parenting | pg.3

The Not-So-Sweet Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup

Mark Hyman, M.D. by Mark Hyman, M.D. | September 20th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: Archer Daniels Midland, artificial sweetener, cancer, cane sugar, Cargill, corn industry, corn sugar, corn syrup, cornfield, diabetes, diet, dietary, dr. mark hyman, food industry, fructose, glucose, healthy-eating, heart disease, HFCS, high fructose corn syrup, industrial agriculture, inflammation, insulin, lipogenesis, liver failure, mercury, nutrition, obesity, parenting, sucrose, tooth decay, weight gain

High Fructose Corn SyrupIf you can’t convince them, confuse them.
— Harry Truman

The current media debate about the benefits (or lack of harm) of high fructose corn syrup in our diet misses the obvious. The average American has increased his consumption of HFCS (mostly from sugar-sweetened drinks and processed food) from zero to more than 60 pounds per year. Obesity rates have more than tripled and diabetes incidence has increased more than seven-fold. HFCS is not perhaps the only cause, but one that cannot be ignored.

Doubt and confusion are the currency of deception, and they sow the seeds of complacency. Recently, these have been used skillfully through massive print and television advertising campaigns by the Corn Refiners Association’s attempt to dispel the “myth” that HFCS is harmful and assert through the opinion of “medical and nutrition experts” that it is no different than cane sugar. It is a “natural” product that can be a healthy part of our diets when used in moderation.

Except for one problem: Even when used in moderation, it is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay and more.

Green Your Family: A 5-Step Plan to Success

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | April 21st, 2011 | 4 Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: bicycle, bicycling, bike, car-pooling, carbon-footprint, cars, children, climate change, driving, eco-friendly, emissions, energy, environment, family, food miles, garbage, go green, investing, kids, local, money, new year's resolutions, parenting, planet, power, public transit, recycling, saving, showers, tele-commuting, trash, waste, water use

Family taking out the recycling

Was “go green” one of your New Year’s resolutions? Even if your composter is still empty and there are chemical cleaners still lurking in your cabinets, don’t fret — Only 12 percent of those who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them for a year. Which, frankly, is 12 percent more than I would have guessed. But if you’re like me and the other 88 percent, what can help us keep resolutions is the support of others.

With that in mind, this Earth Day I’m enlisting my family in the greening goals I set for 2011. And by “greening” (aren’t we all just getting sick to death of that word?), I mean treading more lightly on my wallet, my Daytimer, my blood pressure and Mother Earth. Surely THAT’s a resolution worth fighting for!

Servin’ It Up Family Style

Bevin Wallace by Bevin Wallace | March 15th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Family Health, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: balanced diet, buffet, children, choices, cooking, decision-making, diet, different, dinner, family, family-style dining, father, food, food waste, healthy-eating, kids, kitchen table, manners, meals, mealtime, mother, motherhood, parenting, parents, pasta, patience, portions, recipe, salad, self-esteem, serving, sharing, sugar, supper, try, vegetables, water, water pitcher

Family-Style Dinner

I think it’s safe to say that one of the things we modern-day moms do a bit more than our moms did is baby our kids, especially when it comes to what they eat. Some of this is good, of course. Regulating intake of sugar and processed foods is probably not something best left up to people whose idea of a balanced meal is beef jerky and fruit snacks. But at some point, kids need to learn to make their own good choices, right? When and how we do that is each family’s decision, but for me the food thing was getting ridiculous.

Gourmet Is a Good Thing

Bevin Wallace by Bevin Wallace | January 31st, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: breakfast, childhood obesity, children, clean your plate, diet, dinner, environmental, food, force-feeding, fresh produce, fruits and vegetables, fun, gourmet, health, healthy-eating, hunger, hungry, in-season, ingredients, junk food, kids, local farms, lunch, meals, mother, organic, parenting, picky eater, processed, recipes, soup, sugar, sustainable, weight, whole grain

Boy eating dinner at a restaurantI know it might sound obnoxious at first and that I sound a little like Martha Stewart with that headline, but I like the idea of raising gourmet kids. By “gourmet,” I don’t mean kids who demand white tablecloths and truffle oil. What I mean is simply someone with an appreciation of good food. Here’s how Webster’s defines it:

Secondhand Yoga

Claire Dederer by Claire Dederer | January 25th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga | tags: codependence, depression, happiness, marriage, new mom, new mother, new mother worry, parenting, Relationships, stress, transformation, Yoga

Cartoon man doing yogaFor years, my husband struggled with depression. He doesn’t feel depressed these days, thank goodness, and hasn’t for a while. But for a while there things were pretty rough. I’ve thought a lot about the part I played in his depression. I know, I know, this sounds like a classic co-dependent attitude. But the fact is, during the years my husband was depressed, I myself was a young mother, overwhelmed, uptight and rigid with fear that I was going to screw up. I can’t help but think that we were feeding off each other.

Tucson, Christina, Healing and Rabbit Hole

Stephen Simon by Stephen Simon | January 17th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Inspirational Media, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: anger, child, children, Christina Green, courage, crisis, death, family, father, Film, friends, grace, grief, grieving, happiness, healing, HOPE, humanity, joy, kids, loss, marriage, mother, mourn, mourning, movie, parenting, parents, Rabbit Hole, Relationships, saddness, tragedy, tragic, Tucson

Still from the movie Rabbit Hole

As a parent and grandparent, I was very hesitant to watch Rabbit Hole because I knew that it focused on parents who were dealing with the death of their child. After much encouragement from my wife, Lauren, and one of our community members (Mark), and with the tragedy in Tucson in the background, we watched the film last night and were absolutely mesmerized.

Resolved for 2011: Take a Nature Vacation

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | January 5th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: biking, brain health, children, city, climate change, Crystal Cove State Park, diseases of indoor living, eco-tourism, exercise, family vacation, Fitness, focus, hiking, kids, Los Angeles, natural-habitat-adventures, nature, new year's resolution, noise, obama, obesity, outdoors, outside, parenting, protection, Richard Louv, sedentary, stress, urban life, walking, wilderness, wildlife

Trekking in Patagonia

I spent part of the holidays in Los Angeles this year, surrounded by a sea of asphalt and traffic sprawling for hundreds of square miles. Shuttling between relatives and friends on the maze of 14-lane freeways, I soon felt spiritually exhausted by the visual din of billboards, power lines, parking lots, storefronts, neon signs and cars blowing past at 80 mph.

Meat: Much More Than What’s for Dinner

Bevin Wallace by Bevin Wallace | December 14th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Personal Growth | tags: bacon, carbon emissions, chickens, cooking class, cows, cruelty to animals, eating, Eating Animals, environment, farmers’ market, fishing, free range, healthy food, heart health, hunting, inhuman, Jonathan Safran Foer, kids, meat, meatless Mondays, morals, parenting, pets, pigs, protein, slaughterhouse, steak, sustainable diet, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, vegan, vegetarian, vegetarianism

Cow on a feedlotI will never forget the day I explained to my then four-year-old son that steak is really cow. First he cried, then he asked why we don’t eat dogs like our lab Lewis, or at least the lost dogs at the pound. I didn’t have a very good answer for that one. Which really got me thinking.

Food Addiction: Could It Explain Why 70% of Americans Are Overweight?

Mark Hyman, M.D. by Mark Hyman, M.D. | December 7th, 2010 | 6 Comments
topic: Detox, Family Health, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss | tags: addictive, alcohol, appetite, calories, childhood obesity, children, detox, diet, disease, drugs, eating, fat, food addiction, food industry, government regulation, Huffington Post, hunger, junk food, kids, labeling, Mark Hyman, menu, michael pollan, nutrition, overeating, overweight, parenting, portion control, restaurants, school lunch, suger, weight-loss, withdrawal

Woman eating doughnuts

Our government and food industry both encourage more “personal responsibility” when it comes to battling the obesity epidemic and its associated diseases. They say people should exercise more self-control, make better choices, avoid overeating and reduce their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and processed food. We are led to believe that there is no good food or bad food — that it’s all just a matter of balance.

Life’s Lessons Sometimes Come in Small (and/or Furry) Packages

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | November 23rd, 2010 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living, Personal Growth | tags: animals, anxiety, bone cancer, calm, children, comfort, death, dogs, grief, happiness, kids, life, mortality, osteosarcoma, parenting, pets, Rainbow Bridge, sadness, wisdom

Little girl with dogDespite a diet of organic, holistic dog food. Despite a pesticide-free yard. Despite daily exercise and plenty of TLC, our six-year-old dog Polar was diagnosed in October with osteosarcoma, an aggressive and indiscriminate type of bone cancer that leaves little time for weighing options.