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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Cool, clear, water!!

Take a look:

Kids really need to drink more water! Water is the universal solvent. It has a neutral osmolarity and osmolality. In other words, it makes whatever you eat that much more nutritious because it breaks it all down -- optimally -- without needing to equalize its own tonicity or 'substance' -- it just helps dissolve the tonicity and consistency of the contents of what solids are eaten. And that means that all your delicious and nutritious foods will be optimally absorbed. Your foods are not competing with syrupy, sugary drinks. Sweetened beverages -- be they sodas or juices, have a certain 'charge' -- they have to be 'neutralized' before they release the water part of their fluid. Plus, sweetened drinks have 'empty calories' -- no vitamins or minerals or electrolytes --you don't get much from them BUT sugar and calories in exchange for the fluid -- SO, you are much better off just getting the pure fluid WITHOUT the calories from water! You also need to know that the so-called 'fortified' water products add very little in the way of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes than normal water. They are expensive and unnecessary and they often DO contain sugar or sugar substitutes and also have increased tonicity and osmolality -- defeating one of the solvent advantages of pure water.

Milky products also have a 'charge' that needs to be neutralized. But milk and milk drinks are important sources of calcium, protein, and vitamins A and D. But, we only need only so much per day -- for kids, 3-4 servings, and for adults -- 2 servings.

Water is already, automatically neutral and ready-made to quench those thirsty cells of ours. This, in turn, makes our cells thrive and do all their bodily processes and activities that they need to do without squeezing, struggling, and gasping. Kids run around, talk, sing, play, think, question,and scream alot. AND, they are growing voraciously (hopefully). That's ALOT of processes and activities! So, the more water, the smoother the body functions, and the more optimally our children function in every way.

Instead of colas, juices, and other sweetened drinks, give them water. Most kids actually prefer cool, clear, water if its offered early-on and first. Because, trial and error shows them that water actually quenches thirst quicker and smoother than any other drink -- including milk. Kids DO need milk and milk products -- 3 -4 servings a day, for their calcium and protein and vitamins A & D (if fortified). But other than that, water should be the next beverage offered and consumed.

Be cool. Drink water.

Mary-Jo R. Overwater-Gervasio, MSc, MMSc, RD

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

God refreshes, sweetens,enlightens and tenderizes, and guides our dreams if we open our hearts to Him

Last Night As I Was Sleeping
by Antonio Machado (version by Robert Bly)

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt -- marvelous error!--
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
That I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt -- marvelous error! ==
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white coombs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt -- marvelous error!--
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt -- marvelous error!--
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

With God all things are possible! He makes even your failures reveal what you need to know and do to make them result in something wonderful and make you golden and beautiful!

Every day spent with God is a new day in the Kingdom.

Beauty CAN be relative

Beauty is twice beauty and what is good is doubly good when it's a matter of two woolen socks in winter. Pablo Neruda, Ode To My Socks

As I read this poem, I was taken in by Pablo Neruda's vivid descriptions of his new socks made especially for him and which, at times, as he looked at them adorning his feet, they took his breath away. As the poem goes on, one gets the feeling that it's not just the wool or the colors or the feel, but the fact that they were lovingly made for him and that they are protecting his feet. And then, finally, he ends with his moral of the story: they are even more than they are, when they are his to have when he needs them the most!

This is often how we feel about our weight and level of fitness. That is, we appreciate our health and fitness and how it makes us look and feel, but we are THAT much more appreciative and happy when we need to look and feel our best for an event or when we meet up with people we haven't seen in awhile or when we just want to show to whomever for whatever that we look and feel GOOD. OR after we've come out of a period of letting ourselves go or being sick. When we don't have our health, fitness, or glowing good looks, we long for them. Which is why we really need to just work at looking our best against the reference of OURSELVES, not someone else. If you look and feel great 20 lbs less than you were, then savor that and feel great in that. Don't start obsessing about needing to lose 20 more lbs to be as thin or as beautiful as someone else. When we set our goals and standards unrealistically, we set ourselves up for failure and negativity.

Rejoice in your own socks! Especially when you've worked hard at making them, surrounded by all the supportive people and tools that helped you create them! Be happy in your accomplishment, especially when you know how far you've come from where you were and how great you feel in how and who you are NOW! You're BEAUTIFUL!

Friday, 10 September 2010

A quote I can't seem to get out of my mind

'The human body has the infinite capacity to make and store fat'. Devlin's Textbook of Biochemistry

When I was in graduate school, I had to take several biochemistry courses -- inorganic and organic. I found them very difficult and it required alot of memorization of formulas and configurations and pathways and symbols of numerous elements and substances, but, I LOVED it and would probably have become a biochemist had I not become a nutritionist. It wouldn't have been a healthy career choice for me, though, as it would have enabled and allowed me to become even more introverted than I already am and I would have turned out to be quite unbalanced and self-absorbed.

I still recall the moment I read the above quote. I was at the medical school library at Emory U. I was studying hard for a biochem final and had to fetch the huge bright yellow Devlin's Textbook of Biochemistry to look up a few reactions. If one didn't know any better, you would think it was the phone book. Anyhow, on my way to 'phospholipids', I read the highlighted box with the quote. I didn't quite know what it meant then and have pondered it for many years. As the obesity epidemic soars and as I walk around the States these days -- almost 20 years later -- I get it! Man, do I get it! Dang!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Fro Yo's -- concluding statement

Overall, I think what's best as you choose a frozen treat that is healthy AND tasty, is to reach for those that are less than 120 kcals and 3 gms fat per 1/2c serving or a single piece. It's a bonus when these treats contain some fiber and are higher than 1 gm protein per serving. It's also best when they are less than 100 mg sodium per serving.

Of course, your own taste preference will dictate the ones you reach for first. I, personally, like anything that contains chocolate, but, it's still trial and error. I find Turkey Hill's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough frozen yogurt absolutely disgusting, while the same brand's Banana Split flavor is very good and DOES contain enough chocolate to completely satisfy my craving for it, even though it's not in the product name.

IF you find yourself craving something richer, creamier, and more satisfying -- it's OK to occasionally select the higher kcalorie, higher fat frozen yogurt products (the ones in the 150+ kcals, 5-6 gms fat per 1/2c serving or single piece) as they are STILL much better than full-fat ice cream. Certainly,if and when you are well within your goal weight and/or fitness level, it's perfectly fine to even choose full-fat ice creams and rich desserts, but that pleasure is really an event that you need to reserve for very special occasions. Eating rich desserts and other high fat, high kcalorie, high-in-simple-sugars foods and snacks REGULARLY is what makes fat and unfit.

So, for me, Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt IS higher in kcals and fat per serving than some of the others, but it's something I choose when I KNOW I need that richness to help keep me on the straight and narrow for the rest of my healthy eating plan for the week. That is, I keep it in the freezer for the occasional every-two-weeks treat.

Be cool! Star Bene!