Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Throwback Tuesday: Milk Alternatives

Ok so maybe Throwback Tuesday really isn't a thing, but I'll blame it on my ripe old age of being in my late 20s. Anyways, I was looking back through some old blogs and found one of my favorites that is still pretty relevant. What is this blog about you ask? Well my answer to this is embedded in this riddle (because old people love riddles). What do cows, soybeans, almonds and rice have in common? MILK! Without further ado, check out this oldie, but a goodie on milk alternatives...

What do cows, soybeans, almonds and rice have in common?

Well I am off to go drink my prune juice and live the...

Until next time!

Keep it Fresh,
Keep it Green,


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sports Drinks

Dear Diary,

My name is Beth Mack. My parents are Mark and Judy of Ohio. Whoever reads this, make an attempt to get this to them. Today marks the 12th day of the Charlotte heatwave and it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. I have been putting in a lot of effort to stay cool, but my boss insists that I come to work and make the treacherous trek from the parking deck to my office while wearing my business casual clothes and risk dehydration. Sometimes I feel like I am just going to shrivel up during this journey. I have been sweating a lot and have an insatiable thirst. I can’t stop thinking about how good a sports drink or water would be. But then my inner health nut comes out and I think to myself, “Should I be drinking a sports drink?" I am not sure if I should, but I do know that all I want is to be this dog...

Ok so maybe I am being a tad dramatic, but it at least makes for an entertaining intro right?!? Anyways, I wanted to talk about another one of my pet peeves today, which is sports drinks.  

History of sports drinks
Before I jumped on my sarcastic soap box, I wanted to give you all a little history lesson to help me get my point across. I am not sure about the history of other sports drinks, but I do know that Gatorade was in fact developed at the University of Florida for the athletes on their football team to help with hydration, energy, and to help with recovery post workout. Not really sure about the exact story behind it, but my guess would be something along the lines of this...

What’s in sports drinks?
Well, mostly water but also sugar and electrolytes. The sugars help replenish your energy stores that you use when you exercise. Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, etc) help your body function normally and are present in sweat.  Unfortunately, when you sweat a lot you lose electrolytes. If you are curious about this whole sweat thing, check out Gatorade’s website for more info.

Should I drink a sports drink?
Sports drinks are designed for athletes that have you have completed a workout of moderate to vigorous activity for 60 minutes or longer. Now the terms moderate to strenuous exercise tend to trip people up a bit as well. Prancercise...

...does not count as moderate to vigorous exercise. Think more along the lines of running, cycling, playing soccer or football or basketball, hiking, etc.

PSA: Softball and baseball do not count either

Well what about coconut water?
Luckily for you, I have already talked about coconut water in a previous blog. For those of you who do not feel like clicking on that link, here are the cliff notes:
  • If you actually need a sports drink, coconut water is a good alternative
  • Lower in sodium, which could be an issue if you happen to be a marathoner or ironman person
Breaking it down
Sports drinks are designed for people who are doing moderate to vigorous exercise for 60 minutes or more. The only other time there is some benefit to consuming them is when you have had some serious and extenuating GI distress or if you have been outside for an extended period of time doing some serious sweating. By drinking sports unwarrantedly, you may as well just be drinking a soda; it isn’t going to help you any. In most cases, plain old water will do just fine. Should you be drinking a sports drink just because there is a torturous heat wave outside? No. Should I have to work in this torturous heat wave? No...

Until next time!

Keep it Fresh,
Keep it Green,


Tuesday, June 16, 2015


One of my pet peeves as a Dietitian is juice. Everybody thinks its healthy. I mean look at this picture for crying out loud…

Unfortunately, just about all juices are not made that way, and even if they were, juice still is not the best decision.

Why are you so ant-juice Beth?
Well I am glad you asked, I just need to get this off my chest. My disdain for juice can be summed up in one infographic…

Yes, 100% juice does contain natural sugars, which is great,  however, your body cannot differentiate between the two. To the body sugar is sugar.

Another common thing that keeps me up at night is people drinking juice in place of eating fruits and/or vegetables. Why you ask? Well, I just covered the whole sugar piece as to why this may not be the best idea, but the other big things that jumps out at me is the lack of fiber. Ah yes, everybody's favorite nutrient. Riddle me this, what keeps you fuller for longer drinking a glass of orange juice or eating an actual orange? (The correct answer is eating an actual orange) One of the reasons for this is because of the fiber found in the actual orange, which is removed when juice is made (unless you take your oj extra pulpy), helps with satiation (say-she-ation).  

Well what if I want to drink juice?
That’s fine, everything in moderation. Here are some things to look for to make your juice drinking decision a little healthier:
  • Look for 100% fruit juice. Note: this will require you to actually read the label not just look at the pictures on it. Case in point:

Fruit drink and fruit cocktail is essentially fruit flavored water with tons of sugar added to it...the equivalent of soda or pop for my Midwestern friends. Yes, 100% fruit juice does contain some nutrients that soda does not, but it is not going to dramatically improve your health.

PSA: Juice cleanses
Here are my sentiments on juice cleanses…

Essentially this is a giant waste of time and money. Your body has a thing called a liver and not one, but two kidneys that “cleanse” your body of toxins.

Breaking it down
Not saying that you should never drink juice, but just be mindful that it does contain calories. Does it come from fruit? Yes, the 100% kind sure does. Does that make it "healthy"? Well, Ketchup comes from tomatoes, does that make it healthy? Not sure about you, but I don't see anyone (willingly) drinking ketchup. Anyways, I prefer not to drink my calories; rather I like to actually eat food and feel full. Again, moderation is key and NEVER drink OJ after you have brushed your teeth. Until next time!

Keep it Fresh,
Keep it Green,


Monday, June 1, 2015

Is sugar addictive?

I spent Memorial day weekend with my family and was fascinated with my nieces abilities to manipulate my dad and I into giving them anything with sugar in it...it didn't take much arm twisting to convince my dad aka pawpaw. You want some sprinkles in your pancakes? Sure! I mean you do make a good point, it will definitely make them look prettier. You want marshmallows AND whipped cream in your hot chocolate? Well you are just a little culinary genius aren't you! I have been doing it wrong for years!

By far the most entertaining was our visit to one of those DIY froyo places. I didn't know if my youngest niece's eyes could have gotten any bigger.  Her reaction was along the lines of this...

She was definitely in a sprinkle-froyo induced sugar frenzie and feeling good! She was running around trying to steal her sister's froyo despite still having plenty left in her bowl. Note: She was more successful when she practically jumped across the table to snag a bite from her sister's bowl. Anyways, all this got me to thinking, why are kids, and adults for that matter, so sugar crazed?

Obviously, it has been well documented that eating too much sugar is not a good thing for that girlish figure you may be working on or your overall health. There have even been some studies/headlines that compare sugar to drugs such as cocaine in its addictiveness properties. Is sugar addictive? Yes. Is sugar as addictive as cocaine? No. However, if you are a dork, such as myself, and are curious how sugar affects the brain and why we love sugar so much, check out this TedEd video...

Breaking it down
Keep your inner Buddy the Elf at bay...

But don't deprive yourself if all you really want is a doughnut...

My nutrition motto is everything in moderation. Well I am off to send my nieces a huge container of sprinkles. Until next time!

Keep it Fresh,
Keep it Green,