Juice vs. Soda

Even though 100% juice is more nutritious when compared to soda, it is filled with calories from the natural sugars found in fruits and could have added sugar. Some juices have just as much sugar as drinking the same amount of soda. It is recommended to either dilute the juice with water or to just eat the fruit. Since juice is processed, it lacks fiber and other nutrients that would be found in fruits in their natural forms. It is recommended to limit consumption of juice in children to 4-6 oz per day and in adults no more than 8 oz per day. And as always look for 100% juice on the container.
Watch this short clip about juice vs. soda  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zed4oL-roE

Another post for today….Follow the 95 North to the desert oasis: Spring Mtns.

If it feels too hot to even swim this weekend but you want to get outside…take a trip to the mountains! Specifically Spring Mountains, what we affectionately refer to as Mount Charleston. These forested mountains can be a real oasis from this summer heat and a chance to explore something new.  The Spring Mountains have over 50 miles of trails!

Use the Neon to Nature web program to find a trail that is right for you! Check out these trails and read the trail difficultly and details on the link.

Robbers Roost:  Ascend a canyon, then loop past caves, a rock climbing area, and a high vantage point on the very short loop trail.

Cathedral Rock: Ascend gradually through a mixed conifer forest, then switchback up limestone cliffs to the summit of Cathedral rock and a fantastic view of the canyon and the valley below.

Mummy Springs: From Highway 158 hike the North Loop trail to the “Raintree”  possibly the largest bristlecone Pine in the Spring Mountains) at the intersection with the Mummy Springs Trail. Gradually descend 1/3 mile to the springs. The maintained trail continues on for a short distance.

TIPS to wean off the fizzy stuff!

We are getting close to finishing our Soda Free Summer challenge. But we still have some time to change! Drinking soda, as with most habits, can be a hard break. Going cold turkey is not always easy. So instead of refusing to try and stop drinking sugary sweetened beverages just because you can’t go cold turkey ….TRY to slowly wean yourself off the sugary bubbly. Reducing the amount you drink  each day, for some people is just as much of a success as going cold turkey.
Here are a few comments from our readers of how to slowly wean yourself off the carbonated can. 

Give yourself a reality check. “Finding out exactly how much soda you drink and also how much sugar you consume from each can, each day can be a reality check. For every 20 oz of soda that is about 16 packs of sugar. That’s a lot!  Another great thing is to add up how much money you spend on sugar sweetened beverages each week, month or year. Those fancy coffee drinks can add up fast!  This amount of money might surprise you and it also might encourage you to switch to water.” – Nicole T.

Make a decision. “You must make a conscious decision to change. If you do not really want to go off of soda and sugary beverages… then you probably won’t. Be serious and act like you are already disconnected from it. When you make this mental shift, it will be much easier.” – C. J.

Find alternatives. “The key for me was to find another healthier beverage to take the place of my daily soda. I really liked drinking sparking water with a squeeze of lemon in my cup. I got the fizz without the sugar. It was hard in the beginning but now it I don’t even think about it.” – Terry G.

It is all about the substitutes. “For one week, substitute one can of soda with your healthy alternative. Do this for two weeks, then add another substitute. After following this pattern for 10 weeks, you will be off soda!!” – Bobby L.
Stop buying it. “If you don’t buy it, you are not likely to drink it.” – Greg P.

Water!  “I require myself to drink the amount of water equal to the amount of soda I am going to drink first, before I allow myself to drink the soda. This automatically reduces the amount of soda I drink because it makes me feel fuller and less likely to drink more soda. Plus it is a great way to get in some water drinking.”  – Laura S.

No refills! “Don’t go back and fill up your cup with more beverage except for water.” – Ken P.
Try out these ideas for yourself and let us know how it goes. If you have other ideas for weaning yourself off those sugary beverages just email us at gethealthy@snhdmail.org

Rethink your drink….to save your teeth!

As the consumption of soda has increased, so have the oral health problems. Soda has become the number source of tooth decay for people of all ages. The acid and sugar by-products in soda soften tooth enamel, eventually leading to cavities. And your tooth enamel is the main defense against nasty things like plaque, tarter and decay. It’s all about protecting that tooth enamel. Anything that weakens tooth enamel is going to be an issue in the long term. We often think of diet as a healthier substitute but when it comes to your teeth there is no difference.

Even citric acid (which is the acid in most non-cola soft drinks) is damaging to your tooth enamel. So this means sports drinks, “clear” diet sodas, diet fruit drinks etc. — they all have the same negative effects on your teeth. So whether its diet or not, carbonated or not…these drinks can have damaging effects on our teeth.

One important recommendation to prevent tooth loss and improve oral health, limit the amount of soda you drink. Substitute soda with healthier alternatives, such as milk or water.

Spoil your kids not your food!

It’s summer! Time for family picnics and barbeques. Unfortunately, summer is also a time when we see a spike in food poisoning incidents. Bacteria multiply in the hot weather and cases of foodborne illness rise.

The CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) suffer from foodborne illness each year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths annually. There are some steps you can take to keep your family from getting sick:
 Clean: Clean kitchen surfaces, utensils and hands with soap and water while preparing food.
 Separate: Separate raw meats from other foods by using different cutting boards.
• Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer.
 Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly.
Enjoy your picnics and BBQs, just make sure they’re food-safe! For more info check out http://www.foodsafety.gov/

Healthy alternatives to sugary beverages

If you find it hard to make the switch to stop drinking soda or other sugary drinks, start slowly. When you opt for a sugar-loaded drink, choose a smaller size. Limit the amount of times you choose to drink these beverages. Don’t add sugary drinks to your shopping list. If you don’t have it at home, you won’t be as likely to drink it. There are plenty of healthy and tasty alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages. Here are some alternatives to sugar- loaded beverages.

Healthy Drink Alternatives:

  • Watermelon Delight - Blend 1/2 cup diced watermelon with 1/2 cup water, strain pulp, and add a lime slice.
  • Citrus Light - Cut up oranges, limes, and cucumbers, place them in a pitcher of water for 2 hours, strain and serve. 
  • Grape Sparkler- Mash a handful of sweet grapes into a bowl, pour juice into a glass and fill to top with seltzer water.
  • Lite Lemonade - Mix juice from 1 squeezed lemon with 1 cup water, then add a few drops of honey for sweetness.
  • Watermelon Lemonade - Puree 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon with juice from 3 lemons and pour over ice.
  • Fresh Fruit Cooler - Blend 1/2 cup ice, 3/4 cup sugar-free sparkling water, 1/3 cup melons or berries until slushy. Garnish with mint leaves or citrus slice.
  • Tropical Smoothie - In a blender, puree melon chunks or peach slices with fat-free (skim) milk, crushed ice, and a touch of ginger or cinnamon until smooth.
  • Add a twist of lemon or lime (or a little juice) to seltzer water
  • Unsweetened Ice Tea
  • A slice of cucumber or raspberries added to water (subtle, but refreshing)
  • A mint leaf or two (”bruise” them a little to release the flavor)
  • A lavender flower or other edible flower
  • Sugar free drink mixes often come in single serving and make it easy to pour into a water bottle

Watch ways to whip up some healthy drink alternatives http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRQmTy2EDTU


How many calories should I eat each day?

Typical nutrition advice encourages us to eat less and exercise more but what does eating less really mean? How do we know that we are eating less if we don’t know exactly how many calories we should be eating in the first place? Knowing how many calories your body needs each day is the first step in managing your weight. Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. The number of calories your body needs is impacted by things like current weight, age, gender and level of physical activity.
A person’s Estimated Energy Requirement (estimated number of calories you need to stay alive)  is determined by three factors: Resting metabolic rate (RMR), Physical activity and Thermogenesis (calories required for heat production).  A fancy equation using these values helps to estimate how many calories we need each day. Lucky for us we don’t have to get out the calculator to figure out our Estimated Energy Requirement (EER); the Mayo Clinic has made it really easy for us. Click on the link below and enter your age, height, weight and gender. This will give you an estimate of the number of calories you should be consuming each day.

Calorie balance is like budgeting money. If your EER is 1800 calories, then you have 1800 calories to “spend” for that day. Making “smart purchases” can help stretch those calories throughout the day. If you want to “earn” more calories do some physical activity and add to your budget. The important thing is to keep a balanced budget.

Soda Free 4th of July!

Resist the urge to guzzle down a fizzy sugary beverage and reach for something refreshing like ice cold water this holiday. Keep up your Soda Free Summer pledge!  

What’s the largest source of added sugar in the American diet?
It’s not candy. It’s not ice cream. The USDA has warned that the major sources of added sugars in American diets are sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), like sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks. SSBs are beverages that contain caloric sweeteners and could be one of the following: soft drinks, soda, fruit drinks, punches, sports drinks, tea, coffee, energy drinks and sweetened milk. Sugar sweetened beverages are a large contributor of added sugar in the diet of Americans. The large amounts of calories consumed are impacting the obesity trend in America.    

How To Tell Whether Your Drink Is Sweetened?
Sweeteners that add calories to a beverage go by many different names and are not always obvious to anyone looking at the ingredients list. Some common caloric sweeteners are listed below. If these appear in the ingredients list of your favorite beverage, you are drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage.

•High-fructose corn syrup, Fructose
•Fruit juice concentrates
•Corn syrup
Coffee drinks and fruit smoothies sound innocent enough. Fruit makes it okay, right?  Not exactly.  The calories in some of your favorite coffee-shop or smoothie items may surprise you. Check the store’s web site or in-store nutrition information of your favorite coffee or smoothie shop to find out how many calories are in different menu items. And when a smoothie or coffee craving kicks in, here are some tips to help minimize the caloric damage:

At the coffee shop:
-Request that your drink be made with fat-free or low-fat milk instead of whole milk
-Order the smallest size available.
-Forgo the extra flavoring – the flavor syrups used in coffee shops, like vanilla or hazelnut, are sugar-sweetened and will add calories to your drink.
-Skip the Whip. The whipped cream on top of coffee drinks adds calories and fat.
-Get back to basics. Order a plain cup of coffee with fat-free milk and artificial sweetener, or drink it black.
At the smoothie stand:
-Order a child’s size if available.
-Ask to see the nutrition information for each type of smoothie and pick the smoothie with the fewest calories.
-Hold the sugar. Many smoothies contain added sugar in addition to the sugar naturally in fruit, juice, or yogurt. Ask that your smoothie be prepared without added sugar: the fruit is naturally sweet.