Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Natural Tips for Avoiding Colds

This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms.  Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something. Of Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Body

Labels–by Theresa Mazza

Recently my husband directed my attention to People Of The Second Chance. I was instantly captured by their message, Labels Lie. People Of The Second Chance recognize that labels distort the truth and they’re doing something about it. I’ve discovered this the hard way. The sad and ugly truth…

I label people I don’t understand
I label people out of fear
I label people because I’m not confident in my own identity
I label people because I think there’s safety in not venturing far from what I know

Just over a year ago I was working at the Rocketown music venue in Florida. During a sold out concert we turned away hundreds of teens. While doing a routine parking lot check I discovered that these hundreds of teens had gathered in a circle. My immediate reaction was to call on my security team. I was afraid. There must be a fight! Or there will be if we don’t get these teens out of here.

Check out the video to see what really happened.

 

 

check it out my friends, we all in this together. So live your life, do it right, do what you want.
me and my friends in this circle right now, this is your life,
do what you can, do what you want, don’t let nobody tell you that you can’t do you.
nobody ever tells you that you can’t be you.
you stick your middle finger in the air, like you don’t care, this is your life

There was no fight that night. But the truth of this singer’s message hit everyone, even me. We are all in this together. No one can tell you that you can’t be you, even yourself.

Why was I afraid of a huge crowd of teenagers? Because I saw labels instead of truth. I saw a riot instead of a beautiful generation of honest and expressive teens. I saw a crowd of rebels and fringe kids instead a mass of world changers. Now, sure, the middle finger ending isn’t necessarily beautiful expression. But when Johnny Cash did it, we labeled him an icon of the everyman struggle, so why is it any different for these kids?

Here’s what I decided that night: I want to trade my lies for truth. The truth is, we’re all a little strange. None of us is perfect, but it’s our imperfections that make us unique. And even more important than accepting that we’re all strange and imperfect is the undeniable truth that we’re all perfectly strange. You are you. Don’t listen to the old lies or labels, and don’t make up new ones. The truth. God made you, no one can tell you that you can’t be you, even yourself.

What lies are hiding the truth in your life?

Thanks Theresa—follow her at http://theresamazza.com/
Posted on by Angela in Body, disease, Guest Blog, Mind, Spirit 2 Comments

Obesity–by Kevin Deeth

Obesity, diabities, and other weight related issues have become an epidemic in today’s society. Trans fats, artificial sweeteners,  and sugar loaded foods are partly to blame. Laziness, time restraints, and abundant resources are also major contributors. But how about our ancestors and genetics? What if some of our genes and bodily make up were predisposed towards storing fat? One theory suggests this could be a contibuting factor to the obesity epidemic that has taken over the US.

Thrifty Gene Hypothesis

Background

In 1962 geneticist James Neel proposed the thrifty gene hypothesis to partially explain the rise in diabetes in the world. The central premise of this theory is that through natural selection we evolved to be efficient at food storage and utilization. In Neel’s original hypothesis, he stated that ancient humans went through a cycle of feast and famine. The people who had bodies that were better at fuel storage or utilization were more likely to survive during the famine portion of the cycle. Thus over many generations, we developed genetically to be exceptionally efficient at the intake and utilization of fuel as these were beneficial adaptations throughout the majority of human life.

Relating To Obesity

This theory suggests that humans have genes which predispose them to obesity and fat storage.  Essentially, our bodies have evolved as a product of our ancestors whose primary goal when they ate was to store food as fat. This ‘thrifty’ genotype would have been advantageous for hunter-gatherer populations, especially child-bearing women, because it would allow them to fatten more quickly during times of abundance. Fatter individuals carrying the thrifty genes would thus better survive times of food scarcity. However, in modern societies with a constant abundance of food, this genotype efficiently prepares individuals for a famine that never comes. The result is widespread chronic obesity and related health problems like diabetes.

Why Weren’t Our Ancestors Fat?

In the hunter-gatherer society, food was gotten largely through physical activity. Our ancient ancestors have been estimated to have hunt for food for 1-4 nonconsecutive days per week, while women gathered food 2-3 days per week. Needless to say, they were a little more active than the average American who spends anywhere from 10-12 hours a day seated.

 ‘Stone Age’ genes and ‘Space Age’ circumstances

A 2 minute drive in a car with leather/reclined/heated seats to the grocery store is not the same as several miles of hiking and scavenging to find food and resources. We have theses genes which have been inherited from our “stone age” ancestors in these “space age” circumstances where resources are over-abundant almost to fault, and everything is convenient and easy.

Opposition And Problems

  • What about other sociities such as asian cultures where obesity rates are not even close to what they are in America?
  •  The field of epigenetics has shown that the body can manipulate the degree of transcription, or activation, a particularly gene has. Even more astounding is that environmental factors can impact the epigenome within a lifetime, thus altering how a gene functions. This suggests that our genes could recognize certain environmental factors available and adapt as a result which would poke holes in the thrifty gene hypothesis.

Conclusion

As can be seen, the genetics of obesity and the thrifty gene hypothesis are a complicated subject. It is easy to accept or dismiss portions of the hypothesis based on select data, but when taken in full it is clear that we simply do not understand everything that goes into the relationship between genetics and obesity.

Regardless, the important thing to remember is that environment and activity levels play a very large role in obesity problems in America.  Sure we all have different body types and some of us are more likely to put on weight, but the good news is that with proper dietary and exercise practices, you pretty much control your destiny.

Thanks for reading and I will be interested to here comments about this theory and post.

From South Bend,

Kevin
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Running Barefoot–by Kevin Deeth

Our feet are the only part of our anatomy that touches the ground to transmit all the force that we spend so much time developing in the rest of our body. Think about that –  the only part of our anatomy to touch the ground when we run or jump – and most of us spend little to no time developing strength, mobility and proprioception in the feet.”

Although a growing trend, this training technique is nothing new.  There are many pictures from the ‘70s of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his buddies training barefoot.  Not only a more natural way to train, going barefoot or minimalist provides some very real performance advantages.Bunions, corns, hammer toes, Achilles shortening, athlete’s foot, and ingrown nails are just some of the issues associated with training in shoes.

The Science

The architecture of the hand and the foot are almost identical. So what would happen if you had incredibly weak hands? If you have incredibly weak hands then you can’t pick anything up and if you can’t pick anything up then the arms, back and legs can’t get strong –  and it would be easy to see that if the arm isn’t strong then it’s also more susceptible to injury. It only seems right that the same principle applies to the foot.

The Benefits

No Heel-The lift caused by the heel of a traditional shoe alters the body’s center of balance on its vertical axis.  This shifts the weight slightly forward and as a result the body compensates by exaggerating the lumbar curve.

Uneven Cushion-When weight is applied in the direction of gravity (such as in the case of squats) the foam compresses unevenly and inconsistently introducing an element of instability into the lift.  This can lead to less weight per lift. As the lifter attempts to move the weight against the pull of gravity (as in the case of a deadlift) the compression of the cushioning fails to transfer all of the lifters energy to the ground or lifting platform which robs the lifter of the full benefit of his or her efforts.

Increased Balance And Posture-There is no substitute for the bare foot when it comes to improving posture.  Proper posture leads to improved technique which allows you to lift more weight more efficiently and more safety.

Yoga Like Benefits-One major difference can be seen in yoga class. The feet of those who have been performing yoga barefoot for a lifetime are different than those who may have just begun. Well-formed arches and un-cramped toes are often the results of barefoot training.

No More Shin Splints– The subtly raised heel and the added arch support of the average training shoe change the natural mechanics of the foot. In short, time spent in a raised heel unnaturally tightens the calf muscle and lengthens the shin muscle. Calf cramps and shin splints are often directly caused by shortened calves and lengthened shins.

Reduced Joint Pain– Artificially supported shoes can force unnatural pressure into the knees, spine, and even neck. One way to naturally strengthen the arch and shin, relax the calf, improve overall ankle stability, and promote proper muscle alignment is to train barefoot.

Less Impact– “People who don’t wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike.” “By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike.

Negatives

The Shock Factor-Suddenly going barefoot or wearing a minimal shoe can be quite a shock to the foot and require a slow adaptation phase. Like anything exposing new movements and training regiments at full force can cause injury overuse.

Why Fix What Isn’t Broken-If you have no problems and no pain, do you really need to change anything?

Gym Rules-Many gyms don’t allow you to train barefoot

Dirty And Unsafe Surfaces– Shoes can provide protection from glass, dirt, and other random debris that can cause foot damage. But lets be honest, if you drop a weight on your foot than you are going to be hurting either way.

Blisters-Almost everyone who switches to a minimal shoe or starts going shoeless will find themselves battling blisters for the first few weeks until calluses are formed.

Conclusions

It seems petty but strengthening your foot is an essential part of strengthening the entire lower limb. I think the hand analogy describes it best. What would happen if you had incredibly weak hands? If you have incredibly weak hands then you can’t pick anything up and if you can’t pick anything up then the arms, back and legs can’t get strong. It seems like the same principle should apply to the foot. That is why I  am recommending that people give this a shot. I have always been an advocate of eating things as they are found in their natural state. I have the same ideas towards exercise. Whether it is choosing the treadmill over the elliptical, free weights over machines, or barefoot over shoes, always go with the most natural form of stuff. Start off by incorporating a few exercises and build up to an entire barefoot workout. If you are a germ freak and can bear the weird look of them, give Vibrams a shot  http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/index.htm.

 

For more great information from Kevin visit:  http://kevindeeth.wordpress.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Exercise, Guest Blog, Weight Loss Leave a comment

Sanity Pills by Theresa Mazza

Singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith founded Rocketown in 1994 to give teens a positive alternative to the many negative pressures they face.  The first of its kind in the Southeast, Rocketown has grown into a regional outreach as well as a model for faith-based relational outreach across the country.

For several years Rocketown operated as a teen club, then organized Sunday evening programming and special events for teens. Following the tragedy of Columbine in 1999, Rocketown’s board was inspired to grow the scope of programming and move to a central location in downtown Nashville. Mark Ezell, co-founded the current facility which opened in 2003, and houses a coffee bar; photography, art and dance studios; stages for live entertainment; and Middle Tennessee’s only indoor skatepark. To date there have been more than 425,000 visits with an average of 1,350 teens from across Middle Tennessee participating in programs each week.

Theresa Mazza partnered with Michael W. Smith in creating this great faith-based venue for troubled teens.  I am honored she has allowed AngelaMD to post some of her great teachings about dealing with teenagers and maintaining your sanity.  As most of you know–I have three teenage girls at home along with a precious 5-year-old.  I struggle maintaining sanity considering that my older girls have officially decided that I am the dumbest person to walk the earth.  This too shall pass I know but Theresa’s Sanity Post was helpful to me.

Theresa writes:

It’s undeniable. Teens have a way of driving us insane! The pants on the ground, the one headphone in the right ear, the short shorts, that evil “duh” look. These typical teen characteristics alone are enough to drive us crazy. If you have a teen in your home or if you work with teens you could probably add about 100 other characteristics to the short list above. Your problem isn’t that they drive you insane with all their silly teen behaviors and desires, your problem is that you love working with teens. So how can you keep the main thing the main thing? You love teens and you desire to see them reach their full potential.

YOU NEED TO TAKE A SANITY PILL. Of course I’m not talking about real sanity pills, although you might feel like you need to be on some sort of medication at this point. I am talking about five key things that can keep you sane when the teen you love or the teens you love are trying to drive you insane!

DON’T TAKE THE BAIT

Teens have mastered the art of making adults feel disrespected or stupid. Every time a student ignores you, rolls their eyes, etc and you react in a negative way, you are taking the bait. Taking every roll of the eyes, or disrespectful comment personally will drive you insane. When you address a teen, do it with a pleasant tone, ignore any bait being thrown at you. Repeat yourself calmly if you have to, and make good eye contact. When they see that you are not responding to their tactics you’ll be amazed what results you get.

DON’T MAKE MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLEHILLS

If your main priority is to love the student you live with or work with, keep that the main priority. Constantly policing what they wear, how they talk, what they listen to will drive you insane. I’m not at all saying that having an influence over some of those choices is not important, but it cannot be the most important. Make sure your love for your teen does not get overshadowed by things that in the end you will both laugh about.

CELEBRATE WHO THEY ARE NOT WHO THEY’RE NOT

Take the student or students that are driving you insane and write out things about them that you love or know that they are. Example – Michael is creative, has a huge heart, and is a leader. Write down a second list of things that are stealing all the attention away from the first list. Michael is leading other students in negative ways, Michael doesn’t listen, and Michael is not responsible. Now, every time you see “Michael” or your student, make a point to celebrate by affirming or connecting with the things you wrote down on the first list. It’s easy to let the negative characteristics of a student still all the limelight. Remember, this student is a person that you love and has amazing potential.

LET YOUR YES BE YES AND YOUR NO BE NO

Part of your insanity is on you and you alone. You can’t say one thing and then do another. If you say you’re going to call a student’s parents, call them. If you say you’ll send a student home, send him home. Teenagers can not live without boundaries. Students will not take you serious if you bluff. And once they call your bluff they will drive you insane.

STAY AS CLOSE TO JESUS AS POSSIBLE

In all my years of mentoring teens, the biggest thing that has kept me from going insane is Jesus. Seriously. If I did not have a close relationship with Jesus I would have reacted selfishly so many more times than I have. Pray, get time alone with him, talk to him, yell at him, whatever, but stay close to him.

Now, go love on some crazy teenagers and keep your sanity!

For more pearls of wisdom from Theresa, visit her site at http://theresamazza.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Family, Guest Blog, Humor, Mind, Spirit 1 Comment

Metabolism Boosters by Kevin Deeth

The Best Metabolism Boosters

A high metabolism means that the body is burning calories at a greater rate than average. However, an elevated metabolism goes beyond helping you burn calories and lose weight. Benefits also include

  1. More energy
  2. Better disease prevention
  3. Improved brain function
  4. Ability to recover from exercise or injury faster
  5. Healthier looking skin… to name a few

You have a huge amount of control over your metabolic rate. You can burn an extra 500 to 600 calories a day by exercising properly and eating right.” John Berardi, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., author of The Metabolism Advantage

So how does one get an elevated metabolism to reap all of these great benefits? Here are a few things to jumpstart your metabolism and get you on track towards a healthy lifestyle

1. 16 Ounces Of Cold Water Every Morning

  • Dehydration is your body’s enemy. It slows bodily functions and metabolism.
  • Your metabolism will slow to conserve energy when you haven’t had enough water to drink, as your organs can’t and won’t function as efficiently.
  • Scientifically speaking, drinking water has been proven to contribute to your body’s ability to burn calories.
  • Your body will burn a few extra calories heating the cold water to your core temperature

2. Eat A High Protein Breakfast

  • If you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows to a crawl to conserve energy
  • A high protein breakfast can boost the metabolic rate up to 30% for as long as 12 hours and provide lower insulin release, while assisting with food cravings.
  • Aim for something high in protein, containing some complex carbohydrates, and  healthy fats.
  • Cramming protein into every meal helps build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, even at rest
  • My Example: I have a 2 egg omelette with chicken breast/mushroom/peppers and a serving of my Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe found herehttp://www.builtlean.com/2012/03/14/steel-cut-oats-recipe/

3. Drink Coffee

  • In a recent study the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee increased 16 percent over that of those who drank decaf.
  • Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system by increasing your heart rate and breathing which will raise your metabolism and burn more calories.

4. Lift Weights In Place Of Cardio

  • Our bodies constantly burn calories, even when we’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. To add more muscle you need to lift weights and perform resistance training.
  • Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily.
  • After a bout of resistance training, muscles are activated all over your body, increasing your average daily metabolic rate.

5. Drink Green Tea

  • The brew contains a plant compound called ECGC, which promotes fat burning.
  • In one study, people who consumed the equivalent of three to five cups a day for 12 weeks decreased their body weight by 4.6 percent.
  • According to other studies, consuming two to four cups of green tea per day may torch an extra 50 calories by revving up your metabolism.

6. Eat Spicy Foods

  • Spicy foods contain chemical compounds that can kick the metabolism into a higher gear.
  • It turns out capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their mouth-searing quality, can also fire up your metabolism. Eating about one tablespoon of chopped red or green chilies boosts your body’s production of heat and the activity of your sympathetic nervous system.
  • One study suggests spicy food can provide a temporary rise in metabolism of about 8% greater than a person’s typical metabolic rate.

7. Eat Every 3 hours

  • Eating more often really can help you lose weight and boost your metabolism.
  • When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals.
  • Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranking, so you burn more calories over the course of a day.
  • Several studies have also shown that people who snack regularly eat less at meal time.

Conclusion

These 7 suggestions can help promote an elevated metabolism which will allow you to burn more calories and help sustain a healthy lifestyle. While each one may only promote a slight increase in your metabolism, incorporating all of them into a daily routine will surely provide noticeable changes and benefits. Even those of you that are inherently lazy can force some cold water down in the morning or add some spice to your lunch and dinner. Give these a try and find out which ones work the best for you.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Thanks again to Kevin Deeth for another great post!  The timing of this information is perfect considering the heightened awareness of processed foods and their toxicity to our bodies.  All of our low-fat diet foods are simply free radicals gone wild!  Old cousin Joe (see Free Radical post) is throwing an all nighter in our guts when we eat these foods!  Remember that the Adkins diet may have seemed great at the time, however Dr. Adkins is now unfortunately deceased.  Vitality is the key–focus on lifestyle changes, not dieting!

Kevin writes:

I read a great article on the Wall Street Journal that inspired this post.

Over the last 20 years marketers and food manufactures have coaxed consumers into believing that the cause of rising obesity rates is due to our surplus fat intake. Consumers make choices they believe are healthy based on “healthy labels” when in fact they are not.We’re bombarded with supposedly guilt-free options: baked potato chips, fat-free ice cream, low-fat candies, which people think are healthy options because they are marketed as “low-fat” or “natural”. Yes, a high amount of saturated fat and trans fat is not good, but healthy fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect and are essential to a healthy/well-balanced diet.

Myth: All fats are equal—and equally bad for you.

Fact: Saturated fats and trans fats are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease. But monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for you, lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease.

Myth: Fat-free means healthy.

Fact: A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without consequences to your waistline. Many fat-free foods are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and calories.

Myth: Eating a low-fat diet is the key to weight loss.

Fact: The obesity rates for Americans have doubled in the last 20 years, coinciding with the low-fat revolution. Cutting calories is the key to weight loss, and since fats are filling, they can help curb overeating.

In recent years people have started to figure out that fat may not be main contributor to rising obesity rates, but a surplus of processed carbohydrates may actually be at the forefront of our problems. Cue, the “low-carb” diets where consumers restrict carb intake to under 100g/day. A recent article published by the Wall Street Journal claims that “A diet based on healthy carbohydrates—rather than a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet—offers the best chance of keeping weight off without bringing unwanted side effects”… and I couldn’t agree more.

The Study

Goal:  The study was designed to look at the impact of the three diets on measures of energy expenditure, in addition to assessing hormones, fat levels in the blood and other health markers.

  • Participants followed a low glycemic food plan that focused on  fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. The Study explains while people who follow a low-carb diet also lose weight effectively, they have trouble keeping it off and encounter unwanted side effects.
  • Participants were placed on one of three diets for a month: a low-fat diet limiting fats to 20% of total calories; a low-carbohydrate diet modeled on the Atkins diet, limiting carbohydrate intake to 10% of total calories; and a low-glycemic-index diet, which contained 40% of total calories from carbohydrates, 40% from fats and 20% from protein. Participants were then switched to the other two diets during two additional four-week periods.

Results

  • “The low-fat diet had the worst effect” on energy expenditure, Dr. Ludwig said. Participants on that diet also had increases in triglycerides, a type of fat, and lower levels of so-called good cholesterol. “We should avoid severely restricting any major nutrient and focus on the quality of the nutrient,”
  • The low-carb diet had the biggest boost in total energy expenditure, burning about 300 calories more per day than those on the low-fat diet—about the same as an hour of moderate exercise. But that bump came at a cost: increases in cortisol, a stress hormone, and a measure of inflammation called CRP, which can raise the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
  • Those on the low-glycemic-index diet burned about 150 calories a day more than those on the low-fat diet without any negative impacts on cholesterol levels or various hormones, making it the ideal diet, Dr. Ludwig said. The glycemic index measures the impact of carbohydrates on blood-sugar levels.

Conclusion and Takeaway

A balanced diet filled with healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates is ideal for loosing weight and keeping it off. Yes a low-carb diet can be effective, but you may develop other health risks, suffer from low energy levels, and risk  putting weight back on. Carbohydrates are used by our body as energy that can help sustain an efficient and worth-while workout. If your workout is jeopardized due to an nonavailability of adequate energy levels from carbohydrates then your exercise goals are compromised. Just to clarify; I am not advocating people go load up on pasta, breads, cereals, and other processed carbs. The key is to make sure the carbohydrates you do consume all come with a healthy dose of fiber and protein with a low glycemic index from things like fruit, vegetables, minimally processed oats and whole grains.

My Favorite Carb Sources

Quinoa

Steel Cut Oats

Black Beans

Source:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304458604577490943279845790.html?mod=e2tw

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Guest Blog, Humor, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Thank you Kevin!

he Diet Soda Hoax

“They may be free of calories, but not of consequences.”

In one study, people who drank two or more diet sodas a day had five times the increase in waist circumference over a 10-year period compared to people who didn’t drink any diet soda.

I think this topic is extremely relevant for summer time. Sodas and sodas mixed with alcohol are a summer time staple for many people. I respect people who don’t let their diet or nutrition plan interfere with their social life. I think there is something to be said about having a healthy balance between eating well, watching what you drink and socializing. Food and drink should never control your life. With that being said, there is a difference between smart choices and misinformed choices. The best example I can think of is people who buy diet soda or have  diet soda with alcohol because they are “watching their weight.”

The Science

  • Artificial sweeteners in diet soda could have the effect of triggering appetite but unlike regular sugars they don’t deliver something that will squelch the appetite
  • Sweeteners can inhibit brain cells that make you feel full. So while you may be saving calories in comparison with regular soda the artificial sweeteners will trigger your appetite and cause you to overeat in some other fashion.
  • Psychological licensing effect -If a person thinks that they are doing something that is benefiting them, they will be more prone to do something that may be potentially harmful, creating some sort of psychological balance. For instance, many people will work out for an hour or more, and then eat something unhealthy because “they earned it.” The same effect can be seen with diet sodas. People may think that diet sodas are more healthy, and they therefore drink more diet soda than they normally would. This will increase any negative effects beyond what they may expect from an infrequent consumption of cola.
  • Artificial sweeteners trigger byproducts in our gut called “short chain fatty acids” which can decrease satiety signals. (The component that relays messages to your brain to tell if you are full are interfered with as a byproduct of artificial sweeteners.)

What To Drink Instead

Honestly, the only things I ever recommend that people drink are water, black coffee, tea, unsweetened almond milk, and alcohol in moderation. If these don’t satisfy your cravings than opt for something that doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, or large amounts of sugar.

Examples

1. 100 percent pure juice from fresh fruit, not from concentrate, with no additives of any kind. ( I always recommend whole fruits over juices but there can be some compromise.)

Apple Juice

2. Fresh Vegetable Juice (Again, I always recommend whole vegetables but juicing vegetables can be a great alternative.)

3.100 percent pure fruit smoothie. ( I don’t trust any commercial smoothie joints just because you can never be sure what kind of sweeteners they use but do-it-yourself smoothies make for a great snack and thirst quencher.)

Conclusion

The jury is out. Diet soda is not a healthy alternative to regular soda. Not to say you should revert back to drinking regular soda where you know the sweetness you taste is actually real sugar and sugar additives. This is by no means better than artificial sweeteners. In my mind they are equally as bad and the decision on which to choose is a coin toss.  My suggestion is to play it safe and avoid all sodas and opt for water.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

The Celebration Diet

Our friend Kate Chaplin has a charming book entitled “The Celebration Diet” that is a welcome addition to any plan to get healthy.  This blog embraces the mind, spirit, and body.  After all, how can your body be healthy when your mind is cluttered by stress and you start losing faith and spirit?  Kate offers some great ideas on how to center your mind to help improve your overall health!  You can purchase a copy at http://katechaplin.wordpress.com/  Here is an excerpt worth reading.  Thanks Kate for making a difference!

 

 

 

 

“Every January, I make a resolution to lose weight. The year starts with great progress; I am eating healthy and exercising. There are a few holidays and birthdays of long distance friends and relatives, but no parties or triple-layered chocolate cakes to dodge. Then BAMB! We are in February through June, otherwise known as my “weight gaining season”.

Valentine’s Day is the warm up. Some flowers and a few chocolates but I am still on track. What I do not realize is that the Ides of March are fast approaching. In which lies my father’s birthday and my birthday. Somewhere in March, there will be cake and ice cream. I think to myself, “It’s my birthday, I deserve a treat.”

No sooner do I reward myself than my anniversary approaches. “We have to celebrate our anniversary at a nice restaurant” I say. A few glasses of wine later the power to resist the sweets, fats and carbs are fading away.

May comes along with my husband, daughter, and brother’s birthday and they will definitely want cake and why not they each weigh a buck-twenty. Soon Mother’s Day approaches which inevitably will be a repeat of Valentine’s Day filled with flowers and candy. Before I know it, swimsuit season is upon us and I have gained at least ten pounds. It’s the celebrations that kill me. I knew I had discovered my Achilles heel and I had to come up with a way to celebrate without food”

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Green Living, Guest Blog, Humor, Nutrition, Uncategorized, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Eat Alkaline Foods

Thanks to Tatiana for allowing AngelaMD to share this great article and site!

Learn What Fruit Stickers Mean

When buying food, we look at the label to make smarter choices. But when it comes to fruits and vegetables, and since they don’t have a label, the choosing becomes a little harder. Well, that little sticker on fruits or vegetables that don’t come in a package has a lot of useful information. It tells you whether they have been conventionally grown, or are organic, or if they have been genetically modified. This is important information if we keep in mind that 7 out of every 10 items in grocery store shelves contain genetically modified ingredients.

The little sticker is called PLU code which stands for Price Look Up Code. These codes have been in use since 1990, and there are over 1300 universal PLU codes assigned. But they all follow some general guidelines, here they are:

  • 4 digits and begin with a 3 or a 4:produce is conventionally grown. This means that this produce was been sprayed with weed killers and chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • 5-digits and start with an 8: produce was genetically engineered or genetically modified. This means the produce’s genes were genetically altered to produce bigger, or faster growing, or better looking produces. Needless to say, this process is detrimental to the produce, and very dangerous to your health. Read the 4 tips to avoid GMOto learn more.
  • 5-digits and start with a 9: produce was raised organically. These are produces that have not been treated with chemicals and that haven’t been genetically manipulated. These are the safest produces out there.

To me learning the meaning of those codes on the sticker was a great discovery, and I wanted to share this because I would dare to say that most people are not aware of this information.

The PLU system is administered by the International Federation for Produce Standards, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association.

To illustrate the code use, here is an example:

  • 3440: Conventionally grown Pomegranate
  • 83440: Genetically Modified (GMO) Pomegranate
  • 93440: Organically grown Pomegranate

As you can see, the last four number are the same in all three codes. The last four numbers refer to what kind of fruit or vegetable it is.

Fruit sticker Learn What Fruit Stickers MeanNow to review and keep in mind, if it starts with an 8, stay away from it, it is man made, or man messed around with to be more precise. These produces benefit only the pocket of the company producing them. Their nutritional value has been altered and very much diminished, and they pose serious health treats to you.

If possible, one should try to eat everything organic. But since this is not always possible for different reasons, it is good to keep in mind which produces are more prone to absorb chemicals and pesticides, and so are recommended to be eaten organic. These produces are called the “dirty dozen”, and are:

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Spinach, kale and collard greens
  9. Cherries
  10. Potatoes
  11. Grapes
  12. Lettuce

When buying those produces, try as possible to get them organic.

On the other hand, the 15 produces that are considered the “cleanest” and that could be bought conventional are:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mangoes
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi fruit
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Sweet onions

The reason why some products are safer than others to eat when grown conventionally is because these products do not absorb as much chemicals and pesticides, and so are not passing as many toxics to us as the “dirty” ones do.

I hope you liked the information presented, and I hope it will be of help the next time you go grocery shopping.

For more alkaline related articles visit  http://www.eatalkalinefoods.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Healthy Snacking –by Kevin Deeth

Kale chips are a healthy alternative to typical potato chips. They provide the same great taste and similar to all chips and snacks, most people find it very difficult to have just one. The great thing about kale chips is you can have more than a handful without stuffing yourself with empty calories from processed white flour or potatoes, unhealthy oils,  and salt.

Benefits Of Kale

  •  Kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, delicious flavor, and  is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
  • One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
  • Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K
  • Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
  • Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

Comparison Of Kale Chips With Other Popular Chips

Kale (1 ounce, 28 grams) 

  • Calories-15
  • Fat-0 grams
  • Fiber-2 grams
  • Sodium-12 grams
  • Carbs-3 grams
  • Protein-1 gram
  • Sugars-1 gram

Lays classic original (1 ounce, 28 grams)

  • Calories-150
  • Fat-10 grams
  • Fiber -1 gram
  • Sodium-180 grams
  • Carbs-15 grams
  • Protein-2 grams
  • Sugars-0 grams

Tostitos original tortilla chips (1 ounce, 28 grams)

  • Calories-140
  • Fat-7 grams
  • Fiber -1 gram
  • Sodium-120 grams
  • Carbs-18 grams
  • Protein-2 grams
  • Sugars-0 grams

How To Make them

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and put 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on baking sheet

2. Wash 1 head of kale and let it dry completely before putting it on the baking sheet.

3. Strip the kale from the stems into about 1-2 inch square pieces and rub in the oil from baking sheet. (Keep in mind kale will shrink when cooked.)

4. Lightly season with pepper and garlic powder

5. Cook for 20-25 minutes (Optional: Flip the kale halfway through)

6. Serve as you would chips, with or without the stems.

Conclusion

The nutritional comparison between kale chips and standard snack chips is a little bit ridiculous when you look at the calorie and carb difference alone.  Obviously when you take into account the processed ingredients involved in making generic chips the gap continues to widen. Yes, extra virgin olive oil will add some calories but it will also provide you with healthy fats that are a great alternative to the “vegetable oil” and “sunflower oil” found in generic chips. Anytime you can substitute natural ingredients/whole foods for processed/packaged foods is always a smart choice and will help you on your journey to achieve optimal body composition.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment