Archive for the ‘What the heck is that?’ Category

Seriously…like you haven’t had this conflict…EVER?

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faceplantWhether it be online or in conversation – I see & hear this statement a lot: “I’ve fallen off the wagon and I can’t get back up to work out…what do I do?” Well, my first answer is (and always will be) – get thy ass offeth thy couch.

My top weight was well over 360 pounds. One year my adorable little doctor with the starch-pressed tie told me I had gained 50lbs in five months. My orthopedist offered to write me a letter for weight loss surgery. I was so offended with both men that when I got home I parked myself on the couch with half a gallon of Moose Tracks ice cream (followed up with an entire tray of Stouffers Mac & Cheese – the family sized box). Showed them, I did.

Fact was, they were right and I was obstinate. Even for a good three months after weight loss surgery I was obstinate. I fully expected to do…nothing…and one day I’d just wake up skinny (say it with gay flare). My trigger to get up and move was pulled by my weight loss doctor, who would not stop nagging pestering me about exercise and what the benefits were. Since I was already a know-it-all about multiple addictions, technology, and of course being fat, I immediately considered myself the know-it-all about exercise, too (well, now I am!).

My very first session with my trainer ended with two very rug burned arms from holding a plank (I think it was 10 seconds), and utter humiliation. My stomach touched the floor when I did push-ups…in front of a bunch of bulged bicep-ed hot guys. There I was, on the floor like a fat piglet. I didn’t want to return. Ever. But…I had paid him, and I couldn’t go back to another follow-up appointment with “Well, I did…then I stopped…and I couldn’t get going because [insert all the excuses of the world here].”

It is very easy to fall into old patterns after a period of weight loss. A “break” turns into a “vacation” which turns into a “season” which turns into “what the heck just happened” which triggers a whole mess of other stuff that jumbles the brain. Ultimately, you sit on the couch and list out all the excuses reasons why you haven’t been motivated. Flip the TV on. Grab a snack. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow turns into a “vacation”…

I’m going to say this again because it needs to be said: Get up and move! All the whining in the world will not change the situation, neither will a continuation of stagnation. I’ve done it, it’s hard (and my face is plastered four times on two sides of someone’s car advertisement), the cost is pretty high. From RCW (remote control withdrawal), to OMGWHIDTM (oh my gawsh what have I done to myself!), to BMSIO (but my show is on).

Get up off the sidewalk from a proverbial weight loss face flop. It doesn’t require two hours a day in the gym. Just requires an active participant. Get up and GO! It really is that easy.

no_splenda-sweetnerSay that to the tune of “American Pie” (you’ll have that song in your head for a LONG time!)

In my ongoing quest to clean up my plate and refrain from a meaningless life lived in The Land of Disgustedness (watch this, or just read the ingredients list of that cookie you’re about to stuff in your mouth), I finally gave up Splenda.

It’s not advertised as such, but in case you were of the thought Splenda was a natural artificial sweetener, um….no. Duke University published an article in 2008 on Splenda after a 12 week study on how it affected rats. The report says after 12 the twelve weeks, “half the animals from each treatment group were sacrificed to determine the intestinal expression” of a really long list of chemical items I don’t really want to know about. In summary, half the rats were killed so the research team could see how their intestines fared.

Lots of side effects were noted, a reduction in the good bacteria in the colon were discovered. Also, certain levels of P-gp, and CYP3A4, and CYP2D1 were enhanced (the more enhanced the number, the less the colon can break down oral drugs). In English? Splenda destroyed “good bacteria” and affected how prescription drugs are absorbed.

Splenda is made from sucralose, which is manufactured as a synthetic compound (and not approved for use in most European countries). Sure, its humble beginnings were somewhat derived from sugar, but our over-processed manufacturing techniques make the sugar disappear and what’s left behind are chlorinated atoms (um…Clorox?). Also, just in case you were wondering: sucralose grows NO-where on earth. Neither does ant killer (spray that on your oats).

So on the suggestion of multiple peoples (both medical and other places), I’ve made the switch to Truvia. At least until I finish the great dig on what that’s made out of.


vegansugarWhen I saw “Vegan Cane Sugar” on a bag of…well…sugar…at Whole Foods, I thought it must have been a joke (or a really cheesy marketing tactic). A handful of people I mentioned this bag to looked at me like I lost my marbles…like a whole jar of ’em.

So, what the heck is “Vegan Sugar”? It’s sugar not refined with bone char.

So, what the heck is “Bone Char”, you ask? A cow filter.


Sugar is refined (you know this is true NOT because it’s on the internet, but because the bag says “refined sugar”). Cane sugar is refined through bone char (carbo animalis…animal bones…moo). The bones are torched to temperatures ranging from 752-932 F, “in an oxygen depleted environment” (no O2). The chemical explanations for this process are long and boring, so I’ll give you the SPD version:

  • Bone char is used to remove fluoride from water (and to filter Shark Bait’s tank).
  • It’s known as calcium triphosphate, or tricalcium phosphate – a food additive in items like: table salt, dried milk, egg mixes, sugar products, flours, and cheese products. Keeps them from becoming lumpy
  • It’s used in sugar refining, makes cane sugar white. Cane sugar is not naturally white, it is tan/light brown.
  • Brown sugar is refined sugar with molasses.
  • Confectioner’s sugar is refined sugar with corn starch.
  • Fructose may be refined through bone char, but it’s unlikely.
  • Squirrel.
  • Bone char is also used to refine crude oil to make…wait for it…petroleum jelly.
  • One cow could produce nine pounds of bone char.

Vegan sugar is, according to what I’ve discovered, is not refined by bone char, which lends validity to the “Vegan Cane Sugar” in black print on the bag. In other words, it’s not a joke (or a really cheesy marketing tactic). But I’m left with one very puzzling question:

If cane sugar is naturally tan/light brown, and refined cane sugar is white via bone char (moo), then…why is vegan cane sugar still white? My inquiring mind wants to know, and I’m going to dig a little deeper into this.

Stay tuned for part two…