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BECAUSE OF THE EPIDEMIC of obesity in this country it is stated that the current generation will be the first in modern history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. We will be sharing principles for the remainder of the year which will assist you and your family into becoming vibrantly healthy! We will begin with the all important breakfast (break-your-fast).
    You have heard the adage,  “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and supper like a pauper.” There is a lot of truth in this statement. Inspiration tells us, “And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.” (1 Kings 17:6) God made sure Elijah had a good breakfast every day. And, “The habit of eating a sparing breakfast and a large dinner is wrong. Make your breakfast correspond more nearly to the heartiest meal of the day.” (CG390.2) Eating a nutritious breakfast each day is associated with better verbal affluence, improved problem solving, better scholastic abilities and improved energy. It is also an aid to weight management, which will be addressed in upcoming Pearls for Health. 


YOU KNOW you should eat a good breakfast every day, right? And that breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day in terms of quantity and caloric content. But what constitutes a good breakfast? A good traditional breakfast would consist of a whole grain cereal with soy, rice or almond milk, (there is really no reason to drink cow’s milk in 2012), 1–2 slices of whole grain bread, 1–2 tablespoons of nuts or a tablespoon of nut butter and five servings of fruit. Alternatives may include grits, tofu, whole grain toast, 5 servings of fruit and several nuts. Many prefer eating what you might consider dinner foods for breakfast such as brown rice, beans, greens, yams, etc. Whatever your preference is, the most important thing is to eat a good breakfast! Why not make it a habit of eating a nutritious breakfast every day; for better health. It will aid in becoming, “Less of Ourselves in 2012!
    So, if you want better grades for your children or grandchildren, if you desire better physical, mental and spiritual health, make sure to start your day with a good breakfast!

"EATING BREAKFAST is a daily habit for the ‘successful losers’ who belong to The National Weight Control Registry. These people have maintained a 30-pound (or more) weight loss for at least a year, and some as long as six years. Most (78%) reported eating breakfast every day, and almost 90% reported eating breakfast at least five days a week. This suggests that starting the day with breakfast is an important strategy to lose weight and keep it off,” says James O. Hill, PhD, the Registry’s co-founder and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Two studies in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association backed up this finding. Breakfast is important to weight loss. A group of researchers analyzed data from a government-funded study that followed more than 2,000 young girls from ages 9 to 19. They found that regular cereal eaters had fewer weight problems than infrequent cereal eaters. Those who ate cereal occasionally had a 13% higher risk of being overweight compared to the regular cereal eaters. Another research group analyzed government data on 4,200 adults. They found that regular breakfast eaters were more likely to exercise regularly. And women who ate breakfast regularly tended to eat fewer calories overall during the day. "Those men and women who ate breakfast cereal had lower overall fat intake, compared to those who ate other breakfast foods.” (WebMD, August 31, 2010)
    “It is the custom and order of society to take a slight breakfast. But this is not the best way to treat the stomach. At breakfast time the stomach is in a better condition to take care of more food than at the second or third meal of the day. The habit of eating a sparing breakfast and a large dinner is wrong. Make your breakfast correspond more nearly to the heartiest meal of the day.” (CG 390)

HOPEFULLY YOU HAVE ESTABLISHED the habit of a regular, healthy breakfast. We are now going to shift gears to discuss lipids or fats. Most individuals are in need of reducing their intake of fats. This is particularly the case with those who are suffering from obesity. If you are desiring to experience weight loss, fats, and specifically unhealthy fats, must be reduced. One of the reasons why is because unlike proteins and carbohydrates, which contain 4 calories per gram, lipids or fats contain 9 calories per gram. So it’s easy to see why eating lipid-laden food would sabotage a weight management program.

Consider the increase in calories of the following foods: 
1 medium baked potato = 161 calories 

1 medium French fries = 487 calories

1 cup fried okra = 600 calories  
1 cup okra = 31 calories

1 slice whole wheat bread = 69 calories
1 slice WW bread with margarine = 169 calories

Therefore, it’s easy to understand from the above examples how eliminating fried foods and added fat can assist in reducing waist lines, by decreasing total calorie intake. The Bible itself admonished us regarding the danger of fats in Leviticus 3:17. Far from restrictive, these laws were protective. Why not try it this week? Reduce the use of added fats in the form of margarine, oils and fried foods by at least 50%! It will not affect the taste of your foods, but it will affect your health in positive ways.

LIPIDS IN THE BLOOD are necessary to life. When lipid levels are too high (in the forms of cholesterol and triglycerides) it spells trouble. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and can be reduced by as much as 50% with an optimal diet and exercise. But what is an optimal diet? One containing at least 5 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables, both very low in fats and incorporating beans on a daily or frequent basis because beans contain a type of fiber (soluble) that reduces blood cholesterol. Hidden fats in foods must also be reduced. When shopping, it’s important to read the nutritional labels, and if the fat calories comprise more than 10-20 percent of the total calories, it would be best to leave that product on the shelf or use it sparingly and infrequently. Increasing dietary fat increases blood fats which increases heart disease and certain cancers including colon, prostate and breast. So be a wise consumer and avoid high fat foods, for yours and your family’s health sake!

CHOLESTEROL IS A TERM that evokes fear in the hearts of many because of its association with heart disease. But cholesterol is an important substance in our bodies and without it we would die. It serves as the substrate for production of vitamin D, all of our sex hormones, and serves as the outer covering of the brain and nerves. Cholesterol is produced by the liver in optimal quantities for optimal health. When we consume cholesterol containing foods, this excess is where the problem lies. You may have seen commercials stating, “When diet and exercise are not enough, that ______.” With the diet generally recommended you will need ______! The recommended diet is not cholesterol-free. It therefore will fall short of achieving the desired blood cholesterol level. For the best results, we must go back to the Creator’s plan. The original diet in Genesis 1:29 was cholesterol free—because only foods derived from animals contain cholesterol because only animals have livers. There is one caveat; blood cholesterol levels are also increase by eating hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, usually found in baked goods. So to reduce your blood cholesterol, it’s important to eliminate these fats also. If you need another reason to read labels there it is!

DO YOU KNOW what your cholesterol level is? What you don’t know could kill you! Heart disease is occurring in younger and younger people these days because of the modern sedentary lifestyle which most Americans have adopted. There are four components of a blood lipid panel test: the total cholesterol, the LDL (lousy) cholesterol, the HDL (healthy) cholesterol and the triglycerides. When cholesterol screening is done, this usually checks the total cholesterol. The lipid panel test is more comprehensive and gives you a better indication of whether you are at risk for heart disease. It is generally accepted by medical professionals that a total cholesterol above 200 mg%, a LDL level above 130 mg% or a HDL level below 40 mg% (since HDL is the healthy cholesterol) places you at a higher risk for having a heart attack. Diet and exercise will work wonders at improving your cholesterol levels. If you don’t know what your cholesterol is, why not get it checked; it could save your life!

WE WILL NOW BE FOCUSING on exercise. It is unlikely that you can enjoy optimal health and achieve and maintain your appropriate body weight as well as optimal health without it. But God tells us in 1 Timothy 4:8, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” In this Scripture a balance is emphasized that we would do well to heed. Physical activity is very important for health. Remember God placed man in a garden that he might get exercise on a daily basis; but for everything God gives, the devil counterfeits. Instead of walking and useful labor which God originally gave mankind, other forms, which may be Satan inspired, are being adopted which lead away from Jesus to focus on self. So be careful what forms of exercise you adopt. Exercise regularly and don’t let it become your “god.” Is your exercise leading to Christ or does it lead to embracing worldly activities and customs? Paul under inspiration identifies something vastly more important than bodily exercise: godliness! So be careful how you exercise, when you exercise, and how much you exercise! Why not join other Christians in the “InSteps for Life” walking program. Visit http://www.adventistsinstepforlife.org to get started.

"WALKING, IN ALL CASES where it is possible, is the best remedy for diseased bodies, because in this exercise all the organs of the body are brought into use...There is no exercise that can take the place of walking. By it the circulation of the blood is greatly improved.” (3T p. 78) “Walking for 30 minutes a day can prevent weight gain in most people who are physically inactive," according to a Duke University study. The reason walking helps control your weight: It's easy! 'The harder the exercise is, the less people will do it,' says Johnny Benjamin, MD, chairman of the department of orthopedics at Indian River Medical Center in Vero Beach, Florida.” (CNNHealth.com, June 28, 2008) Those who walk by themselves are usually committed—they will stick with their exercise program regardless—but walking with a neighbor or family member may not only be encouraging, but also a time for refreshing companionship. It is a perfect time to reconnect with spouses or children at the beginning or ending of the day. The “InSteps for Life” walking program is a program available that you may wish to join. Exercise is imperative for health!
Visit http://www.adventistsinstepforlife.org to get started.

"THE CHIEF, if not the only, reason why many become invalids is that the blood does not circulate freely, and the changes in the vital fluid, which are necessary to life and health, do not take place. They have not given their bodies exercise nor their lungs food, which is pure, fresh air; therefore it is impossible for the blood to be vitalized, and it pursues its course sluggishly through the system. The more we exercise, the better will be the circulation of the blood. More people die for want of exercise than through overfatigue; very many more rust out than wear out. Those who accustom themselves to proper exercise in the open air will generally have a good and vigorous circulation. We are more dependent upon the air we breathe than upon the food we eat. Men and women, young and old, who desire health, and who would enjoy active life, should remember that they cannot have these without a good circulation. Whatever their business and inclinations, they should make up their minds to exercise in the open air as much as they can. They should feel it a religious duty to overcome the conditions of health which have kept them confined indoors, deprived of exercise in the open air. (2T p. 525)
Don’t be one who rusts out, take a walk today!  You may wish to check out “InSteps for Life” walking program at http://www.adventistsinstepforlife.org to get started.

IN A STUDY conducted at Duke University Medical Center, walking briskly for 30 minutes every day lowers the odds of developing metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors linked to higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. “Morning exercise, in walking in the free, invigorating air of heaven, or cultivating flowers, small fruits, and vegetables, is necessary to a healthful circulation of the blood. It is the surest safeguard against colds, coughs, congestions of brain and lungs, inflammation of the liver, the kidneys, and the lungs, and a hundred other diseases. Go out and exercise every day, even though some things indoors have to be neglected. The more nearly we come into harmony with God's original plan, the more favorable will be our position for the recovery and preservation of health.” (ML 136) On those days when you just can't get 30 minutes at one time, you can break your walk up into segments which you can fit into your day. "In addition to reducing heart disease, diabetes and strokes, regular exercise does wonders to prevent and treat thinning bones. This kind of exercise, which uses 95 percent of your muscles, actually pushes your bones to get stronger so they can handle the load.” (CNNHealth.com, June 28, 2008) So why not get started today? Morning exercise is best but if not possible, don’t use that as an excuse. Exercise when you can. Why not join other Christians in the “InSteps for Life” walking program. Visit http://www.adventistsinstepforlife.org to get started.

WALKING CAN RELIEVE depression, anxiety, and stress. Just one 30- minute walk may make you feel better when you're down, University of Texas researchers found. Head out for 90 minutes five times a week and you'll get the biggest boost, according to a new study from Temple University. One possible explanation: walking helps the body produce endorphins, the mood-boosting chemicals linked to ‘runner's high’. A brisk walk in the afternoon will help you get a better night's sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Experts say that walking may boost levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin, which relaxes you. Or, the rise in body temperature brought on by walking may signal the brain to lower your temperature later, which promotes sleep. (Avoid a walk two hours before bed --that's too late to cool down.) (CNNHealth.com, June 28, 2008).
Today is the perfect day to start. If you need further motivation, why not consider joining other Christians in the “InSteps for Life” walking program.
Visit http://www.adventistsinstepforlife.org to get started.

IF ANY MAN will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (Luke 9:23)
“... How many who call themselves Christians are unwilling to exercise self-denial, even for Christ's sake. How often the love for some pernicious indulgence is stronger than the desire for a sound mind in a sound body! Precious hours of probation are spent, God-given means squandered, to please the eye or to gratify the appetite. Custom holds thousands in bondage to the earthly and sensual.” (RH, June 15, 1886) Are you willing to deny self and follow God's program for exercise? The benefits include a stronger immune system, mental sharpness (a brain booster), decreased incidence of many diseases, improved outlook on life, and a chance to commune with God. Benefits are for all ages. Strolls are fine, but during your “exercise” walk, pick up the pace. It has been found that the speed at which you walk is also a predictor of future mental health. One study found people with a “slower walking speed in middle age were one-and-a-half times more likely to develop dementia compared to people with faster walking speed.” (Science Daily, February 15, 2012) So take a walk today—with a friend is wonderful, but don’t forget walks alone with you and God, giving Him an opportunity to speak to you. Take a walk in nature and hear His voice. Also remember the InSteps for Life walking program at: http://www.adventistsinstepforlife.org to get started.

EATING IN-BETWEEN MEALS (snacks) has become a standard item in the minds of most Americans. Snack food advertisers ply their wares until almost all feel they must have something to eat between meals. But this practice is a contributor to numerous health problems, including obesity and its train of diseases. It’s interesting that God teaches, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) The Bible goes on to say there is a time to be born and a time to die; so there must be a time to eat and a time to refrain from eating. For many the time to eat is while one is awake and the time to refrain from eating is when one sleeps. But did you know that drinking one 8 ounce glass of orange juice a day, with all its vitamin C, can in a year lead to a 10 pound weight gain? So if you are use to eating between meals, it would be best to eliminate the practice, but if that’s too big of a leap for you, try reducing the number of times and/or reducing the amount of calories consumed between meals. When we adopt a structured lifestyle with set time for meals, our feelings (emotions) have far less impact on our desire to eat than when this structure is lacking. In fact, the choice of not eating, except at specified meal times, places a bulwark to emotionally induced eating which contributes to obesity. “As Christ's followers, we should in eating and drinking act from principle.” (Christian Temperance p. 61) Give it a try and you will be truly BLESSED!

CAN YOU NAME a healthy snack? When asked that question, you may reply, “like fruit or salads?” The term “healthy snacks” is a misnomer. No food that is eaten between meals is healthy for the body unless you have a medical condition which requires it—and diabetes is not one of them! In fact, the reason many people have type 2 diabetes is because of between-meal snacking. “It is quite a common custom with the people of the world to eat three times a day, besides eating at irregular intervals between meals; and the last meal is generally the most hearty, and is often taken just before retiring. This is reversing the natural order; a hearty meal should never be taken so late in the day. Should these persons change their practice, and eat but two meals a day, and nothing between meals, not even an apple, a nut, or any kind of fruit, the result would be seen in a good appetite and greatly improved health." (Healthful Living, p. 84) But there is one substance which can be freely consumed between meals, WATER! In fact you may think you are hungry and must eat when the cause of the perceived hunger pang is dehydration, and drinking 12 ounces of water may drown that hunger perception! And as you know, water contains no calories so it’s the perfect between-meal “food.” So enjoy “Adam’s Ale” to the fullest between meals to improve your health.

WITH THE ADVENT of artificial sweeteners, you can eat or drink calorie-free foods and beverages between meals and still not gain weight, right? WRONG! In Fox News online published April 1, 2012, Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com responds to the question, “I drink a few cans of diet soda every day. Could this be bad for my health?” His response, “According to recent studies, diet soda may be linked with an increased risk of stroke. Prior research has already linked soda with obesity, kidney damage and certain cancers. Just because it says ‘diet,’ doesn’t mean its healthy or the key to losing weight,” Alvarez warned. Using artificial sweetener actually stimulates appetite and leads to weight gain rather than weight loss. “The San Antonio Heart Study examined 3,682 adults over a seven- to eight-year period in the 1980s. When matched for initial body mass index (BMI), gender, ethnicity, and diet, drinkers of artificially sweetened beverages consistently had higher BMIs at follow-up, which was dose dependent, (the more artificially sweetened beverages used, the higher the weight gain)." (Obesity, 2008; 16:1894–1900.) So eliminate those artificially sweetened beverages and foods to achieve your goal in losing weight.

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