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16 Aug

BLOG 228: HIGHEST SUGAR DRINKS

Liquid calories are dangerous and are often times they go underestimated or neglected. Yet the truth reveals itself on the scale or waistline. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), men should consume no more than 37.5 grams of sugar per day while women should consume no more than 25 grams per day. Here are a list of sugar filled drinks that you may or may not consume, but might think twice about next time.
1. McDonald’s Frappe Mocha: one 8oz has 62 grams of sugar
2. Rockstar Guava: one 8oz can 32 grams
3. Sunkist orange soda: one 8oz can 35grams
4. Starbucks Salted Carmel Mocha Frappacino: 8oz has 33 grams
5. Mountain Dew: one 8oz can 30 grams
6. Newman’s Limeade: 8oz has 34 grams
7. Sobe Greentea Energizer: 20oz bottle 51 grams
8. Minute Maid Cranberry Grape: 8oz has 38 grams
9. McDonald’s Chocolate Shake: 8oz has 42 grams
10. Cold Stone Peanut Butter and Chocolate shake: 8oz has 47 grams

For women, the number of sugar content is easily surpassed. For men, having one of these drinks and a banana makes the daily sugar done for the day. The trouble is that sugar is in so much that we eat, even bread. This means that consuming a large quantity in one choice, leaves the rest of the day chaotic for choices if starting to watch your sugar. Diabetics have to be especially careful. We learn as we go and can see that if these drinks are consumed regularly, how much damage can occur.

Eating too much sugar can lead to metabolic syndrome which encompasses weight gain, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar levels, increased bad LDL cholesterol, and high blood pressure. No matter what sugar is called or hidden as, even in breads, sugar is sugar to the body. The brain likes the dopamine feeling. Your mood raises then crashes and burns. Sugar can rot the teeth. Eating lots of sugar has been associated with inflammation in the joints. Skin can even age faster. The heart become stressed because insulin levels raise int eh blood stream. This can lead to heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Kidney damage can occur. The pancreas can also go into overdrive producing insulin.

Any little cut back in sugar is better for you both inside and out. We have to prioritize our sugar intake and understand that sugar is all around us. It adds up quickly. Awareness is the knowledge we need, and action is what we must do to be advocates for our health. Don’t ignore labels and don’t ignore the changes that are needed to improve your health. Sugary drinks only offer temporary satisfaction but can have long term damage.

08 Aug

BLOG 227 BABY OIL

Originally formatted for baby’s sensitive skin, baby oil is a great product. In fact, it is just mineral oil without the smell. It had evolved and changed over the years, and some people even know how to make it at home. This product has many uses and it is no longer (or has it ever been) just for babies, despite the labeling name. There are many personal applicational uses and even home uses that have many people raving over this oil.
Baby oil is made of the following ingredients: mineral oil, honey, aloe vera extract, vitamin A, vitamin E, and sometime other aromatic compounds. Other variations of this product that are not 100% natural might also have carrier oil (such as coconut oil), wheat germ, beeswax to make it thicker, and other essential oils like lavender or tangerine.
Baby oil’s originally intended purpose was and still is to moisturize a baby’s skin. However, kids and adults can also reap the benefits. Here are other uses of this incredible product:
1. Moisturize hair: This oil can be a treatment to the scalp and hydration to the scalp and hair.
2. Help with flaky, scaly skin: This might include making the skin of the heels softer.
3. Help with under-eye skin: This is a sensitive area that is neglected by many, despite its constant exposure to the environment.
4. Make-up remover: It works well removing the line-up of makeup used for the day.
5. After shaving oil: It can help add and lock in moisture to the newly exposed pores.
6. It can be used as a lubricant for machine parts or appliances.
7. Earwax: It can be used to help remove this.
8. Stretch marks: It can be applied for prevention.
9. Polishing: it can make counter tops and stone products sparkle.
10. Message oil: It is used by many in this industry.
11. It can help remove temporary tattoos and bandages without pulling to much hair and leaving residue.
12. It can help un-do a stuck zipper.
13. Soothe insect bites: It can be used as an anti-inflammatory.
14. Heel skin rashes: It works well to ease irritation.

Baby oil is one of the products to keep around the house just in case. This versatile oil is good for so many reasons, that having some on hand as the answer to little issues that arise can help save time, help address the problem faster, and make the pain go away quicker. Most people are advocates of baby oil in adult life and there’s certainly good cause for this.

31 Jul

BLOG 226 TEMPTATION

Temptation is the desire to participate in short term enjoyment. It is an urge that threatens long term goals. Curiosity or fear of loss can cause temptation. Temptation actually has 4 stages:
1. Desire: This word originated from the Greek word epithumeeah, which can be translated to mean lust or craving. This desire doesn’t have to be for something bad, it can even be for good things. Soon this amount of desire goes into over-drive.
2. Enticement: This is the feeling of being lured by something. This can be onset by a trigger that gets the motor or process going. The second part is having tempting thoughts. The over-desire and the trigger meet.
3. Conception: The desire becomes action. A person tells themselves that what they are doing is no big deal and starts to justify and rationalize the action that is to come. Then the action, the birth, takes place.
4. Death: This describes the process of decay and misery that result from sin.

Everyone faces temptation because it is the result of our own natural desires. We have to recognize this human tendency. Most of us face temptation daily. Think about food. We are tempted to eat what we desire, although if we always gave into these urges the obesity epidemic would be even worse. We have to be able to stand up to the temptation. We have to identify our triggers, know our struggles, and work to resist.

Often times it is temptation that causes a person to fall off the workout or eating clean wagon. Desserts and fried food are luring everywhere. Food is celebration and socially part of meetings, occasions, and lurk at every corner. Act with your intuition and know that these choices have consequences. Find a source of accountability and seek help when needed. Making important lifestyle changes doesn’t have to be an isolated experience. You can. You will. And it is going to happen for you.

25 Jul

BLOG 225 PETS

Pets are our companions, confidants, and part of the family. They improve our lives for many different reasons. In fact, owning a pet can be beneficial to a person’s health. Here’s why:
1. Pets fulfill the human need to touch: Scratch and pet all you want.
2. Pets provide a sense of purpose; They need their owner for food and shelter.
3. Pets require routine and organization: They must be fed and cared for, which keeps the owner accountable.
4. Pets improve heart health: Owners walks their pets and activity is appreciated by the body.
5. Pets reduce stress: They’re soothing and calming and compassionate friends to have around.
6. Pets improve mood: Their innocence and playful nature makes people smile.
7. Pets improve social life: Owners share a common interests and pets can attract other people who are engaged by them.
8. Pets improve the immune system: Babies who are raised in pet friendly environments often times have less allergies as they age.
9. Pets reduce loneliness: If a person lives alone or feels isolated, pets are there to share space.
10. Pets reduce anxiety: Pets offer loyalty and comfort and keep a person in check with life’s responsibilities reducing the opportunity to fall apart emotionally.
11. Pets can improve love life: Mr. or Mrs. Right can be lured in with the appeal of a cute and friendly animal.

Some people have just one. Some people have just one type. While others have more than one and more than one type. They become our children. They become part of us. Pets are amazing additions to our lives that help us embrace our daily functions with a little added bonus when we get home. I like that they get you moving and active.

18 Jul

BLOG 224 HEREDITARY TRAITS

Our DNA is the result of our parents with some traits being more obviously handed down then others. For example, eye color, hair color, or the way our face might be shaped, or any combination of those, are qualities from mom and dad. Genetically passed down traits are mostly physical. These include heath factors such as high blood pressure or even mental illnesses. Most people wouldn’t associate lifestyle choices and behaviors as being inherited, but actually some are. The following are some traits that your parents can be blamed for:
1. How food tastes: The preference between spicy of bland is the result of the flavors mom and dad enjoy. DNA is associated with taste. Not only this, but we have to think of what we ate at an age when we didn’t have a choice about what was put in front of us. Now that we have the choice it becomes second nature to make the recipes or eat the foods we are familiar with from those choiceless days.
2. Your driving skills: Those who are poor drivers might be able to point the finger at their parents. We inherit brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) which is responsible for learning and memory during certain activities such as driving. Therefore, certain learning skills allow for better retention for certain skills than others.
3. Your coffee intake: Some people would prefer an IV of caffeine if possible. Some people have more of the gene PDSS2 which influences the amount of coffee someone drinks.
4. Musical talent: The ability to recognize pitch and tone come from the right genes. Musical ability might not be based on the number of hours practiced. There’s nothing wrong with practice, but there may be incredible genes behind the greatest rock star talents.
5. Laziness: Physical exertion is a matter of choice, and for some its workout regularly and others are more lured by the couch. DNA can determine how physically active we are.
6. Who you vote for: We tend to favor who are parents select. Traditionalism is a factor. We are predisposed to political positions.
7. Popularity: Having a lot of friends might be based on how likable you are passed down from mom and dad. Interaction with your peers is a trait you received.

Keeping it all in the family may be true for more than just how you look. Some come from just mom while others come just from dad. Some are good to blame for and others we would rather go without. Maternal come from mom, paternal from dad, dominant from whichever overrides, and recessive come from both. We are our parent’s recipes and we add our own flavor along the way.

11 Jul

BLOG 223 HAMBURGERS

When we think of American food, the classic hamburger comes to mind. Certain chains have made this meat patty and bun extremely popular, especially with all the different versions that now exist. The patty can be fried, grilled, or flame boiled, and some of the traditional toppings include lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard, cheese, pickles, mayonnaise, or different special sauces.

The first hamburger was sold by Louis Lassen in 1895. This information is according to the government of Connecticut who said that hamburgers originated from the Louis Lunch restaurant. This sandwich was actually nameless until a traveler from Hamburg, Germany, named it after where he lived. It wasn’t until about 1921 when White Castle in Kansas became the first chain to carry the product. About 19 years later, McDonalds soon followed suit. This chain was known for adding variety to the sandwich. Because McDonalds offered fast service, the hamburger soon became a hit. Today, Burger King follows McDonalds as the second largest hamburger chain.

A traditional single patty hamburger has about 230 calories, 9.5 grams of fat, 25 carbohydrates, and 13 grams of protein.
Americans consume approximately 50 billion burgers per year.
About 75% of all American restaurants are burger joints.
71% of beef consumed in American is in the form of a hamburger.
There are over 50,000 burger joints across the United States.
Of all sandwiches sold, burgers account for 60%.
McDonalds purchases over 1 billion pounds of hamburger meat per year.

Besides the major chains the list of burger joints that sell the most burgers are as follows: In-N-Out, Culver’s, Fuddruckers, Steak n Shake, Smashburger, Five Guys, Whataburger, Rally’s, Carl’s Jr., and Wendy’s.

A burger can be very basic or very unique these days. The portion distortion of a single patty has also become part of the more the merrier for the belly. Not to mention the French fries or onion rings that come on the side. A burger can pretty much satisfy anyone’s taste-buds and there are now vegetarian and non-red meat options. Those following dietary restrictions might ditch the bun and opt for a lettuce wrap. There are gigantic not able to fit in your mouth burgers, and then there are mini sliders. Depending on your preference, a burger can be detrimental to the waistline or a good addition of iron and nutrients. Going back to the basic hamburger Louis Lassen made might be a lost art, but there’s always room for simplicity in one’s life. At summer barbeques and parties, burgers are always an option on the menu. A hamburger is taste of American tradition well sought after.

05 Jul

BLOG 222 EATING OUT

Dining out. Eating out. To-go. Fast food. Restaurants. Delivery. It’s food served to you and not prepared by you. When cooking at home is not on the to-do list or packing something just isn’t happening, eating out is the solution. No matter the reason, your wallet is paying the price in addition to your waistline.
Eating out allows you to be sociable. It’s a nice change of scenery. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate. It’s less work than cooking. Most times the food is great. Eventually, eating out can become the new norm for you, and suddenly your meals are taking place in different settings three or more times per week. Maybe the following will serve as convincing argument to stay at home more often.
1. Eating out is expensive. Your no effort to cook means that you are being served by someone else and you are paying for this luxury of labor. You also have to add in transportation and the tips.
2. It’s not healthy. The food tastes so good because of the extra fats from oils, condiments, and sauces that add flavor. Fast food is completely salt filled.
3. You don’t really know what is put in the food. If you are watching your waistline, you don’t know what all is included in the cooking process.
4. There is more to be tempted by. You are always asked if you want dessert. The effort to make a poor choice is so much easier than baking a cake yourself. Any day becomes a special occasion.
5. Tradition can be lost. Home cooked recipes are a favorite of everyone. Don’t let their novelty wear off or their passing onward be forgotten. Teach the next generation how to cook up your favorite meals.
6. Time consuming. Eating out can be a waiting game depending on when and where you go. Plus the drive time there and back. This doesn’t hold true for fast food, but fast food can take time off your life by increasing health risks.
7. Portion control. Let’s face it you are likely to eat much more than you would have if you made the meal yourself. Having the will power to just eat some and take the other part home for later can be a daunting task that feels like you are depriving yourself.
8. You tend to drink more beverages that are sugar filled and calorie filled. Free refills so why not have more. Since the alcohol is there why not and another round.
9. You can’t really relax. There are social norms that come with eating in front of others. You aren’t in your pajamas. You typically have to hold conversations too.
10. Guilt. You just keep going even though you told yourself you would eat out less and when you did eat out you wouldn’t order poor choices, have extra drinks, or dessert. But you walk away yet again having done it.

Challenge yourself to 30 days of eating at home. See what happens as your own experiment for your health.

24 Jun

BLOG 221 REASONS TO LIE

To tell a lie, to avoid or not state the truth, to say something that is not accurate, is a behavior that ridicules decision making and questions a person’s character. There are pathological and compulsive liars, and there are those that just tell little lies here and there. Sometimes, understanding why a person lies or why you have even lied requires looking at the perspective through the culprit’s eyes. Here are some reasons people lie when they really don’t need to at all.

1. Avoiding disappointment: The person is worried about losing someone else’s respect. It is human nature to want to be liked, to want to impress others, and to care what other people think. A person might feel the truth could undermine any of these sentiments.
2. The lie matters: A person might lie about going to the grocery store when they really went to the mall because to them this lie matters. For whatever reason, it is important to them that the other party think they went to the store and not the mall.
3. Control: People tell lies because they want to control a situation. In order to get the outcome or reaction they want, a lie is necessary.
4. It’s not a lie to them: Memory tells this person that they are recounting the situation correctly. Their memory is unreliable, so they fill in the blanks with what they believe to actually be true. It is as if the person has created an alternate world in their head that makes them think what they are saying did happen and is true.
5. The person wants what they’re saying to be true: A person might feel that by making a statement or repeating what they want to be true, will actually make it true. Desire and need are human nature, when a person lies it is because to see the world play out how they have imagined it in their mind.
6. Lying becomes a snowball: Repetitive liars often don’t even know they are lying anymore. Sometimes telling one lie, leads to another lie to cover up that lie. The confusion creates more and more lies. They can hardly trust themselves anymore.

The expression that the truth hurts sometimes makes a person lie to be nice or to avoid confrontation. In the end, the truth always prevails and wins. That is why it is the truth. We live in a world with a justice system that we believe should uphold the truth. Therefore, it starts with our moral character and even if it seems like telling a little lie won’t hurt anyone, when the truth surfaces lies usually go back to the teller and are viewed as a negative character defect. Don’t lie to yourself and don’t lie to anyone else….simple.

20 Jun

BLOG 220 MAYONNAISE

Mayonnaise, “mayo”, is a popular condiment used around the world. It is the combination of egg yolk, oil, acid, and either lemon juice or vinegar. This recipe might be tasty, but it is full of trans fat and saturated fat. The heart does not appreciate this. The list of negatives continues with this condiment being high in calories, high in cholesterol, and high in sodium. Mayo is mostly oil. Regardless, people love to use it on sandwiches, in salad dressings, and tarter sauce. Others just use it standing alone to dip foods in. Not paying attention to the portion quickly leads to high amounts of calories and fat in one false swoop. Think of potato salad, deviled eggs, and dressings… portion distortion is rampant.

Mayonnaise is the product of an interesting process called emulsification. Lemon juice or vinegar and egg yolk combine to turn a liquid into a solid. In the U.S., most commercial mayo is made with soy oil which is high in omega 6 fatty acids. There are 57 calories and 4 grams of fat in 1 tablespoon. For an item that isn’t necessary to have, it is more for flavor and your preference, mayonnaise could be opted out. There are reduced fat and lower calorie options, but these tend to be loaded with sugar. There are also a lot of artificial ingredients and preservatives in mayo.

In order to avoid some of the poor points about mayo, making a homemade version is a good idea. Using avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, or olive oil can help lower the amount of omega 6. There are different ways to add flavor so that this healthier version is still tasty. This might include adding hot sauce, curry powder, garlic, or pesto.

Having 4.5% of your daily calories from 1 tablespoon of mayo seems pretty high for such a small quantity. When having macaroni salad, potato salad, or different dressings, it is highly unlikely that just this portion is being consumed. Regular mayo eaters might experience weight gain. Yes, the body needs some fat and some sodium to operate, but we always have to consider the source. It is small daily choices that add of overtime and make a difference. For someone who tops their daily lunchtime sandwich with mayo, this accumulates over time. It can be avoided. Condiments are add-ons that are not necessary. If concerned, prepare at home and maybe that sandwich at lunch can have some of your own version to keep the flavor the way like it.

15 Jun

BLOG 219 GRANOLA

Granola has that healthy but sometimes no-so-healthy make up of ingredients. A basic granola recipe contains the following ingredients: oats, some type of sweetener such as sugar or honey, and some type of crisp made from wheat or rice. Then other add ons might include nuts, dried fruits, or even coconut. The major controversy with granola is that only ¼ cup Is one serving, and most of the time granola is not consumed in this small quantity. Some eat it by the cup as cereal or others drown their acai bowls with the crunch. Well, that one fourth cup is composed of 100 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of fiber. Now when nuts, raisons, dark chocolate, or other toppers are included, these numbers rise. A standard cup of granola contains 597 calories and 29 grams of fat. That is so much for such a small amount.

What this means is that filling a bowl with granola and milk to start the day equates to having a 600 calorie breakfast filled with sweeteners. When it comes to granola, a light sprinkle is the recommended serving size to stick to that ¼ cup. This might mean having a little on top of yogurt or a handful as a snack, not a free for all just because it can be bought in health food stores. All calories aside, granola does contain magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and selium. It is considered a whole grain and contains folate, Vitamin E, and thiamin. Granola is also a healthy fat. Magnesium is needed for energy production. Calcium is needed for bone health. Selium, zinc, copper, and manganese are all great for red blood cells, bones, and connective tissue. Folate and thiamin are types of Vitamin B which help with cell growth, metabolism, and nerve function.

Granola certainly has its pros and cons. It is not all bad and it is not all good. It is certainly a type of food that can be misleading. Health food stores even make their own and one tends to think that this snack is a great option versus a bag of chips or candy bar. However, there aren’t always labels on the back to tell you just how much sugar or other ingredients are involved. The key is portion control and not getting carried away with reaching for more and more. There are all sorts of granola bars too. Label reading is very important, especially when it comes to what constitutes what one serving is.