Average Kid Consumes Up to 7,000 Calories on Halloween Night

Photo via Flickr: by JefferyTurner

With obesity statistics sky-rocketing and the rate of cavities the highest in 40 years Halloween needs a brand overhaul. According to Time Magazine and Donna Arnett, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s School of Public Health, “Based on the nutrition labels on popular candies, the average child accumulates 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of treats on Halloween night. According to a recent report, a 100-pound child who consumed all of those treats, or 7,000 calories, would have to walk for nearly 44 hours to burn those calories.” And kids have fast metabolisms…think about us adults! Even if you don’t have kids, you may be tempted to over-indulge with all that extra candy at the office or left over treats from the stash you were giving to trick-or-treaters.

To survive Halloween’s massive calorie consumption, try these four tips:

1. Sell Your Candy to a Good Cause

More than 1,000 dentists nationwide are buying candy from kids at $1 per pound and then shipping it to U.S. troops overseas via Operation Gratitude as part of a Halloween Candy Buy-Back program, started by Wisconsin dentist Dr. Chris Kammer.

2. Purchase Candy You Don’t Like

Don’t use Halloween as an excuse to buy your favorite candy for lucky trick-or-treaters as you’ll be tempted to indulge…one for you, one for me…instead, buy your least favorite candy (we can already think of a few) and forget about the risk of racking up extra pounds.

3. Freeze It

Take out enough candy for the week – and literally put the rest in the freezer. It will be such a pain to unfreeze your chocolate bars (and a bit desperate) that you’ll pass your craving before it can defrost.

4. Eat Dinner

Before taking your kids trick or treating, or before handing out candy to kids, eat a full dinner. If you’re full, you’re less likely to fill up on sweets.

Hangover Remedy from Dr. Elson Haas EZ as A,B,C!

Background photo: D. Sharon Pruitt

We are big fans of Dr. Elson Haas of Preventative Medical Center of Marin, he is a pioneer in combining the best or western and eastern philosophies when it comes to healthcare with an emphasis on nutrition.  Hence when his latest book was published, The Detox Diet, we had to share a few items with you.

For not particular reason, we flipped right to “Hangover Remedies” 😉 Here’s the scoop.

1. If you’ve been drinking alcohol make sure you have a couple glasses of water before going to sleep along with vitamin C and a B-complex to clear the alcohol from the blood.

2. Repeat above  when you wake up.

3. Evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil can also be helpful.

So as a review ladies, when drinking (excessive) Alcohol, take (water) and vitamins B and C.

Frozen Fruits – Cost Saver Huge Flavor!

D Sharon Pruitt

As we say so long to summer and bask in the glory of fall, we also bid adieu to many of the brightly colored, highly nutritious organic fresh fruits. Hence we did a bit of research on how  to freeze that last batch of summer fruit.

Thanks to AllRecipes.com for their tips of freezing fruit.

Wash fruits and sort for damaged fruit before freezing. Some fruits do best with a sugar or sugar-syrup preparation. Blueberries, currants, and cranberries do fine without sugar.

Here’s a trick for freezing delicate berries like strawberries or raspberries: Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic freezer bag or container. You can also prepare delicate berries with sugar or sugar syrup.

For fruits that tend to brown, like apples, peaches, nectarines and apricots, treat with ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Look for the powdered form in health food stores, drugstores, and some grocery stores in the vitamin aisle. To make an ascorbic acid wash: Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid powder (or finely crushed vitamin C tablets) in 3 tablespoons water. Sprinkle this mixture over the cut fruit. An acceptable substitute: Slice the fruit and dip the slices  in an acidulated water bath — about one quart water plus a tablespoon of lemon juice — before drying and freezing.

For the elusive frozen bananas (ours seem to collect ice crystals and turn brown ;( ) We’ve gone to LiveStrong.com for their advice. For preparation for smoothies they suggest peeling, cutting into 1/2 slices and putting on wax or parchment paper and place the banana slices onto it in a single layer and then placing the bananas in the freezer in a level spot for 30 minutes to an hour to solidify Otherwise, peel the bananas. (peeled frozen bananas can last up to four months, while those frozen with the peel last only two months) And place your bananas into a zipper freezer bag. Push as much air as you can out of the bag before sealing it shut. Don’t crowd or squish the bananas because it will make them harder to separate when you want to use them.

Strawberry and Lime Soda- EZ Party hit!


As we were looking into sources of iodine – an essential mineral key to thyroid function – strawberries (after sea vegetables and a couple of others) were high on the list. Hence with a nod to health, we present this delicious strawberry and lime soda, from chef Justin Everett of Cavallo Point. Of course a handful, of organic-fresh-from-the-garden berries would be healthier -but not nearly as much fun!


1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
10 fresh strawberries
5 limes, juiced and zested
1K liter of soda water


In a medium-size pot, combine the water and sugar and heat until it boils. This becomes a simple syrup. Remove the syrup from the pot and cool in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, dice the strawberries into a large pitcher. Next zest the limes over the strawberries then squeeze all of the juice from the limes and add it to the pitcher. To finish, add the soda water and ice to the lime-and-strawberry mixture, then add syrup until you reach the desired sweetness. Stir well, and serve.

Iodine: The EZ Way!

Somehow iodine iodine iodine has become the topic du jour around the lunch table at work. No big mystery as one of our friends is having a thyroid issue, which then created a sudden interest eating foods rich in iodine – the trace mineral essential in thyroid function. (And of course it’s touted as the first line of defense against the nuclear radiation fall out from last year’s tsunami in Japan.) Since, we don’t want to accidentally OD by taking tablets, like some people do. We set out to find the best dietary sources.

Duh! turns out iodized salt is a pretty easy thing to do… thanks Joseph A. Case for your detail-rich article.

And as it turns out seafood is naturally rich in iodine, including; cod, sea bass, haddock and perch. Kelp (one serving of kelp offers 4 times more than a daily minimum requirement) is the most common iodine-rich green source, while dairy products and plants grown in iodine-rich soil can provide a bit of this nutrient  … we digress.

Keep it simple by snacking on it! While those Trader Joe’s seaweed snacks are pretty good – if you can find Seasnax dried seaweed (Whole Foods, some health food stores, online) … these seem to score a bit higher w/ the online health brigade because they use olive oil -not canola oil in the process. And according to their website, on average, 15 micrograms of iodine can be found in a full sheet of nori.

Just not into food from the sea? Here is a chart from The World’s Healthiest Foods on what they consider to be great sources of iodine.

Did we miss your favorite iodine-rich snack or meal? Please share in our comments.

Small Changes for a Big Healthy Impact

You don’t have to spend hours at the CrossFit gym or sweat every morning in your Bikram class to make a dramatic healthy lifestyle shift.  We’ve got three healthy eating tips you can include in your routine to make a big impact — this weekend!

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Yes, this isn’t revolutionary news — we all know it’s important to eat breakfast but why? If you diet first thing in the morning chances are you will overeat later in the day, says fitness guru and fitness author Jim Karas. Also, your ability to burn calories is kickstarted with that first meal.

Eat Right

We’ve all been there — you’ve eaten a huge sushi dinner and just an hour later you’re starving. Instead of reaching for dessert reach for a low-calorie, high-water-content snack like sliced veggies or a whole wheat wrap with hummus, peppers and turkey.

Keep it Clean

Avoid mystery foods like the all you can eat buffet or a chain restaurant’s pasta dinner — unless you’re making the food at home. It’s impossible to know just how much oil or even lard (shocking, yes — we have a summer restaurant job to thank for that info) is used in the recipes. If you are eating out choose plain proteins like a 6 ounce petite filet (about 11.2 grams of fat) or salad with no cheese, packed with veggies and dressing on the side.

But it is the weekend, so if all else fails — indulge in a low-calorie cocktail like this 169 calorie skinny cantaloupe margarita.

Cocktail Chatter: Livers Love Moderation

Susan Sermoneta

Moderate your alcohol intake. We’re not saying don’t drink, just don’t over do it. And here’s why…

From the lips to the brain, alcohol is absorbed in under five minutes.  Though alcohol affects every organ of the body, it’s most dramatic impact is on the liver. The liver cells normally prefer fatty acids as fuel, and package excess fatty acids as triglycerides, which they then route to other tissues of the body.  However, when alcohol is present, the liver cells are forced to first metabolize the alcohol, letting the fatty acids accumulate, sometimes in huge amounts. Alcohol metabolism permanently changes liver cell structure, which impairs the liver’s ability to metabolize fats.

Before you grab that next bottle of alkaline water ….

Free Vector Water Wave

Yesterday, a well-meaning friend was extolling the virtues of Esstentia, which according to their website  “is the best hydrating water on the market. It has a pH level of 9.5 which is an optimal level for water alkalinity. A higher alkaline water is more easily absorbed into the body, providing superior hydration at the cellular level.”

Wow!  Sign me up!

Well, not so fast … As I listened to all of the miraculous health benefits (prevents cancer, anti-aging, detoxifying)  I remembered a lecture at U.C. Berkeley’s nutrition dept. on the human body’s pH levels, which included my professor ranting about snake oil ‘pH balancing’ products available on the health food store shelves. What I’ve always remembered from this lecture -is that when stomach contents enter the intestine, they are neutralized and made alkaline by the pancreatic secretions — so all the water you drink eventually becomes alkaline.

To be fair to Essentia, I did drink a bottle and it did taste great. And if you were to ‘google’ alkaline water it’s easy to see why so many people are happily chugging from their ‘pH-balancing’ water bottles in hopes of better health.  Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins and others have been inked to the magical powers … however, notice the source of the information–websites selling alkaline water or home alkaline machines.

The fact that doctor Joseph Mercola isn’t selling a home system for making alkaline water – should raise some eyebrows. This man has a product for EVERYTHING health related. Here’s what he says (if you read the entire article you’ll see there are also potential health dangers)

In truth, there are very, very few legitimate scientific studies about the effects of alkaline water on human health.

The reality is, most of the circulating information is distributed by clever marketers, with very little scientific validity to back up their claims.

Complicating matters is the fact that most water ionizers and alkalizers are being marketed by multi-level marketing (MLM) companies with less than stellar ethics. They sell you a very expensive machine, for which you get a good discount if you sign up as a rep, and once you’re part of the MLM, you can’t very well change your mind about its benefits (especially if you’re going to sell the units) – even if you realize that the alkaline water is no longer “working” for you.

I have been personally approached many times and encouraged to sell these systems and there would have been large revenue streams had I chosen to do so, but I would never promote anything that I would never use personally, and I can assure you that I would never use alkaline water as a regular source of water.

Please understand I have no ax to grind here, and I am not selling any competing products. The sole purpose of this report is as a public health message to warn people that alkaline water is not all it is hyped up to be.

I have no doubts that many people do notice improvements in their health when they initially start drinking alkaline water, but I believe there are other reasons for this, and I am convinced that this is not a healthful strategy in the long run, so it is my strong recommendation to avoid alkaline water ionizers.

Some people experience an initial “high” when they start drinking alkaline water. This can easily be attributed to detoxification, and the fact that they are likely just becoming better hydrated.

Detoxification is about the only benefit of this type of water, and this benefit is limited to very SHORT TERM USE (no more than a week or two).

And then there’s the big guns.  The Mayo Clinic ….

Alkaline water has a higher pH level than does tap water. Some proponents say that alkaline water can neutralize acid in your bloodstream, boost your energy level and metabolism, and help your body absorb nutrients more effectively. Others say that alkaline water can help you resist disease and slow the aging process. However, researchers haven’t verified these claims. Some research does suggest that alkaline water may slow bone loss, but further study is needed to determine if the positive effects can be maintained over the long term or influence bone mineral density overall.

So ladies, as with every magic bullet – it’s best to make sure someone isn’t making a profit in the name of your health. Do you disagree? We’d love to hear from you.

We Love Bible Bread

We want to give props to the Food for Life line of organic whole grain sprouted breads, tortillas, pastas and muffins. Perhaps best known by their Ezekiel 4:9 and Genisis 1:29 

Ezekiel 4:9 “Take also unto thee Wheat, and Barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and Spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it…”

  • Flourless,
  • Organic,
  • Complete Protein,
  • and Sprouted Whole Grain

(from their website) We discovered when these six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, an amazing thing happens. A complete protein is created that closely parallels the protein found in milk and eggs. In fact, the protein quality is so high, that it is 84.3% as efficient as the highest recognized source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. There are 18 amino acids present in this unique bread – from all vegetable sources – naturally balanced in nature.

And Genesis 1:29 ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yeilding seed; to you it shall be for meat.'”

Why sprouted grains?

Sprouting is the only way to release all the vital nutrients stored in whole grains. The sprouting process activates beneficial enzymes which cause the grains to sprout and become living and nutrient-rich. Stores of vitamins and minerals dramatically increase over the amount available in flour. Sprouting also converts the carbohydrates in grains into maltose, which is ordinarily done by the body during digestion, thereby predigesting nutrients for you. The enzymatic action enables the body to assimilate the vitamins and minerals more efficiently. Plus, the sprouting process naturally increases the protein content and decreases the calories and carbohydrates found in the original grain.

Oh and about that supermodel secret.  According to this Dr. Oz article these bible breads are a supermodels secret to Anti-Aging.

Real Simple’s Guide to Vitamins

Figuring out what — and how much — of vitamins we’re supposed to be getting each day is about as easy as deciding between the Jimmy Choos or the Louboutins at the annual Saks shoe sale. Which is why we loved the guide to nutrition from the folks at Real Simple:
A recent government report found that Americans aren’t getting enough calcium, fiber, magnesium, potassium, or vitamins A, C, and E. “You’re not going to have a major health event as a result,” says Alanna Moshfegh, an author of the USDA report What We Eat in America, “but the recommended amounts will help you maintain your health and decrease your risk of chronic diseases.” Here are the figures (as they pertain to women) and a little help interpreting them.


Recommendation: 1,000 milligrams a day.
Benefits: Bone health.
Sources: Dairy products; fish with bones; dark, leafy greens.


Recommendation: 25 grams a day.
Benefits: Protects against coronary heart disease and reduces the risk of diabetes.
Sources: Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains.


Recommendation: 310 to 320 milligrams a day.
Benefits: Helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function and develop and maintain bones.
Sources: Nuts, seeds, bran, halibut and other fish.


Recommendation: 4,700 milligrams a day.
Benefits: Helps maintain healthy blood pressure and reduce the effects of salt; may reduce the risk of recurrent kidney stones and possibly decrease bone loss.
Sources: Potatoes, tomato paste and puree, white beans, yogurt, soybeans, bananas.

Vitamin A

Recommendation: 2,310 international units a day.
Benefits: Important for vision, red blood cell production, embryonic development, and immune function.
Sources: Organ meats; orange vegetables; green, leafy vegetables.

Vitamin C

Recommendation: 75 milligrams a day.
Benefits: Acts as a disease-fighting antioxidant; may help to maintain a healthy immune system.
Sources: Fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, red and green peppers, kiwis, and guavas.

Vitamin E

Recommendation: 15 milligrams a day.
Benefits: Acts as a disease-fighting antioxidant; may support eye health.
Sources: Some ready-to-eat cereals, some oils, almonds, peanut butter.