Good Day Alabama: Nov. 3, 2015

Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama:

JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joined us live from downtown Birmingham as part of Red Rock Tuesday. He learns more about the new bike share program, Zyp-Birmingham, and how it ties in with the Red Rock Trail System. The Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System will connect existing trails and parks connecting our communities while improving the health, economy and quality of life for our region.  For more information on the many hiking trails and future plans, visit

BETH K - What is Added Sugar and where is It? UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin says a new study shows that lowering sugar intake in children and teens could lower blood sugar and blood fat in just 9 days. BUT – the study had some big flaws: there was no control group, the study size was really small, and the study was very short. When the researchers had children and teens replace simple sugars with complex carbohydrates, blood sugar, LDLs -the bad cholesterol carriers- and triglycerides all went down in a short period of time. Diastolic blood pressure also dropped. Again, the study had a few flaws so you can't necessarily expect the same results. But, reducing added sugars is a good idea. The problem is, how do you know if your food has added sugars in it?  Here's the problem, the current food label lumps all sugars together. This is a label for milk – just regular milk – not flavored milk. You can see it looks like it has quite a bit of sugar in it. But that's not added sugar – that is the lactose – a simple sugar that is a natural part of milk. That is not the sugar we need to be cutting back on. As we've talked about before, the new proposed food label will show you which sugars are added. But who knows when these labels will be ready for prime time. Congress is still arguing over the label changes. So, if you want to know if your food has added sugar, you have to look at the ingredients list:

Here are some words that may not say "sugar" but really are:Corn sweetener

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Honey

You still won't be able to tell exactly how much sugar is added – except in obvious foods like soda where all of the sugar is added, but it will at least give you an idea! But until the new labels come out, we really won't be able to know exactly how much added sugar is in our food – at least not by looking at the label!

MONEY TUESDAY -Marshall Clay, Senior Advisor at Fee-Only Planning Professionals, LLC, joined us with some reasons why you should hire a veteran. When you live every day in a free society, there is a tendency to take those freedoms for granted.  The truth is that the freedoms we enjoy have come at a great cost and sacrifice by the legions of men and women who serve, and have served, in our armed forces.  As a financial advisor, Marshall is well aware of how this hard-earned freedom has created an environment for free markets which, in turn, have positively impacted the personal finances of all Americans.  While the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan may be winding down, the fight to protect the freedoms we enjoy will continue.  It's important we all support the active members of our armed forces, as well as our veterans, and each of us has the ability to do so.  Here are a couple of ideas:

Support the Alabama Veteran's Memorial Foundation and meet a TV star!  To celebrate Veteran's Day, on Nov. 8, the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park has planned a special day of activities, highlighted by Noah Galloway as the keynote speaker.  As you may recall, Noah was a finalist on the hit TV show, "Dancing with the Stars".  Noah lost his arm and leg during a combat tour of duty in Iraq and to watch him dance and lift his dancing partner with one arm was simply amazing!  Even more amazing is his positive spirit and love for our country.  Noah was also the Men's Health 2014 Ultimate Fitness Challenge Winner.  Also attending the ceremony will be Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions providing opening remarks for the day's festivities.  This park - located off interstate 459 at the Liberty Park exit in Birmingham - is one of the premier Veteran's memorials in the country.  Go there and be inspired!  For more details, visit

Magnify your success- Hire a Veteran.  As a financial columnist, I'm always looking for ways to create greater financial success for our readers.  Having owned my own business for more than thirty years, and having worked with many successful business owners, I can attest to the importance of surrounding yourself with highly talented people.  Our Chief Operating Officer, Greg Weyandt, CPA, offers these key traits he looks for in a potential employee:

Discipline- When you're dealing with other people's money and personal finances, it's vitally important that you have a disciplined mind…focusing on 'dotting the i's and crossing the t's' while remaining focused on the key goals and objectives of each client. This need for discipline is present in all successful companies.

Leadership- You want to hire people who are 'self-starters' and who take pride in their work.  You outline a project's goals and objectives and they can run with it and have the good sense to ask for help when needed.

Teamwork- Successful companies rely on people working together in a cohesive manner towards common objectives.

Performance under pressure- No matter what the business, you'll eventually find yourself in a pressure situation.  It's at just that point that you will need all of your people to dig in and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Use mistakes as a learning opportunity.

Integrity- Perhaps the most important quality any person can possess is integrity.  Integrity is doing the harder 'right' over the easier 'wrong'.

When you think of someone who has successfully navigated military service, I think you'll find they embody this list of traits.  As an extra financial incentive, a federal tax credit -Work Opportunity Tax Credit- WOTC- is available to employers for hiring certain targeted groups of Veterans. On a personal note, we hired a veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in South Korea, and he certainly has exceeded all expectations.  Our veterans are people of tremendous fortitude, who love our country and sacrificed greatly for the many freedoms we enjoy every day.  Their past, current and future sacrifices are intricately and inevitably linked to the financial future of all Americans.  Take time this Veteran's Day to think of how you can best show your support for their commitment and sacrifice.

TEDDY BEAR RIDE - The Birmingham Harley Owners Group -HOG- chapter's 22nd Annual Teddy Bear Ride is set for Saturday, Nov. 7. More than 500 bikers are expected to ride their motorcycles from Rider's Harley-Davidson in Trussville to Big Oak Ranch. All area bikers are invited to participate in the Teddy Bear Ride. The public can support the Ride by making a cash contribution at Rider's or by contacting Warren Murray at or Rick Gamble at Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Rider's. The ride departs at noon. Miss Trinity Fisher Stidham will serve as Grand Marshal of the event that is co-sponsored by Rider's Harley-Davidson. Miss Stidham was one of the girls that the Oak Ranch gave a chance too and has turned into such an amazing lady. Local law officials will donate their time that day to provide escort and safety control services for participants.  Since its first year, the Teddy Bear Ride has grown from a gathering of five motorcycles to as many as 600 bikes with only one reason--to help the kids. Big Oak Ranch is a Christian home for children needing a chance. The children live in as normal a setting as they can possibly create. As many as eight children live in each of the Ranch's comfortable, two-story homes with a dedicated, Christian couple serving as mom and dad. Their mission is simple. "Giving kids a chance."  The ministry of Big Oak Ranch grew from a simple desire to give children who've been abused, neglected or abandoned a chance for a normal, happy life. Since 1974, the ranch has been called to meet the needs of hundreds of children by giving them a solid, Christian home and a chance to fulfill God's plan for their lives. A hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of house we lived in, the kind of car we drove or how much money we had in the bank, but the world may be different because you and I were important in the life of a child.

GARDENING - Sandra Reaves joined us to discuss Hugelkultur. Hugelkultur means mound culture, but it's not just any kind of mound.  Wood is required as the  base. Hugelkultur imitates the cycle of decomposition and growth found in a forest.  The decaying wood becomes spongy and holds water in the mound, unlike raised beds that are made of soil only. It can be built steep and tall to minimize bending. Plant legumes or plants with low nitrogen requirements are best for the first year. For more information, visit her Facebook page - it includes lots of pictures, tips, how-to videos, and info on veggie trials going on in the garden.  It's a "real time, real life" look at home gardening and food preservation. You can find her at or

NEW IN BOOKS - Susan Swagler writes about books at her "Turn the Page" blog and in Birmingham Magazine. She introduced us to gift-worthy books. Give the gift of a great book—it comes with guaranteed free downtime - a priceless gift if there ever was one. There's something here for everyone. A few come with presentation tips, and a couple of these books have local connections. Today she introduced us to

"Above the Waterfall" by Ron Rash

"Between You & Me" by Mary Norris

"The Art of Memoir" by Mary Karr

"Birmingham Beer:  A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City" by Carla Jean Whitley

"Behind Nazi Lines:  My Father's Heroic Quest to Save 149 World War II POWs" by Andrew Gerow Hodges, Jr. and Denise George

Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, Jeh Jeh gives it his all at the Ranger Challenge! Can he even compare? Tune in to find out!  A big weekend for college football as Alabama takes on LSU. We talk with Lars Anderson about this and other big games! Live music in the studio - Natasha Owens joins us to perform! Rachael Ray has lots of fun planned this month and she joins us with the scoop! And the doctor joins us to take your questions about bariatric surgeries! Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day!