Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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Problem: Many of us are fat, at risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer and, worse yet, don’t eat the very fruits and vegetables that could help prevent those chronic killer diseases.

Solution: Hype broccoli.

Problem:We are blah about broccoli.

broccoliSolution: Assign the creative geniuses behind Coca-Cola’s “Smile Back” campaign to re-brand broccoli. Could slick veggie marketing (rather than farmer’s markets) be the key to better national nutrition and improved public health?

At Wellbody Academy, we are huge fans of 10-year-old Amber Kelley of Woodinville, WA who shares her message, "Being healthy is COOL!" through free online cooking videos and healthy recipes.AmberKelley Her on-screen persona charms grown-ups and young children without being an overly sweet turn-off for other tweens. And she has terrific recipes: Green smoothies, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, healthy sleepover snacks, roasted veggies with quinoa, potluck hummus with secret NON-ingredient...


Did you know that a whopping 48 percent of all adult eating happens BETWEEN meals?

UWSNACKINGUW students chat about snack choices - Hartman Food Broadcasting

What are we munching, where, why and how much does it cost? In this on-campus video clip by Hartman Studios, University of Washington students share their snack fantasies, tips on buying and packing snacks and economical places to shop for snack supplies.


Visit Wellbody Academy’s Cafedium to use the Customized Calorie Budgetizer. It will help you calculate a balance between the calories you eat and drink (including snacks) and the calories you expend during daily activities.

Stay tuned to Wellbody Blog  for a jazzy demo about packing healthy snack-to-go boxes for students (or anybody!) on the move. 

If these warm spring afternoons are making you crave a sweet, cool, thirst quencher, think twice—especially when it comes to sugar-sweetened sodas, sports drinks and fruit juices.Soda canHuffington Post

A new study of 27,000 people in eight European countries found that those who drank a 12-ounce sugar-sweetened soda daily were 18 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes over a 16-year span compared with those who didn't. The research controlled for diabetes risk factors including age, exercise, body mass index (BMI) and total calorie intake. The findings validate earlier studies in the U.S. that found daily soda consumption upped the risk for Type 2 diabetes by 25 percent.

The research stopped short of proving that drinking soda causes Type 2 diabetes, instead showing an association. Researchers say other factors, such as the blood-sugar spike people experience when they drink soda, may play a role. (Read excellent summaries of the European soda study on Huffington Post and in TIME.)

Diabetes isn't the only dangerous disease linked to sugar-sweetened beverages. Several recent studies have also connected sugary drinks to heart disease, cancer, and, of course, obesity. In March, new research presented at an American Heart Association scientific session linked an alarming 180,000 deaths to sugar-sweetened drinks including 133,000 diabetes deaths, 44,000 heart disease deaths and 6,000 cancer deaths.

In the U.S., 25,000 deaths each year are associated with sugar-sweetened drinks. Low- and middle-income countries were hit hardest with deaths linked to overconsumption of sugary beverages.

Globally, here's how the deaths were distributed.
• The most diabetes deaths, 38,000, related to sugary beverages occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean
• East and Central Eurasia recorded the most heart disease-related deaths at 11,000.
• Mexico, which had the highest per-capita consumption of sugary drinks, also had the highest death rate due to sugared beverages at 318 deaths per million adults.
• Japan, had the lowest per-capita consumption of sugary drinks, and also enjoyed the lowest death rate due to the drinks at 10 deaths per million adults.

The American Heart Association recommends adults consume no more than 450 calories per week from sugar-sweetened beverages. Overall, the American Heart Association recommends women have no more than six added teaspoons of sugar a day and men no more than nine teaspoons a day. The Heart Association offers tips to help you make better lifestyle choices and eat healthier.

Visit Wellbody Academy's Cafedium to ride the Sugarburners exercise bike and turn the hand-powered crank to experience for yourself just how long it takes to burn off the 136 calories in a 12-ounce soft drink.

And stay tuned to the Wellbody Blog for refreshing recipe alternatives to sugar-laden beverages.

Last week's post about the fat-, sugar-, sodium- and additive-laden offerings on kids' menus  at most chain restaurants prompted several readers to share advice about how to eat healthy when you're away from home.badge-cafedium

In appreciation, we'll randomly select one of the tipsters to receive two free passes to Wellbody Academy and Pacific Science Center's other exhibits. While you're here, check out the Wellbody Cafedium for fun games and facts about nutrition.

Many thanks to the Wellbody community for the great ideas; several posted below. Please keep 'em coming!

We try to bring our own meals/snacks wherever we go to save money, and to support us in our weight loss maintenance (going on 1.5 yrs of losing 75 lbs myself, 90 for my husband). We think it's important to have these traits down before having children, so we'll be able to pass healthy habits along to our children. If we do go out to eat, we plan ahead by looking at the menu to make smart choices and split meals to not overeat and to save money! – Lindsay Larsen

We bring our own child beverages, always share and say no to fries! - Karmen Kreul Furer

Our modus operandi for eating out with our almost 3-year old is to not order off the kids' menu. Generally, we simply share our food with him. We figure, if he eats what we eat at home, why do we order him special things when we go out? - Wellbody Reader

Mexican with a family of 7: 2 orders whole black beans, 2 orders Mexican rice, 2 sides guac, 1 side each tomatoes and lettuce and 3 sides flour tortillas. We make our own all for around 30 bucks depending on the establishment! Yum! - Heidi Beard

When we eat out, we choose places that offer veggies as a side option. We avoid the kids' menu and prefer to order our kids' meals from the regular menu and have them split a healthier entrée with us or with each other. It makes for more sensible portions and better options like veggie sides instead of fries or chips. On the rare occasion we opt for fast food, we go to Subway or Taco del Mar. If we're going to spend the day out, we pack our own meals & snacks. Our favorite crunchy snacks include mini bell peppers, raw red cabbage, and Kim's Magic Pop (from Fred Meyer).
- Nan

Dear Pacific Science Center: Please interview parents that raise slender children and share with us or at your Wellbody blog about their staples, their food, their snacks, and how much they eat, regarding desserts,etc...Thank you a lot. – Best Care

Calling parents who are raising slender children—and anyone else who wants to share success stories and lessons learned--please contact us to be interviewed. Comment on the Wellbody blog, post to our Facebook page or email professorwellbody@pacsci.org