Sunday, March 21, 2010

A wiser and healthier girl

It never fails that when I have the opportunity to sleep in it's physically impossible to do so. There were birds wildly chirping outside my bedroom window. They were doing so probably in protest to the dramatic dip in temperature. Very windy. It's a day where it's 34°F but feels like 22°F thanks to our winter friend the wind chill factor. Quite frankly, that wind chill can kiss my left butt cheek. I'm so over winter. Unfortunately, it chooses to be a stalker who can't adhere to an order of protection.

Lucky for me, today is a day of non-workery. My hazelnut coffee was set to brew at 6:15 AM. It's my one vice that I have elected not to give up. That magical beverage is no longer accompanied by creamer or artificial sweeteners.  Egads, you say! What? Yep. Black coffee with a touch of sugar or agave nectar*. After watching an episode of The Dr. Oz Show where he discusses the use of artificial sweeteners and how the brain reads them in your system, I decided it's best to go with the real thing. I've become a voracious food label reader. Sure, grocery shopping takes a bit longer, but well worth it in the end.  There's so much hidden sugar in our foods that it's alarming! Pick up a random loaf of 'whole grain bread' and it's likely you'll find some form of high fructose in the first five ingredients.  Thousands of articles exist on the 'net about hidden forms of one of the common ingredients in processed foods. Even those breads touting the claim of no high fructose corn syrup can secretly contain it in the form of honey because it's not raw honey. Raw honey is a good guy when used in moderation. However, it's often processed honey cut with corn syrup -- to make it more cost effective -- that is used in these mass produced recipes.  EEK! I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I am becoming more aware of what I put in my body and my son's growing body.  As consumers we need to demand better, high quality choices at a reasonable cost.

So, off my soap box and on to other things ... I've been obsessed lately.  There should be some apology made to those of you who click on the link for my blog hoping to find some Rissisms thrown out for humorous consumption.  I'm not one of those zealous health converts that is out to save the world from itself.  What I am is excited that this newfound belief system is literally in my brain and not just me blathering about it in hopes of making you all think I've turned over a new leaf toward getting healthy.  In turn, hoping to make a believer out of myself.  I believe in it like a 3 year old believes in Santa and the Easter Bunny.

Oh shit. I did it again. I guess my soapbox wasn't put away after all.  Oh wait, that was just a step box left over from the early '90s aerobics class.  Put away the head band and Spandex, Ms. Newton-John.

What else has been going on in my life?  The place where I earn an income has become a busier place. That's truly remarkably good news.  More moolah in my pocket! Hopefully that is a reflection of the economy taking baby steps toward recovery. I don't discuss politics on this blog. So please, if you comment, refrain from bringing that into the mix. It just gets ugly.

Mancub continues to achieve academic successes that I never saw in high school. It's apparent when new concepts are introduced because his grades drop, but those dips are minimal and he manages to bring them back up. Next year he'll be in driver's education. Talk about a freakin' wake up call. Crazy! It's a good thing for my sanity that there's a waiting period before a license can be obtained. He's already talking about the kind of car he'd like to have. I hated to break the news to him that one car is all I can afford. Sorry, kiddo. In addition to the learning to drive deal, he'll be old enough to get a job.  The news of that reality hit him harder than being without his own wheels.  We'll see what can be worked out through the school and their work-study program. My first job was working as a file clerk after school in my sister's office. It wasn't long before I was hired at Monical's Pizza as a hostess. Man, I loved that job. Good times and tasty pizza. What else could a high school kid ask for?  His own car.

OK, I've blathered enough for a Sunday morning. My cup of coffee is empty. I need to hydrate and head to WOWY Super Gym to work out with Chalene Johnson and her crew on Turbo Jam.

*Agave nectar claims a lower glycemic index than sugar. Yet, I read an article that reveals most agave nectar available commercially is made in Mexico and cut with corn syrup to keep prices relatively low. Sneaky. It just proves that you have to be a wise shopper.
Image borrowed from


  1. It's horrifying what's in our food. I watched Food, Inc yesterday and am still not sure I want to eat anything - ever - again.

  2. Claudia, I felt similarly after watching the movie but it wasn't until recently that I really put the horrifying thoughts into action. It's difficult to find certified organic chicken around here. Beef isn't really my thing, but I'm guessing it will be virtually impossible to find free range beef.
    As consumers we have to keep demanding better.

  3. Yes, agave isn't the miracle cure we've all hoped for, but it's a step in the right direction, at least.

    The TRUE answer is STEVIA and XYLITOL.

    Both are NATURAL (no really, not that fake "all natural" label put on foods at the grocery store that means NOTHING) sweeteners made from plants.

    What's great about them is that the do NOT increase glucose levels! Yeah, so if you're diabetic or know someone who is, this is a great alternative as well!

    Also, xylitol actually has been shown to help rebuild tooth enamel, which is why it's popular in healthy gum! Think about that, gum that is GOOD for you! Careful, though. You wanna get the real deal, like Spry or Xylichew....not the more popular Trident "with xylitol", because if you look at the back of that one, it STILL has 3 or 4 OTHER sweeteners, INCLUDING aspartame!!

    Honestly, I think 10 years from now aspartame is gonna be found to be the next nicotine. Why put it in if you already have so many sweeteners? Addiction ;)

    But don't take my word on all this, do the research on Stevia and xylitol!

    I know it might not be available there, but here in Dallas, Central Market & Whole Foods sell these AWESOME liquid Stevia drops in a bottle form. My cousin got me onto it, so when we're out and about, whether it's a big unsweetened tea or even a gin & tonic, a few drops of that, and it's sweetened! ( and it's a great conversation starter when people think you're roofie-ing your own drink haha)

  4. This area is seriously lacking in stores solely devoted to healthy eating. I will search for Stevia drops at the health food store. Otherwise I might be asking for the hook up from someone who is near a Whole Foods.
    Advice is always welcome! :)

  5. I've been MIA lately... but simply MADE the time to refind the amazing people in my life... and I've missed you. xo


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