Friday, August 21, 2009

Meet Your Meat

Warning: This post highly opposes my previous pork tenderloin post. I'm not being hypocritical, but rather have had a change in heart :)I am not writing this blog to try to convince anyone to become a vegetarian. I am simply sharing my thoughts as to why I'm giving it a shot. I am currently doing the "30-day veg pledge"! I have tried going vegetarian before, mainly for the health benefits, but have recently decided to give it another go due to a reason I will talk about later. First, some health benefits . . .

Cancer Protection - When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, she made the decision to go vegan. My family greatly believes that this (along with constant prayer, tenacity, love, support, and great naturopathic doctors) is one of the reasons she is alive and well today. The World Health Organization states that dietary factors account for at least 30% of all cancers in Western countries! Cancer researchers in England and Germany have found that vegetarians were about 40% less likely to develop cancer when compared to meat eaters. Those are significant numbers! Also, studies show that people who consume higher amounts of fruits and vegetables have about one-half the risk of cancer, especially the epithelial cancers, and the risk of most cancers was 20-50% lower in those with a higher consumption of whole grains.
Visit if you'd like more detailed information regarding meat consumption and cancer risk.

Heart Health - Personally, my diet has nothing to do with my weight :) I visited the doctor this summer for my physical and found out my cholesterol is slightly high! I was shocked because I thought of myself as pretty healthy with a good diet. This is another reason why I have finally decided to become a vegetarian. Vegetarians have a whopping 50% less chance of developing heart disease! Studies performed in Italy show that those with the highest consumption of fruits and vegetables had a 21% reduced risk of heart attacks. After I saw my dad go through his heart attack, I don't want myself or anyone else I know to have to go through that.

Other benefits of a vegetarian diet that have persuaded me include a stronger immune system, living on average 6-10 years longer, and helping to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer's.

OK, now to the topper that ultimately led me to this decision. I came across the website through a Facebook post of a girl I know from high school who is a vegetarian. On this website, there is a link on the left-hand side with the title "Meet Your Meat". I clicked on "pigs", and couldn't believe what I was watching! I won't go into detail for those of you who would rather not know. For those of you who would like to check it out, there are videos as well as pictures if you'd prefer to not watch the videos. I do have a love for animals, and this literally broke my heart and subsequently made me sick to my stomach as we had just eaten pork!

My hope is that this blog post will help my "30-day veg pledge" to not be another failed attempt, and I will continue with this for more than 30 days. By putting all my thoughts out there to you, I will have you to help hold me accountable . . . and then there's always that video to help remind me . . .

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fireproofing Our Marriage

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
endures all things. Love never fails."
- 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

When something is "fireproof" it does not mean that a fire will be prevented from attacking and trying to cause its well-known destruction. Instead, to be fireproof means that when the fire does come, you will be able to withstand it.
Matt and I watched a very powerful movie last night which we recommend to anyone who is married (newlyweds to long-time weds!), engaged, thinking about getting married, or would one day like to be married. It is called Fireproof, and it reveals the healing power that faith can have in your marriage. We realize we have only been married for five months, and that many fires will cross our path and attack our marriage in the years ahead of us. Our first five months of marriage have been absolutely amazing, and we want do to what we can to keep it that way. We believe that we should not follow our hearts, but instead should lead our hears. Just because our marriage is off to a good start, doesn't mean that we don't need to always work on it. We will be continuously asking for God's guidance as we march on through this journey as husband and wife.
I had been on the search for a good devotional for married couples since we got married, and recently had success in a local Christian Supply store. The sales clerk suggested The Love Dare, and explained how it is featured in the movie Fireproof. I had heard of the movie once prior from my friend Jessica, and was now really interested. So, as we arrived to day 10 of our Love Dare, I rented the movie. Wow! That's all I have to say. I haven't cried like that during a movie since possibly Titanic ;)
For example . . .

Day One: Love is patient - Our words reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose to not say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret.

Day Ten: Love is unconditional - Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse to show that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. Buy his favorite dessert. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

Although Matt and I are already pretty good at these things, a daily reminder is also very helpful :) As the book states, "whether your marriage is hanging on by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare is a journey you need to take."

Visit more information.