Category Archives: soda

Yay, nay, and a Q&A

…TGIF! 😀

My garden is doing well, as you can see! March snow fall and monsoons are yet to kill off my veggies! Warriors! 😉

I used my Back to Basics Blender Express Plus from Kristen for the first time yesterday! Loved it! I made a delicious smoothie with cherries, strawberries, papaya, blueberries, and pineapple blended with Lemonade from our Soda Stream! Yumm! Thanks, Kristen! 🙂

And granola bars turned granola…

This recipe as granola bars…was a flop. They didn’t hold together AT ALL. So, I turned it into granola after baking it a bit…

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars adapted from fANNEtastic Food

1 & 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup crisp puffed brown rice cereal
3/4 cup seeds (I used 1/4 c. pepitas, 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds, and 1/4 cup wheat berries)
1/4 cup finely ground flaxseed
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 1/3 cup brown rice maple syrup
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350º F.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Mix them together.

Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate dish. If they are not combining with ease, microwave the bowl of wet ingredients for 20-30 seconds.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until well combined. Put the mixture into a shallow pan and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350º F, stirring halfway through. Yield: 10 servings (1/2 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 223 calories; 11.5 g. fat; 26.3 g. carbohydrate; 4.6 g. fiber; 7 g. protein

Result: Good, but not my favorite granola taste-wise or nutrition-wise. I won’t be making this again, but I figured I’d share anyways! I would recommend the Coconut Cherry Granola or Power Granola I’ve made in the past, however! Yum! And if your heart is set one granola bars, these BIG Muesli Granola Bars are excellent…and really easy!

And a short(ish) Q&A for the week: kidney stones & (probable) soy allergy…

Mary of A Merry Life: As you know, I have kidney stones right now. I have been reading online about preventing future kidney stones, since I already have a high risk to develop more. From what I’ve read I really need to change my diet. What I’ve been eating seemed pretty healthy and I’ve been losing weight, but a lot of the stuff I like to eat is recommended I eat less of it to prevent kidney stones. And because of that I’m really not sure what to eat at all now! So I need some help from someone, preferably a dietitian to help show me what I should be doing.

Prevention RD: Water is really important – up to a gallon a day and water throughout the night, as well (up to a 1/3rd of the recommended daily intake). Adequate calcium from diet and supplement is recommended – at least 1,000 milligrams a day. The UL (tolerable upper limit) for calcium is 2,500 milligrams a day. I would recommend an intake between 1,200 and 2,000 milligrams each day from food and supplements combined. If your stones are of calcium oxalate descent, limiting animal proteins, foods with oxalates, Vitamin C, and sodium may be helpful. Foods with oxalates include: rhubarb, spinach, beets, swiss chard, wheat germ, soybean crackers, peanuts, okra, chocolate, sweet potatoes (high content)…as well as, grits, grapes, celery, green peppers, raspberries, fruit cake, and strawberries (medium content). Sodium should be limited to 2,300 milligrams (1 teaspoon) or less each day. Because animal proteins can cause a build up of uric acid, decreasing meat and seafood intake helps prevent kidney stones many times (~15% of your calories from protein). This will probably result in an increased mono and polyunsaturated fat intake – nuts, seeds, nut butters, etc, and carbohydrates should comprise 50-55% of your intake. Adequate fiber intake (at least 25 grams a day for women) and potassium (2,800 milligrams or more – there is no set upper limit on potassium) are also recommended. Vitamin D may need to be decreased – but this is the least important change in most instances. Vitamin D-containing foods are antacids with a calcium base would be recommended to decrease. Mary, this is a LOT of things to keep in checks and balances each day. I would focus on the water and limiting the high oxalate foods. Opt for low-sodium everything and omit the salt shaker whenever possible. I hope this helps some…and good luck! Hope you get to feeling better SOON!

Julie of Pickley Pear: Have you ever researched the correlation between soy and acne? I googled it and noticed there are multiple reports, and many conflicting. The past month or so, I have been breaking out much more than usual. The past two weeks it has been really bad – not just a pimple here or there. I have not changed my makeup, face creams, washes or masks, or my routine in any way. The only thing I can think of is my intake of soymilk in the past month has increased. I have taken soymilk out of my diet for the week, so I will see what happens. This is really starting to bother me, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why!

Prevention RD: I’ve heard of this, but wanted to do some research. Soy is a common allergy in kids, and not as common to show up in adults. However, as children, we are often not exposed to soy milk unless we have a lactose allergy. When adults introduce soy into the diet, allergies can surface. The #1 symptom of a soy allergy is skin problems, including acne. If it is an allergy, removing soy from the diet should resolve the acne. If its does, bingo! If it doesn’t, I would make an appointment with a dermatologist or allergist. Great question!

Random question: If you could make a daily schedule/time line (money aside!), what would it look like? For instance, what time would you get up? Would you workout? And if so, when? What time would you go to bed? Would you work part-time? Full-time? What else would you want to do?

My ideal “schedule” would include waking up at 7am and bouncing around the house with a cup of joe til work at 9am. I would want to work part-time as a dietitian in the mornings and spend my afternoons working out, writing a book, and being wannabe healthy chef extraordinaire! I would head to bed around 10:30/11pm.  It’s nice to dream, right? 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone! Make it a healthy one!!



Filed under blog topic request, coffee, dietitians, exercise, fiber, fruits and vegetables, garden, healthy cooking, meat consumption, microwave, physical activity, recipe, sleep, soda, vitamins, work

Friday Fun Day!

No work on Fridays, wooo! 😀

Yesterday a fun new kitchen gadget arrived: a Soda Stream! I don’t think I’ve seen Mr. Prevention so excited over something blog-related…ever. I’ve seen the Soda Stream in the blogosphere and I’m excited to have one of my own :-D. Tonight we tried the Diet Grapefruit flavor and it was delicious!

Mr. Prevention also tried the cola and really enjoyed it. We put together a video to demonstrate how EASY making the soda is…(sorry about Lily barking…she’s not a fan of new noises!)

You can make 50 8-ounce servings for $4.99! Score! Added bonus: the diet flavors are aspartame-free and the regular soda contains no high fructose corn syrup and are a mere 35 calories for 8 ounces! This will certainly help off-set the cost of my Zevia addiction 😉

I also had an itch to bake last night…so I did! There’s soooooo many new recipes I want to try this week!! My co-workers are going to be getting a lot of cookies and muffins next week at this rate!


Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies adapted from Cooking Light

6.75 ounces all-purpose flour whole wheat pastry flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter 50/50 Smart Balance Butter Blend, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg 1/4 cup Egg Beaters
3/4 cup finely chopped dried fresh apple
3/4 cup caramel bits or 16 small soft caramel candies, chopped


Preheat oven to 350° F

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl; stir well.

Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture; beat at low speed until just combined. Fold in apple and caramel bits.

Drop dough by 2 teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten balls slightly with hand. Bake at 350° for 9 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks. Yield: 3 dozen

Nutritional Information (per cookie): 94 calories; 2.5 g. fat; 63 mg. sodium; 17 g. carbohydrate; 0.9 g. fiber; 0.8 g. protein

Result: These. Are. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! These truly may be the best cookies I’ve ever had!!!

Apricot-Coconut Bran Muffins from Lily’s Health Pad

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 1/4 cups non-fat buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup natural turbinado sugar (could use refined cane sugar)
2 eggs
1 cup chopped, dried apricots
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut


Preheat oven to 350º F.

Combine the wheat bran and buttermilk.  (Simply wet bran with milk.  Don’t over mix.)  Set aside for 10 minutes.

Combine and stir flour, baking soda, and sugar.  Add bran mixture and eggs.  Stir just until ingredients are moistened.  Fold in apricots and coconut.

Grease or line cupcake tins with liners.  Equally distribute batter into 12 moulds.  Bake at 350º F for 16 to 18 minutes.

Remove muffin tin from the oven.  Let muffins sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information (per muffin): 150 calories; 2.8 g. fat; 37 mg. cholesterol; 35 mg. sodium; 28.8 g. carbohydrate; 4.4 g. fiber; 2.6 g. protein

Result: Yum! These are reeeally good!!! Love muffins for breakfast 🙂

I’m taking a break from NNM topics today. I’m pooped after all that baking 🙂

Mr. Prevention and I are off to Dallas this weekend to visit friends. Not sure what the weekend brings, but I’ll try to check in!

Question: What’s the last thing you baked? Is there a baking modification you always make (i.e. canola oil for vegetable oil)?

Any fun weekend plans? 🙂

TGIF..have a wonderful, healthy, happy weekend!


Filed under artificial sweeteners, aspartame, blog, breakfast, budget shopping, Cooking Light, dessert, dog, friends, high-fructose corn syrup, pets, recipe, soda, Splenda, sugar substitutes, travel

Q&A and a CURE for Celiac disease???

Hope everyone had a wonderful Monday! Today’s Q&A day…enjoy!

Have a question you want answered? Send it my way for the next Q&A!! Thanks for all the WONDERFUL questions, you guys are super! 😀

Kate: Do you know anything about the way meat is processed now? I don’t eat much red meat, and I think my diet lacks protein in general. I eat a very low-carb dinner which lately has been an organic chicken sausage and a green vegetable of some sort. I need better ideas for protein…my husband won’t eat red meat at all and is pretty picky in general.. I really like sushi salmon but fish seems pretty limited during pregnancy so that’s out. I really try and buy organic chicken like the sausage but how do you really know? What else is safe?

Prevention RD: Hey, darlin’! 🙂 If meat processing is your concern, organic is the way to go. The term organic refers to the production standards by which food items are produced – no synthetic chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides. Organic livestock are not injected with antibiotics of growth hormones. There are a lot of organic meats available – chicken, pork, turkey, beef, fish, and so on. Most recipes calling for red meat can be substituted with chicken or turkey such as tacos, chili, casseroles, sauces, etc. Pregnant women can safely eat up to 12 ounces (about 2 meals a week) of low-mercury fish and seafood such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. However, raw and local fish should be avoided. Other sources of protein include tofu, eggs, peanuts, cheese, beans, dairy, and peanut butter. Most Americans consume adequate protein, so I don’t think this is of too much concern. I would, however, add a whole grain starch to your meals and focus lots on fruits and vegetables, adding in meat you find appealing.

Jenn of Eat Move Love: Do you ever find yourself needing a “break” from nutrition given that it’s your job, you write about it, research, etc.?? Or if you weren’t an RD – what would you be?!

Prevention RD: Yes! There are some days that I feel like screaming if I have to listen to another diet recall, but it comes back to doing something I love. Because I am SO deeply invested in nutrition, I do find that I focus less on myself and what I need. I count carbs and calories all day…it gets tiresome! Thus, I find it hard to commit the time to doing it for myself! I will say that sometimes I slack on reading other’s blogs because I need a little “vacation” from nutrition and health…you know, to go enjoy a TV show or a walk with my husband once in awhile 🙂 If I wasn’t an RD, I would be a nurse or a research scientist. I still may go back to school for nursing if life ever opens up that door for me! My “ultimate” goal, however, is to be a published writer or journalist! I am beginning to compile some ideas and material for a book on diabetes and diabetic recipes. Thanks for asking about me, that was sweet 🙂

Ashley of Food Fotos and Fun: I’m curious as to how bad you think it is to consume the “top contaminated fruits/veggies” and not eat organic.  I ask because I’m still eating at my college cafeteria which has very little organic produce.  From the top list, I have about two apples a day, at least a few potatoes a week, and spinach fairly often too (all of which are not organic).  Now obviously having such things every so often would be no problem at all, but do you think my higher consumption levels are of any concern?

Prevention RD: Firstly, rest assured that there are pesticide laws which are enforced by the FDA and EPA. These laws are designed to ensure that the produce making it into American homes is safe for consumption. However, this topic remains one of those gray areas for me. The aspartame in diet drinks is “safe” but does that mean we don’t need to limit our intake? Absolutely not. I think that investing in a produce wash and soak is the best bet if organic isn’t in the picture, and even then so! I posted a recipe for a produce wash here. Fully coat your produce in produce spray and manually rub the surface for 30 seconds or longer. As for leafy greens, soak them in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and rinse thoroughly before serving. This is an effective and low-cost means of removing unwanted dirt, bacteria, pesticides, etc. If you take these steps to reduce pesticide ingestion, the benefits of higher consumption of the “top contaminated fruits/veggies” far outweighs elimination of them all together. I hope that helps some! Wonderful question!

Faith of An Edible Mosaic: I have a question about spinach, Nicole…I’ve heard that its nutrients are better absorbed if the spinach is heated first…is that true?

Prevention RD: While cooking any food doesn’t make it more nutritious, per se, there are certain foods that have more “advantages” when cooked. Spinach is one of them. The carotenoids, a form of vitamin A, found in spinach (as well as other dark-green leafy vegetables, red, yellow, and orange vegetables) are better absorbed when cooked. Another example: lutein – a phytonutrient in corn is best absorbed when cooked. Great question!

Aria: On Oprah, what about the apple cider vinegar comment?

Prevention RD: I am so glad you asked about this! I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that claim was made regarding blood sugars and apple cider vinegar. A few small studies have shown drops in blood glucose when apple cider vinegar is ingested. Things like cinnamon, magnesium, chromium, and other antioxidants have also suggested promising glucose lower effects. WebMD recognizes apple cider vinegar as “unproven treatment” and this should be no surprise as it is boasted as a weight-loss aid, lipid-lowering agent, and wart-removing topical…all in one! 😉

And in Celiac news….

Peptides responsible for the immune response to gluten were isolated and a vaccine has been composed. Phase one of the vaccine trial began in April 2009 on 40 participants. Phase one intends to indentify the safety of the vaccine. Assuming the vaccine is deemed safe, the next phase will involve treating Celiac sufferers and testing their response to gluten when ingested. If trials are successful, the vaccine could be available within the next 5-10 years [1].

[1]. Hall, Joanna. A Cure for Coeliac Disease, Hope for Millions of Sufferers. The Sunday Telegraph. February 7, 2010.

Random Question: On Valentine’s day would you rather receive roses or chocolate?


Filed under antioxidants, aspartame, blog topic request, blood glucose, chronic disease, diabetes, dietitians, Dr. Oz, food safety, fruits and vegetables, gluten-free, hormones, meat consumption, research study, soda, sugar substitutes

Thank you, Oprah!

Oprah Winfrey aired a show on Thursday about diabetes, the Silent Killer. The show featured America’s doctor, Dr. Oz, as well as Bob Greene. USA Today put out a great article on the show.

If you didn’t get to catch the show, here’s a 10-minute excerpt:

I am passionate about diabetes and nutrition — it’s what I do. And we are learning more and more about diabetes, the disease that is predicted to bankrupt our health care system. I loved the show — diabetes and its compliacations were explained in a fashion that any American could comprehend.

Facts I learned:

  • Drinking just ONE can of regular soda a day increases one’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 83% !!!!!!!!!
  • Engaging in 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week reduces one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60%!!
  • If your waist circumference is greater than half your height in inches, you are at increased risk of diabetes. Ex: 5’5 = 65″; waist > 32.5″ is a risk factor for developing diabetes

Points made that I question:

  • Dr. Oz said that type 2 diabetes is reversible. I think this is debatable. Can a type 2 diabetic lower blood glucose levels to safe, normal ranges (with or without pills or insulin)? Yes.  Does this erase their diabetes diagnosis? Nah. This was just a logistical thing that I wanted to voice my opinion on. Specifically, for insurance purposes…chronic disease diagnoses don’t just disappear, even if they are well managed.

Other points to clarify:

  • Dr. Oz discussed staying away from the “whites” — white bread, pasta, sugar, etc. I agree with him in that these foods should be limited and more healthful replacements should be used when possible. However, I wanted to point out that there are a LOT of foods that are carbohydrates and ALL breakdown to sugar (glucose) in the body, such as: milk, wheat bread, brown rice, fruit, vegetables, juice, cereal, etc.

The bottom line:

  • Eat a balanced diet with an emphasis on lean proteins (animal sources of otherwise), complex carbohydrates (fiber-containing foods), fruits, and vegetables
  • DO NOT drink your carbohydrates — kick the soda habit and limit juice (even 100% all juices — eat the fruit instead!)
  • Exercise. 30 minutes a day. Most days of the week. As Bob Greene stated on the show, “Exercise is not an option!”
  • Do not focus on the dollar signs. Simple sugars and carbohydrates are cheaper and more easily accessible, yes. Be an educated consumer and understand the long-term cost that can be associated with poor health.
  • If you have uncontrolled diabetes and “feel fine” — please, don’t fool yourself. The statistics don’t lie. Change NOW before it’s too late. If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “If only I did something before it was too late…”

After watching the show on Friday, I walked into my local Walgreen’s. And look what was on the door:

In the red circle it says, “As featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show”

There was a woman getting her blood sugar tested and I thought it would be rather invasive and  inappropriate to take a picture, so just take my word for it 😉 The table was set-up right inside the door. What a wonderful event! Go, Oprah and Walgreens!

Question: What’s your take on soda? Juice? Do you choose to drink regular or diet soda? No soda? If you were counseling a regular soda drinker, how would you encourage them to kick the habit? What about diet soda drinkers?

I feel soda drinkers have VERY strong opinions on soda and easily justify their habit. Diet soda drinkers say, “Regular soda is too many calories and sugar.” and regular soda drinkers say, “Diet soda has that fake stuff that isn’t healthy.”

Random question: Do you say “soda” or “pop”…or “soda pop”? 😉

P.S. Email any burning nutrition questions to me at! I’m planning my next Q&A! 🙂

Giveaway alert:

Michelle over at Lucky Taste Buds is giving away a $50 Safeway giftcard!


Filed under artificial sweeteners, aspartame, blood glucose, budget shopping, cancer, carbohydrates, chronic disease, diabetes, dietitians, Dr. Oz, exercise, fiber, fruits and vegetables, Giveaway, grocery store, high-fructose corn syrup, low-carb, physical activity, protein, soda, sugar substitutes, US health care, weight gain, weight loss, work

childhood beverages

Study finds that girls consuming two or more 8-ounce servings of sweetened beverages a day at the age of five were “more likely to be overweight than were girls classified with lower intake over the study period.” Those drinking more than two servings of sweetened beverages at age five had a 53.9% chance of being overweight by the age of 11 [1].
The authors did not, however, find a link between milk or fruit juice consumption and weight status over this ten year data collection period [1].
Possibly of most importance was the finding of increased sweetened beverage intake over time. Those girls at the highest intake of sweetened beverages at the age of five had significantly higher intakes from age 7 to 15 compared to those drinking one serving of sweetened beverages a day or less. Consumption remained the same for those girls consuming one to two servings a day of sweetened beverages [1].
What to take away from this study is most certainly pushing water and low-calorie beverages with children. Habits and food preferences are instilled at a young age – don’t set your children up for a lifetime of weight struggles. Consider also the caffeine and sugar content of beverages as well, and how those contents can affect sleep, dental hygiene, attention span, and learning opportunities.
Did you drink soda as a kid? Juice? KoolAid? Whole milk after the age of 2? 
I think my mom did well with this, actually. We rarely drank soda, as it was not kept in the house. Dinner was typically milk (2% and later to skim), water, or Crystal Light. Possibly some juice, but it wasn’t a staple from my recollection. 

Even programs such as WIC no longer support juice consumption for children and opt to provide access to the whole fruit, providing both the nutrients AND volume, thus increasing the satiety of the calories consumed.

Dinner tonight: 1/2 acorn squash with 1 1/2 Tbsp melted Smart Balance Light, 2 tsp Splenda Brown Sugar, 1/2 tsp turbinado, and 1/2 ounce pecans….mmmm!! Talk about fall comfort food! Mama N used to make these babies sans the healthy butter and reduced-calorie 
sugars…and way more pecans! She was trouble, that mama of mine!!!

P.S. It tastes WAY better than it looks!
P.P.S. My diet yesterday looked a lot like the day before so I am sparing myself and you from writing and reading it!
[1]. Thomas, Caroline. Kids’ Soft Drink Habits Predict Teenage Weight: Study. Vol. 90, No. 4, 935-942. October 12, 2009.

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Filed under age, obesity epidemic, research study, soda

Simple Sugars and More Crock Pot Love…

Blog topic request: simple sugars.

My friend — we’ll call her Jenny — is pregnant! Jenny went for her oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in her second trimester, per protocol, to check for gestational diabetes (GDM). Gestational diabetes shows up in approximately 4-5% of pregnancies and is marked by elevated blood glucose due to elevated hormone levels, affecting insulin secretion. Insulin is the hormone responsible for decreasing blood glucose (sugar) in the blood. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed when the body cannot make enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels within safe ranges for both mother and baby.

While Jenny was not diagnosed with GDM, she was told to stay away from “simple sugars” after a slightly elevated 2-hour blood glucose reading during her OGTT. So, she wants to know what carbs to include and which to exclude.

As far as “simple carbohydrates” things that come to mind include: soda, juice, sugar, syrup, candy, honey, chocolate, desserts, white flour, etc.

“Complex carbohydrate” are the “good carbs,” meaning they do not as readily (and quickly) increase blood glucose in the body. When fiber is included in a food we can consider it more complex as fiber causes a “slow release” of sugar. Often, fiber-containing carbohydrates are given a “net carb” count, meaning the grams of fiber are subtracted from the total grams of carbohydrates giving the “net carbs,” and thus “lowering” the actual effect of carbohydrate on blood glucose.

So, complex carbohydrates would include: whole grain cereal, pasta, and rice, oats, beans, legumes, and fruits and vegetables. So basically, anything that’s not a sugar or refined : )

Because I’m a huge supporter of a diabetic meal patterns (consistent carbohydrates), I recommend to insulin resistant individuals a slightly modified diabetic meal pattern of approximately 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal with a night time snack consisting of both carbohydrates and protein (approx. 15-30 grams of carbohydrates). Adding in morning and afternoon snacks containing approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates is optimal, as well.

For our purposes, forget about “net carbs” and focus on labels and “total carbohydrates” — grams. By controlling the amount of glucose we’re putting into our bodies, we can control (the best and only way that we can) the amount of sugar going into our blood. Hence, any individual with insulin resistance, I recommend following this regimen (or a modification of this regimen).

Carbohydrates are essential and thus, the backbone of any diet. Even a diabetic diet contains mostly carbohydrates. And really, a diabetic meal pattern is simply another means of explaining a HEALTHY, BALANCED DIET! Ideally, all of our meals are comprised of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. In the case of carbohydrate control, the aim is to meet, but not exceed, the recommended carbohydrate intake and use protein and fat accordingly.

What might 60 grams of carbohydrates LOOK like? Good question!

2 slices of whole wheat toast
with Smart Balance or peanut butter
1 small banana
1 egg or Egg Beaters
coffee with creamer

AM snack:
apple and 1 oz. low-fat cheese

2 oz. turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat
1 Tbsp light mayonnaise
1 serving of baked chips
1 oz. of almonds
string cheese

PM snack:
low-fat yogurt with 1/4 c. granola

1 c. whole wheat pasta
1/2 c. marinara
3-4 1 ounce meatballs
salad with light dressing

6-8 crackers with cheese or peanut butter

“Jenny” — I hope this helps! I’m here to help…just ask : )

And in my crock pot last night was a winner, and rich in complex carbohydrates! Can’t-Hardly-Cook Chicken Parmesan! Before work, I threw in 5 chicken breasts which I had rolled in Egg Beaters and then in a mix of bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (lightly brush with olive oil the bottom of your crock pot first). I then layered 2-3 slices of light mozzarella over the top, and dumped on 2 jars of Classico marinara. Cooked on low all day and added it atop a portion of whole wheat linguine. It was divine! The chicken fell apart it was so moist…delicious!

I’ve got tonight’s dinner cookin’ up now — chicken tortilla soup! Yum! Recipe review (and pictures) later!

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Filed under blog topic request, blood glucose, carbohydrates, diabetes, fiber, recipe, soda

Study says: saccharin’s alright.

After the soda tax poll, writing on this study seemed only appropriate. I am NOT justifying the partaking of ANY carbonated beverage, but for my one-a-day diet soda habit, I’ll take the Splenda and leave the 160 calories for another waistline. I digress….

A study published by the

Journal of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention published a study claiming no cancer-causing effects of artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and aspartame. The study assessed the risk of stomach and pancreatic cancer incidences in 3,000+ Italians with “regular” intakes of artificial sweeteners. This particular study follows a previous study performed on rats in 2007 published in Environmental Health Perspectives, which showed cancer-causing effects of artificial sweeteners [1].

Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and aspartame are used world-wide and they produced industry amounting $1.83 billion dollars in 2007 alone. The most common artificial sweetener world-wide is saccharin with aspartame coming in second [1].

In Milan, Christina Boselli conducted case-controlled studies between 1991 and 2004 among “users” and “non-users” of artificial sweeteners. Among the data included there were 230 people were diagnosed with stomach cancer and 547 were healthy controls. Another 326 diagnosed with pancreatic cancer were included, with another 652 health controls. And yet another 454 persons diagnosed with edometrial cancer were included with another 908 healthy controls. The results were adjusted for confounding factors. None of the data produced results showing cancer-causing effects of cancer and nor did one artificial sweetener over the others [1].

Limitations of the study should be noted. Firstly, the included data was that of Italians only. Secondly, only three types of cancer were studied [1].

Another study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute showed no significant difference between groups consuming asparatme and incidences of leukemia, lymphoma, or brain tumors. This large-scale study included 285,079 men and 188,905 women, all aged 50 to 69 years [1].

Yet another study review published in 2007 in Critical Reviews in Toxicology showed that adverse effects of artificial sweeteners had “no credible scientific basis”. This particular review included a panel of 8 experts over the course of 11 months. Over 500 studies, articles, and reports completed over the 25 years prior were included. Some of the included data was unpublished, but submitted to government bodies for regulatory process approvals [1].

My take: if you have to choose one…choose diet. Artificial sweeteners, no matter how they are chemically modified to be calorie-free are NOT natural products. Just my $0.02 on soda — anyone care to share theirs?

TGIF!!! Have a great weekend!

[1]. Daniells, Stephen. Artificial Sweeteners Not Linked to Cancer: Study. Food Navigator. August 12, 2009.

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Filed under artificial sweeteners, aspartame, cancer, research study, saccharin, soda, Splenda