WOULD YOU PUSH REWIND or FORWARD IN LIFE? Too many times in life we pause, and think about many events in our lives if we had a chance to relive our lives, would we change our decisions or actions? This morning the movie Groundhog day came to mind and this set my mind in this direction. I thought it might be interesting if I made a list of some events where I could have either PUSHED REWIND or FORWARD and changed the outcome While I make my list, why don’t you make your list too and let’s compare.

1) I started dating when I was 15 as it was the norm. Rewind or Forward? On this issue, I would rewind and not date until I was older. I would concentrate on my education first and decide what I wanted to be prior to going into a serious relationship. My thought on this would be if I had matured prior to the immaturity of feeling I was secure within myself, it might have made for a more stable relationship later. REWIND
2) I would have had more fun as a teenager. I am not referring to getting into trouble but I was so busy working I missed a lot of events and fun times. Work is great for all young people, but I took life too serious, I found myself trying to make up for those lost fun times later in life. My thought on this is: If I had taken more time to enjoy my teenage years and then put all of my effort into education and work, I would have been better satisfied with a career. REWIND
3) I would have thought about healthier eating instead of starvation dieting. In my younger days, the way to lose weight was quit eating entirely. This crazy way of dieting has played havoc on my later years slowing my metabolism down making it harder to lose weight or worse maintain it. If I had adjusted my eating habits and chosen healthier foods, my body would have adapted even if it had been a slower weight loss it would have been a lifestyle change. My thoughts are: Start young and learn the healthy way to live, occasionally splurge, but keep a steady routine of adding fresher, natural foods and seasonings, and keep sugar to the lowest quantity or eliminate it. REWIND
4) I would have been a person who takes time to smell the roses. Most of the emotional or highly charged fits of anger were not necessary but being a passionate person, I used emotions or temper to react. This only exasperated the episodes and solved nothing but created hard feelings. My thoughts on this: It took too many years to understand if I put my passion in loving others, work, creative expressions and not allow highly charged temperament in my negotiations, relationship, political feelings, work, and social events I am calmer and wiser. REWIND

5) I would have gotten to where I am in life. I spent too much time worrying and trying to fix everything when all we need to do in life is to learn to enjoy life as it comes and not as we want it to be. If we dwell on going back and REWINDING our lives, we will miss what is exciting. On this one, I choose to Go Forward and Not Rewind. Something great can be right around our corner so let’s move forward and enjoy each and every moment and with that in mind, we will never have the thought we should REWIND. FORWARD
In closing, I hope you decide to push FORWARD as yesterday is gone and no matter how much we would like to think we would do things differently; it might not happen. What we can control is what we do today and plan for tomorrow.

(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with all rights reserved. Third party materials posted with origination posted if available.


TODAY THE WORDS are FIT AS A FIDDLE. Most of us have heard the ole phrase, “fit as a fiddle” and I never knew what that was supposed to mean or why a fiddle was used. This phrase was used in the 1600’s to describe a servant that was qualified to do her job. Of course the ‘fiddle’ here is the colloquial name for violin. ‘Fit’ didn’t originally mean healthy and energetic, in the sense it is often used nowadays to describe the inhabitants of gyms. When this phrase was coined ‘fit’ was used to mean ‘suitable, seemly’, in the way we now might say ‘fit for purpose’. It somehow, when I was young, was used to describe someone in very good physical fitness, so therefore, the switch of meaning to this phrase. This morning I am taking a third switch so come along with me. Have you ever looked at a fiddle or violin closely? It is the crafting of this fine instrument that I want to share thoughts.

A violinist craftsman’s wife wrote that the minimum time it takes her husband to build a violin is 250 hours of intense work to make it. Others say a slighter number of 160 hours. Either way, this is a difficult, painstaking work of art and musical enchantment for all listeners. We have seen many fine fiddlers and from observing, it takes talent and a lot of energy to play this instrument. Now for the deeper thought and why this subject on a cold Saturday morning……Have you ever thought about what makes the difference between a fiddle and a violin? Nothing, except what kind of music is played using it……simple, right? When we think of a violin, we think orchestra, classical music, romantic genre. When we think of a fiddle, we think bluegrass, down home music, foot stomping or rowdy crowds. We are born as a possible violin or fiddle (same instrument) by the most creative maker ever and then it is up to us what music we want the musician (being life) to play thus defining which one we become, fiddle or violin. We can be more refined and have a desire to be more classical or we can love the down home music and be comfortable in jeans.
What is Physically Fit?
Are you physically fit if you don’t exercise? According to personal trainers, no you are not fit at all no matter what size you are. When asked why exercise is not a part of their lifestyles answers from “I don’t like to sweat” to “Why?” are produced. You may not like to exercise but exercise is a vital part of being strong, healthy and physically fit. If you would only exercise two or three times every week you would feel a dramatic improvement in daily life. More energy, strength and the ability to run around without being tired could be your reward.
“I am physically fit because I am active. There is a bit of a Catch 22 here, you can only be fit if you re active, and you can only be active if you are fit. In other words, you cannot become fit simply by being active. Only by being fit can you become more active. It just gets worse. The answer is to maintain a level of fitness through consistent and challenging exercise programs. This is the only way to truly be physically fit. You can consider yourself physically fit when your body is able to do what you ask it to do. This comes from flexibility, endurance and strength.

Do you exercise or do you just fool yourself with the ideas that being active is all the exercise you need. Reconsider what you actually do and what you should be able to do. Can you touch our toes? No, you are not fit. Can you walk a mile without breathing hard? No, you are not physically fit. There is no “I am active so I am physically fit” answer. You need to exercise at least three to four times a week. Try to touch your toes and work up to walking a mile without breathing difficulties. You might just find that you feel so much better being “physically fit.”

Another except from Crossfit Lake Tahoe which gives us the 10 components of Fitness:

There are ten recognized general physical skills, and they are all practiced regularly with CrossFit. You are as fit as your competency in each of these ten skills.
  1. Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
  2. Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
  3. Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
  4. Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
  5. Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
  6. Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
  7. Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
  8. Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
  9. Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.
  10. Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
Improvements in endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility come about through training. Training refers to activity that improves performance through a measurable organic change in the body. (1 – 4)

By contrast improvements in coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy come about through practice. Practice refers to activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system. (7 – 10)

Power and speed are adaptations of both training AND practice. 
What is important, is we are still the same instrument from God’s hands so one doesn’t have to be “all fancy” or nothing is wrong with being “down home country”. God loves us all the same. So whether you are comfortable as a violin or a fiddle, we should try to stay “fit as a fiddle (or a violin) and that means “fit for the purpose” we were designed to be. Make some music in your hearts today and whether it is a concert or a hoe down, show love in all you do.


Psalm 101:1
A Psalm of David. I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music
(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. 3rd party material referenced for source origination.


TODAY THE WORD is WATERMELON.  With the summer arriving soon and flowers in full bloom, kids getting out of school, vacations being planned or in progress, summer vegetables being canned or frozen and mostly eaten, and the heat rising, what better subject than the coolness and refreshment which comes from watermelons?  I love watermelon and look forward to the new crop every year. I like the seedless but I would never turn down a watermelon with seeds. I hadn’t tasted a yellow watermelon in years until a few weeks ago; it was good but there is something about the brilliant red bordered by the white and surrounded by a deep striped green rind. I have a special fondness for watermelon stemming from a childhood memory. My Mother’s Daddy, Granddaddy Holt, was a head guard at a prison work camp. That’s right the prisoners actually worked while incarcerated on farms. Granddaddy Holt loved to have his grandchildren come visit him and there were times when I and one of my cousins would stay for a few days. Granddaddy Holt was a big man, to the prisoners a strong one, but he was so good to us, spoiling us rotten while we visited and he taught me how to mix my eggs, bacon, and grits together and to this day, when I mix them, I still smile at the memory of Granddaddy showing us how to do it.

Each afternoon, if we wanted and we always wanted, he would send trustees with the truck with a couple of watermelons to his house from the prison fields. They would cut the watermelons open and we could eat “the heart” and more until we were about to burst. Oh, we loved Granddaddy and his melons. He was of the old school and for Christmas would roll fruit to the children. We didn’t care that it rolled on the floor, we loved the thought of love. So watermelons and fruit were gifts of love and they were so sweet. The deeper thought….When we stop and cherish sweet moments of our life, we find the things that may not have cost a lot mean the most to us. The important thought about the watermelons was Granddaddy took the time to care and spend time with his grandchildren. He loved sharing both his food and his valuable time. He didn’t take us to town all of the time; he didn’t try to buy our love; he gave his love! Watermelon is so good; Granddaddy’s love was so much sweeter!

I found an article on how Watermelon is good for us by Dr. Mercola (http://www.mercola.com)

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Watermelon
July 21, 2014 

1. Watermelon Has More Lycopene Than Raw Tomatoes
Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. It’s most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source.
Compared to a large fresh tomato, one cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene (6 milligrams (mg) in watermelon compared to 4 mg in a tomato).3 More on why lycopene is so important shortly…
2. Watermelon Juice May Relieve Muscle Soreness
If you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of a fresh watermelon and drinking its juice prior to your next workout. This contains a little over one gram of l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain.
One study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.4
You do need to be careful with drinking watermelon juice, though, as it contains a significant amount of fructose. It may be better to eat the entire fruit, or opt for these other tips to prevent muscle soreness.
3. Watermelon Is a Fruit and a Vegetable
Remember how watermelon is related to cucumbers, pumpkin, and squash? That’s because it’s part vegetable and part fruit (it’s a sweet, seed-producing plant, after all).5 The other clue that watermelon is both fruit and vegetable? The rind is entirely edible…
4. You Can Eat Watermelon Rind and Seeds
Most people throw away the watermelon rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat.6 Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh.7 
Citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, and not only is this amino acid important for heart health and maintaining your immune system, but it has been researched to have potential therapeutic value in over 100 health conditions.8
While many people prefer seedless watermelon varieties, black watermelon seeds are edible and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. (In case you were wondering, seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified, as they’re the result of hybridization.9)
5. It’s Mostly Water
This might not be surprising, but it’s still a fun fact; watermelon is more than 91 percent water.10 This means that eating watermelon with you on a hot summer day is a tasty way to help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration (it’s not a substitute for drinking plenty of fresh water, however).
6. Some Watermelon Are Yellow
The Yellow Crimson watermelon has yellow flesh with a sweeter, honey flavor than the more popular pink-fleshed Crimson Sweet. It’s likely that yellow watermelon offers its own unique set of nutritional benefits, but most research to date has focused on the pink-fleshed varieties.11
Lycopene: Watermelon’s Nutritional Claim to Fame
Watermelon is an excellent source of lycopene, with upwards of 6,500 micrograms (6.5 mg) in less than half a cup (the red-fleshed varieties will contain significantly more lycopene than yellow-fleshed watermelon).
Also noteworthy, the lycopene in watermelon appears to be quite stable, with little deterioration occurring even after it’s been cut and stored in the refrigerator for more than two days. In one study, it took about seven days of storage for the lycopene to deteriorate, and then it was only by about 6 percent to 11 percent.12
So what makes lycopene so important? Lycopene’s antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than that of other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. In one study, after controlling for other stroke risk factors, such as older age and diabetes, they found that men with the highest blood levels of lycopene were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest.13
A 2014 meta-analysis also revealed that lycopene decreased stroke risk (including stroke occurrence or mortality) by more than 19 percent.14 In addition to lowering your risk of stroke, lycopene has been shown to have potential anti-cancer activity, likely due to its potent antioxidant properties.
A 2014 meta-analysis of 10 studies also showed that dietary lycopene may protect against the risk of ovarian cancer among postmenopausal women.15 There is also some evidence from animal studies that lycopene may help with cancer treatment as well.
One study found that lycopene treatment reduced the growth of brain tumors while another showed frequent lycopene intake suppressed breast tumor growth in mice.16
Watermelon Extract May Significantly Reduce Blood Pressure
New research also highlights the role of watermelon nutrients on heart attack prevention, via a significant reduction in blood pressure. Obese study participants who received citrulline and arginine supplements derived from watermelon extract had significant improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress, both while at rest and undergoing a stressful cold-water test.17 According to the researchers:
“Watermelon supplementation reduced aortic BP [blood pressure] and myocardial oxygen demand during CPT [cold pressor test] and the magnitude of the cold-induced increase in wave reflection in obese adults with hypertension. Watermelon may provide cardioprotection by attenuating cold-induced aortic hemodynamic responses.”
Remember, in your body the citrulline in watermelon is converted into L-arginine, which is a precursor to nitric oxide. Adequate nitric oxide is required to enable you blood vessels to stay relaxed and open for blood flow, which is one reason why it may help lower blood pressure.
Watermelon for Inflammation, Sexual Health, and More
L-arginine may also help with erectile dysfunction by helping to relax your blood vessels, including those supplying blood to your penis – and that’s why watermelon is sometimes referred to as “Nature’s Viagra.” In fact, citrulline supplementation has been found to improve erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction.18
What else is watermelon good for? It’s rich in anti-inflammatory substances. For instance, watermelon contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant lycopene as well as cucurbitacin E, or tripterpenoid, which reduces the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme cyclooxygenase – the same enzyme blocked by COX-2 inhibitors, which include most NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen. While being very low in calories (about 46 calories in a cup), watermelon also contains an impressive variety of other important nutrients in which many Americans are lacking, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Magnesium

 1 Corinthians 10:31                 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

 (c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material sourced for origination.


SWEET POTATO IS NEW HOT POTATO! Yesterday, I shared a great idea on Facebook about cooking sweet potatoes in a crock pot/slow cooker and I received so many favorable remarks. It, of course, started my mind about the bright rusty sweet potato and I thought I would spend today looking at this great alternative to the potato we have grown up, the spud. Let’s see why we should consider the sweet potato as a good food choice. There is a deeper thought at the end of this article too.

I found a great article giving powerful info from World’s Healthiest Foods.org on the Sweet Potato and I have included excerpts from this article and you can go to the full article by clicking on this link:


What’s New and Beneficial about Sweet Potatoes

  • Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes may be one of nature’s unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene. Several recent studies have shown the superior ability of sweet potatoes to raise our blood levels of vitamin A. This benefit may be particularly true for children. In several studies from Africa, sweet potatoes were found to contain between 100-1,600 micrograms (RAE) of vitamin A in every 3.5 ounces—enough, on average, to meet 35% of all vitamin A needs, and in many cases enough to meet over 90% of vitamin A needs (from this single food alone).
  • Sweet potatoes are not always orange-fleshed on the inside but can also be a spectacular purple color. Sometimes it’s impossible to tell from the skin of sweet potato just how rich in purple tones its inside will be. That’s because scientists have now identified the exact genes in sweet potatoes (IbMYB1 and IbMYB2) that get activated to produce the purple anthocyanin pigments responsible for the rich purple tones of the flesh. The purple-fleshed sweet potato anthocyanins—primarily peonidins and cyanidins—have important antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. Particularly when passing through our digestive tract, they may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals. For more details on purple-fleshed and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, please see our Description section below.
  • It can be helpful to include some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable. Recent research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes. Of course, this minimal amount of fat can be very easy to include. In our Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe, for example, we include 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and with just this one tablespoon, each of our 4 servings for this delicious recipe provides 3.5 grams of fat.
  • Some nutritional benefits from sweet potatoes simply may be easier to achieve if you use steaming or boiling as your cooking method. Recent studies show excellent preservation of sweet potato anthocyanins with steaming, and several studies comparing boiling to roasting have shown better blood sugar effects (including the achievement of a lower glycemic index, or GI value) with boiling. The impact of steaming is particularly interesting, since only two minutes of steaming have been show to deactivate peroxidase enzymes that might otherwise be able to break down anthocyanins found in the sweet potato. In fact, with these peroxidase enzymes deactivated, natural anthocyanin extracts from sweet potato used for food coloring may be even more stable than synthetic food colorings. This benefit isn’t limited to the food’s appearance since the anthocyanins have great health benefits as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
  • Most dry beans and tubers have their own unique storage proteins. Soybeans have glycinins, potatoes have patatins, yams have dioscorins, and corn has zeins. While researchers have long been aware of sporamins—storage proteins in sweet potato—only recently has research shown some of their unique antioxidant properties. The potential health benefits of the sweet potato sporamins in helping prevent oxidative damage to our cells should not be surprising since sweet potatoes produce sporamins whenever subjected to physical damage to help promote healing.

WHFoods Recommendations\ Sweet potatoes don’t have to take a long time to prepare. Cutting them into 1/2-inch slices and Healthy Steaming them for just 7 minutes not only brings out their great flavor but helps to maximize their nutritional value. And you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cloves for extra flavor and nutrition.  

Antioxidant Nutrients in Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes contain a wealth of orange-hued carotenoid pigments. In countries throughout Africa, in India and in the Caribbean, sweet potatoes have been shown to be a highly effective way of providing school age children with sizable amounts of their daily vitamin A. In some studies, sweet potatoes have been shown to be a better source of bioavailable beta-carotene than green leafy vegetables. Because sweet potatoes are available in many countries on a virtual year-round basis, their ability to provide us with a key antioxidant like beta-carotene makes them a standout antioxidant food.
Yet beta-carotene only begins to tell the story of sweet potato antioxidants. Particularly in purple-fleshed sweet potato, antioxidant anthocyanin pigments are abundant. Cyanidins and peonidins are concentrated in the starchy core of part of purple-fleshed sweet potatoes, and these antioxidant nutrients may be even more concentrated in the flesh than in the skin. That’s sweet potatoes have genes (IbMYB1 and IbMYB2) that are specialized for the production of anthocyanin pigments in the fleshy part of the tuber. Ordinary, we have to rely on the skins of foods for this same level of anthocyanin antioxidants. But not in the case of sweet potatoes! Extracts from the highly pigmented and colorful purple-fleshed and purple-skinned sweet potatoes have been shown in research studies to increased the activity of two key antioxidant enzymes—copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD) and catalase (CAT).
Recent research has shown that particularly when passing through our digestive tract, sweet potato cyanidins and peonidins and other color-related phytonutrients may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals. That risk reduction might be important not only for individuals at risk of digestive tract problems but for all persons wanting to reduce the potential risk posed by the presence of heavy metal residues (like small amounts of mercury or cadmium or arsenic) in their diet.
Storage proteins in sweet potato also have important antioxidant properties. These storage proteins—called sporamins—get produced by sweet potato plants whenever the plants are subjected to physical damage. Their ability to help the plants heal from this damage is significantly related to their role as antioxidants. Especially when sweet potato is being digested inside of our gastrointestinal tract, we may get some of these same antioxidant benefits.

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients in Sweet Potato

Anthocyanin and other color-related pigments in sweet potato are equally valuable for their anti-inflammatory health benefits. In the case of inflammation, scientists understand even more about the amazing properties of this tuber. In animal studies, activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB); activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2); and formation of malondialdehyde (MDA) have all be shown to get reduced following consumption of either sweet potato or its color-containing extracts. Since each of these events can play a key role in the development of unwanted inflammation, their reduction by sweet potato phytonutrients marks a clear role for this food in inflammation-related health problems. In animal studies, reduced inflammation following sweet potato consumption has been shown in brain tissue and nerve tissue throughout the body.
What’s equally fascinating about color-related sweet potato phytonutrients is their impact on fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is one of the key glycoproteins in the body that is required for successful blood clotting. With the help of a coagulation factor called thrombin, fibronogen gets converted into fibrin during the blood clotting process. Balanced amounts of fibrinogen, thrombin and fibrin are a key part of the body’s health and its ability to close off wounds and stop loss of blood. However, excess amounts of these clotting-related molecules may sometimes pose a health risk. For example, excess presence of fibrinogen and fibrin can trigger unwanted secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules (including cytokines and chemokines). In animal studies, too much fibrin in the central nervous system has been associated with breakdown of the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves and allows them to conduct electrical signals properly. If fibrin excess can trigger unwanted inflammation in nerve tissue and increase breakdown of the myelin wrapping the nerve cells (a process that is usually referred to as demyelination), health problems like multiple sclerosis (in which there is breakdown of the myelin nerve sheath) may be lessened through reduction of excess fibrinogen and/or fibrin. In preliminary animal studies, intake of sweet potato color extracts have been shown to accomplish exactly those results: reduction of inflammation, and simultaneous reduction of fibronogen levels. We look forward to exciting new research in this area of sweet potato’s anti-inflammatory benefits.

Potential Improvement of Blood Sugar Regulation

Many people think about starchy root vegetables as a food group that could not possibly be helpful for controlling their blood sugar. That’s because many people realize that food starches can be converted by our digestive tract into simple sugars. If foods are especially concentrated in starch, there can often be a risk of too much simple sugar release in our digestive tract and too much pressure upon our bloodstream to uptake more sugar. (The result in this situation would be an overly quick elevation of our blood sugar level.) What’s fascinating about sweet potatoes is their ability to potentially improve blood sugar regulation—even in persons with type 2 diabetes— in spite of their glycemic index (GI) rating of medium. (Sweet potatoes are one of four WHFoods vegetables that have a GI ranking of medium. The other three vegetables are beets, corn, and leeks.) The 6.6 grams of dietary fiber in a medium sweet potato are definitely a plus in terms of blood sugar regulation, since they help steady the pace of digestion. But recent research has also shown that extracts from sweet potatoes can significantly increase blood levels of adiponectin in persons with type 2 diabetes. Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced by our fat cells, and it serves as an important modifier of insulin metabolism. Persons with poorly-regulated insulin metabolism and insulin insensitivity tend to have lower levels of adiponectin, and persons with healthier insulin metabolism tend to have higher levels. While more research on much larger groups of individuals to further evaluate and confirm these blood sugar regulating benefits, this area of health research is an especially exciting one for anyone who loves sweet potatoes but is nevertheless concerned about healthy blood sugar regulation.

Other Potential Health Benefits

One of the more intriguing nutrient groups provided by sweet potatoes—yet one of the least studied from a health standpoint—are the resin glycosides. These nutrients are sugar-related and starch-related molecules that are unusual in their arrangement of carbohydrate-related components, and also in their inclusion of some non-carbohydrate molecules. In sweet potatoes, researchers have long been aware of one group of resin glycosides called batatins (including batatin I and batatin II). But only recently have researchers discovered a related group of glycosides in sweet potato called batatosides (including batatodide III, batatoside IV, and batatoside V). In lab studies, most of these sweet potato glycosides have been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. To what extent these carbohydrate-related molecules in sweet potatoes can provide us with health benefits in these same antibacterial and antifungal areas is not yet clear. But we expect to see increasing interest in sweet potato’s batatins and batatosides and their potential to support our health. 
Now for the deeper thought……Sometimes we have to step outside the old to try the new but sometimes what appears to be new is actually the old. In an excerpt from this article we find the history…”Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man. They have been consumed since prehistoric times as evidenced by sweet potato relics dating back 10,000 years that have been discovered in Peruvian caves.” This goes to show us what is new isn’t always new and sometimes we can enjoy something which is really old but if we take the time to try it; we may like it.


Romans 12:2 ESV 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. All 3rd party material sourced for origination.


OILING YOUR BODY MACHINE? As a young girl, my Dad was a terrific mechanic after years as a police officer. I never knew which one he preferred the most. The mechanic was a lot safer so it worked better for the family’s mindset. I learned a lot from being tomboyish and found myself with my head under the hood when he would adjust the tuning or change a belt, or spark plug (yes, I go back that far). Trust me, these lessons came in handy later in life and they were beneficial in so many ways. I could take the breather off and crank a car which had flooded and off I would go. One of the lessons was to keep every working part which needed oil to keep running quietly and smoothly oiled and/or greased. I think you may find how I combined this thinking in my healthy eating routine. 
I pulled an excerpt from an article and once you read this, I will express my thoughts of “how to apply the oils of life, not only in our food but in our lives. I found this interesting to compare and I hope you see the similarities.

Lubrication Basics

One of the most important things an operator can do for his machinery is to make sure it is properly lubricated. So what is a lubricant and how does it affect operations when used properly? This paper will answer these questions and more by covering the fundamentals of lubrication. We will discuss how a lubricant works to remove friction, the physical and chemical properties of the lubricant, and the many functions of a lubricant.

Many people believe that a lubricant is simply used to make things “slippery.” While it is the primary function, there are more advantages to using the right lubricant. In addition to friction reduction, it also reduces the amount of wear that occurs during operation, reduces operating temperatures, minimizes corrosion of metal surfaces, and assists in keeping contaminants out of the system. Lubricants have many properties that can be mixed and matched to meet your operating needs. For example, there are different chemicals that can be added to allow a machine to efficiently run at extreme temperatures. We can also make a lubricant more effective in protecting machine surfaces under extreme pressures. By looking at the demands of the machine, you can properly identify the type of lubricant best suited for its proper function.

Here is another excerpt from OLIVE OIL TIMES which shows how an oil can keep the body oiled and running smoother.


Traditionally a low-fat diet has been prescribed to prevent various diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. While studies have shown that high fat diets may increase the risk of certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes, it appears that it is the type of fat that counts rather than the amount of fat. We now know that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats such as the ones found in olive oil, nuts and seeds actually protects from many of these chronic diseases.

A study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent compared to a low fat diet. Type II diabetes is the most common and preventable form of diabetes.

Excerpt from Health Benefits Using Coconut Oil (source for a great article and well worth the read:
https://authoritynutrition.com 10 Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Oil (No. 3 is Best)
By Kris Gunnars, BSc | May, 2016

3. Coconut Oil Can Help You Burn More Fat


Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.

While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.

It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats (5, 6).

One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day (7).

Bottom Line: The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.

Please read these articles for some great tips and reasons for using olive and/or coconut oils whichever you prefer. I use both for different reasons. Here are my thoughts: We pay a lot of money to have our vehicles which we depend on to get us from point A to B and think very little about maintaining and spending the money. At the same time, we neglect our primary vehicle for getting around….Our Bodies! If we use the same principle and take the measures to keep our bodies oiled and primed, we can run for a lot of miles and years. We are only as good as we allow ourselves to be. Live Life; Love Life; Live and Love Life to the Fullest by taking care of our bodies, minds, and souls.
(C) Copyright 2012-2016 Arline Miller with all rights reserved for written material. All other materials sourced with origination noted. 


PULL THE TRIGGER ON YOUR WEIGHT. As a person who has fought the battle of the bulge since I have been an adult, I can speak of the challenges and the rewards with experience. As a child I never had a weight problem due to being active in a time when we didn’t have video games and we preferred playing outside until the street lights came on. This was our signal to go home and eat dinner. We also had appropriate servings and we had a family of six and a meat portion was a piece of meat and not today’s “super size”. Those were the days when a chicken was a           chicken and not a turkey due to additives. That is a subject for another day.

I saw an advertisement for a cable show with a morbidly overweight woman whose husband is concerned. Her response to him is “I want to be fat!” I pondered this thought and even asked for some input from a group of friends who encourage each other with healthy eating. This made me think what it would take to get to a point where this inconceivable thought would apply. What is the trigger? What event or tragedy would apply so much pain, a person would actually want to endanger their health or ruin any relationship by getting so obese no one would want to interact with them?
Let’s think about it and while we are in this thought process, we may find there is a common denominator which might shed some light on this sensitive subject. Most of my friends do the see saw or the lose/gain lifestyle. I am going to get real but trust me, I am in this group so it is a mutual concern. I get to a certain weight and say, “Oh no, I have to lose weight!” Then I get serious and off some pounds go. Does this sound familiar? Then, over the next few years, they creep back on and again the lose/gain trigger connects and a new program starts. We watch the commercials and drool when someone “miraculously lost 50 pounds or more” and we try this program and that program. Usually we have the same results. Lose/Gain; Lose/Gain which becomes a vicious cycle.
Healthy eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success
  1. Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.
  2. Make the right changes. …
  3. Simplify. …
  4. Read the labels. …
  5. Focus on how you feel after eating. …
  6. Drink plenty of water.

I have highlighted one of the tips since I have strong feelings this is a vital tip on focusing on how you see food/eating. If food is used as a comfort tool or a distraction for pain, concern, emotional upheavals, or physiological reasons….This is a major flag and either therapy or self help could be useful to identify the source for “comfort eating” which, by the way, ends up making us more uncomfortable with weight gain and lowering of self esteem (which may be the real culprit). 

Several of my friends, and I am in the club of eating healthier for health reasons and not as much for glamorous changes, have learned a lot more about nutrition and clean eating. Even while studying and practicing better choices and doing more exercising. I am going to admit it; I hate exercising for exercising. It is boring and my ADD kicks in with repetition so I am better to go on outings where I am engaging in adventures rather than squats, sit ups, etc. One of my friends made the statement during our discussion by saying it is hard to stay on a restricted diet and I agree. I have learned to “cheat/treat” and allow an occasional treat of something not allowed. I do not make it a habit but it seems to help me stay on track.
Now for the deeper thought…….I feel we have an internal trigger which we pull when we gain some weight but I have thought about this and have realized to pull this trigger before I get to a point making it harder to lose. What if we wake up each morning and say, “Today I will watch everything I eat unless it is my treat/cheat day and then I will enjoy it and leave it.” I don’t have to wait until it is obvious I should change my eating habits. I will start today. If for whatever reason, my eating gun doesn’t fire; I will start again tomorrow. Pull your trigger on your weight; fire your guns and let the explosion of life happen.

Note from Arline Miller: These are my thoughts and we all walk different paths. Whichever path you choose, I wish you good health and a long life. I speak with the best intentions and not for any purpose of making light of obesity as I understand the struggle. I would love to hear from those of you who have been successful in your food/life journey. We learn from others and I welcome your comments. Thanks and Happy Living!


Here is our freshly made with garden ingredients for Easy Zucchini Noodle Salad

GOING ZANY WITH ZUCCHINI. I have been seeing everyone going zany with zoodles & sqoodles and my curiosity was killing me. Since my husband and I keep trying to change our eating lifestyles with some success and then some backsliding, I felt if I could come up with some great tasting, healthy alternatives to our regular salads; we could maintain our lifestyle more comprehensively.
So you will see my attempt at EASY ZUCCHINI NOODLE SALAD as shown in the video from ST. ELIZABETH HEALTHCARE (can be viewed on St. Elizabeth Healthcare Facebook page)

Here is how I made it with our new Veggetti Pro from Bed Bath and Beyond as shown in the picture from their website.

First, from the supermarket: 2 fresh Zucchini; Fresh Basil; red cabbage; fresh broccoli; grape tomatoes; 2 fresh ears corn (one can if fresh is not available.
Using the Vegetti Pro, make noodles out of 2 zucchini. We used it for the red cabbage too. These are our pictures and it was easy to make. Healthy and yummy.

2 Zucchini (made into noodles)
25 to 30 Grape Tomatoes (halved)
3/4 cup red cabbage
1 cup broccoli florets chopped
2 ears of fresh corn (1 can if fresh is not available) Tip: Use bundt pan to cut corn off cob
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
Assemble all of these ingredients in bowl. You can make dressing in bottom of bowl by:
2 T. olive oil (use high quality)
3 T. white vinegar
1 T. honey (I used raw, unfiltered honey)
Juice from 1 Lime 
1t. pepper (I used freshly ground)
Pinch of salt
Whisk together and then add all of the assembled ingredients.
Have fun with healthy recipes. The fresh smells and colorful display makes eating good foods more adventurous. Until we cook again…..LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST!………Arline Miller


WISDOM IN GARDENIAS. Sometimes I get asked, where does the inspiration for the blog come from? I have written over 800 posts and there is only one answer to this question. I am a lover of life, a student of people and nature. I listen and learn from smarter and wiser people. This doesn’t mean they are the same people as I found a person can be educated with a lifetime of book learning and not possess an ounce of common sense. Some people are blessed to have both and the common denominator is they apply common sense in interpretation of what they have studied. 
Our 2015 bloom
Our 2016 bloom

I learned a message from the fragrant and elegant gardenia. I write occasionally on FB a morning or evening thought. I looked at the memories and saw one of the gardenia pictures shown here which was posted when the bush bloomed last year and I realized yesterday I had posted this year’s first bloom. I looked and this is when the inspiration appeared. Here is my morning thought:

Friday Morning Thought: I think the universe is whirling faster and our heads are spinning, causing very few reasonings to be reasonable. We need to “Be Still” and not be so hasty in our reactions; agree to disagree; communicate with common sense and not emotional impulsive words; and breathe. Life is not meant to be a 24/7 news media feeding frenzy. I thought this morning when I saw that one year ago, we posted a beautiful gardenia and yesterday, the same bush bloomed with beautiful blooms. This tells me life goes on, even with all of the madness in the world today. Live life to the fullest; love life to its fullest; and Live It!

Year after year, we face difficulties in life. We lose loved ones some younger than we can imagine their lives would be over. We have new babies born and then we post pictures of their growth year after year. We get married and sometimes, regretfully divorce; we change jobs and then we change again; we get in shape and then we fall out of shape; we begin and end good healthy eating plans; we start over again. 

Now for the deeper thoughts…..What the deeper lesson I learned from the exquisite gardenia, who is actually fragile and delicate, but year after year perseveres is we are here to live and bloom for others to see our God created beauty and value. God made us to have a sweet fragrance of life but here is the deep truth. We are here for a time on earth and as a plant or bush will exist for years and then die; so do we. What is the deep lesson should be “How are people going to remember us?” Were we the sweet gardenia or rose implanted in their minds? Will they think of us and smile? As I said above,  
Live life to the fullest; love life to its fullest; and Live It!


TODAY THE WORDS are LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS.  In anticipation of reaching an important goal for the blog of 150,000 page views, I went back to my log of posts and found this one. I thought we might enjoy some pearly whites this morning.

For most of you who know me, you already know how I love pearls. I have worn pearls and they have always given me such a warm feeling when I have them on. I will notice in photos of anyone that has a pearl necklace, earrings or brooch (for any youngsters that is a pin). What I would like to share is the thought behind pearls. A dear friend of mine has told me many times, “there’s your pearl” when something good happened. He would also say when he was giving me great advice, “here is a little pearl”. One day, when I was about to put one of my strands, I took a long look at it, realizing the importance of message it was portraying.
Let me share this with you. Pearls are grown in a hard shell (and really few of us look at an oyster shell as pretty like we look at other shells). It may take up to 20 or more years to bring a pearl to full size so a lot of time goes into the process. Pearls in their natural state aren’t the finished pearl we see in the strands as they are polished and by this process, it brings out their true luster. If you take the time and look closely, pearls are still unique and usually no two are exactly the same. As beautiful as pearls are, they can be beautiful with others or beautiful on their own. Pearls are usually a gift given by someone who loves them dearly. 
Now for the deeper thought……have you thought about the clasp? As beautiful as the strand of pearls are, without the clasp to hold it all together, the pearls would fall to the ground It is the most important part of the necklace and here is how I see pearls. Pearls are our different stages of our life. When we are young, we are the pearls being nurtured in our shell surrounded by a hard protective cover (our parents). After a while, we are plucked into our adult lives. We can be successful on our own or part of a collection (company). We have strength and luster; but are fragile if not connected by a strong clasp (God). We can add other pearls (spouses, children, friends, and grandchildren) to our strand and people like to enjoy our pearls. God will hold our lives together and the clasp needs to be checked to make sure it closed securely (our faith). Next time you see a strand of pearls, take a deep look at it. God gives us the freedom to build a beautiful strand of pearls of life with all of its beauty and luster but He wants us to keep our pearls safe, protected and loved.


Matthew 13:45 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls

(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


My Mom, Beatrice Holt Lott Hutchinson

IF I HAD ONE MORE MOTHER’S DAY TO SHARE WITH MOM. This Sunday, Mother’s Day will be at the forefront of almost everyone’s minds. Churches will have programs dedicated to this special day and some will give flowers or corsages to all Mothers when the sweet Mothers walk in. Lunches will be commemorated with children giving speeches on how much their Mothers mean to them. Gifts and flowers will be given and Mothers will smile a lot on this day.

My family with Mom and Dad in the center.

Here we are, Arline, Mom, and Juanelle!
                                                                                                                  Here I am with my Daughter Missy

I wanted to stop before all of the well deserved hoopla and share a few thoughts with all of you who have your Mother to share this special day. The first thing I would suggest to all of you is to stop when you wake up and rise to go back down on your knees and thank God you will share this special day with your Mother. I say this because my precious Mother is not here to share this day, which I tried to share every year with her while she lived and it would be an honor and a pleasure to know that I could share

One More Mother’s Day with her and I want to tell you how it would go.

  • First, I would get up even earlier and pray a prayer of thanks for allowing me to be in her loving presence. 
  • I would dress in the colors I know she would say, “Look at you baby, how pretty you look.”
  •  I would make her favorite cookies, Oatmeal raisin cookies and I would add extra so she could say, “Oh, I will give your Sister some too.” She loved giving, but was thrifty with giving her special cookies away. 
  • I would have searched far and wide to find her the most wonderful gift; something I know she had been wanting all her life but too frugal to spend her money on herself but would share anything she had with the less fortunate. 
  • I would listen with all of my heart to every word she would say, even if I had heard the same story fifty times; let me hear it 100 times if possible. 
  • I would kiss her and hug her so tight as if it were the last time I would get to do that on this earth. 
  • I would tell her I loved her over and over until she would say, “Now, baby I know you love me. How could I not know as you spoil me rotten.” 
  • Then, I would stay later than I ever had so I could put off saying it for the last time. 

So many of you are feeling what I am feeling as your Mom has gone too; so many of you have this opportunity to do exactly what I would love to do this Sunday and everyday. Please don’t miss out on showing Your Living Mother how much you really love her.

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers. To Our Mothers in Heaven; we do miss you; we do love you; and we know you have your reward for loving God and Us.


Proverbs 31:25-30 ESV 

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 

(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

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