Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Please Pass The Swedish Chocolate. It’s Good for My Health!

posted by Linda Mintle

Hand me another chocolate bar, but make it Swedish milk chocolate! Those bars have higher percentages of antioxidant rich cocoa solid than American milk chocolate bars. And when the concentration hits about 30%, it’s good news for chocolate lovers and our health.

Swedish researchers’ evaluated women who claimed to eat two small chocolate bars a week and found a link to lower level of stroke compared to women who did not eat chocolate bars. Basically, a small amount of chocolate reduced the risk of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. You can review the study in the Oct 18th issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The results make sense given past studies have found a reduction of blood pressure among chocolate consumers.  Since hypertension relates to stroke, this makes sense.

But before you load up on chocolate treats for Halloween and then justify downing the left overs, be sensible.

1) Note the differences in Swedish and American chocolate. You might want to stick to dark chocolate on this continent. Dark contains more of the antioxidants and is lower on sugar.

2) Note I said the subjects “claimed” to eat two bars a week. That is because the study was based on self-reports. People had to accurately report what they ate and well, we don’t always do that!

3) If you add chocolate to your diet, cut back on other calories. Calories are still calories and can add to weight gain.

That said, bring on the chocolate bars! We need to engage in a little self-care!

 

Some Redemption for Chris Brown

posted by Linda Mintle

“Some Redemption for Chris Brown” was the headline in our local paper. Singer, dancer, pop artist Chris Brown appeared in concert over the weekend. He is talented and a heart throb among teens but the artist and I have had tension.

This summer, my husband, teen daughter and I stood in Rockefeller Plaza, waiting for Chris Brown to perform live on the Today show. Honestly, I struggled with being there.

Chris Brown is the artist who made his recording debut in 2005.  In 2009, he pleaded guilty to felony assault for attacking his then girlfriend, pop star Rhianna. According to reports, she sustained visible facial injuries, a bloody nose and bite marks on her arms.

My daughter and I have discussed Chris Brown many times. There is NEVER a reason for a man to physically abuse a woman. For that matter, women have no excuse to physically attack men either. My daughter has worked with me and the women in domestic violence shelters. She has heard their stories of physical abuse, witnessed their scars and the family destruction.  So I didn’t want to support a pop star who beat up his girlfriend.

But here’s what made me change my mind. As we were discussing the Chris Brown situation, my daughter said, “Mom, you believe in redemption right? You believe people can change because you help them do that. Do you believe Chris brown could be repentant and change? Maybe we should give him a chance and support him for trying to change his life. ”

I couldn’t argue with that! We’ve all made mistakes. We all need grace and mercy to correct our mistakes and try again. So here is hoping that Chris Brown has learned from his mistakes, is getting therapy and will use his incredible talent for good.

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Biggest Loser’s Patrick Goes Home: 5 Tips to Sustain Weight Loss

posted by Linda Mintle

Several years ago, I did a national television show about the people on the Biggest Loser. The focus of the interview was on how the contestants fared away from the TV cameras a year or so later. The follow up data wasn’t good. So when latest contestant, Patrick, left the show, I was routing for him but know the challenge he faces. He has to make changes in his real life to not only sustain, but lose more weight. On TV,  you are surrounded by a medical team, work out experts and continuous reinforcement.

Biggest Loser goes for dramatic weight loss through calorie restriction and excessive exercise. While contestants learn how to make healthy choices in their eating habits, sustaining the continuous exercise often proves difficult. Many regain weight a year after the show.

It is maintaining weight loss that matters. The U.S. National Weight Control Registry tracks people who maintain weight loss. Most of those people maintain an exercise regiment of about an hour a day. Slow steady weight loss is better than the rapid weight loss we see on the Biggest Loser

So if you are trying to lose weight, here are a few tips from my book Press Pause Before You Eat.

1) Depriving yourself doesn’t work in the long haul. You can’t think deprivation and sustain weight loss. Instead, think, “I can have this food item, but do I want it? Will it lead me to my goal?”

2) Don’t skip meals like breakfast. You need regularly scheduled meals to avoid bingeing.

3) Slow down and chew every bite. Give your brain time to realize your stomach is full. Know the difference between actual hunger and emotional eating.

4) Control your portions. It isn’t always what we eat but how much of it we eat.

5) Stop viewing food as the enemy. Rethink your food relationship so that eating can be enjoyed but controlled.

Is Christianty Too Exclusive?

posted by Linda Mintle

I’ve been reading the comments from so many people concerning the loss of Steve Jobs. He certainly was one of the most creative and technical minds we have seen in modern times. His contribution to culture is significant and I am thankful for all the Apple products I own and have owned through the years. My first computer was a black and white MAC cube! I love Apple and am a regular at the store.

But here’s what I noticed in all the blogging. Jobs was married in a Buddhist ceremony and talked about converting to Buddhism. Christians who commented regarding concern for his soul have been lambasted as being judgmental.

Christianity is a religion based on the premise that there is one way to God–through Jesus Christ. Christianity does NOT support many ways to God. So when a Christian questions the eternal place of someone who hasn’t made a profession of Christ, this is really the heart of Christian belief. The person is being consistent with the principles of his or her faith. If you believe what Jesus said–that He is the only way to heaven and eternal life, then it doesn’t matter how successful someone is on earth. The bigger issue is if they made peace with God through Jesus Christ.

This exclusive path to God is blasted for being intolerant, narrow minded.  Christians are labelled judgmental when they do not accept multiple paths to salvation. But it is not Christians who get to decide the terms of eternity. God does that. In the Bible, He clearly says, there is no other way to God but through repentance of sin and acceptance of Christ as our Savior. Christianity is based on this belief–one way to heaven.

You can hate that, think it  intolerant, judgmental or whatever. But it is the basis of the Christian faith. So for Christians, the acceptance of Christ as a personal savior, is the most important determinant of eternity. And when you believe this to be the cornerstone of your faith, you want your friends, family and the lost to know that Good News.

Christianity is not exclusive in the sense that anyone who believes on Christ is offered the free gift of salvation.

But the giver of that gift says, here are the terms:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).

Jesus declared that the one whom he called Father is “the only true God” (John 17:3).

I am God and there is no other” (Isaiah 46:9)

“I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

The concern expressed for Steve Jobs is not some horrible intolerance by Christians. It is Christians being true to their faith. Praying that Jobs made a confession of Christ.

Christians know that God will be the judge of all people one day. In the meantime, like it or not,  it is our job to spread the Good News. Hopefully we do that through love, not judgment.

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