Are you a sodaholic?

sodaholicProbably the number one beverage sold through-out the United States maybe the world is soda.  Well, I am going to break your heart and hopefully that habit by sharing with you the shocking truth about SODA.

If you are a constant health nut or somebody that does a lot of reading of health magazines, then you are probably very aware of how bad soda is for you.  For those of you that probably don’t know, soda is nothing but sugar, has no nutritional value and it leads to obesity and diabetes.  But if that is not enough information to make you put down the soda for good, well I have gone out and researched nine other reasons for you to stop drinking soda for good.

  1. Danish researchers have found that non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around the liver and skeletal muscles – something that can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.  According to Reuters, the study revealed that people who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat, a 117 to 221 percent jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30 percent increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat. Their consumption also led to an 11 percent increase in cholesterol, compared with the people who drank other beverages such as water or milk
  2. I use a regular drinker of diet soda because I feel for the belief that it was better for me and I would not get fat from it.  Well to my surprise, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years, and found that those who drank diet soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study, compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. Those who drank more than two diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion! What?!  No wonder I gained weight like crazy.  But I am glad to say that I have lost some of that expansion. Read more about my Weight Loss Journey.
  3. In 2011, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the artificial caramel coloring used to make Coke, Pepsi, and other colas brown. The reason: Two contaminants in the coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals, a threat the group says is unnecessary, considering that the coloring is purely cosmetic. According to California’s strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and most popular brown colas, both diet and regular, contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce bottle.
  4. Diet or regular, all colas contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tangy flavor and improves their shelf life. Although it exists in many whole foods, such as meat, dairy, and nuts, too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. The study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels—a disturbing trend considering that soda manufacturers have been increasing the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades.
  5. The artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas don’t break down in our bodies, nor do wastewater-treatment plants catch them before they enter waterways, researchers have found. In 2009, Swiss scientists tested water samples from wastewater-treatment plants, rivers and lakes in Switzerland and detected levels of acesulfame K, sucralose, and saccharin, all of which are, or have been, used in diet sodas. A recent test of 19 municipal water supplies in the U.S. revealed the presence of sucralose in every one. It’s not clear yet what these low levels are doing to people, but past research has found that sucralose in rivers and lakes interferes with some organisms’ feeding habits.
  6. Dentists have a name for the condition they see in kids who drink too much Mountain Dew. They wind up with a “Mountain Dew Mouth,” full of cavities caused by the drink’s excessive sugar levels. “Mountain Dew Mind” may be the next medical condition that gets named after the stuff. An ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, added to prevent the flavoring from separating from the drink, is an industrial chemical used as a flame retardant in plastics. Also found in other citrus-based soft drinks and sports drinks, the chemical has been known to cause memory loss and nerve disorders when consumed in large quantities. Researchers also suspect that, like brominated flame retardants used in furniture foam, the chemical builds up in body fat, possibly causing behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on heart muscles over time.
  7. It’s not just the soda that’s causing all the problems. Nearly all aluminum soda cans are lined with an epoxy resin called bisphenol A (BPA), used to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal. BPA is known to interfere with hormones, and has been linked to everything from infertility to obesity and diabetes and some forms of reproductive cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have pegged soda cans, along with restaurant, school, and fast-food meals, as a major source of exposure to the chemical. And while Pepsi and Coke are currently locked in a battle to see which company can be the first to develop a 100 percent plant-based-plastic bottle—which they’re touting as “BPA free”—neither company is willing to switch to BPA-free aluminum cans.
  8. Before you switch from cans to bottles, though, take a look at the photographs of Chris Jordan, an environmentalist and photographer who visited the Midway Atoll area in 2009. It’s close to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a mass of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean where things like soda caps (which often aren’t recycled) and plastic fish netting float just beneath the surface of the water. Birds, sea turtles, and other wildlife mistake the debris for food and eat large quantities of the plastic, which they are unable to digest. Ultimately, the plastic causes them to starve to death. It’s estimated that thousands of animals die this way every year.
  9. Take a look at the ingredients list for any soda and chances are most of those ingredients are derived from corn. As much as 88 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified to resist toxic pesticides or engineered to create pesticides within the plant itself. Thanks to lax government safety regulations, and tight corporate control over who gets to test these proprietary seeds, there are no human studies that can prove or disprove whether these crops are safe. Independent scientists have found that, in animals, genetically modified crops, or GMOs, are linked to digestive tract damage, accelerated aging, and even infertility. Most recently, scientists in France found that rats fed GMO corn for their entire two-year lifespan developed mammary tumors and died earlier than rats that ate non-GMO corn their entire lives.

Therefore, put down the soda for good and start drinking water and teas.  Your body will thank you.  If you are drinking soda for the caffeine, try AwareAware is the Ultimate attack on stress!  It is loaded with B vitamins and essential ingredients to naturally calm and relieve stress.  Tap into the super energy.  It is also a great way to start the morning or use as a pre-workout.

Best Practices for Blogging

blogging-best-practicesSince blogging starting, I have noticed that it went from online journal writing to becoming more of a informational and resourceful guide.  In fact, according to echoditto.com, as blogs have grown in popularity and readership, more and more people are turning to current events-centered blogs for daily news updates.  Therefore, as blogging becomes more of a respectable reading platform, there must be some practices that should be followed when it comes to blogging.

To begin is it okay to write what you think?  The answer is yes, unless you are stating nothing but the facts.  If you’re a news worthy blog that states the news – then it is quite obvious that one’s opinion should be kept to oneself.   Otherwise it is highly encouraged being yourself in blogging and sharing your opinion.  As stated by Jon Lewis, a fellow blogger, readers don’t want to read a boring blog much like an individual does not want to taste bland food. He continues writing that, if you don’t spice your blog with a strong opinion, you risk bland writing and when that happens the reader won’t finish your blog, much less come back for a second helping.

Another great practice that any blogger should put into place is to have a killer headline.  Socialmediatoday.com blogs that this is one of the fastest and easiest things you can do to grab attention and change the way you think about blogging.  This blogger continues to give ideas about how to create a great headline.  To walk through the grocery store and steal headlines and tweak them to your liking, i.e. How Safe is Your [thing/person of value] from [threat]?  This practice I like very much and it is something that I am not using in my industry that I will begin to put to use.

Lastly, there are two things that I keep seeing pop up in my research.  That is blog promotion and guest-blogging.  Promoting anything is crucial to its success, so it doesn’t surprise me that much to read that promoting your blog is another best practice to do.  How else is anybody going to read your writing, unless you’re taking the term “ghost writer” to a new level?

As for guest-blogging, this is referred to a best practice because it gets that guest blogger readers now reading your blog but it also opens your blogs doors to greater pastures.  This type of blogging should be done if you have a great relationship with an influential person within your industry or a retailer that carries the products you sell.  This type of blogging can be more beneficial and a best practice especially for a business.

Sharing is the best form of gratitude and knowledge building.  Therefore, share below with me what other best practices that should be followed when blogging.  Your feedback is highly appreciated!

Obesity and Diabetes

Shirt_605There is an epidemic that the U.S., in fact the whole world is facing.  This epidemic is obesity and diabetes.  A report done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) back in January 2012 stated that the U.S. had more than one-third of adults and almost 17 percent of children of which were considered to be overweight or obese.  In 2010, the CDC also reported that over 11 percent of adults (aged 20 years or older) currently have been diagnosed or undiagnosed with diabetes and over one-third of the adult U.S. population has pre-diabetic symptoms.

Poor diets and lack of exercise or activity are mainly parts of the reasoning behind the rising rates of obesity, leading many of us to become less and less sensitive to our own insulin, the hormone secreted by the pancreas to regulate blood glucose levels. This insensitivity to insulin is a major factor in the rising rates of diabetes.

Nearly 90 percent of the carbohydrates consumed by both adults and children in the U.S. and Canada today are high glycemic. These foods include bread, flour, rice, cereals and potatoes and actually spike our blood sugar faster than if we were spooning sugar on to our tongue. This rapid rise in blood sugar causes tremendous inflammation and spasm of our arteries. Over time, it causes our arterial walls to thicken, making it very difficult for insulin to pass from the blood stream into the cell to transport glucose. The body compensates for this situation by making more insulin in order to push it across this thickened arterial wall.Obesity-Can-Lead-To-Diabetes

As blood insulin levels rise, your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar levels all begin to increase, while the good HDL cholesterol drops, eventually leading to diabetes. What most individuals don’t realize is that when you tip over into this abnormal metabolic state, the body is not able to utilize calories normally and, instead of utilizing the calories from any meal or snack as energy, many of the calories are now diverted to be stored in fat cells of the body. As long as you are in this abnormal metabolic state, referred to as the metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes, it’s much harder to lose weight.

The American Medical Association recently classified obesity as a disease, making the term “epidemic” all the more relevant. In order to improve the quality of life for our children and ourselves, we must begin making drastic life-style choices when it comes to the food we eat and our recreational habits. Eating healthy foods, participating in even mild aerobic activity and consuming quality nutritional supplements can significantly improve our insulin sensitivity and retrain our bodies to a normal metabolic state.

 

Social Marketing Brands and Risk

social-media-brandingIn today’s technological society, many businesses are finding themselves engaging more and more in social media.  The main reason behind the use of social media is because of the numbers of people that are flinging to social media.  Although social media can be very lucrative for any brand, there are some challenges and risk that every business owner should know before taking their brand social.

It is widely known that social media makes it possible for open communication and enhancing business branding, discovery and delivery.  This can be very challenging to businesses because of the openness of communication on social media, branding can go several ways.  Therefore, those in charge of making sure the brand goes social has to make sure that all communication regarding that brand is positive.  When promoting campaigns and ideas, it allows people from the different geographical location to express and share their views and meet in a single point as well as promoting global products.

Since social media provides such an opportunity to widen business by allowing businesses to brand themselves quicker than before, that could become a challenge.  See, social media can be a fun and creative method for businesses to get involved in.  It allows all employees to discuss and share ideas, ask questions, post news and share links which helps minimize the use of advertising dollars and helps improve the brands reputation.  The challenge comes when one disgruntle employee places negativity on the brand itself.  Once the groundswell is stirred up, it can move so quickly through the internet that it can become quite impossible for the company to recover the brand that easily. This is simply due to the fact that social media is known for attracting attention to any site, product or service.

So if social media is great for businesses, what could possibly be the risks of taking your brand social?  Well, since social media can take one message and make it viral in a matter of minutes, this is probably the most important risk of them all to remember.  The wrong online brand strategy by the company or a negative brand comment by a disgruntled employee or customer can damage the business reputation as well as the brand.

Basically, social media today has become a great marketing field for any business big or small.  Depending on how much marketing a business wants to do can really depend on how big they really need their budget to be.  Bottom line is that as long as the challenges are understood and the risks are avoided, social media can make or break any brand.Brands-and-Social-Media

Tricking our mind about the food we eat.

brain-foodLet me start this blog off with apologizing for not blogging much this week.  With that said, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and he expressed to me that his problem with eating dull food is that it is simply just that – DULL!!!  That got me thinking, is there a way to trick ourselves into thinking that the dull food is sweeter than it is?

Well, according to a research done by the University of Oxford there are some things that we can do to trick our minds into thinking that the food is sweeter than it is.  For example: Eating with fancy silverware might make dessert taste more delicious than if you use a plastic fork.  According to the research the reason behind this is because people who snacked from larger, heavier utensils stated that the added weight made the food taste sweeter.  What?!  Well, if that didn’t get you scratching your head then maybe this one will.  In that same research study, 28% of those that ate cheese samples off of a knife said that the cheese was saltier than the same sample that was on a toothpick.

So what exactly is this all about?  Well as explained by Vanessa Harrar, Ph.D., it’s possible that our past dining experiences have taught our brain to associate certain utensil weights with different flavors.

Interesting research, for sure.  Any thoughts?? Please share below….