I like the fall season. For me it signals the end of our 100 degree plus temperatures and the enjoyment of being outside again. Fall also signifies the start of the holiday season, beginning with one of my favorites…Halloween!

I’m especially excited about Halloween this year as there is no football game or marching band contest occurring on that day so I actually get to go Trick-or-Treating with my daughter! We will have new challenges this year with the booty collected from going door-to-door. My daughter is now in the Color Guard at her high school and their director strongly encourages healthy eating and limiting junk food and sugar consumption. Junk food and sugar do provide quick energy but that energy is very short lived. Sugar gets into our system very quickly; we feel great and have increased energy. Sugar also is burned very quickly and when that energy is consumed, tends to leave us feeling even more tired and grumpy and sometimes even feeling sick.

This is a great learning opportunity for teaching portion control for you and your little ghosts and goblins. So how do we incorporate enjoyment of a great holiday tradition and all that candy with over consumption of those awesome treats and maintaining good dietary intake?

  • By all means enjoy the holiday. Trick-or-Treating is just as much fun for me as it is for my children and I’m not sure who looks forward to the treat gathering more…my children or me.
  • It is ok to indulge on occasion, but not every day. I enjoy sampling the treats just as much as my kids. There are some treat choices that I get to only sample once a year.
  • Portion control is the key. As our Color Guard director teaches his students, it is not so much eating a treat or two on a daily basis that can affect your performance, but the amount that is consumed at each sitting which tends to have a negative effect on performance and endurance.
  • Try having you and your children put appropriate portions is a small sealable plastic bag. Allow them to make the choices and count the pieces.

So what does one do with all the left-over goodies?

  • When interest is lost, take left-over treats to the office. My kids generally tend to lose interest in it in about a week. Those goodies not chosen to be consumed show up in my office for anyone to enjoy.
  • “Recycle” your candy. This is what our Color Guard instructor does so some of these goodies end up in the stocking for Christmas.
  • Use chopped pieces of candy in cookies for the holidays.
  • Donate left over candy to the troops overseas or to churches.
  • Get creative and crafty and make garlands, wreaths and other crafts or ornaments for the winter holidays.
  • Use your left over candy to decorate gingerbread houses.

Post your suggestions here or on our Facebook page.

First Day of School

One of my very good friends confided in me last Friday after another End-of-Band-Camp-Dinner. This is her daughter’s Senior year in high school. She is an only child. My friend cried on my shoulder as we headed to put the cafeteria to rights, remembering her daughter as she grew and how close they have become recently, sharing with me how much more demonstrative her daughter has become. Being the “expert” and having graduated 3 of my 4 children, I put my arm around her and expressed how much I understood. I encouraged her to enjoy every day. Graduation will be here before you know it. After all, they grow so fast. It seems that once they start high school the time zips faster than the speed of light! I was envious that she was going to reach empty nest before me.

One would think that after a previous 18 “First Days of School,” the 19th would be a piece of cake, right? The first day of school was never a really big deal to me. I always had another child waiting behind. I chuckled last night as my daughter and her BFF were packing their backpacks, preparing for whatever may befall them in high school; an umbrella, a change of clothes, make-up, hair brush, glasses case even scissors in case they needed to cut some paper.

The girls are riding the bus this year to school for the first time. This is the first time I will not be taking them to school and watch them enter the building. Fortunately the stop is on our corner. My daughter’s BFF arrived early, before it was even light outside. I took the yearly pictures, in which they cooperated and even smiled this time. My husband and I walked them to the corner and even chronicled this event with pictures in front of the stop sign. I saved the embarrassment of my daughter by being seen in public in my pajamas, and hid behind a Crepe Myrtle in the front yard, awaiting the arrival of the school bus. I could hear the bus approaching as it rounded the corner and the squealing of brakes as it stopped in front of the girls. The doors opened and from behind that Crepe Myrtle I documented them ascending into the dark interior. I stood up and headed into the house and found myself crying for the first time on the first day of school. My baby is growing up and in 4 short years she will be gone and making her way in the world.

I texted my friend after I collected myself sharing with her this time, how surprised I was at how this “First Day of School” affected me. Her response was, “I feel your heart…” Number 19 “First Day of School” down…only 3 more to go…

What do you remember about this First Day of School? Let us know on Facebook »

Can I Eat Fish When I’m Pregnant?

I get asked almost every day if fish is safe to eat in pregnancy. Fish is not only safe to eat but we should eat more whether we are pregnant or not!

Why is fish healthy and why should we eat more? Fish provides something called omega-3 fatty acids. Our body cannot make omega-3 fatty acid on its own so we must get it from our food. This type of fatty acid is extremely important in developing the brain and eyes in your unborn baby. Fish is the best and most abundant source, it is low in saturated fats, and is high in protein.

There are, however, a few types of fish that we should limit to one serving per week particularly in pregnancy. This is because some fish have a higher mercury content than others. High levels of mercury in our bodies can lead to a build-up of harmful toxins that can increase the risk of neurological damage to your unborn baby. These types of fish include Shark, Swordfish, Albacore tuna, King Mackerel, and Tilefish.

What kind of fish can I eat when I’m pregnant? Any white fish is safe in pregnancy as well as canned light Tuna, Salmon, Halibut, or Tilapia.

Whether we are pregnant or not we should understand that by eating raw or undercooked meat, fish or eggs we are at risk for food poisoning. In order to decrease this risk meats should be cooked thoroughly. Sushi lovers can still partake but make sure your restaurant is reputable.

Which fish are highest in omega-3 fatty acids? Try Anchovies, Sardines, Trout, Salmon and Atlantic Herring. If fish is not your favorite item on the menu, try walnuts, grape seed oil and food items fortified with omega-3 fatty acids such as eggs.

Try this basting sauce on some salmon next time you warm up the grill. Add some steamed asparagus or your favorite green vegetable and some orzo for a complete meal.

Honey-Balsamic Grilled Salmon

1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
2 6-ounce salmon fillets

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Brush fish with mixture. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serves 2.

Nutritional Information:

Calories 256
Fat 10.7 grams
Protein 24.2 grams
Carbohydrates 14.1 gram

What Exactly is a Nurse Practitioner?

By now most of us have heard of a nurse practitioner. But what exactly is a nurse practitioner? What can they do? How can they be incorporated into a medical practice?

A Nurse Practitioner is a Registered Nurse who has completed graduate-level education and advanced-practice training. Nurse practitioners can see a wide range of patients, both well and sick, and perform many in-office procedures. Prescribing medications, ordering and interpreting tests, hospital admitting and discharge privileges, and hospital rounding are just a few of the privileges falling within the scope of a nurse practitioner.

The next question is what is so special about a nurse practitioner? The answer, for the most part, lies in the approach nurse practitioners take in their patient care. The physician typically uses a disease-based or problem-based approach meaning that the focus is more on diagnosing a problem and treating that problem. Nurse practitioners use an approach that is nursing-based, focusing on the patient and his/her environment as a whole. Nurse practitioners not only diagnosis problems and treat those problems, but we incorporate that treatment and that response into their family, their culture, their daily lives and their community. We focus on teaching people ways to stay healthy and have the capability to treat people for their acute and chronic illnesses. Both approaches to care are important and together give the patient a more complete resolution and stabilization of their condition.

In our practice we do a lot of collaboration; not only from nurse practitioner to physician but also physician to nurse practitioner. Many times either I have gone to a physician or a physician has come to me to work with a patient. The benefit of this collaboration is that the patient’s immediate need is met and she does not have come back for another visit, ultimately resulting in a quicker resolution of the problem. Since the nurse practitioner can practice independently, when our doctors leave the office to go to the hospital for a delivery, the nurse practitioner can see the patients. Again, the patient is seen avoiding an appointment that needs to be rescheduled. Thus, patient satisfaction is increased, problems are immediately addressed and patient outcomes are improved.

For instance, in our practice, most of our OB patients with diabetes get seen twice a week. One day the patient sees her physician who manages her pregnancy. The other day she sees the nurse practitioner. Although her pregnancy is monitored when she sees the nurse practitioner, the focus of this visit is on her diabetes and how to maintain good glycemic control and still check blood sugars four times a day, eat six times a day, take care of three children and work full-time. This type of visit can be very time consuming. Using the nurse practitioner in this manner allows the physician to continue to focus on those patients that need physician-specific attention. It also gives the patient more education, individual attention, encouragement and incorporation of her disease into her individual lifestyle. The benefit to the patient is she gets the best of both worlds, which ultimately optimizes the outcome for her and her pregnancy.

With the current and future changes in health care, nurse practitioners will become an even more important part of a medical practice. By using nurse practitioners to see well-checks and to monitor established therapies, the physician is freed up to focus on surgical cases and those conditions that fall outside the scope of a nurse practitioner.

But how do patients view nurse practitioners? My experience is that most patients love nurse practitioners. All for the above reasons plus more. There are many patients in our practice that will see their physician for certain problems and the nurse practitioner for other problems. Some patients are not comfortable talking to a physician about certain issues. Although the care that the patient receives from both the physician and the nurse practitioner is the exact same, the title “doctor” can still intimidate some. The nurse practitioner is a little more on their level on the totem pole and can be less intimidating. After talking to many patients regarding nurse practitioners once they see one, they are be hooked. This keeps your patient in your practice, helps to grow your practice, and gives your patient complete and “holistic” management of their condition, and other options for care.

The Gathering Place

I am again preparing for the holidays running at full speed ahead. The house has been decorated inside and out. Gifts have been purchased and wrapped and ready to place under the tree on Christmas Eve. Baking is finally finished and not without its own set of mishaps. This past Saturday I pulled my pumpkin bread out of the oven…it looked so beautiful…set the aromatic loaves on racks to cool…turned them out a few minutes later only to discover that the bottom half of the loaves were not cooked! Total panic set in as I realized that it is 8 days before Christmas, I still have baking to complete and the bottom heating element in my oven has gone out! Fortunately it was a relatively easy fix and by dinner time that evening my oven was working better than ever.

For as long as I can remember, my house has been a beehive of activity. It is the heart of all family activity. Being Italian, good food has always been the center of my life. As a child, I learned baking skills from my mother and grandmother. Many times Sundays were spent making bread and pasta. Each creation would be served to my dad and, with baited breath, await his seal of approval. As an adult, I have continued to find joy in the kitchen creating new dishes and passing learned skills on to my children and family. I never know who will show up for a meal nor how many will be served. “Strays” just tend to migrate here, whether it is dogs that follow kids home, the 2-legged human type, wondering what is for dinner or my sister calling to inform me there will be 2 more for the upcoming holiday meal. When my kids were younger, their friends would take a poll checking to see what was on the menu for dinner, trying to decide which house to eat dinner at that evening…mine won the majority of the time! I can’t count how many times kids, friends and family would just show up to eat dinner. It is a good thing I don’t know how to cook for two!

My house has always had a revolving door. This is where we gather for family and extended family meetings, in times of joy and in times of sorrow. There is where we celebrate birthdays, holidays, and the simple fact that it is Sunday. Impromptu meetings for various booster club activities occur here. Family vacations are planned here while the kids discuss who is going to ride in which car. This is where 25 TCU saxophonists gathered for a Christmas party and enjoyed a gourmet meal of ribs and grilled vegetables. This is where my youngest daughters’ best friend runs for a hug and meal, where my nephew learns how to cook, and where my son and daughter bake gingerbread men together. This is also where my kids’ friends magically appear at the kitchen table for a Thanksgiving meal. I never really thought of all this as anything unusual…it has just always been this way. It wasn’t until my sisters’ husband said one day as we discussed another impromptu family Sunday dinner and I didn’t know what I would prepare yet…“It doesn’t matter” he said.” The food is always good and this is just the place to gather.”

I am very blessed to have such a wonderful family. I’m glad we not only live close by but are also very close and have a strong bond with each other. We have shared a very busy year together; struggles and achievements. I look forward to another very busy year and a new revolving door to replace the one that is worn out.

From my Gathering Place to yours, may everyone have a safe and happy holiday!

Try this tasty twist to turkey. I made this on Thanksgiving and the flavor of the meat was fantastic!

  • 3 tablespoons light butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced onion

Make a paste with the butter, parsley and onion. Loosen the skin from the breast, drumsticks and thighs. Rub the past under the skin. Cover turkey with foil and bake at 350 degrees according to package directions. Uncover turkey the last 45 minutes of baking so turkey will brown.

Corn Salsa with Black Beans

15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 large tomato chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients into bowl. Makes about 4 cups. Serves 16. Serving size ½ cup.

Nutritional information

Calories 32
Total fat 0 grams
Carbohydrates 7 grams

My family loves this corn salsa. Use pita chips or fresh vegetables to dip.

Taken from Diabetic Living Online.

Tis the Season…Already?

Did you happen to notice that the day after Halloween Christmas decorations were already adorning the shelves of stores? Some people already have their outside Christmas lights up! How early did you first start see Christmas items appear on shelves?

It does seem the retailers are advertising their wares earlier and earlier each year. And each year I find myself feeling I am further and further behind the 8-ball in holiday preparations and finding less and less time to just enjoy the season. I was a little taken aback this past week to have discovered, from a patient, that Thanksgiving is next week! I don’t even have a turkey yet! This year has simply spun past and I’m not even sure where it went or what month I’m currently in.

This year has been on the unique side for me. Not only do I have my regular community service as nurse to the Richland High School Marching Band, but this role has been expanded to include the Richland Color Guard as well. On top of this, I found myself elected as President of this wonderful organization for the 2011-2012 school year. I am now even busier than I could ever imagine in serving this amazing group of young adults.

Fall is always a busy part of the year especially if you are involved in band or football. I was so looking forward to just taking a deep breath at the end of the season. I did take that deep breath, and during that long inspiration and expiration, some mischievous little elf got into my schedule and filled it up again! I have found myself trying to make room for 3 extra meetings, opening my home to 30 college musicians for a Christmas party my son happily volunteered to host (and I think I’m making lasagna), picking people up from the airport, dropping people off at the airport, winter band concerts, decorating for the holidays, the usual baking, Christmas gift acquisition, and a repeat trip to and from the airport. Sometime during the Thanksgiving weekend I have to start decorating (thanks to my awesome son), move stuff to storage and look for a wedding dress with my daughter while she is in town on leave. Somewhere in all of this chaos I need to see the Dentist and get my eyes checked! Calgon take me away!

Moving through marching season, and now the holiday season, I find myself fixing more and more meals that only take a few minutes to prepare, and I make sure I have some for left-overs!

Spanish Rice and Chicken

½ pound skinned, boned chicken cut into cubes
1 ¼ cups chopped onions
½ green bell peppers cut into ½ inch squares
½ red bell pepper cut into ½ inch squares
1 ¼ cups uncooked Basmati rice
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic minced
½ tsp ground cumin
1 (14 ½ ounce) can stewed tomatoes Mexican style
1 (10 ounce) can chopped green chilies

Sauté the chicken in a non-stick skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the onion and bell peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add rice, oregano, cumin, and garlic. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. For even faster preparation use chopped chicken found in the freezer section. Add a crisp, green salad and your meal is complete. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
Calories: 362
Total Fat: 6.3 grams
Carbohydrates: 55 grams

Basil-Tomato Chicken Skillet

1 to 1 ¼ pounds chicken breast tenderloins
1 (14 ½ ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
¼ cup snipped fresh basil
1 (9-10 ounce) bag fresh spinach
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
Season to taste with salt and pepper

Cook and stir chicken in skillet about 5 minutes or until done. Add tomatoes and basil. Heat through. Remove from heat. Add spinach and toss well until wilted. Divide among 4 plates and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves: 4

Serving size: 2 cups
Calories: 170
Total fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams

Recipes from Diabetic Living.

Trick or Treat?

I definitely say go for the treat! This is a special time of year. Halloween happens to be one of my favorite holidays. This is a family affair for us and we all look forward to a great evening of fun. We all gather at my house, enjoy a quick meal, then help the kids get into their costumes. The ladies pound the pavement with the kids, going from door to door, while the guys dole out the candy and watch some sporting event. After our trek around at least 3 blocks, we head home with the anticipation of my next favorite activity…checking out the goods the kids collected! This is just as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids as we all sample our favorite treats.

In everything we have discussed so far, moderation is the key. As Dr. Livingston states, “there isn’t much fun in a snack-sized candy bar!” Even those harmless looking small-sized treats can have 100 calories or more per treat. However, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the collected goods. Ten minutes of brisk walking burns approximately 35 calories. My kids usually lose interest in their candy in about a week or so. It is then quietly disposed of, either brought to the work place for consumption or thrown out.

Here are some tips to help everyone through this holiday.

  • Before trick-or-treating, provide your kids with a meal or a healthy snack to avoid over eating the candy when they get home
  • Keep tabs on how much they eat when they get home
  • Don’t keep the candy around the house too long. Throw it away or give it away.
  • Keep candy out of reach and out of sight so you can control when they indulge
  • Try dividing candy into small portions and put in small plastic bags so portions are controlled
  • Don’t buy candy too early. It is too tempting to break open that bag.
  • If your weakness is not what your child brings home, but what is left over after the ghosts and goblins have gone home for the night, try buying candy that is your LEAST favorite
  • Try alternatives to candy: pencils, stickers, nuts, popcorn, etc.
  • We exchange the bubblegum for other choices that are not so hard on the teeth

This is a special night. It is about family. Enjoy…then get back to the treadmill and your routine.

Summer in Texas

How are you staying cool this summer? I think I missed spring this year. It seems that the temperatures were cool then all of a sudden we are experiencing temperatures greater than 100 degrees! We had the misfortune of one of our trees splitting and losing a large branch. We spent 2 weekends out in this heat cutting wood. We won’t have to buy firewood for at least 2 years. I didn’t realize that a tree had so much wood. We experienced working out in this heat first-hand. Many of us have lived in Texas long enough to know how to take care of ourselves in this heat. Just a few reminders if you must be outdoors in these temperatures:

  • Drink lots of water (this is the most important thing to remember)
  • Take breaks often
  • If possible, work in the shade
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Plan outdoor activities for in the morning or late evening, not during the heat of the day
  • Avoid sitting in a hot car and do not leave children or pets in a parked car

It is also recommended to eat smaller, cooler meals during the hottest times of the day. Avoid really hot dishes at lunchtime and in the early afternoons. This would be the perfect time to enjoy chilled fruits, vegetables and snacks. Here are some cool ideas:

Frozen Yogurt Pops

Fill an ice cube tray with any flavor yogurt. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. When partially frozen, place a popsicle stick in the middle. Remove from ice cube tray when completely frozen. You can also try adding some cut up fruit such as strawberries, blueberries or bananas. You can also sandwich yogurt between Graham Crackers and freeze for a cool sandwich!

Gummies in Water

Using a clear, plastic bowl, make your favorite Jell-O gelatin flavor following the package instructions for adding fruit. Add your favorite gummies; bears, sharks, worms. Chill until set. You can also use small clear plastic cups for individual servings.

Fruit Smoothies

1 cup yogurt
½ cup fruit juice
Fruit of your choice

Mix together all the ingredients except the granola. Top with the granola if desired. You can even add peanut butter. The choices are only limited by your imagination!

Pantry Trail Mix

This is a great time to clean out the pantry of all of those left-over snacks and cereals that aren’t really enough for a serving and no one wants to finish. Try mixing pretzels, nuts, Cheerios, raisins, M&M’s, goldfish, cheese crackers, chocolate chips. Mix them up and place in snack bags for individual servings.

Let us know how you are staying cool. Please feel free to post responses on our Facebook page.

Snow Days: Then and Now

How many of you remember as a child how exciting it was when the television announcer declared the schools were closed today due to ice and/or snow? As a child, I remember sitting in front of the television and monitoring those storm systems the second the weatherman announced the possibility of any form of wintry precipitation. I spent some of my childhood in Ohio so snow has not been a scarce commodity for me. However, it is still exciting when the white stuff falls. I remember as a child my mother waking us up in the middle of the night so we could view the wintry precipitation. We would play outside all day. We lived at the top of a large hill and would spend hours upon hours sledding down this hill on various types of sleds; a real one we brought from Ohio, metal trash can lids, cardboard, whatever we could find. We would come in for a hot lunch, then go back out to build forts and have a snowball war.

Now, as a parent, the term “snow day” has several other connotations and I closely monitor those storm systems for very different reasons.


  • I usually still have to trek through this stuff to get to work and the biggest challenge is avoiding all the other people attempting the same thing

Extra Housework

  • Laundering all those extra wet clothes, gloves, ski bibs
  • Cleaning up all the mud and snow that gets tracked throughout the house by both child and dog; which really makes me glad I have laminate flooring now
  • How many times have you stepped on wet snow in your stocking feet this past week?


  • What about cabin fever, when it is too icy for the kids to get outside and play?
  • There is only so much paper in the house to color and make into paper dolls, which does not expend all that wonderful energy kids seem to generate
  • Hoping your kids don’t get sick, knowing they will because you don’t have easy access to health care
  • Hoping the current food supply will get you through this event knowing your kids will eat anything that isn’t nailed down
  • What if the electricity goes out? We have a fire place and camping equipment so eating is not so scary any more but, how will I dry my hair?
  • Knowing the amount of work that awaits your return to the office


  • I find it very relaxing to watch those flakes fall. It is very quiet. This is an opportunity for me to just sit and enjoy nature and experience her many emotions.
  • I get to use the excuse “I couldn’t get out of my driveway” so I don’t have to run those errands that continue to stack up regardless of the weather situation outside
  • I like when I actually get to sit at the kitchen window and watch the interaction of the birds and squirrels around the bird feeder (animals are hilarious)

Family Time

  • Now that my children are older, these days mean that we are all together, in the same building, at the same time.
  • There is no running to the Taco Bell down the street to unlock a car because someone locked the keys in it and left the car running
  • We cook together; from scratch
  • We clean together; teaching your kids that you cannot stuff the wet snow clothes in the closet
  • We play together, teaching your children the fine art of building a snowman, then finding vegetables you know no one will eat for the final touches
  • Spending time finding items in your garage to slide down the driveway on, helping to build ammunition for the neighborhood snowball fight, watching the wonder in your child’s face when they find the longest icicle ever and now your freezer is fully stocked for the winter

Yes, the words “Snow Day” has many different meanings now. What did it mean to you? Share your meaning and experiences with us on Facebook.

Drinking Your Calories

What is your favorite seasonal beverage? Did you know that studies show that the drinks that most affect our weight gain are the ones that are sugar-sweetened such as, soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks and sugary tea and coffee drinks? If you are eating a healthy diet there is no need to get our nutrition from the beverages we drink. What this really means is that all we really need to drink is water. Here is the problem. When we eat, we feel sated or if we over eat, stuffed. Then we stop eating. When we drink our calories, the body does not feel sated and does not tell us to stop. So we continue to consume those drinks throughout the day and eat too.

How many calories on a daily basis does the average person consume each day just from the beverages we drink? Look for the answer at the end of this blog posting.

What should we drink?

  • Water
  • Has zero calories
  • Quenches thirst
  • Unsweetened tea and coffee
  • Contain caffeine but a little is good for you
  • Limit caffeine consumption to 400 milligrams (mg) per day
  • Coffee has 132 mg
  • Tea has about 40 mg
  • Skim milk or soy beverages
  • Up to 16 ounces per day
  • Artificially sweetened beverages
  • Up to 32 ounces per day
  • There is no proof that artificial sweeteners are bad for you but moderation is the key
  • Items sweetened with fructose may alter metabolism and cause fat storage

What should we limit?

  • Fruit Juice
  • Has nothing you can’t get from whole fruit
  • Has a lot more calories than whole fruit
  • Whole milk
  • Has a lot of saturated fat
  • Sweetened soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks
  • Limit to an 8 ounce glass
  • Sugar sweetened coffee and teas
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Guidelines recommend no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men
  • 12 ounce beer
  • 5 ounce wince
  • 1.5 ounce distilled spirits


Bad Choice
Better Choice
Sonic Strawberry Fruit Smoothie- Regular (14oz)
500 cal | 124g carbs | 98g sugar
Sonic Lo-Cal Diet Limeade-Small (14oz)
1g carbs | 0g sugar

(This contains your carbohydrates for 1 ½ days)

Capri Sun Pacific Cooler
170 calories | 40g sugar
Minute Maid Fruit Falls
5 cal | 1g sugar

(Your children will not notice a difference in taste)

Regular Coke
140 cal | 39g carbs | 9g sugar
Coke Zero
0 cal | 0g carb | 0g sugar

(There is little difference in taste between these two)

Venti Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Latte
660 cal | 22g fat
Venti Starbucks Peppermint Café Au Lait
170 cal | 5g fat

(This is a meal and contains your fat grams for the day)

Beverage substitutions

  • Flavor you water with fresh fruit such as oranges, limes, strawberries
  • Try some green tea. These are high in antioxidants and may help reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney stones.
  • Check out some vegetable juices. Check the label for added sugars but these tend to be lower in sugars.
  • Mix up a little fruit juice with some seltzer. Studies show that pomegranate juice is a good source of vitamins C and B, grape juice has antioxidants that may help protect your brain and blood vessels and cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
  • Try a little diet tonic water and a few slices of lemon or lime with a little mint for garnish.
  • A little red wine is fine and may lower your risk of a heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers and heart disease.

Answer to the question “How many is consumed daily through the beverages we drink by the average person?” We consume about 450 calories from the beverages we drink each day.

Share with us what your favorite seasonal beverage is on Facebook.