Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's just a day in the life....

...of an energetic housewife.

I have gotten quite a few emails asking me how I fit everything in during the day and still manage to eat healthy and exercise. I decided to track just one day for all of you so you can get a glimpse into my life.

4:40am - Alarm goes off and I decide to do an afternoon workout instead of my usual 5am jaunt to the gym since I had just done a Zumba class the night before and then stayed up later than usual, hanging with my hubby, watching "Modern Family".
6:45am - Wake up on own. Hit the bathroom and discover that my scale is broken. It is weighing in kilograms and when I do the math, it is adding up to 200+ pounds. Clearly, not working. Plod out to kitchen and unload the clean dishes and put hubby's morning dishes into the dishwasher. Sit down at computer to write "Tuesday's Tip". Mess around on Facebook. Check email. Go back into bedroom and make the bed.
7:30am - Greeted by 2 little wide awake munchkins who are ready for their breakfast. Fix a bowl of cereal and some grapes for the girl and a waffle and banana for the boy. Both have milk which girl promptly spills. Clean up mess and put lid on her cup. Notice a few things we need from the store and write them on my list.
7:45am - Rush youngest son to the bathroom as he realized he had to go "wheely wheely bad" yet couldn't seem to walk there on his own.
8:00am - Make my own breakfast. Drink 16 ounces of water as I eat my delicious meal of scrambled egg whites with green and red peppers on a bagel thin with melted cheese, 1/2 banana, and 1/2 orange.

Morning : As we are getting into the van for preschool, I realize my van battery is dead and call AAA who promises to come within the hour. (My daughter loves to turn on the overhead lights.) Spend my time alternating between getting things done and playing with the kids. We have a couple of extra kids with us today and the little sweethearts decide that a dress up party is in order.
Despite continued interruptions, I manage to cut out all the coupons from this past Sunday's paper and organize them. I also wiped down the surfaces in the kitchen and bathrooms.Spend about 25 minutes dancing to Veggie Tales music.
10:30am - Fix a snack for the kids. Something simple today - just some graham crackers and milk. Clean up mess from the snack and continue sipping my next water bottle. My goal is to have 32 ounces in before I eat lunch. Throw in a load of laundry.
12:15pm - Prepare lunch for kids and myself at the same time. I am having lean deli turkey, peppers, and 1/2 a portion of mozzarella cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. My side dishes are leftover green beans from last night and 1/2 cup of applesauce. Consume another 16 ounces of water.

1:00pm - Move laundry to dryer. As I am doing that, I realize that the kids are being so good that I can escape for a little while and watch "Dancing with the Stars" from the night before (Thank goodness for DVR!). While I am watching, I do my workout. This includes all of my knee and hip exercises that I learned in Physical Therapy as well as a core workout. I set the timer on my phone and do planks, side props, crunches, bicycles, and a few other "fun" things. After I am finished, log it all on DailyPlate.
2:00pm - Read some books to the kids. Decide that Dr. Suess wrote some insanely long books as I struggle to finish Go Dog Go without skipping any pages. Get them all into the van and set off to get my oldest son from school.
2:45pm - Arrive back home and nearly kill myself tripping over my yoga mat. Freak out slightly that I will either die or won't be able to walk or run for the rest of my life. Am unsure which is worse. Put the kids down for naps. Listen to roughly 1 million excuses from my son, finally convincing him that Iron Man likes to sleep on a penguin pillow pet too. Check email and Facebook. Decide that I am probably not going to die after all. Oldest son insists he doesn't have homework and goes to a friend's house, promising to be back by 4pm.
3:00pm - My tummy starts rumbling and I fix a mid afternoon snack. I am eating 1/2 portion of grape nuts with 1/4 portion of raisins and the other half of my banana from breakfast. Drink 8 more ounces of water.

4:00pm -Fold laundry. Kids are waking up from naps and are ready for their snack. Fix that and then spend some time helping them straighten up the playroom. Glance out the window about 100 times, hoping that hubby will be appearing at any moment. Wonder how my friends who have husbands that travel manage. Start to prepare an earlier than usual dinner. Feel ready for a nap. 
4:25pm - Oldest son arrives home, 25 minutes late. Insists I told him 4:30pm. Decide to pick my battles and let this one go.
4:47pm - Hubby arrives.
5:00pm - Dinner is ready. I have 1 portion of whole wheat rotini with 1/2 cup of organic garden vegetable sauce and sprinkled with low fat parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup of steamed veggies, and 1/2 cup of fruit cocktail. Yearn for warmer weather when we can get more fresh produce and not have to rely on cans for a mixed assortment of fruit. Drink another 8 ounces of water.
Evening: Extra kids are picked up and our crazy night begins. Time flies by too quickly to track. We head to Picture People to get portraits done. I decide to just get the kids in the pictures because I have dry skin under my nose from my cold weather runs over the weekend. Such is the life of a runner, right? We convince the youngest to smile for the pictures by promising him some ice cream. Remember that we said we would never use food as a reward. Go to Dairy Queen anyway because a promise is a promise. Crave a Blizzard but decide to get something a teeny bit better for me. Settle on a low fat Dilly bar.
Pick out the best poses at the studio while hubby takes the kids to the video game store. Wait for them to be printed. It's so quiet that I almost don't know what to do with myself. Silence is broken when all 3 kids come barreling in, climbing over top of each other to tell me which games they want. We head to Kohl's to get hubby some desperately needed clothes. Apparently, the poor guy has been wearing pants with holes in them because he didn't want to spend money on himself. Put kids into convenient strollers provided by Kohl's as we navigate the men's section. Kids start to fuss. Luckily, my pockets are filled with lollipops. Regret giving another treat and swear I will never do it again. Guzzle 16 more ounces of water as we walk through the store.
9:00pm - Get home and collapse into my computer chair. Hubby puts kids to bed. Check email and see that I received before and after pics from one of my readers. Write another blog. Look at Facebook wall and realize there is too much to be able to go through it all. Put rest of day into DailyPlate. Realize I still have some leftover calories and though I am not particularly hungry, decide to eat something. Wolf down low calorie wheat toast with 1/2 portion of organic peanut butter before I realize that I was supposed to be taking pictures of my food. Consider making another but decide against it. Lay out clothes for gym in the morning. Remember that I never got a shower and vow to get one tomorrow. Turn on tv but never even look at the screen before I am off to la-la land.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meet the Reader: Amy F.

Amy F. participated in the last Fitness Challenge, winning a $50 Kohl's gift card for losing a whopping 16.5 inches.

Name:  Amy
Age: 39
Where do you live:  Worthington, Pa

Beginning Weight: 180

Ending Weight:  163 at end of challenge. Currently 160

How long between beginning and ending weights:  3 Months

How many inches did you lose?:  16.5

Why did you decide to participate in the challenge:  Honestly I only joined because Maria kept bugging me to.  I was not really intending to follow through with it.

What is your current diet:  I am just trying to be sensible.  I try to eat only when I'm really hungry and I've learned to stop before I'm totally stuffed.

What is your guilty pleasure: Ice Cream

What is your typical workout:  I mix it up.  I either use the treadmill or I do Jillian's Shred.  I also like to do Tae Bo or Zumba.

What/who is your #1 Motivator:  Actually being able to wear something other than Yoga pants.  I feel so much less frumpy now.

Any other info you would like to be included:  I work as a birth doula and my recovery after long births takes several days.  I'm interested to see if I recover more quickly now that I am in better shape.

Congratulations Amy F and keep up the AWESOME work!

Tuesday's Tip

Be Flexible.

I have a half marathon coming up on April 2nd so I was supposed to be tapering this past weekend by doing a long run of 6 miles. We were in my hometown for the weekend. Since, I am in a running club there, I talked to one of my IRRC friends about meeting up at 8:30am on Sunday morning. I thought I had it all figured out. But...even the best laid plans often fail. In my head, I had me going to 7:30am Mass and then changing and meeting my friend at the high school to begin our run. In my head, this made perfect sense. In my head, all was going to work out just fine. Until...

1. We stayed up until nearly midnight playing Hand and Foot.

2. My husband pointed out that we only have one vehicle and there was no way he could get to 9:30am Mass if I had taken the van.

3. I felt some guilt creeping in about going to Mass at a different time than the rest of my family.

So, I called and canceled meeting up with my friend. But I knew I still needed to run. This was, after all, my last "long run" before the half. I haven't been entirely consistent with my training already. There is no way I should skip *another* run.

What's a girl to do...? Well, I woke up in the morning, got the kiddos ready for church and put on my Sunday best running clothes. Yes, that's right. I donned a pair of black running tights, obnoxiously bright green shirt and jacket and my Brooks Adrenalines for church. I was a sight for sore eyes for sure. I was banking on the fact that I had learned that God doesn't care about your appearance. I used my husband's Smart phone to figure out the mileage from the church to my Grandma's house, where we were staying. It said it was 4.3 miles. I knew if I added on a bit by going through some neighborhoods, I could end up at 6 miles with no problem.

At Mass, I hid in the back, letting myself be seen only for Communion. My head was down and I avoided eye contact with all those people from my parent's church who I was sure were whispering She used to be such a pretty girl. What happened? As soon as the last strains of music faded away, I slipped out, shoved ear buds into my ears, put on my husband's Nike knit cap, protected myself from the cold with some muffs and gloves and headed out.

All was going well as I went through my little town. I reminisced about all the fun things I did in the "Downtown" area during half days from school and thought about a few of my Elementary and Junior High friends as I passed their old houses. All was going well. I left the main area of town and headed into a community of homes. I hadn't lived in this town in at least 12 years so this particular neighborhood was new to me. And, I promptly got lost. I went down 3 different cul-de-sac streets before I finally found my way out. No problem, I thought, This makes up for the extra mileage I needed. 

I went from there into another neighborhood. This one was familiar to me as growing up, I had many friends who lived there. I knew it like the back of my hand. Well, at least I did years and years ago. About 2 streets in, I realized that it looked a lot different when you are running it and not peering out the back window of your parents mini van as they drove you to a slumber party. I was lost again and this time, I didn't need any extra mileage. 6 miles had passed.

Somehow, I found my way out but I was on a busy street. Ok, obnoxiously green jacket, don't fail me now... I picked up the pace, not because I wanted to but because I was having to dodge cars. I felt like Frogger but with a quicker pace and no extra lives included. Thankfully, God must have been watching out for me because I didn't get hit and *only* had 3 cars blare their horns at me. I got to my Grandma's house just as my GPS watch clicked to 7.5 miles completed.

What a run! Though there were quite a few obstacles, I loved it. And it was just what I needed.

Thank goodness I was able to be flexible and roll with the punches because there is no way anyone would be able to    want to plan something like that.

The moral of the story is not to give up if your workout plans go awry. Just get out there and do *something*. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meet the Reader: Heather P.

Meet Heather P.!

Heather P. participated in the last Fitness Challenge. She ended up winning a $25 gift card to Running Warehouse for logging the most miles during the 10 weeks with a total of 293.5 miles!

Name:  Heather P.

Age: 30 in one more month!

Where do you live: NJ shore (but not from NJ, I <3 NY!)

Beginning Weight: 172

Ending Weight: currently 155, but at the end of the challenge it was 158

How long between beginning and ending weights: I started 2 days after Christmas, and the end of the fitness challenge was March 11.  It's March 23 as I type this.

How many inches did you lose?: 11.5 inches

Why did you decide to participate in the challenge:  It helps me to keep accountable for things, and I think I do better if there's competition involved.  It gives me that extra oomph!  I also decided to join since I was at my highest weight ever, excluding pregnancy.  My big pants were even almost too tight to button.

What is your current diet: I've been doing all natural, minimally processed foods for a long time, but now I also really watch my portions.  When I joined's dailyplate, I noticed that I was eating 3-4x more than a portion should be.  I still enjoy a glass of wine most nights, and I'll have a small treat of dark chocolate or a cookie once or twice a week, as long as I keep my calorie count in a safe zone.  Once in a while, my daily calories go crazy high (mostly when I visit my family), but I just go back on track the next day, and never stop working out :)

What is your guilty pleasure: My morning coffee with creamer, and my glass of Shiraz after my son goes to bed. 

What is your typical workout:  I've been running 4-6 miles on my elliptical 6 days a week, and when it's nice outside I'll take a walk to my produce market, or to the park, or walk to work instead of driving, and on days my husband is home to watch my son, I can just get outside and walk or jog for 2 hours which is wonderful.  I've just added Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred to my list now too, since I've hit a plateau and I still have 10 pounds I'd like to lose.

What/who is your #1 Motivator: Myself!  I just keep telling myself I want to be a healthy (and hot) mom and wife, and I also am motivated by almost fitting into my old pants that I never thought I'd fit into again!  

Heather P. didn't think she would have a significant enough change to take before pictures. Wow, was she ever wrong! She was kind enough to recreate a pose from a picture she had on her Facebook page. You can really tell the difference in her face and arms.

 Congratulations Heather P. and keep up the AWESOME work!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Contest Announcement: Countdown to SHORTS!!!


After seeing so much success with the last challenge, I've decided to start another. Those who already participated in the last one are invited back to continue their journey and of course, I am welcoming new faces and bodies to this fun party!

Motivational Mama's Countdown to Shorts will run from the initial weigh in/measure in the morning on Friday, April 1st to final results day on Friday, May 13th. During this time, you will be responsible for tracking three things:

1. Weight : Please try your best to use the same scale throughout the challenge. Weigh ins will be on Fridays and results are due to me by 11:59pm on that day.

2. Inches : You will measure 3 areas.

*Waist (wherever it clinches in or at the bellybutton - doesn't matter just keep it consistent throughout.)
*Hips (at the widest part)
*One thigh (measure around on the part that is 6 inches above your knee)

3. Exercise Minutes : You will be tracking how many minutes of activity you get each week. Once you see laid out on paper what you're doing, and where you're falling short, you can figure out how to pump up the volume enough to get some real health benefits. A plus side is that you get "credit" for what you're doing! There may be some questions as to what counts as exercise. Basically, anything you do that is PURPOSEFUL exercise will count for this challenge. Things that you do any way like walking up and down the stairs, laundry, household chores, etc do not count. If you are using a Body Bugg or something similar, you will only be counting the times that your heart rate is elevated and you are in a fat burning or cardio zone. If you go to the gym for an hour but spend 15 minutes of that standing around gossiping, please only count the actual time you are working out. Some examples of what counts : Running, walking briskly, fitness classes, Yoga, workout DVD's, biking, any cardio machines, weight training...

If you report your stats to me every week on time (by 11:59pm on Friday), you will be entered in a drawing to have your entry fee returned to you. This will be completely random and will be drawn by my 4 year old daughter (who is unbiased and no fair bribing her with treats...)

Sounds great, right? Here is what you need to do to enter:

Sign up and pay! Send in your money (via USPS) and weight, inches, and pictures (via email or Facebook message) to me. (Note: I WILL NOT be sharing numbers or pictures unless you ask me to do so) To get in on the fun, it is $10. That is for a 6 week challenge. In comparison to the $13 per week you'd spend at Weight Watchers, it's an AMAZING deal! I don't want to post my physical address on the blog, so contact me for that information. You can email me at motivationalmom at gmail dot com or contact me through Facebook.

Throughout the weeks, everyone is invited to send me questions. I will answer personal ones directly but if it's something the whole group would benefit from learning, I will share it on my blog or Facebook group.

Weigh ins etc are on the honor system but I do reserve the right to drive, fly, or take a boat to your house to check up on your progress. Prizes will be given for the 3 categories mentioned. Participation will determine the prizes but I can promise you they will be FABULOUS!

So, who's in???????

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

When You Are Sick, Think Twice Before Exercising.

It's that time of year when the temperatures go from 30° to 60° in one day. People are out and about more often, spreading their germs. And don't forget about seasonal allergies that begin as the greenery starts to come back.

There WILL be days when you aren't feeling 100%. The question is "What should you do?" Here is my rule of thumb:
  • If your symptoms are "above the neck", such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or sore throat, go ahead and do the workout, but be prepared that you might need a reduction in intensity. For example, maybe ride the bike at the gym instead of attending Spin class. You could also reduce your pace on a run.
  • If your  symptoms are "below the neck", such as chest congestion, hacking cough or upset stomach, take some time off.Your body needs to recover and you don't want to prolong your illness by pushing yourself too hard.

 Most importantly, listen to your body. If you start feeling worse when you are working out, stop and rest. Your body won't lose its level of fitness in the few days it might take to feel better.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I just HAVE to share...

What do Silly Putty and Chicken McNuggets have in common? Should be nothing, right? Well,  read this and let me know your thoughts...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Drink water. 

Are you serious about being a healthier person? If so, something that WILL help you is to drink lots of water!  It helps you lose weight by flushing down the by-products of fat breakdown. Drinking water cancels out the hunger pangs. It's an effective appetite suppressant which will cause you to eat less. And the added bonus is that water has zero calories! (So does Diet soda but y'all know my thoughts on that one...)

Water is important. Here are some of the facts and functions of water:

 (Borrowed from this site so sorry about the typos...)

So, let's talk water....As you've probably heard, 64 ounces a day is recommended. This equates to about two quarts of water, spread out throughout the day. This amount is okay for the average person, but if you're overweight, you should drink another eight ounces for every 25 pounds of excess weight you carry. You should also increase this amount this if you live in a hot climate or exercise very intensely.

When you make the commitment to drink more water, it will be tough at first. During the first few days, you'll be running to the bathroom constantly. This can be annoying and it may interfere with an otherwise normal day at work or spent with your kids. Don't call me and complain about how it seems that the water is coming out just as fast as it's going in. I promise you that it is not a fruitless task - DO NOT GIVE UP.  During that time, your body is flushing itself of the water it has been storing throughout all those years of "survival mode". It takes a while, but a beautiful thing is happening to you. As you continue to give your body all the water it could ask for, it gets rid of what it doesn't need. It gets rid of the water it was holding onto in your hips...your thighs...your ankles... even your belly. On your bathroom trips, you are excreting much more than you realize. Your body comes to realize that it doesn't need to save these stores anymore. It trusts that the water will keep coming, and if it does continue to come, eventually, the flushing (of both the body and the potty) will cease, allowing you to return to a normal life. This cleanse for the body is well worth it and you should notice some changes in the shape of your body as well as in your skin. I remember when I first did this and my husband kept telling me how great my skin looked and how soft it was - what a great feeling:)

Glance in the toilet next time you finish your business. If your urine isn't clear or a very pale yellow, chances are you need more water. Try adding in some water and report back and let me know how it went. And remember, don't give up. Those benefits I mentioned may take awhile but they are WORTH IT!!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

And the Winners are....

Or should I say "losers"? Hmmmmm....

The 10 week Fitness Challenge has had its final weigh in. Of the 19 people who paid to participate in this challenge, 13 of them finished it, tracking and reporting each week. Of those 13 people, 11 were on time with their stats each week. I put those names into a drawing to win their $10 Entry Fee Returned and the winner is....


In regards to Mileage Tracked,

In third place, with 139.45 miles logged is Heather A. In second place, with 155.5 miles tracked, is Adrienne S. And the winner of the $25 Gift Card to Running Warehouse, with 293.5 miles tracked is...

In regards to Weight Loss:

In third place, with a loss of 8.29% is Heather P. In second place, with a loss of 9.4% is Amy F. And the winner of the $50 Dick's Sporting Goods Gift Card, with a loss of 10.86% is...


In regards to Inches Lost:

In third place, with 11.5 inches lost, is Heather P. In second place, with 15 inches lost, is Mandi B. And the winner of the $50 Kohl's Gift Card, with a loss of 16.5 inches is...


Congratulations to all Winners and Participants in this 10 week challenge. Please let me know if you are interested in another challenge before Summer hits. I am definitely open to suggestion. And if you missed the last one, please feel free to let me know if you'd like to try the next challenge. 

As always, the best way to reach me is at

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Artificial Sweeteners are not all that.

If you are in the process of adopting a healthier lifestyle, you will probably come across packaged foods that are "sugar free" and claim to be better for you. As you look at these artificially sweetened foods/drinks, ask yourself this question: Does the item offer any real benefit that you couldn’t get from an unsweetened source? Sometimes the answer will be yes, sometimes no. For example, a diet soda (or "pop" for those Yinzers reading this) might seem a better choice than a regular soda. But the best choice, of course, is to not drink the soda at all. And, naturally, buying something that is from the Earth from than from a package is preferred as well.

Inevitably, you will need to make the choice sometime though so I'd love to share my thoughts with you on some of the most popular artificial sweeteners: Sweet 'n Low, Splenda, Equal, NutraSweet, and Stevia.


Sweet 'n Low contains saccharine. In the 70's, the USDA tried to ban the use of saccharine, but a compromise was reached that resulted in a warning label of  “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharine, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.” The warning was removed years later, but the stigma stuck in many people’s minds. Even without the scary warning label, it is true that saccharine is known to cross the placenta. In addition to that, The American Medical Association cautions that children and pregnant women should limit their use of the artificial sweetener since not enough information is available to assess risk. If the AMA cautions against it, there is a reason. No thanks, Sweet 'n Low... Think I am better off without you!


Splenda gets it's sweetness from sucralose. Sucralose starts off as sugar but then it is chemically adjusted.  According to the research I did, it is treated with trityl chloride, acetic anhydride, hydrogen chlorine, thionyl chloride, and methanol in the presence of dimethylformamide, 4-methylmorpholine, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, acetic acid, benzyltriethlyammonium chloride, and sodium methoxide. As a general rule, I don't put things in my body that I can't pronounce so Splenda is a no-go for me.


Both of these artificial sweeteners contain aspartame. In my humble opinion, this section needs a warning label.

According to Wikipedia,  Aspartame (or APM) (pronounced /əˈspɑrteɪm/) is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. According to me and much of the world, Aspartame is a poison that should not be ingested by humans...EVER! I am totally serious. Aspartame has been linked to many extreme side effects including seizures, drowsiness, hives, and even death. For a comprehensive list, go to Sweet Poison and check it out for yourself.

Phenylalanine is a component in aspartame so if you see that on your nutrition label, drop it and run! The FDA doesn't put a warning label on these for no reason. If you are interested in knowing more,. here is another great article that outlines the dangers.


Stevia is relatively new on the scene, and from everything I have seen and heard, it appears to be the best choice. It's derived from the Stevia plant so it's natural. It doesn't adversely affect blood glucose levels. Really, the only thing "wrong" with it would be that it tastes different than sugar. There is a slight aftertaste that is similar to licorice but honestly, it's just one of those acquired taste things. For more info on Stevia, check out this link.

Thanks for reading my thoughts on artificial sweeteners. If you stuck it out until the end, here's a pat on the back. If you are going to attempt to change your lifestyle because of this, congratulations. It will be worth it in the end, I promise.

If you haven't yet. check out my blog on reading labels.  Be an educated consumer. Do your research on what is going into your body because as you've heard, you are what you eat...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way." ~Eileen Caddy

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Beware of Sugar.

 Let’s face the facts. We live in a world that expects birthday cakes, Christmas cookies, and Halloween/Easter/Valentine's Day candy. Some people are successful, realigning their lifestyle to not include these massive amounts of sugar, but the vast majority of the health conscious population will occasionally bump up against the dreaded wall of compromise. Well, I can just have this one piece of cake to make my Mom happy... A couple of Thin Mints won't kill me...
Sugar, as we know it, is evil. Refined sugar has been processed and robbed of all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and other beneficial nutrients that original sugar cane or beet contains.  In fact, refined sugar lacks chromium (a chemical needed for our blood sugar levels to be healthily managed). Of course, the processed food industry and sugar growers don't want us to know this about sugar. In fact, they go so far as to financially sponsor the American Dietetic Association. Don't believe me? Check out their list of sponsors here. It's pretty hard to speak out against the people who are backing you financially, right?

As I was searching online this week, I found this article which outlines the properties of sugar. I am just going to list twelve of the 76 dangers listed: 
  1. Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.
  2. Sugar causes food allergies.
  3. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
  4. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
  5. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
  6. Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.
  7. Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.
  8. Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
  9. Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.
  10. Sugar can cause emphysema.
  11. Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.
  12. Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide and it can increase the amount of liver fat.
I don't know about you but I don't want to put that into my body... Yet, we do. In 2010, more than 50% of Americans were consuming over half a pound of sugar per day. That's 180 POUNDS of sugar per year. Seriously, imagine that all sitting in a HUGE pile in front of you. Impossible, you say, I definitely don't eat that much sugar... What most people don't realize it's that sugar is in practically everything that comes in a box or bag. It's in your sports drinks, deli meats, spreads, cheeses, and crackers not to mention the soda, cake, brownies, cookies etc where you would expect to see it. Even infant formula contains as much sugar as a glass of soda. From birth, some babies are learning to be dependent on it. Sad...sad...sad...

Sugar is addictive. When we go on a sugar high our bodies release hormones to reduce the sugar level in our blood back to a normal level, which is the same thing that happens when we consume caffeine. Unfortunately, as these suppressive hormones have side effects in themselves, such as stress and ultimately, lethargy. Once the cycle is complete, it leaves us feeling like nothing else but more sugar. So, this is why we are craving sugar. You've got to break the cycle!

This week, I challenge you to take a look at your labels to see just how much sugar you are consuming. Then, take that number and divide it in two. Eat that amount for the next week and see how you feel. With less of the highs and lows (sugar crash), I am betting you'll feel a lot better. 

Oh and don't pull out the Sweet 'n Low just yet. Next week's tip will be all about artificial sweeteners. Stay tuned...