Connie’s Confession: I’m a Health Hypocrite! Help Each Other

Sick_puppy-600x319 Normally, I don't reveal my vulnerabilities here, on this Sugar Shock Blog. Nor do I share a personal plight, but today, I feel a need to confess to you that I feel like the ultimate Health Hypocrite.

Sure, I eat healthy, wholesome, real foods. Yes, I religiously avoid sugary foods and carbs — and have since 1998 with only a handful of very minor infractions. I don't even smoke anymore. (Inhaling two packs of cigarettes is a thing of the past.) What's more, I've been shunning caffeine since a doctor suggested I do so more than a decade ago. And I don't even chew sugar-less gum or eat candies with artificial sweeteners anymore. In addition, I've triumphed over my diet soda slugging. Plus, I'm huge exercise aficionado. But feeding my body well and moving just aren't nearly enough.

Sleep My body craves — as does yours — ample sleep. We desperately need those zzzzzz's.Otherwise, I'm headed for sniffles, sneezing, coughing and congestion.

Well, lately — especially in the last week — I haven't walked my talk. Despite the fact that I know about the wonders of a good night's sleep and I'm even mentioning it as a "Smart Diet Habit" in my next book, I skimped on sleep myself last week. Now that I'm a health coach, I'm not going to indulge in self-blame. Rather, I'm going to use this realization as an opportunity.

The irony is that lately, I've been thinking a lot about and striving to do excellent self-care, because of my training as a health counselor and life coach and because I've been completing Cheryl Richardson's fabulous book, Take Time for Your Life, which was required reading for my life coaching program through iPEC.

I even just bought Cheryl Richardson's latest book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care, this weekend at this remarkable Hay House ouse Movers & Shakers conference. Both books have motivated me to think a lot about how we all will benefit if we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to treating ourselves with respect and reverence, even it it means we have to let go of current projects and disappoint people. 

Well, despite my commitment to treating myself right, last week, I neglected my needs when it came to snoozing. You see, I felt compelled to help you you a lot this month. I really wanted to:

Last week, I wanted to find time to:

My goals also are to:

  • Help support a friend or two, who is doing valuable work. This week, I spread the word about Donna Sonkin's event tomorrow, which unfortunately I may not be well enough to attend now.
  • Send send out an email blast to my mailing list about the exciting programs offered.
  • Plan the 2nd annual Great Worldwide Sugar-Out Challenge in mid January, which includes lining up  top experts to join in our 24-hour twitfest and inviting them to add their names to a press release that will go out to members of the media as it did last year.
  • Send a pitch to The Dr. Oz Show suggesting a show about sugar addiction in January and to invite the producer to book both Stephen (Dr. Sinatra) and myself as well as other sugar experts and sugar addicts to appear on a much-needed episode. (Please help me suggest that we come on as guests to The Dr. Oz Show. And if you're a sugar addict in need of help, feel free to recommend yourself, too.)
  • Plan my radio shows for January. For example, on Wed., Jan. 6 at 2 p.m., you'll get valuable ideas from Gretchen Rubin on how to be happy. She is author of the new book, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. I'm also lining up shows tips with Gary Ryan Blair, the Goals Guy and author of the new book,Everything Counts: 52 Remarkable Ways to Inspire Excellence and Drive Results; and Annette Fix, who will give relationship pointers to use in the new year. (Stay tuned for details.)
  • Clear clutter in my apartment.
  • Buy a new printer, because my previous one broke down. 
  • Take time to exercise, meditate, do creative visualization, read inspiring passages and lay the groundwork to manifest a loving relationship.

Kleenex Wow, I'm exhausted just reading my list. Clearly, last week, I overworked, didn't work out enough and ignored valuable sleep time. One day I even put in about 20 hours. Or was it 22?

Clearly, I know better! For goodness sake, I'm both a health counselor and a life coach. People even dub me as the "Smart Habits Girl" (on Twitter), "Smart Habits Coach" or "Sugar Liberator."

But skipping sleep sent me straight to a sore, scratchy throat, hacking cough, a stuffy head and sheer exhaustion. Ironically, recently, I began to research the subject of sleep deprivation for my next book by reading articles such as this one and this one. Getting sick Now I have to miss two holiday parties tonight because of being sick.

While I'd rather be sleeping now, I'm writing because I really need your help. In return, I will help to bring out the absolute best in you. With  your assistance, I could get more sleep, help more people, have more fun, be more energized, take more time for me and lead the kind of balanced life that I help my clients to achieve.

…So I'm currently seeking several part-time independent contractors (2 to 10 hours a week). My goal and intention is to find:

  • An assistant producer for my Gab With the Gurus radio show (a fun gig!);
  • Several people to help build my community through social media — especially my new Facebook fan page and Stop Sugar Shock social network on Ning (also fun!);
  • 2 health writers or bloggers to research, write and post pieces about recent medical studies and other health and lifestyle developments on my Sugar Shock Blog and radio show updates on my Gab With the Gurus blog. The writers also would prepare press releases about upcoming programs to submit to (another fascinating project);
  • A marketing consultant, who can make suggestions about expanding my reach so I can help the people who most need my expertise;
  • 1 or 2 assistants to warmly greet attendees at my talks, make them feel welcome, pass out fliers at a variety of places in New York (or wherever I'm booked) and help line up more talks. (Right now I'm seeking people for my January talks — you just need to be warm, friendly and into serving others);
  • A tech-savvy person, who can do website updates (on Microsoft Front Page) and/or possibly move my entire Sugar Shock website to WordPress. This person also would set up my new Smart Habits Blog on WordPress before I add too much content on its current site.

At present, don't have a budget for these independent contractors. The good news is that I do have a BIG desire to help you live a better life. Plus, I have superb training from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), as well as my own experience being the Bad Habits Babe. I also have a proven track record, along with testimonials from clients about my ability to motivate, guide and coach people to break free of their self-sabotaging habits. (Check back here soon for more client kudos. I've been too busy coaching to get more testimonials.)

Life_coaching_logo Even if you're free of destructive patterns, we can still swap services.

I can coach you so you'll finally realize your dreams. (I can help anyone, but I do specialize in health, wellness and personal empowerment, and, in particular, I work with sugar addicts, stay-at-home moms, small business owners, authors, writers, health counselors, marketing experts.)

In addition, if you need writing or marketing services, I'm your gal.

Here's how it will work. You would devote a designated amount of time each week to help me in one of the above areas. In exchange, I'll either coach you in health, wellness and writing, or I"ll help you to write and/or edit something. Depending on how many hours you work for me, you would get either private coaching or you would be part of one of my Break Free With Connie group coaching programs. 

Sound intriguing?

If you're a fellow health expert, please join in the discussion here and on Facebook. Do you, too, feel sometimes like a Health Hypocrite? How? How have you overcome this? I'd love your ideas to improve.  (Plus, I'm working on a story for several sites.)

Enough writing. My shoulder and arm are very sore from typing, and I need to sleep, drink liquids, finish my chicken soup, take herbs and supplements and recuperate.

Hope you will take advantage of this amazing offer to help you set and reach your goals, tap into your inner purpose and passion and connect that with your outer goals to achieve extraordinary and sustainable results.

In the meantime, I'm now committing to you, dear readers, that I will conquer my destructive sleep deprivation habits. I need to live up to my "Smart Habits Coach" title. Besides, I know that I can lick this bad habit just as I have all my other bad habits over the years. But feel free to wish me luck!

Please spread the word about this offer — and feel free to share your thoughts here and on Facebook about my unhealthy hypocrisy!

Speak Out Against Ill-Advised Coke-Doctors Partnership

Coke with polar bear Please pass this post — which also appears on the Huffington Post — to your friends, family members, colleagues and, in particular, your physician friends and contacts.

Recently, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)–in a move away from pharmaceutical funding–accepted a "strong six-figure" grant for a new "consumer alliance partnership" with the Coca-Cola Company, the world's largest beverage company, to create content about beverages and sweeteners for its consumer

The academy–which represented 94,614 family physicians, residents and medical students nationwide as of Dec. 2008–should be ashamed of itself for accepting a six-figure sum from a soda company that sells empty-calorie, sweet drinks–usually with fructose–which numerous peer-reviewed medical studies link to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes and even premature death.

Fat kids In my opinion, it's a conflict of interest for the AAFP — whose vision is "to achieve optimal health for everyone" — to allow Coke to "educate" visitors to its website in how nutrient-lacking, obesity-generating beverages can fit into a "healthy" lifestyle.

Furthermore, it's hard to fathom how can offer "credible information on beverages and enable consumers to make informed decisions," as a Coca-Cola spokesperson now maintains on the AAFP website.

For a doctors' group to take a high six-figure sum from Coke is like accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Tobacco to create physician-approved website content that claims smoking cigarettes can be part of a healthy lifestyle.


Obesity: All Americans May Become Obese by 2048? Absurd!

Obesity_surgery According to a frightening new study in the research journal Obesity , by 2048, all American adults may become overweight or obese.

A whopping 100 percent of us in the U.S. obese? What an absurd notion!

Despite the fact that the projections are based on national survey data, etc., I just don't buy this outrageous idea. There's just no way that all of us will allow ourselves to become fat! 

Millions of us care way too much about being at optimal health, putting quality food into our bodies and getting or staying in shape to let ourselves fall prey to flab. 

Fitness-camp Just go to any gym and you'll see the exercise-driven people, who would never let themselves become obese.

My workout buddies and any fitness enthusiast would simply scoff at this projection.

After all, every year, millions take drastic measures to peel off pounds — in particular, they buy diet products and diet books to get slim bodies. (In fact, I'm hoping that my upcoming book, The White-Out Diet(TM), will become a major bestseller. Soon, I'll be asking you for your help to make this happen.)

What do you think of these nightmarish projections? Would you let yourself become obese?

TV Ads Make Kids Fatter: Ban Those Junk Food Ads Targeted at Children

Fat boy fattv2404_468x312 Parents have been complaining about this for years, but now a study confirms that watching too much TV can make kids fat.

But, specifically, watching those food commercials for junk aimed at them that makes them wider. Not only that, but if there was a ban on fast food TV advertising, you'd see a big move to reverse childhood obesity trends, according to a new study from researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). 

In fact, just getting rid of those enticing TV spots for fast food could lead to 18 percent fewer overweight kids aged 3 to 11 and it would reduce the number of overweight adolescents ages 12 to 18 by 14 percent.

Of course, this study, published in this month in the Journal of Law and Economics, certainly adds to the ongoing debate in the food industry about whether or not child-directed food and beverage advertising should be allowed.

So why don't the government step in and do something about this? President-Elect Obama, are you listening?

Thanks to Food Navigator for tipping me off to this study.

Check out the Seattle Post Intelligencer story, too.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Should You Believe These New Ads? Get the Truth on Nov. 18

Do you believe these new ads about high fructose corn syrup, which seek to convince you that it's OK to consume in moderation? Please, don't be duped!

All Americans — especially those of you who regularly consume processed, packaged and jarred foods — need to woken up by a sour surprise, not a "sweet surprise," as the Corn Refiners Association is trying to have you believe, with its reported $20 million to $30 million ad campaign.

If you haven't seen the three TV spots yet, see them here: "Party," "Two Bites" and "Brothers."

Get the sour surprise about America's most popular sweetener on Nov. 18 on my Gab With The Gurus Radio Show, when several experts will give you their take on the alleged "facts" presented in the campaign.

My guests will be:

In the meantime, see the 3 Minute Ad Age news story, A Sour View of Corn Refiners' Sweetener Ads, for which I was interviewed.

And check out my previous comments here about the new high fructose corn syrup ads here.

Ice Cream as a Favorite Summer Food? You’ve Got to Be Kidding!

Talk about shocking advice from a nutrionist! Shame on "Today" Show Diet and Nutrition Editor Madelyn H. Fernstrom, PhD, CNS for citing ice cream as a favorite summer food!

I can live with the suggestions for watermelon, corn, potato salad and grilled meat, even though the first three could be high on the glycemic index, but how the heck did sugar-filled ice cream get on a list from a nutrionist?

‘Nuff said.

Most Kids’ Meals at Chain Restaurants Have Too Many Calories, Report Finds

Jennifer Moore for SUGAR SHOCK! Blog

Some 93 percent of children’s meals offered at 13 restaurant chains contain more calories than the average child needs in one sitting, according to a new report recently conducted and announced by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

CSPI evaluated the nutritional profiles of 1,474 meals against standards devised by the Department of Health and Human Services and USDA‘s joint Dietary Guidelines for America 2005, which say that the average sedentary child aged four to eight should ingest no more than 1,200 calories per day.

The report is an alarming testament to just how unhealthy kids’ meals at many popular restaurants are. For example:

  • 100% of the meals at 5 of the 13 restaurant chains exceeded 430 calories.
  • 45% of the kids’ meals served by the 13 establishments exceed recommendations for trans and saturated fats.
  • 86% of the meals are too high in sodium.
  • 95% of kids’ meals offer sugary soda (CSPI famously called soda "liquid candy" in their 2005 report of the same name.)
  • 84% of restaurants offer the quickie-carb french fries as a side dish, while only 58% offer fruit and just 42% offer vegetables.

CSPI also singles out a few meal combinations for their "Hall of Shame" for being so laden with calories. (For instance, Chili’s country-fried chicken crispers, cinnamon apples and chocolate milk were given the thumbs down. This single meal has a whopping 1020 calories, almost all the calories a typical four-to-eight-year-old needs for an entire day. Yikes!)

Since childhood obesity is at such incredibly high levels, it’s disappointing that most kids’ meals sold at chain restaurants are overloaded with calories, fat, quickie carbs and sugar. I wish these places would make more of an effort to include healthier choices in their kids’ menus.

Until that happens, what can parents do to keep their kids’ diets under control? Eat at home!

Thanks to Joan Lowy of the AP for the tip on CSPI’s revealing report.

Deep-Fried Coca Cola? My Stomach is Turning

As if fried Twinkies and fried candy bars aren’t enough.

Now, Deep-Fried Coca Cola is apparently is all the rage at state fairs in Texas, North Carolina and Arizona.

The sugary, fatty dish — which made its debut at the State Fair of Texas in 2006 — even won the "Most Creative" title that year.

Today, as I was cleaning my office, I ran across the recipe, which a fan of mine sent to me. As I examine the ingredients list, I’m aghast: White flour, eggs, Coca Cola and Cola Cola syrup, plus whipped cream and cherries.

Yuck! I’m feeling sick.

I deeply care about you, dear readers, and there’s simply no way I’m going to share this disgusting creation with you, because I don’t want you to harm your health by getting this anywhere near your mouth.

Granted, at street fairs and festivals, people go gaga over these fad-laden, sugar-filled, artery-clogging concoctions, but I shudder to think of the damage that they could cause.

Why would such a recipe even be floating around the Internet?

Oh, and get this, the recipe raves, "The kids love them because they’re so sweet and gooey."

Then, if the batter thickens, there’s a "solution," reveals the recipe. "If this happens, thin the batter by adding more Coca Cola." (More Coke? You’ve got to be kidding!)

Aren’t the distributors of this Deep-Fried Coca Cola recipe at all concerned about our obesity crisis and that heart disease is one of many risks associated with it?

UPI put it best: When the sweet snack emerged on the scene, the wire service ran a story with the following revealing headline, "A new way to get fat in Texas: Fried Coke."

Thanks to Brenda for sending me this recipe, along with her amazed comment, "I can’t believe it either."

Stress Means Eating Poorly for Many Americans

Stressed out? Bummed out? Gonna be laid off?

Does that mean it’s time to pig out on cookies, chocolate and cakes? No way!

But, according to AP reporter Candice Choi, that’s exactly what’s happening.

Read Choi’s sad, but ultimately eye-opening and inspiring story about how diet takes a toll on people under duress.

Choi quotes a number of experts.

For instance, dietitian Heather Bauer, author of The Wall Street Diet, points ouit that eating right and getting exercise may seem burdensome and even frivolous under such circumstances, but it gives people a greater sense of control and calm.

Stay tuned to this blog, because I hope to interview Bauer soon on my Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show.

New York Politician Opposes Greater Access to Fresh Fruits and Veggies–Why?

Note from Connie: Kudos to my blogging researcher/writer for writing about this astounding development. Your jaw may drop as you read this. What do you think of this?

New York’s City Council took a step toward fighting obesity by voting to issue 1,000 permits to street vendors to sell fresh fruits and vegetables in low-income neighborhoods, Reuters reports.

Sounds like a great idea. Who would be against making more delicious, nutritious fresh produce available to more people?

Well, unfortunately, City Councilman John Liu, who represents a district in the borough of Queens, for one.

"If people wanted this produce, the stores would be selling them and there would be vending carts on the street," he told Reuters.

So, is Councilman Liu saying that if stores in modest neighborhoods don’t sell much fresh produce, the people living there are just out of luck?

According to the New York Times, Liu wasn’t the only one that wasn’t wild about this initiative, also known as the Green Cart bill. Surprise, surprise, the retail food industry lobbied against it because they’re afraid they’ll lose customers to the fruit and vegetable vendors, the Times reports.

In fact, the final bill was scaled back from the legislation Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn initially proposed in December, which would have issued 1,500 Green Cart permits.

Apparently those concessions weren’t enough for some council people. Nine of them actually voted against the bill (the council has 51 members altogether, but only 46 voted on this plan).

I don’t know what on earth the bill’s opponents were thinking when they voted no, but luckily they were in the minority!

Jennifer Moore for SUGAR SHOCK! Blog