Welcome to Spa Week Daily Challenge #4! During Spa Week we gave you a little break. We let you sit back and relax and let the health flow to you via massages and holistic healing, but now we’re back with a challenge to kick your health into shape… in the sweetest way possible. Our Panel of Experts (at right) is growing, and this week we’re proud to partner with certified nutrition expert, author and TV personality everywhere from Good Morning America to Dr. Oz, a vanguard of the whole living lifestyle through her brand Nutritious Life, Keri Glassman. Are you ready for CHALLENGE #4? Here’s what to do: Pledge to give up ALL artificial sweeteners for TWO WEEKS. When: Wednesday, October 19 – Tuesday November 1 See the results! What’s in it for me? (WIN!) Besides improving your health and longevity by putting natural foods in your body… join The Keri Glassman Spa Week Daily Challenge Event on Facebook and share your success story or struggle. Once you RSVP and start sharing, you are automatically entered to win one of two $50 SpaWeek Gift Cards. Who says? Nationally recognized nutrition expert and author of The O2 Diet and Snack Factor Diet, Keri Glassman is the founder and president of Keri Glassman, Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City. For years, Keri has been a leader in advancing a “whole person” approach to health and wellness. Keri, also a mom of two, is a contributing editor and advisory board member for Women’s Health Magazine, and was the first registered dietitian to create a real food based snack bar, KeriBar. Additionally, Keri is the Nutrition and Health contributor for NBC’s New York Live, and is regularly featured on national television programs including NBC’s The Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, Access Hollywood Live, The View, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, The Wendy Williams Show, MSNBC and The Fox News Channel. Why? From Keri: Artificial sweeteners are bad, bad, bad! Some research has shown that there is a physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories. At Nutritious Life we see this play out as it is often the clients that add the packets of pink or blue to their morning cuppa joe that end up with the afternoon or night time sweet cravings. When you get the sweet taste but not the calories, you crave sugar even more, which causes you to eat more, and thus, gain weight. That’s right, for every calorie you ‘save’ consuming calorie-free artificial sweeteners, you end up eating way more in the end! Four tips for keeping up with this challenge, from Keri Glassman: There is no reason to eat added sugar, but if you must, then try low calorie foods with natural sweeteners. For example, ditch the fro-yo (which is often filled with artificial sweeteners and chemicals) for a cup of pureed frozen berries with 1 teaspoon agave nectar. Replace other artificial sweets with a ½ ounce piece of dark chocolate (aim for greater than 70% unsweetened cocoa) and a cup of green tea. Eat empowered and drink up! By eating well-balanced and proportioned meals and snacks throughout the day, you keep your blood sugar levels stable, which helps decrease cravings. Also, staying hydrated will prevent you from overeating because often your body mistakes thirst for hunger. Learn your triggers! Try to pinpoint what your “triggers” are. For example, do you go for sweets when you are bored? Stressed? Find a “control” other than sweets for these triggers, i.e., reading a magazine, going for a walk, or light a candle and breathe, as aromatherapy can be a powerful tool. Eat real food! Read the labels of some of your favorite “healthy” foods, like cereal, yogurt and whole wheat bread. They may contain artificial sweeteners without you even knowing it! And remember you will never be fooled by real foods, like apples and almonds!