Why Sweetener Won’t Kill You

sugar-spoonI can feel the judgemental gazes looking down on my and my aspartame filled diet coke, but please, just listen, I could save you calories.
For some of you who prefer sugar, need the calories, prefer the taste… that’s cool! I have no qualms with you loving a bit of the sweet stuff. However, if you have a rampant sweet tooth that cannot be tamed, let me open your eyes to the wonders of sweetener.
There are some natural sweeteners, such as those from the stevia plant, but that’s not what I’ll tell you about. We’re talking tasty artificial sweeteners, yum.
diet-coke-can-heart-truth-012910Artificial does not mean bad or unsafe, it just means that clever people worked really hard to give us something that we’ve been demanding. Find a can of diet coke, have a read, it contains aspartame. It’s true that there are rumours of links with cancer (hello, Daily Mail?) and ‘aspartame disease’ (this doesn’t exist…) but it’s a load of, what I like to call, poppycock. Aspartame can be an issue for some people. As you may have seen, it’s contains a source of phenylalanine K, which can be harmful. HOWEVER it is only harmful to people with a condition called PKU, which only occurs in approximately 0.001% of the population. If that’s not you, and it probably isn’t (you would know if it was), then you are safe to have aspartame to your heart’s content! Enjoy!
There are other popular sweeteners about, obviously, including sorbitol. Sorbitol is often used on sugar free gum. The good news is that the only problematic side effect of sorbitol is it’s laxative effect of you consume too much. That’s right, if you have too many of those tasty mints, you might get the trots.
Sweeteners can be scary, people humans make them, but humans get put in charge of a lot of food matters and I don’t know about you, but Cadbury are not in my bad books!

Moral of the story: chill out. Why would manufacturers be allowed to give you toxic sweeteners that would cost the health services and governments extra money? They aren’t that stupid.



Can you manage #100happydays?

I recently discovered a project called #100happydays. I’d seen someone post via FaceBook and within 10 minutes, I was signed up myself.
The project basically challenges you to find something that makes you smile, to snap a photo of it, and upload it to your preferred platform… for 100 days in a row.
‘Easy Peasy!’ I hear you say! Well, the website says that 71% of people don’t complete the full 100 days of the challenge. That’s a lot. People appear to be too busy, racing through modern life, to find the time to smile.
Are we really too busy to be happy? Some people would argue we are busy doing things that make us happy. As true as it is that we should not live our lives through a camera lens, how hard is it to snap a photo and email it?
The project boasts its versatility, with the ability to upload the photos to a platform of your choice (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Email) with the option to create a unique hashtag (#100hd, #mychallenge, #3ksn38, anything really). All you have to do is tell them a bit about yourself, choose a platform, enter your username, choose your hashtag, and start smiling!

I’m currently on day four and so far my pictures have been of an album cover, my UCAS homepage (five out of five offers!), a funny bottle of ketchup (house red) and a photo of my boyfriend who has finally returned from a trip to Switzerland. I’m sure I will be uploading photos of various food and animals multiple times throughout the weeks, and I look forward to it!
The reason I took on this challenge is because it raises a great point. Why should this be daunting? Increased Mental Health awareness tells us how much trouble people have being happy. Not just ‘feeling down’, but depression or bipolar disorder. Even if someone with depression uploads a photo each day that is a joke or a new top they bought, then it helps to find daily uplifts.
I strongly urge you, regardless of your mental health, to take part. 29% is not a high success rate for a challenge that doesn’t even take 4 months. You have no one to prove anything to apart from yourself; prove to yourself that you can find happiness 100 days in a row, and it will become habit.
Be happy for 100 days, then tell me how you’ve changed.

The project can be found at: http://100happydays.com/

Spit and Save – The DL On The Anthony Nolan Trust

For those of you who have no clue what I’m on about so far – The Anthony Nolan Trust.AN
The Anthony Nolan Trust is a British charity that provides donations for people suffering with blood disorders, including blood cancers. By donation, I don’t mean money towards to cost of treatment, we Brits are lucky to have the NHS to do that for us. The Anthony Nolan Trust (let’s just call it AN from now on), matches donors and recipients for bone marrow donation. Some people aren’t for donations like this but if you give blood and/or are signed up as an organ donor, then look into it! Having bone marrow taken can be uncomfortable, but my logic is that I have plenty and I’m healthy enough whereas others aren’t so lucky. People donate their wealth, be that their wealth of money or their wealth of health. If you’re healthy and you are able and comfortable to help others, then I hope this finds you well and sparks an interest!

To be a British donor of your wealth of health…
To find out about being a bone marrow donor: http://www.anthonynolan.org/
To find out about being a blood donor: http://www.blood.co.uk/
To find out about being an organ donor: http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/