Friday, October 24, 2014

Death By Sugar

Sugar Will Kill You

Sugar can be as addictive as cocaine. It activates the brain’s reward system causing pleasure-inducing chemicals (dopamine) to flood the body. The result is a craving for more… and more.

Sugar damages your health on several levels. For starters we now know that fructose/sugar elevates blood pressure and potentially damages your kidneys. It increases uric acid which leads to chronic, low-level inflammation—the foundation for most disease. For example, chronically inflamed blood vessels can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Let's look at the what happens in the body when you consume a 20 oz soda:

Within 20 minutes— Your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar (17 teaspoons full on average) into fat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday

I hate to burst anyones' bubble, but I must set the record straight about chocolate. The news regularly reports that chocolate is healthy for you... BUT that is NOT the whole story. What is healthy for you is the raw form of chocolate called cacao, which is dried and unsweetened. Cacao nibs are cacao bean pieces that can be ground to make a powder for recipes.

Known as a super food, the health benefits of raw cacao include:
  • Powerful antioxidant—high in resveratrol, the potent antioxidant found in red wine.
  • Rich in minerals—magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.
  • Boosts your mood.
  • Reduces your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Cocoa, the basis of virtually all chocolate sold including the unsweetened powder you buy for baking, is the result of roasting cacao, which destroys the enzymes and reduces the nutritional value. No more super food. :(

Don't fall for the idea you can eat lots of chocolate because you read that its good for you. That chocolate you're eating is loaded with sugar, which negates even further the healthy goodness of what started as raw cacao.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life is Fragile—Live It with No Regrets

Dying without regrets
Have you ever listened to Tim McGraw's song Live Like You Were Dyin' and wondered what it meant to you? McGraw's song speaks of skydiving, mechanical bull riding and dispensing forgiveness previously denied. Living a life of optimum wellness encompasses living a life with no regrets.

Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse for many years, discovered that people faced with death experienced many emotions, but eventually came to an acceptance and peace. When asked if there were regrets or things they would do differently, she found five common themes.

Friday, October 3, 2014

October is National Vegetarian Month

National Vegetarian Month

Whatever it takes to eat more veggies, whether thats eating vegan (no dairy, vegan or processed foods), cutting out meat (vegetarian), adding another serving of veggies each day or like me (vegan, but eat wild fish and organic eggs), eat like your life depends on it. Because it does!

Your mind will clear, the scales will dip, your skin will look amazing, you'll sleep better and you can say good-bye to those pesky colds and flues.

Graphic Source:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Yam, Chickpea & Spinach Curry Soup

Yam, Chickpea & Spinach Curry Soup
Here's a great soup to get your fall in gear. It's simple (if I make it, you can bet it's easy to prepare). I made this soup while visiting a friend who moved away.

Two other friends and I flew to Southern California to enjoy a few days with a girlfriend who moved closer to her grandkids—her son needed help and she rose to the challenge. I offered to cook all the meals during the visit because I've learned that I won't get decent food (or any food... hello, breakfast is the most important meal of the day) unless I step up. Thrilled about having me cook for them, they were eager to see what and how I cooked.

It's just easier for me to cook than give the cook instruction for my eating lifestyle. In this case, the cook was primarily my friend's husband and he wanted to learn more about eating healthier.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday

Studies continue to expose the ill-effects of artificial sweeteners. Besides research that claims these fake sugars add weight rather than help you lose weight, the latest study shows that artificial sweeteners (saccharin — in the pink packets of Sweet’N Low, sucralose—yellow packets of Splenda, and aspartame —blue packets of Equal) caused a change in gut bacteria that led to a glucose intolerance.

In plain talk that means you can be on your way to getting Type II diabetes. Not to mention that disrupting the gut bacteria (the essence of your immune system) is dangerous business.

Do you need any more evidence that diet drinks and using artificial sweetener instead of real sugar* is NOT okay? The issue should be settled. Stay away!

*We'll tackle real sugar in another post.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11

We will never forget that Tuesday when an ordinary morning was attacked by evil and changed America forever. It punched a hole in the fabric of our security. Up to then, most felt America was invincible.

Many families have a story to tell about that day. For those who lost loved ones, the story may still hold a painful grip on hearts—even thirteen years later. We have vivid memories of exactly what we were doing when we heard the fateful news. What were you doing?

Bob and I were up early that morning preparing to go to the airport in San Francisco to pick up our son, Nur, and his half-brother, Daak, returning from three weeks in Japan.