Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions: Making 2013 the Best Yet

New Years. The Time of Festivities, Fun, and Watching the Big Ball Drop on TV...Oh, and Resolutions. 

For the people who want to see a difference in their bodies in 2013 and the years to come -
Each year, people always talk about resolutions. As a young adult, I've noticed more and more often how short the lifespan of those resolutions are. For instance, I've heard of people saying: "I'm not going to eat any sugar!" or, "I'm going to go to the gym 5 days a week!" And when the regular gym-goer goes to the gym the first week of January and it's packed, and then they go the next week and it's not nearly as packed, it is really just sad. Unfortunately, a lot of these goals that seem great and easy to do (at first) are just not accomplished. Learn how to make the best of your resolution and how to make it into a habit by reading below.

     To get to the root of the problem - it is the lack of motivation. It is going to the gym during the first week all ready to go, and then quitting the second week because it's too hard. It is standing in the kitchen with those warm chocolate chip cookies and eating five of them when you swore to yourself that you'd only eat one. And it is waking up early the first few mornings to go to spin, and then not seeing any results a few days later so you give up.
     I have learned throughout my young adult years that if you want to see and make a difference for yourself, you have to be self-motivated. No, it is not solely the trainer that will help you change your body, but yourself. And unfortunately, getting up to go to spin or body pump early in the morning is not easy at all. It is not supposed to be, but that's what makes changing your body so amazing. Whether you are trying to lose 20 pounds or just trying to eat better, the journey is tough yet so rewarding.
    To those of you who want to lose weight this year, truth is, you will not see results at first. Losing weight the hard way (eating better, exercising) is not a fad diet that makes you lose 20 pounds each week. And remember also that diet and exercise come as a pair. If you want to see a difference in your body, you need to do both. Contact me if you'd like guidance and/or advice!


  • Work out with friends who also want to lose weight, eat better, etc.
  • Talk to a nutrition consultant about better food habits.
  • Make working out a hobby. Try fun group exercise classes! You will never know if you actually love it if you never try it!
  • Buy healthy cook books.
  • Act now.
  • Motivate yourself.
  • Develop mental toughness.
  • Don't expect immediate results.
  • Don't be afraid to go to the gym.

     As cliché as this is, do not make 2013 just another year where you quit in the first two weeks trying to reach your health goal. You have to start somewhere - don't wait until later to meet your goals. Later will never happen. Make 2013 the year where you change your body for life for good. It won't be easy. It won't be fun. Do it for yourself and for your family. Be a happier and a healthier person. Healthy eating and exercise is a lifestyle - a fun one at that!

Again, don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions or want help!

       With Love,
            Caroline R.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Nutrition Journey - Story, Personal Temptations, Stuff I've Learned, and Advice

Okay so I was thinking...some of you might be wondering why I randomly started blogging about nutrition a few months ago. Also about why I'm so passionate about it all. 

And NO, what I do is NOT called a "health kick" or "health crusade." Healthy eating is a way of life! 

If you want to read my story followed by my every day junk food temptations, things I've learned, and advice, continue below:

     All right, here I go. So during my junior year of high school (I am a senior now), I was obsessed with food. And I don't mean like "Oh, yeah, I love food so much," I mean like "I LOVE FOOD SO MUCH." I guess you could say that I was like head-over-heels for food. For instance, if any of you know what the Chuy Gooey is at Chuy's (if not, Google it), I could down that thing all by myself with two baskets of chips, plus eat a plate of salty quesadillas. And if any of y'all have ever had the deep dish pizza at BJ's Brewhouse, I could eat a medium dish (which is HUGE) on my own easily. Every time I ate something bad for me, like those two meals, I would use the common phrase: "Oh Caroline, it's just this one time. You're skinny anyway and you went up some stairs today, so you're all good." The problem, though, is that I said that every, single, time. I didn't care that I was consuming too much sodium and fat. I didn't care that I was feeling more tired and miserable every day because of what I ate; all I cared about was how good the food was. But it was that one day during class when my favorite teacher went on what she calls a "rabbit trail" - a divergence from the discussion - and she talked about the meat industry and really just the way the American food system works today. What my teacher said really intrigued me. Heck, it FREAKED me out. As soon as I got home that day, I started researching because I was a little skeptical. Come to find out, she was completely right on everything. From the way most meat is processed in this country to the additives, artificial colors, and preservatives put in processed foods to make it last longer, all of what she said was exactly true! I was scared out of my mind. It was at that moment when I decided to take action and change my eating habits for good. 
     I went extreme and became a vegetarian. However, I approached it all the wrong way. For instance, instead of eating like a yummy sandwich on Ezekiel bread with spinach, tomatoes, organic cheese, and hummus for lunch (what I eat now), I would eat the generic bread everyone buys with a slice of processed cheese on it. I considered that healthy because there was no meat on it (As the months have gone by, I have obviously learned what I should and shouldn't eat). As I've continued to research, I've realized that nutrition is my passion. To be honest, every time I see or hear the word nutrition, my head pops up in excitement. Also, I have a folder on my Mac called "Heath and Nutrition," and right now I have around 110 saved pages in it about healthy eating. And yes, I am aware that most people think I am crazy. :)

My Temptations
     BUT, what people don't realize about what I do is this: Eating healthy foods is EXTREMELY difficult for me sometimes. Again, to be honest, every single day of my life I struggle with wanting to eat junk food. This is especially hard being in America but I try not to consider that an excuse. I mean, come on - who doesn't love some Nutella or some Oreos? And who doesn't crave ice cream every single night of their life? I certainly crave all that stuff. Whenever I am at a get-together at someone's house, it takes all of me, and I mean ALL OF ME, not to eat the whole plate of chocolate chip cookies on the counter. I'm totally serious if y'all don't believe me! The thing is, people think that I hate junk food and that I think it is gross. This is true in some cases - Cheez Its make me want to throw up...and those heart-attack Hot Pockets? Heck no. "Caramel?" I'd rather have a needle in my eye. But, do I believe that junk food is okay every once in a while? Sure I guess, but not excessively. What I'm most definitely not saying is that we should say over and over again, "Oh, just this one time." The truth is, like I said earlier, we'll just keep saying that. 
     To those of you who have read some of my previous entries, especially "Rethink Yolo," one of the points I tried to make is that food is supposed to heal us, fill us with the proper nutrients, and so on. Junk food does the opposite.

What I Have Learned

  • Eating healthier has completely changed my life. I am more fit (my stamina and strength have increased exponentially). I am a happier person. When I get sick (which is not often at all, knock on wood), I am usually completely fine by the next day or two. 
  • The earlier you or your child starts eating healthy, the earlier you'll start developing better eating habits. 
  • I have fallen in love with going to the grocery store (especially FRESH by Brookshires or Central Market in Dallas) and buying cool, healthy foods. It's so cool to experiment! You never know, you may discover a recipe you love.
  • You just gotta be open to change. In other words, don't be afraid to buy healthier options, even if your friends or and family don't want to try it.
  • = one amazing website! There are so many unique and tasty ideas to try!
  • Zucchini and squash together is so good.
  • You may be spending more for healthier foods but in my opinion, it's worth every dime.
  • Everything in moderation.
  • I gag at the thought of processed foods.


  • If you eat processed meat (such as the cheap and generic pre sliced kind or like the cheapest brand at the store of steak, chicken, etc. that isn't organic), I HIGHLY recommend going organic (Message me for details if you're curious as to why).
  • If you want to start changing your eating habits (unhealthy --> healthy), take baby steps. Start with buying more fruits and vegetables. Also try buying whole grain bread (I suggest Ezekiel bread - it's the BEST!). Don't do an extreme switch. Research and learn!
  • Cut the amount of red meat you eat.
  • If you are trying to eat more healthy (especially for those of you who are trying to lose weight), treat yourself to a meal once or twice a week that is unhealthy so you won't go completely crazy! :)
  • For those of you who live in a town with a Whole Foods, Central Market, or for those of us Tyler people with FRESH by Brookshires, there are certain brands of cereal that are a lot healthier, such as the Ezekiel, Nature's Path, and Heartland brands.
  • Drink lots of water (this especially applies to me...I don't drink nearly enough!)
  • Instead of Ranch dressing or all of those other dressings with really high amounts of sodium or fat, try Balsalmic Vinaigrette!
  • Looking for a great chip brand that is corn-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, delicious, and that you can use with all dips? Try Beanitos! They're incredible. I can testify. :)
  • Reduce the amount of junk around the house. Aka, detoxify your pantry. If you want help, hit me up
  • Google some fast, easy-to-make meals for you and your children to take to school and work! 
  • When around a plethora of junk food at a party, limit yourself. You'll gain mental toughness! Trust me on that one.
  • Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup/Corn Syrup.

I hope y'all learned from my story, temptations, the things I've learned throughout my journey, and advice! Let me know if you have any questions. 
     ~Blessings, Caroline

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Personal Hygiene - The Truth Behind Hair, Skin, and Oral Products


  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate 
Polyethelyne Glycol
Propylene Glycol
Cetylpyridinium Chloride

Do you know what these are? If not, continue reading to find out what you are using for "personal hygiene" that come from hair products, skin products, and mouth products.

     Okay, so if you haven't gotten the memo, this blog entry is about external hygiene products. And I know you're probably thinking, "FINALLY, an entry about something other than eating healthy!" But see, the thing is, personal health and wellness extends beyond food - it includes these external products as well. 
     Unfortunately, there are just so many products out there - food and hygiene - that contain harmful ingredients that we don't know about. It's not that most of us KNOW about these chemical ingredients in our products and then choose to ignore's really that we haven't been educated and informed about them! And no, I'm not saying you need to go all-natural and organic (okay, I have to admit that I have, but that doesn't mean that you necessarily have to, too, if you don't want) or anything. BUT, my goal out of this entry is for your eyes to be opened to the reality that your hygiene products may not be the safest.
     So we all know the popular shampoo brands such as Pantene, Fructis, and Herbal Essence, the skin products such as Cetaphil and Clinique, the deodorant products such as Secret and Suave, the lip products such as Carmex and Lipsmacker, aaaaand the mouth products such as Crest and Oral-B. However, have you ever looked at the ingredients? I know, weird. Most people don't pay attention to the ingredients because come on, it's shampoo, face wash, deodorant and toothpaste! It's not like you're eating the stuff, so what's the big deal? That, however, is the common misconception. Yes, you may not be ingesting it, but these chemicals ARE absorbed through your skin, swallowed, accidentally rubbed in the eyes, and so on. 
     Am I calling these brands bad? No, but am I trying to highlight the fact that some of the ingredients used in their products are in some ways? Yes. For example, the sulfates - sodium lauryl, ammonium lauryl, and ammonium laureth - aren't necessarily the greatest of products. Studies have shown that Sodium lauryl sulfate, unfortunately, is linked to organ toxicity, irritation, and mutations. Taken from, though, it's not so much the one-time use of a product that can cause these things, but rather "it's the gradual, cumulative effects of long-term, repeated exposures that are the real concern." And that is exactly right. Again, the problem isn't the one-time use, but the long-term use. 
    Let's discuss parabens. In my opinion, parabens even sound scary. used a quote as well from that said: "Parabens can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt functions of the endocrine system." There was also a study conducted in 2004 that linked parabens to breast cancer. Please note once again that all of these chemicals do not harm people in small amounts but in large amounts. The problem is that if you consider the amounts of these chemicals, whether through shampoo, skin products, and so on that we use daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, these chemicals are being used in rather large amounts.
    Also, let me tell you about Plyethylene glycol. Let me say it right out in front - According to, large amounts can cause diarrhea. It can also cause skin toxicity, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. What? I know.  
    I would continue listing the various chemicals and health concerns they bring but I think all of you get the point. Even though I'm not yelling at y'all to go "all natural and organic," I do hope that this blog really did switch on some lights and make you all think. To be honest, even though I don't "feel better" by using pure and organic products, let me say two things: 1) In all honesty, my skin is clearing up. 2) I know that I am going the safest route and protecting myself more from diseases and potential toxins.
    Ah, and to answer the "all-natural and organic question" that some of you may be thinking...
When I say that, I am talking about products without the use of harsh and dangerous chemicals. Safe brands to use are:
Shampoo - Avalon, Nature's Gate, Kiss My Face, Aloe 80 Organics
Body Wash - Aloe 80 Organics, Jasön, Alba
Lotion - Dr. Bronner's Magic, Nature's Gate, Avalon
Deodorant - Toms, Lafes, Nature's Gate
Chapstick - Dr. Bronner's Magic, Alba, Kiss My Face
Toothpaste - Jasön, Nature's Gate, Miessence
Mouthwash - Jasön, Riddell's Creek Organic, Toms



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Several Reasons to Go Organic

So, it's been a while since I last posted (thanks school ;D)...but this was really on my heart tonight. It seems kind of random that God would just "place something on my heart" about food, but it's true! 
You've seen at the grocery stores, on TV, in the newspaper, and on the internet that "this" or "that" certain product is "Certified Organic." Why should I go organic? Are there any health hazards for which I should be on the lookout? In this entry, I'm going to try to answer some of these questions to the best of my ability. Let this health journey continue!

Several Reasons to Go Organic
    First off, let me begin by defining the word "organic." According to, "simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones." Therefore, the food that you buy at the store that is "organic" is real, live, and fresh...basically it's the naturally grown foods.
Sooo, here are the reasons to go organic.
    1) You see that I have underlined the phrase "genetically modified organisms" up above. If you've never seen or heard of this phrase before, this is basically what it means. states that genetic modification "is a special set of technologies that alter the genetic makeup of organisms such as animals, plants, or bacteria." To me, this just sounds completely sketchy. In addition, GMOs can cause food allergies, possible mutations, and more. And, to be honest, it's unethical. Our foods are being stripped from their natural, live ways and being injected with stuff to make them live longer, taste better, and look better. Sounds familiar, right? (Think about it).
    2) Organic foods are better to buy because they do not have chemical toxins and pesticides. stated that "these chemicals are designed to kill other forms of life and you may very well be eating them." And this is totally true! 
    3) Going organic especially pertains to dairy. Conventional farmers inject their livestock with hormones and antibiotics to produce more dairy, fatten them up, and protect them from sickness. But how do these additives harm us, the consumers? a) Studies have shown that these antibiotics could potentially cause various types of cancer. b) Less toxins c) Non-organic milk is chemically and nutritionally different from organic milk d) No rBGH -- a genetically modified replication of the naturally-occurring hormone in cows. rBGH is contaminated and can make cows sick. EW!
    4) Organic foods taste better and are better for you. They are not genetically modified nor sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, etc. They are in their natural "element" and that is how they should be!
    5) Lastly, organic foods really DO help you lose weight. Why? Read this. clearly says that "the chemicals in non-organic foods can disrupt the endocrine system. One type of chemical called obesogens disrupts the function of human hormonal systems, leading to weight gain." Therefore, if you want to lose weight, go organic!

Additionally, the up-top healthy people have devised a list of foods to ALWAYS buy organic. They call it the Dirty Dozen. Here ya go (plus a few more):

1) Peaches 
2) Apples
3) Sweet Bell Peppers
4) Celery
5) Nectarines
6) Strawberries
7) Cherries
8) Pears
9) Imported Grapes
10) Spinach
11) Lettuce
12) Tomatoes
13) Domestic Blueberries
14) Kale, collards, and leafy greens
15) Bananas

Clearly, buying organic groceries is the way to go. Despite the extra dollars, buying organic foods keeps you healthy, doesn't mess with your body, and they taste amazing and nutritious. Thanks for reading! Hope you all enjoyed this one. I definitely enjoyed writing it up! And I hope that this went straight from my heart to yours.  ~Caroline 

If you would like to read more about going organic/how going organic helps you lose weight, read this!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Legumes, Legumes...

Legumes, Legumes, A Musical Fruit...

   ...And, you know the rest of the song...Anyway, here's the deal. Legumes, aka beans...we've all eaten them and we all like them, for the most part.  But what is it about beans that make them so healthy? You don't want to miss this blog entry! I'll be discussing the different types, health benefits, and how to prepare them!

   The Different Types and Some of Their Health Benefits?
-Lima: good source of manganese (which helps with metabolism); fiber 
-Pinto: vitamins and minerals; activating enzymes in the body; fiber 
-Green: good source of folates; no saturated fat; fiber
-Black: help the digestive tract; antioxidants; fiber
-Navy: low glycemic index; can help prevent cancerous tumors; fiber
-Kidney: good for diabetics; detoxifies sulfates; fiber
-White: Loaded with antioxidants; a good source of magnesium; fiber
-Garbanzo (Chickpea): vitamins and minerals; eases inflammation; fiber
And lots more!

   The Health Benefits in General?
   Certain legumes can lower cholesterol (the LDL levels - the bad ones), detoxify sulfates, and help with blood sugar. Plus, they're low in fat, high in complex carbohydrates (the good carbs), and they're a great source of protein. And, according to, "legumes provide B vitamins, which keep your nervous system healthy; folic acid, which prevents birth defects; iron, which keeps your circulatory system healthy; and calcium, which builds strong bones." Wow! I'd say legumes are pretty amazing for you, don't you think? 

But wait! You might be asking yourself...
   Are Canned Beans Okay?
   Canned beans are fine...however, they are high in sodium to keep them fresh longer (because they are processed and need to stay on the shelves). If you eat canned beans excessively, that is they could become a problem. Too much sodium can potentially lead to cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, just like dried beans, they are a great source of fiber and they are low in fat. Although I prefer dried beans because they taste fresher, canned beans in moderation are okay.

   How do You Prepare Beans?
   With dried beans, I found that this is a relatively simple way. At Fresh, the store I work at, we sell dried beans in the Bulk section and when you print out the price tag from the scale, directions are printed off on the sticker. This is what it reads: "Wash beans and drain. Cover with cold water. Discard floaters. Soak 4-8 in a cool place. Drain and add three cups of fresh water for every cup of beans. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until softer. Approx. 1 1/2 hours." Now obviously dried beans, these take a lot longer than out of the can. But trust me, they're full of nutrients with no sodium and they're simply delicious!
   With canned beans, you simply open the can and heat them up over a stove in a pan. Obviously, canned beans do not take as long.

Eat your beans, despite the...side effects... -C 



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Processed Foods: What's the Big Deal? Digging Deeper

   In the Words of Peyton's Mother, Leslie, from Dance Moms, 

"I'm Baaaaaack!" 

   All right, so I know that I got back some input for my next blog the other day on Facebook. And I also know that this entry will sound really similar to my first blog, "Rethinking YOLO." But this digs even deeper into the reality of processed foods. 

   A day later after posting my Facebook status about blog topics, I felt like this topic needed to be discussed first. I'll start blogging y'all's topics next time. And before I start, be careful about reading this! Not all of you will like hearing this stuff. Nevertheless, enjoy!

   Okay, so, processed food. What is the big deal? It's pretty looking, it smells good, and come on, it tastes good. With all of these great qualities and the media and society saying how great it is, it must be pretty good, and good for you. But wait a second, there's more to it than that. Let's continue.
   First off, I need to define processed foods. In general terms, "food processing is any deliberate change in a food that occurs before available for us to eat" ( So, really, food processing has been done to almost all foods we eat. But here's the dividing line. Food processing can simply be something that is done to a food, like being washed or pasteurized, to eliminate bad bacteria and things like that. On the other hand, food processing can also refer to foods that have been GMOd, aka genetically modified, enhanced with additives like preservatives, chemicals, and flavors, or packaged and ready-to-eat foods. You get the point. There is definitely a dividing line here! 
   See, the foods that are undergoing the processing in the second category are the ones that are bad for us. Here's why. When foods go through this kind of processing to keep the food fresh and good, they are being stripped away of their nutritional content because of the intense heating or cooling processes. Also, to take out the "bad fat and bad sugar" in food, foods are processed. And because of that, the food industry fills these foods back up with additives to make the food appealing and delicious to the consumers and preservatives to keep the food "fresh." Some of these fake additives include MSG, BHT, colors such as Yellow 6 and Red 40, and aspartame. These additives over time are toxic, people. They can cause cancer, chronic disease, etc. and so on. Wow.
   In addition to keeping food fresh and readily available, one of the reasons why the food industry does this food processing is because of demand. Our country is obsessed with more, more, and more. Here is an AWESOME quote that I found that digs deep on what I'm talking about: "Americans treat food as a source of immediate gratification. We want it tasty, we want it cheap and we want it now. To meet this demand, American manufacturers pump their food full of sugar, salt, hydrogenated oils, saturated fats, preservatives, dyes, artificial flavors, and a host of bizarre, unpronounceable chemicals that, if you saw them in their pre-processed state, you would never consider putting in your mouth. Our food is almost unrecognizable as food" ( Caitlin, whoever you are, you hit it right on the spot. This processed food isn't food. And that's the issue - Americans eat too much fake food and too little real food. And this is why us Americans are struggling so badly with our health.
   Let me leave y'all with one basic thing. Get yourself OFF of the bad processed foods. This means the chips, the twinkies, the canned meat...and others. You are only hurting yourself more. Get the fresh stuff that doesn't have all that added trash in it. God put all of the natural herbs, fruits, vegetables, and sprouted grains on the earth in the beginning for a reason. Embrace it! Instead of eating these foods that are harmful for you, eat the REAL good stuff. God didn't put these "man-made" foods like the chips, hot dogs, spam, and twinkies in the beginning for a reason! GO NATURAL!

If you have any questions, let me know. I'd be glad to answer whatever I can! Thank you all ~~ Caroline


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Proper Breakfast Meal

Wanna Know What to Eat for Breakfast? Read This.

   So, most of you know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It starts your metabolism and gets you going. But to get you going, it is important to know what to eat. Many of us Americans are busy with our lives and sometimes barely have enough time to eat in the mornings, and I completely understand that. However, my goal in this entry is help you with your food choices in the mornings that are quick and easy. Let's get started!
   First off, I need to clarify exactly why you should eat breakfast. 
Besides starting your metabolism, breakfast is really helps control your appetite for the day and helps keep you full longer. Breakfast prevents excessive snacking, especially in the morning when you're completely starving. Plus, with the obesity epidemic, eating breakfast can help you LOSE WEIGHT! Whaaaat? People who eat breakfast start their metabolism, tend to eat less calories during the day and also do less empty-calorie snacking. There's so many more reasons why breakfast can help you lose weight but let's continue.

Soooo, what exactly should you eat for breakfast?
a) Protein.
   Protein gives you energy for the day to help keep you going.
   Also, protein is full of amino acids, which are the main parts of protein and metabolism (hmm...there's that word again, which is a good thing). But says it better: "Amino acids that come from the protein you eat are the building blocks of your brain’s network." Therefore, protein keeps your brain and mind focused throughout the day and is essential for breakfast.

b) Carbohydrates.
   Wait, what? Carbs? Yes, carbs. And I'm not talking about the sugary-cereal carbs or the "breakfast pastries." I'm talking about the carbs that are high in fiber and come from good sources, like fruit or whole wheat bread. The good carbs are great sources of nutrients, energy, and fiber. Besides giving you energy and nutrients, fiber is a big one because it is good for you and fills you up.

"But I really hate breakfast. It's so boring!" Not with these yummy recipes and ideas! Here are some easy, quick ones.
1) Banana and a nut butter (i.e. peanut butter, almond butter, etc.)
2) Whole wheat bread, a nut butter, a thin layer of honey (to give it some kick), and strawberries on top (or bananas, or both!)
3) Oatmeal: Oats, milk, walnuts or any type of nut, any type of fruit(s), granola (optional)
4) Low sugar, whole grain cereal with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
5) Smoothies! This one's my favorite: 1 cup pomegranate juice, 1 cup milk/almond milk, 1 cup strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, 3-5 small carrots, and an optional 1 scoop protein powder
6) Whole wheat toast with with egg whites
7) "Burrito:" Whole wheat tortilla, spinach (optional), tomatoes (optional), cheese, bacon (if you're not a vegetarian ;)), egg whites
8) Plain Greek yogurt with granola and your favorite fruit in it
9) Fruit and a meat (a fresh, healthy, safe meat please ;))
10) Cottage cheese with any of your favorite fruits and nuts
NOTE: If you're wanting to eat a regular egg (not egg whites), make a poached egg. 

These are packed with protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. You'll be ready to go in the morning with these fun ideas. I hope this helps! Blessings to all ~

Friday, June 29, 2012

Beverages: Soda

Get the Inside Scoop on Soda by Reading This...If You're Brave Enough, Of Course.

   Everyone loves the sound of a fresh can of Coca Cola being opened and the quiet popping of the effervescence inside. Coke, being one of the most popular beverages in the country, as well as many others like Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Sprite, and Mountain Dew, are desired and chugged down by Americans. I mean, what's not there to like? You have the yummy taste, the effervescence, and the refreshing feel - but wait! With this deliciousness comes a lot of other things too...Although great-looking externally in the can, these sodas do a lot of damage to you internally. Therefore, in this entry I'm going to talk to you about the health effects that soda brings along secretly - as briefly as I can.

   How many sodas will you drink today? One, two, three, four? Ten? As I have said in my previous blog entry, with the exponential growth in technology throughout the years, man is finding so many new ways to change food up for more taste for our taste buds. Lots of foods are enhanced with flavorings, chemicals, sugars, and more. Well, hate to break it to you, but the same is done with soda. I know that the finished product of soda may taste delicious and refreshing, and that the flavor you like may become addicting. Aaand I also know the phrase, "but just one won't hurt." That may be true, but if you continue to drink soda your whole life as a child and throughout your teenaged years and adult years, even having just one a day can cause potentially serious health effects.
   First of all, studies are showing more and more that soda is one of the primary causes of obesity. Why? Because of the nutritional content. Having little nutritional value at all, soda is considered a drink with lots of "empty calories." I found a good definition of empty calories on "Calories from solid fats/and or sugars...add calories to the food but few or no nutrients." So therefore, what you are drinking is an empty-calorie drink. You are adding calories to your diet that you do not need. And because those calories have no nutritional content, you are, in fact, gaining weight! Another way you are gaining weight is through the chemicals in soda, aka obesogens. When obesogens mess with our hormonal systems, they can cause weight gain.
   Second, soda can potentially affect the cardiovascular system of the body. The refined sugar in soda "can elevate your triglycerides, a type of fat that, when there is too much, can clog your arteries and makes you more susceptible to heart attacks and strokes" ( None of us want that! The heart is supposed to keep us living. Also, the refined sugar increases the amount of insulin going in the blood stream, and way too much insulin can cause high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure,...the list goes on. Again, the chemicals in soda, when they mess with our hormonal systems, can also cause these same symptoms (heart disease, cholesterol, etc.). Wow!
   Well, how can you apply what you've read to your lifestyle? DRINK MORE WATER AND LESS SODA. Even cut down from three to two a day. Or two to one a day. And eventually get to the point where you can go without one for a day. It takes patience, but cutting down on soda is worth it. Life is too short to live an unhealthy lifestyle.

  So, I do not know if this convicted you in any way or just made you extremely mad, but I hope it got you thinking, even a little. Just thought I'd share my two cents on soda. Please, if you want to de-friend me on Facebook on unfollow me on Twitter, go right on ahead. I am just trying to change someone's lifestyle one person at a time. :)    --Caroline

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rethinking YOLO

   Okay, so I'm completely obsessed with nutrition. If you know me, then you know that. My goal as a teenager in an increasingly obese country is to use what I've learned about nutrition to educate others about what they're actually eating. You can hate me for that previous sentence if you'd like to and de-friend me on Facebook, but this is my passion right here - to change the diet of Americans one person, and one blog entry, at a time. I may not be the best writer nor the best communicator (and if you know me, you know that as well), but I am working on it. This blog entry is coming straight from my heart to a computer screen to change others' lives through nutrition. I began this entry around 10:00 pm. This entry is long, but kudos to you who are still reading this right now. Enjoy.
Rethinking YOLO
   What does your diet consist of? Mainly fruits, vegetables, proteins, lipids, etc.? Or of fast food, chips, and soda? (If you answered with "YOLO babyyy," aka fast food, chips, and soda, then I would encourage you to continue reading). As technology is advancing, researchers and scientists are finding newer and newer ways to modify foods to make them "taste better," especially for us Americans who crave a lot of taste. But, many of these American foods (that aren't fruits or vegetables) with a lot of savory flavor are not necessarily good for us in the least. In this rather lengthy entry, I'm going to try and help you, the reader, rethink YOLO and I'm also going to try my best to make you aware of the crazy foods and additives out there today. I'll try my best. :)
   So, I'm going to briefly discuss the "food" at these fast food restaurants. There's Chick-Fil-A, McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Dairy Queen, KFC, Braum's, Jack in the Box,...heck, probably more fast food restaurants than regular restaurants. Anyways, the "food" in these joints are filled with sodium, fat, preservatives, and refined sugar. The manufacturers do all of this to increase shelf life and to speed up the process of having the food ready for the customer, and to, obviously, enhance flavor (Philosophy: "More customers, the better!"). However, the additives (sodium, preservatives, refined sugar, and a lot more things) are the leading causes of America's growing obesity epidemic. These additives in our food increase blood sugar, pressure, and cholesterol, and the chance of heart attack. They make us gain excessive amounts of weight. Too much fast food has the huge potential to cause chronic disease and cancer. That is the exact opposite of what food is supposed to do for us! Food should provide the proper nutrients into our bodies for a healthy heart and the functioning of the body in general, not chronic disease and cancer. Do YOU want that lifestyle?
   Yeah, you might be thinking (or not)..."Caroline, I don't really care. Let's face it, if the food tastes good, I'm going to eat it. Chick-Fil-A and McDonalds are my lifeeee. YOLO baby!" But really, that is the problem right there! We are not caring about what we put in our bodies. We fill it with savory foods full of sodium, preservatives, and refined sugar that harms us. Think about it. Really think about what you are saying when you yell the phrase YOLO regarding food. (I have to admit, I was once bad about using YOLO regarding unhealthy foods, but not anymore). Is that YOLO really worth the potential health problems such as heart disease, obesity, and cancer? Eating the fast food, chips, and soda? Although it may seem good, you are killing your body by doing this. To me, YOLO literally means that You Only Live Once. Let me say that again. You Only Live Once. So then, why not save your life instead of slowly killing yourself with the junk foods and sodas that you consume? I am completely okay with sugar every once in a while, like some chocolate here and there, and, when I wasn't a vegetarian, a Chick-Fil-A sandwich if I was in a hurry, but all the time? That is only hurting my body worse. I do not want to live a shorter-lived life.
   Think about this. In the beginning when God created life, He didn't create McDonalds products, Burger King products, and contrary to popular belief, Chick-Fil-A products. In the beginning, God created real foods and liquids for us (His creation) - fruits, vegetables, water, proteins, lipids, and those odd letters that are on the periodic table of elements that keep our bodies running (the majority of them on there). For instance, I want to share a little bit with you readers about what I learned about iodine recently while at work. In trace amounts, this element is completely essential to human life. It provides thyroxin for your thyroid gland that helps control your basic metabolism rate. Also, researchers are discovering that it may be able to help prevent breast cancer. And it also helps with the reproductive system for men, but especially women. And you know what iodine is in? Lobster, salmon, soybeans, spinach, and many more foods - the natural stuff that God provided in the beginning. THAT is the good stuff. It is ALL there for us! The olive oil, the almonds, the cranberries, the sweet potatoes, the apples...yeah, healthy foods may not have as much savory, salty flavor as a McDonald's cheeseburger (I know they have some fancy name for it...), but think about what is better for you and your body in the long run. This life we live is about Only Living Once - survival in an obese and flavor-dependent country. So make the best out of your life here on earth with the foods that really matter - the natural stuff. What are YOU going to do? Remember, You Only Live Once!

I hope you enjoyed reading my rant. And I hope that this encourages you to change your lifestyle if need be. Thank you all ~