The Importance of Being Earnest(ly) Healthy

Part 2: Gaining the essential knowledge needed to live a healthy lifestyle


A View Towards a Healthier You

The importance of eating healthy and a healthy lifestyle are invaluable information. Knowledge of the human body and knowledge of the foods in which people consume are two factors which will undeniably contribute to a healthier world.

Imagine living in a world where there are no health issues. Where everyone eats what they are supposed to and instead of picking up that Twinkie, they were to pick up an apple.  That apple is the goal in which everyone should aspire to, that is, at least in the eyes of one woman named Catherine Henderson. Dr. Henderson is a professor at Liberty University’s Center for Medical and Health Sciences, (LUCOM), teaching both undergraduate and graduate level courses on health science. She received her Doctorate at Edinboro State University and her PHD at Penn State.

Dr. Henderson is a woman who strongly promotes a healthy lifestyle. Her desire is to teach students just how valuable natural foods are. The apple in which she wishes to aspire to is her health goal. Instead of putting junk food into the body, consume something that has health benefits. However Dr. Henderson understands that not everyone shares the same views on this all-natural and all organic lifestyle. So Dr. Henderson has taken it upon herself to individualize each approach she takes in order to promote a healthy lifestyle.  To begin, Dr. Henderson asks questions about the person’s diet to better understand how to target their health needs.

“Why do people eat what they eat? In order to understand where someone is coming from, it is important to know their food background” said Dr. Henderson.

Dr. Henderson explains it is very important not to be biased regarding peoples food choices. People have different opinions on foods, they have different budgets and different cravings. When trying to help someone choose the right foods, do not be judgmental towards their purchases, or otherwise that person will shut out the thought of changing. In remembrance of a time when trying to help someone shop healthy, Dr. Henderson recalled laughingly being too biased towards a friend who bought produce with pesticides whereas she herself bought organic.

“Thou shalt not judge thy neighbor’s shopping cart” said Dr. Henderson. “People are sensitive when it comes to their health because there is not many things you can have control over other than health.” said Dr. Henderson.

Understanding that every persons health is different is important. Although it is good to eat the right things, it is invaluable to know what the foods nutritional background is. Some important questions to ask are; where did this food come from? What ingredients have been added to it? And how can those ingredients affect the body. In order to answer those questions, it is important to learn the science behind food.

The science of eating has always been a fascinating one. There are so many facts which even scientists do not know such as; a person who consumes salmon is healthier than someone who takes an Omega-3 capsule.  Another fact is that Iodine is not naturally found in salt, it is an additive. In 1924 an epidemic of Goiter (an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid) was spreading rapidly throughout the United States. Scientists discovered that Iodine prevented Goiter, so they added Iodine to something which humans consumed on a daily basis, salt.

Most people do not know that there is a difference in consuming food in its natural state vs. consuming vitamins and supplements.  Supplements and vitamins are what scientists have proven to be in foods, they are what can be found within the food at this point in time.

However science has not discovered all of the health benefits within raw food, and therefore cannot put them into supplements and vitamins. All of those unknown ingredients and nutrients are missing in many people’s diets because they are not consuming the natural food, and are instead only consuming vitamins and supplements.

“There’s so much we don’t know about foods, whole foods are so much better than pills” said Dr. Henderson.

In life, not everything can be taken at face value, it’s important to know that just because a food looks healthy, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. In this short audio clip, Dr.Henderson explains what happens when cravings arrive.

If interested in learning some easy ways to switch up that diet to a healthier one, click on the link here for more information, then comment below to share what you learn.


You Are What You Eat, So Eat Like A King!

Since the beginning of time, the consumption of food has been the top priority for every living creature. In order to survive, you eat what you must, but in order to thrive you eat only the best food there is. Health and fitness, physical awareness and an overall concern for each individual’s well-being have become a few of the top priorities at Liberty University.

Sodexo which is the food service provider for Liberty prepares mostly organic and all-natural groceries for the students to consume while on campus. Liberty also provides a weekly farmers market for local farmers to sell their products on campus for students to purchase. The foods they provide are all natural and all organic. The meats from the animals have never been injected with hormones and harmful antibiotics which are extremely toxic to the human body.

At first glance, the farmers market seems like a normal set-up where the visitor simply walks around, sees something they like, buys it and then disappears forever. However this is not the case for Liberty’s farmers market and it doesn’t take long to realize this. As the visitor begins to interact with each seller at their booth, the truth comes to light, and it’s captivating.

One of the vendors at LU’s farmers market is called Morris Campus Farm which is located on Candlers Mountain. This small farm provides all organic vegetables such as; cabbage, kale, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and carrots. It also raises pasteurized chickens in which they sell both the chickens and their eggs.

One LU student named Elizabeth who volunteers at the Morris Campus Farm for CSER credit gave invaluable information regarding the farm. When asked why she considered it important Liberty hosts a farmers market, she responded:

“I think it is important because Liberty’s students are able to merge with the Lynchburg community and purchase from local farmers which boosts the local economy. It’s a win-win,” said Elizabeth.

Regarding the health of the students, Sodexo has taken it into their own hands to provide healthy, all-natural alternatives to fast food services, improving the lifestyles of students campus wide.

“Morris Campus Garden donates food harvested from Liberty grounds with Sodexo for enjoyment at the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall.” said Elizabeth.

Many other vendors such as the Brickhouse of Lilac Hill Farm proudly boast about their all-natural meats, free from antibiotics and growth hormones. Owner James Henderson gladly claims his farm to be the only A.W.A (Animal Wellness Approved) farm around. Each animal whether cow or pig has its own name and is naturally raised.

Now Trending: Would You Like Some Coffee with That?

Since the 11th Century, the product called coffee has been an international sensation, addiction and personal savior for millions of people.

Legend has it that in 11th Century Ethiopia, a man by the name of Khaldi found his goats eating red berries off of a tree with white blossoms. Shortly afterwards he found them to be so energetic that they could not sleep.

The next day Khaldi took these berries to the abbot at the local monastery who then brewed the berries into a drink and consumed it. After drinking it the abbot was filled with energy that allowed him to stay up for long hours in the evening, allowing him to pray longer to God.

By the sixteenth century, countries such as Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey were the main source of coffee brewers and consumers. Coffee houses called qahveh khaneh”  were a great place for people to socialize.

In today’s coffee obsessed society, local Lynchburg Community Market vendors Tom and Kathryn Hayman know what it is like to have a true passion for coffee.

The Hayman’s own a shop called “Grains of Sense Artisan Coffee Roastery and Tea Gallery,” and have been roasting their own coffee at the market for the past two years.

“I’ve always had a passion for coffee ever since I was a boy, to see how people would gather together and relax all for the sake of coffee? If that’s what it takes to bring people together then I want to be a part of it!” said Tom.

All you can see is smiles while walking into the market, and each day you can go down and see Tom working hard, roasting pound by pound the coffee that he loves so much.

Tom’s passion is obvious, and his coffee is famous around Lynchburg for its:

– Quality Beans
– Smooth, flavorful coffees
– Attention to detail
– Broad selection of single origins, roast levels, special blends, espressos and flavors

So why is this so important? The answer is quite obvious; Lynchburg is a college town whose young population is thriving off of this deliciously caffeinated drink which comes in so many shapes, sizes, forms and flavors.

For centuries coffee has been known for its versatility of flavor which can be extracted and used in cakes, ice creams and many other items in order to add more flavor for peoples taste buds!

Contributing factors to the popularity of coffee:

  • Flavor
  • Versatility of flavor
  • Availability
  • Form of socializing

The only negative side to drinking coffee is something known as a caffeine addiction. With consumption of only one cup a day the consumer of coffee can become addicted.  However there is a positive side for such a thing as decaffeinated coffee exists.

Coffee is loved all over the world, and after research, data shows that it is most popular in European countries.

To see the future of coffee all one has to do is look back at its past, it always has and always will be popular, and that is perfectly fine with the world.

If addicted to coffee like the rest of the world (or at least Europe!) leave a comment below and talk about it!

Trending Now: Tourism in the Great State of Virginia


At the head of the department of tourism for Lynchburg Virginia, sits the unique and quirky Director Sergei Troubetzkoy. With a ready-to-serve attitude, he answers any questions thrown his way without any trouble at all. So welcome to Lynchburg!

Tourism is at the heart of every community, it has its busy seasons and slow seasons, the in-between seasons and the hopeful season that come ground hog, that little critter will bring forth an early spring because they are desperate for an influx of money season.

Taken from the Leisure Travel Profile to Virginia, recording household trips 50 miles+ from the 2014 FY (Fiscal Year) this information shows the primary reasons people visit Virginia.


For Lynchburg, it’s most popular months for tourism is between May-October. Why summer? Because most families are free to travel due to summer break and taking vacations. Why does it last through October? Because of fall foliage!

Fall foliage is a huge part of Virginia’s tourism thanks to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. During autumn, the leaves turn a variety of bright colors: red, yellow, orange and brown, attracting the eye of many nature lovers.

Much to his delight Trobetzkoy explained two different trends that have been growing in the Lynchburg area in recent years:

“Young married couples, vacationing separately. Girl’s night out on the town and boys day on the golfing green. It’s really quite interesting, we never used to see this.” Said Trobetzkoy.

Another trend in the recent years has been grandparents traveling around with their grandchildren because the parents are too busy with work or other time consuming activities.

With summer coming into season, Lynchburg will be bustling with farmer markets, shops, music, festivals and everything a tourist could ever desire (minus the beach)!


For Better or Worse: A Travel Guide for Idiots

Imagine having the opportunity to adventure through the streets of a bustling European city, to taste the foreign cuisine of the orient, to backpack on the trails of the Peruvian mountains… all of this is possible and more with the right knowledge of travel and the right connections. Ana Kempner (Age-26) who is the subject of this article is a well-experienced world traveler, having been to an astonishing 39 countries. Here are a few photos taken while she was there:

Since childhood, Ana has always had a heart for traveling and a strong will, putting in hard work in order to reach her goals. When Ana turned 20, she joined up with an organization called “WorldRace” a Christian missions group which hosts the well-known “11 Countries in 11 Months”.

In joining with this group, Ana began to fundraise in order to gain enough money to go on this once in a lifetime trip. However with such a long trip, fundraising was not enough to cover the cost fully.

Fortunately, on this trip Ana was able to work with the locals in each country, raising farm animals, learning how to sew clothes, raising vegetables and various other tasks in which she was paid.

When asked if sacrifice is sometimes needed in order to travel abroad Ana plainly stated,

“-so traveling requires a lot of sacrifice, like a lot of my friends are married with kids and have all these luxuries whereas I just choose to not have heat in the winter or air condition in the summer. And I don’t have cable TV, so you can just see all these other people with all these things you want and you just have to choose a different lifestyle and realize its gonna be worth it in the end.” Ana Kempner said.

From personal experience, Ana has gone without heating and air-conditioning for a whole year in order to save up for a trip to Peru.

Two of the most expensive parts about traveling abroad are: passports and bordering fees. Ana was quite blunt when asked the question of why bordering fees are expensive, she said:

“Because people hate Americans”.

It may sound harsh and hard to accept, but it is true. Different countries will charge you more to enter and pass through their borders simply based on the fact of where you are from.

Some good traveling advice on packing: if you are traveling in multiple different climates, make sure you pack clothes based on each one.

Ana warns everyone she comes in contact with who are traveling not to travel alone.

“It may inhibit your personal freedom, but it will guarantee your personal safety.” Said Ana

Some more advice is:

  • Don’t seem lost or vulnerable
  • Pay attention to your surroundings, keep eyes up not down
  • Do not hold money in one place on your person, disperse it over your body such as in your bra, shirt, pants, etc.
  • If someone threatens you for your money, try to comply and resist only when your safety is in danger
  • Take bottled water

Most importantly when traveling, in order to gain the most out of the trip, interact with the locals. Join them in their festivals, celebrations, help them do their daily chores.

In European countries, “hostels” are a great way to travel. Hostels offer rooms and food for labor, this is a great way to meet new people and make you feel more welcomed into the community, for you will be working with the locals on a daily basis for the entirety of your stay if you wish.


Good sources on traveling advice:

Robin-Alexander Bistro

Robin Alexander Bistro which lies in the heart of downtown Lynchburg, VA, is from the moment you step foot into the door, one of the best dining experiences you will ever have.

Tonight was my mother’s fifty-second birthday, so we decided to take her out for a special dinner at the restaurant downtown named “Robin Alexander-an American Bistro”.

None of us (my father, mother, sister or I) had ever been to this restaurant but had heard spectacular things about it, so off of recommendations; we called ahead and made reservations for this evening at seven p.m.

We arrived promptly at the specified time and were immediately greeted by friendly hostesses who lead us immediately to our seats without delay.

It was crowded, the atmosphere:  joyful and harmonious.

Within a few minutes of being sat, we were greeted by a young server named Kaitlyn who had a bright smile and after the acquaintance and formalities she began recommending delicious drinks and entrees.

Eating out at a fancy restaurant is all about the experience, fresh drinks, fresh flavorful food, and scrumptious dessert, below are a few photos:


The drinks were fresh: check, the Ribeye I ordered was cooked to perfection with a juicy warm pink center and the flavor simply impeccable!

After dinner was dessert, it was a chocolate cake with Oreo espresso ice cream, and I have to say this was the best dessert I have ever had.

The entire dining room and bar was full of smiles, you could see that everyone was having a good time, even the wait staff and managers were enjoying themselves.

I called for the manager who introduced herself as Rebecca, and gave her my most sincere approval of the whole entire experience I had for the evening.

I went on to question her about what makes this restaurant so different from all the others, and her response was simple, “It is so worth it to see a restaurant packed full of people laughing and having a good time while enjoying delicious food. There is nothing more satisfying than that.”

We left with our bellies full, our hearts beaming with joy, to-go chocolate cake, and plenty of laughter to last us through the cold winter air all the way to our car.

Yes, without a doubt, the best meal I have had in my life. Please do yourself a favor and try!


Life is as… Bad Karma

Life has always had a way of beating us when we’re down, it’s as if bad karma looms over our shoulders just waiting to get back at us for trying to do our best and trying to do good things in life.

Most of us try to be decent people in this life, to do good things for others just as Jesus did. Sometimes it truly pays off and we are rewarded for our efforts, and then other times all we have is self-gratification… and then… something bad happens.  What is an example of this “bad happening?” great question! Say for instance you just drove someone to work whose car broke down, then later that evening you get a flat tire. Is this punishment for trying to be a good person? That’s what it feels like most of the time, you try your best to help others out, most of the time without even expecting anything in return. For some reason though, you get slapped in the face when you do good things.

A fantastic explanation that I found online from says “When you have an explanation, pain doesn’t seem so bad anymore. We can tolerate suffering when we know why it is happening. And so, if we could make sense of innocent people suffering, if we could rationalize tragedy, then we could live with it.. Our question would be answered, and we could move on.”

That is a great explanation from a humanistic standpoint on why bad things happen to good people, however from a Christian standpoint let’s look to the Bible for some answers. First Corinthians 13:12 says, “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” This offers an explanation to why bad things happen to good people, such as Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. As long as sin exists in the world, so will bad things, tragedies and unfathomable suffering.

Not all things can be explained, sometimes bad things just happen whether you’re a good person and do good things or not. Your car that broke down, yeah that might have just been one of those events in life that flat out suck (just putting it bluntly). Life isn’t easy but it usually makes us stronger, we learn from our mistakes and from the bad events that transpire against us.

Life is as…a constant lesson. We are constantly being taught about life and how it works. Constantly being taught we can and can’t do certain things. For instance, you try your best to study for an upcoming test, but on test day your mind goes completely blank. Life pretty much just taught you the lesson of “better luck next time chump!” (Insert evil gremlin laugh here). No, it’s okay, thanks to your mistakes you are now able to read over the test, review and learn how that certain teacher grades so that you can study in a more effective way for the next test!

It may feel as though the world is out to get you and that you have all the bad luck, but you’re not alone. If you are miserable with not understanding why certain things happen, just take each even as it happens as a challenge. It’s a challenge of your character, can you stay calm under pressure? Can you handle horrible events? Tell that bad karma where it can go! Prove life wrong, that you can’t be dragged down, that you can bounce back from anything it throws at you. The end!