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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

I personally feel that SODA and its INEXPENSIVENESS in America, is one of the many causes of the huge obesity problem in the U.S.A.  Don’t get me wrong, Australia has a big problem too but the stats don’t lie, the U.S.A. is the fattest nation on earth and it is because junk food is so cheap and accessible. According to MSN Health & Fitness who got its source from Beverage Digest, Americans spent $68.1 Billion USD on carbonated soft drinks last year which averages it as 828 8-ounce servings per capita!!!  That is crazy.  What a load of empty calories that is!

Soda is one of those things that you can get extra super duper sized in America.  At 7-eleven stores in most parts of the U.S.A., you can get buy their “Double Gulp” soda in 64 ounces (1.89 litres or 1/2 gallon)!!  Also, if you are on the market for a brand new car in the states, check out how much larger their cup holders are…big enough to at least fit a “Big Gulp”.  In Australia, our cars are big, much like in the states but cup holders are still small and the biggest sized plastic soda drink it will fit are the 500ml (16 oz) bottles.  If you go to fast food restaurants here like at McDonald’s, a “small” drink is what I remember a small was in my childhood – I think they are now called “kiddie” size in the U.S.A.  I was surprised to have gone home recently and ordered a “medium” drink and they gave me this HUGE thing that was not medium in my head.

I am not against soda – in fact I do love a frozen coke as a treat but I rarely buy soda for the house.  Part of the reason is because it does nothing good for my body and the other is because it’s so bloody expensive.  When I first moved here, I was shocked at just how much little bottles of soda cost ($3) and was able to curb my American taste for sugary drinks.  Now, I go to the supermarket and marvel at the prices of 6-packs of Coke.  As you see in my picture, a 6-pack of Diet Coke, on Special, is $7.54!!  Now how much is that with the conversion rate you ask?  Well, up until last month, the Australian vs. U.S. Dollar were nearly 1 to 1 but the Aussie $ has slipped this week so as of Sept. 3 ($1US = 0.82AU), the 6-pack costs $6.22 at a GROCERY store.  I’ve seen 36 cans of name-brand soda on sale for $10 in the U.S.A. and it gets way cheaper than that if you go to the big wholesale stores or Wal-Mart and especially if you buy generic brands.

I think I’ve made enough comparisons and I’m done w/my ranting.  I just find the cultural differences so interesting and I think that American beverage companies should raise the price of soda to help with the nationwide obesity problem and perhaps, people might start losing weight!

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Last week, my acupuncturist Dina put me on a low-carb (NOT NO-carb) diet for two weeks and also told me to keep a food diary and write how I feel each day.  As soon I heard low-carb, I dreaded it partly due to my experience years ago with trying to do the Atkins diet which I failed miserably at.  I fantasized about pasta constantly and I felt like I was going crazy. 😦  After four or five days, it was over – I quit!!  BUT, although it hasn’t been the easiest thing to do this week (especially for a food lover) to cut down my carbs, I have done pretty well – with only one day that that I cheated a teeny bit (when I made homemade noodles to go with my Osso Bucco over the weekend).  This low-carb diet (no more than two pieces of fruit a day) is probably why I’m not banging out a post every couple of days – I don’t want to think too much about food at the moment.

Doing the grocery shopping tonight was a nightmare with all the tempting foods just screaming at me (like pretty cupcakes).  But really, it’s noodles that I crave and think about all the time.  I nearly had soba today but I stopped myself and returned it to the pantry with merely a sniff.

Do I feel better?  I am not sure yet but I think so, the aches and pains in my back are better and feel less inflamed.  Quinoa has been my best friend this week (it is a good substitute to brown rice) and so has cabbage, cauliflower and cucumber (to fill me up).

So, tell me what restrictive diets have you been on and what you craved the most?

Here is a photo of my first dinner on the low-carb diet – it was weird but tasted good:

Tofu (lots of it) with minced pork and lamb on top and a huge side of shredded raw cabbage

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