Friday, February 24, 2017

SUGAR IS TOXIC and other things we know but try to forget

We all know how bad processed sugar is for us.  I won’t rehash it.  A mere teaspoon full can depress our immune system for up to six hours.  Not to mention the cumulative effects of weight gain and metabolic diseases like Diabetes and Heart disease.  And cancer?

A new study from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reveals diets that are high in sugar are a major risk factor for certain types of cancers, especially breast cancer.  (

Basically if they gave mice that were already genetically modified for breast cancer the same amount of sugar in a typical Western diet, the tumors got bigger faster.

So, we know all this, thanks Ange, but how much is too much and how do I quit sugar when 40 of 43 mice would rather have sugar water than COCAINE!?  (Study reference in Fed Up documentary…on Netflix!)

And if I sat next to someone on Cocaine, and I was eating a perfectly legal chocolate bar, and someone zoomed in with an MRI and took a picture…our brains would look exactly the same.  As in, my brain will react the same to cocaine as it does to sugar.  (More please, and now, and I don’t care how bad it is for me…)

Fast Facts:

* 36 Grams per Day.

Experts generally agree about 36 grams of sugar per day is what would be  a healthy amount.  That’s about 9 teaspoons, the upper end of the 6-9 teaspoons recommended by the WHO - World Health Organization.

* Does fruit count?

Ok so fruit does have naturally occurring sugars and some anti-sugar activists I may have bought cook books from say yes, you SHOULD feel guilty about eating that fifth piece of watermelon.


If it comes from a tree or grew from the ground, I’m going to eat as much as I please and assume my body knows how to handle naturally occurring fructose.

*Don’t assume!

Same goes for honey and maple syrup.  Maybe in a few years I can see cutting back on the gallon of maple syrup and honey I use but for now, I’m targeting the obvious sugar culprits - pop (or soda for my American friends) white breads and processed foods.  Low fat does NOT mean low in sugar.

CEREAL: To give you an example, I have some hoity toity organic whole grain shredded wheat.  (KASHI organic cinnamon harvest) and you know what?  My box of kid-loved Alphabits has LESS sugar than my fancy ‘good for you’ adult cereal.  Huh.

JUICE: I was drinking some orange juice which, by the way, does not label sugar in the ingredients.  (Pure Orange Juice!) but it DID have 34 grams of sugar for one small to-go bottle.  Whoops.  I’m actually ok with this as it is naturally occurring (Although I would never naturally eat the 10-12 oranges at one time that go into one bottle).  Is this cheating?  Maybe.  I’m ok with it.

MYTH DEBUNKED: *Skim milk does NOT have more sugar than whole milk.

Just FYI - I’m not a scientist but when I look at the ingredients on the skim milk package vs same brand whole milk, there is exactly 12 grams of sugar in skim, and 11 in a cup of whole.  

(Remember math!?)  Four grams equals one teaspoon.

Something Amiss.

Anyway, whether you agree with me or not that sugar is TOXIC, with the rates of obesity tripling in the last decade and the incidence of heart disease and diabetes attacking younger and younger kids, something is amiss.

WHY I’M BACK ON THE BAN-SUGAR TRAIN:  I’ve been sick with a cold pretty much since Ben was born.  Two round of antibiotics and the doctor says sinus surgery is probably the next step.  

I think cutting out processed food and sugar (Unnaturally occurring) and striving for a mostly plant based diet (more veggies and fruits than meat.  Less dairy) is a much less drastic move than, say, submitting my face to a surgeons knife to find relief.  We’ll give this a try and see how it goes.  It costs me nothing.

I am convinced that the body WANTS to heal itself.  You just need to give it the fuel it needs to do so.


This is day five of my no-sugar, less meat diet (meat as a flavoring, not as the main course) and I still have that cold but I feel much better.  I have more energy, my head feels clearer, and the annoying cravings are starting to fade.  I’m starting to WANT foods that are better for me because of how great I feel after.

What We All Should Be Doing:  (If we knew a politician)

  • Demand a cap of the amount of added sugar to kids products
  • Stop advertising sugary drinks and foods to minors - or at least give equal air time to commercials touting healthy eating
  • Make the food industry list the sugar percentages of recommended daily input on their labels.  They do this for fat, calories, sodium, etc, but NOT sugar.  WHY?  (Conspiracy theory?)

THE QUOTE: Sugar is EIGHT times more addictive than cocaine.  (Mark Hyman, MD).  And…I’m giving this to Ellie!?  Ahhh, what am I doing?  

My new mission in life?  Eat healthier, and find ways to slowly cut processed sugar out of my life.  Probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do.  Maybe I’ll start a rehab for sugar addicts like me.

‘Angela’s Sugar Shack Shake Down….’  Any takers?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

What's On the Radar, What's In My Rearview

Welcome to a new segment I like to call, What’s On My Radar, What’s In My Rearview:

What’s In My Rearview:


Baby is three months and tricked me with some decent sleep last week.  This week has been party time at night time.  It’s all baby, all the time.  

What’s On My Radar:

Cocaine.  And Sugar.  

While I’ve feeding at all hours (and mopping up spit-up from the floor at 3am), I’ve been watching those food documentaries on Netflix again.

I think the last one was ‘Hungry for Change’.  It showed an MRI readout of two brains side by side.  One brain was on cocaine and one was eating a chocolate bar.  The exact same areas of the brain were lit up, and I thought, yep.  That feels about right.  

Why is there no rehab for sugar!?  

If there were I would go.  It isn’t that I add mounds of sugar to my cereal, so much it touches the bottom of the bowl and then peeks through the layer of milk (Ah to be 8 again…)  It’s the white bread, the loads of ketchup, the chips, the ice cream, the pancakes so full of maple syrup I have to eat it with a straw.  (Ahhh, maple syrup with pancakes…)

According to every nutritionist on these documentaries, a whole foods, plant based diet is best.  Maybe not totally vegetarian but, 93-97% vegetarian for most of the time, for most people.  I think I can aim for that.  Even here in BBQ country, where BBQ is a sport and meat is the, well, the MEAT of the meals.  Heh heh.

As for sugar…there are small ways I can reduce my intake that shouldn’t throw me completely into starvation mode.  Like, choosing whole wheat over white bread most of the time.  And maybe I don’t need to eat ice cream EVERY day.  And maybe when I do eat ice cream, I don’t need to cover it all in warm, thick chocolate syrup.  And chocolate chips.  And whip cream.  And sprinkled with icing sugar…oh yuuuuummmmm.

And maybe when the urge to eat that treat is ALMOST so overpowering I need to stop writing so I can eat it RIGHT NOW, I can try to do one more thing before I eat it.  A delaying tactic.  Because sometimes, not all the time but sometimes…that delaying tactic will put me on pause long enough to get a hold of myself already and choose a healthier option.

I hope everyone out there is eating healthy too, because I want you all around a long time, and not just ‘around’ but HEALTHY and vibrant and fun to BE around.  Yeah?

In the words of my favorite rapper turned actor:

Sometimes you've just got to grab an apple - or grapes, or strawberries. Something that's healthy but maybe a little bit more adventurous, if you can see fruit as adventurous.
LL Cool J

Sunday, February 12, 2017


No one could give her such soothing and sensible consolation as this little three-month-old creature when he lay at her breast and she felt the movement of his lips and the snuffling of his tiny nose. ~Leo Tolstoy

So I wanted to take this time to talk about…BREASTFEEDING.  To feed or not to feed.  (In public)

There seems to still be some debate about whether or not to breastfeed in public.  (I know, I’m shocked too.)

The quick answer is…YES.  

Baby is hungry, you feed him.  End of story.

Ben eats every 2.5 hours on the dot and he hates the bottle.  So.  I scramble to feed him before I leave and try to rush home in time to feed him at home but you know what?  

Sometimes we don’t make it.  

Sometimes there’s traffic, or a longer wait than anticipated at an appointment, and we don’t make it.  And I’m not shoving his head under a blanket.  YOU eat your steak under a blanket and see how you feel!  It’s hot and annoying for both of us.

If you can’t handle seeing the top part of my boob (Whatever you can see above his head and below where my shirt ends), while I FEED MY CRYING, HUNGRY BABY, which, by the way, is a lot less than what you’d see at any beach ANYWHERE (Bikini’s!) then…I don’t know what to say, I can’t help you.  

Wait, I DO know what to say.  If it bothers you…LOOK AWAY.  

I’m busy feeding my infant the best possible nutrition he can get.  We know all the great benefits breastfeeding has for babies.  Better immunity, less colicky, less asthma, less ear infections and higher IQ.  But what seems to surprise people when I talk about it is all the great benefits for MOM.  



8. No bottles to clean

7. Nothing to mix, measure or heat up

6. You won’t need to make any late-night runs to the store to get more milk.

5. It helps get your tummy back to pre-baby shape fast by releasing oxytocin which helps shrink the uterus.

4. It forces you to recover faster from delivery or C-section, probably by forcing you to sit back on your duff.  Feeding baby every hour or two around the clock for the first few weeks seem to be natures way of forcing us to stop already and heal.

3. Lowers your risk of postpartum depression.  When the gobber eats your body releases aforementioned oxytocin (also known as the cuddle hormone) which helps make both of you more relaxed and happy.

2. It burns STORED FAT.  Aka, the weight you put on while you were making the little gobber.  (or gobbers).  It also burns an extra 300-500 calories a day and starting at three to six months your metabolism really goes into hyperdrive.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy ladies.

I. It lowers your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancers.  Your risk lowers in direct proportion to how long you breastfeed.

So, take a page from my book and...#baretheboob!  (So baby can eat).

My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard. ~David Allen

Saturday, February 04, 2017

My 600LB Life

What’s life like with an almost three year old and a 10 week old?  Well I’m sleeping at night again in chunks of time so that’s good.  I’m getting chunky sleep.  I don’t feel so much pressure to try to rest while Ellie naps and so now Ben naps too, usually for at least 45 minutes in the afternoon.  

So what does a fun loving, getting good chunky-sleep woman do?  You guessed it.  

I EAT!  As soon as she goes down for a nap I eat all the foods I don’t wanna share.  Like ice cream.  And chocolate.  And chips.  And apple pie with ice cream.  Then chips.  

I may have a problem.  I’m powerless against that common family destroying addiction…sugar.  I do NOT wonder why I haven’t lost more baby-weight.  Nope.  Not a mystery.  I’m not working out and from 1-3pm every day I eat like a woman who’s never seen herself in a mirror.  (I feel GREAT!  Pass me the chocolate chips.  No no, the BAG.  Thank you.)

Anyhoo, Ellie starts her ‘Mommy’s day out’ Monday and I’m really nervous.  Not so nervous I’m not still eating like a woman who wants to be the next star of ‘My 600LB life’ but..nervous.  

These last few days have been particularly rough - Ben must be going through a growth spurt so he’s eating every two hours on the dot and sleeping a lot.  But not by himself, no no.  He needs me to carry him around ALL DAY.  Just like she did.  Except then I didn’t have, well, her to worry about too.  She's been feeling a little left out.  

Yesterday she threw down a ceramic bowl during a tantrum and broke it.  She was lucky it didn’t hit her foot or cut either of us.  So we had a time out and a nice long chat (Well, long for a two year old…2 minutes) about how to handle our behavior when we get really frustrated.  We had the discussion again one more time when Bill got home and while I finishing the discussion about not throwing things when we’re frustrated, Bill was in the bathroom chucking Ben’s little bath into the bathtub because he was annoyed it was still sitting in the shower where I left it last night.  

ME: “So Ellie, we don’t throw things when we’re mad.  We need to find better ways to…” (CLATTER, clatter, clatter, clatter, BANG).
ELLIE:  No words but a look that says…But Daddy does…
ME:  No words but a look that says….Mommy’s gonna throw DADDY on the floor.

So Bill and I had a discussion about not throwing things when we’re frustrated…and I gave him a wifely time-out for good measure.  (Silent treatment during supper).  Which I’m sure after a long day a work he was totally bummed about. 

Anyhoo…we’ve all been sick, again.  Worst cold and flu season ever.  Even the dog was sneezing.  Even the spider in the top corner of the kitchen was coughing.  I heard him last night.  Cough.  Cough.

We’re all on antibiotics.  (Well, not Bill.  And not the spider.  I’m not crazy…)

If this latest round of antibiotics doesn’t clear things up I don’t know what I’ll do.  Start researching herbal medicine…except I’m nursing and there hasn’t been much testing approved by the FDA on herbs and breastfeeding.  Anyone know a good witch doctor? 

Lastly - to Trump’s ban on refugees (And legal green card holders) from 7 mostly Muslim countries I say…my two year old could teach you about how to be a good citizen, a decent Christian, and a good American.  You, sir, are none of these.  

You make me want to make signs and go out into the cold and pound pavement with other passionate, possibly crazy, maybe violent people I don’t know and scream my bloody head off in protest.  So, thanks for that.  Like I don’t have enough crazy on my plate already.

“I’ve had to learn that my voice has value.  And if you don’t use it, what’s the point of being in the room?”  Michelle (LOVE this lady) Obama.

The Gift Of Nowhere To Go

Hiya my friends – look – I don’t know if anyone other than mom and some uncles and aunts back home read this but, in case you’re out ther...