Should I get my pollen on?

I have heard people suggest bee pollen to treat every single ailment! Seriously, you have a rash?  Bee pollen. Asthma?  Bee pollen. Digestive issues? Bee Pollen. Alcoholism? Yup, you guessed it! Bee pollen.  I was overhearing this conversation in public the other day, and I was just thinking, how can one supplement be able to cure everything and not everyone uses it? But, then I started to think maybe I had just overlooked it, which is completely possible; if I read about things, and I don’t somehow leave myself a reminder, it’s gone…or comes back at a random time, and I thought maybe this was one of those black holes of knowledge, so I decided to research it.

What is bee pollen?

Bee pollen is basically bunches of different pollens (considered the male sex cells of plants because it is needed to fertilize) that the worker bees go off to collect from various plants, trees, etc. and when it is brought back to the bee hive, it is mixed with various enzymes and bacteria present in the hive. It is basically packed into clumps in the hive.  The bees in the hive subside off of the bee pollen, as it has all the nutrients and vitamins they need to survive. Bee pollen is about 40% carbohydrate, 5% fat, and 5% protein, and filled with various amino acids, and nutrients (such as zinc, magnesium, etc) but the rest is all bee waste products (i.e. bee poop), fungus, bacteria, and insect parts. Yum! I know that makes you want to run out and grab some!

What can it help?

Bee pollen, as I stated before, purportedly is a fix all for all sorts of various maladies, such as:

– Colitis/ Digestive issues

– Arthritis (improves joint movements)

– Increases energy

– Decreases allergies (seasonal)

– Asthma

– Eczema

– Alcoholism

– Prevents bacterial infections

– Maintains wellness

– Weight loss

Does it actually work?

Despite some people being huge believers in Bee Pollen supplementation in your diet, and some say because of the carb/fat/protein ratio you can actually solely subside off of bee pollen alone, there are NO independent studies that show it actually heals or treats these issues.  Actually, there are numerous cases of people taking bee pollen supplements and having allergic reactions because they have a bee sensitivity OR a sensitivity to one of the plants pollens present in the bee pollen, and even going into anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction that leads to loss of airway, ability to exchange air, and can quickly lead to death without immediate treatment.) Also pregnant women and women that are breastfeeding should NOT take bee pollen due to risks of transference of the fungus/bacteria from the pollen to their babies.

If you take bee pollen, and it works for you, I am not going to tell you to do any differently, but I would urge people with many allergies or on medications from chronic conditions to talk to their HCP before starting to take bee pollen.  Also, there are some eco and ethical issues with bee pollen supplements, in that there is a world-wide decline of honey bees due to their sensitivity to various pesticides, and they do subside off of their pollen, so maybe us humans can find something else to use, and let the bee populations boost up before we go back dipping into their pollen pots?

Yours in Good Health


What is the difference between the Paleo and Atkins diets?

I was asked this just today and a lot of people have interest in it because it seems that people have a lot of knowledge regarding one of the diets and not the other and they don’t seem to understand the difference, of which there are some pretty significant differences. Many times the reasons that you choose one diet over another is due to either weight loss OR a choosing a healthier diet for the long-term. Fanatics of both diets claim that they can be chosen as long-term diets (and when I say diet, I am referring to the foods that you eat to live, not to specifically lose weight.) If you feel so inclined to go with either diet, and you have chronic health issues or take any medications chronically, then please speak with your HCP about your lifestyle change.

What is the Atkins diet?

The theory behind the Atkins “nutritional approach” (as Dr. Atkins liked to refer to it) is that most people are overweight because they eat too many carbohydrates (and fat); when the body needs energy, it is able to make energy from carbohydrates quicker to use immediately, thus leaving the fat that can also be used as energy to be stored for later use by the body.  If the amount of carbohydrates were decreased, the fats and proteins would be utilized as the primary source of energy and burn off, thus not being stored, so you won’t gain weight…and essentially lose weight.  There is a little more to it, in that when your body switches to a state of fat burning instead of carbohydrate burning for energy, you go into something called ketosis.  Ketosis is basically when the body goes into starvation mode, because you have no immediate use energy from carbs, and you start to break down fat stores and protein for energy: the ketones from the fat stores turn into energy. When this happens and they break down further, into acetone, and the body gets rid of it through the kidneys (peeing it out) and through your lungs (breathing it out). Your breath can have a very distinctive fruity smell and your pee can smell differently as well.  Now, this is one way to lose weight, but it does put a lot of strain on your body to work differently (on a cellular level) to burn that fat. Also, eating more fat means that you have more circulating fat and cholesterol, which is not very heart healthy. If you have any sort of problems with your kidneys, this is NOT the diet for you. And honestly, I do not think that a diet without any form of carbohydrates and so high in fat is healthy long-term. Remember that old adage: if it seems to good to be true, it probably is?

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet is different, in that it is a diet that is based on what Paleolithic humans ate. All in all, a “caveman” diet.  The diet focuses around eating fish, grass-fed animals, fruit, vegetables, fungi, roots, and nuts all the while excluding legumes, grains, dairy, sugars, processed oils, and salts. The idea behind it is that you are eating a clean diet without added processed foods, which I totally get, and I love the idea of it.  However, some zealots of the diet insist upon truly eating the “caveman” way, in that they can only eat local fruits, veg, etc. and if you live in a place like New England, that really limits you diet in the winter months if you can only eat what grows locally, and I fear that people would be missing vital nutrients necessary for their body to optimally function.  As this diet is becoming trendier, it is slightly easier to follow as some restaurants offer paleo friendly menus. But the modern-day equivalents are not the same as what they were, with the addition of GMOs; you are really limited in your diet. Just like any other diet trend, it can cause controversy, and this is a pretty low-calorie/fat diet that people in the paleolithic era most likely did live off of, but we have to remember that they died at an extremely young age, and were killed off by diseases/viruses that we are exposed to now daily, but our robust immune systems kill off.  I agree, that the likelihood of a chunky “caveman” was probably very low, but they lived a hunter/gatherer lifestyle like animals in the wild do.  Regardless of that, my biggest fear with the lack of dairy and legumes (all beans) is that women, especially, do not get enough calcium with this diet. On the other hand, if you like it, you are able to follow it, it works for you, I am not going to tell you not to try to eat healthier.

So, yes both diets are similar in that they cut out carbs in the form of breads, but with the Paleo diet you can eat root vegetables which, many times, are carbohydrates, and in a true Atkins you cannot (should not) eat carbs even in the form of fruits and vegetables.  I think that Atkins sounds like it would be a fun diet, eat tons of fatty foods and lose weight, but I eat so many fruits and vegetables, and when I am off my normal diet for a while, I crave straight up veggies (like I will eat a bowl of brussel sprouts or broccoli for dinner and not miss the protein a smidge!) And I like the theory of Paleo, in that we are taking our diet back to a very simple place, eating real food without anything refined or processed added, a truly clean diet, BUT I think that eating with the strictness of that diet is not sustainable and people will miss vitamins and nutrients that are necessary to live.  We live in a fast paced modern world, where the average Paleolithic era people wouldn’t be able to survive one week with their immune systems and caloric intake (not to mention their poor minds would be blown away with technology, but I digress).

If you want my advice?  Yes, cut down on your carbs (in the form of breads) and be cognizant of how much sugar you are eating, eat organically and GMO-free as much as you can, keep it up with the fish and grass-fed meats (if you so choose), and get in some daily exercise.  The thing about having a healthy diet, is about making healthy life choices, and if you change your lifestyle and way of thinking about food as fuel, you are more likely to be healthier and stick to that diet and lifestyle change.  The thing about diet? It’s all up to you, you make the choices of what you want to eat; eat clean, drink lots of water, and feel your body become happy and healthy.  Kick diet trends to the curb, and just be healthy!

Yours in Good Health


Have a guilt-free Thanksgiving Feast

So everyone who knows me, knows that I am not going to tell you that you need to cut out butter, trans fats, dairy, or anything that makes food taste decadent and delicious.  I suppose, if I was Super Nurse Bridgid, I might, but I’m a very realistic gal, I love food, and I think that there are very few times a year that you totally rock out with eating decadent food, having your family and friends at your side, so live it up! That being said, if you have severe cardiac disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, or a few other chronic diseases, let’s not go completely bonkers and send yourself into distress requiring an emergency room visit, please? There are a few ways to keep the holiday fun, and keep/maintain you weight loss goals that you have in mind….because no matter how much you think that you will be maintaining your diet, you won’t. I am not just being negative, but friends and relatives will make dishes that you have no idea how much butter (or even straight up lard) was used to make that delicious crust, or how much extra cheese was added to dishes.  Unless you have a very health conscious family or group of friends, most likely your Thanksgiving meals will have some unexpected fat and calories added….but it’s one day a year, right?

How to I stay healthy and fit?

Remember it is just one meal: it may be a really yummy and highly commercialized meal, but it is just one meal, so don’t eat the same amount that you would in a week!  Keep your head about you, and eat normal servings. There is no need to fill your plate until the point that it is over-flowing with food. There will be leftovers, so grab some of them, and have some of that meal the next day too….that would make it better than eating to the point you feel like you will explode, right?

Fill your exercise bank: I hear all the time when people eat some decadent dessert or huge meal, that they will “run 10 miles tomorrow”.  Most likely you won’t.  I’m not being mean, but most people say that and then they don’t and then they have food guilt.  What do I do?  I know that I will be eating more, so before my body is slow and laden down from extra fat and alcohol in my diet (from a fun family meal), I have a long workout.  I also tend to keep in mind all week with my workouts that I will be having a huge “cheat day” from my normal diet.  That way, I have already done the hard work, and I can eat with pure pleasure and no guilt!

Don’t starve! One thing people do frequently is that they know they are going to eat a big meal, so they don’t eat all day.  BAD move!! Then you are starving, so when you finally see appetizers and the meal, you will for sure overindulge! Eat a breakfast high in fiber and protein (after you get in that workout, of course, right?!?!) It will keep you filled up and regulate your blood sugar so your body feels satiated, and you have a better chance of just eating normally….not until you think you will explode if you don’t unbutton your pants.

Take a walk post meal: Because of the tryptophan in turkey (along with the traveling and stress of planning/cooking for holidays) and all of our blood rushing to our stomachs to help digest that huge meal, we finish our meal, and people want to hang out and watch football, relax, nap, etc.  My suggestion? Go out and walk for 30 minutes.  Get your blood pumping, help digest faster, ramp up your metabolism, and then tackle those dishes.  Depending on the number of dishes and how vigorous you are, you can burn up to 100 calories in 1 hour of dish washing….it’s a start!

If you really are concerned: if you really are worried about eating too much, go slow.  Take small helpings, small enough that nothing on your plate touches (and if you can handle the ridicule, just use a salad plate- it gives the illusion or more food!) and eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes from the time food hits your lips and gets into your stomach for your brain to get the memo that you are satiated and don’t need to eat any more (that’s why starving yourself can really backfire on you- you eat like a glutton for 20 minutes then want to die from feeling so stuffed.) And drink lots of water, along with the fiber in all of the veggies, and the protein it will help to fill you up faster.

Alcohol can be a caloric nightmare: Not all alcohol, but wine is usually around 200 calories per glass, so if you have a few of those, you’ve just taken in all of your days calories almost, just on drinks alone! so for those of you really, looking to keep it “skinny” this year, I wouldn’t jump towards the wine, or keep it to 1 to 2 glasses.

Ditch the guilt: All this being said, don’t feel guilty about having a good time, giving thanks for all of the wonderful things we have in our lives, being with friends and family, and eating good food.  THAT is what Thanksgiving is about, not your caloric intake!  Everyone is allowed a “cheat day” and on Thanksgiving, you just really live it up!

Really?  Have a great day, enjoy yourself, and appreciate your life, your friends and family, and have an awesome day.  Don’t focus on the calories or feel guilty for having a good time, just get back right on track the next day….as long as this is a once in a while thing for you, your body will bounce back! Don’t et one day let you lose focus on being healthy and fit, but as I said, ramp up your exercise before, if you are really concerned, have that fitness bank filled, and make a withdrawal on Thanksgiving!  Enjoy your days, be safe, and have an amazing time.

For all of the healthcare, emergency service workers, military, and everyone else that is working through the holiday to help others, thank you for all that you are doing; your hard work and sacrifice is greatly appreciated!!

Yours in Good Health


GMO: What does it mean?

There has been a TON of talk lately about GMOs, and I think most people know they are bad….but they have really no idea what they are and what the controversy is, so I thought it would be helpful if I could shed some light on the topic.  GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms.  Now what does that mean? Basically, an organism as been genetically altered (or modified) using modern scientific approaches to change the make up; the most frequently modified organisms are bacteria, yeast, plants, fish, mammals (including the chicken and beef that we may be eating!)

What do GMOs mean to me?

Well, it seems like we would be able to easily pick out foods that are genetically modified and just not eat them, right? Well, unfortunately, we don’t really know all of the foods that are genetically altered and what is added to our foods.  Plus, just buying organically does not necessarily mean that foods don’t have GMOs added.  It is not required by law to list GMO ingredients.  So, despite all efforts to eat organic, healthy, non-altered foods, and to serve them to your family, we may still be eating genetically modified foods, all because they are not listed, and corporate farms are not required to report genetic modification of their crops. For example, you might not think that your family ingests a high amount of soy products, but soy is often altered and added to other foods as a filler, so you are all eating more soy than you think! The real risk is that we do not truly know the long-term health effects of eating GMO food, but there have been numerous studies (using rat and mice models) showing that there is an increased tumor rate and shorter life expectancy when eating high GMO diets. Obviously, the studies have not proven 100% that eating GMO diets will kill you, but there is a risk, and the studies are strong enough that I really try to keep as GMO free as possible. Many of these foods are modified with various hormones and chemicals that do put us at risk for various cancers, and adding high amounts of soy to the diet can increase females estrogen levels, and that is just all the more helpful for estrogen supported tumors (i.e. breast and ovarian cancers, among others.) The best way to prevent ingesting GMO foods, is to know the crops at highest risk and try to steer clear of them, or only eat these fruits/veg from local farms where you know they are GMO-free.

What are the crops most at risk for GMO?

– Alfalfa sprouts

– Corn

– Soy

– Cotton

– Papaya

– Zucchini and Yellow summer squash

– Canola

– Cotton

– Sugar Beets

– Siberian Kale

– Acorn squash

– Flax

– Rice

– Chard

– Table beets

– Bok choy

– Turnips

Some additives that commonly are from GMO based products are:

Aspartame, Xanthan gum, High Fructose Corn Syrup, any “natural” or “artificial” flavors added to products, Vitamin C/Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sucrose, Maltodextrins, Molasses, MSG, Vitamins, Yeast products, Hydrolyzed Vegetable products, etc.

As you can see, a LOT of these foods are foods many of us ingest daily, and the additives, while we might not always know what they are, see them on package labeling constantly.  I think it is really hard to have a completely GMO-free diet at this point, but some brands are marketing that they use GMO free products, which is great, and identifying the products that are high risk GMO is a great start.  There are people out there trying to stop GMO in the US and The Non GMO Project is one of them, a non-profit, working off of donations to change legislation and prevent GMO and/or at least force companies to have to label their GMO practices, so we are not ingesting chemicals and hormones that we are not intending to.  The Non GMO Project also has rigorous standards for companies, and testing, if they prove they are GMO-free, they are allowed to use their “GMO Free” seal: 

And you can feel safe and assured that those products are truly GMO-free.  The European Union has gone GMO-free, and hopefully the US will soon follow suit!

So hopefully you know what to look for and what to stay away from, to steer clear (as mush as possible) from GMO foods. No one needs to ingest hormones or chemicals when they are trying to eat some healthy fruits and veg! Keep your eyes peeled, and support local agriculture using GMO free methods, as much as you can!

Yours in Good Health


Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Seeds for Better Nutrition!

I have been asked a ton lately about Chia seeds, and I have seen people snacking on them.  When I first saw it, I thought “hmm, it looks like a little bird eating a snack” but I had no idea how nutritious that snack really was….and I didn’t know what it was either.  Finally, I looked really dumb, but I asked some guy what the deal was with the “bird food” and his response was, “You don’t know about Chia?” and snarked off (which I completely deserved!) And now I feel like a chia expert….not just for being able to grow chia heads, but understanding the nutritional basis of the seeds, and why this is such a hot nutritional trend!

What are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are these little edible seeds that comes from the Salvia hispanica plant, which is a relative of mint.  It was used as a staple of the Aztec and Mayan diets into the 16th Century, as it is easily grown in Mexico, and along with being pretty tasty, and easy to add to a multitude of foods, it is fully of fiber and fills you up quickly; the Aztecs used to eat some Chia and be filled up for 24 hours (that wouldn’t work for me, but it may just be mind over matter!).  So, in short, Chia seeds are full of fiber, vitamins, Omega-3’s that can be added into your diet in a bunch of different ways.  They are very low-calorie and they can be ingested wither whole or ground; either way your body can easily break them down and absorb the nutrients.

Why are they so good for me?

As stated before, they are chock full of fiber, which we know is food to keep you filled up longer, aids in digestion, and can help to decrease your risk of certain cancers (like colon). Approximately 25 grams of Chia has about 7 grams of fiber (that equivalent to a half cup of straight oat bran).  They are full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and help to regulate cholesterol by increasing your LDL (good cholesterol), help with decreasing inflammation, and help to regulate moods and prevent depression. As well as bring full of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, copper, and iron, they also are full of antioxidants, which help in preventing cancer.  These seeds are pretty power packed!

How do I eat them?

The great thing about Chia seeds is that they do not have to be ground to eat them, so you can add them whichever way you want to baked goods to add a nutty flavor packed with vitamins and fiber. In Mexico, it is common to add water to Chia seed with a little lemon or lime juice; as the seeds sit in water, they create a gel which thickens, and is how the seeds break down in the digestive system, but adds some thickness to beverages, and I imagine it would be like bubble tea.  Also, that gel can be used in cooking/baking so that you can halve your butter or oil, and make most of your favorite meals with half the fat and calories!  The gel is formed once the seeds are sitting in water for about 30 minutes- this idea both creeps me out and excites me; I’ve used it in baking, and my cookies still turned out delicious, just healthier! It can be sprinkled in yogurt, on top of ice cream, added to salads for some crunch.  Really there are no limits to how you can add chia to your diet.

The coolest thing is that when chia is added to the diets of farm animals, their proteins are changed: chickens with a diet with chia added to it, have higher amounts of Omega 3’s in their meat, and cows that have chia added to their diet, produce milk with more naturally occurring Omega 3’s. And another really awesome thing about Chia, is that there really are no natural predators (other than humans looking for a tasty treat) so they truly are organic, in that no pesticides need to be used in the cultivation.  Really?  I see no downside to Chia…unless of course you are allergic.

So, give it a try, tell me what you think…and use the chia gel in the kitchen when cooking, your body will thank you and me!

Yours in Good Health


The Superpowered Veg: Kale

Some people love it, some people hate it, but there is no denying the fact that kale is the Wonder Woman (she’s a woman and she’s awesome, so yeah it works!) of veggies! I will be completely honest here: I used to absolutely despise kale.  I remember the first time I ate it because I thought it was SO vile; my brother and I bought it when I lived in New Orleans, and he was loving it, so I was super stoked to try it, and it was NOT a match.  I barely swallowed it down without gagging.  My issue is that I am a tactile eater, so if things feel weird in my mouth, I don’t like them, and the texture is much more intense than one would expect (as a kale virgin) and the flavor is über bitter.  But, with some help of my 3-year-old nephew this summer, I learned to love it…I just needed something other than raw kale and lemon juice to make it work.  He introduced me to the world of oven roasted kale (AKA Kale chips):  I think we devoured more kale than I ever thought would fit in our two bodies!

Why is Kale so awesome?             

– One cup of kale has only 36 calories and 5 grams of fiber 1020% of the daily requirement  of Vitamin K, 40% magnesium, 200% Vitamin C, 180% Vitamin A, and 15% of calcium and vitamin B6.  That is truly a powerhouse veggie- all that in ONE CUP?!?!

– It is full of antioxidants which help to prevent free radicals and are thought to prevent cancer. Vitamin A, C, and K are all antioxidants, along with carotenoids and flavonoids.

– The high levels of fiber, can help to decrease circulating cholesterol by binding to the free fats/cholesterols and helping to excrete them from the body before they can be absorbed in the blood and create plaques in the arteries.  Decreasing cholesterol, decreases you risk of heart disease!  (If you steam kale, it is more effective in lowering your cholesterol levels by stimulating a higher bile production by the digestive tract to decrease the circulating cholesterol)

– It is a green leafy veggie that thrives in cooler weather, so we can enjoy all winter long! And there are very few things to look forward to, as far as healthy eating goes during cold, winter months!

– It is a low carbohydrate food, so perfect for those of you looking to eat a lower carb diet.

– There is some research to specifically link the antioxidants present in kale to decrease you cancer risk for 5 different types of cancer: breast, ovarian, colon, bladder, and prostate.

How to prepare kale:

Add it in to any recipe instead of lettuce or half lettuce/half kale to ease it into your diet.  You can chop it up and add it to stir-fry, stews, soups, and really any other food that you want.  If you want to make a full on kale salad, most people just rinse and chop raw kale and add lemon juice to cut the bitterness.  That kale salad set me off on the wrong foot with this Wonder Woman veg…but kale chips couldn’t be easier (especially if someone makes them for you!): Cut kale into bite sized pieces, drizzle with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), a pinch of sea salt, and roast at 350 degrees in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  Yumbos!

Is there any downside to this magnificent veg?

I urge caution to anyone who is taking the blood thinner Coumadin (AKA Warfarin). You are totally able to eat kale and other green leafy veggies (cruciferous veg) which tend to have higher vitamin K levels, but be careful if you are all of a sudden increasing your intake because Vitamin K is actually the antidote for Coumadin, it increases your clotting factors and helps your blood clot, offsetting the medication which is a blood thinner.  So don’t stay away from these healthy, yummy foods, just be careful, and make sure to communicate with your Health Care Practitioner (HCP) if you eat a diet high in Vitamin K, you make require higher doses of the blood thinning medication, or they might choose an alternate treatment based on your eating habits!

Give kale a try, and your body will thank you! If the first way you try it doesn’t work, remember that you can add it in to almost anything, and there are tons of different ways to prepare….kale is certainly no one trick pony! And remember, if you are on any blood thinning medications, especially Coumadin, talk to your HCP before adding high amounts of Vitamin K into your diet.

Yours in Good Health


Start them young on the right foot

I am not a parent to any human beings, I clearly have two dogs, and I really don’t like when people give me advice related to my pooches (I almost made the statement that I hate when people without dogs give me advice related to my dogs, but really, it is all unsolicited advise!!).  So, I am going to preface that I am not a parent, and not preaching about how to raise a child here at all, but I have touched on it before in my blogs on nutrition, and I do think it is important to teach by example; study just caught my eye, and I wanted to pass it along because it deals with the devils drink, or as I like to call it: SODA!

sodaNow, I am never one to turn down a nice gin and tonic every now and again, or to not drink ginger ale when I have a sick stomach, but daily consumption of soda (diet or full sugar) really is horrible for your stomach (causes ulcers) and for your pancreas (your risk of type II diabetes goes up thus increasing your long-term risk for pancreatic cancer), along with the standard issues of obesity, tooth decay, caffeine dependence, and weakening of bones (phosphoric acid in soda can leach calcium off of your bones- creepy!!).  Also, there are new studies showing that increased soda consumption increases cardiovascular risks (i.e. stroke and heart attack) too because of the dyslipidemia (literally a disruption in lipids, or fats, that are in the blood….too much fat in the blood leads to plaque build up on cells and artery/vein walls) that occurs.

The Journal of American Dietary Association did a long-term study starting in 1996 with 5-year-old caucasian girls (roughly 170 children and parents as subjects), looking at the health/dietary differences between girls that were drinking soda at age 5 and those who weren’t.  I didn’t find the outcome shocking at all, but I did find it very sad: the girls who were drinking soda at age 5 continued to do so through age 15 and had an extremely low milk intake a higher intake of foods with added sugars, and lower intake of protein, fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin D, calcium, and potassium in their diets. Basically, these children were eating processed foods and drinking soda on a daily basis as their normal diets.  This significantly increases the rate of obesity and type II diabetes, and treating type II diabetes becomes much more difficult when people have no concept of healthy meal choices.  So these children are engrained with these poor diets, and it is a tough challenge to change their eating habits.

These girls were set up at the age of 5 for increased cardiovascular risks for stroke and heart attack, diabetes, and cancer, all because of poor eating habits stemming around the consumption of soda.

I remember when I was young, and it was a HUGE treat to be able to drink soda; special occasions only!  And I remember my mom always regretting the decision as we were bouncing off the walls, but it was always water and milk only, and juice with breakfast.  Granted, I am very lucky to have the mom that I do, she still treats me like her baby whenever I come home, making me snacks and meals galore!! But, even with busy working moms, who don’t have the time to cut carrot/celery sticks and have them waiting as an after school snack, there are so many healthy snack options at the grocery store to choose from, and if you fill your house and fridge with healthy stuff, your children will learn to eat healthy stuff and that it tastes good!

So, please try to limit soda intake for younger kids and allow them healthy choices when you can control what they eat, so they learn what’s healthy, and we can only hope they continue that path as they grow up and make their own choices, but try to set them up for success in life and decrease their risks for long-term illnesses as much as you can.  And, honestly, in this economy, a Brita filter for a month giving fresh clean water, is a boatload cheaper than even generic brand soda!

Yours in Good Health, and for all the little ones out there 🙂