Monday, April 16, 2012

Resisting (Soda) Pop Culture

I have often heard that cutting down on sugary drinks and drinking less pop was the "easiest" and quickest way of losing weight. I believe that people who said it meant that they saw a big difference in their weight when they stopped drinking pop (and since they were actually able to do it, it was easy), but is it really that simple to just stop? Since I was never a fan of cola or sprite, it wasn't an issue for me to substitute these sugary drinks for water, I just did it and that was it for me; however, I'm sure many people out there have trouble making the switch to drinking water. Fooducate posted a nice article recently explaining the reasons of why one should stop drinking pop, so check it out (source). The only problem, there were no tips on how to actually wean yourself off sugary drinks (which was actually the title of the article), so I'll try and do it here:
1. If you find yourself gravitating towards the cola in your fridge whenever you are thirsty, stop buying it! If it's not there, you can't drink it! Drink water instead. It is easier said than done and will take time to get used to drinking water instead of pop, but eventually you will get used to water and it will feel like water is the only drink that can hydrate you.
2. If you mostly drink pop at work and school, leave your spare change at home so you won't be tempted to buy a drink from a vending machine.
3. Tell everyone around you that you are not drinking pop anymore. By telling others, you are making the decision more concrete and real and thus harder to revert back to drinking pop. As a result, you'll feel more accountable for your actions.
4. Try flavoured water (home-made). For example, squeeze a lime into seltzer water (or club soda) with ice; it will taste similar to sprite (alternatively, you might want to try adding orange or pineapple juice to club soda/seltzer).
5. Reward yourself every time you decide to skip the soda; Put aside a dollar or 50 cents every time you crave it and don't give in to the craving. Get yourself something nice once you have collected enough money (preferably not food related, unless it's a salad :) ) You'll probably also realize how much money this habit is costing you, which will  make you want to stop even more!
6. Have a fruit every time the soda craving hits. Your body is most likely looking for a sugar source-give it a fruit instead.

Be patient with yourself. Not many people can go cold turkey and kick the habit right away; if you do end up having more pop than you'd like, don't give up! Try to substitute with better options (water being the best) and let your body readjust to drinking only water. It will get easier with time!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Good Kind of Cinnamon Challenge

I'm back with another post on foods I love; I've been temporarily absent for awhile from the blog realm and am very happy to be back!

Do not be fooled by the title of this post-I am not about to advocate for the Cinnamon Challenge, I'm actually going to advocate for cinnamon itself. If you have never heard of the Cinnamon challenge, here is a link which will explain it in detail. But please do not try it at home (or anywhere else for that matter)!

Out of all the foods and powders people could have picked for this bizarre challenge, cinnamon is a pretty good choice, only because of its health benefits.

1. Cinnamon has been linked in helping people with Type-2-Diabetes control their blood-sugar levels. Have a teaspoon of cinnamon in the morning on your hot/cold cereal, in your yogurt, or any breakfast meal. It will stabilize your blood sugar after "fasting" all night.
2. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Cinnamon has been found to have anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties (thus is sometimes considered as a natural food preservative!).
4. Cinnamon is an excellent source of magnesium, fiber, iron, and calcium.
5. Just by smelling cinnamon, it may improve our memory (so even if you don't like eating it, you can still reap some benefits just by smelling it!)
6. Cinnamon has been found to be able to lower LDL cholesterol
7. It has anti-clotting effects

Just because cinnamon (or any food) has many benefits, it doesn't mean you should be eating it all day every day. It could irritate your stomach or skin, or even act as a blood thinner, so be sure to consult your doctor if needs be. 

Don't be afraid to experiment with this amazing spice; It could be used to spice up soups, meat dishes, chocolate, and is amazing in almost any baked goods (I wouldn't encourage you to eat cinnamon rolls as they are really high in fat and sugar, but you could always attempt to make your own healthy version!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Here's for Hoping That Coke And Pepsi Are Not Pulling A Prank On Us!

I just read an article (read full article here) that said that Coke and Pepsi are planning to cut down sugar from colas by 30%! I'm very shocked at this revelation and will definitely need to read more about this before I actually believe it! I'm still thinking that this is another April Fool's prank...I hope this is real because this mean that "these two companies will be reducing close to ONE TRILLION CALORIES from the annual US intake. That works out to about one pounds of body weight per year for every American!" That's huge! I still firmly believe that no one should be drinking soft drinks but the truth is many people do, and if cokes have less calories, that's a bonus! Although, it might be beneficial for  consumers NOT to know about this change; Once they find out cokes have less sugar, nothing will stop them from drinking more of it!