Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #10

All Plant Based Supplements are as Good as Animal Supplements

The primary example here is that of omega-3’s. It’s very important to realize that not all omega-3 fats are the same, and that the type and source of your omega-3 will make a big difference in the health benefits it provides.

There are three types of omega-3 fats:

• DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)
• EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)
• ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid)

Many people do not realize that most of the well-known health benefits associated
with omega-3 fats – such as
mental health, stronger bones and heart health -- are linked to the animal-based omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA), not the plant-based omega-3 fat (ALA).

ALA, which is the type of omega-3 found in
flaxseed and nuts, is converted into EPA and DHA in your body, but only at a very low ratio.

So even if you eat large amounts of ALA, your body can only convert a relatively small amount into EPA and DHA, and only when sufficient enzymes are present.

This does not mean plant-based omega-3 fats are intrinsically harmful or that they should be avoided, only that you ideally want to include an animal-based form as well. Personally, I regularly include omega-3 (ALA) plant-based foods, like flax and hemp, in my diet, but these are always combined with animal-based omega-3 fats.

But in order to reap its most important health benefits, your omega-3 needs to be from an animal source. For more information on this topic, please read through my previous article,
Are You Getting the Right Type of Omega-3 Fats?

For our omega-3 fatty intake, we daily use Mercola's Krill Oil.

Mercola's Medical Myth #9

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday Afternoons and Hats

It really is chilly outside; we had just taken her coat off ;)

Unbuttoning the Britches

  • We are grateful that we got to spend Thanksgiving with both of our families.
  • Bad news: On Thanksgiving Day, Aolani had a little blood in her poop. Nothing was wrong; we're pretty sure it's normal - either too much activity, strain, or excitement. Anyway, it gave her terrible diaper rash (when changing her, the pain brings tears to her eyes, and mine too). She's happy as a lark, though. Here she is "airing out" :)

  • You can see her top teeth well here. [Yes, her belly is so big that we had to unsnap her jeans!]

  • Aolani has a little tuft of hair in the back of her head. So, here is our attempt with a bow!

  • Verse to memorize this week: Psalm 105:4 ~ Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saying No to the Oh-Nos

When something unexpected happens, from dropping a treasured breakable on hardwood to having your house burn down, do you have a tendency to respond with an oh-no!, whether you actually speak it or just think it? I know I do. Sometimes, it is out of anxiety or grief or frustration or just being startled.

I decided that I am saying no to oh-nos.

How? No surprise here. By giving thanks. This is just another reason why I put numbers to my heart's joys.

Stand firm. Refuse to panic. Pray. And give thanks.

The eternal perspective will come. Joy will come. By giving thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How It's Done

“You only know how to give thanks always when you know how to give thanks anyway.” ~ Ann Voskamp

"I can give without love — and I have done it — but can anyone say they love and not give?" ~ Amy Carmichael

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #9

Whole Grains are Good for Everyone

The use of whole-grains is an easy subject to get confused on especially for those who have a passion for nutrition, as for the longest time we were told the fiber in whole grains is highly beneficial.

Unfortunately ALL grains, including whole-grain and organic varieties, can elevate your insulin levels, which can increase your risk of disease.

It has been my experience that more than 85 percent of Americans have trouble controlling their insulin levels -- especially those who have the following conditions:

• Overweight
• Diabetes
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Protein metabolic types

In addition, sub-clinical gluten intolerance is far more common than you might think, which can also wreak havoc with your health.

As a general rule, I strongly recommend eliminating grains as well as sugars from your diet, especially if you have any of the above conditions that are related to insulin resistance. The higher your insulin levels and the more prominent your signs of insulin overload are, the more ambitious your grain elimination needs to be.

If you are one of the fortunate ones without insulin resistance and of normal body weight, then grains are fine, especially whole grains. It is wise to continue to monitor your grain consumption and your health as life is dynamic and constantly changing. What might be fine when you are 25 or 30 could become a major problem at 40 when your growth hormone and level of exercise is different.

We definitely do not succeed with this! This is one of those impossible ideals for us. We want to avoid grains and even try to somewhat, but grains are just a part of our diet at this time in our lives. I am a protein metabolic type, so I know grain is not my pal. {Sigh.}

Mercola's Medical Myth #8

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Go Get 'em Girl

  • While she is still practicing, Aolani is learning to combine waving and saying, "Buh-Bye." It is so adorable to watch her hold her hand out straight and rotate her wrists slowly. She looks at her hand intently and pensively as she solves this huge mystery ;) Hopefully, I can record it.
  • Her sixth tooth came last week.
  • Solid food update: We offer her some very nonchalantly every now and then to no avail. Her gag reflex has not disappeared yet, so solids (no matter how liquidy) still make her choke and spit up. No worries though; she'll eat when she is ready :)
  • "I need a bath buddy."

  • My left foot is generally much better. The pain is still gone, and the foot naturally points outward to 11:30. Not perfectly straight but good enough!
  • As Aolani's personality is revealed more each day, here are five adjectives we would use: aggressive (in the physical, violent sense), bright (cheery), loud (vocal), curious (active), and excitable. If you saw an isolated five minutes of her day, you would find her screaming, smiling, and clapping. She is a happy, extroverted baby -- not calm, quiet, or mild.
  • Yesterday, she had a "playdate" with a boy who is about three months younger than her. Despite that, his head was bigger than hers, and he weighed more than her. No matter, this baby girl can hold her own. One time, she crawled up on him, put the strangle hold on him, bounced up and down, and screamed at him in excitement. Made him cry. "Get her off of me!" Not sure if we'll be invited back after that incident ;)

Practicing her stand

  • Verse to memorize this week: Ephesians 5:20 ~ ...giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just Guide Gently

Out of all the blog posts I have read thus far, this one is my favorite. It touches, in the conviction sense of the word, me far too deeply. I would just link to it or post my own thoughts about the matter, but I wanted her words exactly like she wrote them. Every time I try to elaborate, I end up butchering the words and skewing meanings. So, I gave up. The post below comes straight from Ann Voskamp's blog. If I had one blog to read, this would be it. This post hits me in my relationships with everyone. It hits me in the way I live, the way I speak, my ways... Everyone, this is a MUST-READ whether or not this is a struggle for you.

Rain streams in rivulets down the glass. The needle again begins to purr. I close my eyes, breathe deeply, and finger write those words on soul sand: “Just guide gently.”

Push and it will all pucker.

Don’t I know that too well. How many perfectly good days have I wrinkled because I pushed, arms heavy with an agenda? How many happy faces have I wrinkled into distress with pushing words: “Hurry up! We could have been finished this by now if you hadn’t dawdled here…” I don’t even want to consider how many bare, beating hearts I have crinkled and crumpled with my pushing for more...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Book Still Lives

“If this book [the Bible] had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the book still lives.” ~ Dr. H. L. Hastings

"Drown your small suffering in the vast ocean of pain." ~ Richard Wurmbrand

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #8

Soy is a Health Food

The meteoric rise of soy as a “health food” is a perfect example of how a brilliant marketing strategy can fool millions. But make no mistake about it, unfermented soy products are NOT healthful additions to your diet.

If you find this recommendation startling then I would encourage you to review my Why Soy Can Damage Your Health, which contains links to dozens of articles on the topic, and a video I recently did.

On the contrary, thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.

Not only that, but more than 90 percent of American soy crops are genetically modified, which carries its own set of health risks.

Here is a sampling of the detrimental health effects that have been linked to soy consumption:

• Breast cancer
• Brain damage
• Infant abnormalities
• Thyroid disorders
• Kidney stones
• Immune system impairment
• Severe, potentially fatal food allergies
• Impaired fertility
• Danger during pregnancy and nursing

I am not opposed to all soy, however. Organic and, most importantly, properly fermented soy does have great health benefits. Examples of such healthful fermented soy products include tempeh, miso and natto.

Stay away from soy milk (and soy formula!) and other soy "dairy" products, too! Tofu is unfermented and is, thus, not healthy. We still eat it occasionally when we go out to a restaurant because we like the flavor not because it is assumed to be the healthy alternative.

Mercola's Medical Myth #7

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ready to Pounce

  • Aolani got her fifth tooth last week. I think I'll stop counting soon ;) From stories I hear, she is not a bad teether at all. However, she is a biter, especially when she is nursing. And it's extremely painful. I let her hold my apple the other day, only to find that she broke through the skin with her teeth. Her smile is changing on me...
  • As Aolani is constantly clapping now, she will even try to clap while she is crawling. This results in her lifting one arm and slapping her face -- funny!
  • I need to record the cousins getting together. Here's what happens: Kylie comes in and Aolani screams with excitement FOR 10 MINUTES. Kylie does not know what to make of this welcome or Aolani for that matter, so she either a)runs away; b)stares at her from a distance; c)acts timid and clings to the grown-ups; or, d)ignores her.
Aolani is ready to pounce, and scared Kylie says, "Get her away from me!"
  • What do I do for exercise? I try to ride a hand cycler 3-5x a week. I aim to lift my hand weights each week, but this is getting dangerous. And, Ricky stretches me every night for 10 mins.
  • As it takes an hour to put Aolani to bed (the entire routine), we are currently aiming for 6:30-7:30pm, but it really does vary.
  • Here is our princess in her purple kimono. She keeps growing, but alas her hair is shy in making its debut!

  • Verse to memorize this week: Proverbs 16:25 ~ There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Want Realness

I do this a lot. You probably do, too.

Preach. In my head. To myself - my singular audience.

After I finished one of sermons yesterday, I got off on a tangent. About what I really want for our family. Realness.

I don't want perfection. Perfect parents. Perfect kids. Perfect order. Perfect house. Perfect clothes. The "perfect look." I don't want to look like we have it all together because we don't. Besides, that is just a look anyway. The perfect family does not exist. Plus, the more you try to look like you have it all together, the more people pity you. Because everybody knows it is just an illusion. Not real.

Not for me. Give me what is real.

Real parents. Real children. Real freedom. Real mistakes. Real forgiveness. A real family in a real home where the real Jesus dwells. And we relish in real grace.

It doesn't help anyone when you are too busy trying to maintain that look of having it all together. People are too busy hurting. The only way to serve is to share of yourself, your mess. Then, healing will come and arise from the heap of ashes. Out of messy communion. And that is what I want.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Step One to Transforming

“No, I’m thinking about another kind of commercialization that says, ‘I’ll give myself to God because I want to be delivered from sin.’ It’s not that I want Him. It’s that I want something from Him. It’s like saying, ‘No Lord, I don’t want You. I want myself, but I want myself clean and full of the Holy Spirit. I want to put myself on display in Your showroom, so others can see 'this is what God has done for me.'” ~ Bill Bathman

"This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on; this is not the end but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified." ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #7

Artificial Sweeteners are Safe, Well Tested and Help Promote Weight Loss
Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight. The amazing irony is that nearly all the studies that have carefully analyzed their effectiveness show that those who use artificial sweeteners actually gain more weight than those who consume caloric sweeteners.

In 2005, data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study showed that drinking diet soft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain – far more so than regular soda. On average, each diet soft drink the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming overweight by 65 percent within the next seven
to eight years, and made them 41 percent more likely to become obese.

The reasons for this ironic reality are still being investigated, but there are several potential causes, including:

•Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content.
•Artificial sweeteners appear to simply perpetuate a craving for sweets, and overall sugar consumption is therefore not reduced—leading to further problems controlling
your weight.
•Artificial sweeteners may disrupt your body’s natural ability to “count calories,” as evidenced in studies such as this 2004 study at Purdue University, which found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-caloric sweetened liquids.

In the end, the research tells us that artificial sweeteners are NOT a dieter’s best friend, because contrary to what the marketing campaigns claim, low- or no-calorie
artificial sweeteners are more likely to help you pack on the pounds than shed them.

There are also a large number of health dangers associated with artificial sweeteners and aspartame in particular. I’ve started compiling a growing list of studies pertaining to health problems associated with aspartame, which you can find here. If you’re still on the fence, I highly recommend reviewing these studies for yourself so that you can make an educated decision.

For more information on aspartame, the worst artificial sweetener, please see my aspartame video.
There are so many alternatives instead of artificial sweeteners! Here is our line of defense, in order:
  1. Natural sweeteners, such as stevia or xylitol. Both are calorie-free, too!
  2. Honey, preferably raw, maple syrup, or agave nectar.
  3. If sugar is a must, there are more unrefined options, such as rapadura or sucanat.

Mercola's Medical Myth #6

Monday, November 8, 2010

Clap for Minty Fudge

  • As you saw in Friday's picture, Aolani can now stand alone. However, she is not yet pulling herself up onto her feet.
  • Her two front teeth broke through her gums last week.
  • Here is a simple, no-bake, 3-ingredient, semi-healthy fudge recipe we just made. We added two things: 15 drops of peppermint essential oil and nuts. WOW.
  • Keeping the romance alive - A couple years ago, Ricky and I decided to write each other love letters via a love journal. We write a short, encouraging note in it, hide it where the other will quickly find it, and that's it. Seriously, we only write in it about once a month, but it helps us to remember to affirm and compliment one another despite busy days. [With my handwriting failing, I'll probably just type and glue mine :)]
  • I made two new concoctions recently: diaper wipe solution (to spray on my cloth wipes) and foam soap. Contact me if interested in these easy recipes.
  • After watching my friend's baby clap, I realized that I had forgotten to teach Aolani this simple trick. I knew that her skill level was definitely up to par for it. I tried the first time, and she just stared at me and laughed. We went to the bathroom mirror for the second try, and she was copying me in no time! In fact, she claps a lot now - so sweet!

  • Verse to memorize this week: 1 Corinthians 15:58 ~ Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.