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    • READ READ READ!

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    •  2/24/2010 9:06:38 PM
    • I absolutely loved what Newbie Mommy wrote about falling off the wagon.  We all have slip ups.  In fact, these days, my "slip-ups" are even pre-meditated.  For example, last week was my birthday which meant lots of lunches, dinners, treats and celebrating.  Over just a few days I "fell off the wagon" so to say and put on a few unwanted pounds.  To make matters worse, I knew that I would be starting a 21-day "cleanse" (check back in a few weeks for details), so I went into that "last supper" mode.  Knowing I was starting on Monday, I was eating things over the weekend that I normally never eat!  What is it about feeling deprived that makes us do crazy things?!!! 

      For me the key to "staying on the wagon" is constantly giving myself information about the reasons I eat the way that I do.  This means a plethora of reading material.  My night stand is always stacked with nutrition books, my inbox full of articles, and my library "hold" list brimming with fantastic reads.  I truly think it is the key to staying focused.  It also helps to have a great support system of people that you can talk to (shout outs to Newbie and Veteran) about your nutrition goals!

      For many people it is just a matter of getting started.  So here are a is a list of my favorite books.  If you don't like one just move onto another.  Surely something will catch your attention.

      The China Study                          How to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease

                 

       

      Eat to Live                                    Fit for Life Not Fat for Life

                 

       

       

      Disease Proof Your Child                     Healthy at 100

       

      The Skinny Bitch                                    The Kind Diet

         

       

      Breakthrough                                              Knockout

                         

       

       

      My list could go ON and ON and ON and hopefully it still does.  These are just a handful of the many books I would recommend to make you stop

      and just take a look at your nutrition.  Happy Reading!

       

       

       

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    • SUGAR: The Ultimate Addiction

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    •  2/17/2010 8:53:27 PM
    • I don't drink.  I don't smoke.  I have never used illegal drugs.  Come to think of it I don't think I have ever even taken a prescription drug (Pretty sure Tylenol is the extent of drug use).  But I absolutely, positively have an addiction (which I like to think I have kicked).  MY DRUG OF CHOICE IS SUGAR!

       

      Just like many other drugs on the market, a natural plant is taken, altered in some form or fashion, and the resulting product has serious effects on the body (and mind and spirit in many instances).  Cocaine comes from the leaf of a coca leaf.  Heroin comes from the poppy flower.  Sugar comes from sugar cane.  It's not the plants but the PROCESSING of the plants that creates the intense imbalances within the body.  (With the current labeling laws, these could all be labeled "ALL NATURAL".)

       

      Sugar is my crack.  If I want to feel really happy really quickly a few bites of a delicious pastry will do the trick.  In fact just this week I ate what I dubbed "the most delicious sugar cookie I have ever had".  It had been awhile since I had such a large does of my favorite drug and I was in awe at how quickly I felt so HAPPY.  Ahh yes, the sweet "high" of sugar running through my veins.  Is this how other drugs work?  One study says that sugar is even more addictive than cocaine.  Another study links sugar cravings with alcoholic tendencies (which happens to run quite strongly in my family).

       

      But just as quickly as this sweet little substances has lifted be up, up, up, it sends me crashing down, down, down at highway racing speeds.  Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if my starting point and ending point were the same.  But that is SO not the case.  Oh how those crashes suck.  I feel tired, lethargic, sucked of energy, "jonesing" for another fix.  Soon I want nothing more than a little cat nap (or a long snooze depending on dosage).  The next day isn't quite different.  The thought of working out is tiresome (something I usually eagerly await).  Sometimes the headaches set it.  My moods are different and I am moving at a slower pace. Interestingly enough, all of these go away with just a little more sugar.  Even an after dinner mint can take the edge off.  Just a little sugar everyday and I never have to get off the rush.  There were periods of time when I would stays on these "highs" for weeks, months and even years.  Just a little sugar everyday did the trick.  Yummy cereals for breakfast, fantastic salad dressings a lunch, and a little treat after dinner.  Candidates seemed to step right up to help me stay on course! Cheap...easy...and harmless to no one right?

       

       

      Here is a list of ways sugar can affect your health:


      * Sugar can suppress the immune system.
      * Sugar can upset the body's mineral balance.
      * Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
      * Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
      * Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
      * Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).
      * Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).
      * Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
      * Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
      * Sugar can cause kidney damage.
      * Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
      * Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.
      * Sugar can cause copper deficiency.
      * Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
      * Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
      * Sugar can promote tooth decay.
      * Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.
      * Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.
      * Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
      * Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.
      * Sugar can increase total cholesterol.
      * Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
      * High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
      * Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
      * Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
      * Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
      * Sugar leads to decreased glucose tolerance.
      * Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
      * Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.
      * Sugar causes food allergies.
      * Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
      * Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
      * Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
      * Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.
      * Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
      * Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
      * Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.
      * Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver.
      * Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
      * Sugar can cause depression.
      * Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.
      * Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
      * Sugar can cause hypertension.
      * Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
      * Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind's ability to think clearly.
      * Sugar can increase blood platelet adhesiveness which increases risk of blood clots and strokes.
      * Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.
      * Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon.

       (Source)

       

      I recently found an old food journal where I had written the following:

       

      REASONS I DON'T WANT TO EAT SUGAR

      1) It tastes great while I am eating it, but in about 30 minutes I feel sick to my stomach.

      2) I feel like I have NO energy and just want to go to sleep (I HATE feeling like this).

      3) It's bad for my skin and causes wrinkles.

      4) It makes me gain weight, particularly around my waist (the abdomen area is insulin sensitive and so  Excess Insulin Released= Fat Stored here)

      5) I can RARELY eat only a small portion (I figure if I allow myself a little I might as well have a lot.  I'm really just trying to get a big "fix").

      6) It's not worth those few moments of satisfaction.

      7)  Eating sugar is not conducive to my long-term goals!

       

      I am not saying that I will never have another treat.  But I am currently trying to find alternatives for my sweet tooth.  Artificial sweeteners are NOT an alternative (here's why).  Honey, Brown sugar, evaporated cane juice and high fructose corn syrup all seem to have similar effects on my body.  I currently like a little stevia in my tea and dates in my baking.  In Alicia Silverstone's new book "The Kind Diet", she recommends brown rice syrup and maple syrup as her preferred sweeteners.  I still love having my "treats", but I am now experimenting with natural foods that leave me feeling happy (not articially happy from a chemical reaction) and satisfied.  Keep checking back to our recipes for more version of healthy "treats".  I am on a quest to find some good ones!!!

       

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    • How bad is Aspartame?

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    •  2/10/2010 9:06:33 PM
    • My husband is an absolute DIET COKE junkie!  (I don't drink the stuff.)  My kids have always seen their Dad drinking pop.  They know that they are not allowed to have Diet Coke, but of course, pop (or should I say soda :) is one of their favorite treats to this day (particularly Rootbeer).  We have a standing "tradition" that the kids each get a can of pop every Sunday.  They can have it with dinner or open it in the morning and take sips all day long.  It is something they look forward to with eagerness and not necessarily something I want to take away from them.  I recognize that there is absolutely NO nutrient value in pop, but I guess this is one area that I chalk up to my 10% rule (eat 90% healthy and don't worry about the other 10% too much).

       

      Anyway, I have gotten into the habit recently of buying diet pop.  Mainly to try and avoid high fructose corn syrup.  I decided this week to do a little research to answer my own question:  How bad is Aspartame....really?

       

      Well I was blown away by the research.  The short of that answer is REALLY REALLY BAD!  It is a toxic chemical!  (Remember that toxic is anything that has the ability to cmutate our cells).

       

       

      There is so much information out there on ASPARTAME that it is almost overwhelming.  The good, the bad and the ugly are available to anyone that is looking.  I truly believe that you can find any opinion that you are looking for.  I recently had a family member (another Diet Coke addict) say that he had researched the Internet to find out more about Aspartame.  He concluded that the evidence that he found said that it was fine (which included a long endorsement from the FDA).

       

      My experience (not surprisingly) was completely the opposite.  I am now writing in words my commitment :  I WILL NEVER AGAIN GIVE MY KIDS DIET POP!  Even as I am writing this, I am questioning my ability to stick to this statement.  But I have made up my mind. NO MORE ASPARTAME.  There is WAY TO MUCH EVIDENCE showing the incredible dangers of this chemical.  And remember, it is a chemical. 

       

      Aspartame was invented in a laboratory quite accidentally.  For over eight years the FDA refused to approve it because of the seizures and brain tumors this drug produced in lab animals.

      In 1981 it was approved in only dry foods.  After a few "rearrangements" of FDA commissioners (with deep pocket friends/manufacturers) it eventually became approved in soft drinks.  Since then it has earned it's status as the single additive with THE MOST COMPLAINTS TO THE FDA. Aspartame accounted for more than 75% of all adverse reactions reported to the FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS).  The book "Skinny Bitch" was the first time I had ever heard of the history behind Aspartame.  The authors go into great detail regarding the efforts made by the manufacturers to get it FDA approved (they even hired one FDA commissioner to work for them after he suspiciously resigned as commissioner).  MONSANTO manufactures Aspartame (Get familiar with this company - they are not necessarily consumer advocates).

       

      I won't get into anymore details about how we now have this "sweet" little toxic chemical in so much of our food chain.  All I can do is try to convince some people out there that our bodies were not meant to consume it.  Here's the low down on it:

       

       

        • Aspartame (nutrasweet) breaks down into methanol (wood alcohol).
           
        • Methanol quickly converts to formaldehyde in the body.
           
        • Formaldehyde causes gradual and eventually severe damage to the neurological system, immune system and causes permanent genetic damage at extremely low doses.

       

      Here are a few professional opinions on Aspartame:

      DR. BLAYLOCK - "With the public concern over childhood obesity and diabetes few are being told of the overwhelming evidence that early exposure to excitotoxins as found in aspartame consistently produce gross obesity and insulin resistant diabetes, just as we are seeing in our youth. The promoters of aspartame use have been lying from the beginning and continue to use their money and political clout to cover up the real and present dangers of this toxic product."  

       

      DR. MARTINI -  (Founder of Mission Possible International, a worldwide volunteer force which for 14 years has exposed chemical sweeteners) "How shall we count aspartame atrocities? Our FDA once listed them, named 92 symptoms from more than ten thousand volunteered complaints by American consumers. Their Buchenwald list included four kinds of seizures, blindness, sexual dysfunction, mental destruction and death. Then FDA shut the report window and no longer take and tabulate reports. I've sent them more cases than they listed, but you can't get the death list now; they deny it existed. Think of FDA simply as the branch office of the pharmaceutical industry in Washington!"

       

      For even more overwhelming evidence that we need to AVOID ASPARTAME there is a website that is dedicated to this exact message.  www.dorway.com

       

       

       

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