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.

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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.