Soda! Do you really want to drink that? Part 2 of 2


Are you starting to consider replacing that soda with another beverage that will not only keep you from harming your bodily systems and your mental and emotional states, but WILL actually hydrate you?  Old habits can die hard, however, understanding what is actually going on inside of you and the short and long-term effects of soda can be just the ticket to help you make that decision for change much easier.  Let’s continue exploring the ingredients of soda and their effects.

  • Addictive properties – Sugar, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup ( HFCS), artificial sweeteners and caffeine are the most notable.  The beverage as a whole makes us crave more simply because it is actually dehydrating the body instead of replenishing it.
  • Sugar is usually the most common evil brought up when discussing sodas.  It is a major culprit of metabolic imbalance giving us highs and lows from the spikes in our system.  Insulin is the vehicle through which sugar enters and exits the cell; however, the pancreas becomes taxed over time, unable to keep up with the demand.  In addition, repeated exposure to high sugars causes plaque buildup in the blood stream inhibiting the insulin to do its job.  The adrenals become tired making the body conducive to metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes, weight gain, etc.), and if allowed to continue, into a diabetic and/or other disease state.
  • Artificial Sweeteners – Diet soda is even worse than sugar-laden sodas and numerous studies show actual increased weight gain due to the Pavlovian Effect whereas the body reacts to the artificial sweetener the same way it would with sugar and still over-stimulates the pancreas to release insulin to counter the effects.  The most popular artificial sweeteners are saccharin (Sweet n Low), which is a non-caloric petroleum derivative (ummm, yum!), and aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet), which creates seriously unhealthy levels of methanol in the body.  Methanol is connected to many disorders, such as headaches, optic nerve damage, gastro-intestinal problems, MS, Lupus, and other nervous system disorders (too many to mention). Splenda (xylitol, sucralose) is just now starting to produce enough of a history to question its lack of safety, as well.  The bottom line is that NO artificial sweetener is worth replacing the real thing; AND we never need more of the real thing (especially refined sugars) beyond that which comes from healthy whole food consumption.
  • Caffeine disrupts hormone function, prevents water absorption in cells causing dehydration and promotes excretion of vital nutrients that otherwise may have been taken up by the system.  It can over-stimulate the digestive track causing irritation from increased stomach acid to intestinal ulcers as well as diarrhea or constipation.  Caffeine also creates an imbalance of the right hormone production at the optimal times of day, disrupting sleep patterns and your “internal clock” regardless if you only drink it early in the day.  Our hormones navigate our body’s systems 24/7.  Much becomes imbalanced if our hormones are out of whack.
  • Kidney and Liver – Just one to two sodas a day over a period of time can cause kidney damage and development of kidney stones.  A fatty liver has also been connected to two or more sodas a day which increases chances for heart disease and cirrhosis.
  • Obesity  – A Harvard study showed that just drinking one to two sodas a day increases obesity in kids up to 2 times more than if not consumed at all (adults  have similar statistics, of course);  and one can adds 835 more calories to their daily caloric intake.  This is extremely excessive and stores fat and toxins taxing the system in its efforts to prevent all types of diseases short and long-term.

So, in summing it all up, the statistics show that decades of drinking soda have contributed to epidemic proportions of metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.  These can include abnormal weight gain and/or obesity, adrenal exhaustion, depressed immune system and other neuro-toxic disorders.  Once these processes start to manifest in the body, it’s a domino effect unless the toxins are cleaned out and a nourishing diet along with physical activity is incorporated.

Still want to grab for that soda after knowing the breakdown?  We have all heard a few things about soda not being good for us; but the fact is, the soft drink industry would prefer you buy into the happy, upbeat, refreshing advertisements that they promote to get you to drink more instead of ever letting you get close to the truth.

There is absolutely nothing good to come from drinking a soda, and much to avoid in the way of a toxic beverage!  Not to mention the fact that it will never hydrate you, but instead cause you to just want to drink more – that’s what the beverage industry IS interested in!  Try some fresh, clean water and see if that doesn’t give you an opposite effect – hydration and satiation!  After all, a healthy hydrated body is made up of 70% life-giving water – not nutrient-depleting soda.

If you’d like more information on how to truly make great nutritional choices to serve you for a lifetime, click here for more information.  Start living a happy, healthy life on purpose today!

 

Soda! Do You Really Want to Drink That? Part 1 of 2

If my cola, diet cola or orange fizzy drink were bad for me, they wouldn’t even be able to sell it, right?  The FDA would never allow such a thing, and there would at least be a warning on the label, hunh! Well, think again!  I think we all know that there is enough publicity today over how many drugs, ingredients and substances that has been approved by the FDA, yet they are still available for purchase; not to mention the encouragement for you to buy from their many producers and marketers while at the same time touting their safety.

We know cigarette smoking causes cancer, alcohol consumption causes cirrhosis and a little pink-packaged sweetener has been proven to cause several different types of cancer in the laboratory, but we are the ones that are still left to choose.  Relying on the government, the FDA and of course, the makers of these toxic food and drink “stuffs” to protect our health interests can actually be detrimental to our health. It is time to take our power back, become informed ourselves and make choices that lead to good health and vitality instead of fatigue and chronic disease.

It is always my intention to give you the highest quality information to help you make the informed decisions you need to live the healthiest life possible.  With that in mind, sometimes my blogs get quite lengthy, and that is because I feel so many informational posts leave out key information that make all the difference in choices the public makes.  So!  Here I am going to start a two-part series on soda to give you the opportunity to absorb it all and hopefully find that it is just not the beverage of choice when it comes to health – no matter how you look at it!

Below begins the break-down of some of the most notable negatives to explore in deciding to drink these so-called beverages.  While some brands may weigh in more toxic than others, the bottom line is that ALL soft drinks have a downside when it comes to your health.  In all my research, I think I can honestly say that sodas are among the absolute worse things you could ever introduce into the human body.  Take heart and health in the following:

  • Extreme acidity – drinking soda is like drinking pure vinegar.  It has a ph of 2.5!  The human body stays disease free when in a more alkaline state and this is far from it.  Cancers especially thrive in an acidic environment.  This acidity also wreaks havoc on the digestive track.  A simple cola can be used to clean greasy car parts…not something you want in your stomach!
  • Sodium benzoate is a common preservative widely used in soda that can cause serious cell damage with its ability to switch off vital parts of DNA.   This is a problem seen mostly in the aging and in alcohol abuse and can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.  It is also strongly connected to our epidemic of ADD in children due to its effects on brain function.  When combined with other ingredients and even Vitamin C (a vital antioxidant for optimal health) as an additive to soda, it creates benzene, a highly carcinogenic property.  Recently, four sodas were taken off the shelves for this very reason.  Other disorders such as asthma, rashes and eczema have also been linked to this preservative.
  • Additives and preservatives – Too numerous to mention and depending on the brand of soda, these are ingredients like artificial colorings, i.e., caramel (no, this is not the same chewy candy caramel you get on Halloween 🙂 ), and preservatives like the sodium benzoate mentioned above.  They are all chemical substances made in a laboratory and have no business in the human body.
  • Phosphoric acid pulls calcium, magnesium, and zinc from bone and forces the body to excrete them, thus leading us to our serious increase in osteoporosis and other bone deteriorating disorders over the last few decades.  It also erodes teeth enamel and stunts bone growth in children.
  • Carbonation is one of the most over-looked components of drinking sodas as it causes digestive problems, most notably GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease).  If you are having acid reflux, back off the soda for just a few days and see if it doesn’t help tremendously and/or completely alleviate the problem altogether.  Acid reflux is also the most important risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma.  The stomach acid from the distention in the stomach caused by the carbonation is forced to back up into the esophagus.  The lining of the esophagus is not meant to withstand what the stomach can.  Other issues include the inability to digest food properly due to enzymatic interference and its contribution to ulcerations.
  • Sodium causes dehydration, blood pressure issues and keeps water from absorbing into the cells where it is vitally needed.  Conversely, it keeps other nutrients from absorbing and instead forces them to be excreted from the body.
  • Empty calories cause the immune system to be on double duty to deal with the influx of toxins and remove them; they store unnecessarily as fat; and they tax the endocrine system leaving your hormones firing at the wrong times, too much or not at all.  This disruption is connected to many disorders throughout the body and can create a domino effect towards chronic disease and other illnesses.

Next time, we’ll look at some of the more common reasons that sodas are not good for you that you most likely have heard much more about.  I’ll break them down for further understanding and hopefully inspire you to make other healthier choices for the future!

If you’d like more information on how to truly make great nutritional choices and learn to live an energetic, passionate life, click here for more information.  Until next time, continue striving to live happy, healthy and on purpose!

Why Organic Doesn’t Cost More – 2 of 2

Last time we talked about the increasing demand for organic produce and tackling the front-end costs that can sometimes come with that healthier choice.  We learned that there are many ways to shop affordably and still enjoy a bountiful feast on a budget.

Now, let’s take a look at where we are really spending our money – the hidden costs:

  1. Organic produce is much higher in nutrient content than conventionally farmed foods – sometimes as much as 80% higher! When our body is truly nourished, we feel full longer, curb our cravings and eat less. This saves money on snacks, impulse buying and fast food runs in between meals. When we are not nourished, our brain tells us to eat more. We think this is because we are hungry, when in reality, it is because we are malnourished. This causes us to spend more and eating more of what doesn’t serve us.
  2. Eating healthy organic foods builds your immune system and strengthens all your systems and organs. This means less time being sick. Downtime from work, caring for family and simply enjoying life certainly carries a price tag. Not to mention the amount of money spent on drugs and prescriptions annually in this country due to preventable ailments induced by malnutrition. Americans spend on average 5 billion a year on digestive aids, headache remedies, cold and flu products and the list goes on. And these are just the over-the-counter drugs and products.
  3. When you’re feeling great and avoiding illness, then you are avoiding chronic illness, too. Chronic illness is epidemic in our country now and growing at rates the health care industry and insurers cannot keep up with. Obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, neurologic disorders and many other conditions have become common place in our society and it is primarily due to our diet. Eating foods with pesticides and chemicals cause these maladies as much as the nutrient poor soil they are grown in. We are not only deprived of nutrients, but we are building up a reserve of toxins in our body that it eventually can no longer withstand. This costs lots of money! Prescriptions, doctor visits, and even hospitalizations are coupled with our health care premiums rising annually. One client of mine said he couldn’t afford to buy organic products because his blood pressure medications were $185.00 month. Once he figured out the disconnect and starting investing in nourishing himself, he was able to come off of his medication completely!

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather invest my money toward good health now, live with energy and vitality, and save in health care expenses down the road. Who wants to look forward to poor health and health care bills? No one I know. Still think you can’t afford to eat healthy organic foods? In my mind, I can’t afford not to!

If you’d like more information on organic foods and how to eat healthy on a budget, check out my FREE report available here.  Until next time, continue to live happy, healthy and on purpose!

What Example Are You Setting?

Are you walking your walk and talking your talk?  Whether it’s at the office, on the road or at home with family, you are always setting an example and people are watching.  I find one area out of balance for most people is what they are unknowingly teaching their own children.

When it comes to taking care of ourselves, many parents are telling their kids what they should do but setting bad examples themselves.  When I was young, my parents always told me smoking was a horrible habit and to never start!  Meanwhile, the impact just wasn’t there for me while I watched as mom and dad were both lighting up at the tune of two packs a day!  The impact did hit when my mother announced she had lung cancer just a couple years after that.

Just as harmful are others that don’t even try to teach their children about healthy eating, fresh air and exercise and avoidance of other poor lifestyle choices.  In many cases, it’s not their fault; they just don’t really recognize the issues themselves.  The kids are watching and there’s a great chance they’re following your lead.  That’s all they know and if you are living a life of low energy, poor health or negative thought patterns, then it is probably all you know, too.  At a minimum, you are not realizing the true impact of it on your whole being as well as theirs.

Once you understand what does or does not serve you or your children, doesn’t it make sense that you have a responsibility to yourself and your children to make better choices?  You deserve the best and so do they!  If you do not decide to make changes now, then ask yourself if you are okay with your children growing up and experiencing the same results you’re getting.  You are their teachers and the learning resource they build their life on.

I never followed the example of smoking in my family; however, I did follow the dietary examples.  What mom brought home to eat is what we ate.  I didn’t realize that much of what she served before knowing about her disease wasn’t very healthy, but when she decided to make huge dietary changes after her diagnosis, it made me acutely aware of the difference and how it served all of us better.  Because of something so simple, she lived a much better quality of life in her remaining years and I was able to carry it forward in my life and for my family.  Being in healthcare later in life, I became even more aware of how we feed our mind, body and spirit and have seen the amazing benefits of whole body nourishment in thousands of people!

Think of the areas of your life that you may not be serving yourself and your children.  What is it that you truly want for their future in terms of health and happiness?  We always say we want the best for our kids, but are we really paying attention to the example we are setting?

For more information on how to serve up the best for your family, check out my FREE report available here on How to Eat Organic and Healthy on a Budget and start being a brilliant example of Vibrant Living today for you and your family!

 

Why Organic Doesn’t Cost More 1 of 2

 

There has been an increasing demand for organic produce in our country over the last several years and it is with good cause. Thanks to individuals and organizations speaking out on the dangers of chemicals and the detriment of nutrient poor foods, people are becoming much more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies and the long-term effects.

One trend that has not caught on, though, is the ability for consumers to find organic foods easily and affordably. Many of us are watching our pennies these days, and for some reason, we seem to automatically cut where it’s extremely important that we don’t – our nutrition source.

Eating organic does not have to cost more and in fact, in the long run, it can cost much less when you factor in the growing health concerns our nation has come up against in recent years. There are other factors, too that allow you to make better choices now, easily and affordably. It is true that often you will find organic foods higher than non-organic, especially if shopping at a conventional market that carries a very limited supply. There are ways around those high prices and as we’ll discuss later, avoiding the hidden costs, as well.

How to save up front:

  1. Farmer’s markets, CSA’s and organic buying groups. These are great options when it comes to buying organic. The foods are many times organic, local, seasonal, nutrient dense and cost much less than buying at a conventional market. Start by going to http://www.localharvest.org/ to find farms and farmer’s markets near you. This is also a great site to learn about CSA (community supported agriculture) programs which allow you to purchase a box of seasonal produce each week at a reduced cost over buying separately. Organic buying groups are when people come together combining their buying power to order food in bulk direct from the source. Local Harvest is also a good resource for this option.
  2. Look for health food markets that specialize in organic foods. These establishments buy in much larger quantities bringing your out-of-pocket down. You are also shopping in an environment conducive to healthier foods, so you won’t be tempted to buy the things you know aren’t good for you and you will probably buy less. You will be able to build your new grocery list quicker by trying new things you find that weren’t available at your previous grocer and getting helpful tips from personnel. Look for sales, coupons and buying cards, too everywhere you go. Even my local farm has a Carrot Card. For every purchase I make, I get credit toward free produce.
  3. Change your approach to food! This is so important in your relationship to buying, preparing and enjoying your meals. If you are respecting the purchases you make more in terms of careful spending and consumption of your food, then you will definitely see savings. Learn to plan your meals to avoid over buying, over eating and possible wasting of food. When eating your meals, make sure to sit down, take small bites and chew thoroughly. To this day, I put my fork down between bites as a reminder that chewing is a very important factor to getting the most out of the food in the digestive track and the body as a whole. If you are a more conscious eater, then you will find your food more satiating with fewer cravings after meals and eating smaller portions because your body is getting the nourishment it needs. Understanding how food strengthens your whole being is paramount in making good choices and being cost-effective.

These are steps anyone can take to being more mindful of how to choose wisely when it comes to what we put in our bodies.  Look for Part 2 of Why Organic Doesn’t Cost More where I’ll discuss the “hidden costs” of not choosing organic. Until then, live happy, healthy and on purpose!

If you’d like more information on organic foods and how to eat healthy on a budget, check out my FREE report available here.

Recommended Books

From Sad to Glad

7 Steps to Facing Change with Love and Power

Understanding the principles of Nature’s Guidance System through this fun lighthearted e-book. You will learn some of the most profound and important truths of life in a fun, entertaining and easy to absorb way. Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood teamed with musician/creative writer, Jimmy Moore, and master cartoonist, George Foster to present The Expansion Process™ and the profound principles which have led them to living the life of their dreams.

The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose

Passion Test

Can a simple test change a person’s life? Through their New York Times bestseller The Passion Test, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood have inspired thousands to shape their lives by discovering their passions and living according to what matters most to them. Readers can identify their top five passions by taking the Test, and then learn exactly how to align their lives with their priorities by following the Attwoods’ easy-to-follow step-by-step program of action.

Combining powerful storytelling and profound wisdom from models of passionate living such as Jack Canfield, Richard Paul Evans, and Stephen M.R. Covey, as well as drawing on their own personal experiences, the Attwoods show how living a full and impassioned life is not only possible, it’s inevitable— for anyone willing to take the Test.

Click here to order your copy.

Master the Day

Master Day

Unless you work on the underlying reasons for why you are eating, NO diet will ever work.  This is a book all about life style changes for life-long success. Alex addresses these issues in very easy steps that can be applied to any facet of your life!

https://www.amazon.com/Master-Day-Better-Power-Habits-ebook/dp/B011HNR91Q

 

 

 The China Study: Expanded Edition

The ChinaChina Study: Revised and Expanded Edition: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health

https://www.amazon.com/China-Study-Comprehensive-Nutrition-Implications/dp/1941631568/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507588640&sr=1-1&keywords=china+study

 

 

 

 

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

Do you have a hard time making decisions?

I sure used to (and occasionally, I still do). Then one day when I became keenly aware that I was spending way too much time on a particular move to make, or not, I realized a pattern in my life. When I was younger, it was nothing for me to quickly decide whether I wanted something or not, to go there, to do this, or whatever the situation– mostly, I just did it!

As I got older and realized that deciding to do something (or not) can sometimes produce not so great results, I became more cautious. But, I also realized that the more I said “Yes!” to things, the more great opportunities that came my way and the more I said “No” the more I would stay stagnant.

If we expect things to change in our lives, it means taking risks and not letting fear of failure, fear of the unknown or fear of what others think get in the way. By opening up to the opportunities in my life and saying “Yes” more often, I became more in the flow again. When I learned that there are no wrong answers, no failures and that we all are just given chance after chance until we ultimately serve our higher selves, well, then it really became much easier.

Here are 4 tips to help you gain better decision-making power:

  1. Make decisions that keep you in alignment with your goals and that serve you best. For instance, is eating that hamburger keeping you in alignment with your desire to be a vegan? Or, is sitting on the couch watching TV after dinner in alignment with your desire to be fit and energized when you could be out on a walk?
  2. Think about all possible outcomes and ask yourself how you feel about each of them. Sometimes we stay in think mode so long trying to rationalize (I call it rational lies) that we never even consider how we truly feel about it. What are the possibilities of saying “yes” or “no”? Stay true to yourself, feel it, visualize it, and then go that way! Learn to trust your intuition.
  3. Know when enough research has been done. So often, we feel we just don’t know enough, when in fact, sometimes just making the decision will reveal what we are looking for! There comes a point when you just have to ask yourself, “Will any more information really aid me in making this decision?” Case in point: I was invited to attend a specialty workshop a while back and I found myself asking everybody what they thought about it, surfing the internet for background information and questioning myself over and over as to whether I really needed this. In the end, I simply realized that an opportunity was being handed to me to grow and expand more toward my ultimate goals and when I stopped to feel into it, I came up with a resounding “Yes!” It was a good decision…
  4. Know that every decision you make is just one in a long life-line of decisions. If you accept the risk (no matter how big it may seem) and know that some things will not turn out the way you planned, you may just find they are what you needed, none-the-less. Making the best decision you can in the moment, no matter the outcome, will build your confidence and help you stay in control of your life, instead of life just happening to you!

Making decisions, which we do consciously and subconsciously about 60,000 times a day, can really be fun if you think about it. You have so much power to drive things your way, and the best way to do that is to be aware, stay in alignment with what’s most important to you and make your choices based on that!

Are you putting yourself first?

Many people hear me say put yourself first and wonder why I’m asking them to be so selfish. I, too, was raised to think that everyone else’s needs and wants should come before mine but I finally learned that I wasn’t serving anybody very well by just doing that. Putting yourself first is all about self-nurturing your own well-being so you can live a vibrant life and really be present in the most positive way for those around you.

When you are selfish, you are typically devoted to ONLY your needs and many times that selfishness causes harm to others. And, being selfish does not mean one is actually taking care of oneself either. Conversely, self-care is crucial in being healthy, being happy and being there to enjoy your time with others as well as caring for them.

How many times have you been on an airplane and heard the flight attendant say, “If you are traveling with a child, put your oxygen mask on first and then place a mask on the child”? That still strikes me as strange every time I hear it; however, it makes perfect sense that if you don’t take care of yourself first, you may be of little help to others; and such is life!

Throughout my years in the medical field and as a healthy living coach, I have observed people from all walks of life drive themselves into physical illness, emotional fatigue and even mental depression by putting themselves last. It’s a repeating theme in our society to run the kids all over town, hold down a job and take care of the home with little or no downtime. Add caring for a sick loved one to the mix, as happened in my family, and you really wear yourself down without proper attention to your own well-being.

Another area that gets overlooked often is those looking to fill voids by seeking relationships that can only play out with the same results time and again. You have to learn to truly love and accept yourself before you can enter an honest relationship with someone else. You will avoid unnecessary stressors, conflicts and misunderstandings for yourself and the other person.

So, how can you put yourself first so you are truly present in your relationships, successfully achieve your goals and can stay focused on your dreams? You have to start by allowing yourself to take time to enjoy the things that are most important to you. Whether it’s a favorite hobby, listening to music or just spending time walking the dog; it doesn’t matter, as long as you make it a priority somewhere in your schedule to just nourish YOU.

Nourishing your body with what it needs to stay strong when life’s challenges come up and keeping yourself in physical and emotional well-being is also paramount. This means eating plenty of fresh whole foods, staying hydrated, being physically active and getting adequate rest and relaxation. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and focus your thoughts on the things you do want in your life instead of what you don’t want.

Meditation is very effective in nourishing your whole being. It helps to reduce the stress in your life and gives you the ability to greet the day with a calm, refreshed attitude. It increases your energy levels and helps you to connect with your authentic self. Meditation is one of the simplest practices I know, yet the benefits can affect your entire life in amazing ways.

Remember, you are just as important as anybody else. Put yourself first in terms of greater self-care and watch how much nicer your life flows!

If you’d like more information on how to truly start putting yourself first, then click here to meet Lisa and learn what living a happy, healthy life on purpose is all about!