Do You Think It's Okay to Drink Soda Pop?

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     When we were first married, my husband and I didn't start our days until we had an ice cold Dr. Pepper poured into a glass (no plastic) over ice.  Some people do the same thing with coffee.  Even in the winter time we drank ice cold soda first thing in the morning.  We were young back then, and after doing some research we decided that soda wasn't a good choice.  We still drank it as a treat.  We allowed our children to have it occasionally, but not all the time.  I would buy Pepsi for headaches, but my sweet husband would find it and drink it, so I stopped buying it.
     What is the big deal?  If you can buy it in a store, then isn't it okay to drink?  Surely everything in the stores that we can buy are okay aren't they?  Trust me people, there are a lot of things in the store that we should not be consuming. Anyway........ lets get back to soda pop.
     I came across an article just the other day that gave me 22 reasons not to drink the stuff.  I will post a link so you can read the whole article at the end.

     1.  Soda can cause a decline in kidney function.  There was an 11 year study at Harvard University just on the effects that soda has on your kidneys.

     2. Soda increases the chances of getting diabetes!  Because of the high sugar content in soda (9 1/3 tsp to be exact) causes a strain on the pancreas!  Drinking 1-2 sodas a day increases your chances of getting diabetes by 25%!!!  Yikes!!

     3. Soda cans are lined with BPA.  BPA has been linked to heart disease and reproduction problems.

     4.  Soda dehydrates you.  Remember last week when I talked about caffeine?  Caffeine is a diuretic.  What is a diuretic?  It's a liquid that produces more urine, you pee more.

     5.  Caramel coloring in sodas are linked to cancer.  Need I say more?

     6.  Caramel coloring in sodas are linked to vascular problems leading to strokes and heart disease.

     7.  Soda is high in calories.  In a 12 ounce can of coke are 9 1/3 tsp. of sugar, but in a 20 ounce there are 17 tsp. with 240 calories.  Can you say obesity?

     8.  Caffeine in soda blocks magnesium absorption in our bodies.  Magnesium helps to detox our bodies from environmental chemicals.  Kind of important!

     9.  Soda increases obesity risks in children.  This to me is very sad.  Our kids don't have a chance because they are given sodas, and then play video games all day.  When I was a kid, I did have soda, but I was out all day running it off!

    10.  Soda increases heart disease in men.  The chances rise 20% in men if they drink soda!

    11.  Acid in soda wears away dental enamel.

    12.  Soda contains high amounts of sugar.  Have we already read this?  Must be true.

    13.  Soda contains artificial sweeteners.  Artificial sweeteners are worse than sugar in my book as they are linked to many diseases including cancer.

    14.  Soda depletes your mineral levels.  If the soda you are drinking contains phosphoric acid, this acid depletes the calcium in your bones.  Can you say osteoporosis?  Even if the client takes vitamin D and calcium supplements, the soda leaches the calcium out.

    15.  Drinking soda changes your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight!

    16.  Drinking more than one soda increases heart disease and metabolic syndrome which means high blood pressure, high glucose levels, high triglycerides, and belly fat.

    17.  Diet soda does NOT help you to loose weight.  Did I mention the belly fat above?

    18.  Diet sodas contain mold inhibitors!  WHAT?  This cause severe damage to our DNA.  Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have replace this with a different preservative, but preservatives aren't great at all.

    19.  Sodas containing ascorbic acid and potassium benzoate are a know carcinogen.  Just another preservative.

    20.  Daily sodas and other sugary drinks are linked to non alcoholic fatty liver disease.  What are the symptoms of this?  Fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain and jaundice.

    21.  Some sodas contain flame retardant.  These are used in a lot of citrus drinks to help them from separating.  This is banned in many countries, but it is still allowed in the US!  Mountain Dew anyone?

    22. Soda is linked to Asthma.  A study was done in Australia of 16,000 over 16 years of age.  They had higher levels of Asthma, and COPD!

     Soda is a hard one to give up, but after reading this article I'm so glad that I did!  I used to infuse my water with fruit, strawberries being my favorite, but now I just drink plain old water.  I'm still working on drinking 1/2 my body ounces in water, but life is a process.  We can't all be perfect!

Staying Hydrated

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     By a raise of hands, how many of us drink enough water?  I have been working my whole life in the medical field, and I constantly hear, make sure your patients drink water.  Don't let them get dehydrated.

     Why is this so important?  First of all our bodies are made up of 50-75% water depending on your age.  Infants and babies have more water then adults.  It is important to drink 1/2 your body ounces in water.  So if you weigh 150 pounds that is 75 ounces or 9.3 cups of water.

     What happens if you become dehydrated?  Well there are about ten things that can happen.
     1.  Fatigue, blood flow and pressure drop due to a lack of water.
     2.  Urine becomes a dark yellow, medications and disease can also turn urine dark, so if the water doesn't help it would be best to talk to your doctor.
     3.  Sudden lightheadedness.  If you stand up quickly and you become lightheaded chances are you are dehydrated.  Your heart starts to beat faster and breathing become rapid.  You could pass out! Danger!
     4.  Heart rate increases, also heart palpitations.
     5.  You can overheat.  You can become overheated and dehydrated due to sweating while working out.
     6.  Muscle cramps.  If you become dehydrated there are important electrolytes that help our bodies perform as they should.  Without them your muscles can cramp up.  It hurts!
     7.  The dreaded constipation!  Without water, your stools become hard and hard to pass causing stomach cramps, not to mention hemroids!   I have noticed this in my field.  No fun!  Everyone's BMs are different, but 1-3 per day are pretty normal for me.  I know TMI!  LOL
     8.  Skin loses elasticity.  Has the doctor ever pinched your skin to see if it goes back quickly?  If you are dehydrated your skin will stick and won't return to normal quickly.
     9.  No more tears.  You can always tell when children are dehydrated because if they cry and don't produce tears, they are dehydrated.  Also if they aren't producing wet diapers within a 3 hour period.
    10.  You're Parched.  If you are very thirsty chances are you are already dehydrated.  You need to listen to your body.  If water tastes really good then you aren't drinking enough.

     Just before I go to bed at night, I put a water bottle next to my bed that is filled with 1 liter of hot lemon water, and because it's a thermos it stays warm.  I drink that one liter after waking up, even before I eat breakfast.  I always have a bottle of water with me wherever I go.  On my way to work I drink a cup of Pero.  It's a grain drink and contains no caffeine.  Caffeine is dehydrating so be careful of that.  One thing that the article doesn't talk about is kidney stones.  I have had my fair share of them, so I drink water like a fish swims.  I also have noticed that if I don't drink enough, I get a headache. At the close of that day I like to unwind by drinking a cup of tea with some soy milk in it.  Helps me get ready for bed.  Tea and Pero are okay and works to get your water requirement in.

     DON'T DRINK SODA!  I will be writing another article on soda next time.    

Milk and the Dangers of Dairy

     I'm finally back!  We still have boxes adorning our living room, and tools in the kitchen but at least there is an end in sight!  All in all I gained 10 pounds!  Yes you read it right "TEN POUNDS"! However, since getting settled back down I have lost 3!  Seven more to go until I'm back to where I was before this hullabaloo started.

     Today I thought I would touch base on milk.  There is so much about milk that we thought was good.  I remember as a child, we had Winder Dairy delivery come and leave glass bottles of milk on our porch.  It always tasted so good ice cold from that glass bottle.  Mix it with a little Nestles's Quick and it was fabulous!  I also remember as a child going to the factory to watch how it was bottled, and getting free samples of milk and a little loaf of bread.  Those were the days!  Very fond memories.

     All through my growing up years I drank lots of milk, ate lots of ice cream and discovered yogurt! My dad even made yogurt, and we were hooked.  Then I was married, and my husband was a huge milk drinker.  We went through gallons of milk in a week.  We started having a family, and the pediatrician told us that our children should be breast fed, and when they were weaned to a cup should drink whole milk until they were two years old to help develop their brains because of the fat content in the milk.  I believed this.  Why shouldn't I believe them? After all they had been to medical school, and knew all about nutrition.  So I was compliant to their suggestions, after all milk at that time was thought to be a complete protein.

     What are doctors saying now about milk?  It really depends on which doctors you listen to as most doctors still do not have the educational background on nutrition.  If you don't believe me google it to see how much training medical students receive on nutrition in medical school.  If they want more info on nutrition, they have to go somewhere else to receive that knowledge.  Sad really.

     Dr. Michael Greger has done extensive research in the area of nutrition.  His book "How Not To Die" (which I have mentioned before) has a lot of information contained in his book.  Here is a quote from that book.  Page 213.
    Humans are the only species who drink milk after weaning.  It also seems a bit unnatural to drink the milk of another species.
     "Milk it does a body good?"  All foods of animal origin contain sex steroid hormones, such as estrogen, but today's genetically "improved" dairy cows are milked throughout their pregnancies when their reproductive hormones are particularly high.  These hormones naturally found even in organic cow's milk may play a role in the various associations identified between milk and other dairy products and hormone-related conditions, including acne, diminished male reproductive potential, and premature puberty.   Is this why my daughter started her period at age 10?  More and more female children are starting their periods at a young age.  More and more people are becoming lactose intolerant.  We were not meant to eat or drink animal products.

     Think about that baby cow and how fast it puts on 100 pounds after birth.  Makes a person think about what dairy is doing to our bodies.  Milk has been linked to asthma, blood pressure problems, cancer, bone fractures (because calcium is leached out of our bones from drinking milk)  It has also been linked to flatulence, Parkinson's disease and saturated fat causing heart disease.

     Milk per-say wasn't hard for me to give up.  The only time I drank it is when I ate cereal, at least as an adult...but ice cream?  That is a different story.  Now though you can get ice cream made with different milks and nuts.  My all time favorite is from SO Delicious made from cashews.  Salted caramel is my favorite flavor.  Also nice cream made with frozen bananas is amazing as well.  Check my recipes for that.  Cheese was a bit hard as well to give up, and I'm not fond of any of the nut cheeses or Daiya cheese.  I figure if it's processed I prefer not going to eat it.    I just have given up cheese all together, and really don't miss it.

     I'm thankful that I have done the reading and studying to figure out what is good and bad for our bodies.  My son since being home from college has gotten off his high blood pressure medications because his pressure has come down.  I'm sure it is because of the dairy that we have been consuming since he was a little boy.  I would admonish everyone to find out for themselves and do what is best for your families.
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