The Cost of Sugar

Did you know there is sugar in almost every product you buy? I’m not talking about the naturally occurring fructose in fruits. I’m referring to the added sugar in our foods. Next time you go shopping, grab an item of the shelf and read the food label. You might be surprised how much sugar you’re consuming on a regular basis.

Whether you are aware of your sugar intake or not, there are millions of Americans who are not. Sugar is found in almost everything and too much sugar can lead to metabolic diseases, weight gain, and obesity. Food companies are loading foods with sugar and people are consuming it in large quantities, whether they are aware or not.

According to Judy Corliss at Harvard Health, “Over the course of the 15-year study on added sugar and heart disease, participants who took in 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar. Overall, the odds of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index (a measure of weight)”.  In short, the odds of dying from heart disease increase based on the percentage of sugar in your diet and this was true regardless of sex, age, activity level, and body-mass. Sugar is empty calories with no nutritional value, but evidently lethal as well.

Americans have been overconsuming sugar from some of their favorite food sources for years with no understanding of the impact on their bodies. Sources like sodas, energy drinks, and sport drinks are the biggest culprits, but according to the website, you can add candy, cakes, cookies, cereals, pies and cobblers, bakery items (sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts), fruit drinks, and desserts to the list.

The biggest hidden issue is the added sugar in foods like ketchup, cottage cheese, yogurt, protein bars and granola! Sugar is added to the foods to make it pleasing to our taste buds, but that means getting more sugar than you realize.  Also be very aware of the “no sugar” or “sugar free” items on the shelves. There are often artificial or other sweeteners added to make that "low sugar"  food even more palatable to us.  These sweeteners may not show up in the calorie or  carbohydrate section, but they are on the ingredient list. Know that in terms of added sugars, while the FDA does recognize sugar in its many forms (brown, white granulated, raw, and invert), as well as honey, lactose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose it DOES NOT recognize cane juice, evaporated corn sweetener, crystal dextrose, glucose, liquid fructose, sugar cane juice, and fruit nectar. 

The next time you read a food label and you’re considering what you are putting into your body, read the ingredient section carefully. According to the, these are ingredients found in many processed foods that we should be aware of:

  •        anhydrous dextrose
  •        brown sugar
  •        confectioner's powdered sugar
  •        corn syrup
  •        corn syrup solids
  •        high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  •        malt syrup
  •        maltose
  •        maple syrup
  •        molasses
  •        nectars (e.g., peach nectar, pear nectar)
  •        pancake syrup

The American Heart Association suggests that women take in no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) of added sugar, while men should take in no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories). To put that in perspective, a 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 9 teaspoons of sugar, so drinking even one a day would put all women and most men over the daily limit.  Please note that FRUCTOSE in fruit is NOT on this list and fruit has many health benefits.

If you attended our January Wellness nights, you will know that reading labels is important. Awareness is key.  Choose those labels with the fewest ingredients and eat as much from the outside of the grocery store as possible!

10 Steps Towards Better Self-Care

     Recently I posted 10 steps toward self-care for 10 straight days on social media.  I think these are important to remember, especially at this time of year when we over-schedule ourselves, attend more parties, the kids are home from school and we generally have less time for ourselves than normal. Think about them and see if they make sense in your life.

1.    Take time to laugh daily.

2.    Drink more water.

3.    Eat healthy foods.  Don’t skimp on veggies & fruits.

4.    Meditate or find alone time every daily.   Take a moment to notice your breath.

5.    Give more, but don’t be afraid to say no.

6.    Get up and move every hour.

7.    Be wary of those you allow in your personal space.

8.    Get to sleep on time.

9.    Exercise Daily.

               10.   Take time to be grateful.


A Healthier You in 2018

A Healthier You in 2018


A 4 Part Lecture/Activity Series presented by Paulo & Stephanie


Monday at 6:45 beginning January 8th

Includes Healthy Snacks!


Register for all 4 for $100 and bring a spouse, partner or housemate for FREE!

Lectures can be purchased individually for $30


·      Lecture 1: 10 Steps to a Healthier You

Learn the small steps you can make daily to lead you to a healthier life, including nutritional changes as well as plans of behavioral change

·      Lecture 2: Food & More

Includes information on: Eat this, not that, Grocery Shopping Tips & Kitchen Hygiene

·      Lecture 3: Incorporating Movement & Mindfulness Daily

Learn the basics of Mindfulness & Meditation and 10 easy ways to get more movement in your day

·      Lecture 4: Let’s Have Dinner

Everyone gets to prepare and share a healthy recipe they have enjoyed!


Space is limited; register today!

Oven Roasted Flounder with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime

Another QUICK Weeknight Meal

  1. 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  2. 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  3. 2 TBL rice vinegar
  4. 3 TBL reduced sodium vinegar
  5. 2 tsp freshly minced peeled ginger
  6. 3 1/2 TBL vegetable oil
  7. kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine
  9. 4 4 oz fillets of flounder or other delicate white fish
  10. 1 scallion thinly sliced

Arrange a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400.  Combine scallion,1/4 cup cilantro and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Whisk in 1 1/2 TBL oil. Season cilantro-lime sauce with salt & pepper; set aside.
Heat remaining 2 TBL oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering.  Working in batches if needed ,a dd bok choy, cut side down, and sear until golden brown, 2-4 minutes per batch.  Turn bok choy cut side up and remove pan from heat.  Add sake.  Season fish with salt & pepper & arrange in a single layer over bok choy.  Roast in oven until fish is just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Put a small amount of sake sauce from pan on a plate and arrange bok choy & fish on top . Drizzle with cilantro-lime sauce & garnish with cilantro sprig, if desired.

Moderation in All Things...

Yesterday I was on social media and I began thinking about expectations. Many of the people I see on Instagram, FB and other social media platforms display themselves as something that may seem unattainable to some of us.  They are 100% vegan, they do triathalons, their workout videos are intimidating & they have a body fat percent so low it is astounding.  And that is all great!  I admire them immensely.

 But what stops most of us from taking the time to exercise regularly or to cook healthy food for ourselves?  I think in many cases it is because we feel as if we can’t compare to these images we see regularly.  It is feeling like it is not worth doing if we can't be like these images we see!   Nothing could be further from the truth!  We don’t have to be “all in” to benefit from living a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t let feeling overwhelmed stop you from making a few small changes.  Try to begin by doing these simple things:

1.    Move Daily (walking is cheap & easy!)

2.    Drink Water

3.    Strive for your fruits & veggies

4.    Cut back on processed foods (including processed meats)

5.    Reduce sodas & sweets

 I am often reminding my clients that fitness is not a straight up hill climb, where we are always feeling great, strong, and healthy. Fitness is rolling hills.  Sometimes we are climbing up smoothly and then suddenly something pushes us down the hill, like family, work, injury, et cetera.  The important thing is that we pick ourselves up and start the climb over.  Remember, Fitness is a Journey, not a Destination

Fitness is a Journey