Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fire up the grill

photo by Celeste Lindell

We're going to have a full house of people and pets this week - and I'm kind of frantically trying to figure out how we're going to accommodate them all. See, a few weeks ago, I agreed to watch my friends' adorable puppy. Already a lot of work, but hey...no biggie. But then we invited our friends to come stay with us, armed with their baby and dog. And to top it off, my boyfriend's cousin just announced that she will be popping into town at the same time, staying in our house with her husband, two little kids and dog.
Holy moly! That makes four dogs (including ours), six adults and three kids, all residing under our roof this week. Do we even have enough towels to cover everyone?
Anyhoo, I'm trying to figure out a decent menu for Wednesday night when they all get to town. So far, I'm thinking a cookout is the way to go. We can toss a few burgers on the grill, make some mac and cheese, grilled corn...the usual. But since I'm trying to maintain my girlish figure, I plan to add some low-cal, sugar-free options to the lineup. Check out some of the yummy recipes below. I figure if I load up on the healthier fare, I won't be as tempted to indulge in the higher-fat offerings - and then I can avoid the BBQ-related battle of the belly bulge. Wish me luck!

Zesty Grilled Garlic-Herb Chicken
Cucumber and Onion Salad
Southwest Citrus Salad
Fruit Salad with Spiced Yogurt Sauce

Thursday, June 13, 2013

100 safety studies vs. 1 unpublished Italian study?

splenda How much is enough to prove to me the safety of sucralose (Splenda)? I’ll take 100 studies over a 20 year period.

However, yet here is another piece of misinformation, this time from The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Seems that CSPI downgraded its rating of sucralose, from “safe” to “caution”, over one study from an unnamed “independent” Italian group.  Yet, up until now, CSPI has been singing Splenda’s praises.

The independent Italian study, as we learned at the Calorie Control Council, is from the Ramazzini Institute, a group known more from its unorthodox methods and sensationalist approach.  If you haven’t heard about them, Ramazzini has been dissed by many regulatory bodies worldwide, as well as leading toxicology experts. The results of the study (which, by the way, has yet to be published in any venue) are at odds with everyone else’s views, including those of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and others.

JunkScience.com probably put it best. Nuf said!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tea Time!

photo by Pen Waggener

As part of a new health kick, I'm trying to, well, kick my caffeine addiction. I've been a coffee guzzler ever since high school, when early morning swim practice had me regularly reaching for a giant cup of joe. In college, late nights spent studying (and partying, take your pick) resulted in many a pot of coffee. And when I worked as a reporter for daily newspapers, it wasn't uncommon to see the entire news team mainlining coffee at all hours of the day. 
Needless to say, I've spent many years clinging to a large to-go cup of coffee.
Do y'all know how hard it is to curb that type of a habit? It's like quitting smoking! Instead of coffee, I'm now trying to switch to tea - hot, cold, lukewarm...doesn't matter. My goal: to get down to one cup of coffee each day and substitute tea in the late afternoon when I start feeling fuzzy. 
Speaking of tea, did you know June is National Iced Tea Month? Well, you're welcome - now you do. In honor of this momentous occasion, I've dug up a few wonderful sucralose-sweetened iced tea recipes to get you through the month. Enjoy!

Southern Iced Tea
Pomegranate Iced Tea
Citrus-Mint Tea
Raspberry Tea Punch