Greatest GIFT

Faith, God's Wisdom, journey to healthy living, Life and dreams


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External Circumstances

“My vision of God is dependent upon the condition of my character. My character determines whether or not truth can even be revealed to me. Before I can say, “I saw the Lord,” there must be something in my character that conforms to the likeness of God. Until I am born again and really begin to see the kingdom of God, I only see from the perspective of my own biases. What I need is a surgical procedure – His use of external circumstances to bring about internal purification.”  Source: Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3

The recent shootings at Sutherland Springs, a suburb of San Antonio, Texas, was directly a rebellion against God. It was aimed to discredit the Almighty and powerful God to prove to all that God does not exist. If He does exist, as the atheists, the agnostics, the seculars chimed in, then He will stop the massacre of these God-fearing Christians to have happened. The truth is since Bible times, God-fearing humans have been massacred through the ages. Jesus’s disciples have been murdered except with the apostle John who died of old age. And the world will continue to kill Christians for what they believe in: Jesus Christ and the Creator of this world.

The devil was surely in the details that Sunday morning. As He controls and plays with the unstable minds of these mass shooters and terror-causing killers, the Godless cheered these wicked acts of terror.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”    2 Timothy 3:1-5 ArmorofLight

Sadly, these types of people are what we are seeing now in this generation of humans. These are the same type of people that God banished from earth in the flood of Noah’s days, Sodom and Gomorrah of Abraham’s time period, Babylon described by the prophet Isaiah:  “Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms, the flower of Chaldean pride, will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah when God destroyed them.” Isaiah 13:19

Our demands for change, and depending on what changes we want for this world, depend on which side we are associated in: good or evil. Eventually through the Bible times, God eliminated evil. Goodness stays for some generations, and evilness reappears again. This is the cycle of life on earth. Unless everyone is on the same page with God, our life on earth is always in a state of disturbance and uncertainty.

It’s ironic when this godless generation is making statements of our nation being divided. The truth about it, is the world has always been divided: evil against good. The devil always makes sure evilness propagates. evilagainstgood

Not unless Jesus has transformed our character, we will not see the truth of God’s precepts, His instructions and commands, and His will for our life: of what is good and what is bad in the real sense and true meanings of these words. These are what represent the Kingdom of God. When Jesus transforms our character and we respond to it, it opens our eyes to the realities of God’s good and evil as He describes them in the Holy Scriptures. And we let go of what the world describes what supposedly is the world’s concepts of good and evil.conformity Since our in-born character is confused and unable to distinguish God’s good and evil in His sight, we are shaped Donotbeconformed5 by this world that is overcome by the devil and his minions. Donotbeconformed6

As Christians, we should put on the armor of God everyday. It will always strengthen us and will not overcome us during these dangerous and perilous times. ArmorofGodIn other words, keep on studying and staying true with God’s words of Truth: His Grace of Salvation which leads to heaven, be always in sync with the Holy Spirit that Jesus has given us, be Christ like in Righteousness, stick with God’s TRUTH, stay firm with our FAITH in God and always share Jesus’s Gospel of peace and deliverance. Donotbeconformed3

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Initiative Against Depression

I woke up an hour earlier today than my usual wake up time. I was tempted to do something amusing, but I heard this small voice in my heart saying this is the morning to be inspired and share your thoughts. I have to obey that command before I get distracted and lose the momentum, so to speak.

One of my dear friends has recently suffered a loss of a loved one. She has been posting pictures to accompany the memories she has with her departed father. We all go through that experience in our lifetime and it does break our hearts to pieces. I’ve gone through it with my own father and my mother, and it surely is very difficult to move on, especially when our knowledge of God is limited. Without knowing God’s Word to us, it seems like the sad feelings and depression stay longer and sadness lingers endlessly in our hearts and it would seem not going away. I went through it for years and it seemed like there was no relief on sight. It’s true that the business of life is the acquisition of memories, but the further I hang on to those memories of my dear ones and their passing, I get deeper with my depression and I was just going through the motion in my daily life without joy and peace that surpass understanding.

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On 1 Kings 19 of the Holy Bible, the prophet Elijah was so depressed and ready to give up the mission God had intended for him to do. He was so distraught with his failed mission and felt like God is nowhere near him to save the day. On 1 Kings 19:5 – Due to his excessive anguish of mind and great fatigue of his body from depression, Elijah had to lay down under the bush and fell asleep and he was ready to just die. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He needed refreshment, and God sent an angel to bring him what was necessary.

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“When the Spirit of God comes to us, He does not give us glorious visions, but He tells us to do the most ordinary things imaginable. Depression tends to turn us away from the  everyday things of God’s creation. But whenever God steps in, His inspiration is to do the most natural, simple things – things we would never have imagined God was in, but as we do them we find Him there. We must take the first step and do it in the inspiration of God. If, however, we do something simply to overcome our depression, we will only deepen it. But when the Spirit of God leads us instinctively to do something, the moment we do it the depression is gone. As soon as we arise and obey, we enter a higher plane of life.”  from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest

When Jesus came to my life and I surrendered my will to Him and studied God’s Word  through the pages of the Bible each and every day, my depression, that lingered for so long due to the deaths of my parents, had been lifted.

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On John 4:14 Jesus said:  “… whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

When I arose and got determined to study God’s manual and learned from Him, through Jesus Christ, God’s Word and Wisdom become a spring of living water in me and His words are my daily bread I take in to guide me on my daily life’s path. They become eternal refreshment that comes with joy and peace that empower my whole being.

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 The memories I spent with my parents are forever there embossed in my mind. However, when I remember them, there’s no longer sadness that comes with it. Yes, they are no longer here but I have a heavenly Father and His Son alive in my heart and the Holy Spirit, that is given to the followers of Jesus Christ, who is constantly present in my life. With the Holy Spirit in me, the unknown future is not so unknown anymore, because God is there.

TheWorldsavedbyJesus

 


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Bad Cholesterol is pretty scary!

“LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol because it can build up in the walls of your arteries and form plaque, which can narrow and reduce the flow of blood through your arteries (arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart). This plaque buildup can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis —also known as ‘the hardening of the arteries.’”  Source: https://www.repatha.com/high-ldl-causes-treatment/?WT.srch=1

Cholesterolcholesterol-in-artery1Clogged Artery

Recently I heard news from a close friend of mine that her husband had an emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder full of gallstones. Gallstones may form when there is too much cholesterol in the bile. …
High levels of bilirubin can lead to formation of gallstones. …
In case the gallbladder is not able to empty often enough or if it is unable to empty completely, there may be a concentration of bile. …

I was not familiar with gallbladder which I thought was the same as the bladder that stores urine. They are two different body organs.

Gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac which is made up of a mucous membrane, a fibromuscular coat, and a serous layer. It lies in a depression of the posterior surface of the liver.

Gallbladder

Urinary bladder is a part of the urinary system that stores urine produced by kidneys until urination takes place. It is found anterior and inferior to the pelvic cavity and posterior to the symphysis pubis. Bladder receives urine through ureters, the small tubes connecting two kidneys and the urinary bladder.

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“Cholecystectomy is the medical procedure that surgically removes the gallbladder. Around 60% of the patients that undergo this procedure experience an improvement in their digestion, but for the 40% patients, they experience side effects and other discomforts. Diarrhea is a common side effect of removing gallbladder. Heartburn can also be experienced by people who have undergone cholecystectomy.
Unexplainable discomfort is usually felt by the patients a few days after the surgery. Bloating is the result of carbon dioxide pumped inside the body and remains there.
Difficulty in breathing. It is important that after surgery, deep breathing is now practiced. Heartburn is the result of improper digestion. Since there is not enough bile in the system, some of the fatty foods remain undigested and these fatty acids and gastric acids will try to regurgitate back to the esophagus, causing pain in the chest, neck, throat, etc.. “ Source: http://www.tandurust.com/digestive-problems/dangers-of-removing-gallbladder.html

Hopefully, my friend’s husband is one of the 60% patients that improve their digestion when the gallbladder is removed.

Anyway, I never realized that too much cholesterol in the body cannot only affect the walls of our arteries, but can cause problems on the other parts of our organs. Pretty scary!High-Cholesterol-Foods

How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally
These are the 7 steps you can take to lower cholesterol naturally. And if you follow all of them, you can count on a very high success ratio.

Eat a healthy cholesterol lowering diet. Some fats help lower cholesterol, while others can raise it. So get your fats right.

Reduce overall fat intake, avoid trans fats, limit saturated fats and replace “bad” fats with “good” fats, such as olive oil and those found in whole grains and omega 3 fish.

High fiber foods also help lower cholesterol naturally. They decrease “bad” LDL and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.

Do regular healthy physical activity. At least 30 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to decrease total cholesterol and improve “good” HDL cholesterol levels, while lack of regular physical activity can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol levels as well as lead to weight gain.

Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can decrease “good” HDL levels and increase “bad” LDL and total cholesterol levels.

Eliminate sweets and refined foods. Few realize that eating sweets and other high glycemic foods increase triglycerides and cholesterol production. These foods are also addictive. Once you eliminate them, you’ll find that fruits, vegetables and whole grains actually taste sweet.

Cut out caffeine and alcohol – drink water. Both caffeine and alcohol have been shown to elevate cholesterol. So it’s best to switch to pure water and, at the very least, follow the “no more than one a day” rule.

Don’t smoke or use tobacco in any form. Smoking damages blood vessels, contributes to hardening of the arteries and is a major health risk for heart disease, stroke and other degenerative diseases.

Practice good healthy stress management. Just like cholesterol, a certain amount of stress is healthy – such as with exercise. But the link between excess stress and high cholesterol production is well established. So take time to relax, let go, meditate, enjoy yourself or do whatever it takes to keep your stress level under control.

Use the 7 steps to lower cholesterol naturally to reach optimum levels of:
Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dl.
Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dl.
HDL “good” cholesterol over 40 mg/dl.
LDL “bad” cholesterol less than 100 mg/dl.

You can greatly reduce your all-around risk of both heart disease and stroke, the #1 and #3 causes of premature death in the U.S. by simply following these guidelines on how to lower cholesterol naturally.   Source: http://commonsensehealth.com/how-to-lower-cholesterol-naturally-in-7-steps/

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List of Foods that Lower Cholesterol Naturally.  

Below is a list of foods that lower cholesterol naturally. You can use this list of cholesterol reducing foods as a guide when eating and should consider having a majority of these foods that lower cholesterol in your home.

– Oat cereal

– Cereals containing flaxseed or psyllium

– Whole grain cereals

– Pecan nuts, walnuts, olives, soy nuts

– Dried or canned beans, peas and lentils

– Corn, fresh, frozen or canned

– Soybean products

– Whole wheat bread

All types of fruits, especially currants, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, citrus fruits, apples.

– Canola and olive oils and margarines made from these oils.

All vegetables, especially onion, watercress, leeks, spinach, carrots, artichokes, avocado, broccoli, kale Brussels sprouts and cauliflower

A variety of flavorings, herbs and spices, especially fresh garlic.

– Lean meats and chicken.

– Salmon, swordfish, tuna and trout

Source:  http://www.all-about-lowering-cholesterol.com/foods-that-lower-cholesterol.html

Another method of healing I found on line is Ginger Garlic Apple Cider Vinegar Mix:

1 piece of grated ginger, 1 glove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Liquefy with the use of Nutri Bullet blender. Consume 1 tablespoon of the mixture before breakfast and another before lunch or dinner.  This mixture lowers blood pressure and cholesterol naturally according to the website. Screenshot_20171030-091257.jpg

 


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In God’s Presence

 

“We find ourselves in spiritual battles and physical hardships, and the enemy doesn’t fight fair. Though we aren’t spared from our definition of harm, those who trust God and lean on Him are spared from His definition of harm. He is a God who protects His people. Outside of His Presence, we’re vulnerable to the worst kind of harm; but in His Presence, nothing can touch us. He is our place of safety.

God doesn’t call us to be reckless, but He does call us to be fearless. No refuge is more secure than He is.

In whatever decisions you face, take fear out of the equation. If you trust God and honor Him, He hides you in the shelter of His Presence. He allows the war, but guards you from defeat. He protects those who are loyal to Him.”

Source: The One Year Experiencing God’s Presence Devotional: 365 Daily Encounters to Bring You Closer to Him

I believe this to be true. In my life, I’ve seen God’s miracles so many times. As I rely on Him each and every day, from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, His guidance I depend on. He is really near when your mind is focused on Him. He speaks through my heart that He holds and keeps it safe.

Last year, I desperately prayed to God through Jesus, His Son, to revive this nation again. That Christians would stand firm on their faith, to breathe on His believers again.

O Lord hear, O Lord forgive us.
We have lost the awe of You.
Have mercy, have mercy.
O Lord, cleanse
Our hearts which are divided.
Stir the faith that we once knew
We’re thirsty, we’re thirsty.
O Lord restore
The church that bears Your name.
O Spirit send
A revival to this nation.
Breathe on us again,
Breathe on us again.

For in God, I will always trust and hope on His almighty power. The enemy of our souls is desperate to defeat Him by dividing the world, evil against good, but as believers, we already know who won. In the middle of this battle is where God is in the center. He won’t let those who love and is faithful to His plan and purposes get defeated. He covers them with His protection, He gives them strength.

“Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”  Isaiah 40:31

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for You are with me” Psalm 23:4

“…Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” – Ephesians 6:10

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” – James 4:10

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” – Psalm 54:4


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Food Shopping for health and wellness

Ever since I’ve modified my eating habits for the past few years, I’m always conscious of what to buy at the grocery stores.  I have gained knowledge into the type of foods that  would either make me healthy or will eventually cause diseases to propagate in my precious body. I’ve learned so much about organic foods and GMO laden produce and food products. It’s scary when you think about what’s out there bad to eat.

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When it comes to my health, I don’t want anymore to let food commercials dictate what I should eat. I was commercially sublimated during my younger years of busy and stress loaded life. When you’re young, you don’t think of food in terms of your health, but what would make you feel stuffed, glutted or engorged regardless of the bad consequences and that would satisfy your hunger pangs. Looking back, I had eaten quite loads of fast foods. They were delicious, for Pete’s sake! Ate in many restaurants, hole in the wall types, and some elegant ones. I let the chefs’ or cooks’ concoctions to rule my eating habits. It was fun while it lasted. As luck would have it, I was into workouts to save my life! Yes! You should see my collections of VHS and DVD workout tapes! I have tons! And I still have them, but now contemplating in donating them.

I lost some weights, maintained the weight loss, but eventually succumbed to gaining extra pounds. That’s when health problems surfaced. My blood pressure went up and I was not feeling so good anymore. This led me to research about the causes of high blood pressure and how to manage it naturally. I went through different types of high blood pressure meds and most had bad side effects. It was frustrating. My salvation: plant based foods! They are miracle foods. But then I’ve learned that not all plant based foods are created equal.

DirtyDozens

Most grocery stores carry food produce that are laden with dangerous pesticides. Even the ones on the grocery shelves.DirtyDozens2 To top it off, most are GMO or genetically modified foods. They are foods genetically altered to look attractive to our eyes and genetically enhanced to have longer shelf life!GMO2

“The rise in autoimmune diseases, infertility, gastrointestinal problems and chronic diseases may be associated with the introduction of GM foods. In a position paper by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the authors ask all physicians to consider the role of GM foods in the nation’s health crisis, and advise their patients to avoid all GM foods whenever possible. The Academy also recommends a moratorium on GM seeds and calls for immediate independent safety testing and the labeling of all food items containing genetically modified products. As of 2010, the U.S. does not require food manufacturers to identify foodstuffs produced with genetically modified crops.”

How To Avoid GMOs
“The best way to avoid GMOs is to cook at home using certified organic ingredients. Organic foods, by law, are non-GMO. When buying produce such as corn, look for the PLU code on the label — if it begins with 9, it is organic.GMO4 If you use packaged or prepared foods, look for “USDA Certified Organic” on the label. Packaged foods that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients are not permitted to contain GMOs. Assume that all restaurants are serving GMOs. The vast majority of non-organic products sold in a conventional supermarket, including pet foods and baby foods, contain some form of GMO corn, soy or other ingredients.”

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/216714-dangers-of-gmo-foods/

I only have one body to live on and one life to live. But I have capabilities to control what I will eat. Screenshot_20171022-111922.jpgThis day and age, there are tremendous information at my beck and call to help gain knowledge on protecting my health.

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Today’s breakfast – organic cereal with 11 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein with some blackberries

I’m thankful and grateful for stores that are popping up and carrying organic and non GMO foods. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and now Aldi. Groceries near us are carrying organic produce and non GMO products. On the side of our world, we have HEB and Kroger and even 99 Ranch that dedicate organic food sections, or organic and non GMO products spread all over their food shelves. You just have to hunt and look for them. And because of the increase demands for organic and non-GMO products, the overall costs are moderately going down. Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods, I’ve seen organic pricing getting to the level, in some degree, with their conventional counterparts.

Screenshot_20171022-111733.jpgIt cost me such a lot of hours of research to get where I am with my health now. I am, more than ever, pays attention subsequently to what I require for myself to be able to give the necessary defense, to protect my body from the radical changes that poor eating habits entail. I promised myself to succeed.

 

 

 


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Walking for health and energy

Today, I walked along the sidewalks of Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris!

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Although I’ve been to the country sides of France, during our travel, we intentionally decided not to be in Paris at all.

Today via Live Stream, I felt like I was there and walked the streets of this popular tourists destination. I’ve discovered these Live Stream videos on You Tube last year and I incorporated these video walks with my treadmill exercises. I really enjoyed it. I’ve gone to different parts of the world via these Live Streams. I’ve gone to Hawaii, Australia, Wales (in real life, we were in Wales in 2014), the country sides of Great Britain and some places here in the U.S.

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I really enjoy these virtual walks on my treadmill. It’s mostly a 30 to 35 minutes of walking. The videos are well done and I actually feel like I was there at these places walking and enjoying the sights.

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These Paris street sidewalks are just like walking on the streets of the Los Angeles Rodeo Drive but on a bigger scale. They also have stores popular in the U.S. like Sephora, Disney, Gap, QuickSilver, Abercrombie & Fitch, among others.

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Some of the health benefits of walking include good physical and mental health, protection from heart ailments, diabetes, cancer, and other types of chronic conditions. Further studies show that walking increases bone mineral density and prevents the condition of osteoporosis.

Walking

 

 


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Press toward the Goal

In March 2002, a discovery of who Jesus really is, has changed my life completely and has brought tremendous hope in me. It was an awakening to something higher than my earthly thoughts. My life before this wake up call was mundane. A busy life but tiresome and wearisome. Routinely repetitive and headed to a very sad, empty and hopeless existence. Job was okay, some glimpses of limited happiness. But in all, there’s dissatisfaction in everything, brooding over an unseen future. I felt like everything had come to a dead end. People at work started to annoy me. I started to lose patience. To survive, I buried myself to the task at hand at work, but I dragged each day. I saw things done unfairly, but I would just bite my tongue. A lot of backbiting, it was so stressful that I had to do soundbites or brief catchy comments to my trusted friends just to let out the frustrations.

My sense of anger had built up in me, but there was no way out. I felt like I would always get the short end of the stick. I felt I’m surrounded with naughty “children” in need of a smack.  The nastiness of the environment seemed to affect my private and personal life. I look forward for weekends and vacations hoping beyond hope that the ones concerned would get their act together. I started doubting that the sun in the east will shine. It was all a pipe dream. Haven’t we all wish a castle in the sky? I could not seem to escape and could not do anything rushed. All my life, I’ve had to play the hand I was dealt. I’ve learned to endure and used my own strength. But it was tiring.

One day as I looked out the window by my upstairs bathroom, I cried out to God, is this all there is in life? Is it always a rat race out there?! The September 11 tragedy made it more pronounced that there are people that always would cause havocs in people’s life. May it be at work, your personal life, and just about anywhere you go, most people hate people. I never knew as to why? What is wrong with the world?

One fateful Holy Week in March, 2002 was destined to give me answers I’ve never thought of, and that would open my eyes beyond what I could not comprehend in the natural life I was part of.  It changed my outlook and attitude of sinfulness, selfishness, covetousness and self absorbed, self-centered ways.HeSavedMe2It started on this one particular and significant day during this Holy Week, and a vacation week for me, when my hubby in passing said something about Jesus Christ that got my nerve rattled. I was perturbed and it brought me to search the internet about Jesus Christ that I had never done before, just because I did not have time for it. I was very far away from religion and was just so self-absorbed with all that was happening around me and was only focused on things that affected me.

On line, I was so surprised of what I found out and discovered. I encountered for the very first time verses in the Holy Bible and I could understand it and the Word is like a sword that went through my heart and opened it wide. Jesus was not on the cross, like I always would see in the church, that He is forever on the cross! He was teaching and walking with His followers. He was actually talking and sharing His first hand knowledge about God. He resurrected from death and lives! My heart was touched and I started crying. Right there and then, I felt like He came to the computer room and held me and said: “I have not abandoned you!”JesusChangedmyLife3I felt so overwhelmed and my whole body was trembling. The experience had given me a lot to think about. But I did not know where to start. I just spent the whole vacation week searching for Jesus that led to several links that explained that God, because of His love for us, sent His Son to this world to teach us and reveal to us who God really is. And God sent Jesus to give us salvation and an eternal life spent in heaven by dying on the cross for us. Before Jesus was born, God offered forgiveness of sins through sacrificial system only and through a rabbi and done in the Holy Temple only. No one can come to the Holy God, but only through His appointed prophets. These made people alienated, isolated or estranged from God and did not know Him at all and did not have any relationship with Him. Not because God did not want to, because He does, He always does. It’s our sins that separated us from Him. God so loved us that He planned for the longest time to give us a Savior that will ultimately save us from our sins and from ourselves and give us hope and a surety, that for those that believe and accept His Son Jesus as our Lord and Savior, repent and turn away from sins, will receive His forgiveness and salvation and an eternal life in Heaven with God and Jesus. This is God’s offer of mercy and Grace to mankind. Jesus alone, fulfilled God’s requirements in the olden times of forgiving sins, before Jesus came to the world. Jesus is the Light that led us to know who God really is. He is the Way to an eternal life in heaven and the Truth to God’s Plan of salvation, hope, peace and joy that only God can offer through Jesus Christ.SeparationFromGodNot only did Jesus’s death and resurrection reconcile us with God, but He has given us the right to be called children of God and an intimate relationship with Jesus and God here on earth as well. Jesus’s followers are no longer condemned. JesusChangedmyLife2They are no longer isolated, alienated and estranged from God. That is God’s Good News and amazing Grace He is offering to us all. What a great and faithful God we have!

AsinnersavedbyGrace

 


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Maintenance Monday

20171016_160157.jpgAfter the weekend, Monday is a good day to start getting the weight down to at least where I feel my weight loss effort is a success! Not that I gained some extra pounds since the last time I blogged my weight progress. At this stage of my conscious food mindfulness, I would say if I gained a pound or two, it’s quite easy to lose the unwanted pounds because it’s not much.

What is hard for me now is to lose that last 5 pounds. My body seems to not want to let go. Today, I started using again the small cups I’ve used when I started this weight loss journey. I have tons of those small cup sizes and I know I will not ran out. The challenge is how long will I be able to stick to the calorie counting. What’s nice is I do not have to weigh my food by using my food scale. The length of time that I’ve used it to lose 16 pounds, which is about 6 months, I’ve mastered the tedious food weighing technique.

I’ve gained 30 pounds through the years, and getting down to where I am now, was a 4 year struggle, and the hardest is eating less than my usual intake. It took me to so many researches and guides to healthy lifestyle changes. I’ve learned that the unwanted pounds I was carrying led me to borderline hypertension stage 1. I initially took the precaution of taking prescribed blood pressure medication but eventually it manifested some awful side effects. I was described different kinds, and the end result was the same. The pestering side effects; and I’m not about to take another medication to cure the side effects!

There must be a better way, and there was, a natural way to lowering and controlling the blood pressure from escalating. Losing weight and plant-based food – a Dash and Paleo lifestyle eating. I don’t think of it as a diet but a lifestyle overhaul. Adapting Intermittent  Fasting at the same time made weight loss a success. To this day, Intermittent Fasting for me is a way of life. Giving the digestive system a chance to rest has given my body to repair itself.

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Homemade cooking is the best way to lose weight and control what gets into my body. I’ve mostly used organic ingredients. Today I’ve made this dish – It’s a pastured raised ground veal. I cooked it with some white onions, garlic, 2 tablespoons of scallions and some green pepper with some lime juice. Stir fry them together, until meat is cooked.  I bought the veal at Whole Foods and it’s already pre-mixed with Taco seasoning which are all natural. It’s Gluten free, although I do not have a problem with gluten, and there’s no MSG added and no nitrates. It’s manufactured by Strauss free raised. It has natural spices, paprika salt, cottonseed oil. It would be good with organic tortilla, but it’s good with brown rice as well.

“Veal is enriched with vitamin B. This vitamin is essential for energy and healthy metabolism. Other than vitamin B, veal is a rich source of vitamin B-12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. People who consume beef on regular basis can easily switch to a smarter and healthy choice with veal. People living with a strict calorie regimen, still get a taste of life with veal as it delivers only 179 calories from a 3 ounce top round cut. There is no difference in the calorie segment for the people eating beef or any kind of other red meat.”  Source: http://benefitof.net/seven-secret-health-benefits-of-veal-they-do-not-want-you-to-know/

I don’t eat very much red meat. I try to vary my everyday homemade Protein menu: fish, seafood, poultry, some white meat, and once in a while steak. Everyday, we have our morning veggie and fruit smoothie; and our meal always have a veggie salad to the mix.

20171016_160411.jpgI’ve also made today Chayote with wild caught Shrimps from Whole Foods. I cooked it with onions, garlic and tomatoes and added some chicken broth and some salt (I use coarse Kosher) to taste. When the Chayote is well cooked, I added the Shrimps and cooked for about an additional 5 to 10 minutes and it was ready to serve. It was delicious! “Chayote is a gourd plant, eaten in similar fashion to the summer squash, cucumbers and melons. You can add raw chayote to salads or cook them in meat or vegetarian dishes. … Chayote can also help support weight loss efforts, as it is low in calories and fibrous. Furthermore, chayote is a rich source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, copper and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C. Another strong suit of this vegetable is its folate content, which is helpful for cell division and DNA synthesis.” Source: Mercola.com

20171016_160504.jpgIf I want some rice with the meal, I always make organic Brown Rice mixed with tri-color organic Quinoa. “Health benefits of brown rice include better functioning of cardiovascular system, digestive system, brain and nervous system. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants which provide relief from a range of ailments such as hypertension, unhealthy levels of cholesterol, stress, mental depression and skin disorders.” Source: Organic Facts  I only eat a cup of Brown Rice/Quinoa as it’s not low in calories. If I eat more, I will gain weight.

“Researchers attribute the health benefits of quinoa to its complete nutritional makeup. Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Quinoa contains Iron. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.” Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html

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Too much cholesterol

foods-high-cholesterolAccording to WEBMD, our body through our liver produces 75 percent of cholesterol that circulate in our blood. A normal level of cholesterol plays an important part in helping our cells do their proper jobs in our body system. 25 percent of cholesterol comes from our food. Therefore, when we eat foods high in cholesterol more than our body needs; and we eat them everyday, it can cause damage deep within our body. We don’t feel any symptoms when our body carries too much cholesterol, but over our life span, it can lead to a build up of plaque inside the arteries and narrows the space available for blood flow and can trigger heart disease. It’s pretty scary!

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But there are ways to lower our body’s  cholesterol, thank goodness! First stop is to have our cholesterol level tested via blood testing at the doctor’s office. The results would show the levels of bad (LDL), good (HDL) and triglycerides.

 

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Since I started this blog and has kept my weight down with the help of plant based eating, I have lowered my blood pressure and my last cholesterol test showed a low level because of the plant based foods I’ve become accustomed to. My intake of meat, poultry and seafood becomes my side dishes. I’m still into smoothies, apples, oranges, grapefruit which I eat in the morning after drinking a glass of water. I still drink eight glasses of water. Most especially, I still keep track and weigh myself daily before I start my day. If I gain a pound or maybe two, I eat more plant based and lesser simple carbs and less protein and I still do intermittent fasting.  If I am mindful of what I eat daily, keeping the weight down is easier nowadays.

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Keeping it real

Based on what I experienced in the past in regards to weight loss and maintenance is to always be updated with articles about getting fit. They may sound to me as the same advice, but another article might sound more specific and gives me inspiration to keep up with being fit. I’ve learned from past experience that when I let go and  stop paying attention about what I’ve read, I lost the desire to keep my weight down, and for all I know the weight crept up on me.img_20160530_172601.jpg

Before the internet swept us all up with all the high tech, the smart phones, and tremendous flow of articles about everything under the sun, including health advice and healthy nutrition, I was buying all kinds of fitness, nutrition and health magazines. I subscribed to some of them. It got pretty expensive and took up a lot of space that I am glad that I can just put the articles now on my favorites to read later.

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I do not have so much weight to lose, so I can be a little flexible, controlled eating 2 or 3 days and eat a little more on one particular day. I follow pretty much the article below that I’ve read recently. It’s good to have those days when some cravings get fulfilled .

Today, I ate what I’ve wanted and not worry of the extra intake, watched a favorite period drama series that my husband and I enjoy, but we still maintain having fruits and whole grains. I ate more than my share of peanuts, ate more of my lunch meal and I was pretty much happy. I still religiously follow intermittent fasting everyday. After each meal, I continuously drink water until I have about 8 to 9 glasses of water, and that would keep me full.

 

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It’s true that a good night sleep would prevent me from overeating. So I make it a habit to sleep at the same time each night to help me dose off quickly and restfully.

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Whether you’ve recently lost a bunch of weight, you’re heading out on a vacation, or a big holiday of eating is coming up, preventing weight gain is easier than you think. Aside from no-brainers like drinking a lot of water and not eating an entire cake every day, keep these tips in mind, and you won’t have to worry about the scale numbers creeping up.

Save yoga pants for yoga

Wearing leggings when you’re not down dogging is comfy, yes, but a bad habit to get into. The stretchy fabric and elastic waistband are so forgiving that you’ll have no idea if your waist is expanding. Save the spandex for your workouts and opt for something more structured like a pair of jeans or a fitted dress so you can keep tabs on your waistline.

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Fiber, and more of it    

Fiber has the ability to fill you up for hours. Include at least eight grams at every meal and three to four at every snack to help you reach a goal of 25 to 30 grams a day. Nosh on fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds and you’ll have no problem getting your fill.

30 minutes, at least

Get in the habit of moving daily. Aim for at least a half hour, with four to five days devoted to more rigorous or longer workouts, and two to three days a more moderate workout like walking, hiking, or stretching. Be sure to include strength training with weights since building muscle helps you burn calories faster. If you don’t have time, studies show that even 15 minutes proves beneficial.

Make one meal of the day a big, huge salad to fill up on fiber without a ton of calories. Include a variety of greens and fresh veggies in your salad along with a low-fat protein source like beans or marinated tofu, add cooked whole grains to make it even more filling, plus avocado or sunflower seeds to add healthy fats. Ensure you eat one salad every day by making a week’s worth all at once.

Chocolate, alcohol, or french fries

Cravings only grow stronger with time, so keep them at bay by giving in to them! Indulging a little every day will settle those cravings, so you can move on and stay committed to your healthy diet. The key, though, is to enjoy a small taste and to be done. Don’t let a little indulging turn into a week of eating whatever you want.

Research shows those who are sleep-deprived tend to eat hundreds of calories more, not just because they’re awake longer, but because sleep affects levels of hunger-regulating hormones.

Feeling tired makes you more likely to reach for sugary pick-me-ups. Get to bed at the same time every night (even on weekends), and set your alarm for the next day, making sure to get between seven and nine hours of sleep.

As a bonus, the extra energy will allow you to hit your a.m. workout with intensity, instead of hitting the snooze button and skipping out.

derived from:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/weightloss/6-things-you-can-do-every-day-to-prevent-weight-gain/ar-AAh3hv8?ocid=spartandhp#page=1