Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Respecting without Worshiping these Houses (Remembering His Love)

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body"

Each morning I awake, and I realize that I had nothing to do with waking myself. It was not by my own ability but by the Will of the Lord Yeshua, Jesus the Christ, that He has chosen this day for me to once again be a good steward of all that he has placed before me.

I have so much to be thankful for each and every day, it is incomprehensible. The breath of life to which God fills my lungs I have nothing what so ever to do with yet He lets me breathe. My legs somehow manage to operate just as they should...well, at least most of the time, and wallah I can walk. Without any effort I flutter my eye lashes, and then I can see.

Then with all of these amazing things that I am not responsible for like breathing, and blood pumping through my veins why am I surprised, or I should say why are other people surprised that the Lord has provided us with amazing health keeping properties all around us?

Why do we put so much faith in man, medicine, and technology? Why do we put faith in things that fail, are not trustworthy, and disappoint? Why are we quicker to consume dangerous chemicals rather than to lay hands on someone and pray? Oh we have so little faith.

Our bodies were a gift from the creator Himself, the Lord Yeshua. He is not the absent minded professor who forgot to give us a health manual and tools to keep everything running correctly. In fact quite the contrary He gave us His Word, the how-to do it right manual.

Then He gave us fruits, vegetables, herbs, oils, nuts, seeds, and healthy animals (before we get our hands on them and drug them up and feed them horrific things they should never ingest).

I just want to take this time to thank you Lord Yeshua for being the maker of all, for counting us worthy enough to even be a thought to be made. May those of us who truly love you make the effort to be set apart for you Holy One above all. In your name I pray.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Great Article About Mental Health by Dr. Mercola

My Foreward:

The Lord Jesus healed me of depression, and so many other issues years ago. This one is dear to my heart because I am driven absolutely mad by all of medication given out daily like candy to adults and children. I support the ideas and research done by Dr. Mercola on this particular issue. He discusses depression, what it is, the fact that it is actually a natural occurrence, and that there much better helpful measures than drugs that we have no idea what they are doing to our bodies. Above all giving your life to Jesus Christ, and reading and following His Holy Word will change and renew your mind.

Interesting documentary:


This is an excellent documentary detailing how the psychiatric drug industry was born and its powerful and profitable partnership with the drug industry, which has turned psychiatry into an $80 billion drug profit center.

* But is any of it based on real medical science?
* How valid are the psychiatric diagnoses being handed out?
* And are the drugs safe?

Unfortunately, the evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against psychiatric drugs. It's becoming ever clearer that most of today's psychiatric diagnoses and subsequent drug treatment is a sham, successfully promoted to make you believe it's based on some scientific truth.

But it's not...

What Causes Psychological Distress?

Answering this question is the holy grail of psychiatry. Even before there were psychiatrists, such troubles were blamed on things like evil spirits, or an imbalance of "humors."

The latter was treated by bloodletting, which is perhaps the longest running tradition in medicine, originating in the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece, persisting for some 2,500 years through the Industrial Revolution. It was the "aspirin" of the day, used for just about every conceivable condition from pneumonia to depression. Yet, there was never any evidence that it did any good, and many times the patients died. Of course, it was always assumed it was the disease that killed them, rather than the treatment.

Interestingly, we now know that there was good reason why this may have helped men or postmenopausal women. If they had high iron levels this would have been able to reduce their load and thus improve their overall health.

Finally, 19th century scientists began to question its value and medical statisticians who tracked case histories discovered that it wasn't helping much of anything.

The blanket prescription of drugs for every conceivable psychological hiccup has become the bloodletting theory of the 21st century… Of course, in the case of psychiatric drugs, there's tremendous profits to be made by maintaining the status quo and not admitting the error of their ways.

The fact is, psychiatry STILL doesn't understand what causes psychological distress, and the primary theory proposed; the idea that unwanted behavior and depression are due to an imbalance of serotonin and dopamine in your brain, has NEVER been proven.

On the contrary, research has proven the theory is WRONG, yet this evidence has been swept under the proverbial rug.

Despite what the slick advertisements say, psychotropic drugs have no measurable biological imbalances to correct—unlike other drugs that can measurably alter levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and so on.

"How can you medicate something that is not physically there?" they ask in this documentary.

The answer is, of course, you can't!

Doing so anyway is a dangerous game.

The Physical Dangers of Medicalizing a Non-Physical Condition

One significant danger of psychotropic drugs is that they can upset the delicate processes within your brain needed to maintain your biological functions. This risk simply cannot be overstated… The documentary cites some staggering statistics attributed to psychiatric drugs:

* 700,000 adverse reactions per year
* 42,000 deaths per year

How in the world can drugs that cause over 40,000 deaths a year be permitted, let alone handed out like candy?

Even if you DO have a serious psychiatric issue, such as PTSD for example, drugging it away is risky—especially if you're taking multiple drugs. Since the average American takes 13 drugs per year, this is a serious issue.. A number of military personnel have died in their sleep, for example, after taking a prescribed combination of Paxil, Seroquel, and Klonopin. These deaths were NOT due to overdosing, but rather "each case involved a sudden cardiac incident and resulting death," Jed Shlackman wrote in an article for the Examiner last year, adding:

"This adds to growing concern about serious adverse effects of psychiatric medications commonly prescribed to emotionally disturbed or traumatized soldiers."

Several studies have demonstrated the potential for lethal cardiac side effects. For example:

* A literature review of studies from 2000-2007, published in Expert Opinion on Drug Safety in 2008, found that "Antipsychotics can increase cardiac risk even at low doses, whereas antidepressants do it generally at high doses or in the setting of drug combinations."
* A study published in January 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that antipsychotic drugs doubled the risk of sudden cardiac death. Mortality was also found to be dose-dependent, so those taking higher doses were at increased risk of a lethal cardiac event.
* Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that same year also found that antidepressants increase the rate of sudden cardiac death.

Are Emotional Symptoms Really Signs of Mental Illness?

Clearly, there are "real" mental illnesses that can destroy any semblance of normalcy in a person's life. But are you mentally ill when you're sad for more than a couple of weeks?

Is losing zest for life a sign of mental illness?

Where does the normal grieving process fit into our modern lives—is it something that should be drugged, or is it a normal phase of life that everyone on the planet has to move through? And when does an emotional phase go from being a natural part of the changing emotional landscape that is life to a problem that needs to be "fixed"?

Many are quick to defend their choice to take drugs. No one wants to "feel bad." But are these drugs destroying lives rather than saving them?

I believe the answer is a resounding YES at this point.

Rather than helping people address the root cause of their suffering, psychiatry has now simply resorted to a chemical form of lobotomy to "make the problem go away."

Drug therapy has been the conventional therapy of choice in the psychiatric field since its beginnings. Insane asylums during the early 19th century employed drugs like morphine and opium to quiet patients' outbursts. By the turn of the 20th century, heroin was peddled as a cure for psychiatric problems, and Sigmund Freud wrote articles promoting the use of cocaine for spiritual distress and behavioral difficulties.

Today, these drugs have become "illicit" and anyone resorting to cocaine to ease their troubled mind is called a junkie… But in essence, all the industry has done is replacing a few dangerous drugs with other dangerous drugs.

The Truth about the "Chemical Imbalance" Theory

As a family physician I have treated many thousands of depressed patients. Depression was actually one of my primary concerns in the mid 80s when I first started practicing, however at that time my primary tool was using antidepressants. I put thousands of people on these drugs and acquired a fair level of experience in this area.

Thankfully I learned more and was able to stop using all these drugs. It was my experience that the chemical imbalance was merely a massive marketing gimmick to support the use of expensive and toxic antidepressants.

Most of you have probably heard that depression is due to a "chemical imbalance in your brain," which these drugs are designed to correct. Unfortunately for anyone who has ever swallowed this marketing ploy, this is NOT a scientific statement.

So where did it come from?

The low serotonin theory arose because they understood how the drugs acted on the brain; it was a hypothesis that tried to explain how the drug might be fixing something. However, that hypothesis didn't hold up to further investigation. Investigations were done to see whether or not depressed people actually had lower serotonin levels, and in 1983 the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) concluded that

"There is no evidence that there is anything wrong in the serotonergic system of depressed patients."

The serotonin theory is simply not a scientific statement. It's a botched theory—a hypothesis that was proven incorrect.

The fact that this fallacy continues to thrive is destroying the health of millions, because if you take an SSRI drug that blocks the normal reuptake of serotonin, you end up with the very physiological problem the drug is designed to treat–low serotonin levels. Which, ironically, is the state hypothesized to bring on depression in the first place.

In 1996, neuroscientist Steven Hyman, who was head of the NIMH at the time, and is today Provost of Harvard University, published the paper Initiation and Adaptation: A Paradigm for Understanding Psychotropic Drugs, in which he explains this chain of events. According to Dr. Hyman, once your brain has undergone a series of compensatory adaptations to the drug, your brain operates in a manner that is "both qualitatively and quantitatively different than normal."

So, it's important to understand that these drugs are NOT normalizing agents. They're abnormalizing agents, and once you understand that, you can understand how they might provoke a manic episode, or why they might be associated with sexual dysfunction or violence and suicide, for example.

How Did it Ever Get this Bad?

Part of the puzzle explaining why we now have a pill for every emotion and psychological trait is that psychiatrists were originally not considered "real" doctors—they couldn't actually "do" much to help their patients, and they certainly couldn't cure them. They realized that to increase their status, they had to make the field more scientific, and it was this decision that gave birth to the medicalizing and drugging of every conceivable behavioral tendency.

Medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker explains the history of the treatment of those with severe mental illness in his first book, Mad in America. His latest book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America focuses on the disturbing fact that as psychiatry has gained ground, mental illness has skyrocketed.

Part of the problem is that the criteria for diagnosis has expanded exponentially—you can now be diagnosed as being "ill" if you have trouble controlling your shopping habits, and a child who often argues with adults can be labeled according to the diagnostic code 313.81 -- Oppositional Defiant Disorder. A staggering array of normal human experiences now masquerade as "disorders," for which there is a drug treatment available.

Another factor is the fact that psychiatric drugs CREATE more serious forms of mental illness...
What Does the Science Really Say about the Effectiveness of Psychiatric Drugs?

First of all, when looking at the research literature, short-term trials show that antidepressants do NOT provide any clinically significant benefits for mild to moderate depression, compared to a placebo. As you know, all drugs have benefit-to-risk ratios, so if a drug is as effective as a placebo in relieving symptoms, it really doesn't make sense to use them as a first line of defense.

And yet doctors all over America prescribe them as if they were indeed sugar pills!

However, it gets worse. Research into the long-term effects of antidepressants shows that patients are no longer really recuperating from their depressive episodes as was the general norm prior to the advent of modern antidepressants. The depression appears to be lifting faster, but patients tend to relapse more frequently, turning what ought to have been a passing phase into an increasingly chronic state of depression.

Long-term studies now indicate that of people with major depression, only about 15 percent that are treated with an antidepressant go into remission and stay well for a long period of time. The remaining 85 percent start having continuing relapses and become chronically depressed.

According to Whitaker's research, this tendency to sensitize your brain to long-term depression appears to be the same both for the earlier tricyclic antidepressants and the newer SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).

In addition, SSRI's have been shown to increase your risk of developing bipolar depression, according to Whitaker. Anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of children who take an antidepressant for five years convert to bipolar illness. In adults, about 25 percent of long term users convert from a diagnosis of unipolar depression to bipolar.

This is a serious concern because once you're categorized as bipolar, you're often treated with a potent cocktail of medications including an antipsychotic medication, and long-term bipolar outcomes are grim in the United States. For starters, only about 35 percent of bipolar patients are employed, so the risk of permanent disability is great.

Another risk inherent with long-term use is that of cognitive decline.

It's Time to Stop the Insanity...

Every year, 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled, making them one of the most-prescribed drugs in the United States. Despite all of these prescription drugs being taken, more than one in 20 Americans are depressed, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The statistics alone should be a strong indication that what we're doing is simply not working, and that instead, these drugs are contributing to other serious health problems.

Fortunately, there are other, safer, more effective ways, and some countries are starting to pay heed to the fact that research is actually showing it to be beneficial, rather than bowing to the will of pharmaceutical companies.

Key Factors to Overcoming Depression

Exercise – If you have depression, or even if you just feel down from time to time, exercise is a MUST. The research is overwhelmingly positive in this area, with studies confirming that physical exercise is at least as good as antidepressants for helping people who are depressed. One of the primary ways it does this is by increasing the level of endorphins, the "feel good" hormones, in your brain.

Address your stress -- Depression is a very serious condition, however it is not a "disease." Rather, it's a sign that your body and your life are out of balance.

This is so important to remember, because as soon as you start to view depression as an "illness," you think you need to take a drug to fix it. In reality, all you need to do is return balance to your life, and one of the key ways to doing this is addressing stress.

*Meditation or yoga can help. Sometimes all you need to do is get outside for a walk. But in addition to that, I also recommend using a system that can help you address emotional issues that you may not even be consciously aware of. For this, my favorite is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). However, if you have depression or serious stress, I believe it would be best to consult with a mental health professional who is also an EFT practitioner to guide you.

Eat a healthy diet -- Another factor that cannot be overlooked is your diet. Foods have an immense impact on your mood and ability to cope and be happy, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan will best support your mental health. Avoiding sugar and grains will help normalize your insulin and leptin levels, which is another powerful tool in addressing depression.

Support optimal brain functioning with essential fats -- I also strongly recommend supplementing your diet with a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat, like krill oil. This may be the single most important nutrient to battle depression.

Get plenty of sunshine – Making sure you're getting enough sunlight exposure to have healthy vitamin D levels is also a crucial factor in treating depression or keeping it at bay. One previous study found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels. Vitamin D deficiency is actually more the norm than the exception, and has previously been implicated in both psychiatric and neurological disorders.

*As a disclaimer I personally choose not to practice yoga. That is up to the individual.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Veggie Soup

My Mom just asked me for a vegetable soup recipe that I make. She really loves it, so she went out and bought everything. Since I typed it up for her I thought I'd throw it on here. The original recipe is from Rachel Ray's Veggie Meals cookbook, but I changed it quite a bit.

Veggie Soup

2-3 tbsp coconut oil
1 med red onion
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, diced
3-4 med red potatoes, diced
4 zucchini or 2 zucchini & 2 squash
2 cups white great northern beans (cooked)
2 cups garbanzo beans (cooked; also known as chick peas)
6 cups of vegetable broth
Handful fresh parsley
Black pepper and sea salt to taste

*soak dry beans, and cook them first (chick peas need to be soaked over night; the white beans only need to be soaked for about 2 hours before you cook them)
*then put veggies in pot with oil to sautee/soften
*next add everything else
*cook for about 20 min or as needed

My Favorite Gluten Free Pancakes

Okay I have to say that these are by far the best gluten free pancakes I've ever tasted, and you can't tell that there isn't a lick of flour in them. We've tried several recipes, and this one has won us over. Had a friend over on Wednesday morning, and she totally agreed. It was cute watching her make the pancakes with my almost eight year old son.

I wish that I could take credit for this recipe, but I am happy really just to be able to share it. Oh, and be wise, at least double the recipe. My boys and I can finish a double batch without any problems. It is from the Introducing Whole Foods Cookbook by Rich and Sue Gregg. They by the way are believers, and they advocate a biblical diet.

All you need is a decent blender, a highspeed one is best like a Vitamix or Blend Tec, a pan (cast iron is great), and your stove.

Ingrediant List

*1 Cup of cultured milk, goat's milk yogurt, or kefir(or any yogurt ya have, we use goat since we have cow dairy issues, I buy this at Trader Joes or Whole Foods)

*1/2 cup of raw buckwheat (you can use almost any raw grain that you want like brown rice or corn, but I highly recommend the buckwheat- EarthFare Markets carry this in their bulk bins or you can do what I did and order it in bulk from Whole Foods, I got a 25lb bag)

*1/2 cup of rolled oats

*1 egg (or if you are allergic 1 tbsp of flaxseed + 3 tbsp of filtered water)

*1 tbsp coconut oil (raw organic butter is fine too)

*1 tsp of baking soda

*1/2 tsp sea salt

*1 tbsp cinnamon

You may want to add some extra milk or yogurt for the consistency (sometimes I add almond milk to thin it out.)

Put some coconut oil or butter on your pan, and start making the cakes! Serve with real maple syrup. Yum!!!

Almost Raw Eggplant Asparagus Sushi Rolls by Annmarie Gianni

I, for one, am super excited about this recipe. I am itching to try these, it sounds so yummy. Let me know if any of you decide to give this one a shot!

You'll need:

A package of raw nori sheets (you can buy these on the renegade health website through the link on this blog; FYI raw nori is always purple)

For the Rice:

1 Small Jicama


6 stalks asparagus -steamed
4 big leaves of basil
1 tbsp green onions
Jicama rice (shred a large chunk in the food processor)

For the top:

4 strips eggplant – roasted or frozen then thawed
Thinly sliced Avocado
Sprinkle with Sesame Seeds

This will make about 3-4 rolls

To roll with a mat:

1. Place a nori sheet on sushi mat.
2. Spread the rice on 3/4 of the roll.
3. Lay some veggies in the middle of the rice spread.
4. Roll using the mat. (See video for technique)

Get your fingertips wet in water and run it along the nori roll where you want the end to stick. Next, slice the roll with a sharp, wet knife.

To Roll without a mat:

1. Cut one sheet of nori in half.
2. Place half sheet in your hand, shiny side down.
3. Spread the rice on the nori – only on the left side.
4. Lay the veggie fillings on top of the rice.
5. Roll the nori by starting with the bottom left corner – up towards the right top corner to form a cone shape.

You can dip these if you like in raw coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. If you don't prefer wasabi, then you can also serve these with a few pieces of mustard greens for that spicy appeal.

Here's the video if you'd like to watch it: http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2011/03/30/sushi-recipe-for-eggplant-asparagus-rolls/

Salad Recipe

Italian Salad
Serves 6

1 head organic romaine lettuce
1 bunch watercress
1 organic red pepper, seeded and cut into a julienne
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, quartered lengthwise, and finely sliced
1 heart of organic celery with leaves, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely sliced
½ cup small seed sprouts
2 organic carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup cooked chickpeas
3/4 cup basic or garlic dressing of your choice

Remove the outer leaves of the romaine, slice off the end and open up to rinse out any dirt or impurities while keeping the head intact. Pat dry. Slice across at 1/2-inch intervals. Place romaine in your salad bowl, then the water cress, then add chopped vegetables in different piles. Strew the sprouts and garbanzo beans over the top for an attractive presentation. Bring to the table to show off your creation before tossing with dressing. May be served with grated Parmesan cheese or raw goat cheese.

*Recipe courtesy of Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions