Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Meal Fit For A Pilgrim

Most of us will be sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal this week, but have you ever wondered how our traditional Thanksgiving meal stacks up against what was eaten at the first Thanksgiving? You might be surprised and it might sound a little extreme-- even in a day and age when we have extreme eating on the cable sports network.

Our national Thanksgiving holiday has its roots in the 1621 fall feast that took place between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans in celebration of the colony’s first successful harvest. It was no small event, either. In fact, there are accounts that this first feast included all the Pilgrims, ninety of the Wampanoag, and it went on for three days.

But what was on the menu? Historians are not completely sure what was on the menu beyond venison and wild fowl. One thing they are sure of, however, is that it was not the sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, dressing, and all the trimmings that usually accompany our modern day repast. Instead, the first Thanksgiving meal probably included venison, ducks, geese, swans, and wild turkey as well as maybe seal, lobster, eel, fish and crabs—and maybe some corn and wheat.

Vegetables probably didn’t make the menu, though, because vegetables weren’t big in the 17th century and for the Pilgrims, it would also have depended on what vegetables were in season. When vegetables were in season, however, they may have had beans, onions, carrots, and peas—although this is not confirmed.

They probably didn’t have much in the way of sweets, either. They brought some sugar with them on the Mayflower, but the supply had diminished by the time of their first Thanksgiving meal, so sweets would not have been included. (Besides, the pilgrims didn’t have ovens, either, so pies, cakes, and bread were not on the menu.)

So much for that pumpkin pie…

What they did have, surprisingly, was a lot of spices in their food—not bland food like many might imagine. They used herbs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, and dried fruit in their wares.

In short, their Thanksgiving meal was high in meat dishes—which offered great sources of healthy protein and fats and was low in carbs, including sugars. They probably could have used a few more vegetables, but, times being what they were, that was not the case.

Nowadays, however, our Thanksgiving meals are usually high in carbs and unhealthy fats and can also pack in between 2,000 to 3,000 calories for just that one meal-- which is more calories than most people should have for an entire day. Now that’s what I would call extreme eating.

And while I am not advocating adding seal or even fish to your holiday menu, maybe this Thanksgiving dinner we can take a hint from the Pilgrims and eat more of the healthy proteins and fats (yes, fats) and scale back on the carbs and sugars.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why Raw Vitamins?

Imagine yourself 100 years ago describing the latest craze in health and nutrition, the “RAW” food movement, with someone living at that time. RAW Foods are natural, uncooked, untreated, unadulterated — NO BINDERS and NO FILLERS. Right after you finished sharing what you consider a groundbreaking concept of consuming foods in their natural state with that person, they would most likely stare at you and tell you that you just described the way they eat every day. What is now considered unique and advanced was for our ancestors the norm.

In today’s modern system of agriculture, the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers allows the average acre of farm land to yield more food than that same acre would have 50 years ago. The flip side of that is due to all of those chemicals, our food is not as nutrient dense as it once was. A comparison of U.S. Department of Agriculture food composition tables from the 1960s and 1970s to the present day reveals that the vitamin and mineral content of the nation’s breadbasket has declined 25 percent to 50 percent in just the last generation.

Our food is less nutritious coming off the farm. This fact is made much the worse when you consider what we do to our food after it leaves the farm. In the name of convenience, safety and even marketing, we subject that food to processing such as irradiation, chemical preservation, heating and treating. Food is created solely based on how well it can be packaged, shipped and sold and not in terms of the nutrition it should be providing. This whole concept supports the maxim that we are overfed and undernourished.

In order to overcome the “nutritional gap” created by an increasingly under-nutritious food supply, many people turn to multivitamins. Unfortunately most multivitamins are chemically isolated, synthetic versions of vitamins and minerals found in food. They are inorganic, lifeless.

We’ve replaced food with an anti-food. Until the Vitamin Code™, there have been few options available for those who wish to supplement with a RAW, living multivitamin. The Vitamin Code represents the next breakthrough in multivitamins.

The RAW Factor
The magic of RAW food is truly found in its simplicity. When you eat a food that is uncooked, untreated, and unadulterated, you are eating that food in harmony with nature’s intention and your body’s design. RAW food enthusiasts will tell you that there are many benefits derived from eating RAW.

When you consume RAW foods you are consuming all of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics and phytonutrients contained therein. Simply heating foods can result in the loss of hundreds of these co-factors. When you add different chemical treatments and adulteration to the mix, you are often left with food that is a shell of its former self.

Most people readily accept this premise. Who among us would argue that eating a canned fruit cup in syrup is better than eating a fresh apple?

While all foods provide some nutrition, RAW foods provide higher levels of the 45 nutrients we need to supply our bodies every day. In addition, the co-factors mentioned above are incredibly important. Our bodies are designed to take in food and then break it down in order to glean nutrition from that food. Co-factors such as probiotics and enzymes aid this process. The probiotics and enzymes present in RAW food aid the digestion process, allowing the body to break down the food and assimilate the nutrients into the bloodstream. Nature provides the complete package of vitamins, minerals and co-factors necessary for the body to maximize the nutrient potential of RAW food.

No supplement can compare to the benefits associated with consuming RAW foods. If you have a nutritional deficiency or you just don’t eat a healthy balanced diet you probably need to supplement to give your body the basic nutrition it needs to function properly. If you are going to supplement, you should seek out a RAW, Whole-Food multivitamin. The Vitamin Code is a multivitamin that was developed to provide supplemental nutrition as close as supplementation can get to actual RAW food.

Is Your Multivitamin RAW?
Each vitamin and mineral contained in The Vitamin Code multinutrient formulas is individually cultivated resulting in a process that mimics plant activity. In nature, plants transform inorganic material into useable and bioavailable nutrients. Similarly, the Vitamin Code Process transforms isolated nutrients, renaturing them into whole foods. The result is an innovative RAW vitamin, mineral or antioxidant that is surrounded by the probiotics, enzymes, phytonutrients and other co-factors that create a nutrient-rich source of fuel beneficial for the body.

At no point during the cultivation process are the vitamins and minerals treated, adulterated or cooked. More importantly is what you won’t find on the label — no binders or fillers. The Vitamin Code nutrients are 100% active, meaning that every ingredient contained within them has nutritional value and purpose. The Vitamin Code represents a breakthrough in multivitamins: RAW, living multivitamin/mineral supplements. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Probiotics and Mercury

Some developmental, neurological changes do not have a clear genetic linkage. One hypothesis is that mercury poisoning through environmentally acquired mercury, which could be due to casual contact or through vaccination, may exert neurological effects on the brain. It may be that mercury exposure during early development might “throw a genetic switch”. There is anecdotal evidence that soil-based organisms can help with detoxification. Pathogenic organisms have been shown to readily detoxify mercury.

The detoxification of organic mercury in bacteria occurs from their ability to convert highly toxic Hg2+ to Hg (0) via a redox reaction. It has been known for over 25 years that the intestinal flora could produce organic mercury from ingestion of mercuric chloride. Enteric bacteria, including streptococci, staphylococci, E. coli, yeasts, lactobacilli, bacteroides and bifidobacteria, are capable of methylating HgCl.

Probiotic organisms such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria produce only small amounts of methyl mercury. The elemental mercury escapes from the bacteria after detoxification, where it may continue to 1 of 4 possibilities: expulsion, reabsorption, or be taken up and processed back to methyl mercury by either pathogenic or probiotic bacteria. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 90 % of methyl mercury is excreted through bile in the feces. Elemental mercury or mercuric chloride is taken up and processed much more slowly to methyl mercury. With large numbers of probiotic bacteria, mercury can effectively be driven toward expulsion.

It is estimated by the American Academy of Pediatrics that during childhood vaccinations, it is possible for the dose of mercury to exceed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended levels for safety. There are chelation protocols using ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid (EDTA) or dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) to effectively clear mercury from the body. The administration of probiotics would prevent any recycling of toxic mercury.

As probiotics contact and process the various types of mercury, there would be some mutations that would occur in the probiotic genomes. The body has an innate ability to clear organic mercury, with 90% of methyl mercury being excreted through the bile in feces. 
There is a belief that the gastrointestinal tract plays a major role as mercury exerts an effect on the immune system in the gut. Mercury can cause an autoimmune response. Probiotics along with monoterpene may be valuable in detoxifying mercury, since monoterpenes can increase phase II detoxifying in the body.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Whats In Your Gut?

Do you wonder what is in your gut? Or how you can remove it? 
Chances are you have, well let me tell you a little bit about the good and the bad bacteria in your gut.
Yes! There is such a thing as "good bacteria" but because so much of what we see or hear of is bad bacteria the good tends to be guilty by association. This should not be the case, as a matter of fact if you had enough good bacteria in your gut there would be a lot less bad bacteria to kill in your whole body.
One cannot survive where the other one thrives, this is to say when you build up the good bacteria in your gut it will usher out the bad. Preventing sickness, bad skin, stomach acid, and weight gain. It will aid in digestion, regularity, energy, weight loss and over all good health. I know this maybe a little much to understand I feel like I spend a lot of time convincing people of this when it should be common knowledge. Medically speaking it is over looked and because of that and other factors of course, it is not widely known and or reported.

The truth is you have bad bacteria in your gut and it is making you fat, unhealthy and cranky. It can also cause leaky gut or LGS which lets toxins and bad bacteria leach into the blood stream cause high blood pressure, cholesterol, and artery disfunction. So what can you do?

Start eating as much good bacteria as possible:
-sour kraut
-lacto-fermented beverages and foods
-raw grass fed milk and kefir
-raw grass fed dairy and yogurt
-you can also take a simple supplement to aid in this process learn moreClick Here

Is the Beautiful Skin Diet Next?

You most likely have heard you are what you eat, but did you know that same principle may apply to skin health, too? It’s true. Your diet might have a lot to do with the condition of your skin, and vitamins and antioxidants as well as other nutrients, can play major roles in skin health.

Karen E. Burke, Ph.D. of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s dermatology department says that vitamins C and E as well as selenium can support the skin’s natural repair systems against free radical damage. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, red peppers and broccoli, while tasty sources of vitamin E include whole grains and nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts. You can get selenium from cod, turkey, and Brazil nuts.

But these do not stand alone in how to maximize beautiful, healthy skin. Vitamin A is also important for skin because, like vitamins C and E, it acts as a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin A can be found in dark orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash as well as dark green veggies such as broccoli, spinach, and kale.

Vitamin B plays a role in skin health as well because the B vitamins are essential for body cell health—including the skin cells. A vitamin B deficiency can lead to itchy, dry skin, so it’s important to get enough foods rich in the B vitamins including fish, eggs, whole milk, chicken, and whole grains.

Additionally, the natural antioxidant coenzyme Q10 can help cells grow and can protect them from free radical damage. Interestingly enough, coQ10 levels generally drop as we age and this drop is believed to add to skin’s aging process. Good dietary sources of CoQ10 include: sardines, mackerel, heart, liver, beef, lamb, eggs, spinach, broccoli, peanuts, wheat germ, and whole grains.

And don’t forget those healthy fats—such as omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s can help produce and preserve the skin's natural oil barrier which is essential to keeping skin hydrated, plumper, and younger looking. Foods high in omega-3s to look for include salmon, flaxseeds, nuts, and high omega-3 eggs.

And here’s some good news that is sure to put a smile on your healthy-skinned face: chocolate might even help improve your skin. In fact, a German study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank hot cocoa with high flavonoid concentration had smoother and softer skin than those who drank cocoa with a lower flavonoid concentration. (But be sure to not overdo it, chocolate lovers!)

The bottom line is that a healthy diet can support skin health. What a delicious way to love the skin you’re in!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Passion For Health

This weekend I learned a lot about myself through my church's membership class. I enjoyed the class much more than I thought I would, but only because I don't like talking to people about my feelings. Its a right of passage for men only, sorry ladies. 
Anyway through this class we did a passion assessment, this where I truly feel I have made some steps in the right direction.
I learned that I really love what I do (biblical health and personal training) I love it so much I have become very passionate about it. I want to make sure that set the record straight as to why I am so passionate. Because I love to see people change their lives and I love being a part of it. I know this sounds very cliche' but it is the truth.

It is even more relevant than I knew before because of the biblical health aspect. This is true for the simple fact that you can't have true change unless you surrender to Christ. This is as much true in your life as it is in mine.
God is love and love is real, this is the difference between what I do and anything else you may  find out there in the "fitness world". I am and will always be invested in the relationship, for the sole reason of Gods love.
I would love to talk to you about this on a personal level so that I can explain more how Christ and health are so important for your life. 

I will tell you that being healthy is one thing but living up to Gods standards for health is much more beneficial because He does things with excellence.
I will say it like this, serving God with your health is just another way for you to be vessel to be worked through and to be ministered to. A vessel that is perfect to look at but most importantly holds the Living water.
Another tool in your spiritual tool box!

Monday, November 17, 2008

100th Post!!!

I wish I could be more excited about the fact that we finally reached 100 postings but I am sadly not that excited.
Because I want you to have the best information out there, the numbers are just a bonus. I want to reach out to you with the best content possible giving you the most informative articles and post that I can find or type.

If that the case I better get busy huh?

Well speaking of content, I am a firm believer in reading the labels on my food. So much so this is the first things I teach my clients. Its not about calories its about content, that is the truth! 
Listen to your body and take notes on how you feel after a meal. DO you feel tired or do you feel energized?
If you said energized then you are probably eating living foods, otherwise you are feeling so so.
Most people don't even think about how they feel after they eat, which can be a reason why we are an obese nation.
I want you to get the most out of your food, so.. read the labels. You don't need three sweeteners, two preservatives and flavor in your water. You just need pure water! Well if you can find water that still contains its natural minerals than you are doing even better but you get my point.
And that's just water! Think of all the others things that are in our food, I know its overwhelming.
Do me this favor and just start by eating raw, and then organic foods then tell me how you feel.

Can't afford it? Well you cannot afford to be sick or get cancer or miss work either can you? Think about it and get back to me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tips For The Holidays

In addition to eating sensibly during the holidays, it is also important to exercise. Many, however, get “too busy” during this season or just don’t feel like exercising during the holidays—especially since normal routines are often temporarily put on hold.

Next to diet, however, exercise is the most important factor for achieving and maintaining optimum physical health as well as keeping your weight in check. It can also stimulate circulation, keep muscles toned, and help diminish the effects of stress. 

Regular physical activity is one of the simplest, least expensive and most rewarding ways to maintain a healthy body—even during all the holiday festivities. So, before you get into the throes of the holidays, make a pact with yourself to continue incorporating good nutrition and fitness into your routine. 

Here are some ways you can keep fit—even during the busiest of holiday schedules:

  • First of all, don’t put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year. If you cannot exercise as often or as long as you want, then adjust accordingly. It’s better to cut back on fitness time, than to eliminate it.
  • Integrate exercise times into your schedule. Mark these on your calendar as appointments and set aside time to complete them. 
  • Resist the “couch potato syndrome”; instead, walk around the block.  Or you can exercise on a rebounder, treadmill, or exercise bike—even while watching TV or listening to your favorite holiday music.   
  • If traveling, pack workout clothes and equipment like resistance bands or exercise videos. Then use them!
  • Walk the dog frequently or walk the mall while doing your holiday shopping.
  • Choose an exercise you enjoy and work out with a friend.
  • Do not let more than 2 days go by without exercising—even if it is a reduced workout.
  • On days when you might lack motivation, do only 10 minutes of exercise. 

If you usually go to the gym or a class to exercise, consider exercising at home. You might be more inclined to exercise if you don’t have to go somewhere to complete it.

Don’t let the holidays cause you to put fitness on hold. By starting now and continuing during the holiday season, you could avoid the holiday weight gain, feel better, and have more energy to enjoy your gatherings with family and friends

Here Come The Holidays!

It’s about to start again. The holidays, that is. In less than two weeks our nation embarks on the holiday season filled with family gatherings, favorite foods, serious shopping, and perhaps a few added and unwanted pounds.

The truth is that, on average, Americans gain about a pound during the holiday season (some gain more), but this extra weight can accumulate through the years and may be a major contributor to obesity later in life.  In fact, 65 percent of Americans are overweight, and rates of weight-related illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes, are skyrocketing.  Carrying around that extra weight can also put a person more at risk for high blood pressure, abnormal blood fats, coronary artery disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and cancer.

Researchers from one study on holiday weight gain found that two primary factors influence weight gain: level of hunger and level of activity. They found that those who were much more active or much less hungry were the least likely to gain weight over the holidays, but those who were less active or more hungry had the greatest holiday weight gain. Not surprising, right?

Family ties and friendship ties, however, may have something to do with weight gain as well. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that obesity is “socially contagious,” spreading from person to person in a social network—including friends and family. The researchers, who have studied networks of obesity, found that if someone's friend becomes obese, that person's chances of becoming obese increase by more than half—57 percent to be exact.

And among mutual friends, the effect is even stronger, with chances increasing by a whopping 171 percent. On average, having an obese friend made a person gain 17 pounds, which put many people over the body mass index (BMI) measure for obesity—and the analysis revealed that the “infectious” effect is much greater among friends of the same sex. You have a 71 percent increased risk of obesity if your same-sex friend gains a lot of weight.

The researchers also found that siblings and spouses have an effect on a person’s weight, too. In short, people whose siblings became obese were themselves 40 percent more likely to grow obese. And if you are a woman and your sister becomes obese, your risk rises by 67 percent. If a man's brother becomes obese, his risk rises by 44 percent. They also found that people whose spouses became obese were 37 percent more likely to become obese too.

So what can be done? You have heard that you don’t choose your family, and that’s true. But you can choose a healthier diet and lifestyle for yourself. And while people can have trouble getting through the holidays without weight gain, the most successful at managing their weight monitor their eating. Therefore, it is wise to have a holiday eating plan. Here are some ideas:

  • Plan your eating strategies and eat a healthy whole foods-based diet, allowing for only occasional small portions of traditional holiday treats.
  • Decide to maintain your current weight through January. 
  • Eat plenty of small meals often; do not save up so you can “pig out” later.   
  • Drink plenty of water—choosing it as your beverage whenever possible.
  • Avoid filling up on sugars and empty calories.
  • If you overindulge, get back on track the next meal or the next day.

Those extra holiday pounds can quickly become a weighty health concern, so do your best to avoid them this season. Not gaining them could translate into pounds of prevention.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup (revisited)

The truth is, scientists have linked the rising HFCS consumption to the epidemics of obesity,diabetes and metabolic syndrome in the U.S., and medical researchers have pinpointed various health dangers associated with the consumption of HFCS compared to regular sugar. This is why the corn industry is now scrambling to save face and profits – NOT because it’s really okay to consume an average of 59 pounds a year of this stuff.

The American Medical Association issued a statement on June 17, 2008, stating that "high-fructose syrup does not appear to contribute more to obesity than other caloric sweeteners." However, they also recommend you limit the amount of ALL added caloric sweeteners to no more than 32 grams of sugar daily, which, by the way, comes out to just over 25.5 pounds of sugar per year.

The AMA’s recommendation is over five-and-a-half-times less than the current yearly sugar consumption of the average American – which currently weighs in around 142 pounds a year -- but is still five times higher than my own recommendation of 5 pounds of added sugar per year.

Their evaluation that HFCS is not a major contributor to obesity is puzzling, considering the fact thatthe number one source of calories in America is soda, which contains about 40 grams of HFCS per can – more than the AMA’s recommended daily maximum for ALL caloric sweeteners.

And that’s without adding in all the corn syrup now found in every type of processed, pre-packaged food you can think of. In fact, the use of high fructose corn syrup in the U.S. diet increased a staggering 10,673 percent between 1970 and 2005, according to the latest USDA Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption report (whereas sucrose consumption declined by 38 percent), far exceeding changes in intake of any other food or food group.  

And what kinds of foods account for more than 90 percent of the money Americans spend on their meals? You guessed it: processed food.

All in all, according to the USDA’s report, about one-quarter of the calories consumed by the average American is in the form of added sugars – the majority of which comes from high fructose corn syrup.

Folks, this is a prescription for disaster.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I realize I haven't blogged about this but I am selling it and singing it praises to my clients. Kombucha is a wonderful elixir type of drink that is very fizzy and nutritious. I enjoy because it cleans my liver out and give me a little buzz and then I soon feel a boost in energy soon after. 

There are many other benefits too such as: B vitamins, probiotics and enzymes that help you assimilate your food better. Plus boost immune health as well as digestive health. I have found another blog for you to check out, actually I have Sherry to thank for this, either way here you go.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Its finally here!

This has been on my wish list for sometime now and is finally here and ready for you. I went out of my way to make a deal with Garden Of Life to give you the best pricing you will find anywhere in Nashville!
We will be carrying the full line of GOL products, yes everything. 
Garden Of Life is the only brand that I have 100% confidence in, enough that I use their products every day. With the raw, organic, and living nutrients offered plus the new Vitamin Code there are no excuses to not be eating as healthy as your trainer tells you too (inside pt joke that only my clients would get).

This is local and the only source for raw organic living products around! Now go check it out!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting Over The Pain

Well hello there, that is if there is still anyone out there that reads this blog. I wanted to tell you if not warn you that you must get over pain for food and fitness.
This will be hard depending on the specific type of pain you are dealing with but I say this so that you will not medicate but exercise if you haven't already then eat. Once you have done this reevaluate your pain then proceed with your day.

Examples I know you want them so here they are:
Running will help you if you have a headache by increasing the blood flow to the brain much like caffeine will thin the blood helping it to get to the brain faster which I do Not recommend.
Eating will help a headache as well but you will not feel like doing these things which makes it that much harder.

Muscle pain can be remedied as well if you are hurting do to a pull or sprain then you best take it easy. Otherwise you will want to proceed with an exercise that indirectly benefits the pain. then you may take a warm bath that will relax all you muscles.
One thing that you will want to remember is that contracted muscles burn fat the more you can contract the more fat you will burn.

No get out there and do your workout and have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Prayer for whomever is in office

This from John Piper and is for anybody who is letting politics get under their skin or are really discouraged about the new president. Because this blog is more than physical health and it will not be put into a box. We live and move and have our being in Christ that is it.

Thanks for reading.

How does the Bible instruct us to pray for “all who are in high positions”? It says,

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1Timothy 2:1-4).

A few observations:

1. Giving thanks “for kings” is hard when they are evil.

And, as Calvin said on this passage, “All the magistrates of that time were sworn enemies of Christ.” This shows us that anarchy is a horrible alternative to almost any ruler.

We should give thanks for rulers because “non-rule” would unleash on us utterly unbridled evil with no recourse whatever.

Again Calvin: “Unless they restrained the boldness of wicked men, the whole world would be full of robberies and murders.” The better we understand the seething evil of the human heart that is ready to break out where there is no restraint, the more thankful we will be for government.

2. The effect we pray for is “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly, and dignified in every way.”

Dignified means “serious and reverent,” not stuffy. I suspect what Paul means is not that we can’t live godly and serious lives during times of anarchy. We can. I suspect he means that peaceful and quiet lives, which are the opposite of anarchy, are often wasted in ungodly and frivolous actions.

So he is praying for a government that would give peace and quiet (not anarchy), and that Christians would not fritter away their peaceful lives with the world, but would be radically godly and serious about the lost condition of the world and how to change it.

3. Using our peace for radical godliness and serious action will lead to more effective evangelism and world missions.

This last observation is confirmed by the hoped-for outcome Paul mentions. Paul says that the reason God delights in such peaceful, Godward, serious action is that he “desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

More people will be saved if our government restrains the horrors of anarchy, and if Christians use this peace not to waste their lives on endless entertainment, but seriously give their lives to making God known.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ten Reasons to Buy Local Food

Brenton Johnson, an organic farmer and owner of Johnson’s Backyard Garden, came up with this list of top 10 reasons to buy local food, based on his philosophy to live in harmony with the land.

1. Locally grown food tastes better. Food grown in your own community is usually picked within the past day or two. It’s crisp, sweet, and loaded with flavor. Produce flown or trucked in is much older. Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles.

2. Local produce is better for you. Fresh produce loses nutrients quickly. Locally grown food, purchased soon after harvest, retains its nutrients.

3. Local food preserves genetic diversity. In the modern industrial agricultural system, varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen simultaneously and withstand harvesting equipment. Only a handful of varieties of fruits and vegetables meet those rigorous demands, so there is little genetic diversity in the plants grown. Local farms, in contrast, grow a huge number of varieties to provide a long season of harvest, an array of eye-catching colors, and the best flavors.

4. Local food is GMO-free. Although biotechnology companies have been trying to commercialize genetically modified fruits and vegetables, they are currently licensing them only to large factory-style farms. Local farmers don’t have access to genetically modified seed, and most of them wouldn’t use it even if they could.

5. Local food supports local farm families. With fewer than 1 million Americans now listing farming as their primary occupation, farmers are a vanishing breed. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middle man and get full retail price for their crops.

6. Local food builds a stronger community. When you buy direct from the farmer, you are re-establishing a time-honored connection between the eater and the grower.

7. Local food preserves open space. As the value of direct-marketed fruits and vegetables increases, selling farmland for development becomes less likely. The rural landscape will survive only as long as farms are financially viable.

8. Local food helps to keep your taxes in check. Farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas suburban development costs more than it generates in taxes.

9. Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife. A well-managed family farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued. Good stewards of the land grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace nutrients used by their crops. Cover crops also capture carbon emissions and help combat global warming.

10. Local food is about the future. By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow, so that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful, and abundant food.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Favorites from the Sea

Blackened Sea Bass
 4 servings

4 6-oz. pieces of fish, covered completely with blackening spice mix
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons cumin seed, ground
2 teaspoons coriander seed, ground
1 tablespoons dulse flakes
3 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon Sucanat (an organic natural sweetener)
1 tablespoon capers

Heat cumin seed, coriander seed and dulse for 1 minute in small fry pan with coconut oil. Add tamari, Sucanat and capers. Blend well. Marinate fish for a minimum of 3 hours. Heat under broiler on high. Cook fish 2 minutes on each side.

Source: Sheila Barcelo of Eden’s Gourmet in Central Florida


Cilantro-Lime Sea Bass
 2 servings

Coconut oil
Fresh or minced garlic
Chopped tomatoes
2½ lbs. sea bass filets

In a pan, melt coconut oil. Stir in garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chopped tomatoes and cilantro. Cook for another minute. Add filets. Cook approximately 10 minutes, turning once.

Source: Nicki Rubin


Halibut with Green Coconut Curry-Roasted Nori Rolls
Yield: 1 serving per fish filet

Halibut filets
Clarified butter/oil
3 Shallots
Chopped ginger
Jalapeno pepper
Curry powder
2 cans of coconut milk
Kefir lime leaves
Chopped basil
Soba noodles
Red pepper
Soy sauce
Extra-virgin coconut oil
Snow peas
Pine nuts
Nori seaweed sheets

Take halibut steaks and dust both sides lightly in a mixture of flour. Salt, pepper, and turmeric. Sear on both sides in clarified butter or oil. Finish in a hot oven if steaks are thick and still rare. Mince 3 shallots and cook slowly in a saucepan until soft. Add a little chopped ginger and lemongrass, cilantro, chopped jalapeno pepper, a pinch of curry powder and garlic, and cook several minutes more. Add 2 cans of coconut milk and simmer until slightly reduced. Toss in several kefir lime leaves if available and some roughly chopped basil. Taste for seasoning.

Cook a package of soba noodles according to directions. Drain and season with crushed red pepper, soy sauce, and extra-virgin coconut oil. Add some slivered snow peas, pine nuts, etc. Wrap in Nori seaweed sheets. Place on roasting pan and roast for around 5-10 minutes. Place 2 Nori rolls in a shallow bowl, put halibut on top and ladle on some coconut curry sauce in shallow bowl. Garnish with lime leaves, fried shallots, and radish pickle, etc.

Source: Mike and Margie Perrin of 11 Maple Street Restaurant in Jensen Beach, Florida