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

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

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

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

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

Posted 1/2/13 at 11:45 AM | Dale Fletcher

Drinking My Coffee Without Sugar - What's Loving Jesus Got to Do With It?

It's Day 2 in my journey to change the unhealthy habit of using sugar in my coffee. At 11:00 AM, I've had a few sips of coffee with Coconut Milk.... no sugar added!

In my blog post of two days ago, Why Drinking My Coffee With Sugar is a Sin, I explained why I believe I'm sinning when I use sugar.

Here's what's on my heart and mind today.

Do I love Jesus? Do I truly love him?

These questions are similar to the questions that Jesus asked Simon Peter when he encountered his disciples after his resurrection.

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” FULL POST

Posted 1/1/13 at 1:47 PM | Dale Fletcher

Sugar and My Sin. How I'm Changing Unhealthy & Sinful Behavior

I've had 24 hours to prepare for not using sugar in my morning coffee. It's about 11:30 AM and I've succeeded... today.

As I wrote yesterday, I'm convinced that sugar is absolutely no good for my body or my health. Since the Holy Spirit resides in me, and my body is God's temple, I'm not caring properly for his temple when I add sugar to my coffee. For me, adding sugar to my coffee is a sin (the blog post).

My Daily Morning Routine

This has been my typical morning routine for years. I wake up, wash my face, brush my teeth and head downstairs. I then walk straight to the coffee pot and prepare coffee. I enjoy a dark Starbucks blend. Once the coffee is brewed, I pour about a cup and a half into a favorite mug. In goes about 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons of sugar and enough half and half to give it a creamy brown color. I'll take a sip to be sure it's sweet enough for my taste. If it's not quite sweet enough, I'll add some more sugar. I'll often nuke it for 30 seconds in the microwave so that the coffee is a little hotter. Then I settle into a recliner with my devotional material... and my mug of coffee. After I complete my devotionals and quiet time with God, and send out a few affirmations using scripture on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, I'll make some breakfast and then get on with my day, with another mug of coffee in my hand. FULL POST

Posted 12/31/12 at 1:56 PM | Dale Fletcher

Why Adding Sugar to My Coffee is a Sin. What's Your Resolution for 2013?

I like a cup of strong coffee. I like it with creme. And I like it with sugar.

There is nothing ‘good’ about adding sugar to my coffee, except that it tastes good. Adding simple sugar to anything is not good for my health. I’ve known this for years, but I still do it. I have all but stopped drinking soda because of the acid and sugar in it… and what it does to my body, but I have not been able to stop using sugar in my coffee.

View Dr. Sanjay Gupta's 60 Minutes Report - Is Sugar Toxic? - on research that shows how sugar can take a serious toll on your health.

In this light, I’ve been dwelling more and more on the truth that my body houses the Spirit of God. “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;” 1 Corinthians 6:19. In this letter to the Corinthians, Paul continues to say “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

In Romans 14:14, Paul also tells us, “I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong.” FULL POST

Posted 12/21/12 at 1:52 PM | Dale Fletcher

Whole Person Health Bible Study and Discipleship Initiative

Does your church recognize the importance of helping members of its congregation attend to their personal health? Healthy people are better able to serve in God's Kingdom than are sick and diseased people.

The Faith and Health Connection Ministry, a registered nonprofit organization, has set early 2013 course dates for their Faith and Health Ambassador Course. These courses are live trainings that meet in online webinars over 11 weeks.

At course completion, Faith and Health Ambassadors are equipped to lead a 10-week PathWay 2 Wholeness Bible Study in their churches and communities. This Bible Study about health is a discipleship initiative that has a wellness framework which is in turn has its foundation on God's two great commandments. It addresses spirit, mind, body health from a biblical perspective, with a clear focus on spiritual health. FULL POST

Posted 12/18/12 at 8:43 PM | Dale Fletcher

Mental Health and Violence. A Christian Response to the Sandy Hook Shooting to Help Parents Better Understand

We’re all trying to better understand why violence occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School last week. We also want to know what we as adults can do to reduce the number of violent acts that occur in our country. What do our youth need that they’re not getting? What is at the very root of acting out in violent behavior? What connection is there between mental health and the Christian faith?

These are extremely important issues, so I want to address them. However, having only a general knowledge and appreciation of mental health issues, I’ve decided to turn to an expert in the field to bring some considerations to you.

Chapman Clark is a Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture in the School of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. A few months ago, Chapman spoke at my home church, Transformation Church in Indian Land, S.C., on the topic of parenting and the needs of young people.

Having an appreciation of what he had to say to us during his teaching at church accompanied with his insight into the world of young adults, I invited Chap to participate in a question and answer interview to discuss this topic.

What follows is a summary of Clark’s responses to my questions. I hope you find his comments helpful.

FULL POST

Posted 11/9/12 at 12:23 PM | Dale Fletcher

Breaking Unhealthy Behaviors - A Biblical Perspective

Breaking unhealthy habits are hard. Breaking habits of any type are hard.

About six weeks ago we replaced the waste basket in our kitchen. We purchased a larger one and placed it to the side of a counter, whereas the smaller one had been under the sink behind a cabinet door. For the first week the basket was in its new location, each time I had something to toss in the basket I would open the door below the sink… only to realize and remember that the waste basket was in its new location. I did this once again this morning.

Some suggest that it takes 21 days to change a habit. It may take longer than that for some people to change some habits.

Let’s look at a few aspects of changing a health-related habit. FULL POST

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