Thin Mints

Who doesn’t love the fan favorite of Girl Scout Cookies…the Thin Mint? According to the Girl Scout website, the Thin Mint is consistently one of the best selling cookies year after year.

Every year, I think “no more Girl Scout cookies” and every year I cave. See…I have a love-hate relationship with Girl Scout Cookies. On one hand, they taste soooo good and only come once a year. On the other hand, they are made with inferior ingredients.

I understand why big corporations haven’t change their ingredients… they only care about the bottom line; not about their customers, not about the health of society. But, because the Girl Scouts mission is to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place“, I feel they should be taking a lead in getting rid of ingredients such as High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Oils, artifical colors and flavors. So, in my mind they function like a big uncaring money-hungry corporation, not one that empowers girls to “develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others.”  untitled shoot-0357

So how can you get the great taste of thin mints without the guilt?  Back to Nature Fudge Mint cookies. They taste just like GS Thin Mints but without the low quality ingredients. THey contain NO partially hydrogenated oils, NO High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Below are the nutritional facts of Back to Nature vs the two companies that make the Girl Scout Cookies; ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers.

So, I do plan to do a taste test with my family once my Thin Mints arrive later this month and see if they can tell the difference between GS and Back to Nature cookies or which they think are better.

For my money, since they are about the same price, I will stick with Back to Nature and ingredients I can feel good about.

Support your local Girl Scouts for the girls’ sake. If you are a Girl Scout, think about putting pressure on the higher up’s to change their ingredients. They already cost the same as organic cookies, why not match the quality.

These girls should be able to be proud of the products they are selling.

These cookies should be the best.

These girls deserve that.

Thin Mints

Slangry

Slangry? What’s slangry?cats-9876-Edit

Slangry is sleepy and angry. Anger and lack of emotional control brought on by lack of sleep. I know quite a few of you that do not experience this but I certainly do. Avoiding being slangry actually rules my life.

According to an article in Health Magazine this month, scientists at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center studied brain activity of adult with amounts levels of sleep. They that “we’re not able to regulate our emotional responses without sleep”.

I could have told you that and saved a couple hundred thousand dollars. If I get less than 7 hours of sleep, I am almost unable to function: I get a mild fever, I cannot think or process my thoughts well, I am unable to manage my emotions, and I feel physically drained.

Recently, I had trouble sleeping for 3 nights and by that third day, my ability to work was greatly diminished.  It took every ounce of energy I had to get through the day. Luckily, I was able to sleep on the fourth night and was back in the swing of things.

I dont think the amount of sleep matters because we all sleep differently. I toss and turn all night so I need more hours to get enough deep or REM sleep. While I know others who can function on far less, probably because they actually sleep more efficiently and deeply.

In any case, sleep and feeling refreshed is important for mental and physical health. According to the NIH (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, sleep plays an important role in your physical health, safety, and quality of life. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. For more information you can click HERE to read about the importance of sleep on the NIH website.

So get enough sleep.

Don’t be slangy.

If you are a parent, be a good role model and help your students get enough sleep.

Sleep…it’s a good thing.

 

Pay Attention to Dreams

I have always been interested in dreams and the meaning of dreams. Many times the meanings I find in books don’t really pertain to me, but I am a big advocate of writing them down anyway. Whether it be details of what happened in my dream or the overall feeling or thoughts I got from the dream, writing something down allows me to reflect on it or find patterns.

Truly, I find that I probably write about 70% of my dreams that I have some memory of. The other 30% of the time I am just too tired, I convince myself I will remember (which I rarely do), or I can’t recall enough to write anything down.  Plus it’s just not easy to roll over and write it down. But it can really be worth it.

Case in point. I kept having these dreams about my dad. The sense from my dreams was that there was something he was not telling me (or us, his children). I felt like it was something to do with nutrition, possibly something to do with his health. After the 3rd or 4th dream, I called my dad. He is a skeptic about such things as gaining insight from dreams but this was more important than worrying about what anyone thought about HOW or WHY I was asking the questions.

I told him that I was having dreams about his health and I wanted to know what was going on. What was he not telling me? He said nothing was wrong. He just had a physical and he was fine…nothing new. So I told him about my dreams and he remembered that at his last colonoscopy he has had some polyps removed from his colon, which was fairly common. As we talked he told me his doctor said that all his children should be getting colonoscopies starting at age 40 because of the type, amount and/or size of polyps he had.

Now, I knew my grandmother had digestive and colon problems and I certainly have my fair share of issues but I didn’t know I should be getting colonoscopies yet. So I emailed my siblings and gave them the heads up about getting colonoscopies starting at 40 and what do you know….my younger brother had already had polyps removed.  What?

I was like the last to know. With my history of digestive issues, this was actually quite important to me.  I called my doctor and explained my situation and informed her of my newly found family history. She told me to set up a colonoscopy at my earliest convenience. So I did.

Since then I have had my colonoscopy and they found no polyps. YIPPEE! I truly believe this is because of my diet. Disease stems from inflammation. Foods (and stress) can and DO cause inflammation. I avoid those foods that cause inflammation in my body, especially in my digestive system.  I can’t and don’t always avoid these foods that I am sensitive to but I certainly try most of the time. I work really hard to control and minimize my reaction to unhealthy stress and anxiety. It doesn’t mean I don’t get stressed but I work hard to keep a healthy perspective and to work through it, not avoid it.

For more information on food sensitivities, please read my previous blog on determing foods that cause inflammation in YOUR body. Nutrition: The link between food and inflammation

So you can imagine that I am really glad that I listened to my gut, followed up on my kim-9078-Editdreams and called my dad. Some may say this is just a coincidence or a fluke.  I say it is more than that. It worth a try and you just might find that sometimes you gain valuable information or insight.

Pay attention to your dreams.

Write them down in a bedside journal.

What can it possible hurt?