Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Why we choose the foods we eat

We are individuals and have been making choices since birth, but it is important to understand why we choose the foods we do.
Our feeling of satisfaction or fullness is regulated by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus sends a signal for us to know when to eat and when to stop. According to Wardlaw in Contemporary Nutrition, chemicals, surgery and some cancers can destroy the hypothalamus and cause a loss of sensation, resulting in obesity or weight loss.
Consuming a meal that is high in water and fibre will cause one to feel full quicker. When eating, the stomach gets bigger from current and past food intake which may cause one not to want to eat more. Hormones such as endorphins, ghrelin and neuropeptide Y cause hunger whereas leptin, serotonin and cholecystokinin result in a feeling of fullness (early satiety). Some weight-loss drugs target these hormones and the way they function to result in early satiety.
Role of culture
There are other factors that cause food choices such as culture, convenience, availability, advertising, taste, appearance, economics and emotions. Foods are eaten at particular times or on certain days prepared a special way based on one's culture, which is passed on from generation to generation.
As Jamaicans, we have Sunday rice and peas with 'nuff' coconut milk or stew peas with salt beef, pig's tail or salted meat alternative. Foods are chosen because they are in season or packaged 'ready to eat' for ease of convenience with little or no preparation time. For example, orange juice instead of fresh oranges.
Smell or aroma
The promotion or advertising of foods using 'catchy' lines, pictures or health claims is also influential. People often think, 'I hear it on the radio so it must be true'. We usually eat with our eyes and nose before tasting the food. The smell or aroma of foods acts as a hunger trigger. Passing a fast-food store or restaurant will cause the feeling of hunger even if food was just consumed.
The ability to buy food items will influence foods that are chosen - canned mackerel instead of salmon, turkey neck instead of oxtail. Being emotional or stressed may cause altered appetite, and there are foods that are dubbed 'comfort foods' because they give a temporary feeling of happiness during and shortly after consumption such as, chocolate, pastries, cakes, puddings, tarts, nuts, chips, and alcoholic beverages.
Consider health
Why not consider health when making food choices? Think about the nutrients and their benefits, read food labels and choose items with less salt or sodium, less fat - especially saturated, trans fat and cholesterol, less sugar, and more fibre. Choose fresh instead of processed, and baked, boiled, steamed, stewed instead of fried or cooked in oil or other fats. Remember, your health may very well be your wealth.
Marsha N. Woolery is a registered dietitian/nutritionist in private practice and adjunct lecturer at Northern Caribbean University; email:

Monday, 28 January 2013


It is the early days of the new semester and many of you are contemplating internship, or are already engaged in securing that opportunity.  Considering the increasing importance of Experience in finding gainful employment, doing internship should not even be a question.  Even if internship is not a requirement for completion of your degree, every student or recent graduate should consider ways in which to gain experience in the field as it not only boosts employer confidence in your capabilities, but expands your ability to make practical applications of what may have been a purely theory-driven training. Now that its value has been firmly established, here are a few tips on just how to go about securing that life-changing internship position.

1.Decide whether you will take an internship for academic credit or not.
2. Do not let financial reward be the deciding factor for you. Think of which organization will offer the best training opportunity.
3. Make a list of the organizations you would like to intern with. Do not only consider large and popular organizations. Often a more rounded experience is gained in small to medium-sized organizations.
4. Determine the benefits you would like to derive from your internship experience. This will help you decide how much time, energy and resources you will devote to securing a placement. Ideally, your internship should be career specific.
5. Do your research.  Visit the websites of the companies on your list to see if they offer a structured internship programme. Find out as much as you can about the company in relation to the sector you are interested in and get feedback from persons who have interned with them.
6. Start making plans for accommodation away from home, as often the best internships require that you relocate.
7. Prepare a professionally appealing résumé and cover letter making sure to tailor it to match the needs and culture of your target organization(s).  Some organizations require that you apply on-line using their pre-determined application forms.
8. Use your networking links to get doors of opportunity opened – professors, business partners with whom you are acquainted, your Career & Employment Services Centre, mentors as well as family and friends.

The search for the right internship can be as tedious as finding an actual job. Use the techniques you have learnt from seminars on ‘Job Search Strategies’ and begin your search today.

by Camille A. Graham, Career & Employment Services Officer, NCU

Getting Along with Others

I love being with people . . . most of the time. There is a special joy that resonates in our hearts when we are with people we enjoy. But unfortunately we are not always with those we like to be around. Sometimes people can be prickly, which may be why someone has said, “The more I get to know people, the more I love my dog!” When we don’t find joy in a relationship, we tend to blame the other person; then we excuse ourselves as we exit to be with people we like.

The apostle Paul asks us to lovingly engage with our brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact, he calls all of us to be “of one accord,” to look out “for the interests of others,” and to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:2-5). Think about it. Jesus gave up His own prerogatives and privileges for us; He chose to live as a servant and paid the ultimate sacrifice that He might bring us into a joy-filled relationship with Him (see Heb. 12:2). And He did all that in spite of our prickliness (see Rom. 5:8).

So next time you are with someone who is not easy to get along with, ask Jesus to help you find a way to extend His love. In time, you might be surprised by how God can change your attitude about people.

Lord, thank You that while I was still offensive to You,
You saved me with Your sacrificial love. Give me the
same courage and grace to extend to others the love
that You have so graciously extended to me.

The key to getting along with others is having the mind of Christ.


by Pastor M. Harvey, V.P. Spiritual Affairs and Church Pastor, NCU

Through the Eyes of God: Sheba’s Story – 2 Samuel 20 (RBHW)

In the previous chapter I was sure everything was okay for David, apart from losing Absalom of course.  But alas the Devil would rear his ugly head again through this possessed individual called Sheba.  Now it’s bad enough when an individual decides to reject God or His designated representative, but it is so much worse when they are able to pull a following along their path of folly.  Why are people so easily led astray?

I've been following a series online titled, "I'm Not a Fan."  This is a series of sermons being presented by the Senior Pastor at the SDA Church in Mt Rubidoux, Riverside California, USA.  In his presentations he challenges that many who believe that they are followers of Christ, may actually be just fans (those who go with the flow, who cheer Jesus along, know a lot about Him, but don't really KNOW Him, who easily switch loyalties; one day they are ready to declare Him King, and by the next they are ready to shout, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"

 So a disturbing segment of Israel showed no commitment to David/to God, "So every man of Israel deserted David...." verse 2; they were convinced that they had no "share in David" verse 1.  Satan will try to convince us that we have no share with Christ (no doubt because of our sins), and will try to get us to give up our faith in Him; to cease following Him.  But O that we will hear Heaven's response to this "accuser's" assertions, "And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" Zech 3:2.  Praise the LORD!!!

If we could see ourselves “Through the Eyes of God,” we would know that we are loved by God, because “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8.  Satan is our enemy; not Christ. 

Father, Thank you for Your wonderful Grace shown to us Your unworthy children by adoption; adopted because we’re loved.  Help us to love You in return, and to never cease from following after you.  We ask this in the name of Jesus, amen.

Please remember to join us online for Week of Prayer (WOP), which culminates on Sabbath February 2, 2013 at   It will be brought live on NCU TV (2:00 p.m. local Jamaica’s local time), and a delayed broadcast on NCU FM at 7:00 p.m.
Details for WOP are available at
To read the Bible passage and related blogs please visit

Friday, 25 January 2013

Déjà vu: Ahithophel Foreshadows Judas – 2 Samuel 17 (RBHW)

 The more things seem to change, the more they actually remain the same.  Ahithophel betrays David, and sides with Absalom, and for him the story ends in suicide. Judas betrays Jesus, and his story also ends with suicide.

Would it be reasonable to conclude that betrayal or rejection of God and His appointed One (ones) or system constitutes a trip down "Suicide Lane"?  Doubtlessly, a rejection (betrayal) of Christ, "the way, the truth, and the LIFE," has to be suicide, unless….

… Unless before we actually go too far, like Peter after denying Christ, we actually look into the eyes of Christ and see His pitying love, His tender forgiveness, and His earnest plea for us to repent and live.  Oh that in our sinful state we would see ourselves “Through the Eyes of God.”

Dear Father in Heaven, we do declare our hands to be on the side of Christ, your Son.  Our pledge is to stand with Him on the battlefield, and let the chips fall where they may.  But we're happy indeed that our faith is not baseless, for indeed Jesus did declare, "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11: 25.  So although at times it may seem the risky thing to stand with you, our resolve is to remain where we are.  Besides, You are "holy, just, and good."  Why would we want to go anywhere else.  You are our eternal source, in You "we live, and move and have our being."  Please take away every tendency to sin; every inclination to hypocrisy, so we wouldn't give You mere lip-service, but our hearts would be wholly with You.  This we ask in the name of Jesus, amen. 

Please remember to join us online for Week of Prayer (WOP), Friday January 25 to February 2, 2013 at 
Details for WOP are available at
To read the Bible passage and related blogs please visit

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Through the Eyes of God: David and Absalom – 2 Samuel 15 (RBHW)

"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high." Isa 14:14.  The vice, the plot, the corruption, the deception actually CONTINUES, through Absalom in this chapter, and will continue in anyone who today is willing to side with Satan.  But you can't keep doing the same thing and expect to get different outcomes - that's insanity (the apt description of any rebellion staged against God.)  Satan is defeated, Absalom was, and so will anyone who sides with Satan.

What a clear object lesson for what little sins, left unchecked, can grow into!  Surely David must have heard of Absalom's carryings-on.  But he does nothing.  Sin must be nipped in the bud; zero-tolerated, otherwise it will take over our lives.

David shows worrying softness in dealing with Absalom (it’s not shown where he even tried to plead with Absalom to reconsider his ways) - although this may be seen as an admirable quality of consistency in not taking up arms to secure his throne - that was entirely God's department as far as David was seemingly concerned.  This is a perfect model in how we should fight against sin in our lives, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." Zech. 4:6.

 But sin and rebellion on Absalom’s part (coupled with David’s seeming softness/permissiveness, and seeming hesitance to reprimand) aside, is there any lesson of Grace in this story?  If so, it would have to be in what could be viewed as David’s God-like patience with Absalom.  He wasn’t quick to execute judgement – very likely hoping that Absalom would come to his senses.  God says in in Ezekiel 33:11, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.”

How do we see rebels in our homes, in our places of work, in church?  Do we nip things in the bud?  Do we give them time to change?  God’s way would be to certainly let the error of one’s way known, but would at the same time leave the door of mercy and forgiveness ajar as He invites them to change.  If we could see through the eyes of God, we would do the same.

The Spring 2013 Week of Prayer starts this Friday, January 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Gymnatorium.  Tune to NCU FM and TV for live and delayed broadcasts.  See flyer for programme details  To listen and view online visit

To read the scripture passage and related blogs visit