Sunday, May 31, 2009

Good fats / bad fats

Hi all - Some people have asked me how I stopped the compulsive over-eating habit I used to be in.  I believe that 3 things had a huge impact on me: 1. Prayer  2. A mentor (Steve)  3. The increase of healthy fats & protein with a variety of whole foods.  It's hard to believe that eating fat could help you lose fat.  But when your body is really lacking a certain nutrient (in my case, healthy fats), you can really feel the relief when that nutrient is found.  It was literally like the over-eating compulsion just fell off of me (and so did the weight).  Our bodies need healthy fats to survive and thrive.  The problem is that most of the fats I was eating were cheap processed highly heated damaged oils found in processed foods.  Eating an organic grass-fed steak, or a free-range pasteur-fed chicken, or whole raw-milk yogurt is a totally different experience for your digestive tract than consuming fast food and the highly sugared non-"health food" (like yogurt) found in most grocery stores.  I have found the best fats for me are olive oil, coconut oil, and butter.  The rest of this post is a great article by Dr. Mercola:
Did you know that your brain is about 60 percent fat? The fats you eat strongly influence your level of brain function. Some nutritional anthropologists believe the human brain would not have developed as it did without access to high levels of DHA (a type of fat) found in fish and wild game. Just two generations of high omega-6 and low omega-3 fats can lead to profound changes in brain size and function.

Lesson 1: It is the type of fat that matters, not the amount.

Learning about fats can be confusing. When you go to the grocery store, you're confronted with advertisements telling you that a product is low in fat, or a product is made with partially hydrogenated oil. To make sense of all the labels, I've compiled the following list of definitions for you:

  • Saturated fats: Saturated fats are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream and fatty meats. They are also found in some tropical plants and vegetable oils such as  coconut, palm and palm kernel. 

    Saturated fats are not as dangerous as you think. In fact, coconut oil is quite healthy and is the oil to use for cooking since it is far less likely to be damaged through heating. 

    Nutritional Typing

    A misguided fallacy that persists to this day is the belief that saturated fat will increase your risk of heart attacks. Folks, this is simply another myth that has been harming your health for the last 30 or 40 years. The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet, and they provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone like substances. 

    When you eat saturated fats as part of your meal, they slow down absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes. 

    Studies on low saturated fat diets also support nutritional typing, which predicts that one-third of people will do very well on low saturated fat diets (which supports the studies showing that they work), whereas another one-third of people need high saturated fat diets to stay healthy.

    If you'd like to learn more about the role dietary fats play in your health, be sure to check out these excellent research studies.
  • Trans fats: These fats form when vegetable oil hardens, a process called hydrogenation, and can raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and  lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which of course is the complete opposite of what you need in order to maintain good heart health. In fact, trans fats --as opposed to saturated fats -- have been linked repeatedly to heart disease. These fatty acids can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems..
  • Monounsaturated fats: The best oil here is olive oil. Canola oil is also in this category, but I advise avoiding it and using olive oil instead.

Lesson 2: Learn about the importance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

Omega-3 fats improve your cell's response to insulin, neurotransmitters and other messengers. They also help the repair process when your cells are damaged. On the other hand, omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory and contribute to insulin and membrane resistance, altering your mood, and impairing learning and cell repair. To avoid high levels of omega-6, it is important to avoid all vegetable seed oils.

Please understand that it's not only necessary to consciously consume omega-3 fats, which I'll review further in lesson 3 below, but it is just as important to lower your omega-6 fat intake. If you don't lower your omega-6 fats to acceptable levels, your omega 6:3 ratio will not be low enough, and you will not receive many of the wonderful benefits of omega-3 fats such as reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's, arthritis and many other degenerative illnesses.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Recipe House

Hey - if you want to start your own on-line recipe book to share with others, go to
Thanks to my sister Kelly for telling me about it.  It's handy.  You'll find some healthy recipes I posted there. But I just got started, so there's only a few so far.  Tonight, I posted a new salad dressing I tried which is fabulouso!  It's very simple and good-for-you.  It's called Lemon Honey Dressing from the "Nourishing Traditions" cookbook by: Sally Fallon.  I highly recommend this book for it's wealth of knowledge and good recipes.  Have a great night!  It's beautiful in Lancaster after the rain today.  We are going outside to ride bikes in the driveway.  Yeee-ha!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tis the season for fresh greens!

Oh yeah, spring is upon us.  If you are growing lettuce or any kind of leafy greens in your garden, you are happy to beat the rabbits to it.  I'm just happy my husband planted all this goodness. Right now is an awesome time in Lancaster, PA to be eating the tender greens straight from the garden.  Steve even picked some wild chickory greens from our yard (1st time we tried that and it was good), he cut some young kale and swiss chard from his garden, and I cut some mesclun greens, washed it all (twice and spun it out in the salad spinner - a kitchen gadget that gets daily use) and built our salads by adding a fresh chopped tomato and tossing it with a mustard dressing I made up (below)... then topping it all with shredded raw-milk cheese and toasted pinenuts.  That was a complete meal.  Very satisfying.  Wanna try the dressing?  It's really simple and fresh.  Just whisk these ingredients together:
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP. smooth or grainy mustard (I used an old-fashioned grain mustard)
2 TBSP. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. agave nectar (or you could use honey)
If you want some great omega-3's, add a TBSP. of flax seed oil to it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's so bad about sugar?

Hello.  Greetings from my house to yours.  I just read the book "Sugar Blues" by William Dufty and it was eye-opening.  As a person who was once highly addicted to sugar, I realize now that sugar was a big part of what perpetuated my 7 year struggle with compulsive over-eating.  It is found in so many foods (check out the spaghetti sauce labels... not to mention soups and yogurt, etc...).  There are so many Americans who are willingly hooked up to an I.V. overload of liquid sugar through a straw and a Big-Gulp of soda or iced tea.  My friend Jenn told me that she is weaning off the sugar drinks by making her own blend of 100% juiced with carbonated water (seltzer water).  Good idea.  Another idea is to sweeten your hot herbal tea with a tiny bit of stevia (a very sweet herb which has no effect on blood sugar). Enjoy this book report of "Sugar Blues."  And sorry for this orange background.  It's out of control.  I can't figure out how to change it. Ha!   ~ Amy  

Is sugar bad for you?

The white crystalline substance we know of as sugar is an unnatural substance produced by industrial processes (mostly from sugar cane or sugar beets) by refining it down to pure sucrose, after stripping away all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and other beneficial nutrients.

What is left is a concentrated unnatural substance which the human body is not able to handle, at least not in anywhere near the quantities that is now ingested in today's accepted lifestyle. Sugar is addictive. The average American now consumes approximately 115 lbs. of sugar per year. This is per man, woman and child.

The biggest reason sugar does more damage than any other poison, drug or narcotic is twofold:

  • (a) It is considered a "food" and ingested in such massive quantities, and
  • (b) The damaging effects begin early, from the day a baby is born and is fed sugar in its formula. Even mothers milk is contaminated with it if the mother eats sugar, and
  • (c) Practically 95% of people are addicted to it to some degree or other.

Sugar is eaten to excess

It has been said that the criteria as to whether a substance (any substance) is harmful or medically beneficial is the quantity in which it is used in the human body. To point to a dramatic illustration: we all know that the venom of a rattlesnake, a cobra, water moccasin, coral, and other venomous snakes is deadly to the human system. There are some snakes whose bite is so deadly it can cause death within a matter of seconds. Nevertheless, even snake venom, deadly as it is, has been used for therapeutic, medical purposes when used in minute quantities.

History of sugar

Whereas sugar had been around in minute quantities for several thousand years, it was practically unknown and formed an insignificant part of the average diet in the Classical civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. The Greeks (who had a word for nearly everything!) did not even have a word for it. Even in medieval Europe it was practically unknown and then only a rare delicacy in the royal courts.

During the last major Crusade that ended in 1204 some of the Christian Crusaders were introduced to sugar freely used by the Saracens. The Moors when invading and colonizing the southern part of Spain grew sugar cane on Spanish soil and refined sugar. When Spain drove out the Moors, it inherited some of the cane plantations. It was during this time that Christendom took its first big bite of the forbidden fruit and liked it.

Sugar is an unnatural chemical

Why is sugar so devastating to our health? One reason is it is pure chemical and (like heroin) through refining has been stripped of all the natural food nutrition that it originally had in the plant itself.

Heroin and sugar are arrived at by very similar processes of refinement. In producing heroin, the opium is first extracted from the poppy: The opium is then refined into morphine. The chemists then went to work on morphine and further refined it into heroin, proclaiming they had "discovered" a wonderful new pain-killer that was non-addictive. So they said.

Similarly, sugar is first pressed as a juice from the cane (or beet) and refined into molasses. Then it is refined into brown sugar, and finally into strange white crystals C12H22O, that are an alien chemical to the human system.

Sugar is addictive

A second reason that sugar is so harmful is that like heroin it is addictive, and being delectable and seductive to the taste, it is also habit forming. Starting with sugar in the baby's formula, people not only develop a strong taste for sugar but an insatiable craving for it so that they never seem to get enough of this poison.

Slow but insidious

A third reason is that the damage sugar does is slow and insidious. It takes years before it ruins your pancreas, your adrenal glands, throws your whole endocrine system out of kilter and produces a huge list of damage.

Foods are loaded with sugar

A fourth reason is the outrageous amounts of sugar civilized nations consume. Americans in particular are told how they are the best fed and best nourished people on the face of the earth. If we are talking about processed junk food - this is true.

If you examine the "foods" in any supermarket more closely and start reading labels, you will find just about everything contains sugar. Most of the foods are loaded with it - from cereals, to soups, to ketchup, to hotdogs. Even flue-cured tobacco can contain as much as 20% sugar by weight. Some cereals are as much as 50% sugar.

List of Damages

We have stated that sugar is deleterious to your health: that it is more damaging than all other narcotics combined; that it is a long term chemical poison. Just what damage does sugar do to the human body? The list is endless.

When we talk about sugar, we are including bad nutrition as a whole, since anyone who indulges in sugar has bad dietary habits per se.

  1. Sugar is by far the leading cause of dental deterioration - cavities in teeth, bleeding gums, failure of bone structure, and loss of teeth.
  2. Sugar is the main cause of diabetes, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
  3. It is either a significant or contributory cause of heart disease, arteriosclerosis, mental illness, depression, senility, hypertension, cancer.
  4. It has an extremely harmful effect in unbalancing the endocrine system and injuring its component glands such as the adrenal glands, pancreas and liver, causing the blood sugar level to fluctuate widely. It has a number of other extremely damaging effects on the human body.

Some of the other effects of sugar on the body are: 

  • Increases overgrowth of candida yeast organism
  • Increases chronic fatigue
  • Can trigger binge eating in those with bulima
  • Increases PMS symptoms
  • Increases hyperactivity in about 50% of children
  • Increases tooth decay
  • Increases anxiety and irritability
  • Can increase or intensify symptoms of anxiety and panic in susceptible women
  • Can make it difficult to lose weight because of constantly high insulin levels, which causes the body to store excess carbs as fat.

There are a number of books available on the subject, but perhaps one of the most interesting ones is "Sugar Blues" by William Dufty. It is available in most Health Food stores.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Make Music

What kind of music do you like to listen to while you're in the kitchen?  If I'm by myself, then it's something focused on God.  Right now, I'm listening to Jason Upton.  I really like Rita Springer and Brock Human.  Also, Kimberly and Alberto Rivera!  If I'm with my kids, then it's something they like.  Good music motivates us to make good food together.  So I encourage you to create (and then receive from) an atmosphere of emotional, spiritual, and physical health.  Live well!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Green Machine Smoothie

Green Machine Smoothie

½ c. plain yogurt (raw is best)

1 c. fresh spinach (washed, no need to dry, pressed down) or any kind of dark greens.

1/2 c. fresh pineapple (or frozen)

1 frozen banana (or fresh)

3 ice cubes

 Mix it all up in a blender, making sure you start with the yogurt at the bottom of the blender for best mixing.  That's it!

Most kids love a splash of color in their foods.  I have to get creative about this, since a year ago, our family removed from our diets artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, pesticides, added hormones and antibiotics, refined white sugar, and processed foods (as much as possible).  This smoothie is packed with nutrients and has a bright green color to it.  The best part about it is the taste!  It's light and naturally sweet, and most kids love it because the fruit is the major flavor while the greens provide the fun color plus a fresh-tasting body to the drink, but not a deep green flavor.  There is nothing bitter about this.  It is smooth and refreshing.  Let me know what you think.

My fresh beet greens adventure!

My friend Miriam and I rode our bikes to Lancaster Central Market this morning at 8am.  God bless our husbands for holding down the forts while we were on our little hour-long vacation.  It was a warm sunny fabulous morning as we parked our bikes just off of the cobblestone driveway.  We walked inside and were greeted with the normal hub-bub of bustling people who just seem happy to be awake and exploring the culture and variety of people and good foods.  While we were at one of the produce stands, I noticed one of the workers was cutting the leafy green tops off of a bunch of beets.  As I mentioned to Miriam how "good for you" those greens are, the worker-lady handed them to me for free.  Apparently, the customer buying the beets only wanted the beets and not the tops.  So I got free beet greens!  And Miriam too!  How exciting!  This fresh food is packed with all kinds of nutrients.  You can use beet greens the same way that you would use swiss chard, kale, spinach, etc... in salads, soups, smoothies, or sauted lightly in olive oil or coconut oil.  If you're wondering how greens could be used in a smoothie (and it tastes good), I'll put a great recipe in my next post for the "Green Machine" smoothie.  To close, here's an excerpt from specifically about the good things found in beet greens.  Thank you God for good things!
Beet Greens are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Healthy Deoderant

Hi guys,
I was so happy when I finally figured out a natural deoderant!  I've been using this method for the past 2 years and I'm so glad to not have stinky armpits.  Just wash your underarms with soap and water and then apply baking soda as a powder to your underarms.  If you shave, make sure you shave at night (apply no baking soda at this point... or else it will sting), and then apply baking soda in the morning.  
I used to have extremely painful red lumps under my arms (intermittently) ever since I was a teenager.  I realized that my body was reacting to antiperspirant/deoderants.  At first, this made me upset that my body was so sensitive... I didn't know anyone else (except my mom) who had this problem.  But now I know that my body was telling me to ditch the toxins in those antiperspirants/deoderants; namely aluminum.  We are not meant to have aluminum in or on our bodies, and yet it is a common ingredient which effectively clogs our sweat pores and gets into our lymphatic system.  Sort of like a transdermal patch transmits medicine, so does deoderant or any other lotion or body product transmit it's ingredients through our skin.  Please avoid these products!  Here's some more info. from Dr. Mercola's webiste:
"There are certain metals that are toxic to humans; they are poison and most people do not understand this. They are NOT nutrients in small quantities -- if anything they are anti-nutrients.

What are these commonly misunderstood toxins?

Mercury, fluoride, and aluminum.

You don’t need any of these poisons in your body, so remember to avoid them.

Unfortunately, if you use antiperspirants, you are most likely exposing yourself to aluminum -- the heavy metal that’s been linked toAlzheimer’s disease and now possibly breast cancer. 

Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants.

Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms -- with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these heavy metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.
Given that antiperspirants are used on your armpits, the aluminum salt concentration is highest near your breast tissue. Further, when women shave under their arms it can result in a higher aluminum-salt absorption rate due to the damaged skin.

The aluminum in antiperspirants has been linked to breast cancer before. 

A 2006 study found that aluminum salts can mimic the hormone estrogen, and chemicals that imitate that hormone are known to increase breast cancer risk.

Fortunately, reducing your exposure is pretty simple -- simply ditch your antiperspirant and deodorant.

It’s worth mentioning that deodorants are not the same thing as antiperspirants. They may actually be less problematic than antiperspirants, as they work by neutralizing the smell of your sweat and by antiseptic action against bacteria, but do not prevent sweating. 

However, many deodorants also contain aluminum, along with parabens, which have also been linked to breast cancer. So, you’re clearly better off avoiding both antiperspirants and deodorants."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To Be or Not To Be Organic

I want to recommend an outstanding book for healthy eating; it's called "Dr. Mercola's Total Health Program" by Joseph Mercola, MD.  I was just reading from a his website about organic foods.  He shows the results of a study where pesticides were found on foods in varying degrees.  The foods which soaked up and held the highest amounts of pesticides should rather be bought organic. (grown free of pesticides).  And the foods with very low pesticide traces are safer to buy conventional (non-organic)... which means they are often cheaper too.  Here's a portion of Dr. Mercola's article: 

"Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories tested, these 12 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes

Conventionally-grown strawberries, in particular, were found to be highly toxic due to a poisonous blend of pesticides in a previous2007 EU study as well.

But be VERY careful as the list above is for fruits and vegetables.  Non-organic meats have far higher concentrations of pesticides than all of the fruits and vegetables.  And the highest concentration of pesticides is actually in non-organic butter.

So if you can only buy one organic food item it should be butter. Next priority would be meats and once those are addressed, you will want to focus on the fruit and vegetable list above.

Locally-grown organics are your absolute best bet, but bear in mind that many times buying locally-grown food is your best choice even if it’s grown conventionally, as the environmental impact of shipping organic produce across the globe can cancel out many its benefits. Organic farming standards are also questionable in many parts of the world.

Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories in the Guide to Pesticides, the following twelve foods had the lowest pesticide load when conventionally grown. Consequently, they are the safest conventionally grown crops to consume:

  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn (frozen)
  • Avocado
  • Onion"
If you want to read the rest of the article, go to

Enjoy the sunshine (vitamin D)!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


After drinking 2 bottles of water in the morning, I'm ready for a hearty breakfast.  Right now, it's almost midnight and I'm about to put some steel-cut oats into a container of water to soak overnight. It's a simple step which gets rid of the phytic acid in the grain (oats) and that makes for much healthier digestion and absorption of nutrients.  This applies to all whole grains and whole grain flours.  Tomorrow morning, I'll pour the oats and water into a little pot, add some celtic sea salt, and cook them.  We like to top the hot oats with a little maple syrup and raw whole milk.  I sometimes add unsulphered unsweetened shredded coconut and pecans.  Delicious! My family's other favorite breakfasts are scrambled eggs made from free-range pasteur-fed chickens and grapefruit.  Every Saturday, my kids call it "Daddy Pancake Day!"  They line up for these awesome homemade pancakes made by dad from fresh-ground flours (soaked overnight in yogurt) and 6 eggs, etc... high-protein pancakes!   My other favorite breakfasts might be a leftover sweet potato with butter or a bowl of hot homemade chicken broth with cheese or buttered whole-grain toast.  Thank you God for good food!

Edible Science

Think of your kitchen as more than a food prep. station.  It's a biology laboratory.  A place to study life and what sustains life.  We love to experiment in the kitchen and we encourage our kids to do the same.  It's like edible science!  It makes for a lot of messes, but a lot of fun, and surprisingly tasty results.   

Pure water in the morning... and all day long!

Here's to your health!  Try this:  before you eat breakfast in the morning, drink 2 bottles of pure refreshing (room temp.) spring water.  Add lemon if you like.  After fasting all night, this re-hydrates your body and feels great!  It is very cleansing, and clears your mind to make the right decision about a healthy breakfast.  Clears your digestive tract too.
Your body can go for a long time with out food, but not with out water. We are sick with out it.  I sometimes get migraine headaches, but when I drink water at the first sign of the headache, it greatly diminishes the intensity.  This makes sense when you remember that our bodies are largely made up of water.  Your body is absolutely craving it.  In a big way.  Not sugar-water.  Your body is not made up of sugar.  Just drink pure refreshing water.  I know, it seems too simple to be true.  But it's a beautiful truth.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Visit Lancaster Pennsylvania

If you are traveling or visiting Lancaster Pennsylvania please check out one of these fine hotels at

Here's My Story...

Matthew 5:6

“Blesses are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” 

            Physically, I once struggled with an irrational fear of being hungry, so I stuffed myself with food at any possible moment.  I over-ate regularly and almost totally forgot the sensation of actual hunger.  It was confused with an anxiety about being hungry, and so I would eat before I was hungry to alleviate the anxiety.  I was anxious about lacking something:  relationships, discipline, peace, etc.  And so I somehow (unknown to myself) denied that reality and I let the lie into my head that I was not lacking in any of those areas, because when I ate chocolate cake, I suddenly felt fine.  So, I decided that I was really lacking chocolate cake, instead of all those other things.  Eating became a way of deflecting negative emotions and a very short-term fix to any negative scenario.   At the same time, as a consequence to letting a lie into my head, eating also became an addiction and thereby took away my own control of how I would handle or how God would handle any hardship in my life.  If I had a problem, I would still pray, read the Bible, and seek counsel from others (all good things), but only after stuffing myself with a heavy dose of the closest carbohydrates available.  From 1990-1996, I led a fairly healthy life except for the over-eating addiction.  It is a socially acceptable thing.  I never told anyone that I was compulsive about eating.  I didn’t want anyone to know and I was pretty much in denial about it myself.  But as time went on, I felt worse and worse about myself, and about the fact that I didn’t have control in this area.  I would overcompensate in other areas like working-out daily and eating mostly vegetarian.  It became a front and sort of like my own penance to pay for the over-eating.  I would wake up every morning with a compulsive anxious feeling that I had to get to the kitchen for my 3 big bowls of cereal.  I ate really fast.  And then felt awful. But after dealing with the resulting painful stomach cramps, trembling, cold-sweats, and diarrhea, I would get ready for school, and then shove a few cookies into my mouth as I went out the door.   Totally irrational.

             I even went to the doctor once to try to figure out why I had stomach aches and digestive problems so often.  That’s called being seriously out of touch with your instincts.  It’s also got some major “denial” and “I think I’m invincible” components to it.  And although over-eating can be a very real addiction, people usually giggle and laugh at the thought of it.  The reason is because it’s legal and everyone can relate on some level. 

            During my 7 years of compulsive over-eating, I prayed all the time and asked God to please take away this problem… it’s like Paul said, “Why do I do the things I don’t want to do?”  I knew that God had grace for me, but I also knew that I was not being obedient to a basic Biblical principle to treat my body as a temple.  And I felt awful inside and out.  That’s when guilt set it.  And what’s the best way to deal with guilt?  At the time, eating really helped me.  Ha, ha!  I felt kind of like I was having a party every time I ate.  But it was a party in a prison… and I wanted out. 

             When I met Steve (my husband), something began to change in me.  Although falling in love can help just about any situation, I knew that something deep was changing in me for the long-term.  He didn’t know it, but he was my mentor as I watched the way that he greatly respected food and took care of his temple.  He has an appreciation for the earth and loves to garden.  He loves being adventurous and eating a large variety of food, and as a bachelor he would even take the time to cook healthy meals and sometimes gourmet meals.  He showed me how to cook and listen to my body’s God-given cravings...and I’m not talking about a frantic need for sugar… rather, I had a major protein deficiency and I learned to feed that craving along with many other cravings that I didn’t even know I had because it was all masked with processed foods and sugar.  I started to taste foods differently and my body felt at peace for the first time in years.  The addiction totally and completely fell off of me (praise God!) and I’ve never experienced the out-of-control compulsion to over-eat again.  

             I realize now that there’s a lot of beauty and potential in hunger.  It’s a time of awakening in my senses to prepare for provision and good things to enter in.  Starvation is not ok.  But hunger is ok.  Hunger lets you know that your body is ready for more of a good thing.  Spiritually speaking, this is also true.  God’s Word is to my spirit as whole foods are to my body.  At our house, my kids and I call whole foods “grow food” or “God food.”  One of the best quotes I’ve heard regarding good eating is, “If you want to be alive, eat living food.”  The Bible is alive, active, and God-breathed (1 Tim. 3:16).  Processed food is heated, ground, powdered, produced in a lab, and preserved for a long stagnant shelf-life.  Jesus said that he came so that we could have life and have it to the fullest.  This means abiding in (the vine) Him and receiving the fresh water of His Word into our souls daily, then breaking off a piece of my life to give to someone else.  But only if it’s fresh.  No one wants stale bread.  If I learn a deep spiritual truth and never apply it to my life, it becomes something I talk about and process over and over.  It’s got a good shelf-life in terms of the truth concept, but it’s not life-giving to anyone else because I decided to preserve it inside me instead of give it away.

             Hunger is like a very keen sense of hearing.  It is not a point to feel desperate.  It is not a point to act quickly.  It is not a need that should be satisfied with the closest available food.  Those reactions are the result of either addiction or malnutrition.  Hunger is a sensation which triggers the simple daily realization that I am a walking vessel that needs to be filled.  Fill me Lord!  There are so many choices.  Some foods make me feel clean, healthy, and energetic; while other foods give me a headache, a stomachache, and a bad mood.  Jesus was hungry.  I think that is so cool.  After he was raised from the dead, he appeared in a room with his disciples, and while the men were standing in awe and amazement, Jesus asks them if they had any fish to eat.  That cracks me up.  At the beginning of his ministry, he was on a mountain in the midst of a major confrontation with the devil.  And he was extremely hungry at the same time.  Satan made some suggestions about how Jesus could get himself some food, but for some reason, at that point, there was greater value in the hunger than in a miracle.  Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.   The 40 days of Jesus’s hunger became a stage for a different miracle to take place.  The angels came and cared for him.  Jesus showed me trust.  He showed me patience.  He even showed me dependence.  This whispers to me…Be still and know that I am God… wait on me… trust me.  My ways are not always the most convenient but they are life-giving!                                           

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Need your ideas for healthy school hot lunch program

Hi guys, 
I am on a mission to come up with an affordable and healthy hot lunch menu for my kids' school. I'm trying not to be overwhelmed by the idea.  The hot lunch program is entirely parent-driven and operated by all parent volunteers.  So that gives us flexibility in decision-making but limited man-power and money.  Let me know if you know of any great prototypes or actual menu ideas to throw my way.  Thanks!  And I'll let you know what I come up with too (in case your school is interested in moving in this direction).
"If you want to be alive, eat living food."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lancaster Markets

If you are local in Lancaster, PA, you are blessed with some amazing farmer's markets!  Here's info. on two of them in the city.  If you can, rig-up a basket or crate onto your bike and ride there.  This is becoming my favorite Saturday morning adventure!  I like to bring my own cloth shopping bag and a ziplock bag (rather than a wallet) for my money.... keeps money dry in case of puddles.  Ha!

Eastern Market is located in the 300 block of East King St.  Parking is available, and it is a great experience with local farmers and producers, music, great food, and fun!  We'd love to see you there on Saturdays 9am - 2pm and Wednesdays 4 - 7pm, starting May 30.

Lancaster Central Market

23 North Market Street
Open Year-Round
Tuesdays and Fridays, 6:00am to 4:00pm
Saturdays, 6:00am to 2:00pm
(717) 735-6890

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nutrition Data website

Here's the website:

Nutrition Data

Check out this website for any info. you ever wanted to know on almost any food out there.  It's fascinating.  In addition to calories, vitamins, minerals, etc... it also has more obscure info, like the glycemic load (blood sugar effect) and the inflammatory factor of foods (how much the food contributes to inflammation in your body).  I'm rootin' for you and your health!
I meant "reading" (not readying) in my first post (last line).  I look forward to reading what you guys have to say!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hi everyone,
This is my first time blogging.  Feels kinda revealing.  But I guess it's only revealing if someone reads it.  Ha!  I'm starting this blog because God is good and God is love, and I'm really excited about how He loves us in and through our bodies ...which He says are temples that house His presence.  Wow!  Feel that?!  I'm feeling the love all over again!  In my 37 years, I have been blessed by the love of my family and friends... with out ever having to go through a period of time when love was totally withheld from me.  My kids (ages 3,5,7) have endless love, as all kids do, for their mommy.  And I am captivated by their cuteness... every day!  Still, I have never felt so loved as I have when God has graced me with His healing, delivering, and saving presence.  That's it.  His presence.  Once it was in the form of a revelation of scripture (John 16:14) while I was reading alone and realized Jesus was speaking to me.  I wept for an hour in His presence.  Another time, I felt giddy with love when a blood test result showed a physical healing in my body.  I ran around the house laughing hysterically and praising God.  And another time was when I got free from an eating disorder (after 7 years of chronic over-eating) and felt the peace that passes all understanding.  There is nothing like it!  And while I was stuck in the prison of compulsive over-eating, I vowed that if I ever got out, I would help other people get out.  With the help of my husband Steve (who fears no whole food) there has been a huge change in my life from being annoyed by any food outside of a bag, box, or can... to being totally energized by the life-giving properties of whole foods. I used to feel soothed and calmed by large quantities of unhealthy processed junk foods... but the comfort was deceiving because after a sharp spike in my blood sugar, the depressing rush of stomach aches, fatigue, head aches, chest pains, and daily emotional confusion, I was NOT feelin' the love... just the addiction.  I thank God that He delivered me from that day-in and day-out slavery.  And now I'm a little crazy about the miracle of a seed growing into a food and all the good stuff that comes from realizing that God does all things well.  I actually feel loved by God whenever I look at a fresh-picked strawberry, or a bowl of fresh-milled whole wheat flour, or a vine heavy with snap peas, or an array of colorful vegetables at farmer's markets.  And so I'm here to share the love.  While raising my kids, I wanted them to know the difference between processed food and whole food, so we started breaking it down into two simple categories of either man-made or God-made foods ...which we now call "God food."  That's how the name came about.  At my house, we get pumped up about "God food" and even celebrate it when the spirit moves.  Like yesterday, Steve cut the very first stalk of asparagus from our garden, and so I stuck it into a big wedge of watermelon, while my kids and I pretended it was a birthday cake with an asparagus candle on top.  We sang "Happy Birthday" to the asparagus (there was much giggling), we promptly bit off the "candle" (each one had a bite),  and then polished off the watermelon.  It was sweet fun!  I'll be sharing recipes and thoughts here... and I look forward to readying your's!