Archive for Natural Health, Chiropractic & Fitness

Hydrogenated Oils: Information You’ll Want to Read!

 

Healthy Home

Welcome to Healthy Home, an enlightening weekly series on Mom Going Green.  Healthy Home focuses on natural health topics for the whole family.  The goal of this series is to provide moms (and dads too), with information on how to achieve optimal health for the entire household naturally.   The series will include the latest in natural health news, wholesome health tips, yummy recipes, and natural health remedies that have worked for healthy homes in years past.

___________________________________________________________

Are the chemically altered oils in the foods you eat Killing you?

Watch out for these foods

Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils are found in countless processed foods on grocery store shelves.  So what are hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils?  They are liquid vegetable oils which have been turned into solid fat.  This is done by a process called hydrogenation where the structure of the oil has been chemically changed by adding hydrogen atoms.  During this hydrogenation process, some of the fat molecules change shape to create a completely unnatural type of fat known as trans fat.  One example is margarine.  Trans fats are appealing to food producers because they increase the shelf life of the product.  They are commonly found in baked goods, pastries, packaged crackers and cookies, and other processed foods marketed toward children.  There are 2 types of hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated and fully hydrogenated.  Partially hydrogenated oils are by far the worst.  They contain significant amounts of trans fat.  Fully hydrogenated oils have no trans fats and contain saturated fats only.  However, during the process of hydrogenation, there are likely to be some fat molecules that slip through the cracks and are not fully hydrogenated.  These fats remain partially hydrogenated and therefore, are likely to contain some small level of trans fat.     

Health Ramifications of Trans Fats

Health ramifications

Health ramifications of trans fats are evident and not good.  Trans fats increase LDL, the bad type of cholesterol, and decrease HDL, the good type of cholesterol.   According to a 2009 study by Harvard School of Public Health, “if you add just 2% more calories from trans fat to your diet there is a 23% increased risk for heart disease.”  Trans fat also increases inflammation in the body.  Chronic inflammation is linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.   It is widely agreed that trans fats are far worse for our health than saturated fats.  There are no known health benefits of trans fats.  So read your labels and be an educated shopper, and your family will reap the benefits.

Misleading FDA Labeling:

Is Zero Really Zero?  No!   According to the FDA a product can be labeled zero Trans fats if it has less than .5 grams.  If you have one serving of “zero” trans fats for each meal a day, after a week you could be taking in 10.5g Trans fats, that is 546g a year, when you think you are getting zero!  As a health conscious consumer I find this extremely frustrating and deceiving!  It’s loopholes like this that make it difficult for consumers to put their trust in the FDA, that they really do have the consumer’s best interest in mind.

Read your Labeles

Therefore when reading labels it is best to look at the ingredient list.  If it contains hydrogenated oil but states zero trans fats, you can guarantee trans fats are in the product.  Additionally you need to pay attention to the wording.  Often times it will say hydrogenated oil in the label and won’t specify if it is partially or fully hydrogenated.   “Hydrogenated oil” and “Partially Hydrogenated oil” are sometimes used interchangeably.  Therefore if it doesn’t say “Fully Hydrogenated Oil” then you have to assume that there are trans fats in the product.

Knowledge is power!  You may be overwhelmed when first digging through your cubbards or walking through the grocery isles at how many products have hydrogenated oils on the label.  Don’t be discouraged.  There are many healthy foods out there to choose from, it just takes a little more time and effort to find them.  The peace of mind I get from knowing that my family is eating wholesome foods without dangerous additives and ingredients such as hydrogenated oils makes the extra for reading labels well worth it!  I hope this gives you the knowledge and power to feel confidant in the foods you give your family.

Have you come across any foods you were surprised contained hydrogenated oil?  I’d love to hear from you.

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

Diabetes: You Have the Power to Prevent it!

green apple

Healthy Home

Welcome to Healthy Home, an enlightening weekly series on Mom Going Green.  Healthy Home focuses on natural health topics for the whole family.  The goal of this series is to provide moms (and dads too), with information on how to achieve optimal health for the entire household naturally.   The series will include the latest in natural health news, wholesome health tips, yummy recipes, and natural health remedies that have worked for healthy homes in year past.

__________________________________________________________

November is national Diabetes Awareness month.  You may not think the timing is right with the holiday season around the corner.  Most people figure they’ll just enjoy the holidays and make changes come January 1st.  But why not go into the holidays with a different attitude this year;  of coming out on January 1st feeling great and ahead of the game!

It is estimated that 16 million Americans suffer from Type 2 diabetes.

outreach_diabetes_bottleEven more troubling is the fact that just a few years ago Type 2 Diabetes was more commonly known in the health care world as “Adult-Onset Diabetes”, but because of the poor diets and exercises habits of American children today, this name has been replaced as more and more of our children suffer from this preventable disease.  Diabetes and other preventable diseases also play a huge roll in the money toiletcurrent health care crisis.  According to The American Diabetes Association, the total annual economic cost of diabetes was estimated at 174 billion dollars in 2007.  It is astonishing that our country has allowed diabetes to become so wide spread and costly considering how preventable this disease is.

While it is outrageous that diabetes is so out of control in our country, it is not surprising that the number of Americans with diabetes is growing.  As a health care provider it is frustrating to see commercials on television touting the health benefits of “natural” high fructose corn syrup, especially in foods marketed towards children.  When I look in the coupon booklets in the weekly Sunday newspaper, 90% of them are for processed, unhealthy foods. There is so much money spent promoting the foods that have lead Americans to this diabetes epidemic!  Just take a walk down the aisles of your local grocery store.  They are filled with processed, convenience foods loaded with sugar and artificial, chemically created ingredients with names that are impossible to pronounce.  Sadly, the average American today eats this processed, unhealthy food for breakfast each day, goes to work where he or she sits at a computer, then eats a lunch with more processed, sugary foods, returns to the computer to work, sits in a car to go home, sits down for a dinner of even more unhealthy food, heads to the couch to sit and watch television, and finally goes to bed.  And we wonder why so many Americans must take diabetes medication to survive!

While diabetes is preventable, it takes a little bit of effort and will power.    Try shopping in the perimeter aisles of the grocery store where you will find fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats.  When shopping for meats it is important to look for grass fed beef and free range poultry and eggs.  This is because meat from corn and grain fed animals contain pro-inflammatory fatty acids that can facilitate diabetes.   Nuts such as walnuts and almonds should be a regular part of your diet.  When shopping for grains, choose whole grains and rice.  Try glutin free options to further reduce inflammation such as brown rice flour.  Avoid continence foods that have an ingredient label a mile long.  You can make natural foods convenient too.  Throw some grapes in your freezer and you have a tasty snack.  Try organic, all natural peanut butter on 100% whole wheat bread with raisins and unsweetened coconut.  Add a touch of honey if you like.   On the weekend when you have more time, pre-cook several free-range chicken breasts to place atop a bed of lettuce with avocado slices and an oil and vinegar dressing.  Add additional fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, or spices to increase the flavor.  Be creative.  If you plan ahead it is not hard to have quick and healthy meals ready!  When shopping, don’t spend too much time in the middle aisles of the store.   That is where most processed and unhealthy foods are located.  Avoid hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, processed foods and sweets.  When buying packaged foods, be sure to read the label.  Choose items with few ingredients and make sure you know what they are.  If you have never heard of it avoid it.  Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods, just eat them in moderation.

Exercise

jogging momWhile most researchers and physicians focus on diet as the primary preventative tool for diabetes, it is important to note that exercise is also extremely beneficial.  One study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic and published in the “Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism,” showed that patients who exercise and change their diet reduce their risk for diabetes more than those who change their diet alone.  Another study conducted in Copenhagen showed that the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes among other diseases.  Exercise has several positive effects that help to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Misconception

kiwiMany diabetics are fearful of eating fresh fruits.  Yes, fruits contain sugar, but they are natural sugars.  If you are not loading up on processed refined sugar, there is plenty of room in your diet for fresh fruits.   If you still have concerns about fruit and blood sugar levels, consume some protein with your fruit.  A hand full of nuts is a good protein option.  Fruits have many valuable anti-oxidants and vitamins that are good for your body.  Don’t deprive youself of this.  Instead cut back or eliminate unnatural refined sugars.

Leave a comment »

A BIG Weekend in Review

Saturday Jack took his first step all by himself!!  He has been walking along furnature and holding hands and for a while now.  I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he’s romping around our home on 2 instead of 4! 

 

Also on Saturday, Greg and I, along with Greg’s Parents, Clem and Doris, His sister Lindsay and her friend, Susan our staff member, and my high school friend, Julie and her husband, Aaron all participated in the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day 4 miler.  Jack was planning on riding in his jogging stroller but it was a chilly 27deg morning and he has been sniffily and fussy with a few new teeth coming in, so he stayed with JamieLee and her husband who live in Dublin for the morning.  We had a good time at the race despite the cold.  I was wearing 5 shirts, 2 pairs of pants and one pair of shorts, and I was pretty comfortable in that.  Can you tell I’m not one for the cold!  Susan, in her one long sleeve shirt thought I was crazy.  Overall it was a fun race.  Greg and I both beat our goal times and Susan got a PR, she’s a running rock star!  I think everyone had a great time.  I look forward to the next race. 

 

Sunday I spent the afternoon at Caribou Coffee shop, one of my favorite places, studying for my Sports Chiropractic Certification.  Its getting down to the wire with one month before the test.  I’m a bit nervous about finding enough time to study.  Hopefully I can pull it off.

 

Also on Sunday Greg put together a new TV stand, something that was long overdue for updating.  Our previous stand had several shelves to place decorative items, which looked great until Jack pulled everything off daily!  Our new system has lots of storage which is great for Jack’s toys which were overtaking the living room floor.  I’m happy with our new set-up.

 

The weather was much milder on Sunday than Saturday so we took advantage and grilled out for dinner.  I love grilling!  It makes me feel like summer is just around the corner, my favorite season!

dscn1144

Leave a comment »

Jack’s New Ride

We were looking for a stroller that would work well for a long, (potentially) fast run or for a leisurely walk on an off-road trail.  So a fast and all-terrain vehicle!

 

What we researched/wanted:

          Wheel size:  16” or 20” is best for jogging/running

          Fixed front wheel:  This is important for stability at higher speeds. 

          Stroller Weight:  The lighter the better!

          Safety:  a no-brainer

          Ability to fit into our trunk:  A must!

          Recline:  important for use with a younger baby

          Reviews:  A lot of good ones

          Price:  Lets not let it get out of control, but we want quality, reliability, and a good reputation

          Weight Capacity:  We want this stroller to last until Jack can keep up on his own bike!

 

Strollers that met most or all of our criteria:

          Schwinn – not great reviews

 

          Baby Jogger Performance – significantly more expensive (over $400) with equivalent reviews to the BOB’s, 20” wheels likely wouldn’t fit in trunk

 

          BOB Ironman – 16” x 1.5” light, thin tires, awesome for running, not meant for all-terrain but probably would do alright off-road ($350)

 

          BOB SUS D’Lux –light but not as rugged aluminum 16”x2” wheels ($350)

 

          BOB SUS – 16” x 2” wheels with high impact composite polymer rims, good for running and off road, 1 lb heavier than D’Lux ($300)

 

During my research with Greg we looked at a lot of reviews and specs.  We found very helpful information on www.joggingstroller.com and some great reviews on www.amazon.com.  We also checked out the company websites www.bobgear.com.  I’ll cut to the chase.  We chose the BOB SUS Jogging Stroller for its high ratings and ability to excel for running both on and off-road, and for it’s more affordable price. 

 

Jack had a Great Ride

Jack had a Great Ride

 

Sleeping Baby

Sleeping Baby

Leave a comment »

I Never Thought I’d Get One of These!

Lately I have been getting back into running, thanks to my new employee Susan. I have been wanting to get more involved with local races, I think it makes training more fun and I love getting free shirts and medals! Well I hadn’t been running consistently due to the cold weather ( I was doing more weight/circuit training), but somehow Susan talked me into my first race in a long time, the Fantastic Frigid 5k, a series of 2 5k’s in January sponsored by Columbus Running Company. I don’t know what I was thinking, I hate the cold! I can handle 40’s ok, but the 1st 5k was freeeeeeezing – 9 deg, colder with the wind chill. That weekend was a record cold day for Columbus, the coldest in decades! The 2nd race also lived up to the “frigid” title. There was probably a foot of snow on the entire trail; it was like running through the soft sand on the beach. After the race many competitors were joking about it being their record slowest time! It was definitely an experience. I just have to say thank goodness for Yak Trax! Despite my complaining I did have a good time and I was glad I finally got myself back into the racing crowd. I am looking forward to more racing! My next race is the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day 4 miler.  I am hoping for milder conditions!

So, let me get back to my actual topic for this posting…Jogging Strollers! I never had any interest in a jogging stroller in the past. I thought, if I want to do a workout then I want to do a workout – focused with out distractions of something to push or a potential crying baby. But I started re-thinking this after getting motivated to run again. It has been challenging to find time to get in solid workouts with work and Jack. Recently a friend was raving to me about how nice it is to have her jogging stroller so she can do a run anytime she wants. I picked her brain about some of my concerns. Jack to date has not tolerated long stroller rides; however Shelly mentioned that her children enjoy the faster speed of the jogging stroller much more than traditional strollers and that she had no problem getting in a solid run. She said the key was to have a good quality stroller with a stationary front wheel for a smooth ride. After this encouraging conversation I was actually excited about the idea of running with Jack. So I began researching Jogging strollers. And to my delight, Greg’s parents offered to get us a stroller for Jack’s birthday! Stay tuned for my next post on the results of my Jogging Stroller research and the winning stroller we chose! I will also be posting on Jack’s birthday after the weekend.

Leave a comment »

Pregnancy Month 3

Recapping my experience on the 3rd month of pregnancy with Jack last year:  Morning sickness, exercising, and waiting for that first kick!

 

Morning sickness: We spent 3 weeks in Ohio for our summer break and I was just telling my mom that I was so glad I hadn’t experienced any morning sickness!  We’ll I spoke too soon.  Once we returned to Florida it started.  I shouldn’t complain too much because I never did throw up, but I did feel very uncomfortable.  I had a lot of nausea, and it started around week 8 and it didn’t subside until I was well into the 5th month.  Many health care professionals think pregnancy related nausea and morning sickness is due to erotically changing hormones early in pregnancy.  They also think drastic dips and peaks in blood sugar can aggravate it.  So I carried a bag of almonds and raisons with me around school and work (I had a part time job at Dillard’s).  Eating small meals and a protein and light-on-the-carb’s snack like almonds, between meals helped keep my blood sugar steady.  It helped the nausea a little but it never really eliminated it.  For me the nausea was worse in the evening. 

 

Exercising:  Exercising during pregnancy is very beneficial to both the mom and baby, except in rare, high-risk pregnancies.  Exercising was very important to me.  I have been an athlete all my life and I’ve always made a strong effort to stay in shape, exercise and eat healthy, and I didn’t want to change due to pregnancy.  So I did some research on exercising during pregnancy and read the book “Exercising During Your Pregnancy” by Dr. James Clapp.  The book was very informative and I recomend it to any pregnant woman who would like some tips on exercising while pregnant.  Here’s a quick synopsis of what I learned:

 

Benefits of exercising through Pregnancy

         Limited weight gain

         Less physical discomfort

         More energy

         Easier, shorter, less complicated labor

         Quick Recovery, and more!

 

·        Exercising is beneficial for mom and baby (weather you are an experienced, intense exerciser, or a casual walker)

·        Exercising moms often have shorter labors, deliver early rather than late, and have babies with lower but still healthy birth weights.  (If you discontinue exercise during the 9 months then these benefits may not apply)

·        Exercise helps prepare the baby and mother for the stresses of labor and delivery

·        Avoid exercising in hot, humid environments

·        The Borg’s Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale may be a better measure of exercise intensity in pregnancy than heart rate.  The RPE scale is 6-20 with “6” being how you feel at rest and “20” being maximal exertion. 

·        Clapp’s book uses research to address any safety concerns mom’s may have about exercising while pregnant. 

·        You should avoid exercises such as downhill, skiing, skateboarding, horse back ridding, and other activities where you could fall or harm the baby after the baby protrudes through the pelvic outlet (when you start to see a baby bump)

 

I had been running, swimming, erging (rowing ergometer), walking, and occasional pilates and/or light weights before pregnancy.  I typically did 3-4 cardio workouts and 2 strength workouts each week.  I continued most of these activities during early pregnancy.  My frequency slowed down as the morning sickness picked up though.  The nausea made exercise not very appealing.  After the nausea subsided I never did get back to the same exercise frequency that I had pre-nausea.  However, in retrospect I wish I had made more of an effort to continue my exercise frequency throughout pregnancy because of it’s many benefits.  Here is a nice article from the Washington Post and some additional resources 1 and 2 on the benifits and guidelines on exercising during pregnancy. 

 

*There are some contraindications to exercising during pregnancy so do your research and consult your health care provider

Leave a comment »

Monday For Moms: A natural Approach to Ear Infections in Infants & Children

I have some great news for parents looking for a natural approach to treating ear infections (otitis media) in infants and children.  First I would like to explain why young children are more prone to ear infections.  In a child, due to the shape of the young skull, the eustation tubes are horizontal allowing fluid to lay stagnant and become infected more easily.  As the child grows the tubes point downward allowing them to drain properly.  Also, the development of their young immune systems is still a work in progress.  However there is another contributing factor, the upper cervical subluxation, a fixation or misalignment of the first vertebra of the spine.

 

So where does the upper cervical subluxation come from and how does chiropractic fit in the picture?  It is hypothesized that there is a significant link between the birthing process and recurrent ear infections especially if the ear infections occur in the first year of life. 

 

Ear infections are most common in pre-school age children however it is unusual for an infant to have an ear infection in the first year of life.  If we look back to the birth process, we can easily see how the upper cervical subluxation may have occurred.  Birth is a traumatic event for babies and mothers alike, but especially for babies.  Many births involve some pulling or twisting on the baby’s head and neck, even in a natural birth this exists to some extent.  It is very prevalent if the birth involved forceps, a vacuum or cesarean section.  Lately surgeons try to cut the smallest opening possible during a c-section.  They then have to yank and pull very hard on the baby’s neck to compress him/her through the small opening.  This trauma can cause a misalignment and neurological disruption to the cervical spine, especially where the skull meets the first few vertebrae in the neck.  This misalignment can restrict lymphatic drainage mainly on the side of the earache and lead to fluid build-up in the middle ear. 

 

All young children are exposed to viral and bacterial infections but they don’t all get ear infections frequently or at an early age.  It is the body’s response to the pathogen which determines which children encounter early and recurrent ear infections.  When you child’s body is functioning properly it should recognize the “bug”, attack, and dispose of it.  However when the lymphatics are not able to drain the disposal cannot take place.  This is when the infection and often chronic infections occur.  Another indication that the cause of recurrent ear infections is related to the spine is when the infection always occurs in the same ear. 

 

Read more about research on chiropractic benefiting ear infections. 

http://www.healthychild.com/chiropractic-ear-infections.htm

Comments (4) »