HI LADIES!!

Don’t we already have enough chemicals and sugar in our lives?!

I am irritated. Maybe it’s all the fertility meds I’m on or maybe it’s the fact that it’s mid-February and I’m in limbo because winter isn’t over just yet and spring is not here. I can’t believe I’m complaining about the weather since I live in Southern California, but I think you’ll find that EVERYONE complains about the weather, no matter where they live or how ideal the weather may seem. It has been cold and rainy and gloomy here which reminds me of my hometown of Boston and I find myself grumbling and sighing as I walk the dogs in the atypical Socal weather.

Either way, the ads I have seen for some new products on the market simply irritate the hell out of me. Here they are – but first, let me put in a disclaimer: I am not a health expert. I am not a dietician. I am a regular gal who is just concerned with my health, and living in Socal, I am forced to be greener, cleaner and leaner. After you read my rant, you may think that I’ve turned into a total Hippie but I assure you , I am not. However, the older I get, the more I am wanting a healthier, less toxic life. Maybe I’m afraid of death. 😉

VITAMELTS

We all know we should take our vitamins, and the older we get, the more vitamins and supplements we are supposed to take. I look like a junkie when I put out all the pills out for the day. For some, swallowing pills is no big deal. For others like myself, who have trouble because of our dainty, delicate pharynx and esophagus, swallowing a bunch of pills is annoying drudge work. So the ads for Vitamelts are appealing. I admit, when I saw the cheerful people, simply putting one of these melting pills in their mouth, I was excited. No water needed, just put it in your mouth and the vitamins melt into you. Ahhh,. But then the skeptical side of me (which usually wins out over the more fun, fancy-free side), thought that the fact that these come in flavors like “Creamy Vanilla” and “Chocolate Mint” reeked of something unhealthy. And I was right. I checked the nutrition info and there are naughty ingredients like sucralose, corn starch, sugar, etc. And these are from NatureMade? Doesn’t sound very natural to me! And of course, the nutrition info does not tell you how much sugar is in each dose. How convenient for them.

Here’s what experts say about sucralose, maltodextrin and other unnatural sweeteners:

When you eat sweets, regardless of the source of the sweetness, your brain elicits neurotransmitters similar to those secreted when you eat pure sugar. As a result, you may continue to incur cravings and an increased appetite for the substance even though you’re consuming calorie-free versions of the food. Additionally, according to Bauman College, you may be lulled into thinking the food you’re eating is healthy because of its low sugar content when in actuality, you are consuming large amounts of refined and processed carbohydrates in the maltodextrin fillers, refined flour and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in the manufacturing process. Both psychologically and physically, you actually may be sabotaging any weight loss efforts by substituting real sugar with so-called healthy alternatives.

These little melting miracles are as bad as candy, I think. I can understand some parents giving their kids Gummi vitamins because trying to get some kids to take a pill, much less swallow it whole can be like trying to get a hamster to sit. But we adults should really be able to just take our vitamins without all this sugar and extra stuff. And if you really hate pills, the vitamin section of any place like Whole Foods or even GNC have liquid options. Of course, look for the sugar content in these. ARE YOU GOING TO DIE OR BE FAT IF YOU TAKE VITAMELTS? Probably not, gut considering the amount of sugar we ingest on a daily basis, why add more?

FARM RICH MOZZARELLA BITES and other snacks

I first saw the ad with my niece, while watching some Disney show. It was super cute and catchy and zippy and fun and wow! The kids looked healthy and happy and with a name like Farm Rich, you think it must be healthy right? Not really. There’s still plenty of fat and sodium in these snacks that are made to LOOK healthy. Cheese is the main ingredient. It’s comparable to fast food if you ask me. I know kids want the fun stuff and the stuff that is bad for you, but be careful how much fat, calories, sugar and processed foods they are getting.

BEN & JERRY’S GREEK FROZEN YOGHURT

I am really sick of this Greek yoghurt craze. Really. Yes, yoghurt can be good for you. But here’s the curveball – if you look at any cleanses, or diets that are all about eating cleaner and better, the top three things they tell you to cut out are sugar, gluten and dairy. I know this is no fun. I would much rather be eating some garlic bread (gluten), some nice red wine (sugar) and a big ol’ hunk of cheese with ice cream for dessert (dairy). Alas, the facts keep staring me in the face that these things should not be eaten regularly. Sure, there are reports that red wine can be good for you, but remember that the sugar in it is not so good and it can pack on the pounds. Just ask Gerard Depardieu.

So what’s the big deal with having a little Greek yoghurt? Well, nothing really unless you are wanting to take some dairy out of your life. Take a look at THE VIRGIN DIET http://thevirgindiet.com/. I think it’s very interesting. There are so many ads for Greek yoghurt, I’m getting dizzy. “Eat it for breakfast!” “Makes a great snack!” And now, Ben & Jerry have jumped on the hype train. Hopefully you know that frozen yoghurt is dessert, right? And hopefully you know that it is fattening and full of sugar, right? The thing that pisses me off is that they make it feel like it’s all healthy and good for you since it’s GREEK yoghurt. Rubbish!  The average serving has 26 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fat. So maybe you want to take a vacation from Greece, no?

Also, fyi:

Be wary of Greek yogurt’s fat content. In just 7 ounces, Fage’s full-fat Greek yogurt packs 16 grams of saturated fat—or 80 percent of your total daily allowance if you’re on a 2,000-calorie diet. (That’s more than in three Snickers bars.) Dannon’s regular full-fat yogurt has 5 grams of saturated fat in an 8-ounce serving. Saturated fat raises total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, increasing the risk for heart disease. Read nutrition labels carefully. If you’re going Greek, stick to low-fat and fat-free versions.

FEBREZE STICK & REFRESH

Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned clean air from nature? Oh yeah, we polluted it. Well, such is life. With progress comes pain. The air quality is already not stellar, so what the hell are people doing going around adding more chemicals to it?! WTF people?! Febreze makes my blood boil. It is just downright evil. There are 87 chemicals in Febreze and nowhere on the website, do they say ANYTHING about the ingredients or if it is bad for the air quality. And now, to make your air even more tragic, they have these nifty little stick up things that will fill your air with a scent of your choice to have you gagging and wheezing in no time. Please PLEASE stop using this crap. Here’s how you can make your air smell better;

Open the damn window! In winter, I know it’s tempting to shut yourself in and keep the cold out. Plus, letting heat you paid for out the window seems, well, crazy. But if you just open your windows for a few minutes once a week, you will help not only refresh the air, but circulate it.

Buy a plant! The EPA says indoor pollutants (from chemicals we use like Febreze, cleaners, etc.) are one of the top 5 threats to human health. Eek! Common household plants can help because they absorb some airborne chemicals and trap pollutants. The best choices for the job are: rubber plants, lady palms, peace lilies, golden pothos, and syngonium.

Here’s one report on Febreze that you will definitely not find on their site:

http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/febreze.html

 Here are some other non-toxic ideas to make your air smell nice:

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/natural-air-fresheners-9-nontoxic-options-that-really-work

Their slogan says “Because everyone deserves to breathe happy” – notice it doesn’t say, “because everyone deserves to breathe HEALTHY.”

WINDEX TOUCH-UP

It’s cute, it’s convenient, I want it. I just love how these companies do their packaging. They really know their stuff. This is a genius idea. You keep it on your counter, and when you need just a little clean-up, voila, use this! Sounds awesome right? Well sure, as long as you’re okay using lots of chemicals, like more and more chemicals. Know what’s in your Windex? How about paint remover. Think I’m wrong?

Though mainly used to remove paint, 2-Butoxyethanol is found in a wide variety of cleaners. This colorless liquid has a sweet aroma and is valued for its ability to dissolve things such as soap scum, ink, grease, and oil. Though a relatively new component of the Windex chemical formula, it has been popular in whiteboard cleaners, dry cleaning solutions and oil spill dispersants for years.

Here’s what the Windex people say on their site as to why they use chemicals:

Keep in mind that all materials are “chemicals” – chemicals are the basic building blocks of everything, including our food, clothing and the air we breathe. For example, water is a combination of the chemicals hydrogen and oxygen (H2O), and air is a mix of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases. Also, there are plenty of chemicals found in nature that are toxic, such as arsenic and cyanide.

Hilarious! Like we’ll find cyanide growing in the woods or at the beach.  Puh-lease. They can try to justify it all they want. A chemical is a chemical. I recommend using some less toxic, natural cleaners like Real Simple or Meyers. They are a bit more expensive, but you do not have to use a lot to get stuff clean.

Now before you think I’ve gone to the total nutty green side – you know, the people who drive a car on vegetable oil and compost and wear Hemp shoes, own chickens and want to live in a commune, STOP! I use chemicals. I eat meat. I wear leather. All I’m recommending is that you REDUCE the amount of chemicals in your life and eat cleaner. I have tried to replace most of my household cleaners with green or natural ones. I use fragrance free laundry detergent. Our soap is all natural. I only buy organic eggs and meat. BUT – I color my hair, I use lipstick and BB Cream that is made out of God-knows-what and I eat candy now and then that is totally processed and riddled with chemicals. I am a modern gal, after all.