Monday, October 1, 2007

Everyday Essential #4: Healthy Family and Children Don't Need MSG!

Do you ever wonder why as you begin to make choices to eat , nutritious foods you still crave the addictive and unhealthy ones?

I know exactly the way you feel. I have found myself addicted to
processed and prepared foods even the ones that were labeled to be a healthier choice. It's like my taste buds and appetite could be satisfied with no other choice. I thought, "How will I ever begin to crave the foods that won't harm my body and not the ones that do?"

Then throughout my personal study and research on foods and nutrition I discovered a truth that literally set me free from the vicious cycles of food addictions. I began to learn about food additives and what impact that had on my food. There are many additives that are in most processed or prepared foods but the one additive that I became most aware of is MSG(monosodium glutamate).

Until recently, within the last couple of years, many people would associate MSG with only Asian foods. I thought the same thing. But the truth is that MSG can be found in 80% of prepared and processed foods, even foods that are labeled to be health foods.

Food manufacturers add MSG to their foods as a "flavor enhancer." You will find it in cookies, crackers, baked goods, infant formula, baby food, soups, sauces, spices mixes and virtually anything else processed or prepared.

Many people may not recognize this by reading the labels of the food because MSG has been disguised by many different names. Here are a few (not limited to these)

  • Autolyzed Yeast

  • Yeast Extract

  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

  • Malted Barley

  • Rice Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup

  • Gelatin

MSG is an excitotoxin, which means that it overexcites yours cells to the point of damage, thus acting as a poison. It also overexcites your taste buds leading to a damaging affect on your sense of taste. That is why when you have been foods with MSG over a period of time your taste buds mostly crave foods that are unhealthy. Your body is really craving whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds but your taste buds want the "flavor enhanced food."

The dangers of eating foods with MSG are that they cause you to crave more of them. Thus, you begin to overeat unhealthy foods which can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood sugar imbalances.

The dangers of MSG are most concerning in regards to children. Most all of the foods that are marketed to children contain MSG. A child that is fed a diet laden with MSG may possibly be more susceptible to child obesity, adult diabetes, eating disorders and such.

To learn more about the dangers of MSG check out or check out this link below from

The Shocking Dangers of MSG You Don’t Know You probably already knew that MSG could damage your brain cells, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

It's hard to imagine that so many of the foods that your are used to buying and eating are laden with toxic chemicals. I encourage you to start reading the labels and if in doubt don't buy it. Stick with the foods that nature intended. The foods that are whole and natural, not processed. You will be amazed at how your cravings change and the way you feel as you begin to eliminate these unhealthy convienence foods.



Sunday, September 30, 2007

Everyday Essential #4: A Healthy Family and Children Need To Play and Exercise!

Exercise! Please don't talk about exercise! I know what you are thinking all of you moms and dads with families and responsibilities. You are saying, "I really don't have time to , I am way too busy and way too tired!" Well just to let you know I am writing to myself in this blog too because I think those same exact things. I really do make all the excuses in the world as to why I can't exercise. However, I'm not growing younger and the time is now to show my children how to have a lifestyle.

Doctors recommend that everyone get moderate exercise 3-4 times a week for 30-60 minutes, including children. As for your that does not mean they are to go out and jog for an hour or lift weights. They can get their exercise simply by going outside to . Kids seem to finds ways of burning off their energy when you get them outside. What is even better is to go outside with them and you get your exercise at the same time. Exercise is for everyone because the only way to maintain optimal health is by activating it by moving your body!

Some of the important benefits of everyday exercise or moving our bodies are:
  • Increased circulation of blood and oxygen to our cells, body tissues and organs
  • Increased lung capacity
  • Strengthening of muscles and bones
  • Stimulates the lymph system to facilitate detoxification
  • Stimulates metabolism
  • Enhances digestion and elimination processes
  • Helps to prevent cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol
  • Increases mental clarity
  • Overall sense of well being
  • Decreased hyperactivity in children
  • Helps to prevent obesity, weight control issues and diabetes
  • Reduces stress

One of the best and easiest ways of exercise that I love is rebounding. What is rebounding you may ask? It is basically jumping on a mini trampoline. It is easy because it doesn't have a negative impact on your joints and it can be done at any level of fitness. I feel that it is one of the best ways to exercise because it is so effective.

Rebounding can reduce body fat, strengthen and tone all of the muscles of the body, provide an aerobic workout, improve balance and coordination(which is great for growing children), and rejuvenates you when you are tired. When you are jumping on the mini trampoline your body is working with gravity to cleanse and oxygenate your tissue cells, which in turn lightens the load on your heart. Rebounding helps your body rid itself of toxins and metabolic wastes by pumping your lymph system.

No matter what your fitness level you can start with just the "health bounce." Basically you bounce on the trampoline without lifting your feet off of the mat. But no matter what exercise you choose to do you can always start out slow and work your way up to more moderate to intense exercise.

As the Nike commercial says "Just Do It!" Just make it something fun and enjoyable that you can stick with. You will soon find that everyone in the is much happier!


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Eveyday Essential #3: Start Your Day With A Healthy Breakfast For Your Family and Children

Okay, let's get off on the right foot everyday with our essential uplifting affirmations and the right fuel for our bodies to function at the highest possible level.

Eating a breakfast will give your the best chance for optimum balance in their bodies and balanced eating through the day. Studies have shown that skipping breakfast leads to slower reaction times, more prone to accidents and being more likely to struggle with weight. School age children that skip breakfast have greater chance of increased hyperactivity, irritability, anxiety, disruptive classroom behavior, tardiness and decreased ability to concentrate and solve problems.

The benefits of a healthy breakfast are decreased chances of fatigue and sleepiness in the mid-morning hours. It also helps to banish the blues, improve concentration, increase alertness and to function more efficiently. Also calories that are eaten earlier in the day are more effectively utilized.

So what is a healthy breakfast? Well you want to make sure that you are fueling your body in the morning but that you are also fueling it with the right types of food. What you don't want to do is fuel your body with foods that are going to leave you feeling more sluggish, bloated, irritable, etc. Those foods to avoid are the ones that are mainly simple carbohydrates. That is danishes, pastries, many sugar-laden cereals, and baked goods made mostly of white flour and sugar. Simple carbohydrates will send your blood sugar soaring, triggering an over release of insulin, the hormone that carries glucose into storage. This surplus of insulin results in too much glucose being taken out of the blood. Thus, sending blood sugars crashing making you feel lethargic, unable to concentrate and possibly sick to your stomach.

Here are some suggestions for healthy breakfasts foods that won't send you crashing an hour later.
  • Low fat yogurt (I suggest Cascade Fresh-not sweetened with high fructose corn syrup! Stay away from that!) Add some low sugar granola or wheat germ and some fresh berries.
  • Whole wheat English muffin topped with a poached egg, cheese and tomato slices
  • Whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter, banana slices and raisins
  • Cooked oats with dried fruit, nuts and seeds (I like to sweeten mine by cooking with a banana or adding a little agave nectar)
  • Breakfast smoothie made with plain low fat yogurt, frozen or fresh berries, bananas, flax seeds and/or hemp seeds, and a few tablespoons of coconut oil.
  • Or simply some fruit and nuts or seeds.

When you are buying cereals and breads read the labels! A lot of so called whole grain, healthy cereals or breads will be sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, 3+ different sugars or artificial sweetners. So try and pick cereals and breads that are very low in sugar. Stay tuned for more posts on the things you see on labels to avoid, like high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners!

I hope that this has helped you to look at breakfast in a new light! Be blessed and have a wonderful start to a wonderful day!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Everyday Essential #2: Uplifting Affirmations For Healthy Family and Children

Do you ever wonder how you can go through a whole day complaining about this thing and that thing and at the end of the day you are not feeling any better or maybe even worse? Let me tell you, I have had many days like that. I start out with waking up tired, sore and not at all ready to face the day, my kids or my responsibilities. Most of the time on those days I end up accomplishing nothing. I am stressed out and I can't wait to go back to bed. Not to mention my kids are more whiny, unhappy and stressed out themselves. There is absolutely no harmony in a day like that.

There is good news! We all have the power to change the tone and atmosphere around us simply with the words that proceed from our mouths. It is called or "words of life." We actually have within us the ability to speak words that either bring life or death to our daily life and to those around us. The bible speaks of this very thing. In the book of Proverbs you will find many metaphors in regards to the power of our words. Proverbs 18:21 says "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." In other words whatever it is that we delight in speaking about that is what will begin to manifest in our lives. Proverbs 15:4 "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit."

When we are speaking words of life, healing and encouragement everyone benefits, even you! As you begin to to think about the words you speak to your consider if they will tear them down or build them up. Ironically, when you speak words that uplift others they will also uplift you at the same time. Declaring life and uplifting affirmations begin to transform you by building up your spirit. In each of us there is life and amazing gifts that can be released by the very words that we speak.

Here are some "positive affirmations" or "words of life" you can declare everyday!
  • Today I speak life over myself and my family!
  • I am a life giver!
  • My children are full of joy and life today!
  • My family is a blessing!
  • Today I live with joy and I have joy!
Unfortunately we live in a world today where all you hear are words that tear down and destroy. You are the one who can make the difference!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Everyday Essential #1: Fresh Air and Sunshine For Healthy Family and Children

I want to share with you the that I have found important to being a . The first everyday essential is getting outdoors to breath in fresh air and soak in a moderate dose of sunlight.

As everyone knows we need oxygen to live and without it we would not exist. Well the best way to take in that oxygen is by breathing in the fresh air outdoors. When indoors, we are most likely breathing in air that is stale and contaminated. Most items found in the home or office contain nerotoxins, carcinogens, and reproductive or developmental toxins. Things like household cleaners, air fresheners, paint, curtains, carpets, rugs, drywall, etc. Over the last 10 years scientists have discovered that the levels of safe exposure to toxic chemicals are much lower than thought before.

I will have a future post that will go into much more detail about having a healthy home. I will talk further about what particular items are very toxic and alternatives to them.

Getting outside with my children is also very important for the fact that it's fun! It's a great way to release some energy and get our bodies moving. We love to go on walks and see what new creatures we can find or what fun imaginative games we can play. We just moved to a little country town in NC from Puyallup,WA about 5 months ago. So for us, this is a whole new adventure! We have discovered the most amazing array of bugs and creatures here! My children love to go outside because they are not confined to certain boundaries that get old quickly. I have found that children are not really looking to have the latest and greatest all the time. What they really are needing and wanting is for their parents to enjoy being with them and appreciating who they are.

One fun outdoor activity we recently discovered, made up by one of our friends, is a game called "Big Ball Soccer". It can be a bit of a rough game, depending on who is playing, but a lot of fun. This game isn't intended for really small children, but if you have older ones they'll love it. My four year old didn't quite like it but says when he turns 5 he will. What you need are two teams, count doesn't matter, one of those big exercise balls and a flat grassy area. Set a goal on two opposite sides using whatever is available. The object is to get the ball through the goal on the opposite side by carrying it, bouncing it, throwing it, or any other method. It is fun for adults too! You pretty much make up your own rules. A good way to make getting out and running around a lot of fun!

On to the next important reason to get out in the sun everyday. Getting 10-15 minutes of sun exposure (UV rays) everyday or several times a week (void of sunscreen) is the most efficient way your body can make vitamin D. Why is that important you ask? Well vitamin D is essential in aiding the body to absorb calcium for strong healthy bones, preventing disease, supporting the immune system and healthy cell reproduction. Experts suggest if you want to use sunscreen, wait to put it on after 5-10 minutes of sun exposure. Your body is able to begin making vitamin D within those first 5-10 minutes of exposure. Studies show that the use of even a sunscreen of 8 SPF can reduce your skin's ability to make vitamin D by almost 95%. So sun in mild doses is good!

Tomorrow when you wake up plan to spend sometime outside enjoying God's amazing creation and the wonderful family He has blessed you with!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Journey To Healthy Family and Children

My journey to and living actually began before I ever had a of my own. As a child I struggled with food addictions and weight issues that continued into to my adult life. I was walking in intimidation, fear, worry and doubt. Consequently, I used food as a way of comfort and escape and thus had continual weight issues. Through this struggle I obviously became very frustrated with the unhealthy way of eating and living that I was stuck in. It wasn't until 1996 when I went to massage school, that I started to become educated about the human body and ways to become healthy. Though I didn't make choices for healthy eating and living then, it exposed me to alternative ways of thinking about my health. From then I began to read and research about health and nutrition. Step by step I made better choices along the way to have a healthy life.

In 1997, after graduating from massage school, I began my 10 year career as a massage therapist. In order to encourage my clients to take care of themselves I needed to take care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I needed to exercise regularly, eat nutritiously, fellowship and build relationships with others, spend intimate time daily with the Lord and speak words that bring life. Although my journey to a healthy way of eating and living is still a work in progress I continue to press on through the good times and times of struggle.

I have been married now for 9 years and have two ages 41/2 and 2. Many of you may understand how much effort it takes to have a healthy family and children. It is not an easy task and will always be a continual work in progress. I feel that there is always room for improvement in our lives. Though I am not an expert, I hope with my life experience and background to share with you some information that may begin to change your life. I believe that our purpose is to encourage and edify others. If you have life experiences that would be encouraging and edifying to a healthy life I would love to hear from you!


"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear.." 1John 4:18