By now you know that I’m at the gym in the wee hours of the morning.  An update on the gym manager that sprayed the Lysol that nearly asphyxiated me, she no longer sprays the Lysol.  At least she doesn’t do it when I’m there.  As a special perk to the early workout birds, the gym is now offering fresh brewed coffee.  I love the scent of the brewing coffee as it wafts through the gym to my olfactory bulb in my brain.  Of course, it is pulling me by the nose to partake. And of course, I’m going to be disappointed because there are Styrofoam cups, Coffee-mate Non-Dairy Creamer, both powder and liquid, as well as a selection of pink, blue and yellow packets.  Way to crash my limbic system in a heart beat.  The very place I go to support my wellness as well as my musculoskeletal system is not aware of the concept of health.  I forget that I know way to much because I research and teach this information all the time.  It is now time for me to ruin yet another food stuff (I’m using the term food loosely) that you or a loved one may be using on a daily basis.

First let’s chat about pouring the hot coffee into that Styrofoam cup. What harm is that?  The word styrofoam refers to polystyrene or styrene.  It leaches out of the cup when hot foods or liquids are placed in it.  It is only a possible carcinogen and only increases your risk for leukemia, lung tumors, respiratory problems and lymphoma.  And there may be some possible side effects like fatigue, headaches and feeling like you are drunk.  Certainly another factor is the environmental challenges that styrene creates for our planet.  Drink responsibly!

Secondly, those pink, blue and yellow packets are chemicals that fool your pancreas into thinking it is sugar.  They are nothing but colorful, little packets of cancer.  The synthetic food industry is smart. Splenda is sucralose which sounds like sucrose (table sugar).  Aspartame in Nutrasweet and Equal sounds like aspartic acid (an amino acid which occurs in sugar cane).  In Sweet ‘N Low there is saccharine which sounds like saccharide (a general synonym for sugar). There is no mistake that “Nutra” sounds like nutrition and Equal means equivalent.  Clever little tricks that make you believe that these ingredients are harmless and natural sugar substitutes.  Try stevia or raw sugar instead, just for the “health” of it.

And thirdly, what you have been waiting for, drumroll, please……

One Degree of Change #34: Use Organic Half & Half in your Coffee, instead of Non-Dairy Creamer!

I do a ton of research because I teach CE’s (Continuing Education to maintain licensure) to doctors, as well as speaking publicly on the topic of nutrition.  I will tell you this, there are a lot of doctors that don’t know diddly squat about nutrition other than there are the Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F & K.  Somebody has to teach them.  Remember what Maya Angelou says, “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better”.  Here’s to you “knowing better”!

Non-Dairy Creamers, well, it is descriptive on purpose because the FDA is looking out for you.  That’s because if it says non-dairy, there is no dairy in the product.  In Europe, they must use the term “whitener”, because the label “cream” would lead one to think there is actually dairy in the product.  I pick on Coffee-mate brand made by Nestle because that is what was in the gym this

morning.  It was made popular by Nestle in 1961 and remains that way today.  In 2014, the company had revenue in the 91 billion range.  Somebody is drinking this stuff, and it’s not me!  They have more than 22 flavors  Here are the ingredients of the powder:

  • corn syrup solids- sugar made from cornstarch
  • vegetable oil (including partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil) TRANS FAT! (Read One Degree of Change #5)
  • sodium caseinate- milk protein that does contain lactose
  • dipotassium phosphate- a water soluble salt that prevents coagulation
  • mono- and diglycerides- fats that emulsify and extend shelf life, the future trans fats
  • sodium aluminosilicate- an anti-caking salt made of aluminum, silicon and oxygen
  • artificial flavor- depending on the flavor you buy (but won’t be buying now)
  • annatto color- coloring agent
  • Carrageenan: Extracted from red seaweeds, this food additive is a type of vegan gelatin and has been in use for hundreds of years.
  • Whiteners

Basically, you are pouring vegetable oil with sugar into your cup of Joe!  The shelf life is two years with no refrigeration necessary.  Think about how long those little tiny containers of non-dairy creamers sit on a restaurant table, day after day. Did you know you can blow up powdered non-dairy creamer?  I’m a big fan of Mythbusters.  Here’s a fun little video of what happens to non-dairy creamer when you had fire! Additionally, it has more calories than Half & Half.

Here is your plan of action to remove these non-dairy:

  1. Learn to love it black!  You will save calories for more fun foods.
  2. Use REAL cream or half & half.  Look for Organic and grass feed on the label.  This is what I use, Organic Valley.
  3. Go vegan or if you are lactose intolerant, try a nut milk, read my One Degree of Change #27 for more info.  There are many to choose from:  almond, cashew, or coconut.  If you have a nut allergy try hemp, chia or flaxseed milk.

No excuses.  You can still have your cup of Joe and drink it too! Remember to drink fair trade coffee.  Life is too short for bad coffee.  Make your cup a good one and good for you as well.  It is only one degree of change to make you a better you!

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