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Pool Side Secrets

Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD

In the hot summer months, pool time is a necessity, especially if you live in hot ‘ole Texas like I do!  With a drink in your hand, you and your friends can solve the world’s problems and issues all while getting a suntan, or your vitamin D as this dietitian would say. 

Pool-side chatter, while innocent and care-free, can also stir up lots of questions, conversations and secrets about what hot diet your favorite celebrity is on, how you lost ten pounds to look better in your bikini or what snacks you should bring for your kids as they splash about.  Unfortunately this is also where opinions about food and beverages can become “fact” and myths your new reality.  So to set the story straight, let’s splash a little science at some common pool-side secrets…

  1. “I read diet drinks can make you gain weight” – News flash: Diet drinks don’t have calories as they are sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners.  Research supports that they can be included in a balanced diet and can even be a tool in your weight loss efforts, provided you don’t replace those calories with other foods.
  2. “Skipping meals helped me get into a smaller swimsuit” – Skipping meals is never a good option, as eventually you have to eat!  Your body requires food to function and have energy.  A key to healthy weight loss is swapping low-calorie foods in place of higher calorie items.  .  Balance over restriction is what can help shrink your waist size.
  3. “I only pack “nutritious” food for my kids to snack on while they play” – All foods fit!  Pizza and a soda as well as fresh apples dipped in natural peanut butter have a place in the diet.  Moderation is the answer when examining you and your family’s food choices.  In fact last time I was by the pool, I had chips, guacamole, and an umbrella drink!

 As you sit and sunbathe for the rest of the summer, don’t fall into the trap of believing everything you hear.  Some of those nutrition secrets need a cannon ball of truth splashed at them!  So don’t be afraid to dive in!


Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a full time sports dietitian for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine, where she works with athletes of all levels, serves as a media dietitian, and speaks to sports teams as well as at a variety of nutrition, athletic training, and coaching conferences. She has worked with the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Texas Christian University Athletics, FC Dallas Soccer Team and Jim McLean Golf School in addition to a variety of endurance athletes. Additionally, Amy is a consultant to the Food and Beverage Industry.


Tags: National Blog Balance
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European Habits we can all use

Sylvia Klinger, MS, RD, LDN, CPT

There is a distinct and matchless sensation about traveling to Europe that warms my heart and soul. What I find most impressive about Europeans are their eating habits and lifestyle. Despite the many American fads, Europeans seem to be more at ease, satisfied, and happy without hearing the word diet. After having had the opportunity to visit and teach in Europe for a number of years, I’d like to share what I have learned.

Balanced Portions— Regardless of their food preference, whether eating at home or at a restaurant, portions are moderate, even their plates, bowls and cups are small sized—meaning there is always room for a small treat, if desired!

Never Skip Meals— Three meals a day is a ritual and eating together with family and friends is a habit Europeans practice often; gathering together to share meals on a weekly basis, if not daily.

Walk Everywhere— Europeans walk or bike everywhere, and keep active in their daily lives. The balance of exercise and food is something we can all apply a little more to our lives.

Simple Living— Europeans’ live uncluttered lives, bringing balance to their homes and closets as well as their diets.

Take Family Vacations— Most recently while traveling to Vienna, I met a couple from Spain who although admired the career opportunities offered in the USA, could never trade their one-month vacation each year. While this may not be realistic for many Americans, I think it’s important to balance work with downtime to get the most of life.

Balance and moderation is the key to a happy lifestyle, whether it’s taking a half day from work occasionally, or including some sweet treats to your diet. So the next time you’re feeling deprived of some “you time”, look to Europe and see what you can do to bring some balance to your life.

Sylvia is the founder of Hispanic Food Communications, Inc, a nutrition and food communications consulting company. She is a bilingual Hispanic native, a leading expert in cross-cultural Hispanic cuisine as it relates to nutrition and health, and an advisory partner to the Food and Beverage Industry.

Tags: Health Blog Balance
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Soda taxes: not good for your wallet or your health

Americans for Food and Beverage Choice

Time and time again, soda taxes have proven a failure. From rising obesity rates in states where they’ve been deployed, like Arkansas, to increased soda sales where beverage taxes have been enacted, as we’re seeing in Mexico—one thing is clear, soda taxes fail to improve public health.

A study at George Mason University determined that a 75-cent soda taxed to a higher price of 90 cents would only decrease the BMI of a severely obese person by 0.02 percent. The data shows that levying taxes on soda is a quite inefficient way to improve the health of the public. Rather, it increases the government’s control over your decisions and your money.

The government should never exercise control of your decisions, and your family’s grocery budgets, to fill their bank account under the pretense of improving your health. Our people deserve to be treated more fairly by the officials elected to serve them.

Soda taxes are no way to improve public health. Comprehensive health education, is a far more efficient, effective alternative.

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