I’d Rather Drink Soda

I’d Rather Drink Soda

Is drinking water one of your biggest challenges to living a healthy lifestyle?  Well you are not alone.  According to the National Soft Drink Association, sugary juices and soft drinks are consumed in the amounts of 160 gallons per person per year!  OMG!  That is A LOT of sugar and empty calories.  With sugary, deliciously flavored drinks naturally fueling an aversion to water, it’s no wonder no one wants to drink water.  But we know that drinking water is one of, if not the single most important thing one can do for their body.  Water has so many benefits that it could easily be referred to as a “Liquid Miracle”.

 

So how do we overcome the obstacles that are getting in the way of our bodies getting what it needs most?  It’s simple – Identify your specific obstacles and tackle them head on.

 

Common Obstacle to Drinking Water

I’d rather drink soda. Taste is a very common obstacle to drinking water.  If you are like many American children, you may have been raised on fruity soft drinks or somehow developed a habit all on your own.  Which probably means that unless you are in the middle of a heat wave and drenched in sweat, you’d simply rather drink soda or sweet tea.  I know…I get it.

Head on Challenge

Face the facts and retrain your taste buds:  Drinking soda is detrimental to your kidneys and your health.  If this is your obstacle, you likely need water more than anyone.  I have tried the reward method – allowing myself to drink whatever I want as long as I drink at least 64 oz of water first. This simply has not been effective for me.  The reason being, sugar is addictive.  For most people with this issue, even drinking one soda will set one on a quest for more and more; which will likely decrease the chances of getting in the needed water.  This will not be easy, but you must retrain your taste buds to acquire a different taste.  Avoid the sodas and sugars and strive for natural flavors such as lemons, cucumber, or any fruit.  You could try the reward method – if you are able to drink your 64 oz and reward yourself with one drink at the end of the day, then go for it.  But if it sends you on a desperate quest for more sugar drinks, you may need to go cold turkey and say “good riddance” to soft drinks.  Your kidneys will thank you for it.

Be sure to visit again in the coming weeks to find out how to overcome other common obstacles to drinking water such as the “middle of the night bladder alarm”.

 

Having the life, body, and health you want is not just an impossible dream.  It doesn’t take magic.  It takes YOU!

 

DREAM it. DO it. LIVE it.

 

Faith and Physical Health Pt 2

Faith and Physical Health Pt 2

Spiritual health and emotional health are a vital part of your overall health and can affect your physical being. Medical studies indicate that faith has been shown to reduce depression, improve blood pressure, and boost immune system, making the body less vulnerable to disease and chronic, medical conditions. So there is definitely a tie between spiritual health and good health.  But how does one get spiritually healthy?

We already know that physical health involves a combination of avoiding the things that are hazardous, absorbing the things that are good, and moderating the things that may pose a threat.  Below is a glimpse at what I try to ABSORB, AVOID, and MODERATE in order to protect my spiritual health.

ABSORB AVOID MODERATE
Personal Relationship with Jesus Impure and immoral living Types of Music, TV and entertainment
Daily Prayer Self gratification Relationships w/nonbelievers
Regular Devotion -Bible Idolatry SELF
Fellowship Isolation
Worship Sinful Life
Wise Counsel False Teaching

Benefits of Spiritual Health:

  • Connection and social support through fellowship with other believers
  • Stress Management – Improved coping skills through prayer and the understanding that God is in control.
  • Desire to exhibit fewer self-destructive behaviors such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide
  • All of these things can help lead to a healthier physical body
Super Sneaky Veggie Eating Tips

Super Sneaky Veggie Eating Tips

Do you want to live longer?  Would you like to have a better quality of life?  Then by all means, get those veggies in!  After reading this, you will have no more excuses.  There are so many benefits of eating the recommended amounts of veggies.  But even knowing this, people still have a hard time getting 5 servings of veggies in a day.  If you are one of those people, don’t give up just yet.  It is actually easier than you might think.  Take a look at these tips to get your veggies in.

Know how much an actual serving of veggies is. 

1 cup of raw veggies = 1 serving OR ½ cup of cooked vegetables = 1 serving

  • Start the day with veggies – add 1-2 servings of veggies to your breakfast such as in an omelet or a breakfast wrap.  Green and red peppers, spinach, and broccoli are great scrambled in eggs, in an omelet, or in a wrap.  Vegetable/Fruit Smoothies are also a great starter. (2 servings in!)
  • On Hand Veggies – Discover the veggie that you enjoy snacking on and place in a baggie or container.  Nibble on this snack bag all day to get one serving in.   Carrots and cucumbers are great snack veggies.  (Now you’re up to 3 servings already).
  • Make sure you add veggies to your lunch.  This is easy.  Just put romaine or spinach lettuce on your sandwich and even cucumbers.  You could also do romaine lettuce wraps with tuna or chicken salad.  And instead of adding veggies, you can make the veggie the actual meal such as a hot pureed veggie soup or a homemade soup with chunks of veggies.  (Now you’re up to 4 servings)
  • Dinner Time! Ok, you’ve done well all day so now all you need now is to enjoy 1-2 servings of veggies as part of your dinner.  Try recipes where the vegetable is the central part of the meal and not just a side, such as casseroles or stir fry.  VOILA!  You’ve got your 5 veggies in today!

Just remember, in order to get the vegetables in your diet, you cannot wait until dinner time to start eating them. Start as early as possible and nibble throughout the day on raw veggies. 

BONUS TIP – Smoothies and Salads are a great way to get 2-4 servings of veggies in at once. Also, eat as many raw vegetables as possible to get the full nutritional value. 

My Favorite Smoothie Recipe

1 ½ c spinach                                      

½ c carrots                                                                 

½ c low fat Greek vanilla yogurt

1 c frozen berries

¼ c juice (apple, tomato, or orange)

Having the life, body, and health you want is not just an impossible dream.  It doesn’t take magic.  It takes YOU!

DREAM it. DO it. LIVE it.

Faith and Physical Health Pt 1

Faith and Physical Health Pt 1

Did you know that your physical health may be threatened by a lack of spiritual and emotional health?  Have you finally had long term success in incorporating healthier habits into your lifestyle by exercising and eating right?  Have you reached some fitness goals and finally giving up soda or fast food?  You’ve done all of that, yet something is still missing.  So you keep striving for higher levels of fitness and health, but soon discover you’ve done all you can do for your body.  Or maybe your healthy lifestyle is still a work in progress.  Either way, at some point you may say “Now what?”

The answer to that is simple.  Your physical health is only one aspect of your overall well-being.  If you’ve only focused on the physical, then there is still work to be done.  In order to have complete health, a person must possess spiritual, emotional, and physical health.    If you have taken poor care of your spiritual and emotional health, your physical health probably will not last.  Medical studies have shown that one’s spiritual life affects their emotional health which in turn will definitely affect the physical health, lending itself to disease and chronic, medical conditions.  It is important to care for each part of the whole to enjoy total long term health.

Spiritual Health > Emotional Health >  Physical Health

We all understand what it takes to be physically healthy.  It is a combination of:

  • Avoiding the things that are hazardous
  • Absorbing the things that are good
  • Moderating the things that may pose a threat.

 

The same is true in your spiritual and emotional health.  You must nurture and protect them.  A strong faith has been linked to a reduction in depression, improved blood pressure, and a boost in the immune system.  All of these things directly affect your physical being.  If you have focused entirely on your physical health and have not been deliberate about taking care of your spiritual and emotional health, it might be time for some balance.  Click in next week for more on this topic.

DietDreamer wants you to know.  Having the life, body, and health you want isn’t just an impossible dream.  It doesn’t take magic, it takes YOU.

DREAM it. DO it. LIVE it.

Child Obesity Ad…Will it Help?

Child Obesity Ad…Will it Help?

“ITS HARD TO BE A LITTLE GIRL IF YOU’RE NOT” is the tagline attached to a controversial childhood obesity ad in Georgia.  The ad depicts a young overweight “little” girl.  There are several other ads not quite as harsh, but still questionable at best according to many health experts.  The state of Georgia reports that 40% of their children are either obese or overweight and parents are in denial.  In an effort to fight this serious dilemma, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has started a Strong4Life campaign depicting a series of overweight children.  They bring up issues that come with being fat such as bullying and health problems.  But some would say the ads are fighting the children and not the obesity. When first hearing about the controversy of the ad prior to actually seeing it, I thought, “I’m sure someone is being over sensitive and taking something out of context.”  Then I watched the video in its entirety and saw several ads. (see link at the end of this article)

Here are my thoughts.  There is no argument that the ads are indeed effective.  The goals of any public campaign are to 1) bring awareness to the problem and 2) get people to act on the problem.  In that sense the ads will likely be successful   The ads are great eye openers for parents, but at what cost.  Will the ads also succeed in doing the following?

  • Make obese children even more ashamed?
  • Send the message to other kids that overweight kids should lose weight if they don’t want to be bullied?
  • Further perpetuate the idea that obese people are somehow inferior to “normal” size people?

It is no secret that the childhood obesity problem is on the rise across America.  And because obesity is a serious problem and leads to many costly health problems for the individual as well as overall healthcare, I applaud Georgia for taking some type of aggressive approach to this issue.  Something definitely needs to be done.  And the reality is, it starts with the parents since these children have very little control over what is brought into the house.  But if the parents are slow to victory over their own stronghold, how can we as a culture encourage children to make healthy choices on their own?

I love what Michelle Obama has been doing on the Disney Channel to motivate children to eat healthy and exercise.  Beyonce’ even has a youtube video encouraging kids to “get moving”.  The point is, there are many methods to encourage children to make personal health choices.  I am just not sure the best method is to have pictures of fat kids with tag lines that say, “BEING FAT TAKES THE FUN OUT OF BEING A KID”.  That statement is not true for all kids.  It is like telling overweight children, “You shouldn’t be happy because you’re fat.”  What if an overweight kid who leads a relatively happy and bully-free life reads the ad.  I wonder how that might change his or her view of themselves and the life that he or she “thought” was happy.

Having said all that, hopefully the Strong4Life Campaign will do well.  And even though some of the taglines may make some a little uncomfortable, it personally made me take my children’s health a lot more seriously.  The reality of children getting adult diseases is a striking awareness.  It’s just unfortunate that the 25 million dollars spent on the campaign couldn’t have been better spent on some after school fitness classes or something.  Just a thought…

Please view the video in its entirety up to the point when the reporter begins her segment on the correlation between working moms and overweight children.  Take a look at the ads and “weigh in”.  We’d love to hear what the readers think.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/stop-sugarcoating-child-obesity-ads-draw-controversy/story?id=15273638