Nutrition: Impact of Sugar on Good Bacteria

If you typically have a cold glass of orange juice first thing before eating breakfast, you may want to rethink that habit. Juices, particularly fruit juices, are very high in inflammatory sugars and contain none of the fiber of fresh fruit which slows the absorption of those sugars. Twelve ounces of orange juice have 165 calories and 33 grams of sugar and 12 ounces of Coke has 36 grams of sugar and 140 calories. The orange juice has up to 14 grams of fructose while Coke as 15 or 16 grams. So much for a healthy start to the day.

The fructose that fruit juice contains quickly reaches the small intestine. In the mornings, the small intestine can’t process large amounts of fructose after periods of “fasting,” which means the sugar in drinks like orange juice will go to the large intestine instead. There, the fructose comes into contact with the good bacteria that reside there overwhelming your digestive system and disrupting the balance of your gut bacteria.

According to a recent study, over 90% of fructose is digested in the small intestine, which can process fructose, but only when it is consumed after a meal. They concluded that feeding mice before giving them sugar enhanced the small intestine’s ability to process fructose, protecting the microbiome from the damage due to sugar exposure.

So, the bottom line is: if you insist on orange juice (or any high sugar or fructose food or drink) never consume it on an empty stomach.

How do you typically “break your fast” every morning? What is the first thing you consume?

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Nutrition: Simple Diet Change to Reduce Chronic Pain

Does it seem too simple that you might be able to reduce chronic pain just by modifying what you include in your diet? A very interesting study conducted in Africa seems to indicate just that.

You may be familiar with a food additive called monosodium glutamate or MSG. It is commonly found in just about every packaged, processed food. It sometimes goes by “yeast extract,” “natural flavor” or “hydrolyzed protein” on food labels and is often a cause of headaches and other digestive distress when eating out at Chinese restaurants.

You may think it is a harmless additive that just boosts the flavors in foods. It is the main ingredient in the flavor enhancing product, Accent. It is anything but harmless. MSG is what is known as an excitotoxin. It excites brain cells to death.

What this African study found was that people who regularly use MSG or products that contain it found relief from symptoms of chronic pain when they eliminated it from their diets. The 30 study participants had chronic pain symptoms as well as headaches, migraines, chronic fatigue and sleep issues. In this village in Kenya, where 60% of the people complain of chronic pain, MSG is used in daily cooking in a mixed seasoning spice called Mchuzi Mix.

The study participants were divided into 4 groups. The group that regularly used that spice mix and reported low water intake were given a spice substitute without MSG and increased their water intake as dehydration can exacerbate pain and headaches. The group that did not use the seasoning but reported low water intake just increased water intake. One group was given Tylenol and the last was the control group.

The group that removed MSG from their diet and drank more water enjoyed greater improvement in their chronic pain symptoms. Whether you experience headaches or chronic pain for any reason, it is a good idea to avoid MSG and be sure you do not let yourself get dehydrated. My basic formula is one-half your body weight in ounces of water and include ¼ tsp. of natural, unprocessed salt like Himalayan Crystal for every 32 oz. you drink. The easiest way to avoid MSG is to limit the amount of packaged, processed food you eat as it is hidden in almost everything. Stick to fresh, whole, one-ingredient foods instead.

Would you be willing to try avoiding MSG to see how it affects your pain issues?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

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Exercise: Is it Ever Too Late to Start?

If you are approaching 50 and have essentially been a couch potato most of your adult life, is it too late to start exercising? I like what Dr. Michael Roizen says in this article: “Well, it’s never too late until you’re six feet under. So it’s never too late until they’re putting dirt on top of you.”

I wholeheartedly agree! Where there is life there is hope as the woman spoken of in this article illustrates. It also goes along with a basic principle of my coaching and my Today’s the Day plan. Taking small, gradual baby steps gently leads you to accomplishing much bigger goals. She just began by taking short walks. Then the walks got longer and she noticed she had more energy and began feeling more positive about her life. One small baby step in the right direction leads to another and then another until you have made some profound, lasting changes.

There are numerous benefits to regular exercise, including better sleep, improving heart health, getting off medications, reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes and other diseases. What’s even more interesting is that exercise improves the quality of your gut bacteria, which influences your immunity and pretty much every aspect of your health.

There’s no excuse for not doing some type of exercise. You certainly don’t have to start off doing the 4-pronged approach suggested in the article. Just start where you are. Take a walk after lunch and dinner when the weather permits. Start with a short walk and increase a little daily. Try and be intentional about taking as close to 10,000 steps a day to begin with. Work your way up.

There are so many different ways to exercise that you will undoubtedly be able to find something you enjoy doing. That’s an important key. If you don’t enjoy doing it, you will find every excuse in the book to skip doing it. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you consistently include movement and activity in your day. (Of course, check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.)

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

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Is Your Brain Being Hijacked by Someone Else’s Stress?

We’ve all walked into a room and felt the negative emotions and tension. Perhaps the inhabitants of the room just finished an argument. Or your spouse or partner came home and you felt the stress and anxiety as soon as they walked in the room. They didn’t have to say a word.

But a new study shows stress transmitted from others can actually change neurons in your brain in the same way as experiencing real stress yourself does. You may never have considered that stress and emotions could be contagious, but in fact, they are.

The research team studied the effects of stress in pairs of male or female mice. They separated the pairs and exposed one of them to stress before putting them back together. When they examined the specific brain cells that control stress response, both the stressed mouse and its partner showed exactly the same changes in their brains. I find this fascinating.

What is even more interesting is that when the stressed female mice spent time with an unstressed mouse, those effects were reduced almost by half. This did not hold true with the male mice, however. The take-away from this research was that stress and social interactions are intricately linked. My personal take-away was that we women probably help our husbands reduce their stress just by being calm and unstressed. You’re welcome!!

While the research was conducted on mice the researchers were confident that it could also hold true for us.

While being sensitive to each other’s emotions is part of what makes us human and children of God the study found evidence that some symptoms of stress can persist in the loved ones of people suffering from PTSD or other emotional stress disorders. It is another reason to investigate Christian EFT and deal with these negative emotions and memories so we are not only free ourselves but also so we don’t pass them on to our families and loves ones.

How do you deal with stress and negative emotions?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

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Easter 2018

As we celebrate the joyous holidays of Easter and Passover, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading my posts and for your comments, support and encouragement. They mean more to me than you know.

I would like to leave you with the blessing I spoke over my children daily when they were small:

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you  and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’

Numbers 6:24-26

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Health and Spirituality: A Strong Connection

Yesterday was Palm Sunday and I just love this time of year. We are approaching beautiful, mild spring weather and since Easter is my absolute favorite celebration, I wanted to share an article about how profoundly our perception of God can impact our health, especially as we age.

This study found that people who pray to a loving and protective God are less likely to experience anxiety-related disorders like worry, fear, social anxiety and obsessive compulsive behavior, compared to people who pray but don’t really expect to receive any comfort or protection from God. It is all linked to your perception of God.

The studies revealed that the psychological benefits of prayer seem to be dependent on the quality of a person’s relationship with God. I believe this is why there are conflicting results from studies on prayer and whether or not it positively impacts health.

It makes total sense to me. How can you get comfort and encouragement from praying to Someone you don’t really trust? It would be like asking a friend or loved one you don’t fully trust for help. Would you feel peaceful and confident or anxious and unsure?

The researchers found that people who are highly secure in their relationship with a loving God experience a sharp increase in well-being the more they pray. While the research was focused specifically on older people I believe it holds true for all of us, regardless of age.

Perception is everything. You only respond to your perception of any event or memory. So cultivating a secure, loving relationship with God will not only improve your spiritual health but your mental, emotional and physical health as well!

In this Easter season I invite you to get to know the loving God I know.

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

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Nutrition: Worst Nutritional Beverages

When I was in the hospital several years ago after emergency surgery, my doctor daily had the hospital include a bottle of Ensure since I’d lost 13 pounds and wasn’t overweight to begin with. I refused to drink it because I knew it had not nutritional value and it also tastes awful. I suggested to him that my daughter could bring in my protein powder and I would make a shake to supplement the delicious and nutritious (not!) hospital meals. He said he would prefer I use the Ensure. So I continued leaving it unopened on my tray and just used my homemade shakes instead.

When my 85 year old dad was losing weight, after ruling out any other issues, his doctor recommended he drink several bottles of Ensure or Boost daily to increase his caloric intake. Knowing those drinks were basically sugar, chemicals and other additives, I offered to make him shakes each week he could keep in his fridge that would provide more nutrition. He felt the doctor knew better than I did and opted to begin buying Boost and drinking one or two each day.

Especially for senior citizens, getting enough protein to prevent muscle loss is critical to maintaining strength. Typically these bottled drinks provide 10 grams of protein along with a slew of chemical additives whereas a good protein powder will provide as much as 20-25 grams per serving without the junky ingredients.

If you look at the nutritional label on a bottle of chocolate Boost (my dad’s preferred flavor), for example, the first 3 ingredients are water, sugar, and corn syrup. Refined sugars have been linked to chronic health problems like heart disease, fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes.

High fructose corn syrup is damaging to liver health and while sugar is unhealthy, some flavors have sucralose, which is just as dangerous, if not more so.

Boost Simply Complete boasts it only has 9 simple ingredients, including canola oil, a genetically modified, refined, partially hydrogenated oil. It has high levels of erucic acid, a fatty acid associated with heart damage. So much for health benefits.

There are so many easier and healthier choices for boosting nutrition. I realize older people may not want to make a smoothie or shake every day thinking it will be too much work, as my dad did, even though I was willing to do the “work,” but honestly it is not. And the benefits certainly will outweigh the detrimental health effects of drinking these chemical laden, sugary junk foods that are being passed off as “nutritional beverages.” They are anything but.

What are your thoughts about these so-called nutritional beverages?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.         

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