I’m so sorry. For years, whenever I saw an obese person I perceived weakness. Today, infinitely more enlightened and empathetic, it’s clearly not a weakness. It’s Americans being held hostage by a disastrous food system of nutritionally inferior, highly caloric, low grade, but affordable-with-my-budget foods. The cheaper the food, the unhealthier it is. The U.S. Surgeon General reports obesity causes 300,000 (avoidable) US deaths annually. The National Center for Health estimates 63 percent of Americans are overweight. Obesity is an epidemic. While one of the initial concerns with obesity is about how you look and feel about yourself as a person, the longer the problem exists the more medical problems are going to arise, some of which can be ugly or fatal. It’s suddenly motivating to get back to your kitchen and control the quality of the ingredients. Here’s the skinny on obesity.
Give your overweight friends some compassionate, loving encouragement. It’s not their fault.
Shawn Seals spends his free time volunteering with his family at Perry Township’s St. John’s United Church of Christ
Shawn Seals met his wife, Jennifer, while attending the University of Indianapolis. He said that he never expected to settle in the largest city in the state. He expected to start a family, and retire in a small town like where he grew up. It didn’t work out that way.
In an attempt to win over the family, Seals said he decided to start attending church with her at St. John’s UCC on Southport Road.
“I was instantly comfortable and welcomed as an extended member of her family,” Seals said. “Within a couple months, we were working the nursery together and having the times of our lives.”
A few years later, the couple married in the same church, and a few years after that he found himself actively engaged in any opportunity he could.
Now, Shawn and Jennifer have two teenage boys, Douglas and David. Both have been baptized and confirmed at St. John’s. The family can be found most of the time working within the church or volunteering their time.
“Several years ago a best friend from high school and college asked me, ‘Do you have a social circle? It seems like you spend all your free time either at church or working to build up your church,’” Seal said. “This caused me a pause and in the end, I said, ‘You’re right. I don’t have a social circle. I have a family at St. John’s UCC, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.’”
What is it about your place of worship that helps you grow spiritually?
I grew up in a very structured church environment. I loved that then, and I still love that today. However, at St. John’s UCC, it’s easy to be yourself. One of my favorite things about both St. John’s and The United Church of Christ itself, is that you are free to be who you want to be. With John 17:21 “That they may all be one.” as the motto of the UCC, it couldn’t be more fitting for me. I often share a table in the contemporary service or a pew in the traditional service with someone who I consider a brother or sister in Christ, but we may not be on the same political, social, or other pages, but we are family at that time and in that place. This has shown me the truest way to share God’s love with others and I’ll always be grateful for that.
What is it about your place of worship that helps you feel connected to your spouse, children, parents or family?
Although I’m no longer as young as I think I am (45 at the time of this writing), spending time with my family during all the mission and outreach events at St. John’s helps us to grow closer. Working together on building the walls for a Habitat for Humanity home in the parking lot of your own church with Jennifer, Douglas and David was an amazing experience that I will always cherish. Working and playing together in all the other missions and ministries of St. John’s has opened my eyes to the true Glory of God; friends and most importantly family. Because of that mission and family-based attitude at St. John’s, I know that my legacy will be nothing more or less than the memories I leave behind for my family. I only hope they are as wonderful to them as they are in my own mind.
What is one meaningful event that has taken place at your place of worship?
Although this question is asked in past tense, I’m going to speak in future tense. That way I don’t have to pit my wedding, the boys baptisms, or their confirmations against each other; although they are certainly some of my proudest moments at St. John’s. The event that I am most excited about is happening this summer. As mentioned earlier, I am typically the male chaperone on our Jr. and Sr. Youth mission trips. Over the last several years we have partnered with an organization called Youth Works for our Youth Mission trips. We have helped those in need in Green Bay, Wis., we have helped support folks living on a Native American Indian reservation in Pawhuska, Okla., we have shared God’s love and support with the young and not so young in Charleston, W.Va., and this year we will be reaching out to one of the nation’s most challenged communities, New Orleans, La. On one of these trips, our Youth and Family Ministry Director, Jenny Zotz, and I began discussing the possibility of bringing Youth Works to Indianapolis and hosting them at St. John’s UCC. This summer is the realization of that dream. We will host 60 youth from across the country at St. John’s for a period of four weeks, with hopes, plans and prayers for more next year.
Why would you recommend your place of worship to someone?
Why wouldn’t I? If you are mission-focused and enjoy being a part of a “church family” that really wants to make a difference in the lives of those around them, both far and near, then you have found your new church home. At St. John’s we recently completed a visioning process to make sure we were still able to provide the community what it needed most from us. In the end, we developed our own motto, “At St. John’s UCC we are staying TRUE to the gospel by Teaching Christian principles, Reaching out through mission, Uniting as family, and Engaging our community.” If you’re looking for someplace to worship and be completely yourself, St. John’s UCC on Southport Road is waiting for you.
St. John’s United Church of Christ
7031 S. East St.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
Ann & John’s Excellent Adventures: What’s New for Summer Vacation?
Are you still trying to decide what to do for summer vacation? There’s a couple of new cruise ships and changes to Disney World to tell you about. First, let’s talk Disney. There’s an ongoing Fantasyland expansion that includes two new themed areas: Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus. When it’s all done next year, Fantasyland will be almost double its size. The project is the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom Park. Unfortunately park prices went up recently.
There are two new cruise ships on the seas this summer. Norwegian’s Breakaway set sail a few weeks ago and will sail year round from New York with a very distinctive New York vibe. Breakaway features the Broadway show, Rock of Ages and the Rockettes are the ships official “godmothers”. It’s got all the bells and whistles of the big mega ships such five waterslides, a massive sports complex that features a rock-climbing wall and bungee trampoline. There’s also an adults only deck. It carries just over 4,000 passengers and currently its itinerary is Bermuda.
Competing for attention with Breakaway is Royal Caribbean’s Royal Princess which launches on June 10. It’s actually the first of two ships in a brand new class. Royal Princess will accommodate 3,600 passengers and has a highly anticipated feature called the SeaWalk which is a cantilevered glass-enclosed walkway that extends 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship and 128 feet out over the water. The ship will also feature several new dining venues including a crab shack and fondue place. There will also be a new Princess Live! area which is a TV studio/performance venue that seats 280 passengers. The daily morning broadcast will be filmed there with a studio audience and passengers will be able to participate in cooking demos, game shows and trivia at the Princess Live! area.
And now another word about cruising: despite all the bad news about Carnival ships over the past few months, cruising really is one of the safest and most economical ways to travel. For one price you get your accommodations, food and entertainment and prices are very reasonable right now. Cruising is a great way to see things too. We always tell everyone that you unpack once and wake up somewhere new every day. Some of our favorite trips have been by way of a cruise ship. It really is a fun and great way to see the world.
Ann & John Cinnamon are the owners of a CruiseOne franchise. Reach them at: 317-813-4670, www.thedestinationstation.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever wonder if your blood needs cleaning just like your car requires a radiator flush? Chronic inflammation, the cause of many diseases, fevers, sore joints and muscles, and skin disorders are signs of funky blood impurities. Maybe it’s time to filter your ‘oil’?
Underneath your skin is a universe; a vast wilderness where thousands of functions intuitively occur, but your temple’s life force needs refreshing after years of inhaling and storing environmental pollution and heavy metals belched from industry, artificial food additives and animal hormones that permeate the insanely unwholesome American food supply, and delightful pharmaceutical drugs with horrifying side effects. It’s unquestionably time for a botanical Jiffy Lube flush.
Since ancient times, man’s used a heavenly cornucopia of herbs to cure his ills. Most of the world’s people still use our creator’s green medicinal gifts to steward their holy temples health. The reason: they’re historically proven, safe and extremely reliable, without side effects. An herbal remedy may be what you need if your internal, unseen universe needs cleaning. And it does.
Does your liver quiver? Milk thistle, silymarin, has been used for 2000 years for liver and gall bladder issues. Studies show silymarin extracts protect the liver from toxins, help repair damage and reduce inflammation. Sweet Red clover, yes the reviled evil weed you spray with ‘MonSatan’s” Round-Up, has traditionally been used to cleanse the blood and relieve skin and liver disorders for centuries. Round-up was recently implicated as the cause of a snarky menu of avoidable human disease. A plant pathologist for 35 years at Perdue, Don Huber asserts Monsanto’s Roundup triggers over 40 plant diseases and endangers human and animal health. Your pipes back up and belly bloating? Give the bums rush to stagnate fluids with, gasp, Dandelion Tea. Use the jagged leaves, but be sure they haven’t’ been chemically sprayed nor peed upon. Woof!
Another easy-peasy way to sustain your gastrointestinal track and remove accumulated internal toxins a healthy is our old friend licorice; the supplement, not the sugary candy. Licorice root improves circulation in the digestive tract lining and keeps intestinal cells vibrant. It can, however, make blood pressure rise, so don’t overdo it.
With any effort to cleanse your temple of pesky toxins, always drink plenty of good, clean water to flush the pipes and kidneys and then cut back on the booze. Booze is a toxin and stresses out your liver and other innards. That’s why you feel like dog-doo the next day. Your body is dealing with the toxins and your brain has shrunk do to dehydration.
You’ll be beautiful on the outside when you clean out your inside. Love yourself.
Hurray for mothers everywhere!
People sure get sentimental about Mother’s Day. They give flowers, cards, candy, and phone Mom (if Mom is still alive). I bet most moms would prefer to have some of that kindness and appreciation spread out through the year. Next month we sort of repeat the process with Father’s Day. When will we ever have Kids Day?
Jim’s wife is my step-mom which means I get stepped on if I loaf too much.
She is not mean but she sure is strict. Maybe I could get her an alarm clock that runs an hour slow. Or maybe I could fake some “health food” articles which show that chocolate and fried chicken are actually good for you. Nah, she’d see through it.
She keeps a neat house. Thank goodness she goes to the lake in northern Indiana for 6 weeks every summer. Then I can get Jim to “Batch it” so we don’t have to dust or vacuum. She’s going to her Mom’s Church on Mother’s Day. That means I can trick Jim into ice cream for lunch.
When the grandchildren come to visit (they have 8 of them) she makes them turn off the TV so she can read children’s books to them. School teachers! They never stop!
I actually enjoy those books so I sneak into the room to listen. But I can’t let her think that I’m going soft. Then she’ll try to transform me into a little gentleman!
Jim has a lot of flaws. That keeps her busy. She is always “helping” him to improve. I think most wives are like that. Their husbands need fixing. And they are the fixers! She always sees the best parking spots and makes sure that Jim knows it. He responds by smiling and making vague replies like “Really?” or “I hear you.” Anyway, hurray for Mothers everywhere!
Back in Two Weeks
Q: Why was the dolphin feeling depressed?
A: He felt that he had no porpoise in life!
After dusting off the dreary grayness of winter and savoring spring’s first tender greens, consider the infinite universe below your skin. Often overlooked, your inner ecosystem brims with trillions of needy inhabitants and instinctive chemical reactions dependent upon a green, pure, fresh diet, harmonious with our design. Our body intelligence is fed by our creator’s gifts of nutrient-rich plant foods.
Americans have departed from the path of nutritional righteousness. Humans must learn about eating; to sustain their Temple’s properly by cultivate positive eating habits and allow creation’s food to nourish rather than punish us. That’s the way God planned it; a strong, healthy and beautiful temple.
It’s stirring to see how swiftly the seed of holy temple ecology is being reborn within man’s budding ‘green’ awareness. To restore, give health and prop up your inner ecology, your temple needs to function with efficiency to eliminate the ill health robbing you the joy of living. Enter Hippocrates, the father of medicine who waxed poetic in 400 BC, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
The green movement focuses on the external world of objects and resources; however while ‘greening’ what lies beneath your 1.5 mm of flesh, you need a methodology for compassionately understanding the mechanisms and innate intelligence by which it operates. By foraging from Earth’s universal apothecary, we simultaneously nurture and heal our inner and outer environment. Consuming a rainbow of sustainable local foods crammed with vital cosmic energy cultivate, refresh and strengthen your Earth Suit’s mind / body ecosystem like a fresh spring breeze. After considering both and making informed choices, you’ll discover local foods are eternally more flavorful, provide more energy, contain vastly more nutrients and make the cooking process a joyful celebration.
There are many alarming environmental factors affecting gut ecology. Our body intelligence does not recognize alien contrived manmade junk food not fit for human consumption. These fake ‘foods’ and the air you breathe worm their way into digestion. Mono-crop faming and not allowing fields to go fallow, cause’s deficiencies in trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium which aid elimination of toxic elements in food and prop up healthy biological processes. Depletion of nutrients by means of mono-crop agribusiness compromises below-the-skin ecology and the ability to synthesization essential vitamins; ergo; many are undernourished, susceptible to disease in the greatest country on earth. From reading this column, you’ve learned this intimately.
Eating unconsciously without thinking, leaves you vulnerable to select foods less healthy for your family and Mother Earth. Savor the true flavor; ponder its source, flavor and texture, what it’s doing for your insides and then express gratitude. You’re worth it.
Celestine Feimster enjoys the honesty and integrity with her involvement at the Church of Acts
The Church of ACTS is easily visible off of I-65. Celestine Emily Feimster said she was always curious about the building, but jokes that she just couldn’t figure out how to get there. After hearing of the big things the church was doing, Feimster began attending more than two and a half years ago and said now that she’s found it; they are always giving her a reason to come back.
“It’s made me stronger and caused me to want to keep going, seek the Lord more,” Feimster said. “Life is worth living, even at 71.”
After two months, she began volunteering with the youth ministry. She currently is head of the nursing home ministry, visiting five different nursing homes. Dreaming big, Feimster said one thing she’d love to do again is go on a mission to Africa. She went in 2001 for two weeks and says she loved it. The liveliness of the church she said has sparked some needed excitement within her.
“I like live, big churches with music and opportunities to get involved,” Feimster said. “And you can get involved real easy there. You just have to be sincere in what you’re doing. It draws me that much closer to God with the honesty and integrity of the pastor and the other people there. The friendliness and the love cause you to want to go back and not leave. I think that’s important in a church, in any place. You need to have friendliness and compassion.”
What is it about your place of worship that helps you to grow spiritually?
The pastor. He preaches the Word in a way you can understand it. He doesn’t compromise. He gives it out and he’s very honest with the Word. He’s truly anointed.
What is it about your place of worship that helps you feel connected to your spouse, children, parents or family?
I do have a son that goes there, with his wife and children. It has drawn us closer together because they talk a lot about family and how important it is. It brings out the love in families.
What is one meaningful event that has taken place at your place of worship?
We have a singles group that gets together once a month. I enjoy that because it gets me out of the house. We have fun.
Why would you recommend your place of worship to someone?
It’s where love is shown. When I first started going there, they were real friendly and loving. They were willing to take you in. It was only two months before I started getting involved more.
Church of Acts
3740 S. Dearborn
Indianapolis, IN 46237
(317) 783-ACTS (2287)
Worship: Sunday, 10 a.m.
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
From Alzheimer’s’ to vaginitis, inflammation causes 80-90% of all disease. Continuous, uninhibited chronic inflammation is not normal; a disease condition; the root of cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, painful arthritis and much more.
Inflammation, your temple’s normal response to irritating internal damage, is your defense system. Authorities encourage ‘cooling’ inflammation with real, fresh heavenly sun blessed foods, not GMO, or blazing conflagration of industrial strength research laboratory ‘foods’. You can only toss garbage into your temple so long until it freaks out. If you drink booze, eat doughnuts, fast food, deli, fried foods, gravy, sugar, AP flour, lots of meat, and inhale environmental toxins and ‘Chem Trail’ residue, but loathe glorious produce, you’re innards are on fire. Inflammation naturally destroys toxic material in damaged tissues before it spreads. Autoimmune disease is a group of disorders in which your immune system attacks healthy cells in your temple by mistake.
Obesity can cause internal inflammation which leads to cardiovascular and metabolic disease, according to the National Council on Strength & Fitness. Weight loss, though, is related to reduction of inflammation, and the correct anti-inflammatory foods are the tasty answer. Invite spinach, kale, broccoli, and turnip greens to your diet. They brim with magnesium that relaxes heart muscles and improve heart function. Try about ½ cup a day, but if you’re on Coumadin / Warfarin talk with your phlebotomist. Green tea is a potent anti-inflammatory shown to reduce heart disease and cancer risk.
Virgin olive oil’s polyphenols protect the heart and blood vessels from inflammation. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil are converted into anti-inflammatory agents by the temple and can lower occurrences of auto-immune asthma psoriasis and RA.
Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain anti-inflammatory nutrients which help your temple rid itself of potentially carcinogenic compounds. Sweet potatoes are groovy sources of complex carbohydrates, golden beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin B6 and C and dietary fiber. Working in concert, these powerful antioxidants help heal inflammation in your temple. And, wild-caught salmon contains soothing omega-3. Cacao, not cocoa, can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, reduce platelet formation, increase HDL and reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Cacao vs. cocoa is an uber rich source of flavonoids; even more than tea and red wine. Dark chocolate contains more polyphenols and flavonoids than milk chocolate. Sorry, M & M’s don’t count.
Turmeric helps turn off certain genes that cause heart scarring and enlargement. Curcumin or turmeric helps to reduce the heart muscle and also prevents it from enlarging. Regular intake of anti-inflammatory turmeric may help reduce bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, increase blood circulation and prevent blood clotting thereby preventing a heart attack.
So cool it by eating fresh.
“Chester goes to Florida”
Jim and his wife FINALLY allowed me to go on one of their trips. In the past he’d make me stay home and he’d mutter something about “three’s a crowd”. I guess they’re a boring old couple now so they brought me along to liven things up. It didn’t work. They went to bed early EVERY night! So I had to go to sleep as well. What a drag! At home I can stay up late to watch TV.
Alas, the weather was too warm, the air too humid, and the ocean too cold. They made me walk all over the place so my legs got tired. Thank goodness the swimming pools were just right. I got stared at a lot. Dummies are not a common sight. I don’t mind. I know I am cool.
We saw a great animal show at a place called “Theater by the Sea”. They had a dolphin and a sea lion performing tricks. The best one was when the trainer said her sea lion could sing a country western song. It sounded like “Ark, ark, ark” but she said it was a Kenny Rogers tune. The key part was “You picked a fine time to leave me you seal”!
Later the other trainer had her dolphin “sing” as well but it didn’t sound good. So the trainer said, “Well, it’s hard to tune-a fish!” And yes even I know a dolphin is a mammal not a fish. We also saw iguanas, wild chickens, crocodiles and parrots. Jim and his wife had their picture taken with each holding a parrot on one arm. What a pair of Bird brains!
Key West was nice- if you like history. They dragged me to the Truman house, the Hemmingway house, the Mel Fisher Treasure museum, and we watched the sunset. So what? The sun sets every night but hundreds of people stood on the dock to ooh and aah. Gosh grown-ups are strange. Still, it was a good trip. I even worked on my tan!
Back in two weeks!
Q: Why did St. Peter retire to South Florida?
A: Because he was the keeper of the keys!
It’s a hard-sell in, central Indiana and honestly, a meatless diet is not everyone’s cup ‘o green tea. Occasion I’m verbally tarred and feathered for questioning one’s alleged God-given right to eat meat all day.
The Cleveland Clinic discovered it’s not saturated fats or cholesterol from a fatty steak that’s triggering heart problems, but a chemical process involving gut bacteria found in meat called carnitine. CBS News reported eating a diet heavy in red meat is a risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The new study found eating red meat every day increases a person’s chances of dying from a chronic disease by 12 percent. Life is too beautiful; a sacred, treasured gift.
On the other hand, plant-based nutrition prevents human disease and degradation of our earth from the constellation of poisons and animal husbandry chemicals besmirching Earths air, water, soil and your food. University of Chicago researchers estimated switching to a plant-based diet has a bigger impact on the environment than trading in a gas guzzler for a Prius. Carnegie Melon University suggests switching to a Locavore, plant-based diet or go semi- vegetarian. A locavore eats food grown or produced 50 or 100 miles, usually for the higher nutrition levels, freshness, and to reducing its carbon foot print. Say hello to community Farmer’s markets.
When cows fire off air biscuits, the fragrant gas emitted accounts for one-third of all the world’s methane emissions, thus guilty of felonious environmental assault causing acid rain, desertification and the destruction of coral reefs. In addition, it takes 5000 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat protein; 12 gallons to produce one pound of plant protein. By moderating beef consumption, you’d save over 200,000 precious gallons a year. Notable considering the geopolitical concern “Is the West Running out of Water.” I’m just saying’….
A weekly vegetarian family meal keeps Mother Earth green and leaves you feeling on top of the world. Plant crops have less fat and carbohydrates than meat and dairy products and infinitely more groovy vitamins, enzymes and minerals that repair, rebuild and restore our mutual milieu. Celebrate the universes’ generous gift of health and habitat by encouraging your family and friends to embrace an earth-saving approach to eating and living. It’s time to return to the joyous act of cooking from scratch. Combating global warming can be as simple as the act of preparing a PBJ for lunch.
Practice Meatless Monday. Your temple uses lots of energy to digest meat, so cutting back can speed-bump aging and wrinkling. Once a week cut out the meat; you won’t perish, I promise. Think of the money you’d save.