An Attitude of Gratitude – How it Affects Your Body

 

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Luke 22:17 And when He (Jesus) had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves;
vs 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”
vs 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Whenever Jesus broke bread, He always gave thanks first.  He had gratitude.  His gratitude, or thankfulness was beyond His words.  His thankfulness was in His heart.  He was truly appreciative of what He was about to partake in, and that His Father provided the food for Him.  This is the example He gave to us that we should also be sure to practice.

But, let’s move beyond the rote prayers we say and get right to what happens in the body when we truly give thanks from our heart.

Gratitude puts us at ease.  Gratitude changes our PH from acidic to more alkaline.  Gratitude helps digestion.

On the contrary, stress creates an acidic environment.  Stress activates the fight or flight response in your central nervous system causing digestion to shut down because your central nervous system shuts down blood flow, affecting the contractions of your digestive muscles, and decreasing secretions needed for digestion.

You need a central place to eat to bring your body to a place of peace.  Eating in the car on the way to work, or anywhere else, is not that place.   Eating in front of the television is not that place.  Eating while upset at your spouse or children causes food to go undigested.  Stomach acid backs up out of the stomach into the esophagus causing acid reflux and when it backs up OUT of the stomach, it is not breaking down food properly IN the stomach.

I’ll take this out to the furthest extreme to give a snapshot of what a lifestyle of stressful  eating can cause.

Stressful eating reflects a heart of anger and bitterness.
Anger and bitterness lowers the ph in the body, causing acidity.
A chronic high acidity level produces inflammation.
Any “ITIS” is chronic inflammation; arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, etc.
ALL CANCER is preceeded by inflammation, therefore ALL CANCER began with an unresolved anger.
ALL CANCER is preceeded by chronic acidity.
Autoimmune diseases are preceeded by leaky gut (poor digestion), and poor digestion has a root in stressful eating.

Develop a heart of gratitude.  You have control over your emotions because you have control over your thoughts.  Emotions are products of your thought life, although hormones play a part in what kind of emotions we have as well.  It is important to focus on what thoughts you are giving power to, which is why avoiding distraction at the dinner table is critical to health and well-being.

Give thanks before each meal.  Although you prepared the food, it would not exist if the Lord had not provided it.  He knows exactly what you need.  Release a blessing on your food as well.  We aren’t always able to eat organic or whole food and sometimes we eat out and are trusting that the preparers had clean hands and the kitchen is sanitary.  Release a blessing.

Don’t put a bite to your mouth until you are at peace.  Peace in your body activates the “rest and digest” response in the body, which signals that all is well.  The esophagus doesn’t spasm, as when under stress, and therefore acid remains in the stomach and digestion is about to happen.

Resolve family issues before eating.  This is critical.  1 Corinthians 11:27 exhorts us to examine ourselves before we eat.  Check our hearts to see if there is any unforgiveness (which leads to bitterness and bitterness produces acidity).  Jesus says that many are “sickly and have fallen asleep” because we have not discerned the body correctly.  I believe that means our own physical body and the body that we are apart of with others.

Eat together whenever possible. This goes along with the above. Enjoy each other.  Let eating be combined with fellowship and blessings. Eating together in peace provides a sense of belonging, security, and joy.  These promote alkalinity and the “Rest and digest” response.

Eat at a central area, away from television and other distractions.  Practice mindful eating.  That means consider what you are putting in your mouth when you eat.  You can’t do that in front of the television because your mind is elsewhere.  Romans 14 says we are to be fully convinced that the way we are eating and what we are eating is pleasing to the Lord.

Thank the Lord for your body for it is fearfully and wonderfully made.   Psalm 139 says “I will PRAISE you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”   PRAISE produces alkalinity and may lower inflammation.  PRAISE is Gratitude.  “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise.”  (Psalm 100:4)  When you thank the Lord for your body, knowing it is FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made, you know that God has created your body for OPTIMAL FUNCTION and WELLNESS.  He didn’t design you to be sick.   SO THANK HIM!  PRAISE HIM!

Resolve offenses.  It may have been years since you ate while angry with someone and stuffed it.  Resolve offenses going forward.  Ask forgiveness for those you have been angry with in the past.  If restitution needs to be made, make it.

He made you to be whole.

STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!

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If this much is good, more must be better.

This is the thinking of most of us. “If I take 350 mg of magnesium and feel pretty good then 700 will make me feel great!” No, it will likely become your next remedy for constipation.

Or “I took 3000 mg of vitamin c and didn’t feel any different. I’ll try 6000 mg.” You may end up calling off work that day and get someone to drive yourself to the hospital because the cramping will make you feel like you’re dying.

More is not necessarily better.

But sometimes more IS better. 400 IUs of VItamin D used to be the required daily allowance and then they raised it to 600 when they learned it was too low and most of the population was deficient. Still deficient, it was raised to 800.

But we are STILL deficient.

I recently was speaking to a women in the health food store who was very depressed and wanted something to help her out of depression. I’m not a doctor so I could not suggest anything for depression; I’m a wellness consultant who thinks in terms of nutrition. I asked her “Are you on a good multi-vitamin?” She said she was not. I led her over to our multi-vitamin section where I showed her the balance of nutrients in one brand that also included a botanical blend of herbs noted for bringing emotional balance. “Look at all those goodies in there!” I said to her and suggested she start there.

Another woman (whom I know), was standing nearby and heard me. This particular woman had her gallbladder removed and had a weaker constitution than the customer I was talking with. Upon hearing me proclaim “Look at all those goodies” she turned to me with a look of horror. That is because SHE cannot have a lot of “goodies” in her supplements. It throws her off balance, affects her adversely, and so for HER, LESS IS MORE.

The man I used to work for is a nutritional braniac and I am thankful for learning so much from him – his philosophy was “if you have a particular issue, take it all in high doses for a short while. Tell your body who is boss.” And there are many practitioners who think like that. Then there are Western herbalists who believe that you train your body by not forcing it into submission – small amounts and fewer herbs at a time. (Chinese herbalists like a lot of various combinations of herbs, however).

But then, there is homeopathy – the philosophy behind that is the more diluted a substance, the stronger it is. So, Arnica Montana diluted 6x is weaker than Arnica Montana diluted 30x.

At one point, I wanted to just scream “STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!” and sometimes I still get there, but it’s not as hard to navigate having been through this maze.

There are different philosophies because there are different goals, different issues, different values and perspectives. What you believe has much to do with what you choose, because your belief about something has a say in what you decide upon. If you have a personality that dives into everything and cleans the mess up later, you may not have a problem trying new things, and stronger medicine. If you approach life cautiously, it may take you a long time to decide on just the right multi-vitamin, and you may end up just opting out.

Is one more right than the other?

Back in the 90s, I tried a protein powder for the first time in my drink. I felt as if my body was saying “THANK YOU! I HAVE NEEDED THAT!” It took me awhile to realize it wasn’t the actual BRAND of protein powder I needed, but that my body was not breaking down protein so protein powder in general was actually being absorbed. I have learned to “hear what my body is telling me I need.”

The other day, a representative of a medicinal mushroom company was holding a sampling of products. He was explaining that the Reishi mushroom is the top sought after mushroom for a wide variety of complaints. In this particular brand, the mushrooms were formulated into a tincture. He gave me a few drops in water. I wasn’t feeling it. I told him I wanted to try some of the others. He then gave me Chaga. I immediately felt it resonate in my body. There was that “Thank you” again. It had nothing to do with the taste of either mushroom. It was what my body needed. I learned AFTERWARD that Chaga was helpful for the immune system support, what I needed.

Another thing I hear a lot is “I used that and it worked great but after 2 months it stopped working.” THat is because your body no longer needs it. The body is fearfully and wonderfully made. If you need something today, you may not need it in 3 months from now. Your body knows it no longer has need for it. In fact if you try to force your body to take it when it no longer has need, you my be overwhelming your system.

I don’t advocate this way for beginner’s. It’s a place to arrive at, but definitely needs to be kept in mind as you start out learning what your body needs. In fact, if your only desire is to get yourself out of crisis, you may be constantly craving what ISN’T good for you, thinking your body needs that.

If you are a Christian, you understand that repentance must be a part of your life so that you are able to discern the Holy Spirit speaking to you; leading you, guiding you. That path may lead you all of a sudden out in front, as the leading expert in a certain field. That path may lead you behind the scenes not being seen at all. But you will know because you have learned to listen, and put down the things that are not good for you, and put away things you no longer need (“childish things”).

In navigating your way through all the information and confusion surrounding what your body needs, it is uniquely your own journey, but you have people you trust along the way. Stick with this people, let the ones who have gone before you help you along. Gather information but don’t adopt it as being right for you until you have that peace in your heart that it’s time, but every day, start removing what you know to be hindering your health. From processed foods, to refined sugars, or maybe its grains. Or maybe its chemicals in your cupboard. Whatever you need to remove, remove one thing daily. Then, you will hear clearly what your body is telling you it needs.