Health
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Dale Fletcher

Dale is the Executive Director of Faith and Health Connection Ministry where they teach biblical truths for health & wholeness. Connect with Dale at www.FaithandHealthConnection.org

Posted 5/30/13 at 12:10 PM | Dale Fletcher |

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Lonely? How Are You Filling the Hole in Your Heart?

The Pain of Loneliness - The Health Risks of Feeling Isolated are Physical, Not Just Emotional. This was the title of an article that appeared in the Charlotte Observer newspaper the other day. It was written by Jane Brody, health columnist for the New York Times. The title of her original article as it appeared in the NY Times was Shaking Off Loneliness. Brody writes, "I filled my lonely nights with food - Anything I could get my hands on, especially candy, cookies and ice cream. Food fulled the hole in my soul, at least temporarily"

What the Research Says About Loneliness and Health

Her article referenced one study where researchers noted that those who scored high on a loneliness scale ate substantially more fatty foods than those who scored low. "Is it any wonder that we turn to ice cream or other fatty foods when we're sitting at home feeling all alone in the world?" says psychologist John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago. He also indicates that lonely individuals tend to do whatever they can to make themselves feel better, if only for the moment. He says that they may overeat, drink too much, smoke, speed or engage in indiscriminate sex. FULL POST

Posted 5/24/13 at 4:09 PM | Dale Fletcher |

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Weight Loss and The Holy Spirit

This week, Jane Brody, a health columnist at the New York Times, wrote an article about obesity - Many Fronts in Fighting Obesity. She addressed many issues that in fact play a role in one's ability to win the battle with weight loss:

  • Caloric consumption
  • Portion control
  • The use of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup
  • Eating home-cooked meals less frequently
  • A misunderstanding of fat, sugar and caloric content of foods
  • Evolution's impact on caloric consumption
  • The impact of one's willpower on weight loss

Concerning the last bullet, Brody writes the following:

Willpower rarely helps people who struggle with their weight. With constant temptations to eat more, and especially more high-calorie foods, our society must change.

Her comment about willpower in regards to weight loss is what prompted me to write this post. I agree with her comment about willpower. Our society must change if we are going to beat the obesity epidemic. But, the changes we need to make to help with weight loss should not be in our own strength.

More people in our society could benefit from turning to our Creator, God, for the help they need in their challenge with eating and physical activity issues as it regards weight loss. FULL POST

Posted 3/1/13 at 2:40 PM | Dale Fletcher |

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Are You 'Working Out' Your Salvation?

On my short run yesterday, I was reminded of the importance of getting in my regular workouts. I try to do something three to four days a week. My exercise keeps me alert, energizes me and helps me to manage any stress in my life. It's also clearly good for my physical health. Working out provides me lots of benefits.

Just as working out physically is beneficial, working out spiritually is also beneficial. It's not only beneficial, it's a necessity if we are to continue to grow spiritually healthy. We are encouraged by the apostle Paul to work out:

...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling... Philippians 2:12

When you are saved, you're assured of being with God eternally. There is no doubt about this. But God wants more than that for you. He wants you to live a full life on this side of heaven... the full life that his Son died for you to experience. (John 10:10) He wants you to have a degree of wellness and wholeness to be able to use the gifts and talents He's given you to best serve in his Kingdom. In order for that to be a reality in the here and now, you need to continue to 'work out' your salvation.

What might working out your salvation look look like?

Strip off Excess Weight - Keeping with the exercise theme, Paul also tells us that we are to strip off everything that hinders us from running the race of life. (Hebrews 12:1) God wants you to strip off all things that get in the way of you becoming whole . This is part of your sanctification process. FULL POST

Posted 2/14/13 at 11:23 AM | Dale Fletcher |

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Why Do You Choose to Eat in Unhealthy Ways?

Ever wonder about this?

You know what is healthy, you know it's unhealthy to eat too much, yet you continue to eat in unhealthy eating patters. Why do you continue with this unhealthy eating pattern?

Let me suggest a few explanations:

  • You feel you deserve to eat the unhealthy food
  • You've become totally insensitive to, or unaware of, your eating patterns
  • You're depressed so you could care less
  • You've lost hope about being healthy
  • You dont have enough money to buy healthy foods
  • You're eating to soothe negative emotions... to cope with the stressors of life

What about you? What's your explanation for why you eat in an unhealthy way, even though you know how to eat healthy?

Posted 1/21/13 at 4:09 PM | Dale Fletcher |

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Want to Change a (Sinful) Habit? Reckon Yourself to Be Dead to Sin

It’s now been three weeks – 21 days since I’ve used sugar in my morning coffee. I made this decision to stop using sugar on December 31st and captured my rational in this blog post –Why Adding Sugar to My Coffee is a Sin.

It hasn’t been all that difficult to do. Discipline, reminding myself what the impact of using sugar is and of what my benefits are of not using it, and a deep resolve have all been keys for me. I’ll write briefly today about this last one.

Paul writes in Romans…

“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:11

The Greek word that we get reckon from is logizomai. It means to reckon, count, charge with, reason, decide, conclude, think, suppose. In making my decision to discontinue using sugar I determined that, for me, adding sugar was a sin. I made a decision deep in my will, to stop using it. My decision included lots of reason as I read plenty of material on the topic. When I internalized that it was a sin against the temple of the Holy Spirit to add sugar, this added to my resolve to discontinue the practice. FULL POST

Posted 1/16/13 at 4:53 PM | Dale Fletcher |

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Most Searched for Herbs - What the Science Says About Them

Part of what I try to do on this blog is to keep you informed about popular health issues. This short post provides some up-to-date and scientifically accurate information about herbal medicine.

The US government maintains a helpful and educational website for their National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.

St. John's Wort

In 2012, over 3 million visitors came to their site seeking information on complementary health approaches. Though many people were looking for information on particular health topics or specific modalities like acupuncture, yoga, and meditation, the majority was seeking information on specific herbs and botanicals.

Last year, the top 5 searched-for herbs that led visitors to their site are listed below. Click on each herb for specific information or this link for what the science says about them all. FULL POST

Posted 1/7/13 at 12:11 PM | Dale Fletcher |

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A Week With No Sugar in My Coffee - How Knowledge Plays a Role in Changing Behavior

It's Monday, and I haven't added any sugar to my coffee for the last three days... that makes a week now with my new behavior. On December 31st I wrote why I made a decision to stop using sugar in my coffee.... and I haven't regretted my decision a bit. In fact, if anything, my decision has become more resolute.

On Monday's, I've been accustomed to visiting a Starbucks nearby the YMCA where I help a mens' ministry - that serves the poor and homeless - with a fitness initiative. I typically take in an empty bag in exchange for a free cup of dark coffee. I'll often take in my iPad to read a devotional and catch up on the news, before I head back home.

But part of that experience has included sipping on coffee with cream and sugar. I bypassed the Starbucks today because, for me right now, I don't find drinking coffee enjoyable.

The Importance of Knowledge in Making a Behavior Change FULL POST

Posted 1/4/13 at 11:53 AM | Dale Fletcher |

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Changing An Unhealthy Habit: Sugar Addiction and Your Brain

I used no sugar in my morning coffee today - Day #4. Read about my motivation for making this behavior change in an earlier post - Why Adding Sugar to My Coffee is a Sin.

Not only have I not used sugar in my daily coffee, I've been deliberate in trying not to eat other simple sugars, as I know that sugar is not good for my body and health.

I'd say that my body is probably beginning to make some changes - neurologically and physiologically. Sugar is said to stimulate the brain by activating beta endorphin receptor sites, the same chemicals activated in the brain by the ingestion of heroin and morphine. (Read more about Sugar Addiction on Wikipedia.)

Because my mind is not anticipating the sweet taste of coffee I had been accustomed to, it's making it easier to settle into my devotional time without the early morning 'sugar fix' I've experienced for years and years.

If you're changing a habit you've had for years, remember that part of the change that is occurring is happening in your brain. The neuro pathways that we've developed in our brains over the years are slowly changing. As these pathways change, the 'signals' we get will be different. In my case, I'm not getting the mental anticipation and urge to quickly make my morning coffee with sugar to 'feed' my brain. My craving for this fix is fading. FULL POST

Posted 1/3/13 at 3:43 PM | Dale Fletcher |

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Changing My Unhealthy & Sinful Behavior: It’s A Matter of My Mind, Will & Heart

I’ve been successful in not adding sugar to my coffee for three days now. This morning I sipped on about 1/2 a cup of coffee… with half and half and no sugar.

Why Am I Blogging About This?

I’m capturing my experiences about this behavior change effort in writing on this blog for two main reasons. First, when we try to change an aspect of our behavior, there’s value in being in community and receiving social support. I’m more likely to succeed with this behavior change if I’m doing this in the context of community. Second, I believe that sharing my strategies and thoughts with others like you will inspire some of you to make a behavior change that’s good for your health. And, I hope that you’ll find that the topics I address will be helpful for you and that you’ll be able to apply what you read to your situation.

Yesterday I wrote that loving Jesus was a motivator to make this change of not using sugar in my coffee. This is a matter of my heart and I want to explore this a little more in a different context. FULL POST

Posted 1/2/13 at 12:45 PM | Dale Fletcher |

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New Government Study: Being Overweight Lowers Our Risk of Death

Today's Wall Street Jounal has an article referencing this week's Jounal of American Medical Association (JAMA) article about a new research study that shows being overweight is conducive to living longer.

The study finds that being overweight, as determined by one's Body Mass Index (BMI), is associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality. People with a BMI of 25 to 30 - who are considered overweight and make up more than 30% of the U.S. population - have a 6% lower risk of death than people whose BMI is in the normal range of 18.5 to 25, according to the study.

This finding will be confusing to many as most of the research, heretofore, shows that being overweight is not good for one's health. Typically, when one has a BMI (calculate your BMI) of greater than 25 (overweight), that person is more likely to have diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. FULL POST

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