Love Your Liver!

My grandson, Levi, was born with a diseased liver and had a transplant before his first birthday. We remember that day, May 17, with prayers of gratitude, along with prayers for the donor family who lost their loved one. Our precious Levi is now 10 years old and doing well!

The liver is the largest and hardest working organ in the body.  It must filter and cleanse the bloodstream of all toxins, both physical and emotional.  When the liver is overloaded with toxins and can’t keep up with detoxification, they may continue to circulate in the bloodstream and either be stored in fat cells or trigger an immune response.  

Those who have auto-immune conditions and/or stubborn weight loss may have an underlying liver problem. 

Lightening the liver’s workload can help calm an over active immune system and reduce allergic reactions and digestive problems.

The liver is also instrumental in weight loss.  It helps to regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Toxins that aren’t removed from the body may be stored in fat cells in order to protect vital organs from damage.  This can lead to excess fat that is difficult to lose.

Some signs that your liver may need to be strengthened and cleansed include:

Stubborn weight loss

Belly fat and/or abdominal bloating

Fatty liver

Gall bladder problems (especially pain in the right side under the rib cage)

High blood cholesterol and/or triglycerides

Hemorrhoids/constipation

Easily overheated

Skin problems like rashes or brown spots (“liver spots”)

Bad breath and/or coated tongue

Dark circles under eyes and/or red, itchy eyes

Allergies and/or other immune problems

Hormone imbalances

Advanced signs include yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice)

Note: These signs by themselves do not necessarily indicate a liver problem and could be indicative of other health issues.  If you have three or more signs, consider consulting your health care provider.

Some factors that can influence liver health include:

A diet high in refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, which can lead to a fatty liver

A diet deficient in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, fiber, and healthy fats

Toxic food and beverage additives

Exposure to environmental, household, and personal care toxins

Alcohol and/or drug abuse

Side effects from prescription drugs

Viruses like hepatitis A, B, and C

Auto-immune disorders (chronic inflammation)

Negative stress and emotions

On May 17, in honor of Levi’s liver transplant, I encourage you to love your liver by choosing foods to help support and cleanse it.  The following list includes foods and herbs to help you get started:

Dandelion Greens

Spinach

Parsley

Garlic

Cruciferous Vegetables:  cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, horseradish, mustard greens, radish, turnip, kohlrabi, rutabaga 

Apples/Apple Cider Vinegar 

Lemons

Beetroot (encourages good bile flow necessary to break down fats)

Carrots

Grapefruit

Artichokes

Fennel and Fennel Seeds (good digestive aid)

Make a plan to add something from this list to your daily diet.  Don’t get in a rut by eating the same foods every day.  Variety is key to a nutrient-dense diet.

Check the Dirty Dozen List (ewg.org) so you don’t eat produce high in pesticides that will add more toxic burden to your liver.

Milk Thistle is a well studied herb for helping to protect the liver against toxins and cellular damage.  You can take it as a supplement or drink it as a tea.

Nature’s Sunshine also makes a supplement called LIV-J that contains dandelion leaves, horseradish, beetroot, parsley, fennel, and other herbs to help nourish and cleanse the liver.

Keep negative thoughts like fear, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, and worry at bay.  These all put stress on the liver.

Philippians 4:8, 9–“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable–if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise–dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”

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.

God’s Pharmacy for Healthy Living

3 John 1:2–

“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.”

I hope that you are all well–body, mind, and spirit–as we walk through this unprecedented time in our lives.  There is much conflicting and unknown information about COVID-19, but the one thing of which we can be certain is that God is in control.  Daniel 2:21–“He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.”   Truth and understanding come from God.

With that in mind, let’s look at some ways that we can keep ourselves healthy.

God created our immune system to fight against disease, and our job is to support it.  There is no magic pill that can take the place of a healthy lifestyle.

1.  Practice peace (the opposite of stress).  Fear and anxiety weaken the immune system.  Philippians 4:6–“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  2 Timothy 1:7–“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.”  Psalm 56:3–“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”  Isaiah 26:3–“You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You, for it is trusting in you.”

2.  Wash your hands.  Mark 7:4–“When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they have washed.  And there are many other customs they have received and keep, like the washing of cups, jugs, copper utensils, and dining couches.”  Leviticus 15:11–“If the man with the discharge touches anyone without first rinsing his hands in water, the person who was touched is to wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will remain unclean until evening.”

3.  Practice quarantine.  Leviticus 15:13–“When the man with the discharge has been cured of it, he is to count seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in fresh water; he will be clean.”

4.  Sleep (7 to 8 hours a night for adults) is important for allowing the body to repair and rebuild.  Psalm 4:8–“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

5.  Get 20 to 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise.  Movement keeps our lymph system working to “take out the trash”.  Take hourly breaks from sitting.  Clean the house, pull some weeds, walk around the block, put on some music and dance, etc.  Feel free to check out my Exercise at Home with Lisa Facebook Group for some simple exercise routines you can do anytime (balance, cardio, WholyFit, etc.).  The link to join is Exercise at Home with Lisa

6.  Fresh air and sunshine help to increase vitamin D and alleviate depression, positively affecting the immune system.  Deep breathing helps to strengthen the lungs and remove toxins.

7.  Drink enough pure water to dilute toxins and mucus so they can be removed from the body.  A stagnant river is a breeding ground for disease.  Keep your internal river flowing with enough pure water.  Squeeze 1/2 lemon into a cup of water for its vitamin C content, which helps fight infections.

8.  Eat food as closely to the way God created it as possible to obtain nutrients and fiber that help create an environment where viruses can’t thrive.  Highly processed foods are poor in nutrients and fiber and can create a hospitable environment for viruses. 

Learn to read labels and count fiber instead of calories.  Eat a minimum of 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day.

9.  Replace negative character traits with positive ones.  Colossians 3:12-14–“Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another.  Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive.  Above all, put on love–the perfect bond of unity.”

Good health starts with a healthy spirit!

10. Keep learning to be healthy!  Join my private Facebook Group:  Learning to be Healthy with Lisa.

If you need more help with healthy eating, check out my programs at www.learningtobehealthy.com.

Blessings of health,

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritional Consultant

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.

Biblical Nutrition–The First Diet

As Christians, we believe that God created us and gave us His inspired Word through the Holy Bible so that we can know truth. This includes the truth about what to eat to be healthy.

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.”

Genesis 2:9—“And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food . . .”

The first God-given diet did not include animal foods. All mankind, from Adam to Noah, ate a vegetarian diet, which included fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes (peas, beans, and lentils). This diet was followed for the first 1,000 years after creation, and people lived as long as 900 years. Methuselah lived 969 years.

After vegetation was destroyed by the flood, God added meat to the diet. Mankind’s lifespan dropped from 900 years to approximately 120. It continued to decrease to an average of 70 years.

As our creator, God certainly knows what foods are best for us. Some of the most reliable studies support a plant-based diet as a proven way to slow the aging process (The China Project). Even after meat was added, plant foods still maintained a foundational role in the diet.

When reviewing popular diets (Ketogenic, Paleo, Whole 30, South Beach, DASH, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Mediterranean, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, High-Fat, etc.), compare them to God’s diet. Don’t be confused by the myriad of information. So much of it is marketing hype. Look for truth.

Does the diet contain twice as many plant foods as animal foods? All plant foods are carbohydrates. In their God-created state, they are not grown with toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and they are not processed to remove fiber and nutrients. This is what makes carbohydrates unhealthy.

Consider Daniel’s diet: “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then, compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see. So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days, they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.” Daniel 1:12-15

The royal food would most likely have included a variety of meats and wine.

The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life combines healthy plant foods in balance with healthy animal foods.

Beware of diets that place more emphasis on getting your protein and fats from animal foods and limit healthy carbohydrates, like beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains in their organic, unprocessed forms.

Pop on over to the Learning to be Healthy with Lisa Facebook Group and share your thoughts and questions about diets you’ve heard about or have tried.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

Get your free copy of Eat More Veggies 10 Recipes PDF!

www.learningtobehealthy.com

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

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.

Eat Vegetables for Healthy Digestion

The condition of our gut impacts our health from head to toe. God’s pharmacy for a healthy gut includes a variety of vegetables. Vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and anti-inflammatory compounds that promote healthy digestion and are associated with lower risks of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and constipation.

Variety is key. Each color and type of vegetable brings something unique to the table, with its own special health benefits. So many of us eat the same two or three types of vegetables over and over.

Eat more vegetables challenge:

Add more veggies to your diet. Start with one daily serving more than you eat now.

Eat a wider variety of veggies. Make a list of veggies that you like but don’t usually buy. Make another list of veggies that you would be willing to try. Add one new veggie a week.

Eat a variety of colorful veggies.

Aim to eat twice as many non-starchy as starchy vegetables.

Eat some raw and some cooked. Keep pre-washed salad greens on hand and a supply of frozen vegetables ready to grab for quick meals.

Eat seasonal produce and refer to the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists for which ones that are best to buy organic.

Need more help? Check out my Eat to be Healthy Program that includes a Guide to a Rainbow of Nutrients, The Healthy Plate Meal Planner Guide that shows you how to make half your plate non-starchy vegetables, two weeks of sample menu plans, and a 16-page recipe book.

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

www.facebook.com/groups/learningtobehealthywithlisa

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.

Do you have signs of a toxic brain?


When toxins build up in our brains over time, we might experience fatigue, brain fog, poor concentration and memory, moodiness, vertigo (dizziness), headaches, confusion, and even unhealthy cravings.

Environmental toxins come from many sources, including water, food, air, personal care and cleaning products, dental fillings and sealants, paint, synthetic fertilizers (Roundup), air pollution, cigarettes, plastic food and beverage containers, cash register receipts, and the list goes on.

Let’s talk about toxins in food that can damage the brain and increase the risk of memory problems and dementia.

Mercury is a heavy metal that accumulates in the fatty flesh of larger fish, such as grouper, King mackerel, albacore and bigeye tuna, orange roughy, marlin, swordfish, and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico. When we eat mercury-contaminated fish, it can store in our fatty tissue. Our brain contains lots of fatty tissue.

Eat cilantro with your fish, which is known to help bind with mercury and remove it from the body. Also, eat plenty of fiber-rich plant foods with fish, or you won’t be removing anything!

Foods grown in conventional soil that has been treated with synthetic fertilizers may contain high amounts of cadmium, which is a highly toxic heavy metal. It can accumulate in the liver and kidneys, interfering with detoxification. Studies have associated high cadmium levels with osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Eat organic produce as often as possible.

Alert: Cigarettes contain high amounts of cadmium!

Pesticides (organochlorines and organophosphates) are neurotoxins and also promote weight gain, because toxins are stored in fat cells to protect our organs. In one study, people who were in the top 5% of exposure to DDT (organochlorine pesticide) had a 650% increased risk of developing dementia. Check the Dirty Dozen List at ewg.org to find which produce has the most pesticide residues.

Glyphosate is an herbicide found in Roundup weed killer, and its residues are found in genetically-modified crops (GMOs). Glyphosate has been shown to interfere with testosterone and estrogen balance and damage cells, increasing the risk for cancer. Avoid GMOs! Look for the “Non-GMO Verified Project” symbol on food and beverage packages. Learn which foods are commonly genetically modified by visiting www.nongmoproject.org.

Apples are usually on the Dirty Dozen List and are often sprayed with diphenylamine to make them shiny and slow discoloration. This chemical breaks down into nitrosamines, which are carcinogic and associated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

So, what’s a person to do? A good place to start is by limiting exposure and supporting detoxification:

  1. Eat organic (especially those on the Dirty Dozen List) as often as possible. One study: Certain pesticide levels decreased in the urine of one family by 95% after two weeks of eating organic food. Another study: The levels of neurotoxic pesticides in children who ate conventionally-grown foods (non-organic) were nine times higher than in those who ate organic.
  2. Avoid genetically-modified foods. As much as 96% of US soy is genetically modified and contains high levels of arsenic and cadmium. Soy is in so many processed foods. Only buy organic whole soy products.
  3. Read and understand food and beverage labels, and avoid toxic ingredients. Download my free Label Reading Guidelines PDF to get 15 label-reading tips. Join my free 6-Day Label Reading Challenge starting next Monday, May 6, by joining my Learning to be Healthy with Lisa Private Facebook Group.
  4. Avoid processed meats that contain nitrates and nitrites. These nitrosamines encourage the liver to produce toxic fats.
  5. Eat enough fiber to help bind toxins in the colon and remove them from the body.
  6. Drink enough pure water (filtered with charcoal or reverse osmosis) to help the kidneys flush out toxins.
  7. Support your liver (major detoxification organ) by eating cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.).
  8. Exercise to sweat and move your lymphatic system. Toxins are released in sweat, and more glutathione is made, which is a powerful detoxifying antioxidant. Sitting for prolonged periods is like a stagnant river.
  9. Register for the free online DIY Detox Summit!
  10. Ask God for wisdom, and learn to enjoy God’s food instead of man’s food!

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

Label Reading Guidelines free download

www.facebook.com/groups/learningtobehealthywithlisa

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.

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.

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.