The Almost Sugar Free Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake - Top ViewAs I’ve started to become proficient in making sugar-free alternatives for desserts that are compliant with Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program, one of the challenges I’ve had in mind that I wanted to attempt for myself was to make an as close to sugar-free as possible Black Forest cake for my birthday. Not any of the fancy Black Forest cakes made with Cherry liquor or several fancy layers as those to me aren’t Black Forest cakes to me. For me, I tend to like the plain ol’ neighborhood supermarket variety of Black Forest cakes.

The reason I love these kinds of Black Forest cake is because it was always something special my grandmother would get from her local SuperValu Grocery store back in Calgary, Canada when I was a kid. She would do this especially for me when I would come to stay with her or at least that’s what she would tell me. Its not so much that the cake was anything special in itself, just the memories of time with my grandmother where she would make me feel like I was the most important person in the world and we were getting to enjoy a special treat together. I miss my grandmother since she passed away at the end of 2001, so I generally like to celebrate my birthdays with a Black Forest cake to not only celebrate my birthday but to feel like I’m still having a special moment with my grandmother.

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Awesome Remix Of “Story Of A Heart” By Benny Andersson Band

Benny AnderssonThe release of Benny Andersson’s latest album entitled “Story Of A Heart” earlier this year featured a very pop like song also entitled “Story Of A Heart” this song was released to radio stations to promote the album. With the song being the most ABBA-like song, Benny Andersson and his lyrical partner in crime Björn Ulvaeus have written in more than a decade, it was really just a matter of time until some home made remixes of the Benny Andersson Band’s “Story Of A Heart” got made.

One such remix that has popped up that I’ve actually been quite addicted to listening to over the last week is one by someone who just simply goes by the name “DJ Matt” The Matt Mix of “Story Of A Heart” speeds up the song a little bit to give it a bit of urgency, additionally a really well done drum beat has been added to help set and maintain the pace, and just for some fun at the end, the final time through the chorus, the Swedish language version of the song is used to close out the mix. The mix is really quite fun to listen to. Whoever this DJ Matt is, he’s done some really good work. If the number of times I’ve played it hasn’t already cracked the top 25 most played songs on my iPod, it soon will. I’ve really been enjoying it on repeat for hours at a time. Who knew Helen Sjöholm’s amazing voice would sound great on a dance mix? (She is mostly known for show tunes style songs.)

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Attack Of The Birthday Offers From Restaurants

Birthday BurgerIn today’s world of viral marketing we find businesses wanting more than ever to make their interactions with their customers more personal. It’s not unusual to find opt-in subscription boxes on many of their websites and in addition to asking for your name and e-mail address, they often ask you for your birthday and or anniversary dates as well so they can make additional offers to you to celebrate your significant personal holidays in addition to all the public holidays.

It seems that a lot of restaurants in particular operate their Internet mailing lists through an Auto-Responder called Fishbowl. So it ended up being highly amusing that today, I all of a sudden go hit with several birthday offers all starting today and ended on two weeks from today on September 10th, with my actual birthday being one week away on September 3rd. So I have two whole weeks to celebrate with the various restaurants that I have signed up to be on their lists at some point in time.

With so many offers coming in all at the same time, it’s kind of interesting to look at the various offers to see which restaurants are being more generous than others. Some are free meal offers with no strings attached, some require another meal be purchased as a buy one, get one free kind of deal, some its a free dessert, and one offered a straight up discount up to a certain amount. So let’s take a look at the various offers, I’ve received, keeping in mind, I am currently single, not dating anyone at the moment, and I have a job where I work late night hours, so not the most conducive for having someone join me if I take up any of these offers.

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Attended The Second Meeting Of The San Diego Byron Katie Meetup Group

Byron KatieTonight I attended the second meeting of the Byron Katie Meetup Group for the San Diego area. It was a good evening to get further exposed to more information about “The Work” that is integral to Byron Katie’s program.

We got to hear an audio of Byron Katie going through the process of “The Work” and the four questions and turn arounds within “The Work” as well as a few volunteers willing to go through the process on their stressful thoughts within the program. It’s a very enlightening process, and since I went into greater detail about the program after my first encounter with it, I’ll just invite you to read that blog entry by clicking here.

If you’d like more information on Byron Katie, visit her website at TheWork.com and if you’re in the San Diego area, consider joining the Meetup group so that you can stay informed about when meetings are. It’s looking like the meetings will likely be every other week on Wednesdays. Click here to visit the group on Meetup.com.

American Heart Association Declares Sugar As Dangerous

SugarYesterday, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a scientific statement recommending the reduction of added sugar consumption indicating that there is a high correlation of metabolic abnormalities, adverse health conditions, and shortfalls in essential nutrients with excessive sugar intake. This marks the first time the AHA has recommended specific limits on the consumption of added sugars according to an article posted on the AHA’s website (Click here to read it.) If you are person who normally eats food containing  significant amounts of sugar then we recommend contacting your Doctor, you can look at this site to get a few recommendations.

According the AHA, Americans are consuming on the average 22 teaspoons (approx 108 grams) of sugar per day, and it is recommending that women should have no more than 6 teaspoons (approximately 30 grams) of sugar and men no more than 9 teaspoons (approximately 44 grams) of sugar. The AHA also tries to make a distinction between naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruits and vegetables with highly processed sugars such as refined sugars and syrups indicating the more highly processed sugars are linked to the rise of obesity, as well as high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, in addition to higher risk for heart disease, stroke, and inflammation.

The biggest culprit for the high amounts of the processed sugar occurring in the American diet are soft drinks and other sugar sweetened beverages. To put this into perspective, a 12 ounce can of Coca-Cola possess 39 grams of sugar. This exceeds the daily recommendation for women and doesn’t leave much room for more sugar for men according to the AHA’s recommended sugar guidelines. A 20 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola has 69 grams of sugar, more than double the recommended sugar level for women and more than 20 grams more sugar than recommended for me.

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Sugar Free Nanaimo Bars – The Second Batch

Nanaimo Bars PanAfter the successful attempt last week of making Sugar Free version of the Canadian dessert, Nanaimo Bars, I decided to make a second batch and this time allowing the custard layer to firm up before adding the top chocolate layer. And by placing the pan in the freezer after adding the custard layer and taking a few minutes to clean up the kitchen some and them making the top chocolate layer worked wonders this time in getting the right level of separation of the layers in the finished dessert. The chocolate layer was easy to spread on top of the custard without it mixing in.

As seen in the photo above, I don’t have an 8×8 square cake pan, so I have been using a 9 inch round cake pan instead. I think this causes the custard layer to not be quite as thick as it would have in the slightly smaller pan, but still works great. I’m still really pleased with the results of this dessert and it’s been a very delicious treat. I need to whip up another batch and take a pan into Jorge Cruise’s office so I can introduce him to another incredible dessert that works well with his Belly Fat Cure program.

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Getting Lots Of Compliments On My Oscar

Oscar The Grouch T-ShirtAs an adult, usually the first thing that pops in your mind when you hear “Oscar” is an Academy Award. And I’m sure had my “Oscar” have been that kind of an Oscar, than I’d be getting lots of compliments on that too, however the Oscar I mean is the usually the first kind of Oscar that pops into mind for the pre-school set. That being Oscar The Grouch from Sesame Street.

As a child of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I like many other children, grew up watching Sesame Street. According to my mother, my very first favorite Muppet from the show was Oscar the Grouch. I certainly don’t remember this being the case, I would have figured it was more Grover, or Ernie, or even Kermit because he was on both Sesame Street and the Muppet Show and I can certainly relate to Kermit’s experience doing double duty and in the Muppet Show trying to be the sole figure of calm in the realm of chaos that surrounds him. (And no kids, it wouldn’t have been Elmo, as Elmo didn’t exist as he does now in the Sesame Street I watched as a kid.) But since my mother says Oscar was my first favorite, we’ll just accept that as fact.

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Officially Been To Every Which Wich? In San Diego

Which WichI have officially now tried each and every Which Wich? location in the San Diego area. To date there are three locations. The first location to open was the Hillcrest location on 5th Avenue. The second location to open was the Pacific Beach location off of Garnet. And the newest addition to the San Diego Which Wich? family is the Carlsbad location located in the Forum shopping center off of Calle Barcelona. However, I didn’t visit them in the order of their openings, I started with the Hillcrest location, then tried the Carlsbad location, before finally making it to the Pacific Beach location.

As a new and up and coming chain of sandwich shops here in San Diego, I have become a big fan of their concept as a sandwich shop. The premise that you set foot in the shop, grab a Which Wich? bag for one of the ten sandwich categories or get the bag for their signature sandwich, “The Wicked” and a red sharpie and you proceed to check off the condiments and toppings you’d like on your sandwich. I’ve included a photograph of one of my sandwich bags for a Roast Beef sandwich I had on one of my visits. From there you take your bag to the register and purchase the sandwich and if you like you can add on your choice of chips, cookies, sodas, iced teas, and milkshakes and then relax while the sandwich experts behind the counter make your sandwich completely customized to your order. There’s no need to point at ingredients or shout over a sneeze guard like at other sandwich shops. Your sandwich comes out how you want it, and when you write your name on the bag, you get the extra personal touch of having your sandwich called out by your name.

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A New T-Shirt Thanks To The Zevia

Zevia ShirtI just got in the mail a brand new t-shirt from the makers of Zevia. Zevia is the amazing sugar-free, calorie free, soda that’s made with all natural ingredients that I have been enjoying on the Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program. For a lack of a better term, I’ve been nothing but a cheerleader for Zevia since trying the brand. With the amazing flavors and all natural ingredients, it’s been very easy to kick the habit of diet sodas loaded with Aspartame. Zevia gets its sweetness from Stevia, a natural herb from South America.

If you haven’t tried Zevia yet, you really ought to give them a try. The six currently available flavors are Natural Cola, Natural Twist (a lemon-lime soda), Natural Orange, Natural Root Beer, Natural Ginger Ale, and Natural Black Cherry. Once you try them and taste how flavorful the sodas are you’ll never look at the major brands the same way again. You’ll see them for the toxic chemicals they really are. You won’t want to drink anything other kind of soda. The all natural ingredients and lack of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners are a refreshing change from what you’re used to.

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Hooked On Classics – Blast From The Past

Hooked On ClassicsHaving hit a little bit of music boredom with the more limited selections on my iPod Touch, I decided to bring out the iPod Classic which is loaded with over 11,000 audio files. I let it play on random and one of the things that came up was “Hooked On Classics – Part 1 and 2” from the original “Hooked On Classics” album by Louis Clark and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

I ended up taking the iPod off random and played the full album. It’s been a very long time since I last listened to it. I don’t remember when exactly I added the Hooked On Classics albums to my iPod as the last crash of my iTunes wiped out the date added for every track I added prior to December 10, 2008. In any case, I was happy I had it on my iPod to enjoy without having to dig out the CD.

I remember having worn out two cassettes of this album back in the early 1980’s. I loved it. To me it was all the good parts of classical music without so much of the really boring stuff. And I suppose a disco-esque drum track didn’t hurt either for helping keep those classics going at an upbeat pace. I remember Hooked On Classics being very popular when it was originally released in Canada. It was released on the K-Tel label which I always had some collections of popular music from them. Probably my favorite of which was “Raiders Of The Pop Charts” which capitalized on the Indiana Jones theme which was current at the time.

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