How Much Sugar Are You Eating?

by Dr. Heather Manley on October 25, 2014

You just might be surprised with how much sugar you are actually eating in one day; sugar is hidden in a lot of foods. It just might be time to become a more aware of what you are eating on a daily basis… be your own food detective.  Overindulging in sugar leads to many negative impacts on the body: chronic disease, diabetes, obesity, inflammation, heart disease and much more.

A Few Reasons to Avoid Sugar

1. No nutrients.  Actually sugar robs the body of nutrients in order for it to be processed in the body.

2. Suppresses the immune system.

3. Creates inflammation in the body.

My Personal Discovery

I decided to go into my kitchen and see how much sugar we have hidden around. I also began to wonder about where I use or add sugar? Okay, so here goes, the naturopathic doctor is going to be completely honest with you. This is what I discovered.

1. I put a dash of sugar in my coffee every morning.

2. My one food weakness are cookies.  Although, I do bake my own and will at any craving moment, bake a patch ( these ones mostly because they are so easy.)

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3. Bar of dark chocolate.

4. Hot cocoa mix (this has a lot of sugar) even though it is organic.

5. Nutella ( kids love this; anyone have a healthy alternative recipe?).

6. Nutritional bars.

Below are a few items that many households have that they must try to remove…

Soda pop

Solution: Do not keep have it in your fridge. It’s loaded with sugar, all types, so save it for treats. Or better yet, find a healthier alternative (Perrier with sliced oranges?)

Breakfast cereal

Solution: I am amazed at how many kids eat cereal. My first thought is to check the label and choose cereal wisely. Second, add some extra color like blueberries and lastly, add some protein, like nuts, which will help stabilize blood sugar.

Ketchup and spaghetti sauce

Solution: Again, check the labels, as the brands will definitely vary. Ketchup, in particular, is loaded with sugar. If you are up for it, try to make your own. Make big batches and freeze them.

Frozen foods

Solution: Pizza is the most common frozen food. It’s quick, easy and usually satisfying, so I get it. However, to make pizza dough requires very little time and it easily freezes. I like to have frozen dough available because it allows everyone to design their own pizza or, if preferred, make a calzone.

Store bought baked goods

Solution: There is nothing better than having a homemade cookie or muffin straight out of the oven. Make a plan and spend a rainy day inside your kitchen and bake away. Once done, you can freeze all your goodies!

Be well,

PS CrAzY! Sugar Trivia: the average person eats about 2 to 3 pounds of sugar a week.

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The Top Five Ways to be Healthier, Everyday

by Dr. Heather Manley on October 18, 2014

What did you have for breakfast? Or did you have breakfast?

I recently read that up to 40% ( including kids) do not eat breakfast. Please don’t be a part of that statistic! It’s truly the worse way to begin your day. After a peaceful night of sleep, where the body did some restoring and detoxifying, breakfast provides energy and nourishment that allows you to be alert, focused, productive and creative.  Breakfast will also set the tone of how your mood will be for the day. Everyone wants to feel great and be healthier and what better ( and simple) way to achieve this than to eat breakfast.

My tip: Start blending away, and make yourself a fruit smoothie. You can add a lot to that smoothie ( think protein powder, flax seeds, maybe a nut butter) and its simple, fast and nutritious.

What’s in your glass?

I hope water!

Unfortunately, many people are not hydrated, although, they believe they are. When bottled water came to the market, people began drinking more water but with the introduction of flavored ( hence sweetened with sugar) water, it became the new favorite drink. This sweetened version may possibly contributing to chronic diseases – obesity and diabetes.

My tip: Keep yourself hydrated. If plain water doesn’t please you try infusing it with lemons, oranges or cucumbers, or even drink iced herbal teas. The golden rule is to drink half your body weight. If you weigh 100 pounds, then drinking 50 ounces of water.

What colored your plate today?

Every time you serve yourself a meal, think color. Colorful whole ( not processed) foods are loaded with vitamins, nutrients and phytonutrients – all of which allow our bodies to function optimally. We all want to be as healthy as possible, and this is truly a very easy and fun way to do that!

My tip: Shop the periphery of the grocery store and look at all the colorful whole foods. Make a stir fly with them and serve over brown rice.

Where do you buy your supplements?

I’m not big into supplements but I do use them…daily. I do a lot of rotating  to make sure that I am getting all nutrients needed in my diet especially when I am not feeling so well; however, not all  companies provide good quality supplements. When I see a patient for the first time, I asked them to tell me what supplements they are taking; I have had patients walk into my office with a bag full their daily vitamins, minerals..well, you name it. Most of these supplements are purchased at big box stores for very little money. I do get it, why buy a $10 supplement when you can buy it for $5.00? However, the quality of a professional grade supplement is going to be far better. There is much research done with quality ingredients that will provide a therapeutic dose to help you get what you need.

My tip: Talk to your doctor about getting a good supplement program that is individualized for you. It will save you money and keep you healthier.

Who is your doctor? Not you, I hope.

Although, I promote being proactive in your health, I do not advise people to self diagnose and self prescribe. It’s very easy to browse through the internet: looking at pictures, listening to lung sounds and reading about symptoms; however, it is best to always consult with your doctor if you have any symptoms that seem unusual. A doctor will listen to you, run tests and work with you to find the cause of your health concern.

My tip: Set up a time and go to your doctor to discuss your health. Make a plan of action with them to determine what to do when you are feeling sick: cold or sore throat and know when to call when something more serious is going on. It’s wonderful to have a good secure relationship with your doctor before you get sick.

Be well,

PS Oops, I foot one very important thing! Exercise … just move! All it takes is a 30 minute walk after dinner .

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