Category Archives: aging

Deny the MIXIFY

Wow. The lengths companies will go through to get their share of your stomach and your wallet. Enter the American Beverage Association who represent the refreshment beverage industry. Namely SODA. The ABA, along with PepsiCo, Dr. Pepper and Coke, are launching a new campaign called: MIXIFY. Have you seen it? They want to show you how soda can play a role in a balanced lifestyle. REALLY?? The soft drink industry brings in billions of dollars of revenue every year and shows no signs of slowing down. Their number one concern is profit. Period. Not your health or the health of your family or children. Now they want to let you know that it’s ok to have soda, just balance it out with what you do. Super active? Go ahead and drink up! Sitting on your butt all day? Better have just a little!

Call me horrified but not surprised. After all, companies like Coca Cola and other big name conglomerates fund classes for hospital dietitians to show them how artificial sweeteners and processed foods can play a part in a patient’s life. Especially if they’re diabetic. Again, REALLY??

But I digress. Let’s take a look at the ingredients in soda, shall we? High fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid and sodium benzoate are in most soda formulations and depending on the brand may also have caramel coloring, caffeine, brominated vegetable oil. artificial colors and/or sweeteners and don’t forget “natural” and/or artificial flavorings!

High fructose corn syrup is highly processed and leads to tissue damage and disease. Phosphoric acid starts to dissolve tooth enamel in 20 minutes.  If you pour a liter of Coca Cola in your toilet and let it sit overnight it will dissolve all the built up mineral deposits. Imagine what it’s doing to your poor bones! As for the sodium benzoate, it has the ability to deprive the cells of oxygen, break down the immune system and cause cancer. if you’re a fan of Mountain Dew I bet you didn’t know you were downing a bunch of brominated vegetable oil, sourced from either corn or soy and initially used as a flame retardant. It is banned in food in Japan and Europe, yet it’s good enough for us Americans! Ugh!

Do your health and your budget a huge favor and ditch the pop. Replace them with liquids that actually hydrate and nourish the body: water, sparkling, fruit infused or otherwise, herbal teas, even the occasional cup of good ‘ol joe is preferable to soda pop, however sweet and bubbly it may be!


Stay Vibrant!




Fat Is Where It’s At!

You know how to win hearts, break hearts and steal hearts but what do you really know about protecting the health of your heart? One in every three deaths is from heart disease or stroke. That’s 2,200 people dying each and every day from a combination of poor dietary habits and misinformation. Addressing one will fix the other.

First, let me introduce you to the man responsible for the disastrous nutritional course our country has been on for the last sixty years or so, Mr. Ancel Keys. He was a research scientist convinced there was a connection between saturated fat and cholesterol intake and heart disease. He came to a conclusion that we all have taken for granted and to which there is NO scientific evidence and that is a low-fat diet protected against heart disease while a diet high in animal fat led to heart disease. Not so folks!

The real truth is saturated fat provides the building blocks for a variety of hormones, provides a concentrated source of energy, cushions the organs and keeps skin healthy. Saturated fat helps to maintain the stiffness and integrity of cell membranes. Fat is the carrier for the fat soluble vitamins A,E, D, and K as well as other nutrients. Fat protects the liver and enhances the immune system. Our heart prefers saturated fat and the lion’s share of saturated fatty acids are in the brain, which is largely made up of fat and cholesterol.

Speaking of cholesterol, it is a precursor to stress hormones, vital corticosteroids, sex hormones and vitamin D. Cholesterol is needed to protect the body. You read that right. I said protect. As an antioxidant, cholesterol protects your body from free radical damage and tends to be high if thyroid function is low, a protective measure that provides the needed materials to heal tissue and fight infection. Cholesterol and saturated fat have distinct health benefits and support a variety of metabolic processes. Let’s take a look at the real transgressors.

First up is free radical damage. You’ve heard of free radicals. No, not the latest punk rock band or group of extremists. Free radicals are “cellular trash”, unstable and highly reactive oxygen molecules. They “attack” and “steal” from other electrons in order to gain stability, which, if left unchecked, start a dangerous chain reaction of oxidative damage. You’re more familiar with oxidative damage than you think. A freshly cut apple that turns brown or an old car rusting in the junkyard are common examples of oxidation. Free radical sources are both internal and external and include chemicals, tobacco, drugs (recreational and medicinal), stress and of course the pollutants in the air, food and water. Oxidative stress damages culler proteins, DNA and can lead to the second biggest transgressor: inflammation.

What is inflammation? It is the body’s attempt at self-protection from irritation, toxins and foreign invaders and a natural by-product of normal cellular processes.For instance, if you are catching a cold, your immune system switches into gear and triggers a pro-inflammatory response to clear the infection. This is matched by equally anti-inflammatory compounds that move in to start the healing process. It is your body’s natural defense. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body and would not accumulate in blood vessel walls.
Short term inflammation = healing
Long term inflammation = disease

And the biggest contributor to inflammation? SUGAR and S.A.D. That’s right sugar in ALL it’s forms, yes, even organic. As little as two teaspoons can upset your body chemistry. The Standard American Diet with its heavy emphasis on refined grains and processed foods weaken your body tissues and white blood cells. Elevated blood sugar and insulin levels intensifies the production of free radicals that promote and sustain inflammation.

So what can YOU do? Start by ELIMINATING sugar in all its forms as well as all vegetable oils, refined grains and processed foods. EAT a colorful variety of fresh vegetables, cold water fish, especially salmon, lean meat, preferably from grass fed animals and healthy fats-butter, coconut, olive, flax and hemp oils. Snack on fruit, nuts, seeds and olives and limit dairy, which is a common allergen. As far as EXERCISE, author and blog writer Mark Sisson says it best,”Lift heavy things, move frequently at a slow pace and run really fast once in a while”. Like Nike says, whatever form of exercise you choose, JUST DO IT!

Smoking, stress and genetic predispositions are also associated with heart disease and must be addressed but there is a vast array of antioxidants, blood sugar balancing nutrients, herbs, vitamins and minerals that can be used along with quality nutrition to transform the health of your heart.

Make it simple. Eat real food. Get regular exercise. Supplement as needed and don’t smoke. Remember, it’s up to you to do your part to love your heart!


Stay Vibrant!

Mary Poppins Was Right

” A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” sang Mary Poppins innocently enough. The bitter truth is, your sweet friend sugar is trying to kill you. Look around. Sugar, in all it’s forms, is in everything. Your soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, “vitamin” waters and is hidden in most other processed food. Infant formula is now loaded with sugar equivalent to a can of soda. Isn’t that great? Let’s start poisoning our young from birth. Because that’s what sugar is. A metabolic poison. It promotes weight gain, feeds cancer cells, and accelerates aging. You don’t have to be smarter than a fifth grader to see the ever expanding waistline of America. My husband and I people watch at the mall from time to time, and here in the panhandle, where beef and more beef rules, 1 out of 2 people and entire families are overweight. He sometimes has to keep me from accosting people. I prefer to think of it as reaching out. I just want to ask a simple question. What is stopping you from taking better care of yourself?  I ask this in coaching sessions with my clients. Reasons are many and varied. Emotional eating. Budget. Stress. Time. Some just don’t know. These things I can address but some really don’t care which really makes me sad, because I can’t help that.  Even sadder still, obesity increases the risk for deadly diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease.

Let’s avoid the sweet confusion by taking a look at sugar in its various forms.

  • Simple sugars – Dextrose, fructose and glucose. Your body metabolizes these differently.
  • Sucrose (table sugar) – 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
  • High fructose corn syrup – 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
  • Sugar alcohols – Xylitol, erythirtol, mannitol, sorbitol, and glycerol, Incompletely absorbed in small  intestine. Causes gas and bloating in some.
  • Agave Nectar – Falsely advertised as natural. Highly processed and up to 80% fructose.
  • Honey – Has many health benefits in its raw form,  in moderation.
  • Stevia – A South American herb whose leaf is 300 times sweeter than sugar, safe and natural.
  • Lo han – A safe, natural sweetener from the Chinese fruit luohan guo, used for years in TCM.
  • Sucralose (Splenda), aspartame, saccharin and acesulfame k (Sweet One, Sunett) are ARTIFICIAL sweeteners and should be completely avoided due to detrimental health effects.

Nearly every cell in the body utilizes glucose. With fructose, however, the metabolic burden falls on the liver. And because most people are now consuming about 130 grams of fructose per day versus the 15 grams or less per day a mere 300 years ago, well, you can imagine how your poor liver feels. So, where does the excess fructose go? To your backside. Your belly. Your thighs. It is turned into FAT. And triglycerides. And VLDL, the very bad low-density lipoprotein that increases the risk of coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Still make you want to have a glass of orange juice and a toasty, frosted pop-tart for breakfast? Only 41 grams of sugar folks! To make matters worse, the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you want, the more effective your body becomes in absorbing it, the more metabolic damage occurs. Try eggs with some veggies and sliced avocado. Or plain, greek-style yogurt with sliced almonds and fruit.  Fair warning. Be careful with fruit consumption. Although fruit contains fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients it also contains fructose and it’s the cumulative effect of fructose that is toxic. Berries of all kinds are the best choices with most being 8 grams or less per cup, Your average apple has about 9 grams. Dried fruits are much higher and should be consumed in limited quantities.

Do yourself a favor. Take a 21 day sugar-free vacation. Try limiting yourself to 25 grams a day or less. Maybe then you’ll be singing, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” instead.

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Be Vibrant!