D’lish Day Off

After three days parading around the streets of Las Vegas for a bowling tournament, it was almost nice to be back in town running around completing errands. My first stop was Haji Baba, an ethnic market that sells extremely cheap spices in bulk.

IMG_3108My purchase total was $5 for over a lb of ground ginger. I travel all the way down to Tempe by ASU for this because in the store a small jar can be up to $8. No thanks. I use it for cleansing ginger baths composed of 1/8th cup ginger and 1 cup Epsom salt. You turn the water up as hot as you can handle it and then sit there for 30 minutes. Be sure to drink water during the process! I recommend setting up your laptop or ipad to watch a short episode of your favorite show to distract you from the outpour of sweat.

As I was driving home from the spice store I saw a long line in the drive-thru at a place called D’lish. It appeared to be a popular Tempe spot based on the full drive-thru at lunch time. Because I hadn’t had lunch, I thought it would be a nice treat on the way home.


Their menu had a variety of healthy vegan and vegetarian options as well options for your non-veggie friend. I ended up with the veggie d’lite. It had tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, cucumber sauce, and lettuce in a sort-of-pita-sort-of-focaccia wrap. The lettuce was not dressed and was the bulk of the sandwich. It would have been a lot tastier had the ingredients been mixed together prior to entering the wrap. I didn’t expect it to be cheap, but $7 for this seemed a little on the pricey side considering it was just a wrap with no drink or side. Overall, it was a refreshing alternative to your typical drive-thru meal. I can’t wait to go back and try something else!


Unfortunately my camera died before I had the chance to photograph my grocery haul. I only spent $20 and came back with 5+ bags of vegetables! Food City is a gold mine.

Have a Lovely Day!


Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in Toddlers

Howdy Folks!

Recently I completed a project on the effects of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB’s) in toddlers for one of my Nutrition classes. The link between poor health and SSB’s is uncanny. Some quick facts courtesy of my group members: Consuming only one SSB per day increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in later life by over 25%, the risk of a heart attack by 20%, and developing gout later in life by 75%(15). After finishing this group research I have concluded that I will not keep SSB’s in the house for my future children. That’s not to say that they won’t be allowed the occasional soda at a birthday party with other children or a tasty milkshake after a dentist appointment. SSB’s are meant to be an occasional treat. It’s the daily use that begs the problem.

I have included an excerpt of the research below.

Standing in the juice isle at the grocery store, a parent is presented with a myriad of juice options for their toddler. Advertised benefits of the juices such as “organic” and “2 servings of fruits and vegetables” stand out. While the parent is picking out a juice, they see their child’s favorite television star on the box. Surely the child will consume this beverage due to its advertising, despite it being laden with a little fruit and a lot of added sugars. Little does the average parent know, it is not only the advertising that entices the child – it is the sickly sweet satisfaction from sugar that scientists suggest is similar to a drug addiction (3). In addition to the suggested mental addiction to sugar, children develop an innate preference for sugar due to its caloric density and resulting energy increase (3). Some items advertised specifically for toddlers contain more sugar than conventional vanilla ice cream; this can lead to a toddler developing a palate preference for sweeter foods that put them at risk for obesity in later life (4). 

The exposure to sugar-sweetened beverages does not solely occur because of pre-packaged beverages sold in the store. A study by Christel Hyden and Karen Bonuck of the Department of Family and Social Medicine discovered that sweeteners or solids containing sugars were added to 21% of toddlers’ “sippy cups” with homemade drinks on a regular basis. They also noted that Hispanic children were more likely to receive cereal in their “sippy cups” to flavor their milk while African American children were likely to have drink mixtures made of added sugars (5). These evaluated beverages contained almost triple the amount of sugar and over 20% more calories than those children that received beverages without sugar-sweeteners (5).

In an interview with twenty-nine Hispanic parents of toddlers, scientists found that parents considered homemade drinks such as “agua fresca” healthy, which was made with generous amounts of added sugar.  The aforementioned parents had mixed views on the importance of 100% fruit juice, which was gathered from their knowledge that was deemed to be predominantly derived from the WIC (6). On average, children in low-income families that receive support from WIC are more likely to consume sugar sweetened beverages than fruit at an earlier than recommended age which can lead to underdeveloped kidneys, immature digestive systems, and an increased possibility of allergies in later life (7). Often times those that consume sugar-sweetened beverages do not compensate for the increased energy intake with additional physical activity, which contributes to the nationwide obesity epidemic in the United States (8).

After the project was completed, I participated in another research project for an urban and rural environmental health class. The class mainly focuses on the anthropological effects of poor water quality. I realized, after sifting through interview transcripts, that low-income Latino and African-American mothers in the United States were the most likely to say that they did not trust their tap water. This led me to correlate mistrust of the water supply and the consumption of SSB’s.

If you read my “About Me” page you will realize that I spoke of passions. This is one of my passions. I want people to feel safe and secure consuming water across the United States.  Often times – amongst all of the soda, juice, chocolate milk, etc.- we forget how blessed we are to have access to a simple glass of water.


4.         4.  Cogswell, M. E., Gunn, J. P., Yuan, K., & Merritt, R. (2015). Sodium and Sugar in Complementary INfant and Toddler Foods Sold in the United States. Pediatrics , 135 (3), 416-423.

5.         5.  Hyden, C. J., & Bonuck, K. A. (2014). Addition of Solids and Sweeteners in Toddler Bottles and Sippy Cups. Infant, Child, and Adolescent , 6 (4), 205-210.

6.  Beck, A. L., Takayama, J. I., Halpern-Felsher, B., Badiner, N., & Barker, J. (2013). Understanding How Latino Parents Choose Beverages to Serve to Infants and Toddlers. Maternal and Child Health Journal , 18 (6), 1308-1315.

7.  Allen, J. (2003, November 3). Medicine; Weaned on Junk Food. Los Angeles Times

8.  Woodward-Lopez, G., Kao, J., & Ritchie, L. (2010). To What Extent Have Sweetened Beverages Contributed to the Obesity Epidemic? Public Health Nutrition , 14 (3), 499-509.

15.  Fiorito LM, Marini M, Mitchell DC, Smiciklas-Wright H, Birch LL.  Girls’ early sweeted carbonated beverage intake predicts different patterns of beverage and nutrient intake across childhood and adolescence.  J Am Diet Assoc.  2010 Apr;110(4):543-550.  doi:  10.1016/j.jada.2009.12.027.

Good Morning, Sunshine Introduction

Good Morning, Sunshine.

I hope you slept well, because I have a lot to talk about. I’m not the best story teller, so bare with me for an introductory “get to know me” kind of post.

My parents named me Morgan, out of no reason other than “She was supposed to be a boy. Blake was his name, her name, err, what do we name her?! Oh the artist who painted the picture on the wall’s name is Morgan? Let’s do that.” Maybe it wasn’t as whimsical as my parents made it seem. Perhaps they picked it out of a baby name book and wanted to make it sound as if there was an actual story behind my name. Do they have a bar at the hospital? That could explain their “whimsy” choice.


I grew up in Scottsdale, AZ and I currently still live in this beautiful town. Upon graduating high school I wanted out of this blanket of beigeness. After living in the same town my whole life (the same freakin’ beige and brown town) I felt like my parents had secluded me to a life of dormancy. Did I mention the whole town is beige? My roots were tied down, but they weren’t allowing me to grow. I packed my bags and headed off to study in a rigorous pre-veterinary program. My Arizona feet were not happy and I quickly took to dreaming of coming back to Arizona. My love for medicine and animals remained, but I wasn’t sure it was the right career for me. I took the plunge, moved back home, and signed up for a year of community college to find my feet. When I came back, I noticed that we had the most vibrant sunsets, beautiful blue skies, and breathtaking purple mountains. It merely took a few months out of my element to see the beauty within.

Currently I am studying at Arizona State University as a Global Health Major. I plan on eventually obtaining a Master’s in God Only Knows What with an emphasis in who the hell knows. I’m too young to decide what I want to do with my life. The only thing I know for sure is that I want to make the world a better,happier, and healthier place. I work at a small insurance company managing claims, servicing customers, and occasionally selling policies if our capacity calls for it (this only happened a few times, but I definitely got the seller’s “high”). This is by no means what I want to do for a career, but it’s a step in the right direction in today’s business world. My Dad taught me that life doesn’t hand you lemons, that it gives you the tools to grow your own damn lemons. Somehow that digressed to him telling me that he did not like lulu lemon because it showed too many things that you’re not supposed to see.

I’ve decided to make a blog, because I’m open enough to share my diary with the world – why not my daily musings? In future posts you will be able to find the daily life of me, Morgan. And then some.

Examples of what this lifestyle blog will entail based on my loves and hobbies:

1. An anthology of my dating woes and antics.

2. Stories from my crazy girlfriends.

3. Tips for making college count.

4. What it’s like as a college student with a full time job.

5. I’m 22, expect a nice introduction to my favorite Sports Bars.

6. Traveling (you’ll soon find that I am hopelessly in love with Texas and California…if the two had a baby, I’d live there).

7. Food. I eat to be in love with every last crumb. Screw diet bars, place me at a real bar and I’ll order a burger with all of the fixins (ok, I lied a teensy bit on that one…I’d order a veggie burger).

8. Book reviews (during the summer I manage to read approximately a book every week or two).

9. Moving up in the business world as a young professional.

10. Daily musings.

“Follow” me if you’d like to join this mess of a roller coaster.