The Mennonite Women’s Fall Retreat was centered around the topic of health. I attended it and was thoroughly inspired and challenged to choose health! I wanted to share my notes from our morning with Dr. Elizabeth Fondong.
What is Health?
Health is not the absence of disease.
Health is the state of completeness of mental, physical and social wellness: feeling good, looking great, and thinking clearly!
Why should we take care of our Health?
What is a spacesuit for? It is an outward suit that protects the man on the inside. If there is a hole in your suit, you run into problems. Our bodies are our earth-suit! It is the outward being where our soul lives. If our bodies are sick, we run into problems — not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
She also listed many Scripture verses — obvious ones like, fearfully and wonderfully made, temples of the Holy Spirit, etc.
God gave us our bodies for US to enjoy. Unlike cars and houses, we can’t pass down our health to our children. It is only for ourselves. God wants us to have the best life! We take care of our bodies to live the best life possible on earth.
Your body is amazing. It can heal itself. For example, when we have a cut, blood gushes out to cleanse the wound of any impurities and the pressure of it flowing out and the scarring/scabbing prevents any more impurities from getting in. However, if we are constantly injuring our body, it won’t be able to heal quickly enough and that’s when it starts breaking down.
Is any food unclean? No. God made all food clean. No food will cause you to sin or take you to hell.
But you could be catching the early bus to heaven! You could be checking out early!
The earth is 70% water! Our bodies are 70% water! Our brains are 85% water. If ever your brain loses 1-2% of water, you will start getting a headache.
Recommendation: Drink at least half your body weight in ounces. So, if you’re 100lbs, you need to drink at least 50oz of water a day.
She also listed other ailments that were related to water. One that I remembered was arthritis and joint pain. Our cartilages are filled with water. If we are dehydrated, the cartilages become dry and our bones start to rub against each other. High blood pressure was also on the list.
What type of water you drink is also important. Bottled water is valueless because everything has been stripped from it — it is drinking empty water. Our bodies need trace minerals from the water to be able to absorb the nutrients from the food we eat. Alkaline water was recommended. She also mentioned how some types of water were too heavy and could not be absorbed into our cells and thus unable to transport nutrients into our cells. I am not sure how to know what kind of water is good water, however. (If anyone can explain this to me, please do!)
Don’t drink cold water. Your insides need to be a certain temperature for digestive processes to take place and drinking cold water cools your body down and thus your body has to deplete resources in order to bring your body back to the right temperature again. Drinking water while eating also dilutes digestive juices, making the process less efficient! (My Mom was right!)
Raw foods still contain water and the digestion process requires water. This makes it easier on your system. Cooked foods require water to be drawn from your body in order to digest it. Try to increase your raw food consumption. Raw food also fills you up more quickly so eat it FIRST before you move on to starches — helps with weight control. She also recounted the story of Daniel and how he rejected the royal food and wine and was healthier and there was no one equal in wisdom! (Daniel 1:8-21) Just as Daniel rejected the national standard of food at the time, so we should also reject the Standard American Diet — The SAD Diet!!!
Your body will protect itself. If there is a deficiency, it will direct all nutrients to the vital organs first and the less vital organs will then suffer. You might experience hair loss or age more quickly. Many times people focus on these symptoms and spend lots of money on hair regrowth treatment or expensive skincare products but what you should really be focusing on is the internal causes. Take care of your insides and it will take care of the outside.
100 years ago, the average American ate 5 pounds of sugar a year. Currently, the average American eats 150 pounds of sugar a year!!!
When you consume a lot of sugar, your zinc levels are depleted. Zinc affects your tastebuds and soon you require more sugar to feel the same satisfaction.
Avoid refined foods. Refined foods have been stripped of so many things that it is almost a foreign food to your body. Your bodies don’t recognize these foreign substances but they adapt or change to accommodate them and this adaptation causes all sorts of imbalances in your body.
EXERCISE (my weakness!)
Exercise increases endorphines — the feel good hormone! It increases oxygen to your cells and thus actually giving you ENERGY! You might say you feel too tired to exercise but you are tired because you don’t exercise!!! (Yep, that’s me!) She listed a lot more reasons why we should exercise but I think they are pretty obvious.
Everything is interrelated. Our physical health affects our emotions and vice versa. The Bible mentions many links between emotions, words and our bones. Our bones are our source of life!
- Prov 17:22 ~ A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
- Prov 16:24 ~ Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones
- Ps 119:93 ~ I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.
- Prov 18:8 ~ The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
Health is what we think and say.
Say good things to others. Say good things to YOURSELF! Don’t wait for others to speak words of life over you — say them to yourself and claim God’s promises over yourself!
Stress increases adrenaline and cortisol levels. Adrenaline is the fight or flight hormone to enable you to respond to a situation of danger. Some effects of stress:
- elevated blood pressure
- elevated blood sugar (e.g. to jump over a fence)
- increased weight (for protection)
- tension on body
Stress is normal and necessary but prolonged periods of stress will deplete our levels of adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol is also related to the production of endorphins (feel good) — therefore making us more irritable and angry. Also, stress causes the release of fat from the cells to protect and pad our body from danger especially in abdominal fat. She mentioned that if you are stressed out about being overweight and stressed when you are working out or exercising, you are working against your body and that’s why the abdominal fat never goes away.
Related addition: In our Bible Study, we are on the topic of anger and we learned that stress is also related to anger. We can reduce anger by reducing stress. How do we reduce stress?
Say, “No” to things that take away our ability to say, “Yes” to things that matter.
Ps 119:143 ~ Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.
Laughing releases endorphines and increases growth hormones, which keeps our youth and maintains things like skin elasticity.
Deep breathing: While you are inhaling, imagine that you are breathing in God’s peace and exhaling your cares, worries, and problems.
That’s all I have! I hope it will help you in your journey of holistic health as it has helped me in mine! <3
Disclaimer: These are just my personal notes — and possibly my own interpretation of what I think she said! Please don’t take my words as medical advice!
Dr. Elizabeth Fondong is a medical doctor with a PhD in Natural Medicine from Kingdom College of Natural Health. She studied Internal Medicine, and earned a medical degree from Makerere University School of Medicine, a premier medical institution in Africa. She earned a certificate in Functional Medicine from South Carolina University of Health Sciences.
She is the founder and manager of Hope Natural Medicine and Wellness Center in Westminster, Maryland. She is an ordained Christian counselor and a strong proponent of natural medicine and holistic living. She is the Founder and President of Arise and Shine, an organization created to maximize potential in women and promote community development through corporate outreach.
Dr. Fondong has devoted her professional life to helping people find safe and effective natural therapies for a variety of ailments. Her vast experience in conventional, natural, and functional medicine places her in a unique position to target the source of a problem and identify natural remedies for physical and mental affliction. She and her husband, Pastor Robinson Fondong, travel around the world bringing the message of salvation, healing and deliverance. They are blessed with 3 delightful boys.