Food For Thought: Rest

Rest

It is estimated that 60 million Americans have trouble sleeping! This is due to artificial lights, TV, internet, and the caffeine craze. Adequate rest is a major factor for health and healing. Sleep is much more than just a passive experience for your body, it is the process that brings restoration and healing to frazzled organs, nerves and body tissues. Melatonin is also produced in response to darkness. Melatonin helps prevent damage to the cells most vital components. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, mental health are all increased when you do not achieve the right amount of rest.

Our goal should be for 7-8 hours per night. If that sounds like peaceful bliss but not ever a reality try these tips.

  1. Wake up with the sun. Sunlight helps increase levels of alertness, enhancing hormones such as serotonin.
  2. Eat diner early. Eating a large meal before bedtime can decrease your deep sleep and cause more nighttime awakenings.
  3. Get moderate exercise. Exercise helps increase levels of hormones that enhance sleep at night.
  4. Avoid sleep depriving substances. Alcohol robs the body of deep sleep, while caffeine interferes with sleep due to its stimulating properties. Tobacco reduces sleep due to nicotine withdrawal during the night. Antidepressants and sleeping pills can reduce your ability to deep sleep.
  5. Early bedtime. Experts recommend going to sleep at least 2 ½ hours before midnight.
  6. Sleep in the dark. Sleep in total darkness. Exposure to bright light for even a few moments can lower your melatonin levels.

A weekly rest was God’s original design for our body’s also. Seven days make up a week. Sounds simple but scientists don’t know why the seven-day cycle is so ingrained in cultures around the world. Years, months and days are all based on solar or lunar patterns, but the seven day cycle seems to be ingrained naturally. Even our body’s have shown a internal biological seven day pattern, it is called the circaseptan rhythm. For example after an organ transplant, the rejection rate is higher for the transplanted organ on the seventh or fourteenth day following an operation. Mental and physical stress, along with heart disease has shown improvements by implementing a weekly rest. Resting for time with our Lord each week is important for our spiritual health as well as our physical health.

Source Amazing Health

Side note, I am writing this article at 4am… :(

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Food For Thought: Sunlight

Sunlight is something many of us have fear of and are avoiding for ourselves and even for our children. This article is not to debate or encourage you to go against any doctor’s advice, just to show the benefits of sunlight!

Sunlight is antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal! There is one word that sums up the importance of sunlight and skin care, MODERATION. If you want to be good to your skin and your body you need to make sure to avoid over exposure AND underexposure. More than 90% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. Humans like plants, need sunlight for optimal health. Sunlight in moderation can, ease tension, increase immunity, prevent diseases, improve sleep, increase mental performance, heighten metabolism, relieve arthritic pains and boost energy levels.

30 minutes a day 3 times a week is adequate for most Caucasians. The darker your skin the more sun exposure needed to obtain and adequate amount of Vitamin D. When exposed to sunlight, our skin begins to protect itself from overexposure by producing melanin, a chemical that darkens the skin, and vitamin D precursors. Increased melanin and vitamin D allow increased exposure to the sun without burning. So if you have fair skin and live where the sun is intense you will want to make sun exposure a gradual process, if reddening occurs you have spent too much time in the sun. Fair skinned people should start with 5 min a day and gradually increase exposure to 30 min per day. Barriers that reduce ultraviolet radiation, such as sunscreen (8 or above), windows, ext, will reduce the production of vitamin D in your body. Your body will make adequate vitamin D with only ¼ of the sunlight required to cause a sunburn.

Research has shown sunlight can stop a variety of cancer cells from growing including leukemia, lymphoma and melanoma (skin cancer). It has been found that sunlight can prevent certain cancers, especially colon and breast. Sunlight has also been helpful for  healing in patients with diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, acne, viral skin infections, sleep disorders, depression, MS, and many more. Sunlight is a must for all of us in moderation.

Many people think they get plenty of sunlight… Start timing how much sunlight your are getting to make sure your body is able to make the vitamin D you need.  Vitamin D is found in foods or supplements. Most supplements can be hard to absorb or be stored in body and cause a host of other problems. Direct sunlight in moderation is really the best way to boost your vitamin D.

Source Amazing Health

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Food For Thought: Fresh Air

Fresh air


Normally food for thought is about a food, but this week we are going to talk even more importantly about fresh air. Fresh air can be hard to find depending on where you live. For me I live in the country where it is more available than the cities. Last month I went way up north and you could tell such a difference in the air purity up there! Have you ever noticed the air near the ocean or after a storm, it is just invigorating. Deep breathing of fresh air is so important for our bodies. Breathing is something that happens automatically in all but deep breathing is so important. Deep breathing (of clean air) can help relieve head aches, backaches, stomachaches, and sleeplessness. It is also a great way of reliving stress. Take a deep breath in (fill your lungs up, you should be able to see your chest expand), hold it for 20 seconds then blow it all out. Doing this several times daily will really help your health!

A side note, this is not something you want to do in your home. Our homes can be up to 5 times more polluted than the out door air (open windows as much as possible). Which is not good considering we spend an average of 90% of our day indoors…

Just getting outside more will improve our health! I have recently started swimming laps in our swimming pool. This is a great exercise for deep breathing. I also have experienced much growth to my vital lung capacity!

If you want to test your vital lung capacity it is simple;

  • Just get a 2 liter plastic bottle and 1 foot long flex tubing (aquarium like).
  • Fill the 2 liter bottle all the way to the top and place upright in a large bowl.
  • Place the tube in the bottle (try not to spill much).
  • Take a deep breath and blow all the air out of your lungs.
  • Now measure the volume of the amount of water that spilled into the bowl.

If you want to build yours up start exercising and then test again in a month. This is great to do as a family, time the length each member can jump rope till they can’t jump any longer, chart it each day for a month. Watch your stamina increase right along with your vital lung capacity!

(Source credit “Amazing Health” and “Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology“)

From lifes first cry to final breath, Jesus comands my destiny!

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Food For Thought: Dehydrate

Ahh… Summer! My garden is over flowing with squash! I love squash but even if we ate 1 each, every meal, we would still have left over!!! Last week we talked about the benefits of raw foods. Did you know that dehydrating foods is the next best way to keep the vitamins and enzymes in your foods. When dehydrating you want to keep your temperature lower to preserve the most nutrients (around 115 degrees). Ovens, microwaves, stove top (skillet or boiling) can destroy up to 100% of the nutrients of our food with the high heat. Since I was overflowing with squash I dehydrated some.

  • Start by slicing your fruits or vegetables 1/8-1/4 of an inch thick, I left the skins on (again lots of the nutrients are found in the skins).

  • Arrange them around the trays of the dehydrator. You do not want sides overlapping.
  • Run for 5-8 hrs. Until crispy. Every fruit and veg will have different drying times along with every days weather can vary it also.

  • As soon as they are dry, seal them in a glass jar, It will keep them freshest longest.
  • Store in cool, dark place.

You can add them to stirfrys and soups to rehydrate them or just eat them as veggie chips! Squash only lasts 2-6 months, most fruits and veggies last you all year.

What types of foods do you dehydrate?


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Food For Thought: Raw Foods

Raw Foods

Have you been enjoying more fruits and veggies this summer? We had fresh squash and spinach from our garden for lunch. This time of year is my favorite for eating lots of raw foods. Did you know that eating your fruits and veggies raw give you 50-100% more vitamins, minerals, and enzymes? Enjoy some fruits and veggies today and your body will thank you! Raw foods will help with weight loss, skin problems, concentration, energy, moods; lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and much more!!

In Michigan we have long dark winters. Spring gives us new hope of a new life. Summer gives us such a beautiful array of life (including fruits and veggies). Our eyes, hearts and minds are filled to the brim and can embrace all that we had forgotten over the lifeless season. It reminds me of our walk with Jesus. Sometimes it is bountiful with blessings and other times we seem to be stuck in the dark shadows. Jesus always has plans to restore the blessings but we must walk through all the seasons! Job is testimony to that! If you are walking with not much light at the end of the road, remember you have not been forgotten. Psalm 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning.

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