Carbonated Water; Is it good or bad?

carbonated water
carbonated water

Let’s face it; drinking plain water day after is boring! Yes, a regular consumption of water is extremely important, but, whoever said you couldn’t have sparkling water? Replacing a few of those stilled water bottles with carbonated water can not only increase your health, but, can also be more appeasing to your mouth.

The look on my patients’ faces’ after I tell them they can have sparkling water is priceless! I know what you’re thinking, and no, not all carbonated drinks are bad. Carbonated water is water that has been infused with pressurized carbon dioxide, and aside from seltzer and tonic waters, most carbonated waters contain small amounts of sodium and minerals that the body is dependent on.
Some people still believe that carbonation is damaging to our health and often times is blamed for the recent spike in cases of bone decay and high acidic pH levels, however, that’s simply not true! Research has shown that carbonation is not the root of all evil, and has linked bone decay and high acidity levels in soda drinkers to high dosages of phosphorous, not carbonation. Unlike, cola’s, most sparking waters contain no phosphorus, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. In fact, some controlled studies have suggested that carbonated waters may improve not only your bone health, but, your overall vitality.

Carbon dioxide and water react chemically to produce carbonic acid; a weak acid that has been shown to stimulate the same nerve receptors in your mouth as mustard. And, are responsible for the body’s swallowing process. This may sound surprising, but, studies have shown that drinking carbonated water may increase your ability to swallow, because, carbonation has the strongest ability to inhibit the nerve receptors in your mouth. There was a sixty-three percent improvement rate after drinking iced carbonated water in a controlled study of seventy-two people who had the persistent need to clear their throats.

Other studies have shown that drinking sparkling water may also improve your digestive health. In a two week study of elderly people, the average bowl movement frequency nearly doubled as well as, significantly improved chronic digestive issues in the participants who were drinking carbonated waters, compared to the participants who were drinking tap water.
While this is a controversial subject, carbonated water may also promote weight-loss. When we ingest carbonated water, our stomach fills up with a combination of water and tiny bubbles that are released from the water to expel the carbon dioxide gas that has been added. This means in our stomach, we experience a buildup of gas that is pushed out of the body through the esophagus or through the lower digestive tract, thus, will make the stomach feel fuller and help stop you from over eating. The gas will exit the body through a small belch or passing of gas; and because the gas is eliminated from the body, it is nearly impossible for the carbon dioxide to enter into the blood stream.

Some theories also suggest that carbonated water may have some beneficial effects on HDL cholesterol, the body’s inflammation response and the blood sugar, however, this has neither been proven to be true or false and there is not enough research or studies available to support this theory.

Furthermore, carbonated waters are not bad for your health. So spice up your daily routine and add some bubbly water to your diet!

The heat brings out the drinks; my favorite summer mixed cocktail is the Virgin Strawberry Gin Smash Cocktail:
Serves 1
½ teaspoon raw organic cane sugar
1 lime wedge
3 fresh strawberries, 2 hulled and sliced and 1 reserved for garnish
1.5 ounces of gin ( Shot glass) ( Minus the Gin for that perfect non-alcoholic drink )
4- 5 oz Perrier sparkling water
Fresh mint sprig, to garnish

In a tall glass, combine the sugar and a squeeze of juice from the lime wedge. Muddle with the back of a spoon to dissolve the sugar.
Add the sliced strawberries and lightly muddle.
Fill half the glass with ice and add the gin, top it off with the sparkling water and garnish with the last strawberry and a sprig of mint.

A better alternative to muscle recovery drinks.. Cherries!

cherries-love-31501477-1024-768CHERRY PROTEIN DRINK

I get asked daily about muscle recovery drinks and protein shakes; which brands are good or not good, which brands do I recommend and so forth. It may come as a big shock to you, but, I do not recommend any! The nutrition fitness and supplement market rakes in billions of dollars every year on chemical formula’s that your body can neither absorb nor utilize. In fact, most of those expensive sports drinks clog up your liver, thus this slows down your metabolism. As an athlete and nutritionist, I have not only used this recovery drink recipe, but, have also recommended it to most of my fitness guru’s and athlete patients.

Before, I give the recipe; I wanted to give you the health benefits of the main ingredient in the recipe. Can you guess what it is? Cherries!

Cherries are a rich pigmented fruit that contain phytonutrients, such as, anthocyanin glycosides, which are also known as anti-oxidants, as well as, other vital vitamins, and minerals. Both sweet, as well as, tart cherries are packed with numerous health benefiting compounds that are essential for our body’s overall health.

Scientific studies have shown that the anthocyanins in cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory drugs by blocking the actions of enzymes cyclooxygenase-1 and 2. Thus, consumption of cherries may offer potential health effects against chronic painful episodes such as gout, arthritis, fibromyalgia (painful muscle condition), and sore muscles due to strenuous exercise and or sports injuries. There have been other studies that have shown that tart cherries produce melatonin, which has a soothing effect on the brain’s neurons, and calms the nervous system’s irritability; thus, can help relieve neurosis, insomnia and headaches.

Cherries are also considered a low glycemic fruit, which means, they do not cause a dramatic spike in your insulin levels. Unlike, other fruits that spike the blood glucose, cherries have been shown to help regulate and reduce glucose levels in diabetics.

Cherries are consider a carbohydrate and when mixed with a healthy protein, can help replenish the caloric energy lost during exercise, reduce inflammation in the muscles and help repair and build long lean muscle tissue; while stabilizing the glycemic index. Amazing, Right?!
Before you go and spend hundreds of dollars on protein powders and recovery drinks that can actually damage and weaken your muscles, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Anti-inflammatory Cherry Protein Recovery Smoothie
1/3 cup of plain non-fat Greek Yogurt
½ cup of fresh or frozen berries
½ cup of Almond milk
½ cup of organic tart cherry juice ( can be found at Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, & Lassen’s )
½ Banana
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of raw honey
4-5 Ice cubes
Blend together and enjoy!!

To learn more about Tuesday Ochoa and our Natural weightloss programs Click here

Multivitamins, Are they unsafe to take?

Composition with dietary supplement capsules and containersA study done by The Annals of Internal Medicine in 2013 sent the media on a “BAN” multivitamins frenzy. Media outlets were quick to declare multivitamins were unsafe and a waste of money; but there were important facts left out of those reports. The actual name of the study was “Vitamin, Minerals, and Multivitamin supplements for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer.” The sole purpose of the study was to prove whether or not non- medical alternatives prevented the onset of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Once the twelve week study concluded the USPSTF stated “that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of the benefits and harms of the use of Multivitamins for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer.” You be the judge are multivitamins really unsafe to take?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 reported that less than fifty percent of American’s met the required daily intake of vegetables, fruits, dairy, seafood and fiber, and less than twenty percent of American’s met the daily requirement for whole grain. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 concludes that American’s under consumed these vital nutrients: Folate, Potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Magnesium and Choline. In 2012, The Macpherson Psychopharmacol clinical stated that men over the age of fifty who were taking a daily one-a-day multivitamin had a thirty-six percent increase in placebo, and around nine percent of the men studied saw an improvement in their depression, anxiety and stress levels. Another Psychopharmacol Clinical in 2011 reported that women aged thirty and up reported an significant increase of working memory when taking a one-a-day multivitamin. The women studied also reported while on the multi-vitamin they experienced shortened illnesses, fewer illnesses and fewer days they called in sick due to illness.

Ames Triage Hypothesis of Micronutrients and chronic disease summarized, states that “Micronutrient deficiencies that trigger the triage response accelerate aging, cancer, and neural decay; therefore, malnutrition accelerates the onset of disease. Multi-multivitamins may or may not prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer, but, recent studies have shown that ingesting a one-a-day multi-vitamin daily reduced mental fatigue, anxiety and stress, illnesses, as well as, increased placebo. In conclusion, the main reason to take a multivitamin remains to prevent vitamin and mineral inadequacy. You be the judge, are multi-vitamins really unsafe to take?

Food tips:
People who tend to stick to the same eating behaviors or lack of color in their daily diet have a greater chance of becoming micronutrient deficient. There is a plethora of nutrients in foods do not limit yourself to a specific fruit or vegetable. Aim for consuming three different fruits and vegetables than what you currently eat per week.
Spruce it up with a colorful beet salad with carrots, quinoa, and spinach, and top off with a vinaigrette dressing:


½ cup of uncooked quinoa
1 cup of organic edamame
1/3 cup of slivered almonds or pepitas ( Pumpkin Seeds)
1 medium raw beet, peeled
1 medium-to-large carrot, peeled
2 cups of packed spinach or arugula, roughly chopped
1 avocado chopped

Vinaigrette Dressing:

3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of lime juice
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of raw organic honey, or agave nectar
½-1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, to taste
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Why Must I Stop Smoking Before Plastic Surgery?

The day of your plastic surgery consultation is finally here and you can barely contain your excitement as you head to your surgeon’s office.  You get there, discuss the procedure you want to have, and are amped over the results that are possible.  Naturally, you want to schedule your surgery as soon as possible as you’ve wanted to make certain aesthetic improvements for quite some time.  Then, a wrench gets thrown into your plans.  You’re told you have to stop smoking before plastic surgery or else the surgeon will not perform your desired procedure.  Obviously, this delay is not something you expected, but it is absolutely necessary.

How Long Must You Quit?

The time that you must quit smoking before plastic surgery will vary according to each surgeon’s recommendations.  However, the majority of cosmetic surgeons will tell you that you must not only give up cigarettes for 4 to 6 weeks prior to surgery, but also after.  The absolute minimum is 2 weeks, but most plastic surgeons will suggest a longer time frame to ensure their patients are not at risk of unnecessary complications.

No Quitting, No Surgery

If you do not stop smoking for the time that your plastic surgeon has advised, don’t be surprised if he or she will not perform your procedure.  Over the course of the past 10 years, most plastic surgeons have come to the consensus that when skin has to be moved during a procedure such as a breast lift or face lift, they will not operate on smokers.  The reason; failure to quit smoking before surgery can lead to disastrous results and in areas where surgery is performed, the skin may become discolored, turn red, or darken.

In an interview with the New York Times on the topic of patients and pre-surgery smoking, Dr. Darshan Shah said, “Nicotine causes the tiny blood vessels in the skin to clamp down or constrict, which reduces blood supply to the skin.”  Aside from discoloration, smokers seeking surgery could fail to heal properly after procedures, have an increased risk of infection, take longer to recover, and may develop unattractive red scars.

Tips to Quit Smoking before Plastic Surgery

Within two weeks’ time, the toxins and nicotine that have accumulated in your body from smoking will be cleansed from your system.  Even though your body has rebounded, your desire to smoke may still be present and so it is advised that you have strategies in place to help you.  One thing you can do is keep your mind on your goal to have plastic surgery.  Envision how great you’re going to look and feel afterward and hold that vision any time you feel tempted to have a cigarette.

Another recommendation is to keep your mouth busy.  Gum, hard candy, and lozenges are tasty and can drastically reduce your chances of turning to smoking.  Finally, rally your close family and friends to get support.  Tell them about your desire to have plastic surgery and ask them to encourage you to remain smoke-free.  When you’re feeling the urge to smoke, you can call on your friends and family to distract and motivate you.  Having their support and encouragement can truly make a world of difference.

Further Reinventing Your Body with Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss

ABC News released an article which revealed that 108 million people are on a diet each year in the United States and that 220,000 people sought bariatric surgery in 2009 in an attempt to get rid of excess weight.  With these numbers being so high, it is quite apparent that weight loss is a major issue in our country and many people struggle with the numbers they see on the scale.  In some cases, people will habitually diet and try a variety of exercise programs only to lose the weight and gain it back, or give up and start all over again.  Yet, there are a plethora of cases where people actually make the commitment, stick to it, and reach their target weight.  In these cases, much is to be celebrated as individuals have set off on the road to better health and well-being.

Excess Skin, an Underlying Issue

If you’ve recently lost a lot of weight and reached your weight loss goal, we congratulate you and your achievement.  However, if you’re like many others who have lost a great deal of weight, even though you’ve shed the pounds, you may be confronting another battle; excess skin. 
It is very common for people who lose a significant amount of weight to be left with sagging skin and fat.  The reason for this is that your skin’s elasticity has been stretched due to the weight you were once carrying on your body.  Even though your body is smaller now, your skin cannot “bounce back” as its elasticity is diminished and will remain stretched.  You may notice that skin around your arms is loose, the skin surrounding your mid-section may droop around your sides and lower back, your thighs and the area around your lower buttocks may dip, and if you’re a woman your breasts may hang lower than you’d like.  At a time when you should be feeling on top of the world and ecstatic about how you look, your excess skin may make you feel less than confident about your new body.

Continuing Your Journey toward a Better Appearance

Thankfully, your journey toward looking and feeling better can continue if you choose to further reinvent your body by undergoing plastic surgery after weight loss procedures such as a tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, breast lift, or even body lift.  These surgical procedures are excellent options after weight loss as they not only remove excess skin and fat, but also improve the overall shape and tone of the tissue that supports your skin.  After these surgeries are performed, you will have smoother, tighter skin, improved body shape, and a boost in confidence.

Your journey doesn’t have to stop after your surgery, either.  Once you’ve recovered and are given permission from your plastic surgeon, you can implement an exercise program to make further gains to your appearance.  A balanced exercise regime that includes cardio and strength straining will tighten connective tissue under your skin and improve your muscle tone, allowing you to take your physique to the next level.  With a combination of plastic surgery and regular exercise, you’ll not only look better, you’ll feel better, too.