Monthly Archives: March 2013

HOPE in Times of Tribulation

Great post by Lex!

I would add that one of the main reasons for Jacob’s Trouble (interesting — it’s not called Judah’s trouble, or Israel’s trouble, but JACOB’s Trouble — ALL twelve tribes) is the RESTORATION and bringing together of the two sticks — Judah and Ephraim AND their companions … this is GOD’s Heart! Spoken and prophesied about throughout the Scriptures … EXCITING!

Be ENCOURAGED — MANY blessings!

Joe :)

Hope in Times of Tribulation

I was asked by a friend why I have so much hope about the Tribulation, and this was my response to him. I thought that it might also give other people encouragement as well, so I decided to share it. I know tribulation is a difficult thing for people to understand. Just the thought of  ”end times”, “last days”, “tribulation”, etc. can all be very overwhelming and scary. This is where faith really becomes important.

First, I have hope because I TRUST God. This is very important. It is easy to trust God when things are easy, but when persecution or famine or war is upon us, it becomes very easy to loose our faith.  As important as it is to have your tent ready, I believe that it is more important for us to be spiritually prepared for tribulation than it is for us to be physically prepared, because when things get difficult, we will have to trust God, or we will fall away. (Just like many in the first exodus did)

“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (2 Samuel 22:31)

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” (Isaiah 12:2)

Second, I have hope because I know what to expect. The Bible tells us in great detail about what will happen during the 42 months of tribulation. This means that we are not going in blind. We have hope because this means God is in control. We were told about these events thousands of years ago because God is in control. I have no reason to fear something that God has selected for me to experience.

“But I am the Lord your God, Ever since the land of Egypt; I will again make you dwell in tents, As in the days of the appointed feast. 10 I have also spoken by the prophets, And have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.” (Hosea 12:9-10)

“Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)

“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:9-11)

Third, I have hope because the Messiah is coming back. This is the most exciting thing about it! I rejoice because I am living in the days when the Messiah will return!  That is the most exciting time in the history of the world. I will get to see the Return of the King!  I will get to see the Kingdom of God in its fullness. I am living in the grand finale, the climax of world history, the culmination of all Biblical prophecy!  This is the days that the prophets yearned for.  Abraham, Moses, and the prophets will ask us what it was like to live in these days.

“After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does all these things.” (Acts 15:16-17)

Fourth, I have hope because God will lead us. Just as God provided food and water in the desert for 40 years during the first exodus, so also God will provide for our needs during this time.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” (Psalm 23)

Fifth, I have hope because of the resurrection. Even if I am tortured and killed for my faith, I know that when Messiah returns, I will be resurrected from the dead. This gives me great hope! The enemy can do nothing to me that my God cannot restore.

Yeshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11:25)

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the chief angel, and with God’s shofar. The dead in Messiah will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

“I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Yeshua, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image, and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived, and reigned with Messiah one thousand years. The rest of the dead didn’t live until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be Kohanim of God and of Messiah, and will reign with him one thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4-6)

Sixth, I have hope because I know that the tribulation is God’s plan. It is not the plan of the enemy, it is the will of the Father Himself!  This is most encouraging, because all good things come from God.

So, we can see that the tribulation is in fact a good thing.  It has two purposes:

  • to rid the world of sin and evil

“tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 2:9-10)

  • to purify and strengthen God’s people

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)

It is the “refiner’s fire” that will destroy the evil, and strengthen and sharpen whatever is left.

“But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.” (Malachi 3:2)

Just as in the days of Noah, God purged the world of evil, but delivered those who remained faithful to Him.

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37)

We have hope, because we are the ones who will be on the Ark. We are the ones who follow the deliverer. We follow the only God who is able to save.

What about those who have no hope?

I have heard Christians (who believe in the “rapture”) say that they “could not believe in a god who would allow his people to face tribulation“.  These are the people who will grumble and fall away during hard times. They are fair-weather Christians, and will turn away from God when times get too difficult.

Who are the people that fall away during tribulation?

“But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.” (Matthew 24:9)

We are indeed living in exciting times, and I hope that these words have given you hope as well. I would like to leave you with one final word of encouragement.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

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Just How Y’shua Was/Is Our Passover Lamb

Absolutely AMAZING! Astounding!

Truly — Y’shua was/is our Passover Lamb — right down to the finest detail! Who but GOD could have arranged this?

Don’t miss out on celebrating the Feasts! Pesach (Passover) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the first of the yearly cycle … there is such a richness and depth in celebrating the Feasts — and every year, there is more understanding — each Feast is a special time with the Father, as we REMEMBER …

Trust this Pesach season will be such a BLESSED time in greater intimacy with our Abba, and fellowship with the community YHVH has put around you — blessings to you and your family!

MANY blessings and SHALOM!

Joe :)

 

How the First Passover Perfectly Pictured Yeshua the Messiah

YHVH’s judgment comes upon the Egyptians at midnight because of their sins (Exod 11:412:29).

  • Judgment was pronounced upon Yeshua late at night (after the Passover seder) in the Garden of Gethsemane where he was betrayed and arrested, and later during his trial (Luke 22:5366–7123:1–25). Though he was sinless, he carried the sins of mankind upon himself (2 Cor 5:21Isa 53:6).

The first born had to die at the hand of YHVH as a judgment against sin (Exod 11:5).

  • Yeshua was the firstborn of Elohim and the first man born of the Ruach haKodesh (Set-Apart Spirit), and was the firstborn of Mary. At the first Passover, the firstborn of each family was to be the head, priest and patriarch of his household and was to lead his family in obedience to YHVH. If he failed to do so, then had to bear the judgment meted out by YHVH. Likewise, Yeshua bore the judgment because of our sins (our failure to obey YHVH’s word), which is death (Rom 6:231 Cor 15:56).

A perfect, blemish-free lamb was to be chosen for the Passover lamb (Exod 12:5Deut 15:21).

  • Yeshua in accordance with Torah-law was selected four days before Passover and anointed (set apart) as the Lamb (John 12:1).
  • The people of Israel examined and accepted Yeshua at his triumphal entry in Jerusalem (John 12:2).
  • The religious system examined and rejected Yeshua (John 26:57) because he was a threat to their religious establishment.
  • Judas, one of Yeshua’s closest associates, declared him innocent (Matt 27:3–4).
  • Pilate’s wife declared Yeshua to be innocent (Matt 27:19).
  • The political system through Pilate declared Yeshua to be innocent (Matt 27:23–24).
  • Elohim, the Father of Yeshua, pronounced him guiltless and without sin (Heb 4:151 Pet 1:19).

This perfect lamb was marked for death and was set aside for a special purpose (Exod 12:3–6).

The lamb was to be a year old; that is, a mature adult (Exod 12:5).

  • Yeshua died for our redemption in the fullness of his manhood.

The lamb was separated out on the tenth day of the first month (the Passover was on the fourteenth day of the first month, Exod 12:3).

  • On the same day Yeshua came to Bethany (John 12:1) where on the evening of the tenth day of the month Mary anointed Yeshua with spikenard (John 12:2–37), the very day the Passover lamb was to be separated.

The lamb was to dwell with the Israelites in the family’s house until the Passover day when the lamb was then slaughtered (Exod 12:5–6).

  • Yeshua dwelt with the Jews during this time, including having a meal in Bethany, making his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, turning over the money changer’s tables at the temple, and enduring his trial.
  • Yeshua, our Passover Lamb, wants to dwell in the spiritual house of our lives.

The blood from the lamb was to be painted on the door posts and lintels of each family’s house (Exod 12: 22–23).

  • Messiah’s blood (or mark) must be placed on our foreheads (representing our thoughts) and hands (representing our actions) for us to be redeemed from the penalty of sin and to protect us from Elohim’s judgment against sin (Rev 7:39:422:4Exod 3:916Deut 6:811:18).

In order for one to be saved from the YHVH’s judgment on Passover eve, one had to enter the blood-painted door and be inside the house (Exod 12:22).

  • Yeshua is the spiritual door to salvation and the way to the Father in heaven. No one can be saved without coming through his blood for the remission of sins. There is salvation through no other “door” but Yeshua (John 10:914:6Acts 4:12Rev 1:5Heb 9:221 John 1:7).

Hyssop was used to paint the blood onto the door posts (Exod 12:22).

  • Yeshua was given sour wine (a figurative symbol of blood) on hyssop while hanging on the cross (John 19:29). Hyssop was an aromatic “paint brush”-like herb. It was used in purification ceremonies in the tabernacle (Lev 14:4651–52) and was used as a poetic metaphor of inner cleansing in Psalms 51:7. Blood can symbolized many things, yet, when add to it hyssop, its cleansing powers from the stain and condemnation of sin and death are emphasized.

Later in Israel’s history, the Passover lamb was taken to the tabernacle (and later to the temple in Jeruesalem) to be sacrificed.

  • Yeshua was condemned to die by the Jewish priests in the temple in Jerusalem.

The lamb was roasted by fire (Exod 12:8–9).

  • Fire is a biblical metaphor for judgment. Yeshua suffered the fire of his Heavenly Father’s wrath and judgment against man’s sins (Matt 27:462 Cor 5:21). What’s more, while a person was dying a slow and agonizing death on the cross, it would feel like he was on fire as his body was burning up with thirst in the hot sun.

No bones of the lamb were broken, or else it would not have been blemish-free (Exod 12:46).

  • No bones of Yeshua were broken while hanging on the cross, although it was customary for the Romans to break the legs of the crucified to expedite the victim’s death (John 19:31–33).

Each Israelite was commanded to take a lamb and eat of it (Exod 12:3).

  • Salvation is an individual matter. Each person must partake of the Lamb of YHVH individually. This is symbolized by each person taking communion (the bread and wine—a symbolic representation of the Passover meal), which is traditionally done during the third cup of wine during the Passover seder.

Later, according to Jews religious rules, the Passover lamb was roasted whole over an open fire spit with a pomegranate skewer running through in its mouth and out its vent (like a rotisserie, see The Temple: Its Ministry and Service, p. 182, by Alfred Edersheim, Hedrickson, 1978).

  • Yeshua was “impaled” on a wooden cross—whole, and suffered the “flames” of Elohim’s judgment against sin.

The Passover lamb’s blood was placed on the lintel and door posts of the Israelite’s doors.

  • Yeshua was pierced in the hands and head (as well as his back and side) and bled therefrom. The blood on the door was a perfect outline of the blood on Messiah’s body while he was hanging on the cross.

The Passover lamb was killed about 3 PM in the afternoon. This was the same time the priests would offer up the afternoon (or evening) daily sacrifice in the temple, and the same time that they offered up Passover lamb for the nation of Israel.

  • Yeshua died on the cross at the ninth hour, or 3 PM in the afternoon (Matt 27:46–50).
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Jack the Giant Slayer … Tales of the Nephilim?

Could pop culture and the entertainment industry be desensitizing us to something, or for something?

Jack the Giant Slayer Trailer:

Yet ANOTHER movie with some sort of alien/ET-race/giants/nephilim theme … things that make you go “Hmmm” … ?

Why it is so important we understand Genesis 6 and the “days of Noah” — history and current events CAN’T be explained otherwise!

Both LA Marzulli and Rob Skiba have excellent resources on this …

MANY blessings!

Joe :)

 

Jack the Giant Slayer – Tales of the Nephilim?

Jack the GIant SlayerCommentary & Analysis

by

L. A. Marzulli

The ancient war between humans and a race of giants is reignited when Jack, a young farmhand fighting for a kingdom and the love of a princess, opens a gateway between the two worlds.

“Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum–ask not whence the thunder comes,

For between heaven and earth, it’s a perilous place,

Home to a fearsome giant race,

Who hunger to conquer the mortals below,

waiting for the seeds of revenge to grow.”

The Wifey and I went and saw Jack the Giant Slayer last night and this is the subject of todays BLOG.  While the movie has a PG 13 rating there is enough gore in it, as giants biting the heads off of humans, to warrant an R rating in my opinion.  I went because I had seen the trailer and was intrigued by it.  It’s also part of what I do.

Notice the lines of poetry above.  I checked them against the original and it is not from the book.  The lines  have been re-written and this is the reason why I’m discussing it here.

We were sitting near a woman who was with her daughter.  After the movie they asked Peggy and I if we liked it.  We both nodded and I added, there’s more to the movie than what meets the eye!

The lines of the poem have been altered and now we hear: for between heaven and earth, it’s a perilous place.

As some of you who have read, The Cosmic Chess Match  know, I believe what lies between heaven and earth is the second heaven, which is the dwelling place of the Fallen One.  We also read in the review,  … opens a gateway between two worlds.

Does this allude to the Fallen Ones coming to earth as we read about in Genesis 6?  We are told in this passage that the offspring of Fallen Angels and the women of earth were giants!

The giants in the movie are cannibals and feast on the flesh and blood of humans, just like we read about in The Book of Enoch.

I may be reading too much into this and I would love to get a transcript as there was more in the opening scene that I am not able to find on-line.

In closing todays post: I would love to contact the writers of the script and ask a few questions, like who wrote the “new” poem we hear in the beginning of the movie and where did he or she draw the information from.  As I replied to the women after the film, there may be more here than what meets the eye.

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Google Exodus

Very cute video!

Google Exodus — Passover Movie:

Can’t wait for Pesach!

By the way … tonight (11 March) marks the first New Moon, of the first month of the Biblical year — HAPPY NEW YEAR!

May YHVH bless you abundantly in this coming year, with greater understanding of His Ways and Torah, that you may know Him more intimately — may He SHINE His Face upon you and your family!

MANY blessings!

Joe :)

 

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Intermittent Fasting … Related Myths, Assumptions, and Evidence-Backed Facts

Worth giving this a try!

Dr. Mercola has several other articles on intermittent fasting, if you browse his website …

MANY blessings!

Joe :)

How Intermittent Fasting Stacks Up Among Obesity-Related Myths, Assumptions, and Evidence-Backed Facts

Story at-a-glance:

  • It’s long been known that restricting calories in certain animals can increase their lifespan by as much as 50 percent, but more recent research suggests that sudden and intermittent calorie restriction appears to provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction, which may be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake.
  • Mice that fasted for 16 hours a day stayed lean and healthy even when fed a high-calorie diet; their mouse counterparts that had access to food day and night became obese and showed blood sugar and liver problems despite eating the same number of calories.
  • Three major mechanisms by which fasting benefits your body, as it extends lifespan and protects against disease, include increased insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial energy efficiency; reduced oxidative stress; and increased capacity to resist stress, disease and aging.
  • In a recent paper, a team of researchers identified seven obesity-related myths, six assumptions, and nine evidence-supported facts “relevant for the formulation of sound public health, policy, or clinical recommendations.” However, many of the items listed as myths and presumptions are simply common-sense guidelines that can help you maintain a healthier lifestyle, which will inevitably form the foundation of good health, while many of the “evidence-supported facts” listed actually make for poor public health policy.

By Dr. Mercola

Is it a good idea to “starve” yourself just a little bit each day? The evidence suggests that yes, avoiding eating around the clock could have a very beneficial impact on your health and longevity.

What we’re talking about here is generally referred to as intermittent fasting, which involves timing your meals to allow for regular periods of fasting.

It takes about six to eight hours for your body to metabolize your glycogen stores and after that you start to shift to burning fat. However, if you are replenishing your glycogen by eating every eight hours (or sooner), you make it far more difficult for your body to use your fat stores as fuel.

It’s long been known that restricting calories in certain animals can increase their lifespan by as much as 50 percent, but more recent research suggests that sudden and intermittent calorie restriction appears to provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction, which may be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake (or aren’t willing to).

Unfortunately, hunger is a basic human drive that can’t be easily suppressed, so anyone attempting to implement serious calorie restriction is virtually guaranteed to fail. Fortunately you don’t have to deprive yourself as virtually all of the benefits from calorie restriction can be achieved through properly applied intermittent fasting.

Three Major Mechanisms by which Fasting Benefits Your Health

While fasting has long gotten a bum rap for being one of the more torturous ways to battle the bulge, it really doesn’t have to be an arduous affair. We’re NOT talking about starving yourself for days on end. Simply restricting your daily eating to a narrower window of time of say 6-8 hours, you can reap the benefits without the suffering. This equates to 16-18 hours worth of fasting each and every day — enough to get your body to shift into fat-burning mode.

Many studies have evaluated daily intermittent fasting, and the results are compellingly positive. Three major mechanisms by which fasting benefits your body, as it extends lifespan and protects against disease, include:

  1. Increased insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial energy efficiency – Fasting increases insulin sensitivity along with mitochondrial energy efficiency, and thereby retards aging and disease, which are typically associated with loss of insulin sensitivity and declined mitochondrial energy.
  2. Reduced oxidative stress – Fasting decreases the accumulation of oxidative radicals in the cell, and thereby prevents oxidative damage to cellular proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids associated with aging and disease.
  3. Increased capacity to resist stress, disease and aging – Fasting induces a cellular stress response (similar to that induced by exercise) in which cells up-regulate the expression of genes that increase the capacity to cope with stress and resist disease and aging.

Is Daily Fasting the Key to Permanent Weight Loss?

As reported by George Dvorsky1 in a recent article, one of the most important studies in support of daily intermittent fasting was published just last year by biologist Satchidananda Panda and colleagues at Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory. They fed mice a high-fat, high-calorie diet but altered when they were able to eat.

One group had access to food both day and night, while the other group had access to food for only eight hours at night (the most active period for mice). In human terms, this would mean eating only for 8 hours during the day. Despite consuming the same amount of calories, mice that had access to food for only eight hours stayed lean and did not develop health problems like high blood sugar or chronic inflammation2. They even had improved endurance motor coordination on the exercise wheel. The all-day access group, on the other hand, became obese and were plagued with health problems including:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood sugar
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Metabolic problems

This suggests that your body may benefit from the break it receives while fasting, whereas constant eating may lead to metabolic exhaustion and health consequences like weight gain. Researchers said their latest work shows it’s possible to stave off metabolic disease by simply restricting when you eat with periodic fasting, or even by just keeping to regular meal schedules rather than “grazing” off and on all day. They concluded:

“[Time-restricted feeding] is a nonpharmacological strategy against obesity and associated diseases.”

What the Research Says about Intermittent Fasting

Dvorsky highlights other research into fasting that point to similar conclusions, such as:

  • Research by Valter Longo3 at the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute shows that intermittent fasting has a beneficial impact on IGF-1, an insulin-like growth factor that plays a role in aging. When you eat, this hormone drives your cells to reproduce, and while this is good for growth, it’s also a factor that drives the aging process. Intermittent fasting decreases the expression of IGF-1, and switches on other DNA repair genes. In this way, intermittent fasting switches your body from “growth mode” to “repair mode.”
  • Krista Varady with the University of Illinois has been researching the impact of fasting on chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Her work also compares the effects of intermittent fasting with caloric restriction, which is known to benefit health and longevity. Animal studies using alternate-day fasting4 have shown it lowers the risk of diabetes, at rates comparable to caloric restriction. Alternate-day fasting has also been shown to reduce cancer rates by reducing cell proliferation.
  • Research by Mark Hartman and colleagues5 indicates short-term fasting can trigger production of human growth hormone (HGH) in men, and reduce oxidative stress that contributes to disease and aging; benefits brain health, mental well-being, and clarity of thought

Review Debunks Myths about Weight Loss, Obesity

Intermittent fasting is one of the latest weight management strategies to get a lot of press. Meanwhile, other weight loss myths are being debunked. Dr. David B. Allison, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama, and colleagues recently published a paper on Myths, Presumptions, and Facts about Obesity6, stating:

“Many beliefs about obesity persist in the absence of supporting scientific evidence (presumptions); some persist despite contradicting evidence (myths). The promulgation of unsupported beliefs may yield poorly informed policy decisions, inaccurate clinical and public health recommendations, and an unproductive allocation of research resources and may divert attention away from useful, evidence-based information.”

The team identified:

  • Seven obesity-related myths concerning the effects of small sustained increases in energy intake or expenditure, establishment of realistic goals for weight loss, rapid weight loss, weight-loss readiness, physical-education classes, breast-feeding, and energy expended during sexual activity. These include:
  1. Small things make a big difference. Walking a mile a day can lead to a loss of more than 50 pounds in five years.
  2. Set a realistic goal to lose a modest amount.
  3. People who are too ambitious will get frustrated and give up.
  4. You have to be mentally ready to diet or you will never succeed.
  • Slow and steady is the way to lose. If you lose weight too fast, you will lose less in the long run.

Six presumptions that have yet to be proven true or false about the effects of regularly eating breakfast, early childhood experiences, eating fruits and vegetables, weight cycling, snacking, and the built (i.e., human-made) environment, such as:

  • Diet and exercise habits in childhood set the stage for the rest of life.
  • Add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet to lose weight or not gain as much.
  • Yo-yo diets lead to increased death rates.
  • People who snack gain weight and get fat.
  • If you add bike paths, jogging trails, sidewalks and parks, people will not be as fat.

Nine evidence-supported facts that are relevant for the formulation of sound public health, policy, or clinical recommendations, including:

  • Heredity is important but is not destiny.
  • Exercise helps with weight maintenance.
  • Weight loss is greater with programs that provide meals.
  • Some prescription drugs help with weight loss and maintenance.
  • Weight-loss surgery in appropriate patients can lead to long-term weight loss, less diabetes and a lower death rate

What I feel is missing here is the focus on an all-around healthy lifestyle pattern. Can you lose weight on prescription drugs? Yes. Does the research support this as “fact”? Yes. But this does NOT automatically mean that recommending diet drugs is good public health policy! Will diet drugs have a beneficial impact on your health in the long run? Do potential side effects of the drugs outweigh the benefit of losing weight?

Ditto for bariatric surgery. Does it lead to weight loss? Yes! But the side effects can be severe, including death, and several studies have shown the long-term outcome in terms of overall health is not that great…

Some of the items listed as myths and presumptions are simply common-sense guidelines and “helpful tips” that can help you maintain a healthier lifestyle, which will inevitably form the foundation of good health. So I would advise you to differentiate between “established scientific fact” (such as: weight loss surgery leads to weight loss) and what amounts to holistic healthy lifestyle guidelines, as the two are not necessarily interchangeable.

If your goal is to promote health, then supporting the addition of bike paths in your communities is not a crazy idea at all. In fact, some of these myths and presumptions are sort of silly, as when you talk about things like “can adding jogging trails and parks promote healthier weight?” You also have to consider the fact that there is social conditioning at work, and people have to start to rethink how they live their daily lives in order to see a change. This can take time. Having a public policy that tells you to get bariatric surgery instead of going for a walk every day is nothing short of crazy if you really think about it…

Clinical Trial to Be Conducted to Test Whether Skipping Breakfast Leads to Weight Loss

According to the New York Times7:

“… people often rely on weak studies that get repeated ad infinitum. It is commonly thought, for example, that people who eat breakfast are thinner. But that notion is based on studies of people who happened to eat breakfast. Researchers then asked if they were fatter or thinner than people who happened not to eat breakfast — and found an association between eating breakfast and being thinner. But such studies can be misleading because the two groups might be different in other ways that cause the breakfast eaters to be thinner. But no one has randomly assigned people to eat breakfast or not, which could cinch the argument.

… The question is: ‘Is it a causal association?’ To get the answer, he added, ‘Do the clinical trial.’

He decided to do it himself, with university research funds. A few hundred people will be recruited and will be randomly assigned to one of three groups. Some will be told to eat breakfast every day, others to skip breakfast, and the third group will be given vague advice about whether to eat it or not.”

Is Intermittent Fasting Right for You?

If you’re already off to a good start on a healthy diet and fitness plan, then intermittent fasting might be just the thing to bring you to the next level. However, you need to pay careful attention to your body, your energy levels, and how it makes you feel in general.

Please keep in mind that proper nutrition becomes even MORE important when fasting, so addressing your diet really should be your first step. Common sense will tell you that fasting combined with a denatured, highly processed, toxin-rich diet is likely to do more harm than good, as you’re not giving your body proper fuel to thrive when you DO eat.

If you’re hypoglycemic, diabetic, or pregnant (and/or breastfeeding), you are better off avoiding any type of fasting or timed meal schedule until you’ve normalized your blood glucose and insulin levels, or weaned the baby. Others categories of people that would be best served to avoid fasting include those living with chronic stress, and those with cortisol dysregulation.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by an abnormally low level of blood sugar. It’s commonly associated with diabetes, but you can be hypoglycemic even if you’re not diabetic. Common symptoms of a hypoglycemic crash include:

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Hunger

As your blood glucose levels continue to plummet, more severe symptoms can set in, such as:

  • Confusion and/or abnormal behavior
  • Visual disturbances, such as double vision and blurred vision
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

One of the keys to eliminating hypoglycemia is to eliminate sugars, especially fructose from your diet. It will also be helpful to eliminate grains, and replace them with higher amounts of quality proteins and healthful fats. However it will take some time for your blood sugar to normalize. You’ll want to pay careful attention to hypoglycemic signs and symptoms, and if you suspect that you’re crashing, make sure to eat something.The ideal food would be coconut oil as it will not worsen your insulin levels and is metabolized relatively quickly for energy. You can try some coconut candy, for example. Ideally, you should avoid fasting if you’re hypoglycemic, and work on your overall diet to normalize your blood sugar levels first. Then try out one of the less rigid versions of fasting and work your way up.

Fasting While Pregnant is Not a Good Idea…

As for pregnant and/or lactating women, I don’t think fasting would be a wise choice. Your baby needs plenty of nutrients, during and after birth, and there’s no research supporting fasting during this important time. On the contrary, some studies8 suggest it might be contraindicated, as it can alter fetal breathing patterns, heartbeat, and increase gestational diabetes. It may even induce premature labor. I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

Instead, my recommendation would be to really focus on improving your nutrition during this crucial time. A diet with plenty of raw organic, biodynamic foods, and foods high in healthful fats, coupled with high quality proteins will give your baby a head start on good health. You’ll also want to be sure to include plenty of cultured and fermented foods to optimize your — and consequently your baby’s — gut flora. For more information, please see this previous article that includes specific dietary recommendations for a healthy pregnancy, as well as my interview with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

Finding a Lifestyle Plan that Works for You Requires Trial and Error

While intermittent fasting can provide valuable health benefits, remember that fasting does not mean abstaining from ALL food for extended periods of time. Rather it involves a dramatic reduction of calorie intake at regular intervals — whether you opt for a 16, 20, or 24 hour fast once or twice a week, or fasting every other day, or simply delaying certain meals, such as skipping breakfast.

Just remember, it takes about six to eight hours for your body to metabolize your glycogen stores and only after that do you start to shift to burning fat, but only if you are already adapted to burning fat by having your fat burning enzymes upregulated by the strategy discussed above, which takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how healthy you are.

Always listen to your body, and go slow; work your way up to 16-18 hour fasts if your normal schedule has included multiple meals a day. Also be sure to address any hypoglycemic tendencies, as it can get increasingly dangerous the longer you go without eating to level out your blood sugar.

If you have already addressed your diet, cutting out fructose and grains and replacing them with healthful fats, then intermittent fasting could further boost weight loss and provide additional health benefits. If you’re engaged in a regular fitness program and feel like you’ve hit a plateau, then working out in a fasted state might help rev things up. For more information about exercise while fasting, please see this previous article.

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