10 reasons high fructose corn syrup sucks

Posted: March 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: green, health | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

High fructose corn syrup = evil. This is widely accepted, old news for most of us. But just in case you missed the memo on why you should stay far, far away from HFCS (or you need a reminder the next time that bag of Oreos is calling your name… JULIAN), here are ten big FAT reasons you should take every precaution not to ingest that garbage, which seems to be in everything from fruit juice to salad dressing these days.

10 Side Effects of High Fructose Corn Syrup

1. Obesity. HFCS restricts your pancreas from producing enough insulin and leptin, which makes it really, really hard for your body to metabolize food and regulate your appetite.

2. Diabetes. Not only does HFCS make you fat, but the irregular fluctuation in insulin levels causes damage to your pancreas, which just so happens to be the primary cause of the D word.

3. Tooth decay and infections. High sugar foods and sweeteners rot your teeth, period. (This isn’t just HFCS, of course, but it certainly doesn’t help matters.)

4. LDL cholesterol and triglycerides increase. When you eat any kind of sugar, your body metabolizes it into fat, increasing your body’s cholesterol levels. HFCS severely limits production of insulin and leptin, so when you eat foods that contain high amounts of the sweet stuff, they are nearly 100% metabolized into fat & cholesterol. Yummy!

5. Increased risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. If none of the rest of these scare you, this should, considering it is the number one killer in America. Higher cholesterol levels from consuming HFCS causes your arteries to become clogged and block blood flow to and from the heart. Your heart muscles are then weakened, which restricts new oxygen from getting to the rest of your body. The little bonus pockets of fat get an F in Heart Heath, too.

6. Anemia. It goes without saying that foods like HFCS usually contain no vitamins or minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. When you eat them, your body is forced to grab from previously stored nutrient reserves, draining the supplies and lowering the safe, healthy levels.

7. Lowered immunity. HFCS disrupts your body’s production of hormones and enzymes that protect you from contracting diseases and illnesses. If you don’t like getting sick, put down the soda.

8. Lack of calories. Wait, isn’t this a good thing? Not this time. Though foods with HFCS usually contain a ton of calories, they contain little to no nutritional value, which means you are putting your body to work, wasting valuable resources, and in the end – you’re still hungry.

9. Fatigue. Increased sugar intake results in your body releasing more hormones and endorphins (e.g., a sugar rush), and we all know how that ends – with you being pooped and needing another sugar boost. Which brings me to the last point…

10. Mood swings and withdrawal. As with most things in life, the more HFCS (and other sugars) you eat, the more you come to crave it, which makes giving it up that much harder in the end.

So, who wants to grab a Coke and a bowl of Fruit Loops? Unless the thought of being old, decrepit, sick, and broke from medical costs makes you giddy, start checking your labels and opting for HFCS-free foods. Trust me, they are out there, even if you have to check every single brand of maple syrup on the shelf – they are out there.

Special thanks to the many internet medical journals for helping me understand why HFCS is so naughty, and to my husband for inspiring this post.

Photo: EJP Photo

bits & pieces: march 7, 2011

Posted: March 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: bits & pieces | Tags: | No Comments »

Been quite a while since I’ve put one of these together, but I have to say, I really missed it! It’s so much fun sharing all the quirky and interesting things I find while browsing the web. Honestly, these days I do a lot less browsing (not at a desk all day), but I still manage to find a few gems. I promise to be better about posting them!

bits & pieces

I love, love this “back to the future” photo project. So brilliantly simple it makes you smack yourself for not thinking of it first!

A really pretty teal bedroom wall color. I’m obsessed with this color, even my coat is a similar shade (a bit bluer, though!)

Looking for a place to register for your wedding? DONE.

The problem with Lasik – this is why I am still skeptical, regardless of optometrists telling me I am a “perfect candidate!”

5 ways to trick people into thinking your house is clean. Hey – lots of great tips in here, for real.

A smattering of some verrry beautiful fabric/wallpaper patterns.

Why you shouldn’t put your iPhone next to your head.

One method of curing procrastination!

The colors in this tray are magnificent.

Five “top fives” about the best things in Richmond, VA (where I happened to go to college!)

A homemade sprinkles recipe! I want to make these exact cookies now:

baby cats + japanese television

Posted: March 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: cats, funny | Tags: , , | No Comments »

A little Sunday silliness for you today: baby kittens and Japanese television, a winning combination in anyone’s book! Aside from the precious little babes, my fave part of this video has to be the weird sound effects they use each time a kitten moves its paws. And of course, the over-the-top squeals coming from the hosts. I wish I knew what they were saying!

Three cheers for the internet, and for Kitten Rescue, who tweeted this vid!

Posted on JapanProbe.com
Uploaded by probeeden. – Discover more webcam videos and video blogs.

big bear

Posted: March 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: life, travel | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

We had succcch a great little mini-vacay in Big Bear. We went at just the right time – it had just snowed 24″ a couple days before we got there, but the roads were clear enough that we didn’t need snow chains. The weather was perfect – mid 40s during the day, low 20s at night. Plus, we went during the week, when lines for the lifts are non-existent, there is no traffic, and the hotel is quiet.

We stayed right on the lake, and the views were absolutely breathtaking. There is nothing in the world like fresh, crisp mountain air! I really enjoyed looking out over the frozen lake (which was unfrozen by the time we left) at the snow-covered hills, but I could tell it was an even more beautiful sight in the summertime when all the boats are out and about.

Snowboarding was an event – we took a beginner’s lesson which helped a lot, but my memory kicked in somewhere around the 1-hr mark and I was able to pick back up where I left off two years ago when I last hit the slopes. We fell. A lot. But we enjoyed it! So much in fact, we went two days in a row – despite being extremely sore.

We also went tubing at Alpine Slide – which, I’ll be honest, wasn’t quite as awesome as I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, it was so much fun sliding down the hills on the tubes, but I wanted something a little more extreme. I wanted to get thrown off my tube. I wanted my head to be spinning when I stood up. Instead, we were tubing alongside 5 yr olds. But we’ll take what we can get! And we did get some really adorable pictures.

Another highlight of the trip was eating. One look at Yelp and you can tell Big Bear isn’t exactly a culinary hot spot, but we managed to find a few local restaurants that had decent food, good wine, and friendly waiters. Our favorite spots were the Peppercorn Grille, Sweet Basil Bistro (the lobster lasagna was insane and the handmade mini-donuts with 3 different dipping sauces were TO DIE FOR), and the local greasy-spoon breakfast joint, Grizzly Manor Cafe. I can’t imagine any of these places would garner a solid 4 or 5 star Yelp standing in LA, but they were perfect for our trip.

All in all, a super relaxing little getaway. The perfect amount of time – we were just barely able to hit all the restaurants we wanted to, went into all the cute little store, chatted with the shop owners, and snowboarded until we were too sore to move. It took us less than 3.5 hours to get there (& home), and we felt lightyears away from the madness. We will be back!

things i love thursday

Posted: March 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: things i love thursday | Tags: | No Comments »

A little late (I mean, it’s Friday) but I started writing this up for next week and figured I might as well just post it up now. Why not? This is my blog, my rules. Besides, we were gone snowboarding all week. I’m playing “catchup.” And this is kind of a hodge-podge post, just FYI. Happy Friday everyone! And Happy March, while we’re at it! Things I Love Thursday!


Living in a state where you can drive three hours and be in an entirely different climate. Yesterday morning, I was trudging through feet of snow, bundled up in a coat, gloves, and scarves. Today, I’m wearing shorts and have all the windows open. It’s almost warm enough to go to the beach! Where else do you get this much diversity in weather? California, sometimes I really do love you. SOMETIMES.

The fact that you can buy anything – ANYTHING – on Amazon. Just found out they sell Trader Joe’s holistic dry cat food in a 3 pack of the 3lb bags – for less than you’d get it at the store! I already buy all my girl’s wet food using Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program (they eat Newman’s Own Organics, if you’re wondering), but now I can order both! All the shipping is free, too, because we’re Prime members (best $80 ever spent). This week I also ordered a 6-pack of Mrs. Meyer’s Geranium-scented hand wash. BEST SMELL EVER!

The ridiculous wine bottle holder Julian picked out while we were shopping in Big Bear. The bear is “drinking” the wine while holding the bottle with its feet. Yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds!

Living with two natural born bug-killers. I am not a fan of bugs, and thankfully, we don’t see too many around these parts, but on the off-chance a moth or spider meanders into the house, my girls are on it. They kill for sport. Not my idea of a good time, but it saves me a lot of trouble! Another thing I love: when they carry things around the house in their mouths (not bugs, usually toys and/or rubber things they find that pass as toys).

Other things worth noting:

being sore all over from snowboarding two days in a row (it’s a good hurt) • green tea • catching up on Season 6 of Weeds • our pretty new shower curtain • living within walking distance from so many great restaurants (& food trucks!) • this iPhone cover (if I still had an iPhone, I’d dress it in that case!) surprise phone calls from one of my brothers-in-law • my Dyson • the pine cone bookends I picked up in Big Bear • Essie “Minimalistic” polish • my husband, my husband, my husband! Forever & ever, Amen. ♥