5 Reasons Eating Pork is a Threat to Your Health

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10 Things I’ve Learned From 21 Days of Fasting

As I reached the final day of fasting this past Sunday, I can reflect on the many things that I’ve learned.

  1. Getting closer to God.  This is the main reason for fasting.  It is always nice to get better acquainted with my Lord and Savior through His Word and through prayer.
  2. I don’t need caffeine.  Sure, I like the taste and smell of a cup of coffee, but I didn’t have withdrawal symptoms from not having it for 21 days.  That tells me that it’s not a necessity. Caffeine can affect you in negative ways, like rapid heartbeat or being jittery.
  3. I will cut back on steak and other meats.  My husband and I ate steak almost every week before the fast. I’m not going to totally go vegan since God said that all food is good (I Timothy 4:3-4). However, I have felt amazing these past few weeks. I want to continue to feel energetic.
  4. Diet made more of a difference for my weight loss. I didn’t fast for the purpose of losing weight…it’s just a side effect.
  5. Trivial things don’t matter.  My cell phone was lost, and I didn’t have one for 2 days. At the end of the day, it’s just a material possession.
  6. I need to cut back on social media. I use social media to promote my blog, but other than that, I’m not the type of person that lives on Facebook and always taking selfies.  You ever notice that everywhere you go, whether it’s work or the doctor’s office, people rarely talk to each other anymore? They’re either texting or on social media.  Some people text while they’re walking.  Even driving, although you can get a ticket for that!
  7. I didn’t miss eating bread.  When you’re a pre-diabetic, it is better to resist it.
  8. It felt good to teach someone a spiritual lesson.  I’m always open to talking about spiritual matters with those that will listen.  When I can write about it, it is even better.
  9. Your body needs a detox.  Every now and again, your mind and body need a detox.  See my post on Why Regular and Natural Detox is so Important For Your Body
  10. Television is used as a tool for mind control.  We didn’t watch regular television during the fast, not even the local news.  We watched documentaries and nature shows. It is a mindless distraction.



What Your Food Packaging Says about Your Eating Habits


When it comes to shopping, there are a number of things we take into consideration for the foods that we buy, because we know what we like from our food. The more you know about a person,the more that you can tell about what sort of foods they like. What about the other way around? Have you ever considered that your choice of products off the shelves says something about the sort of person you or your eating habits are?

Well, it isn’t an exact science, but then again, social sciences never are. Though it certainly can make for an amusing topic of conversation.

There are a number of ways you could categorize eating habits, taking into account the sort of person, diet, lifestyle and budget that go into selecting the products.

The Student Diet

At some point or another, we’ve all experienced this particular selection of eating habits. You head towards the bigger, bulkier packaging with the simpler, cheaper designs. You don’t have a huge amount of money, and you’ve been saving it for Friday night drinking.  However, you’re hungry a lot more than you used to be when you didn’t have to attend lectures all afternoon. A lot of your food packaging shares similar characteristics.

  • Clear cooking instructions.  You checked before you bought it. We all did. There is no point in buying something you don’t know how to cook. And if it tells you that all you have to do is add boiling water or stick it in the microwave for a few minutes, then you throw five of them into the basket.
  • Resealable. It probably isn’t going to last long no matter what it is; the next time you have to pull an all-nighter to get through your big assignment, you’ll be digging just about anything out of the cupboards to keep you going. But you’ll be finding things that you forgot you had ever bought, and you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that they had resealable packaging, or you’d probably have rats! My guess is it’s that little bit of our parents we have in us that reaches for the resealable packaging after we’ve flown the nest.
  • Container-based packaging.  Your mum maybe used to buy noodles in a bag. Little, plastic, and useless once opened. That’s not what you as a student look for; when you buy noodles, you buy them in a pot. Yeah, it takes up more space in the cupboard, but you don’t need a plate, because you can eat them right out of the pot. Pie? In a pot or tin. Curry? In a little plastic tray. Fruit? In a tin. Beans? In a tin; you can eat them cold right out of that. Being a student means that you used up all your dishes weeks ago and haven’t gotten around to washing them yet, and you don’t need to because your food packaging is the same as a bowl.


The Single People Diet

You’ve grown out of the student diet. Your metabolism no longer quite handles all of the rubbish food you used to eat. You’ve started washing your dishes and you’re more aware of your spending; not because you don’t have money, but because you know that you worked hard for hours on end to get that money, and you’re saving it for something important. Regardless of specific circumstances, there are often shared characteristics.

  • Freezer friendly packaging. Most foods that are cost-effective are provided in family sized-portions. You’re just one person; you can’t eat all of it. The freezer is one of the most essential items in your home. Everything has to go in there because you are not going to finish eating it in one sitting. You look out for that ‘cook from frozen’ symbol, because let’s face it, we know we’ll never remember to get it out to defrost before we leave for work.
  • Tins.  You end up cooking too much food quite often, and you’ll also  end up only eating half of something as well, because you’re only one person. With leftovers, half a loaf of bread, opened boxes of freezer food, half consumed packs of meat, and ice cream for movie night all tucked up in the freezer, not many of us have room for much more.  Tinned foods, which can be stacked and stored easily for long periods of time, become particularly popular among single people. Jars are less popular, mostly because they can be difficult to open; you become wary of buying more. As a single woman, I can attest to this.  I have jars that are sitting in the cupboard almost two months after being purchased, waiting until I remember to ask someone stronger than myself to help me loosen the lid.
  • Simple.  Ever noticed that the supermarket brand stuff is incredibly simple? They didn’t even create extra cost by hiring a designer, and they don’t waste money marketing their products. It’s as cheap and simple as it gets, and for some single people it offers the most effective solution. Save money, but eat well. I don’t know if you’ve tried any of this,  but when I lived in my first flat, I practically lived on it; I couldn’t tell any real difference, other than the packaging, which is basically a ‘does the job’ method of packaging.


The Family Diet

Families vary a lot. Different ages, sizes, and incomes. There are a lot of variables to take into consideration. But their shopping tends to share a number of the characteristics of the single people and the students.

  • Big or Bulk Packaging.  If you’re a family, you have at least two mouths to feed, but generally 3-5. This means a lot of food, and often of incredibly varied types. Bulk packaging and bigger packaging options are popular for families, often labelled ‘family size’ to draw the attention of economical parents.
  • Colorful Packaging. Kids are drawn to colourful things and cuddly animals. Anyone who develops food products aimed towards children knows this.  So if you have kids, you’re going to find yourself drawn to, if not dragged toward, the most colorful, child-orientated  packaging on the shelves.
  • Nothing Artificial. In your younger years, you might have scoffed at packaging that displayed boldly and proudly that it had no added sugars, colors , or preservatives. Now that you’re a parent, you’ll be grasping at them with desperation. Kids are small and energetic, but the few months of being a parent taught you that they have sensitive stomachs.  Once they started moving and eating solid foods, it taught you just how big of an effect added sugars can have. Most parents start looking to limit additives by the time their first child is three.


The Health Conscious Diet

Maybe you’re a sporty sort of person; maybe you just like to take care of yourself. It is important that you have the right standard of health from your food and you take your time to select foods that are suitable for your health needs.

  • Fresh packaging.  Packaging that promotes or improves freshness tends to be a more popular selection among those who are particularly conscious of their health.  Of course, many fresh fruits and vegetables do not include packaging, but those that do usually provide ventilated plastic packaging. Simple packaging is important for fresh foods.
  • Nutritional Information. Those who are health conscious will of course be concerned about what is in the foods they are buying, which makes the nutritional information strip seen on most food packaging a particularly useful feature. However, rather than scrutinizing everything strictly and finding the best possible product from the options available to them, most health conscious types will select from those where the nutritional information is most clearly displayed.


Written by E. Clark

Staying Fit While Snowed In

My 2016 had a weird, but interesting start, but I am back on track with my fitness goals.  One of the reasons that I love my gym is that they give you “bucks” to spend just for being a member. I’ve used them for personal training sessions.  I think I will use the remaining bucks for a massage in the coming weeks.  My personal trainer recommended her massage therapist to me.

My workouts have been consistent, and I’m starting to see some changes in my weight.  I lost 2 pounds this past week. I had to revamp my eating habits since I wasn’t seeing a physical change. I’m eating smaller portions for each meal.

With more than 1 foot of snow hitting the DC Metro area, everything is pretty much shut down.  I will have to be creative with my at-home workouts.  Most likely, I will do crunches and some push ups. There was a time that I could barely do one push up.  My mid-section still needs toning.  If I can trim my waistline and burn away my “muffin top”, that will help my health tremendously.  I took a hour-long cycling class one morning a couple of weeks ago. I took one a few years ago; this one was a lot harder. Surprisingly, the next day, my muscles weren’t sore.

To recap,  I’ll see my doctor in March, so I need to stay focused so he can see the positive changes. My blood pressure readings have been excellent. My reading today was 119/74.  For information purposes, a reading below 120/80 is optimal.  Always ask your doctor if you are unsure.  My cholesterol levels were normal on my last doctor visit in September.  The goal is for the pre-diabetes to reverse.  In the meantime, I will do my best to stay warm and catch up on my writing and sleep. Maybe even read a good book!


Time to Get Moving as We Move into 2016

This will be my last post for the year as well as the 100th blog post.     I wanted to update you on my progress. I saw my dietician for my final appointment. My diet is fine; however, he suggested that I get a fitness band to track my activity. My struggle this month was getting in the recommended activity. After taking a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico, and with the holidays, there was an interruption  in my workout routine.  We enjoyed ourselves, celebrating my husband’s birthday, going horseback riding, and taking a camel ride for the first time. We also experienced the kingdom safari; letting birds eat food out of your hand was a very different experience.

We got some much needed rest over the holidays.  This week, I am back on track with my workouts and diet. In my appointment, we discussed that every person, regardless of your weight, needs to take 10,000 steps per day. So, I purchased a Garmin activity tracker.  For the past 2 days, I have reached my goal.  In addition to steps and other activities, it also tracks your sleep. It tracks the number of both deep and light sleep hours.

With 2016 just around the corner, I will continue to keep my same goals in mind. With writing, family, and my full-time job, our next vacation probably won’t be until the summer for my birthday.


Getting the Most from Your Personal Trainer

On Tuesday and Thursday, I met with my new personal trainer.  We both felt that everything went well.  My previous trainer referred me.  I didn’t have any issues with her. She gave me the start that I need on this journey to achieving my goals.

I have 6 more sessions with her.  It’s hard work right now, but it will be well worth it when I start seeing results.  I know that if I do not have guidance in the beginning, I will not necessarily make correct choices.

I struggle with push-ups and lunges, the latter being the most difficult for me. I’m sure that with time, I will show improvement with both exercises.  When you do squats, just think of sitting in a chair. I’ve done this exercise with and without one. You can incorporate a kettlebell into your workout. It will make your workout more beneficial.

Finally,  the most important part is the “before” pictures.  My current weight is 146lbs.  My goal is to reach 135 lbs. After these 6 sessions, I will see if my weight has dropped, or if I notice any obvious physical changes.  The plan is NOT to lose all 11 pounds in 3 weeks.  I want to pace myself.  I am changing my diet as well as exercising.  I want to look in the mirror at a toned body.IMG_1015 IMG_1016 IMG_1017

How Blood Sugar Levels and Stress Have an Impact-I Need Balance

imageThis past Monday, I worked out at 6:30am again, and I met with a dietician after work.  I completed a health questionnaire prior to my appointment.  It was confirmed that I lost 5 lbs. in the past month.  I have 33 percent body fat, which puts me at a moderate health risk. Anything over 35 percent is high risk.

As we talked, he determined that I eat pretty healthy lunches and dinners. Typically, we have a starch, a green vegetable, and a meat or fish.  I usually take leftovers for lunch the next day for work. Occasionally, I am invited to lunch with co-workers, or we have free lunch offered to us.  In those cases, I make healthy choices, like a salad.

imageAccording to my dietician, the  problem was my snack choices and breakfast. I was getting carbs, but not enough protein.  The rule is to look at the ratio of carbs to protein with fiber. When I was ingesting a higher ratio of carbs to protein, it was causing  an imbalance in which my blood sugar levels can rise and then drop. Either way, it promotes fat storage. Stress can increase cortisol levels, which coupled with low blood sugar levels, can also cause fat storage.  I learned this past week that your thoughts can cause stress; therefore, I make sure that my thoughts are not negative.

Normal blood sugar encourages fat use. For example, eating a bowl of oatmeal alone was leaving me short on protein. I needed to eat something else with it, like chicken or some nitrate- free breakfast meat.  Plain greek yogurt is high in protein. Since it doesn’t taste delicious by itself, I add fruit to it, which adds a nice balance.

As for snacking, I eat nuts, fruit and cheese, or hummus and raw veggies.  Sometimes, I just have a cup of green tea, and I’m satisfied. I’m sure as time goes on, I will get more creative. These were just suggestions, and they work for me.  I used to eat hummus often, but I just needed a change.

On my Friday session with the trainer, I struggled with a few of the exercises.  She set me up with a different personal trainer twice weekly for 30 minutes for the next month.  I will see how much progress I make and move forward from there.  It’ll be hard work, but well worth it.

I often hear people talk about being fat and overweight; however, they don’t make any changes with their diet or their lifestyle.  Looking back, I was a very skinny kid that wanted to be more curvy.  Now, I can still be curvy, but it’s about my health.

Will You Follow Me on my Fitness Journey?

imageLast month after having my yearly physical, I found out that I am pre-diabetic. That means that I am at risk for getting diabetes in the next 2 years.  I do have a family history of it, and I also gained 11 pounds this past year.  It’s time for a change!

I took my first step today and started working with a personal trainer. It was a great session. I truly have to be disciplined in all areas.  I work at a place that has free lunch often, chocolate laying around, and everything in the vending machines is $0.25.  Since I don’t have a lot of time, I’ll be working out at 6:30am at least twice a week. Working out 3 days per week is the only way that I can realistically achieve my goals. I’ll be following up with my doctor in 6 months, so I want a positive report.

I’ll also be meeting with a dietician. He will be able to tell me which foods I can eat and which ones to avoid. I know mostly what’s “bad”, but I would like another prospective.  I’ll need some guidance in the beginning, so I have to decide if one-on-one sessions are best, or would group sessions work best for me. It’s always nice to have others on that journey with you. I will keep you updated on my progress. Maybe even motivate some of you out there.  I look forward to this weight loss and diabetes-free journey.

Simple tips for a model: How to stay in shape

modelModeling is one of the best-paid jobs of our time, and some might think that it is easy to be a model. What could be difficult about cat walking, posting in front of the camera with a smile on one`s face, or serious expression? But there are things about this profession which are noteworthy.

Not every single girl or a guy can become a model. One should look accordingly. Skin, hair, nails, and weight need to be good, and to look good, one should eat well and take care of oneself. Speaking of body weight, it is essential because girls get sick running after looking skinny and even die.

To avoid such problems in your life, make sure you eat healthy food and do physical exercises regularly. There is no need to skip meals to look skinny. Just pay attention to what you eat, when, and how often. Your body needs calories, too, so you could stand a day running from one casting to another.

Breakfast is the most important because without it, you will feel weak. Besides, thinking about food all the time is not an option. Having cereal, yogurt, or both would be a good idea. You will have energy for the first part of the day.

As for lunch, it might be some nuts or a fruit. Then, a broth works for dinner. It is highly important to have a broth or some soup regularly; otherwise, you risk suffering from gastritis. For supper, you could have some salad with a piece of meat or fish, or have a side dish with a salad.

Drink a lot of water during the day. It is important to have about 2 liters of water a day (coffee, tea, juice are not included). It has to be plain water and not sparkling water. This along with sweets are empty calories. Empty calories mean that what you get is fat only while cereal, broth, vegetables, fruits and meat fulfill your body with vitamins and energy.

Try to avoid bread, pasta, and cakes. If you do have some, do not forget about physical activity afterwards. It can be jogging, swimming, a dance class, or other type of fitness, even a walk for an hour and a half or two. Yes, walking is highly important. Keep in mind that it is recommended to walk two hours a day every day. Especially for someone who is occupied with an office job sitting all day long, but this is not about modeling, of course.

Even though being a model means an active lifestyle, do not forget about keeping yourself in shape, or the way you will look on the catwalk will get you fired or told mean things.

Continue reading “Simple tips for a model: How to stay in shape”

The Benefits of Eating Goat Meat

goat kebabs

Meat Comparison per 3oz
Calories Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Protein (g) Iron (g)
Goat 122 2.58 0.79 23 3.2
Beef 245 16.0 6.8 23 2.0
Pork 310 24.0 8.7 21 2.7
Lamb 235 16.0 7.3 22 1.4
Chicken 120 3.5 1.1 21 1.5

Goat meat is eaten globally and is actually the most consumed meat in the world. Western countries, on the other hand, are not as accustomed to the meat and still would rather eat the likes of beef, lamb and chicken. Dairy products from goats have never been a problem,though, with many being particularly fond of goat’s cheese. Goats milk is perhaps less popular; however, some argue that it is kinder to the stomach due to a different protein structure that is easier to digest. Over recent years, there has been a rising trend for goat meat, particularly in the USA and the UK, but what is it about the meat that is supposedly so good for us?

It is thought that eating too much red meat can contribute to high blood pressure and high cholesterol that can then create cardiovascular problems. Goat meat, however, is a lean white meat, with little fat and full of protein. Containing less fat and lower cholesterol levels, goat meat serves as a great alternative to eating red meat. Great for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and for incorporating into a weight loss plan.

Goat meat also contains less unsaturated fat than all red meats combined and contains amino acids and high levels of iron that the body needs. It can be particularly good for anaemic persons as they need to consume more iron than those who are not iron deficient. The high levels of unsaturated fat found in goat meat can actually help to enhance good cholesterol in the body and even stabilise the heartbeat. Due to these benefits, goat meat has been labelled as food that is good for the heart, so it will be beneficial to those who have cardiovascular problems.

Also new to the scene is Kid meat, meat that is sadly often wasted due to a high demand of dairy products produced by goats. Goat’s cheese and goat’s milk are very popular, and the demand for produce has led to dairy farmers breeding more goats for females to produce milk. Of course, you are not guaranteed to get female goats as male goats may be born instead or as well. The problem for dairy farmers is that they have no use for male goats and keeping them is too expensive. As a result, the males are put down and have had no real value to their life.

With such a huge amount of waste, farmers are now trying to sell male Kids so that the meat can be utilized and sold in restaurants. Kid meat is healthy and tasty and can be cooked in a variety of different ways. It may seem alien to some, but if it is eaten in other parts of the world, there is no reason as to why it shouldn’t be eaten here.

Author Bio:

Emma is a keen writer with an interest in health and nutrition. She often writes about foods that are good for us and how they can benefit the body.

Table source – http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/eat_goat_it_is_a_healthy_choice