Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday's Green Tip-Toe

This is definitely not the post for total greenies. I'm just a novice and I have to start somewhere. Baby steps lead to bigger steps and so on, so no teasing. I'll fess up: I'm a Starbucks junkie. After taking and editing this photo of their logo, I realized that I probably should have some sort of permission to post it here. I'm a new, and very small fish in the ocean that is the blogosphere, so I'll have to read up on the rules and put them in play as I learn. Back to my Starbucks habit. My position on that is that we all have to have a vice. Mine is my Latte. So, the question is how can I make that a tad bit healthier? Easy. Our local Starbucks is exactly 1 mile from my house. I walk, sometimes with a friend or family member, sometimes with my dog(s). I can't say I walk every time I go, but I walk often.

And there's more: I just learned two good things about my favorite Starbucks drink. I can get my grande vanilla latte with organic milk and the vanilla syrup is made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. If I was really ambitious, I suppose I could buy an espresso machine and make organic espresso. They do sell it for use in home espresso makers. It may take a while for me to get that organized. I don't even know how to make espresso, much less a vanilla latte, so we'll put that on the back burner for now. At least I walk there and can get organic milk.

Now let's talk about that high fructose corn syrup I mentioned. According to my favorite, well-researched book, The Hundred-Year Lie, high fructose corn syrup(HFCS) "arrives almost intact in the human liver, not breaking down." In 1983 Coke and Pepsi began sweetening their drinks with 100% high fructose corn syrup. If you drink soft drinks, do the math. How much undigested high fructose corn syrup is clogging up your liver?

In 1983 when Coke and Pepsi added HFCS to their drinks, no research had been done on the long-term effects of this product. In 2000, the University of Toronto researchers tested hamsters, using amounts of HFCS to mimic a typical teenager's diet. The hamsters developed high triglyceride levels and insulin resistance in only a few weeks. This information was all it took to get me off of soda--cold turkey. I haven't had a coke or other soda since I read this last summer.

If you haven't yet read the book, The Hundred-Year Lie, I highly recommend it. You'll learn a lot of scary stuff, but it will motivate you to make some serious changes. I guess I needed some solid reasons to drop soda, but the good news is that I did it. I need my liver.

So, to recap, Thursday's 10-Minute Green Tip Toe for this week is this simple:

  • Walk when and where you can
  • Choose organic when possible
  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup to save your liver

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