The Church and the Gospel


“Theologically, we have been discovering anew that the Church is not an appendage to the Gospel: it is itself a part of the Gospel. The Gospel cannot be separated from that new people of God in which its nature is to be made manifest.” — Stephen Neill

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The Health Benefits of Probiotics 

“Probiotics are foods that contain live bacteria or other organisms that may promote your health,” says Amy C. Brown, PhD, RD, associate professor in the department of complementary and alternative medicine at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. “They are naturally found in fermented dairy products and other fermented foods or beverages.” Probiotics are also available in supplement forms.

Probiotics and Weight Loss: “Recently the research world has been buzzing about how probiotics may help with weight loss,” says Brown. The theory is that probiotics may affect the way that  your calories are digested and therefore could help help the process by which energy can be used by the body, including becoming fat.

Brown recommends caution in the face of any such research: Probiotics are not “magic diet pills”, and they definitely do not give you license to stop counting calories or following your diet.

The recommendation to include probiotics in a healthy diet dates back to the 1930s. Probiotics can be used to help:

  • Diarrhea from infection, food poisoning, or antibiotics
  • Treat urinary tract infections
  • Prevent or treat yeast infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Eczema
  • Reduce the risk of bladder cancer returning
  • Protect against colon cancer
  • Improve the immune system

When the digestive tract is out of balance, people experience a lot of discomfort, says Brown. Probiotics are used to your digestive balance. “A balanced or ‘normal’ [digestive] flora may competitively exclude possible [harmful] organisms, stimulate the intestinal immune system, and produce nutrients and other [beneficial] substances,” Brown explains.

Carbs make you older


I just learned that eating too much processed carbohydrates (like pasta, baked goods, sugar and bread) can lead to damage in your skin’s collagen, and collagen is a substance that keeps your skin springy and resists wrinkles (Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD). She is a nutrition policy consultant for the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. Processed carbohydrates produce inflammatory things called AGEs – advanced glycation end-products – which put your overall health on the line. They are tied to diseases like diabetes and heart disease, she says. Other foods, like fruits and vegetables, are good for your skin. Source: WebMD

Spinach and blood pressure


Spinach is low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with heart-healthy nutrients like potassium, magnesium and folate, the key ingredients for lowering and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. An easy way to eat more of this great green is to try mixing fresh spinach leaves into salads or adding them to sandwiches.

You are more likely to gain weight if you like to stay up late


Night owls are more likely to gain weight than people who get good sleep because they tend to graze the kitchen for junk food in the add hours of the morning, a new study suggests.

This is what I learned: researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that people who were kept up until 4 a.m. in a sleep lab ate more than 550 additional calories during the late-night hours.

“People consumed a substantial amount of calories during those late-night hours when they would normally be in bed,” said study author Andrea Spaeth, a doctoral candidate in the psychology department at the University of Pennsylvania. “Those calories also were higher in fat compared to the calories consumed at other times of day.”

As a result of this study, people who were kept up late gained more weight during five days of sleep deprivation than people in a control group who were allowed to get good sleep, Spaeth said.

Late-night overeating and weight gain is likely the result of hormonal changes that occur in people who are sleep-deprived, they tend to experience an increase in their levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger cravings, and a decrease in levels of leptin, a hormone that makes people feel full.

Oh well, something to remember when I entertain a thought of staying up late 🙂

Why I like frozen grapes


Frozen grapes are the perfect low-calorie solution for dieters that can’t live without dessert. You can have one full cup of these refreshing, bite-sized nibbles for only 100 calories — a cool and sweet bargain. And, because the grapes are frozen solid, they take a while to eat, stretching out your snack time. Perfect in summer and reduces my craving for ice-cream!

Have quinoa for breakfast


Quinoa-yogurt parfait
Quinoa is higher in protein than most whole grains, so it’s a great choice at breakfast. Layer ½ cup cooked quinoa, a 6-ounce container of nonfat yogurt, 1 small chopped apple, and a dash of cinnamon. (315 calories, 20g protein, 2g fat, 55g carb, 7g fiber – source: JoyBauers Food Cures)

How to cut 500 calories


This is what I learned from EveryDayHealth:

You can easily cut 500 calories by making small diet and exercise changes throughout your day. Here’s one approach:

  • Breakfast: Drink water instead of orange juice (calories saved: 117)
  • Snack: Have sliced cucumber and a tablespoon of hummus instead of a bag of chips (calories saved: 119)
  • Lunch: Swap out your salad’s creamy ranch dressing for fat-free Italian (calories saved: 66)
  • Dessert: Eat half of a cup of strawberries instead of a half of a cup of chocolate ice cream (calories saved: 118).
  • Exercise: Stroll at a moderate pace for 30 minutes (calories burned: 125 for a woman weighing 145ibs)
    All these swaps are not that hard to do!

Another use for teeth and lips


“God has given us two ears, but one tongue, to show that we should be swift to hear, but slow to speak. God has set a double fence before the tongue, the teeth and the lips, to teach us to be wary that we offend not with our tongue.” — Thomas Watson

It’s good to remember. It’s good for kids to learn this early. It’s good to stop and think about it 🙂

Low calorie and meaty


Mushrooms taste meaty, but have only a fraction of the calories and fat of red meat. Research reports that when people ate mushroom-based entrees, they felt just as satisfied as when they’d eaten those same dishes made with beef. (from EatingWell)