Trim Healthy Mama

Last year I started reading a book called Trim Healthy Mama, written by two sisters, Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett.  It was a little bit much to take in… 607 pages of information.  So, since I’m a “give me the bottom line” kind of person and didn’t have a lot of time to read all at once… and since I wanted to start right away and not wait until I finished the book, I went straight to the “good parts” that talked about the way we need to eat (chapters 8-11), as in types of meals… E, S, FP.   I started eating the way they said and… didn’t like many of the recipes.  For one thing, I’m not going to eat sardines… ever… let alone have them for breakfast.  I’m not much of a fish person and lutefisk and sardines are two of my nightmare foods.  For another, I went out and bought all kinds of ingredients that upped my food budget dramatically.  So I used these new ingredients and created meals and desserts from the book.

Good Food?

Everyone has different taste buds.  There were some recipes I didn’t care for and some I liked, so I marked the things that we didn’t enjoy and highlighted the ones we did. Then I started looking online for information, found a Facebook group where THMers encourage each other, ask questions, get all kinds of information, etc.  It was great.  I found out about a lot of people eating the THM way who had experimented and created recipes, many of which we really liked.

Results

Finally, I finished reading the book. During this whole time, I was losing weight… but, by ounces, not pounds.  However, I was OK with that because I started noticing a change in the way my clothes were fitting.  Then I noticed that the headaches I had been getting that would lay me low were gone.  The swelling in my joints calmed down.  (Clearly, the headaches and swelling in the joints came from the foods I had been eating before THM.)  So, there were benefits to this way of eating even if I was being a turtle on the scale.  (Unlike so many others who are losing reasonably quickly, it took me MONTHS to lose 11 pounds.)

Change in Perspective

On February 27th, I decided to do THM all the way.  I hadn’t been eating as often as the book says to eat and I would skip meals without even realizing it because, frankly, I just wasn’t hungry. I knew my metabolism was really slow, but on top of that, I didn’t seem to experience normal hunger pangs.  I’d literally forget to eat.  So, with this new commitment to eat as often as it said, I had to eat mindfully, really paying attention.  Doing the THM program just the way they say, I have lost an additional 6.2 pounds since February 27th.  Considering how long it took me to lose before that, this was amazing.  On top of it all, I have started to feel hunger pangs when my body needs nourishment.  That’s a good thing.  My body needed MORE food than I was giving it (and I wasn’t eating tiny meals).   Because I hadn’t been eating enough, it had been hanging on to calories for dear life.  This experience helped me understand what Pearl and Serene had written. I got rid of the “diet” mentality, ate more (whole healthy foods), and started losing more quickly!

Would I recommend THM to others?  Yes, absolutely.

Did I need to buy all these special ingredients?  No.  Once I got the concept of THM down, I realized that I can simply apply it to my own cooking style.  It’s not difficult to eat this way in restaurants, either.

Can THM be done on a budget?  Yes.  There’s even a Facebook page that gives great ideas for THM meals and snacks on a budget.

IMG_0246Do I need to buy the book?  Well… you do need the book.  It’s loaded with information that is important if you’re going to change your lifestyle.  However, your local library may have a copy that you can borrow.  Or, you can purchase the electronic version if you’d prefer.  But, yes… you do need the book in one form or another.   Mine is marked up and highlighted. I have post it notes in certain places that I go back to over and over and have written changes/variations to recipes right on the pages of the book.

If you need to lose weight or even if you don’t, but you want to get healthier, THM is a sensible and simple lifestyle change that works.

Check out Trim Healthy Mama.  See if it will help you get healthier.

Heartburn Tips Part 1 — Or Why I Eat So Quickly

I have been experiencing a lot of heartburn lately… more so than usual.  So, I decided to do a little research to see what tips are out there from valid sources that I can incorporate into my lifestyle.  Perhaps if you’re experiencing the same, you can also benefit from these tips.  (Because I’m also sharing stories along with these tips, I’m splitting these up into more than one blog entry.)

Problem:  Eating Quickly

There are two things from my childhood that always impacted me.  First, my father used to always tell me that when he was growing up the farmers in the area would test a man by how quickly he ate.  If he was able to quickly eat his meal and get back to work, he was considered productive.  If he ate slowly and took his time, he was considered lazy.  Of course my Dad didn’t apply that to our lives.  He told me this to explain why he always ate so fast.  It was something that he learned from early on.

The bigger impact on my life was actually from my experience in boarding school.  Yup… away from Mom and Dad.  The only times I saw them were at Christmas, Easter and summer break… or when they came to the city to do business (which wasn’t often).  I grew up in Africa.  (My boarding school experience is probably one of the reasons I feel it’s so important for me to homeschool.  I am not criticizing my parents.  They love me dearly and I love them.  For them, boarding school seemed the only choice at the time.  They lived down country and it wasn’t easy to get to the city.  There was no internet and mail was so slow that correspondance courses – the home school of the day – were slow and ineffective.  So like many other TCKs – Third Culture Kids – I went to boarding school.)

At my boarding school only kids sat at our tables.  The “Head Table” was reserved for the adults in charge of the kids.  Older kids were assigned to the head and “tail” of each table.  They served the younger kids who sat along the sides of the table.  We’d have breakfast and then be able to play a little before school started.  Then came lunch and again, we could play a little before the afternoon sessions… if we got out of the dining room on time.  Finally, there was dinner.  If we were quick enough, we could play for a while before having to come in for the night.  However, there was one major rule in the dinning room.  NO ONE could leave the table before everyone was finished eating.  The child at the head of the table had plates stacked in front of him and he would serve the food and send it down the table.  The child at the “tail” of the table would gather all of the dishes, take them to a special counter in the dining room when we were all done, bring desserts back for everyone.  Once we were finished and the table cleared THEN everyone was allowed to be excused and could go play.

If any child kept the other children from being able to go and play… well, the other children would take care of making sure that didn’t happen again.  So, we all pretty much learned to eat very quickly.

On top of that, as a career woman I was often in a rush, eating on the go.  The day would start off with my rushing out the door in the morning and eating breakfast in the car on the way to work.  More often than not I would eat at my desk while I was working.  I was always rushing from one place to another.

Problem:  Passing On Bad Habits

My six year old son is now very proud of the fact that he eats quickly.  He says, “I learned from Mommy.”  Wow…  that’s NOT a good thing to pass on to my child.  We don’t live in a day and age (to the best of my knowledge) where eating quickly helps people see you as productive and eating slowly shows them you’re lazy.  The majority of us don’t live in a boarding school setting where kids quietly rule the roost under the radar of the adults and “punish” those who don’t keep up.  But, a huge number of us are always in a rush, going from place to place, eating in the car on the go, etc.  My son simply eats fast because he sees his Mommy finishing way before anyone else.

Solution:  Slow Down and Relax

Every article that I’m reading about heartburn/GERD symptoms states that eating in a rush is hardly beneficial and, more than likely will be one of the things that causes acid reflux.  “Shoving” too much food into your stomach too quickly is basically an assault on your stomach.  So, slow down.

I’ll try what “they” say to do… “put your fork down between bites” and “chew slowly”.  We have lots of conversation at our family table and I still manage to eat quickly.  But, for some of you, focusing on conversing between bites may be a good tip to slow down.

The goal starting this week is to relax while I’m eating and take my time.

Have a blessed week!

 

Paula Deen’s Life

I’m a little behind in my reading with everything going on over here.  So, I’m just now catching up on a few of my Time Magazines.  This morning I read an article on Paula Deen from the January 30, 2012 issue and just had to sit down at my computer and say something.

The Time Magazine article, written by Josh Ozersky, starts with a picture of one of Paula’s burgers.  I remember seeing her make it and was kind of disgusted at the time… not by her, but by the idea of putting what had to have been at least a 2,500 calorie burger in my mouth.  The burger bun is a Krispy Kreme donut with icing glaze on it.  So, looking at the layers in the picture you see a donut, a burger patty, a fried egg, several pieces of bacon and, finally, another donut for the top bun.  (Perhaps it’s one donut cut in half like a bun.)  Phew!   The article talks about Paula announcing (after three years of knowing) that she has diabetes and goes on to discuss how Paula still hasn’t said anything very helpful with regard to any changes that she has made to her diet.  (As a new spokeswoman for an insulin company, on the website she evidently says that her change in diet is comprised of reducing the amount of sweet tea she drinks.)  Then the last paragraph of the article says:

No doubt Deen has made some enemies.  You can’t create a recipe for Krispy Kreme bread pudding without infuriating a few healthy-eating scolds.  But their smug sense of vindication could end up making people like her even more.  The U.S. is a strange and conflicted country when it comes to food.  We love our tacos, hate our scales and live in a state of perpetual shame.  Paula Deen, after cooking all the wrong things so well and for so long, doesn’t seem to feel any guilt at all.  And there’s something in us, I suspect, that can’t help but like her for it, even though we know we shouldn’t.

This article is straight-forward.  It’s not unkind.  It just addresses what the public sees as an issue and talks about the divide between her fans and those who are not her fans.

I like watching Paula Deen, not because of her cooking or recipes, but because of her personality.  She always has such a happy face and a carefree laugh.  In my opinion, there’s nothing more attractive than happy faces.  And Paula has the fun, bubbly personality to go with it.  She has a hint of mischief, a load of creativity, a hard work ethic (to get from where she started to where she is now), and a “no one can beat me down” attitude.  She loves her family, enjoys life, has a good sense of humor and loves food.

Anthony Bourdain, who is tall and not in the slightest overweight, who travels around the world talking about culture and food, heavily criticized her for knowing that she had diabetes for three years and still was showing people how to make high calorie, high fat, high sugar foods.  Blogs and celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon.

I find it interesting…  any time a person becomes well known, he/she has supporters and those who criticize.  It doesn’t matter what the situation, what the topic, what the focus of the person, there are those who like him/her and those who can’t stand him/her.  And the ones “fer” (as the old saying goes in the South) are highly supportive.  The ones “agin” are often just mean spirited in the way they critique anything and everything that person does or says.  Often it’s done in a way that holds them up high while bashing that person down.  I just don’t get that.  There is no reason to be nasty to someone just because you don’t agree with them.  It’s just uncalled for.   I don’t care what Paula has or has not done, what she eats or how she cooks.  Those are her personal choices.  Yes, she has an influence on people because she is teaching them to cook.  There’s no need to agree with her.  But, there’s also no need to harrass or be hurtful toward her.

I am not “Southern”.  But, I married a Southern Gentleman and love him more than anything in the world.  He likes me the way I am and has come to terms with the fact that I don’t cook Southern-style and never will.  If Paula Deen is the prime example of the Southern cook, then I can use her as a prime example of how I do things for my husband that he enjoys, but that isn’t “Southern”.  One time I saw Paula make collard greens.  Into the pot went a stick of butter, a ham hock loaded with fat AND some olive oil.  After that she put in a little bit of collard greens (in comparison to the amount of fat in there) that, when cooked down looked like they may end up making about 2 cups of collards.  Other than water, I don’t remember what else went into the pot because my brain stopped at all of the fat that was being loaded in.

When I make collard greens (something my husband loves and that I’ve learned to like over time), I melt a tablespoon of butter in the bottom of the pot and load the pot up with enough fresh (or frozen), chopped collard greens to make about 4 cups, cooked down.  I “fry” them down in that little bit of butter (little when compared to the previous Paula Deen version).  I add a little pepper vinegar, salt and pepper to the pot and keep stirring.  Any more liquid gets added a quarter cup at a time until it cooks down.  I don’t want soggy greens.  By the time I’m done, the greens are cooked, flavorful, and not loaded with fat.  My husband and boys love it.

So, yes… I watch Paula Deen from time to time because she really does cook Southern.  My husband loves the idea of what she’s making.  There are things that she makes that sound very good.  I watch what she does and then, if it sounds good to me, figure out how to make the recipe without all of the extra calories.  So, I get a flavorful version that isn’t loaded with fat and sugar.   I’m actually glad that Paula’s son, Bobby Deen, now has a show on the Cooking Channel called, “Not My Momma’s Meals.”  He does the same thing I do (and probably better).  I’ll have to pay more attention to his show and try some of his recipes.  If I can give my husband the flavor of Southern cooking without all the excess fat and sugar, I’ll sure give it a try.

But, going back to the Time Magazine statement that Paula didn’t have anything useful to say about changes to her diet… give her time.  I’m not walking in her shoes so I can’t even begin to say why she waited three years to say that she had diabetes.  I’m not even going to guess at her motives, concerns or thoughts about the situation because that’s not appropriate to assign motives to someone when you don’t walk in her shoes.

I do know that Paula’s had a lifetime of her style of Southern cooking.  This year I’m relearning some of my eating habits.  It isn’t easy.  Paula is going to have to relearn a lot of things as well and that doesn’t happen overnight.  It doesn’t happen until you’re ready to make the changes.  Perhaps she’s ready to do so and that’s why she’s finally made the announcement.  Perhaps cutting back on sweet tea is her first step.  I do know that making a drastic lifestyle and eating habit change just makes you miserable and you end up missing what you had.  So, taking this a little more slowly, learning about it, and making changes that will last the rest of her life is the way to go as long as her doctor is working with her on the medications to keep everything in balance while she’s making the effort.  Again, I don’t know what she’s doing so I can’t say.  But, I can say that I have empathy for anyone who has to make the choice to completely change the way they live their life.  It’s not easy.  And it is not being a hypocrite to try to change at a pace you know you can stick with for the rest of your life.

So, whether you agree with her or not, don’t go jumping on the bandwagon to be mean-spirited.  Just learn from her choices.  Learn from her experience.  And like me, learn how she does things and then experiment so that you can figure out how to make healthier versions of tasty things.

And most of all… be happy, smile and laugh like Paula.  She sure enjoys life and that’s what I like so much about her.

Have a blessed day.

Soft Drinks vs. Other Options

Français : Une cannette de Coca-Cola italienne...
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OK, I admit it.  I love Coca Cola.  Not that diet stuff, though.   I’m talking about the real Coke.  (Any kind of diet soda pop has a bad after-taste to me.  Remember Tab?  That was the first diet soda I ever tasted and I swore off of diet sodas from that point on.  I haven’t found one yet that I can enjoy.)

In fact, my “discerning tastes” in Coca Cola go so far as to believe that it tastes better from a glass bottle than from an aluminum can.  If given the choice, I buy the glass bottle.

But, alas, I have read and have been told on many occasions over the years that soda pop is bad for us so I have seriously limited my intake of any kind of soft drink for a number of years now.  However, I still do like a Coke now and then.

For years I have heard that Coke can disolve nails.  I just read an experiment by “Josh” that I thought was a bit humorous in it’s serious dedication to the truth, but it does prove two points:

1.  You can’t believe every chain e-mail you read.  (He debunked an e-mail that has been spreading a rumor I’ve heard for years.)

2. Coke does not disolve a nail in 4 days.  Myth debunked.  (I’m sure that the Coca Cola company is happy about that.)

To read about his experiment go to his blog, Will Coke Disolve A Nail” Experiment.  Thanks, Josh.

Similarly, if you have read or heard that Coke disolves teeth or a penny or meat in a short period of time check out what Snopes says about it.  Snopes talks briefly about the origin of these rumors.

Now, having said that…  Is soda pop GOOD for you?  Not likely, even if it tastes good to those of us who enjoy it.

Bone Density Problems

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a 2006 clinical study showed that colas (not other sodas) are linked with significantly lower bone density.

Excessive Amounts of Sugar With Zero Nutrition

There is such a high concentration of sugar in soda pop that there are studies that talk about diabetes, hyperactivity and so much more.  It doesn’t matter what kind of soda.  For example, one 20 ounce bottle of Coke has 65 grams of sugar.  They label 20 ounces as one serving.  So, in the time it takes to drink one can of Coke, you have just loaded your body up with 65 grams of sugar.  Got that?    And there is no nutritional value in Coke (or other soft drinks) at all.  The companies making them don’t claim that they’re good for you.  They just say that they’re refreshing and stuff like that.  (Quite frankly, I’ve come to find that a glass of cold water is far more refreshing.)

Let’s see… for the equivalent of that amount of sugar you can have things loaded with nutrients such as:

  • 5 cups of canteloup
  • almost 3 oranges (who eats three oranges at a time?)
  • 3 large apples
  • almost 4 bananas
  • slightly more than 4 fresh, juicy, delicious peaches
  • more than 9 cups of strawberries
  • 3.6 cups of watermelon
  • 7 cups of pineapple

The list goes on and on.  Double or triple those numbers if you load your body with 2 or 3 sodas worth of sugar in a day.  It’s unlikely that anyone would eat that much at one time.  But, you get the idea.  When you think about it, would you REALLY choose coke that has absolutely no nutrition rather than load up on amazing nutrition that will keep you healthy, taste delicious, keep your brain sharp, give you real energy (not caffeine induced energy), and so many other things?  I like my Coke, but I’d much rather drink water and enjoy peaches or strawberries or pineapple or canteloup, loading up on lots of nutrients and taking in much less sugar in the process.   (I mean, who in the world can eat 7 cups of pineapple or 9 cups of strawberries.  But you could eat plenty and have your sugar fix filled with nutrition from whole foods.)

Another study from the Karolinska Institute of Sweden was written up in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  This study concluded with this:  High consumption of sugar and high-sugar foods may be associated with a greater risk of pancreatic cancer.  This is serious, folks.

Artificial Sweeteners

So, what do you do?  Do you choose the diet sodas instead?  Are you kidding?  I did research on these and was completely turned off.  Please check out my blog on artificial sweeteners.  Again.. there is zero nutritional value in soft drinks.  So, take that zero nutritional value and add something man-made (not natural) which also has zero nutritional value that many clinical studies have shown to be harmful in various ways?  Do you know what they’re made of?  Again… Check out my blog on artificial sweeteners.  I won’t touch them after the research I did.

So, here’s my question.

Why choose soda pop at all if your only choices are high sugar without any nutrition or high artificial sweeteners without nutrition?   There are so many things to drink.  If you’re like my husband, you want variety.  (He’s not ready to give up soft drinks yet… and he drinks the diet stuff since he’s diabetic.  I’m working on him.)  But, here are ideas if you want a variety of types of things to drink.  Keep a couple of them in the fridge at all times.

  • Pour a glass of water over ice and add a lemon slice to it.  That can be quite refreshing.
  • Make your own fruit flavored water.  See this E-How article on How to Make Fruit Water for ideas.
  • Make sweet tea with your own sweetener.  Try throwing in a leaf of stevia when you brew your tea if you’re diabetic… just remember that it’s quite sweet and adjust to your taste.  Use a number of natural choices if you’re not diabetic.  (Remember that if you use coconut sugar, it has a caramel taste that affects what your sweeten.  That may go well with coffee, but not necessarily with some of the herb teas.  It depends on your tastebuds.)
  • I have a mint garden and like to freeze the leaves in little packets.  In the middle of winter, I pull out a packet (which holds enough for a pot of tea) and brew mint tea.  Yum.  In the summer, it’s delicious cold.  (I can drink it sweetened or not.  But, if you have a sweet tooth, iced sweet mint tea is very refreshing on a hot summer day.
  • I have a variety of Celestial Seasoning tea in my cupboard.  I brew it by the pot full and enjoy it hot or cold.  They have such a variety of natural herb teas and other types of tea (such as green tea) that it’s hard to get bored with it when you keep a pitcher of different kinds of brewed teas in the fridge.  At night I enjoy a cup of unsweetened sleepy time tea.  It has a mild, pleasant flavor.  How about choices like cinnamon apple spice, country peach passion, lemon zinger, cranberry apple zinger, or raspberry zinger.  Click on their link above to see the many choices they offer.
  • Use your imagination… the possibilities are endless.

Start making healthy choices.  Make soda an occasional treat if you must have it.  But, wean yourself off as much as possible for your own health’s sake.  There’s only one you.  You have to take care of yourself.

Have a blessed day!

What About Artificial Sweeteners?

Studies show that the average person ingests between 100 and 150 pounds of sugar a year.  What??!!!!!  How is that possible?  If you break that down, it means that with all of our soda, sugar found in so many canned goods we buy, breakfast cereals, sweeted tea and coffee, sweet drinks, fruit juices, desserts, snacks, candies and chocolates, and all of the other things that we eat, we are literally eating an average of between 1.9 and 2.8 pounds of sugar a week!!    Wow.  There is hidden sugar everywhere.  And there are things that we don’t even think of as sugar that have sugar added to them (such as fruit juice bought on the grocery shelves).

But, if you’re like me, some of it is not hidden at all.  I can’t drink coffee without doctoring it up with cream and sugar.  My husband always buys me some special box of chocolates on special occasions.  (My favorite is Sees Candies – Nuts and Chews.  Yum.)

So what is a person to do?  Turn to artificial sweeteners?  Well, let’s check that possibility out.

Saccharin (the pink packet)

Saccharin was discovered by accident at Johns Hopkins University while experimenting with coal tar derivitives. It’s a tar byproduct.  Let’s see how appetizing this is…   There are two methods for producing saccharin.

The first is called the Remsen-Fahlberg Process.  They react toluene with chlorosulfonic acid.  This acid compound is then synthesized with a number of other compounds including potassium permanganate and ammonia.  Hmmm…  tasty. (Really??   People WANT to put this into their bodiesI wonder what made the first scientists decide to put this in his/her mouth and taste it.)

The other method is called the Maumee Process.  They take phthalic anhydride which is actually an industrial compound used in creating plastics.  It is converted to anthranilic acid which is synthesized with a number of components including nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and ammonia.  (Even tastier than the first method, eh?)

Aspartame (the blue packet)

Two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, are used in this sweetener.  Sounds natural, eh?  According to a number of nutritionists and doctors, this is a dangerous product.  The processes used to make Aspartame (Nutra-Sweet) are fermentation and synthesis.  They raise large quantities of certain types of bacteria that are necessary to produce these amino acids.  They harvest the amino acids and kill the bacteria.  In order to raise that bacteria, they have large vats that include ingredients such as molassas, glucose, acetic acid, amonia and uric acid.

There’s a whole process involved in the fermentation, but then the amino acids that are collected are dried so that they are ready for synthesis.  During the first step of synthesis, they react methanol with L-phenylalanine.  Then they are pumped into a reactor for the next step of crystalization that has to be modified even more by reacting it with acetic acid in a tank filled with aqueous acid solution, a palladium metal catalyst, and hydrogen.  Then the metal catalyst is removed,  The remaining residue is disolved in an aqueous ethanol solution and recrystalized.  (Go to E-Notes, listed below to get more detailed information.)  Does that sound even remotely good for you?  What made someone think this was a food product?

Sucralose (the yellow packet)

Sucralose is made by substituting three chlorine ions for hydroxyl groups.  To be honest, I haven’t found a lot of information about exactly how it is made.  This is the only sweetener that is highly heat stable so you can bake and cook with it.  It is made from sugar, but in reality it is a synthetic chemical created in a lab.  There is nothing natural about it.

When you’re trying to sell something to the public, you’ll talk about it in glowing terms.  Every large corporation hires master marketers to market it’s product for maximum sales.  You can find out what the sales talk is by going to All About Sucralose (link below).

By the way, the FDA approved this as a table top sweetener after 110 clinical studies.  What they didn’t say was that at the time only 2 of those studies has been done on humans and the longest of those human studies had been for 4 days.  How does one find out enough about safety to the health of humans in 4 days?

Instead of just listening to marketing material (created by people who have taken advanced psychology classes combined with marketing techniques and know how to manipulate), what you want to also do is to go to places where research has been done by a reputable person and the information given isn’t biased toward company sales.  Check out the two Dr. Mercola articles on sucralose at the links listed below.  Be sure to read about the potential harmful side effects in Dr. Mercola’s article listed below.  I believe that is important reading that will not be shown on any sales materials of the company marketing Splenda.

Despite what the Sucralose marketing material says, there have evidently been only 6 human trials in total now and the longest of them was for only 3 months.  There have been no studies on long-term affects on humans metabolizing sucralose on a regular basis.  Though a new study shows that it harms the good bacteria in the intestines, increases the pH levels beyond where they should be, and contributes to body weight and affected P-gp levels that could cause certain crucial drugs to be rejected.  (See Dr. Mercola’s Harmful Side Effects article for more on this.)  I’m sure that they’ll find out more as more testing is done over the years.

Truvia (the green packet)

In 2007 the FDA declared whole, natural stevia (as used in Celestial Seasoning Teas) unsafe.  (What??  Folks, the stevia they were using has been used for over 1,500 years as a sweetener. This stevia that has a hugely long history of use without safety issues is unsafe?)  But, the same FDA has declared Truvia (a sweetener that uses only two agents from the stevia plant – making it no longer a whole food) safe as a food additive.  Natural is bad.  Processed to death by man is good.  Hmmm.

Check out another of Dr. Mercola’s articles on this.  Evidently the jury is still out for him on this one.  It sounds to me like far more tests need to be performed in order to see how this processed sweetner pans out.  But again, it’s in a package… man-made.  You can actually go to a nursery or an online wholesaler of plants and purchase a stevia plant to grow in your own garden.  Then you can use the leaves as sweetener (as has been done for 1,500 years) and know that you’re getting the whole “food”, not some man-made sweetener.

What Does This Mean?

Folks, your kidneys and liver were created to metabolize food.  If you overload them with poisons, chemicals, and things like man-made synthetic products, they are overburdened just trying to function properly.  Why do that to yourself?

There are sweeteners that you can use that are far better for you.  (Use sweeteners in moderation.  Try organic cain sugar, coconut sugar, organic raw honey, or stevia leaves.  There truly are many options.)  But, you need to reset your tastebuds for whole foods instead of sweet, sweet processed foods and artificially made sweeteners.  Learn to have sweets in moderation.

Yes, I quote Dr. Mercola and I have respect for him.  However, I believe that everything should be in moderation.  I don’t believe in going way off to one side or the other of the pendulum.  Dr. Mercola discourages use of fructose (found in all fruits).  However, fructose from real, fresh fruits is part of a “whole food”.  It is not the processed product put into packaged goods. I take his advice and leave products that have fructose on the label alone. But, I believe that eating fruit every day is a good thing.  Not only does it taste good, but it has a way of satisfying a sweet tooth, is loaded with nutrients and fiber, and has wonderful health benefits for the body because of the enzymes and other healthy things found in it.  (Of course, I’m not a doctor or nutritionist.  I’m just a “layman” who believes in balance.)

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Additional reading on these topics

  1. E-How – “How is Saccharin Produced”
  2. E-Notes – Aspartame
  3. Gov’t Site on Cancer and Artificial Sweeteners
  4. All About Sucralose
  5. Dr. Mercola – The Potential Dangers of Sucralose
  6. Dr. Mercola – Potential Harmful Side Effects of Splenda
  7. Dr. Mercola – FDA Approves Two New Stevia-based Sweeteners