WARNING: science-based nutrition will rock your world.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bedtime Snacks

It's official: we can eat a light snack right before going to bed and still have sweet dreams! As a matter of fact, for some people, a snack will  increase the quality of sleep and improve body chemistry. How? By decreasing the likelihood of a hypoglycemic episode in the middle of the night.

Have you ever been awakened by hunger? Well, guess what? You might suffer from low blood sugar. A light bedtime snack just might be your ticket to Paradise.

The advice still stands to not eat a huge meal late in the evening. If you've ever enjoyed a whopping bowl of spaghetti with bratwurst, wiped up the sauce with a concrete block-sized portion of garlic bread, and quaffed half a bottle of red wine at 9pm, then gone to sleep at 10, you know what I'm talking about.

But, let's say you're awake at 10p, and you feel empty inside. You've subscribed to the 8pm rule - NO EATING after 8pm - because that's the Prevailing Weight Loss Myth of the Diet Dictocrats. So, you go to bed hungry, and you wake up 3 or 4 times during the dark hours, then the alarm sounds and you wonder why you feel lousy after spending several hours slumbering.

 Are you willing to chuck this old, worn-out wisdom and opt for a little bedtime snacky snack as a trial? You have nothing to lose but your sleep-deprived, maniacal tendencies.

And please, know this: sending a child to bed hungry will whack out their body chemistry. "Punish" them by withholding caffeine and sugar instead.

Suggested bedtime snacks: 
  • a small serving of vanilla yogurt, maybe with a few blueberries or some other fresh fruit
  • a spoonful of nut butter on a half piece of toast
  • a small apple
  • 3 or 4 raw almonds
  • a slice of raw organic cheese
  • a small piece of chicken or turkey
Avoid these foods as right-before-bedtime snacks, unless you want to go for the ride of your life:
  • sardines
  • beer and leftover pizza
  • pickles
  • any meat in a can

And if you're really lucky, the sleep fairy will tuck you in and sprinkle sweet dream dust on your pillow. Sleep loose, fly high...see you on the Eagle Nebula! (click here for some beautiful bedtime visuals)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Convenience, Part 2

 "Remember when we used to lug a Thermos jug to the beach with us? Good lawd, what a drag that was. Had to fill it up, then wash it out and all...that's what I love about plastic water bottles. You can buy them anywhere; you know, even the Seven Eleven sells good flavored waters now. And they're just so safe on the beach. Well, sometimes I recycle, if it's convenient. We don't have recycling capabilities at the beach house, though, so we put the bottles in the trash with everything else. I hate it, but we don't have room in the car for recycling."

If this is your line of thinking, it's time to pull your head out of  the sand, take a look around, and become revolutionary in a way that protects your best interest. Here's what I mean: if I had access to a beautiful beach house, and the largest freakin' collection of plastic trash EVER was floating around in the sea somewhere out beyond my porch, I'd be thinking more about how to protect something I dearly love - like the ocean and every little living thing in it - and less about the convenience of plastic bottles.
A couple of suggestions:
Invest in a stainless steel or BPA-free water bottle, and travel with it. Buy your kids one in their favorite color. The bottle pictured above cost $12.

For more information about the dangers of BPA (and you want to know this if you have children, or if you've been chronically sick and can't figure out the cause), visit the Natural Resources Defense Council by clicking here. Type BPA in the search box, top right corner of the page.

Keep a mason jar on your work desk. I love drinking water (and wine) from glass jars. Makes me feel rugged and self-sufficient. Do it; you'll find a challenging column of numbers less daunting when you pretend to be a moonshiner figuring your books.

Those silly old plastic-makin' artificial flavor-lovin' revenuers gunning for your income will be SOL because you're drinking plain old water out of a glass jar. This crazy thought will make you smile, and the smile will activate the water, and the water will create rainbows of gratitude in your body! Now, that's convenient.

Convenience, Part 1

CONVENIENCE means freedom from difficulty or trouble.

But, what happens when our brand of convenience causes difficulty or trouble for others? What does it look like? When it comes to plastic, it looks like the world's largest floating landfill.

At your earliest convenience, please round up the kids and watch this 7 minute TED presentation by Captain Charles Moore, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

For the love of all creatures great and small, please consider the impact of your conveniences, and design your own grand plan for revision. Begin by decreasing - and then eliminating - your disposable plastic use.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BAD POOKIE: Today's Caca Award Winner

Kellogg's Disney Princess Fruit Flavored Snacks
This quote, from Kellogg's:
"Snacking right isn’t just about picking the “right” products. It’s about eating food in a way that is right for you and your family. Check out the tips and tricks that can help you turn snack time into an opportunity for your family to squeeze more nutrition into your day."
Is this snack right for any family? If we squeeze more nutrition into our day, is this our reward?


 If you're thinking, "Oh, but it meets 100% of the Daily Value established for Vitamin C, and it's a fat-free product, so at least it's the lesser of the evils," slap yourself about the head a couple times to reestablish blood flow to your brain. I challenge you to drop the complaisant shoulder-shrugging, and stop spending your hard-earned money on crappy Kellogg's products.
 Get your mama or papa bear groove on (you don't have to birth children or be an Alaskan to understand what that means) and protect the babies by refusing to put this caca in your grocery cart. Grow a set and learn to say no!

This type of snack isn't princess food, it's evil witch food. Tell that to your kids.

Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot (a General Mills product)

This quote from General Mills Sales, Inc.:
"We continually set targets for bettering the nutritional profile of our foods, and we keep addressing social and environmental challenges. Our goal is to be among the most socially responsible food companies in the world."
INGREDIENTS: Pears from concentrate, sugar, maltodextrin, water, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Contains 2% or less of: carrageenan, citric acid, acetylated mono and diglycerides, sodium citrate, malic acid, xanthan gum, locust bean gum, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) potassium citrate, natural flavor, color (yellow 5, red 40, blue 1).

Do these ingredients give you hope that GM is setting a target for nutritional betterment?

Here's Why They Win: They are altruistic in a greedy kind of way. I know you're disappointed, and maybe a little mad. You are asking yourself, "But, aw, how can that be?"

Here's the Way It Works: You buy their crappy snacks for your kid, and they'll send your kid's school money! Your school can have a new playground, thanks to General Mills,  and all the little sugar-addicted, fat-riddled children can go outside and try to play for 20 minutes. See? You support GM by sacrificing your good sense and your child's health on their altar, and they will reward you with books and toys. Please, for the love of Pete, take off your blindfold; the fox is guarding the hen house.
Here's What GM says:  "We all shop for groceries, sometimes two or three times a week –- or more. Now turn those shopping trip into easy cash for your school, and encourage friends to do the same! Just look for the Box Tops logo on hundreds of products like Cheerios®, Hamburger Helper® and Kleenex®, in almost every aisle of the store. All you need to do is clip and send them to your school’s Box Tops coordinator —- each one is worth 10¢ for your school." (Feel better now?)

Please, pay attention. This is the Industrial Food Complex working on your head and making you believe they care. Win win? I don't think so. More like win win lose. GM wins, schools win, kids lose. 

It's always a good idea to care about your kids first.

4 big bags of smelly caca to General Mills for screwing with our heads, and one more for being Betty Crocker's pimp daddy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bully Fuel: High Octane Sugary Snacks

IN THE 1980s, several large studies evaluated the affects of eating a high sugar diet and its relation to antisocial or aggressive behavior. These studies are 30 years old now. We didn't pay attention then. 
      IT'S TIME to pay attention.

In one study, 174 juvenile delinquents (the treatment group) were placed on a sugar-restricted diet for 2 years. 102 other kids (the control group) were fed a “normal” diet during the same 2 years. During the study, the number of incidents of antisocial or aggressive behavior was reduced by 45% in the treatment group.  (Remember, the treatment group was on the sugar-restricted diet.)

Measured antisocial and aggressive behaviors included assault, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, auto theft, vandalism, child molestation, arson, and possession of a deadly weapon. Just so you know...

In the largest study, 3,999 incarcerated juveniles were studied for 2 years (same deal: half or so in the treatment group, the rest in the control group). Sugary soft drinks were replaced with fruit juices, and high sugar snacks (candy bars) were replaced with non-refined carbohydrate snacks (popcorn).
Here's what happened:
  • suicide attempts were reduced 100%; these kids stopped trying to kill themselves
  • the need for restraints to prevent self-injury was reduced 75%
  • disruptive behavior was reduced 42%
  • assaults and fights were reduced 25%
What fuel is your child getting? Sugar addiction has deadened the hearts, heads, and souls of some of our most precious children. It has blocked their best intentions, and filled them with rage and depression.
A Few Suggestions
  • listen to your child; many of them are more savvy than you are about nutrition, thanks to community health and nutrition educators
  • educate yourself, then talk to your child about sugar addiction side effects (acne, aggression, anger, depression, sweating, anxiety, hunger, dizziness, headache, visual disturbances, decreased mental function, confusion, obesity)
  • read food labels, and avoid purchasing any food with High Fructose Corn Syrup added (including most ketchup, salad dressings, candies, and processed foods )
  • provide fresh, organic fruit or old fashioned cooked in the pot popcorn as an after school snack
  • did you get the part about reading food labels? Put down the crap - for good
  • Fire soft drinks from your life, and from the life of your child. Set the example, beginning today
  • Your child may not exhibit any obviously negative signs from eating sugar, but may be allergic to the chemicals and artificial ingredients laden in these products. Hmmm...
Sugar Measurements
  •  4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup of sugar = 48 teaspoons
  • 1 pound of sugar = 2.3 cups of sugar
  • 165 pounds of sugar (the average sugar intake per American per year) = approx.18,000 teaspoons of sugar 
  • average per person: 49 teaspoons of sugar daily
  • 20 ounce Mountain Dew: 22 teaspoons of sugar
  • Snickers Bar: 7 teaspoons of sugar
Use good judgment; enjoy a homemade cookie or three, throw in some high quality chocolate or other favorite treats on occasion, but be discerning in your choices! The regular addition of soft drinks and cheap sugary snacks may provoke horrid behaviors with sad outcomes.

You will be heading in the right direction by refusing to buy any product pictured in this post.

Let's honor our children by helping them break the sugar addiction. Let's help them learn to honor each other and play well together, for this is their natural way of going.


Benton D. Hypoglycemia and aggression: a review. International Journal of Neuroscience, 1988; 41:163-168.
Schoenthaler SJ. Diet and crime; an empirical examination of the value of nutrition in the control and treatment of incarcerated juvenile offenders. International Journal of Biosocial Resources 1983; 4:35-29.
Schoenthaler SJ. The northern California diet-behavior program. An empirical evaluation of 3,000 incarcerated juveniles in Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall. International Journal Biosocial Resources 1983; 5:99-106.
Pizzorno J. and M. Murray. Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rd ed. V2. 2006 Ch. 178 Hypoglycemia, 1784 85.

    Monday, October 4, 2010


    Abundance means having enough to share.
    Abundance doesn't mean earning more money so we can buy more stuff.
    Think of abundance as fulfilling your needs and helping someone fulfill their needs, too. 
    Your soul shines when you think of abundance this way.