So Happy.

yammy1I am literally smiling all the time.  My skin looks better every day.  Tell me again why I went off raw?

Yesterday I spent about 4 hours cleaning the kitchen.  Now it’s so bright and inviting!  Today I cleaned out the pantry and I threw out so much crap – including some white flour we haven’t used in more than 2 years!!!  Gross.  I also managed to spill the flour all over the floor, and the dog didn’t even move, and if the dog won’t eat it – you know it can’t be categorized as food!

I just got in from a run and whipped up some nori wraps, but this time I made a raw almond dipping sauce that was out of this world!!!  I was so eager to eat that I didn’t take any pictures of it.  The dipping sauce kicks my lame almond paste’s butt!

 

Raw Almond Dipping Sauce

4 tbsp raw almond butter
2 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp tamari or Braggs
1 tbsp lime juice

I also picked up some E3Live at the health food store since we’re in-between wheat grass harvesting “seasons” (which last 10 days).  E3Live is a highly concentrated shot of greens.  It’s even darker than wheatgrass juice – and more bitter.  When you take greens as green and as bitter as E3Live (or spirulina, kale, collards, etc.) it means your liver is getting detoxified hard-core.  This also explains why I have had a pretty intense breakout of eczema on my right middle finger.  It’s so swollen that I can barely bend it!  I really hope the swelling goes down through the night because it is so uncomfortable.

If you’re going raw for the first time or starting to take concentrated greens like this, keep in mind that you could go into a healing crisis and feel a lot worse before you feel better.  This is because the liver has the tools it needs to release toxins into the bloodstream for elimination…and this can be extremely intense if you are higly toxic.  I have done my fair share of cleanses, and usually the nausea/sickness goes away 4-5 days after starting/modifying a cleansing program -for me, but all experiences are unique.  So hang in there if you find yourself in a healing crisis!

Raw Food Praise – I WANT to exercise!


It’s amazing the effect that eating raw has on my desire to exercise.  Last night I took the dog for a 5 k run.  Today after work I went to a hot yoga class, and after I biked home I went for another run with a friend.  It’s really nice to have a running partner because you have that little bit of added motivation.  When you have someone calling you and asking if you want to go running, it’s like an alarm going off and motivation calling you!  If you get several running partners, there’s a guarantee you’ll be running a few times a week!

I haven’t had much to eat today, which is kinda weird considering the amount of exercise I’ve had, but I don’t feel much like eating anything right now.  When you eat raw, natural, good quality foods, you are more in touch with your nutritional needs, wheras when I eat cooked foods, I think I need food all the time!  I’d eat late at night all the time when I was on cooked food. 

When I eat raw, I only go into the kitchen when I am truly hungry…or if I can’t wait to try a new raw recipe!  Also, on cooked I always cleaned my plate, but on a raw food diet, I just stop eating when I’ve had enough.  I eat raw dessert for breakfast if I feel the desire!  And when I have dishes that are rich in nuts or other heavy raw ingredients, my body steers me clear of them for a few days.  Never, ever on a cooked diet did my body tell me anything!  I remember years ago when I didn’t have any idea the effects that food had on my mood or energy level.  Now, I know the second I have eaten something that doesn’t agree with me.  I can just feel it. 

And since you only eat when you’re hungry on raw, there is no breakfast, lunch, dinner schedule…you eat on your own hunger schedule…that being said, I think my hunger level just rose…so apparently “dinner” tonight is going to be around 11pm!

Marinara Salad

Marinara Salad

Dinner: Marinara Salad

Time To Make: About 3 minutes

Would I Make It Again: Yes!

Ingredients: 1 cup leftover Marinara Sauce, (recipe in Eating for Energy) an avocado, 6 stalks asparagus, 1 yellow pepper, 3 green onions, and 1/2 a cucumber.  Variations:  Whatever you have in the fridge!

My Return to Raw: Day Two

Today started with a:

Green Super Smoothie

1 tbsp spirulina
1 mango
1 tbsp bee polin
1 cup strawberries
few cubes ice
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 dates
1 tbsp sesame seeds
water to desired consistency

Then it was off to pick berries at Whittamores Farm on Steeles Ave.  So many delicious berries!  I think we picked for a couple of hours, and I got sunburnt 🙁 but it was worth it.

p7170164

 

 

 

Trans-formed Fats, Trans-formed Body!

Margarine

The term trans-fat might as well be short for transformed fat. And transformed fats have no place in your body. While the term “trans” refers to the specific bond of carbon atoms, it is all too coincidental that this bond is often artificially created by scientists in laboratories when they partially hydrogenate liquid oils to make them solid so they can withstand longer shelf lives.

Saturated fats are more tolerant to heat treatment than mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, so if you’re thinking of cooking something, it’s best to use butter or coconut oil to avoid minimize the creation of trans-fats.  And don’t be fooled by restaurants that boast “trans-fat free” signs. As soon as their “trans-fat free” oil is heated, it has become trans-formed!

Canola Oil – After you read this, you’ll be emptying your cupboards!

How often do you use vegetable oil? When you bake, when you fry…every day? If you frequently use these seemingly “healthy” oils, then you need to read on. Supermarket oils are highly processed. First, they are refined using sodium hydroxide (think Draino) to remove “impurities”. They are then treated with phosphoric acid (think Windex) to de-gum; which removes lecithin, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, copper, and iron. To make it look appealing, it is bleached to remove pigments, which turns the oil rancid. Colour is added later because clear oil does not look natural. It is then heated above 220˚F to remove any odour, which creates monster trans-fat molecules that will eventually become part of your body! Then you take it home and heat it again in your frying pan, mutating the molecules even more.

We must start thinking of the quality of every morsel we put into our bodies. There is a huge difference in quality between canola oil and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is not heat treated, and extra virgin means the oil was obtained from the olives’ first pressing. Cancer is linked to processed vegetable fats. This includes hydrogenated shortening and margarine.

Margarine

Margarine is a synthetic, man-made chemical, alien to our bodies. Hard stick margarine is loaded with trans-fats. Hydrogen is forced into vegetable oil to turn it into a saturated fat, solid at room temperature. Hydrogenation changes the shape of oils at the molecular level, and the shape of a molecule s extremely important. Think of your body like a moving jigsaw puzzle. The billions of processes that occur every second are all little parts and pieces of your body puzzle. If any piece has been altered in any way, it will not be able to fit in where it should…and could even fit in places it shouldn’t! Newer margarine is made from vegetable oil and modified palm and palm kernel oil. It boasts non-hydrogenation, but I’ve never been a fan of the word “modified,” and palm oil is liquid at room temperature. Somebody messed with it, for definite. Would you like your body to be “modified” or all-natural? Remember to read the labels of any food you’re planning to consume.

Did you know? Margarine is one molecule away from being plastic!

Product Dissection: Becel Margarine:

Ingredients: Canola and sunflower oils 74%, water, modified palm and palm kernel oils 6%, salt 1.8%, whey protein concentrate 1.4%, soy lecithin 0.2%, vegetable monoglycerides, potassium sorbate, vegetable colour, artificial flavour, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3, alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E).

An Aside: One interesting question on the Becel website made me laugh, and its relevance will be noted in the following section “The Low Down”:

Q: Why is Becel Margarine a different colour in Quebec?
A: In all parts of
Canada, except for Quebec, margarine and butter are the same colour. In Quebec, a colour restriction law does not allow for this. In that province, most margarine is an off-white colour.

The Low down:

  • Remember what happens to canola oil before it hits the shelves? This product is 74% rancid, bleached, artificially coloured vegetable oil.
  • It contains 6% “modified” oils.
  • It contains dairy in the form of whey protein. Milk is the #1 allergen. Humans have difficulty digesting cow’s milk, whether they are aware of it or not…and I must say that many of us are painfully aware.
  • Monoglycerides are a common food additive used to combine two things that wouldn’t normally mix such as water and oil.
  • Potassium sorbate is a preservative used to discourage the growth of molds and yeasts, thereby increasing shelf life. Apparently since it is used in such small quantities, there are no known adverse health effects. Comforting.
  • Vegetable colour is a tricky one. My instincts are to say that it likely comes from Yellow dye #5 which is known to create a myriad of problems within the human body, especially known to exacerbate autism and other behavioural problems. But to be fair to Becel, it could be turmeric, which has a vibrant yellow colour, but since I think Quebec would let turmeric into their province since it is a cleansing herb…so it must be something else that Quebec’s government is afraid of, and I think we should be too!
  • Becel contains artificial flavour. I’m not a big fan of eating anything artificial, especially if it’s there to trick my brain into thinking plastic tastes good.
  • The next 3 ingredients are added vitamins. Vitamins are best obtained from whole foods as found in nature, and not in a tub of chemically processed margarine…
    • Vitamin A palmitate is a common pre-formed Vitamin A supplement. Better sources include apples, apricots, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, mango, peas, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.
    • Vitamin D3. 15 minutes of sun on your hands and face will get you the same amount of vitamin D, so go for a walk and get some exercise! Go for a longer walk in the wintertime as the sun is not as vibrant then.
    • Vitamin E. Better sources include walnut oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, (make sure all oils are cold processed) nuts (raw), sunflower seeds (raw), whole grains, and green leafy vegetables.

Always remember, quality matters!

A New Earth – Awakening the Body to its Needs

I just recently started reading A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle, and I’ve got to say it is an unbelievably good read. At one point, Eckhart makes a statement about Bulimia, and how sufferers often make themselves vomit so they may continue eating.

“Their mind is hungry, not their body.”

Now, not everyone suffers from bulimia, but if you or someone you know is struggling with a weight issue, you will know that there is a large body-mind connection to which you or they are not aware.  Unless every effort is made to strengthen this connection, any effort to lose weight will be in vain.

It may take some time to become aware of your body’s true needs, but you can do it.  The trick is simply to pay attention.  There is a connection between the foods you eat and the way you feel.  If you’ve ever had a hangover, you know what I’m talking about!

Once you start paying attention, you will notice subtle changes in the way you feel, expecially if you are eating foods to which your body is particularly sensitive.  For most people, this will include dairy and wheat products as they comprise the top 2 allergens.  You likely eat some form of dairy or wheat every single day, multiple times a day, without awareness.  Try going 4 days without eating dairy or wheat products.  On day 5, indulge in some ice cream or pancakes and note how you feel afterward.

I say 4 days because that is roughly the amount of time it takes the body to work through, process, and eliminate foods from the cells of your body.  You may feel symptoms of “withdrawal” after the first or second day, and it may not let up through the 4th day.  In this case, I challenge you to keep on with this little experiment, perhaps going beyond the 4th day, because the fact that these symptoms exist is your body telling you that it is indeed sensitive to these foods, and it needs extra time to expel them from your body due to years of toxic build-up brought on by eating these foods every day.

The results may suprise you.  It wasn’t until I did this exact experiment on myself that I realized my body had been telling me for years to stop eating dairy foods.  Once I became aware of my body’s needs, I drastically cut down on my dairy intake, and I have never felt better!  If you have eczema, psoriasis, acne, or any other dis-ease, I encourage your participation even more because your body is screaming and you are not paying attention.

Once you start paying attention to the messages your body relays, over time it will become easier and easier to tell when you are truly hungry and when you are not.  You may become aware that you eat in social situations, whether you are hungry or not – just becasue others are eating.  You may find the courage to say no to your eyes when they see ice cream, and listen to your body when it says “I don’t like ice cream, it makes me feel sick.”

Change Your Beliefs!

power

I’m sure by now that you’ve heard of or seen “The Secret”.  Among its many teachings, it tells you this: What you think about you bring about.  What you focus on expands.  If you spend your days thinking about how upset you are with a particular person, how fat you’ve become, or how depressed you are over your financial situation, you are only digging yourself a monstrous hole to lay in.  You will get even more angry, fatter, or more depressed…or all three!

Instead of focusing on what is bad in your life, focus on the good!  Trust me, you’ll be a whole lot happier!  If you want to change your eating habits and sculpt your body, keep a mental picture of what you want to look like!  Spend at least 5 minutes looking at a picture of the body you desire every morning.  Go through the feelings you would have if you were in that position.  What could you do?  Think of the confidence you would enjoy!  Be sure to do the same thing right before you go to bed.

But, because pain is probably the best motivator I know, I would also like you to think about what not changing will cost you.  If you keep going where you’re headed, what will it cost you physically, mentally, emotionally and financially?  What will not changing cost your loved ones?  If you keep smoking, drinking, overeating, doing watever it is that is causing you your discomfort, what will you feel like?  What will you look like?  What will the quality of your life be?  Theses are all great questions to ask yourself to light that fire deep inside.

So light the fire right now and look at that inspiring picture every day to keep it burning!

Get Healthy – Detox!

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If you constantly feel tired, find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, are overweight, or suffer from headaches, migraines, digestive upset or constipation, you are in desperate need of some cleansing action. It’s time to reduce the digestive load on your body and cleanse!  Toxins are stored in fat, so if you’ve got a lot of it, you’ve got a lot of toxins just waiting to be released!  The good news is that our dietary plans are designed to both cleanse and slim your body!

You don’t have to be overweight to be in need of a detoxification program either – some of the unhealthiest people I know are quite slim!

Whenever it has the energy to do so, your body will repair damaged cells and get rid of unwanted toxins.  A toxin is anything that irritates and pollutes your body.  Internal organs are strained because they have to work hard to process and get rid of these threatening particles. We have little control of some toxins, so we must take special care to deal with the ones we can reduce.  If you live in a city, for example, you cannot control the quality of the air unless you wear a mask everywhere you go.  Not many people are willing to go that far, so by making you aware of the toxins in your environment, I hope to help you make better choices in your daily life. Toxicity in your body is created by contact with irritants.  This includes everything from the soap you use in the shower, toilet bowl cleaner, dish soap, fabric softener, and especially the food and drink you put inside your body. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and other toxic chemicals used in food production are making people sick. Farmers have been hospitalized due to using these chemicals on their farms for heaven’s sake!  I don’t want these chemicals anywhere near my body!

Every night while you sleep, your body is hard at work putting nutrients where they belong and exiling anti-nutrients to areas where they can exit your body through urine and solid waste.  When you get up in the morning and eat breakfast or drink coffee, you put an end to this detoxification process (and incur a lot more toxins for your body to sort through). Most people do not allow their bodies the time it needs to detoxify.  They eat too much food too often and don’t drink enough water to flush out their systems. If you’re not hungry in the morning, don’t force yourself to eat, but be prepared for when hunger strikes by bringing food with you if you’re on the go.

Once you begin to decrease the digestive load on your body, you may feel worse before you feel better. This is a good thing! It means that your body is finally getting a chance to work through old toxins and get them out of your body. Symptoms of detoxification include dizziness, lack of appetite, fatigue, nausea, headaches, increased body odour, rashes, hives, skin outbreaks, increased allergic symptoms, and a general feeling of sickness.  It is important to drink plenty of water in order to flush out any toxins you may stir up.

So, how do you detox exactly?  Here are some steps you can take:

  • Eat as Organic as Possible
  • Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
  • Drink Fresh Smoothies and Juices Daily in Place of Solid Food
  • Limit Meat and Dairy Consumption During (AND After!) the Cleanse
  • Exercise on a Daily Basis
  • Eat Only When Hungry and Stop When You’re Full!
You can take it a step further and do a full detoxification protocol with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist to ensure that you detox safely and effectively.  I know an amazing practitioner who will take great care of you – ME! You will learn how to support your liver and safely bind and remove toxins from your body. The best part about a one-on-one detox program is the individual care, attention, and coaching that ensures you are healthier than ever before! I guarantee your friends will give you compliments daily on your radiant skin!

Increase Alkalinity to Increase Weight Loss!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASimply put – disease cannot exist in an alkaline environment. This alone can be great motivation to increase your body’s alkalinity by adding more alkaline foods to your diet while decreasing overall consumption of acidic foods. Try it for yourself – you can FEEL the difference.
Alkalizing your body can mean a dramatic increase in weight loss. This is because your body stores toxins in fat cells to keep them far away from your delicate organs.  The more toxic you are, the more fat you will need to store the toxins and keep the rest of your body relatively “safe”. The more alkaline you become, the less need you have for fat, and the body will safely release its fat stores, given you are not eating an outrageous amount of calories.
Highly Acidic Foods
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Sugar
  • Refined Foods
  • Processed drinks: Coffee, Soda, Beer, and Alcohol
  • Bad Fats – Anything that is hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or heated.
  • Drugs and Chemicals : pesticides, herbicides, aspirin, and tobacco.
Highly Alkaline Foods
  • Green vegetables and fresh green juices.
  • Fruit: including citrus fruits!
  • Essential Fatty Acids: such as Omega 3 and 6.
  • Filtered water: at least 2L a day!
  • Exercise! Regular exercise promotes toxin removal through the lymphatic and digestive systems!
In my house, we live by 5 simple rules in addition to avoidance of the highly acidic foods above:
  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Sweat once a day.
  3. Drink 1 green juice per day.
  4. Eat 1 salad per day.
  5. Treat yourself!  If you really want that slice of carrot cake, eat it and be thankful for it.  Be happy and content with your decision to indulge ocassionally.  Live in the moment and above all: never feel guilty.  Guilt will only serve to stress you out, promote acidity, and keep you fat!

If you are searching for that illustrious glow, I encourage you to do your best to start eating more raw fruits and vegetables while, again, doing your best to remove some highly acidic foods.  Start out slowly and work to incorporate the 5 rules above.  It may be tough or it may be easy, but always remember where you started and have a clear vision of where you want to be.

Sucralose: Silent Killer

Sometimes I find inspiration, and sometimes it finds me.  I was recently contacted to endorse a product that flavours and sweetens water.  Product names such as natural lemon and natural peach seem legit and at first everything was just, well, peachy! Then I stumbled upon that nasty little “sweetened with sucralose” line that makes me cringe! There is nothing natural about sucralose, otherwise known as Splenda. Use your brain on this one:

Artificial sweetener = Substance messed with using chemicals = Not fit for human consumption!

The creation of sucralose involves substituting 3 hydroxyl groups (hydrogen + oxygen) on the sugar molecule with 3 chlorine atoms. Have you ever felt the need to drink chlorine? Alternatively, sucralose can be made from ingredients that don’t even include sugar! Sucralose was intentionally and improperly named with the suffix -ose, a move that serves to fool you into believing it is natural (such as fructose, sucrose, and glucose).  The reason sucralose contains no calories is because the molecule has been changed so much that the body doesn’t even recognize it as food!  Manufacturers claim that this alien molecule passes through the body unchanged.   Animal researchers have found that it does not, in fact, just pass through the body.  And, some of it breaks down into a molecule known as 1,6-dichlorofructose (just think chlorine + fruit sugar). There have only been a handful of human studies on sucralose, and no long-term studies at all. Better yet, there have been no long-term independant studies.  This means that most studies have been controlled by the manufacturers, who desperately do not want to show that sucralose is harmful to the body! Before sucralose was even approved for human consumption, animal studies indicated potential toxicity! It’s aspartame all over again.

Adverse effects reported in pre-approval research include:  Shrunken thymus glands (by up to 40%!)(E056), enlarged liver and kidneys (E057 and E161), atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus (E051, E056, E0151), increased cecal weight (E151), reduced growth rate (E057), decreased red blood cell count (E055), extension of the pregnancy period and aborted pregnancy (E134), decreased fetal body weights and placental weights (E032), and diarrhea.

I believe most of these adverse effects are due to the body expelling this toxic substance. (Note: liver and kidney enlargement and atrophy of cells in the lymphatic organs,the spleen and thymus)  Diarrhea is obvious…the body is saying “GET OUT!” The body knows when it is in a good enough state to produce a body, and since it is trying so hard to rid itself of this toxic substance, it will have less energy to grow a baby!  If you’re having trouble conceiving, I suggest you get yourself to a holistic practitioner straight away, and get your body healthy before heading to a fertility expert.

There are many alternatives to drinking poisonous diet drinks that will keep your waistline slim.  Water is the most hydrating and slimming thing I know! But what if you don’t like drinking water, you ask?  Well, do you like being alive? Then I’m sorry to say you’re going to have to suck it up and drink up!

But seriously, try these tricks to jazz up your water:

  • A squeeze of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit.
  • Cut up some cucumber and marinate it in a big jug of water.  So yummy!
  • Got a blender?  You can obtain natural peach, kiwi, mixed berry, etc. just by throwing some fruit into the blender with your water.
  • On the run?  Throw any of the above into a water bottle and you’re good to go!

Personally, I am not willing to be a guinea pig and wait 10 or 15 years to see what this toxic substance does to my body! I’ve already felt the effects of aspartame, so I’m on a chemical-free diet these days.  Are you?

Sources:

Food and Drug Administration “Final Rule” for Sucralose, 21 CFR Part 172, Docket No. 87F-0086.

Hull JS. Splenda – Is it Safe or Not? The Pickle Press, New York: 2004.

Lord, GH, Newberne PM. Renal Mineralization – A Ubiquitous Lesion in Chronis Rat Studies. Food Chem Toxicology 1990 June; 28:449-455.

Labare MP, Alexander M. Microbial Cometabolism of Sucralose, a Chlorinated Disaccharide, in Environmental Samples. Applied Microbial Biotechnology. 1994 Oct;42:173-178.

Hunter BT. Sucralose. Consumers’ Research Magazine, Oct 1990,Vol. 73, Issue 10, p.8-10.

Maudlin RK. FDA Approves Sucralose for Expanded Use. Modern Medicine, Oct 1999, Vol. 67, Issue 10, p57.

Sucralose – A New Artificial Sweetener. Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, 07/03/98, Vol. 40, Issue 1030, p.67.

Q&A: Is Newly FDA Approved Sweetener Sucralose Good For You? Executive Health’s Good Health Report, Nov. 1998, Vol. 35, Issue 2, p.6.

Gain B. FDA Approves J&J Sweetener. Chemical Week, 04/15/98, Vol. 160, Issue 14, p.27. 

Lose Weight With Water

FitnessHungry?  Grab some water!  Reaching for a glass of water instead of food can save you many, many unwanted pounds over the years.  Why does this work?  The sensations of thirst and hunger are one and the same, generated whenever the brain is in need of sugar or water.  So why do you choose food over water?  Because food is so addictive!
I am certain this is due to the highly processed foods we eat.  Let’s take white bread for example, a highly processed food that does not exist in nature.  Its lack of nutrients and fiber causes it to act like a drug within your body.  Broken down quickly, the simple carbohydrates enter your bloodstream and cause a fast rise and fall in blood sugar.
The fall causes the feeling of hunger, causing you to eat in order to increase blood sugar.  The need for water goes overlooked because you have created a more pressing need for sugar!  This will make you more likely to choose a sugar-laden drink over water and pack on unnecessary pounds.  This yo-yo battle with blood sugar can result in constant dehydration since you will overlook the need for pure water.  If you ate whole foods (like your ancestors did before the invention of the grocery store) you would keep more constant blood sugar levels and stay in tune with your need for water.
Another mistake that leads to weight gain is assuming that manufactured beverages can replace your need for water.  Our bodies need water, not just liquids.  Drinking 8 glasses of bottled juice, 8 cans of pop, or any other highly processed drink will not hydrate you.  They have many other ingredients that influence body chemistry, none of which do you any good! I’ve come across many people who are adamant about telling me that as long as a beverage contains water, it’s just as good as water.  You can fool yourself, and you can argue with me all you want, but it won’t change the fact that every cell in your body needs a pure source of water!
Now, let’s look at someone who drinks upwards of 8 Diet Cokes a day and no water. The caffeine found in coke acts directly on the brain, like a drug.  Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, increases urine production, and leaves the body in a constant state of dehydration.  This is why you can drink so many sodas and never satisfy your thirst.  Then, when you feel “hungry”, you will assume you have drank enough “water” and assume you need food, when your body may actually need water.  Overeating and weight gain is caused by the confusion between thirst and hunger.  Water 1, Opponents 0.
Let’s talk about another constituent of diet coke: aspartame.  Aspartame converts to aspartate, phenylalanine, and methyl alcohol (formaldehyde) in the small intestine.  The first two are highly excitatory neurotransmitter amino acids, and cross the blood brain barrier.  There is a claim that the body renders the methyl alcohol non-toxic, but their claim has yet to be proven.  According to the video “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World,” aspartame complaints represent 80-85% of food complaints to the FDA, due to its multiple neurotoxic, metabolic, allergenic, fetal, and carcinogenic effects.  Aspartame is known to erode intelligence and affects short-term memory!  The most frequent complaints about aspartame include brain tumors, birth defects, lymphoma, diabetes, MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety attacks, epilepsy/seizures, migraines, numbness, hearing loss and ringing in the ears, blindness, blurred vision, other eye problems, and stomach disorders.  Artificial sweeteners stimulate the appetite by spiking insulin levels, which will uptake any blood sugar into the cells, leaving you hungry shortly after eating because your blood needs more sugar. This leads to an increase in carbohydrate cravings and the increased intake of food will stimulate fat storage and weight gain.
Here is my story:
Before learning about the effects of aspartame, I drank about 4 cans of Diet Coke per day.  Like many others, I assumed a toxic substance would never gain allowance into our food supply.  I was dead wrong.  For 2 years I suffered from cloudiness in my eyes.  I always had one eye that was so fuzzy that I could not see properly!  Now, I cannot tell you that Diet Coke was for sure to blame, but 6 months after I stopped drinking it I realized my vision was completely fine!  I don’t believe it is a coincidence.  I also have short-term memory problems which I’ve had for as long as I can remember (note: long term memory still intact!) which may be due to heavy Diet Coke consumption – since I started drinking it when I was age 6 or 7.  Aspartame is a man-made chemical and has no place whatsoever in your body.  Water, on the other hand contains no aspartate, phenylalanine, or formaldehyde.
Water 4, Opponents 0.
The biggest problem with juice is that it is pure sugar and nearly zero nutrients once it has finished being processed.  The nutrients that are added back in after processing are often man-made and are not naturally assimilated by your body. Too much sugar in juice form will be absorbed into the blood stream, causing a drastic spike in blood sugar.  The drastic spike causes a drastic fall, leaving you craving more sugar.  This may lead to drinking even more juice, adding even more calories!  Let’s take Ocean Spray’s white cranberry juice for instance.  Ingredients: Filtered water, white cranberry juice from concentrate, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and citric acid.  In addition to the concentrated juice, there is more added sugar as well as high fructose corn syrup!  The term “natural flavors” can mean anything.  It can even mean MSG has been added.  It is amazing what companies can categorize as natural. Water has no added sugar, no fillers, and no preservatives.
Water 7, Opponents 0.
If you want juice, buy a juicer and make it yourself.  It will then be full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes which are needed for every single function in your body.  If you have a blender, than try making blended smoothies with fresh ingredients!  One of my favourites is this:
Spinach Pear Smoothie
3 cups spinach
1 pear, cored
1 apple, cored
1 banana
¼ cup parsley
juice of half a lime
2 tbsp hemp seeds
add water to cover
Just throw everything in a blender and enjoy the yummy nutrients!  Don’t be scared and just try it!  You will be amazed.  Add more water if necessary!
Even if you already drink water, you need to think about the source of that water. Drinking any old tap water is not good for your cells.  Tap water has chlorine, among other things (such as hormones from birth control pills which are not filtered out), added to kill bacteria.  The problem here is that it kills both bad and good bacteria.  Your body needs good, friendly bacteria to be healthy.  Drinking chlorinated water is like taking antibiotics every day.  So, it is important that your drinking water is filtered using a respectable filtration system.  I prefer carbon filtered water. Specifically I prefer the technology of Nikken’s Pimag™ water system, which reduces volatile organic compounds, lead, cysts, MTBE, turbidity, chlorine, bad tastes, odors, and particulate matter.  It literally energizes your water.  My mom was in a health food store with her Pimag™ water last week when the man running the store offered to test it.  The water scored off the charts in energy, and she hasn’t changed the filter in 2 years!  Nikken recommends changing the filter once every year.  I’m not sure what the Coca Cola Company does to its water, but I’m sure it’s not going to score very high on any energy test.  Water 8, Opponents 0.
How much water do you need to drink?  An often agreed amount of water is half your body weight in ounces per day.  So, if you’re 160 lbs, you need 80 oz. of water each day.  That breaks down into 10 8 oz. glasses or 10 cups of water. You must be sure to sip water throughout the day and not chug 2 or 3 glasses at a time to “make up” for lost glasses. Water taken this way may not become assimilated into the body and pass through the system relatively unused.  You need to drink water first thing in the morning, since your body becomes dehydrated through your breathing at night.  I personally drink 8-16 oz. of water when I wake up before I eat anything.  It will also stop you from overeating!
Water is good for so many things in addition to dropping a few pounds, so you may notice other problems get better, like asthma, hiatus hernia, and pains in the lower back, neck, and heart!  Get headaches?  Drink water!  You will be amazed at the results!