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    • My WATER blog

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    •  3/29/2011 10:53:28 AM
    •  

      Did you know that roughly 70 percent of an adult's body is made up of water?  Did you know at birth, water accounts for approximately 80 percent of an infant's body weight?

       

      I have been thinking a lot about water...and how I use water on a daily basis.  Because are bodies are mostly water...don't you think this element is extremely important in our daily lives?

       

      How many cups of water do you drink a day?  Are you drinking enough?

       

      Other way I use the benefits of WATER is by taking a hot bath- a bath hot enough that I begin to sweat.  To read more about the benefits of "sweating" check out maintenance mommies blog here.  This is an amazing blog- it is a must read :)

       

      Here are some cool facts I found about Water:  (found at www.allaboutwater.org)

       

      1. A healthy person can drink about three gallons (48 cups) of water per day.
      2. Water dissolves more substances than any other liquid. Wherever it travels, water carries chemicals, minerals, and nutrients with it.
      3. Somewhere between 70 and 75 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water.
      4. Much more fresh water is stored under the ground in aquifers than on the earth’s surface.
      5. The earth is a closed system, similar to a terrarium, meaning that it rarely loses or gains extra matter. The same water that existed on the earth millions of years ago is still present today.
      6. By the time a person feels thirsty, his or her body has lost over 1 percent of its total water amount.
      7. The weight a person loses directly after intense physical activity is weight from water, not fat.
      8. Water is absolutely essential to the human body’s survival. A person can live for about a month without food, but only about a week without water.
      9. Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite.
      10. Water leads to increased energy levels. The most common cause of daytime fatigue is actually mild dehydration.
      11. Drinking adquate amounts of water can decrease the risk of certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, bladder cancer, and breast cancer.
      12. For a majority of sufferers, drinking water can significantly reduce joint and/or back pain.
      13. Water leads to overall greater health by flushing out wastes and bacteria that can cause disease.
      14. Water can prevent and alleviate headaches.
      15. Water naturally moisturizes skin and ensures proper cellular formation underneath layers of skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance.
      16. Water aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation.
      17. Water is the primary mode of transportation for all nutrients in the body and is essential for proper circulation.

      LIFE IS GOOD!

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    • Chocolate Anyone?

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    •  3/15/2011 12:47:50 AM
    • CHOCOLATE ANYONE?

       

      If you are anything like me...A piece of chocolate is always so inviting.  It is definitely MY TREAT of choice.  I would choose chocolate over most any other dessert.  There are many articles & studies that show how good chocolate is for you.  Here is an excellant article by John Robbins that he recently published. He shows studies about chocolates heart healthy, antioxidant, mood-enhancing benefits.

       

      So if chocolate is so good for you, why does it get such a bad rep?

      It's the ingredients we add to it.

       

      Nearly all of the calories in a typical chocolate bar are sugar and fat. (worst combination out there!)  In the article you read that the healthy benefits of chocolate come from DARK CHOCOLATE- chocolate without these added items.  Unfortunately, 99% of the chocolate I eat isn't pure, dark chocolate.  It tends to be a hershey kiss or a easter egg candy. 

       

      Recently as I have been monitoring my treat intake as well as my overall "moods" when I do eat certain foods (thanks to wonderful advice from Maintenance Mommy)...and I have found a SECRET.

       

      I know this secret is specifically for me...and it might not work for everyone- But I identified my TRAPMy snare...the specific food that when I consume, things change.

       

      This SNARE is (of course) MILK CHOCOLATE.  I've determined when I eat a piece of "unhealthy" chocolate- of any kind- my whole attitude about food changes for the rest of the day.  Chocolate does something to my brain that makes me not care so much about the nutrients, not care so much about vegetables.  It's crazy...but so true!

       

      So guess what I did?  I absolutely, completely, entirely, eliminated this food from my diet.  Not just cut back a little...but took it away completely.  I felt inspired to do so...so it hasn't been hard at all.  And guess what?  My body has thanked me.  I have felt more intune with myself and felt like I have eaten better because of this small decision.  If you were to ask me a year ago if I ever would have done this...I would have said you are crazy!!!  But once I committed- and began...it has been wonderful!  I still have sweets when I feel like them- just not one's that are dark & creamy.  It's been a wonderful decision...I began it a little over a month ago- and I'm not sure when it will go away...or if I ever will go back.  We will see how I feel.  I will probably begin adding some HEALTHY DARK CHOCOLATE pretty soon to see how it affects me.  I plan on having a fun journey figuring this out.

       

      So- if you could identify ONE trap in your life- that you know isn't good for you...and/or causes more harm than good...something that drives you away from your goals...EVERY time you partake-

       

      WOULD YOU CONTINUE EATING IT?

      WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

      Just a thought to get your brain thinking...

       

      LIFE IS GOOD!

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    • McDonald's Healthier Choice

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    •  3/11/2011 9:21:17 PM
    • i'm lovin' it... oatmeal?

       

      Years ago- my good friend asked me about nutrition labels...she asked, "How do you know what you are eating is good- what should I be looking for on the nutrition label?"  My first response was:  "If it has a nutrition label- it's not the healthiest choice...period."  I went on to say- even though it has a label...- there are some fun ways to determine the nutritient value (see my other blog here for more details).

       

      This brings me to McDonald's...and their recently new "healthier" breakfast option:  The Fruit & Maple Oatmeal.  Why would McDonald's take a HEALTHY ingredient like OATMEAL (which is a whole food- no nutrition label) and make it into this breakfast option that has more sugar than a snickers bar, and costs more than a double cheeseburger.  WHY?

       

      You need to read this article all about this crazy option.  Very interesting with a very good point...see below: (the artcile is found here).

      _______________________________________________

       

      There’s a feeling of inevitability in writing about McDonald’s latest offering, their “bowl full of wholesome” — also known as oatmeal. The leading fast-food multinational, with sales over $16.5 billion a year (just under the G.D.P. of Afghanistan), represents a great deal of what is wrong with American food today. From a marketing perspective, they can do almost nothing wrong; from a nutritional perspective, they can do almost nothing right, as the oatmeal fiasco demonstrates.

       

      One “positive” often raised about McDonald’s is that it sells calories cheap. But since many of these calories are in forms detrimental rather than beneficial to our health and to the environment, they’re actually quite expensive — the costs aren’t seen at the cash register but in the form of high health care bills and environmental degradation.

       

      Oatmeal is on the other end of the food spectrum. Real oatmeal contains no ingredients; rather, it is an ingredient. As such, it’s a promising lifesaver: oats are easy to grow in almost any non-extreme climate and, minimally processed, they’re profoundly nourishing, inexpensive and ridiculously easy to cook. They can even be eaten raw, but more on that in a moment.

       

      Like so many other venerable foods, oatmeal has been roundly abused by food marketers for more than 40 years. Take, for example, Quaker Strawberries and Cream Instant Oatmeal, which contains no strawberries, no cream, 12 times the sugars of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and only half of the fiber. At least it’s inexpensive, less than 50 cents a packet on average. (A serving of cooked rolled oats will set you back half that at most, plus the cost of condiments; of course, it’ll be much better in every respect.)


       

      The oatmeal and McDonald’s story broke late last year, when Mickey D’s, in its ongoing effort to tell us that it’s offering “a selection of balanced choices” (and to keep in step with arch-rival Starbucks) began to sell the cereal. Yet in typical McDonald’s fashion, the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice. (Not only that, they’ve made it more expensive than a double-cheeseburger: $2.38 per serving in New York.) “Cream” (which contains seven ingredients, two of them actual dairy) is automatically added; brown sugar is ostensibly optional, but it’s also added routinely unless a customer specifically requests otherwise. There are also diced apples, dried cranberries and raisins, the least processed of the ingredients (even the oatmeal contains seven ingredients, including “natural flavor”).
       

      A more accurate description than “100 percent natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

       

      Since we know there are barely any rules governing promotion of foods, one might wonder how this compares to real oatmeal, besides being 10 times as expensive. Some will say that it tastes better, but that’s because they’re addicted to sickly sweet foods, which is what this bowlful of wholesome is.

       

      Others will argue that the McDonald’s version is more “convenient.” This is nonsense; in the time it takes to go into a McDonald’s, stand in line, order, wait, pay and leave, you could make oatmeal for four while taking your vitamins, brushing your teeth and half-unloading the dishwasher. (If you’re too busy to eat it before you leave the house, you could throw it in a container and microwave it at work. If you prefer so-called instant, flavored oatmeal, see this link, which will describe how to make your own).

       

      If you don’t want to bother with the stove at all, you could put some rolled oats (instant not necessary) in a glass or bowl, along with a teeny pinch of salt, sugar or maple syrup or honey, maybe some dried fruit. Add milk and let stand for a minute (or 10). Eat. Eat while you’re walking around getting dressed. And then talk to me about convenience.

       

      The aspect one cannot argue is nutrition: Incredibly, the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. (Even without the brown sugar it has more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger.)

       

      The bottom-line question is, “Why?” Why would McDonald’s, which appears every now and then to try to persuade us that it is adding “healthier” foods to its menu, take a venerable ingredient like oatmeal and turn it into expensive junk food? Why create a hideous concoction of 21 ingredients, many of them chemical and/or unnecessary? Why not try, for once, to keep it honest?

       

      I asked them this, via e-mail: “Why could you not make oatmeal with nothing more than real oats and plain water, and offer customers a sweetener or two (honey, the only food on earth that doesn’t spoil, would seem a natural fit for this purpose), a packet of mixed dried fruit, and half-and-half or — even better — skim milk?”

       

      Their answer, via e-mail and through a spokesperson (FMO is “fruit and maple oatmeal”): “Customers can order FMO with or without the light cream, brown sugar and the fruit. Our menu is entirely customizable by request with our ‘Made for You’ platform that has been in place since the late 90s.”

       

      Oh, please. Here’s the thing: McDonald’s wants to get people in the store. Once a day, once a week, once a month, the more the better, of course, but routinely. And if you buy oatmeal, they’re O.K. with that. But they know that, once inside, you’ll probably opt for a sausage biscuit anyway.

       

      And you won’t be much worse off.


       

      LIFE IS GOOD!

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    • Almond Milk Smoothie Recipe for Infants

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    •  2/28/2011 10:50:10 PM
    • I have to apologize first for not having any pictures...my camera isn't liking me this evening, not sure what I did to it, but we don't seem to be getting along right now :)

      I will hopefully add some pictures tomorrow after we have resolved some issues.

       

      So I wanted to share this recipe for all those mothers out there in the process of weaning...or mother's who are taking their children off of formula and wondering what they should replace it with.  First of all- I have to share my personal beliefs on the word "replacing".  Did you know that we are the only mammals that do not wean themselves from MILK?  All other mammals naturally take to their mother's breast...and natural wean themselves when the time is right.  Once they are weaned....do they replace their mother's milk with another form of milk?  No.  So- should we feel the need to replace our milk with another form?  Of course I do not promote or agree with cow's milk in any form- especially for children under 2...for reasons why see the below information taken from one of my previous blogs found here.

       

      _______________________________________________________

      AAP
      Did you know that The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 1994 “strongly encouraged” that infants in families where diabetes is more common not be fed cow’s milk supplements for their first two years of life.  Do you know why they said this?  Because research shows a STRONG link between Type 1 Diabetes and the consumption of cow’s milk.  I don't know about you, but just in case your children might be genetically susceptible to type 1 diabetes...wouldn't you want to know that the AAP strongly discourages you from feeding them cow's milk?  

      When looking at the association of cow’s milk consumption and incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in different countries, there is an almost perfect correlation.  The greater the consumption of cow’s milk, the greater the prevalence of Type 1 diabetes.  In Finland, Type 1 diabetes is 36 times more common than in Japan.  Large amounts of cow’s milk products are consumed in Finland but very little is consumed in Japan. (The China Study, T. Colin Campbell)

      Type 1 Diabetes

      What most people don’t know, though, is that there is strong evidence that this disease is linked to diet, and, more specifically, to dairy products.  The ability of cow’s milk protein to initiate Type 1 diabetes is well documented.  (Read The China Study page 187 for information on how the initiation of this disease is started with cow’s milk).  The initiation process boils down to a truly remarkable statement: cow’s milk may cause one of the most devastating diseases that can befall a child. 

      Did you know that children weaned too early and fed cow’s milk have, on average, a 50-60% higher risk of Type 1 diabetes? (The China Study)

      ________________________________________________________________________________

      For more info on Cow's Milk...see our blogs here and here.

       

      So I don't agree with feeding my children cow's milk...but DO I feel that they need another form of "milk" once they are weaned.  To be honest...not really.  I weaned my first child to water.  My second and third children I introduced ALMOND MILK here and there when I felt it was needed- but they basically weaned to water as well.  Does this mean all Mom's should wean just like me...NO.  This is just what is good for me and my children- and it has worked great!  So I thought I would share.

       

      Even though for the most part I weaned to WATER...I still felt very good about the occasional drink of ALMOND MILK.  I can make it myself- very easily, and I can see and know of the quality of all the ingredients. For a wonderful Almond milk recipe...click here.

      (If making your own milk doesn't sound appealing to you...just go buy it already made.  If you buy premium almonds for your homemade milk- it actually costs about the same for the store bought milk...believe me- sometimes using the pre-maid stuff is needed when I have a busy week).

       

      So here is a quick recipe that I have been using for my 16 month old...this is what she has for breakfast occasionaly and it feels really good to me when she drinks it.  It contains more than just Almond Milk & fruit...I add all the essential "enhancers" that my growing little girl needs every once and awhile.  Again- it just feels good giving her this right now.  And a double bonus- my older kids like it as well :)  Hope you enjoy!

       

      Almond Milk Smoothie

       

      Ingredients

      1 cup Almond Milk

      1 Half frozen banana

      3 frozen strawberries (or any other frozen fruit)

      Handful of raw spinach

      1 tsp. flax seed

      1 Vitamin D capsule (opened and emptied into smoothie)

      .5 ml DHA oil (I use Dr. Fuhrman's brand for all my supplements)

       

      DIRECTIONS

      Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth.  This shouldn't be too thick- more like a flavored chilled drink.  Pour into sippy cup and let your kids go to town.

       

      LIFE IS GOOD!

       

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