The Health Benefits of Forgiveness

The health of body, mind, and spirit are closely connected. The health of one affects the others. An unforgiving spirit is toxic.

We know that sin is toxic and leads to death. Jesus Christ came and died so that we can be forgiven of our sins. That’s an amazing gift and reason to celebrate! “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7

By accepting God’s gracious forgiveness, which we can’t do anything to earn, we have peace with God. In turn, we are expected to extend that same forgiveness to ourselves and others. Consider the following verses:

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave us, so we must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 NLT. If the Lord gave His very life to offer forgiveness, who are we to withhold it?

“—and forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Matthew 6:12 NLT. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 NLT

“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25 NLT. How can we expect to receive what we are not willing to give?

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV

“I–yes, I alone–will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” Isaiah 43:25 NLT. “Then He says, I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” Hebrews 10:17 NLT. “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 NLT. He forgives and forgets; shouldn’t we?

It’s pretty clear that God expects us to practice forgiveness. It restores peace to body, mind, and spirit, which is the opposite of stress.

Unforgiveness is most often fueled by anger, resentment, pain, jealously, hurt feelings, and other harmful emotions that negatively impact our health. Holding onto these emotions contributes to an excessive rise in adrenaline and cortisol which, over time, can compromise our immune and cardiovascular systems.

Research has shown that anger is the number one emotional risk factor for deaths from heart attacks and strokes.

God’s business is to love others. Forgiveness makes room for love, and love is the greatest healer of all! “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV.

Even if we don’t appreciate someone’s behavior, we can choose to forgive. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Philippians 3:13b NIV. Unforgiveness keeps us from moving forward in so many areas, including our health and relationships with God and others.

If we choose to forgive, God can work in our hearts to restore peace. Say the Lord’s prayer or another Scripture about forgiveness daily, and allow His word to chip away, little by little, at past hurts, and to help us see others through God’s eyes. This is true resurrection power!

Happy Easter–“…He has risen!” Matthew 28:6

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

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The Connection between High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Weight Gain, and . . .

According to research, rats fed high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those fed regular cane sugar, even though both groups ate a similar number of calories.

They not only gained more weight, but they had substantial increases in abdominal fat and triglycerides. Both of these conditions are known risk factors in humans for high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Other research found that the more high-fructose corn syrup that is consumed, the desire for it becomes stronger, much like drug addiction.

In less than 15 years, type 2 diabetes among children has risen from 5% to 20%. A study conducted by both the University of Southern California and Britain’s University of Oxford in 2012 of 42 countries found a 20% higher rate of diabetes in countries whose food supplies contained high-fructose corn syrup than countries where it wasn’t used.

Studies have shown a correlation between a high consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and a higher incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, pancreatic cancer, cardiovascular issues, learning and memory problems, and childhood asthma.

A study on pregnant mice done in 2016 showed the effect that a mother’s pre-natal diet can have on the health of her children later in life. The consumption of high-fructose corn syrup during pregnancy may put a child at risk for obesity and other health complications later in life.

High-fructose corn syrup can increase uric acid in the body, which may lead to gout, kidney stones, and crystals in the joints (especially fingers and toes), all of which cause terrible pain.

High-fructose corn syrup has saturated our processed food market and is another form of a genetically-modified food (GMO), compounding its unhealthy effects. It’s in beverages, mayonnaise, ketchup, bread, cookies, frozen foods, cereals, crackers, chips, you name it.

What can you do?

Your best defense is to read ingredients on labels, and reduce (preferably, eliminate) your intake of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

When buying sweetened bottled beverages, look for those with organic sugar instead of HFCS.

Beware of products labeled “fructose,” which may be another type of HFCS.

Organic corn syrup is better than high-fructose corn syrup.

When eating out, skip the sodas and lemonade, unless the menu states that they do not use high-fructose corn syrup. Water is always the best option.

When eating out, avoid bread and condiments. This is especially important if you eat out regularly, have chronic health problems, and/or are trying to lose weight.

Making this one change might go a long way in improving your health!

If you have a sweet tooth, try my Healthy Sweet Treats Recipes, to get 10 recipes sweetened with only honey, maple syrup, or fruit.

Download your free Healthy Sweet Treats Recipes PDF.

Keep learning to be healthy!

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

www.learningtobehealthy.com

www.facebook.com/learningtobehealthy

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

God’s Pharmacy–Honey

“Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.” (Proverbs 24:13)

“…a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands.” (Ezekiel 20:15)

“If you find honey, eat just enough–too much of it, and you will vomit.” (Proverbs 25:16)

According to the Bible, honey is good to eat, it increases land value, and too much will make you sick.

Besides adding sweetness to foods and beverages, honey belongs in God’s pharmacy because of its many health benefits.

Honey kills bacteria and has been used to disinfect wounds and help in cases of diarrhea.

Archaeologists unearthed an ancient Egyptian scroll that listed honey as a primary ingredient in more than 500 treatments.

British scientists tested honey in the 1970s as an aid in healing surgical wounds. The wounds not only healed faster than those treated with antibiotics, but there were also fewer secondary infections.

A study in South Africa involved two groups of children with an intestinal infection that caused diarrhea. One group of children received fluids mixed with honey, and the other group was given fluids mixed with sugar. The children who got the honey recovered 40% faster than those who got the sugar. How often have we given our children sugar-laden beverages when they had stomach problems?

One long-time remedy is honey mixed with lemon juice or vinegar and used as a cough aid and gargle for sore throats. Honey coats the throat in a soothing way, and its sweetness stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers and pain killers.

Research indicates that honey has proven beneficial for many suffering from allergies, asthma, and conjunctivitis due to the pollen that naturally occurs in honey. It helps desensitize people with allergies.

Honey has also been used topically on burns, as a sleep aid, and to help boost memory.

The key to getting its health benefits is to buy raw, unfiltered honey, preferably from local bee keepers or honey producers (especially if you have allergies). Just like any other food, it can be highly processed (Grade A), which removes valuable nutrients, including the pollen, which is full of B vitamins. (one reason for its calming properties). Look for pollen on the label.

Some companies add corn syrup to make honey cheaper to market. It won’t be listed on the label.

Before refined sugars became so abundant, people used to enjoy honeycomb as a real treat.

Honey can be stored at room temperature indefinitely, because it protects itself from bacteria, viruses, and mold.

Try stirring a little raw honey into a cup of warm chamomile or holy basil herbal tea before bedtime, or add it to peppermint or ginger herbal tea as a digestive aid.

Allergy-Reducing Green Tea Recipe:

Brew a cup of organic green tea.
Stir in a teaspoon of raw, local honey and a dash or two of cayenne pepper.
Drink one to three cups throughout the day.

If you’re not sensitive to dairy, buy a good organic, plain, unsweetened yogurt (preferably, from grass-fed cows or goats), with live cultures, and stir in some raw honey for a delicious sweet treat. The one I bought today is made by Kalona Supernatural.

Check out this information on Really Raw Honey.

If you know of a good local source for buying raw honey, please share it with our Learning to be Healthy Facebook Group.

Download my free Healthy Sweet Treats Recipe Book with 10 recipes that are naturally sweetened with honey, maple syrup, or fruit.

To be safe, it is recommended to not give honey to children under one year of age, since their immune systems may not be fully developed.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Food and Energy

We all want energy. I can’t recall meeting anyone who didn’t want energy. Food is a necessary component of energy, but it can both provide and rob us of energy. Let’s take a closer look.

Calories are fuel we get from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, but “empty” calories can only take us so far. Calories from food that provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber give the body energy to work, play, think, fight off disease, and build healthy cells. In addition, we need enzymes to digest and absorb these nutrients, or they don’t do us much good.

Two key points for more energy: Eat nutrient-dense foods and cultivate a healthy digestive system.

Eat twice as many nutrient-dense plant foods as animal foods. These include unprocessed whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Eat them as closely to the way God created them as possible. Eat a variety of colors for a variety of nutrients.

Proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from food depends upon a healthy digestive system. Eating some raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds provides enzymes for digestion. Most cooked and processed foods contain no enzymes, so the body has to provide them via the pancreas, liver, small intestine, and salivary glands. Too much processed food, over time, can overwork these organs.

Healthy gut bacteria also plays an important role in digestion. Many factors can affect the gut microbiome and lead to digestive issues. Among those are the use of antibiotics and other medications, drinking fluoridated water, eating refined foods (sugar, flour, oils, chemical additives, etc.), artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors, MSG, genetically-modified foods, a lack of fiber, water, and nutrients that nourish healthy bacteria, and chronic stress.

Improperly digested foods and an unbalanced microbiome can lead to inflammation in the digestive tract. Chronic inflammation can contribute to a “sick” gut. A “sick” gut interferes with digestion and absorption of nutrients. A lack of nutrients results in less energy.

Healthy Actions:

Chew food well to give starch-digesting enzymes in saliva time to mix with food before it’s swallowed.

Eat some raw, colorful fruits and veggies every day. Refer to the Dirty Dozen List (ewg.org) to avoid those most heavily sprayed with chemicals.

Eat a handful of raw nuts and/or seeds on most days. Add them to salads, oatmeal, or smoothies.

Eat enough fiber-rich foods to help feed the good bacteria in your gut. Drink enough water. Fiber and water work together to keep the digestive system healthy.

This is a good start! Give your digestive tract time to adjust as you begin to make changes. It may respond with some bloating and other discomforts as it starts to “clean house”. You may need to take a plant-based digestive enzyme with meals and/or a multi-strain probiotic until things settle down.

If you need a plant-based diet with meal plans, grocery shopping lists, recipes, and daily email coaching tips, check out my 6-Week Health Transformation Online Program.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your healthcare provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” Mark 12:30

The Bible is the ultimate love book:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22, 23a

This kind of love requires action. Action takes energy. Energy is produced by the body, mind, and spirit. The health of one affects the other. A healthy body, mind, and spirit helps us love better.

Good works are love in action: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. Doing good works takes time, energy, and strength of body, mind, and spirit. An unhealthy lifestyle can rob us of these and leave us unmotivated (and often too sick) to serve God and others.

A healthy body, mind, and spirit happens one day at a time. Choose something you need to work on, and make a plan to focus on each action until it becomes a habit. Habits drive our behavior.

Body: Do you need to drink more water? Do you need to eat more vegetables? Do you need to get more sleep? Do you need to move more?

Mind: Do you need to pay more attention to what you put into your mouth (maybe keep a food journal)? Do you need to replace negative thoughts with positive ones? Do you need to eat more healthy fats to nourish your brain?

Spirit: Do you need to rely more on God power vs. willpower? Do your fruits of the Spirit need some work (Galatians 5:22, 23:a)? Do you need to read a Bible verse every day?

Choose something small and doable from each category to work on. It’s better to do something small over time and feel successful than to try to do too much and become overwhelmed and give up. As you feel better, you will make better decisions and feel more loving, which is the real goal!

“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love– and the greatest of these is love.” and the greatest of these is love.”   1 Corinthians 13:13

Give the gift of health! $10 off Valentine’s Day special:

6-Week Health Transformation Program

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your healthcare provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Are you eating too much protein?

Keto, Paleo, Atkins, low-carb, high-fat–how’s a person to eat? The bestquestion is how’s a person to eat and be healthy? With so much
information via the internet and media, what’s a person to think? Much
of scientific research is often ignored and/or manipulated to support the
latest diet trends or marketing plans. Let’s start at the very beginning—
literally!

Genesis 1:29–“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in
it. They will be yours for food.”God created us and gave us the perfect
diet to keep us feeling and functioning at our best–fruits, vegetables,
nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. Since it didn’t include animal
products (until after the flood), we can assume that it gave us everything we need in its whole, original, created form, including protein. There
seems to be more controversy in the diet world over carbs and fats than protein. In fact, there seems to be almost too much focus on protein.
Let’s take a closer look.

The United States eats more animal protein than any other
developed country and has more chronic health problems.

In most studies, eating more animal protein and less whole plant foods
is linked to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart
disease, and cancer. Those eating higher amounts of animal protein tend to have more incidents of kidney stones, rheumatoid arthritis, gall
bladder problems, gout, and inflammatory bowel conditions.

Meat promotes inflammation that can lead to a chronic immune
response (autoimmune), which can be a factor in developing a variety of chronic health disorders.

Meat often contains antibiotics, which can disrupt healthy intestinal
bacteria, contributing to weight gain and immune problems.

Analysis of bones by archaeologists have found more cancer among
those who ate more meat.

People who consume diets high in animal products tend to experience
more problems with mood, concentration, and dementia.

The USDA recommends an average of 56 grams of daily protein for men
and 46 grams for women. In assuming that it’s better to consume more
protein than not enough, these recommendations are on the high side. 
It’s easy to get more than double these amounts if you’re eating the
standard American diet. Besides the meat on your plate, it’s the cheese on your salad or in your salad dressing, the protein in your snack bar or
smoothie.  It adds up!

Some of the high-protein diets (Atkins, Paleo, Keto) recommend as much as 30 to 50% of daily calories come from protein.  In contrast, some of
the longest living people in the world get an average of only 10% of
their calories from protein.

The world’s highest percentage of people who live to be 100
(centenarians) live in Okinawa, Japan.  Most of their calories come
from rice and yams (carbohydrates).  Many of us think that we need to avoid carbs!

Most of our modern disease can be linked to a produce-deficient diet.Americans have an average caloric intake of 5 to 7% from fruits and
vegetables.

The reference points for much of this information is taken from the book written by Garth Davis, M.D, Proteinaholic. Dr. Davis runs the Davis
Clinic for Medical and Surgical Weight Loss in Houston, Texas. When he wrote his first book, The Expert’s Guide to Weight Loss Surgery, he
recommended the Zone Diet to his patients. After working with
thousands of patients and changing his own diet, he changed his mind
about high-protein diets and wrote Proteinaholic.

You can visit Dr. Davis’ website to use his Proteinaholic Calculator to get
your own protein recommendations.

Healthy Action: Keep a food journal to see how much protein you are
eating, especially in the form of animal products.

Check out my Eat to be Healthy Program!
Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your healthcare provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Healthy to Serve–Spirit, Mind, & Body

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:10  

Christians are created to do good works, not for our salvation, but to show God’s love to others because of our salvation. We serve better when we are healthy. “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy
good health and that all may go well with you, even as your
soul is getting along well.” 3 John 2. 
__ 
Our health affects body, mind, and spirit, and the health of one affectsthe others. Our purpose for choosing a healthy lifestyle comes from
our faith in God’s plan for our lives and our desire to serve Him. 
“Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37. 
__ 
Our plan to live a healthy life is motivated by our mindset, because
our thoughts and attitudes play a huge role in our behavior. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by therenewing of your mind. Then, you will be able to test and
approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing, and perfect
will.” Romans 12:2. 
__ 
Our actions to develop healthy habits are inspired by both our
purpose and plan, and we succeed with God’s power, not willpower. “I can do all this through Him, who give me strength.”
Philippians 4:13. 
__ 
To develop lasting healthy habits and, for many, weight loss, first lay a healthy foundation. “For no one can lay any foundation other
than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11 
__ 
Instead of following the latest diet craze, why not go back to basics: God’s food vs. man’s food. Start by keeping a food journal and
paying attention to what you eat and how your feel. “I have the rightto do anything, but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything, but I will not be mastered by anything.”
1 Corinthians 6:12 
__ 
Try keeping a thought journal to see how your thoughts and emotionsare affecting your health. “We demolish arguments and every
pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to
Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 “Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such
things.” Philippians 4:8 
__ 
When that becomes a habit, start making small healthy changes, one at a time, until they become habits. If you develop even one new healthy habit a month, by the end of the year, you will have 12
healthy habits under your belt!

If you need a health plan to get you off to a healthy start,
check out my two downloadable programs:
6-Week Health Transformation
Eat to be Healthy Program
Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever
you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended
to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the
place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your
healthcare provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that
are right for you.