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The Basics of a Vegan Diet

By Alyssa Pike, RDFEBRUARY 7, 2019
Source: Food Insight

Source: Food Insight
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Highlights

– Vegan diets only include plant-based foods.

– Research has shown that vegan or vegetarian diets rich in plant-based foods are associated with lower LDL cholesterol, improved blood glucose and improved blood pressure.

– There are a few nutrients that individuals following a vegan diet should be mindful to get enough of, including vitamin B12, calcium, iron and certain omega-3 fatty acids.

The Basics

Vegan and vegetarian diets appear to be among the top food trends, but there is evidence that some people have been eating a predominantly plant-based or vegetarian diet for centuries. However, it wasn’t until 1944 that the term “vegan” was coined. Essentially, individuals who follow a vegan diet have opted to remove all animal-based foods from their diet. Many choose vegan clothing, household items and personal care items as well. Most individuals who adopt a vegan diet are doing so for the perceived health benefits or to advocate for animal rights.

What Foods Make Up a Vegan Diet?

Vegan diets are made up of only plant-based foods. This type of diet includes fruits, vegetables, soy, legumes, nuts and nut butters, plant-based dairy alternatives, sprouted or fermented plant foods and whole grains. Vegan diets don’t include animal foods like eggs, dairy, meat, poultry or seafood. They also are devoid of animal byproducts such as honey (made by bees) and lesser-known animal-based ingredients like whey, casein, lactose, egg white albumen, gelatin, carmine, shellac, animal-derived vitamin D3 and fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids.

Veganism and Health

The foods emphasized in a vegan diet are rich in many nutrients like vitamins A, C, E and K, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Vegan diets have been studied for their impact on human health. Below are some highlights.

Research

One randomized controlled trial (RCT) examined the impact of a vegan, no-added-fat diet on cardiovascular risk in obese children with hypercholesterolemia and their parents. The results found that children and parents who had adopted this diet had lower total cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI compared to baseline. Another RCT found that vegan diets were associated with improved glycemic control compared to a conventional diabetes diet in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Lastly, a 74-week RCT – albeit with a small sample size – found a low-fat vegan diet appeared to improve glycemia and plasma lipids more than a conventional diabetes diet. Larger and long-term follow up studies are needed to support these findings.

Health benefits of vegan diets have also been noted in observational studies. One systematic review of cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies reported lower body mass index, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (or “bad” cholesterol) and blood glucose levels in individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets compared to omnivores. The results of the studies specific to people on a vegan diet indicated that this eating pattern reduced the overall cancer risk by 15 percent. Although cross-sectional and cohort studies cannot prove cause and effect (as in, a vegan diet causes health benefits), these findings support the results of RCTs, which are considered to be the gold standard of research and are designed to demonstrate that an intervention (following a vegan diet) leads to an effect (health benefits).

Most of this research has garnered positive results. Still, understanding the specific effects of vegan diets on health remains challenging because research on this eating pattern is often grouped together with vegetarian or plant-based diets, both of which may include animal products.

Nutrients of Concern

While the vegan diet can be very nutrient-rich, there are a few nutrients to be particularly aware of when adopting this style of eating: most notably vitamin B12, calcium, certain omega-3 fatty acids and iron.

Vitamin B12 is important for metabolism, heart, nerve and muscle health and it’s mostly found in animal products. Those following a vegan diet should opt for foods fortified with B12. Moreover, individuals following a vegan diet should communicate with a health care provider about monitoring their levels of B12 and their potential need for a supplement, keeping in mind that a deficiency in B12 could take years to manifest on a blood test.

Calcium is essential for dental, nerve, bone and muscle health and it is best absorbed with vitamin D. This nutrient is found predominantly in dairy foods and in lesser amounts in leafy greens like kale and broccoli. It is also found in fortified foods, such as tofu, bread and plant-based dairy alternatives. A systematic review found that individuals following a vegan or vegetarian diet had lower bone mineral density and higher fracture rates. Because calcium and vitamin D are key to bone health, those on a vegan diet are advised to talk to their healthcare provider to determine whether a supplement may be necessary.

Iron is a vital component of metabolism and heart health. It is found mostly in animal foods. Although fortified whole grains, beans, lentils, spinach and other plant-based foods provide iron, it’s in the form of non-heme iron, which is not as bioavailable as the heme iron found in animal foods.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat shown to support cardiovascular health. The three most common types we eat are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found in plant sources like flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts, but EPA and DHA are found mainly in animal foods with the exception of some marine plant sources. ALA is converted by our bodies into EPA and DHA, but only in small quantities. Vegan options for EPA and DHA are microalgae and seaweed food products or supplements.

Interested in learning the basics of other food, nutrition and health topics? Check out our “What Is” series.

This article includes contributions by Kris Sollid, RD and Ali Webster, PhD, RD

Are you vegan? Have you considered becoming a vegan? Which cultures are traditionally and predominantly vegan?

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Pastoral Counseling

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Physician heal thyself comes from the Bible. Specifically, it can be found in Luke 4:23 where Jesus quotes a common Jewish phrase of the time, saying, “Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal thyself’.” (KJV).

Over the centuries pastoral counseling has been one of the main responsibilities of pastors throughout the church. Jesus provided pastoral counseling to his disciples and to the crowds that followed Him. He talked regularly with those who were physically sick and emotionally hurting. The Apostle Paul also gave pastoral counseling to his young students and preachers such as Timothy and Titus. He also gave pastoral counseling through his letter to Philemon to address the issue of Onesimus returning home. He even gave pastoral counsel to Peter as he attempted to correct the issues facing the church in book of Acts.

Throughout all church history, pastoral counselors have been the foundational and focal point of helping people deal with all sorts of issues and problems. Pastors are frequently the first person church members will seek help from when dealing with grief and death issues, crisis situations, marriage struggles, family issues, health problems, job-related problems, etc.The goals…This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. American Association Pastoral Counselors. Retrieved September 15, 2008 from http://www.aapc.org/about.cfm
  2. The Holy Bible, New International Version. (1984). International Bible Society. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.Google Scholar
  3. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved 15 September 2008 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counselor.
  4. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved September 15, 2008, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pastoral.
  5. Porter, N. (Ed.) (1998). Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Version published 1913, by the C. & G. Merriam Co., Springfield, MA. 1996, 1998 by MICRA, Inc. of Plainfield, NJ. Last edit February 3, 1998.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

How to cite

Cite this entry as:Allen D. (2010) Pastoral Counseling. In: Leeming D.A., Madden K., Marlan S. (eds) Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-71802-6_825

Are you religious? Do you have a church, temple….etc. you belong to? How do you obtain a healing from those things that ill people in the seasons of their life of you are or are not religious? What is your religious beliefs?

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Beliefs, History & Model of Care

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Source: CCEF
Featured Photo Source: Unsplash, Anna Might

Physician heal thyself comes from the Bible. Specifically, it can be found in Luke 4:23 where Jesus quotes a common Jewish phrase of the time, saying, “Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal thyself’.” (KJV).

Understanding the roots of medical branches is key to implementing your own health care properly to secure a healing, a cure. When one goes to the doctor, they do so seeking a solution to their health care concerns. What is important to understand about profit and Western medicine is that in the pursuit of profit medical professionals seek to manage and not cure illness leaving patients in a state of perpetual illness, which typically leads to other disease and chronic disease which insurance companies and patients grapple with from rising health care costs to patient deaths. In fact doctors often prescribe medications with murky clinical trails with no true proof of healing or medical solution. In fact health care cost have gotten so out of control that people such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet have taken notice.

Below CCEF reminds us that historically pastors counseled and that God’s promise to us is a healing not a perpetual state of disease. CCEF looks at the rise of mental health and mental illness secular rise in the 1800s, which was born out of Germany. Prior to this advent of modern medicine pastors counseled people regarding the seasons of the human condition such as dealing with job, home and loss of loved ones (all of which many have experienced during COVID 19). Indeed, the CCEF is calling you back to the healing hands of God … (for those who did not go to the church for such counseling historically family comforted and counseled one another).

Beliefs
Source: CCEF (Christian Counseling Educational Foundation)

We are Protestant. We affirm the unique authority of Scripture, and subscribe to the historic creeds of the early church and Reformation (i.e., Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Westminster Confession of Faith, London Baptist Confession, Heidelberg Catechism). And though we are grounded in the Protestant reformed tradition, we are also ecumenical and seek to minister to and with Christians from a range of theological perspectives.

We seek to apply these core commitments of historic orthodoxy in ways that are humble and winsome.

  • Because God teaches us to see the world the way he sees it, and to see all things as they exist in relationship to him, we are committed to the complete trustworthiness and primacy of the Scriptures.
  • Because the working of God in human life unfolds historically, we are committed to the narrative perspective provided by redemptive-historical theology, the story line that frames our understanding of systematic theology, practical theology, and church history.
  • Because God’s saving work in Christ Jesus creates a people for his own possession, we are committed to serve the visible church.
  • Because there is one Body and one Spirit, we are committed to serve Christians of many different denominational associations.
  • Because God’s ways and words are relevant across time, in all places, and to all peoples, we are committed to cultural sensitivity. Because the church is called to move towards the world redemptively, rather than existing in defensive or hostile isolation, we are committed to cultural engagement.

Brief History of Pastoral Care

The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) was founded in 1968 and stands in a long tradition of pastoral care that dates back to the 1st century church and the New Testament. Through the centuries there have been high points and low points in the church’s understanding and practice of good pastoral care. High points include the early church fathers, the Reformation, the Puritans and Jonathan Edwards. In principle, for the first 1900 years of the church’s existence, the Scriptures formed the basis for diagnosing both psychological-spiritual maladies and interpersonal problems. And Scripture offered a consistent basis for addressing people’s problems by rooting our lives in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. So, in many ways, CCEF’s ministry is not new, because its theology expresses this heritage of a God-centered understanding of people and a Christ-centered understanding of how God redeems people. But CCEF is doing something new in terms of its application of these time-tested truths to modern problems.

Whether or not the church was doing a good job of pastoral care, for the first 1900 years all Christians agreed that Scripture was the basis for restoring human lives. But a fundamental shift came with the advent of the modern secular psychologies, pioneered by Sigmund Freud in the late 1800’s. In a short amount of time, historic biblical categories of creation, fall and redemption were replaced by secular categories of mental health and mental illness.

The main effect of that shift meant that secular psychological thinking excised the personal God from the world he made. In the new theories and psychotherapeutic practices, there was no mention of sin, of God, of the necessity of a Savior, or the promise of eternal life. The solution to our “personal and interpersonal problems” lay within us and counseling involved drawing it out.

Though these were secular theories, they greatly impacted the church. From the turn of the 20th century, a shift took place in pastoral care instruction in seminaries. While many seminaries continued to make the Scriptures primary in the preaching of God’s word, they no longer made the Scriptures primary in pastoral care and counseling. This vacuum was filled by a host of alternatives that tended to minimize, change or overshadow the redemptive message of the Scriptures.

Responding to this trend, David Powlison writes in his book Speaking Truth in Love: Counsel in Community :

But as we look more closely at life, it becomes clearer and clearer that Scripture is about counseling: diagnostic categories, causal explanations of behavior and emotion, interpretation of external sufferings and influences, definitions of workable solutions, character of the counselor, goals for the counseling process…These are all matters to which God speaks directly, specifically, and frequently. He calls us to listen attentively, to think hard and well, and to develop our practical theology of conversational ministry.

The Advent of CCEF and Biblical Counseling

In response to these trends in the church and pastoral training, a “biblical counseling” movement emerged in the late 1960’s. The initial spokesman for this approach to pastoral care and counseling was Jay Adams. In 1968, Jay Adams and John Bettler started the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation just outside of Philadelphia. For the past four decades, CCEF has been growing and contributing to the biblical counseling movement as that movement has grown in both influence and maturity. For a more detailed history of the biblical counseling movement, see The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context by David Powlison.

CCEF’s early history was largely prophetic and therefore polemic. The church was challenged to rethink its beliefs about why people struggle and how to help them when they do. CCEF called pastors and seminaries back to the primacy of Scripture as the basis for thoughtful and effective pastoral care and counseling. From the beginning, there was always a concern to define what could legitimately be learned from modern psychology, but Scripture provided the orienting “generalizations”: a God-centered view of people and problems and solutions. What was at stake was which source would be primary.

As CCEF entered the 1980’s and 90’s, it was apparent that the second and third generation of leaders benefited from the strengths of their predecessors as well as learned from their weaknesses. They moved CCEF in a direction of increased sensitivity to human suffering, to the dynamics of motivation, to the centrality of the gospel in the daily life of the believer, the importance of the body of Christ and to a more articulate engagement with secular culture.

As CCEF enters the 21st century, it continues this positive trajectory with a commitment to work out the implications of biblical counseling in many areas of counseling methodology. CCEF continues to emphasize the centrality of the body of Christ as the primary context for care and counseling while recognizing the legitimate place of broader resources within the body of Christ. The relationship between biblical counselors and fellow evangelicals involved in professional, clinical counseling continues to be worked out in the pursuit of cordial relationships in which differences can be constructively discussed. Biblical counseling offers a distinctively Christian understanding of people, problems, influences, suffering, motives, and change processes. These beliefs are continuing to be developed and applied at CCEF.

Model of Care

CCEF’s distinctives regarding counseling grow out of our theological convictions. The points listed below express some of the counseling implications of our theological convictions.

  • We are Christ-centered. Therefore, we point people to a person, Christ, and not a program. He is wisdom from God, the inexpressible gift who delivers us from our sins and sufferings. He is the faith-nourishing foundation in whom the call to obedience finds its inner principle and power. People need the Savior, not a system of self-salvation.
  • We believe in God’s common grace to all humanity, and therefore we can learn from those who do not espouse a Christian or even a theistic worldview. For example, while the fundamental worldview of secular psychology runs counter to Christianity, there are descriptive riches to be found in the writings and teachings of those who have gained case wisdom through their research and care. These materials can enrich our care of those in need and can be useful to us as we continue to develop our biblically-based counseling method.
  • We are aware that human behavior is inextricably tied to deeper motivational drives. Therefore, we emphasize the primacy of the heart, because all human acts arise from a worship core, either disordered or rightly ordered.
  • We believe that we best image the triune God as we live and grow in community. Therefore, we embed personal change within God’s community—the church, with all its rich resources of corporate and interpersonal means of grace.
  • We believe the Scriptures are rich in their understanding of who we are as human beings. Therefore, we use Scripture with a full commitment to its authority and sufficiency, convinced that from beginning to end, it reveals Christ and his powerful redeeming grace addressing the needs and struggles of the human condition.
  • We believe that human beings are both spiritual and physical beings. Therefore, we recognize that people are physically-embodied by God’s design. A variety of bodily influences impact moral response. We take the whole person seriously, granting that there are ambiguities at the interface of soul and body. We seek to remain sensitive to physiological factors, as the context within which God calls a person to faith and obedience.
  • We believe that people are socially-embedded by God’s design. Therefore, we recognize that a variety of socio-cultural influences and sufferings influence moral response. We take the person’s whole context seriously, granting that there are ambiguities at the interface between an individual and their environment. We seek to remain sensitive to social factors, as the context within which God calls a person to faith and obedience.
  • We believe that the incarnation of Jesus is not just the basis for care but also the model for how care is to be administered. Therefore, we seek to enter into a person’s story, listening well, expressing thoughtful love. Such incarnational patience recognizes that a particular season of intentional counseling plays one part within a life-long process of Christian growth.
  • We believe that Jesus is our faithful Redeemer who enables us to persevere in the midst of our problems. Therefore, we understand that change is often slow and hard. Jesus promises no instant panacea. He abides in us as we abide in him. He gives grace to walk a long obedience in the same direction, learning wisdom.
  • We believe that we at CCEF have not “arrived.” We have not fully and clearly expressed all that the Bible has to say about counseling ministry. Therefore, because Jesus tarries and we are not yet what we shall be, we humbly admit that we struggle to consistently apply all that we say we believe. We want to learn and grow in wisdom. We who counsel and teach counseling live in process, just like those we counsel and teach.

Were you aware of this history? How do you deal with the seasons of the human condition? How do you reconcile medical profit with your health care outcomes? What would you like to see happen?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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How to Make Vegan Creamed Anything

BY GRACE KELLY
January 7, 2021
Source: Bon Appetite

vegan cream greens
Photo By Emma Fishman, Food Styling By D’Mytrek Brown
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

As a descendent of Lithuanian immigrants, sour cream runs through my veins. Eastern Europeans are known for their love of dairy. In Simon Bajada’s Cookbook Baltic, he writes, “Of all the exceptional produce celebrated within the region, the Baltic love of dairy cannot be overstated.” My family is no exception.

Cream cheese, sour cream, farmer’s cheese, cottage cheese, and butter have always had a welcome seat at the table. A tub of sour cream was always within arm’s reach of my great-grandmother’s pierogi, a welcome dollop of tang to cut through the dumplings’ richness, and one of my go-to after school snacks was a fruit dip made by mixing sour cream with brown sugar.

But running concurrently with my love of all things dairy is the great, cruel irony that’s plagued me ever since that first spoonful: I’m lactose intolerant. Cue the tiny violin. Growing up, I pushed through the gastrointestinal discomfort and all its unpleasant side effects, but as I’ve gotten older, the ol’ stomach can’t handle the same quantities of dairy goodness it used to. And coupled with the moral weight of being an environmental reporter, let’s just say I have good reason to cut back on dairy.

One of our best spinach recipes is this vegan creamed spinach.
Andy Baraghani’s vegan creamed spinach uses a slightly different technique but has just as great a result. Photo By Alex Lau, Food Styling By Yekaterina Boytsova
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

But it hasn’t been easy. What’s a bowl of chili without a dollop of sour cream? How can you make good pierogi without farmer’s cheese? While I remain stumped for adequate solutions to these dilemmas, I have stumbled upon a way to emulate the luxurious goodness of creamed vegetables—think spinach, mushrooms, or even poblano rajas—without dairy or even vegan cheese products.

I happened upon the magic combination—coconut milk, miso, and nutritional yeast—by accident. My cousin and his girlfriend were moving to the West Coast and decided to clean out their pantry predeparture. I was gifted some low-salt salad dressings, sugar-free chocolate chips, and a shakerful of nutritional yeast (a.k.a. nooch). The salad dressings and sugar-free chocolate are still collecting dust in my pantry, but, when mixed with sautéed alliums, coconut milk, and miso, that nooch makes a cheesy, creamy (vegan) sauce for vegetables.

It’s simple: Over medium heat, sauté 1 thinly sliced small onion or large shallot in 1 Tbsp. coconut oil until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Whisk in 2 tsp. white miso and 2 tsp. nutritional yeast—you’re creating a sort of “roux” of flavor here; if it looks a little dry, add another tablespoon of coconut oil. Add 2½ to 3 cups of your favorite greens (or other vegetables), and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, about 4 minutes. Stir in ¾ cup coconut milk (I like Aroy-D because it’s creamy and doesn’t separate), salt, and pepper, and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until about a quarter of the coconut milk has evaporated (the mixture should become thick, creamy, and pale brown).

You can swap out the greens for mushrooms to make a vegan stroganoff-ish sauce (add a teaspoon of soy sauce for depth), or for roasted poblano strips to make a vegan take on rajas con crema (add 1 tsp. each cumin and chili powder).

Even if they invent some magical way (sorry, lactose pills don’t count) for lactose-intolerant folks to eat creamy, cheesy dishes without gastric distress, I’d still have my shaker of nooch at the ready for this versatile vegan cream sauce.

Grace Kelly is a journalist and recipe developer based in Rhode Island. And no, she’s not related to the Princess of Monaco.

How did this recipe work for you? Did it help with your dietary needs? Why or why not?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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