Why Must You eat Tomatoes


from InStyle:

Tomaytoes, tomahtoes, whatever you prefer to call them, are more than a key to great flavor. They’re also packed with a wide array of nutrients that are great for your skin and — believe it or not — can make you look younger.
Feeling a little sceptical – InStyle spoke to Dr. Karin Hermoni, to get the full scoop. “Tomatoes contain high levels of the plant pigments called carotenoids, such as lycopene, that gives tomatoes its red color and is known for its many health benefits, as well as phytoene and phytofluene that absorb light in the UV range. When we eat these ingredients we are actually getting inside-out protection that helps our skin all year round.”
While the shiny red fruit should never replace your topical sunscreen methods, a tomato-rich diet can help to prevent sun damage and painful sunburns. The expert also notes that “tomato lycopene can reduce the level of proteins involved in skin aging,” helping to keep fine lines and wrinkles from showing up on your complexion.

Though the best way to reap the benefits of tomatoes is to actually eat them.

Lessons of the ‘No Make-Up Selfie’

By Stacey Hailes

These last couple of weeks, all of us on Facebook have been greeted day and night by a selection of ‘no make-up selfies’ by many lovely women. The cause of this mass trend? To raise money for Cancer Research.

While many have bared all and posted their picture with a donation to charity, some have also groaned – wondering how such a small gesture can make a difference.

The truth is, it has made a difference. Many, who would not normally do so, have donated to the charity. So far a staggering £8million has been raised by this campaign.

I think there are a couple of valuable lessons we can learn from the ‘no make-up selfie’.

1) Everyone can do something to help a cause close to his or her heart. Whether posting a picture like the ladies (some guys have done a sellotape-face selfie – true story), running a marathon, raising awareness about the charity on social media, putting pennies in the box at the check-out or climbing Kilimanjaro like Steve Legg did (which you can read about in our next issue)… There is something everyone can do. What charity are you passionate about? How can you help?

2) Never underestimate the power of Facebook and Twitter etc. Yes, a lot of the time it distracts us from the real world, however when an idea spreads through cyber space, you can bet it can and will encourage people to do something, be it big or small, to help the real world. So many people use these mediums daily. News breaks out on Twitter before anywhere else nowadays. It is a great way to reach a mass amount of people quickly and efficiently. Therefore, while it can be a time-wasting tool, it can also be a powerful tool used for the good of mankind!

Reinventing Healthcare: Overview of recent changes to England’s NHS

One of the most contentious pieces of legislation by the Coalition Government has been around reforming the NHS. In spite of the unprecedented six month rest period; during the passage of the Bill the Health & Social Act 2012 is now in place and from 1 April 2013 the new organisations become fully operational. The Act brings in a new range of organisations with new powers and responsibilities, and, in many cases a real desire to do things differently and better.
For the past two decades the driving principle behind all NHS changes, and they tend to come every 5 years or so, has been the separation of commissioning (the people who buy healthcare on behalf of the public) from the people who provide healthcare. These reforms continue that journey and take some big steps to further creating a market in healthcare which is supposed to ensure that services are top quality for patients and best value for the taxpayer. At the heart of this reform was the placement of Primary Care Trusts with Clinical Commissioning Groups, made up of local GPs and other clinicians who are supposed to take commission decisions closer to the patient.
Commissioners – they decide what healthcare is needed in their areas and purchase this from providers. Under the old system there were 6-7 organisations commissioning healthcare in London, under the new system there are many more than 70. They fall under four main headings: Clinical Commissioning Groups – they commission around two thirds of all healthcare which includes services in hospitals, A&E, mental health, district nurses, podiatry etc. NHS England (primary care teams) they specialise in commissioning the services received from the GP. NHS England (specialist team) covers the areas of healthcare with low number of patients but high costs for special communities of patients such as for example prisoners. Local Authorities now receive funding to provide public health services in their area, including clinical services, such as sexual health.
Providers – In the short term the Act does not provide for immediate changes in the familiar pattern of healthcare changes in the familiar pattern of healthcare providers. However, it does introduce the concept if Any Qualified Provider which envisages an increasing range of services being put out to competitive tender with bidders from the NHS, private and third sectors having the opportunity to win these contracts to provide your healthcare.
Please note that eventually every NHS organisation is required to become a Foundation Trust (FT) within a set timetable, giving them semi-independent status within the NHS.
Patient & Public Engagement – The new system aims to provide more and better opportunities for the public to become involved in planning health care. Every local authority in London has established an independent Healthwatch service to support public involvement. They have also established Health & Wellbeing Boards which are responsible for producing Joint Strategic Needs Assessments – important documents that are supposed to inform commissioning decisions by CCGs, NHSE and local authorities own public health spending.

For the best overview of the financial challenges facing the NHS see “NHS and social care funding: the outlook to 2012/22”
Healthwatch England for further general information on getting involved: http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/
To view a longer presentation on the issues covered go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1qSpFGw2k

Fight the Good Fight

by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

If like me you have been involved in a few tussles over the years, can you also say that some of the worse confrontations were with those you thought understood you or those you were close to?  There are at least three things that can be done when being confronted or attacked. One can stand there and be insulted, move away from the situation, or defend ones-self.
In the book of Timothy we are told, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” What are you or I to do then?  “Fight the good fight of faith.” That sounds great but, what exactly is the “fight of faith” especially when there is a sense of feeling so alone. Hence, I add YOU ARE NOT alone.  Others are also fighting too, and within that there is the awareness that I or you are not the sad deceived soul who needs to get a life.  Our enemy wants us to think we are the odd one out. The more this thought pattern is eliminated from our minds, the stronger we will grow.  This is why the enemy has tries to keep us isolated.  I am told that solitary confinement is the worst place to be in prison. In order to or us to fight we need to be strong and to attempt fighting whilst in confinement will place you only two steps backwards from where you are now.

For most people a good fight is a fight that you win.  That is why therefore we must never give up. The stakes are too high. Quitting is not an option. To quit is to admit defeat. Any soldier or those in the middle of a battle have to go through a course of training before they receive an assignment. During this time they go through a very rigorous physical and mental time of training.

The sole purpose of this training is to get us ready and prepared to do the job, and be properly equipped to do whatever it takes to get the job done even under the harshest environments. However we are not doing physical battle such as what military soldiers do, we are doing spiritual battle and the training we do is in the spiritual realm. We have been given God’s amour to do battle, to defend ourselves from the onslaught of the enemy, and to take back what has been rightfully purchased for us. This doesn’t mean there won’t be a fight; it means we just keep on fighting with God’s spiritual weapons. This means that with our eyes of understanding, we have an answer.

Be aware that the enemy will work overtime to keep us from seeing the key issue of the battle. Any fighter without endurance is a fighter who will eventually give up especially during the  time of mental  battle.

Copyright © Jennifer Valentine 2012

Healing From Damaged Emotions

For what ever reason there are many individuals whose emotions are strained from all its natural resources. However, there are far too many who also keep a hold of their mental strains!

There are those too who keep up outward observances by praying but inwardly they are going deeper and deeper into disillusionment and despair. There are those whose problems were buried underground, now only find that they reappear later in all manner of illnesses, eccentricities, terribly unhappy marriages. Sometimes this can lead to the cause of emotional destructive children. There are many Christians for example who have found release from emotional hang ups and by experiencing the healing memories through God’s way of repairing. The result is wholeness and transformation for those crippled with emotional despair.

Just like a tree, the rings of the bark reveal their developmental history year after year and the autobiography of its growth. The rings are the scars of long stand painful hurts, which cause all kinds of interpersonal difficulties.

Within the rings lie our long suffering thoughts and emotions which deeply and effectively affect ones concepts, feelings and relationships.

We are made aware that counsellors constantly have to pick up the pieces of people who have been utterly disillusioned and devastated because immature Christians have tried to cast out imaginary demons. And we all know what the simplistic syndrome is. It is instructions like: read your Bible, pray, have more faith, and the most classic being you would never get depressed if you didn’t have these hang-ups. Those who say such things are not only being far from the truth but they are also being extremely insensitive towards someone who has a deep emotionally rooted problem. But most importantly, they are denying that person the pastoral care they so desperately need.

I discovered three good pointers when reading the book *Healing from Damaged Emotions by David Seamands:

(1) Does an individual want to be healed? This is what Jesus asked the sick man who was lame for thirty years (John 5:6). Do you really want to be healed or do you just want to talk about your problems.

(2) Prayer: We need to continually ask the Holy Spirit to show us what are problems are, and ask Him how we need to pray. The book of James reminds us that sometimes we do not receive because we pray for the wrong things (James 4:3)

(3) Forgiving yourself: Many will say, yes, I know that I am forgiven but I cannot forgive myself. Terms cannot be contradicted; God cannot forgive us unless we forgive ourselves. It has also been quoted that areas of darkness are buried in the sea of forgetfulness and forgiveness.  Corrie Ten Boom (a survivor from the Nazi’s occupation of Holland) once said “He then puts a sign on our past emotions which says No Fishing!  Let us not entertain our past hurts.  Leave them with Him and just walk away.

Copyright © Jennifer Valentine 2012

*Seamands, David (1981), Healing From Damaged Emotions