Archives for January 2015

SMARTmessage 1-4-15


  • General
    • We have completed a cycle through mental, nutritional, and physical fitness.  We will now cycle through them again, paying attention to the principles, practices, and products that help us improve in these areas.  We will probably notice that the principles may not change much, but gain greater insight in the the practices and products that help us.
    • This time through it is also recommended that you consider actually doing the SMARTsteps wellness program which may be downloaded here.  This can be a great companion to our efforts.  Each week you will be given three task to complete.  Most who go through this find that they have less stress, and its easier to manage their weight.  The program is free and can be downloaded here
  • SMART target Self Developement 
    • PRINCIPLE (jblessman) Mastery is a book written by Robert Greene.  He examines the lives of those who have been exceptional in our history and distills the principles and practices that seem to help them attain that status.  He suggests that because of our access to information it may be easier to accomplish these great feats of personal satisfaction.
    • PRINCIPLE (jblessman) While our collective knowledge seems to doubling at an every accelerating rate, the wisdom of the bible is timeless.  If you have never read the bible in its entirety consider getting the 1 year Chronological Bible in the New Living Translation.  Not only will allow you to finish in a year, but it will be organized how matters occurred.  As an example right after you read about David hiding in a cave, you will come across the psalm that was written at the time.  This will give you greater insight into the psalm.  It is recommended that you just dedicate time to reading the passages for that day and if you get behind, don’t try to catch up just read the passage for the day.  I know a person who has read the bible yearly for better than 10 years and has an exception command of the wisdom contained within.
    • PRODUCT (jblessman) Fanche Do is a timer that is based on the practice of Pomodoros.  The idea is that you work on a project for 20-30 minutee blocks, WITHOUT INTERRUPTION.  You will be amazed at how much you can get done this way.  Following this principle you will begin to recognize and control interruptions.  You can educate yourself about “pomodoros” here
  • SMARTtarget Nutritional Fitness
    • PRODUCT (jblessman) Baking Soda.  There has been much talk and debate about the benefits of an alkaline diet.  As I have reviewed much of this information I can say the following; 1) when you compare our diet to that of our ancestors, there is a much greater propensity to acidity than to alkalinity; 2) the most alkalinizing foods tend to be the green vegetables and may account for their health benefit.  I have seen accounts of people who report the medicinal benefits of baking soda.  Often they will place 1/2 tsp in 8-16 oz of water, and note benefits from this.  You can give this a try, but I would limit to no more than a tsp per day as it can be a heavy sodium load (so monitor you blood pressure).  This is the quickest way to alkalinize your diet while you look for foods that can assist you.
    • PRINCIPLE (jblessman): Pastor Lane commented this past sunday on the concerns for dairy which should probably only be used during our youth as there are growth factors present which we should avoid in later years.  There is truth to this.  Once such growth factor is Casein, which seems important in protein metabolism.  Interesting that it makes up 20-40% of human milk, but 80% of cows milk.  This difference likely supports the need for the cow to double its size within the first month of life, were as humans do this over 3 months.  The questions becomes, is this beneficial for us as adults given the concerns for both obesity and cancer?  Does dairy support these conditions? Some feel that they do.  I do find it interesting that while mammals do consume their own milk (and not the milk of another species), this is a practice that only exist during a youthful growing phase and not beyond.  Food for thought…
  • SMART target Mental Fitness
    • We are back to the season of looking at mental fitness.  You may go back to review the postings from before either here or at  Just to highlight some suggestions; 1)
    • -Ask yourself the Four questions; 1) am I being honest with myself, 2) what story do I want to tell, 3) is there a tension that deserves your attention, and 4) which choice would be most honoring to God.
    • -4-7-8 breathing
    • Importance of sleep
    • Importance of keeping a gratitude journal
    • let the forum know of your favorite practice : )

Alkaline Foods?

There is an article on alkaline foods and 74 foods were recommended ( However when I cross referenced this list with foods from a ph app that lists the PRAL score there were several inconsistencies.
– PRAL stands for Potential Renal Acid Load and seems to be the standard for determining whether foods have an acidifying or alkalinizing effect on the body. You can read about PRAL calculations and recommendations here: Those at this site suggests checking your urine, shooting for ph values at there low in the morning and increasing over the course of the day (6.5 to 7 in the morning and then increasing) . You can also find some recommendations here
– get an app that list the PRAL score of foods as this seems to be the standards
– the green foods seem to consistently have very low PRAL scores (in the negative range). But there are other foods that are not green that mainly have an alkalinizing effect on the body. You may need to check several sources to see if they consistently report that a food is alkalinic as there are inconsistencies reported.
– many spices seem to be alkaline, it may help to familiarize yourself with them and use them regularly in cooking.
beans, greens, and rice (which is only mildly acidic may need to be the main stay of the diet. If you have trouble with beans, try cooking them with a little baking soda, that may help.

– Finally, consider using ph strips to test your urine.  In this way you can get a better idea as to the effect your diet is having on your acid base load.  If you find recipes that are helpful, please share