Sugar, ahh, Honey, Honey

Have you seen the movie Fed Up yet? After watching it last year, I started paying attention to how much added sugars were in the foods that I eat. Last month, I tracked the amount of added and artificial sugar* I consumed during an average workweek (Monday – Friday) and counted the added sugar in things like:

  • Jams
  • Peanut/almond butter
  • Fage yogurt
  • Breads/grains/cereal/granola
  • Canned beans
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Sweets

Here is a picture of my weekly sugar intake:

Snack-size baggies with teaspoons of the amount of added sugar eaten each day.

Every 4 grams of sugar on a nutrition label is equal to 1 teaspoon of refined white sugar. After 5 days of tracking, I was averaging about 9 teaspoons of sugar each day**. Not horrible, but also not the recommended amount.

How much sugar is recommended? The World Health Organization (WHO) says adults should consume on average no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. The American Heart Association recommends 6 – 9 teaspoons a day.

How much sugar do most people consume? Sources vary; one states: “In 2012, Americans consumed an average of 765 grams of sugar every 5 days, or 130 pounds each year.” (That’s about 38 teaspoons per day.) Another states: Americans eat about 20 teaspoons of sugar a day according to a report from the 2005–10 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) database. 

Actually seeing the sugar in those baggies made things more tangible and made me want to take action. That’s what prompted me to finally do the 10 Day Sugar Free Challenge. I looked at a few different blogs for inspiration and recipes to follow. I liked the info I found here. We (the hubby and I) are doing what I’m calling a “Modified Plan A” version of the rules. I’ll be posting pictures of what we ate and links to the recipes we tried soon!

 

 

* According to Fed Up, our bodies’ process all sugars the same, including lactose. I love milk, and I personally don’t think lactose is that bad for me, so I chose to exclude it from this count. 

** Because I was tracking my intake, I was hyper-conscious about how much sugar I was consuming, so I may have erred on the side of lower-than-normal-intake that week. But, it still provided a good insight on how much hidden sugar I was eating on any given day!

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Quality Check: One, Two… What is this?

I’m pretty good at finding grammatical errors.

Grammar Nazi imageI’m not, like, a TOTAL Grammar Nazi. I don’t get hung up on syntax, semantics, fragmented sentences, fused sentences, dangling modifiers, or (most) comma errors. But spelling errors, incorrect capitalization/failure to capitalize, omitted words, or wrong words (e.g., affect vs. effect) – those really irk me.

Lately, the irk-me types of errors have been popping up almost daily. From packaging labels*, to NASA’s website, to the neighborhood newspaper, they are virtually everywhere! Is it that people no longer give a shit about good grammar? Maybe. I think it’s more likely that people rarely have a second set of eyes to look at their content before posting/publishing it**.

I’m starting this list as a way to keep track of the mistakes I find for my own piece of mind. I’ll also note whether or not I contacted the author of the mistake, and if so, whether or not they responded. All of these were verified as of their post date.

LIST OF ERRORS:

  1. Misspelling (“for”): http://www.brit.co/diy-wall-art/
    • (Number 43) Shoebox Wall Art: Don’t recycle those shoeboxes just yet! They can be transformed into colorful floating shelves with just a few coats of paint. (Plus, click through fro two more ideas.) 
  2. Multiple errors (capitalization, verb use, missing period between sentences, comma & verb use): http://www.brit.co/alphabet-art/
    • (Number 8) THat’s all;
    • (Number 10) Admittedly, we was on the fence about including this one. 
    • (Number 11) We came across this slice of beauty when we were searching the web for foodie prints  The rainbow cake seriously rules.
    • (Number 12) Gobble gobble, got eat up those green ABC’s!
  3. Missing word (possibly “to help ensure”): http://karlkapp.com/competition-cooperation-in-gamification/
    • Prizes for winners should be of little importance or even symbolic help ensure that the student efforts are intrinsic and not driven by the expected outcome (Cantador & Conde, 2010)
  4. Missing word (“learner to think”): http://www.gc-solutions.net/blog/using-storytelling-in-e-learning-an-e-learning-strategy/
    • They can also encourage the learner think about the described situation or scenario and derive their own endings.
  5. Missing word (“Not only does this”): http://www.gc-solutions.net/blog/using-storytelling-in-e-learning-an-e-learning-strategy/
    • Not only this successfully engages the learner more, it also helps to gauge how much learning has been derived from the story. 
  6. Missing word (“in order to create”)*: http://www.sketchpoststudio.com (page 5 of their downloadable booklet)
    • TY PO San Francisco brought together | a slate of international speakers | from across disciplines to discuss how | the design community can embrace | contrast in order create innovative | practices into the next decade.
    • *Contacted & response received Jan 2014; document still contains error
  7. Misuse (“awaiting discovery”)*: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Beyond
    • 6th Need to Know: More than 1,700 extrasolar planets (or exoplanets) planets have been confirmed. There are thousands of potential exoplanets await discovery
    • *Contacted March 2015; no response yet
  8. Repeat word (“I was I was there”)*: http://www.cassiemcdaniel.com/blog/your-patient-is-my-father/
    • I don’t know how many different people I was when I was I was there!
    • *Contacted & response received Feb 2015; error was fixed
  9. Misspelling (“Colorado”)*: http://www.northdenvertribune.com/ (Printed version; header on page 3 of Mar 19 – Apr 1 issue)
    • North Denver Tribune typo
    • *Contacted & response received March 2015
  10. Incorrect word use (“as” instead of “at): http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/03/26/395345147/whats-up-with-parents-who-dont-vaccinate-their-children?sc=17?f=1001&utm_source=iosnewsapp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=app (3rd paragraph)
    • A new study of more than 20,000 people in five countries looks as why people aren’t confident in vaccines.
  11. Multiple errors (bullet list error, misspelling): http://www.hivestrategies.com/2011/02/rules-fo-a-hipaa-compliant-social-media-polic/
    • In “Limit liability by establishing clear policies and procedures” section: Involve leaders, evangelists and frontline staff in the development of these policies and procedures. These policies should: explain appropriate use of social media platforms
      • explain appropriate use of social media platforms
      • clearly define how information posted there will be use
    • In “Regularly monitor your social media platforms” section, 6th paragraph: David Harlow adds an additional cautiion, however.

 

*Okay, so I didn’t save a picture of the 2 packaging errors I found nor can I recall them exactly, but one was on a General Mills Fiber One or Nature Valley package (they responded by sending me some coupons), and one was on a medicine package (can’t remember which brand; I didn’t contact them and threw the packaging away).

**Much like I’m doing with this post. If you spot any errors, let me know in the Comments below!

Recipe Hack: Frozen Yogurt-Covered Fruit Kabobs

At our house, we’re trying to substitute guilty snacks with healthier options, so last night I tried a variation on the following recipe (found via Pinterest): http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/04/frozen-yogurt-covered-blueberry-kabobs.html#more-1852

 Here are the ingredients I used:

  • Frozen mixed berries (I used just the blueberries and attempted to use the raspberries and blackberries* but only managed to get 1 raspberry on there)
  • Fresh strawberries (about 10), washed and tops cut off
  • ½ of a fresh banana, sliced
  • 6 wooden skewers
  • Plain Noosa yogurt, mixed with a few drizzles of honey (you could really use any brand/flavor of yogurt)
Image of mixed fruit on wooden skewers, with yogurt
Fruit (strawberries, blueberries, bananas, 1 raspberry), placed on wooden skewers; honey-infused yogurt

Here are the steps to take:

  1. Let frozen fruit thaw on the counter for 10-or-so minutes*; prep the fresh fruit
  2. Spread a bunch of yogurt on a plate, drizzle generously with honey (if you’re using flavored yogurt, you can skip the honey), and mix together with a spoon
  3. Stab the fruit* with a skewer
  4. Roll the skewered fruit in the yogurt*
  5. Place the fruit kabobs in a mason jar or other container
  6. Stick ‘em in the freezer (they freeze rather quickly)
Image of fruit kabobs after being rolled in yogurt, then placed in a mason jar
Skewered fruit, rolled in yogurt, then placed in a mason jar

*Lessons Learned:

  • I don’t know if it was the Noosa brand or what, but the yogurt seemed a little lumpy (even before adding the honey) and hard to spread without my fruit getting all squirrel-y so I used a spoon/my fingers to help completely cover the fruit.
  • The frozen rasp- and blackberries break apart when stabbed with the skewer; they’re probably cool if you wait for them to thaw/use fresh ones.
  • The frozen blueberries are stab-able, if the skewer is wiggled-in, rather than attempting to pierce it straight through. (Or, you could just wait for them to thaw/use fresh ones ^_^ )
  • I recommend slicing the strawberries before putting them on the skewer, to make them easier to eat when frozen.
Image of frozen fruit kabobs in a mason jar
Frozen fruit kabobs in mason jar

I ate a couple of these today – super yummy AND easy to make! I bet you could even do mini-versions on toothpicks, if you don’t have the freezer space for tall ones. I definitely think the blueberry and the banana are my faves.

 
What are some healthy alternatives that you’re trying? Share them in the comments below!

Trade Deficit

There are a series of sculptures along Broadway from Blake to Lawrence made from salvaged storage containers stacked on top of one another. I used to drive by them every morning on my way to work and every afternoon on the way home. After doing a little internet research I found one article about the sculptures which included info on the artist and title of the piece: Trade Deficit.

There are 3 sculptures in the series. One is small, one is medium and one is large. By large I mean large; it shoots straight up into the sky and is hard to miss from any direction. Each sculpture has a 5-year anti-graffiti coat on it; an essential feature in this part of town.

The medium size sculpture is the one I find most interesting. It has an interactive element that the other two don’t; each and every day it is used by people in this city. I took some pictures that illustrate.

If you’re interested in learning more about the artist, Joseph Riché, and the Denver Public Art Program, visit the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs:  http://www.denvergov.org/Welcome/tabid/392922/Default.aspx

Here are some more pictures for fun: