Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Low-Fat Myth

You've probably noticed that many foods in the grocery store now seem to have a "low-fat" option. Supposedly, less fat is healthier.

This emphasis on "low-fat" everything is actually a myth. In fact, "fat" is a healthy thing, when we understand it properly.

If we look at it logically, foods like dairy products, meat, etc. are naturally full of fat. But today, people take those foods and artificially extract most of the fat from it. Then they call it "healthier" than the original state of the food. Does that sound logical?

For thousands of years people ate food in its naturally occurring form, and they didn't have the strange health conditions that are common today.

The truth is that our bodies need fat. They just need healthy, naturally occurring fats. They don't need man-made fats, such as margarine, hydrogenated oils, etc.

If God created something for us to eat, I think He knew how it was supposed to be in order to be healthy for our bodies.

Healthy fats, such as grass-fed butter, coconut oil, grass-fed beef, etc. are foods that people have consumed for generations. And they have many health benefits.

Basically, when deciding what is a healthy fat or non-healthy fat, we can stick with what God has created, versus what man has manufactured somehow.

The body needs healthy fat for many functions, including the ability to repair itself as well as maintaining a healthy weight.

In my case, after years of health problems my herbalogist actually told me to eat a spoonful of natural ice cream every day. At that point my body had difficulty consuming fat, even though I needed it desperately. So I started with that one spoonful of ice cream, and gradually I was able to start consuming coconut oil, butter, etc. Even now, some days I can feel that I haven't been getting enough healthy fat. Then I'll eat some organic greek yogurt or even a spoonful of coconut oil to get some quick healthy fat. It's amazing how much better I feel when I'm consuming adequate amounts of healthy fat.

If you'd like to read more about this topic, here's an article by Dr. Mercola about healthy fats.
http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/beginner_fats.htm

If you have questions, please leave a comment for me. I hope you'll look into this and discover what a great tool healthy fats can be for your health and wellness!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Healing Truth

Today wanted to repost something that I hope will encourage you!

Wisdom and Health

I've been reading through the book of Proverbs again. There's so much wisdom in these ancient sayings. I wanted to share some of them with you today. 

I know some people read a chapter of Proverbs every day, but I've found that to be too much for me to think about at one time. I like to read just one proverb (or a few verses) at a time and then think about it all day long. I encourage you to do that with the following proverbs. Over the next week, choose one to contemplate each day, and let its wisdom plant deep in your soul. 

Blessings,
-Joanna


1) My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. -Prov. 4:20-23

2) Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. -Prov. 3:7-8

3) Reckless words piece like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. -Prov. 12:18

4) A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. -Prov. 14:30

5) The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. -Prov. 15:4

6) A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. -Prov. 15:30

7) Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. -Prob. 16:24


And here's a bonus one:

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers. -Prov. 19:8

Friday, April 21, 2017

God's Glory In The Storm

Hello! I'm sorry I'm a day late with this post. It's been a crazy week with challenges, attacks from the enemy, and God's faithfulness carrying me one moment at a time. I praise God that this week I received my professional coaching certification (for life and health coaching)! I've been working for this for over a year, so it's a huge answer to prayer to have it completed! What an encouragement to see God answer all those months of prayer, while I'm in the midst of other difficult circumstances.

Then today I reread this chapter from my book, "Seeing God Through The Storm," and God reminded me that our storms are not about Satan's attacks against us. Our storms are about God displaying His glory in and through our lives. I know many of you are still going through difficult storms. I hope the following thoughts encourage you and give you courage to keep trusting God day by day. I know He will be glorified in your life. 

Blessings,
-Joanna

 
Legacy

Here we are at the end of the book of Job. Have you found comfort and encouragement from Job’s story? I have. I’d never wish such intense suffering on anyone, but I’m grateful God gave us this record of Job’s experience. Because of what he went through, we’ve learned many precious truths about how to see God in our storms.

We’ve discovered that the LORD is in control, He is good, and He has a purpose for us. We’ve found that we don’t have to be afraid, that God’s love surrounds us, and that His wisdom is perfect. We’ve come to know God as the Healer of our hearts, the Repairer of our broken pieces, and the Restorer of our souls. Above all, we’ve begun to understand that our holy God is gracious beyond measure.

In His grace, God didn’t just restore Job. God also gave Job a valuable legacy from his suffering. Not only was Job’s life changed, but his friends’ lives were changed. All who knew Job were surely impacted as well.  

After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years. -Job 42:16-17

I imagine that Job never stopped telling his grandchildren and great-grandchildren the story of his encounter with God and how it radically altered his life. Now you and I have been affected by his story, too. Undoubtedly Job had no idea of the far-reaching impact his trial would have. But God knew. The Lord allowed Job’s storm both to transform Job’s life and to bless others.

It’s significant that nowhere in the final chapter of Job is Satan mentioned. Isn’t he the one who started all the trouble? Yet at the end of the story, he’s conspicuously absent. I believe that’s because this story is not about Satan at all. It’s about GOD. It’s about what God wanted to do in Job’s life. It’s about the millions of people God wanted to touch through Job’s suffering.

Yes, Satan is real, and he’s always trying to destroy God’s people. At times we may feel overwhelmed by his attacks, but we can have confidence that our trials are not really about Satan’s activity. Our storms are about what God wants to accomplish in us and through us for His glory.

What a beautiful gift it is to know that God has a legacy planned for our trials! A legacy is something that endures, something meaningful that is passed along to others, something precious that remains after the storm and even after we are gone. Can you imagine that God wants to use your suffering to bless other people?

Many times we may feel like we have nothing we can give, nothing we can use to bless others. But we always have grace. After Job’s encounter with God, he was a changed man—on the inside. Externally though, his hands were empty. When God told Job to pray for his friends, He didn’t ask Job to provide the animals for the sacrifices. Job didn’t have any. Job had only one thing to give, the most precious thing God had given him—grace.

Just as God continually floods us with His abundant grace, He will also empower us to give grace away to others.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. -2 Corinthians 9:8

Storms may take our resources, our health, even our relationships, but they cannot take from us the super-abundant grace of God! In light of eternity, the best gift we can give anyone is the gift of grace. We can give grace through forgiveness, prayer, encouraging words, acts of kindness, even a smile. When we extend grace to others, though it seems small, it will eventually have an impact far beyond what we can see now.

I could write a long list of the ways God has used my health trial for His glory. Through my storm, God has encouraged many of my friends. He has blessed people I’ve never met and led at least one person to saving faith in Jesus. Also, if I hadn’t experienced the suffering of the last eight and a half years, I never would have written this book.

God has used my storm not only to heal, transform, and restore me, but also to impact many other lives. And my trial isn’t over! I can’t wait to see what other wonderful blessings God will bring from it.

The legacy God wants to give you from your storm may not be at all what you expect. It may be huge, beyond anything you could imagine (Eph. 3:20). Or it may seem so small that you don’t immediately recognize it. In His perfect way and time, the LORD will reveal His legacy for you.

Job’s marathon trial was finally over. He had experienced horrible suffering, but in the end he saw God in his storm. And his story continues to bless people thousands of years later. Though our trials may not seem as huge or as significant as Job’s, we know God has a purpose for every storm we go through, large or small.

Like Job, we too can leave a legacy for others. Each storm is an opportunity for us to get to know God better—to “see” Him instead of only “hearing” of Him. As our understanding of God’s character and grace expands, our intimacy with Him will deepen. And He will work through us to share His truth and show His grace to others.

As we continue on life’s journey, I pray we’ll learn to see our gracious God in each storm and trust Him to bring about the beautiful legacy He has planned for us.

…No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him— -1 Corinthians 2:9

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Importance Of Probiotics

Spring is in the air! Which means a lot of people are dealing with seasonal allergies, sinus infections, etc. So I thought it was a good time to repost something from a few years ago about probiotics. We all need plenty of good bacteria to keep our immune systems healthy. I hope this information is helpful. =)

Support Bacteria

Recently I read this funny quote: "Support bacteria. It's the only culture some people have." =)

Even though it's meant as a joke, there's a lot of truth in it. We do need to support bacteria.

Right now it seems like most people, doctors, and companies are trying to rid the earth of all bacteria! Practically every product from hand soap to trash bags is now labeled "anti-bacterial."

Newsflash: God created bacteria. It serves a vital role in the earth's natural processes. It isn't going away anytime soon.

I think all this emphasis on "anti-bacterial" is actually very damaging. The bad bacteria are just getting stronger and more resistant to the chemicals and drugs used to kill them. And the good bacteria are being killed off more and more.

Yes, I said GOOD bacteria. Believe it or not, we need bacteria.

Did you know that approximately 80% of your immune system is in your gut (intestines)?

Whenever I used to hear that statistic, I assumed that was the doctor's way of trying to get me to eat healthier. =) But it's much more than just eating a healthy diet.

Can you guess the reason why 80% of the immune system is in the gut?

Because that's where the GOOD bacteria live!

Think of the good bacteria as the cowboys in the white hats, and the bad bacteria as the rustlers in the black hats. Good guys verses bad guys. When the bad bacteria enters our bodies, it's the good bacteria that's able to fight it off. The good bacteria also fights viruses, candida, and other invaders.

If there's not enough of the good guys in our bodies, then we're in trouble.

Because the good bacteria is such a huge part of the immune system, not having enough can cause all kinds of health problems. This includes everything from digestive problems to many things you wouldn't expect, such as: arthritis, chronic fatigue, skin problems, allergies, etc.

Certain foods are rich in good bacteria - saurkraut, yogurt, and other fermented foods. However, it's hard to eat enough of these foods to get all the good bacteria you need. (Not to mention that most brands of yogurt contain more sugar than ice cream! Eating yogurt in order to get good bacteria isn't worth the trade off of the sugar damage, unless it's plain and unsweetened yogurt.)

So it's important to supplement with good bacteria.
 
There are various factors to consider when purchasing a "probiotic" (good bacteria) supplement.

Some things to look for -
*at least 5 different strains of bacteria (not just "acidophilus").
*a total culture count of at least 15 billion
*delayed release so it will reach your intestines before being broken down
*full potency until date of expiration
*no extra ingredients or additives (such as no corn, soy, yeast, etc.)

A lot of probiotic supplements do not meet these standards, so always read labels to find a good one. Also, what your body needs will change over time, so it's good to switch the kind of probiotic you take after a while.

Having plenty of good bacteria in your body is essential to the function of your immune system and thus, your overall health. It's an easy step to take that could possibly yield amazing results in how you feel.

Remember it takes time for your body to repair and heal itself. When starting a new supplement or program keep this in mind. With some supplements/programs you'll see results faster, but for major improvements in your health, three months is a general rule of thumb.

So go find some good bacteria and give it your support. You'll be amazed how much it supports you and your health in return! =)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A New Adventure!

It's hard to believe it, but this weekend I'm actually moving to Texas!!!

God has done so many miracles to make this move possible!
- My health continues to improve, praise God!
- I have a vehicle to drive.
- I have an awesome part time job in TX!
- I have housing for the first month!
- I had already downsized and organized almost all my stuff, which has simplified the packing process.
- I have a renewed spirit of adventure after the wild ride God took me on last year. =)
- I have a heart full of joy and expectation for what God will do in my life in a new season!

I don't know what all God has in store for me on this new adventure, but I am SO excited just watching Him at work! I know He is using all the things He's brought me through to this point to prepare me for what He has next. I'm just so in awe of my heavenly Father's wisdom, love and goodness! 

I could never thank you enough for your prayers through the years! Looking back, there were so many days when it seemed like I wouldn't make it, let alone recover and live life again. This morning God reminded me of the passage in Jeremiah that says,

"...I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again...Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful." -Jeremiah 31:3-4

It's amazing and humbling to be living out this verse. Praise God for His power and grace that is able to restore and give back so MUCH more than was lost!

I know many of you are still in the season of suffering. I can't say what will happen in your future; only God knows the plans He has for you. But I can tell you that God's heart overflows with love for you! He longs to heal, restore, and bless His children! Sometimes we don't understand the process He takes us through, but we can trust His heart.

I hope and pray that whatever trials you've been enduring, that one day soon you will see this verse fulfilled in your own life. I pray one day you will again dance with joy on your journey with Jesus.

Until then, take heart. Know that He sees beyond what you can see. You can't imagine what blessings He has in store for you in the future!

When you think of me, I'd sure appreciate your prayers in this time of transition. I plan to continue doing blog posts every other week, but if that changes I'll let you know. =) Thank you for sharing the journey with me. Let's keep holding tight to Jesus through it all.

Blessings,
-Joanna

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Detoxing - Part 3

Today I have a few more insights about detoxing to share.

1) Some people have an inability to detox.

This can be from genetics or other factors, but those with an inability to detox usually end up with chronic health conditions. If the body can't get rid of toxins as it encounters them, then it will store them somewhere. After a while those stored toxins result in various problems.

The difficulty with inability to detox is that most of the detox therapies used today will only make you worse. Personally, I found that lymphatic massage was key for people with inability to detox. The lymphatic system is your body's natural detox system. By doing the massage consistently you can help your body to detox.

For me, once I had been doing the lymphatic massage for a few weeks, then I was able to slowly add in a few other detox therapies. It's important not to detox too quickly or too much otherwise you can overload the lymphatic system and will usually feel worse.

Depending on the cause of the inability to detox, it can be corrected in some situations. It was for me. From childhood I had inability to detox, but after working with an herbalogist for a few years, I praise God that particular problem has been healed!

So if you have inability to detox, don't despair. Until you find a way to correct the root problem causing it, give the lymphatic massage (or skin brushing if you can't get a massage) a try.


2) Your body will prioritize what to detox.

Especially if you've had health challenges for years, remember that the body can't detox everything at once. It will prioritize what it can safely detox and in what order. Sometimes the body will detox old infections first, then it's stronger and better able to detox something like heavy metals. Each person is different, so a detox program needs to be specific to your needs. 

Be patient and be faithful to do what you know is good for you. Give your body time to do its job of detoxing, repairing and healing.


3) Detoxing is an ongoing process.

Most people have more toxins stored in their bodies than they can effectively detox (without help). Once you start a detoxing program, the body will begin cleaning out whatever has built up. Eventually you should reach the point where all the "back-toxins" are cleaned out.

From then on, if your body stays healthy and detoxing properly, it should detox various toxic/chemical exposures quickly after they happen. For instance, if I encounter cigarette smoke while out and about, a day or so later my body will detox it. This is a good sign. It means I'm keeping up with current exposures as I encounter them. If your body isn't doing this, then those toxins probably are being stored somewhere in your body and can result in more problems later on.

Because of the extremely toxic condition of our world, it's vital that even once you're healthy, you continue doing things to aid your body in its job of detoxing (using lymphatic massage, detox baths, exercise, juicing, etc.). We are surrounded by toxic chemicals, EMF's (electromagnetic fields), "bugs," and stress. In this world, we cannot take our health for granted. We must be proactive in helping our bodies continually detox and remain healthy.


Well, I hope this series of posts has been helpful. If you have other questions, please let me know in the comments. And keep up the good work of detoxing! =)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

More About Detoxing

I hope this series of posts on detoxing is helpful for you. Here's Part 2, from something I posted a few years ago.


Understanding the Detoxing Process (Part 2)

In Part 1 I shared three things I've learned about detoxing. Today I'd like to add a few more insights.


1) The detoxing process involves symptoms.

Before I started detoxing, I had symptoms all the time; they were symptoms of illness. After I began detoxing, some of my symptoms improved, but then new symptoms came up.

However, most of the time when I told my doctor about a new symptom, she'd say "That's a good thing!" She helped me learn how to distinguish symptoms of illness from symptoms of detoxing.

For instance, at different times I've had symptoms of ravenous appetite, skin rashes, inflammation, etc. But as long as I knew they were symptoms of detoxing, then I didn't worry about them. I just kept doing my detoxing routine, knowing they would eventually resolve.

A lot of people begin a detoxing program and then feel worse. Instead of realizing this is a GOOD sign, they get frustrated or discouraged and give up.

Note: It's very important to have a trusted health advisor/professional to help you through the detoxing process, because though usually you'll feel worse simply from detoxing, sometimes it's because something is wrong. You need someone who can help you discern which it is.
Also, some people have an inability to detox, which means that doing certain detox therapies can make them much worse. I'll write more about this in next week's post.

So if you're beginning a detox program, be prepared that you will have symptoms. As the body cleans out the bad stuff, you will feel it. But if you persevere with the right program for you, you should eventually see signs of improvement.


2) Detoxing is like peeling an onion.

Some people have fewer layers than others. If we were comparing "onion" sizes, mine would probably win the prize at the World's Fair. =)

For the first three years of detoxing, I mostly detoxed chemicals, toxins, medications, etc. Then after a while, I started detoxing old infections. I still can't believe how many ear, sinus, throat, strep, bacterial, viral, and fungal infections I had to detox!

Apparently since childhood I had a low-functioning immune system. So even though I "got over" various infections, most of them didn't truly heal. They just relocated somewhere else in my body and manifested with different symptoms. Once my body cleaned out a lot of toxins, it began seeking out those infections and working to finally get rid of them.

Your top layer may be chemicals, followed by a layer of infections, followed by a layer of heavy metals, followed by another layer of more infections.... Your body will detox one layer at a time, so don't get discouraged if it seems like you've detoxed a lot but then you hit another layer. It's a good thing! =) I'm thankful God created our bodies with this ability to keep peeling back layers until we're healthy once again!


3) Detoxing is like a stair-step process.

When I began detoxing, my body was so weak I couldn't talk or get off the couch. But after a few weeks, I was able to stand up and do stretches for about 45 seconds. As I kept detoxing, my body got strong enough that I was able to handle physical therapy. After a few months I could sit up in bed for a half hour. Etc, etc.

If you're like me and you begin at the literal bottom of the stairs, be encouraged that your body will start where it can to get rid of toxins. Gradually as you have less toxins weighing you down, your body will feel stronger. Then it will target more things to get rid of.

By the second year of detoxing, whenever I'd finish getting rid some particular toxin, I'd usually have a day or two where I felt pretty good. I'd think, "Wow, I'm getting better! This is great!" Then the next day I'd suddenly feel much worse. My doctor explained that when I had days of feeling good, it was a sign of how much stronger my body was. And since I had gotten stronger, the next thing my body would do is go after more toxins/infections!

So even though it can be frustrating, I've learned to be positive about this stair-step experience. I feel better (up a step). Then I feel worse (fighting the next thing). Then I feel better (up another step).

Now I'm at the point where I sometimes have 5-6 days of feeling good in between detoxing "steps." Hopefully I'll soon be at the top of the staircase! =)

Also, each person detoxes at their own pace, so try not to compare the length of your "stairs" with others.


So, does this make sense? Do you have questions about the detoxing process?