Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Supplements 101

"Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine."
Ezekiel 47:12

The Council of Responsible Nutrition estimates that 70% of Americans take some form of vitamin, typically multivitamins, at least occasionally. Do you fall into this 70%? It's not a surprise if you do. According to the Great Physician's RX for Health & Wellness, every major health agency from the American Medical Association to the American Dietetic Association recommends that you at least take a multivitamin on a daily basis.

But with all the myriad of choices available, how do you know which one to choose? Which one is best? Most of us know the feeling of having glow in the dark urine and wondering if we're throwing money down the drain. Don't worry. With some simple background information, you'll be well informed as to how to select the supplements that are most effective and work the best for you and your family, giving you optimal health. (When coupled with healthy eating God's way, of course.)

As a sidenote, before we go on, I must clarify that taking supplements, even the best ones, can in no way replace following God's way of healthy living and eating. You can take the best supplements available, but if you basically follow the standard American diet (aptly coined SAD) and you are stressed out everyday, don't exercise or get proper sleep, you can't expect your supplements to make up for that. Many people eat whatever they want and justify it by taking supplements. It doesn't work that way. They are named supplements for a reason- they're just meant to supplement your healthy diet and lifestyle. There are many cogs in the wheel of optimal health, and you can't follow one but ignore the others, expecting great results.

That being said, supplements are a powerful tool in the arsenal of optimal health, when combined with all of the other aspects of God's health plan, namely proper nutrition.

So how do you know which ones to buy? Easy. It all comes down to how they are manufactured. It's important to understand that not all supplements are created equally. Here's how they differ: (According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing and taken from p. 77 of GPRX for Health & Wellness)
  1. Natural. The nutrients are derived from vegetable, mineral, or animal sources with little or no processing. Examples would be cod liver oil, bee pollen, yeast, garlic, kelp, and minerals in their natural form.
  2. Natural source. Although nutrients come from vegetable, mineral, or animal sources, the product undergoes processing. Examples would be extracting vitamins A and D from fish liver oil; vitamin E from soy oil; lecithin from soybeans; and digestive enzymes, protein powders, and amino acids from various natural sources.
  3. Nature identical or bio-identical. These are laboratory-manufactured nutrients identical in molecular structure and activity in the human body to natural nutrients. These nutrients are manufactured because the cost or difficulty of extracting the same nutrients from all-natural sources would be prohibitively expensive. Examples of nature-identical nutrients include certain B vitamins.
  4. Synthetic. These laboratory-manufactured nutrients aren't identical, molecularly speaking, to the natural nutrient. For instance, when you find inexpensive vitamin E or vitamin C on the shelf, you can rest assured that it was produced synthetically. It is estimated that 50% of the supplements available on the market today are manufactured synthetically.
  5. Whole food or food-grown. It's possible to produce nutritional supplements with raw materials, for example, by adding vitamins and minerals to a living probiotic culture. This form of supplement is the most costly to produce and is highly bioavailable, meaning it's highly usable and available to the body.
So where does that leave you? Go to your medicine cabinet (or wherever you keep them) and get your bottles of vitamins and supplements. If your bottle labels say,"contains no filler ingredients, no artifical ingredients, and no preservatives," and it is a "whole food multivitamin/mineral product," then you are in the clear. If not, tune in tomorrow to find out how to buy the right kind of supplements. We'll start with the one most common to Americans- the multivitamin.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why Do You Need Supplements?

If you're like 89% of Americans, (according to a John Hopkins study) chances are you are not getting the amount of fruits and vegetables that your body needs to thrive. I know, I know. When I say the word "fruits and vegetables" your mind sends you images of cauliflower and broccoli, spinach and maybe an orange. Somehow fruit leathers sound so much more appealing than the real thing.

But, the fact of the matter is, God created our bodies to need fresh fruits and vegetables. And, if you fall into the 89% category, then you're not getting enough of them. And even if you just so happen to be eating 9-10 servings of fruits and veggies every day (4-5 being leafy greens, I might add) and you're not eating them organic, then you're giving your body a deluge of pesticides along with your meal. Remember, pesticides=toxins=setup for disease.

And even if you do eat 100% organic, like we do, your food is still not teeming with the probiotics, enzymes and macronutrients that your great- grandparent's food was. When most of the country's soil is sterilized by pesticides and herbicides, it's basically impossible for even organic soil to be totally unaffected.

So what does this all mean for you? It means that your body is craving the micro and macronutrients that God intended your food to give you. It's longing for the probiotics that will keep your gut balanced and well, which by the way, keeps your body disease free. (more on that later) It means that unless you're eating 9-10 servings of fruits and vegetables from the most pristine soil on earth, your body needs supplements.

Now, this isn't in place of the Maker's Diet in any way, but it is a very important part. It's like giving your body the right kind of fuel, the fuel it needs to live with optimal health. Does it make sense to you to give your body the diesel fuel it needs, or to keep giving it 87 fuel and hoping it all works out ok?

Most things in life don't just "work out okay" when we leave them untended. Our health is no different, and especially the health of our children. In the next few posts, we'll discover how to augment a healthy, Maker's Diet lifestyle with the right supplements- a combination producing true diesel fuel.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Part 3- Reducing Toxins in Your Life

Remember toxins?

toxic: -adjective- acting as or having the effect of a poison; poisonous

It makes sense to limit the amount of these bad guys in your life, right? Remember that if they are in your life, they are in your body, which leads to disease. And if they're in your life, they're in your children's lives too.

Here are recommendations from the editors at Organic Style magazine. (Taken from p.175 of GPRX for Health)
  1. Eat lean meats. Consuming leaner meats is a good idea since fats in meat act as chemical magnets for toxins in the environment. I recommend consuming grass-fed or pastured beef or bison (as well as other healthy meat) since these meats are naturally leaner and contain larger concentrations of nutrients and healthy fats.
  2. Stick with organic produce when possible. Organic Style magazine quoted a study of children who ate only organic produce, and they had one sixth the level of pesticides in their bodies, compared to those who consumed conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.
  3. Avoid certain types of fish and shellfish to lower your exposure to mercury. Canned tuna is a known culprit of mercury, and its consumption should be limited to two cans per week, unless you're pregnant or nursing, in which case it should be limited to one or less. Swordfish and mackerel should be limited in consumption as well. Shellfish should always be avoided, as it is an unclean meat and contains a whole host of toxins.
  4. Use a water filter. Don't ever drink your unfiltered tap water! With all the chlorine swirling in today's tap water, a filter for drinking and showering/bathing is a must.
  5. Air out your dry cleaned clothes before bringing them into your home. Around 80 percent of the dry cleaners in the US use perchloroethylene, or perc, which does a wonderful job cleaning clothes but is a nasty chemical that has been linked to liver and kidney damage, and cancer. Airing out your dry-cleaned clothes before bringing them indoors will dramatically reducine your exposure to this toxin. Or better yet, find a local dry cleaners who cleans without the use of nasty chemicals.
  6. Vacuum often, using a machine with a high efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) because contaminants often cling to household dust. These filters remove 99.97 percent of particles with a diameter greater than 0.3 microns.
  7. Steer clear of carpets and furniture treated with stain repellants, and get rid of chemical- laced household cleaners. Use only natural cleaning products in your home. Most natural food stores carry them, or you can search online for them.
In future posts, we'll go into more specifics on how to actually live out these recommendations. Remember that every step you can take will greatly benefit your body and all those in your home! I dare you to choose at least one of these and start today!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's Your Body Burden? Part 2- Know Your Toxins

toxic: -adjective- acting as or having the effect of a poison; poisonous

Last week we discussed the concept of your body's "burden" or chemical load.Taking the definition of the word toxic into account, what this really means is, how many poisonous substances are in your body at a given time? And how will they affect your health? Remember that if something is toxic, it is poisonous, and poisons cause disease, which cause death.

While it's true that it's the dose that makes the poison, our everyday lives are bombarded with so many toxins (we'll look into the common ones that I guarantee are a part of your life) that our bodies simply cannot handle them all. Once our bodies cannot handle the toxins we put in, they simply shut down. Unfortunately, they don't just shut down and take a break for the day. They shut down with heartbreaking diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's, dementia, arthritis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, digestive disorders, and a host of other health conditions. In America, one out of three people dies of cancer. I believe this statistic alone is proof that we need to take a serious look at the toxins going into our bodies on a daily basis.

Below is a list of the major toxins (substances that cause disease, which leads to premature death) that are swirling around our environment, in our homes and out, which have been scientifically proven to be toxic:

(Taken from p. 174-175 of The Great Physician's RX for Health & Wellness)
  1. 1. PCB's. Polychlorinated biphenyls- highly toxic chemical compounds developed in the 1930's. Although banned in the late 70's worldwide, 24 million pounds are unaccounted for. (They were originally used in paint, ink, dye, and insecticides, among other things.) Currently, farm raised salmon contain PCB's.
  2. Dioxins. Produced naturally through volcanoes or forest firest, or through the manufacturing of PVC products or industrial chlorinated cleaners. This toxic chemical tends to wind up in animals with high fat contents such as fish and shellfish.
  3. Metals. Particles of mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminium and cadmium accumulate in the soft tissues of the body. Mercury is especially prevalent in canned tuna, and arsenic can be found in tap water. Yikes!
  4. Asbestos. A cancer-causing material used to insulate older buildings.
  5. Insecticides and pesticides. Used in all conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and most conventional food. We'll discuss these more later.
  6. Phthalates. Chemicals used to soften plastics and lengthen the shelf life of cosmetics, hair spray, mousses, and fragrances such as room sprays , colognes and perfurmes. They harm the developing testes of males and damage the lungs, liver and kidneys.
  7. Parabens. Ethylparaben, Methylparaben,Butylparaben, Propylparaben. Preservatives used in personal care products to extend their shelf life. These chemicals like to stay in the fatty tissue in our bodies. In a study performed on breast cancer patients, every single one was found to have parabens in their breast tissue. They are also endocrine system disrupters, or disrupters of your hormonal balance. This can lead to infertility, and other hormonal problems.
  8. VOC's. Volatile organic ompounds. These are petroleum- based chemicals found in perfumes, aftershave lotions, toiletries, shampoos, household cleaners, furniture polishes, air fresheners, adhesives, foams and plastics.
  9. Chlorine. Found in tap water, pools, household cleaners, and your daily shower.
So, to make a long story short:
Toxins enter your body when you:
  • Get up in the morning and take a shower
  • Use your shampoo, body wash, and facial soap in the shower
  • Use your moisturizer, shaving lotion, aftershave and deodorant
  • When you put on your perfume or cologne
  • When you put on your makeup and put gel, mousse or hairspray in your hair
  • When you drink tap water
  • When you put your leftovers in plastic
  • When you eat conventional, non organic food
  • When you eat conventional fish and salmon, and eat any kind of crab, oyster or shrimp
  • When you clean your house with conventional cleaning products.
  • When you wash your clothes with standard detergent.
  • When you use standard paint.
And we wonder why our bodies break down! See how these seemingly small things build up, day after day after day after day?

I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to lessen the amount of toxins entering my body and those I love on a daily basis. In the next post, we'll discuss ways to decrease the chemical load on your body, by decreasing the toxins going in. I look forward to helping you give your body a break!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do You Know Your Body's Burden?

Body burden:, (also known as chemical load) is the amount of harmful chemicals present in a person's body.

"In a study led by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in collaboration with the Environmental Working Group, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of ninety-one industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in the blood and urine of 9 volunteers. Of the 167 chemicals found in their bodies, 76 cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 79 cause birth defects or abnormal developments in children. " - The Great Physician's RX for Health & Wellness, p. 175 much do you care about your body's burden?
You might think this "health stuff" is not really necessary- after all, you eat pretty good, you don't work at a chemical plant, you exercise. Your kids seem fine. Eat 100% organic? And completely change your lifestyle? Too expensive. And not really necessary.

So you're all clear, huh?

Bet you didn't know that it takes your body 8 years to detox from every single shower you take.
Or that the chemicals in your perfume and cologne are harmful to you and your unborn children in the womb.
Or that your children inherit every single chemical in their mother's body and breast milk as their health legacy.

Still think you're all clear? Join me as we explore disease causing toxins in our environment- inside the home and out, that contaminate our bodies and lead to diseases and early death. This might cause your brain to go tilt with a new worldview, but I ask that you stay with me and seriously consider the studies I am going to present to you. The choices you make will affect you and the generations coming after you. This is important stuff. A lot depends on you! And you only get one lifetime to do it right. Since I know you care about yourself and your family, I'll talk to you soon- about the toxins all around you, and what you can do about them.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Maker's Healing Foods

Eat the food God gave us.

In the way He gave it to us to eat.

Sounds simple, right? But when you're standing in your grocery store, hungry, and Cheez-It's, Kool-Aid, and 500 kinds of breakfast cereal are staring you down, it's hard to decide what is actually best. Again, I have good news for you. God's health plan includes delicious foods that nurture our bodies and give us healthy and excellent quality of life. Here's a list of the top biblical foods that God recommends. No joke- they're all mentioned in the Bible! (And you're in good company when you eat them: Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the disciples all ate these healing foods)

This list is taken from page 145 of The Maker's Diet. I am going to list the foods, and we'll discuss the benefits of these foods individually in future posts. Remember that these foods are step 1, step 2 is eating them in the form God gave us to eat.
  1. Fish and Fish Oil (And not your local supermarket or Costco fish oil pills!)
  2. Barley & Wheat (Whole and sprouted)
  3. Raw dairy from goat's cow's, and sheep, and fermented dairy from these sources.
  4. Olive Oil (Organic, extra virgin)
  5. Small fruit: figs, grapes and berries
  6. Soups/stocks (homemade!)
  7. Healthy saturated fats: (high vitamin butter, coconut oil) Don't fall out of your chair! We'll discuss this one soon. :)
  8. Honey (Organic & raw)
  9. Pomegranate
  10. Wild animal foods: grass fed beef, buffalo, lamb, goat & venison.
  11. Seeds (soaked and sprouted)
  12. Omega-3 Eggs
  13. Cultured/Fermented vegetables
  14. Organ meats ( I haven't been brave enough to try these yet!)
  15. Fermented beverages, i.e. kombucha, kvass, kefir
  16. Green vegetables
Now, by no means are these the only foods you can eat healthily. But, these foods pack some serious nutritional punch, which is why they made it onto the "healing foods" list. :) You could say these foods are essentially the best of the best. There are other great foods- but this list comprises the best.

I dare you to go to your cupboard, pantry, and fridge, and see how many of these healing foods you have available.

Then I dare you to read my next article, which will discuss a very important question- one that affects your life every single moment you breathe, but that you are probably clueless about. Intrigued? Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What Does God Say?

"There is no portion of the commandments of God in general, or of the Mosaic code in particular, that is not based on a scientific understanding of fundamental law. The laws of God are enforced and are as sure as the law of gravity."
Elmar A. Josephson, author

"I give you every seedbearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."
Genesis 1:29

"These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth..." Leviticus 11:2

Have you ever stood in the grocery store, dazed and confused about what you should buy for dinner that week? Did you ever feel overwhelmed at the ever-changing health advice you see on the news and in magazines? Did you ever start a diet, only to quit three weeks later because you felt like you were starving?

I have good news for you. God has quite a lot to say about what you eat. In fact, He's taken all of the guesswork out of your shopping list. Is this news to you? Turn to Leviticus 11. You'll be blown away at the detail God gives.

We're going to discuss the foods that God gave to us to eat, and the ones He clearly says to avoid. Let me make something clear before I proceed. While I strongly believe that God's dietary laws are as irrevocable as the law of gravity, and that when we violate them, there are natural consequences, I do not believe that choosing not to follow God's health plan will cause you to lose your salvation. But you might get to heaven sooner...

My vote: let's spend our lifetimes following God's guidelines for healthy eating and living, and working in harmony with His laws, instead of against them, and then leave the rest up to Him.

So...go get your Bible. Turn to Leviticus 11 as we discover the foods that God gave us, foods that have nourished mankind for centuries, and also the foods that God tells us to avoid.

Referring to the first verse quoted from Genesis above, God tells Adam and Eve in the Garden to eat freely of the lush fruits and vegetables growing in abundance in the garden. Can you imagine the taste of one piece of luscious fruit growing in that Garden? I guarantee you the irradiated, genetically modified fruit for sale at your local grocery store tastes like garbage compared to produce available in Eden. But, Adam & Eve blew it. They disobeyed God and thus, His beautiful world was shattered and marred forever. God had a plan to redeem His creation, but for now, things had to be done differently.

Instead of enjoying the tranquility of the garden and God's presence, sustaining on abundant fruits and vegetables, man now had to work the ground. This was going to require much more sustenance than a vegetarian diet could provide. Mankind was now required to perform heavy labor, and have physical prowess and speed in order to survive. This is when God codified His approved animal protein sources. This is recorded in great detail in Leviticus 11 and Deutoronomy 14.

God is very specific concerning which mammals, fish, birds, and even insects we are to eat, and which He calls "unclean." Alternately, the animals He gives us to eat, He calls "clean." In further posts, we will explore what makes the unclean animals so. For this post, I will just list them. Just trust that the unclean animals are in no way called that arbitrarily. You will be blown away when you find out what you are putting in your body when you eat animals God deems "unclean." God made these animals for a specific purpose, but that purpose was not the nourishment of your body. But I digress.

The following list is taken from page. 36 of the Maker's Diet. It is Jordan Rubin's summary of Leviticus 11. Read closely.

1. You may eat the meat of animals with a cloven or split hoof that also chew the cud. (Lev. 11:3) This includes cows, goats, sheep, oxen, deer, buffalo, etc.

2. Avoid animals, such as the camel, that chew the cud but do not have cloven or split hooves. (Lev. 11:4) This includes, but is not limited to, horses, rats, skunks, dogs, cats, squirrels, and possums.

3. Do not eat swine. (pigs) They have divided hooves, but they do not chew the cud. These are unclean animals. (Lev. 11:7-8) In fact, pigs are so unclean that God warns us not to even touch the body, meat or carcass of a pig. The Hebrew words used to describe "unclean meats" can be translated as "foul, polluted, and putrid." The same terms were used to describe "human waste" and other disgusting substances.

4. Eat any fish with fins and scales but avoid fish or water creatures without them. (Lev. 11:9-10) Those to avoid include smooth-skinned speciess such as catfish or eel and hard-shelled crustaceans such as crab, lobster, or clams.

5.) Birds that live primarily on insects, grubs, or grains are considered clean, but avoid birds or fowl that eat flesh. (whether caught live or dead) They are unclean. (See the extensive list in Lev. 11:13-19)

Are you surprised by anything on this list? Have you ever read it before in Leviticus? I certainly hadn't. Well, I had read Leviticus, at some point in my life, but never took it to heart. In fact, I never gave much thought to the fact that God had an opinion about my beloved clam chowder and Mexican ceviche. And yes, I do miss both those dishes to this day! But let me tell you, knowledge is power. And it's not very hard to turn down both those items when you know what's in them. In the next post, we will discuss further foods that God gives as life-giving, and the abundant health experienced by peoples throughout the centuries who abide by His laws.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

History's Healthiest People

"Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone."
Deuteronomy 34:7

Or how about Joshua? He was 80 years old when he led the Israelites into the Promised Land. What will you be doing when you are 80? If you picture yourself struggling to remember the details of your life and wasting away in some nursing home, you should ask yourself why. Why is that normal to you? It wasn't normal for the host of Biblical characters who followed God's way of healthy eating and living.

Or maybe you think you already eat healthy. But whose way of "healthy" are you following? God's, or someone else's? Consider the Jewish people. When they followed God's health plan to the "T", given to them by Moses in extreme detail in Leviticus, they thrived, even when civilizations around them collapsed. When the Bubonic Plague ravished Europe in the mid-fourteenth century, the Jewish people escaped its grip. This plague was so devastating that England lost nearly half of its population, and it returned repeatedly over the next 250 years. Here's what Michael D. Jacobson, D.O., a former U.S. Army flight surgeon and family practitioner had to say about the Jewish people's health during this devastating time: (Taken from the Maker's Diet p. 39)

"People concluded that it was the Jews who were responsible for the plague, since they were the only ones who were not dying.
The truth is that, hundreds of years prior to the discovery of bacteria, the Jews were protecting themselves from the deadly Yersinia pestis microbe by practicing cleanliness and good hygiene...more than three thousand years before man discovered bacteria, the Creator had given detailed instructions that, if followed, would prevent the spread of such a deadly communicable disease."

And we're worried about swine flu.

Not only did the Jews follow the incredibly precise hygiene laws given to them by God, (including avoiding touching dead bodies, keeping corposes far from their homes, proper disposal of waste, cleaning their hands, utensils and clothing in running water, and rules for sexual conduct) but they drew their water from fresh springs, instead of drinking from the city wells. In contrast with their cleanliness, the average European of that time bathed once a month, and changed clothes once a year! Rotten food, rats, and other animals were rampant in their homes. (Modern science now blames rats for the spread of the Bubonic Plague.) At the time, European doctors recommended the following treatments for curing the Bubonic Plague: causing bleeding near the heart, avoiding sleeping on your back, shutting all the windows in your house (it was thought that the Plague was spread through the air) and staying as cool as possible. It was also recommended not to bathe, as opening up the pores of the body was supposed to let in the infection.

We know now how preposterous these treatments are. But what "treatment" are you following, thinking that it's the healthiest because modern science, or even a modern health guru, says it is?

I would rather follow a health plan that will never change, which is given by God, who cannot lie, who created our bodies and knows how they function best. Come along with me and I'll show you how to follow the only guaranteed health plan on the face of the earth.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Case for the Maker's Diet

If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees,
I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians,
For I am the LORD, who heals you.
-Exodus 15:26

Question: Do you think the following statistics are traits of a healthy people?
  1. 40% die of heart disease.
  2. One in three dies of cancer.
  3. One in three suffers from allergies.
  4. One in ten will have ulcers. ( I was one of those)
  5. One in five is mentally ill.
  6. Degenerative diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer's, digestive disorders, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, epilepsy and chronic fatigue are commonplace.
  7. Learning disabilities such as dyslexia and hyperactivity afflict seven million.
All the common signs of an incredibly healthy people, right? Think again. Even with all of the money we spend on medical costs each year ($800 billion) these diseases still plague our citizens- stealing energy, vitality, and life from millions of Americans and their loved ones.

All of these diseases are diseases of lifestyle. Did you know that these diseases are still uncommon among "primitive" people groups still living today? Or did you just think it was normal for you and all your loved ones to die of heart attacks, cancer, Alzheimer's, strokes, or wind up in a nursing home, incapacitated in your final years? I used to. I know this may all be new to you. You may be cringing at the thought that this illness is all so...preventable. But is it really? Consider this.

The Egyptians were also the leading civilization of their time. They were the most advanced in every way: medically, culturally, and technologically. Not only did they invent the calendar and hieroglyphics, but they developed systems for making paper out of papyrus reed plants, and operated looms to weave cloth into clothing. Because of their clever invention of mummification (see King Tut inside his sarcophagus above) modern day scientists were able to discover what diseases ailed the ancient Egyptians.

Guess what their upper class died of? It will sound familiar to you- osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, and malignancies similar to today's cancer. And guess what the Egyptians liked to eat? Seems they had a penchant for processed food just like we do. Egyptian tomb scenes show wheat being processed 13 times before being made into bread. Just like our white flour and processed breads.

This was not true for all Egyptians, however. The majority of peasants and workers were not "rich" enough for such processing, and research shows they likely ate a whole grain bread. Lucky for them, because in addition to the diseases listed above, mummy x-rays show that the ancient Pharaoh's and their families, and the nobles of the land suffered from painful spine conditions. In particular, one wife of a Pharaoh is shown to have suffered arthritis of the spine, and acute scoliosis. (Curvature of the spine.) I doubt she made it out of the house, err, palace, much.

It has now been proven through laboratory testing that the deficiency of the trace mineral manganese (particularly in pregnant mothers) causes scoliosis, buck teeth, malocclusion (where the upper and lower teeth do not align properly) and impacted wisdom teeth. So how does that all tie in to the Egyptians? When the bran and germ are removed from wheat grains (as they are in our processed bread, and as they were in the Egyptian nobility's bread) manganese virtually disappears. See the connection between diet and disease?

Next we will look at the connection between the healing foods God gave us to eat, and how people following God's ways of doing things have thrived throughout history, (particularly the Jews) even in the midst of extreme sickness and death swirling all around them.

So, when it comes to your health, my question for you is: Do you want to live and die like an Egyptian, an American, or like one of God's people?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Journey Continues...Or Begins...

I finished reading the Maker's Diet the next day. I decided that I had to start as soon as possible, even though I had no idea what that meant. One thing I was sure of, I saw no other options. I talked to my wonderful husband, Mark, (who was 25 at the time) and told him I had to do it. I didn't know how he would feel about it- (he loved Dulche de Leche ice cream and Cheez-Its as much as I did) so I told him that I would be happy to cook him separate meals. Graciously, he offered to do it with me. Thank God.

I felt a little overwhelmed, but I kept referring back to the maxim of the entire Maker's Diet:

Eat the food that God gave us
In the way He gave it to us to eat.

Translation: God gave us wheat, but He did not give us Twinkies.

So off I went for my first trip to Whole Foods, armed with my trusty copy of the Maker's Diet. I memorized the ingredients allowed on the first phase of the diet and referred to the recommended brands listed in the reference section of the book. I bought the supplements that the book recommended. I changed our entire diets in one day- and almost four years later, we haven't looked back.

We got started the next day. I woke up every morning for the first week or so feeling that I had been hit by a truck. My body was detoxing after months of sickness. I felt terrible, but I also felt amazing. And more importantly- I felt hope.

After the 40th day, I felt well on my way to recovery. I could get out of bed in the morning. And I could eat. I felt hopeful, and I felt thankful- because I knew that this would affect the rest of our lives, and that I wouldn't have cared one bit about it if I hadn't been sick.

The months went by, and then the years, and I continued to follow the Maker's Diet to a "T". My stomach pain wasn't gone yet, but it was now manageable. Still, I wanted more. I knew that as time went by, all of the "good stuff" I was putting in my body would eventually outweigh the trash that I gave it for 18 years- processed food, a lifetime of Ibuprophen and Excedrin, and antibiotics.

Then I got pregnant. I had no idea how my stomach would react to this. Surprisingly, I felt better than ever. After our son was born (we had been following the Maker's Diet for 2.5 years at this point) I kept waiting for my stomach to return to its previous state. But it never has. I believe God used my pregnancy to put the final touches on my healing. I am incredibly thankful for this- I can't imagine chasing around our 15 month old with a brick in my stomach every day.

And that is why I am writing this blog. I've gathered a ton of information in these last 3 and a half years- spent hours upon hours researching the ins and outs of every aspect of God's health plan for our lives. I'm more convinced than ever that yes, God really does know what He is talking about. He knows how He made us and what will cause us to thrive- and what will send us through our lives on this earth limping, or worse, to a premature death.

So if you're up for it, join me on this journey as I share what I've learned, and am still learning, along the way. If you find something that will help you or a loved one, that's great. If not, that's fine too. I hope either way that you will take a moment to stop and think: Do I know why I eat the way that I do? Do I know why I live my life the way I do? Is it really the best way?

I hope I can help you find your answer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Return to The Maker's Diet

On February 16, 2005, I was 19 years old, and newly married. My wonderful husband and I had been married a little over 6 months, and we had just celebrated our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. After having crammed 4 years of college into 2 so that I could graduate before our wedding day, I was thankful to be settling into a more peaceful pace of life as a married woman. Enthusiastic about my new life and excited for our future, I was so unprepared for what was in store for me.

I woke up that fateful morning feeling nauseated. Weird. I was concerned, but figured it would go away sometime during the day. When it didn't go away, I began to think what every newlywed woman would, "Am I pregnant? I must be!" I couldn't think of a better explanation for this bizarre nausea. Within a couple days, I convinced myself that a baby was on the way, and felt extremely excited to find out for sure.

But a couple weeks went by, and a very definitive pregnancy test showed that I was definitely not pregnant. I decided that it must be too early, and so I waited another month to re-test. The test was negative again, but I wasn't feeling any better. By this point I was constantly nauseous and exhausted, and had begun having constant acid reflux and frequent diarrhea. What on earth was going on with me?

My husband and I visited 7 doctors in search of answers. All of them looked at me like I was crazy. But I wasn't crazy. I felt so sick to my stomach I could barely get out of bed every day. Finally I didn't get out of bed for weeks. One doctor looked at me and said, "Why on earth did you do that?" Because I'M SICK! I wanted to scream! The months were going by and I still had no answers.

The 7th doctor ordered an upper GI. (They put you out and stick a lovely tube with a camera down your throat to see your upper intestines.) The results showed a small ulcer on top of my small intestine. But the doctor was still baffled. "This ulcer looks like it is only a couple of weeks old. Your symptoms don't match this at all. I didn't see anything else wrong, and I don't know what else you should do. Try taking an antacid and see if that helps." By this point, the once innocent nausea had turned into a constant brick in my stomach, a feeling in my throat that I was always about to vomit, diarrhea, acid reflux, hot and cold flashes, and complete exhaustion. It was the worst after I ate, but it never let up much. I didn't care about my normal life at all. I just wanted to be in bed.

After living like this for 6 long months, my husband and I were visiting my in laws when my first answer came. My mother in law was very concerned about me and gave me a book that she had just purchased. It was called The Maker's Diet, and she had just seen the author, Jordan Rubin, interviewed on TV. "Maybe it will help," she said. Desperate, I devoured the book in one day. I cried reading the first two chapters- Rubin's story was so much like mine. Young, normal, and seemingly healthy, and then bed-ridden within weeks. I knew that I wasn't as sick as he was, (he was later diagnosed with over 10 diseases, including lupus, Chron's disease, and arthritis,) but I was still very, very sick. The book began discussing Jordan's own crisis of health. As the chapters went on, he outlined what ultimately made him well again, something he called The Maker's Diet. He explained how at the height of his own sickness, his father received a phone call from a natural health doctor in Southern CA. He told him that the reason he was still sick was because he wasn't following God's plan for health. So, as a last hope, Jordan radically switched his diet to consume the foods that God gave us to eat. He moved into an RV on the beaches of So Cal (to breathe the fresh ocean air) and began to eat grass-fed meats, organic, free range eggs and raw dairy, kefir, raw vegetable juices, and sprouted breads.

Frankly, I thought this all sounded crazy. Growing up, my list of healthy foods included cinnamon Pop Tarts and Famous Amos Cookies. I got my fruits and vegetables through Fruit Roll Ups (they had some fruit in them, right?!) and Gusher's. Oh, and how I loved my microwavable, processed pizza and frozen "Chimi Changas" and hot dogs from Costco. Not to mention that I washed this all down with iced tea sweetened with Splenda, or my favorite, Nesquik. I also added some Tang in there occasionally. Another fruit serving, right? I must admit that, when I really needed a change, I would eat about 4 slices of an apple. And then I would quickly open my bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and move on.

So, reading about grass fed meat and raw dairy sounded like it was from another universe. But as I read Rubin's commentary on the dietary guidelines that God gave to the Israelites in Leviticus, I felt increasingly convincted. "Why have I never looked into the fact that God might have something to say about what I eat?" It began to make so much sense to me. Why wouldn't God care about what we ate? He made our bodies, didn't He? The answer sent me on a remarkable new journey- one that would affect every area of my life in ways I never thought possible.