Diffusing Essential Oils

People often ask why I love to diffuse essential oils.

Well being a long time scent junkie or should I say candle-holic, I was sad to learn that my addiction to burning a candle in every room just might not be the best thing I could’ve been doing for my health or for the health of those around me.  I simply had to find healthier and more organic way to satisfy my cravings. THE FACTS:

  • A lot of the candles we burn are made from paraffin wax, when you burn paraffin it forms the toxic substances benzene and toluene both of these are know to be carcinogens.
  • Some candles even have a tendency towards lead core in the wicks, nobody wants to release that in their environment.
  • Because we love beautiful things and the marketplace is appealing to our scenes, many of our candles even the soy ones are enhanced with artificial scents and colored with harmful dyes.

 

Enough said, I made the decision to my part by not spreading toxins in the air with my burning candles.

Diffusing pure essential oils gave me all of my fabulous scents with the  added benefit of promoting physical and mental health.  Just one of the many gifts of diffusing oil is that you can choose your oils to suit you and create customized blends of the oils to fit your mood or your current situation.

  • Blend them is your work space to create an atmosphere of clarity, energy and stimulate focus.
  • Use them in your home to promote, relaxation, calmness and a sense of general well being.
  • In your bedroom use one oil in the evening for a restful night sleep and in the morning to strength and toning while doing your morning meditation or exercise.

I chose Neal’s Yard Remedies, because I think of them at the pioneers of essential oils. Their oils are all 100% pure and unadulterated.

They believe that wild-crafted and organically grown plants are better for you, the growers and pickers, their communities and the environment. By severely restricting the use of harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are used you can be sure you are getting the best possible product.

To order call us . 813.287.2253 or shop online @ https://us.nyrorrganic.com/shop/ig2go

04.11.17 Neals Yard ad

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SELF CARE RITUALS TO PRACTICE DAILY – THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

 

self-care-header-for-blogLEARN HOW IMPLEMENTING THESE 10 SIMPLE SELF CARE EXERCISES INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER! .

We’ve been taught to show compassion for others, but how often do we afford ourselves with that same level of kindness?  Truthfully we don’t, and I frequently wonder why we don’t treat ourselves as our own best friend.  We’ve done some thinking and our team has created some quick and simple self care rituals that you  should practice on a regular basis.  By implementing these steps daily into your routine you will self soothe and make sure you’re at your optimum,emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Including these steps into your life will increase a little bit of love and attention for your own body, mind, and soul. With attention to your own self care you can begin to feel more connected to your inner self and what naturally follows in greater joy.
10 Self Caring Exercises that will Boost your Power

  1. Stand or sit in front of mirror Look into your own eyes and tell yourself, “I see you. You’re beautiful. I love you.”You can talk to yourself about how proud you are of a certain accomplishment or how you handled a situation at work or home. Speak about what gets you connected to the true reality of who you are an intuitive, strong, courageous being.
  2. Think Positively: Write yourself a list of positive affirmations things you are happy with right now and changes of where you want to be. Read them out loud to yourself daily. The power of affirmations is well documented the truth is that what we manifest becomes our reality!
  3. Do something grounding something that involves connecting your body with the Earth in whatever way makes sense for you. Lying on the ground in the grass and meditating for 10 minutes. Walking barefoot in the sand.
  4. Be grateful and say “thanks” for all the greatness in your life. Do this before bed and when you awake for the new day.
  5. Before you begin to eat, be mindful of your food. Take time to think about where it comes from or how it was grown, who prepared it with you or for you. Appreciate it, delight in the flavor and enjoy the food for what it is, fuel for your body.
  6. Use Laughter As Medicine: Laughter boosts oxygen levels and improves circulation and immunity response. Plus, you get a good belly workout!
  7. Get a massage regularly Getting a massage releases toxins from your body, which promotes relaxation.
  8. Try Acupuncture, acupuncture triggers your nervous system to send serotonin to your brain (instant relaxation!)
  9. Start a Journal: Journaling can help you make sense of your feelings. Simply start writing about how you feel go back and read it latter see if you don’t feel differently.
  10. A healthy diet is a big part of any successful self-care plan. Nutrition has been linked with emotional, physical, and cognitive health. Eating a healthy diet gives your brain and your body the vitamins and minerals needed to stay well.

 

Re-Vamp Your Breakfast Recipes, try a Quinoa Bowl

Why try a quinoa bowl for breakfast? Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all 10 essential amino acids, and a high fiber content. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 5 grams of satiating fiber, having it for breakfast will help to arm your body with the tools it needs to get through the day and stay fuller longer. As an added bonus, quinoa is packed with health boosters like zinc, calcium, iron, riboflavin, heart healthy fats and antioxidants that have been found to reduce inflammation.quinoa bowl

Recipe: Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 15
Yield: 2 bowls

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup canned lite coconut mylk + more for drizzling
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of dried unsweetened dark cherries
1 tablespoon of toasted pecans
1 tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds

Preparation:
Combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.
Divide quinoa into two bowls then cover with dried fruits, pecans, + pumpkin seeds and a few extra drizzles of coconut milk.

Chef Notes:  You can use a shelf stable organic Coconut mylk available at Aldi’s Markets. Or you can make your own Almond mylk but that’s for another blog.  Option to add  sweetener of choice,  we find it sweet enough with the coconut milk and fruit.

#Kidfriendly #addtoppingsofyourchoice #mixandmatchfruitsnutsandseeds #yearroundmeal

Nutrition: 302 calories, 10.3 g fat (4.9 g saturated fat), 99 mg sodium, 34.6 g carbs, 5.3 g fiber, 7.9 g sugar, 8.2 g protein

IS YOUR GUT MAKING YOU CRAZY?

We Welcome Guest Blogger and Friend Sarah Bingham founder of Fast Food Healing.

Sarah is a licensed nutrition consultant with a master’s degree and more than thirty-five years experience counseling and lecturing on all aspects of nutrition throughout the country. Her current focus is in family nutrition, helping parents recover their children from conditions like autism, ADD, ADHD, asthma and other learning/behavior issues. She is also a dynamic and passionate speaker who communicates with clarity, humor and inspiration the simplicity of achieving wellness.

Sarah works as the Director of Nutritional Programs for Valle Counseling in Tampa, FL. She is a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology/Physiology Syndrome) practitioner (see www.gaps.me). Sarah is the founder of Fast Food Healing LLC, a personalized in-home nutrition counseling business. Sarah always addresses body, mind and spirit as they are all critical to a healthy body.

Following is an article Sarah shared with us.  Did you know that 80-90% of your neurotransmitters (chemicals that effect your mood and brain function) are created in your gut? Also, the seat of your immune system is in your gut. Hence, that old saying, “I’ve got a gut feeling” is quite accurate. Hence, what research is beginning to put together is if your mood, mind or behavior are off, you have a very good chance of having a gut that is off and a poor immune system.

What do I mean by “off”? Your gut is loaded (about 4 pounds) with good guy bacteria. This good guy bacteria keeps in check the potentially bad guy bacteria that is also present. All of these microbes have important functions, like creating B vitamins, neurotransmitters, and anti-cancer substances. When the good guys are winning, your mood and ability to think are in great shape. Your immune system is also in good shape. But, when the bad guys are winning, you could be suffering from any one of these conditions: Irritable bowel, reflux, ADD, ADHD, asthma, autism, bipolar disease, food allergies and intolerance, depression, dyslexia, autoimmune disease and more.

What causes your gut to become out of balance? Antibiotics, stress, the birth control pill, most prescription drugs and a diet high in processed foods. So, take a mother to be who has eaten a processed diet her whole life, has had a few courses of antibiotics and is now pregnant. Her gut “flora” or bacteria are more than likely out of balance. A baby’s gut is sterile until going through the birth canal. At this point, the baby swallows some of the mother’s vaginal fluid, which is reflective of her gut balance or imbalance. Thus, the baby’s gut is inoculated with either good guy bacteria or bad guy bacteria. And the cycle begins again.

Sometimes it’s easy to bring your gut back into balance using probiotics, lactic acid fermented foods and good whole foods and sometimes it takes a major effort to accomplish a rebalancing of the gut. When I look out at our society with lots of depression, rage, anxiety, immune dysfunction and irritable bowel, I think we all need a major revamping of our gut flora. As Hippocrates said back in 400 BC, “All disease begins in the gut.”

love your gut

Reduce Inflammation & Improve Your Digestion with Easy To Make Bone Broth


Remember how soothing chicken soup is whenever you have a cold? Well it turns out that broth, and especially bone broth (made from simmering bones and cartilage) really do have medicinal properties. I’m always on the lookout for foods that both nourish and heal your body, and while studying at the Institute of Integrative Health and Nutrition I was turned on to bone broth as a way of improving digestive symptoms such as bloating and pain.

Bone broth is experiencing a revolution right now, and for good reason. It can reduce joint pain and inflammation through chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, proline, arginine, and glycine which all have anti-inflammatory effects. It promotes strong, healthy bones through high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and additional nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation, and promotes healthy hair and nail growth thanks to the gelatin in the broth. It may even help you sleep better due to the calming effects of glycine. Wow. No wonder superstar Kobe Bryant is drinking it daily and it’s even gained a cult following in NYC!

Another important component of both broths are that they are rich in Humic + Fulvic minerals! What are those you ask and why should I want them?
Research is just beginning to show us the important role that fulvic minerals play and the information is amazing! These minerals like others support the body in a variety of ways including cellular health, brain health and digestion by helping the body absorb nutrients from food.
In a perfect world, our food would naturally contain high levels of minerals from the soil, but this is not usually the case with our modern food supply.

Ready to try this out? You can make bone broth at home (recipe below!) by simmering chicken, beef, or pretty much any type of bones in water for 6+ hours. At Intelligent Gourmet we use this recipe as a base in most of our stocks and it’s just plain delicious! No single theory of health is right for everyone, but we’ve seen bone broth work well for some people and not cause adverse symptoms for anyone, therefore we feel it’s safe to approve as a food that promotes digestive health.
Intelligent Gourmet’s Bone Broth Recipe

Ingredients

4-5.5 lbs. of Beef or Chicken bones (including joints, knuckles, necks etc.)
2 gallons Cold Water or enough to cover your bones (Why cold water? On a chemical level, it actually promotes the extraction of protein, helping to up the nutrient quotient of the stock.)
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks of Celery, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp of Vinegar* (such as Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 bunch of fresh Parsley
Optional: Thyme + Rosemary (I like to add thyme, bay leaf, and whole peppercorns, with maybe a sprig or two of rosemary. If you’re adding herbs and veggies to the broth, be sure to add them toward the end of cooking, especially if you’re doing a marathon stock making session.)

*A Note on Vinegar: This is not an optional ingredient. Not only is it ideal to combine fats with acids like vinegar, when it comes to making broth the goal is to extract as many minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water and vinegar really helps to leech all those valuable minerals out of the bones. Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice as it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Preparation

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to-low and simmer for 6 to 24 hours (the longer you simmer it, the more intense the flavor). Add water as needed to keep ingredients submerged. Strain stock into a clean pot or heatproof plastic container and discard solid ingredients. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Leave the solidified fat on the top while storing as the fat acts as a protective layer and delays the formation of bacteria. Immediately prior to use, bring the bone broth to a gentle boil. Makes about 12 cups.

You can use this broth as a base for soups like we do at Intelligent Gourmet, or you can drink it straight as a restorative concoction.

Interested in learning more about foods that promote healthy digestion? Here are a few I can recommend:

Bananas
While all fruits and vegetables are generally good for digestion, bananas in particular are great because they don’t irritate the stomach. That’s why they’re part of the “BRAT Diet” (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, dry Toast), which has been suggested for folks suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.

Water
Water (which most people do not drink enough of) is excellent for the digestive process as it helps move things through the intestines. Drink an extra glass of water in the morning and evening, or carry a refillable water bottle that you can sip from throughout the day.

Ginger, Turmeric, Peppermint
Spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric and peppermint are great for settling an upset stomach. Try drinking ginger or peppermint tea, or sucking on a peppermint lozenge.

Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi
Probiotic-containing foods like yogurt are good for the digestive system because they contain good bacteria that crowds out any bad bacteria that you may have in your gut. You want to look specifically for foods that contain live bacteria, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

Asparagus, Oats, Onions, Lentils, Whole Grains
Prebiotic foods like asparagus contain a type of fiber that probiotics feed off of to multiply, so it’s good food for your good bacteria. Prebiotics are found in foods such as asparagus, onions, lentils and whole grains.

Soup

Is Your Healthy Food More Hype than Health?

You order a sandwich on whole wheat bread with turkey, Applewood-smoked bacon, tomatoes and avocado. It looks delicious. It tastes delicious. And you savor every crumb, confident that you’ve just done something good for your body.

After all, you didn’t pick up this sandwich at any old fast food restaurant.

This restaurant’s website has an entire tab explaining their beliefs, which include a commitment to “Clean Ingredients.”

So why does your sandwich include sorbitan monostearate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, potassium sorbate and calcium disodium, and the mysterious moniker “natural flavor”?

Chances are, if you don’t know what an ingredient is, you wouldn’t recognize it as real food if it was served on a plate.

  • Sorbitan monostearate is an emulsifier that keeps water and oils mixed, and is also referred to as synthetic wax. Not so yummy.
  • Microcrystalline cellulose is wood pulp. It’s used as a texturizer and anti-caking agent, fat substitute and emulsifier. It’s also probably in your vitamin supplements.
  • Sodium phosphates act as preservatives, change texture of foods, keep processed meats moist, and are common food additives in processed foods. Food companies aren’t even required to list phosphate levels on “Nutrition Facts” labels, even though they have been linked to increased risk for kidney disease and heart disease. They’re also thought to accelerate the aging process, and they interfere with how your body processes and activates vitamin D.
  • Sodium erythorbate sounds terrible, but it’s actually taken from vitamin C and is used to keep foods fresh by inhibiting the oxidation of food. However, eating too much sodium erythorbate has been linked to causing kidney stones.
  • Sodium nitrite is used to cure meats like ham, bacon and hot dogs, and has been linked to cancer.
  • Potassium sorbate is another preservative that is used so frequently, in nearly every processed and canned food, that it’s shockingly easy to be overexposed which can lead to long-term health risks. It’s not only in processed foods – it’s also in cosmetic products and wine.
  • Calcium disodium prevents air from spoiling food and cosmetics. It’s also used to treat lead poisoning and mercury poisoning. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? What you may not know is that it robs your body of nutrients by making it more difficult for your body to use vitamin C, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and potassium.
  • Natural flavor is taken from an original ingredient found in nature that has been purified, extracted, and added back into the food. For example, “natural flavor” in a blueberry muffin actually means a chemical derived from blueberries that was enhanced in a lab.

In a Life by Daily Burn article, a scientist at the Environmental Working Group articulates why “natural flavor” is the fourth most common ingredient listed on labels: “The goal is to make a short intense flavor that quickly dissipates so you come back for more.”

What, exactly, is “clean” about this sandwich?

And, it’s not just the restaurant chains
This is what terrifies me about the hype we’ve created around health food. Companies can so easily take advantage of terms like “clean ingredients” without delivering on those promises. They fool our eyes and our tongues, but they can’t fool our bodies – these will ultimately pay the price.
I also see this in pre-packaged juices and “juice cleanses” where there may not be nitrites and phosphates, but in which so much sugar has been added that any nutritional benefit is offset.
The healthiest-seeming foods are often the worst culprits. An acai bowl, for example, uses frozen pureed acai (freezing kills acai’s superfood nutrients), and then adds berries, bananas, yogurt, granola with coconut on top. The result is a 600+ calorie, dairy inflammatory sugar bomb with more sugar in it than a slice of chocolate cake.
What you can do? 
Every dollar you spend is a vote for health and against hype. I know we can’t all cook whole foods for ourselves every day, but if we take the time to look closely at what we eat and only buy from trustworthy sources, perhaps the larger food corporations will add substance to their claims.
I look forward to a world in which a sandwich is just a sandwich, don’t you?
Until then, there’s Intelligent Gourmet.

Sandwich for blog

How to Use Food to Rock Your New Year’s Resolutions

Broccoli,radish and feta salad with quinoa

This post is NOT about losing weight. In fact, that resolution isn’t even going to be mentioned, because you know why? I’m SICK OF IT! Aren’t you? Of course you can use food to lose weight (studies show it’s more effective to control your diet than increase exercise, if you have to choose), but let’s dig a little deeper this year and go after what we really want.

1. Resolution: Be Happier

It’s a simple one, but it’s what we’re really after with all the other resolutions isn’t it? Even when you have a great family, work you love, and live in a beautiful part of the country that hovers between 60 and 80 degrees in the dead of winter – you can still feel down more often than you’d like. Stop punishing yourself for being ungrateful – that’s not it. Unless you need to make real changes in your life (maybe you do!), these down times are chemical. And that means you can lift yourself back up with food.

There was an interesting study on PBS recently that linked inflammation with depression. Which means that an anti-inflammatory diet could significantly help symptoms of depression. Two especially powerful anti-inflammatory foods (or supplements) you can try are:

  1. Turmeric (curcumin)
  2. Omega-3 (fish, or fish oil)

2. Resolution: Be Healthier

Boost energy and fight disease this year by incorporating these 5 foods into your daily life. Yes, daily.

  • Lemons – Anti-inflammatory, inhibits cancer cell growth, increases “good” cholesterol levels, vitamin C.
  • Broccoli – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting rock-star, vitamin K & vitamin C combo builds healthy bones.
  • Dark Chocolate – 1/4th oz daily reduces blood pressure & bad cholesterol, and improves your mood!
  • Salmon/Fish/Flax Seeds/Walnuts – Omega-3 fatty acids help the brain work better, reduce bad cholesterol, and reduce risk for heart disease.
  • Spinach – Anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, and eye-health-improving. Toss a handful in with your eggs every morning!

3. Resolution: Spend More Time With Loved Ones

Invite some friends over to cook a healthy meal together – and schedule these dinners as often as you’d like. We’re all so busy that if we don’t schedule in time with friends and loved ones, it never happens. So put a few dinner dates on your calendar. Here’s an idea: Make a game of it by inviting a friend to walk through your local farmer’s market with you, choose some “mystery” ingredients, and see what you can do with them when you get back!

Don’t like to cook, but still want the healthy dinner? We’ve got you covered. Just serve everyone Intelligent Gourmet!

A Zen Guide to Surviving the Season with Superfoods

Stress Busting Foods

All you want for the holidays is for your niece to get her two front teeth, for it to be white (but not polar vortex white), and to be as Zen as a yogi while wearing cute yoga pants. Well, I don’t have a direct line to the Tooth Fairy or Mother Nature, but I do know something about maintaining inner harmony using the power of food.

Add these stress-busting, energy-fueling superfoods to a meal or enjoy as a mid-gift-shopping snack and stay mentally balanced while maintaining your fab yoga figure.

Avocados For the Win

You can’t go wrong with a few slices perfectly ripened avocado. The texture is a mix between buttery and heavenly, and the heavy dose of vitamin B they offer perks up your alertness while taking down your anxiety levels. Try half of one with breakfast.

Go Bananas

Pair your morning cereal, organic pb and honey, or kale smoothie with a banana. Their mega-dose of potassium pumps up your energy while simultaneously reducing your blood pressure. Feeling wild? Try a fruit salad with both bananas and avocado (avocado isn’t just for guacamole anymore!).

More Milk, Please

There’s something to the tradition of hitting the hay with a glass of warm milk after all. High in tryptophan, milk is a natural way to calm down and yes, fall deeply into zzz’s. Or of course, drink it fresh from the fridge – either way, it’s soothing.

Carbs (Not Simple, Complex)

Tantalized by toast or riveted by rice? Don’t worry – we all are. Stick with complex carbs like whole-wheat bread and brown rise to raise serotonin levels and keep you happier than Dean Martin sipping eggnog and slurring carols.

Tuna, Salmon and Arctic Char

Consider eating these fish to take you to your adrenaline-free zone. The omega-3s in these fatty fish make staying calm easy. Yes, even when the printer biffed your holiday cards and your mother-in-law is writing Facebook posts about how she’s clearly been cut off of mailing lists.

Do You Cashew?

Zinc does a body good, and cashews are full of it. Blessed with the power of relieving stress and fighting off infections, a handful of cashews are almost as deserving of the title “savior” as someone else whose name comes up this time of year.

Orange You Glad…

When you’re stressed out (whether from debating about Pound Puppies vs. Pound Purries for your best friend’s kid, or from trying to cook the perfect holiday meal), your vitamin C levels drop. Grab one of these pulpy beauties to fight stress, and thus infections.

Dessert of Champions: Dark Chocolate

Sing it with me now: serotonin! I don’t expect you to skip sweets and treats – just do so wisely with anti-oxidant rich, mood-boosting dark chocolate. Try drizzling it over orange slices for a decadent mid-day pick me up or delectable dessert.

When you’re running full-steam ahead to make the Holidays happen, be sure to give yourself the gift of healthy food! Come by Intelligent Gourmet for a quick pick-me-up any  time you need it.

 

 

 

3 Healthy Foods With Funny Side Effects

Asparagus side effects

A light snack could make your mouth taste like a penny tray, and a trip to the bathroom could turn your night out into a nightmare. Some healthy foods we eat every day can come with a few surprises. Have you ever experienced these?

1. Beets (of DOOM)

I’m dying! Or so you might think in the bathroom after a beet buffet. Don’t be too alarmed if your toilet bowl looks like a crime scene. The red color that occurs in some peoples urine and feces is caused by a chemical, betanin, in beets. If your genes allow you to break down betanin, you most likely won’t be seeing tie-dye the next time you eat beets. Aside from their bold pigment, beets have outstanding health benefits, too. Beets are a natural aphrodisiac, and they lower your blood pressure which helps prevent heart disease.

2. Asparagus brings back da’funk

Pee-eww! Ever get funky smelling pee after eating asparagus? Don’t worry, your pee isn’t abnormal; you just have a good nose. The odor is caused by a sulfur compound released when you digest asparagus – but not everyone can smell it. Again, genetics is the key to the pee. Some people don’t notice the odor when they go to the bathroom, even if the odor is present. Asparagus is the vitamin shop of the plant world: it’s packed with vitamins A, C, E and K, antioxidants, and amino acids.

3. Pine Nuts: Reason #199 to eat local

Have you ever noticed a dry, metallic taste after eating pine nuts? I love pine nuts. They’re one of the main ingredients in pesto, are the key to pignoli cookies, and they add earthy deliciousness to sandwiches. But, studies associate pine nuts from one variety of tree (the Chinese pinus armandii) with a metallic taste that can last in your mouth from two days to two weeks (it’s called “pine nut mouth”). Like most nuts, pine nuts are rich in iron which helps blood carry oxygen around the body, and they contain a number of B vitamins. The combo will give you energy and stamina.

Don’t let these side effects scare you off of these healthy snacks! They won’t harm you – they just add a little… variety to your day.

Donuts Help You Lose Weight – Study Shows! (Funded by Krispy Kreme)

donuts

Friday, June 6th (yes, Today!) is National Donut Day, and no less than six chain donut stores are offering free donuts (hey, anything in moderation, right?). Unfortunately, donuts don’t really help you lose weight – I fibbed, although a study claiming as much might well be in the works after last month’s Diet Soda study got so much attention.

Oh, didn’t you hear? A study funded by the America Beverage Association claims to have proven that habitually drinking diet soda helps people lose weight more than drinking water and other non-artificially sweetened beverages. The group who drank diet soda instead of water lost an average of four pounds more than the water group.

Words fail me. Almost.

Here are the problems with this study:

For one, all of the 300 participants had to already be habitual diet soda drinkers, consuming several a week at least. Half of the group was then asked to stop cold-turkey and switch to water, while the other half were allowed to drink as much diet soda as they wanted during their completely un-monitored diets. The problem with this approach is that people only have so much willpower, so if you’re asking them to not only follow a diet but give up their favorite drink (one which might be addictive), of course they’ll have a harder time losing weight!

The other issue is that artificial sweeteners are extremely sweet, and if you are in the habit of loading your system with that much sweet flavor, your taste buds adjust to treat that as normal. When that sweet flavor is taken away, naturally sweet foods like fruit won’t taste “right” – driving people with a “sweet tooth” to eat more sugary foods to get the same satisfaction.

These are the real facts of drinking diet soda:

  • Diet soda has been found to harm kidney function, according to a Harvard Medical School study of over 3000 women followed for 11 years.
  • Potassium Benzoate, a preservative in the two major diet brands (Coke and Pepsi), is a skin, eye and mucous membrane irritant – and can form a carcinogen when combined with vitamin C and sodium (which many diet sodas contain).
  • Diet soda’s acid rots teeth.
  • The carbonation and acidity of diet soda depletes calcium in the body, leading to weak bones and kidney stones.

If you want a great-tasting, healthy drink that WILL help you be fit and healthy, try all-natural, fresh-squeezed Juice!

Food Pyramid