Category Archives: Health

Ten Ways to Take Care of your Brain

The fatter you get the smaller your brain gets. (Sorry. This is just a fact from my research sources.)

Drugs, alcohol, stimulants hurt the brain making holes in it.

Diabetes triples risk of Alzheimers.

High fiber, complex carbs are good for you and fight disease.

Less than 7 hrs of sleep damages your brain, but sleep meds give 50% effective sleep. Teach yourself to sleep.

Avoid anything that hurts your brain.

Exercise body and brain. Not crazy exercise–don’t need marathons. Brain needs good blood flow. Too much exercise makes you acidic.

Chronic stress kills cells. Take a hard look at what is causing your stress and what you can do about it.

Your brain uses 20% of your calories. It needs good fats (plant fats).

Even one use of marijuana lowers IQ 8 points if you are a teenager. Make sure your kids know that!

(from the research of psychiatrist Timothy Jennings)

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Only a Big Man can Admit He’s Been Wrong

I have to give kudos to my new son-in-law. I am so proud of him for being open to Spirit and being teachable. He has been drinking green juice that I would have a hard time drinking and I’ve been at this health thing almost 40 years. A few months ago all he liked was meat, white pasta and white breads, and that’s pretty much all he ate, besides desserts. But his pastor went on a Daniel Fast (Daniel 1 and 9) and he was impressed to do the same.

My daughter was astonished–what would he eat? But he was resolute. She is amazing with food–like a magician almost; and she was so grateful that she decided to make it as easy on him as she could. He ate things he had no idea he was eating. They did it for 60 days, and she said he began to look different after even one week.

We visited not long after their fast was over, and I asked him if he had felt a difference?

“Oh yeah!” was his immediate response.

I resisted any desire to comment further. That was enough. 🙂 I was so proud of him for even that. Because he had always given me such a hard time about being vegan. He had called me “the veggie prophet,” which I assumed meant I was calling for eating vegetables? (I had never asked for explanation.)

But I was thrilled that three little boys heard it–we were all sitting at the dinner table, and they don’t miss a thing–especially when he speaks. They had heard the teasing, so I was glad they could hear the admission.

It takes a big man to admit he’s been wrong. He is a big man, but he just grew in my eyes, and I think in the eyes of three little men.

This morning Richard and I read Psalm 23-25, and in  25:9 was, “The meek (teachable) will He guide in judgment (discernment), and the meek will He teach His way.” God’s ways make us happy (and healthy). And He is happy to teach us because when you feel better, life looks better, it improves your perspective by 100%. Verse 12 is a companion saying, “What man fears (reverences) the Lord? him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.” The way of God’s choosing or ours? It is also translated “He shall teach him in the way he should choose.” (guidance) The NIV says, “…in the way chosen for him.”

I couldn’t find a translation to support this but I think it is true, that even in the way of our own choosing God will teach us if we reverence Him and realize that He knows better than we do–and really that is what being teachable is. Who doesn’t believe that the Creator of a universe 15 billion light years across might know more than me? That isn’t really the issue, is it? It’s whether I believe God created me, loves me personally, has my best interests at heart. Does He care? Can I know Him? Can I trust Him?

This makes a dilemma for Memorial Day. It’s a day to be grateful for so many men who died and underwent horrible trauma for our freedom.

I hate war.  I have seven grandsons. Need I say more? But we live with it, and it scares me to think what they might have to go through. So I ask God to make them strong men who always have a relationship with Him and a heart to listen to Him. Men who can admit when they are wrong, men who will ask for guidance, men He can teach His ways.

Have to add this–the message in church was from Leviticus 25–God’s ways bring rest and space and trust and plenty into our lives. We need that rest–Shabbat rest–even the land rested. You can rest because you trust. You can trust because you know Him.

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Filed under A God perspective, Becoming real, fathering, Health, Living well, Love ed, Mental Health, Parenting, Uncategorized, What is God like?

Mothering is Not Easy, but it is Good

Remember how easy it was to run to Mommy when you were hurt or in pain? Needing was natural then.

“Admitting the problem is half of the healing.”

I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Why is it so hard for us to do? Especially if we know how much it helps us?

I think, because we have all been hurt, we are in self-protective mode. We try to shunt responsibility elsewhere. For instance, I always think all the dirt in my house comes from my husband. I don’t even question it! Well, lately I had a humorous and painful thought. When he dies, I might be surprised at how much dirt is still here–and then I’ll have to admit that it’s me.

When you admit responsibility you have to do something. You have to look at yourself–admit you fail, admit you aren’t perfect, admit you are vulnerable.

Or, you get to do something! People who can’t admit they are wrong strain the relationships they are in, putting pressure on the people around them–the ones closest, including yourself.

We think admitting fault or weakness makes us less. Makes us look bad. Or this one–makes us vulnerable.  We don’t like to feel vulnerable –it scares us. We think we have to protect ourselves. What a silly notion. As if we really could! Most of our attempts make things worse–including us. It hardens our response ability into defensiveness (fear), instead of the free-flow of creative thought where solutions or new ideas come from. Defensiveness keeps us from growing. It makes those around us uncomfortable, and sometimes feel hopeless.

Welcoming a new perspective helps. Brene Brown has researched vulnerability for years and has found it to be  the most healthy attitude a person can have: knowing that you aren’t perfect, can make mistakes, and admit it.

Today I am so proud of my daughter for admitting she has post-partum depression! She has already started to feel better three days later! Yes, it can respond that fast. (And for any of you who are fighting depression, research has shown that 1000-4000 mg. of Omega 3/daily, and half as much of 6 and 9, is more effective than anti-depressants, as is exercise, and sunlight, or vitamin D if you have no sun, and in her case iron because of blood loss from birthing).

We knew she was suffering from sleep deprivation, and I noticed she looked like she did when she was depressed after her last son, but she wasn’t into the vulnerable place of being helped yet then. Her main coping mechanism has been to do it herself, take care of everything, be perfect.

In fact she confronted me on being judgmental about her technology. That wasn’t how I saw it, but man, did it hurt. There was just enough truth and just enough misunderstanding to really make it sting.

I didn’t know what to say, but when it hurts that bad, you have two choices: go into defensive mode or pray. So I breathed, and said to God, I don’t even know what to say. We were with her husband and mine, and someone said something, and I heard myself saying, “I just know that looking at yourself is really hard. It’s so painful that you can barely see yourself with any clarity.”

That broke the tension and everyone became more vulnerable. Everyone started sharing, and we even ended up praying together. It ended up making our last day much better.

A real big-picture perspective would show us how futile are our attempts at self-protection. With what we are up against–living in the war zone between good and evil–we regularly get slammed with discouragement and pain, and what fun the dark side has with our pretending to be good and right. They help us make big messes with denial and self-protection.

How much better to let God protect us, so we are free to be real: broken and vulnerable, not hiding, not defensive. Able to hurt, to need help, to be wrong–to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is good, healthy even.

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Filed under depression, Health, Love ed, Mental Health, Mistakes can be a matter of perspective, mothering, Parenting

Is the Struggle to be Healthy Really Worth It?

Why is health important? Is it really worth the struggle to deny myself all the things I love to eat and drink, or make the hard choice to get up and exercise? “I love to eat and I don’t like to exercise, isn’t there some pill..?” is usually how I hear it.

I also hear, “We are all going to die anyway,” or some version of it, when people don’t want to change lifestyle habits.

And it’s true. We are all dying–(aging is quite an experience–even when you have practiced a healthy lifestyle for almost 40 years. I’d hate too think how I’d be if I hadn’t!)

But feeling good physically–while I love it–is not the only reason to change habits. Your brain function is so greatly affected by your physical habits.

Health has been a hobby of mine for years. I love learning new research, and I just learned something new about sleep from a Ted Talk. Sleep bathes your brain and wards off Alzheimer’s disease by helping clear amaloid plaque!

But probably more important is how health affects your behavior and your choices right now. It is so much easier to be hopeful, kind and positive when you feel good physically! Good solid energy levels–not caffeinated hype–are better for you and everyone around you.

It’s easier to respond rather than react when your body is working well. It’s easier to make good choices when you feel good. Everything from what you put into your body, to yelling at your kids, to what you do with leisure time, to which job you should take is easier to handle if your body feels good and your brain is working well.

Just making a choice–rather than letting other people or circumstances make choices for you–even a simple one: Should I exercise even though I don’t feel like it?  is easier when you know why your body needs it and how it will respond. Knowledge is key.

The most important aspect of health is spiritual health because you were born into a huge context–a war between good and evil. It’s getting easier to see all the time. Evil is asserting itself and God is allowing it more space as He’s wrapping up the demonstration and closing the classroom. It’s an important lesson, one that has taken time.

Evil is extremely skilled at manifesting deception. The only way to keep clear about who’s who and what’s what is to stay connected to God. He is truth, and has promised protection and clarity for anyone who wants it.

God’s enemies (evil) can only keep us captive by weakening our minds and destroying our freedom through mindlessness and lack of choice. They play on our emotions and choices to gum up our machinery, confuse and control us. But in the change that happens when you choose surrender to God, there is the highest sense of freedom.

Submission to God restores your true self–your true glory and dignity. But this is the reason health is so important. If your mechanism is clogged with debris, chemicals, waste, overload, you are likely to blow the most important thing off.

My book on health is out now! You can get it from Amazon in either ebook version or the physical workbook edition. The latter one gives you a place to write, and helps you create your own simple plan:  is the link. Or visit the store connected to the book:


10 Health Foods You Should Never Eat.

My friend posted this on facebook and curiosity made me check it out. It’s good information. I recommend  you take 10 minutes to look.





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Filed under a perspective on evil, Becoming real, Health, Living well, Mental Health

My Mother Taught Me to Fly…

is written on a tiny piece of wood on my dresser. I gave it to Mom a few years before she died.

It seems appropriate to continue my joy-writing on my mother’s birthday. She was a person of joy even though she had a difficult life and didn’t get what she really wanted. In some ways I think she got more.

She so wanted an education. They couldn’t afford it. She needed to work to help the family. It was still the Depression.

She wanted to become an artist and a writer–she had dreams and ambition–she was a strong woman. But not strong enough to withstand my father’s advances. She got married at 19.

She has duplicated herself six times over. She put her strength into her children. And her strength was a desire to know God’s love, experience it, and share it.  I believe everyone of her children achieved that before death, or are still achieving it as the highest priority of their lives (my two brothers preceded her in death).

That is quite an accomplishment. In my mind, it is the highest. Is their anything that matters more than giving your kids the most important foundation in life? Anything more important than knowing and being loved by God?

Health is important because without it your mind and body will find it harder to make those chemical-electrical connections in your brain that lead to good choices. But it only makes all the important things in life easier, it’s not the thing.

Knowing how to receive love and give it is important. But again, that is only harder without getting it first from parents and then from God.

Being able to choose your perspective is very important because that forms healthy (constructive) or unhealthy (destructive) beliefs and choices. (Poor Robin Williams–who felt he had no more good choices! And we are amazed that one with so much could feel and think that.)

Scripture says that joy is in the presence of God. If you don’t know that–never learned it–you are definitely handicapped, life is harder.

Do you know how to go into God’s presence? Do you know how to experience His love?

My devotional this morning says, “I crafted you with enormous capacity to know Me and enjoy My Presence… The more you focus on My Presence with  you, the more fully you can enjoy your life.” This is Jesus speaking (Jesus Calling, 2008)

But what if you have never done that? Don’t even know God or Jesus?

An easy place to start is a choice. Set aside ten minutes to be with Him. Tell Him you want to meet with Him every day and have His joy, then  go to “God in your Face” (facebook) OR and read  the day’s short reading on Jesus’ life. He was our clearest picture of God. While reading, breathe in seven seconds and out seven and keep breathing rhythmically while trying to imagine being there. (This is meditation and 12 minutes a day for 30 days has been shown to change physical numbers.)

Make that a habit and you will have a great start on knowing God and experiencing Joy. And my mother’s legacy will reach you, and who knows, maybe even your children! It is the best legacy you can give.

My mother didn’t miss out. She will have eternity to create art. She already created six masterpieces. I know that because they will last through eternity. What great artist can say that?

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Filed under A God perspective, Becoming real, Grief, Health, Joy, Living well, Love ed, Loved, Mental Health, Parenting, Uncategorized, What is God like?

I want a new Life


Talking about new life is great, and wanting it is better, but it requires new choices.

Are you ready?

Focusing on the negative gives you more negative. We get like what we focus on. What gets our focus grows.

So how do we change our focus?

Nothing changes until it becomes real. You may have heard that before. First you have to look at your life and actually admit that it needs some work.

Define the area where you need it most: is it physical, emotional, spiritual, or intellectual? There will be overlap because they are all connected. But which one comes up first?

Since I don’t have your immediate input, I’m going to go with the first one–physical–and maybe I’ll make it a four-part series. Physical is easy to write about, because I’m writing a book about it, Love Losing, hopefully out next month.

Are you taking care of your body?

I know you want to. Here’s some incentive: you have to feel good to be happy. Your body has to feel good. You have to be treating it right, using it well, for it to feel good. When your body feels good, it is so-o-o much easier for your head to work well, your emotions and spiritual self to be healthy.

Don’t feel guilty about taking time to exercise if you’re a mom with little children. Preferably something you enjoy–walking at sunrise, jumping on a trampoline in the moonlight (mini ones start at $20), swimming, biking or golfing. Anything to get started. Starting is the hardest part. Once you’ve made the decision, don’t talk to yourself about it, just do it, otherwise you’ll talk yourself out of it. Start with a short time (5 minutes on a trampoline) or something gentle, if you aren’t used to exercise.

And PLEASE don’t feel guilty about saying “No” to yourself or your children when they want something their body doesn’t want.

Do you know what your body doesn’t want?

It would love you for quitting sugar. I’m not saying all sweets, just refined white sugar and anything that has sugar in it. It is toxic to your body with no redeeming value. If you need incentive here and you have children, get my book, Tommy Tortoise Gets the Sugar Blues, and read it to your kids every day for a week. They love repetition and you may benefit from it.

Sodas are one of the things it would love for you to quit. Diet sodas are as bad or worse. Aspartame has been linked to many diseases. But your body loves water! So put some fruit in your water, or put a drop of stevia in it to make the transition. My favorite is Vanilla Creme.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything at once. Start with one thing, and when you are comfortable with it try giving up another.

But one thing you can do to really help your body is add some things: fresh fruit and vegetables. Start simple. Add fresh fruit to your breakfast. If you or your kids get hungry in between meals give them a piece of fruit. That will digest before dinner and not take their appetite. (Candy loads them with sugar and chemicals and steals their appetite.)

Add salad to your dinner, make it different every night but go to deeper colors in your greens. We love spinach or romaine and strawberry-goat cheese salad.

The most important thing is listen to your body, because everyone is different. Notice what makes you feel more energized, lighter, feel good, and what makes you bloated and headachey or sluggish and fatigued.

My clients tell me that the first three days of change are hardest. After that feeling good makes it easier.

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Sometimes Perception requires Healing Your Heart

I love to experiment! Especially with food. However my husband doesn’t love it when I do. He’s not adventurous when it comes to eating, but I keep plugging away…

I learned that he has 2 settings: like and don’t like, basically yes and no. Forget asking what he doesn’t like about something–he doesn’t know! I have at least ten settings, texture, taste: too sweet, salty, tangy, bland…I’ll spare you the list, it goes on for awhile.

I made pumpkin pancakes (made up the recipe) and they were wonderful. He liked the pancakes, but I made a major mistake. I experimented with a topping and served it to him before I had perfected it.

So I’m excited like I’ve just discovered the 8th wonder, and he is definitely ho-hum. No, he is opposed. Telling me I can’t cook. And yes, the texture was poor, it was not quite sweet enough, and the flavor needed a little rounding out (he hadn’t been able to find fresh nutmeg at the store).

Now in the past this would have hurt my feelings. Might have been worth three days of hard feelings or silence. But this time, after asking what he didn’t like, and realizing the 2-setting equipment, I just verbalized it and said, “Well I won’t be able to get you to try this for another year–until you’ve forgotten this. And then when you like it, I’ll say na-na-na-na-na,” waving my fingers up by my ears.

We laughed at my childishness, and then I said, “Wow, that was so much better than it would have been a few years ago! I would have had hurt feelings, and thought you were mean. Now, I just understand that you have two settings–like and don’t like.”

He actually liked the description and used it later to explain something.

So I’ve gotten stronger. My heart meridian tested strong a while back. I guess it really is! And guess what else I’ve learned. Yours is too! You may not think it is, due to a false belief you bought into. (I call them lies.)  Maybe you even have a major mind-altering perception–significant others (like parents and spouses) have tremendous influence. But you can get them healed! Your heart is the strongest organ in your body, putting out the strongest energy. Love and healing are within your reach…

Now that is the eighth wonder of the world! That’s exciting!

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“How Can I be Happy?”

“I need to find something to make me happy!” she said with such feeling that I knew she believed it.

So I responded simply, “Why?”

Her look was shocked silent, disbelief taking her words. Why would she say that? Didn’t she hear me?

So I continued, “Why not just be happy because you can?”

I knew it sounded counter intuitive. She was going through a break-up she didn’t want. But as I explained that happiness is a choice, I saw first confusion, and then light coming from her eyes.

“That is what I tell people about my job!” She exclaimed. “They have always wondered how I can like working in people’s mouths all day. And I tell them I choose to focus on all the good things about it.”

“So you have a template!” I encouraged.

“Yes!” she was getting excited, “But I never knew happiness was a choice! My choice!”

As a therapist, I hear, “How can I be happy?” or “How can I find happiness?” stated in many ways; most often it comes as a wail, “I just wanna be happy!”

But it is always about the same thing “How can I get myself loved?” They wouldn’t say that, who’s going to ask “How can I find someone who will love me unconditionally just for me?” We don’t usually say things like that.

Seriously? The fastest and easiest way to get yourself loved is God. Because it’s already happening. All you need to do is plug in. You may have heard that before, or wondered how to do it, or what He is like. You may not know He is the best place to start, insuring a healthier human relationship if you get loved first and listen…

The how to is choice again. And as to what He’s like…

He’s everything good. He’s gotten a lot of bad press because of suffering. But even though He gets blamed for suffering, He isn’t responsible for it.

That is a long discussion, one I’ve written a 300 page book on, and another 45 page one soon to be released, so here let’s cut to the question–What is God like? And How can I know Him (Her, Them)?

The video below, “You Love Me,” is my experience of knowing God. You, too, are Loved. It’s who God is. It’s what He does. He has no evil in Him.

I got into making mind movies a while back, and I made the one below for me. (I’d had a rough week.)

I decided to share it here with you because it made me feel so good. Also, I got very good feedback from a client whose week was much worse than mine.

It’s only about a minute, and you can watch it as many times as you want. In fact, you can put it on your site or your phone. If you like it–check out my blog about God at and find out for yourself what He’s like and how to know you are loved.

yep, I saw the mistake this morning after posting it, and after watching it for months–only God is perfect 🙂 for discovering how much you are loved

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Ignorance Thrives on Inattention

This is the second of a three part series investigating remedies for societal violence causes other than gun control.


The busier our lives get, the more we major in minors to our own detriment and that of society. One small example is health.

So many people are too busy to sleep enough, getting by on four or five hours a night. Or they are propped up by meds because their lives are so out of balance that the stress or lack of hormones keeps them from sleeping.

Others are too busy to prepare and eat life-giving food or exercise. Does it really take that much more time to make healthy food? More than driving through a fast food window, yes! But not much more than making prefabbed packaged meals. And exercise can become family fun or social interaction.

What it does take is attention. It takes thinking and choosing—what kind of health do I want for myself and my family? How do I want to feel? Is it important that my brain works well, and isn’t constantly skating on negativity?

Brain researchers have confirmed that our brains work according to the raw material they have and the thoughts we think, and choices we make.

Too busy to think? Someone else is running your life. Take back your power.

Overwhelmed is such a common feeling today. But it, too, is mostly management. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take ten minutes a day to unwind either at night or in the morning and think about what will matter ten years from now. Ask God to help you see what is important and what can slide or wait. He doesn’t want you to live frantically or stressed.

Exercise has been shown to be as effective as anti-depressants in the short term, and more effective ten months later. Movement creates blood flow which is basic for feeling good.

Another attention problem we have is we don’t want to know, to deal, to feel…the biggest reason is we don’t want to look at ourselves. We are afraid of what we might find. Most of us run scared from our own truth. If we would face it, we would see that it usually isn’t that bad.

My clients are afraid to look at themselves and their beliefs, and they are the ones seeking help! That’s how I know everybody is scared to look at their truth.

I was too–until I learned that it’s where the freedom is. Facing your own beliefs is sometimes scary and painful, but it is good, quick pain, and the results far, far, far outweigh living in denial and pretense.

We all want an easier, gentler way, unless we are addicted to drama, chaos, or violence. But the easier, gentler way is the way of facing your truth, taking responsibility for what is important in your life, making choices.

What are you doing today that will make a difference 1000 years from now? (as my daughter likes to say). Do you have a forever perspective? You are wired for it. We were created for much more than suffering.


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It’s About Time Science Caught Up!

I was excited to see a special report on sugar and illness on the news last night. It is about time! Health enthusiasts have known this for decades. And not just about Diabetes either.

Sugar Blues came out in the 70’s or 80’s.  And of course a lot of people pooh-poohed it. They didn’t want to know. But the “What-you-don’t-know-won’t-hurt-you mentality doesn’t change cause and effect. And we have seen the effects in our society–an epidemic of obesity, Diabetes, heart disease and cancer. (The auto-immune diseases have come more from the sugar substitutes.)

Thank God, finally science has caught up. Two different doctors doing research on it have labeled it a “toxin” –good for them.

I was trying to remember how long I have known about this, and then I realized that I wrote Tommy Tortoise Gets the Sugar Blues 36 years ago. It is a children’s picture book, I just published this year, about an animated tortoise who learns in school, from his caring teacher Mr Toad, that sugar causes cavities.

Tommy is sick, not wanting to know this, because he loves sweets. His life is ruined. Then he realizes that he has no teeth, so surely this doesn’t apply to him, which he happily shares with his mother. Feeling exempt from consequences, he revels in his new freedom, and loads up on his favorite food–sugar.

Yes, he has symptoms of irritability, difficulty focusing and paying attention, being especially tired, but he is too young to connect the dots, and consoles himself with eating sweets. Trying to hide any mishaps or problems from his mother, who is noticing anyway.

He gets sick and Dr. Owl comes to pay a visit, and finishes Tommy’s education about sugar (the cover picture). He also shares with him that treats don’t have to be bad for you, and brings him some to try. (Recipe is in the book–you can buy it at

The University School of Health, where I went to graduate school, was doing research on this forty years ago, but as typical for humans, we usually have to experience the pain of consequences before we learn. We are like Tommy, we don’t want to give up something we like, even if we find out it’s bad for us.

My daughter just called and told me that she gave the little boys chair to the baby who loves it. They were so excited about him getting books from the shelf and going and sitting in the chair, that they didn’t even mind giving it up. She said they probably thought they were going to get something better anyway.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we all were like that about giving up something we like! If we were so secure in God’s love, and so sure of His goodness, that we knew anything He asked us to give up wasn’t as good as what He will put in it’s place.

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