The Sugar “Low Down” on Favored Cocktails:

I have had many questions from clients recently about alcohol and a healthy lifestyle.  Most of you know there are a few benefits to alcohol in moderation.  Indulging in a glass of wine or a beer occasionally has proven health benefits.  Most likely you have read about it’s positive influence on heart health, but there are other benefits too.  Here is an example of one study touting the benefits of moderate consumption of alcohol.  Berkley: Alcohol beyond heart health

What is important to keep in mind is how your cocktails are metabolized in your body.  Simply think of all alcoholic drinks as carbohydrates in liquid form.  Here is an interesting chart from “That Sugar Guide” to help reveal the true metabolic value in some favored cocktails in terms of teaspoons of sugar.


To clarify further, moderate consumption of alcohol translates into 1-2 servings for men and 1 serving for women per day.  Serving size means 8oz. beer, 4 oz of wine, meaning 1/2 of the serving in most restaurants.  If you are trying to watch your wasteline, I recommend 1 serving per week.  Even though this news may be disappointing to some, it does not mean that alcohol is off the table completely for anyone.  Celebrate, CHEERS!

That Sugar Film: Changing Perceptions of “Healthy” Food

In honor of National Candy Day, I am posting a review of a documentary called “That Sugar Film.”  It includes several points I emphasize about hidden sugars.  What is labeled as “healthy” may not be healthy at all.  It is amazing what 60 days of eating only hidden sources of sugar can do to our bodies.  I’ve added a few comments in blue.

“I am an advocate for a healthier life, for greener living, and for putting consumer dollars behind authentic, responsible brands. Me too!  As they say, freedom of choice and informed decisions comes from freedom of information…” Being informed allows us to make decisions about where we want sugar in our lives and where we don’t.

That Sugar Film by Damon Gameau

Damon had not eaten sugar for three years. Under the guidance of a team of professionals, he eats a high sugar diet of 40 teaspoons of sugar a day for 60 days. (By the way, 40 teaspoons is just above the daily teenage average.) He does this without consuming any soda, chocolate, ice cream, or candy. Rather, he only eats foods marketed as “healthy” that actually contain hidden sugars, such as low fat yogurt, granola bars, fruit juices, and cereals.

Let’s just say that he hits the daily 40-teaspoon mark with ease.  Sadly, so do most of us.  You really have to be a savvy consumer to avoid hidden sugars, especially now!  Why?  Because they are even more hidden in labels than ever before.  Did you know there are over 300 names for sugars? 


At the experiment’s conclusion, the team looks at changes in Damon’s blood sugar, heart, liver, and the liver’s production of fat. The results make it clear that too much sugar is quite clearly detrimental to our health, to our weight, and to our well being. When they say that we are what we eat, they really aren’t kidding.

Interestingly, his calorie intake is almost exactly the same as it was before the experiment. The take home message is that a calorie is not a calorie!  We will be seeing more about this in the news for sure.  Sugar does not have a lot of calories, though calories from sugar apparently behave very differently than calories derived from other sources. In fact, a recent article in the British Medical Journal stated that sugar, not physical inactivity, is creating the obesity epidemic.

Did you know that if you remove all of the packaged goods containing added sugar from supermarket shelves, just 20% of items would remain? It turns out that Damon spent the same amount ($$$) at the supermarket both before and during the experiment. It is not more of a financial hardship, as some might assume, to purchase truly healthy fare than it is to purchase sugar-filled products that are simply marketed as healthy.

Through his lighthearted and informative journey, Damon highlights the inner workings of the sugar industry, the harm that sugar can do to the body, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. He looks into the manipulation of food companies in placing sugar into their products and ways that companies seek to keep the dangers of sugar from the public. Considering that sugar intake can be linked to Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, brain dysfunction, and higher death rates, it is not surprising that many food companies want to keep that information away from us.

This past March, in fact, the University of California at Can Francisco broke news about the finding of documents revealing that the sugar industry worked closely with the National Institutes of Health in the 1960s and ‘70s to develop a federal research program focused on approaches other than sugar reduction to prevent tooth decay in American children.  Part of being a savvy consumer is knowing who is funding the research and headlines you are reading.  

You might think that a documentary about sugar would hold your attention for very long. Yet That Sugar Film will forever change the way you think about so called “healthy” food. It is entertaining, well done, and an informative look at a serious health concern.


That Sugar Film does not insist that people should quit sugar. It investigates how sugar has infiltrated our diet and culture, how it can affect our bodies. So if you have a body, if you have children with bodies, or if you have a significant other with a body, then I highly recommend that you watch this film.  Thanks to Damon Gameau for sharing his film and his discoveries about sugar in a way that does not force his views on anyone else. After all, freedom of choice can only come with freedom of information.”

If you haven’t seen the film yet, it is now available to rent and view online.  Google “That Sugar Film!”  I am here to help you make sense of the senselessness of hidden sugars.  Grab your friends, and let’s do a small group session, online or in person, to help you gain direction and perspective with your eating habits. or

Are you ready?

Real Food is ingredients

Only a few spots left for October’s BTY Nutrition Coaching – all online.

Lasting nutrition tools and focus.  Come join me on this journey.

 Time to bring the focus Back To You

 BTY: Small Group Coaching from

As a Certified Nutrition Coach, I will be providing online support through weekly conference calls, videos, a private social media group, and motivational texts.  Topics include:

  • Eating real food, limiting additives

  • How to balance the right fats, protein and carbohydrates

  • Keys to avoiding sugar and cravings

  • Helpful hints to make every meal simple and nutrient dense

  • and much more…

Cost: $85 per person for 4 weeks of coaching

Introductory price $69 per person


Contact me at

or at (707) 408-3359

Sessions begin October 1, 2015

That Sugar Film – Summer 2015


Perhaps you have already seen the documentary “Supersize Me” about a man’s journey through eating only McDonald’s food for a month and documenting the physical and physiological changes he experienced.

Let me introduce you to “That Sugar Film”

“That Sugar Film” is a similar endeavor, only this time the director, Damon Gameau , decides to target sugars.  He spends 60 days eating only hidden sugars in foods.  Keep in mind he avoids the obvious sources of sugars like ice cream and candy.  Instead he targets processed foods that contain various forms of sugar like cereals, granola bars, drinks, and the like.  He eats the same number of calories he ate prior to the documentary, so no calorie increase in his diet, just more of it from sugar.  Check out how fast he feels and sees the impact on his health.  Makes you think about where the hidden sugars are in your diet.  Here is a recent review of the film in New Zealand.

Can’t wait to go see this film in it’s entirety this Summer!

Sugar is working against you! Don’t let it!

Uncovered this article a few months ago.  I am always interested in how sugar and a heavy sugar diet effects our bodies.  You may have seen measurements of how much sugar is hidden in the products we buy and consume.  It is not in the obvious places but in the most hidden spots (for example, see the sources the author refers to below).  I am not even referring to only “white sugar” but the nutrients your body treats as sugar that can overwhelm your blood sugar.  It is important to be aware of all of the things we eat that our bodies treat like “sugar” and limit them.  Nutrient dense foods that are colorful, and packed with vitamins and minerals are the best choices.  Contact me if you want to learn more at  I would love to help you uncover these that are sabotaging your efforts in your own food choices.
In the meantime, check out this Australian study that is eye opening  about how our children are eating these days thinking they are making the healthy choices.

Following in the footsteps of Morgan Spurlock, who ate only McDonald’s food for one month in the film Super Size Me, an Australian man has undergone a sugar-heavy diet for 60 days to explore the ingredient’s impact on his health.

In the upcoming That Sugar Film, Damon Gameau, a filmmaker and TV actor, vows to follow a strict diet of “healthy,” low-fat food with high sugar content, reported.

Within three weeks, the formerly healthy Gameau became moody and sluggish. A doctor gave him the shocking diagnosis: He was beginning to develop fatty liver disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most severe outcome for fatty liver disease is liver failure.

“I had no soft drink, chocolate, ice cream or confectionery,” Gameau told Yahoo. “All the sugars that I was eating were found in perceived healthy foods, so low-fat yogurts, and muesli bars, and cereals, and fruit juices, sports drinks … these kind of things that often parents would give their kids thinking they’re doing the right thing.”

RELATED: Family goes for a year without sugar

Gameau reportedly consumed 40 teaspoons of sugar per day, or slightly more than the average teenager worldwide, according to According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar daily.

The AHA’s daily recommendations for sugar consumption are 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

In That Sugar Film, Gameau observeed that the additive impacted his physical and mental health. Doctors called his mental functioning “unstable,” and the father-to-be reportedly put on nearly four inches of visceral fat around his waist. He was on the fast track to obesity.

Gameau said his sugar-laden diet left him feeling hungry, no matter how much he ate.

His final meal— which consisted of a juice, a jam sandwich, a bar, and a handful of other snacks— is similar to an ordinary child’s school lunchbox.

“Sadly, it was very easy to do and fitted comfortably into the small plastic container,” Gameau wrote on his blog documenting his experiment.

“The last meal was for all the people out there, especially parents, who are led to believe they are doing the right and healthy thing for their children. They are making an effort yet are horribly let down by the lack of integrity in marketing and packaging strategies.”

Gameau told that the experiment’s findings don’t suggest a need to completely cut sugar— but rather a need for more awareness about how much sugar has been added to perceptibly healthy food.

“Sugar’s now in 80 percent of the processed food we’re eating,” he said. “If we can remove that, that’s the first step towards making a change.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the population, have diabetes. In adults, type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed diabetes cases.  Research has shown that sugary drinks are linked to type 2 diabetes.

Consuming excess added sugar is also associated with a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease—the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the CDC. Heart disease accounts for one in four deaths in the United States, or about 600,000 annual deaths.

That Sugar Film will be released in Australian movie theaters in February 2015. A U.S. release date has not been listed on the film’s website.