BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

A strong immune system does not mean you will not get sick. It means your body will be in a better shape to fight off viruses. Here are some ways to help keep it strong.

THE RIGHT DIET

Did you know that 80% of your immune system is in your gut? This is why keeping it healthy is extremely important. Ways we can do so is by focusing on a more Mediterranean way of eating. For example, consuming more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Include fermented foods into your diet – these help build the good bacteria in your gut. Avoid inflammatory foods such as processed meat and fried foods. Also, avoid refined sugar as it increases inflammation which can lead to diseases.

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Furthermore, try to stay away from other processed foods/snacks such as potato chips, pretzels and rice cakes. Yes, rice cakes are not as healthy as we thought they were. They are made out of processed white rice which are high in carbohydrates. Furthermore, as you might already know, alcohol also weakens the immune system; it undermines your body to cope with infectious diseases, therefore, try to avoid it or reduce its consumption.

STAYING ACTIVE

Just the right amount of exercise can help boost your immune system too. Physical exercise has many health benefits. Not only does it help decrease your chances of heart disease, but it will help flush out bacteria out of your lungs and airways. It causes change in antibodies and white blood cells, which are the body’s immune system cells that fight diseases. 

STOP STRESSING

Studies have shown that the state of the mind affects one’s state of health. Thus, allowing stress to take over your mind and body can have serious health consequences. For example your heart rate may increase and you may develop high levels of adrenaline. When this happens, the fight or flight response activates. This is the instinctive response your body gives when faced with a dangerous situation. When it is activated, the body releases stress hormones. These stress hormones weaken the immune system, which make you vulnerable to diseases.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Last but not least, sleep reboots your system. It enhances T Cell responses, which is an essential part of the immune system. So try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep to keep your immune system strong.

With all this said, pay extra attention to what you’re putting inside your body. Take care of yourself. Stay healthy!

 

D. Arelis

COMPARISON PARALYZES US

Comparison distorts our inner peace. It merges our attention towards our shortcomings while distracting us from what we are capable of. It completely blocks our vision to see God’s perfect plan for our lives. 

But why? Why do we find the need to compare ourselves with someone else?

SHORTCOMINGS

We compare because of our insecurities and fears. During Moses’ first supernatural encounter (burning bush) in the desert, the Lord instructed him to go to Egypt to convince Pharaoh to free the people of Israel from slavery. Moses was horrified of course. This was a task that was beyond his comfort zone. According to Exodus 3:11 his reply was, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” In other words he was like, “Listen God, I don’t know if you know but I am not fit for this job.” He didn’t think he was good enough.

Then God responded and said, Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Exodus 4:11-12).

God was telling Moses, and you and I today, that it’s only because of Him that we can do all things. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord” – Zechariah 4:6. 

In conclusion, comparison prevents you to become the best version of you. Keep in mind that everyone’s walk in life is different. We all run in our own pace towards our purpose. Don’t allow comparison to paralyze you from moving towards greater things!

 

D. Arelis

BUT GOD…

Have you ever looked back on your life and thought to yourself, “Wow! How did I survive all that?” Most of us have a story to tell reflecting God’s love and mercy and so did Joseph.

Joseph’s hardship started the moment he was sold into slavery by his envious brothers. After being sold to the slave traders, he was sold again to one of Pharaoh’s officials – Potiphar. From being sold twice to being thrown into jail for false accusations for 12 years, things weren’t looking too bright for the kid. However, even so, “…the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison (Genesis 39:21). Long story short, a few years later the tables have turned. Joseph ended up being the second most powerful man in Egypt, next to Pharaoh. When the brothers became aware of the situation, they feared he was going to seek revenge. But he didn’t. Instead he let them know: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good…” (Genesis 50:20).
When you read through each scenario of Joseph’s life, you see how God was forming him and preparing him for his purpose, to save thousands of people in Egypt and in the surrounding regions.

BUT GOD

Having said this, every single scenario in our lives has also been played for a reason. This past year has been a year of so many questions. “Why God? When God? How God?” I couldn’t understand the way God was moving in my life. Nothing was making any sense. It felt as if someone pressed the pause button on my entire career and personal life. I wasn’t getting the job I wanted and and other areas of my life were nonexistent. But God! Won’t He do it? Oh yes He will!
After job hunting for over a year, God opened that door with that job opportunity for me. And right at that moment, each past humiliation; hurt; rejection, made perfect sense. God was preparing me to walk through that door. Have I not been prepared, my old way of thinking and my old way of perceiving things wouldn’t have allowed me to operate accurately.

THROUGH EVERY SET BACK

Remember that in every setback God moves us closer towards our purpose if we allow Him to. No matter how irrational and unfair your situation may be, trust that God is always in the midst of it and means it for good. He is moving mountains we don’t see.

Are you allowing yourself to grow through what you’re going through? Are you ready to walk through that door?

 

D. Arelis

AND AS YOU SPEAK

The other day I woke up with this phrase on my mind: “and as you speak”. Just that random phrase. No dream, nada! After going about wondering what it meant, the story of Samuel came to mind.

 

“Suddenly the Lord called out, ‘Samuel!’ ‘Yes?’ Samuel replied. “What is it?’ He got up and ran to Eli. ‘Here I am. Did you call me?’ ‘I didn’t call you,’ Eli replied. ‘Go back to bed.’ So he did. Then the Lord called out again, ‘Samuel!’ Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. ‘Here I am. Did you call me?’ ‘I didn’t call you, my son,’Eli said. ‘Go back to bed.’ Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. ‘Here I am. Did you call me?‘” (1 Samuel 3:4-9) 

When Eli realized that it was God calling the kid, he told him to go back; lie down and if he hears someone calling his name again to just say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3:10).

 

HEARING VS LISTENING

When we know God, we know His voice. It’s not about hearing God speak; it’s about listening to what He is saying. Hearing is the act of perceiving a sound. You can hear someone speak without actually listen to their words. Now because Samuel did not know God, he was hearing but not listening up until Eli told him to listen. Listening is the ability to receive and interpret a message. It requires concentration in order to process meaning from words and sentences. 

With all that said, many believers today don’t know God. They know about Him but they don’t know Him. Knowing Him means recognizing His voice in a world full of distractions.

Are you familiar with the cocktail party effect? The cocktail party effect refers to the ability to focus one’s attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli. For example when a person is able to focus on a single talker or conversation in a noisy environment.

When it comes to God, it’s the same thing. The moment He speaks, your attention should immediately shift to the sound of His voice.

 

Whose voice has your attention today?

 

D. Arelis