The Soda, Obesity, Diabetes Connection

Soda and other sweetened beverages have been identified as a major contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemics around the world, and in light of the scientific evidence, many public health organizations have started recommending daily sugar limits.

At least 10 countries have implemented or are working toward implementing taxes on soda in an effort to reduce consumption and improve public health. One 12-ounce can of regular soda contains on average between 8 and 10 teaspoons of sugar, far exceeding 100 percent of your recommended daily sugar allotment of 6 teaspoons (25 grams).

Considering sugar is as addictive as cocaine and has downright toxic effects on your body when consumed in excess, it's no wonder obesity has become such a health crisis. Previous research conservatively suggests sugary beverages alone are to blame for about 183,000 deaths worldwide each year, including 133,000 diabetes deaths and 44,000 heart disease deaths.7 What's worse, the death rates associated with sweetened beverages were highest in those under the age of 45.

Reducing the number of sugary drinks you consume each day can go a long way toward reducing your risk for metabolic dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity. Diet Soda Is Not the Answer Research has shown artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite, increase carb cravings, stimulate fat storage and promote weight gain.

Diet sodas may actually double your risk of obesity. Pure water is a zero-calorie drink. You cannot find a beverage that contains fewer calories. Why would you choose artificially sweetened water over regular mineral water? If you want some flavor, just squeeze a little bit of fresh lemon into mineral water as citrus fruits have some of the lowest fructose levels of all fruits.


June 24 at 10 a.m. (registration @ 9:00 a.m.)

A DIABETES AWARENESS WALK will take place from Delaware Park to 15 Northland Ave corner of Main St (WNY Medical offices). The Health and Wellness Experience begins at 11a.m. in this locale. This overall endeavor is themed "Let's Move and Be Healthy in recognition of former First Lady Michelle Obama's ‘Let's Move’ program. Registration for the walk is $20 per person ($25 includes a t-shirt). This event will be fun for the entire family. There will be healthy snacks, prizes, entertainment and giveaways. Join other sponsors such as Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church, Bako Pathology, Dr. Timothy Adams of Delaware Surgical, WUFO 1080 AM Radio, and many others. Additionally, there will be physicians and nurses on-site to address medical concerns. Dr. Holley will be conducting free foot examinations.

For further information please feel to contact (716) 833-4958 or medical assistants of AAFC at (716) 862-9957. Partial proceeds will go towards diabetes research and awareness. Checks can be made payable to: Soul to Sole Inc. P.O. Box 184, Buffalo, NY 14215. Soul to Sole INC and Absolutely Affordable Footcare PC are collaborating with principle sponsor WNY Medical PC to sponsor this important health initiative. Dr. William Holley, Executive Director of Soul to Sole Inc.

Super Foods: The Stuff Good Bodies are Made of

“Every cell in our body was once in the food we ate” Helen Gutherie

Kathleen Richardson aka @ BeautyTheBarbell or also known as The Queen of Clean 

Kathleen Richardson aka @ BeautyTheBarbell or also known as The Queen of Clean 

Every few months our cells die. They are preprogrammed to do so to make way for fresh cells. This process is known as apoptosis. In essence, our bodies rebuild themselves with the building materials provided from our diet. What you eat literally becomes you. Food is not just calories, it is the stuff good bodies are made of. But not all food is the same, these super fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial for health and wellbeing. 

10 Super Fruits

1.Strawberries- excellent source of Vitamin C, which can boost your immunity and folic acid which can help protect your heart.

2.Blueberries – great for brain function and memory; rich in manganese which aids in metabolism.

3.Cranberries- may prevent urinary-tract infections

4.Blackberries- rich in the same antioxidants found in green tea, which can prevent cardiovascular disease; they also contain a lot of fiber

5.Oranges- eat one orange and you have reached your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C; great source of fiber and folate

6.Cherries -rich in an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which can lower cholesterol levels

7.Pineapple-rich in bromelain which has anti-inflammatory effects; rich in Vitamin C

8.Cantaloupe- excellent source of Vitamin A, which boosts cell reproduction

9.Kiwi- great source of dietary fiber which can reduce the risk of heart disease and aids in removing toxins from the colon

10.Papaya- rich in Vitamin A which will aid in the health of eyes and because of its low sugar content is good for diabetics; also, a good source of Vitamin C

10 Super Vegetables

1.Spinach- excellent source of Vitamin K which aids in bone health; it also contains 13 different antioxidants which help to prevent an array of chronic diseases

2.Greens (collard or mustard) – provide more than your daily need of vitamins K and A which aid in strong bones and sharp eyesight; can lower your cholesterol 

3.Kale- provides more than your daily need of vitamins K and C; can lower cholesterol; good source of plant-based calcium

4.Broccoli- sulforaphane in broccoli may significantly improve your blood pressure and kidney function; supports heart health; contains lutein, which may help prevent the thickening of the arteries

5.Asparagus- very good source of dietary fiber which helps to prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract

6.Cauliflower – good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development; helps your body’s ability to detoxify

7.Brussel Sprouts-helps ensure that not only are toxins broken down in the body but they are safely removed from the body

8.Cucumbers- flushes out toxins while keeping the body hydrated

9.Peppers (red, green, and hot)- boosts metabolism and prevents the buildup of cholesterol in the blood

10.Beans (red, black, black eye)-  helps with weight management; decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease

5 Reasons Every Woman Should Strength Train

Act like a lady, lift like a boss” 

     Wellness Expert Kathleen Richardson

     Wellness Expert Kathleen Richardson

Many women view strength training as taboo, so we stick to the treadmill, the elliptical, spin class, or Zumba and then maybe, just maybe pick up some dumbbells and do a few bicep curls. Lifting weights is not just for men, it is for women too. Ladies, I’m here to let you know that you will NEVER get the body or physique you truly desire until you let go of fear, doubt, and stereotypes and do some strength training. Grab the barbell, kettlebells, dumbbells, or resistance bands; lift and lift heavy. Strength training brings out the inner beast of confidence that will flow into the other areas of your life. In addition to having a well-built body, you will have a strong mind and a confident heart to go along with it. 

A routine of strength training and heavy lifting will enhance your curves and melt fat. It transforms and sculpts the body. Most women think that lifting heavy will make them look bulky or they will look manly. This cannot be further from the truth. From a physiological standpoint, it is impossible. Women do not produce enough testosterone for this to occur. Let’s start thinking outside of the exercise box and a routine of strength training at least twice a week for at least 30 minutes. Here are 5 benefits of lifting weights:

Increased Confidence

Lifting heavy and becoming stronger will give you a huge boost of confidence that will manifest itself in every area of your life. You will gain increased confidence in your physical capabilities which will lead to an increased confidence in your other capabilities. You will feel more capable in your career, in school, and as a wife and mother. It’s a proud feeling when you can squat more than you did the last time. You can hold your head high and know that if you can lift weights, you can just about do anything. 

Enhance Curves

As you build muscle, your body will begin to transform into a masterpiece. Your waist will become smaller, your legs, thighs and butt will become curvier and your arms and back will create a very sexy, svelte silhouette. 

Burn Fat/Increased Metabolism

The more muscle you have; the more calories you burn at rest. Having muscles will speed up your metabolism. The irony is that you may not lose pounds; in fact, you may gain a couple of pounds. But that’s ok because one pound of fat takes up 18% more space than one pound of muscle. Bottom line, you will be stunning with your clothes on and off.

Bone Health

Lifting weights increases your bone density and fights loss of bone mass, which means that you will decrease your chances of osteoporosis and fractures later in life. Strength training will help prevent hip fractures and spine curvatures that tend to occur later in life. 

You will be a Wonder Woman

You work full time, raise your children, cook, clean, support, love, give, fight, survive AND strength train? Lifting weights makes you more incredibly beautiful and strong. You will be a part of an elite group of wonder women. Add weight lifter to your already awesome resume. I found my beauty in a barbell. You can find yours there too.

My Top 5 Strength Training Exercises:

1.Squats (bodyweight, kettlebell or barbell)

2.Deadlifts (kettlebell or barbell)

3.Military Press (dumbbell, kettlebell, or barbell)

4.Back Row (dumbbell)



 eastside bike club at slow roll is healthy and fun! 

WE KEEP IT ROLLIN’ ! George Johnson, president of the Buffalo United Front, started the East Side Bike Club last spring in order to allow folks to practice riding their bikes to participate in Slow Roll Buffalo and encourage more people from the East Side to ride with the group. The group now rides every Monday with the Slow Roll Buffalo, on Wednesdays with the Jes Roll bike group, and on other rides throughout the week. For more information check them out on Faceboo

WE KEEP IT ROLLIN’ ! George Johnson, president of the Buffalo United Front, started the East Side Bike Club last spring in order to allow folks to practice riding their bikes to participate in Slow Roll Buffalo and encourage more people from the East Side to ride with the group. The group now rides every Monday with the Slow Roll Buffalo, on Wednesdays with the Jes Roll bike group, and on other rides throughout the week. For more information check them out on Faceboo

Slow Roll Buffalo will start its third season in Niagara Square on Monday, May 1st, kicking off six months of Monday night community bike rides that have a total attendance of more than 50,000 to date. 

While the basic structure of Slow Roll will be the same - beginning at 6:30pm, an approximately 10-mile roundtrip ride free and open to cyclist of all ages and skill levels, each week a new route guided by 100+ volunteers and ending with an after-party featuring food, drinks and live entertainment - 2017 will see new ride hosts including East Parade Avenue (May 8th), Massachusetts Avenue Park (May 15th) and the Old First Ward (May 22nd) while returning to fitting favorites such as the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park on Memorial Day (May 29th). The full schedule will be announced during a preseason party at Flying Bison Brewing Company (840 Seneca St.) on Friday, April 28th, beginning at 5pm.

Slow Roll encourages bicycling, connect community on wheels with weekly Monday ride

One-time registration and more information is available at To learn more about GObike Buffalo’s work to create healthy, environmentally sustainable, community friendly options in the greater Buffalo region, please visit

Get Your Pantry Popping! Part 4

“The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead” -Unknown


                                         Queen of Clean Kathleen RIchardson

                                         Queen of Clean Kathleen RIchardson

Our theme in the Get Your Pantry Popping series has been to eat food as close to its natural state as possible and avoid foods that have been chemically altered and modified. We’ve discussed making changes from white salt to pink salt, white sugar and artificial sweeteners to pure cane sugar and cow’s milk to a non-dairy milk like almond milk. This week we continue with Part 4, encouraging the consideration of yet another pantry swap; white bread to whole grain bread and whole grain products.

The Tragedy of White Bread

Foods that are far removed from their natural state of wholeness lack significant nutrients and white bread is no exception. The wheat plant is made into flour which is then made into bread and other baked goods. The part of the wheat plant used to make flour is called the kernel. The kernel has four main parts; the germ, endosperm, bran and chaff. The germ contains protein, vitamins and minerals. The endosperm contains starch and protein. The bran is rich in nutrients and fiber and the chaff is unusable. 

Back in the day, people milled wheat by grinding it between two stones, sifting out the unusable chaff and keeping the nutrient rich bran and germ and the endosperm. When milling machinery improved, they started removing the bran and germ, only using the endosperm which resulted in a whiter, smoother-textured flour which was used to make white bread. This process is called refining and resulted in refined grains. Only using the endosperm meant that many of the essential nutrients found in the bran and germ were lost and people started suffering from deficiencies in nutrients they used to receive from bread.  The improvement in technology meant the loss of needed nutrients. This lead to the creation of “enriched” bread.  Keep the bread white, but artificially add the B vitamins, thiamin, and riboflavin that was originally lost.

Today, all breads and grains such as rice, macaroni, spaghetti and cereals have been enriched. Although it improves them, it doesn’t improve them enough. Additionally, many enriched bread products contain high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients that are an impediment to achieving optimal health. The best way to get all the nutrients and fiber in your bread and bread products is to eat whole grains which contain the nutrient rich bran and the germ, not only the endosperm.

Eat More Whole Grain Products

Whole grain bread and whole grain products have been milled in their entirety and are not refined. They contain all the fiber and nutrients in the wheat plant and have not been enriched. Whole grain products are as close to the natural state of the wheat plant as possible and have not been altered. Some examples of whole grains include:

•Whole grain Barley


•Whole Oats

•Brown, black or wild rice


•Whole Rye

•Whole Wheat

Buy bread, cereal, and pasta with “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat”. Beware of the following labels, they are usually NOT 100% whole-grain products:

•100% wheat  •Made with whole grain   •Multi-grain   •Contains whole grain   •7 grains

Remember, the goal is to eat food as close to its natural state as possible and 100% whole wheat bread and 100% whole wheat products is as close as it gets to nature. Changing your diet is not an easy task but small changes like switching from white bread to 100 % whole grain bread is a small change that can make a huge impact. Keep in mind, “success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out”.

Kathleen Richardson is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, specializing in weight management, Type II Diabetes and Hypertension management and making the switch to Organic and Non-GMO


Get Your Pantry Popping! Part 3

The Truth About Cow’s Milk

It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet”   Margaret Mead

Queen of Clean Kathleen Richardson

Queen of Clean Kathleen Richardson

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been focusing on some small changes and pantry swaps that if implemented will have a positive impact on our health. This week I want to introduce a swap that can mean a very big deal for some of us. In fact, this swap will go against everything we’ve been taught. 

Ever since I can remember I’ve heard the mantra, “milk does a body good”. We have been taught to almost instinctively know that milk is the best source of calcium, vitamin D, protein and an overall necessity to grow up healthy and strong. But what if I told you this wasn’t quite true? What if I told you that cow’s milk could do more harm than good and there is a healthier and safer alternative to cow’s milk?

The Truth About Cow’s Milk

To keep up with the demand for milk, cows are injected with bovine growth hormone called rBGH/rBST to stimulate milk production. rBGH/rBST is genetically modified and made from E. coli bacteria. Cows given rBGH/rBST are more likely to develop mastitis, which is inflammation and infection in the mammary tissue and udders. This leads to pus and blood that can pass through to the milk.  Cows are then injected with antibiotics to treat the infections and other health problems that arise. When you drink your tall, cold glass of milk from cows treated with rBGH/rBST, you are most likely drinking contaminated milk. rBGH/rBST is banned in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the 27 countries of the European Union which then leads one to ask why is it allowed in the United States.

In addition to the contamination, milk from cows treated with rBGH/rBST have higher levels of IGF-1. IGF-1 has been linked as a contributor to tumor development in certain cancers, specifically breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. There are also concerns like the early onset of puberty and genetic problems. The Vitamin D in milk is fortified, meaning it is added to milk from an artificial source. Vitamin D is not naturally occurring in milk. The calcium present in milk is negated by the protein in milk, which pulls the calcium from the bones, leading to osteoporosis.

Cow’s milk is for cows not humans. Based on the evidence presented, cow’s milk has no nutritional value. The dairy industry has used marketing tactics for many years to convince us of our need for it. If you must drink cow’s milk, please buy organic cow’s milk or milk that specifically says on the carton, “from cows not treated with rBGH/rBST”.

What are the alternatives to Cow’s Milk?

There are many alternatives to cow’s milk. There is almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk and coconut milk. These non-dairy milk alternatives contain calcium, manganese, selenium, iron, potassium and other minerals without the contamination or the harmful protein found in cow’s milk. I use vanilla almond milk in cereal and buy unsweetened almond milk for cooking and baking.

In this series, we have been focusing on eating and drinking food as close to its natural state as possible and avoiding any artificial and genetically modified ingredients. This causes us to take a good look at an item that has been a staple in our homes for years. It may be hard, but it’s necessary to get your pantry popping…

Kathleen Richardson is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant Specializing in weight management, Type II Diabetes and Hypertension management and making the switch to Organic and Non-GMO