Thursday, December 30, 2010

Death by Sugar

Well, now that Christmas is over and most people have eaten way more sweets and unhealthy food than they should have...I figured it was a good time to do a post about the harmful effects of sugar.

I've been learning about this for years, but today I decided to google "harmful effects of sugar." You would not believe the overwhelming amount of information available on this topic!

Since I try to keep my posts somewhat concise, I won't list all the websites I read or shower you with all the explanations of why sugar is such a dangerous substance. But I will give you a very short list of some of its harmful effects.

(Nancy Appleton, PhD, clinical nutritionist, has a list of 146 reasons of 'how sugar is ruining your health' in her book "Lick the Sugar Habit.")

Sugar -
- Depresses the immune system
- Increases candida overgrowth
- Raises insulin levels
- Leads to diabetes
- Depletes the body's natural levels of Human Growth Hormone (necessary for many essential functions in the body)
- Damages the body's production of collagen (also necessary for many functions)
- Causes inflamation in the body
- Increases cholesterol
- Feeds cancer cells
- Can damage DNA

...Ok, if you're not sweating in fear yet, you should be.

Consider this statement:
"Because sugar is devoid of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and has such a deteriorating effect on the endocrine system, major researchers and major health organizations (American Dietetic Association and American Diabetic Association) agree that sugar consumption in America is one of the 3 major causes of degenerative disease."

Did you catch that? Americans are sugar-ing themselves to death!

Now, maybe you're thinking, "Well, I don't eat a lot of sweets."

That may be true, but if you eat anything from a box, can, package, etc. then you are probably consuming much more sugar than you can imagine.

The government's recommended daily limit for sugar intake is no more than 30 grams. Most brands of soda have more sugar than that in one can!

If you read every label of what you eat throughout the day and added up the total grams of sugar you're consuming, I'm sure you'd be shocked. And even if somehow you're within the recommended limit of 30 grams a day, that "small" amount is still doing damage.

So, my challenge to you today is ... say goodbye to sugar! Choose LIFE, not Death by Sugar.


more info:
http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/sugar.htm
http://www.organicnutrition.co.uk/articles/is-sugar-bad-for-you.htm
http://www.naturalnews.com/022692.html

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Miracles

Yes, God still does miracles. Just not always in the way we expect Him to.

Sometimes when I'm watching Christian programs on TV, I have a hard time listening to people's testimonies of being instantly healed from various health problems. I mean, I'm happy for them, and I praise God for healing them. But somehow it makes me feel bad that I'm still stuck in my situation, that God hasn't given me an instant healing.

Yet even though God has chosen not to heal me instantly, He has done many miracles in my life! They weren't the ones I expected. Sometimes they weren't even the ones I asked for.

But miracles aren't about us...they're about God! He does them for His glory! And He always knows which ones we need, and which ones someone else needs.


Over the last several years, these are a few of the miracles God has done for me:

*God has kept me alive "in famine."
Psalm 33:18-19 says, "the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine."

On the surface, that doesn't sound like a good thing. Why wouldn't God deliver them from the famine? In this case the miracle was not removing the famine, but keeping them alive in it.

That's how I feel about the last 6 years. We know now that there were SOOO many things wrong with my body...but somehow God kept me alive through them.
Here's a partial list:
Lymes disease
Ehrylichiosis
Bartonella
Intestinal parasites
Microscopic parasites in my adrenal gland
Parasites in my blood
Mercury toxicity
Overload of about 60 other individual toxins
Systemic Candida infection
Numerous viral and bacterial infections throughout my body. (Yes, they can "hide" in various organs and wreak havoc for years.)

These are just a few of the root causes we've identified and treated over the recent months. Looking back I'm in awe that God kept my body going somehow in spite of everything that was attacking it. It truly is miraculous! And I am very grateful!


*God has kept me walking in faith.
There have been so many times when I wanted to give up, when I was angry, when I didn't even care anymore...and every time, somehow, God restored me to faith and trust in Him.

It's a terrible thing to lose your health. But I think it's even worse to lose heart and let go of faith in God. By God's miraculous power and overflowing grace, He didn't let that happen to me. He never let me go!
   
"If the LORD had not been on our side...the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. Praise be to the LORD...Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." -Psalm 124:2,4-6,8

I will forever be grateful to everyone who has prayed me through this trial. God answered those prayers by sustaining not just my body, but my soul as well.


*God delivered me from the tyranny of a drug!
It's hard to put into words what an awful thing it is to be on a medication that you absolutely HAVE to take in order to stay alive. I pray you never have to experience that kind of bondage.

After 5 years of struggling to wean myself off this medication, we asked God for a miracle...and He did it!
In only 9 weeks I went from taking 12.5 mg of Cortef a day, to being completely Cortef-free!!! And I'm still functioning at the same level...maybe even a little better. Praise the Lord!

"In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid." -Psalm 118:5-6


So, yes, God still does miracles, but not always in the way we expect or the timing we ask for.

Remember, not every miracle looks the same. But it's the same God who works each miracle - graciously intervening in our lives with His power and love.

I pray we will all see more of His miraculous hand at work around us.

Blessings,
-Joanna
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Monday, December 6, 2010

The Great Shoe Hunt

More than 7 years ago, on a whim, I bought a pair of flip flops at K-mart for $5. It turned out to be one of the best investments I've made in the last 10 years.
These stury, comfortable, washable (very important!) shoes have lasted really well (made in Brazil). But this fall I realized they were starting to fall apart. I thought my mom could just pick up a new pair at Wal-Mart, but I was wrong.
So began the Great Shoe Hunt!

I honestly had no idea that in 7 years the shoe landscape would have changed so much. =) Of course it doesn't help that I need a VERY specific kind of shoe.

I need a shoe that is -
either a flip flop or sport slide (so my feet can breathe),
washable (since shoes pick up all kinds of bacteria and other nasties),
thick sole (for my arthritic feet),
no massage beads or bubbles,
made from sturdy rubber (at least I think that's what it is, not sure),
no fabric, suede or leather,
no recycled material used in it...
but most of all,
NOT made in China. (In my experience, 99% of products made in China are highly toxic. I avoid them like the plague.)

First my mom looked in several shoe stores...with no results. Then I spent hours on the internet. After exhaustive research, I ended up frustrated and weary. I really had no idea it was going to be THIS difficult.

- I finally found a company with shoes made in USA, but they're made from recycled material, so that won't work.
- I found a style of Adidas shoe that looks good for me, but it doesn't say where it's made. I called customer service and they didn't know either. So they sent in a "research request" to find out. Supposedly they'll get back to me. We'll see....
- I found another adidas shoe that I think is made in Italy (it wasn't on the adidas website but on a different one), but then the website wouldn't work so I couldn't check out the details on it.

Those are just a few of my frustrating attempts to find a suitable pair of shoes. In the last 2 weeks I've looked at more pairs of shoes than I ever want to see again in my lifetime! haha =)

I was reading in Matthew 6 yesterday where Jesus said not to worry about what we eat, drink, or wear. I guess that includes shoes. =) This command is so much more difficult for those of us with E.I. Something other people take for granted can be a hazard for us. But I suppose it can also be even more meaningful for us...knowing that God will provide not just clothes/shoes, but "safe" clothes/shoes for us.

I know the Lord knows my needs before I even ask Him. So I'm trying to exercise faith, and just expect that He will meet this need...when He knows it's the perfect time.

And if I ever do find a good pair of shoes, I might just buy 3 pairs. =)
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