New Food Label: What To Look For & Why Is It Important?

Many of you may know and have seen the new food label already taking place. The FDA extended compliance dates for the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts Label to January 1, 2020 for manufacturers with $10 million of more in annual food sales. Those manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual sales have until January 1, 2021 to comply. I have seen it more and more, but with the coming year almost all labels will be the newer version.

From FDA Website:
Increasing Type Size & Information Now In Bold

To show more awareness, the new label has an increased type size for “Calories” “Servings per Container” and the “Serving Size”. The number of calories and serving size are in bold to highlight the information

Why Important?

Take for example a small bag of chips from the vending machine. Some bags are 1 serving, however a lot that I have seen are 2 servings. Thinking the smaller bag is meant for a single serving you eat the whole thing thinking you are have 250 calories, not the 500 you just had. The added attention to this area of the Nutrition Fact Label is suppose to help consumers be more aware.

New Footnote for Describing “Daily Value”

This is to give a better understanding of what “Daily Value” means. This is a daily value for an average 2,000 calorie diet. However, depending on age and weight for you it might be more or less. Along with that, something that the footnote does not bring out, the “Daily Value” is meant for an average healthy person on a 2,000 calorie diet. So if there is something you are watching or needing more of, it’s better to look at the actual grams than the percentage as this is an average percent.

Showing Actual Amount & The Daily Value

Vitamin D and potassium are now required to be on the label. For Vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium the label must now show the actual amount of those nutrients along with the percentage of daily value.

Why Important?

Although the daily value is helpful for an average healthy person, many people need more than the daily value of these nutrients due to a lack of vitamin D, osteoporosis, heart disease, and anemia. Knowing the exact amount in a given product will help those who specifically need to watch their intake of these nutrients can more easily be able to keep track.

Added Sugar

The new label is adding “Added Sugars” to the label. Probably one of my favorite additions.

Why Important?

In my previous post about Sugar Addiction, I mentioned the new label. More and more people are addicted to sugar and don’t even realize it. Sugar is not all bad. There are naturally occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy. In manufactured products, let’s say yogurt, they can add in sugars, like corn syrup, which adds to the total sugar count. Dairy already has sugars like lactose naturally in it. Dairy products will have a small amount of sugar, however when adding flavors and sweeteners to the yogurt, you are not sure which is naturally occurring sugar or added unnecessary sugar. Scientific data shows that it is difficult to stay within the caloric intake and meet your nutrient needs if you are taking in too much added sugars. The suggestions is that no more than 10% of your total daily calories should be from sugar. If you can do less, do less.

Updated Daily Values

Due to newer scientific evidence the daily values for sodium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D are getting a makeover.

Updated Serving Sizes and Labeling

One of the newer things that I think will be helpful is that packages that are between 1-2 servings, will have it labeled as 1 serving with the appropriate nutrient label. Going back to my example of the bag of chips, instead of the small bag of chips being 1 1/2 or 2 servings, it will be labeled as 1, but with the nutritional information for the whole bag. People will be able to see exactly what they are eating if they eat the whole package.

Then there are dual column labels. For those products that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings, like a pint of ice cream (we’ve all done it), it will have a “per serving” label and “per package/unit” label next to it for better clarification and to inform people who are planning on eating it in one sitting, what they are about to eat.


Let me ask you – are you liking the changes of the new label?


I’m Official!

I’m officially a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant! I can’t believe it!

A few years ago I took a hard look at this course and it was something I really wanted to do. With my life the way that it was, and where I was emotionally and mentally I was not prepared to jump into this. I felt unsupported and incompetent in everything in life.

Fast forward a few years and I started to get my feet back on the ground and stable in my decisions and life. After a few other things were in place, I jumped in and had a plan! I’m so glad that I did. I learned a lot from the AFPA course and no matter where I go with it now, I’m glad I did it. I’ll always have it with me and now have the confidence to go further. Who’s with me?!

Knowing when to start your goals is the beginning, but having the courage to jump on it when your ready is another thing.

Is there a goal you are struggling with to jump into? Contact me or let me know in your comments. I’d love to hear from all of you!

2019 Healthy Habit 2: Drinking Water First Thing in the Morning

We like to complicate things when it comes to our overall health, but it’s usually the simplest things we overlook that are the most important. Water is definitely one of them. The hardest part of drinking a glass or two of water first thing, was remembering to do it right after waking up. I do get out of the habit in the winter because I want something warm in the morning, and the fact that I’m usually more groggy than usual in the winter time and can’t wait for my cup of joe. Anytime I get off of this habit, it doesn’t take long before I want to get back to it.

Why Is It Important?

When you are sleeping your metabolism slows, your body detoxes from the day and repairs. Those processes need water. Since you are sleeping and not drinking water, when you wake up your body is looking for water, whether you are thirsty or not. It hasn’t had anything to drink in 8-ish hours. Knowing that we are on average 60% water and all body functions need water to work properly, it makes sense that we need to hydrate ourselves first things in the morning if we expect our bodies to work properly.

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How Does it Help Your Digestive System and Health?
  • Water helps to jump start your metabolism. While you sleep your metabolism slows because you are not using as much energy. When you wake up, hydrating yourself with water helps to kick start it. Not only that, but water helps deliver nutrients to the rest of your body and helps get rid of toxins and free radicals that we are exposed to each day.
  • It also allows you body time and the water needed to make enough digestive juices for the day so breaking down and digesting is easier.
  • For your liver and kidneys to do their job in detoxing, it needs adequate amounts of water to flush out your system. While you sleep your liver and other organs work on detoxing your body from the day. First thing when you wake up, you want to make sure to have a glass of water before anything else reaches your digestive system to ensure that the toxins your body was trying to get rid of during the night are being flushed out and taken care of.
  • Along with helping your metabolism start, and help your body with flushing out toxins another part of this would include stimulating the colon for regularity. Your colon HAS to have water to pass waste along. Drinking water after being dehydrated helps to stimulate the bowels to get things moving again.
Hot or Cold Water?

I’ve heard both that hot or cold is better. “Use hot lemon water to detox.” “Use cold water to rev up your metabolism.” “Best digestion is with room temperature water.” And it continues to go back and forth. If you want it to do one thing more than the others then it determines on if you drink it hot, cold, or room temperature. Not saying that there is not something behind those statements, but what’s important is making sure you are hydrated. If you don’t like warm water, drink cold. If you can’t drink something cold in the morning, have room temperature or warm water. Whatever will make you drink water to hydrate yourself from the “drought” sleep causes, do it.

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Don’t Like Drinking Water?
  • Reward yourself with tea or coffee after you are done drinking your 16-24 ounces of water.
  • Can’t start with that much? Build up to it.
  • Add lemon slices or a squeeze of lemon juice

I was a person who started the coffee pot the second I woke up and sipped on it while getting ready. Now when I wake up, 9 times out of 10, I’m thirsty and can’t wait to get to my glass of water. When your body gets into a routine, especially taking in something so highly used like water, it will start to expect it. The longer you keep with the routine, the easier it will be and you won’t see it as something you’re doing, you’ll just start doing it.

Changes I Noticed
  • I woke up better. I didn’t feel so groggy by the time I left the house. Not that that doesn’t still happen.
  • I was hungry for breakfast. I normally ate breakfast but at some point it was more out of habit than hunger. After having my glass of water, about an hour later my stomach was actually growling.
  • I went to the bathroom in the morning before leaving. It’s different for everyone, but when I started this, about a few days into it, I HAD to go to the bathroom before I even left the house.
Bottom Line

Your digestive system will thank you. It wakes up your whole body and digestive system and gets things going for the day. It’s like an internal shower for your digestive system. Your metabolism is awake and ready to start burning fuel, your digestive juices are there and can be made, the leftover toxins from the night are getting a second chance of flushing out of your system, and your bowels are back to moving. What better way to start the day?

2019 Healthy Habit 1: Getting Enough Rest

From my previous post I talked about how my motivation is not at it’s peak in January and February. It comes with spring, so although a new month and year is a great idea to start new goals, I usually fizzle out in a few weeks and then go back to my old routine I had at the end of the year before. You have to be honest with yourself when it comes to goals and this is one of my honest moments. So instead what I do, and encourage those who have the same problem, is I think of things you can start doing now that are healthier habits, or the habits you can start now that will help with your motivation when it comes time for the more challenging habits later.

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Sleep In The Winter

The days get darker, the stress gets higher, and depression for a lot of people can be the worst in January and February. We are all just trying to make it to sunnier days. Some sleep more. Others are not able to sleep well. The less sunlight the more melatonin our bodies create and thus makes us more tired and sleepy. And the added emotional stress darker days can bring, it can have the opposite effect and keeping us up. So just because you might feel drowsy doesn’t mean you should keep hitting the snooze. Or just because “you don’t feel tired” doesn’t mean you can play another episode of your favorite show. No matter the time of year, our bodies still require the same amount of sleep. Of course the heavier meals, darker days, and warm cozy blankets make it hard to not to just want to nap and sleep longer. This is something I have to constantly have self control in.

Is there a danger in sleeping too much?

Sleeping Over 8 Hours On Average

Studies have shown that people who sleep more than 8 hours or up towards 10 hours have poorer health. Here are some of the results.

  • Increases heart disease
  • Harder to maintain a healthy weight
  • Can raise blood sugar levels
  • Brain fuzziness
  • They wake up more frequently & not getting enough deep sleep
  • Effect moods

Sleep is good and sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health, but too much of a good thing can be bad. If you are sick or recovering from surgery – then sleep as long as you need. But on a regular basis, oversleeping can be just as bad for you in different ways than not sleeping enough.

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Not Enough Sleep And Nutrition

For one thing we know sleep is important for the brain although it stays highly functional throughout sleep. It helps with moods, anxiety, we can think clearer, make better decisions, and are more motivated. We know it also effects our energy levels. When we are tired, we sleep, and (usually) we wake up and have energy to last the day. Sleep gives your digestive system time to rest. When you sleep the need for fuel is reduced and your metabolism and digestive system slows down. It also gives your digestive system added energy the next day to do it’s job.

What about specifically nutrition?

Sleep Deprivation:

  • Makes you more vulnerable to inflammation. Those with inflammatory digestive disorders like IBD or IBS, sleep deprivation can make this worse, and then lead to a lack of nutrient absorption.
  • Makes you crave sugar. Since you didn’t get a good night’s sleep your body wasn’t able to recharge like it needs to, so it’s crying out for energy! Your cell’s #1 source of energy is glucose (sugar). You start craving sugar in the morning and usually will reach for the less nutritious kinds of it. Move over apples, hello doughnuts!
  • Makes you more hungry. Your hunger hormone, ghrelin, is elevated after a poor night’s sleep to be able to get more energy through food that it lacked through sleep.
  • Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter and regulator when it comes to sleep. It is primarily found in your gut and is also essential for your digestive functions. If your levels of stress and sleep hormones, including serotonin, are not balanced, that means your digestive functions will be unbalanced as well. Your digestive tract won’t be able to absorb nutrients like it usually does or move the way a healthy gut would.
Photo by Sanah Suvarna on Unsplash
Bottom Line

Whether you are sleeping over 8 hours or sleeping 6 or less hours a night, get your sleep schedule back on track for your mental and physical health. People vary when it comes to their sleep needs, but normal hours are anywhere from 6.5 – 8 hours. Here are some basic things that can help.

Sleeping Too Much (More than 8 hours):

  • Sit up when you turn off your alarm.
  • Turn your light on. I have a lamp on my night stand that isn’t too high voltage so it doesn’t blind me, but has light. Light helps to wake your body up naturally.
  • Wake up and go to bed relatively at the same time (within 30 minutes) every day.
  • Have a wake up routine. Once I sit up I do something to stimulate my brain. Even just texting my husband good morning, since he’s usually gone by the time I wake up, will help. Then onto morning stretches and going out of the room to get my morning glass of water.

Sleeping Too Little (6 or less hours):

  • Set a time to be in bed 30 minutes or an hour before when you are suppose to be asleep.
  • No screens while in bed.
  • No alcohol an hour or two before bed. Although it’s a depressant and can make you feel sleepy, it doesn’t help your body naturally slow down, and puts excess stress on your liver when it already will be detoxing while you sleep. Alcohol also doesn’t help you stay asleep once you are asleep. A lot of times when I had a glass of wine too close to bed, I’ll wake up a good 3-4 times a night because I can’t stay asleep.
  • Have a night time routine. Some nights that might be hard for me to go to bed, I make an herbal tea – sometimes meant for sleep, sometimes not. I do something that is relaxing and doesn’t involve a screen. Reading a book or magazine, coloring, drawing, etc. Some additional things might be lighting a candle and listening to calm music while in bed.

Sweet dreams y’all!