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April 2018 // Archive

Date based archive
28 Apr

BLOG 161 GMOs

The world has seen a dramatic change in the foods we eat over the last 20 years. Geneticallyl Modified Organisms (GMOs) have increased the yield of food production dramatically. Canola, cotton, corn, and soy have been forever changed. 10% of all farmland is for GMO crops and 70-80% of processed foods come from GMOs. But what does this mean for public health and our environment?? There are arguments to both sides…. of course.

U.S.A. leads the world in GMO production. There are two types. BT are GMOs that resists pesticides in corn including the root worm and corn beatles. These corn beatles are called “the billion dollar bug” because of the destruction they can do to these plants. BT is the name for the gene inserted into these plants. The bug eats the toxic gene and is killed. The toxicity at this point doesn’t affect humans. HT means Herbicide tolerant and is most common in soy. A type of spray is used for these bugs and controls weed growth among the crops. 90% of our soy production has HT and in Argentina it is 100%.

Supporters of GMOs say this is the answer to our growing population. By 2050 we will have nearly 9 billion people. How can we provide for everyone?? Most countries either import GMO food for its people or to feed its livestock.
The trouble is that bugs and weeds have grown a tolerance to BT and HT. It’s like Darwinism, in which adaptation occurs. So more and more is needed to kill them and if the bugs and weeds aren’t absorbing the toxicity, then guess what?? We are. Not only this, but how are we not affected by the spraying done in our environment?? Cross pollination is unavoidable because how can this spray be controlled to just a specific area. Studies have started to link cancer and birth defects to GMOs, but our government doesn’t want to recognize this. Why would South Africa not use GMOs to increase cotton production by 76%?? Even the Pope blessed “golden rice” which is GMO enriched to have more Omega 3 and Vitamin A which is heathy for us and can help children who are deficient in these nutrients.

We are now facing GMAs, Genetically Modified Animals. There has been a cow genetically constructed to produce the same milk woman do. This could help children who cannot breast feed. Salmon has been modified to be bigger. We don’t always know the difference when we are buying these items at the store.

I am an advocate for clean eating, but at some point I have accepted that I don’t really know what exactly I’m eating all the time. The documentary I watched for the help in writing this Blog, “GMOs: Lies and Truths”, was the sickening truth maybe we should all hear. We can only control what we can control, but it’s scary to think our government advocates for products that can harm us (this always makes me think of Coca-Cola but that’s a whole other Blog haha). Read labels, education yourself, and always make the best choices you can for your BODY.

Frederic Cataignede. (2017). GMO Lies and Truths.

21 Apr

BLOG 160 THE STRESS FACTOR

What lights a fire under you?? What grinds your gears, makes you angry, sad, worried, or STRESSED?? We each deal with the components of life differently, and our reactions to circumstances dictate our emotional well-being. Time, relationships, work, school, kids, family…. all these responsibilities can require a balancing act that seems impossible. But that’s life. And unfortunately, stress can have adverse effects on our health… especially weight.

Your body and mind are one and the same. When put under pressure, your brain kicks into a flight or fight mode. And guess what?? Your body wants to use calories in its defense. As such, “Most of us become overeaters when we’re feeling a lot of pressure. This happens thanks to your fight-or-flight response, a.k.a. survival mode — once your body reaches a certain stress level, it does what it feels it needs to. In most cases, that means overeat” (https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/stress-weight-gain#1).

Initially, adrenaline spikes in the body, making one feel less hungry. However, soon after cortisol takes over. Cortisol is the stress hormone. When activated, inhibition can go out the window. Here’s run down: “Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods” (https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/stress-weight-gain#1) . Cheap, convenient, processed foods, are right there to answer the calling.

Here’s the catch: “Today’s human, who sits on the couch worrying about how to pay the bill or works long hours at the computer to make the deadline, does not work off much energy at all dealing with the stressor! Unfortunately, we are stuck with a neuroendocrine system that didn’t get the update, so your brain is still going to tell you to reach for that plate of cookies anyway” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201308/why-we-gain-weight-when-we-re-stressed-and-how-not).

We have to learn to relax, sleep, and breathe. Many clients ask me what foods to turn to. Here’s what I found:
• Dark chocolate: Two studies of 95 adults showed that consuming dark chocolate reduced their cortisol response to a stress challenge.
• Many fruits: A study of 20 cycling athletes showed eating bananas or pears during a 75-km ride reduced levels compared to drinking water only.
• Black and green tea: A study of 75 men found 6 weeks of drinking black tea decreased cortisol in response to a stressful task, compared to a different caffeinated drink.
• Probiotics and prebiotics: Probiotics are friendly, symbiotic bacteria in foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Prebiotics, such as soluble fiber, provide food for these bacteria. Both probiotics and prebiotics help reduce cortisol.
• Water: Dehydration increases cortisol. Water is great for hydrating while avoiding empty calories. A study in nine male runners showed that maintaining hydration during athletic training reduced cortisol levels.
(https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-lower-cortisol#section11).

Life’s demands throw us for a loop from time to time. Reassure yourself that patience is the key and that this too shall pass. Don’t let your negative thoughts take the wheel. Healthy choices outlast split second mistakes. Be kind to your BODY, even in it’s weak moments.

14 Apr

BLOG 159 GAS

Well, farting is part of life. This socially unaccepted normal occurrence in our bodies isn’t exactly fragrance friendly. And I know you are thinking this is an unexplored topic you didn’t expect me to write about haha. The oldest know recorded joke was about farting. Although a private matter, gas in the body happens to every BODY. But let’s be sophisticated and call it fluctulence ?

In fact, according to Medical News Today, “The average person passes wind between 8 and 10 times a day” (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7622.php).
It’s simple: when we chew to eat, we then swallow, and we are taking in air. The digestive system uses nitrogen and oxygen and releases these gases while doing its work. Here’s the catch… the smell. So let’s take a look: “In the process of converting our meals into useful nutrients, these food-munching microbes produce a smelly by-product of hydrogen sulfide gas — the same stench that emanates from rotten eggs” (https://www.livescience.com/32405-what-makes-us-fart.html).

Fiber is the common culprit. However, sugars actually produce the most gas and include the following:
• Fructose — A natural ingredient in plants like onions, corn, wheat and even pears. It’s often concentrated into a sugary syrup for soft drinks and fruit drinks.
• Lactose — Milk’s sweet natural ingredient, also added to foods like bread and cereal. Some people are born with low levels of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose, a fact that inflates their gassy susceptibility.
• Raffinose — The secret gassy ingredient in beans, which is also found in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus and other vegetables. Products like Beano, designed to reduce gas production, break down the sugar before it can reach eager intestinal bacteria.
• Sorbitol — Found in almost all fruits, this indigestible sugar is also used as an artificial sweetener in “diet” and sugar-free foods. Yes, sugar-free gum, candy, soda and anything else deceptively sweet can cause gas.
(https://www.livescience.com/32405-what-makes-us-fart.html)

Carbonated beverages and gum chewing also involve taking in extra air in the body producing gas. And yes, exercise can produce gas. As we move the body during its digestive stages, we can create air bubbles.

Not that I want you to stink up my studio, but I get it…. a little movement might cause some of that fluctuance. But hey did you read that part that says sugar causes gas?? Maybe I found another deterrent for you haha. In other news, let’s hit the gas and become the best version of ourselves.
Side note: Interesting Amazon Prime video watch called “Fart: A Documentary” (2016) by Troy Hale

07 Apr

BLOG 158 BPAs

Eat this. Don’t eat that. Drink this. Don’t drink that. We hear confusing, changes, messages all the time from the news, internet, and social media about what is best for our bodies and what should be ruled out. BPA is on the list for me as another one of these confusions. How can drinking out my water bottle be bad for me?? All I want to do is drink water, which I’m told I’m supposed to do, but now it has to be out a certain type of bottle??

The FDA is looking into BPA. Let’s start with defining this entity: “BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s” (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331). The research isn’t 100% yet about the side effects. The chemical is basically everywhere because plastic is everywhere. The chemical hardens plastics. However, it can seep into our foods and liquids. SO the reality is this: “More than 90% of us have BPA in our bodies right now. We get most of it by eating foods that have been in containers made with BPA. It’s also possible to pick up BPA through air, dust, and water” (https://www.webmd.com/children/bpa#1).

Here are the concerns:
1. Hormones: BPA might act like a hormone so it can disrupt our body’s hormones
2. Brain and behavior: it may alter these
3. Cancer: possibly from ongoing exposure
4. Heart problems: studies show that people with higher levels are more likely to have these
5. Infants and children at risk: because many bottles and baby products use BPA that are exposed at an early age when the body is not able to fight off substances
(https://www.webmd.com/children/bpa#2).

Alternatives to BPA can be found and used. Start with glass containers and jars. Minimize plastic and can use. Keep what plastics you do use cool and don’t put them in the microwave because BPA can leach. Look for non-toxic and BPA free toys and products.

Better safe than sorry and since BPA has only been in use since the 1960s we truly don’t know the long-term side-effects. Chemicals are everywhere even in the air we breathe. We can only control what we can control. Every small, better, choice counts. Guess that means you will have to start eating fresh fruits and vegetables and brings glass cups to the studio ?