Feb 22

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, making sure kids get a healthy start is a priority. Today’s breakfast cereals run the gamut from heart-healthy, high-fiber bran, to sugary treats that could be called dessert. Did you know that some popular kids’ breakfast cereals are almost 50% sugar? They also contain other hidden gems that are known carcinogens, can cause ADHD, and can trigger allergies among other negative side effects.   A close look at the nutrition facts of General Mills and Kellogg’s cereals reveals some startling numbers. Here are some of the worst* breakfast cereals for kids: *“Worst” for this analysis is classified as cereal with more than a 30% sugar content and less than 3 grams of fiber per serving. #10: General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch: 34 % sugar Over a third of this popular kids’ cereal is made entirely of sugar, which means kids are eating about 10 grams of sugar and a measly 1 gram of fiber per ¾ serving. This breakfast cereal is available in a reduced sugar version that clocks in with just 2 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber, but is heavily sweetened with Splenda artificial sweetener which may not be healthy for kids with food sensitivities or allergies. #9: Frosted Rice Krispies: 39% sugar Made with rice, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, Frosted Rice Krispies will deliver an instant energy boost followed by a major crash. Kids are getting 12 grams of sugar from a ¾ cup serving, and zero grams of fiber. While the cereal will definitely wake them up in the morning, it offers very little nutritive value. #8: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes: 39% sugar This popular sugar-topped cereal contains 11 grams of sugar per serving, and is made with high fructose corn syrup which is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and may be linked to hyperactivity. While Frosted Flakes are fat free and low in sodium, they only contain 1 gram of fiber and 1 gram of protein. Ultimately, this cereal is just plain carbohydrate from corn and sugar.  Look at the number of times sugar is mentioned in the ingredients list.  Partially hydrogenated soybean oil equals trans fat which is one of...

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Aspartame: how it was approved and what it does to us.

Feb 07

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981. Marketed under the brand names NutraSweet® and Equal®, aspartame now sweetens over 6,000 food and beverage products, ranging from diet soft drinks to low-calorie yogurt, jams, desserts, juices, chewing gum and sugar-free condiments. Aspartame gives food that sugary taste that is also quite addictive.  Many people drink diet sodas to avoid the calories and sugar (high fructose) that they see in normal sodas.  What they don’t realize is that aspartame actually makes you CRAVE CARBS which ends up worse for people looking to keep their weight down in the long run.   Your body actually craves more calories than you would if you eat real sugar.   Aspartame also has other side effects such as: Headaches/migraines  Nausea Abdominal pains Fatigue (blocks sufficient glucose entry into brain) Sleep problems Vision problems Anxiety attacks Depression Asthma/chest tightness. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.  Long term, consistent ingestion of this product can cause severe health risks.   I recently read a report where the FDA actually admitted that Aspartame has been linked to over ninety symptoms.  If you would like to learn more about them, a report can be found at: Okay, if you’re like me, you’re now asking yourself how this stuff can find its way into our food supply if it causes these kind of reactions???  To get your answer, we have to travel back to the time of disco and bellbottoms, the 1970’s. This was when the chemical company known as G.D. Searle requested the FDA for approval of the sweetener.  In 1974, the FDA commissioner Alexander Schmidt in a first ever move assembled a public board of inquiry to investigate the artificial sweetener.  Their findings cited a study by a neuropathologist, Dr. John Olney of Washington University, who had linked aspartame to brain lesions in mice.  They also went on to say that Searle severely distorted its studies to gain approval and that their integrity could not be relied upon.  Aspartame was subsequently not approved by the board.  At this point in time the FDA actually did its job in protecting its citizens.   Fast forward to...

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Something EVERYONE should take EVERY DAY

Feb 04

I wanted to start by saying thank you to those of you who have reached out to say how beneficial the information that I have shared so far has been.  It’s exciting to me to know that the information is both appreciated and beneficial!  Getting this feedback has me motivated to continue sharing, so I’ll do so as long as people find my information to be both informative and entertaining! I have started by sharing a handful of ingredients that unfortunately find their way into a ton of the food options we see in our supermarkets today.  I shared some common examples of what you’ll find them in, and examples of alternatives that my family has found to remove these toxic chemicals from our pantry and refrigerator.  I’ll continue to do this in the day’s and weeks to come, but I wanted to change it up today to share something that we SHOULD be incorporating into our diets. There are so many harmful toxins in the foods that many of us eat on a daily basis, and it’s difficult if not impossible to remove them all and feed ourselves and our families three healthy meals a day with healthy snacks in between.  As busy as our lives have gotten (especially with our two teens) you simply can’t avoid everything.  For those times when you can’t (think Super Bowl parties everywhere yesterday), you need some assistance with flushing those toxins out of your body while properly digesting the good ingredients that we need to fuel our bodies. For this reason, my family and I take a Probiotic on a daily basis.  The word “probiotic” is a compound of two Greek words: “pro,” to signify promotion of and “biotic,” which means life. The very definition is something that affirms life and health.  Here’s a picture of the one that we take: What many people don’t realize is that 70-80% of our overall health is determined by how healthy our “guts” are.  Our intestines are filled with thousands of healthy bacteria or “flora” that assist us with the digestion process and the effective processing of waste out of our bodies.  Taking a probiotic daily allows these flora to thrive thereby boosting our...

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Feb 02

To start this edition to my blog, I wanted to share a photo of my two main inspirations for my new found passion for learning about and sharing everything I can about proper nutrition.  My goal in doing so is to convince as many people to look at their health and well being from a preventative standpoint vs. a treatment standpoint.     Unfortunately, we didn’t initially have the knowledge to understand Kyle’s dietary needs due to his low immunity, or to prevent Deb from recently contracting stage 2 ductal carcinoma (medical term for her type of breast cancer).  I’m not saying that the cancer cells weren’t there.  They are actually in all of us!  However, they need fuel to multiply and become full blown cancer.  That’s where a number of outside factors including what’s in our diet comes into play.  Avoiding the bad stuff and incorporating the good stuff can minimize the chances of us ever having to battle this and other ailments.  The shock and sadness experienced by a father and husband when dealing with these issues has prompted me to embark on a path of gaining the knowledge offered by preventative thinking.  If sharing that knowledge  can help a family to avoid dealing with these issues in their lives, then I will be accomplishing my goal.     We live in a country with a healthcare system that puts so much weight on the treatment of negative health symptoms through pharmaceuticals instead.  Unfortunately, this is a profit driven model that doesn’t focus on the proper way to go about things.  It’s up to us to educate ourselves on how we can avoid these symptoms altogether vs. treating them.  With that thought in mind, let’s dive into some additional ingredients to remove from our diets and the reasons why.  You’ll see six of them in the video below, but I’d like to place a strong focus on one in particular.   Artificial Colors:  (such as red #40, blue #2, yellow 5, sodium benzoate, etc.) There’s a reason why most sugary treats and even sports drinks give us a rush. These synthetic chemicals are often added to foods marketed towards children. They’ve been found to cause many health problems including hyperactivity,...

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Feb 01

Over the next series of posts, I am going to share the main culprits contributing to our being the least healthy industrialized nation on the planet.  Once we’ve tackled things to try to avoid, I’ll get into things that we should try to incorporate more into our diets.  When it comes to truly becoming healthy by removing all of the unwanted ingredients from our diet, it will take a strong determination for most people.  While it hasn’t been easy for me, I can honestly say that doing so has made an enormous difference to how I and my family members feel.  The saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” sums it up best.  You should look to remove these things from your diet a step at a time, and I guarantee you will begin to feel a noticeable difference! First, I want to apologize in advance for sharing the first of my top 10 ingredients to remove from your diet, high fructose corn syrup.  It is by far the most prevalent ingredient that should be avoided, and one of our favorites as a nation.  I think that most of us know that high fructose corn syrup is a bad thing, but many of us don’t really know why or what it actually causes.  I want to break that down so that you can make an educated decision about whether to avoid it all together (when possible) or choose to gradually try to lessen your intake of it (ie: soda once in a while instead of daily). The first thing you need to know is just how many types of food have this in it.  The most widely known is soda, but you’ll also find it as a main ingredient in things such as nearly all types of candy, cereals, ketchup, barbeque sauce, crackers, jelly, bread, peanut butter, juice boxes, breakfast bars, yogurt, energy drinks and the list goes on and on.  I have to say that I was overwhelmed when I started inspecting labels of the products that we typically buy that carried this unwanted ingredient! What is high fructose corn syrup? Invented by research duo Marshall and Kooi in 1957, High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) comprises any of...

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