Posts Tagged ‘diet’

Time for another food related rant.  Stick around to the end for my suggested solution (see I’m not just spouting off problems everyone should already be aware of… I can tell y’all how to fix it!)

What’s in soda pop?

(Regular) High fructose corn syrup.  Effects of high fructose corn syrup are fairly simple and devious… it blocks the chemicals in your brain that signal that you are full, medically speaking: “it inhibits leptin secretion and it never shuts off gherin.” says Dr. Oz.  Since your brain is convinced there is room for more, you keep drinking.  If you are not careful, there will be more unnoticed calories entering than you keep track of, which leads to over eating/drinking.  It’s a cheap sugar substitute to keep those Dr. Peppers flowing into your glass on a warm summer day.

(Diet) Artificial sweeteners replace natural sugars with modified substances that resemble sugar in their taste but the molecules are different.  And they are different enough that the digestive system cannot break them down to burn like sugar (this is why diabetics can consume them without adverse affects to blood sugar levels).  Some studies have indicated aspartame, one of the most common soda sweeteners, has caused increased migraines, depression in patience with mood disorders, increased hunger is a possibility but further research is needed.  The new player on this team is sucralose, aka Splenda, nearly zero calories and is not fully absorbed by the digestive system.  This is not a cousin of sugar (sucrose) as many believe, this was a precipitate found while developing an insecticide.  It’s pure chemical, not pure sugar.  Did you know chlorine is found in sucralose?  One cup of Splenda contains 96 calories and 32 grams of carbohydrates, this is due to the other artificial sweeteners added to sucralose to make Splenda.  Sucralose is not free from side-effects either, there are reports of digestive problems, skin irritation, mood swings, chest pains and anxiety.  No wonder I feel wired after a can of Coke Zero.

Fizzy phosphorus carries away calcium.  Less calcium means weaker bones and possibly osteoporosis later on in life.

The acidity eats away on your tooth enamel, causing cavities.

What to do if you are hooked on soda?

I won’t tell you to drop it, you will have to steadily decrease your consumption.  This is especially important if you like caffeinated pop.  Your system will go into caffeine withdrawal and you will most likely end up with a migraine.  While I’m not a health professional, I’ve learned from experience.  I was drinking Pepsi daily at work before I got pregnant with Big Brother.  As soon as I found out I was expecting, I stopped eating all the bad things (at least I thought were bad, not like wine or beer – caffeine!).  I had such terrible head aches!  Instead of a full stop I weaned myself and drank plenty of water.  Surprisingly, water makes you feel full faster than soda.  Well, duh it doesn’t have HFC in it! The sad thing is, soda remains dirt cheap. Not only in the supermarkets but on menus too. And most restaurants refill soda for free.  Water from the tap is free, but might not taste a fresh as say the Columbia Icefield run-off.  You don’t need to buy bottles of water either, keep reading.

Help a pop-crazy friend with a cool gift!

Water is the best thing for your body, we’re made up of a lot of it.  Stay fresh and hydrated with a cool earth-friendly water.org bottle.  I already have a Brita water bottle with filter like this one.

I bought it for Big Brother who started school in the nasty hot weather we had this summer.  In Texas, the water can quickly take on “earthy” properties that are not appealing to my nordic taste buds.  This bottle solved that problem and I knew my little one had clean water while away at school.

And just because Matt Damon is awesome, here is a video:

Matt Damon as Clause for a Cause

Sources:  Medicinenet.com   Cleaner Plate Club  Health Regeneration


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Getting older I guess means getting wiser.   After having two beautiful babies in my 20’s, being part of the cause for my putting on an extra 15 pounds, the big 3-0 is now only a few weeks away.  I wouldn’t say I’ve lost my girlish figure, there’s been a couple of additions here (thighs) and there (a new muffin top).  Winding down from the full-out pigfest of pregnancy and breastfeeding took some time and self-regulation, it all comes down to making healthier choices. 

Choosing proper foods does get easier with preparation, practise, and perseverance.  The three P’s towards a healthier lifestyle. 


Knowledge is always the best way to prepare yourself.  Here’s some examples of calorie counts to get you thinking about what you have been eating:

  • McD’s Big Mac… 590 calories 34 grams of fat (1)
  • McD’s Chicken sandwich… 450 calories 18 grams of fat (1)
  • BK Whopper® … 680 calories 39 grams of fat (1)
  • Arby’s® Turkey Club Salad… 350 calories 21 grams of fat (1)
  • Pizza Hut® Veggie pizza, 1 slice… 220 calories 8 grams of fat (1)
  • Taco Bell® Taco Salad… 850 calories 52 grams of fat (1)
  • KFC® Original Chicken Sandwich… 400 calories 24 grams of fat (1)

Surprised?  You should be. 

If you are trying to lose weight, or maintain your current jean size the formula is simple.  Consume fewer calories than you burn in a day, drink plenty of water, and eat smaller frequent meals (no longer than 3 hours between meals). 

My problem is the burning of the calories.  I hardly have any time to devote to actual exercise.  It would take 3 hours of walking (2) just to burn off that 850 calorie Taco Salad!   Also keep in mind 1,500 milligrams of sodium is the maximum daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association, many fast foods, packaged goods, and resturant meals contain elevated levels of sodium.

Make a list of fruits and vegetables you already like to eat, have your list ready for grocery shopping.  It’s rare that I buy cookies from a store, home-made treats taste better and I know what’s in them – no preservatives or excess salt.  My kids love my cookies and I wouldn’t want it any different.


Here is the hard part, putting your plans into action. 

Go buy those fruits and veggies, if you can, at your nearest farmer’s market or CSA.  If your part of the planet doesn’t have a market, seek out organic produce at the super market.   Take a moment to read the labels of foods.  Each time you run out of a staple item, look at the different options presented at the store, compare the labels and read those ingredients!  I just bought some light margarine spread and read the ingredients after it was already home (this was to support my argument of why butter is natural and better than the tub of margarine).  There must have been 15 or more ingredients printed on the plastic tub, while butter contains milk, that’s it.  Just milk. 

Stop using your zombie brain to make choices for you, there are alternatives if you pause while frantically shopping with two screaming children strapped to the shopping cart.  (Yes, I’m the one with the loud 5-year-old at the end of the aisle.)


Habits are hard to avoid and will tend to creep back into your routine while you’re not looking. 

I’ve tried to give up one of my worst vices from pregnancy: ice cream.  I will admit there is a pint container of Java Chip in my freezer at this very moment, and that half of it disappeared last night.  Don’t fret over a small lapse in health consciousness.  I plan to have a crisp romaine salad for dinner tonight to offset that bowl of vice cream. 

You won’t change all of your eating mannerisms overnight, but you have to start somewhere.  Be mindful of the foods presented to you and keep that monster in your belly at bay with a few healthy snacks (an apple, a papaya smoothie, green tea, handful of nuts or dried fruit).  Boost your calorie usage by parking at the far end of every parking lot you use.  Walk to the store if it’s within a reasonable distance of your home, and you are comfortable with the amount of walking it will take to get there and back.  Bring a backpack to store your purchased goods – you will think lighter when you have to carry it all home and will tend to only buy what you need.

(1) Referenced from Atkins® Comprehensive carb counter booklet – free when you join the website.

(2) Calorie Calculator at freedieting.com

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