“Kiwi had only been sick once; never on any sort of medication, not even Tylenol. All of that changed on Friday, July 31st, 2010 when we found ourselves in the Emergency Room because Kiwi’s left hand had begun to spasm periodically all that day. Our lives went from Kiwi never being in the hospital and only at the doctors once (but never on any medications), to being poked and prodded for hours in the ER. I had a very difficult time comprehending the next few days of my life. It started in the ER on a Friday night and moved slowly through the weekend, to an MRI on Sunday showing that my darling 22 month old daughter had a large tumor on the right side of her brain.” (Read the rest of Kiwi’s story.)
Your daughter has cancer.
They are words no parent ever wants to hear, yet the sad fact is that every sixty minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer and every six hours, a child will lose her battle to cancer. Cases of pediatric cancer have increased 30% over the last 30 years, to the point that cancer is now the nation’s leading cause of death by disease in children.
Meanwhile, little action is being taken to prevent exposures to carcinogens, the substances which are proven to cause cancer. Even dioxin, the single most potent carcinogen identified by scientists, is still not being addressed in the United States. Dioxin has been targeted for international phase-out by a treaty signed by over 170 nations across the world—but not us.
The Environmental Protection Agency is supposedly on the verge of taking action, but the way things are going in Washington, I’m not holding my breath.
According to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, “For over 20 years, EPA’s study on dioxin has been delayed time after time. American families have been exposed to this poisonous chemical for far too long. Every American eats dioxins when they consume fatty foods, and every American has measurable levels of this chemical in their body.”
And, dioxin is just one of 240 substances currently recognized as “reasonably anticipated to cause cancer” by a report released in June by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
At Healthy Child Healthy World, we believe it’s well beyond time to put our collective foot down and take aggressive action to prevent cancer. Throughout 2012, which is the 20th anniversary of our organization, we’ll be turning up the volume on this increasingly common—and tragic—issue.
Healthy Child began after five-year-old Colette Chuda died of a rare form of non-hereditary cancer linked to environmental factors; her parents, Jim and Nancy Chuda, turned their grief into action and formed Healthy Child Healthy World (formerly the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition) in 1992.
It's been 20 years and we've seen little change. Now, we're ready for a revolution.
We're inspired by the 46 mothers from across the country who will gather in Washington DC this week to shave their heads to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. By shaving their heads in solidarity with not only their children who have been diagnosed with cancer, but every child affected by cancer, the 46 Mommas hope to raise $1 million. (To locate ororganize an event in your community, sign-up to shave, donate or volunteer, visit www.StBaldricks.org.) Here’s a video from last year’s Shave for the Brave event in Los Angeles.
To the 46 Mommas: We are humbled by your action, and honor your commitment.
To mothers everywhere: It’s time to stand up, get mad, and stop pediatric cancer in its tracks. Please join us in this fight, as we gear up for 2012.
Sweet tooth raging out of control? Here's how to tame those sugar cravings.
Does that morning Danish leave you craving another treat two hours later? Do you grab a candy bar to cope with your afternoon slump -- and then reach for a cola to get out of your post-slump slump?
How can you stop sugar cravings once and for all? Here's expert advice.
If you’ve found that munching sugary snacks just makes you crave more sugary snacks, you’re not alone. Eating lots of simple carbohydrates -- without the backup of proteins or fats -- can quickly satisfy hunger and give your body a short-term energy boost, but they almost as quickly leave you famished again and craving more.
Why Do We Crave Sugar?
There are many reasons why we go for sweet things.
That appetite may be hardwired. "Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth," says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a dietitian and American Dietetic Association (ADA) spokeswoman. Carbohydrates stimulate the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Sugar is a carbohydrate, but carbohydrates come in other forms, too, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The taste of sugar also releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and offer a natural "high," says Susan Moores, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant in St. Paul, Minn.
Sweets just taste good, too. And that preference gets reinforced by rewarding ourselves with sweet treats, which can make you crave it even more. With all that going for it, why wouldn’t we crave sugar?
The problem comes not when we indulge in a sweet treat now and then, but when we over-consume, something that’s easy to do when sugar is added to many processed foods, including breads, yogurt, juices, and sauces. And Americans do overconsume, averaging about 22 teaspoons of added sugars per day, according to the American Heart Association, which recommends limiting added sugars to about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men.
How to Stop Sugar Cravings: 8 Tips to Use Right Now
If you're craving sugar, here are some ways to tame those cravings.
Give in a little. Eat a bit of what you’re craving, maybe a small cookie or a fun-size candy bar, suggests Kerry Neville, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and ADA spokeswoman. Enjoying a little of what you love can help you steer clear of feeling denied. Try to stick to a 150-calorie threshold, Neville says.
Combine foods. If the idea of stopping at a cookie or a baby candy bar seems impossible, you can still fill yourself up and satisfy a sugar craving, too. "I like combining the craving food with a healthful one," Neville says. "I love chocolate, for example, so sometimes I’ll dip a banana in chocolate sauce and that gives me what I’m craving, or I mix some almonds with chocolate chips." As a beneficial bonus, you'll satisfy a craving and get healthy nutrients from those good-for-you foods.
Go cold turkey. Cutting out all simple sugars works for some people, although "the initial 48 to 72 hours are tough," Gerbstadt says. Some people find that going cold turkey helps their cravings diminish after a few days; others find they may still crave sugar but over time are able to train their taste buds to be satisfied with less.
Grab some gum. If you want to avoid giving in to a sugar craving completely, try chewing a stick of gum, says nutrition advisor Dave Grotto, RD, LDN. "Research has shown that chewing gum can reduce food cravings," Grotto says.
Reach for fruit. Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You'll get fiber and nutrients along with some sweetness. And stock up on foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, says certified addiction specialist Judy Chambers, LCSW, CAS. "Have them handy so you reach for them instead of reaching for the old [sugary] something."
Get up and go. When a sugar craving hits, walk away. "Take a walk around the block or [do] something to change the scenery," to take your mind off the food you’re craving, Neville suggests.
Choose quality over quantity. "If you need a sugar splurge, pick a wonderful, decadent sugary food," Moores says. But keep it small. For example, choose a perfect dark chocolate truffle instead of a king-sized candy bar, then "savor every bite -- slowly," Moores says. Grotto agrees. "Don’t swear off favorites -- you’ll only come back for greater portions. Learn to incorporate small amounts in thediet but concentrate on filling your stomach with less sugary and [healthier] options."
Eat regularly. Waiting too long between meals may set you up to choose sugary, fatty foods that cut your hunger, Moores says. Instead, eating every three to five hours can help keep blood sugar stable and help you "avoid irrational eating behavior," Grotto says. Your best bets? "Choose protein, fiber-rich foods like whole grains and produce," Moores says.
But won't eating more often mean overeating? Not if you follow Neville's advice to break up your meals. For instance, have part of your breakfast -- a slice of toast with peanut butter, perhaps -- and save some yogurt for a mid-morning snack. "Break up lunch the same way to help avoid a mid-afternoon slump," Neville says.
How to Stop Sugar Cravings: 5 Tips for the Long Term
One of the best ways to manage sugar cravings is to stop them before they start. To help you do that:
Skip artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners may sound like a great idea, but "they don’t lessen cravings for sugar and haven’t demonstrated a positive effect on our obesity epidemic," says Grotto, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.
Reward yourself for successfully managing sugar cravings. Your reward could be large or small. Remember why you’re working on it and then reward yourself for each successful step.
Slow down. For one week, focus on your sugar cravings and think about what you’re eating, suggests Chambers. Diet mayhem often results from lack of planning. So slow down, plan, "and eat what you intend to eat, instead of eating when you’re desperate," Chambers says.
Get support. Many people turn to sweet foods when they're stressed, depressed, or angry. But food doesn't solve emotional issues. Consider whether emotions are involved in your sugar cravings and whether you need help to find other solutions to those emotional problems.
Mix it up. You may need more than one strategy to thwart sugar cravings. One week you may find success with one tactic, and another week calls for an alternative approach. What’s important is to “have a ‘bag of tricks’ to try,” Gerbstadt tells WebMD. To tame sugar cravings, you really need to "figure out what works for you," Neville says.
Lastly, go easy on yourself. It may take time to get a handle on your sugar cravings. "It’s difficult to shift any system -- whether it’s the world economy or your eating," Chambers says.
Some of you may know Shannon fromCoupon Mommy of 3.This precious little girl is Shannon's 3 year old daughter Emily, who took ill on December 18, 2010. Symptomatically she looked like she had a bad stomach flu but several tests down the line the family received the shattering news that Emily has Stage IV cancer. Read more about her story, with updates on theCaring Bridge Site Page created just for Emily by Shannon. Please lift up this family in your prayers. We believe the family will also need all the financial support they can get. So to help out, Shannon's friends Karen fromMommy Timesand Nancy fromArizona Mamahave helped set up thisChipIn account for Emily. (ChipIn is a Web-based service that simplifies the process of collecting money from groups of people. They make the process quick, easy, and secure, and provide organizers with numerous ways to get the word out about their ChipIn event.) The last thing this family should worry about at this time is finances and I honestly believe if all my readers could chip in with a little we can help this family.
(No contribution is too little. Every dollar counts at a time like this) You can click on the "ChipIn" button below to have your contribution pooled in out of your paypal account.
Please, take the time to share this information with others. Repost, e-mail, retweet.... This is a very troubling and heartbreaking time for this family. Their choices should not be made harder based on their ability to pay.
Retweet: RT @ebmommy 3 year old Emily Needs Your Help http://bit.ly/eduwN9 #chipin #fightcancer #prayer #30daygive #give #sponsor #cancer #faith