Let the Church Say Amen to Global Competence

Let the Church Say Amen to Global Competence

This is my beef with some pastors and most churches. It seems (in my humble opinion) that pastors are leading a flock of people and for the most part with limited global knowledge. Some would say knowledge of global economics and politics have no place in the church. I say, the church is made up of people, right? These same people exist outside of the church as well, right? Then, what you think you can separate in policy, you actually cannot separate in principle.

It is what it is. You are receiving teachings in a church designed to make you a better person in this world. Therefore, why wouldn’t those teachings need to be reflective of what is truly going on in this world? You wouldn’t go to a doctor who specializes in dermatology but who has no knowledge of what the latest advancements in skin diseases are, would you? You wouldn’t pay money to a financial broker to trade commodities for you and yet he/she isn’t versed in risk management or new global technologies, would you? Well, I guess many people would, and do, in both those cases.

So, yes, people rely on doctors, traders, teachers, CEOs and pastors to lead or guide them in the right direction. And yes, there are leaders in many other categories as well (like, heaven forbid, our government) that are relied upon. However, the ones who I believe can have the biggest impact—good or bad—on the largest groups of people are pastors. Why? Simply put, here in America, a primarily Christian nation, more people at varying ages between 1 and 90+, are in church on a regular basis than they are in front of a doctor, teacher, broker, boss, or one-on-one with a politician.

Why then, aren’t pastors more educated? Why isn’t their congregation holding them accountable to keep up on world economics? History? The health industry? Yes, even politics? Not to bring those subjects into the pulpit per se, but to just have a better understanding of those things when they’re preaching what they’re preaching. I get it that some may only have a high school or even just an elementary education due to conditions within their household back in the day. That still doesn’t excuse them from picking up a book, other than the Bible, and learning about current events happening in this great big world around them.

And I’m not even talking about some little one-room church in the deep Southern swamplands or in the Appalachian mountains. No, I’m referring mainly to urban churches full of supposedly educated pastors and parishioners. I’m calling out those mega churches that for the past near-20 years have been popping up all over the metropolises of America. In these mega churches (like the ones I have belonged to and attended), or slightly smaller congregations (like what I’ve also belonged to), I’ve heard things preached and implied from the pulpit that just aren’t true. Messages and beliefs that have always “bothered” me; making it difficult for me to be “all in” with their overall vision, mission and outreach.

I know I’m not the only one in those places who feels this way. So how can so many people sit there week after week, believing the propaganda without questioning things said and done? Oh, that’s right, we’re taught not to question the man of God or the Bible because we would be questioning God. No, I beg to differ. Sure, I don’t question God because He is The Almighty Creator. The Bible, however, while God-inspired, is man-written. And man is full of flaws, blunders and hidden agendas.

So I continue to do my own research because I’ve already seen where that agenda of Christian slave masters led us. Using “God’s” written word in their manipulation of an entire race of people for hundreds of years. And it’s CONTINUING TODAY, and still with nations in Africa! Still exploiting groups of people there by the millions. Still pulling the wool over the American people’s eyes about the people and conditions of African nations.

Yes, the educational system is guilty of this same thing; however, the church’s error, in my opinion, is of greater regard because of the moral aspect that is associated there. People don’t look to schools—or they shouldn’t—as their moral compass. When they do, they’re either going to be shocked by, or sucked into, all the corruption that occurs there.

But the church? The church has an educational and moral obligation to its people and it’s failing miserably. I heard the perfect example of this just last Sunday (not in church, but on TV). It hit my ears hard and I gasped at the offense. There were three religious leaders on the political news platform, Meet the Press, which aired April 16, 2017: Rev. TD Jakes, of the world renowned Potter’s House; JoAnn Hummel, pastor of a mega church outside Dallas called Bent Tree Fellowship (I lived near there in the early 2000’s, so I know it’s in a very progressive area); and Rabbi David Saperstein, a Jewish community leader and former United States Ambassador .

When the host, Chuck Todd, asked how they felt about the growing trend towards secularism and how it affects them, this Bent Tree pastor’s answer was appalling! Actually, an insult to my ears because it relayed just how uneducated she is on a subject that her church is highly involved in. I’ve referenced the video clip of the program so you can hear for yourself what was said. [i] However, in a nutshell, her answer included this:

“In the West (meaning this Western World) we have everything, but in Africa, they have nothing so their hunger for God is so much greater than ours.” What the what?? In Africa they have nothing? My jaw dropped and I almost fell out of my seat in total amazement at such a false (and stupid) statement!

First of all, which of the 54 countries in Africa is she speaking of? Yes, there are some very undeveloped regions and poor nations there, as with ANY PLACE on this planet. What she said, however, is equivalent to someone saying America is so economically poor—grouping all 50 states in one statement—while we know that is a flat out lie.

So, Ms. Hummel, like millions of other people need to learn once and for all that Africa is a continent and you can’t just go throwing the name around like it’s a country. You don’t hear someone from Germany say I’m from Europe when asked about their heritage. Neither does an Austrian say they’re only from Europe. No, because there are 51 states that make up Europe, just as there are 54 fully recognized sovereign states that make up Africa. “Recognized” being the operative word, apparently.

Secondly, to say they have nothing is ridiculous! And it’s even more ridiculous that no one else on that panel corrected her. If she, or the other two religious leaders, knew African economics, or if their congregations held them accountable to know, they could not continue to engage in such bs propaganda. They send missionaries there; they send money there; care packages. That’s all fine and good. It seems, though, they do it with the crazy understanding: “Oh my, we must send things to those poor natives sitting there with barely any clothes on, an empty bowl in their hands and flies swarming around their mouths. Oh, and they’re so helpless and weak, they can’t even swat the flies away.”

Thirdly, here’s a little Africa economics 101 for us all…

A World Finance article, written April 7, 2017, entitled The World’s Five Fastest Growing Economies, clearly states for the world, and Ms. Hummel, to see that three of those five are African countries. This ranking is based on the economic growth of these countries’ emerging economies, which are forecasted to outpace the likes of China and India. They are Ethiopia, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, ranking #2, #3 and #4 respectively. For the record, the other two countries are #1 Bhutan (located between China and India) and #5 India.[ii]

Ethiopia’s forecasted 8.7% growth will be attributed to their service industry and public infrastructure investments taking place there. It is pacing to become a middle income country by 2025! Ghana’s strong 8.1% expected expansion is due to its gold, oil and cocoa reserves. Cote d’Ivoire, also forecasted at 8.1% growth, rely primarily on cocoa, coffee and palm oil to bring them to that status by 2020.[iii]

In Keidi Awadu’s The New Conscious Rasta Report entitled, The Sun Rises in the East, he as well examines the rapid changes in domestic development around the world. In his 2014 studies of the top 35 fastest developing nations in the world, based on year-to-year GDP growth rates, Keidi sites 17 of them as African nations. These growths are attributed to energy, ecology and agribusiness just to name a few of the many natural resources found there. They are, in order of growth: Libya, Sierra Leone, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda, Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Mauritania, Tanzania and Nigeria.[iv]

So, in essence, this woman and her church—and many other churches—are part of the problem of these developing countries more than the solution. Their lack of education, hence misguided efforts, result in propaganda full of fear, pity, disdain and total disregard for anything GREAT and GOOD about Africa. They’re sending aid to countries whose governments are not properly developed. So in many cases, the aid (food, clothing, etc) is not even getting to those in need. Or it’s done in such a way that some contributing American organizations are receiving bigger kickbacks than the poor are receiving aid.

Have these churches constructed different paths to ensure the money and goods they’re offering is by-passing the corrupt officials and going directly into the hands of the people? Who knows? Hopefully, that’s what the missionaries are ensuring by being there in person.

Oh, but let’s not even get me started regarding some of those church missionaries.  Their main agenda in these poor nations is to “push” their white Jesus on the indigenous people, showing them how anything they were doing beforehand must have been some voodoo, or something stifling their personal and financial growth. Those poor people gather from miles and miles away (on foot, no doubt) to hear about this white Savior, whose true origins, ironically, are not far from the African soil upon which they are all standing. Will those missionaries ever teach them that? Hmm.

And let’s not get it twisted. It is not these people’s lack of Jesus-knowledge that is keeping them poor, uneducated and desolate. Most are coming out from decades of civil war. Most of them have never been able to master their own human potential, thanks to colonial domination and former imperialist regimes.  And now, here comes further exploitation but this time, in the name of Jesus. And let the people say amen.

In conclusion, I’ll be the first to say I don’t have all the answers for how to get Americans to set aside their arrogance for just a moment in order to accept that this great big world has a whole lot of other people in it doing quite well. Better than us in some cases. You don’t think so? Just look at America’s low ranking when it comes to education and health care, for starters.

I do know that a great place for American’s to start is to become more global-minded. Only then can we get our heads out of the sand, and get un-brainwashed. That’s done through learning history. That helps us to become more competent about others who don’t look like us.

If we as Americans, particularly African Americans, would study 500-600 years of African history—information that is all very accessible—we could begin to know what time it is. It is time for the strength of 1 billion Africans across the globe to have a clearer understanding of our royal past. It is time for us to realize that for much of those 600 years, the civilizations of African Kingdoms were among the wealthiest and most productive nations on the Earth. It is time for us to negate the lies, half truths and gross lack of knowledge that continues to plague us, making us part of the problem instead of catalysts for solutions. Then we will have power that no one can take away from us.

In the words of a very scholarly woman who has repatriated to the Motherland, and has spent years assisting hundreds of others in doing so, “Africa doesn’t need anyone. We need Africa.” Let the church say Amen to that.

Love & RAWspect,

Terri

 

References:

[i] Hummel, JoAnn, Jakes, T.D., Saperstein, David. Religious Leaders Stay Relevant As Americans Lose Faith. April 16, 2017. Retrieved: http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/religious-leaders-try-to-stay-relevant-as-americans-lose-faith-in-institutions-922251331604

[ii] Stannard, James. The World’s Five Fastest Growing Economies. April 7, 2017. Retrieved https://www.worldfinance.com/markets/the-worlds-five-fastest-growing-economies

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Awadu, Keidi. The Sun Rises in the East. The New Conscious Rasta Report. Vol 8. No. 2. March 2014.

You get shoes! You get shoes! Everyone gets shoes!

You get shoes! You get shoes! Everyone gets shoes!

“Whether giving away 50 pairs of shoes or 50,000, there wouldn’t be enough to meet the demand in Haiti.” Very profound words by Samuel Darguin, Executive Director of Haitian American Caucus, a micro enterprising movement he began four years ago to improve the lives of Haitian Americans by providing them with education and essential business tools.

 

Darguin would know. He’s there on the frontline, along with their partnering company and one of our clothing brands, Soles4Souls. Since 2006, S4S has been fulfilling their mission to fight poverty globally by distributing shoes and clothes to the poor. To date, they’ve handled over 26 million pairs of shoes going to 127 countries and to all 50 states.

 

S4S sends a container of shoes to HACU in Haiti every 45 days. A container weighs 25,000 pounds, which equates to approx. 20,000 shoes. Haiti is labeled as the poorest country of the Americas. There are about 10.32 million people living within Haiti’s 10,714 square miles. In 2010, they suffered the worst earthquake in 200 years, felt the brunt of a major hurricane and dealt with a cholera outbreak that claimed many lives—all within that one year’s span. As one can imagine, the locals anxiously await those 20,000 pairs of shoes every 45 days.

 

All the more reason Zappos’ charitable group, Zappos for Good, felt humbled and grateful to be a part of S4S and HACU’s distributing efforts. This past January, after months of collecting donated shoes and clothing from our employees as well as our customers, four Zapponians accompanied our donations to Haiti to experience firsthand the impact of those distributions in the recipient coastal region of Montrouis.

 

Jeremy Kettle and Todd Martin from our Give Team (an integral extension of Zappos for Good), and Mikey Mineeraj and Sarah Weinbaum from our Audio Visual Team, along with S4S’s COO, David Graben, helped carry out the function of HACU’s grass roots program.

 

How does the program work?

Instead of donating the goods directly to those in need, the items are first distributed to women in the community who are involved in the micro enterprising program. These women have been trained to initiate and operate their own businesses and the donated goods become their inventory. These women are now able to build their own homes, put their children in schools and support their families and community with the profit from the sale of their goods. The people of the community are able to afford the donated goods which are sold to them by the women at a very low price. Everyone wins!

 

Jeremy and Todd shared with me their amazement over how the crowds of people waiting for those shoes blossomed from several dozen to a couple hundred within just minutes. Due to the language barrier, there wasn’t much interaction with the people gathering there. However, because huge smiles and elated expressions are universal, they knew those receiving the much awaited shoes and clothes were forever grateful.

 

So, go ahead, clean out your closet.  Gather up those shoes you haven’t worn for two or more years. Whether you’re an employee, customer or a friend of Zappos go to http://www.zappos.com/zapposforgood/give and donate away!  From this day forward, I have a whole new awakening regarding the items I donate. Won’t you join me?

 

Love & RAWspect,

Terri, aka t-RAW

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27 Benefits of watermelon seeds & juice for your hair, skin & overall health

27 Benefits of watermelon seeds & juice for your hair, skin & overall health

Where I live on the West Coast, I can enjoy watermelon pretty much year round. However, to enjoy the best, and most sweet tasting watermelons, I must patiently wait until summertime rolls around. Boy, is it a long wait for a watermelon lover such as myself.

As much as I love this wonderfully humongous fruit now, I loved it ten times more when I was younger. When pregnant with both my children (now in their mid twenties), I craved watermelon. I mean, I could and most times did, eat a whole one per day. Thank goodness there are only  0.36g of fats,  0.038g of saturated fats,  0.088g of monounsaturated fats, and  0.119g  of polyunsaturated fats in each cup of watermelon, because I couldn’t stop eating it. It certainly provided me a lot of electrolytes, which my body truly needed. I stayed very ill with both pregnancies, experiencing that “morning sickness” syndrome throughout the entire nine months. With all the vomiting I did (I just had to go there, right?), my body highly welcomed watermelon’s fiber, sodium and potassium–not to mention just the overall hydration–to restore my body to an alkalined state.

Going back even further in my childhood, I cherish great memories as a small child watching my maternal grandfather, the master of watermelon eating, strategically chew the juicy meat of the fruit on one side of his mouth, while spitting the seeds out on the other.  Naturally, us kids worked hard at imitating him.

Unfortunately, my grandfather, and millions of other people throughout the generations, had it all wrong about those seeds! For decades, people–me included– have been spitting out the most nutritious part of the watermelon! Gasp! Extracting the seeds became so common that soon fruit growers were genetically modifying watermelons, and a host of other fruits,  like grapes for instance. That’s why it’s so easy to purchase seedless watermelons, while you’re hard pressed to find any with seeds.

We’ve been duped! We pay big money to purchase this GMO fruit WITHOUT the seeds when in essence, doing so is giving us less for our money (not to mention all the other dangers we read about GMO processing). Have no fear! The information is widely available to us nowadays so we can enjoy the whole fruit and do so to our wildest contentment!

Now, excuse me while I go get a bowl of this wonderful melon for breakfast, as you read below about its many benefits to our hair, skin and overall health…

Here are 17 benefits that blogger stylecraze gives for watermelon seeds:

1. Your body requires amino acids but there are some essential amino acids such as arginine and lysine which the body cannot produce on its own and these have to be provided from food sources. Watermelon seeds contain some of these essential amino acids such as tryptophan and glutamic acids. Lysine helps in calcium absorption to facilitate formation of collagen and connective tissues in the body whereas arginine improves the body’s metabolism, cardiovascular system and sexual health.

2. Watermelon seeds are good sources of magnesium with 100 grams of seeds providing 139 percent of the recommended daily requirement. Magnesium is vital for normal heart functioning, maintenance of normal blood pressure, supporting metabolic process and protein synthesis. It is also beneficial in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension besides controlling blood pressure and diabetes.

3. Watermelon seeds contain lycopene which is good for your face and also helps in improving male fertility.

4. These seeds are excellent sources of multivitamin B and can replace some of the supplements. Vitamin B present in watermelon seeds comprises of niacin, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. B vitamins are vital for maintaining healthy blood, nervous system and effective immune response.

5. These seeds can be used for treating diabetes. Boil a handful of watermelon seeds in 1 liter water for 45 minutes, keeping the pot covered. This concoction should be taken every day like tea.

6. Watermelon seeds are effective in recovering health after illness and sharpening your memory.

7. Almost half of the watermelon seed contains oil which comprises of 20 percent saturated fat and the rest monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat including omega-6 fatty acids. One cup of dried watermelon seeds contains around 50 grams of fat which constitutes about 80 percent of the daily recommended value. Thus, watermelon seeds are an important source of calories and energy.

8. Protein deficiency is quite common, leading to diseases like marasmus and kwashiorkor in poorer countries of the world. Being high in protein, watermelon seeds can be extremely beneficial in combating protein deficiencies. One cup of dried seeds provides about 30 grams of protein. Protein and its amino acids are vital for growth and repair of muscles, skin and connective tissues as well as for making enzymes. Protein is also required for the maintenance of long and strong nails.

Skin Benefits of Watermelon Seeds:

In addition to their health benefits, watermelon seeds are good for your skin as well.  Being rich in nourishing nutrients such as unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and linoleum acids, watermelon seeds keep your skin healthy and glowing from inside. Some of their benefits for skin are as follows.

9. The unsaturated fatty acids in watermelon seeds keep the skin moisturized, soft, firm, well-toned and prevent acne and other skin disorders.

10. Watermelon seeds prevent signs of ageing because they contain antioxidants and oils which make your skin look younger, healthier and more vibrant. These benefits can be observed by consuming a handful or two of watermelon seeds a week.

11. Water melon seed oil, also known as Ootanga oil or Kalahari oil is extremely beneficial for your skin. Being light in texture, it does not clog skin pores, thus allowing your skin to function naturally and is a great moisturizer. Due to its excellent moisturizing properties, watermelon seed oil is used as an essential ingredient in baby oils.

12. Watermelon seed oil also removes sebum, dirt and grease that build up in your skin pores and are responsible for causing acne and giving a dull appearance to your skin. This oil is suitable for all skin types including dry, oily, acne prone and maturing skin.

13. Watermelon seed extract locks moisture, thus combating the ageing degradation. It also rejuvenates the elasticity of your skin.

14. The wide array of nutrients contained in watermelon seeds protects your skin from certain types of skin cancers and infections as well.

Hair Benefits of Watermelon Seeds:

As stated earlier, watermelon seeds have a high content of protein in them which can keep your hair healthy and shiny. This protein contains certain essential amino acids such as lysine, arginine, tryptophan and glutamic acid which are needed by your body to keep your hair healthy and strong.

15. Roasted watermelon seeds contain copper which is involved in the production of melanin. As you know, melanin is a pigment that provides color to your hair and skin.

16. In addition to its skin benefits, watermelon seed oil can also be used for your tresses. As pointed out earlier, this oil is light in texture that gets absorbed easily without clogging the pores of your scalp. It provides moisturizing benefits and improves hair growth by maintaining hair and scalp health.

17. Watermelon seed oil provides the hair with essential fatty acids which are needed by your hair to prevent breakage and keep it moisturized.

Here are 10 benefits blogger stylecraze gives for watermelon juice:

1. Keeps the heart healthy:

Watermelon is very rich source of Lycopene which is an antioxidant that helps to defuse ‘free radicals’ that could potentially damage tissues and organs of the body (1).

2. Ideal diet for weight loss:

As it mainly comprises of water and minerals and negligible amount of fats it is best suited for weight loss diet. Being rich in electrolytes and Vitamins it proves to be a complete power packed fruit (2).

3. Stress Buster fruit:

Watermelon is high in vitamin B6 (3) which is used by the body which relieves from fatigue, stress, anxiety etc.

4. Anti-aging agent:

The presence of Lycopene in it is also beneficial for the skin as the antioxidants tend to decrease free radicals from the body and retards the process of aging quite effectively (4).

5. Instant source of energy:

It is an excellent source of instant energy as it contains electrolytes (sodium & potassium), minerals and carbohydrates in it which keeps the body hydrated and energetic (5).

6. Fibre rich fruit:

Being a fibre rich fruit (6) it adds bulk to the food and is very helpful in digestion and the water content is responsible for flushing out the toxins from the body.

7. Perfect fruit for skin problems:

It is very good for the skin and removes excess oil from the skin which cures many skin problems like acne and pimples (7).

8. Natural moisturizer:

It proves to be a natural moisturizer and toner for the face and keeps the skin glowing and well hydrated (8).

[ Read: Best Food For Clear Skin ]

9. Remedies to disease:

It is believed that a glass of watermelon juice everyday will keep diseases like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and colon cancer at a good distance.

10. Maintains Blood Pressure:

As it has good proportion of electrolytes, it keeps the blood pressure on a check and normalizes it efficiently (9).

***

Bottom line,  watermelon is a terrific fruit to consume as one of your top choices towards a healthier you. With 0mg of cholesterol, and a makeup of 89% carbohydrates, 7% protein, and 4% fats, it would behoove you to bring it to your and your family’s meals as much as possible.

Love & RAWspect,
Terri 

My first attempt at fruit art. No doubt, it had to be a watermelon. This summer, perhaps I’ll try my hand at it some more and become a more skilled fruit scuplturer.

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Need to lose weight? Apple cider vinegar can help!

Need to lose weight? Apple cider vinegar can help!

Need to lose weight? Take organic apple cider vinegar to assist.

This is a continuation from Day 27’s tip. This is such an important point to make about ACV that I wanted to draw it out from the list of its other many benefits. So here goes:

While straight shots are a popular way to drink ACV — don’t. Because it’s highly acidic, over time ACV has the potential to do real damage to both the esophagus and tooth enamel. Instead, dilute ACV iwith water. In general, one to two tablespoons mixed with eight ounces of water is the sweet spot (like you’ll find in this delicious ACV honey drink).

Now that you have the formula down, you need to know exactly when to drink it if you’re looking to reap any weight-loss benefits. Carol S. Johnston, PhD, directs Arizona State University’s nutrition program and has been studying ACV for more than 10 years. Johnston recommends drinking an ACV drink once or twice a day and always right before you eat; you want the ACV to be in your stomach before any food makes it way there.

Johnston told the Washington Post that ACV helps to block some starch digestion whenever you eat. Since less starch (and less calories, essentially) are being digested by the body, the spike in blood sugar is lessened. Adding to this benefit is that the good-for-you bacteria in your gut happily feeds on this undigested starch, which can lead to less bloating and a healthier digestive system. If you drink ACV without food, there won’t be anything for it to work off of, which probably defeats the whole purpose of drinking vinegar in the first place.

Love & RAWspect,
Terri

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Putting On Old Shoes With New Meaning

Putting On Old Shoes With New Meaning

When I slip into my shoes each morning, I’m usually not mindful of the rows of shoeboxes on the top closet shelves safely protecting my off-season ones from dust. Nor am I counting how many shoes are tucked into the shoe rack on the closet wall. A lot of blessings along our daily routine we tend to take for granted — shoes are clearly one of them.

They were for me until I began working at Zappos and would hear from customers, on a daily basis, in need of therapeutic shoes. I have a passion for helping people achieve a more balanced healthy lifestyle. Never did I factor shoes into that equation … until now.

Soles4Souls

At Zappos, we’re known for WOWing our customers with excellent, personalized customer service. In my beginning months, I was an Agent of WOW in the call center. What an honor it was to speak to and help so many people. From very basic shoes and clothes shopping issues to complex ones, the bottom line was I heard it all.

As a health conscious person, I do believe the universe directed a whole lot of those calls to me that specifically dealt with illnesses. Daily, I spoke with customers suffering from diabetes, bunions and planters fasciitis, just to name a few. When it comes to buying proper fitting, comfortable shoes after foot surgery or when dealing with an illness, it’s no walk in the park.

According to the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), there is an extensive list of medical conditions, such as certain metabolic, neurologic, chronic and peripheral vascular diseases resulting in a need for therapeutic shoes. Included in that list is even malnutrition! Wow. Who knew?

What I do know, though, is that I’m ever so grateful and humbled by the opportunity to help people gain control over their foot situation and achieve a little comfort. I could hear their sense of relief, and even their smile, through the phone when they finally found what would liberate them from the pain in their feet.

I’ve been even more humbled since broadening my horizons at Zappos, working in different areas, and volunteering for certain charitable events. For instance, there’s Prom Closet, where we give prom outfits, shoes and accessories to high school senior girls and boys in need. Then there’s our Thanksgiving dinner and shoes giveaway, where we serve a hot traditional turkey meal to about 1,000 homeless men, women and children, and fit them each with a new pair of shoes and socks.

So many of our vendors readily give back to their communities and other countries in this same manner. We love partnering with them in their ongoing efforts, as well as with various charitable organizations that help us extend our benevolent reach.

One such organization is Soles4Souls.

 

Love & RAWspect,

Terri, aka t-RAW

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4 Simple Steps to Prevent or Lower High Cholesterol

4 Simple Steps to Prevent or Lower High Cholesterol

Preventing and treating high cholesterol can be done simply and effectively with four easy steps. And yes, one step includes yummy oatmeal.

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What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance that is much like wax in appearance and texture and it is located in all the cells of the human body.
Good cholesterol is needed for the body to function properly and the body makes all the required cholesterol that it needs. It is used for making hormones, substances that help you digest food properly and for Vitamin D.
Cholesterol can also be found in many fatty foods and therefore some people suffer from a high risk condition known as high cholesterol.Anatomy Of Cholesterol

  • LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and is the “bad” type that causes heart disease.
  • HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and is the “good” type.

Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can be quite serious and can lead to cardiovascular disease. One of the problems is that high blood cholesterol does not cause any symptoms by itself, which is why a lot of people are unaware of their condition. In order to detect high cholesterol a blood test is required that can be ordered by your doctor or nurse practitioner.

High Cholesterol Facts
According to the Centers For Disease Control:

  • Those who have high cholesterol are 2 times more at risk for heart disease, which, is the leading cause of death in the United States.
  • 71 million American adults, which, equates to 33.5% of the population have a high LDL count.
  • Only 1 out of every 3 adults with high cholesterol manage to get it under control.
  • Less than 50% of those with high LDL counts seek treatment or incorporate the necessary lifestyle changes required to lower their levels.

4 steps you can take today to prevent or lower high cholesterol
There are a lot of things that each person can do to lower and prevent high cholesterol. This article will review some of these methods, and what diet and lifestyle changes are necessary to prevent high cholesterol to begin with.

  1. Lose weight. I know, that’s the obvious, but it still must be said. If you are an obese or overweight person, losing excess weight is a great way to prevent and lower high blood cholesterol. Losing anywhere from 5-7% of your bodyweight is enough to see a significant change for the better. The best way to lose weight is to focus on foods that are low in calories, such as, fruits and vegetables and those high in fiber. Start eating oatmeal for breakfast. According to the Mayo Clinic, the high amount of soluble fiber in oatmeal reduces the amount of cholesterol the body is able to absorb. It is recommended that you consume 25-35 grams of soluble fiber daily to have a positive effect.
  2. Eliminate saturated fats. If your goal is to prevent or stop high blood cholesterol (LDL) then saturated fat is not your friend, and so its consumption must be kept to a minimum. Many animal products, such as red meat, cheese and whole milk are the main sources of saturated fats. It is recommended that saturated fats account for only 7% of your daily calorie intake. So, if you eat red meat regularly then you need to replace it with soy protein products, lean proteins, like salmon, cod or perch. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol then seek the advice of your physician as to your consumption of saturated fat products.
  3. Drink green tea. Men who regularly drink green tea have a lower level of blood cholesterol than men who do not, according to the University Of Maryland Medical Center. It has been found that polyphenols in green tea might have the ability to block cholesterol from forming. It is best to enjoy green tea in pure form, without added sugar or artificial flavoring. Brew it at home and enjoy with mint leaves, lemon and lime juice.
  4. Stay active. Regular exercise is another great way to prevent this high-risk condition. Aerobics, jogging and walking are all effective workouts to increase the levels of good cholesterol and therefore reduce the bad. 30 minutes a day is enough to have a positive effect. If you are out of shape then you can begin with three 10 minute sessions daily and work your way up to a full 30 minutes.

Conclusion
The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends adults get a blood test for cholesterol through their doctor each and every five years. This is the only way to know whether you are affected or not and in this case knowledge is half the battle.

If you are diagnosed, then it is really important that you follow your doctor’s orders and the methods provided above to get it under control. Lowering your cholesterol can reduce your risk of having a heart attack that can lead to premature death and the need for bypass surgery or angioplasty.

The above are some of the best ways to avoid a completely preventable condition and to ensure a healthy and long future. Also, the good news is that it is never too late to make a change and there are many ways to lower cholesterol levels. Certain lifestyle changes are all that is needed to see a positive change and often very quickly.

Love & RAWspect,
Terri, aka T-raw

In need of some delicious recipes to help lower your cholesterol? Click below for the perfect solution. 

Where will you get your proteins from if you don’t eat meat?

Where will you get your proteins from if you don’t eat meat?

So, you’ve decided to eat healthier. Whoohoo! Perhaps you’re starting with cutting out meats for at least two or three times a week. Great job! Now, suddenly people bombard you with questions as though you’ve created the cardinal sin of all sins. After all, you have! You are depriving your body of proteins! Ugh!!

Heaven forbid, child, where will you get your proteins from if you don’t eat meat? Oh my! You horribly ignorant thing, you. You’re not getting any proteins! Hurry, eat this triple-decker beef and bacon samich!

If people could only take 2 mins and read this post (okay, maybe 5 mins), they will realize that question about proteins should never ever again enter their brain and part from their lips. That question indicates the person asking knows nothing about the metabolic processes of the body in getting and staying healthy.

First, to back up and answer that protein question, I’ve learned through my training under Keidi Awadu and all his research and books, to ask the person THIS question: “Where does the gorilla get HIS protein from? Where does the elephant get HIS protein? Rhinos, hippos, cows, etc? They all are big strong animals who do NOT eat meat. So I’m getting my protein from the same place they get theirs: plants! I’m just cutting out the middleman, that happens to be very disruptive to the digestive system anyway.”

gorilla-eating-grass

 

 

Our digestive tract and intestines were not created to process meat. Over time, man forced that adaptation, which is why we’re seeing the disastrous health situations today. But, that’s a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day.

If people had proper knowledge of proteins–besides what the meat industry must be telling them thru advertisements–they would know that proteins are everywhere! Even in the air we breathe. Yes, you need proteins, but you’re still getting them with a whole, plant-based diet.

But, here’s what people really should be focusing on: enzymes. So, my question to you today is, where are you getting your live enzymes from? Enzymes are the power of life itself. Enzymes are living proteins that, thru biochemical and metabolic processes, can repair our DNA, transform and store our energy, balance and enhance our immune system, and so much more!!

People are destroying enzymes in their food by cooking the life out of it! Then, they’re just wasting their time and MONEY eating lifeless, disease-ridden, chemical-induced substances, full of empty calories with no enzymes. BUT, that substance DOES taste good and satisfies our emotions! This practice over time almost always leads to chronic, inflammatory and degenerative outcomes–it’s just a matter of how soon.

If you are cooking your food, you should be taking enzyme supplements! Period. Or, better yet, save your money from buying all those supplements and just eat foods with the highest amount of live enzyme content: raw foods, super foods, fermented foods, sprouted foods.

Now you’re going to complain that those foods are expensive. Once again, the focus is on the wrong thing. You are literally wasting tons more money eating food that has no nutritional value; having to pay for supplements to give you what your body really needs, and then paying thousands of dollars into the medical and pharmaceutical industry to repair the damage that the “cheaper” food caused. smh. Let that sink in for a moment.

Even pets are now getting chronic diseases at an alarming rate! I grew up with dogs in our household almost my entire childhood. I then had dogs almost my children’s entire childhood. Never did we need pet insurance nor have any pet hospital bills. Only one time in my life did I take any dog of mine to the vet (besides getting shots) and that was when one was stung by a bee on his nose and his poor little face swelled up terribly.

People, we have got to get this disease and obesity problem under control in this country! WE have the power to do it. The knowledge is here as well. Are we ready to combine both that power and knowledge with a paradigm shift (change of mindset) to see immediate positive results?

Contact me if you’d like more info. Make it a great day!

Love & RAWspect,

Terri, aka, t-RAW

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