Monday, May 8, 2017

Why I Gave Up Soda

This post, Why I Gave Up Soda, was originally written for my church on May. 18th, 2012, but after watching That Sugar Film yesterday and learning that Coca-Cola Company funded research on fructose-containing sugar that, would you believe, showed no correlation between sugar and obesity, diabetes, heart disease...! Yeah, the scientist who was interviewed in the film, John L Sievenpiper MD, states in the film that sugar isn't bad for us and in the same interview said that yes, COCA-COLA IS FUNDING THE RESEARCH, but that doesn't sway the results/findings.

In this same interview, Sievenpiper says, "Let's say we took away added sugar. Well then, what're people gunna do, uh, to get that same feeling in their life that sugar gave them in terms of their values and preferences?" This makes me go, "hmmmm..." because research (not paid for by sugar-pushing companies who care nothing for the people buying their products) shows sugar is more addictive than cocaine.

So, take the cocaine away from the druggies and what're they gunna do, uh, to get that same feeling that cocaine gave them? 

Anyway, this article I wrote years ago kept popping in my head and I gotta say, one of my values is justice and because of that value, I can never believe in scientific outcomes that are paid for by the makers of poisonous drinks marketed to children and everyone else in the world. Yes, poisonous drinks (keep reading).

Why I Gave Up Soda - Authentic in My Skin

I drink soda.  Okay, I should say that I drank soda until I began researching this article, and I chose to research soda after hearing yet another person say to me, “I’ve lost such and such pounds from eating better and exercising and if drinking diet soda is my only vice, I’m okay with that.”  Although I have fallen off the soda wagon (many times), it really bothers me to hear my fellow brothers and sisters work so hard to get healthy, but keep drinking soda and think it’s okay.  Dear Readers, let me explain that soda, diet or not, is absolutely horrendous for your bodies and you should not be okay with it being a regular part of your diet.  I couldn’t say that before because I was drinking soda, too, and did not want to give it up. So I gave myself until graduation – get through finals and then quit!  And to help me along, I began my soda research.  Let me share with you what I’ve learned:

What's in Soda and Why?

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) – this chemical, first patented as a flame retardant, is now used in soft drinks to prevent the soda flavoring from separating and floating. BVO is linked to the following symptoms: memory loss, nerve disorders, behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on heart muscles over time. In addition, several neurological, psychiatric, gastrointestinal, and dermatological symptoms have been linked to BVO consumption. Although it has been known to have a variety of negative health effects, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has permitted a limited amount of this chemical to be used in soft drinks while additional studies are done.*

Phosphoric Acid – a key ingredient in soda, phosphoric acid is used in soda as a preservative, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial, slowing the growth of mold and bacteria that can develop.  A flavor-enhancer, phosphoric acid also gives soda that nice acidic texture.  However, PA is used to remove rust from metal, and has been linked to lower bone mineral density, kidney problems, and accelerated aging (AJCN).  Phosphoric acid also assists in removing enamel from your teeth.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice (IJCP),excess soda appears to cause blood potassium levels to fall to dangerously low levels.  “Several lines of evidence suggest that the chronic consumption of large amounts of cola soft drinks may adversely affect potassium homeostasis and result in potentially severe conditions such as hypokalaemic myopathy.”  This is a condition involving muscle weakness, cramps, palpitations, and vomiting that is caused by a potassium deficiency.  For more adverse side effects, click the IJCP link above.

Bisphenol A (BPA) – in soda, BPA is used as a liner inside of the cans to keep the acids from reacting with the metal of the can.  According to Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (formerly Breast Cancer Fund) and the International Journal of Andrology, BPA has been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, miscarriages, breast and prostate cancer, reproductive dysfunction, metabolic dysfunction and diabetes, and neurological and behavioral disorders.  Considered an endocrine disruptor (it messes with your hormones, best I can explain), Canada has banned BPA in certain food products, declaring it toxic to infants and children.  And while the FDA has no plans at this time to follow suit, Campbell’s Soup is phasing BPA out of it’s products.**

4-Methylimidazole (4-MEI) – 4-what? Unpronounceable to regular people (like myself), this ingredient is the caramel coloring that makes soda brown. This ingredient contains carcinogens (which means “cancer-causing” in regular people terms) and has been added to a list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

I'm not a doctor, chemist, or any sort of scientist, so I included links above for you to do your own research.  However, you may not be in to that sort of thing so here are just a few more studies/details for you:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) – There are many articles on the AJCN website pertaining to studies on the effects of soda on the body.  Some results conclude that the consumption of added sugars (caloric sweeteners) to beverages, particularly carbonated soft drinks, has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

American Stroke Association – Preliminary studies presented at the International Stroke Conference show that the greater the intake of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas, the significantly higher risk of stroke.

National Center for Biotechnology Information – Daily intake of sugary soft drinks lead to and increases fat storage in the liver and in muscle tissues.  This daily intake is likely to enhance the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as determining the level of insulin resistance, possibly predisposing a person to type 2 diabetes.

Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) – sweet-tasting soft drinks—regardless of whether they are sweetened with sugar or a calorie-free sugar substitute—might stimulate the appetite for other sweet, high-carbohydrate foods.  Studies show an increase in risk of diabetes with increasing soft drink and fruit drink consumption.  For those of you trying to lose weight on artifical sweeteners, HSPH states: "One worry about artificial sweeteners is that they uncouple sweetness and energy.  Until recently, sweet taste meant sugar, and thus energy.  The human brain responds to sweetness with signals to, at first, eat more and then with signals to slow down and stop eating.  By providing a sweet taste without any calories, artificial sweeteners could confuse these intricate feedback loops that involve the brain, stomach, nerves, and hormones.  If this happens, it could throw off the body's ability to accurately gauge how many calories are being taken in."  Your body also craves what you put in it.  Stop drinking sweet sodas and you'll stop craving sweets.

Well readers, I hope you are now seriously considering giving up your soda... FOR YOUR HEALTH!!  I am four days soda free.***  Let me know if you're joining me on this soda-free lifestyle and we'll celebrate together!!


Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Agree to Remove Flame Retardant Chemical from Their Products.
** Since the first post, research has come out that BPA-free may be just as horrible for us.
*** Make that 5 years soda free!

To this updated post, I wanted to leave you with a fun video!

Original article published on LiveJournal under ACACThreads.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Free Online Health Summits: Empowering You to Take Control of Your Health

I have been learning so much about healing ourselves with food and herbs and the natural things of this earth. I can't get enough of the free online health summits that are going on every week. I feel hopeful that I don't have to be sick and hurting for the rest of my life. I feel empowered to say, "Enough is enough!" And I feel grateful for the hundreds of people behind these health summits and I hope by sharing them, you'll feel hopeful and empowered, too.

Free Online Health Summits - Empowering You to Take Control of Your Health - Authentic in My Skin -

So what are these health summits, you ask? They are interviews with experts in the field of functional medicine and nutrition, people who want to share their knowledge, what they have learned through not only their degrees and academics and patients, but what they learned in their own health journeys. Dr. Mark Hyman, for instance, was a practicing medical doctor when he became so sick with chronic pain, fatigue, digestive problems, and other ailments and his peers could not help him. He was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and the like and took his health in his own hands to heal himself. What he learned about the healing power of foods has made him one of the most sought after functional medicine doctors in the world. The Cleveland Clinic hired him to run their new Center for Functional Medicine, "the first academic medical center in the United States to embrace functional medicine."

Here are a list of summits I've watched/listened to and will be watching/listening to (Already Played, Currently Playing, Playing Soon):

  • The Thyroid Secret - Read my quick review of it here.
  • The Sweet Freedom Summit - Sugar is more addicting than cocaine and may be the reason you are overweight, fatigued, depressed, and just plain sick. And sugar is in everything - even foods marketed as healthy. Learn the strategy to end your sugar addiction for good! Interviews conducted by the beautiful Sherry Strong, Return to Food CEO & Founder.
  • The Food Revolution - "Millions of people are sick or dying from diseases that we know how to prevent and that are caused by crappy food — while a few unscrupulous food companies are making billions of dollars marketing the worst foods to children." Interviews conducted by John Robbins, the only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice-cream empire - he chose to walk away from it and pursue a healthy society. His son, Ocean, is his business partner.
  • That Vitamin Summit 2!!! - Yes, I'm super excited about this summit that starts on May 18, 2017! Everything you've ever wanted to know (and need to know) about vitamins and supplements. Even as a Certified Nutrition Specialist, I struggled with these so I'll be waiting... Interviews conducted by Andrew Saul whose website is "the largest, non-commercial, natural health resource on the internet."
Even though some of these summits have already played, you can still register to learn more about them,to watch a couple of the expert interviews, and can also purchase them with all interviews, transcripts, and a plethora of bonus gifts from the experts (such as ebooks, health courses, mp3s). 

Empower yourself to take back control of your body and your life!
K.Rae - Authentic in My Skin -

Obamacare Repeal Passed - What Does This Mean?

Since I'm focusing so much on health, I decided to share what I learned about the bill Congress passed last night to repeal Obamacare.

Though I once used to follow politics a little obsessively, I haven't really followed in years because it turns my stomach and thoroughly anger me. For my own health, I no longer pay attention, but am kept abreast by my roommate who does.

Today, I decided to do some research for my own understanding and the best way I determined was to go to Fox News as I believe they are Conservative in their reporting. If there are any good points to this new bill, I figured they'd point them out. Here is what I learned the bill will include:
  • Tax penalties eliminated for those without coverage;
  • Tax increases erased on higher-earning people and the health industry;
  • Medicaid cut for low-income people;
  • Subsidies transformed into tax credits;
  • Insurers could charge people with pre-existing conditions far higher rates than healthy customers;
  • Insurers could boost prices for older consumers to whatever they wish;
  • Insurers could ignore the mandate that they cover specified services like pregnancy care;
  • Ending coverage for 24 million people over a decade;
  • Subsidies would be less generous for many, especially lower-earning and older people;
  • Members of Congress and their staffs are no longer entitled to the same coverage requirements as the rest of us.
These words are not my own and are not my opinion. I am merely quoting from an article and you can read the full article at .

Of course, now the bill needs to be passed through the Senate. People for the bill think it will pass unanimously. People against the bill think it will not pass unanimously. My favorite nonpartisan website ( hasn't posted anything on the bill or I'd share that, as well. 

My recommendation to you is that you do your own research. Don't blindly believe what your friends and family believe, but look to see both sides of the story before getting fired up (like I did this morning on Facebook; in my defense, if my Medicaid gets cut, I'm screwed).

To close, this information/debate/current issue only makes me more determined to heal myself with food and to share the life-saving info I'm learning with the rest of the world.