Caramel Color: Why it’s Still Legal

Surely I’m not the only one who has noticed that caramel coloring is STILL a huge problem in the food industry. Remember just over a year ago, the news broke that this food color (which is found in many sodas, processed foods, desserts…pretty much any processed food with a dark color it would seem) holds its commonplace on many a label. But why is it still on the market, and what is it about caramel coloring that caused such a scare in the first place?

According to The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) website, caramel coloring (which gives foods and beverages that brown, caramel-esque hue), is created “by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperature.” Two carcinogens, 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole, are produced as a by-product of this process. The CPSI reports that “government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats.”

However, WedMD reports of the FDA’s vastly different take on the carcinogenic properties of 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole. The FDA claims that more research would have to be conducted in order to confirm these two by-products as a danger and also explains that an outrageous quantity of caramel coloring would need to be ingested in order to pose ANY health risks.

The FDA further asserts that caramel coloring does NOT cause cancer. Seems a bit contradictory, doesn’t it? NPR.org give a great breakdown of what actions are being taken by the Coke and Pepsi companies–two major brands that use the coloring in larger amounts. NRP reports that California labels 4-methylimidazole, an ingredient in caramel coloring, as carcinogenic. The Coca-Cola company took action and took out this ingredient.

Unfortunately, Pepsi products continue to contain levels of 4-methylimidazole that are deemed potentially unsafe by the state of California. I view it this way: if a food additive is processed in an EXTREMELY unnatural way, why would you want to consume it in the first place? At first glance, the information on caramel coloring is too sketchy to draw any definitive conclusions. However, keep in mind that aspartame is STILL widely consumed even though most of us are aware of its dangers. My advice is to limit use of caramel coloring as much as possible especially in its more concentrated form.

Be sure to read labels–I’m absolutely appalled at how frequently caramel coloring is used in processed foods especially frozen dinners. Any food or beverage with a dark hue should be examined if you’re trying to limit exposure. Although we don’t know all of the dangers, why take the risk and continue to consume this coloring in the large quantities that we are today? Start becoming more aware of its absolute saturation in the food industry by reading your labels.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20120305/cancer-in-colas-caramel-coloring

http://www.cspinet.org/new/201102161.html

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/07/03/198040172/coke-changed-caramel-color-to-avoid-cancer-warning-pepsi-in-transition

Advertisements

I Got Promoted! Coach Emerald!

I just had to share the exciting news that I am now an Emerald coach with Team Beachbody! I am so, so grateful and ready to work that much harder in my business to provide top-quality coaching, health blogs, challenges, you name it. My goal is to HELP OTHERS and get fit financially, and now I’m on the way to making all of those dreams a possibility! 

I’m so glad that God led me to this business after three prior business attempts. It is a great feeling to know you are improving yourself and helping others to change lives. I’ve signed two amazing coaches on my team, and we’re ready to take on the world. 😀 Thanks for reading!

~K. 

Sugar Substitutes: Good, Bad, and UGLY Truths Exposed!

Hello, readers! Been trying to get this blog cranked out, but with a new baby in the house, it’s been no easy task to find extra time! Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about sugar substitutes and what are the absolute safest and best ones to use for you and your family. Let’s dissect a little, shall we?

Sodium Saccharin (Sweet N’ Low) Ah, I love this sweetener in a huge cup of tea straight from Captain D’s Seafood Restaurant. The side effects seem relatively low, and according to fitday.com, seem to be attributed to sulfa allergies. If you have an allergy to sulfas (such as certain types of antibiotics), you’re probably better off to avoid this sweetener. Fitday also reports on the common research study of saccharin causing bladder cancer. However, these tests were only conducted on rats, and no conclusive evidence has proven its carcinogenic effects on humans. Fitday explains that saccharin is derived from, wait for it, petroleum. Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s an enormous turnoff.

Aspartame (Nutrasweet) Wow, there’s a personal story behind this one. I’m not going to be so bold and boast that I NEVER enjoy a Diet Dr. Pepper, but this stuff (aspartame, that is) is a real deal breaker for a healthy lifestyle, and I’m getting to a point where I shun the junk most of the time. When I was younger, I drank a LOT of diet sodas, and I suffered from strange spells that caused numbness. I really believe that this ingredient was the cause of it. Holisticmed.com backs me up on this, as the site reports of maladies such as panic attacks, depression, and seizures, that occurred as a result of the consumption of aspartame. Holisticmed also explores the body’s treatment of aspartame as it digests. Oddly (and disgustingly) enough, aspartame is broken down into methanol, which then changes into formaldehyde–a caustic threat to the body’s nervous and immune system. Diet Coke, anyone? I think not.

Sucralose (Splenda): Ah, sucralose. “Made from sugar; tastes like sugar,” right? Wrong. Wendy Melton, contributor at LiveStrong.com, documents the many ill effects of this substitute, which include headaches, stomach pain, weight gain, and fatigue. Melton reports that sucralose is created when chlorine atoms replace some of the sugar’s hydroxyl groups. Yummy, no?

Finally, let’s take a look at more natural alternatives. Foodrenegade.com gives a fantastic list of natural sweeteners to try along with some interesting information about the “natural” sweetener, agave. I highly recommend raw honey, “Sugar in the Raw,” and maple syrup. These ingredients are minimally processed, so you’re far less likely to be exposed to additives or other harmful processing agents. “What about stevia,” you might ask. Well, 100daysofrealfood.com gives a fantastic exploration of why stevia is not the best option in its processed form. Some manufacturers have used ingredients, such as GMO (genetically modified) erythritol and dextrose, so make sure that stevia contains ONLY the sweetener, free from goodies such as these.

So exercise caution and read those labels. What is listed as healthy and pure might not be the case once you take a closer look at those nutrition facts. It’s a jungle out there, guys, so be prepared. 😉

Sources:

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/top-number-most-dangerous-artificial-sweeteners.html#b

Agave Nectar: Good or Bad?

Food Babe Investigates Stevia: Good or Bad?

http://www.livestrong.com/sucralose-side-effects/

http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/embalm.html

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/4-artificial-sweeteners-their-fda-safe-levels.html#b

Gratitude, Personal Introduction, and Call for Applications

Hello, readers! Allow me to introduce myself for those who are new to my blog. I am an internet entrepreneur who has been working solely from my home for almost a year now. Let me tell you this: I have never been more inspired and fulfilled in my life! It has been such a blessing, and now that I have a child of my own, I am so thankful that I will be able to stay at home with her! I am dedicated to helping others discover ways to create income for themselves at home as well. If you are interested in working with me, please send an email with your name and a brief summary of your skills and qualifications to cafegirl777@gmail.com. I will take the process from there and find a great match for you either on my team or elsewhere. I am just thrilled to have so many new readers for this blog. Your support is such a blessing from God, and I’m excited to share health and fitness posts with you on a regular basis. You can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/dreamersanddoersinc. I would love to connect with you on either this page and/or my personal page!

Until next time!

~K.

Day Four Challenge!

Challenge Day 4!

Let me say that I’m very sorry for the missing day three post. Hormones are acting up (my body is going back to its normal state, so it’s that “time” of the month), and I’ve been a bit drained the last day or so. However, I can feel that I’m recharging, and I’m grateful!

Are you feeling healthier so far? Be it starting a workout program, striving to eat clean, or just drinking more water, there are so many ways you can make a positive impact on your health by building healthy habits one at a time. I finally had a good day of consistently healthy eating even though pizza was in the house! It was so challenging not to eat three or four good slices, but I managed to eat the cheese off of a small slice, and then eat healthily for the rest of the day. Guys, I have a HARD time with deprivation—it makes me want that junk food so much more! I’m convinced that the little bit of pizza cheese I ate kept me from getting frustrated and eating a large quantity of things that are bad for me. Also, having a baby has really made me see fitness differently—I want to be there for my baby, and I feel the push more than ever to take better care of myself. Friends, you are surrounded by people who care about you, so focus your mind on getting strong and healthy! Here’s today’s power prayer, followed by our affirmation:

Dear God,

Thank you for another day. Give me the strength to continue to make good choices with my health and fitness. Help me to be kind to myself and feed my body good food, but more importantly, to feast on your Word.

Amen

Affirmation:

I am healthy, active, and an instrument of God’s peace. I will use my good health to have more energy to serve others.

I hope that you are enjoying the challenge up to this point. I’m about to do a little “Stepping in the Spirit” workout with Body Gospel! What are your favorite workout programs? If you need recommendations, I’m loaded with suggestions. My top recommendations are ballet workouts, pilates, and anything that encourages emotional as well as physical wellness. Let me know if I can assist you further with anything!

~K.

Day 2 Challenge!

Well, I know it’s late, but at least it’s still day two! I hope everyone is doing great today! I made myself make healthy choices most of the time, but it’s so tough to break the habits I engaged in during pregnancy. I was considerably inactive and became addicted to sugar, so I’m working hard to undo the damage of nine months of no exercise and lots of junk food! Let’s face our fitness obstacles with today’s prayer:

Dear God,

today has been a great day, and I’m so thankful for everything that You are. I’m so grateful to know and serve you, and I pray that you draw me into closer communion with your awesomeness. I’m facing some challenges that only You can help me to overcome. Please grant me the strength to face temptation and create a stronger, healthier version of myself. Amen.

I definitely needed this one today. It’s been such a tough afternoon with my VERY unhappy newborn.The stress of things gives me that impulse to overeat or make bad choices. However, I’ve MOSTLY made good choices today, and I’m so grateful for that. I can’t do that on my own–I know that He is giving me the power to work on myself through a very challenging (but incredibly rewarding) phase of my life.

Daily Affirmation: I am strong and am able to make healthy choices for myself. I can do all things through Christ.

As always, share your stories with me! 😀 I am so happy to have you embarking on this fitness challenge. Did you eat any interesting healthy foods? I enjoyed the Orchard Chicken Salad from Subway. It might not be the BEST choice, but it sure beats fried food and pizza that I grew incredibly fond of the last nine months. 😉

See you tomorrow! ~K.

Day 1 Fitness Challenge!

This is my post that I provided for my facebook fitness challenge! Thanks for reading!

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2).

Day 1: So, you’re ready to take that commitment–to become a healthier, happier version of yourself! Congratulations! In this challenge group, we are going to spend 30 days working toward spiritual, physical, and financial fitness. Why this combination? Each type of fitness if dependent on the other one, starting with spiritual healing! God wants you to have a healthy mind, a healthy relationship with Him that will promote a vibrant lifestyle across the board. I’m beginning our challenge with a prayer for us and an affirmation. Let me explain a little bit more about affirmations. I didn’t understand them fully until I discovered a Christian meditation video in my eighth month of pregnancy. With affirmations, you are actually proclaiming that all things belong to you in Christ already. They are a glorious method of showing the Devil who’s “Boss,” so to speak. When you’re feeling weak, either spiritually or physically, claim that affirmation and trust God to provide that freedom. 

 Prayer for day #1 of our fitness challenge: 

Dear God,

Today, we begin a challenge for spiritual, physical, and financial wellness. As we turn to You and Your Word this month, help us to create healthy habits that will draw us into closer communion with You, with ourselves, and with each other. I commit everything to you, oh God, trusting in you to guide my steps and actions and to keep me accountable to this commitment. Help me to be an inspiration to others, to focus on creating a healthier lifestyle with which to better serve Your purpose for me on this earth. Give me the strength, Oh God, to resist any obstacles that cross my path along with way. Be with me and with all of the members of this group, and help us to achieve success that will glorify you. Amen

 

Day 1 Spiritual Affirmation:

I am a child of God, and there’s nothing that I cannot accomplish through Him. I will make healthy choices for myself today, bringing my mind and body into closer communion with God. 

Today, your mission is exercise at least 15 minutes without stopping and to choose two healthy meals. Then, go to the facebook challenge group and share with us in a post. Tell us what fitness program you are using along with what healthy meal options you chose. Remember, folks, accountability is KEY, and please do not ever feel embarrassed for having an “off” day. Share that experience with us–we are all here to help one another and be an encouragement! PLEASE don’t expect perfection right away! I always feel that taking it slowly is a great way to gradually incorporate healthy habits into your life that you are more likely to stick with. 😀

That’s all for today, people. Let me know if you have ANY questions. As a fitness coach, it is my goal to inspire, to encourage, and to BE HERE for you as much as possible. Have a blessed day, and I’ll see you soon! 😀 

~K.