Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Benefits From Brown or Raw Sugar
Add Up to Sweet Nothings
By John Stossel
Feb. 24, 2006
What's the real deal on sugar? We all know it's not great for us. It adds empty calories to our diet. Some people claim brown sugar is better for you than white sugar. It's more "natural," they say. "Natural" is such a good selling point. So is "raw." One woman said, "When I see 'in the raw' [on a sugar package], I assume it's less processed than white sugar. The same thing with rice."
Sugar Is Sugar -- Regardless of Color
She makes a good point about rice. Brown rice is higher in fiber, because it still has some of the bran attached, explained Cathy Nonas, director of obesity and diabetes programs at New York City's North General Hospital.
Brown rice has much more fiber and significantly more minerals than white rice. But it's not the same story with brown sugar. "People who are grabbing that brown sugar because they think it's healthier are basically deluding themselves," Nonas said.
Sugar begins as sap in sugarcane plants, which are crushed to release what is called sugar juice. The juice is heated, which creates a thick dark molasses containing sugar crystals. They spin that in a centrifuge to remove the molasses. What's left is white granulated sugar. Brown sugar is brown because it has some of the molasses added back to the white sugar. It's true that molasses tastes a little sweeter and contains a little iron and calcium, but only a little.
To get as much iron as I'd get from one slice of whole-wheat bread, I'd have to eat nine teaspoons of brown sugar.
"Brown sugar is not any better than white sugar. People should still reduce their intake of all sugars because they're basically empty calories," Nonas said.
And "raw " sugar is no better, Nonas added. "People are very susceptible to marketing. And just because something is natural doesn't mean it's particularly healthy for you," she said.
Raw sugar isn't even really raw. It's just slightly less refined, so it retains some of the molasses. But there's no real health real benefit from it. "There's no more nutritional value in raw sugar than there is in white sugar or brown sugar," Nonas said.
Executive pastry chef Dennis Canciello of Ferrara Bakery in New York agrees. "It's sugar, that's all it is. Sugar is sugar," he said.
Does Sugar Make Kids Hyper?
And there's another myth about sugar. We hear this one from parents all the time. Sugar drives the kids crazy. Even some of the kids believe it. "I go really nuts when I have candy," one girl said. And it doesn't matter how old you are. "You get really -- hyper! ... I'm like oh, I'm on such a sugar rush right now," a teenage girl said.
Lots of people accept the idea that too much sugar makes kids wild and hyper. But is it true? The research is very clear. Sugar does not make a child hyperactive," Nonas said.
Many studies have found that. One published in the New England Journal of Medicine gave some kids sugared foods and others foods with artificial sweeteners. Their parents and the researchers didn't know who was eating sugar and who wasn't. They monitored the kids for things like irritability and hyperactivity. They found no difference.
"There is no such thing as a sugar high. And there is no such thing as sugar making you nuts. There just isn't," said Nonas.
But I've seen kids go crazy at parties. Isn't that because the sugar kicks in? Actually, no. And some of their moms have figured out what's going on. "The kids are hyper! They are hyper because they are excited. Because they have freedom. Because there are 20 kids, crowding around each other," said insightful mom Hillari Boritz. Right, because it's a party! The studies also show that if food has an effect, it could be the caffeine in chocolate and soda that's giving you the buzz. It's not the sugar.
Friday, September 26, 2008
About Get Rich Slowly
Wednesday, 11th June 2008 (by J.D.)
Get Rich Slowly — recently named most inspiring money blog by Money magazine — is devoted to sensible personal finance.
You will not find any get-rich-quick schemes here. Nor will you find multi-level marketing fads or hot stock tips. I am not pitching any product or book. Instead, you’ll find daily information about personal finance and related topics.
I share stories about debt elimination, saving money, and practical investing. I also post occasional reviews of books, magazines, and software. And, of course, I scour the web for the latest personal finance tools and articles.
Please note that I am not a financial professional. I’m just an average guy who found himself deep in debt. When it finally became too overwhelming, I began reading personal finance books, hoping to find answers. I wanted swift solutions to my problems. My research revealed that few people get rich quickly, but almost anyone can get rich slowly by patiently following some simple rules.
Since April 2006, I’ve been sharing what I learn with thousands of daily readers. By following my own advice, I’ve managed to ditch my debt and actually begin saving. I really am getting rich slowly. Along the way, I’ve developed twelve key beliefs that form the core of the Get Rich Slowly philosophy:
Money is more about mind than it is about math.
When we overspend, we’re making mental mistakes, not math mistakes. We all understand the math. Fortunately, we can do things to trick ourselves into making the right choices, and eventually those choices will become second
nature. Further reading: Why smart people make big money mistakes (and how to correct them).
Goals are important.
Without financial goals, you have no direction, which makes it easy to spend money on things you’ll regret later. But if you know that you’re saving for a house, for your daughter’s college education, or for a new car, your goal will keep you focused. Further reading: The road to wealth is paved with goals.
Spend less than you earn.
Track every penny you spend. Avoid debt. Avoid debt. Avoid debt. Easier said than done, I know, but the fundamental rule of personal finance is this: in order to get out of debt and build wealth, you must spend less than you earn. There’s no way around it. Further reading: How to get out of debt.
Pay yourself first.
Before you pay your bills, before you buy groceries, before you do anything else, set aside some percentage of your income to save. Start small if you have to — even 1% is good — and increase your savings as you’re able. Aim to reach 20%. (My wife saves 25% of her paycheck!) Further reading: Which online high-yield savings account is best?
Small amounts matter.
Don’t be frustrated if you’re only saving $25 per month. I started small, too. Though the going seemed slow at first, these small moves helped me develop good habits. And don’t underestimate the power of just one small change. When I cut my cable bill from $65/month to $15/month, that extra $50 made a huge difference. Further reading: The magic of thinking small.
Large amounts matter, too.
It’s good to clip coupons to save money on groceries, but it’s even better to shop around for the best deal on a mortgage. Everyday frugality can save you a little money consistently, but by making smart choices on big ticket items, you can save thousands of dollars in one blow. Further reading: Want to save? Give up the big things!
Do what works for you.
Each person is different. What works for one person may not work for another. There’s no one right way to save or to invest or to pay off debt or to buy a house. Don’t believe anyone who says there is. Be willing to experiment until you find methods that are suited to your life. Further reading: 8 ways to take control of your finances in 2008.
Slow and steady wins the race.
The most successful people are those who work longest and hardest at something they love to do. Find ways to make frugality fun. Recognize that you’re in this for the long haul. You’re making a lifestyle change, not looking for a quick fix. Further reading: How and why to start an emergency fund.
The perfect is the enemy of the good.
Too many people are reluctant to start getting their finances in order because they don’t know what the best first step is. Don’t worry about getting things exactly right. Choose a good option and do something. Optimize later. Further reading: The perfect is the enemy of the good.
Failure is okay.
It’s okay to make mistakes. Even billionaires like Warren Buffett make mistakes. We learn from failure. Don’t let a single mistake drag you down. It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all. Use failure to learn how to do better next time. Further reading: How good habits keep small mistakes manageable.
It’s more important to be happy than it is to be rich.
Don’t become obsessed with money and wealth. Remember Ebeneezer Scrooge! Money gives you more options, but happiness makes life worth living. I believe that if we’re able to stay happy and in control of our lives, money actually becomes easier to manage. Further reading: What’s the reason for saving and investing?
Do it now.
It’s easy to put things off. But the sooner your start moving toward your goals, the easier they are too reach. Further reading: Getting to now: Beating the procrastination habit.
These are the basic tenets of my philosophy. These are the ideas that lurk behind every article I post. Please remember that everything you read here is my own informed opinion. Never believe everything you read, and always form your own conclusions.
For more information, check out some of my favorite articles from the past:
How I overcame $35,000 in debt
Quitting the day job: Finding the guts to pursue your dreams
What is a Roth IRA and why should you care?
A simple way to get more out of life
My year-long project: How much does a garden really save?
This weblog is a success because of support from readers like you. The Get Rich Slowly community is awesome, always willing to discuss money-saving and money-making ideas. I feature reader stories and tips almost daily. If you have any comments or requests to improve this site, please feel free to pass them on. (Also note there’s a personal finance forum where like-minded people can exchange ideas.)
Welcome! Enjoy your personal quest toward financial independence.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Fifteen roaring, snarling "live" dinosaurs mesmerize the audience and are as awe inspiring as when they first walked the earth. The stars of the show include Tyrannosaurus Rex, Utahraptor, Stegosaurus, and the largest of them, the Brachiosaurus, which is 36 feet tall and 56 feet long from nose to tail.
The show depicts the dinosaur's evolution spanning their entire 200 million year reign. The history of the world is played out with almost cinematic realism, including scenes of the daily interactions between dinosaurs. You will see how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on two legs, and how the herbivores fended off their more agile predators.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tonight at dinner, Cameron closed his eyes and asked, "Are there z's coming out of me?" I asked him what he meant and he said, "I'm pretending to be asleep and that's what happens on the Wii game [when the characters fall asleep]."
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Taking advantage of the great sales going on now (they post new sales every Wednesday), I purchased several lovely eye shadows. One of the things I love about Aromaleigh's mineral eyeshadows is that they are so much more than what appears in the photograph. They are complex, multifaceted, multi-colored shadows whose beauty cannot possibly be captured in a swatch. They must be seen on a person to be truly appreciated.
As you can see, there are several blue-toned shadows in my selections. I never considered myself a blue eyeshadow kind of girl (quite the opposite in fact since I have blue eyes and can also still remember the blue eyeshadow of the 70's), but I recently found that all blue eye shadows are not created equal. I can't wait to create some new AL looks with my new shadows and post them to my slide show for you to see. Anyway, here are the colors I purchased today:
Underworld: Deep purplish indigo with specks of blue and deep burgundy. Complex and moody.
Flora: A deep purple base with iridescent shimmers of lilac and roses.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It's Retin-A Micro!
I went to my dermatologist (aka derm dr.) yesterday for my annual "freckle check," and I asked her for a prescription for Retin-A to diminish my fine lines and wrinkles. After some discussion, we decided I would start out with the .04% formula instead of the .1% formula just in case my skin is very sensitive to it and needs time to work up to the stronger one. She gave me several samples of the .04% to try before I get my rx filled.
So here is the game plan:
- Start using the .04% samples (I did this last night)
- Shop pharmacies for the best price of both formulas of Retin-A Micro (insurance does not cover it for my purposes so it's going to be expensive)
- After the samples are used up, decide whether or not my skin tolerated it well. If it did, call derm dr. for an rx for the .1% and don't get the .04% rx filled. She thought this would be better than starting out directly with the .1%, finding out it was too strong for my skin and wasting all that money. Good call doc!
Results so far:
- No irritation after one application.
I'll keep you posted,
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I must note (read: complain), for some reason the family room was designed with the only window being the sliding glass doors which lead to the west-facing back yard. It does get a little light from the south and west-facing breakfast room windows and a bit from the east-facing "Daddy's room" window, but not enough to keep it well illuminated to suit my taste. I'm certain it was a man who was the architect on this job back in 1966. Ideally, there would be a window on each side of the fireplace to permit the lovely southern light to flood the room with the appropriate amount of brightness.
We've considered putting in a skylight, but have heard nothing but negative reviews on them from friends who have them. They say the heat they allow in the house during the summer (which is about half of our year here in central California) is unbearable. Although we could install a skylight with built in louvered blinds (expensive?). In the future, I think I'll look into the cost of installing windows on each side of the fireplace versus the louvered skylight. Until then, we utilize two table lamps, a wall-mounted light and a ceiling fan/light to bring light into this much used space.
I should say that this room doesn't usually appear as dark as it is in the photograph though. I took this photo at 4 p.m. and by that time, the sun is considerably low in the west sky over our backyard and we have a very large pergola (open wood slatted patio cover), which keeps a lot of the light from coming in during this time of day.
I also want to mention that last year, we upgraded our "college dorm room-style" desk with a new modular one from Pottery Barn (the Bedford desk) and I looooove it. I feel so grown up now.
Yesterday, Enid, a lovely woman who works the flower section at my husband Jason's store (Trader Joe's), overheard me in the checkout line admiring the flowers the woman behind me was getting ready to purchase. They were so pretty, I found myself going on and on about them, how much I loved the colors and that Jason needed to bring me some home when he got off work. I told the woman to have a great day enjoying her new flowers and off I went. Just as I reached the front door (that's where they display the flowers), Enid hands me a lovely bouquet of the very flowers I had been admiring. She wouldn't take no for an answer, so I thanked her profusely and left the store (flowers in hand) a very happy girl!
Have a wonderful day!
Southern Lagniappe: A Stained Concrete Project ...
Even though my rabbit isn't made of concrete (I think he's some sort of plaster covered with a resin finish - hence the chippiness that occurred over the years), I still thought this project could work. So I dug a can of wood stain out of the garage, put on my gloves and began ragging and brushing the stain all over the rabbit (Cameron put on his gloves and helped me). The result is a lovely darker old bronze patina. I still love his weathered chippy look, but I think the darker color gives him new life.
Thanks for looking!
* If you can't hear this video over the songs on my playlist, scroll to the bottom of my blog and hit the stop button.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Low and behold there they were...three lovely iron and glass candle holders staring me right in the face (they were displayed at eye level). And right above them was a sign that read 33% off the lowest marked price. The original price was $24.99 and the lowest marked price was $12.49. Wow, "what a great deal" I thought so I grabbed all three. Below them was a display of pillar candles originally priced $9.99 and marked lowest at $4.99. 33% off that seemed like a great deal as well so I picked up three candles to go in the holders. When I got to the register, the candles ended up being $3.01 each (after the discount) and the candle holders were only $1.99 - 33% = $1.33 a piece. Is that the bargain of the century or what? So all told, I got three new candle holders with candles for only $14.00. I'll probably place a couple around the pool and one on my patio table. Since they have a nice handle, I could hang them up on the patio arbor for some nice mood lighting. Hmm...
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The following is my attempt at walking you through my house so you can feel like you're there even if you've never seen it before. It's my first time doing this so I'm sorry if it sucks and gets confusing but here goes...
The door at the end of the entry way is a small closet in which we hold books, puzzles and games.
A small grouping of family pictures is on the hallway wall on the left.
My daughter's artwork is framed and lines the entire right side of the hallway wall. Cameron's artwork still adorns the refrigerator.
This is the view of the hallway from our bedroom door. Remember, our hallway is "L" shaped. The door at the end on the left is our children's bathroom and the door at the end is Sierra's bedroom. More family pictures (most of which were taken by me) line both sides of this section of the hall. I couldn't fit the bathroom in one photo so I took one of the left side and of the right side. Part of Sierra's bedroom. I painted the bubbles on the top part of her wall around the perimeter of the room to match her bedcovers. Hanging from a string above are some Chinese paper lanterns she and I made together.
Okay, pretend your standing at the front entry again... The kitchen is on your immediate left when you walk in the front door.
Little French pear print Fleur-de-lis towel ring My favorite refrigerator magnet
Updated photos April 2009
Updated photos April 2009
That's all for now. Once I clean my desk off, I'll show you photos of the other side of our family room and then move on to the garden.