Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Eliminating the Sugar Cravings Naturally

My past two Blog postings (scroll down below) go over the effects and sources of processed and artificial sugars. After getting a handful of e-mails and Face Bk. messages asking about the how-to in getting over sugar "addictions", I decided to do a "surprise" BLOG posting in between my usually once a week scheduled postings. I mean, after all of the previous info, I couldn't leave you searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. So... look no further, you are there!

When I first heard my Master Herbalist say the words, "Cut processed sugar completely from you diet," anything said after that point was totally pointless--my mind froze on those unwelcoming words and panic set in. Sugar was something soothing to me, something comforting, and something that I had grown up with. I enjoyed it daily in my soda pops, in my store bought snack cakes, in the morning, evening, and even if I couldn't sleep in the middle of the night! Life as I knew it would forever be changed.....seriously, cut sugar out of my diet? But how and why?

I was born with several health problems, and accumulated several more along the way. In fact, my husband had told me shortly before our wedding that if I couldn't figure out a way to slow down the amount of coughing spells I experienced daily, he would refuse to walk down the isle with me for fear of me struggling to get through my vows! So, I did something that most people would have done: I went to the doctor and started getting prescriptions for steroid inhalers, which lessened the symptoms, but increased the amount of other health problems that were surprisingly starting to show up! Little did I know, that if I had taken the step of eliminating sugar from my diet, that I would have dropped the need for the inhaler, along with all the other prescriptions I was told to start on! Since sugar is in most everything processed, I would have had to re-vamp my diet completely, making most things from scratch. I would have to start buying food labeled as organic so that I would know the sweetener in it would be of natural origin. However, I did not discover this little secret until years later, when our daughters were born with worse health problems than I grew up with.

So......after I got over the initial shock of hearing the words "Cutting sugar from my diet" and had prayed endlessly about whether I should do it or not.....I began the process of discovery. The discovery of what I was unknowingly shoveling into my mouth, what the harmful effects of it were, and what the "recovery" and "healing" process was going to entail. After going through sugar detox, I have never felt so good in my life, and have never gone so long without an over-the-counter medication or prescription!

I first had to start by eliminating my cravings. To do this, I began taking BLACK WALNUT CAPSULES from Natures Sunshine Herb Co., which are well known for their cleansing properties of detoxing the body of sugar, amongst other things. I would take 2 capsules every few hours, whether I felt a craving or not. I also added to this regimen, Organic Black Strap Molasses, which is the part that is disposed of during the processing of sugar. Since the two were originally one substance, the body naturally re-combines molasses & sugar and flushes them both out after using the nutrients from the molasses (vitamin C and B complex). So, you are not only using the molasses as a "cravings buster", but also using it as a "sugar-detoxer"! I would take a Tablespoon of black strap molasses every few hours, opposite of the Black Walnut herbs. Between these 2 substances, and FULLY eliminating processed and artificial sweeteners and simple carbohydrates (that turn quickly into sugar once swallowed), the detoxing process will begin!

As the days go by, you will feel less drawn to processed and artificial sugars so that you can take less of the black strap molasses and black walnut capsules. Keep in mind, that your body will have to go through a detoxing and withdrawal process still, how extreme depends upon how much sugar you have in your body and how much you support your body with nutrients like Black Walnut Herb, Black strap Molasses, and good-for-you-foods. Some people are slightly uncomfortable or have awkward "side effects" while they eliminate the sugar, others are climbing the wall with anxiety and experiencing looser stools, while yet others will pass with flying colors and never look back. Once you are over the hump of the addiction and of detoxing, you will enjoy less health problems, less cravings and less over-eating! Just be sure to supply your body with plenty of ORGANIC protein during this time, so that you aren't tempted to "snack" on sugar and carbs....slowing the process.

Once you have eliminated processed sugars and artificial sugars out of your diet and no longer experience the cravings, you can occasionally enjoy sugar in desserts and "normal" foods if you desire. Here are a few things that can HELP your body not to get re-hooked or experience withdrawl following sugar consumption:

  • Eat/drink 3 ounces of HIGH FAT dairy before consuming sugary foods has been shown to reduce the negative effects of sugar on the body (organic: half and half, cream or cheese)
  • 16 ounces of purified or spring water (not distilled or tap) after sugar is eaten helps reduce the high blood-sugar effect
  • Take VITAMIN 'C' CITRUS BIOFLAVONOIDS from Natures Sunshine before sugary snacks are consumed to help offset and lessen the drop in immune system response to sugar
  • Taking MAGNESIUM COMPLEX from Natures Sunshine after meals including sugar supports better digestion and assimilation of sugar. Since studies have shown sugar to be bad for the heart, and magnesium a necessary nutrient for heart health, the, sugar increases the need for magnesium.

Although these ideas will HELP your body---once you are completely detoxed it will be a shock for your body to have sugar ingested, because it is so highly processed and basically void of any nutrients to offset the negative aspect of it. This is the way it is meant to be, though, because God blesses our bodies with warning mechanisms that let us know when we ingest something harmful......sugar being one of these such substances.

Because you will still want to enjoy sweeteners in your diet, I will include a list of natural sweeteners in my next BLOG posting for you to substitute in your own baking and cooking. Keep in mind, most organic foods will have natural sweeteners in them...so you should be safe in buying and consuming these. BUT ALWAYS check the label, so that you can aren't "blindly" feeding you body with artificial and processed sweeteners! Psalm 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.

******None of the above statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All of the information in this BLOG is strictly for educational purposes. This BLOG should not be used to treat, diagnose, or prescribe for a condition you feel you may have. If you have any health concerns, you should see a competent practitioner. ******

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sugar Sources

In my previous BLOG posting, I went over the effects of sugar on the human body, analyzing just what sugar does once it enters the mouth. Now that we know the effects, let's take a closer look at the sources of sugar. Because sugar helps to sell a product, you can find it in many things that don't really NEED sweetening: ketchup, dry roasted nuts, salad dressings, sandwich meats, pickles, hot dogs, bread, juice, granola, .... the list could go on!!! Many of these foods were made in the past without sugar, but have had it added as a selling booster to increase sales and acquire repeat customer business. In order to maintain optimum health, you will want to AVOID foods that contain the processed and artificial ingredients listed below. If our body has to regularly deal with these intrusive substances, it cannot fight off viruses and bacteria as well, and will slowy lose nutrients, leading to degenerative diseases earlier than expected in life. Processed sugars can also inhibit the healing process of any problem that someone already has.

Sugar has also had it's name transformed and resources altered in order to protect it. It can now be found labeled in food products as: sucrose, glucose, dextrose, brown sugar, turbinado sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. We will just go ahead and call all of these PROCESSED SUGARS:

  • Sugar/sucrose: requires minor digestion (actually breaking down valuable stomach enzymes,by not working them to their full potential), brings little (if any) nutrients, causes a huge energy boost followed by plummeting blood sugar levels, and especially stresses the pancreas and adrenal glands.
  • Glucose/Dextrose: causes same surge in blood sugar as does sucrose
  • Brown Sugar: refined white sugar, with some of the molasses added back in to look less refined
  • Turbinado Sugar: One step away from being white sugar; 95% sucrose
  • Corn Syrup/High Fructose Corn Syrup: absorbed quickly into the blood stream, without the accompanying nutrients to maintain normal blood sugar levels (Health Quarters Monthly, 2001, Volume 37)

On top of that, people have even CREATED alternate artificial versions of sugar, not knowing that a they can be twice as harmful as a natural, processed product. Here is a list of artificial sweeteners approved for use by the FDA: aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, Acesulfame potassium , and neotame. These will be labeled ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS:

  • Aspartame--(owned by corporate giant Monsanto, the seed company rumored to want full control of the world's food sources) some researchers have suggested that a rise in brain tumor rates in the United States may be at least partially related to the increasing availability and consumption of aspartame. A recent research showed a clear link between this substance and cancer; a link that may be sufficient evidence for the FDA to pull aspartame from the market.
  • Saccharin--was the first artificial sweetener and can be found in found in Sweet' N Low, Tab, Diet Coke from fountains. It is 300 to 500 times as sweet as sugar (sucrose) and is often used to improve the taste of toothpastes, dietary foods, and dietary beverages. In 1977, Canada banned saccharin due to the animal research, and in the United States, the FDA considered banning saccharin in 1977, but Congress stepped in and placed a moratorium on such a ban.
  • Sucralose--a.k.a. Splenda, is found in Coke C2, Diet Coke with Splenda, Pepsi EDGE, Pepsi One, Diet 7Up. It is a chlorinated sugar that is about 600 times as sweet as sugar. for more on Splenda, please visit this site: http://www.truthaboutsplenda.com/
  • Acesulfame potassium--produced lung tumors, breast tumors, rare types of tumors of other organs (such as the thymus gland), several forms of leukemia and chronic respiratory disease in several rodent studies.
  • Neotame--is attractive to food manufacturers as its use greatly lowers the cost of production compared to using sugar or high fructose corn syrup--since it is between 8,000 and 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar. It is chemically similar to the artificial sweetener Aspartame.

The artificial sweetener information above was taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_sweeteners

Whether the added sweetener in our food products are taken from a PROCESSED source or an ARTIFICIAL source, if it is not from a NATURAL source, it can wreak havoc in our bodily systems. Not only does it burden our digestive systems, but it also aggravates the body everywhere our blood flows ....brain, organs, tissues, bones, and muscles. Anything that goes in our body that is unnatural can become a part of our body: being added on as fat cells, skin markings/festerings or even multiplying cells that are not "uniform" to our own (ie, cancer). It can also take away from our health, robbing our body of nutrients in order to "deal with" the sugar.

Because God designed our bodies to operate best with His food resources, if we choose to deviate from this course in order to follow the crowd or save on money by buying cheaper foods containing these sweeteners, then we may run into health problems earlier in life than we expect. In my next BLOG posting, I will give you a list of natural sweeteners that you can bake, cook and use with in various foods.

******None of the above statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All of the information in this BLOG is strictly for educational purposes. This BLOG should not be used to treat, diagnose, or prescribe for a condition you feel you may have. If you have any health concerns, you should see a competent practitioner. ******

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Aaaaah, Sugar, Sugar

WARNING: This video is STRICTLY for entertainment--no educational aspect to it whatsoever! (Well.....I guess it DOES make an interesting connection between sugar and the harmful effects it has on the human body!!)

"The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4. Sugar’s formula is C12H22O11. For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the 'N', or nitrogen atom... Sugar has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, 11 oxygen atoms, and absolutely nothing else to offer.' ..."

"...Today we have a nation that is addicted to sugar. In 1915, the national average of sugar consumption (per year) was around 15 to 20 pounds per person. Today the average person consumes his/her weight in sugar, plus..... corn syrup"

Both of the above quotes were taken from http://macrobiotics.co.uk/sugar.htm

Contrary to popular belief, sugar doesn't stay in your body only long enough to go through your bloodstream and digestive tract. Sugar can be stored for years as deposits in organs, bones, teeth, muscle tissues, and fat cells--leading to associated health problems in us. What we put into our body on a daily basis, can affect our health and disposition for the remainder of our lives, along with being passed on to our children at the cellular level!

How processed forms of sugar can effect the human body:

  • lower the immune system
  • negatively effect pancreatic function leading to diabetes
  • turn into fat cells leading to obesity
  • has even been found to have a positive correlation to 8 forms of cancer: colon, breast, rectum, ovary, prostate, kidney, nervous system, and pancreas (Haas EM. The Detox Diet, 1996: 48-55)
  • spikes and drops blood sugar levels throughout the day, which can contribute to several health problems that you wouldn't suspect a connection to sugar: anxiety, aggression sleeplessness, emotion problems, overeating and problems controlling the good bacteria/bad yeast levels in our digestive system.

Believe it or not, the damaging effects of sugar on the body are supposed to closely mirror that of cocaine, except the damages from cocaine are detected faster and take less time to reverse. (it take years to reverse health conditions associated with sugar, but it IS possible with a certified master herbalist)

Yes, it may SEEM like you could quit eating sugar/simple carbohydrates if you "chose to", but actually TRY doing it! People who have gone through all-forms of sugar detoxing (processed white, corn syrup, simple carbs, etc) for weeks at a time, have complained about crawling the walls with anxiety, along with having withdrawal symptoms of headaches, exhaustion, excess hunger, anger, heat flashes, fevers, loose stools, and heightened cravings. If a "food" can do this to me when I decide to quit eating it, my conscience tells me it's probably more of a "drug" than a food. So, why is it legal and IN virtually everything processed that we buy from the grocery store? I assume they keep it legal to appease to consumers, sellers, and processors! Imagine if they pulled all the foods off the grocery store shelves containing processed forms of sugar--there would be a shocking out cry from society! But, there would also be a decrease in the "need" for immunizations, clinics, medications, and "diets"! It is IN almost everything, to attract the customers who have a "sweet tooth".

Since the average person consumes 20-25% of his/her calories from some form of refined sugar(Lick the Sugar Habit, Nancy Appleton, PhD), let's take a closer look at what sugar does to the body:

"If you were to look at a drop of your blood under a microscope following sugar consumption, your white blood cells become increasingly immobile based upon the amount of sugar consumed. The more sugar, the less protection the body has against illnesses. During our 'sugar celebrations' (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Super Bowl, Valentines and Easter), the body really gets overloaded," (and may take several days to recover, while in the mean time, lowers your immune system, playing host to bacteria and viruses.) Could this be A CAUSE of why people tend get more colds, viruses, bacterial infections, and the flu....rather than getting them just because it's "colder" outside and we're indoors more? If you think about it, "The average American kid consumes 330 pounds of refined sugars every year--that's nearly half a pound a day--by way of soft drinks. A body in good health will have the stamina to handle such a challenge (a soda now and then), but the average kid is drinking 3-7 cans a day!" so, if we INCREASE this amount as we go to celebrations that promote eating and snacking (most of the time on sugary ones) the results may bring along more sickness than normal--taken from Health Quarters Monthly newsletter.

"Even if we meet the RDA of vitamins and minerals, but we also eat sugar, the sugar changes our body chemistry and our cells can't fully benefit from the vitamins and minerals. For example, researchers have found that ingesting sugar increases the rate at which we excrete calcium. Calcium depletion makes bones fragile and leads to osteoporosis." (Lemann J. 1967, Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70:236-45)

This week we took a look at the effects of processed sugars on the human body, which "is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God 1 Corinthians 6:19. In the following weeks, we will take a look at sources of processed sugar, alternatives to sugar, and things we can take to help our bodies deal better with sugar, if we plan to occasionally eat it.

******None of the above statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All of the information in this BLOG is strictly for educational purposes. This BLOG should not be used to treat, diagnose, or prescribe for a condition you feel you may have. If you have any health concerns, you should see a competent practitioner. ******

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found in Baby Shampoo ...

More than half of the baby shampoo, lotion and other infant care products analyzed by a health advocacy group, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, were found to contain trace amounts of chemicals that are believed to cause cancer. Some of the biggest names on the market, such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo and Baby Magic lotion, tested positive for 1,4-dioxane or formaldehyde, or both.The chemicals, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has characterized as probable carcinogens, are not intentionally added to the products, and are not listed among ingredients on labels. Instead, they are likely by products of the manufacturing process. Formaldehyde is created when other chemicals in the product break down over time, and 1,4-dioxane is formed when foaming agents are combined with ethylene oxide or similar petrochemicals.The organization tested 48 baby bath products such as bubble bath and shampoo. Of those, 32 contained at least one of the chemicals, and 17 tested positive for both chemicals.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Baby products like shampoo and lotion are often advertised as being “pure” and “gentle,” and many parents assume they can trust these claims. But as it turns out so often in the realm of personal care products, there could be virtually anything in that bottle.

This latest study from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that 32 out of 48 baby bath products they tested -- including some from brand names like Johnson & Johnson -- contained formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane, both of which are probable carcinogens. And 17 of the baby bath products contained BOTH of the chemicals -- including the top-selling Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Sesame Street Bubble Bath.
You wouldn’t be able to tell there were cancer-causing chemicals in your baby’s shampoo or lotion just from reading the label, though, as these chemicals are not listed. Rather, they are created during the manufacturing process and shrugged off as being in too minute of quantities to be concerned with. But other countries do not agree. Japan and Sweden have banned formaldehyde from personal care products, and the European Union has banned 1,4-dioxane. They’ve even recalled products that were found to contain it. In the United States, meanwhile, there are no regulatory standards limiting formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane or, for that matter, virtually any other toxic chemical in personal care products -- not even those for your children. Just How Many Chemicals Are Children Exposed To?

In an average day, children are exposed to 61 chemicals in personal care products(ALONE), 27 of which have not been found safe for kids, according to a national survey by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). In fact, EWG points out that 77 percent of the ingredients in 1,700 children’s products have never been assessed for safety. This means that the simple acts of shampooing your baby’s hair, giving him a bath and putting on some lotion, several times a week or more, is exposing him to chemicals that could very well harm his health. Even though they are likely small exposures at each bath time, over time these exposures add up and may contribute to disease. EWG’s study highlights just what types of toxic ingredients you may be slathering on your child.
They report:
• In an average week, three-quarters of all children are exposed to allergens, neurotoxins, and hormone-disrupting chemicals in their body care products, in addition to the dozens of chemicals not assessed for safety at all.
• Many children's products contain harsh, industrial chemicals at odds with marketing claims on product labels. Products marked as gentle, mild, natural, or unscented routinely contain fragrance, synthetic and hazardous ingredients, and chemicals that can cause allergic reactions or irritate your child’s eyes and skin.

And if you can believe it, at least 41 percent of all products made for children actually warn parents to "keep out of reach of children"!It’s bad enough that personal care products intended for adults contain toxic ingredients, but children are especially vulnerable. Their skin can be up to 30 percent thinner than an adult’s, meaning they’re able to absorb more chemicals into their bodies. And the blood-brain barrier, which helps keep dangerous chemicals from getting into your brain, is not yet developed until a baby is 6 months old, meaning products used before this time should be as pure and safe as possible.Who is Responsible for the Safety of Your Baby’s Bath Products?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be responsible for the safety of personal care products in the United States, if any safety regulations existed. As it stands, the FDA does not have the authority to require safety tests for personal care products. Instead, a panel called the Cosmetic Ingredient Review goes over the safety of cosmetic ingredients. Not only is this panel funded by the cosmetic industry, but it has yet to review a major portion of cosmetic ingredients that are already on the market. So there is absolutely NO government agency looking out for the safety of personal care products for infants and adults. It is actually perfectly legal and very common for companies to use ingredients that are known or suspected to be carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxins.
Which Ingredients Should You Watch Out For?
If you want to avoid the formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane that were detected in many baby products, you need to know what to look for since they’re not listed on the label, at least not in those words.
Common ingredients likely to contaminate products with formaldehyde include:
Quaternium-15• DMDM hydantoinImidazolidinyl urea• Diazolidinyl urea
avoid 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct that could easily be removed if manufacturers chose to do so, watch out for these ingredients:
• PEG-100 stearate• Sodium laureth sulfate• Polyethylene• Ceteareth-20
Of course, this is only a short list of the potentially dangerous chemicals out there. To be truly safe when it comes to personal care products, you need to seek out personal care products that are so pure you could actually eat them. Coconut oil is a great example here, as it makes a great moisturizer that you can also eat. Olive oil is another one that you can use to deep condition your hair. No matter what brand you choose, I suggest you scrutinize the labels on your personal care products and cosmetics just as closely as you do your food. If you’re not sure what an ingredient is, type it into the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, and you’ll get all the information you need about whether or not it’s safe.

For Dr. Mercola's full story and resources, please visit his website article at: http://tinyurl.com/ckwn5t

We use SUNSHINE CONCENTRATE for several purposes because of the natural ingredients it's made with. It can be used as a household cleaner, a laundry-stain remover, bubblebath or shampoo. My girls love the natural clean scent, or add an essential oil of choice for an extra/different fragrence.

Cancer-causing agents are now pelting us from all sides and angles! Our country is searching for a "Cure for Cancer", but how about the cause? Could it be that there are so many causes that we can't put our finger on just one?
The BLOG article: What is Cancer and What Causes it provides us with a very accurate explanation:
Internal Factors that Cause Cancer:
Hereditary Factors
Weakened Immunity
High Hormone Levels
Metabolism Mutations

External Factors that Cause Cancer:
Tobacco Use
Alcohol Use
Bad Diet
Radiation Exposure
Chemical Substances
Cell Phone Use
Asbestos Exposure
Sunlight (mainly over-exposure, burns)
"The above list is not necessarily exhaustive. We may not know all factors that cause cancer. The most likely scenario leading to development of cancer is a combination of several factors - for example if a person who inherited a particular type of gene that predisposes them to developing that type of cancer makes poor lifestyle choices and lives in a bad environment would be exposed to a complex set of interactions between carcinogenic factors which could lead to development of cancer, because they are exposed to several risk factors we do know cause cancer. The more cancer causing factors you are exposed to, the bigger a risk of developing cancer exists.
Furthermore, while above listed agents are known as potential causes of cancer, exposure to these factors does not mean that a person would automatically develop cancer. Many aspects affect your body’s ability to deal with exposure to these agents. For example your age, whether you have inherited any genetic mutations, what you eat and drink, etc. - all of those factors can contribute to lowering or increasing your chances of developing cancer."

Of the internal factors causing Cancer
, it's a good thing we can moderate hormone levels and build up immune systems naturally, if we are willing to seek out natural health advice in doing this....possibly eliminating half of the Internal Cancer-causing factors.

I am reminded of the Bible verse: "He (the Lord) punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." Exodus 34:7 ). If we are not treating our bodies as a holy temple: (1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own) and we are pelting cancer causing agents of chemicals at it through our foods, drinks, cosmetics, fabric softeners, yard sprays, house cleansers, shower soaps, gels and conditioners, then how can we expect our bodies to remain in an optimum condition to serve and reproduce? Chemicals WILL NOT GET FLUSHED OUT OF THE BODY if the body does not have the extensive support system to do this! They can remain in our organs, muscle tissues and bones for months, years or even a lifetime.....thus leading to problems passed down to our children through "genetics" as un-expected genes, or causing cancer after months/years of dormancy. God created our bodies to naturally flush out harmful substances, but we also need the proper "fuel" to do this: Raw antioxidant fruits, raw dark green veggies, good quality vitamins (I take SUPER ALGAE and SUPER SUPPLEMENTAL VITAMINS & MINERALS from Natures sunshine to make up for nutrients I'm not getting from foods faithfully each day) are all needed on a daily basis to help support your body in this elimination process.

Since our family is on the computer and phone on and off through the day, we have also protected ourselves against the "cell phone use" cancer causing factor by using our cell phone and universal PROTECTIVE CHIPS from BIO-PRO TECHNOLOGY.

Of the External factors:
our family eats foods and uses items in our household which are of natural/God designed origin to ensure the safety to our family's health. The less we are exposed to in our own home on a daily basis, the more we are prepared for the problems we come in contact with beyond the walls of our home.

I will be praying that today's posting may help you in your life journey as a creation of God.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Going Beyond the Commercialization of EASTER

It is often difficult to separate ourselves from the commercial version of Easter, especially with having children. Plastic eggs, dyeable eggs, Cadbury Eggs, hallow chocolate rabbits, marshmallow "Peeps", baby chicks, baskets, bonnets, and of course the mother of all Easter festivities: the Easter Bunny himself! None of these have been overlooked as big sellers in the commercial market scene, in fact, most of these are EXPECTED to be a part of Easter.

So my question is this: What altered our focus of Easter being a meaningful holiday involving a Savior suffering a horrific death to give us eternal life, to one of a brightly-colored sugar fest? Sure, maybe it's fun to add a little "colorful egg and rabbit" side of Easter in, but does it necessarily HAVE to be at the expense of the originally intended meaning? Our daughters USUALLY set up an egg hunt of some sort, USUALLY dye eggs as an art project, but if this doesn't end up happening....it's not a big deal! They DO KNOW that they will ALWAYS go to church with their family on Easter and they will always read/receive a Christian Easter book on this day with/from their parents. No matter if we celebrate Easter with relatives, or we celebrate Easter with bunnies and eggs, I pray that we won't lose sight of the true meaning amongst all of the others.

If anyone else has a meaningful way to celebrate the Christian side of Easter, please leave it in the comments section below by clicking on "Comments". Our family is always looking for more good ideas to use and share.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why Organic?


Why Organic???

This question comes at our family from all angles, at all times. Yes, this video may be a humorous, but there is some truth in it. Although people try to save money here and there in their grocery bills, is this really the place we should be trying to conserve our money in? You may not think there is a connection between foods and health, but I encourage you to checkout the mind-blowing, life-changing full-length movie You Are What You Eat , and visit my BLOG link here as well. (you can purchase it at the website: http://www.foodmatters.tv/_webapp/Buy%20The%20DVD, or borrow it from our family if you live in the Sioux Falls vicinity--although there is a waiting list!)

Foods didn't have to carry a label of "organic" in the past.....additives have been slowly added over the past century without our initial consent, and without long-term studies on their possible effects! Pesticide, herbicide, & fungicide chemical sprays--even food coloring can be added without your consent (red apples, strawberries, etc can legally be sprayed with chemical coloring for added appearance, because if it's not organic, there are no regulations against this!) In fact, foods can be genetically modified by producers now days, and not have to be labeled as such! In the BIBLE, it reads: "In all your ways (including diet!!!) acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." Proverbs 3:6, 8. If we are eating foods that have chemical sprays on them or have been genetically modified, we are not eating foods that are purely God's creation--which makes it difficult for one to argue that we are COMPLETELY acknowledging Him in eating it.

But we know these additives are in there, and our bodies will hold us accountable for what we put inside them on a daily basis. HOWEVER, IT IS ONLY NATURAL FOR PEOPLE TO OVERLOOK THESE ADDITIVES OR THEIR EFFECTS ON THE BODY, though, since 150 YEARS AGO FOOD DID NOT INCLUDE THESE ADDITIVES! But, that doesn't mean our body will be OK with it over the course of our lifetime! The liver, which was designed in us to filter toxins from the body, can get "full" or "sluggish" and thus show signs of breakdown, even at early ages. God created our livers to be only SO resilient, and we already breathe chemicals daily in the air as exhaust, bug sprays, yard sprays...not including then, the chemicals on our foods and medications we ingest.

Flavor: our daughters are used to eating organic fruits and vegetables and can tell when they're non-organic by the taste. We had gone to an "event" where someone gave them individual packages of what they thought to be "organic carrots", or so we were told. The girls each took a bite out of a carrot, and gave me various reasons why they didn't want to eat it, "mama, this doesn't taste right", "Mommy, this is icky", and our 15 month old took a bite, spit it out and let the package fall to the ground as she walked away. I wouldn't call this being "choosy" or being "spoiled", but rather "aware". They know what doesn't taste right or natural as the way God made it...as I did in the past without realizing it! I never much like raw vegetables or fruit...I needed the natural sugars from being cooked mask the chemical taste--by cooking or sauteing vegetables and fruit, you can acheive a taste to overpower the chemical sprays. Now that I eat organic, I can find myself actually grabbing for a bowl of raw broccoli, bag of raw carrots, or even a raw asparagus spear or two for snacks and actually enjoying it!

Allergic reactions: my sister had gone through most of life not eating certain vegetables because she would get a scratchy and swollen throat soon after wards. Seeing how our girls benefited from organic vegetables in improving their health, she decided to take a chance and buy an organic package of carrots while shopping one day. She was so thrilled to be able to finally eat carrots without any health problems resulting! No matter how much you try to "wash off" chemical spray residue, it has been a part of the fruit/vegetable since it's beginning, and is then a part of it's very core!

Dairy and Meat: (apology for the graphic explanation...didn't know of any other comparison) if a woman nursing a baby can pass medications down through her milk, why do people think this is any different from cow's milk and dairy? I once heard that one glass of non-organic milk can have as many as 40 different hormones, antibiotics and medications in it from all the different farm co-ops that produce/mix their milk together. AGAIN, just because you heat treat it to kill the GOOD and BAD bacteria, this doesn't mean you can filter out those additives that are a part of the core product. My nephew that I watched for the first 3 years of his life was born with a severe dairy allergy, and can now safely drink organic dairy because of working with a master herbalist and since organic dairy has no additives. Many people with dairy intolerance might find themselves being able to drink raw or organic milk just fine, because the source of their sensitivity lies within these additives/processing methods as well.

Dairy hormones can lead to early onset of puberty and can create problems with imbalances as an adult (you would not believe all the cases of people writing in with questions on hormone imbalances and problems--chances are that you know someone!) Antibiotics can, over time, create an increase in antibiotic resistance and also lead to yeast problems in children and adults, which causes a host of health issues ranging from yeast infections, skin disorders, infertility, along with many, many others. (You don't think you or your family has a problem with this? Please decide after you view the 4th quote down in this BLOG: Quotes from "He's Not Autistic, But..." by Tenna ... )

Just because something is generally accepted by society, does not mean it is the best thing to do, or that it is pleasing to God. We acknowledge Christ in our daily lives with prayer, fellowship, singing/humming, attire, parenting, marriage, finances, Bible reading, and actions--why not our stomachs as well?

STILL not convinced? For further explanation of additive effects, please check out this Dr. Mercola newsletter that was published just this week: Monsanto's Roundup Residues Cause Cell Damage

******None of the above statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All of the information in this BLOG is strictly for educational purposes. This BLOG should not be used to treat, diagnose, or prescribe for a condition you feel you may have. If you have any health concerns, you should see a competent practitioner. ******

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Prayer Request for the Schroeder Family

The Schroeder family are friends of a close friend of mine, and are going through a very difficult trial:

This has all been taken from the family's Caring Bridge sight, that you can view in full lnegth at: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jonschroeder. I picked out only a few journal entries to help you to see a "quick" view of his story:

Jon started feeling sick on Saturday, December 20th 2008. On the 22nd he went into the clinic to see a doctor who immediately noticed very low oxygen levels. He was sent by ambulance from the clinic to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. They believed he either had pneumonia or influenza. Tests later showed it was pneumonia.

Early in the morning on Christmas day he was sent to the ICU due to decreasing oxygen levels and high heart rate. Later that morning x-rays showed that he had a collapsed lung so they put in a chest tube. Early in the morning on the 26th, his condition worsened and he was intubated and sedated. The doctors made it clear that this was very serious and possibly life threatening. They've diagnosed him with ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) which is a rare secondary response to a lung injury/infection.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I had a little talk with Jon at about 1:00 pm today and told him again what God's purpose is with all of this. God has chosen Jon to be a warrior. By making Jon's body weak, He is making our faith strong. I told Jon that I think the first part of his mission has gone well and it is time for the next phase...which is him getting stronger. The first phase was required to get the attention of many people and to bring them closer to God. That part has been a success. It is now time to solidify some of that renewed faith and those strengthened relationships with God by showing how powerful He is and how He heals and keeps His promises.
I also can't wait to hear Jon's testimony when he is able to tell us. It will be incredible.

Monday, December 29, 2008
One of the doctors today informed me that they found a bacteria- mycoplasma pneumonia. This was very difficult to detect as this acts like a virus. He has been on several anitbiotics since last Tuesday, but now they can treat him accordingly.

Friday, March 20, 2009
Jon said that his therapy is getting easier!! Unfortunately, he sprained his ankle today walking next to the parallel bars. There is some new equipment above his bed so that he can do more rehab from there--pulley and other things. He also has some new strength training moves and is to do one every hour if possible.

Friday, March 27, 2009
The ultrasound from last night showed no signs of any blood clots. Unfortunately, Jon's kidneys are not functioning as they should. The doctor is going to come in to see him and determine what should be done about this. He has been on A LOT of antibiotics which certainly affects the kidneys. He needs to stay on them, though, because he some sort of bacterial infection. He is very lethargic today again, but wakes when spoken to. Have a blessed day, Stacie

Sunday, March 29, 2009
Matthew 19:26 With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Late this evening a CT scan was done and Jon potentially had a stroke and there was blood found on his brain. He had complained for the majority of the last 2 days that he had a headache. When a CT scan was done the previous night everything looked normal. The neuro surgeon has said this is inoperable and that Jon may have no activity in his brain. There will be a brain activity test done in the morning.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Jon entered the Kingdom of Heaven at 1:30 this morning. I am certain that when he arrived he was greeted by "Well done, good and faithful servant".

It has only been 2 hours and I miss him already. It was clearly time for Jon to have a new body. Now he does and it's whole and perfect and beautiful.

Although the desire of my heart and my family was to keep Jon with us, God wanted to bring him home. We prayed in agreement with many warriors tonight pleading with God for another miracle. We knew no matter which way it went, Jon would win and I can rest in knowing that he is very glad to be where he is right now.

Now I ask for prayer for myself and my children. We will miss Jon more than you know, but he'll always be in our hearts. We will be well taken care of by our Heavenly Father who loves us. I ask you to please pray for supernatural strength to get through the days ahead; peace, comfort and perseverance. Your prayers will uphold and sustain us.

Looking forward to joining Jon,
Stacie, Reese, Walker, and Cash

Stacie's daughter, Reese, has been making her own greeting cards as a fundraiser for Jon's medical bills. Here is a news clip link on her story: http://wcco.com/video/?id=58028@wcco.dayport.com If you would like to place an order for her cards, you can call Albertvill Primary School at 763-497-2688.

Also, a bank account has been established to receive cash donations. Checks can be made payable to Jon Schroeder Benefit Account and may be directed to:Wells Fargo Bank12916 Main St Rogers, MN 55374ATTN: Jon Schroeder Benefit Account

Please help me to raise this whole family with prayers! Stacie will be starting the next chapter of her life as a widow, as a mother, and as a faithful child of God...please help pray for her strength and comfort.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our Duty as Americans to Protect Ourselves

A close friend of mine went to a church dinner where her and her family were seated at a "middle" table, with tables on both ends of a fairness spectrum.

  • On one end, people were being served roast beef, mashed potatoes, full salads, dinner rolls, pie, served on a fancy table cloth, with private waitresses, and a choice of pop, juice or water.
  • My friend's "middle" table got served pizza with pop or water, served on a on a simple table cloth.
  • The low end of the spectrum got served a meager amount of plain white rice with only water on a "clothless" table.

The tables were told to work collaboratively as a group to stand up for their rights as members of the church. The church did this as an object lesson to encourage them to seek out their real-life personal responsibilities to our children and country. In real-life America, our rights are quickly being taken away from us with the new administration being ushered into congress and the presidency. I have never been one to follow politics, because it has never much interested me. For me, it is not a choice anymore, but a responsibility, because I have been dumbfounded as each new day brings along a new liberty and freedom to fight for!

As Christians, we can either sit back and trust that our senators and reps. are accurately representing us, or else we can make sure of it! People casually talk about the end times that are coming.....and only God knows if we're there now. Let's do our job to try and put off this inevitable situation from happening so quickly. I find it easier when someone else can lay out the information in front of me, so I did the "dirty work" for all of us. Here are a list of current acts, bills, and amendments that i have either chosen to support or fight in reflectionof my Christian perspective:


There is an enormous rush to get this into law within the next 2 weeks before people realize what is happening. If this passes then NO more heirloom seeds or private gardens, but only Monsanto genetically altered (GMO) seeds that are causing unexpected diseases in humans. This would allow the company another step closer to full ownership of world food supply.

Main backer and lobbyist is Monsanto – chemical and genetic engineering giant corporation. This bill will require organic farms to use specific fertilizers and poisonous insect sprays dictated by the newly formed agency to "make sure there is no danger to the public food supply". This will include backyard gardens that grow food only for a family and not for sales.
You may not be interested in preserving Organic farming--but maybe interested in preserving the freedom of being able to have a private garden, being able to purchase food from farmer's markets, and having more than just ONE SINGLE COMPANY as a food source. Famine, high prices & limited varieties will be around the corner! 1 1/2 weeks left before the vote in congress. Please contact your state legislators this week before the vote!

To follow the Food "safety" Bill: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h875/show


House Bill 1388 - “The GIVE Act” Has passed the House and the Senate , and on its way to the President. The bill will set up, among other things, youth corps to promote "volunteerism" under the Obama administration. The problem is that the bill leaves open the option to vote in into being MANDATORY for every able bodied person in the US, including school-aged children. Under the guise of being volunteers, the reality is that when you are forced to act in a group, it’s no longer voluntary. Unfortunately, it gets worse. In addition to everybody being forced to join these groups, members are STRICTLY PROHIBITED from participating in the following activities: (Note: these are NOT exclusive to group participation, but expressly prohibited TOTALLY )

Under the bill, there are several prohibited activities, but this one should stand out the most to us: (7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.

To follow the "GIVE" ACT: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h1388/show


Senator John Thune is leading the fight to protect the Charitable Giving Deduction rate (Thune Amendment) donors benefit from when they give to charities, and non-profits. But we need your help to pass this Amendment. South Dakota is critical!
At issue: MILLIONS OF CHARITABLE GIVING DOLLARS already going to charity, and non-profits are being sought by Congress and the Obama Administration. Senator Tim Johnson is the key vote in the Senate! Congress/Obama Administration wants the hard earned money that's saving lives through ministries doing Pro-Life, Marriage work, Ministries that reach people for Christ around the world, Faith-Based and Secular Foundations Building Medical and Educational facilities’, and the list goes on, and on, and on!!! If this amendment doesn't pass, charitable giving in America will drop affecting millions and millions of lives. Per capita Americans give more to charity than any other nation in the world. The Senator Thune Amendment would continue to incent this giving!


The freedom of parenting & homeschooling will likely end as we know it unless the Parental Rights Amendment is passed. Why? Because the current power in Washington has a favorable view of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is an international treaty and, if ratified by the US Senate, will supersede all American laws except constitutional amendments. For more information on how this treaty will undermine American parents, go to: http://www.parentalrights.org/

But there is good news: The Parental Rights Amendment is being introduced in the US Congress with some great sponsors. These brave legislators face a dogfight and we MUST support them!! Today the primary sponsors, Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Sen. Jim DeMint will hold a press conference announcing the amendment. Then the fight will begin. The current congress is not pro-family, but they will respond to an outpouring of public opinion. Your voice WILL make a difference!!

NOTE: The last time a constitutional amendment was passed, was 17 years ago, with only 27 ever passed (including the Bill of Rights) since the birth of our nation. This is very rare and important. Go to http://www.parentalrights.org/ and sign the petition.

To follow the Parental Rights Amendment: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-hj42/show


Some Congressional leaders have suggested a return to the days of the former "Fairness Doctrine," an old government regulation that gave the FCC the power to sanction or even shut down radio stations that did not satisfy a very vague standard of giving equal time to both sides of controversial subjects.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan wisely eliminated this outdated and unnecessary regulation, believing that the American people were smart enough to find their own sources of news and information without being hand-fed by regulated broadcasters.Today, with the myriad of information sources available to individuals (terrestrial radio, Internet, satellite radio), reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine seems downright foolish.
However, some Democrats in the House, Senate, and in the new Obama Administration, have clearly stated their belief that the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated. Some cite the prevalence and popularity of conservative radio talk shows, as if the government should decide for Americans what they may and may not hear each day. NRB knows that if the Fairness Doctrine were to become law in any form, Christian stations would be forced to include anti-Christian content in their programming.

In fact, NRB President and CEO, Frank Wright, Ph.D., has said that a new Fairness Doctrine would “disproportionately affect Christian media, particularly among non-commercial stations that depend heavily on donors for support.” Those men and women who donate money to promote the Christian Gospel do not want their money paying for viewpoints that are at odds with their most strongly held religious beliefs.

To follow the Broadcaster Freedom ACT: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s34/show


STEPHANIE HERSETH-SANDLIN's office: (202) 225-2801 -OR- E-mail a note to her: http://hersethsandlin.house.gov/contact2.htm

TIM JOHNSON's office: 332-8896 S.Falls; 226-3440 Aber.; 341-3990 R.City. -OR- Email a note to him: http://johnson.senate.gov/contact/

JOHN THUNE'S office: E-mail him a note: http://thune.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Email

Let's not make these little ones pray harder than they have to!!