Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

My sugar free column in the IHPA (Virginia Commonwealth University Inter Health Professional Alliance) Newsletter for November 2017:

IHPA Nov 2017 Newsletter

*Original article wording (newsletter has edited – for space – version and recipe):

Sugar Free Holidays?!?! Are You Serious?!?!

It is a week before Thanksgiving and I am on a drastic liquid only diet. Call me crazy, but I know I have to get a jump start on my diet before I go overboard during the holidays.  Thanksgiving is a time for family, counting your blessings … and eating way too much food!  So how do we have self-control and still celebrate?  I want to give you a couple tips on how to get through Thanksgiving without increasing your blood sugar, over-eating, and having to buy new pants because you ate too much:

  1. Eat a good breakfast with protein.
  • My family doesn’t eat until 1pm so I am really hungry when we finally sit down causing me to pile up my plate. If you eat breakfast then you won’t be starving later in the day.
  1. Don’t fix so much food.
  • Do you need 12 types of meat, 5 types of potatoes, and 72 types of vegetables? Limiting your menu will help with less temptation to over-eat, less dishes to clean, and less food that gets wasted.
  1. Stay away from bread.
  • Stuffing is a big deal for most families at Thanksgiving, but my family makes like 4 different kinds and then bakes rolls on top of that. The less bread you have, the less you will eat.
  1. Don’t “taste test” everything.
  • Of course you want to test the mashed potatoes to make sure there is enough salt in them… but that doesn’t mean you have to test it 4 times.
  1. Drink water.
  • You will already be getting enough calories and sugar that day, so sticking with water helps you stay full and healthy.
  1. Put half the amount of each food on your plate … or use a smaller plate.
  • You can always go back for seconds if you are still hungry. I feel like if I put it on my plate I have to eat it, so if it isn’t on my plate I won’t feel like I have to stuff myself.
  1. You don’t have to try everything.
  • Grandma Gertrude and Aunt Agnes won’t actually disown you if you don’t try their dish. You are an adult and can make decisions for your health.
  1. Only have one type of dessert or try sugar free options.
  • I know it may seem like blasphemy to ask you to not have pumpkin pie AND sweet potato casserole … but your body will thank you later!

I have already limited my menu for this year, and have substituted some desserts for sugar free options. Hopefully the recipe below will satisfy your traditional tastes with a little change toward the healthy side!  Have a great Thanksgiving and know that I am thankful for you.

For more tips visit Melissa’s website where you can read her blogs and connect with her social media accounts: www.zechariahssong.com

 

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Out of Context – T3 Bible Study October/November 2017

Out of Context – T3 Bible Study October/November 2017

Third Thursday Theology – October/November 2017 Bible Study

We thought it might be interesting to look at some bible passages that are sometimes taken out of context and discuss them as a group. I hope we can dive deeper into the bible and really think about how those passages can speak into our lives.

Powerpoint with notes from discussion: out of context

If you have questions or comments about the group or the presentation please feel free to contact us through this page or the groups Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/t3study/

Sugar Free Trail Mix – IHPA Newsletter Article October 2017

Sugar Free Trail Mix – IHPA Newsletter Article October 2017

My sugar free column in the IHPA (Virginia Commonwealth University Inter Health Professional Alliance) Newsletter for October 2017:

IHPA Oct 2017 Newsletter

*Original article wording (newsletter has edited – for space – version and recipe):

You Have A Pretty Smile: Sugar’s Effect On Your Teeth

One really great thing that happens when you choose to live without sugar: you smile more. Your body feels better, you have a better attitude, you don’t get as sick … and this makes you happy!  And while you are smiling, your teeth are showing.  I have been sugar free for about 3 years and one of the things that I didn’t even think about were my teeth being whiter, stronger, and healthier.  The last time I went to the dentist the woman cleaning my teeth could not stop talking about it.  She told me that I didn’t have any cavities, I didn’t have much plaque, and my teeth were nice and white.  I told her I didn’t eat sugar anymore, I didn’t really drink sodas, and I didn’t drink other things that had lots of sugar like coffee, tea, or juice.  She told me that she wished everyone was like that because my teeth were doing so well. October is National Dental Hygiene Month, so why don’t you give your teeth a break and eat a little less sugar.  Your body will thank you, your teeth will thank you, and your dentist will thank you.  Less sugar means less cavities … and that means less money and time at the dentist.  This week’s recipe tip is a great substitute for sugary snacks.  Sugar free trail mix is easy to make and can be kept in your purse or child’s book bag for a quick snack instead of grabbing a candy bar.  Below are the things I put in mine, but you can pick and choose to make your favorite combination!  Happy trail mix to you until we meet again! (recipe at bottom of newsletter … click on link above)

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Sugar Free Cereal (deconstructed) – IHPA Newsletter Article September 2017

Sugar Free Cereal (deconstructed) – IHPA Newsletter Article September 2017

My sugar free column in the IHPA (Virginia Commonwealth University Inter Health Professional Alliance) Newsletter for September 2017:

IHPA Sep 2017 Newsletter

*Original article wording (newsletter has edited – for space – version):

For years doctors, health food companies, and the world have told us that a high fat diet was bad for us.  Because of this food companies have posted big signs on their food boxes that say: “no trans-fat” or “fat free food”, but that does not mean it is healthier for us!  I have read about this and heard people speak on the subject and I will try to quickly and plainly tell you what happened.  A long time ago some scientists thought that the fat in food was killing us, so they took some of their data and told the government that we needed to change our food habits.  This made the food companies change the way they made food. BUT … the scientists didn’t give all the information.  So we now have a system set up that may not be the best option for everyone.  Because they have taken out some fat (which takes out flavor) they have had to replace it with something else: SUGAR!  If you read my last newsletter article, then you know sugar is very addictive and very good at making us gain weight because we just want it all the time.  I know that my great grandma (and many other relatives) ate bacon and fried chicken every day and lived into their 90’s.  Most natural things are ok for us to have, as long as we are smart about how much we eat.  I know that cooking things in bacon grease is not going to kill me like everyone thinks, but if I eat it every meal then it won’t be great for my health.  I guess what you need to know is how to look at the box label.  Just because something says all natural or healthy or less fat does NOT mean it is good for you.  You should really look at the amount of sugar too. People are changing their tune about sugar and are realizing that carbs are more of a problem then natural fat.  There are many phone apps or google searches that can help you understand what the label says and what is really in the food you buy.  This month I want to give you a very simple recipe that can help at breakfast (which is when most children get the highest amount of sugar – not what you want to do right before school when they need to behave and concentrate).

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Respect For The Integrity Of Every Life!

Respect For The Integrity Of Every Life!

I received an email today from my employer … below are several excerpts:

“Over the past few weeks, we have seen hatred and disregard for life resurge in our own back yard, across our country and throughout the world in ways, many of us thought we would never see again.”

“I believe this means that we must further strengthen our message of respect and acceptance of all people. We must be direct and clear in this message, supporting one another in our efforts to convey respect for the integrity of every human being, every life.”

“For me, these last few weeks have felt like stepping backward in time. But I believe that we will move forward by gaining a greater understanding of what drives the hatred and disregard for human life that we see around us.”

While I think this was a well written and moving letter from the CEO/Vice President of VCU/MCV, and understanding that these words were written in the wake of some disturbing racial/political/hate-group demonstrations, my first thought in reading this was not about how I or anyone else react to the color of someone’s skin … my first thought was: “what if we applied this same rhetoric to the terrible hatred that is abortion?”!

One person died in Charlottesville because of the wickedness and selfishness in people’s hearts toward those who are different … and though that is one too many and I DO NOT condone hatred of those different than you … over 25 hundred babies are aborted in the US every day!  We will scream and cry and argue and relive the tragedy of Charlottesville for weeks on the news and Facebook willing to lose friends and stand up for our “convictions” (condolences to the family of Heather Heyer’s family who will live with this for the rest of their lives), we will take down monuments and try to “erase” history so we don’t have to be reminded of our past and failures, we will turn against our neighbor and divide our country to be “right and justified” … but who will cry for the unborn, who will stand up for what is right and try to erase the millions of murders, and who will heal our country and unite us in the REAL fight for “conveying respect for the integrity of every human being, EVERY LIFE”?!?!?!

I recently saw a powerful video of John MacArthur speaking about the biblical reasons “why Charlottesville happened” (link at the end of this article).  He attributed it to three foundational reasons:

  1. Breakdown of moral law
  2. Breakdown of the family
  3. Lack of respect for governing bodies (police)

In the same way I think these principles apply to the abortion debate as well …

  1. We have gone away from the biblical view of love. We do not value life and the fact that we are made in the image of God.  We have selfishness in our hearts and think more about what a child would do to us then what that child can do for us and the world.  We rid ourselves of anything that might cause stress or make us look bad (an unwanted pregnancy, a deformed child, the shame or guilt of a decision fueling our want to rid ourselves of the “consequences”).  We disregard what God says about the love between a man and a woman and what responsibilities we have to each other within the parameters of that union.  We set our lustful desires above the obedience of a God who knows what is best for us.  And when we find ourselves in a situation that isn’t optimal for us, we throw aside moral law and life itself.  We have become a society of death and then we wonder why there is so much disregard for human life in other areas of our mindset.
  2. When you disregard God’s structure of the family unit with rampant divorce rates, soaring out of marital conception numbers, gay unions, cultural disrespect for the father role, the government stepping in to teach our kids about sex (“safe” casual sex instead of abstinence), lack of discipline breeding an entitled generation, a porn driven society, and a “what is in it for me” mentality … no wonder there is no reverence for life on a basic scale!
  3. We have not only thrown aside believing in the government (whom we have elected according to our corrupt views about what is important), built a thriving disrespect for our civil servants (I agree there are police that take advantage of situations, but there are just as many people if not more judging men and women on the basis of what they might do), and treated our elders with disgrace … we have stopped having a healthy fear and reverence for the law of God. We believe we can say anything we please on social media because it is not face to face with anyone, we think our opinion is all that matters while lashing out at others when they think the same thing about their opinion, and we allow adults to act like children because there is no discipline or consequences in our homes.

In my home state of Virginia this is coming to light in the fight for life against our governor (McAuliffe).  He has gone against laws that allow for stricter regulations of abortion clinics to ensure a safer experience for women.  In rolling back restrictions this allows clinics to operate in unsafe ways to make more money.  He also “awarded” Planned Parenthood (a company that was essentially founded as a way to keep the amount of black children born in this country at a lower rate) government funding to operate.  And now Planned Parenthood is thanking him by backing his political agenda and pouring campaign money into pro-abortion candidates (how is this even legal?!?!?!?!).  But at least one group is fighting back! (Link in bottom of article)  We need more people to stand up and fight for life and to let it be known, that just like taking a life because of racial discrimination, it is not acceptable to take a life by abortion either!

So today let us go forward with pure, unadulterated, Godly love (for our fellow man, for the unborn, for ourselves, and most importantly for God).  Let us break the chains of sin and death.  Let us value life in every form – not just what looks like us or makes us comfortable.

With love for EVERYONE,

Melissa

John MacArthur video I referenced: https://www.facebook.com/GracetoYou/videos/10155701072921602/?hc_ref=ARST_Wa43R3j5AF5kkXkqO3ea854QR7IZsxf_u1hSdmHFikQPMo0nv_y8qNosxsrpH8&pnref=story

Abortion/McAuliffe article I referenced:

http://www.nbc12.com/story/36201866/legal-challenge-to-abortion-regulations-can-proceed

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/henrico/henrico-judge-s-ruling-allows-case-over-state-abortion-regulations/article_b216ab8e-8708-54f9-a519-13726a2c5e9e.html

Sugar Free (No Bake) Strawberry Cheesecake – IHPA Newsletter Article April 2017

Sugar Free (No Bake) Strawberry Cheesecake – IHPA Newsletter Article April 2017

I have started a sugar free column in the IHPA (Virginia Commonwealth University Inter Health Professional Alliance) Newsletter.

Here is my first article/recipe:

IHPA April 2017 Sugar Free (No Bake) Strawberry Cheesecake

 

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