests Nussinow. Cooked mustard greens have 10 calories in one-half cup.

7.  Broccoli: With 25 calories a serving, broccoli is rich in vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and folate. Americans eat about 6 pounds of it a year. Its stalks and florets add both crunch and color to stir-fries. While some kids may call this veggie "trees," they often like it best raw or steamed with a yogurt-based dip. Nussinow mixes fresh broccoli into her pasta during the last three minutes of cooking so both are ready at the same time.

8. Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce: A familiar sight in salad bowls, these lettuces are high in vitamin A and offer some folate. Leaf lettuces have a softer texture than romaine, a crunchy variety used in Caesar salads. Fans of Iceberg lettuce may go for romaine, a crispy green that's better for you. Nussinow points out "the darker the lettuce leaf, the more nutrition it has," making red leaf slightly healthier than green. If you don't drown lettuce in a creamy dressing, one cup contains 10 calories.

9. Cabbage: Although paler in color than other leafy greens, this cruciferous vegetable is a great source of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C. Nussinow considers this versatile green "the workhorse of the kitchen." Available in red and green varieties, cabbage can be cooked, added raw to salads or stir fries or shredded into a slaw. One-half cup cooked has 15 calories.

10. Iceberg Lettuce: This bland-tasting head lettuce is mostly water. But it's the country's most popular leafy green and each of us eats about 17 pounds of iceberg a year. While tops in consumption, it's last on our list for its health benefits. "It's not devoid of all nutrition, but it's pretty close," Nussinow tells us. Although we're eating less iceberg than we did two decades ago, it's still a common ingredient on hamburgers and in taco salads. "It can be a starter green," says Nussinow, to draw people into a broader array of salad greens with more nutrition.

So there you have it!   NO excuses, now! There’s bound to be at least one or two greens that you will enjoy and you’ll add the bonus of your good health! Remember the most nutritious being Kale and the least nutritious Iceberg Lettuce. I challenge you to try a new one to you, until you know them all, well. And it’s all to your health and mine!

What Does Being Physically Fit Really Mean?

You have heard the word FITNESS or BEING FIT.  Have you ever wonder what does being physically fit really mean? Are there any specific attributes that make a person fit? A Medical News Today article provides us with some very helpful information!

According to the The United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS)1, physical fitness is defined as "a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity."

This description goes beyond being able to run long distance or lift a lot at the gym. Fitness is more than simply a question of listing which activities you do or how long you do them.

This Medical News Today information article provides details on the five main components of physical fitness, which include:

Cardio-respiratory endurance
Muscular strength
Muscular endurance
Body composition

Today we'll look at the first component, cardio-respiratory endurance.

Cardio-respiratory endurance is how our body is able to supply fuel during physical activity via the body's circulatory and respiratory systems.

According to Folsom Lake College, there are two parts of cardio-respiratory endurance:
1.    How efficient your heart and lungs are at delivering oxygen to your body
2.    How efficient your body is at creating the ATP, or energy, your muscles need in order to contract.

Activities that can help improve your cardio-respiratory endurance include those that cause an elevated and safe heart rate for a sustained period of time.

These activities include swimming, brisk walking, jogging, and cycling. It is important to begin these activities slowly and gradually increase the intensity.

Vitamin D--It's Important!

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people, according to the most robust study of its kind ever conducted.

Dementia is one of the greatest challenges of our time, with 44 million cases worldwide -- a number expected to triple by 2050 as a result of rapid population aging. A billion people worldwide are thought to have low vitamin D levels and many older adults may experience poorer health as a result.

The research is the first large study to investigate the relationship between vitamin D and dementia risk using a wide range of information including neuroimaging.  This study confirms that Vitamin D deficiency translates into a substantial increase in the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Researchers, led by David J. Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, found that adults who suffered from a moderate deficiency of vitamin D had a 53 percent higher risk of some form of dementia, while the risk increased 125 percent in those with severe deficiencies. People moderately deficient in vitamin D were 69 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s-caused dementia, while those severely deficient raised the risk to 122 percent.

Vitamin D comes from three main sources -- exposure of skin to sunlight, foods, and supplements. Older people's skin can be less efficient at converting sunlight into Vitamin D, making them more likely to be deficient and reliant on other sources. In many countries the amount of UVB radiation in winter is too low to allow vitamin D production.  Do we live in a place like that?

So please take the time to talk to your doctor about testing your levels of Vitamin D and how to make sure you are getting enough of this very important ingredient for life!

It’s All About Habits!

Habits, both good and bad ones, are formed by repeatedly doing an action—over and over and over again. Researchers have discovered that when an action is continually repeated for at least 66 days, it becomes an automatic response, because that’s how long it takes to form new neural pathways or patterns in the brain.

Additionally, habits, whether good or bad, are powerful. The positive aspect of this power is our brains are cleverly designed, by God, for automation so that we can spend our mental focus and energy on other pursuits. We don’t have to think about every little thing we do. For instance, we automatically brush our teeth after a meal, or wash our hands after using the restroom, or start a load of laundry when the hamper is full, or hit the garage door opener before exiting the garage, etc.—without consciously thinking about the action. The negative aspect is if we’ve developed a bad habit, it becomes automated also and can ruin our health in the process.

Unfortunately, for many of us, we’ve developed a few “bad” (unhealthy) habits over the years without giving much thought to them at the time—and the repeated action(s) have become automatic. We’ve literally become “stuck in a rut.” The good news is that unhealthy habits can be broken, abandoned, and completely die out by replacing them with good, healthy habits; because our amazing brains have the potential to make new neural pathways!

As we been saying above, the good news about our unhealthy habits, and we all have them, is that they can be broken, abandoned, and completely die out by replacing them with good, healthy habits; because our amazing brains have the potential to make new neural pathways.

It takes radical commitment, determination, focus, patience, repetitive practice, and ongoing support, combined with a huge dose of perseverance—never giving up—but it can be successfully done!

Don’t believe the lie that you are stuck in an unhealthy rut forever. You can create new, healthy habits in its place! And you can overcome an addiction! The brain is perfectly capable and able to make new neural pathways with the firm decision from you to change. What an amazing God we have that even in our struggles, he gave that capacity to our brain!

Make the commitment to change your bad habits!

What healthy habit(s) are you going to begin in earnest?
•    Eat a salad at every lunch?
•    Eat a steamed, green vegetable every day?
•    Make a vegetable/bean soup every weekend?
•    Do some exercise every day, no matter what?
•    Reduce the amount of time sitting each day by an hour and work standing up?

There are no shortcuts to establishing healthy habits. Remember!  66 days of a repeated action and it becomes  an automatic response!  There’s a price to pay, especially in the beginning, but the rewards are a lifetime of enjoying the best health that’s possible — and that’s priceless!

“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.”
-John Irving

“You make your habits, then your habits make you.”
-Lucas Remnerswaal

“The best gifts anyone can give to themselves are good health habits.”
-Ellen Barrier

So, Great success to all!

Eight Natural Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol

Joel Fuhrman, M.D., who specializes in Nutritional Medicine as a family physician put together a list of The safest and healthiest strategy for reducing cholesterol and preventing future heart attacks and strokes.   He suggests that the safest and healthiest strategy for reducing cholesterol and preventing future heart attacks and strokes starts with eating a high nutrient, vegetable-based diet with plenty of raw and cooked vegetables. In particular, follow these 8 simple rules to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and to protect against heart disease (we'll be completing the list of these rules over the next few weeks):  

1. Eat at least one cup of beans every day.  Beans are packed with resistant starch, soluble fiber, and phytochemicals, which help to lower cholesterol – a pooled analysis of 10 trials found that consuming beans regularly significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol. Plus, a 19-year study found that people who eat beans at least four times a week have a 22% lower risk of heart disease than those who eat beans less than once a week.

2. Eat at least one ounce of raw nuts and seeds daily. When eaten regularly, nuts not only reduce total and LDL cholesterol, but also aid in weight control, reduce the glycemic load of the diet, and reduce heart disease risk by 35%.  Nuts and seeds have a variety of heart healthy nutrients, including plant sterols, antioxidants, minerals, and arginine.  Include walnuts in your diet for their omega-3 and other heart protective benefits. Remember they need to be raw and unsalted! If not, they defeat the purpose.

3. Eat one large green salad each day, and include raw onion. Higher leafy green and cruciferous vegetable intake is linked to lower risk of heart disease.  

4. Eat steamed green vegetables with every lunch and dinner.  Recent research suggests that phytochemicals from green vegetables can turn on the body’s natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection mechanisms.

5. Include tomatoes/tomato sauce, berries and/or pomegranate in your diet daily. The antioxidants in berries and pomegranates, are especially effective in improving both LDL and HDL cholesterol.    Many observational studies have made a connection between higher blood lycopene (the signature carotenoid of the tomato) and lower risk of heart attack.

6. Have 1 Tbsp. of ground flax or chia seeds each day. Flaxseeds contain the beneficial omega-3, lignans, flavonoids, sterols, and fiber. Clinical trials show that daily flaxseed consumption reduces total cholesterol by 6-11%. Chia seeds are also rich fiber.

7. Avoid refined carbohydrates and added oils. Processed foods are full of these calorie-dense, nutrient-poor ingredients that promote weight gain and increase heart disease risk.

8. Minimize animal products to less than 5 percent of total calories per week. If you have heart disease or significantly high cholesterol, avoid animal products altogether. Higher animal product consumption is linked to increased heart disease risk.  This is when your veggies, fruits and whole grains come in very handy! So, enjoy and lower your cholesterol at the same time!

What if you could add 10 years – 10 good years – to your life?

And better yet: Who already lives longer than expected? What do they do differently than everyone else?

The several-years-long, institutionally funded research project revealed the blue zones: four areas in the world where people tend to live healthier and longer, with (and this is worth pondering) three times the chance of reaching 100 than we have in America at large.

The four blue zones are: Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica, and Loma Linda in California (largely Seventh-day Adventist). Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones, boils down nine principles for longer, healthier, happier living that are shared by blue zone centenarians.

We will do a brief summary of each one in no particular order:

Principle 1. Eat 20% less. Okinawan blue zone residents use nine-inch plates when eating (it is proven that when we eat out of smaller containers, we consume less) and make a habit of stopping a little earlier than we do. Americans are trained to eat until we are “full.” Okinawans are trained to eat until they are “no longer hungry.” Consider the impact this shift in perspective might have on your eating habits.  So, let’s try it in our next meal, let’s eat until we are no longer hungry!   Being full has nothing to do with it!

Principle 2. Eat more plants and cut back on processed foods. Beans, whole grains and garden vegetables are the diet that leads to a long, healthy life, according to Buettner. In Okinawa, Sardinia and Nicoya, residents don’t have as much access to processed snacks and animal products, so they naturally eat less. Strict Adventists in Loma Linda are vegetarian and faithfully heed the Biblical decree to consume primarily seed bearing plants and fruit.

Principle 3. Find your purpose in life and live it. So many people can’t answer the simple question, “What do you want?” We tend to be driven by an ongoing series of demands that distracts us from a larger perspective. The blue zone elders tend to know their purpose or reason for getting out of bed each day. Often it is simple – to see the grandchildren another time, for example. Yet the certainty and fulfillment that comes from satisfying a purpose is believed to prolong life as much as a decade. If you have ever lived a dull, purposeless and stressful life, you may understand how this could be the case.  How about service? Yes! That is a wonderful purpose for living!

Principle 4.  Have a spiritual practice and belong to a religious community. Across the board, the longest-lived people in the world belong to strong religious communities. The sense of faith and right conduct, the avoidance of harmful substances and the time set aside for community and reflection, if acted upon with sincerity, leads to more years on earth. Impressive scientific studies have established this fact and the blue zoners are no exception.  So, it is wonderful to be here! We are ahead of the game!

Principle 5. Drink your antioxidants. Buettner recommended, as he noticed in Okinawa and Sardinia, the moderate drinking of alcohol because of the high concentration of antioxidants in red wine.  But, please, listen carefully: “We, on the other hand, as we already know, do not recommend the alcohol in any way or form”. But, if we make a good habit of eating plenty of red grapes, eat good amounts of raisings and drinking the wonderful 100% grape juice, we will get more that enough antioxidants, as we would find in other fruits and vegetables.  

Principle 6. Slow down, work less, rest more. From the afternoon siesta in Costa Rica to the Sabbath Day in Loma Linda, routine rest from the cares of daily living appears critical to longevity. Scientists are studying the link between regular rest and the reduction of chronic inflammation in the body, which may be the underlying cause of many life-threatening diseases. Who knew! Siestas and Sabbath!  A plan made in heaven!  So, work hard and rest hard!

Principle 7. Move your body naturally. The longest living people on earth are not marathon runners or fitness models. They rather engage in low intensity, natural exercise, such as the Sardinian sheepherders, who walk miles a day as part of their routine. Okinawans love to garden and Loma Linda’s Adventist community enjoys regular nature walks. These simple forms of activity are sustainable for the long haul. Yes! Walking one of the best exercises there is, if not the best!

Principle 8. Make family a priority. Close-knit families are a hallmark among the healthiest centenarians. Regular family meals, social time and close living arrangements are a priority. Elderly parents, without exception, live with their adult children and nursing homes are considered a near abomination. In one Costa Rican village, all 99 inhabitants are the descendents of one 85-year-old man. They all meet for regular meals and the patriarch’s grandchildren visit him daily to help around the house or enjoy a game of checkers. So, Family Unity = A Big Health Component!

Principle 9. Find the right tribe. Perhaps the most powerful phenomenon of all, the blue zone communities tend to be isolated from surrounding communities that do not share the same values. Individual members find unrivaled support in living according to principle, with less opportunity to diverge from tradition. The geographical isolation allows for deeper and more intimate social connections, which fosters more security, less stress, greater purpose and healthier habits. The above may involve more and promise less than the dream of drinking from a magical fountain, but The Blue Zones offers evidence that our lifestyle choices have a profound effect on the quality and length of our lives. Buettner informs us that studies of twins in the Netherlands have revealed that lifestyle factors make up 75% of how long we live, leaving the remaining 25% to genetics. The choice is ours!  In Jesus’ own words, the NKJV says in John 10:10  -- “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they (The Bellevue Church) may have life, and that they (The Bellevue Church) may have it (life) more abundantly!”

Parental Pearls of Health Wisdom

As a parent, you pass more than genes down to your children. Kids pick up your habits too—both good and bad. Show your kids you care about them by sharing these nuggets of health advice that they’ll carry with them long after you can carry them.

We begin today with the Pearls of Wisdom. We could simply call them "habits."

Habit 1: Make Eating Colorful

Eating foods of different colors isn’t just fun—it has health benefits too. Help your kids understand the nutritional value of including a rainbow of colorful foods in their regular diet.

That doesn’t mean that every meal needs to be multicolored. But you should make an effort to incorporate a range of fruits and vegetables of different hues—from red, blue, and orange, to yellow, green, and white—into their diet.

Habit 2: Don’t Skip Breakfast 

Instilling a routine of regular mealtimes in childhood can help make it more likely that your kids will continue this good habit when they’re older. Teach them that a low-fat breakfast not only kick-starts their brain and their energy, but helps with weight maintenance and keeps chronic diseases at bay.

Harvard Medical School confirms that going without breakfast correlates with four times the likelihood of obesity. And the high fiber in many breakfast cereals can help reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Habit 3: Pick Enjoyable Physical Activities

Not every child loves sports—some may dread gym class—but when kids find physical activities they enjoy, staying healthy and active becomes easy. And they just might carry their love of it into adulthood.

If your child hasn’t found their sports niche yet, encourage them to keep trying. Expose them to a range of physical activities like swimming, archery, and gymnastics. They’re bound to find something they enjoy.

Habit 4: Don’t Be a Couch Potato

Get kids off the sofa and out the door. The Mayo Clinic reports that kids who watch more than an hour or two of television a day are at greater risk for a number of health problems, including:

  •impaired performance at school

  •behavioral difficulties, including emotional and social problems and attention disorders
  •obesity or being overweight
  •irregular sleep, including trouble falling asleep and resisting bedtime
  •and the obvious… less time to play

So, remember… help your child move from the couch to the great outdoors and go with them! They will never forget it!

Habit 5: Read Every Day

Developing strong reading skills is an essential component of your child’s success in school now, and at work later in life. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), daily family reading routines help with children’s literacy development.

The AAP calls reading skills “the foundation for children’s academic success,” and suggests that daily reading to children should begin by six months of age. Choose books your kids like so that they view reading as a treat rather than a chore.  And it’s worth adding that you can choose books that can teach and lead to all that is good and that ennobles the character for eternity.  Good reading makes for a healthy mind, a mind for God!

Habit 6: Drink Water, Not Soda

You can keep the message simple: water is healthy, soft drinks are unhealthy.  Let’s not underestimate our children! they can understand that too much sugar is bad for them, and that sodas can deplete the body of Calcium, a nutrient that is extremely important for healthy bones. We can also explain how according to the American Heart Association (AHA), the sugar in colas provides no nutrients and adds calories that can lead to weight problems. Water, on the other hand, is a vital resource that humans can’t live without.   Our bodies need water inside and outside; it’s a gift from God! And what a gift!  Without it our planet would cease to exist!  Let’s help our children, appreciate and drink lots of the wonderful liquid by choosing it as the first option when they ask for something to drink!

Habit 7: Look at Labels (Food Labels, Not Designer)

While your kids (especially pre-teens and teens) may care about the labels on their clothes, there’s another type of label that’s more important to their health: the food nutrition label.

Show kids how their favorite packaged foods contain labels with vital information about nutrition. Focus on a few key parts of the label (such as number of calories per serving, amount of saturated fats and trans fats, and grams of sugar) to avoid overwhelming them.  Help them make the habit to check everything they eat.

Habit 8: Enjoy a Family Dinner

With hectic family schedules, it’s hard to find time to sit down and enjoy a meal together, but it’s worth it to try. According to the University of Florida, research has shown sharing a family meal means that:

•family bonds get stronger
•kids are more well-adjusted
•everyone eats more nutritious meals
•kids are less likely to be obese or overweight
•kids are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol
•Eating together as a family makes it easier to open a way to communication, which is key to know what the children are thinking and feeling, it opens a way for them to share.  If they share… you will be able to help, guide and support.  Three little words that every child and young person desperately needs to experience!

Habit 9: Spend Time with Friends

Friendships are very important to the healthy development of school-age children, according to research conducted by the University of Florida. Playing with friends teaches kids valuable social skills such as communication, cooperation, and problem-solving. Having friends can also affect their performance in school.

Encourage your kids to develop a variety of friendships and to play with friends often. It will set them up with life skills they can draw on for years to come.

Habit 10: Stay Positive

It’s easy for kids to get discouraged when things don’t go their way. Help them learn resilience in setbacks by showing them the importance of staying positive. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, children as well as adults can benefit from positive thinking and good relationships. Help your kids develop healthy self-esteem and a positive mindset by teaching them they are lovable, capable, and unique—no matter what challenges they encounter.

As you can see these last two habits have to do with social and mental health and they are as important as our spiritual and physical health.  God wants us with our children, to be whole and enjoy complete health.  And it can all start by choosing good habits that we can practice daily, together, in each of these areas.  

Sitting Increases Risk of Cancer

Exercise will not undo the harm of sitting all day!

Sitting can be fatal! Researchers in Germany did a meta-analysis of 43 observational studies that included more than 4 million people. They found sitting is associated with a 24% increased risk of colon cancer, 32% increased risk of endometrial cancer, and a 21% increased risk of lung cancer. The bad news from this study is you cannot exercise away sitting's harmful effects. When adjustments were made for physical activity it did not erase the impact of sitting.

Sedentary behavior is emerging as a potential determinant of deleterious health outcomes, of which TV viewing has been the most commonly studied. Prolonged sitting time lowers energy expenditure and displaces time spent in light physical activities, which consequently leads to weight gain over time. Moreover, TV viewing is accompanied by increased consumption of unhealthy foods, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, and fast food; All of these are associated with increased risk of cancer, whereas physical activity is related to reduced cancer risk.

So here is the "Tip within this Tip": Keep moving regularly all day long! You may not reverse some of the problems already caused by seating too long, but you will avoid new ones!

Outdoor Activities Increase Physical Health

Physical and mental health goes hand in hand. When our bodies are healthy, our minds tend to follow. Many outside activities such as walking, bike riding, sports, and running not only provide you with fresh air but supply the exercise your body needs to function properly. People who struggle with obesity or poor health often struggle mentally with depression or a lack of self-esteem. By getting outside and being active, it allows you to improve your health, possibly lose weight, and improve your mental health.

Need fresh air? Good excuse to get together with friends.

Getting out in the fresh air can help increase your social interaction with other people. Having friends or meeting new people has been proven to improve mood and confidence levels. By taking a walk in the park, enjoying an outdoor event, or even just getting together with friends and sitting outside can help you relax and reduce mental stress. Being around nature and people helps boost your mental health and keeps you in a good state of mind.

Have a cup, a pot or a barrel of fresh air with friends and family! It will do you, a world of good!

Fresh Air Is Good for Your Mental Health

Although many people claim to love being outside and taking part in outdoor activities, a large percentage of people spend the majority of their time indoors. With many adults and children spending up to 8 to 10 hours a day in work or school, there isn't much time left at the end of the day to enjoy fresh air. Even in the summer, when more children and adults have free time, the increase in temperature causes many people to seek the comfort of air conditioning inside. However, fresh air is one thing that naturally helps improve mental health and creates a feeling of calm and overall well-being.

When we breathe in fresh air, the body sends oxygen through the blood and allows the lungs to work at full capacity. Even if you don't have hours to spend outside, taking 15 minutes to step outside and take a few deep breaths can greatly help clear your mind and relax your body. Being in the sunshine, even for only a few minutes, helps the body absorb vitamin D from the sun, which is known to help improve mood.

Remember how we need time outside to get vitamin D? So, as you go outside to do this, take the time to just breath deeply for the purpose of getting oxygen into you brain, that, will help your mind see everything around you in a different light plus it will give you the clarity to make better decisions and it will help you grasp more fully what you study, what you read or even to think more clearly all around.

Whether you spend every weekend outside (go for a walk on the beach for example or in your neighborhood), or just an hour each day, making time to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air is beneficial for your body and mind. Even in extreme temperatures, it's important to step out of your home or office to take a few deep, deep, breaths and refocus your mind.  Try this and see the difference in you mood, in your thoughts and in the overall way you see this life God has given you!

Being Outdoors Increases Brain Power

Studies show that spending time outdoors actually increases brain power, and children who spend a lot of time outdoors tend to perform better academically. Some believe this occurs because when we engage in outdoor activities we are actively using our brains. When people stay inside, they usually engage in activities that don't require a lot of active participation of the brain, such as watching television or movies. When adults and children are successful academically or professionally self-esteem increases and people feel personally satisfied with their school or work performance.

My Mind and My Health

The mind controls the whole man. All our actions, good or bad, have their source in the mind. It is the mind that worships God and allies us to heavenly beings. . . . All the physical organs are the servants of the mind, and the nerves are the messengers that transmit its orders to every part of the body, guiding the motions of the living machinery. . . . The harmonious action of all the parts--brain,  bone, and muscle--is necessary to the full and healthful development of the entire human organism.

The consciousness of right doing is the best medicine for diseased bodies and minds. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is health and strength. A person whose mind is quiet and satisfied in God is in the pathway to health. To have a consciousness that the eyes of the Lord are upon us and His ears open to our prayers is a satisfaction indeed. To know that we have a never-failing friend in whom we can confide all the secrets of the soul is a privilege which words can never express.

Three "R's" to Maintaining Good Health

Diet and exercise are the top of everyone’s list of crucial items when they talk about health.  But according to Eric Walsh, M.D., director of public health for the city of Pasadena, California, if you’re like most people you may be overlooking the three R’s that are vital to building and maintaining good health.

1. Relationships. Every relationship- including husband, wife, parent and child employer and employee, or even your relationship with a neighbor- can effect your health,” says Walsh.  That’s why it’s so important to make sure your relationships are healthy:  “Good relationships are supportive and reduce overall stress, while bad relationships increase your level of stress which in turn will increase your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and dilate pupils. All of these damages the immune system.
That is ok when your need adrenaline to get away from a dog, but when you are so stressed that every day is like being in front of that dog, problems develop.

Fortunately, when you improve you’re your relationships, you improve your overall health at the same time.  Of course, the more important the relationship is to you personally, the more it will impact your health.  To salvage key relationships in crisis you may want to consider meeting with a neutral third party, such as a counselor.  And for all relationships (no matter how insignificant they may seem) It’s important to treat others as you would want to be treated, strive to understand the other person’s point of view, and freely offer forgiveness to others – and yourself.

2. Rest.
The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 39 percent of Americans get less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night.  That means more that one out of every three people is chronically tired.  And although most people don’t realize it, their lack of sleep will make it harder for them to do daily tasks such as recall information or control their appetite.

It’s not just your body that needs the rest--your mind needs it too, explains Walsh: “When you learn something, make sure you get enough rest to allow your brain to put that memory in the right file so you can recall and utilize that knowledge.”

What’s more, proper sleep helps your body fight off sickness.  “When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, your immune system is not going to protect you as well.”

Rest, however, does not just refer to nightly sleep.  It also refers to vacations and recreational time. “It is essential for people to step away from their work and give their mind and body a rest from the day-to-day routine,” says Walsh.  Even if you can’t afford a week at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, there are still ways to escape within driving distance from your home. “You can find a state park and pack a lunch.” Walsh suggests.

“The best type of vacation is one in which a person gets back to nature.  The are low-cost ways to get away and get relaxed.”

3. Rays of Sunshine. 

Even though we have mentioned sunlight recently as one of the important, preventive and even healing elements, we might find a few good reminders in the way Dr. Eric Walsh expresses his ideas.

He says that in recent years there has been a lot of debate about the danger of too much sunshine versus too little sunshine.  Even if you’re tempted to stay indoors for fear of skin cancer, you can’t deny that a healthy, controlled amount of sunshine and its vitamin D has benefits.

“The sun is not your enemy,” says Walsh.  “Yes, lying in the sun for hours can damage your skin, but sunshine is fundamental to good health.”  It’s all about striking the right balance. As we have mention before, “The lighter your skin the less time you need in the sun to get enough vitamin D.  For someone with light skin, 15 minutes in the sun is probably enough.  People with darker skin need more time.  Sun exposure is not one size fits all.”

Sunshine also offers a mental health boost that shouldn’t be missed.  Research has examined the relationship between depression and the blood levels of vitamin D and found that participants with lower levels of vitamin D scored significantly higher on depressive traits.

Sunshine encourages the manufacture of serotonin, which promotes a good mental outlook.  It also aids the body in generating melatonin, one of the chemicals that aids in sleep function.

You don’t have to be a risk-taking sunbather to enjoy and get a mental health boost in a responsible way, you can still get those good mental health effects of natural sunlight in the nourishing realm of the outdoors.


These letters stand for the eight elements that give us health, vigor, and healing--in fact, many times they can prevent and even heal illness. We begin with the letter “N”:


Proper nutrition is the foundation of good health and recovery. Try whole, plant based foods! You may be surprised how much better you will feel and as we mention before, eat only during meal times, never between meals. Your body was made for order and regularity. If you put water in the gas tank of a car, it will not move. The amazing thing is that we can put all sorts of things in our bodies for food and it will move still, but in time it will translate in to illness and pain. Laws were made for the universe and laws where made for our bodies, if we respect them, our bodies will work better as the universe works properly because of its laws.Fueling our bodies with the right things at the right times, will only gives us a sense of well – being and happiness! Why not try it!


Action is a law of life. Muscle tone and strength are lost without exertion, but exercise improves the health of body, mind, and spirit multiplying vitality and health.  Daily strength exercises will make your body last longer keeping your muscle and energy at the top.  Walk briskly and also do some squats, push ups, sit ups, lift a couple 5 pound weights (or use cans of corn) for your arms, start with 1,2 or 5 repetitions and then, work your way up. You have heard: “if you don’t move it, you lose it”! Muscles atrophy if they are not exercised. So, Let’s Move! You can do it! Your muscles will thank you!

And you will be surprised how great you will feel!


Because the body is 70% water, keeping well hydrated and knowing what and when to drink are essential to health.  

Water is essential for so many body processes. Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. When you're well-hydrated, you can also think through a problem more easily. Researchers hypothesize that not having enough water could reduce oxygen flow to the brain or temporarily shrink neurons -- or being thirsty could simply distract you.

Keeping well hydrated is like giving a shower to you insides.  How would you like a regular, daily shower with pop, coffee or 100% fruit juices, instead of water?  Would you feel clean with a shower like that? The body needs a shower inside and out with plain old water.

Are you well hydrated?

The Institute of Medicine says adult men need about 13 cups (3 liters) per day of fluid; adult women need about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of fluid.  This includes the water in foods, which is about 2 ½ cups.

“The easiest thing that anybody could do on a daily basis is monitor their urine color,” “Lighter urine color -- like lemonade -- means you're generally well-hydrated. If it's darker, like apple juice, you are most likely dehydrated."


The sun is the established energy source ordained by God to sustain the cycle of life for plants and animals.  Sunlight is supremely important for the body’s metabolism and hormonal balance. The body creates its supply of vitamin D from the sun's ultraviolet rays hitting the skin, and high levels of vitamin D help the body maintain high levels of serotonin, called “the happy hormone” as it greatly influences an overall sense of well-being, fighting depression and sadness.

It also helps ensure that the body absorbs and retains calcium and phosphorus, both critical for building bone. Laboratory studies show that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth and plays a critical role in controlling infections.
Living in Washington State, we do lack Sunlight, so don’t hesitate to ask your doctor to test your levels of Vitamin D and make sure you take it orally if needed during the winter months, as your doctor recommends.

So, as soon as you see the sun shine go out without sunscreen and get your dose.  If you're fair skinned, experts say going outside for 10 minutes in the midday sun—in shorts and a sleeveless top, with no sunscreen—will give you enough radiation to produce about 10,000 international units of the vitamin. If you're already tan or of Hispanic origin, you need maybe 15 to 20 minutes. Black skin may require six times the sun exposure to make the same vitamin D levels as a very fair-skinned person.
The Cancer Council of Australia now recommends that if you're out in the sun for relatively short periods, with a UV index less than 3, which indicates a moderate amount of UV rays hitting your area on a given day, then, sunscreen and other sun protection (like hats and protective clothing) are not required.

So, take advantage of the sunny days we do get and get your “D” rays!                 



So, what exactly is "temperance"?

Temperance is the use of good things moderately, and avoiding what's bad all together.  This is obviously wise, yet often hard to practice. Temperance can be neither bought nor earned, but is rather an important gift of God, a “fruit of the Spirit” as mention in Galatians 5:22, 23" "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Yes! Self-control is another word for temperance, and if you are like me it is much easier to say that we need self-control than to be able to do it. It’s our human plight!  And that is why it becomes a spiritual matter also. And the only answer, as we read, is in Galatians; only the Spirit of God can give us this part of the Spirit's fruit.

So, let’s not be afraid to ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of self-control. The amazing thing is that as we exercise this ability, we will not only benefit our bodies, but our characters will become more like Jesus’. He wants to bless us with self-control, and in the process we will have a happier and healthier life! 


The body’s most essential resource is air. More important than food or water, proper breathing and pure air are fundamental to good health.

When there is insufficient oxygen to support the health of a cell, the cell turns to another source of energy called fermentation. This fermentation results in an unstabilized environment which upsets the metabolism of the cell and it no longer participates in the healthy functioning of the body. It causes the cell to start manufacturing improper chemicals, and soon a whole group of cells are unhealthy and weak. They lose their natural immune system.

Dr. Parris Kidd has stated that:   ”Oxygen plays a pivotal role in the proper functioning of the immune system, ie. resistance to disease, bacteria, and viruses.”

Dr. Stephen Levinc has also stated that “We can look at oxygen deficiency as the single greatest cause of all disease.”

Thus, the development of a shortage of oxygen in the blood could very well be the starting point for the loss of the immune system and the beginning of feared health problems such as cancer, leukemia, AIDS, Candida, seizures, and nerve deterioration. Sending lots of good oxygen to the brain, as we breath deeply, will help us make better choices and see life clearer. And in time oxygen will restore health.

And remember it is not only breathing deeply that makes the difference but doing this in the great outdoors.  This must have been the reason why the Lord gave a garden as a home to Adam and Eve… He knew we needed the wonderful, healing fresh Air.


An important part of rest is sleep.  Here are 11 benefits of Sleep:

1. Improves Memory.

2. Living Longer.
3. Keeps inflammation under control.
4.  A Creativity Incentive.
5. Improves exercise performance.
6. Improves ability to learn.
7. Sharpens Attention.
8. Helps to have a healthy weight.
9. Lowers Stress.
10. Less likely to have Accidents.
11. Keeps away depression.

Restoration requires rest because sleep allows the body to renew itself. Many types of rest are important for health, but the sweetest rest follows labor. “Early to bed and early to rise” makes us easier to live with and just contented all together.


Trust In Divine Power

This is directly linked to physical health, as it says in Proverbs 3:5-6,

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”

Trust in God is a gift leading to right choices and right choices will lead us to a life of peace, and this peace leads to true joy.   And in addition, we can take all of our cares to Him and that alone will keep the stress in our life to a minimum.  He has promised that He will take care of us thru everything, especially the hard times that in this world are just a reality until he takes care of sin for good. 

I encourage you to use each one of these God given NEWSTART elements daily and in a more proactive way, when any sort of illness threatens your body.  Help the doctors help you! As you don’t forget to practice what God intended for us in the Garden of Eden. Any sacrifice is worth it, to enjoy a healthy body!   Try them and you might be surprised at the results!

(This concludes the NEWSTART tips. What follows are more tips we have posted for your good healh!)

Our choice!

The body is the only medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the up building of character.

Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears, before God.... “The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” His heart of love is touched by our sorrows, and even by our utterance of them.... Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. “He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.

We must choose—God has given us the power of choice; it is ours to exercise. We cannot change our hearts, we cannot control our thoughts, our impulses, our affections. We cannot make ourselves pure, fit for God’s service. But we can choose to serve God, we can give Him our will; then He will work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus our whole nature will be brought under the control of Christ.

Self-control--the best health tip ever!

This is one of the best health tips ever and probably one of the least popular in today’s society. 

We should never let a morsel pass our lips between our regular meals. Eat what you need, but eat it at one meal, and then wait until the next.
Regularity in eating is of vital importance. There should be a specified time for each meal.  At this time, eat what the system requires, and then take nothing more until the next meal.

Yes!  it sounds radical and even strange in this society, where we are so use to doing what feels good. But, is it good?

Regularity in eating should be carefully observed. Nothing should be eaten between meals, no, nuts, fruits, or food of any kind. Irregularities in eating destroy the healthful tone of the digestive organs, to the detriment of health and cheerfulness. And when the children come to the table, they do not relish wholesome food; their appetites crave that which is hurtful for them. 

Yes! Even children can do this!   It will be, not only good for their bodies but for their character, to exercise self-control and temperance. Yes! It even builds character!

We are wisely told that the stomach becomes weary by being kept constantly at work, disposing of food not the most healthful. Having no time for rest, the digestive organs become enfeebled, hence the sense of “goneness,” and desire for frequent eating. The remedy that is required is to eat less frequently and less liberally, and be satisfied with plain, simple food, eating twice, or at most, three times a day. The stomach must have its regular periods for labor and rest, hence eating irregularly between meals is a most pernicious violation of the laws of health. With regular habits, and proper food, the stomach will gradually recover.


A thankful me is a healthier me!

"Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; . . . and be ye thankful."  Forgetting our own difficulties and troubles, let us praise God for an opportunity to live for the glory of His name. Let the fresh blessings of each new day awaken praise in our hearts for these tokens of His loving care. When you open your eyes in the morning, thank God that He has kept you through the night. Thank Him for His peace in your heart. Morning, noon, and night, let gratitude as a sweet perfume ascend to heaven.

Let praise and thanksgiving be expressed in song. When tempted, instead of giving utterance to our feelings, let us by faith lift up a song of thanksgiving to God.

A song is a weapon that we can always use against discouragement. As we open the heart to the sunlight of the Savior's presence, we will have health and His blessing.


Mathew and Mikey talk about Nutrition!

You probably don’t know this but Mathew is very interested in the Nutrition Facts of the items his mother buys at the Grocery Store, and he helps in the decision making, of the items that will make it home, after considering what would be the healthiest choice.  

So, we will ask a couple of questions to Mathew and his brother Mikey.

Mathew, can you tell me a nutrition fact about the plain soymilk? (It has 6 grams of sugar per serving.)

Mikey, can you tell me how much sugar is in the vanilla soymilk?   (It has 7 grams of sugar per serving.)

Mikey, how much calcium is in the vanilla soymilk?    (It has 25% of the daily requirement.)

Mathew, how much calcium is in the plain soymilk?   (It has 30% of the daily requirement.)

So, based on the amount of calcium, which one would you say would be the best choice?  (The best choice would be the plain soymilk.)

Why, Mathew? (Because it has more calcium, and we need it.) 

Thank you for your help!

As we grow healthy as adults, we can motivate and inspire our children to do the same.  And we can start as simple as to ask them to compare two products as they read the ingredients and the nutrition facts of both, and ask them to determine which one would be healthiest to consume.  Get the children involved and excited about health!



Sugar 101 - Part 2


Sugar aliases -- Sugar comes in many forms—including honey, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, and molasses. You want to limit all of them. By and large, all types of sugar have the same effect on your body—with one exception.

A study in the January 2 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association looked at brain imaging scans after people ate one of two types of simple sugars—fructose or glucose. Researchers found that fructose, but not glucose, altered blood flow in areas of the brain that stimulate appetite. "When we take in high-fructose corn syrup and fructose, it stimulates appetite and causes us to eat more," Dr. Hauser says. So you want to especially limit foods containing high-fructose corn syrup (such as sodas and sweetened cereals).

You can control the amount of extra sugar you spoon onto your food, but sometimes it's hard to spot sugar hidden in presweetened packaged and processed products. That's why it's so important to read food labels and to know exactly how much sugar is in the foods you buy.


Sugar 101 - Part 3

Are artificial sweeteners better?  Artificial sweeteners, which are sugar-free and typically lower in calories than sugar, might seem like healthier options, but that idea is controversial. A 2012 scientific statement from the AHA concluded that using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (Nutra�Sweet, Equal), saccharin (Sweet'N Low), and sucralose (Splenda) can reduce the number of calories in your diet, thereby helping you lose weight.

However, there's also evidence that eating these sweeteners, which are generally hundreds—or even thousands—of times sweeter than sugar, can make you crave sweets even more. You undermine the benefit of using artificial sweeteners, for example, if you use a glass of diet soda to justify having a bowl of ice cream.

However, if artificial sweeteners can help you cut back on calories in a meaningful way, then they can be helpful in controlling weight and blood sugar. "For people who are trying to make small changes to their diet, artificial sweeteners are sometimes a good stepping stone, but they're not a permanent fix," Dr. Hauser says.

You may wonder which artificial sweetener is best. All of the sweeteners on the market are considered safe. There were reports during the 1970s linking saccharin to bladder cancer in rats that were fed extremely high doses of the sweetener. However, later studies didn't find any evidence of the same effect in humans. Aspartame was also linked to cancer at one time, but that association has also been disproved.

Still, if you're concerned about the safety of your artificial sweetener, Dr. Hauser suggests using sucralose, (Splenda) which has not been linked to any adverse health effects.

Sugar 101 – Part 4

Break the sugar addiction. If you're "hooked" on sugar, don't try to eliminate all sugary foods at once. If you deny yourself even a single piece of candy or sliver of cake, you'll only crave sweets more. Instead, eat a healthy diet made up of more satisfying foods—whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils, and protein.  These foods are digested more slowly. They'll help to even out your blood sugar and you won't have spikes and crashes all the time," Dr. Hauser says.

Here are a few suggestions to help you break the sugar habit:

Keep sugary foods away. Don't tempt yourself by stocking candy, cookies, and other high-sugar foods in your cupboards and fridge. "As a substitute for these things, keep fruit around," suggests Dr. Hauser.

Sweeten foods yourself. Start with unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, and unflavored oatmeal. Then add your own sweetener. No matter how much sweetener you add, you probably won't put in as much as the manufacturer would have, according to Dr. Hauser.

Watch for hidden sugars in foods. Be aware of foods where sugar tends to hide, including reduced-fat products. "When companies take out the fat, they add back almost all the calories in sugar," Dr. Hauser says. Read labels.

Avoid products that list sugar as the first ingredient or that contain several different types of sugar (brown sugar, cane nectar, etc.)— It's one way manufacturers avoid having sugar listed as the first ingredient.

Eat breakfast. Start out your day with a filling, nutritious meal, so you'll be less likely to give in to cravings. Steel-cut oatmeal, beans, and fruit are all good breakfast choices.
"When you get used to eating fewer super-sweet things, you crave them less," Dr. Hauser says. "You become more satisfied with less sweet things." You also won't feel guilty on those less frequent occasions when you do splurge.

Changing Your Health is a Process

Let’s remember that becoming healthier is a process.  We cannot change the habits we’ve had for years from one day to the next.  Our purpose as we share these health tips weekly, is to inform us and in most cases to remind us of things we already know, and in turn, little by little, we can make better decisions and make small changes towards God’s ideal for us.  I want you to know that just because I’m presenting the health tips every week, does not mean I have accomplished what I am talking about, or that I am quietly watching if you have conquered it or not at potlucks.

Our only purpose is to make us more aware and maybe give some ideas on how to make small changes towards feeling much better and honor God with our bodies, as we do mentally and emotionally, socially and spiritually in our daily lives.  I encourage you to try at least one small change for a week or two and see if you notice a difference, and then adopt another one, and I promise you, without noticing, things will not be as hard as they seem.

Start small and slow, and tell me about your accomplishments from time to time—this will encourage me in my own struggles with the changes I’m trying myself. 


The Importance of Fiber

You might think that fiber is mainly important for human waste elimination. But it is needed for so much more!

Fiber helps improve heart health and lowers blood cholesterol, while reducing the risk of diabetes, and aiding in weight loss. Yet, the average adult only gets 10 to 15 grams of fiber daily --- just one-fourth of the recommended amount.

Some kinds of fiber are soluble (dissolves in water) and others are insoluble (does not dissolve in water); both are essential.

Soluble fibers help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. You’ll find soluble fiber in beans, fruits and nuts.

Insoluble fiber helps move waste, thus getting rid of toxins and avoiding constipation.  Insoluble fiber is found in whole wheat flour, brown rice, seeds, and vegetables.

Keep in mind that adding fiber too quickly may upset your stomach, so increase it gradually, giving the bacteria in your system time to adjust. Drink plenty of water to help with absorption. Consume 35 to 40 grams of fiber daily for optimum health

Coping With Stress God's Way

Learn to Forgive -- A 2001 study revealed a correlation between reviewing hurtful memories and measures of the stress response (heart rate, blood pressure). When subjects were encouraged to think forgiving thoughts, the stress response was diminished. Similar findings were seen in an October 2003 study of 108 college students.

Also, a number of small studies have shown some potential health benefits to forgiveness:
     Decreased anger and negative thoughts,
     Decreased anxiety,
     Decreased depression and grief.

In other studies it has been found that people who carry a lot of resentments, hatred and bitterness suffer from psychosomatic illnesses and disorders.

Psychosomatic illnesses come from both mind and emotional stressors that take their toll and manifestations on the body.

Such illnesses are manifested through mental and emotional breakdown, cardiac problems resulting in heart disease and elevated blood pressure that can result in strokes and a lot more.

Man's strained relationships require healing and one of the most effective strategies is to find healing through forgiveness. Forgiveness has unique ways and wonderful secrets in the healing process.

Let God Plan For You --
Making plans, making decisions, planning our future can cause great amounts of stress, and we know that stress can kill or at the very least weaken our health and promote illness.  To keep our mental and spiritual health intact, we will do well to . . .

...Remember that the life of God's children in this world is a pilgrim life. We have not the wisdom to plan our own lives. It is not for us to shape our future.

Christ in His life on earth made no plans for Himself. He accepted God's plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans.  In the same way we should depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will. As we commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps.

Too many of us, in planning for a brilliant future, make an utter failure. Let God plan for you.

God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him.


Steps to Living a Healthier Life

To be healthy, you must eat healthfully. However, for most of us, there is an internal conflict – part of us wants to be healthy, but another part seeks pleasure without regard for the consequences. Fear of change and of giving up unhealthy foods that you like, and the temptation of unhealthful food choices can derail your best intentions. To establish a healthy diet, the key is to learn and practice until you instinctually prefer healthy foods.

Here are eight steps of eight to a healthier life.


1. Understand food addiction. Know that your decision making may be influenced by your brain’s subconscious desire to avoid this discomfort.


2. Understand nutrient density. High–nutrient foods come straight from nature – whole plant foods like vegetables, fruit, seeds, and beans should be the basis of a healthy, anti-cancer diet.


3. Change your mind. “Am I afraid to be different?” Unhealthy eating is the norm, but you don’t have to follow the crowd. Be proud of yourself for being different.


4. Organize. The ability to make the right decision consistently requires planning. You need time to prepare and organize your life so that you have good-tasting healthy foods around you at all times to lessen temptation.

5. Re-train your taste buds. Like developing any new skill, it takes practice to begin to enjoy new foods – you may have to try it 10-15 times before you begin to really like it.


6. Embrace your natural sweet tooth. Our natural sweet tooth has a purpose – sweets from fresh fruits and sweet vegetables provide us not just with carbohydrates for energy but also with a large assortment of phytochemicals and other substances that prevent illness.


And you have heard the following before . . .

7. Make the salad the main dish. Leafy greens are the foods with the highest nutrient to calorie ratio – eat at least one large salad a day.


8. Avoid nutrient deficiencies and eat lots of anti-cancer foods. One of the most important deficiencies to recognize is Vitamin D. Over half of the world’s population is deficient in vitamin D.
Also, use lots of onions, mushrooms, and beans in your cooking as they have a powerful association with lower rates of breast and colon cancer.

The Secret to Good Sleep Every Night
The first step to improve your sleep is finding how many hours are enough for you. Sleep needs slightly vary, but most healthy adults need at least eight hours nightly to function at their best.

These 8 tips will help you optimize your sleep so you can be productive, mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and full of energy all day long.


Tip 1:  Keep a regular sleep schedule

Set a regular bedtime. Go to bed at the same time every night. Keep in mind the best hours are before midnight. Follow  even routine on weekends.

Wake up at the same time every day. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm at the same time every day even on weekends.

Nap to make up for lost sleep. If you need to make up for a few lost hours, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping late.

Be smart about napping.  If insomnia is a problem, eliminate napping. If you must nap, do it in the early afternoon, and limit it to thirty minutes.

Fight after-dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, do something, such as washing the dishes or calling a friend.

Tip 2:  Naturally regulate your sleep-wake cycle

Melatonin is a natural hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle.  Your brain should secrete more in the evening, when it’s dark, to make you sleepy, and less during the day to stay awake and alert.

To increase light exposure during the day:
     Remove your sunglasses and let light onto your face.
     Spend more time outside during daylight, exercise and walk.
     Let as much light into your home/workspace as possible. Be near a window.
     If necessary, use a light therapy box. It simulates sunshine when there’s limited daylight.

Boost melatonin production at night by doing these things . . .
     Turn off your television and computer--this light suppress melatonin production.
     Read or listen to music instead.
     Don’t read from a backlit device at night (such as an iPad).  Use an eReader that is not backlit, since it requires a bedside lamp.
     Avoid bright light bulbs before bed; use low-wattage bulbs instead.
     Use a flashlight to go to the bathroom at night, keep the light to a minimum so it will be easier to go back to sleep.
     When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark. The darker it is, the better you’ll sleep. 

Tip 3: Create a relaxing bedtime routine.

Relaxing and unwinding before bed will help you sleep easily and deeply. A peaceful bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses.

Make your bedroom more sleep friendly by:
     Keeping the noise down. If you can’t avoid or eliminate noise, try masking it with a fan, soothing sounds, or white noise.
     Keeping your room cool. The temperature of your bedroom will interfere with the quality of your sleep.  The best sleep happens in a slightly cool room (around 65° F or 18° C) with adequate ventilation.
     Making sure your bed is comfortable and has enough room to stretch and turn comfortably.  A sore back or an aching neck maybe telling you, the need to invest in a new mattress or to try a different pillow.
     Experimenting with different levels of mattress firmness.

Try these relaxing bedtime rituals:
     Read a book or magazine by a soft light
     Take a warm bath
     Listen to soft music
     Do some easy stretches
     Wind down with a favorite hobby
     Listen to books on tape
     Make simple preparations for the next day


Tip 4: Eat right and exercise regularly

Your daytime eating and exercise habits play a role in how well you sleep. It’s particularly important to watch what you put in your body in the hours leading up to your bedtime.

Stay away from big meals at night. Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich, acidic and fatty foods that only slow digestion and keep you awake.

Cut down on caffeine, or as we strongly suggest, avoid it completely. You might be surprised to know that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it! Consider eliminating caffeine from your overall intake.

Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening. This will result in frequent bathroom trips throughout the night. Caffeinated drinks, which act as diuretics, only make things worse.

And as we already know well, avoid alcohol and quit smoking. Alcohol reduces your sleep quality as the night progresses and nicotine is a stimulant that produces withdrawals at night.

You’ll also sleep more deeply if you exercise regularly. You don’t have to be a star athlete to reap benefits.  20 to 30 minutes would make a big difference.  Try a brisk walk, a bicycle ride, or even gardening or housework.
For some people exercising too late in the day can stimulate the body, raising its temperature. Relaxing exercises like stretching can help promote sleep just before bed.

Tip 5: Get anxiety and stress in check

Do you find yourself unable to sleep, or waking up night after night? Stress, worry, and anger can make it very difficult to sleep well. When you wake up or can’t get to sleep, take note of what seems to be the recurring theme. So you can figure out what you need to do to get your stress and anger under control.

If you can’t stop yourself from worrying, especially about things outside your control, you need to learn how to manage your thoughts. For example, you can learn to evaluate your worries to see if they’re truly realistic and replace irrational fears with more productive thoughts. By learning how to manage your time effectively, handle stress in a productive way, and maintain a calm, positive outlook, you’ll be able to sleep better at night.

Try these simple relaxation techniques:
 Deep breathing. Close your eyes, and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.
 Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up from your feet to the top of your head.
 Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place or activity that is calming and peaceful for you. Concentrate on that feeling.

And do not forget to “Cast all your cares upon Him.”

Tip 6: Ways to get back to sleep

It’s normal to wake briefly during the night. In fact, a good sleeper won’t even remember it. But if you’re waking up during the night and having trouble falling back asleep, the following tips may help.

Stay out of your head.  Cue your body to sleep, remain in bed in a relaxed position. Even if it’s hard, don’t stress over the fact that you’re awake or your inability to fall asleep again, this stress and anxiety only makes you stay awake.  Stay out of your head by thinking of relaxing things.

Make relaxation your goal, not sleep. If you find it hard to fall back asleep, try a relaxation technique such as deep breathing, or praying, which can be done without getting out of bed. Remember that although they’re not a replacement for sleep, rest and relaxation still help rejuvenate your body.

Do a quiet, relaxing activity. If you’ve been awake for more than 15 minutes, try getting out of bed and read a book. Keep the lights dim to avoid stimulating the brain.  Drink herbal tea, to help you relax.

Postpone worrying and brainstorming. If you wake during the night feeling anxious or feel like brainstorming, make a brief note of it on paper and postpone worrying ‘till the next day when you are rested to think well. Fall back to sleep knowing you’ll be much more productive and creative after a good night’s rest.

Tip 7: Cope with shift work sleep disorder

A disrupted sleep schedule caused by working nights or irregular shifts can lead to sleepiness in the work place, which can affect your mood, energy, and concentration, and can increase your risk of accidents, injuries, and work-related mistakes. Shift workers usually sleep during the day and work at night. To cope better, consider these suggestions:

Limit the number of night or irregular shifts in a row to prevent sleep deprivation from mounting up or avoid rotating shifts frequently to maintain the same sleep schedule.

Avoid a long commute that reduces sleep time. Plus, the long day traveling will make you more awake, making it harder to fall asleep.

Take frequent breaks at night and use them to move around as much as possible—take a walk, stretch, or even exercise if possible.

Adjust your sleep-wake schedule and your body’s natural production of melatonin. Expose yourself to bright light when you wake up at night, use bright lamps or daylight-simulation bulbs in your workplace, and then wear dark glasses on your way home to block out sunlight and encourage sleepiness.

Eliminate noise and light from your bedroom during the day. Use blackout curtains or a sleep mask, turn off the phone, and use ear plugs or a soothing sound machine to block out daytime noise.

Make sleep a priority on weekends or on nonworking days so you can pay off your sleep debt.

Tip 8: Know when to see a sleep doctor

If you’ve tried the tips above and are still struggling with sleep problems, you may have a sleep disorder that requires professional treatment. Consider scheduling a visit with a sleep doctor if, despite your best efforts at self-help, you are still troubled by any of the following symptoms:

Persistent daytime sleepiness or fatigue
Loud snoring accompanied by pauses in breathing
Un-refreshing sleep
Falling asleep at inappropriate times
Frequent morning headaches
Crawling sensations in your legs or arms at night
Inability to move while falling asleep or waking up
Physically acting out dreams during sleep
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Feed Your Skin

s with vitamin A balance the skin’s PH to fight harmful bacteria lowering the risk of skin cancer.

Blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries are high in antioxidants, have countless healthy-skin benefits.

Walnuts & Flax Seed are full of essential fatty acids, block harmful irritants, being the passageway for nutrients and waste to get in and out of the cell.

Healthy Oils which are labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin, keep skin lubricated and looking and feeling healthier. Watch the calories.

Whole-wheat bread is rich in the mineral selenium, key in the health of skin cells. Studies show that sun damaged skin may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.

Sunflower Seeds --These tiny seeds pack the most natural vitamin E of any food around. No antioxidant is better at slowing down the aging of skin cells to keep you looking younger longer.

Water -- Good hydration is key to healthy looking skin, and there's nothing better than pure, clean water to quench your body's thirst—except maybe mineral-rich hard water from the tap.


Mind Cure 2

Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life. A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul. "A merry [rejoicing] heart does good like a medicine."

In the treatment of the sick the effect of mental influence should not be overlooked. Rightly used, this influence affords one of the most effective agencies for combating disease.
He who took humanity upon Himself knows how to sympathize with the sufferings of humanity. Not only does Christ know every soul, and the peculiar needs and trials of that soul, but He knows all the circumstances that chafe and perplex the spirit. His hand is outstretched in pitying tenderness to every suffering child. Those who suffer most have  the most of His sympathy and pity. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and He desires us to lay our perplexities and troubles at His feet and leave them there.


Mind Cure

In God’s loving care and interest for us, often, He who understands us better than we understand ourselves refuses to permit us selfishly to seek the gratification of our own ambition. He does not permit us to pass by the humble but sacred duties that lie next us. Often these duties give us the very training essential to prepare us for a higher work. Often our plans fail that God's plans for us may succeed.

We are never called to make a real sacrifice for God. Many things He’s asked us to yield to Him, but in doing this we are just giving up what hinders us in our way to heaven. Even when we are asked to surrender those things which in themselves are good, we can be sure that God is working out for us some higher good.

In the future life the mysteries that have annoyed and disappointed us here, will be made plain. We will see that our seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings.

Health is a laughing matter!

“Keep that smile on your face and some levity in your heart.”  Says Des Cummings, author of  8 Secrets of a Healthy 100.

A study from the University of  Maryland reported that laughing is good for the heart, and benefited participants’ arteries in much the same way as aerobic activity.

Don’t often enjoy a deep belly laugh?  Seek out the humorous anyway, say researchers, because,  quiet chuckles count. In fact, even the anticipation of having a good laugh is beneficial.  At Loma Linda University, study participants who knew they were going to watch a funny movie experienced an increase in two hormones: beta-endorphins (a hormone that dispels depression) increased by 27% and human growth hormone (which helps with immunity) increased by 87%.

What’s more, there’s even an “after laugh.”  Those good feelings and happy hormones that follow laughter can linger for up to 45 minutes.

Laugh more! Live longer!

Salad the Main Dish?

Eating large salads is an effective weight loss strategy. Raw leafy greens contain less than 100 calories per pound, so you can eat huge quantities without worry.  Scientific studies show that people who started their lunch with salads consumed fewer calories from the rest of the meal.

Salads provide powerful health benefits – especially with the right dressing. 
Maximal benefits of leafy greens can only happen if their phytochemicals are absorbed efficiently and this only happens in the presence of fats.   So, using a fat-free dressing severely limits the health benefits you obtain from your salads.

For that reason, nut-based or seed-based salad dressings are recommended. Nuts are  extremely healthful foods and they provide additional satiating (hunger-satisfying) power.  Blending nuts, seeds, fruit, lime, herbs and spices into a salad dressing not only makes your salad taste great, but increases its nutritional value.

Make salad the main dish and be healthier!


Are some fruits or vegetables better than others?

Are you better off having an apple or a serving of spinach? 

A team of Dutch researchers studied the diets of 20,069 healthy people, following them for ten years to see which foods had the most health power.

They found that orange fruits and vegetables had the most heart protecting power.   Carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, butternut squash cut the risk of heart problems by 26%, presumably due to the beta-carotene and other nutrients in these foods.

In preventing stroke, the real standouts were apples and pears. Eating an apple a day, cut their stroke risk by 50 percent or more.

But don’t focus just on carrots and apples. Go for the variety nature provides.

So, do have carrots and apples, adding many others fruits and vegetables.  It’s the generous variety of vegetables and fruits in your daily routine that does the trick!




Breathe Deeply!


In 1931, Nobel Laureate Dr. Otto Warburg stated: "the cause of cancer is no longer a mystery, we know it occurs whenever any cell is denied 60% of its oxygen requirements."

Then, how to improve the oxygen level in my body?

Fresh air. Increase the amount of oxygen in the air you breathe by allowing fresh air into every room of your home, office and transportation.

Deep breathing. Improper breathing causes oxygen deficiency. Use the full capacity of your lungs by expanding both the chest and lower abdomen. Practice deep breathing for a few minutes every day.

Aerobic exercise increases the capacity of the heart to pump blood and the capacity of the lungs.

Follow a low fat vegetarian diet. Clean arteries will maximize the amount of oxygen-rich blood reaching the tissues.  Eat smaller healthy meals. Overeating causes oxygen deficiency.

The antioxidants in foods help the body use oxygen more efficiently!

(Breathe) Ah! It’s free!



Let's go nuts! 

Research has heartened nut lovers. Studies at Loma Linda University found that eating raw unsalted nuts five times a week (about two ounces a day) lowered blood cholesterol.

Walnuts, almonds and peanuts had the same result.  It appears that replacing saturated fat in the diet with the monounsaturated fat in nuts may be the key.

In addition, nuts and fruits and vegetables are also very effective at eliminating toxins from the blood and tissue cells, which also promotes weight loss. Toxins get stored in fat cells to avoid harming the vital organs of the body. As toxins are removed, the fat cells are also removed because the body no longer needs them.

Moderation is key. Although eating nuts on a regular basis appears to have significant health benefits, nut consumption should be limited to no more than 3 ounces per day because of their high caloric density.

So, go nuts!



The Anti-Cancer Diet

The key to longevity, healthful weight loss, and cancer protection is to eat predominantly those foods that have a high proportion of nutrients.

A food is healthy or not-so-healthy based on how much fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients it contains in proportion to its calories. Eating large quantities of high-nutrient foods is the secret to optimal health, disease prevention and maintaining a healthy slim waistline.

A typical anti-cancer diet should contain at least 4 fresh fruits daily, at least one large raw green salad, as well as two other cooked (steamed) vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and peas, squash or other colorful vegetables. A pot of soup with vegetables, herbs and beans can be made once a week and eaten daily. Raw nuts and seeds are another important, but often overlooked, group of foods with documented health benefits contributing to longevity.

Exercise “the blues” goodbye!

Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.

Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body; it’s sometimes called the “happy hormone” giving a positive and energizing outlook on life.

Endorphins are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

It’s been proven that regular exercise:

Reduces stress
Wards off anxiety and feelings of depression
Boosts self-esteem
Improves sleep
Strengthens your heart
Increases energy levels.
Lowers blood pressure.
Improves muscle tone and strength.
Strengthens and builds bones.
Helps reduce body fat…

If that isn’t enough, exercise also

Makes you look fit and healthy!

Let’s release some “happy hormones”, and say “good bye” to “the Blues”!


Hard Bones!

The most effective way to strengthen bones and protect against osteoporosis-related fractures is by increasing muscle strength.  Weight-bearing exercises are ideal for improving balance and building bone strength.   While swimming and biking are good for cardiovascular conditioning, they will not help protect against osteoporosis like running or lifting weights will.

The worst foods for bone health:

Animal protein

All these contribute to urinary calcium loss.)

The best foods for bone health.

Beans, seeds, and greens. One four-ounce serving of steamed kale has just as much calcium as one cup of milk. The body absorbs about 50% of the calcium in green vegetables, compared to only 32% of the calcium in milk.

Green vegetables are another great source of calcium.

Nuts and seeds also help maintain adequate calorie and protein intake, to maintain muscle and bone mass.

Take good care of your bones!


Eat “Super Foods” daily. 

What is a “Super Food”? First of all you should know that “super foods” are easy to find and they’re worth looking for!

These nutritional powerhouse foods are loaded with nutrients crucial to a healthy, long life.

These foods were chosen because they contain high concentrations of crucial nutrients, as well as the fact that many of them are low in calories. Foods containing these nutrients have been proven to help prevent and, in some cases, reverse the well-known effects of aging, including cardiovascular disease, Type II Diabetes, hypertension and certain cancers.

These “super foods” are:

Dried Super Fruits (Raisins, dates, prunes, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, currents, apricots and figs)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

If you can include a variety of them in your diet, everyday, they will change your life!


6 to 8 cups! Water is without a doubt one of the very best diet aids.

Look at what it does . . .

Suppresses your appetite.
Reduces sodium buildup and helps maintain muscle tone.
Helps the body eliminate waste and toxins.
Relieves fluid retention. If you don’t give your body water, it holds onto water tenaciously so it won’t run out.
Reduces fat deposits in the body by helping the body metabolize the fat that is stored in the body.

The real truth is that water is one of the best cures for our most common ailments. Doctors almost never write a prescription for water yet look what all it can treat: allergies, asthma, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, colitis, alcohol dependency, lower back pain, neck pain, and on and on.

Water is medicine… preventive and curative. Drink your water!

Sleep is Food! The average adult requires 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep per night. You may have heard someone tell you that they only need 5-6 hours, and that they learned to operate on that level of sleep. The truth is that at 5-6 hours per night, this individual's performance on the job, and in life are suffering, period!

While sleeping…

Growth hormones are released, for healing and development.
Discs are re-hydrated.
Blood flow is directed to areas needing healing.
Memories are catalogued for later use.
Motor skills are fine tuned.

If that doesn't get you to sleep more, then you should know that sleep deprivation spikes levels of the hormone ghrelin, which increases hunger, and lowers your appetite suppressing hormones. You eat more to compensate for lack of sleep and you crave more sugars and refined carbohydrates as a result.

Remember… Sleep is food!

Lose Weight: Eat Breakfast.
Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight - and keep it off.

What's for breakfast - coffee? Most mornings, we barely glance at the kitchen. Fixing breakfast takes up precious time that's in short supply. But there's ample evidence that the simple act of eating breakfast -- every day -- is a big part of losing weight, lots of weight.

"People skip breakfast thinking they're cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved," "Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, bingeing at lunch and dinner.

It makes sense: Eating early in the day keeps us from "starvation eating" later on. But it also jump-starts our metabolism. Avoiding breakfast means fasting for 15 to 20 hours, and not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight."  Eating breakfast distributes your calories throughout the day.


Walk--and walk briskly. Every minute you walk can increase your lifespan by 1.5 (one and half)  to 2 minutes. Studies also show that people who walk regularly live longer, weigh less, have lower blood pressure, and enjoy better overall health than non-walkers. Walkers also have reduced risk for age-related mental decline.

Walking releases endorphins, known as happy hormones. It strengthens the heart and lungs.

Walking first thing in the morning on an empty stomach has been shown to assist in weight loss. But don't fall into the trap of thinking you can eat what you want because you've exercised. You can never out-exercise a poor diet.

Take care of your "social health."   When we think of “health,” we don’t often think of “social” health. However, if you think about it, happy, positive relationships do play a part in keeping the mind-body connection a healthy one. And one relationship-smoother is giving others the benefit of the doubt.

sn’t it funny that when a person takes too long to do something, we call them “slow” but if it is we who are running late, we call ourselves “thorough.”

And if someone doesn’t perform a task, we say he is “lazy,” but if we’re the ones who skip a task, it’s because we are “too busy.”

If someone does something without being asked, they’ve “overstepped their bounds.” But if we’re the ones being spontaneous, we have “initiative.” 

When others strongly fight for their point of view, they are “stubborn,” but if we do the same we are “people of conviction.” 

Remember that Jesus said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Let’s give others the benefit of the doubt since God has given us grace we don’t deserve.


Don’t Skimp on Sleep  Research shows that getting fewer than 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep decreases decision making abilities and leads to a lack of self control as the day wears on.

Sleep deprivation leads to increased:

• Insulin levels
• Weight gain
• Depression
• Attention deficit disorder (A.D.D.)
• Problems with learning and memory

New studies indicate that improving the quantity and quality of sleep has a more significant effect on overall health than either diet or exercise!

Sleep is not a nuisance or a luxury--it's part of regular maintenance and repair for the body. 

Getting enough sleep can mean the difference between a sick, tired, foggy, unfocused, life and one where you feel vibrantly healthy and fully tuned into the world around you.






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