Category Archives: Health

ELIMINATE THE WHITES ~ talking food here

white bread

White Bread ~ a huge No-No in my life. Converts to sugar, turns to fat, goes straight to my belly.

Killing Belly Fat Is Murder!

First, let me put my disclaimer out. I’m not a doctor, not a nutritionist, not a certified diet counselor, but I did slowly loose 60 lbs over a period of five years and have kept it off. In fact, I’m still slowly loosing weight and my doctor says I’m very healthy. If you are going to begin a diet or new type of eating lifestyle ~ consult with your doctor.

How did I achieve this weight loss feat? I wish I could take the credit, but I can’t…entirely. A major factor was my young adult daughters moved out and with them, so did the junk food. One got married. The other two decided they’d live with friends because they were now “adults.” I can’t take credit for the Twinkies, chips, boxed mac ‘n cheese, Chinese noodle packets, microwave popcorn, and sour gummie worms moving out with them.

The other issue I can only partially take credit for. I started walking my dog instead of letting her out in the backyard to do her business. Simply taking a half to three-quarters of a mile walk twice a day did wonders for me. It jump started my metabolism. I believe walking is the best exercise there is for most people. Still, I have to give honor and credit where it’s due. It was my relationship with God that got me walking. I heard Him say (in my inner being) that I should walk the dog and I obeyed. Then I heard Him tell me to change my diet and I obeyed again. So, these are my diet and lifestyle creds. If you are going to make changes in your diet and exercise routine, consult your doctor, and definitely enquirer of God first.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 [NASB] ~ Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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My Harlequin Sweet Potato Salad with tons of veggies (celery, carrot, onion, green pepper)

I began a food research campaign. I read articles on WebMD, listened to Christian broadcasts featuring Dr. Don Colbert, and began listening to healthy cooking shows and health-conscious chefs on TV. I became serious about this and developed a very simple lifestyle/eating plan for myself. Basically, I eliminated (or nearly so) all white foods and processed foods. This include white breads, white potatoes, white pasta, white rice, sugar and artificial sugar substitutes, and salt. I eliminated (or nearly so) all white beans. My first choice in beans overwhelmingly is black beans, followed by dark  red kidney beans. My choice in potatoes is a sweet potato or yam, followed at a distance by new red-potatoes with the skins left on. My choice in rice is brown rice. However, I make sure I do not eat carb loaded foods at every meal (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans). I don’t eliminate carbs because many of them are healthy, but I never-ever eat them at three meals a day, seldom at two.

There are whites in dairy. I eat dairy, including white milk, mostly low-fat. NO, I do NOT stir in chocolate syrup to make milk non-white. LOL Aside from it being an excellent source of protein, I’ve been diagnosed with hypo-thyroidism which has added to my difficulty in losing weight over the years. In America, dairy products have iodine in them and the thyroid needs iodine to function properly. Salt also contains iodine. It’s my choice for me to cut way down on salt, because I also in recent years have had a tendency toward high blood pressure. Since I changed my diet and have lost so much weight, I was able to come off high cholesterol statin meds, which have negative side effects but do prevent heart attacks and strokes. It’s my goal, as I continue to loose weight, that I’ll get off my high blood pressure meds.

Various conditions require the elimination of certain foods that might be healthy for everyone else. Thyroid is one of those conditions and there are others. I find Dr. Colbert is very good in explaining this, so is Dr. Oz.

Never say never! I’m addicted to and drink un-sweetened iced tea with LOTS of lemon slices squeezed in and seltzer water with unsweetened flavor added (lemon/lime, berry, and the like). I keep my house well stocked with these. I was addicted to Diet Coke, and will on occasion order that in a restaurant, despite it being loaded with the dreaded aspartame. I don’t purchase Diet Coke in the grocery or keep it in my house. That’s the key, don’t keep it in your house. If you have others living with you, you need to enlist their support. Have a family meeting, get everyone to pray over healthy eating issues.

I’m not a killjoy. After church on Sunday I often go to lunch with a friend. I attempt to choose wisely, but have been known to order a burger with fries. On my birthday, I indulge in a slice of birthday cake. At another’s birthday party, I’ll also have a slice of cake. Ditto for rich foods and dessert on major holidays. Did you know January 22nd is National Blonde Brownie Day? No, I do not eat blonde brownies on Jan 22. Nor do I indulge on National Chocolate Cake Day. I’m also not diabetic and can recuperate from an occasional unhealthy sugar and starch laden meal.

1 Corinthians 5:8 [KJV] ~ Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

12 grain bread

If I have bread, it’s 12 or 15 grain whole wheat bread


Applesauce In My Oatmeal ~ killing belly fat is murder

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It’s 38 degrees in Jacksonville this morning, but they say the ‘real feel’ is 28. So, Sophie and I decided to huddle under the covers and sleep in a bit. We got a late start to our walk, but postponing didn’t make it any warmer.

When we got inside, both of us were hungry. I fed Sophie and decided to make hot oatmeal for myself. I often add raisins to the oatmeal, but this time thought I’d seen an oatmeal cookie recipe that had applesauce as an ingredient, so I threw in 2 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce to my cereal. It was quite good too and healthy.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. [NASB]

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WHO/WHAT IS THIS INNER CRITIC? ~ the one pop-culture talks about

 

Depression memeSilence your inner critic, they say. These are the tapes from your past, the ones that seem to run on a loop. These tapes say, “There’s nothing special about you,” or “You’ve made too many mistakes to make anything of yourself now.” Many of these tapes have been passed down in families from generation to generation. “Your grandpa was a hard drinker, just like your dad. You probably will be too.” This type of negative prognosticating goes on in many families without much thought. It’s become a damaging habit that’s often a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Words have power. If you say over-and-over, “Like the rest of my family, I’ll probably never amount to much,” you probably never will. These “internal tapes” can be seen as generational curses. What is a curse? It’s words…negative words pronounced over somebody or something. A generational curse is something negative that seems to travel in families and it’s accompanied by destructive words the family says about itself and others say about it.

What we want to strive to do is pronounce a positive and holy vision over our lives and bestow a blessing upon ourselves and others. Habakkuk 2:2 [ESV] ~ And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. I like to write Scripture out. When I see a Word for me in Scripture and I write it down, I’m the one who reads it, and I’m the one who runs with it.

It’s my belief that we Christians should speak about ourselves and see ourselves the way the Lord sees us. The Scripture says in Psalms 139: 3 – 14 [NASB] ~ 13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

A lot of people like to say the Scripture aloud that pertains to their particular situation, and I do believe saying a Scripture out loud can stop negative thoughts dead in their tracks. This is what Jesus did when the devil tempted Him. If it worked for Him it will work for us.

 


Battling Negativity ~ it’s all in the mind

Woman, Burned Out

 

How is it so many people come up with images in their minds all day long that are negative? We can see our businesses going bankrupt, our car driving into a ditch, our children marrying the wrong person. Those types of negative imaginations, of course, are the lies of the devil.

We’ve been told repeatedly by many a preacher and/or teacher that the battlefield is in the mind. 2 Corinthians 10: 5 [KJV] ~ Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;…

If we’re not born again, we have nothing of greater strength to combat those images. And most of the world is in exactly that position. Their minds are constantly racing with negative imaginations. There’s no need to turn on a reality TV show or a late night comedy show to prove my point, but if you did you’d hear a steady stream of negativity. Many of those horrid pronouncements would be couched as sarcasm. It’s as if those late night shows are a veritable Coliseum, where those not in favor are ridiculed and torn apart. A while back they tore apart the Duggars…and there was wrong doing there. Then they castigated the Dentist who killed Cecil the lion…also wrong doing.The political season is upon us and during the campaign it’s sure to get ugly. It always does.Talk show hosts, news pundits, and the candidates themselves will ridicule the candidate they oppose, belittle him or her in the most personal manner. I’m not saying there is no need for investigation and thoughtful discourse (emphasis on thoughtful). That is most often not the case. They seek to destroy. Many (especially those who are extreme on either side) delight in exaggeration, lies, and slander. They actually revel i it.

The Bible is clear on this. Proverbs 10:18 [KJV] ~ He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool. Christians are told to cast down these devilish imaginations. To take captivity captive. We are to take captive the wicked thoughts that would enslave us. So I went to the Lord because I thought I’m a pretty nice person and I asked him, “Do I really have wicked thoughts?” His answer was YES, any time I insult or slight another, or portray them in a negative light. That after all is what slander means. I don’t mean to do it, but sometimes it just slips out. Yup, that’s a sin. Fortunately, very fallible me gets to humbly and honestly repent, and God’s incredible loving grace wipes my slate clean.

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In my detective novel DEADLY DESIGNS, female private eye Veronica “Ronnie” Ingles is beset by negative emotions due to the unfortunate circumstances of her childhood. She’s thrust into a situation where she and Deputy Sheriff, Lieutenant Dawson Hughes, the man she’s falling for, are racing against time to rescue a kidnapped little girl. The plight of this child pulls up nightmares she once had as a child, as well as deeply negative memories. She has been wrestling with God for many years, yet she remains inquisitive as to who He is. She’s on a spiritual journey, though she doesn’t always know it.

 


NYPD Has Little Protection From Ebola

Hospital Gear much like what has been given to NYPD officers. ~ Courtesy of Free Images, by adamci

Hospital Gear similar to what has been given to NYPD officers. ~ Courtesy of Free Images, by adamci

According to local news sources, the NYPD and Port Authority cops have been given little to no protective gear for dealing with Ebola victims should there be one. Those same news sources claim FDNY medics have been given the task of picking up “high fever” victims. Dispatchers are not allowed to use the word “Ebola.”

What worries me as a resident of Gotham is that we seem to be behind the 8-ball on this one. I do not have the greatest confidence in the current city leadership in the best of times, and this is not the best of times. The current leadership has been plagued (you should pardon the expression) with a series of blunders and mishaps. This penchant for not being quite on top of things is worrying me, to say the least.

At New York City’s airports, police officers are getting “high risk kits” which sell for about $5.00 when ordered in bulk. These kits come in a small pouch, much like the ones rain ponchos are sold in. They contain a paper gown lined with some sort of claimed protective polyurethane coating. Paper gowns to protect from Ebola? Apparently they’re serious. They claim these gowns are “impervious.” Really? That’s what NYC is giving it’s first responders? Insanity!!!

The FDNY has the paper gowns as well but is ordering quality, three layer body suits for its EMS workers…who as mentioned earlier, have been assigned to pick up the city’s “high fever” victims. All high fever victims picked up by FDNY medics will be taken to Bellevue Hospital, the city’s premier public hospital, which has 20 isolation rooms. Bellevue’s morgue has the distinction of being the city’s first morgue. It’s also thought by many to be the creepiest of morgues. It’s been written about in many a crime fiction novel. Sorry, couldn’t help mentioning that.

Given all this (and getting back to the main point). the man from Nigeria who had diarrhea and was vomiting who came to JFK airport (NYC) has died. Apparently it has very quickly been determined it was not Ebola. I hope this is not another mistake, another instance of coming from behind.

 


Summer Garden “Ceviche” ~ getting rid of belly fat is murder

IMG_1121All of my novels have a food angle to them. The1940s, historical Sanctuary Point mystery series presents families sitting down at the dinner table enjoying hearty meat and potatoes fare…not to mention the strudel, cake, and cookies. This depicts how people ate in that era.

My contemporary novel, HARMFUL INTENT, and my first indie endeavor, features a heroine who likes to eat. While Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, PI, is fit and trim, she can hold her own at the table and what she eats isn’t necessarily healthy. However, in the course of the investigation she takes an organic cooking class and is surprised by how tasty the meal is. The next time the reader sees Ronnie, she’s sleuthing away in the second book of the series, DEADLY DESIGNS (coming out at the end of the year)…and she’s had a change of culinary lifestyle. She’s taken a few health-conscious cooking classes. Her diet has changed and she now knows her way around the kitchen.

Although this recipe for Summer Garden “Cerviche” isn’t written about in either novel, it’s wonderful for adding vegetables and fruit to the diet. Vegetables and fruit are essential in fighting the battle of the bulge as well as fostering all over health.

Feeds 2-3 people (can easily be doubled)

1/8 C virgin olive oil

1 juice of one lemon with some pulp, remove seeds

1/4 C red onion, coarsely chopped

1 ear of corn, shelled

1/2 cucumber, seeded, and cut into small bite size pieces

1 banana pepper, cut in half, seeded, and cut into small bite size pieces

1/3+ C of mango and papaya chunks, removed from a can or jar of Dole Tropical Fruit

3 Tbps of juice from Dole Tropical Fruit

4-5 small fresh basil leave, cut into slivers

salt and pepper to taste

Ceviche has heat. See  note at bottom.

Combine all the fruit and vegetable ingredients and the slivered basil leaves in a glass bowl.

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In another small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice with some pulp, 3 Tbsp juice from Dole Tropical Fruit, and the salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and fruit mixture. Gently fold in and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

 

 

Heat note: There are several ways to add heat. If you seed and slice 1 jalapeno pepper into slivers and marinade it with the vegetables and fruit for the entire 2 hours, there will be a great deal of heat. The slivered jalapeno can be mixed through right before serving for less heat. Or you can place a gourmet bottle of your favorite hot sauce on the table and heat can be added individually according to taste.

Chill a footed desert glass (or a martini glass, or margarita glass). Remove vegetables and fruit with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place into serving glasses. Serve cold.

 

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Fitness Tip: increase walking. Take a stroll in the evening after you’ve digested your dinner. Walk you dog.

Note: Make sure you’re well hydrated. Take a bottle of water along for the walk.

It’s always advised for individuals to consult their doctor before going on any diet or exercise routine, and before making lifestyle changes.


Feet Don’t Fail Me Now ~ on the viral dry skin remedy

IMG_1079I’m reading Lisa Lickel’s marketing article on Elaine Stock’s blog…good stuff. All the while my feet are in a tub of that Listerine/vinegar mixture that’s gone viral for sloughing off dry skin.

I’m sure anyone with a dry skin issue on their feet is aware of the claims of the Listerine/vinegar treatment.

You mix 1/4 C Listerine (most prefer the blue, cool-mint), 1/4 C white vinegar, and 1/2 C warm water. Soak feet for 10 minutes and they claim the dry skin will slough right off in your hand.

I have such dry skin due to a thyroid condition (that is being treated), you’d think I had golumphing golumpha’s disorder on my feet. I bought the cool-mint, blue Listerine (on sale) a month ago. Then I read a dermatologist’s article sort of pooh-poohing this home-remedy, so I put off trying it.

Today when my feet took the plunge, I doubled the recipe. That’s just me. I wanted my feet sloshing around in a little bit more liquid. The cool liquid feels great! Refreshing. I guess that’s why everyone says go with the blue Listerine. As to the results…the dry skin doesn’t just slough off. However, this is the best remedy I’ve tried yet…and I’ve tried both prescription and non-prescription ointments and salves, some with fruit acids. This took off more dead skin, by far, than any of those. This is just my results. I’m not a medical doctor, not a podiatrist, nor a dermatologist, and I’m not prescribing. I’m a writer and I’m recording.

IMG_1080As I said, the dry skin doesn’t simply slough off. I used the two instruments of torture to the left to gently remove dead skin.

My best estimate is, I’m going to be doing thins once a month to keep things in tootsie-ville down to a dull roar.


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