Sunday, March 30, 2014

Skip the Monk Fruit

In my never ending quest to reduce my sugar intake, I came across Monk Fruit (just typed "monkey fruit" by mistake) extract in the sugar substitute section of the grocery. I pulled out my phone to do some quick research on it's safety and saw that it got the Dr. Oz stamp of approval. (although sometimes I am quite skeptical of products he endorses) - further research was completed - and it seemed to be a safe product.

The particular brand I purchased was Skinnygirl Monk Fruit, simply because it was in a tiny container so I could try without going all in...



Eager to taste it, I came home and brewed some coffee (the old-fashioned way - no K-cups here) - and put in a couple splashes.

I can't even begin to describe the taste, but it was no match for sugar. Currently, I cannot drink coffee without putting in a teaspoon and a 1/2. Much too much, especially considering my concern about fatty liver infiltration. Not kidding...

It was extremely bitter and perhaps very remotely sweet. BLECH.

Not to be daunted, I tried it again the next day, this time putting in 1 teaspoon of sugar and 2 splashes of Monk Fruit. MEH. Only slightly better - and I was still consuming sugar, so that defeated the purpose.

And then the past couple days I noticed awful gas pains in my lower abdomen. I wasn't eating anything out of my ordinary relatively basic diet. Other than......Monk Fruit extract!!!!  The pain was very sharp during the night prompting me to get up and google "Monk Fruit Extract and excessive gas" - and what do you know...many people have trouble in that it can ferment in the digestive tract and cause bloating and gas.

This may be a case of my digestive tract getting more sensitive with age, and maybe you will try and and have no problems....but for me, it was not a good sugar replacement.

Trying to stay away from anything aspartame-related, I have already tried and put the nix on Agave.

Which brings me back to sugar and the fact that I may need to bite the bullet and just cut back on my sugar intake without focusing on finding a healthy replacement. This may require some gritting of teeth but I can do it. Or can I?

Friday, March 28, 2014

It Can Be Addicting


Those of us who semi-dread our 2-3x weekly visits to the gym might not believe that exercise can be addicting....but it can. Earlier this week I made the following post on FB:

Well the "obsessive exerciser" was in class with me again today. This is someone who is always working out. I don't go often (down to only 3x this month) but every time I go she is there- constantly having to do weights even when we are in resting mode. Always having to add extra exercises. If she is 90 lbs I'd be amazed. Very very sad. I guess no one who works at the gym is permitted to take her aside and ask her if she is addicted to exercise. When you get to the point that you look like a lollipop it is alarming. She is very pretty but would be much prettier with 20 lbs added imho. But I am going to keep the lip zipped....

I have been very concerned about this individual; luckily she is not yet near the extreme case I saw on GMA this morning. However, it is a slippery slope...Before class she is busy on the exercise machines and then after an hour class she immediately cuts out to work out again on the exercise machines.

As I was flipping channels while on my leisurely elliptical stroll, I couldn't believe there was a segment about a girl who was in a similar situation and the "angels" at the Y who arranged for an intervention to get her the treatment she so desperately needed. Click here to hear her story about the intervention and her subsequent recovery after months at a treatment center.

I am curious why no employees at the place I workout have said anything to this compulsive workout-er. Maybe it is legal reasons? It is a tough territory to tread on...

Have you come across an exercise addict and had the courage to intervene?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Utah, Vegas and more!

Hello Friends!
We just returned from a fact finding mission to Utah to research a possible university for VC.

What am amazing corner of the country. We rented a "sweet" ride and drove 900 miles - ending up in Vegas on our last day.

Here I am in Zion National Park. The memory chip on my phone got corrupted - so we drove back the next day to re-take our photos - typical...


and then Vegas! Caesar's Palace - where I played some video poker - always a fun time!


Here we are inside the Bellagio - next to a spectacular piece of live artwork:

Lots of planes, shuttles and driving during our four day excursion...

I am not big on flying - so considering one leg of the trip on the way to/from was on the dreadfully small "Embraer" - (only three seats wide - one seat on the left; and two on the right) I was not looking forward to it.

And then the morning of our flight - which was scheduled to leave at 5:50 am - the plane had to be de-iced and then the pilot came on to notify us that the plan was having mechanical problems - which he described as the switch that controls the pitch of the nose of the airplane not working on his side, which meant an hour delay while a new switch was installed. Which lead to us arriving at the Gate in Chicago with only 6 minutes to spare!

I don't know about you, but when the mechanical problem is this type of mechanical problem, I'd almost rather NOT know what the problem is!!!!!

Anyhoo, we made it home safe and sound .

P.S. You are all so polite not mentioning all the spelling errors I had in my previous post on the decline of education standards LOL :D  just now figured out there is a spellcheck on Blogger so this post should be error-free!

BTW, there are more photos from our trip on Instagram (carmasez) if you would like to see them and/or follow my Instagram.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Where Will It End

Two recent educational develoments have caused me to do the raised eyebrow.

First, the lowering of 3rd grade reading requirements in the state where I reside, although "State officials have said the new scores so not reflect lower standards" - very puzzling. It would seem that the new scores do reflect that.

Secondly, the revamp of the SAT, which includes elimination of the writing portion and difficult vocabulary words. Again, this is supposedly not seen as lowering standards.

I am so grateful that VC  has been accepted to all of the universities to which he applied and I am fairly certain it has a lot to do with his excellent SAT scores.

Why not strive for excellence instead of celebrating mediocrity?



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do Not Ask Me if I Want to Play You in a Word Game. I Do Not.

I am starting to get a big complex. Recently a few friends have hit me up to play Words With Friends and Word Trick.

They are very into it - and good at it. Even when I form a word worth 40 points, I still end up losing games though. (That 40 point word was a fluke - but is a good example to illusrate my point plus I can brag)...

When I started playing WWF. I thought I was all "Alec Baldwin"- but the allure has quickly diminished...

As of today I have lost at least 10 games - and won ZERO.

I have always prided myself as being a "Scrabble Wiz" - but maybe that is because my competition here at the house has not been that challenging. Should have realized this when MB put a "P" in front of "Drum" to form the word "PDrum" ;-)

You know when you think you are smart, but then you have an awakening that maybe you are not all THAT smart.

Yeah, that's where I'm at. As long as I am no longer smart, I can end a sentence with a preposition....

...but please, no one else ask me to play a word game!!!
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