Crock-Pots and The Miracle that is Christmas

Cheap gadget with great benefits. $20 at Amazon.

Cheap gadget with great benefits. $20 at Amazon.

Crock-pots cook food slowly  over hours at a relatively low temperature. Since high temperatures can diminish the nutrition of foods, crock-pots are a great choice for Nutritarians. Crock-pots produce delicious soups and beans with little effort.

Start with a base: carrot or vegetable juice for a vegetarian dish or chicken or beef stock. Add beans and other vegetables, some spices, and at the end of the cooking time, a great heap of greens. It is so easy and so good for you. There are several bean soup packages that provide the beans and the seasoning together. Bean soup is a popular dish during the holidays and a southern tradition in the US for good luck on New Years Day.

Dr. Fuhrman recommends a serving of soup and a cup of beans once a day. Soup fills us up without a lot of calories, as do beans which are so nutritious and so satisfying that we can eat as much as we want. It is a good idea to start with a smaller portion of beans when first incorporating them into our diets and then work up to larger portions since they can create gas and bloating. Be sure to soak beans and cook them until they are soft. Eating beans regularly can produce weight loss.

I have a serving of Jesus every day. He keeps me positive because he fills me with gratitude. What a marvelous man who came to us so many thousands of years ago and provided an answer to our spiritual longing. He has a plan for us, for our future, and a love for us that will never end. He always listens and always has our best interest in His heart. It may be hard to have faith at times of trouble but reading His word every day will bring us the faith we need to persevere. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.

During Christmastime, these weeks that surround that one day known as the birth of Christ, the world celebrates the light and love of Christ. Everywhere I go I hear music celebrating His birth, His power, and His glory. I am amazed that even those who do not know or believe in His name celebrate His light. The whole world cries out to Him without knowing it and no one can silence Him. This month is like a peek into the future when all of the world will bow down to Him. People string lights, hang stars, sing hymns, and give gifts without ever realizing the powerful glory that belongs only to our Savior. What a miracle it is.

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” — Jesus Christ

Luke 19:40

Alkaline Proteins and Visionary Prayer

A plant-based diet that is slightly acidic will require more protein than a plant-based diet that has achieved alkalinity. If we do not eat enough protein, our muscles suffer for it since that is one place our bodies will get needed protein missing from our diets.

Most animal proteins are highly acidic and need alkalizing foods to balance out the net effect of a meal. Low sugar and high water content alkaline vegetables will balance out the acidity of animal proteins. Livestrong.com offers some great choices: celery, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, tomato and zucchini, broccoli, green cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant and spinach. These vegetables served with a small amount of fish, chicken, or meat can alkalize your meal.

If animal proteins are not an option for you, many vegetables have a protein content with varied amino acids, making it important to eat a large variety of vegetables to get all the amino acids our bodies need. Try roasting a variety of vegetables tossed in olive oil in a low oven (325) for about 20 minutes. Make sure not to blacken any by picking out vegetables done before the rest, like broccoli.

Most beans are acidic but high in protein. They need to be balanced with alkaline foods in the meal. For example, beans with garlic and onions over steamed kale. Beans are a staple protein for vegetarians and Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating them every day.

Glutinous grains have a protein content but are acidic unless they are sprouted. Sprouts are one of the few alkaline proteins. Health food stores sell sprouted grains but sprouts can be made at home. Vegetable and seed sprouts are usually eaten raw; other sprouts should be lightly steamed. Read more about sprouting.

Changing from our acidic, Standard American Diet, to a healthier one can seem overwhelming but don’t give up. Visualizing a new you with a  lifestyle that is energizing and healthy is important. Hold on to the vision you have of what you want to become. Having a vision like this is an important gift to you.

That gift of the new you is God’s grace to you. No matter what your religion or even if you have no religion, God’s grace offers you hope for tomorrow. Envisioning is a powerful tool you can use to reach towards that tomorrow you hope for. For Christians, envisioning can become a prayer exercise, offering to Christ your hopes for becoming the person God created you to be.

Sometimes in prayer we have no words to speak but our emotions reach out to Christ through the Holy Spirit that abides within in us and this Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans (Romans 8:26). Open your conscious to Christ’s holy love that lives within you by envisioning a healthier you (or someone you love). Envision His coming when there will be no more tears, no more death, and no more illness, and you will find that the peace of Christ will dwell richly within you.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20 & 21

Nutritarian Juicing

The big mouth cuts down on prep time

The big mouth cuts down on prep time

Nutritarians get a lot of water from all the fruits and vegetables they eat, but Johns Hopkins Alternative Medicine site recommends 8 glasses of water a day. That’s a lot of water.

So, I bought an Omega big mouth juicer. I had a hard time deciding what I really needed because the masticating juicers are supposed to be healthier than centrifugal but in the end, I knew the big mouth was for me because it cuts down on prep time. The opening is so wide I can put a whole apple in it.

My first juice was carrot with ginger. It was delicious. Carrots are sweet. Then I added some kale in the next batch, along with a tomato. All of it was delicious. Juicing is a good way to get the hydration we need without all the fiber that can bulk up and leave us feeling bloated.

Some folks feel that juicing is not good for you and can add weight. This is true if we juice a lot fruits and drink it as a beverage instead of the small meal that it is. Fruit juices have lots of sugar and calories. Vegetable juices are a better choice. Adding an apple for flavor can sweeten the juice, and still keep it relatively low-calorie.

Drinking a glass of vegetable juice can give you a lift in the afternoon. As the day wears on our bodies tend to get dehydrated and a quick nutritious drink can give us the energy we need. The same is true with our mindsets. As the day wears on, our spirits can begin to sag. Practicing the presence of God in the middle of the day reminds us that we are not alone. This life can be really tough and it is good to know that Christ has a plan for us, a plan to give us hope and a future.

Just as you would take time for an afternoon snack, take time to enjoy the Lord with songs of praise or a prayer of thanks. So many of our Bible verses declare the goodness of God, His love for us, and His faithfulness to us regardless of our failures. Remembering that Christ is always with us is a way to renew our minds and bring His powerful love into our lives.

Nutritarian Eating and A More Abundant Life

Read can labels for sugar and salt (sodium) content.

Read can labels for sugar and salt (sodium) content.

Eating is not just about satisfying the stomach or pleasing the tongue. For the nutritarian, food is a means to an end and that end is health. Dr. Fuhrman will tell you that when you begin the nutritarian life, it will not please the tongue at first, but it will fill the stomach. He has a nifty diagram of a stomach full of greens compared with a stomach empty but for a small amount of oil (fat) at the bottom, an amount that is in equal caloric measure to the stomach full of greens. Yes, you will fill your stomach but your tongue will be shouting for fats, salt, and sugar.

But not for long. When I first cut down on salt, before I became a nutritarian, I tasted a donut only a few weeks into my salt ban, and I could not believe how salty it was. This is true, and other foods as well surprised me by their salt content. Foods I never related with salt had a salty taste to them that I had never tasted before. This will happen if you quit salt. Sugar I am certain is the same though this is a much more difficult taste to tame for me.

Taming the tongue of its driving demands for salt, sugar, and fats, brings us to a place where fruits and vegetables are so much more delicious. When the tongue is free from its bondage to addictive additives that are in processed foods, the tongue can  taste the subtle flavors in natural foods. Processed foods are infamous for adding salt which is a preservative and sugar for taste. So, in your striving to become a nutritarian, try to stay clear of processed foods, including bakeries, fast food restaurants, and the grocery store’s “middle” isles where cans and boxes of processed food are located.

Our religion is often the same as our addictive eating habits in wanting to satisfy our cravings for God by performing rote acts of faith as if these acts of faith are the ends in themselves. Acts of faith like prayer, church services, meditation, praise, singing and other creative pursuits (like writing 🙂 ) are not the ends we seek.  What we seek is to draw closer to the Lord and we use these acts of faith to pursue Him. We fall short when we fail to wait upon the Lord for his response to our acts of faith. Our God can communicate to us through scripture, nature, other people, even animals. He can come into our thoughts through meditation, prayer, exercise, song, and anytime we are open to Him, but we must believe that He exists. No one can please God without faith for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Our world is deceptive and some people do not seek or believe in the spiritual or metaphysical world, and yet the Bible clearly states that there is a spiritual world we cannot see. For those who believe in Christ, we are a new creation and we are reborn into that spiritual world. God brings all things into Himself, that is, He brings us into Him where He is in the spiritual world. He does this through the Holy Spirit who lives in us if we believe in Christ. He shows us glimpses of this spiritual world if we will just wait for the Lord’s response to our acts of faith. Do not give up hope and do not despair by performing acts of faith that seem to have no response from God. In this world and its “tangible only” doctrine of science that counts spirituality as foolishness, we often fall prey to doubt, but the truth is that we who are reborn into this spiritual world are like stars of light in the darkness.

So let’s have faith that he will answer and respond to us. For the Lord our God is pleased to reveal himself to us and he is eager to show us wonderful and marvelous things that we know nothing about. (Jeremiah 3:33) We do not put our faith in the tangible world. Instead, we reach into the light and power of Jesus Christ who is our savior, and through our acts of faith, we draw closer to him that we might know and believe in His great power to transform us and our world.

Bean Soup: Your Tool to Fighting Weight Gain

What about eggs? Find out more about egg-producing chickens at Earth Song Farms

Research has shown that in our adult years, eating meat, especially processed meat leads to weight gain. Your best bet in fighting off calories and diseases is a plant-based diet, without processed foods, and very little or no dairy. Recent studies have shown that eating the same amount of calories, the meat-eater will gain but the plant-eater will not.

If you are having trouble giving up meat, look for grass-fed, organic meats and poultry and eat only small amounts once or twice a week. Most non-organic meats contain hormones to make the animal bigger and more profitable. However, those hormones end up in the one who eats that meat and these hormones feed cancer cells. Don’t eat those meats.

Instead, fill up on beans and greens, making them the center of your meals. Beans are full of fiber which is good for you, and vegetables have tons of phytonutriets, the natural chemicals in plants that help them fight off bugs and disease. Eating phytonutrients helps us to fight off disease too.

I wanted to try making a creamy soup without using coconut milk. So, I cooked 2 cups of soaked white beans in my pressure cooker along with two large boxes of vegetable broth, a chopped onion, and half a bulb of garlic. Afterwards, I took two cups of soup and beans, and blended them until creamy. I added 1 cup of cashews and a 1/4 cup cashew butter and blended it. Then I took what I had blended and added it to the soup. I also added a couple of teaspoons of Garam Masala seasoning. Just before serving, I added  Swiss chard. This soup has a lot of protein in it, and you can add whatever greens you like. Swiss chard is a mild, delicious green with lots of nutrients.

You are doing everything right and only lack one thing, Jesus told the rich, young ruler, and that was to give up all his wealth (Mark 10:17-27). Some say that was because he put too much trust in his money but it can also be thought of as an allegory to our lives. At every stage, there is something we must give up if we want a fuller and richer life. It seems insurmountable but we know it is hurting us. How do we let go?

I am a big believer in prayer. Nothing is too hard for God, Jesus says later. Impossible for us? Yes. Impossible for God? No. I once prayed that God would give me the desire to give up what I knew was hurting me, because my desire was only to keep hurting myself, and it happened. Prayer happens.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of lots of beans, fruits and vegetables and Friday morning when you get on the scale, you will not be disappointed.

Where’s the Protein?

beans

Most beans have 12-14 grams of protein per cup. Soybeans have 29, lentils 18.

Switching to a primarily plant-based diet made me wonder if I was getting enough protein. Protein requirements are 40-70 grams per day (your weight divided by 2.2–roughly half your weight). Where’s the Beef and Got Milk commercials reveal our Standard American Diet (SAD) obsession with protein. Animal products are high in protein but they are often high in cholesterol and are micronutrient poor.

It is confusing to folks brought up on a SAD diet to understand that there are many plant-based proteins. Most nuts and beans provide complete proteins when eaten with whole grains (all nine essential amino acids), and many leafy greens provide partial proteins (less than all nine essential amino acids) that may be complimented with other foods to produce a complete protein. Quinoa, a whole grain, also provides a complete protein. All of these plant-based proteins will easily fulfill our protein needs and provide a variety of healthy vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients that animal products cannot hope to match.

Protein is needed for healthy muscle, skin, hair, and organ growth and maintenance. Protein helps our bodies fight and resist disease. It is the mainstay of our physical bodies. Even though animal proteins will fulfill our protein requirements quite easily, it is not the best choice for our bodies. So it is with our spiritual bodies as well. We can fulfill our spiritual needs in many ways, including some pretty awful ones,  but without Jesus Christ, our spirit still longs for rebirth.

Like our SAD diets, the world offers confusing religious information. Here is the truth about Jesus Christ: in the same way a man may be a father, a brother, and a son all at the same time, God is the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God alive today in all believers of Jesus). Jesus is the way to eternal life because He is the sacrfice for our sins, He speaks the truth and his words are recorded in the New Testament, and He gives Life to all who believe in Him. He is essential to our spiritual lives. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14&version=NIV).