Enriching Your Life With Super Food

January is a time for cleansing and renewal for some people. It’s also a time for second chances and receiving fresh grace for the year ahead.

Some of my fitness clients are dieting to lose their extra holiday weight. When it comes to diet and nutrition, instead on focusing on what they have to give up, I encourage them to focus on what they can and should have.

Focus On The Positive

Even I need to be reminded of that. Every once in a while, I’ll start telling my daughter, Lindsay, what foods are not good for her. That’s when she’ll gently remind me, “Mom, the stress of worrying about what is not good for me is sometimes worse than actually eating what is not good for me.”

Good advice; focus on the good, what we can do to best nourish our body. Focusing on the good stuff will automatically push out the bad. Looking good and being healthy is an inside job too, body, mind and spirit in harmony.

MY FAVORITE SUPERFOODS

Superfoods earned their name because of their ability to promote good health, add to our longevity and quality of life and stave off disease.

Green Vegetables and Green Juice

Their are a wide variety a green vegetables in the superfood category. One of the most important benefits of eating raw, fresh greens is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the ‘blood of the plant’. It changes sunlight into the energy that makes plants grow. Greens give the same life-giving energy to us. Chlorophyll resembles the molecules of our red blood cells. All green plants contain chlorophyll; the darker the green, the more chlorophyll.

Wheat grass juice contains 70% chlorophyll. Known for it’s healing properties, it is enzyme-rich and has 17 of the amino acids.

Greens are ideal for aiding in weight loss because they are low in calories a high in nutrition. Fresh pressed green vegetable juices have a powerful detoxification effect on the body. [1]

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My special juice blend: Kale, Celery, Spinach, Cucumber, Parsley and Ginger

Chia Seeds

Rich in vitamins and minerals, this super seed also contains more calcium than milk and has equal amounts of omega-3’s as wild salmon. It has an appetite-suppressing quality, because it’s loaded with fiber, 10 grams in 2 tablespoons, helping you to feel full. Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals.

Chia’s positive health effects include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion, and lowering cholesterolChia-copyright-Linda-Eichberg-The-Gratitude-Life

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients prevent hypertension and help you maintain a healthy weight, and they are important for energy metabolism. [2]

Tumeric

Tumeric has been used for hundreds of years as a healing agent. This antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory spice gives curry its distinctive color. It is a medicinal herb used in ayurveda  and it contains curcumin. Curcumin and Tumeric are not one and the same. Curcumin is extracted from Tumeric and is much more potent for fighting disease. Recently, turmeric has gained the recognition of the scientific community for its potential for lowering cholesterol, reducing blood sugar and relieving arthritis. [3]

Curcumin has been very promising in treating Alzheimer’s patients. Further studies have found curcumin to suppress inflammation and reduce plaque and oxidative damage in the brains of mice. [4]

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The tumeric root resembles the ginger root but has a more golden color. Tumeric can be found in powder, pills or liquid form.The fresh root can be pressed into juices.

Tumeric is a staple of Indian cuisine. Try cooking with the powder; you can sprinkle it on top of soups, vegetables or protein. It’s great in deviled eggs.

More Superfoods

In addition to Green Vegetables, Chia Seeds and Tumeric, I also like these other foods for their super nutrition: Wild Salmon, Sardines, Cacao, Maca/Green Tea [5], Red Bell Pepper, Beets, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin Seeds, Black BeansAvocadoRaw Ikaria Honey [6], Raw Nuts and Berries, especially Blueberries. You usually can’t go wrong eating fresh, organic, GMO free fruits and vegetables.

God said, “Look, I have given you all the plants that have grain for seeds and all the trees whose fruits have seeds in them. They will be food for you. – Genesis 1:29 (NCV)

LET’S MOVE

Wishing Michelle Obama a happy, healthy birthday. She celebrated her 50th last week. We share a mutual message to women to be healthy. About keeping herself fit, Michelle says, “I don’t obsess about what I eat, but I do make sure that I’m eating vegetables and fruit.” Obama added, “And as everyone knows, I do exercise.” She practices yoga and includes, weight bearing and cardio exercises in her fitness routine. When Mrs. Obama was asked whether she has peaked at 50, she said she’s always felt that her life is “ever-evolving” and she doesn’t have the right to “just sit on my talents or blessings.” [7]

Michelle-Obama-Let's-Move

One way the first lady puts her talents and blessings to work is by flexing her ‘muscles’ in her, “Let’s Move” campaign to reduce childhood obesity rates through the combination of exercise and healthier eating. [8]

ENRICHING YOUR SOUL

This month is Nation Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Compassion First’s 2014 Dollar for Dollar January Match Challenge will match your donation dollar for dollar, Jan. 1 – Feb. 1, 2014. Your donation will provide hope and solutions for victims of child sexual trafficking. Join me in this wonderful opportunity to multiply your giving.

When I was thinking about the Compassion First challenge, a song came to my mind. It was a worship song called “Awaken.” It was an amazing God-incidence that when I was looking up the lyrics for the song this week, I came across several articles about why Natalie Grant wrote the song.

Natalie-Grant-The-Gratitude-LifeI always liked the song because of its message but I never knew it was written after a life-changing trip to India where she was exposed to the plight of women and children oppressed by sex slavery. Finding out more about the millions of women and children around the world abused by sex trafficking, Natalie realized the desperate need for quality aftercare for survivors. With that passion to make a difference, Natalie founded The Home Foundation to support aftercare programs around the world. [9]

I hope God will awaken your heart to do whatever you can to grow awareness and seek solutions for human trafficking and child sexual slavery. – Blessings, Linda

Awaken-The-Gratitude-Life-photo-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

To join the dollar 4 dollar campaign go to – http://www.compassionfirst.org/ . Click on the Donate button and choose your donation Event – 2014 Dollar 4 Dollar. Thank you!

Refrences:

1) http://hippocratesinst.org/nutrition/wheatgrass-is

2) http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/top-10-health-benefits-chia-seeds-6962.html

3) http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/turmeric-golden-spice-better-healt

4) http://www.alzheimers.net/2013-07-29/turmeric-and-alzheimers/ – http://www.jneurosci.org/content/21/21/8370.full

5) Share Tea, Save Lives – http://www.compassiontea.com/

6) Ikaria honey from “The Island of Longevity” – http://www.ikariahoney.com/

7) http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/01/15/as-50th-birthday-approaches-michelle-obama-does-not-rule-out-botox-takes-up-yoga/

8) http://www.letsmove.gov/

9) http://abolitioninternational.org/

All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission. This is a personal blog, expressing my personal opinion. Please seek professional medical help for any health conditions you may have.

The Starfish Story and My Source of Life

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The Starfish Story

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a young woman picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the young lady, he asked “What are you doing?”

She replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back they’ll die.”

“Young lady,” the man said. “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference.”

After listening politely, the young woman bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. She then smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference for that one.”

The man looked at the young woman inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined her in throwing starfish back into the sea and many were saved.[1]

The Vision and Actions of One or Two People Can Inspire and Save Many. 

You are probably familiar with this story. It has appeared in different forms and been told in several ways. I lived my own real life starfish story when I was in Newport Beach last week visiting family and taking a short vacation. While I was walking along beautiful Crystal Cove, I saw two star fish stranded on the beach. As the tide receded, I realized there was no hope of them reaching the outgoing tide because they were blocked by a large rock. I was aware that if they didn’t reach their source of life, the ocean, they would dry out and die. It was going to be a hot day so I carried them to the water. When I placed them in the water, I understood more deeply what God was speaking to my heart about the ‘rock’, the things that were keeping me from experiencing Christ’s fullness, his ‘living water’. Like the man in the story, I often miss God’s big picture by focusing on the wrong picture. I want to do things of everlasting significance but I sometimes lose sight of Jesus, the navigator, my source of life. Even though I’m not the best Christ follower and I can’t do all the things I wish I could, God mercifully opened my eyes to some of the wonderful things He is doing in my life that I am a part of.

Over the past month or so I have had the privilege of being involved in some notable and praiseworthy events. Our church, Lighthouse Church, put on a banquet for Compassion First.[2] Human sex trafficking, especially the trafficking of young girls, is a problem in many parts of the world. Compassion First provides rescue and restoration for woman and young girls who have been sexually trafficked by caring for them physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. They provide a loving home, legal advocacy, education, physical and psychological care. They now have a hope for a brighter future. It is amazing to be a small part of what they are doing through my church. By being part of a church, the body of Christ, I become a link in a great chain of compassion serving God that is so much bigger than me, so the little I can do becomes more than I could have ever imagined.

Many are being rescued. Please find out more about this very important cause.

Our friends, the Heintz family, put on a fundraiser a couple of weeks ago at their beautiful home for the Lily of the Valley Children’s Village in South Africa.[3] It was a lively and inspirational musical event featuring singers and songwriters: Kevin Fisher, Tim Heintz, Sara Nienietz and Scott Wojahn. They are each uniquely talented and when they joined together at the end of the music set for a final song, they had the audience standing and singing along. Many hands pitched in to make this evening a success  Good fun and delicious food for a great purpose!

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With hearts full of love, Tim & Sharon Heintz talk about the orphans at Lily of the Valley.
Scott Wojahn, Kevin Fisher, Sara Nienietz & Tim Heintz perform.

Having spent more than a year living at the Children’s Village, the Heintz’s know first hand about the amazing work that is being accomplished for orphans there, who have been so severely affected by the AIDS pandemic. Throughout the evening, Tim and Sharon shared several stories about their time at Lily. They remarked that the orphanage was once a place where children went to die of AIDS but they are no longer dying. They are thriving because of the sacrificial love and care they receive. My husband and I share Tim & Sharon’s passion for Lily.

Mothers Day

Mothers Day was a wonderful celebration for me as my loving husband and daughter expressed their extreme appreciation of things I do automatically every day for them without thinking much about it. It gave me a new perspective of myself, motherhood and service. I was refreshed and re-energized.

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The Master Gardener has been doing some spring pruning in me and my life. I’m looking forward to the final results of the good fruit it will produce. I pray God will open the eyes of your heart as He did for me this past month, so you will more fully experience the forgiveness, glory, grace, truth, peace and love found in His Son, Jesus. May He guide your way with His light because you are important, you are needed, you can make a difference.

~ You are loved, Linda

Turn-Your-Eyes-Upon-Jesus-Gratitude

References:
1) The Starfish Story adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
2) Compassion First, web site – http://www.compassionfirst.org/
3) Lily of the Valley Children’s Village – http://www.lov.org.za/

Bible References:

“You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me! I will let you find me,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29: 13-14 (NCV)

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” – Galatians 6: 9-10

“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.” – 2Corinthians 12: 12-13 (NLT)

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” – 2Corinthians 11: 2-4

From the Academy to Humanity – Ben Affleck Lives ‘The GRATITUDE Life’

It warmed my heart to see Ben Affleck’s follow up to his Academy Award for Best Picture. Ben’s moving new video caught my eye this week. In it, he passionately tells the story of the catastrophic events in the eastern Congo region of Africa, where “generations have struggled under a cycle of violence and poverty.” There is also an outpouring of gratitude for his blessings in this video. Ben expresses his thankfulness by putting a good portion of his time and energy into the Eastern Congo Initiative. This group works for that region of Africa as well as with the people in those communities.

Ben Afleck’s recent Oscar win for ”Argo”, is his second Oscar. He also received the Academy Award for “Good Will Hunting” – Best Original Screenplay. Ben had this to say about his continued good fortune, “I’m a very fortunate person. I’ve been lucky and blessed enough to be very successful in ways I’ve always wanted as an actor, writer, director and so on, but I got to a point where I felt like, I’m living this kind of vacuous life. I’m just living for myself. I’m chasing some idea or some goal but I didn’t know what my values were. I didn’t know what I was contributing to the world.”

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Ben Affleck Finds ‘the Meaning of Life’

To answer his heart’s call, Ben founded Eastern Congo Initiative three years ago. It supports local organizations who are “creating lasting change in the lives of vulnerable children and survivors of sexual violence.” It is also creating economic opportunity for these people who have an “unrelenting desire to realize the extraordinary potential of their country.” Ben believes, “This is important work.”

“This is what I believe in, I think of as the meaning of life, getting involved with something, helping others, improving the fabric of the universe. I believe if we do that, even just a little bit, I think you’ll find your life gets better too.” – Ben Affleck 

Giving Back

I have to agree with Ben. Giving to others less fortunate has enriched my life. In many ways it has opened new worlds to me. My husband Steven, and I have been very involved in supporting the area of South Africa hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic. We traveled to that region to grasp a vision of what could be attained by becoming more involved in this desperate plight that was affecting millions. There were many blessing and miracles involved in the work we did on behalf of the Zulu people and the Lily of the Valley Children’s Village, HIV/AIDS orphanage. A medical center, an amphitheater, a second Children’s Village and a vocational school were built and much more is still being accomplished.

Many people of different faiths were involved in our united effort and poured so much of themselves into KwaZulu Natal, South Africa; one example is our friends, the Heintz family. They went to the Lily of the Valley orphanage at their own expense. This lovely Christian family lived and ministered there for 15 months. Tim Heintz is a composer who has written musical scores for movies such as “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “Enemy of the State,” Tim also provided the music for the LoveFest fund-raisers we held here in California for the Lily of the Valley Endeavor.

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Pictured – (right) Steven & Linda Eichberg at Lily of the Valley Children’s Village (top left) Sharon Heintz, Sharon Clack, Founder – Lily of the Valley Endeavor & Tim Heintz breaking ground for the now completed Medical Centre (bottom left) Lily kids 

 

My sister, June Kuz and her family of five are headed to Guatemala this summer to work together with their church and spread God’s love in the communities there. I can’t wait to hear about the amazing life changing results of that trip. The stories we share offer incredible possibilities for the good of the world but we can’t do it on our own.

Please view and share this video, about the vision and purpose of Eastern Congo Initiative and this massive humanitarian crisis, in the heartfelt words of Ben Affleck.

 

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

Lily of the Valley Endeavor – http://www.LilyValleyUSA.org

Lily of the Valley Children’s Village – http://www.lov.org.za

“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’” – Jesus, in Matthew 25:45 NLV

 
DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.

ONLY LOVE CAN DO THAT

darkness-light-hate-love-Martin-Luther-King-Jr.

In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, I am sharing a few of my favorite excerpts of some of Dr. King’s writings and speeches. He was a brilliant man who humbly and lovingly acted out his faith.

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

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Excerpts from “Loving Your Enemies” (November 1957)

“Somewhere somebody must have some sense. Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody. Somebody must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil in the universe. And you do that by love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative.” There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

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Quotes from Dr. King’s, “The Christian Pertinence of Eschatological Hope,” a paper King wrote for Christian Theology Today

Second Coming of Christ

“Actually we are celebrating the Second Advent every time we open our hearts to Jesus, every time we turn our backs to the low road and accept the high road, every time we say no to self that we may say yes to Jesus Christ, every time a man or women turns from ugliness to beauty and is able to forgive even their enemies. Jesus stands at the door of our hearts if we are willing to admit him. He is far away if with ugliness and evil we crowd him out. The final doctrine of the second coming is that whenever we turn our lives to the highest and best there for us is the Christ.”

Judgement Day

“The highest court of justice is in the heart of man after the light of Christ has illumined his motive and all his inner life. Any day when {we} waken to the fact that we are making a great moral decision, any day of experienced nearness to Christ, any day when in the light of Christ, we see ourselves, is a day of judgment.”

Immortality

“Again the worthfulness of the personal life of Jesus makes immortality meaningful. Through his spirit Jesus brought the immortal hope to light. He had a quality of spirit that death couldn’t hold (cf. Acts 2:24). His love was too powerful for death. His truth was too eternal for death. His goodness was too influential for death.”

The Kingdom of God

“When we see social relationships controlled everywhere by the priciples which Jesus illustrated in his life–trust, love, mercy, and altruism–then we shall know that the kingdom of God is here. To say what this society will be like in exact detail is quite hard for us to picture, for it runs so counter to the practices of our present social life. But we can rest assure that it will be a society governed by the law of love.”

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Words from a beautiful mind, God bless you, Dr. King.

~ Linda Eichberg

 

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” – Jesus in Matthew 5: 44-45