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The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

We talked about good fats in Part 1 and 2 of The Skinny on Fats, and now for the bad and the ugly. These would be foods that I want to avoid like the plague. So, because I care about you, I will now give you a rundown of some yucky stuff that I don’t wanna touch with a 10 foot pole. Far be it from me to tell you what to eat. I only want to be a voice of truth, and I would ask you only to make decisions based on the knowledge I have given you.

(A)Vegetable Oils include the following oils:
1. Canola Oil (ever seen a canola?)
2. Peanut Oil
3. Sunflower Oil
4. Corn Oil
5. Soybean Oil

Photo source: www.westonaprice.org

There are some major problems with these oils. I could probably go write a whole book on all that is wrong with ingesting these types of oils. I will start by saying that these oils are made from GMO rapeseed, corn, and soybeans. I will save some time here by saying briefly that I believe genetically modified organisms are a very bad idea, I think they’re dangerous, and I won’t even purchase them. I can elaborate more on that some other day, but for now I will leave that alone. Another problem with vegetable oils is that God never ever intended for us to eat them. You see that chart up there? That is the process that canola oil goes through. All of these oils go through a similarly extensive process before it can be packaged and sold. You will see margarine and shortening on that list as well, as they are made from canola oil. If you read my very first article, In the Beginning, then you know that I believe our bodies function best when we eat the foods that God intended, in as close to natural state as possible. These oils are very very far from their natural state, and are unrecognizable by our bodies, therefore are stored as fat. Our bodies were created to eat God’s food.

At home I cook with olive oil, coconut oil, animal fat, or butter. The reason why I cook with these oils/fats is because they are nourishing, and they are minimally processed. If I go out to eat at a  restaurant or fast food place that uses peanut, soybean, or canola oil, I can feel a huge difference in how I feel. Some things I’ve noticed is that my stomach doesn’t feel as happy and pleasant as usual (in other words, it hurts), plus I have noticed my skin isn’t as clear, and I feel sluggish and lazy afterwards. That’s just a little observation I have made on how these oils affect my own body.

Now about the canola oil. What exactly is a canola? I bet you’ve never seen a canola tree, because they don’t exist. The term canola oil was coined to make a more marketable product. Meaning, they didn’t think people would want to buy it if they called it modified rapeseed oil, which is its real name. They are probably right, but even less people would want to consume these oils if they knew the process by which they are attained (see chart above).

(B)Margarine is actually on the chart above, along with shortening.
ALTERNATIVES: Butter. Tastes better, and WAY safer.


(C)Artificial and (most) Zero Calorie Sweeteners are dangerous and addictive chemicals. Among the most dangerous and most common are:
1. Splenda (sucralose)
2. Sweet N Low (saccharin)
3. Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)
4. High Fructose Corn Syrup

HFCS is made from GMO corn. It isn’t safe for consumption, and it is mostly found in foods that would be really bad for you anyways, even if the HFCS wasn’t an ingredient. http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/05/13/5-reasons-high-fructose-corn-syrup-will-kill-you/

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These chemical and artificial sweeteners are linked to cancer. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/15/this-artificial-sweetener-shown-to-produce-cancer-in-rats.aspx

Conditions such as vertigo, migraine headaches, seizures, high blood pressure, weight gain, and more, have been directly linked to artificial and chemical sweeteners. http://www.undergroundhealth.com/symptoms-of-aspartame-poisoning/

(D)Refined Sugar is a very tricky and sneaky little sucker. It comes in many names, and is in almost everything. No, I am serious, there is refined sugar in your ketchup, bread, coffee creamer, kids drinks, sports drinks, peanut butter, jelly, health drinks, children’s cereals, and more. But, what’s the big deal…. I mean, who cares, right?

Have you ever tried to do a fast, or detox? Remember that ridiculously horrible headache you got, along with the horrible grouchy attitude you had? You were more than likely experiencing withdrawal symptoms from refined sugar. Much like cocaine, refined sugar comes from nature, but is highly processed, and highly addictive. Even raw cane sugar, and evaporated cane syrup (names for sugar that have a healthier ring to them) feeds that addiction and keeps you hooked on processed sugar, and cranky if you don’t get your fix.

I don’t know about you, but it makes me incredibly sad to think that 90% of CHRISTIANS are bound by addiction, although their freedom was purchased at Calvary by the blood of the Lamb. Especially when it is widely acceptable to also raise our children with the same horrible addictive nutrition habits and there are ways to sweeten your food that aren’t habit forming, or dangerous to your health.

Another reason to avoid refined sugar is because it weakens your immune system. If you have been sick, or you feel like your body is beginning to fighting off a cold or other illness, you will definitely want to avoid anything with sugar in it, so that your immune system can function at full capacity. Have you ever noticed that after all the “candy holidays” like Halloween and Easter, it seems like a lot of people get sick. Yep. I have definitely noticed the pattern within my own little family. Here’s the kicker of all reasons why I avoid refined sugar: Cancer actually feeds off of sugary foods.

ALTERNATIVES: Instead of buying prepackaged junk that is all laden with refined sugar, disguised by a plethora of sneaky different names, try batch cooking your own food at home, and using sweeteners that are not habit forming, and they actually add nourishment to your body. Honestly, if you know where to look and research the various names of refined sugar, there are some healthy alternatives out there also. Here is a list of my favorite sweeteners to cook and bake with.

1. Maple Syrup. I sweeten my coffee with this, as well as bake with it.
2. (Raw) Local Honey. You can bake with it and put it in tea. Local honey can reduce or even cure seasonal allergies.
3. Stevia. Make sure you have a pure stevia, because many companies are selling an un-pure stevia labeled as “all natural”. Stevia can also be used to sweeten drinks and bake with, although I do not prefer the taste of it, many people enjoy and prefer this natural sweetener.
4. Coconut Sugar. This is my favorite, and if I could only choose one sweetener, I would choose this one. I put it in my coffee, sweeten smoothies with it, bake with it, and much more.

Personally, I do not ingest refined sugar on a regular basis, because I want to live a life free from addiction and sickness. I just want to do all that I know to do to help my temple of the Holy Spirit (my body) to function at full capacity. Once I broke the addiction, I realized that these natural and nourishing sweeteners that I listed above, actually taste much better, and I really love cooking with them.

My hope is that this article helps get the wheels turning in the brains of a lot of people. My prayer is that the Church wakes up, and begins to break the chains of food addiction, temple abuse, self hatred, gluttony, emotional eating, food deprivation, and other forms of bondage. I want to be a voice of truth within the body of Christ, in the area of nutrition.


A word by Dana Jarvis

I decree you are making the spiritual journey from the bondage of Egypt into your promised land of destiny. I know you have grown weary. Do not let the murmurings and complaining attitudes rule you. It causes the faith to waiver! Your focus is upon the cup of bitter waters that you are currently drinking from.

Rest assured that your God is making these bitter waters sweet!

You shall taste and see that the Lord is good! You are going to see such extravagance in your daily life. He is delivering much into your hands so reach up and take hold. Just as he was with you before, he is with you now. You are going to drink deep of the Living Waters. The bitter waters of life have tried to steal all joy.

However I hear the Lord say, “It is done, I am the Lord who heals you. I am the Lord who will restore you. I am the Lord who will provide your every need. I am the One that is making the bitter waters sweet!”

I feel so strongly that God is removing your cup of bitter waters you have had to drink for so long. He is causing a turnaround for you in a situation that you desperately need him to move. I am speaking to several and know this word is for you. Even as the Lord led Moses and the children of Israel from their bondage at the Red Sea, it still took one step of faith. One step of faith is all it takes to cause a release from all of this. Take a moment and sow into good ground by giving into Spirit Fuel. For just a contribution of $25, $50, or even $100 or more given into Spirit Fuel is an active step and good ground on which to sow. It is a powerful ministry reaching the world for Christ. As you sow that offering, it is that act of faith that will cause the Red Sea where you are standing to part in your life. The bitter cup will be removed and the sweetness of the Lord shall begin to flow!


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My name is Amber Picota. I am a wife, pastor, published author, and mother of 3 amazing children. My husband and I moved to Virginia 3 years ago with a dream placed in our hearts by God to plant a life giving church. That church is Streams of Life Church in Winchester, Virginia. I married a crazy guy. And by crazy I mean ridiculously awesome and handsome. I see that he has stolen my heart taken me far out of my comfort zone, and shook me out of a life of complacency. Seriously, had I not met this wild man, I wonder if I wouldn't still just be living in a tiny little town, in my tiny little world, caring nothing for the big world out there, content to just not have anybody rock my boat. But then Rene came along... rocking my boat and such. I'm so glad he came along and shook things up. He awakened something within me, and now we're a dangerous combination of boat rockers. Together, through our authority in Christ, we are a force to be reckoned with: rocking boats, challenging the status quo, planting this church, and believing God for the miraculous. Together we bring heaven to Earth. My kids are awesome little world changers, and it's my pleasure to teach them and train them up in the Kingdom of God. I believe they are history makers, who were born for greatness, and I plan to train and disciple them accordingly. Who knows where God will take it from there, but I am passionate about training leaders to walk in power and authority. I have a desire to see the Body of Christ bring heaven to Earth. I have a desire to mobilize God's people into their dreams. There is a move of God inside of every believer, but most people have been stifled and silenced by dream killers. I want to stir those dreams back up because I believe those dreams are your move of God in the Earth.