Thursday, March 28, 2013

More on Sensa and Hydroxycut Sprinkles for weight loss

I have talked with a number of people who've used Sensa since my last blog. They like everything about it except the cost. However, for most, they were willing to swallow the cost because they lost the weight they wanted to lose.

I wonder what happens when you reach your goal and you stop using it? Maybe you go on a once-a-day forever Sensa maintenance sprinkle. Another question for my list of things to research.

The Hydroxycut Sprinkles have a distinctive smell. It isn't pleasant. It will never work on my cheese toast, even in a light dose. The smell dissipates after a bit but my brain retains the memory! Bleh. 

It really does need to come in or with some kind of container that allows you to shake it evenly over something. It dumps out of the little packet in blobs (how's that for a scientific sounding description ;-). I may find an old salt shaker and pour a bunch of the packets into it. I wonder if it would absorb the moisture in the air and clump?

It isn't tasteless unless you mix it into a fairly large dish. I eat small meals so I'm now cutting open the packet, putting a little on each of my early meals. So far one packet is all I'm using a day and my appetite is zip so it's working just fine. It comes with 90 packets, a one-month supply if you plan to or need to use it on three meals a day.

It changes the color of light colored foods so it's not possible to sneak it into your spouse's meal if we're talking potatoes or grits. It's brown, not clear or white like Sensa. If you're going the sneaky route to "help" your spouse or other loved one be sure to sprinkle it on strong-flavored foods with darker colors :-)

I'm sticking with it. Bottom line, it's working. You just have to adjust how you use it. I think I'd really rather take a pill though.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sensa vs HydroxyCut Sprinkles

Right up front I'll tell you that's a somewhat misleading title on the blog... I haven't actually tried Sensa. I checked the website way back when it first came out, when they were offering free trials. The catch to the free trial was I had to commit to buying the following month, which ran somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 if I remember correctly. I'll double check on that and let you know.

I really wanted to try Sensa as it sounded easy and it seems to work. However, it was too pricey for my slim budget. Now if my budget matched my hips then I might've given it a shot.

The other day I was in the store and saw Hydroxycut Sprinkles. Same concept it seemed, sprinkle it on your food, no taste, no gritty texture, yada yada yada. I'm starting with the negatives so I want to make sure you read to the end 'cause it does get positive, and positive enough to overcome the tiny negatives.

It was only $17 for a month supply. It came with 90 packets and a little carrier for the packets. I thought it was a sprinkler container but it's just a holder.

It should have been a sprinkler! Getting the stuff to "sprinkle" on food is a talent I haven't mastered yet. It dumps at times. That's fine if you can mix it up in the food but if you're sprinkling it on something like low-fat cheese toast it just sits there.

The bad thing about the clumps are that, contrary to the claim of not altering the taste of food, it does when it's not spread thin and mixed in. Not to mention it has a distinctive smell that isn't pleasant,

Now, if you get it mixed into your food, it's great. No taste, no smell. Except now that I accidentally clumped and smelled it, I have it stuck in my brain. I do smell it! Well, maybe I just think I do. No, I smell it. Not. Maybe? Is it sensory memory or reality?

I'm still doing it. Why? It works. I don't even have to use it three times a day. One packet on my breakfast meal and I don't want anything else for the rest of the day! Sure, I eat as I know I'll gain weight if I don't.

Now I've learned to sprinkle half a packet on cheese toast (I'm gluten free so it's rice toast). I allow myself the toast if I've worked out for at least an hour. Just my way of doing for me, might not work for you.

I use the other half of the packet on my lunch or maybe dinner.

I didn't expect it to work. None of the pills or other diets worked. I'm a reformed diet-aholic.I used to try them all to keep in shape. Now I've learned to eat right, exercise and climb on the scale once in a while to make sure I don't need to tighten things up. Usually my clothes tell me way before the scale!

I'm about seven days into the Hydroxycut Sprinkles "trial". So far I've lost 3 pounds. I haven't felt deprived in any way as I've been using the sprinkles. I just look at food and realize I'm not hungry, don't want it. Even the things I usually really, really, really want...

It's stimulant-free so there's no off-the-wall bouncing and it's fine to take it at night as it won't keep you up.

I figure the 90 packets will last me at least two, if not three, months. I can swing $10 a month to lose the weight I want to lose. I may find that as my system adjusts to the sprinkles that I'll need to use two or more a day. No problem, I'm willing to spend $17 plus tax a month to get off those last few pounds.

Here's a few specs: Gluten-free, lactose-free, calorie-free, sodium-free, no gritty texture, stimulant-free.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The matter of milk.

My husband and I both like our caffeine. I prefer to get mine in a nice cup of strong hot tea, he is a coffee lover. He adds a dab of milk, I add some stevia, a heavy dose of almond milk and a little dollop of milk to mine.

Recently my hubby started complaining about a fishy smell and aftertaste in his coffee. I thought he was having a strange attack, however, I didn't tell HIM that... I  dutifully smelled his coffee and didn't pick up anything over the strong odor of the coffee.

I had noticed that my tea had a bit of a strange metallic taste, but it wasn't fishy. Of course, I like fish, he doesn't. I also add a whole lot more 'stuff' to my tea than he does to his coffee so in fairness it could easily have camouflaged some of the fishy taste.

Even though they were different tastes we both had a problem. We "assumed" it was the water. We're on a well and it was logical to think that something new was bubbling up into our water --- even though we have a house filter and we were getting the water via the refrigerator filter. We discussed a new filter and then decided to try something different first: I bought some bottled water.

We made a pot of coffee and I made a cup of tea. No change to either.

Then it dawned on me --- I had grabbed a different type of milk the last time I went to the store because they were out of my usual brand. Nicely, it was on sale the last time I shopped so I had four cartons in the fridge. We opened our regular brand of milk, used it in our coffee and tea --- no aftertaste in either!

What we NORMALLY use is Hood Simply Smart Fat Free Milk. It tastes like 2% milk and has more protein and calcium than regular milk. We've been using it, and loving it, for years.

As said, the grocery store was out, so I picked up a carton of Smart Balance Fat Free Milk. Tastes like 2% milk and has more protein and calcium than regular milk. Smart Balance adds Omega 3's to theirs, partially from fish oil per the ingredient list. Ah ha, there's the fishy smell and taste my hyper-sensitive husband's taste buds has picked up! All I tasted amidst the rest of my many tea additives was a metallic type taste.

I'm happily drinking a cup of hot tea with Hood's Simply Smart Fat Free Milk as I type. No aftertaste. Just call me the milk detective! I like Smart Balance "butter" and some of their other products. I won't be buying their milk again though.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Save our Supplements

I just read a bit in Muscle and Fitness Magazine about some new rules coming down the pipeline, possibly, that could (per the article) make it virtually impossible for us to get our supplements... and if we were able to get them the cost would be prohibitive in some cases... and potentially it would be so costly for manufaturers they'd just stop making the supplements.

There is an on-line petition and more information at this link:

I urge you to do your own research. I will.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My new dangerous treat...

I'm a hot tea lover. My fave is PG Tips black tea with almond milk (vanilla, unsweetened). I'm also a chocoholic. Anything chocolate and I'm lovin' it... except I dropped sugar of all kinds from my diet quite a while back making my chocolate treats a rare thing. Until now.

I make a half cup of hot tea with PG Tips in a large mug. Yes, horror, I nuke it. I take it out, add a walloping dose of unsweetened chocolate (Trader Joe's being my favorite), stir well to make sure it dissolves (as you know, that unsweetened powder chocolate can be troublesome when it comes to dissolving), then fill the cup up with milk of choice. I am not big on cow milk, but it the texture is what my palate likes so I compromise and do mostly almond milk with enough moo milk to get the right "feel".

I add a non-sugar sweetener. Stevia, Splenda, whatever... Sometimes I'll add a little bit of vanilla or cinnamon.

I'm completely and shamelessly addicted. If it's bad for me, I don't want to know.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

FDA reopens comment period on proposed ‘gluten-free’ food labeling rule

Rule would help by creating a uniform and enforceable definition

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today reopened the comment period for its 2007 proposal on labeling foods as “gluten-free.” The agency is also making available a safety assessment of exposure to gluten for people with celiac disease (CD) and invites comment on these additional data.

One of the criteria proposed is that foods bearing the claim cannot contain 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten. The agency based the proposal, in part, on the available methods for gluten detection. The validated methods could not reliably detect the amount of gluten in a food when the level was less than 20 ppm. The threshold of less than 20 ppm also is similar to “gluten-free” labeling standards used by many other countries.

People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac disease damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. About 1 percent of the United States population is estimated to have the disease.

“Before finalizing our gluten-free definition, we want up-to-date input from affected consumers, the food industry, and others to help assure that the label strikes the right balance,” said Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods. “We must take into account the need to protect individuals with celiac disease from adverse health consequences while ensuring that food manufacturers can meet the needs of consumers by producing a wide variety of gluten-free foods.”

The proposed rule conforms to the standard set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2008, which requires that foods labeled as “gluten-free” not contain more than 20 ppm gluten. This standard has been adopted in regulations by the 27 countries composing the Commission of European Communities.

The FDA encourages members of the food industry, state and local governments, consumers, and other interested parties to offer comments and suggestions about gluten-free labeling in docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 at The docket will officially open for comments after noon on Aug 3, 2011 and will remain open for 60 days.

To submit your comments electronically to the docket go to

1. Choose “Submit a Comment” from the top task bar
2. Enter the docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 in the “Keyword” space
3. Select “Search”

To submit your comments to the docket by mail, use the following address:

The Division of Dockets Management
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

Include docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 on each page of your written comments.
For more information:

Federal Register Notice (scroll to FDA--temporary link will update when document publishes on Aug. 3):

Gluten-Free Portal (scroll to Gluten-Free):

FDA’s Proposed Rule on the Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods:

Questions and Answers on the Gluten-Free Labeling Proposed Rule:

Consumer Update on the Gluten-Free Labeling Proposed Rule: The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Disappointed in Fresh Market...

I made my second trek back to our new Fresh Market. There's a lot to like about the store (got a great deal on my PG Tips tea, two boxes for $7, 80 teabags total... I bought all they had). Love the feel, the people are great, have some things that you can't find locally. But (yep, this blog is about the 'but') --- they told me they would be getting in some gluten free breads 'cause they'd gotten soooo many requests.

Guess what? No gluten free breads. One gluten free dessert (creme brulee). I asked if they had plans and the bakery folks were clueless. Said yes, they'd been getting requests. One said they were surprised they didn't have any.

I left there and went to Kroger to pick up a few things our Fresh Market doesn't carry. Wow - they are now carrying Udi, had a whole kiosk of Udi products. Tons of gluten-free stuff in their health food area. I was surprised at the large offering of gluten-free things!

Now, on the flip side, Fresh Market has things labeled as gluten-free all through the store. I like that. They don't catch all the items, but they do bring attention to a large number.

I can't expect to find everything in one store given how weird I am in my eating habits. I was just surprised that I couldn't find more at Fresh Market. I was disappointed in how few items were sugar-free in the snack areas. It's a great store and maybe because it's not that large as compared to other grocery stores they had to be ultra discriminating when it came to stocking the shelves. However, gluten-free is a biggie these days. I'm constantly amazed at how many people are gluten-intolerant. Many, many autistic kids and adults are gluten-intolerant. We all know that autism is on the rise and a large chunk of the population is now dealing with it.

One funny thing while wandering around in Kroger --- they put their sugar free stuff right between women's pads and tampons, and baby powder / oils, etc. Aside from the baby foods way at the end of the aisle everything else on the aisle around it is non-food. I just thought it was a strange place to put sugar free stuff. Why not over near the health food area? Guess there are worse places, like right next to the candy!

I'm going to give Fresh Market one more shot. Then I'll be a rare shopper instead of a potential frequent shopper. The other stores that have been in that location have failed because they were like the other stores, but with less selection. Fresh Market, in my humble opinion, has to have a substantial draw if it's going to be more than the local neighborhood store. They put a lot of money into fixing up the location and they're going to need regular traffic to sustain the store. I hope it works. I want them to be here.

As a caveat, I know that maybe I'm NOT their target market like I thought I was...

(Peachtree City, GA location)

Friday, April 8, 2011

On Your Mark...Get Set...Start Walking for Better Health Atlanta!

/PRNewswire/ -- Lace up your sneakers, add some spring to your step and join Coca-Cola and TV's popular medical and diet expert, Dr. Ian Smith on The Makeover Mile! This new initiative from Dr. Ian brings a one-mile walk and health fair to Atlanta to educate residents on living a more active, healthy lifestyle. The walks were created as an extension of Dr. Ian's popular 50 Million Pound Challenge program and are being made possible, in part, by Coca-Cola's Live Positively initiative.

"For decades, Coca-Cola has strived to make a positive difference in people's lives and the communities where they live, work and play," said Diane Waugh, Manager of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "We are excited to partner with Dr. Ian to help people in Atlanta take those first steps on an important path to better health and well-being."

Throughout the Spring, Dr. Ian and The Makeover Mile will visit seven communities, including Atlanta, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Los Angeles. Atlanta's walk is expected to draw a crowd of families and friends from all neighborhoods and will feature appearances from local officials including Atlanta City Council Member Michael Julian Bond.

"Obesity and its related medical consequences are complicated issues. There is no single solution or problem solver, rather it's going to require various and numerous soldiers to win this difficult fight," said Dr. Ian Smith, creator and founder of The Makeover Mile and 50 Million Pound Challenge. "It's my aim to gather many different stakeholders across the country to provide education and resources directly to the people who need it the most, especially in communities that have a high rate of obesity and diminished access to quality healthcare."

Following the walk, participants and the public are invited to join a health fair that will provide free health screenings, fitness demonstrations and a healthy cooking demonstration led by local registered dietitian Marie Spano of Marie Spano Nutrition Consulting. Other physicians and health providers dedicated to helping people understand how to make simple changes to improve their quality of life will also attend. To learn more about this event and other Makeover Mile events, visit

The Coca-Cola Company is guided by a philosophy called "Live Positively" – an expression of who we are, what we do and why we are committed to impacting the lives of consumers. Sponsorship of The Makeover Mile is just one of many things our company is doing to help Americans lead a more active, healthy lifestyle. For more than 60 years, we have partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and in 2005 launched the Triple Play program which has helped more than 1 million kids get more physically active, eat healthier and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships to date. We have also donated millions of dollars toward the restoration and renovation of our country's parks, helped turn thousands of old railroad tracks into trails for biking, walking and skating and provided support and funding for important issues like women's heart health and childhood obesity.

Community News You Can Use
Click to read MORE news:
Twitter: @gafrontpage & @TheGATable @HookedonHistory
Twitter: @artsacrossga, @softnblue, @RimbomboAAG @FayetteFP

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cocnut Oil and Weight Loss

Type in "benefits coconut oil" on Bing or any search engine and you'll be overwhelmed with all the great things that come from using coconut oil - inside and outside of your body. I'm surprised it took me as long as it did to 'discover' it! If you believe everything the websites claim it'll cure pretty much anything that might ail you, get rid of split ends, keep away sand fleas, moisturize your skin and help you find the love of your life. OK, I stretched it with that last claim...however, it IS highly beneficial.

I started using it a while back when I saw the claim that it helped with weight loss and read a few of the other side benefits. I figured it couldn't hurt.

Now that I've been using it for a while I can't tell you whether it has helped with my weight loss or not. I'm taking cinnamon (supposed to cut belly fat), I don't eat any form of sugar, and have done a number of things that have contributed to weight loss. Although weight loss wasn't my goal when I made most of my dietary changes, I've lost a chunk of much-needed weight.

As I've said before, I found a way of eating that works for me. I feel great, am eating a ton of veggies, am more alert, have cut back on all my tummy problems and, and... oh, shoot, I'm just happy and comfortable with it.

So, back to coconut oil.

My first purchase was a plastic container from Walmart. I chose it based on price thinking that there couldn't be that much difference in one brand to the next. That is definitely not true. It's important to learn a little and buy good quality if you expect to get good quality results.

I expected it to smell like coconuts - the one I bought at Walmart didn't. Ditto the one I picked up from Kroger (or maybe Publix). I've since discovered that if it doesn't smell, then it doesn't have the beneficial things that the 'good' stuff does.

Now I buy it at the Dekalb Famers Market. They package it themselves and it has the right smell. Fresh Market has recently opened a store here so I'll probably check out their offerings in the near future. I'm not sure if this is something where buying organic would make that much difference. I plan to research organic vs non-organic.

I was keeping it in the refrigerator initially. I've learned you don't need to keep it in there. I wondered as it gets hard as a rock in the fridge! I had to take a good knife to dig out what I needed when cooking. Turns out it is resistant to rancidity, so leaving it out at room temperature works just fine.

It's heat stable so it's great for cooking almost anything. You can bake with it, too. I'd suggest you go roaming the Internet to find some good recipes if you're into baking.

It does have a slight flavor, but I don't find it objectionable. I've learned that I don't need to use as much and that cuts back on the little bit of flavor in most cases.

Regarding weight loss: Weight Loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.

About the Benefits of Coconut Oil |
Weight Loss: Coconut oil accelerates the body's metabolism by relieving stress on the pancreas. Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fats that prevent foods from becoming incompletely digested, which in turn aids enzyme and thyroid function. Naturopathic doctor Bruce Fife states that by substituting coconut oil for other oils in recipes, individuals end up eating less because the beneficial fats in coconut oil naturally make people feel fuller sooner than if they had ingested other dietary oils. The coconut diet is not necessarily a "diet" because instead of limiting or restricting the dieter's food intake, it replaces the widely used refined fats with coconut oil to incorporate a lifelong weight reduction plan that is based on the healthier coconut oil fat.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cheese, cheese, my favorite food... but not when it's pre-shredded.

I have long loved cheese. Almost any kind of cheese! I don't consider Velveeta and American to be cheeses. They're a cheese mix and not something I think should be included in any healthy diet. 

Give me a salad with feta, blue cheese or hot pepper cheese or cheddar or... oh, alright, any kind of cheese.

In the past I've cheated and bought shredded cheese in the bag. It feels like I eat less when I use shredded cheeses for some reason, plus I'm basically one of those who'll take out any step I can when cooking.

However, today as I was looking for recipes I came across a few articles on pre-shredded cheese. It appears they use an additive to keep the cheese from clumping. One of the recipes said to shred your own because it was a good idea to have it clump when making the crackers. Huh. Learned something new.

I went on an Internet search to see if I could find out if and what they used.

One thing I learned is that not all bleu cheeses are gluten-free. I'll have to be more careful. 

Here's what I've found on the shredded additive search thus far: - it's a link to a patent titled "method of treating a divided cheese product for anticaking". Just because a patent exists for a product doesn't mean that Kraft and other companies are using one. 
An anticaking agent which reduces the stickiness of the chunked, diced, or shredded cheese and improves the functionality of cheese is formulated of fine mesh vegetable flour, bentonite, cellulose, and antimycotic agents or bacterial cultures. This anticaking agent also will reduce the yeast and mold growth. This discovery is also extended to include various flavors, colors, enzymes and other supplements into the anticaking agent, to ultimately add to the cheese.  

and more from the patent (highlights are mine):

Anticaking agent in the food industry, especially in the dairy and cheese industry, is defined as any safe and suitable food ingredient which, when added, should prevent lumping of shredded, diced or chunked dairy product, such as cheese, during storage at room temperature or refrigerator or freezer. Such a dairy product with anticaking agent in it should be easy to handle at the time of applying on the final food product. Some cheeses, after they are chunked and if the anticaking agent is not used, will cake and are very difficult to handle. This is a serious problem especially with high moisture and high fat cheeses. Currently, at least 50% to 75% of the hard and semihard cheeses are either diced, shredded or chunked for sale in grocery stores, institutions, and major restaurant chains in the United States.
Several anticaking agents are commercially available, such as cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, cellulose impregnated with glucose sugar and glucose oxidase enzyme, silicon dioxide, and sodium aluminum silicate. The major drawbacks of the existing anticaking agents are as follows:
1. Relatively expensive.
2. Deteriorates the product functionality in terms of performance in the finished products.
3. The product efficiency is questionable depending on the chemical specification of the cheese.
4. Too much dusting in the packaging room.
5. Health hazard to workers.
6. Excessive, unwanted bacteria and yeast and mold contamination.
Primarily, anticaking agents are formulated to include compounds which will eliminate sticking. One commonly used anticaking compound is cellulose, which is a fibrous vegetable material. Some formulations include starch in the anticaking agent, and many employ cellulose in combination with dextrose sugar and glucose oxidase. In the last mentioned case, the intent is to reduce oxygen in the packaged treated product in order to eliminate yeast and molds and, at the same time, to prevent the treated product from caking. One drawback with this kind of system when applied on pizza pie is that dextrose, used in anticaking agent, will increase browning of cheese when pizza pie is baked.
Also, the efficiency of such procedures to perform consistently is highly questionable because of the variance in chemical specifications of the cheeses. Enzymatic reactions require proper temperatures, moisture, pH, and, most importantly, time to react and produce the final result. In the pizza industry, it is a known problem that higher use of cellulose based anticaking agents tends to interfere with baking qualities of cheeses in terms of melt and browning. This problem is recent in origin because, formerly, temperatures of pizza baking ovens were maintained at 400° to 475° F. More recently, with the concept of fast served foods such as five minute pizza for lunch trade and 30 minute home delivery of pizza, pizza is baked at 575° to 650° F. With this higher temperature baking, the problems associated with cheese and anticaking agents are magnified. A serious problem is excessive browning and scorching of cheeses on pizza pie at such elevated temperatures.
In the prior art, flour has not been used as an anticaking agent on cheese, especially if the cheese will be used on pizza pie. Although flour may have a superior functionality in terms of reducing the stickiness of cheese, flour seriously interferes with the melting properties of cheese on pizza pie. Consequently, despite the economy of using flour as an anticaking agent, the food industry has been unable to take advantage of using food grade flours as anticaking agents in shredded cheese products, especially those intended for use on pizza pie.

Here's something from Sargento (

Q. Is there gluten in Sargento cheeses?

We are pleased to tell you that most Sargento natural cheeses should be acceptable to a gluten-free diet. However, there are a few exceptions.

There is wheat gluten in Sargento Blue Cheese. Those on a gluten-free diet should also not eat the following Sargento Snacks: Cheese Dips! Cheddar Dip & Buttery Pretzels, Cheese Dips! Cheddar Dip & Zesty Ranch Bagel Chips, Cheese Dip & Sticks, Cheese Dip & Cheddar Sticks, Cheese Dip & Pretzels, Cheese Dip & Crackers, Chocolate Dip & Cookie Sticks or S’mores. 
You will notice that we use microcrystalline cellulose, calcium carbonate or potato starch as anti-caking agents on our shredded cheeses. When added to shredded cheese, they prevent the shreds from sticking together.

Microcrystalline cellulose is a white, odorless, tasteless, totally natural powder made from cellulose, a naturally occurring component of most plants. Calcium carbonate and potato starch are also natural ingredients. None of these anti-caking agents is derived from wheat, rye, oats or barley; therefore, they are acceptable to a gluten-free diet.

The source of vinegar in Sargento Ricotta Cheese can vary; however, it is triple distilled, and, to the best of our knowledge, no gluten is present.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have questions about how our products may affect your medical condition, we suggest you discuss this information with your physician.
From the International Fiber Corporation:
Cheese Anti-Caking
Shredded Cheese
International Fiber Corporation was the first company to petition the FDA to permit the use of powdered cellulose as an anti-caking agent in shredded cheese and grated cheese in 1986. Eventually powdered cellulose replaced the use of microcrystalline cellulose as the anti-caking agent of choice within the dairy industry....

Here's one that's a tad bit off the subject, but interesting. It's on the various Parmesan cheeses on the market. It popped up in my search because there's a comment after the article on clumping, cellulose, etc.

Bottom line for me is that I'll be reading packages more often. It never crossed my mind to look at a shredded cheese list of ingredients. I think I'm going to pay more attention to all of my purchases for a while.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Flax Seed - Good Stuff!

I am sold on flax seed. It's absolutely carb neutral for all you carb watchers. 4 g of carbs per every 2 Tbsp, but it has 4g of fiber so it's a wash. No sugar. No gluten. No cholesterol, salt, trans fats, and it has a whopping 2600mg of Omega 3-oils in every serving. What's not to like?

Studies have found that flax seeds may help lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. There are links that suggest it may help reduce the incidence of breast cancer. The oils may help repair the lining of the intestines, which is good news for those with Crohn's Disease. Please note though that there have been some negatives associated with flax seed oil (the oil form, not what you get in flax seeds by ingesting) --- to be on the safe side you should get your oil by including flax seed, not flax seed oil, in your diet.

I buy Hodgson Mill's Milled Flax Seed. It's finer textured ('cause it's been milled ;-) and has to be kept in the fridge after opening. Since I'm gluten-free and don't bake, I get my flax seed from a shaker. I took an empty spice container with a shaker top, washed it out, then filled it with the milled flax seed. I sprinkle it in my soups and other dishes. I can't tell it's there. By adding it regularly, it, um, well, um, it keeps me regular.

I used to put Benefiber off-brand in a salt shaker and shake it onto my food, but then discovered that it had 4g of carbs and only 3g of fiber so I'm getting a carb with every serving. Plus, while it says it's gluten free, the label clarifies that it has less than 10ppm gluten. I guess it depends on how strict you are as to whether that's enough to have you swear off the stuff. It basically, from what I've read, just clumps up in your system. It's not like 'real' fiber. I just decided not to continue looking into it and switch to flax seed. 

Wheat dextrin is actually an improvement for Benefiber users. The main ingredient used to be "PHGG" (partially hydrolyzed guar gum). Wheat dextrin is higher in fiber content. If you're not allergic, I'd recommend Metamucil over Benefiber. Metamucil is 100% natural psyllium fiber which can reduce cholesterol and in my estimation does a better job of grabbing stuff you don't want in your system as it travels through. Of course, if you're one to hit health food stores you can pick up psyllium fiber there. I find it funny that we're paying money for what used to be tossed on the ground and fed to animals. Of course, that was before we started processing all the goodness out of our foods, too.

Do your own research. Look into the benefits of flax seed. I think you'll discover that it's an excellent and inexpensive way to fix a whole lot of what ails you!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fresh Market Eggs

I shared a bit about my egg experience at Fresh Market yesterday in my last post and said I'd go to their site to investigate. I'm happy to say that their eggs are hormone free, even though the package didn't say so. I only looked at one, the cage free (not the organic) eggs, so could be the other packages DO say hormone-free in addition to their other statements.

The eggs look better than the eggs in the other container I had from another store -- the brown eggs are darker. For me the thickness of the eggshell is telling. The more "normal" a hen eats, the thicker the shell (or so I've been told and have read). I'll let you know what I find in the regard when I get around to cooking an egg. I guess I'm backing myself into a corner and will have to do an egg blog soon. I'll add it to my list of things to write about.

Here's the info from their site re: eggs.

...we believe that with happy hens come healthy eggs. Our premium eggs come from cage free hen environments on family-owned farms! All farms follow standards that surpass the government's highest requirements for egg protection...

Omega 3 Large Eggs
200mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
200 mcg of Lutein Per Serving in Each Yolk
Produced by Cage Free Hens
Produced Without Added Hormones or Antibiotics
USDA Grade A

Omege 3 XL Eggs
210mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
225 mcg of Lutein Per Serving in Each Yolk
Produced by Cage Free Hens
Produced Without Added Hormones or Antibiotics
USDA Grade A

Cage Free Eggs
Produced by Cage Free Hens
Produced Without Added Hormones or Antibiotics
USDA Grade A

Organic Eggs
Certified Organic Eggs
Produced by Cage Free Hens
Produced Without Added Hormones or Antibiotics
Hens Have Outdoor Access
USDA Grade A


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