Sneaky, Sneaky Sugar

Sigh. Why do “health and fitness food corporations” produce such misleading products for consumers?

questbar

As a huge peanut butter and jelly addict, I fell in love with Questbar after the first bite. A friend introduced it to me a while ago, and I decided to buy a box of a dozen while shopping for other health supplements on iHerb.com. I was impressed when I read the label – ‘No Sugar or Sugar Alcohols Used‘.

Lets not kid ourselves. Sugar-free peanut butter and jelly protein bar? That’s about as far fetched as a healthy cheese dog.  I read the ingredients on the back of the label (should’ve done that before…) and noticed that there was indeed SUGAR in the protein bar, except it’s named Sucralose. it’s really just another word for sugar. In other words, despite the deceptive labeling, the primary ingredient for my snack bar was none other than sugar.

Check your food label! Here are 45 food ingredients that are really just sugar in disguise:

Barley malt, beet sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, cane-juice crystals, carob syrup, yellow sugar, date sugar, dextran, dextrose, diatase, diastatic malt, levulose, ethyl maltol, fructose, glucose, grape sugar, fruit juice, maltose, maltodextrin, honey, fruit juice concentrate, raw sugar, sucrose, sorbitol, molasses, mannitol, demerara sugar, galactose, maple syrup, panocha, powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar, treacle, turbinado sugar, caramel, ethyl maltol, treacle, sorghum syrup., muscovado sugar, agave.

Labels tend to be very tricky and manufactures go to great lengths to make their products seem healthier. If you see any of the above ingredients, know that that it’s just another name for sugar.

The search for the best healthiest protein bar continues. Do you have a favourite protein bar? Please share!

The 6 Simple Daily Rituals

1. Keep a bottle of water by your bedside table. Make sure to Drink Up When You Wake Up. Your body loses water while you sleep, so you’re naturally dehydrated in the morning. A glass of water when you wake helps start your day fresh.

drink water

2. Define your Top 3 – Every morning ask yourself, “What are the top 3 most important tasks that I WILL complete today?” Prioritize your day accordingly and don’t sleep until the Top 3 are complete.

the top 3

3. The 50/10 Rule. Solo-task and do more faster by working in 50/10 increments. Use a timer to work for 50 minutes on only one important task with 10 minute breaks in between. Spend your 10 minutes getting away from your desk, going outside, calling friends, meditating or grabbing a glass of water. Take a moment for yourself, quite simply.

50 10 RULE

4. Move and sweat daily. Regular movement keeps us healthy and alert. It boosts energy and mood, and relieves stress.

move sweat be active

 5. Express gratitude. Gratitude fosters happiness. Each morning, perhaps while on the way to work (or in the shower!), think of at least 5 things you’re thankful for. Write it down on a notepad or your phone. In times of stress, pause and reflect on these things.

Gratitude

6. Reflect daily. Bring closure to your day through 10 minutes of reflection. Ask yourself, “What went well?” and “What needs improvement?” I often think about this right before I tuck into bed.

Reflect Daily

Sometimes it’s easy to feel bad when you’re going through a tough time in life. However, remember no matter how bad your situation may seem, there are tens of thousands of things to be grateful for in life.

Angelina Jolie… Beautiful and strong.

So I’m sure you’ve probably already heard that Angelina Jolie did a double mastectomy (surgically removing the breasts) recently to reduce her risk of getting breast cancer. She said her doctors estimated she had an 87% risk of breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer. Angie’s mum died at the age of 56 after nearly a decade of battling cancer.

Now, her chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87% to under 5%.

Angelina Jolie, right, in 2001 with her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 at 56 after nearly a decade with cancer. [Source: Reuters]
Angelina Jolie, right, in 2001 with her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 at 56 after nearly a decade with cancer. [Source: Reuters]

What touched my heart was Brad Pitt’s support and response about the matter:

“She could have stayed absolutely private about it and I don’t think anyone would have been none the wiser with such good results. But it was really important to her to share the story and that others would understand it doesn’t have to be a scary thing. In fact, it can be an empowering thing, and something that makes you stronger and us stronger.”

Amazing souls those two.

Here are some interesting info about her pre and post surgery schedule that just goes to show how strong and dedicated she is to her family and work commitments:

-1. She started the process on Feb. 2nd
2.  Less than two weeks later, they took Vivienne and Knox to Los Angeles’ Natural History Museum on Valentine’s Day.
3. Two weeks later, she went in for the major removal surgery, which can take around 8 hours.
4. Less than a month of recovery later, she visited the Republic of Congo with U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague! They visited with a rescue camp for women to raise awareness of war-zone rape. She had NO signs of pain or discomfort!
5. On Easter weekend, she took Maddox and Knox to get some art supplies in Santa Barbara.
6. A week later she was at the World Summit in New York on April 4th.
8 A few days later she was at the G8 Summit in London with Hague on April 11.
9. She then has her final reconstruction surgery with breast implants… just nine weeks after the initial surgery.

That schedule is INSANE for someone who isn’t recovering from major surgery, let alone someone who is!

The World’s Top Ten Most Filling Foods

1.    Potatoes (323% more satisfying than white bread)
2.    Fish (225%)
3.    Porridge/Oats/Oatmeal (209%)
4.    Apples (197%) and Oranges (202%)
5.    Wholewheat Pasta (188%)
6.    Beef (176%)
7.    Beans (168%)
8.    Grapes (162%)
9.    Wholemeal Bread (157%)
10.   Popcorn (154%)

I want me some popcorn.

Ugh, Acid Reflux Is Acting Up Again :(

Last week I had to see the doctor because I couldn’t sleep for a whole night due to intense pain in my stomach. It was so bad that I even got up and ran to the toilet because I thought I was going to throw up when my mouth started to water all of a sudden. At first I thought it was food poisoning so I figured I might feel a lot better after throwing up so I stuck a finger down my throat but nothing came out. I tossed and turned the whole night and barely got any sleep.

The doctor concluded that it was a case of acid reflux. The causes?

✓   Eating too much spicy food ☹

✗    Too much fatty or oily food

✗    Too much coffee and/or chocolate

✗    Skipping meals in between for too long and ending up eating a big meal in the end

✓   Eating 2 hours before bedtime

✗    Drinking excessively

✗    Smoking

*     *     *     *     *

Besides the medicine the doctor prescribed and avoiding the causes listed above, this would help too:

☛    Eat smaller portions and never skip meals

☛    Sleep with your head in an elevated position using 2 pillows

☛    Make it a habit of chewing gum or cough drops as this would create more saliva in your mouth which helps to wash down any left over acids from your esophagus and throat

☛    Drink more water

☛    Sleep only 2 to 4 hours after having your dinner

☛    Losing weight

*     *     *     *     *

I really hate that I have to cut down on spicy food. I also have this bad habit of having a little snack before bed. I mean, your body’s going to fast for 6-8 hours while you sleep so you gotta give it something, right? Wrong.

Anyway, last night, I was stubborn again and was at a Thai restaurant for dinner with some friends. I already had a Subway sandwich for dinner and was meant to catch up with them but I couldn’t help myself when it comes to spicy tom yum soup. It was one of my vice! I had a small bowl and faced the consequences the same night. My stomach hurt so bad, I was up every 2 hours.  It wasn’t as bad as the first time but it was hell. Got up at 6am for a morning call (work) and went straight the gym for 40 mins of cardio.

My body feels good but my stomach is being a bitch. Damn you, tom yum soup.

*A couple of friends recommended Nexium (40mg) or Omeprazole (20 mg). Might check that out at the pharmacy later if this becomes a fuss.