Monthly Archives: January 2015

Food and Mood talk in Bronxville Jan 9th


I am truly humbled to be asked to present to the preschool parents at the Reformed Church of Bronxville, NY on Jan 9th, 9am. I look forward to sharing what, in my experience, is most likely causing our children to be unhappy, inattentive, ‘act out’ or become ‘behavioral’. It is not all genetics and I will explain why.

Food is intrinsically linked to behavior in more ways than we can measure. Parents usually know what triggers this ‘out of the ordinary’ behavior in their own child but may not know why, or, they may lack the know-how to make the necessary corrective changes.

My goal is to share what I have learned in my own experience and through my studies as a health coach, so that parents can become informed and confident to make changes over time that will bring about results. I believe that knowledge is power and once you understand the problem, the solution becomes more elemental and less daunting.

Welcome to a new way of thinking! I look forward to a great discussion and Q&A session!!

***Please note that this event is only open to the parents of the pre-school at the Reformed Church of Bronxville.***

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Coke by another name – Coke Life!



Coca-Cola Life is here! Woo-hoo! It is marketed as ‘natural’ and lower in calories than Coke so that must be a good thing, right? Well it is, if all you require from a soda is that it is lower in calories than regular Coke, chemicals be damned. But what about that claim that it is sweetened with natural stevia instead of Splenda and so healthier? Hmmmm…. If you are asking that, then we need to delve a little deeper……

What is Coca-Cola Life sweetened with? Well we don’t know the exact formula, we are talking about Coke after all, but we do know it’s a combination of (GMO) sugar and Truvia. Truvia was developed jointly by the Coca-Cola company and Cargill and is made of rebiana, erythritol, and natural flavors. Try as I might, I could not find out what “natural flavors” means. But as we know from my previous post on chemicals and Food Babe’s investigative article on ‘natural flavors’, we may never actually know.  It also contains that ‘natural flavor’ caramel which is a carcinogen, but I digress. I drank enough Diet Coke in my time to cringe at that thought so I’ll move along if I may.

The process involving rebiana and erythritol (a GMO sugar alcohol) is also unclear as it all looks like such an easy and ‘natural’ process on Truvia’s website since they claim a lofty “From Field To Table” accolade. I’m a little curious about that so I have to defer once again to my trusty food investigator Food Babe whom has covered this before, here. She explains the 40-step process around creating Truvia which makes me question the ‘natural’ or ‘Life’ label that Coke gives this new generation soda.

So why are they even introducing this new soda at all? What demographic are they trying to capture? I remember Cherry Coke in Europe in the 80s so I have to ask. Why, after 70 years are they suddenly expanding into the ‘healthy’ market? I’m sure you could drink Coke Life on the treadmill it looks so pretty. But are we so gullible?

Did they not learn from the ‘Naked‘ fiasco? Pepsi had to pay out $9m in compensation last year for faking the ‘natural’ label on its products. Although I’ll bet Coke Life’s ‘sweetened from natural sources’ claim is locked in tight. It also seems that Coke feels like it has a moral obligation to America because we now have epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer since Coke began its unforgettable marketing campaigns in the 70s with its catchy anthem.

What happened since then? Could it be what we’re eating or drinking?? “Oh no”, says Coke, “we just need more exercise and to reduce our calorie intake!” So Coke wants to help us along and sell us a soda that seems to fit that marketing bill so well – lower in calories and ‘natural’. They already tried to sell us water but then we found out that it wasn’t really just water. Oh gas station Dasani, you had such promise.

It may seem like Splenda’s days are numbered (don’t feel bad, we all fell for it) and along with the decline in popularity in Equal, Sweet ‘n Low and Nutrasweet (all for good reason), we are now turning to that sweet plant, stevia. It’s just too bad that Coke is trying to hoodwink us again. But I think they are underestimating the American consumer. We are not drinking Coke as much today, not only because of the high calories, but because it is made from toxic chemicals and GMO ingredients. Coke Life seems to be the same formula, just different chemicals and calories. We’re smarter than that – I hope. I’ll be watching Coke Life, but thankfully as a spectator this time.

“I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony”




Filed under Family Health, Food, Health & Wellness

Ditch these 15 toxins in 2015!


Happy New Year! It’s a time for resolutions and change. Let’s see if we can start by ridding our pantries of these nasty food additives. There are currently over 3,000 chemically derived additives used in processed food in the US. 90% of our supermarkets contain processed foods, so it’s safe to say, we have a toxicity issue and it’s affecting our health.

Here are my top 15 offenders. The health outcomes of combining these chemicals in our food has never been adequately studied. Attempts have been made, but the food industry is an all powerful entity and doesn’t like bad press. The Huffington Post published an amazing article on this which I recommend reading. Even without adequate studies (it seems like an impossible task), we do know that removing chemically enhanced food will help reduce our toxic load and ultimately lead to better health and wellness, especially for our children. Learn to read food labels (or avoid all packaged food where you can’t pronounce an ingredient!) and check for more information and helpful tools. Here’s to a clean, green 2015!


  1. Glyphosate/GMO food – One of the most toxic herbicides in our world today. It is the subject of much controversy because it was designed to be used on GMO crops as they were engineered to be resistant to it. Many experts believe that glyphosate and GMO food are the root cause of the explosion of illnesses we are seeing since the 90s. The FDA believes GMO food is harmless to humans. The GMO debate is far from over and for a frightening analysis into the science on how it is wreaking havoc on our health, please see this article which explains why a prominent MIT scientist believes glyphosate contributes to autistic symptoms in our children.
  2. MSG – known also as monosodium glutamate. It is a neurotoxin. Typically, monosodium glutamate is added to savory prepared and processed foods such as frozen foods, spice mixes, canned and dry soups, salad dressings and meat or fish-based products.
  3. Natural Flavor – Not NATURAL. Made in laboratories (primarily Givaudan) to mimic natural flavors and scents. E.g., “caramel coloring” is a carcinogen (found in Coke products). See Food Babe’s insightful investigation here.
  4. BVO (Brominated Vegetable Oil) – found in sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, Mountain Dew) & citrus flavored drinks. Affects thyroid and causes skin conditions. Bromine is corrosive and toxic. Banned in 100 countries.
  5. Potassium bromate (brominated flour) – Used to make rolls, wraps, flatbread, bread crumbs, and bagel chips. Made from Bromine and can cause kidney & gastro intestinal problems. Banned in many countries outside of the US.
  6. Polysorbate 80 – primarily used in cosmetics and vaccines but it is also used in ice cream to keep it firm and stop it from melting too quickly. Associated with cancer and reproductive problems.
  7. High Fructose Corn Syrup – highly processed corn by-product used in most processed sweets, cakes, desserts and even Ketchup! Associated with a long list of health problems from diabetes to heart disease. Dr. Mark Hyman explains it well here.
  8. Synthetic hormones (rBGH and rBST) – found in non-organic milk products. Linked to some cancers. Banned in many countries outside the US.
  9. Arsenic – arsenical drugs given to chickens to promote growth, treat disease and improve meat pigmentation (Roxarsone). It is a human Carcinogen. Banned in many countries outside the US. This was reported by the Huffington Post and here’s the link. It’s a fascinating read! Arsenic can also be found in rice and you can learn more about that here from Consumer Reports. Consume organic products where possible.
  10. Chlorine – Found in the meat of non-organic chickens. Chickens are washed in a chlorine solution before processing. Toxic and deadly in large quantities. NPR reported on this outrageous process a few months ago.
  11. Azodicarbonamide – Whitens (bleaches) flour for breads, frozen dinners, boxed pasta mixes, and packaged baked goods – also used in yoga mats. Flour whitens naturally over time so no need for this additive. Linked to allergies and asthma. Banned in many countries outside the US.
  12. TBHQ, BHA and BHT
 – found in cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat (like pepperoni), dehydrated potatoes, and beer. These are human carcinogens. Banned in many countries outside the US.
  13. Artificial Sweeteners – aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet’N Low), acesulfame potassium, neotame, Truvia. These are all highly processed chemical additives which are harmful to your health and have been linked to cancers and a host of other illnesses. More information by can be found here.
  14. **Sodium benzoate – Found in salad dressings, fizzy drinks, fruit juice (citric acid) and pickles/condiments. It has been linked to hyperactivity.
  15. **Artificial colors: Blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5 & 6, Red 3 & 40, Green 3, Orange B – Found in candies, cakes, frosting (even ‘white’ has blue 1) and processed children’s cereals. Made from coal tar, which is a carcinogen. Linked to hyperactivity and poor concentration.

** These two chemicals combined in food have been shown to cause hyperactivity (Source: Southhampton Study 2007)


Filed under Nutrition