Friday, July 15, 2011

Do You Want Diet Soda With That? Safe Drinks? Glass Bottles. Bottled Water. "Pal" Adopted. RAIN!!

GYI0000527998.jpg "Diet soda might not help you stay trim after all, new research suggests.

A study presented at a American Diabetes Association meeting this week shows that drinking diet soda is associated with a wider waist in humans. And a second study shows that aspartame -- an artificial sweetener in diet soda -- actually raises blood sugar in mice prone to diabetes.

"Data from this and other prospective studies suggest that the promotion of diet sodas and artificial sweeteners as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised," study researcher Helen P. Hazuda, Ph.D., a professor and chief of clinical epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio's School of Medicine, said in a statement. "They may be free of calories but not of consequences."

In the first study, researchers collected height, weight, waist circumference and diet soda intake data from 474 elderly people who participated in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. They were followed up an average of 9.5 years later, according to the research.
diet soda, cola, drink, stock, 4x3Researchers found that the diet soda drinkers had waist circumference increases of 70 percent greater than those who non-diet soda drinkers. And people who drank diet soda the most frequently -- at least two diet sodas a day -- had waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than people who didn't drink any diet soda, the study said.

Artificial sugar didn't produce any better results in the second study in mice. Researchers for this study found that diabetes-prone mice that were fed a diet that included aspartame for three months, had higher blood glucose levels than mice not given aspartame.

This isn't the first news illuminating diet soda's health risks. A study published earlier this year found people who drink the beverage every day have a higher stroke and heart attack risks. And UK researchers found earlier this month that sugary drinks can dull taste buds, leading consumers to crave the sweet stuff even more."


Dysfunctional Beverages… Think Before You Drink

"By now you have probably seen the ads for MiO Liquid Water Enhancer, Kraft Foods' new gimmick aimed at young consumers seeking "cool" new ways to stand out among their peers. Leave it to the food and beverage industry to find a way to turn your perfectly healthful water into a mixture of toxic chemicals.
This latest craze has you squeezing brightly colored flavor drops into your water from a cute little purse-sized bottle, and watching the mesmerizing nebula of color diffuse slowly into the clear water.    
Very clever… a science experiment you can drink.

Mama MIO! More Like Factory Runoff than a Beverage

Here is the ingredient list for the Mango Peach variety of MiO:  Water, Malic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, "natural flavor," Sucralose, Acesulfame potassium, Potassium citrate, Polysorbate 60, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, Potassium Sorbate (preservative).
Basically, this is a scary mixture of TWO artificial sweeteners, THREE dyes, one preservative, and propylene glycol (PG)—a solvent that can potentially result in cell mutations and skin, liver, and kidney damage, if ingested in high enough amounts. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates propylene glycol as a moderate hazard.
I don't want you to think I've singled out MiO as the big villain—it's just the most recent new recruit. Let's look at the labels for several other varieties of "enhanced" water, to see how they compare.

Propel Fitness Water Water, sucrose from corn syrup, natural lemon flavor with other natural flavors, citric acid, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, sucralose, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E acetate, niacinamide (vitamin B3), calcium disodium EDTA, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), acesulfame potassium (ace-K), vitamin B12.

VitaminWater Vapor distilled, deionized, and/or reverse osmosis water, crystalline fructose, cane sugar, citric acid, vegetable juice (color), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), natural flavor, berry and fruit extracts (acai, blueberry, pomegranate and apple), magnesium lactate (electrolyte), calcium lactate (electrolyte), monopotassium phosphate (electrolyte), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), cyanocobalamin (B12)

Voosh Water, crystalline fructose, citric acid, vitamin blend (ascorbic acid, grape seed extract, niacinamide, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12, pyridoxine HCL), fruit and vegetable juices for color, natural flavors, magnesium lactate, calcium lactate, potassium phosphate

Sobe Life Water Filtered water, sugar, natural flavor, citric acid, ascorbic acid (C), grape skin extract (color), sodium citrate, modified food starch, l-theanine, vitamin E acetate, calcium phosphate, gum arabic, calcium pantothenate, yerba mate extract, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), cyanocobalamin (B12)

Fruit2O Relax Essentials (Cranberry Raspberry)
Purified Water, Contains less than 2% of Natural Flavor, Maltodextrin (Fiber), Potassium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Manganese Gluconate Dihydrate (Mineral), Potassium Chloride (Electrolyte), Potassium Citrate (Electrolyte), Potassium Pyruvate (Electrolyte), Vitamin E Succinate, Zinc Lactate Gluconate (Mineral), Calcium D-Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin B6, Selenium Chelate (Mineral), Citric Acid, Sucralose, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate

Aquafina (Berry Burst)
Sparkling water, natural flavors, citric acid, sodium citrate, potassium benzoate, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, calcium disodium EDTA

Dasani Plus (Pomegranate Blackberry)
Filtered Water, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Benzoate and EDTA, Phosphoric Acid, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6) Red 40, Blue 1, Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)

"In general, the vitamin-enhanced waters contain negligible amounts of vitamins and minerals, far less than if you were to take an oral supplement. In most cases, the drinks provide less than 10 percent of the recommended daily serving of any one vitamin. The sugar content negates any health benefit you could hope to gain—and even worse are the artificial sweeteners.

The electrolyte waters contain insufficient amounts of electrolytes to replenish you, if you were truly dehydrated. And it’s unlikely that most people exert themselves hard enough, and for long enough, to develop dehydration and electrolyte depletion—unless you are running an all-out marathon.
But saying a sports drink contains “electrolytes” just sort of sounds good from a marketing point of view.
The bottom line is, you are far better off relying on fresh whole foods for your nutritional needs, rather than falling for ridiculous boasts by the beverage industry. If you suspect you need extra vitamins due to a less than optimal diet, you are much better off taking a good quality vitamin/mineral supplement with a tall glass of PURE water. You’ll come out ahead, in terms of both your budget and your health.

Your Bridge Over Troubled Waters

The answer to all of this is to minimize your use of plastic water bottles (and plastics in general) and refrain from buying plastic-bottled waters, enhanced or otherwise. Why not make plain, pure water your beverage of choice?
You can filter you own water at home, inexpensively and easily, and take it with you in reusable glass water bottles, which have a much smaller ecological footprint. The very best water, however, comes from a natural spring.
If you want to jazz it up with something, why not add natural ingredients that are actually GOOD for you? By avoiding the sugar, chemicals and caffeine in so-called energy drinks, you'll be able to truly rehydrate while avoiding the energy "crash" that inevitably follows.
Here are a few suggestions for spiffing up your water without sacrificing your health:
  • Add fresh lemon or lime juice (or peels) to your water, whole gingerroot, or even slices of cucumber can add a refreshing twist. If you want it sweet, you can add natural stevia, which is an herb that has no downsides for your health.
  • Try adding a drop or two of natural peppermint extract or a few crushed mint leaves from your herb garden.
  • If you're adventurous, there are mint-flavored chlorophyll drops on the market that can be added to a glass of water. Chlorophyll may help flush toxins out of your blood and improves your breath.
  • If you want an electrolyte type "sports drink," try coconut water, which is a rich natural source of potassium and electrolytes. Look for one that has no additives. Or choose a fresh, young coconut and harvest it yourself!
  • If you want the ultimate refreshing vitamin-rich drink, make up some green juice from fresh, organic veggies. Avoid adding fruits due to their high sugar content when juiced. Add a pinch of sea salt and some lemon juice for a very refreshing beverage that is heavy on nutrition and light on calories.
  • Iced green tea is also a great pick-me-up that's high in antioxidants. Although green tea contains caffeine, it also contains a natural protein called theanine, which actually mediates caffeine's adverse effects.
  • Here's a recipe for a refreshing homemade fruit drink that's actually good for you. You can even throw in frozen berries, instead of ice cubes.
More at:

The High Cost of Plastic Water Bottles.

"In the time it takes you to read this one short sentence, over 8,000 empty water bottles are being thrown into the trash worldwide. According to the Container Recycling Institute, in the U.S. alone, more than 67 million plastic water bottles are discarded each day. That's enough plastic water bottles to fill 5,500 garbage trucks each day or wrap around the Earth 149 times each year.
Plastic bottles have become an enormous problem for humanity due to the following four problems:
  1. The sheer volume of plastic waste they create
  2. The lack of adequate recycling capability for plastics
  3. The amount of oil required to manufacture these millions of plastic bottles
  4. The adverse health problems caused by the plastic itself
As good as it feels to haul your plastic bottles to a recycler, realize that 86 percent of plastic bottles never get recycled, leaving a massive number of them sitting in landfills and floating like massive plastic islands in our oceans. In fact, the enormous plastic "stew" of bottles discarded into the Pacific Ocean is currently twice the size of Texas and growing steadily. Only 5 percent of all discarded plastic waste is currently recycled in the U.S.
And the plastic bottle you toss out today will not finish biodegrading until the year 3011.
But waste isn't the only problem. It takes a lot of OIL to manufacture those plastic bottles.
According to the Sierra Club, the United States alone uses 1.5 million barrels of oil to create the water bottles we toss into those landfills every year, releasing toxic by-products like nickel, ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide, and benzene into the environment.
1.5 million barrels is enough oil to fuel 250,000 homes or 100,000 cars for a year!

WASTE LAND Official Trailer from Almega Projects on Vimeo.

Did you know that bottled water costs more than gasoline!
And to compound the issue, drinking from plastic water bottles can pose serious health risks from industrial chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which leach from the plastic itself into the contents of the bottle.
BPA (or Bisphenol A) is an estrogen-mimicking chemical linked to reproductive defects, learning and behavioral problems, immune dysfunction, and prostate and breast cancer. Phthalates are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to a wide range of developmental and reproductive effects, as well as liver cancer.
There is an excellent 2009 documentary called "Tapped," about the high cost of plastic water bottles to human health, as well to as the environment, which can be watched online for free."
More at:

Pal-adoptedRay would be late, so it wasn't worth getting all set up to work.
Jay was going to go with me to Conroe to take little  "Pal" to his new "Mom" at noon, and we didn't want to get all powdered up with Formica bits if we routered the edge of the cargo trailer's table, so we didn't work, either.

Wednesday, when I was at Krogers, I had bought some crystal cat litter. It is usually $17 a box, but they had a different brand which was half that.  The silica-gel crystals "absorbs and trap odors in 5 seconds", but that is not why I bought it.  It was because it said it was "dust-free and non-tracking".  Since I rescued Misty, the dog, I have had to keep the litter box up high in my bathroom, but Bobcat and Prime would track it around, and I was tired of sweeping it up. I started them out with a nice clean box, and then the 1-2" of these big crystals.  I pawed Bobcat's and Prime's front feet in it, so they would know about this new stuff.   We will see how this works out. (Today: so far, so good) 
(Later: Oops! No, it didn't work, see tomorrow's post!)

Jay had caught a wild tortoiseshell cat in his trap, so we brought it up here for Animal Control to pick it up.  This time, with some nagging from me, he put an empty cat food can in the trap, so we could give it some water while it waited in my carport. Usually the can gets upside down, so we have a special tool for righting it, a metal pants hanger with the cardboard removed.

Just before 1.00PM, Pal's new "Mom', my SPCA boss, and I met in Petco.  We were discussing the best food to feed him, and Pal's Mom chose "Wellness Core" (, which is the very best you can get. No grains, or gluten.  As we display our adoptable animals at Petco, they have a program for new adopters which has coupons for half-off the really good foods, so she took advantage of that. She has some of the food that I feed Pal, for the transition.   I know I couldn't afford to feed all mine Wellness Core, though I do feed Bobcat the regular Wellness grain-free canned food.

Then we went in the back room, and I let Pal out of his carrier.   My SPCA boss gave him a booster shot, and put some Revolution on his neck, while I held him.  We use Revolution, ( because it not only prevents heartworms, (Yes, cats can get heartworms, too,) fleas, ticks, mange, etc. but also because it kills mites.  That way when they are adopted we know they don't have ear mites.  He was very interested in exploring the room, but he didn't know that he wouldn't see his old "Mom", who bottle fed him since he was 6 ounces, again.  His new Mom said she would keep in touch. I said my goodbyes to Pal with a cuddle, made sure he had his favorite toy with him, and left them to do the paperwork.
OK, now for good new homes for Prime, Precious and Pebbles, and I will be done.

The northbound freeway was stopped up with construction and a wreck, so we slipped over to the east and went north on Highway 75.  We just made two stops on the way home.  Jay to go to the bank, and for me to stock up on cleaning supplies at the local Dollar General.  As we crossed over the freeway to go west, the freeway was still backed up, probably all the way to Huntsville, (TX that is).

At about 7.30PM (Central) it started thundering, but no rain in sight.  Then the power went off for a while.  Then it started to rain.  It didn't last long, but we really needed that, after all these dry days.


Sandra said...

You said you were buying cleaning supplies. I'm surprised. I thought you would use natural things like baking soda or is that what you were buying?

Glad your kitty got adopted.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thanks for your comment, Sandra.

Yes, I needed baking soda, vinegar, TP, and the like.
Didn't want to have to fight the big grocery store on the way home.
At least the Dollar General here has a good portion of the parking lot shaded by big trees, which the grocery store doesn't.

Happy Trails, Penny, TX