Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Asking McDonald’s To Do A Lettuce Wrapped Burger

McDonald's Angus BurgerAfter the disappointing attempt at getting a lettuce wrapped burger at Burger King, it seemed it would only be fair to try the same thing at McDonald’s and see what the world’s top selling fast food restaurant does when presented with the challenge of being asked to wrap their burger in lettuce instead of a bun.

I decided to try one of the one-third pound Angus, Bacon and Cheese burger, which granted is a bit more of a premium burger than Burger King’s Whopper, but when I asked at the counter at Poway’s McDonald’s, it did seem to be an interesting challenge for them as well. The clerk behind the counter didn’t know if they could and asked one of the managers, and the woman who was managing said it would be no problem. The clerk wasn’t sure how to ring in the customization and finally they just resorted to just telling the cooks verbally to use lettuce to wrap the burger instead of a bun. Or at least, I’m guessing it was said verbally as the discussion was held completely in Spanish, but the guy who would ultimately be assembling the burger didn’t seemed phased at all by the request, and made it without any look of confusion.

I decided to take the burger home so the reveal was delayed a little bit, and sure enough, the burger was put between a couple of the leaves of lettuce that they use on the premium burgers. Fortunately it was sized quite a bit larger than the hand shredded lettuce they just threw on the patty at Burger King. It wasn’t quite a perfect lettuce wrap like they do at Carl’s Jr, In-N-Out Burger, and Red Robin, but this was definitely a much better effort on McDonald’s part than Burger King attempted. As the picture shows, the lettuce on the top side was skimpy but fortunately they used a much larger piece of lettuce on the bottom which was better able to contain the burger.

Continue reading Asking McDonald’s To Do A Lettuce Wrapped Burger

Trying Out Simple Sugar Free Yellow Cake With Frosting

Yellow Cake With Chocolate FrostingWhen I got invited to a pool party for today, I decided I should make something to take and why not make a sugar free cake? I didn’t want to do something as elaborate as the Black Forest Cake I made for my birthday, so a simple, single layer yellow cake with some frosting would be good.

I found a recipe by doing a google search and didn’t need to run out to the store for any of the ingredients, I already had them all on hand. That was handy. This was a great opportunity to use my KitchenAid Mixer I inherited from my grandmother’s kitchen. The mixer made the making of the cake as well as the frosting quick and easy. I basically just added cocoa powder to the same frosting recipe I used for my Black Forest Cake and the frosting came out great too. I even chopped up some walnuts to sprinkle on top of the cake as well. I got the idea for that from the photo of the cakes that were featured on the label for the foil pans I bought to put the cake in for the party.

The cake was a hit at the party. Once people started cutting pieces out of it, it didn’t last long. One of my friends there, saw me cut a slice out if it and he came over to scold me on it as he knows I’m on a low sugar program and he was convinced the cake was made with sugar. He was pleasantly surprised to find out I made it and told me how he thought he was being bad by having a slice of it. He couldn’t tell it was sugar free. It gave him a good excuse to try another slice. I was quite pleased the cake came out so well. I will definitely have to use it again.

Continue reading Trying Out Simple Sugar Free Yellow Cake With Frosting

A Peanut Butter Variation of Nanaimo Bars

Peanut Butter Nanaimo BarsWhen I went searching on Google for images of Nanaimo Bars to help explain what they are to a friend of mine who didn’t know what they were, I came across a site that had some interesting suggestions for variations for making different kinds of Nanaimo Bars. I was most intrigued by the Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars variation and thought the next time I made some, I would give that a try. And of course, I would make my variation completely sugar-free so that it can be compliant with Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program that I have been following.

The main changes to the basic Nanaimo Bar recipe is that I would replace the walnuts with peanuts and leave out the coconut out of the base layer. In the custard layer I would reduce the amount of butter used and replace it with peanut butter. In this case, I used Joseph’s Sugar Free Crunchy Peanut Butter, and the top layer would remain the same. So not too much different to try the variation. Fortunately I had some raw peanuts to use, and the sugar free peanut butter on hand to make it.

Continue reading A Peanut Butter Variation of Nanaimo Bars

Amazon Offers Great Deal On Bulk Xylitol – Essentially Buy 3 Pounds and Get 2 Pounds Free

Searching for XylitolRecently I had the opportunity to try XyloSweet and found it to be a very good Xylitol brand of sugar substitute. I had seen Amazon.com offers the XyloSweet in a great price for a 5 pound bag, but I wasn’t willing to commit to that big a bag without trying it first.

I had purchased a two pound bag at one of the local natural foods stores and made a batch of my sugar free Nanaimo Bars with it and my almost sugar free Black Forest cake for my birthday. I found the Xylitol to be really good. So it made sense to get the 5 pound bag from Amazon as it’s $23.99 plus tax and shipping as it’s a third party sale from the Vitamin Shoppe and not directly carried by Amazon. So with the tax and 99 cents for shipping, it was less than $28 that I was able to get the Xylitol in the five pound bag. This sure beats paying $8-$10 a bag for one pound bags as I have done with other brands in the past. It also nice to have it delivered to as it was there in just a couple of days by UPS delivery.

Continue reading Amazon Offers Great Deal On Bulk Xylitol – Essentially Buy 3 Pounds and Get 2 Pounds Free

First Look – The Belly Fat Cure Book By Jorge Cruise Out In December

Belly Fat Cure Book CoverJorge Cruise has officially released an image of what the cover of The Belly Fat Cure book is going to look like. The book will be released right after Christmas with a scheduled release date on December 28, 2009, perfect for those getting ready to shed those post holiday pounds and New Year resolutions.

The book will feature a forward written by Dr. David Katz, who is a featured columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine. In addition to being a wonderful resource to explain the whole Belly Fat Cure process, the book also explains the scientific reasoning behind the Belly Fat Cure, and how to apply it to your life and start making smart “carb swaps” that will make it easy to transform the food choices that have made us fat in the past into food choices that will keep us trim. Yes, believe it or not, it is possible to have brownies, chocolate, pizza, and ice cream that will actually help you lose weight instead of packing on the pounds.

A good portion of the book helps by taking common meals from many restaurants and shows you how to turn that “Belly Bad” meal as Jorge calls it and transform it into a “Belly Good” meal without sacrificing flavor at all. Do you ever get food at Denny’s IHOP, Mimi’s Cafe, McDonalds, Burger King, Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Einstein Bros. Bagels, FatBurger, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Arby’s, Schlotzky’s Deli, Chicago UNO, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Wolfgang Puck, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Quizno’s, Subway, Panera Bread, Rubio’s, Red Robin, Chevy’s, Taco Bell, Ruby’s Diner, Chipotle, La Salsa, Hometown Buffet, Panda Express, Boston Market, Pat & Oscar’s, or In-N-Out Burger restaurants? If you do, then learn how bad some of the items you can get there really are for you, and don’t worry, the same page spread shows you how to make the same thing at home in a better way that’s not loaded with sugar or excessive carbohydrates.

Continue reading First Look – The Belly Fat Cure Book By Jorge Cruise Out In December

New York City Campaign Asks If You’re Pouring On The Pounds

Pouring On The PoundsIt seems like in no time at all Sugar has gone from the perceived image of being completely harmless to two major blows within the course of a week. Last week the American Heart Association warned of the dangers of too much sugar consumption citing that Americans should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of sugar in a day for women and 9 teaspoons of sugar in a day for men. This week the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for New York City has launched a campaign targeting the dangers of consuming too much sugar from liquid sources such as soft drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened iced teas. The campaign is called “Pouring On The Pounds” and features some aggressively graphic imagery of a sugary beverage being poured into a glass, however before the liquid hits the glass, it’s become a “glob” of fat.

The campaign asks “Are You Pouring On The Pounds?” and then recommends replacing the sugar loaded beverages with water, seltzer, or low-fat milk as a substitute. The heart of the campaign is definitely the visual as their ads feature a soda bottle shaped a lot like a Coca-Cola bottle, a sports drink bottle that resembles Gatorade, and a sweetened iced tea that looks a lot like Snapple. Obviously they can’t show the brands, but are trying to aim for ones you can identify from the shapes of their bottles. The gross image of the fat in the glass, conveniently overflowing out of the glass is very powerful. The image seems to be designed to get people to pay attention to what they’re drinking. It’s all to easy to forget about the liquids we drink in a day when taking a look at how much sugar we consume in a day. Most people can easily see the foods we eat as a source, but liquids we tend to forget because we don’t always see them as food too.

Continue reading New York City Campaign Asks If You’re Pouring On The Pounds

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.

Continue reading The Almost Sugar Free Black Forest Cake

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.

Continue reading Attack Of The Birthday Offers From Restaurants

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.

Continue reading American Heart Association Declares Sugar As Dangerous

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.

Continue reading Sugar Free Nanaimo Bars – The Second Batch