Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spend Time with the RIGHT people...

Following LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling's alleged racist comments, the NBA banned Sterling for life. Instead of focusing on how wrong Sterling's comments were, I choose to focus on what young athletes (and others) can do now. has a recent article which offers inspirational advice in a recent post:  30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself. I encourage all of you to click on this link and take notice of #1. Start spending time with the right people. Young athletes grow and learn everyday. Sure, these kids are seeing the controversy following Sterlings' alleged comments. However, young athletes can and should learn how separation from this type of negatively and racism specifically is eminent.

Please encourage your kids to spend time with the right people. Stop racism.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cheers to 2014!

I hope you are all out celebrating the New Year this evening. If not, you should be. The 2013 year is coming to end, so this is a time for new beginnings. Believe it.

What I ask of you tonight is to have a little faith. Faith can go a long way. If you believe even simply a small amount that you are your child will progress in some way, I promise you it will happen. Life is good.

My dad has spent the last 4 weeks or so in the hospital. Somehow my husband and I have managed to cover work, travel, kids, and vigilance at the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, we managed to shop for Christmas gifts and somewhat enjoy the holidays. The best news is that Dad is recovering. I'm seriously delirious right now, but somehow all has been and is good.

I'm sure Dad's strength had something to do with his recovery (which is still in progress). However, a touch of teamwork between me, my brother, sister, and mom have led to round-the-clock vigilance and what I'd like to believe led to optimal medical care. Dad had a slight relapse, and we all pulled together and watched and monitored (and made a few suggestions…) towards his medical care. Maybe I'm naive, but I truly believe it helped the situation. When there is a will there is a way. And as the Nike saying goes--Just Do It!

Bottom line, believe in yourself, your child athlete, and in a higher power. Success is unlimited. Please be rational, and take action for yourself, your child, and for those in need. This is what life is all about.

We wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ban the Dyes...

Bright red, blue, green fruit snacks…yum. Picture red jello squares. Does your mouth water? Now picture clear jello squares. Tasty? Maybe not. Without the color, there is without a doubt less appeal (unless you actually taste the food).

Most food manufacturers add dyes to many, many foods. For example, yogurt, cranberry juice, popsicles, pop tarts, and even macaroni and cheese often contain dyes including red 40 or blue 5. These dyes have no nutritional value and for purely aesthetic value--the color draws you to the product, but it does not improve the taste.

Having no nutritional value does not mean an ingredient has no affect on our bodies. I'm a firm believer these dyes can highly affect children and adults with a variety of reactions. I first learned the side effect of dyes when my son at approximately 6 months olds took a liquid antibiotic. He went through 3 rounds of antibiotics for an ear infection, yet none of the 3 worked. A very wise pediatrician questioned a potential reaction to the dye in the medication. The fourth type of antibiotic, which was white, worked like a charm.

Was I overreacting? Do you think like my mother--it was just a fluke? You are wrong. Soon after the initial experience, I began paying close attention to dyes in foods. Cameron definitely slept less, ate less, and was fussier after consuming various foods with dyes.

Several years after that first experience with medications and dyes, we moved and were forced to change pediatricians. Well, the new pediatrician thought I had completely lost my mind with my aversion to dyes. Cameron was diagnosed with strep throat and the doctor refused to give him the usual white medication. He wanted to begin treatment with a medium strength medication which contained dyes.

The medication trial was a huge mistake. Within a week Cameron's strep throat progressed several to the degree we ended up in the ER. The ER doc again thought I was nuts (after listening to the background story). The doc warned us that it was almost impossible for a child to test positive for strep while taking the antibiotic that Cameron was taking, even if the meds were not working.

Long story short, Cameron tested positive for strep while taking the lovely purple antibiotic. I've never seen such a perplexed medical staff. The doc and nurses immediately rushed to Cameron with IV fluids and antibiotics.

This story is leading to a sports connection… When Cameron was approximately 5 years old, he started playing t-ball. For the most part, he was a pretty good little player. However, one day out of the blue, Cameron couldn't catch or throw a ball to save his life. He was turning around backwards on the pitcher's mound, getting hit by the ball in the head, back, or wherever, and sitting down randomly while the ball was in play. This was behavior we had never seen before.

After the game ended we asked Cameron what he had eaten earlier at the neighbor's house. It turned out he had eaten several popsicles, which are full of food dyes. There was clearly another strong reaction going on to these additives.

Earlier this week, the Today Show featured a mom campaigning against food dyes. You can read the story here. I'm pleased to see the topic is being brought to light. Please check it out, and please believe the effects are real.

Following the above story, Kraft Foods has agreed to remove artificial dyes from macaroni and cheese and other products. Check out the story here. I'm happy to see change. I wish I had petitioned for this years ago.

In the meanwhile, if you choose to avoid artificial dyes, I recommend shopping at stores such as Trader Joe's which tends to carry natural products. Another trick I learned over the past years is to search generic product ingredients. For some strange reason, generic products tend to have less additives, at least in my experiences.

If you suspect your child athlete reacts to food dyes, please try eliminating these foods from his or her diet. I will be surprised if you do not see good results. I'm a firm believer.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Did A-Rod take banned performance-enhancing drugs? I suppose in my book he is innocent until proven guilty. However, he likely walked the line.

Many athletes consume energy drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, to add some potential energy. And some athletes take vitamin shakes or vitamin supplements, such as B12, which are legal substances. In my day, we took decongestants like Sudafed (which are now often banned in sports) for that extra energy burst. To a degree, these are performance-enhancing substances, yet they were legal in the past and some are legal now.

Top-notch athletes often look for the next best thing to add an edge to their game. Why not? If you feel better and you are faster or stronger or it helps your game in some way and substance is legal, I say take it, use it, do it. But do NOT cross the fine line. Stay on the legal side. Stay within the rules and win fairly. Winning feels better when it is fair.

I do not know if A-Rod is innocent or guilty. I certainly hope he turns out to be innocent. Let's not judge until he has had a fair verdict. For now, try not to jump to conclusions.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pray for the Boston Marathon Victims and Their Families...

My prayers are with the Boston Marathon bombing victims and their families. This is a tragedy beyond comprehension.

On a positive note, I was proud to hear about the many amazing acts of heroism, selflessness, and even flat-out thankfulness. It appears that first-responders and emergency personnel were key in getting the distressing event under control.

I have also to point out that many marathon participants, onlookers, and others performed integral actions in helping others. Many runners immediately went to hospitals and offered to give blood. Others took action helping the wounded. And some even showed courage while fear was beyond comprehension.

Bottom line--teamwork. Please learn from this tragedy and value people working together for a common goal. Everyone on a team is important from the weakest link to the strongest.

If you'd like to help, please considering donating and retweeting the following:

Thanks in advance to all who are supporting this recovery.

PEACE will prevail.