Expressions of Health Blog
"Videos, Motivations, and Other Positive Stuff"
  1. Processed Meats Declared Too Dangerous for Human Consumption


    The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has just completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer. Its conclusion is rocking the health world with startling bluntness: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. Consumers should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of their lives.

    Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, sandwich meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, salami and virtually all red meat used in frozen prepared meals. They are usually manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite. This is used as a color fixer by meat companies to turn packaged meats a bright red color so they look fresh. Unfortunately, sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. And this leads to a sharp increase in cancer risk for those who eat them.

    A 2005 University of Hawaii study found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. Another study revealed that every 50 grams of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent. These are alarming numbers. Note that these cancer risks do not come from eating fresh, non-processed meats. They only appear in people who regularly consume processed meat products containing sodium nitrite.

    Sodium nitrite appears predominantly in red meat products (you won’t find it in chicken or fish products). Here’s a short list of food items to check carefully for sodium nitrite and monosodium glutamate (MSG), another dangerous additive:

    • Beef jerky
    • Bacon
    • Sausage
    • Hot dogs
    • Sandwich meat
    • Frozen pizza with meat
    • Canned soups with meat
    • Frozen meals with meat
    • Ravioli and meat pasta foods
    • Kid’s meals containing red meat
    • Sandwich meat used at popular restaurants
    • Nearly all red meats sold at public schools, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and theme parks

    If sodium nitrite is so dangerous to humans, why do the FDA and USDA continue to allow this cancer-causing chemical to be used? The answer, of course, is that food industry interests now dominate the actions by U.S. government regulators. The USDA, for example, tried to ban sodium nitrite in the late 1970′s but was overridden by the meat industry.5 It insisted the chemical was safe and accused the USDA of trying to “ban bacon.”

    Today, the corporations that dominate American food and agricultural interests hold tremendous influence over the FDA and USDA. Consumers are offered no real protection from dangerous chemicals intentionally added to foods, medicines and personal care products.

    You can protect yourself and your family from the dangers of processed meats by following a few simple rules:

    1. Always read ingredient labels.
    2. Don’t buy anything made with sodium nitrite or monosodium glutamate.
    3. Don’t eat red meats served by restaurants, schools, hospitals, hotels or other institutions.

    And finally, eat more fresh produce with every meal. There is evidence that natural vitamin C found in citrus fruits and exotic berries (like camu camu) helps prevent the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines, protecting you from the devastating health effects of sodium nitrite in processed meats. The best defense, of course, is to avoid eating processed meats altogether.

    —–Reprinted from “Dreamhealer Alternative Medicine”

  2. If He Can Do It, We ALL Can!!!


    From Michael Moore:

    “I am now in Week 42 of my walks. Each day, 30 minutes, that’s it. Thousands of you have joined me since that Sunday night on March 18 when, as a joke, I said I was going for a walk. I had read that morning in the paper that there were now more people in the U.S. on anti-depressants than those who go to the movies. I tweeted out that maybe that’s the problem — perhaps if people got out and went to the movies more they might feel better. This unleashed a lively conversation about mood-aletering drugs, the lousy movies these days in theaters, the rip-off prices for 3D films, etc. Finally, someone wrote: “Sometimes I think what I need is just a brisk walk.” I tweeted, “Hey, there’s an idea! I’m putting my shoes on right now.” I went out and came back home after 30 minutes — and a few hundred of you had amazingly joined me where you live. So I went walking the next night, probably out of some sort of obligation because so many had written to say “please let’s do it again tonight!” So I did. And the night after that. By the end of the week it was hard to determine how many thousands were now going out with me on these “virtual walks” in hundreds of cities and towns, but it had taken off like a rocket and so we all went walking every night from that point on.

    Now it’s 250 days later. What a simple, great idea that person had! Some have asked, “Why are we walking?” “What’s the cause?” There is no cause other than to go for a walk. We do it just because it feels good. We do it because we can. We do it because it’s free and it takes no time. All you need to know is how to put one foot in front of the other (or, for the disabled who’ve joined in, by any means necessary). It’s the perfect slacker/schlub activity.

    I am often asked “How much weight have you lost from all this walking?” For a while I didn’t understand the question. I mean, why would I want to lose anything? I have enough trouble finding my keys! Then I got it — skinny people (1/3 of the country) want us, the majority, to be like them. That’s so nice of them.

    But the truth is, exercise does not work, diets do not work, feeling crummy does not work. Nothing works. My advice: Quit trying to be something you’re not, be happy with the life you’ve been given, and just go for a pleasant walk outside. With me. Wherever you are. Get off the treadmill, stop drinking diet Coke, throw out all the rules. It’s all a scam and it conspires to keep you miserable. If it says “low-fat” or “sugar-free” or “just 100 calories!” throw it out. Remember, one of the main tenets of capitalism is to have the consumer filled with fear, insecurity, envy and unhappiness so that we can spend, spend, spend our way out of it and, dammit, just feel better for a little while. But we don’t, do we? The path to happiness – and deep down, we all know this — is created by love, and being kind to oneself, sharing a sense of community with others, becoming a participant instead of a spectator, and being in motion. Moving. Moving around all day. Lifting things, even if it’s yourself. Going for a walk every day will change your thinking and have a ripple effect. You’ll find yourself only eating when you’re truly hungry. And if you’re not hungry, go clean your room, or have sex, or call a friend on the phone. Without knowing it, you’ll starting eating like the French (there is no French word for “fast-food”) — and you will feel better. You do not feel better admonishing yourself or beating yourself up or setting up a bunch of unrealistic rules and goals with all the do’s and dont’s that are just begging to be broken. You wanna know something? I eat ice cream every friggin’ day. I drink a regular Coke every single day. I put butter on things. But I also walk every day. Some days now, I walk twice. And now I’ve started to do some push-ups and lifting stuff. It’s building muscle, and in doing so, has created an extra furnace to burn stuff and create energy. Weird! That, in turn, makes me sleep 7-8 hours a night which is another game-changer. And all the walking and lifting makes me thirsty, so that makes me drink more water — another huge plus!

    So, you can see from the photo of me up in the box that something has changed. I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost and I don’t care. I don’t care about that or diets or home gym equipment or rules about what I can or cannot eat or anything other than making sure I go on my walk today. That’s it. That’s the big secret. It costs nothing. I feel great. I can see my feet! There they are! Hello, feet! Wanna go for a walk? The feet say YES! Ask yours right now. And if you want, join me. But do NOT go on that walk with me if you are doing so to “get fit”, “be healthy”, or “lose weight”. You are fine just the way you are. Only walk outside with me right now because you know it might just feel good, because it’s a beautiful day, or someone is joining in with you, the fresh air is invigorating, you have to drive down to the drug store but you realize you can walk there, or simply because it’s just nice to be alive for one more day. Walk to walk and nothing else — and the other stuff will take care of itself.

    I’m heading outside in an hour. Join me. And let me know how it went!”

  3. Awesome Blue Cross New Health Videos


    Hello everyone!

    These are awesome.  Blue Cross very short new videos about health  . . .  Please take the time to watch them and leave a comment.   Just remember TNT “Today Not Tomorrow”.

    All the best, Martha and Jeff

  4. Sponsoring 3 Families at OCC


    Hi everyone!

    We’re asking for your help in identifying 3 families that Expressions of Health (and Spriggles Books) will sponsor at the Oscoda Community Center for the remainder of the season.  The following is the news release concerning this endeavor:


    Martha and Jeff Gottlieb, owners of Expressions of Health and authors of Spriggles Motivational Books for Children, are looking to sponsor three family memberships at the Oscoda Community Center for the remainder of the 2012/2013 season.  The Gottliebs have established a ”Spriggles Fund” in which a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Spriggles books goes toward avenues which help children lead healthy and active lives.   It is  this fund that will provide the support for the family memberships.

    In order for a family to be considered for this sponsorship, a short essay must be submitted that introduces the family and details how this membership will benefit them (including, but not limited to, importance of health, health goals, and time willing to commit).  Three worthy families will be chosen from all entries.  Essays may be emailed to or mailed to Expressions of Health, 6170 Ridge Road, Oscoda, MI 48750 no later than Dec. 7, 2012.  Families will be notified by Dec. 10, 2012.


    If you are aware of any families that may like to participate, please pass this information along to them.

    Thanks, and happy holidays!!!!!!!!

    Martha and Jeff

  5. Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving!


    Get Active 

    Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods. Make fitness a family adventure by taking a walk early in the day and then again after dinner. It is a wonderful way for families to get physical activity and enjoy the holiday together.


    Eat Breakfast 

    While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk — so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.


    Lighten Up 

    Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories. Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy, use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods, reduce oil and butter wherever you can and try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.


    Police your Portions 

    Thanksgiving tables are bountiful and beautiful displays of traditional family favorites. Before you fill your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what you’re going to choose. Then select reasonable-sized portions of foods you cannot live without.


    Skip the Seconds. 

    Try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings.


    Choose the Best Bets on the Buffet 

    While each of us has our own favorites, keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others. White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories.


    Slowly Savor 

    Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food, experts say. Choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, salads, and other foods with lots of water and fiber add to the feeling of fullness.


    Go Easy on Alcohol 

    Don’t forget those alcohol calories that can add up quickly.


    Be Realistic 

    The holiday season is a time for celebration. With busy schedules and so many extra temptations, this is a good time to strive for weight maintenance instead of weight loss.
    [modified from source WebMD]
  6. Appetite for Health


    Great news!!!  Our Spriggles Motivational Books for Children are being featured on the wonderful Appetite for  Health website, a great site dedicated to offering positive nutritional information and inspiration with a unique twist.  For a chance to win a free set of these books, please visit by midnight, October 28, 2012.

  7. Spriggles Books Head New North Carolina Program!!


    The Wayne County Partnership for Children announced Tuesday they received a grant from the North Carolina Community Foundation for the Spriggles initiative of the Shape NC program.

    Shape NC is working to create a statewide health program to ensure that a child’s earliest experiences with food and physical activity promote a lifetime of healthy behaviors.

    The Spriggles program is a series of motivational books and activities for children, written by Martha and Jeff Gottlieb, designed to inspire health, nutrition, activity and exercise. The program will be modeled at the Shape NC model early learning center at Wayne Community College and then provided to child care facilities across Wayne County.

    “We are pleased to support Wayne County nonprofits through our growing family of charitable funds. We support the Partnership for Children’s Shape NC-Spriggles program of providing health and wellness information to young children in a fun and motivational way,” said Bob Logan, President of the Wayne County Community Foundation.

    The Partnership for Children seeks to provide young children with the start they need to become educated, healthy and self-reliant. “Thanks to the NCCF grant we are able to help educate our youngest citizens about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We know that healthy behaviors start young, and we hope the Spriggles series will get kids excited,” said Charlie Ivey, Executive Director of PFCW.

    For more information visit or

  8. Latest Spriggles Review


    Brandi Thompson, a registered dietician with ABCD Eat Right, recently gave Spriggles Books this great review:


    I really loved these books that intricately combined “spirit” and “giggles” in order to motivate young children to choose healthy habits by eating right and staying active.  Each page is illustrated by kid friendly illustrator Alexander Gottlieb.  Each page touches an important topic for healthy habits. They bring to life animals in a rhyming pattern that presents them at a level that children understand and can learn from.  I enjoyed these books and plan to include them in my On A Nutrition Mission curriculum coming up in May. If you want to check them out visit for more information on where you can find these books.  You won’t be disappointed.


    Thanks, Brandi!!

  9. March is National Nutrition Month!

    March is National Nutrition Month, a good time to take a hard look at what you’re putting on your plate.

    “Get Your Plate in Shape” is the theme of this year’s eat-right campaign by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). The Academy encourages everyone to fill their plates with the right balance of healthy foods.

    Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, according to the academy.

    National Nutrition Week began in 1973 and became a monthlong observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition. As part of its national campaign this year, the academy’s website ( includes helpful tips, fun games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources.

    Here are a few tips to “Get Your Plate in Shape”:

    • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

    • Eat a variety of fresh or frozen vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange types, as well as beans and peas.

    • Check the ingredients list on food packages to find foods that are made with whole grains.

    • Vary your protein choices and include seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs.

    • Eat more plant-based proteins such as nuts, beans, whole grains and whole soy foods such as tofu.

    • Keep meat and poultry portions lean and limit to three ounces per meal.

    • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.  Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and fewer calories.

    • If you are lactose intolerant, drink lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.

    • Cut back on sodium and calories from solid fats.

    • Compare sodium in foods and choose those with the least amount listed on the nutrition facts panel.

    • Season foods with spices or herbs instead of salt.

    • Select lean cuts of meat or poultry and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.

    • Use heart-healthy oils like olive, canola and sunflower oil in place of butter or shortening when cooking.

    • Be mindful of your daily calorie needs. Think about the portions on your plate. Divide your plate in four sections: whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables and fruits, and a side of dairy such as a cup of low-fat milk, one ounce of low-fat cheese or yogurt.

    • Get into the kitchen and take charge. Cooking more often at home allows you to be in control of your food, choose healthier fats, less sodium and increase the fiber in your diet while balancing the amount of calories you eat.

    • Avoid large portions by using smaller plates, bowls and glasses. Fill your plate with nutrient-dense, lower-calorie foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein foods such as beans, lean meat, seafood and poultry.

    • Watch out for liquid calories. The calories in fruit juices, sugar-laden coffee and other sugary drinks can add up fast. Also, think before drinking alcoholic beverages as they have calories too. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Choose 100 percent fruit juice.

    • Log it. Use a food log to keep track of the foods, the amounts and calories you are eating daily. It will make you more aware of what you are eating.

  10. Nutrition Tip of the Day (and EVERY Day!)

    Several good ways to keep our blood sugar under control is to eat small frequent meals throughout the day, eat foods low on the glycemic index, always pair a starch with a protein and eat some good fats and fiber.

    So for this week, let one of your daily snacks be:

    * 3 celery sticks filled with a little peanut butter, 3 cucumber slices, 3 carrot slices, 3 slices of any color pepper (you can vary these veggies, but eat mostly green with other colors of the rainbow thrown in!).

    * 6-10 raw almonds (or small handful of unsalted roasted peanuts) with a small bunch of grapes.

    * optionally, you can also have 3 oz. of PLAIN yogurt with a bit of honey in it.  Make sure the yogurt is NOT non-fat (low-fat is fine) with no added sugary fruit.

    Pay attention to how you feel after this healthy snack.  We believe you will notice that you feel satisfied, healthier, and a bit happier for doing something great for your body!

    Have a healthy snack, Yak!!