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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Balanced Living » Jan./Feb. ‘13

Sugar Facts

• Sugar consumption has increased 1500% in the last two hundred years

• With lots of calories and no nutrients, sugar is the #1 cause of America’s weight problem and lack of nutrition

• In order for any food to be properly digested it must contain nutrients, and since sugar contains none, it robs your body of stored vitamins and minerals

• Humans don’t require simple sugars and can assimilate the necessary amount of sugar from complex carbs, proteins and fats

• If your muscles have enough fuel for energy, sugar is stored as FAT

• Sugar destroys the germ killing ability of white blood cells for up to five hours after ingestion

• High insulin levels in the blood are also linked to low levels of good, HDL cholesterol

• Once cells become cancerous, they feed directly on sugar and sugar can accelerate tumor growth

*Facts from “Get the Sugar Out” by Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S., C.N.S.

Greener Office in 2013

Americans use a whopping 71 million tons of paper and paperboard annually. About 63 percent of that, or 45 million tons, was reclaimed for recycling in 2010, and nearly 90 percent of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off recycling for paper. Office note-taking tools like sticky notes, legal pads and computer paper are recyclable so keep that in mind when you’re clearning off your desk. The Earth will thank you too!

Americans purchase 106 billion ballpoint pens every year. Granted, a large number of these familiar writing implements wind up lost in that annoying little space next to the seat of your car, but many end up in landfills at end-of-life. You don’t need to go back to the fountain pens of yesteryear to reduce office waste. Opt for a refillable ballpoint pen, like this one from Pilot Pens, for the same writing experience without the plastic waste. When the ink runs dry, simply refill your pen and write on!

More than 80 billion reply envelopes are sent through the U.S. mail each year. Shipping and receiving may be tough to eliminate from most offices, but you can still minimize waste by going reusable. Two-way envelopes allow you to use a single envelope for two shipments, significantly cutting down on paper waste in your office. Check out two-way shipping solutions like USPS-approved ecoEnvelopes or these reusable express envelopes from UPS.


The BathStone is a non-toxic, chemical-free cleaning block, made from recycled materials. It can be used for safe and powerful cleaning of bathroom surfaces, and is effective against hard water, soap scum, rust, mineral build-up, mold, and mildew. The BathStone can be used on a variety of bathroom surfaces including porcelain, tile and grout. Unlike sponges and scrubbers, the pumice-like block won’t hold bacteria or viruses.

While the BathStone is safe to use on most bathroom surfaces, we recommend that you test the product on a small surface area in the beginning. $4.95 each,

Give Up Soda

By now, it’s probably fair to say that most Americans know soda isn’t a health-promoting drink. While love handles and diabetes are obvious problems associated with soda, drinking the sweet carbonated beverages harbors hidden threats too.

It causes invisible fat buildup around your organs.

Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in dangerous hidden fats. In the study, researchers asked participants to drink either soda sweetened with 50 percent glucose and 50 fructose (table sugar, the soda sweetener of choice in Denmark), milk containing the same amount of calories as the regular soda, diet cola, or water every day for six months.

While total fat mass remained the same across all beverage-consuming groups, researchers say dramatic increases in fats that are hard to detect with the naked eye occurred. Those who drank the regular cola experienced a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat, a 117 to 221 percent jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30 percent increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat. The regular soda-drinking group also experienced an 11 percent increase in cholesterol, compared to the people who drank beverages.

In America, many sodas are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup that has been shown to cause even worse fat buildup. Avoid turning to diet soda as a healthy alternative. Artificial sweeteners and food dyes have been linked to brain cell damage and hyperactivity; people who drink diet soda are also more prone to developing diabetes.

Winter Woes, Begone!

If your smile seems to be drooping along with the temps, it’s probably not your imagination. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a reaction to reduced sunlight, affects up to 20% of Americans—and three quarters of those affected are women. Lethargy, overeating, and being bummed can spell disaster for your health, but you can beat it. Here’s how.

Burn Calories For Warmth

We know it’s tempting, but resist the urge to hibernate until spring. A study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that women moved the least in December, January, and February, burning 10% fewer calories than they do in summer. Push yourself to get some exercise—your heart and head will thank you.

Pump Up Your Produce

The secret to happiness may be at the end of your fork. People who ate the most fruits and veggies were less likely to be anxious, depressed, and show signs of other mental disorders, according to a study of 80,000 people. The more produce people ate, the happier they were.

Sip Your Blues Away

It’s hard to beat the health benefits of tea: Some kinds can help prevent cancer, while others combat diabetes. But if your mood needs to be soothed, choose chamomile. A University of Pennsylvania study found that chamomile supplements significantly eased anxiety symptoms. Bonus: You’ll get nice and toasty at the same time.

Who’da Thought!

At a party, stash ice in a colander set on top of a bucket or a bowl. Water will drain out, and guests will get only the solid stuff.

Chalk is a moisture absorber: Tie up a few pieces in cheesecloth and store them with your good silver to slow any tarnishing.

A toothbrush’s bristles lift away stray threads of silk from fresh ears of corn quickly and efficiently.

That straightening iron works on more than rambunctious hair: Use it to press between buttons, where a regular iron won’t fit.

Make no-mess pancakes with the help of a ketchup bottle: Pour in batter, then squeeze out precise portions.

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