Angie, I hope it has been a good week. I know that you are still waiting for the results from your scan. We have all been thinking and praying for you each day. I know Heavenly Father is totally aware of what you are going through and he understands your pain, anxiety, and worries. I know he will help you, whatever the results that are given to you this week. We all have faith that you will be healed, if it’s his will, and be able to stay on this earth as long as possible. Love you sister!

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One of the great Halloween memories of the youngest four kids. Angie is the cute pumpkin in the photo.

I thought I would talk about beverages. I know that soda pop was a big staple in our home growing up. You rarely saw my dad without a Diet Pepsi in his hand. We would always drink orange juice every morning and we loved to get refills from Waremart of the fountain drinks every week. Many of our family are still addicted to certain drinks and juices. It hard to find some other options that can fill that need, especially if your not a big water drinker. Here are a few things to consider when choosing what is best to drink.

Juice– one little word-SUGAR. The average child between 4-8 years old consumes 7 x more than the recommended maximum daily sugar allowance. That is around 21 teaspoons of extra sugar a day! 14-18 year olds take more than 5 x the recommended allowance- a whopping 34 teaspoons. Adults consume less than the American teenager, averaging 22 teaspoons a day, that is still 4x the amount we should be consuming every day. Approximately 50% of all that sugar comes from beverages. We are literally drinking ourselves to obesity and disease as a nation. Sugar can also block the absorption of calcium and magnesium and can cause chromium and copper deficiencies. It can also restrict vitamin C absorption.

soda Includes:

1.Sugar
2. High Fructose corn syrup
3. Caramel color which causes hyperactivity in children.
4. Phosphoric acid
5. Artificial flavors-MSG
6. Sodium benzoate, possible carcinogen.
7. Brominated vegetable oil
8. artificial sweeteners
9. calcium disodium
10. High levels of acid, which erodes tooth enamel. Most soda has a ph level of 2, which is one hundred thousand times more acidic than a neutral ph of 7. I see this every week as a hygienist, especially in Utah. There is “mountain dew mouth” as we call it, everywhere.

There are more I could add to the list because soda actually depletes you of micronutrient so you are worse off after you drink one. Carbonation isn’t really the problem, which I always thought growing up. Carbonation does not leach calcium, harm teeth, or cause damage to your stomach like all of the other problems with soda. So, if you can buy carbonated water and add lemon or limes to it, maybe a little Stevia, then you could have a great drink. There is one soda that I found that is called Zevia. It is probably the best choice I could find if you really want a soda substitute. It is GMO free, no phosphoric acid and sweetened with Stevia. There is also a probiotic drink that is good called Kevita Coconut Sparkling Probiotic Drink. It has four strands of live cultures and is organic. It is also sweetened with Stevia. You can always order these drinks on-line if you can’t find them in the stores.

Juice-It is not a good idea. Juice without its covering or the fruit can quickly become a high-calorie, high-sugar, insulin-spiking beverage that just doesn’t satisfy you like eating the whole piece of fruit with all its fiber. I would avoid all juices, and yes even for kids. They don’t need any extra sugar added to their diets everyday. Have an orange instead of orange juice. Just think it can take 20 oranges to get 8 oz of orange juice, that is the sugar from 20 oranges instead of just from one and no fiber to slow down the insulin spike.

Sports Drinks-Do not get deceived thinking that these are healthy options. They are nothing more than soda with extra caffeine and a few micronutrients added in. (that your body doesn’t absorb anyways)These have some of the same problems I already listed with soda. Stay away from them and just drink water. You can add 1 tsp of a good quality salt, like Himalayan or Real Sea salt in your water and it will hydrate you better than any sports drink could. Also, coconut water is a great alternative, but you need to check the label and make sure they didn’t add sugar or other additives to the coconut water. Two great brands of coconut water are: Harmless Harvest Coconut Water and Vita Coco Pure Coconut water, unflavored.

Avoid “diet” everything and “sugar free” unless you know it is sweetened with Stevia or Xylitol. Remember that artificial sweeteners account for neurological symptoms like dizziness, seizures, depression, breathing difficulties, and weight gain. Some studies have linked it to cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis. Aspartame contains methanol, which converts to formaldehyde- yep, the same stuff used to embalm the cadaver’s I worked on in college. This should be avoided at all cost.

Really if you can learn to love water or flavor it with lemons and limes than you are saving your body from ALOT of unwanted additives and money. You can buy sparkling water if you love the bubbles and add some fresh fruits or cucumber slices to it. Stevia has different flavored drops to add some variety to your water. It is just a great habit to get in and work on.

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