Monday, May 30, 2011

Hidden Calories

Nowadays many more of us are opting for a healthy lifestyle. We try to eliminate saturated fats, processed foods, sugars and artificial additives but what happens when the healthy foods we chose are misleading and deceptive?  

If you have been working out and trying to eat healthier then you should see results right? Well it can be rather difficult to achieve results when the seemingly healthy foods we eat have hidden calories that many restaurants and food retailers try to keep on the down-lo. We work extremely hard trudging away on that treadmill and lifting weights but if you aren’t shedding the pounds maybe it is time to take a closer look at the foods you consume on a daily basis.

Like many Canadians I like Tim Hortons and could be spotted grabbing a quick coffee, yogurt or whole grain bagel on my way to where ever I was headed that day. But when I looked up the nutritional information on their bagels, low fat items, soups, sandwiches and real fruit smoothies I was shocked to find that what I had been consuming as seemingly healthy meals were in fact loaded with sugar, and salt. This revelation led to an epiphany moment for me, it got me wondering what else I was putting in my body that appeared to be healthy but wasn’t.

The more sugar and fat we consume the more our bodies crave it, and putting hidden calories into foods that should be healthy not only gets you hooked on them but also makes you believe that you are eating healthy and has you coming back for more day after day! No medium REAL FRUIT smoothie should have 46 g of sugar in it! I find that quite appalling.
Many foods that claim to be non-fat may indeed be non-fat or low fat, but that provides you with no information about the sugar or salt content. The non fat chocolate milk they had on sale at my local grocery store was non fat alright but it also had 23g of sugar in it which totally defeats the purpose of a healthy choice.

What we have to do is be informed consumers, it is imperative to read labels thoroughly and know exactly what is going into our bodies, after all they are “our temples” so we have to take care of them. Try to cook your meals at home and resist the temptation to eat out on a regular basis. If you do eat out try to do some research online before you chose what dish to have. Salads may not always be the best option and they can be rather dull, even if you get low fat dressing on the side you may not know exactly how many calories are hidden in your salad. Most restaurants have nutritional information posted online, be prepared and chose the healthiest option for you before you go out to eat. At the restaurant you can ask your server if your meal can be adjusted to reduce the amount of oil or salt that it is cooked in. Every little adjustment and cut back is beneficial to your body.

Preparing meals ahead of time can save you a lot of hassle when it comes to mealtime, freezing dishes is also an option for those nights when you are too fatigued to lift a finger. Buying and cooking your own meals is substantially healthier for you and helps keep you fit.

I am in no way suggesting that everyone should stop eating out all together, eating out on special occasions as a treat is perfectly fine and indulging every now and then in our favourite foods is a simple pleasure in life we must allow ourselves; what I am suggesting is that we all make informed decisions about what we eat and chose carefully.
Diet along with regular exercise is a healthy way to live.

Friday, May 27, 2011

When Cell Phones Attack!

I want to dedicate this post to something that has recently happened to me and caused a rather substantial inconvenience in my life of technological devices. My Trusty (or not so trusty) Blackberry has caught a virus!

We are in an era when our smart phones have become like attachments at the ends of our limbs, always connected, always clicking away at the keys. We rely and store imperative information into our cell phones these days but what happens when they turn against us? Phones are like any other technological devices, they can go down without a moments warning and disrupt life as we know it.  You would think that buying a $400 dollar cell phone would give you the right to some advice and protective services for you phone, well it doesn’t!  And for those who are not technologically savvy you might not even be aware that cell viruses can occur.

From the little research I have done  pertaining to cell phone viruses, they are not very common or easy to catch...if that’s so then I must be one of the unlucky few who took a wrong turn on our world wide web of information. I love my blackberry or as some refer to it for its tendency to become addictive “crackberry” and I, like many others use it for business as well as pleasure and have tons of information, personal and otherwise stored on my device. I rarely use my cell to leisurely surf the web, mostly it’s utilized for looking up information quickly. Today my cell caught a virus. Out of the blue my device seemingly began operating itself, web pages were being opened, text messages and picture messages were being sent to my contacts, and people were being called randomly from my phone book, it was like my phone was possessed and I had lost all control.

I hastily took my phone to my provider and he took one look and told me that it was a virus and a bad one at that. He also told me that I was going to have to send it in for repairs and that I would lose all my settings and information.
After weeks of having to wait for my phone to return I will then have to spend the time configuring and re programming and I will not get back any of my important information.

After the initial shock and disappointment, I decided to let people know what happened to me in hopes of preventing this from happening to anyone else.

Make sure that when you buy your cell phone you ask about warranty and keep your receipt for future repairs. You can also check to see if there are any programs that will protect your phone and check for viruses and most importantly back up all your important information in case your cell shuts down on you unexpectedly.

Take the necessary steps to help prevent this, it isn’t worth the hassle.


Reply from Oprah

Many of us have been watching Oprah on TV for years; we invited her into our living rooms and followed her around the world as she spread her warmth and joy to help the less fortunate. Her final show has ended after 25 years of informative programming, interviewing numerous celebrities and people who told amazing stories of survival and strength; and although it will be sad to see her go I am sure she will continue her humanitarian efforts and keep entertaining us with her new network OWN.

On her final show Oprah invited the public to send her emails to and I decided to write to her thanking her for delving into people’s hearts and bringing about awareness on some serious topics. I was a bit shocked when I got a reply to my email so I want to share it with everyone on my blog.

I wrote to Oprah saying:

Hi Oprah,
 I have been watching your show ever since I was a little girl and have been a loyal fan ever since. You have always been an inspiration and a mentor to me when I needed that small push of encouragement to follow my dreams and aspire to be something greater. I listened to all of your guests with an open heart and an open mind. I felt their pain and struggles as if they were my own; I prayed for them and cried along with you.

Your story of being born into a situation that didn’t provide the best nurturing beginning and how you broke free from the chains of stereotype and pain and transitioned into a beautiful inspiring woman is a story I will always look to for guidance. You made me believe that my dreams of being a great author, counsellor, wife, mother humanitarian and person is attainable. You have a wonderful spirit and I appreciate you for all you have done.

Oprah wrote:

Oprah Winfrey (
May 27, 2011 2:00:17 AM

Got your email.
Thank you for watching the finale. I could feel your beating hearts, along with mine, through the TV screen.
I'm off to take a little rest, and then I'll get busy working on OWN.
Take care of yourself.

Although it was short, I appreciated her taking the time to write back at all considering the thousands of emails she must be getting.

Good luck Oprah and keep up the excellent work.

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