Some of the best things to do to manage these times involve making choices that support a healthy immune system and healthier outcomes:
1. Create a regular habit of prayer, meditation and Bible Study.
Science confirms the value of prayer and meditation on the brain and the body. Whether you are on the train, or your car, or in your closet at home, talking to the Creator God is life-changing. And, according to scripture the original Hebrew meaning for meditate means to “moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, mediate, devise, plot, imagine or speak.” Sounds like a great time in conversation with Jesus, pouring out your soul. What relief! Couple that with study of His word that will lead and guide you into all truth.
2. Stay physically active.
Keep moving. Activity improves circulation which helps blood cells do their jobs to keep you healthy. It also improves excretion of harmful substances. Don’t worry about the cold, just bundle up. You’ll even breathe more deeply as you walk which means your lungs get a better workout too.
3. Get as much sun as you can.
Try to get 15-30 minutes of sunlight every day that you can see it. It’s the best source of Vitamin D which is critical in immune health. And, it’s also good for people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
4. Eat a plant powered diet.
Plant foods, especially garlic, cruciferous vegetables and citrus fruits are full of immune boosting properties. And, the cruciferous foods – kale, collards, cabbage, brussels sprouts are excellent for detox.
5. Talk to a professional.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, find a professional that you can talk to. Therapy works. Here are links for great therapy resources https://blackmentalhealthmatters.carrd.co
I Once Was Blind…
Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, NY
Well, if you are looking for inspiration this year as you make choices to improve your health, we are convinced that you will be motivated by Eric Adams’ story. As President of the Brooklyn Borough, he is one very busy person. And, that has been the story of his life. He previously served as a police officer and then in the state senate. He’s very honest about his old lifestyle habits, stating that staff at his favorite fast food places knew exactly what he wanted to order.
One morning in 2016, Eric woke up and could not see the clock. In addition, he’d had a pain in his stomach that would not go away. He went to the doctor and was told that he had an ulcer and was in the final stages of diabetes. His hemoglobin A1c was 17. He was told to turn in his driver’s license, take a slew of medications and prepare to lose some toes, and maybe fingers due to the effect of neuropathy.
Disappointed at the prognosis, he went home and decided to do some research. He had a family history of diabetes, cancer, hypertension and many of his family members were on multiple medications.
Adams remembers being at a family reunion with his mom when she realized that she had forgotten her diabetes medication. Though he was willing to go get them, his mother asked if anyone had any diabetes meds that she could take. Nearly everyone in the room pulled out a plastic case and showed their pillboxes. They were packing a pharmacy: metformin, sulfonylureas, statins, blood pressure medications and many others.
Adams determined to discontinue that legacy. So, he opened his computer and instead of typing “managing diabetes” he typed in “reversing diabetes,” and, boy was his life outlook changed. He discovered that diabetes did not have to mean all the things that he had been told. He found out that he would have to make some significant changes. But, if it meant he wouldn’t be blind or lose limbs, he was game. So, he got busy changing his diet and making other healthier choices.
In three weeks, Adams’ vision was totally restored. In three months he no longer had symptoms of diabetes and was off all his medication. And, somewhere along the way, his stomach stopped hurting and the ulcer went away. Four years later, he is still healthy and is on a mission to help as many people as he can. And, he’s convinced that diseases that we suffer from are not in your DNA, but in your Dinner.
Eric shares his amazing story in his new book Healthy At Last. And, it has some delicious plant powered recipes to help you on your journey. The Power Red Smoothie and Sweet Potato Cornbread are delicious. I’ve partnered with him in a national faith-based health initiative called The Healthy At Last Initiative: Health Promotion for Communities of Faith in the African American Tradition.
Our editor, Carmela Monk-Crawford and our online content editor Claudia Allen interviewed him on the Message podcast. You will thoroughly enjoy that too.
•Small amount of olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup veggie ham, cut into strips OR veggie sausage, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
head small, green cabbage, shredded/cut into thin strips
1 small bunch kale, shredded/cut into thin strips
1 large tomato, diced
2 large red potatoes, washed well and diced
2 quarts of water, more if necessary
2 tablespoons McKays Chicken Style Seasoning,
•Pepper-Like Seasoning, savory, thyme, salt, red pepper flakes to taste
In a large pot, place a small amount of olive or coconut oil. Heat and add veggie meat, stir-frying till brown. Add onions and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add cabbage, kale, tomato and potatoes. Stir-fry till cabbage and greens are limp. Stir in seasonings. Add 1 quart of water, then more to allow for ingredients to float around. Bring to boil, then turn down and let simmer till potatoes are tender. Add more water if necessary. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serves 4-6
Garlic Spinach Pasta
½ cup your favorite veggie burger
1 bell pepper – 1/2 green, 1/2 yellow
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 cups fresh spinach
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
½ cup chopped, fresh basil
1 teaspoon oregano
½ cup non-dairy mozzarella cheese
½ cup green onion, sliced
1 box whole grain spaghetti, boiled and drained
•Non-dairy Parmesan cheese
•Season to taste with McKay’s or other Vegan Chicken Bouillon and Nutritional Yeast Flakes.
Brown veggie burger in a small amount of olive oil. Add onions, bell pepper and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add spinach and steam till wilted. Stir in pasta, green onions, basil and seasonings. Adjust to taste. Top with vegan Parmesan Cheese. Serves 6-8.
½ cup pineapple, diced
1 peach, seeded
1 mango, seeded
1 cup strawberries, frozen
2 large kale leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon your favorite grain or seed (flax, almond, oats)
Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. If processed slowly, you should not have to add any liquid. Frozen fruit makes it creamier. Yield: About 4 cups
1 cup pineapple
1 cup mango
½ – 1 cup shredded kale
1 piece ginger
1 cup coconut milk
You can also make up your own smoothie bags and freeze until ready to use.
DONNA GREEN GOODMAN, M.P.H., writes from Huntsville, Alabama where she and her husband operate Lifestyle Therapeutix, A Lifestyle For Better Health Center. www.lifestyletherapeutix.com She is a health educator who has been a college professor, National Ambassador for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure “Circle of Promise” Campaign, and is author of Somethin’ to Shout About!, (Orion Enterprises, 1999), Cookin’ Up Good Health, (Still Shoutin’, 2008) and executive producer of her own cooking show “Cookin’ Up Good Health!” which aired on HOPETV. Cook Up Good Health with her on Donna’s YouTube Cooking Channel.
This article is part of our 2021 January / February Issue