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Category — Artificial sweeteners

Honeymoon Nutrition

My fabulous, wonderful, beautiful, talented, brilliant, and hilarious little sister got married a few days ago and is currently on her honeymoon.  While shopping for her bachelorette party gift I came across a horrifying amount of artificial sweeteners in the various edible oils and lubricants you can buy at Victoria’s Secret and other less classy establishments (sorry Grandma if you’re reading this!).  Yes, while everyone else is enjoying the funny gag gifts at such stores, I am the weirdo in the corner reading all the labels of the freaky love potions (I ended up buying my sister a tasteful nightgown and a classy and respectable book).  On almost every single container, I found various artificial sweeteners hidden in the ingredients such as Acesulfame K, Sucralose (Splenda), Aspartame, and Saccharin.  I do understand the rationale behind using artificial sweeteners in these products – you wouldn’t want to add real sugar to an area prone to yeast infections and artificial sweeteners are cheaper than natural alternatives.  And yes, I don’t think anyone is going to buy these products and eat entire bowls of them for breakfast so it’s not like the amounts you would be exposed to are the same as those causing cancer in lab rats.  But still, with so many chemicals in our environment that are causing levels of sperm to drop worldwide and making fertility more of an issue for so many people, it seems to me that the last thing a person should do is apply artificial sweeteners to an area that absorbs so much.

So, all that to say that I was deeply troubled after my shopping excursion, thinking of all the new couples starting out with funny wedding gifts that are actually poisoning their genitals (okay maybe I am being a little dramatic).  Rather than running into the shops and breaking all the bottles on the ground while hysterically screaming about the worldwide decline in sperm counts I decided to fight back by posting a few recipe ideas for all natural freaky deaky love potions that my dear readers can enjoy and make for their friends as wedding or anniversary gifts.  Enjoy!

Warming Coconut Cream -Combine the following in a 4 oz. squeeze bottle (for warm climates where coconut oil stays liquid) or a small jar (for cool climates where coconut oil stays solid):

  • 4 oz. Coconut oil (any kind except hydrogenated)
  • 2 drops Cinnamon essential oil
  • 2 drops Orange essential oil
  • 2 drops liquid Stevia

Cooling Coconut Cream– Combine the following in a 4 oz. squeeze bottle (for warm climates where coconut oil stays liquid) or a small jar (for cool climates where coconut oil stays solid):

  • 4 oz. Coconut oil (any kind except hydrogenated)
  • 2 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops Vanilla essential oil
  • 2 drops liquid Stevia

For a gift, you can give a cutely wrapped bottle of each of the above as a kind of His and Hers gift. Please note that any kind of oil will weaken latex so even though coconut oil is exceptionally good for skin it may cause your friends to have a creature of their own before their time if they’re using any type of birth control involving latex, such as latex condoms or a latex diaphragm (though most diaphragms these days are made of silicone).

Tropical Delight– Yes, the name is creepy enough to make it just as cool as any other edible massage oil on the market.  In an 8 oz. glass bottle or plastic squeeze bottle, combine:

  • 6 oz. Jojoba oil
  • 8 drops Jasmine essential oil
  • 4 drops Vanilla essential oil
  • 1 tsp Xylitol

Since this one is oil based it will also weaken latex.  Using xylitol as a sweetener may actually have some benefits for skin, since xylitol has been shown in some studies to kill overgrowth of yeast and harmful fungus or bacteria.

Cookie Potion– This one uses glycerine as a base, which is safe for latex.  The smell I recommend is vanilla, a smell which many men associate with love.  The theory behind this is that the smell of vanilla reminds them of the childhood smell of baking cookies.  In an 8 oz. squeeze bottle, combine:

  • 1/2 cup Glycerine (look for it either in the cosmetic or baking section at your local health food store)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free Vanilla extract (real, not imitation) or 12 drops Vanilla essential oil

Glycerine has a naturally sweet flavor, so there is no need for added sweeteners.

August 5, 2011   1 Comment

Just Say No to Splenda on Your Private Parts!

Yesterday I took my baby boy out to run a bunch of errands with me.  We went to Whole Foods, Costco, Ross Dress for Less (yes, the Filipino half of me literally cannot drive by a store that has “dress for less” in the name without stopping and I did buy a pair of bright orange baby board shorts for the boy for only $1.99 so it was a successful trip), and finally to Long’s Drugstore.

While at Long’s, I was in the baby section browsing for baby spoons since Mr. Milk is almost 6 months old, at which time he will become Mr. Milk and Poi as we begin to introduce solid foods.  Appropriately, the birth control and sexual health products are located directly next to the baby products.  This may seem strange to some, but when Mr. Milk started fussing because he was fed up with being in his stroller, the thought of a rapid-fire sibling arriving drove me to thoughts of birth control…which conveniently was right there!

And here’s where this blog ventures into the TMI category, which my husband does not appreciate but he understands why I write about such things because if I don’t then who will?  Most couples with a young baby realize that there is very little time for intimacy (please agree with me here other parents lest I think it is just us!) but I thought maybe I’d buy something fun in faith that we would soon have opportunity to use it.  While browsing over the sexual health products I noticed that KY’s new highly touted product – KY Yours and Mine – was on sale for almost half off.  I tend to prefer natural products such as natural lubricant by Emerita but Yours and Mine has such exciting commercials that I thought I’d at least read the label to see what was going on.

And here is where I discovered the wrongest of wrong placement of artificial sweeteners – peppered in among other slippery chemicals is Splenda (to see for yourself check out the ingredients where Splenda is listed under it’s chemical name, “sucralose”).  Splenda is an artificial sweetener that is similar in structure to table sugar, with the exception of a chlorine molecule where half a water molecule used to be.  This substitution makes the product taste a lot like sugar, but the body can’t break it down the same way so it is not processed as sugar.  My main issue with this is that chlorine in that form is not something that people (especially children) should be exposed to because chlorine competes with iodine, a nutrient in the body that is vital for growth and hormone balance.  Anyone who has heard me lecture knows that I have a personal vendetta with Splenda more than any other artificial sweetener because its creators freely market their product to children, whereas most other artificial sweeteners have enough self respect to stay in products targeted for adults.  And now KY has gone a step further and made Splenda available to our children before they’re even conceived.

It’s a sad day in TMI blog land!  So please, don’t make the next generation swim through a Splenda bath on their way to new life.  Just say no to Splenda on your private parts!

June 24, 2010   5 Comments

Soda in Schools…I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

Yesterday while watching a ridiculous competitive cooking reality show (I like to watch those when I’m nursing Mr. Milk, which feels like half my day) I saw a commercial congratulating the big soda companies (Pepsi, Coke, and a third one that I can’t remember) for their commitment to removing high calorie soft drinks from schools.  It was a feel-good commercial meant to inspire and give me hope for the future but all it did was inspire me to get up on my blog soapbox and rant and rave about what this actually means.

If you go to the “responsible marketing” section of the Pepsi website, you will see that regular sodas containing high fructose corn syrup are being replaced by bottled water, no-fat or low-fat milk, juice, “juice/water beverage combinations containing no added sugar”, and in high schools “beverages containing no more than 40 kcal per 240 ml”.  My primary rant is against these last two types of beverages – both of which contain a variety of artificial sweeteners.

The “juice/water beverage combinations containing no added sugar” is not clearly identified but most likely refers to beverages such as Propel fitness water, which contains two types of artificial sweeteners: Splenda and Acesulfame K.  Splenda is an artificial sweetener that falls under the category of “halogenated sucrose.”  In this case, it is a sugar molecule that has chlorine attached to it.  Chlorine is a highly toxic chemical that in large doses can cause death (it is used in chemical warfare) but in smaller doses such as those found in food and water can cause suppression of the thyroid, which over the long run leads to hormone imbalance and weight gain.  Acesulfame K is another artificial sweetener which is even creepier to me because it is sometimes listed as “acesulfame potassium” which makes even vigilant parents who read every ingredient in their child’s drink think it is just a fancy form of potassium, an important mineral for health.  It is no such thing!  Acesulfame K is a possible carcinogen that was not adequately tested for toxicity prior to being approved by the FDA despite being nominated twice for testing.  Rather than conducting a full toxicity test on this artificial sweetener, it was fed to genetically modified mice to prove that it was safe for humans.  Yet another thing that makes me feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

The other option that will be stocked in high schools – “beverages containing no more than 40 kcal per 240 ml” – refers to diet sodas, most of which contain aspartame.  Aspartame is a highly addictive excitotoxin (the term used to describe toxins that over-excite the nervous system and cause destruction of nerve tissue) that breaks down into methanol, formaldehyde, and other chemicals when digested.  Aspartame ingestion has been linked to brain disorders including headaches, insomnia, seizures, and emotional imbalance.  I don’t know about you, but when I recall my teenage years I think I had more than enough emotional imbalance without adding aspartame to the mix!

It is so sad to  me that soda companies are running ads congratulating themselves for taking high calorie sugar sodas out of schools to combat childhood obesity while they are replacing them with toxic drinks that will likely affect our children in even more serious ways.  Since my son is only 3 months old, I have full control over what he drinks (milk, hence the name Mr. Milk) but most parents have little to no control over which drink their child chooses from the vending machine.  The only answer I have to this is to encourage parents to teach their children to choose water from the vending machine or, if they must have a sweet beverage, choose juice.  Even better would be to send them to school with a drink such as water, iced herbal tea, or coconut water.  If they prefer something fizzy they could have sparkling water with lemon or other fruit for flavor or kombucha – a fermented tea with amazing health benefits.  For first-time kombucha drinkers, I usually recommend GT’s bottled kombucha in grape flavor.  It tastes like a slightly tart grape soda and is more palatable to kids.  Once they get used to that, you could try brewing it at home and sweetening it yourself with a little fruit or fruit juice.

April 7, 2010   5 Comments