Is Chromium-6 in your water?

Posted on: March 3rd, 2011 by admin No Comments

Have you seen the movie Erin Brokovich? It is a true story about a woman who exposes a chemical company that is accused of polluting the tap water supply of a small California community. Many members of the community developed cancer as a result of the chemical contamination by a known carcinogen called hexavalent chromium or chromium-6. Well, the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit public health organization, recently found that the water supply of 31 out of 35 American cities contain hexavalent chromium. The EWG estimates that more than 74 million Americans in 42 states drink this contaminated water on a regular basis. California has proposed a stricter limit on hexavalent chromium in the water in hopes that a limit would also be set across the nation. Thus far, the EPA has not taken action about setting legal limits in the water nor are water utility companies required to test for chromium. Scary! The EPA is in the process of evaluating chromium’s risk and has stated that it will make a decision upon project completion by the end of the year as to whether new safety standards need to be set. In the meanwhile, the EPA is offering guidance to cities that are voluntarily testing their water for chromium and providing assistance to those cities found in the recent EWG study to have high levels of chromium-6 in their water.

Dr. Oz did a show a couple weeks ago called “Is our water causing cancer?” One of the three chemicals he is most concerned about is chromium-6. He suggested that consumers use water filter containers (like Brita), filtering systems for kitchen faucets, or entire home filtering systems. He was not a proponent of bottled water since it is not regulated. The reality is that there are many unknown chemicals lurking in our tap water so we need to stay informed. We did find that Birmingham’s water was tested in 2008 for chromium-6 and no contaminant was detected. To read the EWG’s full report and see your area’s contaminant level, go to:


Posted on: February 25th, 2011 by admin No Comments

I hear grumblings a lot from families who just cannot seem to get anything good into their kid’s diets without getting the proverbial EWWWW it’s green! Or whatever color it may be is usually the turn off. Unfortunately our society has programmed our precious children into thinking that cherries should look like maraschinos and cheese should be neon orange and yogurt is bright blue. So when I find companies on the market making an effort to help us sneak some things into our kid’s diets without all the fuss…I say bring it on. Of course if you’ve ever worked with me as a client you know that I truly believe in teaching your children how to make better choices with food first and foremost; however, sometimes we’ve just got to have a break and use some easy dishes that are already loaded up with goodness. Some of my favorites are Dr. Praegers which has yummy spinach cakes. They also come in sweet potato and plain too. A dollop of sour cream on top masks the color and they are crispy, light and yum. Happy Bites has amazing mac n cheese bites plus salmon sticks are fab too. So, the newest on the market is a company called Kidfresh. I was lucky enough to have them send me some samples and coupons. So after you read this blog if you DM or email me, I’ll give you one of their FREE & $1 off coupons.

Matt Cohen, Kidfresh founder, wanted more delicious and healthy meal options for his own children as well as meals that were quick and easy for parents. He enlisted a top chef and a pediatric nutritionist to find just the right recipes for kids. They launched their first store in New York City which offered natural and organic children’s meals prepared daily in their kitchen. They had so much local and international interest that they wanted to offer the meals to grocery stores nationwide. Hence, the new Kidfresh frozen meals were born. The meals are variations of children’s favorites while packed with vegetables. They contain nothing artificial made without BPA or phthalates as well as use environmentally-friendly packaging. We say thumbs up to a delicious and conscientious combination! My 8 year old son loves the macaroni and cheese wagon wheels dish! And even better than the taste, the packaging is super kitschy and cute to look at & doesn’t scream ‘I’M HEALTHY’. So, date night out for you and your spouse doesn’t always have to be junk—throw one of these in too for a cleaner choice. Don’t forget to email me about the freebies I have from Kidfresh so you can try it for yourself.

Diet Drink Alternatives

Posted on: February 18th, 2011 by admin 1 Comment

In a previous post we discussed the dangers of diet sodas. Artificial sweeteners in these sodas have been linked to cancer, most recently heart disease and a host of other health problems have been splattered all over the front pages of the news. But for people with sugar-restrictive diets, like diabetics, or those trying to decrease their sugar intake, they can’t just substitute diet sodas with natural sodas or regular sodas. Water has typically been their only option. According to our research, people with sugar-restrictive diets can consume in moderation low glycemic index fruit juices with no added sugar, like orange, pineapple and apple juices. Tomato, vegetable, lemon and lime juices are also good options. Our family enjoys mixing a half cup of apple juice and a half cup of water. The kids also love to take fresh lemons and squeeze them into their water glass then add one packet of Truvia to make their own lemonade. Another fun tip is to place chopped up fruit in an ice cube tray, add water, and freeze. Put these tasty fruit cubes in your water for instant flavor and color. If you really love carbonated water, there are relatively inexpensive home soda makers that you can purchase. You can make your drinks at home by adding natural flavors or sweeteners to your water. If you don’t want to go to that trouble then La Croix is one of our favorites & comes in a variety of flavors. The lemon lime is my fav because it tastes like a sprite lite.

There are natural, low calorie sweeteners on the market other than sugar. There is Truvia which is made from rebiana which comes from the stevia plant. Xylitol is made from fruits, vegetables, or Birch trees. Xylitol is especially interesting because it has been shown to prevent cavities so it is being more commonly used as a natural sweetener in chewing gum. It is also currently being studied for its ability to prevent bone loss. Wouldn’t that be great! There is also stevia, which is made from the stevia plant. And there is agave nectar which is a liquid that comes from the agave plant. All of these sweeteners can be found in most grocery stores except for xylitol which can be found at health food stores or online. They are a great way to add sweetness to a beverage such as iced coffee, iced tea or lemonade.

Believe it or not, there are some canned and bottled drink alternatives. We like Zevia and so do many of our friends’ children. The cola and ginger ale flavors are some of our favorites and the ‘Dr’ version is a great Dr. Pepper knock off. We also like Vitamin Water Zero, Blue Sky Free, and La Croix. All but La Croix are sweetened with either stevia or rebiana. OOgave soda in a glass bottle is another low glycemic option and is sweetened with agave. Since these drinks can get expensive, we look for sales or go to the warehouse retailers to purchase them. See, drinking healthier has just gotten easier for those of you looking for 0 calorie and no sugar added options.

Is Total cereal really more nutritious than Kashi?

Posted on: February 7th, 2011 by admin No Comments

Have you seen the new commercial toting the supposed superior nutrition of Total cereal versus Kashi cereal? I was shocked! I almost fell out of my chair when I saw it. The commercial compares Total cereal to Kashi GOLEAN Crunch stating that Total has 100% nutrition of 11 essential vitamins and minerals and Kashi does not. While this appears convincing on the surface, this theory is, oh, so wrong. First of all, when did synthetic vitamins (i.e. chemically-formulated vitamins added to products) become more healthful than naturally occurring whole grains and vitamins as God intended? Secondly, shame on Total for falsely promoting to the entire country and our children that synthetically-fortified cereals are better for you than high-quality natural cereals. Kashi makes some of the healthiest cereals around, filled with natural whole grains containing tons of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Your body is designed to absorb nutrients from natural foods. For this reason most health experts agree that it is best to get your daily vitamin supplement from whole foods (i.e. real food) and natural vitamins than from synthetic sources. In reality, the amount of vitamins we get are not nearly as important as the source and types of vitamins we receive. Synthetic vitamins are not absorbed as readily as natural ones and only a moderate amount of the vitamins are typically absorbed. So, your 100% vitamins may actually become 15% of your vitamin intake. We did our research and found that to get the equivalent amount of protein and fiber as one serving of GOLEAN Crunch, that you would have to consume one and half cups of cantaloupe, one cup of strawberries, one hard boiled egg AND one bowl of Whole grain Total. Total cereal does not look so totally nutritious now does it? Stick to whole grains with natural vitamin sources with little to no added sugar. You cannot go wrong. The super sleuths that we are, of course we contacted Kashi directly as we do most companies when it comes to educating our clients best. Please read below:

Hello Allie,

While we are excited to see that Kashi GOLEAN Crunch! has made national press, we realize that not all food companies embrace the importance of providing nutrition from natural foods. Natural, minimally processed foods provide positive nutrition, including vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that cannot be found in many overly processed foods. We believe eating a balanced diet of whole foods is better for your body than foods that are hyper-fortified with synthetic vitamins.

At Kashi, not all of our products are “blanket fortified”. Rather, we add nutrients to certain products to support a specific health benefit. When we do fortify, we select natural forms of vitamins, minerals or botanicals that are readily absorbed by the body.

For instance, our Heart to Heart line of products has been designed to optimize heart health. The cereals, oatmeals and waffles are made with more heart healthy ingredients to make taking care of your heart easy and enjoyable.

How so:
• Helps Reduce Cholesterol-1g soluble fiber from oats
• Helps Support Healthy Arteries-6 natural antioxidants, including green tea and grape seed extract; 100% daily value of 3 B vitamins
• Helps Promote Healthy Blood Pressure-low sodium

Our Kashi GOLEAN Crunch! cereal, made from Seven Whole Grains and Sesame, is high in fiber and a good source of protein to help keep you satisfied. You would have to eat one and a half cups of cantaloupe, one cup of strawberries and one hard boiled egg along with a bowl of Whole Grain Total® in order to get the same amount of protein and fiber as one bowl of GOLEAN Crunch!

I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

Best of health,

Andrew De La Luz
Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs


Nana’s Cookie Company

Posted on: January 31st, 2011 by admin No Comments

As many of you know, my Mom, Dad and brother own and operate the largest family owned health foods stores in South Florida called Nutrition Cottage Health Foods. I’ve been blessed to get to know so many products first hand because they either carry it in their store or know about it from all the national conferences they attend. One such company they put me in touch with is Nana’s cookies which so graciously sent me some of their fabulous line of snacks for my family to try. Without a doubt the fudgy wudgy cookie bars and lemon bites are our favorites but we loved all of them honestly. For all you ‘Little Debbie’ fans, these are the best alternative out there that my kids love to take in their lunchboxes because they look cool and taste great. Wholesome is a huge fan of any company that starts off on the right foot and stays true to their mission of healthy, fun products. I love their story so let me fill you in a little on them: In 1992, Miriam “Nana” Diamond began making delicious, healthy cookies for her friends and family. These all natural cookies use no refined sugars, are non GMO, no cholesterol, no casein, no eggs, no soy, trans fat free and are only sweetened with natural fruit juice. Everyone loved her cookies so much that she decided to start her own cookie company. She spent months working on her four signature cookie flavors including Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Peanut Butter. She began selling her cookies to stores locally and now 20 years later her variety of cookies, cookie bites and cookie bars can be found around the country. Plus, for all my allergy families ~ Nana’s Cookie Company also now makes a line of Gluten Free cookies in a variety of flavors that are free of corn, soy, dairy, eggs, casein and wheat. And, if you are Curious George fan they are running a special on all their packaging right now for you to get free DVDs or games with your purchase.