Saturday, January 17, 2009

Did they lie to us about this too? VitaminWater

By now you may be wondering if everything "they" told you has been a lie about the foods you are eating. Your local market is stocked with food after food labeled with "health claims" on the front of the package in very big letters. Do you believe this too?

It is time to take charge of yourself.
You can begin today by asking these questions.

What is the objective of the marketing company?
What is the objective of the manufacture/producer of the food product?

The answer is to make money. Plan and simple. As the end user it is easy to become confused by all the "razzle dazzle". Pretty boxes, hearts, healthy people on the packages matched with the message of "eat me and you will have healthy heart, bones," you get the picture.

For just a second let's review what the objectives are of the food companies who produce and sell food. The more you eat and drink the more money they make. There are millions of dollars to be made. Do you think the company (in this case Coca Cola) cares if the claims are true? Care about your health? The health of your children? Take all the time you need ... the answer is no. Never.

Time Magazine a few years back committed an issue to 'Living to 100". People who were born
" before 1979 have a 1 in 25 chance of living to 100 years old". If you were born "after 1979 now (30 year olds), have a 1 in 10 chance to live to 100".

So let me ask you long are you planning to live?
How do you plan on spending your health living it?

It is time to become an "informed consumer." Read all you can, learn what is really good for you. Remember there are no "neutral" foods, you are either eating foods that are good for you or bad for you. If you need some help, get it. It is never too late to begin to take care of yourself. The sooner you do the better you will feel. Isn't feeling great really what you are looking for?

Remember, if you don't take care of yourself ... who will?

Coca-Cola Sued Over Vitamin Water Health Claims

Vinnee Tong
The Associated Press
January 16, 2009

A nutrition advocacy group on Thursday sued the Coca-Cola Co., the biggest beverage maker in the world, over what it calls "deceptive" health claims about VitaminWater.

The Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest accuses Coke of selling what it says is basically sugar water by claiming it has vitamins that boost immunity and reduce the risk of disease.

The group said the health benefit claims that Coca-Cola makes about its VitaminWater are "nonsense." It filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.

"Any nonsensical claim you like, you can find in their line of VitaminWater," said the group's senior nutritionist, David Schardt.

VitaminWater flavors are marketed with words such as defense, rescue, energy and endurance. The drinks' top three ingredients are water, cane sugar and crystalline fructose, a form of sugar, according to the bottle labels. The 20-ounce bottle has roughly 33 grams of sugar, compared with about 39 grams in a typical 12-ounce soft drink.

Coca-Cola bought Glaceau's VitaminWater for $4.1 billion in June 2007. It was considered a coup at a time when consumers were buying less and less soda.

Consumers worried about their health had been driving down sales for soft drinks and switching to bottled water and other drinks like VitaminWater. The lawsuit says Coca-Cola "profited enormously" from sales driven by consumers' health concerns.

To read the full article:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

9 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting

Here we are two weeks into the new year and every diet program you can think of is rearing it's ugly head. It seems every other day you hear "have you heard of XYZ diet?" Then your friends go on to proudly say "I have lost 10 pounds in 2 days" (or something similar) proud of their quick weight loss, seemingly unaware of the long term effects of their "diet". The fact remains most dieters enter into the cycle of weight gain-loose-gain-loose only to start over again perhaps gaining all the weight back and then some painfully going through this cycle over and over again.

This year challenge yourself... really start over. Make a commitment to yourself and those you love. This year commit to living every day to it's fullest, making informed, life-giving choices.

Commit to making the smallest change to put you closer to a healthier body. For example, add one serving of spinach each day to your plate and you will be adding 365 servings of spinach over the course of a year. It just takes 1/2 cup spinach each day to reduce your risk of macular degeneration. One small change = big results.

Commit to feeling good about the change you are making or even the one you are thinking about making. Begin to eat consciously. Be aware of the choice you are making. Become an informed eater.

Commit to going to bed each night knowing you have done your very best. Reward a job well done, feel good when you go to bed at night.No matter how the day goes, the good news is when you wake up you get to start over again with unlimited possibilities.

Remember to take care of yourself... because if you don't who will?

Your partner in health,
Cindy Cohen RN
Health Coach
9 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting
By Hallie Levine Sklar
updated 10:36 a.m. ET, Wed., Oct. 8, 2008

Great news! You can ditch your diet for good and still hit your happy weight. Science has finally proven what you've probably suspected for years — that following a restrictive food plan can make you more likely to overeat. Researchers at the University of Toronto tempted a group of women who were cutting their calorie intake with a plate of cookies and then put the same treats in front of women who weren't trying to lose. Not only did the dieters dig in, but they ate 66 percent more goodies than their non-dieting peers. “Women end up feeling so deprived on weight loss plans that they break down and binge,” says Tracy Tylka, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Ohio State University at Marion. We at Self have a better way to slim down: nine simple lifestyle switches that will help you shrink your waist effortlessly!

Eat more good stuff
Instead of obsessing about tasty bites you want to banish, focus on healthy foods you can feast on. Women who do so tend to lose more weight than those who ruminate on restricting calories. Fill up with fiber-rich fruit, vegetables and whole grains. “High-fiber foods expand in your stomach, so you're less likely to overeat,” says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center. Fiber also inhibits your body's absorption of fat, says Dave Grotto, R.D., author of “101 Foods That Could Save Your Life” (Bantam Books). There are easy ways to sneak in more fiber: Stir 1 tablespoon of flaxseed into oatmeal, add 1/2 cup of beans to a green salad or snack on small portions of dried fruit and nuts.

Go to the dogs
Volunteering at the pound could help you lose pounds. People who signed up to walk shelter dogs for an hour a week lost about a pound in four weeks, early research from the University of Missouri at Columbia showed. That's 12 pounds a year you could shed without skipping a single dessert! In fact, other research by study author Rebecca Johnson, Ph.D., revealed that people who walked a dog (either their own or a loaner hound) 20 minutes a day for five days a week lost on average 14 pounds after a year. Best of all, dog walking turns out to be an easy commitment to keep. “We had a 72 percent adherence rate, which is unheard of in most exercise programs,” Johnson says. “Some volunteers enjoyed it so much, they stayed longer to walk more animals.” Find a shelter near you at

Sleep it off
Getting enough shut-eye can keep your body from storing fat, scientists at Laval University in Quebec note. Night owls who log fewer than six hours of sleep are 35 percent more likely to gain weight — on average, 11 pounds over six years — than those who get seven to eight. “Sleep deprivation increases cravings for sweets and starches,” says James Gangwisch, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “It also causes your body to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to belly fat.” To snag more sack time, set a radio alarm to sound 30 minutes before you want to go to bed, suggests Michael Breus, Ph.D., author of “Beauty Sleep.” When it goes off, head to your room and relax with stretches or light reading (avoid anything agitating, such as the news). After a half hour, it's time to dream of a slimmer you.

Spice things up
Cooking your meals with garlic and pepper could help curb overeating, according to research presented at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting in San Francisco. Overweight people who sprinkled their food with zero-calorie spices lost an average of 30 pounds in six months, compared with two pounds in a control group. “The flavors made people focus on the sensory characteristics of the food — its smell and taste,” explains study author Alan Hirsch, M.D., founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. “The foods were more enjoyable, so people felt fuller faster and didn't eat as much.” Sniffing the dishes was key, Dr. Hirsch says, because 90 percent of what you taste is determined by what you smell. The spices used in the study tasted like cheddar, onion, ranch dressing, taco sauce and Parmesan, but many no-and low-calorie seasonings in your kitchen, such as garlic and horseradish, will work as well, he says. To maximize the slimming impact of these ingredients, spend a moment enjoying the aroma of your food before every bite.

Give yourself props
You raked leaves all afternoon? Pat yourself on the back. It might sound hokey, but simply applauding your everyday calorie-burning activities can help you shed pounds. Researchers at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, told half a group of female hotel housekeepers that their job provided enough exercise to improve their health and left the other half in the dark. A month later, those in the know had lost an average of two pounds, lowered their body fat percentage and blood pressure and improved their waist-to-hip ratio, compared with those who were clueless about their calorie burn. What's more surprising? “The women did not make healthier choices because of the information — there was no change to their eating or working habits,” study author Ellen Langer, Ph.D., says. “The only difference was the women's mind-set.” Previous research suggests that having a positive attitude may help reduce overall stress levels — which can make eating healthy easier. So tell yourself that you're burning calories all day when you deliver a message in person, scrub the tub or walk from store to store in search of beautiful new boots.

Eat when you're hungry
Think suffering with a growling tummy is the way to drop pounds? Wrong! Women who eat when hungry and stop when satisfied have a lower average body-mass index than those who eat for other reasons, a study by Tylka finds. Try to tune in to your body's signals. “If your hunger comes on suddenly, then it's probably being triggered by an emotion or event,” Tylka says. Instead of raiding the fridge, ask yourself what you're truly feeling. If you're stressed, call a friend or hit the gym for a fun class. Bored? Start a Sudoku puzzle or plan your next vacation. And give yourself a little love. Other research by Tylka concludes that women who are satisfied with their body are more likely to eat when they're hungry, and vice versa. Each morning when you look in the mirror, praise (out loud) one thing you like about your body, instead of focusing on flaws.

Breathe away weight
Inhale, exhale and then step on the scale. Women who took a weekly meditation class shed about a pound a week, say scientists from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. “People often eat when they're stressed and sleepwalk through an entire meal,” study author Brian Shelley, M.D., explains. Meditating before and during meals helped the dieters eat less and enjoy their dishes more. A one-minute trick: Before you dig in, sit and take a few deep breaths. Notice the food and think of it as nourishment, not as calories. Take a bite and focus on the food's taste and texture. After you swallow, take a deep breath. There's no need to consume all your meals this meticulously, but starting off with a few mindful bites could help curb overeating.

Surrender the salt shaker
Salt may be calorie-free, but it can still contribute to body fat — and not only because it piggybacks on greasy snacks such as fries and chips. A review in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases reports that as salt intake increased by more than 50 percent in the United States since 1985, so did consumption of sweet beverages such as soda and juice. Salt leads to thirst, which Americans tend to quench with big sugary drinks. Seek out packaged products labeled low-salt or low-sodium, which means they have less than 140 milligrams per serving. (Your daily limit is 2,300mg.) And if you indulge in something salty, wash it down with sparkling water or unsweetened iced tea instead of sweet sips.

Savor a good laugh
Consider this license to be a couch potato: Cracking up at Kenneth on “30 Rock” can help you trim down. Watching a funny show caused adults to experience a 20 percent jump in heart rate and resting metabolism in a study at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. “Laughing uses up a lot of energy because it engages a variety of muscle groups, including your abs,” study author Mac Buchowski, Ph.D., says. The metabolic boost that comes from chuckling for 15 minutes a day could add up to 14,600 more calories burned per year. Watch funny movies and sitcoms, read irreverent blogs and chitchat with pals and coworkers to fit in your 15 minutes and laugh off the pounds for good.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Healthy Eating Saves Money

It seems to be popular to believe healthy eating is expensive, inconvenient and for some not available. It simply is not true and not knowing will cost you plenty. Maybe your savings.

Your health is really a pay now or pay later program. For now you can cruise by your favorite fast food spot to pick up a "happy meal" however there is nothing "happy" about that meal. Not for you or your body.

What do you get from your trip to get the fast food hamburger and fries?

One trip yields enough macro-nutrients (fats, protein, carbohydrates) to last 3 days. After 50 trips you will get enough micro-nutritients (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients) to supply your body for what it needs for one day. You are nutritionally starving your body.

What else do you get later in the bargin?
  • Several types of cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease (stroke and heart attack)
  • Macular Degeneration
  • MS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue
  • All diseases and conditions that are considered chronic
You might be saying "not me". Not true.
The benefits to eating processed, fast, salty, sugar laden foods is the experience you are enjoying right now.

  • Tired
  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Gastric Upset (burping and indigestion)
  • Constipation

The next question you might ask yourself is "is this one hamberger really worth it?
Do I want to participate in the pay later program?"

What's it going to be? Now or Later?

Begin today, make a decision to take charge of your health and save your money to spend on what brings you joy.
Can't do it yourself? Get some help.

Another Benefit of Health: Wealth
Dan Kadlec
TIME Business & Tech(Thursday, Sep. 11, 2008 )

"Most people save for retirement by focusing on their wealth. But you may accomplish more by focusing on your health. That's because the out-of-pocket costs for diseases that may be avoidable through diet and exercise can be staggering. Getting and staying fit now may be worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars later--a sum that just might exceed the carefully crafted stockpile in your 401(k)."

To read the article go to Healthy Eating Saves Money

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Who Doesn't Need to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

A growing body of research shows that fruits and vegetables are critical to good health. To get the amount that's recommended, most people need to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables they currently eat each every day.

The Center for Disease Control (our government) has a great calculator to help you to decide how many you need to maintain a healthy body. Of course this is the minimum requirement to maintain your health... not neccessarly how many you ACTUALLY need to achieve optimum health. Here you go!

How Many Fruits and Vegetables Do You Need? (calculate here)

Fruits and Vegetables Can Protect Your Health

The Center for Disease Control recommends to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Why is that?

"Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers."

Variety + Colors = Health

"Fruits and vegetables come in terrific colors and flavors, but their real beauty lies in what's inside. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases.

To get a healthy variety, think color.

Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Some examples include green spinach, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellow corn, purple plums, red watermelon, and white onions. The key is in the variety and freshness."

"View a chart that lists specific nutrients and tells you how these nutrients contribute to good health. You can also find out which fruits and vegetables are good and excellent sources of these nutrients."

Want to lose weight?
Maintain good or achieve optimum good health?

No secret.
Add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains.
Eat less sugar, white flour products, processed foods.