Wednesday, August 29, 2007

When vegetable juice kills.

As we become a society of more educated consumers, more conscientious of health and what we are eating- marketers are taking notice and modifying their products accordingly. Some, willingly (eg. when Stouffers developed Lean Cuisine meals with lower fat options) and others not so much (when the government mandated that trans fat be labeled and then removed from all packaged good products).

Most of the product changes follow trends- and "Buzz ingredients" - "Whole grains" (Fruitloops?! Really?!?), "Omega 3", no trans fat, and one that is gaining more traction : low/reduced sodium. People are realizing that there are massive amounts of added salt to most packaged products-and it's salt we don't need.

I am very conscious of buying the low sodium version of products- we all know that too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which leads to heart attacks or strokes, which lead to death. So it makes sense to stay away from it right?
I love V8 juice- but the regular version has something crazy like 650mg of sodium per serving. So I choose the low sodium version- which has 75mg per serving. Amazing, And it still tastes great, Even more amazing. So aren't I doing the right thing for my body?! For my heart?

Well here's what I learned today... V8 has to put something in their drink to provide the salty flavour. Its not just a removal of salt, but a replacement. (The same as Diet Coke replacng the sugar with aspartame, which incidentally causes blindness when taken in large quantities!). So what has v8 added?

Instead of "Sodium Chloride" (salt) they have added "Potassium Chloride". What is that you ask? Well a quick search on wikipedia tells us this: < used in medicine, scientific applications, food processing and in judicial execution through lethal injection.> All in the FIRST paragraph!

It then goes on to say: "high doses can cause cardiac arrest and rapid death. A massive overdose of intravenous potassium chloride is used to stop the heart in execution by lethal injection." Yum. I'd like some more please.

Here is the link for more details:

note: It does also say that regular salt in massive quantities can also be toxic- and that Potassium is vital in the body and KCI (Potassium chloride) is a means to replace it- so I'm being a bit of a drama queen- but it still gives you pause to think.

I'm ready to start growing my own veg and grain...and live a "whole foods" life. It's scary what we ingest everyday without even realizing it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Radar Magazine

If you're looking for a somewhat intelligent, yet scathingly funny and sarcastic, entertaining read- Radar magazine (has had a few starts and stops in its time, but now looks like it's around to stay) is for you. It's not just entertainment but also politics and general pop culture. The other great thing is that the articles are actual articles- and not just pictures with captions.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Heroin Chic

So I guess I live a fairly sheltered life. i mean I don't go wandering around the streets of Toronto late at night on a Tuesday or anything. But I also consider myself as a girl who has 'been there, done that'... type of person.
Howeer- today I was going to my friend's house for dinner, and I was late (for a change) and the cabbie decided to cut down some alleys in order to avoid traffic. One of these alleys (just parallel to queen street) was quite narrow, and we were driving a bit slow. and we passed quite close to a scene that was both shocking and not. Two guys, looking really worse for wear, were hunched over, crouching down against the wall of a building. The one guy leaning looked a little more together, but the guy leaning against the wall was a complete stereotype. Anyhow- they were getting ready to shoot heroin- at least I'm guessing that's what it was- as I don't know what else one shoots with a needle... anyone?
And it was about 8pm. In August- so really still quite bright out.
I guess it's good that i'm not so jaded and cynical that I can still be shocked by this. And thankful that I observed this rite through the safety of my cab window- only for a fleeting moment. That's really all i needed to see.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I LOVE this song TOO

A few weeks ago I posted a note about LOVING a new song from Rihanna ("Please don't stop the music")- which came on the heels of another song of hers "Umbrella".

Anyhow- I have a new favourite song- which is a cover by Mandy Moore (of all people).

She did a cover of "Umbrella" and it's AMAZING.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A different view of me

My friend Ivan (he's come up in these posts before) is a very talented artist. And I "commissioned" him (ie. text very nicely) to draw me.

I love it.

Oh what a night! pt 2

New York

Now to contrast my previous post: I went to New York City this weekend. I hadn't been for awhile, and I wanted to see some friends (I saw my good friends Rose and Randy- but missed out with Wendy and Jocelyn- next time!) I stayed with Rose again- and was overwhelmed with her freakin' generosity. I'm staying with her- and wanted to treat her to a dinner (not even expensive) to thank her- and yet she treated. It was such a great weekend- and I was totally spoiled!!!
Friday night Rose & I met Randy at Buddakan- a gorgeous place to have drinks. The drinks have uber trendy names like "Redemption" and "jealousy". The food- not so great. I don't recommend it for dinner. but for drinks and people watching it's great. Rose's friend Cindy joined us- and we literally laughed all night. It was just one of those unplanned nights that turned into great fun.

Saturday was filled with shopping around Union Square. I went to "Fresh" (one of my fave stores) and made a rash purchase decision I soon regretted. However they wouldn't return my purchase (from an hour earlier) but the girl felt so bad and wanted me to not regret my purchase that she heaped on piles of free stuff - so I definitely recommend going there! (Just know that their return policy is not as great as Sephora!).
Then that night Rose & I met some friends of hers (who I now feel like are friends of mine) at Gordon Ramsye's restaurant "This is London". I was excited because they happened to have my favourite vodka- Zubrowska- and we could start the night off with "apple pies". Food was beautiful and delicious and filling and expensive. But the company was great and the whole night was an experience- so very worth it. Plus it was Lindi's birthday so we had a reason to celebrate!

I also got to drool over Pauls iphone- I LOVE IT. Rose and I went to the Apple store on 5th (which I also love) the next day. I can't wait til it comes to Canada (IF it comes to Canada).

Then on Sunday Randy and I met at "the Spice Market" (I'll leave out the part where we wandered around for 2 hours before finally deciding on the Spice Market!) and had another incredible meal (samonas :awesome, Crab salad : awesome, Lobster- not really worth it). Then we were walking back uptown (or is it downtown) along the river, and came upon a heli-pad where they were doing city tours. So we went on a helicopter ride around the city- AMAZING!!! Another gorgeous cloudless day- and we could see everything. I was lucky enough to have a seat right by the window. So great.

So that brings us up to date- and back to work this week. It's a full 5 day week- haven't had that in awhile and not sure what to do with myself. work I suppose. And get ready for poolapoolooza next weekend. What is poolzpoolooza you ask? Well you'll have to wait for the pics next week to find out... : )

oh what a night! pt 1

Okay- that should be "oh what a series of nights" and should refer to that last two weekends... I've been meaning to post for awhile now but haven't had time as I've been anywhere but home the last couple of weeks. And when I am home it's just to do laundry and hit the road again.
So I will try not to overload this post with words, as I am prone to do, and let the pictures do the talking... : ) Ok- I've just read what I wrote and of course I couldn't limit the descriptions and have decided to break this out into two posts. It will be an exercise in contrasts- one of my camping adventure and the other of my jet -setting one. read on...
Algonquin Park
I went canoe/portaging for the long weekend. It's an annual trip that I missed out on last year- and I forgot how much I enjoyed it. This year was a large crew of 12 - including my good friends Ivan and Robyn, who while they have camped before, have never done the portaging in Canada bit. Of course the put us all to shame by getting up earlier then us and doing far more physical activity than anyone (aside from Jim- who is the type to chop trees for fun- thankfully!)

The trip started out promising enough- except that my ride up was 2.5 hours late- and we had to go it alone as the rest of the group wasn't going to wait. The first pic is me and Dave- about to embark on our adventure.

We got lost, and stuck in a sludge type bog- where Dave had to get out and drag the canoe in mud up to his thighs. It was awesome. (for me to watch. not so much for Dave). And then we were two hours late getting to the campsite.
Honestly- I have NEVER been so happy to hear a South African accent calling out in the distance as Ivan (and Erica and Paul) were waiting for us at the second killer portage- calling us to safety. The portage was so hard- and they'd already done it twice: and they did it again to help us.
As for the rest of the weekend, the weather was AMAZING! It was so hot but not unbearable. The water was awesome- and we went swimming several times a day.

Saturday night the sky was super clear and we went out in the middle of the lake to see the stars. We could see the milky way and shooting stars... it was amazing. You forget the enormity of the stars when you live in the city.
We played rummy cube and catch, and though my poor arms could hardly bear it, we canoed some more. And for anyone who has camped they know that a majority of your time is spent preparing food. I actually ate better on this trip than I do at home!

There is something so liberating about bathing in a lake, and not having any mirrors or make-up or anything around. It's awesome. I already can't wait for next year. And thank you to my friend Tania who organized the trip. It takes such a lot of work- and I hope she knows that everyone is very very appreciative!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cute joke for the long weekend.

My uncle Frank sent me this joke and it made me smile... so I thought I would share. It's also a good LESSON that it's a bad idea to screw with wise old people!

A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that he's lost.. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap the old poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Whew!", says the leopard, "That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says.

"Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"