FAQ Installment 28
219. Carrie asks, “Angela – your lunch looks delicious! I saw on your About Me page that you gave up artificial sweeteners. What do you think about the new "natural" zero calories sweeteners that are coming out – Truvia, etc. Thanks!”
To be honest with you I don’t know much about the new ‘natural’ zero calorie sweeteners! If anyone has any information on them I would love to read it.
220. Erin asks, "hi angela! love your blog!!
I’m wondering what you know about raw food detox diets. i have always been partly fascinated and partly freaked out by the ones i have read about. a new book was recently released from natalia rose called detox for women that has sparked my on-again, off-again interest in these theories. i think the biggest thing for me is the lack of research/science to back the claims that our bodies need to be detoxed in the first place. a lot of medical sites seem to counter the detox advice, saying that our bodies are well equipped to deal with waste without any added help from us. I have even heard warnings that following these detox plans (with juice fasts, colonics, adopting a totally raw/vegan diet) can actually harm your body.
i definitely think that what we eat directly impacts our health, and i believe in the benefits of antioxidants, fruits, veggies, and taking a multivitamin. i want to be as healthy and as happy as possible, but i don’t want to buy into any unsubstantiated hippie voodoo magic hype. where can i go to find information about what is really healthy and safe and what is not? any ideas??"
Everything I learned in my nutrition courses was that our bodies don’t need to detox because they do a wonderful job on their own! While I believe that the body is very much capable of cleaning itself out, I also think that detoxes or simply clean eating every now and then can be beneficial. To me, it isn’t necessarily the question whether we should or have to detox, it is whether we want to and how it makes us feel when we do! I say if you enjoy doing a raw detox now and then, then go for it! You are the best judge as to how you feel when you eat a certain way. I suffered from gastrointestinal issues for a long time whenever I ate dairy. Once I stopped eating it my problems went away. For me, the whole healthy eating journey has been trial and error. What works for one person may not work for another!
The best place to find current health information is top tier academic journals. They have the newest studies and findings published in them. Of course, now that I am not a grad student, I don’t have free access to these journals and I miss them dearly! Some websites that I love are: Globe and Mail Health, Health.com, World’s Healthiest Foods, Health News, and CBC Health News. Of course, take every story with a grain of salt and always be critical of what you are reading. The media can sometimes dramatically distort the research findings!
221. Heather asks, “I’ve been to your online store and everythings looks so YUMMY! I agree that your bars sound similar to LaraBars, but I’m sure taste even better since they are homemade! I wish you had your own bakery near me so I try a few ;) . What made you think of creating your own line of bars and other similar products?”
Three reasons: Cost, convenience, and creativity with flavours! Larabars are expensive and I wanted to create something affordable. They are also fairly quick to make, so it is very convenient to make them at home. I also LOVE experimenting with new flavours that aren’t available in the stores.
222. Olivia asks, “How do you cope with people commenting on your eating habits, particularly when you are eating out or at other people’s homes? I have noticed that people are always very interested in what other people are eating and tend to make comments if I choose a salad instead of fried food or order a pizza without cheese or turn down a huge piece of chocolate cake or whatever. I have one particular friend who always seems to be commenting on/criticizing what I’m eating and my weight and I have to say that it really annoys me!
Also, how do you react when people tell you you’re too thin/don’t eat enough/don’t need to lose weight? People just don’t seem to understand that my wellbeing and state of mind are so closely linked to what I eat. I’m not talking about depriving myself or obsessively counting every calorie, but just eating healthfully in a way that makes me feel good, working out regularly and enjoying the occasional treat. Why do other people sometimes seem to think it’s their business what I eat?”
In the past it used to bother me when people said comments about what I ate, but now to be honest it really doesn’t bother me. I guess I am used to it. I am also very secure with my lifestyle and I know that how I eat and live works for me and I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I think once you find this for yourself others will see that you truly are happy and feeling great. Sometimes it just takes others a little while to see it. I think people may also comment negatively toward certain foods or lifestyles because they feel poorly about their current situation and may take it out on others. The best thing I have learned is not to let it get to me! Brush it off and keep doing what works for you and hold your head up high!!!
223. Jessica asks, "Now, tell me, how do you get your hubby to go sans meat? I can’t swing it even one meal…"
I love this question because it always make me laugh. Eric is a simple man; he eats what I put in front of him! lol. Since I do all the cooking, he really has no say in the matter. I have found many ways to hide healthy foods into my meals and he honestly has no clue what is in them. For a year he ate spaghetti sauce with veggie ground round in it and he thought it was ground turkey!!!! bahahah. Or other times I will cook with a food he hates and mix it in somehow and he doesn’t even notice he is eating something he doesn’t care for. I think it is all about the presentation and making small substitutions here and there. When I was in grad school we used to eat chicken almost every night!!! I think we both got so sick of it we started to appreciate the meat less meals :)
224. Stacey asks, "I was wondering if your counter tops were granite and if so whether you knew the color. I’ve been perusing Rate My Space for months looking for a good fit for my oak cabinets and couldn’t believe it when I realized I’ve been looking at it for the last 6 months. Thanks so much!!!"
Yes they are granite and I have emailed my MIL to ask her what the colour is! She is going to find out for you. I will let you know when I find out. :)
225. Niki asks, "I have only really begun with my healthy eating and exercising and I was wondering if you knew what and how much of a different eating healthy is for your skin? My skin is very bumpy, dry and oily in places plus I have blotchey areas, I would really love clear, soft, glowing skin, do you have any tips please?"
Please see my Project Glow post for all my info on my skin care challenge! :)
226. Amanda says, "Angela, in addition to your posts being so thought provoking personally, I have really enjoyed reading other people’s comments. It is nice to see that I am not the only person who uses these blogs to set standards for my perfectionist self. It’s pretty self deprecating, as there always seems to be something "more" that I could be doing. Moments of free time and laziness often bring guilt and lead me to think, "Hmm with this 20 minutes I could do a level of 30 Day Shred". Really though, I need to learn to ease up on myself. Maybe you could do a post on what you like to do to unwind, relax, be good to your body, and just be lazy!! God knows I (and probably a lot of other readers) could use that!!"
Thanks Amanda! I am glad you found the Blogging and social comparison posts helpful! I loved reading all of the comments myself. I like to unwind by watching my favourite TV shows! I only have 4 shows that I watch on a regular basis (it used to be one so I am doing better now giving other shows a chance!): The Office, 24, The Mentalist, and ANTM (for guilty pleasure I guess). Eric and I try to watch one show each night together before bed (We have 24 on DVD). It is our unwinding time! I also love reading- especially reading in bed. Right now I have been reading my new cookbooks and learning about new ways to cook vegan. I also am reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I also enjoy chatting with my family on the phone and seeing friends. I love a good dinner with Eric complete with candlelight and wine…it feels like a restaurant but is much cheaper! We also enjoy going out to a movie every now and then, but we haven’t done that for a while.
I certainly think that being ‘lazy’ is OK and is needed in a well rounded lifestyle! Who doesn’t want to lounge around every now and then? I would suggest penciling in your daily lazy time each day if you are having trouble allowing yourself the time. Say every night at 9pm, I am going to do nothing ‘productive’ for 30 minutes. Have a bath, lay on the couch, paint your nails (well I consider painting nails to be productive! lol), etc. Whatever doesn’t stress you out, do it! There is a time for exercise and there is a time for rest and rejuvenation. Once your exercise is over, put it out of your mind and move on with your day. :) That urge to do more and more and more is a very slippery slope!
227. Katie asks, "I was wondering how did you make your video with music and slow motion running- i loved it!! is there a special site or anything? also way off topic but i made your thumbprint cookies the other day and they turned out amazing and my family loved them!!! i look forward to more recipes!! :) have a good day!"
Glad you liked the cookies! I use Windows Movie Maker to make all of my videos. It is super easy to use and has a slow motion function, among many other things. :)
228. Andrea asks, "What do you use instead of butter in your cookies? I want to start making some vegan cookies as well but don’t know what to replace the butter with! Thanks. :)"
You can use Earth Balance vegan Buttery spread or you can use things like applesauce, coconut oil, or olive oil for cookies. When making other baked goods you can also use pumpkin, black beans, zucchini, etc depending on what you are making! Veggies add lots of moisture to breads and muffins.
229. Bethann asks, "As always…i am jealous of your beautiful environment in canada…have you ever lived in the city or do you think you would be able to? i get "depressed" sometimes because of the lack of nature on long island…nothing like beautiful hiking trails and sitting on the front porch in arizona…also, i could probably out eat my man every day but choose not to lol."
Its funny you should ask this because I spent two years living in Toronto while I was doing my master’s degree. I am NOT a big city girl by any means and I really missed mother nature big time. Eric and I were really happy to move out of the city and have land around us. The only green we had near us in Toronto was a cemetery across the street- that’s where I did my outdoor jogs! lol. I would suggest googling your area and searching for trails, parks, or beaches. You may find there are some that you didn’t see before.
230. Amelia asks, "Love the cupcakes! I have a question about how you actually fill the cupcake cups. I love making cupcakes but I always make a giant mess trying to spoon the batter into the cups. Also they’re usually not the same size. Your cupcakes look very even and uniform. Any tips? Thanks!!"
I just use a spoon to scoop in the batter (which isn’t the easiest I agree!). I usually end up making a big mess too and then I run a wet paper towel over the pan to wipe up any spills. To get them uniform, I just try to eyeball it..I have gotten much better with practice!
I am close to finishing answering the questions!! There is light at the end of the tunnel (or is there)! :)
I have also added a new ‘Comment Form’ on the FAQ page. You can submit me your questions right on the FAQ page! How easy is that?
The kitchen organizing is going well! Still lots left to do though.
My MIL gave me her label maker last week so I have been going label crazy!!! lol I LOVE LABELING!!! Eric is a bit worried I think.
Three exciting things coming up on OSG:
1) Cookbook giveaway on Monday!
2) An interview with a personal trainer to some of the top celebrities in the industry!
3) A My Hip T giveaway!!
I’m off to the stagette soon! Going to curl my hair and do my make-up. See you tomorrow for the crazy recap :)