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.

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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.

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.