Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?
By Ellie Marrandette
It’s a dismal fact that a majority of Americans are unhealthy. After researching the numbers, I discovered it ran the gamut from 60 – 90%. A huge range difference to be sure, but the bottom line is – that’s a lot!
Are you someone who is sick and tired of being depressed, unhealthy, and lethargic? Don’t you wish you were healthier? Stupid question – who enjoys being exhausted?
If your mom was like mine, she exhorted me with axioms such as, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Meaning it takes more than wishes to fulfill a dream.
If someone wishes to become healthier, they must desire that more than they want that second piece of pie! And it’s not simply a matter of willpower.
Millions of older people in our country endure cancers, diabetes, heart conditions, arthritis, and other illnesses. Fighting an illness is tiring. Sure, some diseases are gene-related, but the majority are from an acquired lifestyle.
“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
For the past thirty years, I have professed that the best prescription for overcoming mental and physical stress is exercise and diet. As a nutritionist, I must practice what I preach. Otherwise, I would be no better than the Christian, professing Christ, who doesn’t change their lifestyle.
It takes awareness and discipline to reach a goal. Know yourself and physiology. Do you find yourself unconsciously reaching for sugary foods when tired or stressed? Do you realize that certain foods contain chemicals that calm the psyche? They absolutely do!
According to 1 Corinthians 6:12, “Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be mastered by anything.” (CSB) I consume anything and everything in balance and moderation. Steak, chocolate, eggs, potatoes, and sugar were all given to us by God. I never suffer but eat with restraint. Food is not my god and it shouldn’t be yours.
God wants us to enjoy an abundant life. He’s not Lucy who wants to take away our football. He gave us flavorful, nutritious food. Originally, when God created mankind, everyone was a vegetarian. There was nothing detrimental to our health when God created Eden. (Except the Tree of Knowledge and that didn’t end well when Adam/Eve thought they were smarter than God.)
“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:19)
It was only after the Flood, when the climate changed, that God declared it permissible to consume meat. All meat is on the acidic scale. The pH scale runs between 1 which is acidic through 14 which is alkaline. A healthy body is balanced between a pH of 7.0 – 7.4. That means consuming both alkaline and acidic choices.
All raw and lightly cooked vegetables are on the Alkaline scale. (Canned and processed vegetables sometimes aren’t.) Why is that important? Because cancers and other illnesses cannot thrive in an alkaline environment.
When people become more acidic on the pH scale, diseases thrive! A lack of nutritional balance can cause us to become irritable, moody, lethargic, jittery, depressed, and even Schizophrenic.
My favorite psychotherapist was Dr. George Watson, Ph.D. In the mid-1950s, he discovered that if an element could be created to block an essential nutrient from our system, say niacin, (B3) the patient eventually would go crazy. That’s how important eating nutritionally balanced is.
Could this be one of the reasons our crime rate has risen so drastically in this country? Did anyone study diet to solve the problem? Unfortunately, anyone advocating research and a better diet today battles the huge pharmaceutical and advertising industries. Medications are being dispensed to our children like candy. Advertisers proclaim unhealthy foods are delicious.
Families today consume diets lacking in vitamins and minerals while consuming unwholesome chemically-based fast and premade foods more than ever before. Consider how chemical additives, dyes, and artificial sweeteners found in food, interact with our biochemical physiology. Rampant ADD/ADHD, depression, school mass shootings . . . is there a connection?
Look how the fast-food industry has grown since the 1960s. How good is the quality of a $1 burger? How many chemicals/dyes/preservatives are included in a prepackaged box? The body cannot metabolize chemicals. Therefore, they fester in the liver forever! Everyone knows what happens when a chemistry tube gets the wrong combination of chemicals – ka-boom! It’s your duty to protect yourself and your grandchildren.
Poor diet is a downward cycle. When the brain and body become lethargic, it craves energy. The hypothalamus, (the little traffic cop in our brain) will seek quick, simple, sugary carbohydrate energy. This produces a mood-swing-insulin-crash a few hours later!
What the body needs is good, fibrous, complex carbohydrates such as beans, legumes, whole grains, walnuts, fruits, and vegetables with B complex vitamins. These allow insulin to be released more slowly into the bloodstream.
Then choose high-protein foods, such as pork loin, turkey, fish, and chicken which remain in the digestive system for 3-5 hours.
Garlic, leeks, and onions also increase serotonin in the brain. This plays a huge role in your mood, appetite, and sleep patterns. I’d recommend adding hot, spicy selections to your weekly menu: horseradish, hot sauce, tabasco, wasabi, chili peppers, and red pepper flakes. This stimulates brain circulation of serotonin and dopamine, producing happier humans.
Increase omega-3 fatty acid intake through salmon, fish oils, milled flaxseed, walnuts, or eggs. Increasing the right type of fat improves moods, reinforces our brain’s memory, and fights off dementia.
Tyrosine made from dopamine is found in spinach, beans, legumes, bananas, pumpkin seeds, and avocados – another great good mood stimulator.
Now Let’s Discuss How Exercise Improves Mood.
When we were kids, we ran for the pure joy of it – when did exercise become drudgery? Get some fresh air and play outdoor games with your loved ones. Today too many children sit over a computer nowadays, instead of playing outside, riding bikes, throwing balls, or playing sports.
Fresh air releases endorphins from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. This stimulates serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter, which in turn, improves moods.
Grandfathers, you are not helping your grandchild by bringing them the latest, (violent?) video game any more than gifting them with sugary, chemically-based treats. Rather you are setting them up for an unhealthy mindset. May I suggest gifting them with a basketball, jump rope, bike, badminton, or even a corn hole game to get their bodies and brains activated? Natural sunlight is balanced light and allows us to maintain optimum health.
Exercise protects the brain from deterioration. Our brains need oxygen! Just imagine how active one’s brain is strolling stroll down a path. One must be aware of each step and the environment around them. This increases mental stimulation and improves our mood as well.
No excuses – you’ll feel better! Exercise releases endorphins after as little as two minutes which energizes us. Therefore, talk yourself into “just exercising for five minutes.” As Nike stated, “Just do it!” Then talk yourself into a minute or two longer. During the time you complained and procrastinated, you could already have hiked a quarter mile!
Exercise improves blood sugar, inflammation, our immune system, and rate of fat metabolism which can last for several hours.
Vary the exercise routine.
Lift different weight variations or use stretchy bands to complete different exercises, using different muscle groups.
Don’t sit still even while watching television!! Use a stepper, stationary bike, or stretch bands during a show.
In winter, walk outside in the cold air. Your body will need to expend more energy to keep warm.
Use fast, inspirational music (Rocky Theme?) to exercise and add different motions. Variations use different muscle groups.
If you walk/jog, vary your speed throughout your routine; jog, sprint, run, walk, and so on.
The key is to find something that’s fun. Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport today. But walking, biking, planting flowers, swimming, golfing, and even shuffleboard burns calories. Again, get your grandchildren involved! Create wonderful memories together.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
After attending Graham Jr. College in Boston and Moody Bible College, Ellie Marrandette earned her Bachelor of Ministry (BMIN) from Trinity Theological Seminary. Fascinated by psychology and physiology, God directed Ellie toward a rewarding healthcare career. She became a licensed, certified nutritional counselor, working with doctors, nutritional centers, and independently as the founder of New Creations Ministries, a faith-based solution in overcoming health challenges. In recent years, God has focused Ellie’s path toward writing. She is the author of four Christian novels, a novella, and a non-fiction book on healthy living entitled, Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us.) All can be found Here. Her current endeavor is to complete a children’s devotional this year. For more about Ellie Marrandette visit her New Creations website.
Feature Photo by Centre for Ageing Better