Thursday, June 14, 2012

ENCOURAGING WORDS

Are you critical of yourself when you look in the mirror or when you exercise? How about when you can't remember something? 

Recently I heard someone say that if we spoke to ourselves in the third person, we'd realize how abusive we are. Many of us are meaner to ourselves than we are to anyone else. I know I fit in this category sometimes, even though I know that being mean is a lousy way to encourage anyone to be better, including my self. Plus it's ridiculous considering how amazing we all are.

Consider for a moment our eyes -- not how well they see or if they're bloodshot or itchy or have circles or crow's feet, but how our eyeballs function, how they let us see colors and recognize people and allow us to drive and read a computer screen. Pretty cool, right? What about our tongues, the tips of our fingers, our sex organs, our digestive systems, the muscles in our legs, our hearts, our BRAINS!  Admit it, our bodies are remarkable in countless ways. They do so much without our even asking, so we should be thankful, right? We should praise our bodies. They want to be healthy. They were made to be. If we abuse them by consuming artificial ingredients, sodas, too much alcohol, by smoking cigarettes or doing illicit drugs, or if we push them too hard without resting, why should they look or function any better than they do? 

We all know on some level that if we give our bodies good food, exercise, rest, and fresh air they'll function and look better. So what are we waiting for? Maybe we're waiting for our bodies to cooperate. That's why we want to give them encouraging words.

This week when we see our image in the mirror let's say something positive and then give our bodies a reward for being so amazing. For example, I'll say, "Hey Cyn, you are doing incredibly well for a hot day. I don't see how you even manage to function when it's so hot, and here you are getting so many things done. How would you like a big glass of water? How about TWO big glasses of water, because I really appreciate your fine work and I know you need water to function well."

or--

"Well don't you look good this morning considering what time we went to bed and all the wine I gave you. May I say, you're quite the dancer! How about two big glasses of water and some eggs with chopped peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Later we'll go for a walk and tonight I promise we'll go to bed at 10:00...I love your hair, by the way."

I know our bodies will respond to this positive talk by looking and functioning better. It's been proven! 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BEER BELLY, MEET COLA GUT

Perhaps the most important news in nutrition these days is the focus on sugar as the main culprit behind the obesity epidemic. "Sugar causes fat" are the words of Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California SF, pediatric endocrinologist. His message is taking hold --  sodas larger than 16 oz. will soon be banned at NYC restaurants, theatres, ball parks, and street carts.  

Has soda been singled out unfairly, as the American Beverage Assn is claiming? Not when you consider the compelling formulas that make them so easy to consume in large amounts in a matter of minutes. If you drink just a 12 oz. Coke, that's 9 teaspoons of sugar that has to be immediately processed by your liver. (The liver processes sugar as well as alcohol.) Humans weren't designed to metabolize that much sugar so fast and to cope the liver stores the sugar as fat. That's why people who habitually consume more sugar (or alcohol) than their bodies can use get "beer bellies" or what my daughter calls cola guts.  A bulging tummy is the hallmark of a toxic liver. Limiting cup sizes on soda is an attempt to stop some of the fastest flowing sugar to the livers of the population at large. Remember, we have laws to prevent kids from consuming alcohol, but there's nothing to stop them from drinking giant sodas. Soda might not impair them mentally, but the consequences to their health could  last a lifetime.

The Beverage Assn is calling the link between sugar and obesity "false science" repeating the old, now disproved adage: "a calorie is a calorie." I can't help but be reminded of the tobacco companies when scientists first linked smoking to lung cancer. 

Below is one of Dr. Lustig's videos (12 min.) about how sugar works. I hope you'll watch. It's a critical concept to understand. Even if you don't eat too much sugar yourself, it's a global health issue you'll be hearing a lot about into the future. 

Note: 4.2 grams sugar = 1 tsp.