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You Are What You Drink: Why Be Selective About The Milk You Consume

You Are What You Drink: Why Be Selective About The Milk You Consume

Milk and cereal. Milk and Oreos. And of course — what else are you supposed to drink with your peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

There’s nothing wrong with milk, and if you like it, there’s no reason you need to stop drinking it if it doesn’t bother your stomach. You should, however, be mindful when choosing which kind of milk to buy.

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The same way you might glance at the nutrition facts on your favorite brand of cereal before you decide to buy, you should pay attention to what’s printed on the front and back of a milk carton before sliding it into your grocery cart. Why check the facts? We’re glad you asked.

You need to make sure you’re not consuming needless added sugar

Traditional milk, as you know, comes from cows, and goes through some processing before it’s ready for you to drink. One 8 oz. serving of nonfat milk still comes with 12 grams of sugar, which at first glance might throw you off. That seems like a lot of sugar, doesn’t it? It’s important to keep in mind that this sugar in particular is just part of the deal. It’s completely natural, which means our bodies are able to break it down and use it to benefit our health rather than hinder it. It’s good for us.

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This isn’t the case with all milk on grocery store shelves, though. Other kinds of milk, like almond milk, contain added sugars, which our bodies don’t break down and utilize quite as readily. You should consume milk with naturally occurring, rather than added, sugars: check the ingredients list and beware of added sugars’ aliases (usually ending in –ose).

You don’t want to drink your calories if you don’t have to

Have you ever been advised not to drink your calories? You probably think of soda or energy drinks when this piece of dietary wisdom crosses your mind, but milk falls under the same figurative warning as other drinks. You could be consuming more calories by drinking milk than you realize. That 8 oz. glass of milk you can’t get through breakfast without alone contains 80 calories, but let’s be honest: more than likely, you prefer 2% with your cereal, which brings your calorie count up to 120, not counting the rest of your meal.

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If you don’t want to remove milk from your diet completely—and we’re not saying you have to—stick with skim milk, which will give you fewer calories per glass. You’ll get plenty of calcium and other nutrients in that glass, so you probably don’t need much more than that in one sitting.

You can get plenty of protein from solid food instead of milk

Your go-to argument in favor of milk might be its protein content: 8 grams is a decent amount of protein in one serving of a drink, which is one reason milk is more beneficial than harmful.

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If you’re doing it for the protein, though, you should know that there are plenty of foods you can eat that contain just as much protein per serving as, if not more protein per serving than, milk. You should always aim to consume the majority of your nutrients from solid foods, so while there’s nothing wrong with drinking milk, it shouldn’t be your main source of protein throughout your day.

Conclusion

It’s important to pay attention to what you’re putting into your body, both what you’re eating and what you’re drinking. If you want milk to remain part of your balanced diet, choose milk types and brands that are easiest for your body to digest and provide the fewest number of calories per serving. Balance your milk consumption with other protein-rich foods, like lean meat, nuts and eggs. Choose your milk wisely, and enjoy.

Featured photo credit: Mike Mozart via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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