January 26, 2015

Megan's Fabulous Foods

It seems obvious to indulge in plump, juicy berries and crisp, fresh vegetables when the warm sun of summer is producing mounds of fresh produce. But does this ever leave you wondering what are you supposed to eat in the long cold winter months? 

I found this answer most fascinating: “The ingestion of protein into our body causes the greatest increase in heat production. The metabolism—or chemical burning—is termed "specific dynamic action," SDA. Thus, biochemists of today state that the ingestion of 100 calories of protein leads to 30 calories of extra heat over and above the basal level, or the needs of the body, which is 70. This is wasted heat, which the body tries to get rid of by doing such things as sweating, etc. Our conclusion is: The so-called 'wasted heat' would keep a human body warmer in times of cold or winter; therefore, increased consumption of protein (meat) would be desirable and useful, in cold weather.” 1

MEAT is the answer! That is great for me, because I love meat, as I think most American’s would agree. Here is my major (and this is major) stipulation when it comes to being a meat eater. EAT GRASS-FED, HUMANLY TREATED, and HORMONE AND ANTIBIOTIC-FREE MEAT! Not all meat is created equally. The difference between your typical store-bought meat and my requirements (above) are most assuredly the difference between stunting your wellness potential and thriving toward your wellness potential. 

There are a few obvious benefits to following these guidelines. First is simple: when you buy from them, you’re supporting farmers who treat animals humanly. Obviously, buying hormone- and antibiotic-free meat means those added chemicals aren’t increasing the toxicity in your body. The best thing, though, about eating grass-fed meat is that is contains significantly more antioxidants, vitamin E, beta-carotene, B-vitamins, minerals, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and is higher in total omega 3s. 2

Some of you may be familiar with the increased cost of eating clean grass-fed meat vs. grain-fed meat, but that grass-fed meat is more nutrient-dense than the grain-fed meat, so the reality is that you are getting more bang for your buck. “When we switch from grain-fed to grass-fed meat, then, we are simply returning to the diet of our long-ago ancestors, the diet that is most in harmony with our physiology. Every cell and every system of our bodies will function better when we eat products from animals raised on grass.” 3

1. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705385018/Science-behind-eating-meat-primarily-in-winter-cold.html?pg=all
2. http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

3. http://www.mercola.com/beef/health_benefits.htm

January 5, 2015

The Power of Choice

We always carry this power with us.  We can always choose.  No one can take that power away from us.  We can give it away, but it cannot be taken away.  Viktor Frankl shared this in a powerful way in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning: “The last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
No matter what our circumstance, we choose how we perceive it. 
One of my mentors used to say that “nothing has any meaning but the meaning you give it.” 
Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ said it this way: “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” (Philippians 4:11).
In other words, no matter what your circumstance, you can choose to be
happy, content, humble, in love, in faith, patient, and peaceful.  It is always a choice.  Always.  It is not always an easy choice, but it is always an available choice.  It doesn’t matter what the other person does or does not do.  It doesn’t matter what the other person did or might do.  You have power to choose.  This power will release you from any and all negative consequences of any interaction. 
I once heard a presentation by a lady who had been kidnapped, raped repeatedly, and then survived her captor’s two attempts to kill her.  She escaped, but with permanent facial disfigurements.  A person in the audience asked her, “How does this event effect your daily life?”  She said (according to my memory), “I am not going to give another moment of my life to that man.  He had as much of my life as I am willing to give.  I have let him go and it go.  I am grateful for my life as it is.”
Jesus Christ, in the midst of his crucifixion, the most painful way to die ever devised by man, had the capacity to say, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” 
With the idea of choice firmly planted, the opposite of being willing to choose a grateful mindset is the choice to be “a victim.”  This choice, to be a victim, is a very common mindset, and in some parts of society, it is considered a treasured and celebrated “right.”  But as soon as we decide to take on the role of “victim,” we accept a limited field of options in our lives. If we believe ourselves to be victims, we also believe that the only way to escape our negative circumstances is to get others to behave in the way we think they should, to fix the way we feel.  Anytime we give others the power to determine how we feel about something, we surrender to voluntary slavery.  I know that ‘slavery’ is a charged word, but it accurately describes the choice to be a victim: the pain that comes from voluntary slavery is just as real as that which came from the type of slavery that used to exist in our society and still exists in some. 
The problem is that voluntary slavery, or victimhood, is a self-imposed trap resulting from the way we view our circumstances, and we can only be released from that bondage by our own permission.  We have to recognize again our immense power to choose, and the influence that that power has in our life experience, one way or the other—for freedom or for victimhood.
The Bible teaches that “All things work together for good….”  If we believe that, then there is never a cause for letting ourselves be a victim.  

Have a blessed month, and a happy new year!
-Dr. Olson