Fitness Flash

Fitness Flash
Blogcritics Magazine

Writer for Blogcritics Magazine

Writer for Blogcritics Magazine
Since March, 2009

The MY DIVA DIET mission E.C.L. Empower -- Challenge -- Legacy

"To empower women (and young girls) so that they can get into great shape, to challenge them to be better women, and to ensure a legacy of good health for the next generation!"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Super Fit Kids Animated Series –– The Trailer: Launched on KICKSTARTER to Raise Funds in 30 Days!





the idea


SUPER FIT KIDS: A Cartoon Campaign –– future animated TV series, video game, and more –– is designed to educate and motive our youth, in an entertaining manner, by creating excitement surrounding healthy diet choices and exercise. SUPER FIT KIDS will also promote enthusiasm in the arena of preserving and cleaning up our planet, including green technology and their related products and services.

The SUPER FIT KIDS' goal is to move our country toward "a fit nation and a greener planet." The plan is to use an action adventure, superhero format. The "Fitness Superheroes" –– a Wonder Woman and Laura Croft type leading the way –– along with her SUPER FIT TEAM, who will expose, attack, and defeat the "diet, exercise and eco-villains."

While the SUPER FIT KIDS Animated Series will include the savvy, wit, and occasional humor (all age appropriate of course) of today's animation, and music that appeals to this generation, the educational aspect will be subliminal. Moreover, the focus of each episode will be on a particular "villain" or more –– like Batman vs. the Joker (Batman had many enemies) –– and will conclude with a real message and practical application.


where we're at...

At this point in time, two of the Fitness Superheroes and 18 "diet villains" were designed by My Team and are highlighted on the MY DIVA DIET website, where you will meet the heroine, (the speaking) Super Fit Diva. The cartoon characters can also found in my diet book and other online social networking outlets including YouTube.


Wild Cow Productions and YOUR contribution:

  • The majority of the funds will go into taking this concept to a critical level –– a 3-minute animated trailer to present to TV networks and video game companies. We have an animation house ready to bring this vision to life –– Two Animators, and they ROCK!
  • We will begin character development on the rest of the Fitness Superheroes –– the SUPER FIT TEAM, which will include children from all walks of life and an array of sports and physical activity. We would also like to move forward on our long list of enemies –– the "exercise and eco-villains."
  • We will design an action-adventure website to aggressively launch the SUPER FIT KIDS project and begin our mission –– "to wage war against the dark forces that plague our bodies and destroy our planet!"

Won't you consider being part of the solution? Together, through the entertainment industry (which could use a wholesome boost), we can make a profound and positive impact on our children, our country, and the world!


to pledge, go our KICKSTARTER page!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

World Gym La Quinta, CA: 10-Week Body Shaping Boot Camp


For Women Only...
10-Week Body Shaping Boot Camp
WORK IT GIRL: WORK THE FAT OFF
AND THE FIRM ON…

Christine Lakatos ACE Certified Fitness Trainer
calfit32@hotmail.com

Starting Friday, April 15, 2011 through Friday, June 24, 2011.
  • Serious fitness training designed for those who truly want RESULTS!
  • 3 days a week 1 hour workouts –– Mon, Wed, Fri
  • One boot camp in the AM and one in the PM
  • Times to be determined; and slots limited to 5 max.
  • Lose Fat: Gain Health…
  • Prize available for the "biggest (fat and inches) loser."
10-week Body Shaping Boot Camp includes:
  • Complimentary Fitness Evaluation, body fat analysis, measurements, and goal setting
  • Complimentary Diet Workbook
  • Complimentary Diet Quiz with brief personalized Diet Analysis
  • 10 weeks of intense group training.
  • Learn the Six Components to an Effective Exercise Program
  • Program Design included at the end of the 10 weeks for maintenance or to go to the next level.
  • NOTE: A more thorough Personalized Diet Analysis and Meal Plans will be available for an extra fee.
  • Christine also offers personal training packages and more.
    calfit32@hotmail.com
For more info, sign up at World Gym La Quinta ( 760-564-9822).


Brief About:
Christine is a first a mom of two terrific daughters. She is an entrepreneur at heart, but is a well respected fitness expert with close to 30 years experience in the fitness industry. She is also author of My Diva Diet: A Woman’s Last Diet Book (sold on Amazon.com and other online venues) and has the sequel "Work it Girl: Work the Fat Off and the Firm On," exercise book in the works, as well as other projects like SUPER FIT KIDS: A Cartoon Campaign. Christine is a retired body builder, fitness competitor (clips can be found at My Diva Diet YouTube) and holds many titles and over the years has appeared on various promotional gigs; including a series on KESQ TV:3 Midday Show back in the 90's.



And Christine was a competitor on American Gladiators in 1990.





A note from me:
As a retired competitor who never starved or took drugs to get to 6% body fat –– now close to 50, I strive to steer people, especially our youth, away from “QUICK-FIX” programs and products. I want them to realize that they don’t have to starve or deprive themselves in order to lose fat. And by the way, it’s not complicated either. I teach that fat loss and optimal health can be achieved the safe, effective and lifelong way –– through a lifestyle of proper diet and exercise.

The My Diva Diet mission is to empower women and young girls so that they can get into great shape, to challenge them to be better women, and to ensure a legacy of good health for the next generation!

E.C.L. Empower –– Challenge –– Legacy

For more info check out my website at www.MyDivaDiet.com, and my blog –– Fitness Flash here and on Blogcritics Magazine.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Diva Diet: Product Find by Robert Dave Johnston

My Diva Diet presents a fun and entertaining way by using animated “fitness superheroes” and “diet villains”.

Product Find by Robert Dave Johnston of FitnessThroughFasting.com
August 13, 2010

My Diva Diet is a book that markets itself as a woman’s last diet book. The book is written by Christine Lakatos, a former profession body builder, and Amber Garman.

My Diva Diet presents a fun and entertaining way by using animated “fitness superheroes” and “diet villains”. The fat loss diet book includes “Diva Quotes,” “Paw Guides” and “Special Superhero Designs” (e.g., food pyramids for fat reduction and maintenance) to add fun and clarity to your journey of a better body and healthier, happier life.

It includes a diet quiz, worksheets, practical guides, special quotes tips and charts, as well as tasty, quick weight-loss meal plans and recipes, and much more.

There are two different phases involved in My Diva Diet. The first phase is Diva Reduction and is ten weeks long. The second phase is Diva Maintenance. This is the phase that you complete after you’ve reached your weight loss goals and are ready to transition into a healthy lifestyle.

The My Diva Diet mission is to empower women so that they can get into great shape, to challenge them to be better women, and to ensure a legacy of good health for the next generation! Here are some highlights:

  • Eliminates restrictive and unbalanced dieting practices
  • Includes workbook so you can track your results
  • Factors in allowances for favorite foods
  • Written by fitness experts
  • Promotes a healthy rate of weight loss
  • Presents a fun way of looking at weight loss
  • Promotes a whole-foods diet
  • Doesn’t offer any new or novel information on how to lose weight
  • Target audience is limited to females

My Diva Diet consists of two different diet phases:

The first phase is Diva Reduction and is ten weeks long. The important focus of phase one is portion control. Your calorie target in this phase is between 1,200 and 1,300 calories per day. The breakdown of those calories should include 35% protein, 45% carbs and 20% fat. Fiber is included in every meal and you eat four to five meals per day having one every three to four hours.

The daily calories are divided into four food groups and the book includes recipes to help with this. It is recommended that you drink water all day throughout the day and all kinds of tea and plain coffee are allowed. Milk is to be kept to a minimum and fresh fruit or vegetable juice and meal replacement drinks are watched closely and very carefully selected. Drinks like alcohol, soda, packaged juice and sugary drinks are not allowed during this phase.

You can choose your own foods on phase one or use the recipes that are included. The foods you choose would just need to meet the criteria outlined in the book and listed above.

Phase two of the program is the Diva Maintenance phase. During this phase your daily caloric count is increased to 1,400 to 1,600 calories per day. You are still eating four to five times per day with meals being a little larger at this point. Your breakdown also offers more flexibility with 20-35% protein, 45-65% carbs and 20-30% fat. You get more leeway during phase two and you can also cheat a little more.

Exercise is also a critical part of both phases of My Diva Diet. Adding exercise to a diet program allows you to lose weight faster and you feel the benefits quickly.

It is recommended that you add an efficient and effective exercise program to your eating plan. Some of the important factors to look for when choosing your exercises are makes sure it includes cardiovascular conditioning, strength and endurance training, flexibility training, core and balance training, functional training and corrective exercises.

There are a ton of diets out there and many of them fall into the fad diet category. My Diva Diet actually gives women the steps and guidance they need to lose weight once and for all. The program is solid and doesn’t involve any questionable practices and you’re not encouraged to complete eliminate groups of food. You actually get to eat carbs and protein and fat on this diet.

My Diva Diet offers a sensible and fun way to lose weight.

To learn more, go to www.MyDivaDiet.com

Sunday, January 16, 2011

MY DIVA DIET Review By Best Diet For Me



My Diva Diet: A Woman's Last Diet Book was released in 2008; and has received rave reviews. One of these reviews came from one of "America's most trusted weight-loss authority," who have been in business for 31 years –– BestDietForMe.com.

Here is the review...
My Diva Diet was developed by Christine Lakatos, an ACE Certified Fitness Trainer and former professional bodybuilder. Lakatos' experience in the fitness industry, and especially her one-on-one experience with clients as a fitness trainer led her to develop the program. In her introduction to the program, she also incorporates an explanation of how her health philosophy for the program is rooted in her belief in Judeo-Christian principles. Designed for women, My Diva Diet illustrates the reasons why women gain body fat by using "fitness superheroes," Ms. Diva and her dog, Paw, and a host of evil "diet villains," like "Tranny Granny", "Dr. Pill" "Mrs. Regret", "Vegg", and others, to illustrate who your true diet allies and enemies are. The author uses "Diva Quotes" to emphasize important principles, and food pyramids to provide nutritional guidelines for fat reduction and weight loss maintenance. The cute superheroes add an element of fun and help to motivate you as you work your way through the book.

Based on widely accepted, well-researched nutritional principles found in most of the well-respected, leading diet programs, the book does not offer the quick-fix solutions found in so-called "fad" diets. The emphasis is on attacking the root cause of excess weight and how to solve the problem on a long term basis. Emotional eating issues are given close attention. Lakatos emphasizes the importance of "clean eating" -- eliminating preservatives and artificial ingredients from your diet and instead choosing more natural, organic foods. The program consists of two phases: Phase One-Diva Reduction; and Phase Two-Diva Maintenance.

In My Diva Diet, Lakatos details five reasons why she believes women gain body fat, which she calls "The Five Factors Affecting Body Fat and Health. The book explains how each factor can sabotage your weight loss efforts and specific changes you can make to avoid common diet traps. The book also suggests how positive changes can be implemented into your lifestyle to ensure lifelong success and better health overall.

Factor #1: Liquid Consumption

Factor #2: Quantity and Distribution of Calories

Factor #3: Quality and Purity of Calories

Factor #4: Restrictive and Unbalanced Dieting

Factor #5: Exercise

The book also refers to it's accompanying website, www.MyDivaDiet.com, which provides worksheets, links to product and information sources, and a host of other useful tools.

Click here to see more Expert Reviews...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What You Drink Impacts Your Diet, Part Ten: Alcohol

This final installment brings you the good, the bad, and the ugly in consuming alcohol. Add, "What you drink” to your 2011 New Year’s Resolution list.

As we conclude 2010 and begin a new year, alcohol is usually part of the celebration. But before you pop that cork and "party on," let's stop and briefly take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly surrounding this beverage.

The Ugly:
Even though this is not the focus of our beverage expedition, the dark side of alcohol should be noted. Other than that nasty hangover after a night of drunkenness, this beverage choice causes poor judgment, behavioral problems, and for millions it leads to alcohol abuse, and even death. Sadly, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), who "serves a victim or survivor of drunk driving every 10 minutes," statistics are grim: "every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash." And alarmingly, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that "10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in 2009 –– that's one every 50 minutes."

The Bad:
As far as the fitness aspects, you should be aware that alcohol has short-term effects on health and body fat; its nutritional value is nil –– as in tons of empty calories, and those mixed drinks pack on more calories than you think. Drinking a lot of booze can also cause dehydration, create electrolyte imbalances, and alcohol can indirectly make you fat –– "while your body uses up all the alcohol circulating in the blood, the oxidation of fats, carbohydrates and protein becomes suppressed." Translation: these macronutrients are not used for their intended purpose and are "forced into storage."

The Good:
Now, you may not be a heavy drinker, which is a good thing, but perhaps you are under the impression that "moderate drinking –– about one drink a day for women, about two for men –– is a central component of a healthy lifestyle." Are you are convinced by what some "experts" have been touting for years? That alcohol is good for your health –– reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes and dementia –– mainly. Not so fast my friends because the New York Times shed "doubt" on the case in 2009; highlighting that some scientists take issue with these claims, and in reality "it may be that moderate drinking is just something healthy people tend to do, not something that makes people healthy." Furthermore, the Mayo Clinic, who lists some of the health benefits of moderate drinking, also points out that "the evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol isn't certain, and alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks."

Yes, you may snag some antioxidants and a "sense of relaxation" from that red wine, but then again, it's possible to benefit more from a glass of grape juice, a massage, and soothing music. Keep in mind too, that 1 glass (3.5 fl oz) of wine is 85 calories and if you consume a glass a day; that adds up to 595 calories per week. Beer on the other hand, ranges from 95 to over 200 calories, while cocktails can top 700 calories for just one. And for those "watching their weight," calories do count.

RECAP:

Before we complete our beverage journey, let's recap. First and foremost, water is essential to life and critical for health, wellness, and weight loss. Coffee is good in moderation if you skip the cream and sugar and tea (without the sugar) offers countless health and wellness benefits, while green tea helps fight obesity and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Milk is highly overrated. Consuming too much soda has dire consequences to your overall health and fitness level. Some sports drinks as well as fruit and vegetable juices can be a good way to hydrate and catch a few vitamins and minerals while you're at it; however, sugar and other additives may be in the mix too. Meal replacement drinks have their place in our fast-paced society, providing you read labels or make your own. Lastly, good news for our beloved abstainers, if you are serious about losing fat, alcohol must be off limits. However, alcohol (in moderation; as in a few a week, not a day) can be a beverage choice when you are on a maintenance plan.


In closing, it's important to understand that "what you drink does impact your diet" –– good and bad –– when it comes to overall health and weight loss. An occasional detour from healthy and fit beverage choices will not harm your efforts, but staying on the wrong path for a long period of time will.

Add this to your 2011 New Year's Resolution list: "I will drink more water and clean up my other beverage choices." Place it on your frig and other places as a reminder and motivator. I guarantee you will feel and look much better.

May you have a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Article first published as What You Drink Impacts Your Diet, Part Ten: Alcohol on Blogcritics.
Author: Christine Lakatos — Published: Dec 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What You Drink Impacts Your Diet, Part Nine: Meal Replacement Drinks

Beware: Just like meal replacement bars, meal replacement drinks are used to entice the consumer, via quick-fix scams and false promises.

In closing Part Eight, we discovered that veggie drinks are an excellent meal replacement choice, providing you choose appropriately or build your own. However, veggie drinks are not the only way to get health-on-the-go; we are saturated with hundreds of diet and protein shake options. Unfortunately, the billion-dollar fitness industry makes its money off quick-fix scams and false promises. Beware: just like meal replacement bars, meal replacement drinks are used to entice the consumer, using the aforementioned techniques.

Next time you pick up a so-called “diet or protein shake" or vegetable drink, make sure you carefully examine the ingredients. This is because, like most commercial beverages, many of these pre-made drinks contain a lot of sugar and other sweeteners, fat, and an array of preservatives and additives. In many diet and protein shakes, the "protein blend" used is questionable, as are the claims touted in their advertising and on their labels.

For example, let's take a peek at Slim-Fast diet shakes, with over 50 ingredients—the third of which happens to be sugar. While one can of this drink is low in calories (180), it still contains 23 grams of carbs, of which 18 grams comes from sugar. The number one ingredient is fat-free milk (a liquid choice covered in Part Five)—not necessarily bad, except for those who are lactose intolerant. But considering that it is not organic milk, it's a red flag for those of us who care about cows. Even though they have thrown in some vitamins and minerals, enhancing its nutritional value, you only get 10 grams of protein out of the Slim-Fast can, yet you'll consume 6 grams of fat (1.5 grams saturated), which, at the end of the day, may not be worth it.

After a brief analysis of the nutrition label, the next step is to dig deeper into the ingredients. For the sake of time, we'll just probe into the protein blend (the sixth ingredient) used in Slim-Fast. It is
Milk Protein Concentrate (known as MPC), a commonly used additive in products like processed cheese (Kraft singles), coffee creamers, frozen dairy desserts, crackers, energy bars, and nutritional drinks. MPC's "are created when milk is ultra-filtered, a process that drains out the lactose and keeps the milk protein and other large molecules. The protein components are then dried and become a powder."

Apparently, in 2009, the dairy industry was (is) suffering a "crisis" which is neither my concern nor the focus of our "expedition." According to Ethecurian online magazine, this dairy crisis is not just a result of the recession; it also has to do with MPC. For the most part, MPC is imported, and from countries "with very poor food safety records (China, India, Poland, the Ukraine)." Moreover, ironically MPC is an ingredient "used to make glue" and is not approved by the FDA, yet "it somehow manages to be included in the ingredient list of over $10 billion worth of food, primarily fast food and junk food."

So, Slim-Fast may be "fast," but will it make you slim? Only in your head, because in reality, the bad outweighs the good it offers. Now, we could spend hours dissecting all of the bad pre-made meal replacement drinks on the market, but that would be a waste of time. More important is to become skilled in reading labels—setting you free to make "good" choices all of the time.

While we addressed green drinks at out last stop, protein shakes and smoothies (the good ones) usually start with water, ice, real juice, organic milk, soymilk, sugar-free yogurt, frozen yogurt, and/or fresh fruit. Additionally, protein powders are sometimes included in the mix. Most commonly used are whey, casein, egg, soy, and rice, or a combination—each carrying their own "pros and cons." According to Web MD, "protein is one of the body's main building blocks for muscle, bone, skin, and other tissues" and is essential to your daily diet for overall health and wellness. It is critical for athletes' endurance and strength, as well as for fitness enthusiasts and for those seeking to lose weight. This leads to a commonly asked question: how much protein?

Most nutritionists and those in the medical profession "recommend daily intake of protein for healthy adults [of] 0.75 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 45 to 56 g of protein a day, while exercisers' range should be 1.4 to 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight daily." For those trying to gain weight or increase lean body mass, you may consider siding with the higher figure, and it is better to "feed the muscle"—around 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

Fortunately, most of us can obtain enough protein via our daily diet; meal replacement drinks could be your guarantee. Protein shakes and smoothies also offer an avenue for other "nutrients on the run" and a vehicle for providing energy throughout the day, especially if they are of superior quality. They are much better solutions than skipping a meal or resorting to fast food or junk food.

What about meal replacement drinks for weight loss? Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. reminds us that "protein shakes aren't a magic bullet"—there is none—but they may help you reduce your caloric intake, and as we know, "burning more calories than you consume is key to losing weight." That said, a balanced diet of natural, whole foods (not processed, man-made foods)—lean protein (animal and plant-based sources), fruits and vegetables, whole grains as well as foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids (fish and plants)—is ideal for all health and fitness goals.

Therefore if you are considering a pre-made protein shake or smoothie, either in a can (not ideal) or at your local fitness center or juice bar like Jamba Juice, make sure you know what is in it—ask questions. Or construct your own using pure and wholesome ingredients. Here are two ideas to get you started:

Power Protein Shake (makes one)

Ingredients:

2 scoops of quality protein powder (Living Fuel Living Protein is one of the purest on the market, and they produce a number of other sound products like Living Fuel Super Greens)
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 banana
1/4 cup mixed berries (fresh)
1/4 cup water (or juice, but it will add more calories)

Preparation: Combine first 4 ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet, add water and mix until well blended.
Nutritional Value: 334.5 calories; 24 g protein; 58 g carbs; 1.6 g fat; 10 g fiber; 170 mg sodium
Note: If you want to add more value to your shake, try 1 Tbsp. of flaxseeds: 48 calories; 2 g protein; 3.3 g carbs; 3.3 g fat; 2.7 g fiber; 3.4 mg sodium.

High-Fiber Vegan Smoothie (makes one)

Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup soymilk
Ice if you are not using frozen (additive-free) fruit.

Preparation: Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Nutritional Value: 175 calories; 5.4 g protein; 35.5 g carbs; 2.6 g fat; 13.4 g fiber; 61.4 mg sodium

Drink to (for) your health, and "I'll be back" for the final installment of our beverage journey. Oddly enough, we are in the middle of the Holiday Season, where "'Tis the Season to be jolly"—marking our last STOP fitting: alcohol, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nevertheless, I won't be a "party pooper" until after Christmas. In the meantime, "drink responsibly," and Merry Christmas!


Article first published as What You Drink Impacts Your Diet, Part Nine: Meal Replacement Drinks on Blogcritics. Author: Christine LakatosPublished: Dec 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm @ MY DIVA DIET: Fitness Flash


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What You Drink Impacts Your Diet, Part Eight: Juice (Fruit and Vegetable)

"Should I have a V8" or any commercial fruit juice or veggie drink? It all depends.

Considering that fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients and should be a large part of any sound diet –– for weight loss and protecting health, consuming juice (fruit and vegetable) seems like a "no-brainer." However, most "commercial juices" are high in calories and low in fiber –– the opposite of fruits and vegetables in their natural complete states. Worse, these beverages are high in sugar and contain very little of the fruit or vegetable they are supposedly derived from, which means that their nutritional value and purpose is suspect.

The naturally occurring sugar (fructose) found in fruit and some vegetables like carrots and beets is not at issue (excluding diabetics and those sensitive to sugar); it's the extra refined sugars, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as well as the preservatives and additives –– ingredients used in most commercial juice and vegetable drink recipes. And have you been down the juice aisle lately? Companies are making juice out of "everything but the kitchen sink." Consequently, at this juncture in our beverage expedition, we'll just analyze a few to make a larger point.

Let's take for example the kid-pushed Capri Sun drink, which was labeled as "All Natural" when the ingredients were (are) water, high-fructose corn syrup, small amount of juice, and flavoring natural –– an additive best avoided. That was until a lawsuit erupted in 2007, forcing them to rethink and withdraw their "All Natural" claim. Since, Capri Sun has undergone a makeover, embracing drinks without high-fructose corn syrup, but they still use refined sugar and other additives. To confuse the issue, Capri Sun, owned by Kraft Foods, marketing strategy touts "25% less sugar" (6-ounce pouch equals 60 calories and 16 grams of sugar) and a deceptive slogan of "wholesome."

On the other hand, in an 8-ounce cup of Minute Maid orange juice (Home Squeezed Style + Calcium and Vitamin D), the ingredient list is much purer (NO added sugar and the like); still you'll drink 110 calories and 24 grams of sugar. Furthermore, even though there is no fat and a minimal amount of sodium in Minute Maid beverages, they do lack the fiber found in fresh fruit, which is vital for a healthy diet and helps with fat loss. In contrast, a large orange has the advantage of 4.4 grams of fiber. The same can be said for apple juice –– and most commercial fruit juice for that matter. For the same amount of calories (around 100) you get 5 grams of fiber with a large apple vs. zero in a cup of apple juice.

Commercial vegetable drinks (juices) are a little trickier to decipher, and there are decent choices on the market these days. Even though veggie drinks do contain vegetables, many add fruit, sugar, and additives to make it more palatable as well as preservatives to extend shelf life. Some like Bolthouse Farms contain Spirulina (a blue-green algae, offering "nutrients, amino acids, and health benefits," yet not without its "skeptics and cautions to consider") to their Green Goodness –– AKA "green drink."

This brings us to the familiar V8 veggie drink, invented back in the 1930's by W.G. Peacock, and acquired by Campbell Soup Company in 1948. Over the years, it became popular with its infamous marketing line, "I could've had a V8" –– still used today, even popping up on an episode of Family Guy. V8 has evolved, adding many other so-called healthy beverages to their product line. While some of the V8 fruit juice blends contain high-fructose corn syrup, their 100% Vegetable Juice is not bad –– it's low in calories (50 for 8 oz.), yet high in sodium (420 mg in 8oz.). Maybe that is why they developed a low-sodium version with 140 mg.

So, when it comes to health and fitness, the real question must be preemptive and without the "regret head bang" –– "Should I have a V8" or any commercial fruit juice or veggie drink? It all depends. Read labels; skip the ones with added sugar and sugar derivatives like HFCS, too much sodium, and carefully analyze preservatives and additives. Try to choose fruit and veggie drinks that are freshly made or better yet, "juice it" yourself. Here is a quick and simple veggie drink recipe: Take 1 beet, 2 carrots, and 1 cup broccoli, blend in your Jack Lalanne's Power Juicer, and enjoy! Nutritional Value: 200 calories, 8.8 grams protein, 39.6 grams carbs, 0.8 grams fat; 12 grams fiber, and 220 mg (natural) sodium.

While natural and fresh juice, for the most part, serves as a thirst quencher or a beverage with a meal, they are also an immense aid when you are sick or fasting for health or spiritual reasons. But for those counting calories, beware, juice calories add up quickly. Even so, veggie drinks are a positive alternative to "fast food," an avenue for those lacking vegetables in their diet, an awesome way to boost nutrient intake, and a substitute for any meal of the day –– only if you choose the right one or make your own. And for those eager for more "meal replacement" ideas (protein shakes, smoothies, and green drinks), stay tuned –– it's our next STOP in our journey toward health, wellness and a fit physique.

Article first published as What You Drink Impacts Your Diet, Part Eight: Juice (Fruit and Vegetable) on Blogcritics. Author: Christine Lakatos — Published: Dec 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm / Part of Fitness Flash and My Diva Diet blog spot!
This is Part Eight of Weight Loss: What You Drink Impacts Your Diet 10-Part Series
This ten-part series, a "beverage expedition" of sorts, will uncover how liquid consumption affects your weight, health and wellness, for better or worse.