Race/Rest

We have been

training

for the run —

the race —

from the moment

our feet

hit the ground.

Now we must learn

how to rest

with no one

to teach us,

for it hasn’t

yet

been done

in our

recorded history.

Diabetic Holiday Gift Guide

chocolate
via: greenandblacks.com

I tried a thousand ways to write that title in a jovial, snappy way, but you’ll have to take what I gave you. You get the point: here is a list of low-glycemic gift ideas for our loved ones with blood sugar sensitivities. See why I was struggling with all of those clunky words?

Holidays can be especially frustrating for those of us with sugar sensitivities (or any food sensitivities, really). While Uncle Eugene polishes off his fourth tray of Christmas cookies, you’re left poking around the vegetable tray, looking longingly at the table of bright, delicious-looking desserts. Even with my theatrical flare (sorry, Uncle Eugene), the point is clear: people with blood sugar sensitivities struggle most during the holidays, as seemingly everyone else opens chocolate-covered treats, and they’re stuck without.

No more! Joyfully, companies and manufacturers have noted the need for diabetic-friendly treats, and have answered. What I mean by that is corporations have recognized an untapped market and exploited it. Ah, capitalism — it keeps things moving!

Here are some gift ideas for your diabetic and sugar-sensitive loved ones. Haven’t you just missed buying them holiday treats?

  1. Here is a Keep Healthy Low-Glycemic Sea Salt Brownie Bar — let’s be real; these are alternative desserts and snacks, not grandma’s homemade brownies.

Keep Healthy Low Glycemic Protein Bar, Sea Salt Brownie, 12g Plant Based Protein, 5g Fiber, Certified Organic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Kosher, 1.97-Ounce Bars (Pack of 16)

2.  Green & Black’s Decadent Dark Chocolate Bars

Green & Black�s: Organic Dark Chocolate 70% (1 x 3.5 oz)

3. ChocZero Chocolates

ChocZero’s Dark Collection, Premium Dark Chocolate, Sugar Free, Low Carb. No sugar alcohols, All Natural, Non-GMO -4 Bags(50% Dark, 70% Dark, 85% Dark and 92% Dark, 40 pieces)

4. Keep Healthy Coconut Crunch Bar

Keep Healthy Low Glycemic Protein Bars, Coconut Crunch, Organic Vegan Energy Bars, 12g Plant Based Protein, 6g Fiber, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Kosher 1.97-Oz. (16 Count)

5. Simple MD Chocolate Almond Mediterranean Bars

SimpleMD Chocolate Almond Mediterranean Bars, High Protein, Low Carb, Gluten-Free, w/ Red Wine and Olive Oil (12 Pack)

6. Sweet Chipotle Think Jerky

Think Jerky Sweet Chipotle Grass-Fed Beef Jerky (Pack of 5)

You’ve probably missed purchasing snacks and desserts for your loved ones as much as they have missed receiving them! May this list give you some ideas that renew your gift-giving! What other low-glycemic treats have you found?

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Are You Suffering?

beach

That’s like me asking you if you’re staring, glossy-eyed into your phone. Of course you are, right?

We’re all suffering from something, because this world stubbornly refuses to pander to our needs — depression, arthritis, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, skin conditions, PTSD, digestive disorders, and sufferings unto infinity. We’re all burdened by physical, emotional, and spiritual frailty.

It’s good and bad, isn’t it, that all of those things are so deeply connected? When we struggle mentally, our bodies are without energy and health, and when we struggle physically, our minds just can’t operate. The good thing is this: healing and redemption, then, can flood all of our being. Making healthy choices, honoring our bodies, and pursuing a higher life washes over the full of us. When we pursue health, our entire being can’t help but to be redeemed.

Honoring our bodies

Sometimes, it feels like there isn’t much here to honor, right? Wrong! As frustrating (and disappointing) as they can be, our bodies are of incredible value. What else lets you consume an entire chocolate cake and somehow come out alive? Or who let’s you stay up all night, throwing back cold ones and then still wakes you up in the morning? Your body is your most loyal and forgiving companion.

And we can do better for it. Let’s make decisions a little better each day, choosing life over lethargy. Reach for the nutritious food, rewarding your body for getting you this far. Conquer your cravings by falling in love with new, super foods.

Yes, you know what’s next: exercise. Walk to the coffee shop to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Better yet, walk with a friend during lunchtime or after work. (Truly, you wouldn’t believe the health benefits of companionship. Here is a great Ted Talk about the incredible effects of companionship.)

Pursue health by making small, achievable steps each day to build a life that is both more uplifting and more fulfilling. You know it’s real, because you always feel better (and are better) after you exercise or go a full day eating according to plan. So let’s go.

Understanding health

What I hear most from people reluctant to embrace a healthier life is the misunderstanding of what it means to make healthy choices. It isn’t starving, it isn’t boring, and it isn’t a waste of time. It’s creating a menu of new, nutritious food, it’s self-care, and it’s rewarding.

Avoiding common offenders like gluten, dairy, preservatives, and chemicals and fueling your body with the nutrition it needs allows your body to overcome much of our suffering. When we’re burdened by physical and mental ailments, our bodies are crying out for relief. Let’s give it to them.

Here are some ideas to consider as you build a better, more fulfilling life:

  1. Eat healthy — no, I’m not talking about eating grass. I’m talking about local, farm-raised meats, eggs, and raw milk, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi.
  2. Exercise — get out there and explore a little.
  3. Sleep well — for probably the first time, make sleep a priority. It’s actually one of the most important parts of your day (yes, I mean night!).
  4. Relax and enjoy life — practice deep breathing, make time to read a book or watch your favorite TV show, eat slowly and savor your food, and cherish the people around you.

That sounds like a pretty good life, right? As our bodies heal, so too do our minds. May you find yourself more at peace.

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden.

Boosting Your Lymphatic System

Of all our systems (digestive, immune, nervous, lymph, etc.), lymph just doesn’t get the attention it has earned. Our lymphatic system is in charge of managing defense and detoxification — not a small job, right?

The lymphatic system is this: a waste-management and protection network that moves lymph fluid throughout the body, with primary operators being tonsils, spleen, and thymus.

Perhaps, the enormous function of the lymphatic system is more powerfully expressed by considering the burdens we endure when it isn’t functioning properly:

  1. Joint and muscle pain
  2. Skin eruptions, including acne and eczema
  3. Arthritis
  4. Chronic fatigue
  5. Frequent infections, viruses, and illnesses
  6. Cancer formation

When the body’s defense and detoxification system isn’t functioning well, we become bogged down by lethargy, illness, toxicity, and disease. Our channels are blocked, causing a buildup of toxins — how could we not develop burdensome symptoms?

As critical thinkers, then, we wonder, “what could make our lymphatic system perform poorly?” We are. Our lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump. This means that it relies on our breathing, laughing, exercise, and anything else that causes muscle contraction to function. With our troublesome diet and our incredible lack of physical activity, our lymph fluid is sitting idle, unable to carry toxins.

How to jump start your lymphatic system

As usual, our bodies are pretty forgiving. If we put a little effort into this, we can help our lymph system to help us. Here are some simple ways to earn back the functionality of your lymphatic system:

    1. Exercise & Rebounding – because muscle contraction spurs lymphatic movement, any movement is beneficial. However, rebounding — jumping on a trampoline — is the most beneficial exercise for lymph, as it uses gravity to push the lymph toward the heart — where it needs to go. I recently purchased a mini trampoline. It’s delightful.
    2. Laughing – of course, you can’t force yourself to laugh (I know, because my jokes often meet a silent audience!). However, seeking laughter in internet videos or your favorite comedy may be the healthiest choice you make all day. Who knew?
    3. Dry brushing – this is a unique process I have cherished. Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like: you purchase a stiff-bristled brush and brush your skin toward your heart. You can purchase one here: Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush
    4. Teas are useful for almost every health function, and lymph function is no exception. Red root and burdock root have been shown to promote healthy lymph function by stimulating lymph flow. I have even noticed an enormous decrease in allergy symptoms since starting the tea.  Organic Burdock Root C/S

For a system that does incredible things for our health, it doesn’t take much to help it along. Try some of the ideas above and let me know if you find relief from your symptoms! Stay healthy.

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden. 

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Letting Go: Releasing Control

via Daily Prompt: Release

chains
Photo credit: wakingtimes.com

Even a title that suggests a discussion about relinquishing control is unsettling isn’t it? We want control, we crave control, we need control. We hold onto the details of our lives with white knuckles.

And what do we have to show for it? Strained relationships, stress, and regret? Our relationships are strained because we try to manipulate the other person to our whims and we resist when they try to do the same to us. We’re stressed because it’s exhausting and disappointing to manage everything (especially the unmanageable). We’re regretful because every disappointment is our fault, because we’re in control of everything, right?

The greatest irony is this: when we abandon control — in that very moment — we finally achieve freedom and triumph. How could we, though? How could we loosen our grip on our own lives? If we don’t obsessively monitor our lives, who’s going to take care of us? Enter: God.

Abandoning control only makes sense when we’re granting God the power. I don’t know about you, but there’s no one else I want to transfer control to — not to my boss, not to my parents, and not to the government. Only to God can we entrust our intentions every morning and dreams every night. And only He will honor us when we grant Him control.

Add up all of the love everyone has for us and it still can’t rival the providential love God has for us. He loves us even more purely and carefully than we love ourselves. That  sounds like someone who ought to hold the reigns.

Next time you’re stressed over deadlines, nervous about job opportunities, anxious about relationships, or overwhelmed by the vast details of life, offer your control to God: “Lord, I could try to anticipate and control everything, but I know that I’ll fail, because I have every time before this. Take the reigns on this one. Whatever you would do or wherever you would send me, let me follow your path. You work all things for my good. How could I help but to trust you with my life and heart?”

May The Lord bless you as you give more of yourself to Christ!

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden. 

Rainbows & God’s Promises

Through every shadow, in every storm, under every burden, remember His promise.

bow

 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. – Genesis 9:13

Building a new lifestyle is a frustrating mission (which isn’t surprising, since getting out of bed in the morning is a frustrating mission!). One’s current living, though, can be so plagued with painful, embarrassing symptoms and burdens that you cannot help but to seek a better lifestyle. I guess I’m speaking about myself.

Covered in chronic acne and eczema, I found myself weary of my symptoms and frustrated with mainstream medicine’s dangerous fixes. Desperate, I prayed often. I prayed for divine healing, I prayed for new wisdom, and I prayed for strength. (You know I hate to acknowledge it, but our suffering does carry a pretty big purpose if it draws prayer out of us, doesn’t it?)

And with The Lord’s strength, I ventured on. To holistic doctors, to acupuncturists, and with unique teas and supplements, I fought for health. And I lost as much as I won. Some ideas brought breakthroughs and others brought broken hearts. I faced disappointment when attempts failed and enjoyed triumph when approaches worked.

On a particularly sunny, autumn day, I went into my acupuncture appointment as usual. When I left, though, I walked underneath a radiant rainbow (it truly was radiant, though the picture I captured wouldn’t demonstrate that, because I was the one holding the camera). I was inescapably reminded of the verse in Genesis in which God declares His covenant with the Earth. And I remembered how thankful I am to be a part of the Earth that has a covenant with God.

This world is filled with woes. A fallen world is a deadly one, and one that continuously disappoints our hearts without fail — it is physically, mentally, and spiritually burdensome. However, how radiantly beautiful it is to be in a world underneath God’s rainbow. Even as we lay in the trenches, we are honored as we look up to see God’s presence.

Through every shadow, in every storm, under every burden, remember His promise.

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden. 

What We Eat & How It Affects… Everything

That’s a mouthful, right? (See what I did there?)

Ironically, as we accumulate more and more knowledge about how our bodies work, we seem to become less and less cognizant of the things we put into it. We put uniquely designed fuel in our vehicles, but with the fuel for our bodies, we are much less intentional.

Why is that? Have we become so detached from the consequences of our decisions that we no longer see that what we put into our bodies has system-wide effects? I think so.

And how could our food not have an incredible impact on our functionality? With 3 meals a day and all of those snacks we adore, our digestive system is continually churning through food. We can’t afford (literally and metaphorically) to ignore that important role any longer.

Some people disagree with that, reminding us that our digestive system has the strength to handle anything. Yes, it does, with acid strong enough to melt through the floor, our digestive system can certainly conquer the garbage we give to it. But should it?

I suppose that’s up to you. And it’s a decision that recalls the decision Lord Voldemort must make: you may go ahead and drink the unicorn blood to live, but you will have “but a half-life, a cursed life.” Okay, so it’s not quite that dramatic, but you get the point — you can choose to sustain a standard American diet of fast, processed, hormone-infused food, but you won’t thrive.

Big steps forward, and lots of small steps back

We have creatively crafted solutions to many olden ailments — polio, smallpox, and on. However, we have, at the same time, developed modern, western ailments, ailments that burden those in developed nations (who eat the food of the western world). From arthritis, anxiety, and acne, to eczema, depression, and diabetes, our bodies aren’t functioning well at all. In a time of unprecedented scientific and technological advancement, our bodies are failing. Why? It’s in the food.

Our standard western diet breeds inflammation, immune dysfunction, and obesity. It overloads our detoxification capacities. And it slowly, but persistently wears us down, indiscriminately making us chronically ill, fatigued, and unhappy.

My experience

While there are innumerable studies that demonstrate the inextricable link between food and functionality, I’ll share my own experience here. When I entered university, I was struck with crippling anxiety; the stress and the displacement was unnerving to me. Very swiftly, chronic, moderately-severe acne covered my face and persistent eczema covered the rest of me. As you would expect, I desperately sought the dermatologist, who issued oral antibiotics and topical creams that stopped the skin lesions from forming. While they eased my immediate suffering, they did me a great disservice by misguiding me: they didn’t tell me that skin problems come from within, not without.

After 2 years on the antibiotics, I knew that I had to seek an alternative (long-term antibiotic use has harrowing effects on us). As the acne was again overtaking my face, I called a functional doctor — a doctor who practices medicine considered alternative to our general medical field. He said, “I’d like to consider your diet.” I thought, “Well, he clearly isn’t taking this seriously. I have acne, not indigestion.” I had no digestive symptoms. 0. No bloating, gas, diarrhea, indigestion, reflux — nothing. I was desperate (and thankful that someone at least cared to try to seek a root cause), so I moved forward with him.

When I did an elimination diet (eliminating common offending foods like gluten, dairy, soy, corn, additives, etc.), I saw relief. When I paired food elimination with Glutagenics (a product designed to stimulate intestinal cell regrowth), I flourished immediately. The eczema eased, the acne dissipated, and, to my potentially greater surprise, my anxiety left. I found myself happy, peaceful, and healthy. It was in this moment that I realized that our modern medicine is missing the mark: we don’t need just new medications, we need a new diet. You can buy Glutagenics here:

Metagenics Glutagenics Supplement, 9.16 Ounce

Really, we need an old diet — one filled with organic meats, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. It’s been nearly 2 years since I embraced this new lifestyle, and it’s been incredibly rewarding. It’s not about eliminating the western diet; it’s about discovering a new diet that betters honors your life. And there’s a lot of good food out there.

food

I would never recommend foregoing the doctor; we are fortunate to have access to modern healthcare. What I do recommend, because I’ve seen the incredible impact it can have, is to also explore a natural, holistic approach to health and healing. You might be delightfully surprised and relieved at what you find.

I seek not to push products or programs. I seek to share with others what the doctors failed to share with me: it’s in the food.

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This is a platform to discuss and reflect on ideas, advancements, questions, and other musings. I am neither a health expert nor a member of clergy. The only authority I have to speak is my experience — I yield no degree or certification to give you medical, psychological, or religious advice. This is simply where minds come to meet and broaden. 

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.