Archives for July 2014

A Matter of Individual Choice

Label-apple-cookies“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”
― Albert Einstein

A Matter of Individual Choice

I was hunting and gathering the other day and right at the entrance of one of my favorite foraging grounds was a whole pallet of these cookies (little devils) for only a buck a bag. So I consciously made the choice to waste a dollar in order to create this image.

The cookies look like a good deal to your genetic programming for survival; take the calories when you can because you’re never quite sure when you’ll find another berry patch. Additionally, just to survive, you’ll have to kill a deer with your bare hands today and then fight off a saber tooth tiger just to hang on to your booty.

Right about now you are thinking, “this author is being facetious” – (read a smart ass). I prefer facetious but will take either if I’ve made a point. For most of us, these calorie hoarding survival machines we call our body will be stuck at a desk for 8 hours, then in traffic for an hour, then in front of a television for a couple more hours, give or take a couple. Therein lies the problem – no saber tooth tigers giving you a work out. So intellectually, it doesn’t make sense to take the extra calories, but the hunger biologically is still there.

It’s that biological hunger that the food companies and marketeers use to their advantage to create a profit for their corporations at the expense of your health and wallet. They justify the design and merchandising of these processed foods by propounding the myth as fact that all calories are equal and that how many calories and individual consumes and burns is a matter of individual choice.

Really, your choices aren’t as broad as you might think. Ten giant corporations control ninety percent of the food in America. But you still can make the choice to control your own personal environment, thereby limiting your exposure to biological temptations and pitfalls.

For this example, choose to walk past the pallet. There are two obvious problems with the bag of cookies. First there are seven servings in each bag. ‘bet you can’t eat just one. Secondly there is zero dietary fiber which means the sugar will hit your system fast, raising your insulin levels and driving the calories to fat. It’s the survival mechanism, storing energy for leaner times. However the leaner times never come. Not in America.

Now consider the apple;more filling, full of micro and macro nutrients, 116 calories (‘bet you only eat just one), 23grams of sugar tempered with 5.4 grams of dietary fiber to slow the absorption of the sugar allowing your body to use it for energy rather than being overloaded and having to store it as fat.

The choice is simple, isn’t it?

It will take a lot of public and political will before the food companies change their ways. However if you woke up this morning and aren’t satisfied with your appearance and health. Maybe your energy is low or the type 2 diabetes is starting to take it’s toll. It’s not hopeless, there are answers.

You set your health as a priority today as a matter of individual choice by getting educated, changing your environment and getting coached. It’s not as difficult as you might think. Try it for a month and see what you can do.

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Nutrition Facts

sugar in orange juice“Education consists mainly of
what we have unlearned”
– Mark Twain

Nutrition Facts

One of the first things you should notice (in the image on the left) is that the Committee On Divine Design didn’t feel the need to put a “Nutrition Facts” label on the orange.

Next, I have a question for you. You’ve probably noticed that the orange juice has over twice the amount of calories and sugar than the original, but what’s missing from the “All American” breakfast beverage?


Fiber, both soluble and insoluble work together in the intestine to slow the absorption of sugar (and carbohydrates), and therefore allows your insulin levels to remain in a healthy (non fat storing) range.

If you want a sugar buzz, and don’t want a Coke first thing in the morning, have a glass of orange juice. But you’ll have to be willing to endure the “crash” afterward, once the pancreas and liver do their jobs. By the way, as I understand it, fructose (fruit sugar) and alcohol go through a similar metabolic process in the liver. So drinking the OJ is similar to having a beer or shot of vodka, only without the buzz. After I made this photo, I poured the OJ down the sink because given the choice, I’ll take the vodka.

sugar in cokeSpeaking of Coke, I bought a bottle and made a photo of the “Nutrition Facts” label.  (When Coke first came out, I think it was served in 6oz bottles and maybe people would have one a week – not so bad.) Anyway, there’s 65 grams of sugar in a 20oz serving of Coke now a days. After I made the photo, I gave the bottle to a friend. Hmmmmm…. Maybe I’m a lousy friend.

Speaking of sugar, how much should one consume on a daily basis? The World Health Organization is dropping its sugar intake recommendations from 10 percent of your daily calorie intake to 5 percent. For an adult of a normal body mass index (BMI), that works out to about 6 teaspoons — or 25 grams — of sugar per day. But if you go by the Iowa normal BMI (35) you could raise the intake to 30 grams.

As parents, my wife and I didn’t believe in feeding our children cow’s milk. (That was our choice, but it drove her parents crazy and they’d sneak the kids a glass of milk when we’d visit. Oh well, they survived both our parenting choices and the grand parents meddling.) We did make sure they had calcium and vitamin D in their diet. As new borns we used breast milk, and after that healthy foods and goat’s milk when we could get it. As an adult, I’ll start drinking milk when I see a cow drinking milk (my choice, not a “fact”). As far as I know, only calfs drink milk. But that’s beside the point. Feel free to feed your kids milk if you like, but here are a couple more nutrition facts.

label-chocolate-milkThe low fat white milk has 11 grams of sugar (lactose) along with 8 grams of protein while the chocolate milk has 28 grams of sugar. When you do the math that’s 17 grams of added sugar. Another way to look at it is a glass of milk plus 5 oz of Coke. I wonder if this has anything to do with childhood obesity?

My intention was to title this blog the “5 breakfast foods you thought were healthy but aren’t”, however I’m already over 500 words and that’s about where I like to end it. To be continued though…

Feel free to “Speak Your Mind” at the bottom of this page. I enjoy hearing your thoughts – pro or con.

If you or someone you know is struggling, or just simply hates the way they look and feel, and have failed with diets and life-style changes, maybe coaching would help.

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Serious and committed candidates can enroll for a free coaching session and added materials.
  • Your confidential comments for the coach. (To comment on the article publically, leave your remarks in the "Speak Your Mind" box below.)