The Truth Behind Artificial Sweeteners

You probably know the negative health effects of eating too much sugar, especially “added sugars” like in soda/pop, candy, baked goods, and many commercially-available cereals, just to name a few.  Added sugar is hiding just about everywhere in the grocery store. Yes, ingesting refined sugar spikes your blood sugar and insulin, and increases your risk for a whole host of issues. A while ago, one of the food industry’s responses to the demand for lower-calorie foods that still taste great, was artificial sweeteners. The idea behind them is that you can still get the sweetness, without the calories; like when you have a “diet soda/pop” versus a regular one. Theoretically, this was going to help people maintain a healthy body weight, and hopefully not increase anyone’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, or obesity. But, it doesn’t always work out the way we think it will… Types of artificial sweeteners Sugar substitutes fall into several categories, but what they all have in common is that they have a sweet taste and fewer calories than plain sugar. Today we’ll specifically discuss “artificial sweeteners,” which are synthetic chemicals where a tiny bit tastes …

Raw vs. Cooked – Which Contains More Vitamins and Minerals?

Let’s finally put an end to the debate of raw vs. cooked. Of course, in the grand scheme of a well-balanced, nutrient-dense, varied, whole foods diet, the cooked vs. raw debate isn’t that critical for most people. Where this can become a consideration is for vitamin and mineral deficiencies (or “insufficiencies”). These may be due to digestion or absorption issues, or avoidance of certain foods (due to allergies, intolerances, or choice). And I’ll tell you that the answer isn’t as simple as “raw is always better” or “cooked is always better.”  As with most nutrition science, it depends on several factors. Some vitamins are destroyed in cooking, while others become easier to absorb (a.k.a. more “bioavailable”). Here is the skinny on vitamins and minerals in raw foods versus cooked foods. Foods to eat raw As a general rule, water soluble nutrients, like vitamin C and the B vitamins, found mostly in fruits and vegetables, are best eaten raw. The reason why is two-fold. First, when these nutrients are heated, they tend to degrade; this is from any heat, be it steaming, boiling, roasting, or frying. Vitamin C and the B …

What is the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load?

Glycemic this and glycemic that. Does it matter? You’ll notice that they both begin with “glycemic.” That’s one tip that they have to do with sugars and carbs. Not only how much sugar is in foods, but more importantly, how it affects your blood sugar levels. In general, diets that are high on the glycemic index (GI) and high in glycemic load (GL), tend to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. FUN FACT: Starches like those in potatoes and grains are digested into sugar; this is because starch is just a bunch of sugars linked together. Digestive enzymes break those bonds so that the sugars become free. Then those sugars affect your body the same way that eating sugary foods do. Glycemic Index (“how fast”) The most common of the two terms is “glycemic index” (GI). As the name suggests, it “indexes” (or compares) the effect that different foods have on your blood sugar level. Then each food is given a score from 0 (no effect on blood sugar) to 100 (big effect on blood sugar). Foods that cause a fast increase in blood sugar have a high …

May Membership Interview – Brandi Mazesticeon, Success Coach, Best Selling Author

I’m so over the moon happy to bring you this month’s interview with Brandi Mazesticeon, wellness advocate, success coach, energy healer and international bestselling author. Brandi started out as a pre-med student in college yet was struggling with her own deep health issues and a toxic marriage.  She used her personal experience with healing herself to help others.  Her experiences launched her on a path to not only help others heal physically but to also show them how healing internally can have a broad affect on their life and business. Today along with healing work and wellness, Brandi is the owner of several businesses.  She is a success coach at BM Coaching, www.brandimazesticeon.com (IG: BrandiMazesticeon) helping business professionals, entrepreneurs and corporations reach their full potential. She also owns Maze Apothecary, www.mazeapothecary.com (IG: mazeapothecary), a conscious living brand that provides natural, organic products for the body that focuses on healing, empowerment and positivity. Brandi discussed her book, a NY Times best seller, You Already Have It: A Survival Guide to Life (sold at Amazon: http://a.co/byibrIW)  She explains how the book was created to help people dig deeper into understanding how to realize what’s holding …

Water – How Much Do I Really Need to Drink?

Water is essential for life. You can only survive a few days without it. And being hydrated is essential for health. I could argue that water is the most essential nutrient of them all. Water is needed for every cell and function in your body. Water is a huge part of your blood; it cushions your joints and aids digestion. It helps stabilize your blood pressure and heart beat. It helps to regulate your body temperature and helps maintain electrolyte (mineral) balance. And that’s just a few of its roles. Dehydration can impair mood and concentration and contribute to headaches and dizziness. It can reduce your physical endurance and increase the risk for kidney stones and constipation. Extreme dehydration can cause heat stroke. So, water is critical for life and health. But, just as way too little water is life-threatening, so is way too much. As with most things in health and wellness, there is a healthy balance to be reached. But, there are conflicting opinions as to how much water to drink. Is there a magic number for everyone? What counts toward water intake? Let’s dive right in. How …

Can’t Meditate? Here are 9 Other Ways to Break Free from Stress

I know! Meditation is the secret sauce to take your wellness up to the status of the elite gurus. It’s the “be all, end all” for the health of your entire mind-body-spirit. It’s the absolute must-do that is the only path to beating the infamous health-buster called “stress.” Don’t get me wrong; practicing meditation is an excellent approach to optimizing your health and overall well-being. Meditation is great for relieving and dealing with stress, and all of the issues that come along with it. But it’s not the only way to get there. The whole purpose of meditating is to calm the mind and emotions and relax our physical body too. And there is always more than one way to get there. Let’s talk about some of the other things to try if meditation is not exactly your thing. Journaling Spending some time every day writing out your thoughts can help to relieve stress. You can use journaling to list the things you’re grateful for, this is known as gratitude journaling. You can use it as a “brain dump” to get all of your thoughts and ideas out of your …

April Membership Interview – Tiffiny Fambro, Women’s Fitness and Health Speaker, Trainer and Coach and Creator of Build Body Wealth

April is my birth month and so I decided to interview myself! Yes, in this month’s membership interview, I explain how I always knew I was meant to work in the health field.  Helping my grandparents through critical illnesses led me to going into pre-med in college.  After realizing being a doctor was not for me, I switched over to psychology and found my sweet spot. I eventually used my love of people, health and human behavior to get my Master’s degree in Public Health Education.  My education taught me so much about the mind, the body, disease and disease prevention, as well as how to create effective programs that positively impact communities and individuals In this awesome interview I also share how my personal struggles with weight, depression and a difficult marriage, led me to fitness.  It was this journey that opened a door for me to live my best life.  Finding fitness gave me a sense of freedom and joy that I had never felt before and gave me the courage to leave my unstable, toxic marriage. From that space of freedom, courage and love, I create Build …

How Do I Know if I Have a Leaky Gut?

“Leaky gut” is a popular topic in the health and wellness spheres these days. It’s been blamed for many symptoms and conditions that seem to be all-too-common. Allergies, intolerances, joint pain, even autoimmune diseases can all be linked back to leaky gut. But what exactly is leaky gut? What causes it? What kinds of issues are related to it? And most of all, what can you eat for leaky gut? What is a leaky gut? Simply put, your “gut” (a.k.a. “intestinal tract”) is a tube that makes up part of your digestive system. It’s not as simple as a hose or pipe; it’s an amazing tube made of live cells tightly bound together. Your gut helps your body absorb fluids and nutrients, digests your food, and houses billions of friendly gut microbes. It’s also selective to what it allows past its barrier. Your intestinal tract purposefully keeps some things from being absorbed, so they pass right on through to the other end to be eliminated as waste. You don’t want to absorb many harmful microbes or toxins into your body, right? FUN FACT: About 70-80% of our immune system is …

Ladies Night Facebook Live Party Where Fashion Met Fitness

Last year in November, Build Body Wealth partnered up with Morgan Wider of www.widerstyle.com. Morgan is a fashion consultant, teaching women how to increase their self-esteem and confidence through fashion. In this Facebook Live event, we invited everyone to watch us live as we discussed different types of style for women on the go.  Whether you’re are a business woman looking to jazz up your 9-5 wardrobe or a stay at home mom wanting to add more adult clothing to your closet. She gave some great tips and ideas to add more spice to your fashion life.  I also contributed some strategies around preparing for holiday eats.  Even though that was for Thanksgiving, many of you may be preparing for Easter and still need tips around how to feast without going overboard.  Many of the tips in this segment will help! Lastly, we discussed how fashion and health are so intertwined with women’s self-esteem and confidence.  We both are in completely different industries but we both agree that we must use our platforms to encourage women have more self-love, joy and happiness. Enjoy watching the video here: https://youtu.be/9AspWr_w6X0 on my …

Ketogenic Diet 101

The ketogenic diet is a very low carb, very high-fat diet. It has recently gained a lot of popularity in the wellness sphere because of some of its health benefits. A ketogenic diet has been shown to help some people lose weight (yes, even with high fat). It can also help improve certain health conditions, like epilepsy in children. Read on for some of the lowdown on how it reprograms your metabolism (for “ketosis”), and whether or not it’s something for you to consider. What is “ketosis?” Carbs (sugars & starches) are the preferred fuel for your brain and muscles. They use carbs first, whenever they’re available. This is why maintaining stable blood sugar can affect your attention, mood, and energy level. However, when very low amounts of carbs are available for fuel, your body starts making compounds known as “ketones.” These are your body’s “backup fuel.” And your body makes them from fat. Ketogenic literally means “the generation of ketones.” After a while being on a diet very low in carbs, your blood level of ketones increases. This is the metabolic state known as “ketosis.” It’s the same process …