Category Archives: Health & Fitness

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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Making Sugar-Free Nanaimo Bars

Sugar-Free Nanimo BarsOne of the biggest challenges on Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program is not the cutting actual meals down to no more than five grams of sugar and two carb servings per meal. In fact, that’s been fairly easy and very easy to do with store bought meals or even restaurant food for those of us like me who are not cooks. However, as someone who’s always had a bit of a sweet tooth, I get a craving for desserts, and that’s where the problem comes in. Ready made or store bought sugar free desserts that aren’t made with those toxic artificial sweeteners are near impossible to find.

In the 17 weeks I’ve been on the Belly Fat Cure program I have lost 54 pounds thus far and a large part of my continued success has been learning how to make sugar free desserts. (To learn more about Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure, download the free special report from JorgeCruise.com.) I’ve have made sugar free Brownies, sugar free chocolate chip cookies, and even some homemade sugar free ice cream in a variety of interesting home made flavors. And while the sugar free chocolate chip cookies have been some of my favorite of the desserts I’ve made, it was time for a more ambitious project.

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Sometimes You Just Have To Get Imported Ingredients

Birds Custard PowderOn my last visit to my mom’s house, I presented her with a couple of Eat-More candy bars from GoCanuck.com that I had ordered for her. The candy bars sparked a discussion of some of the things from Canada we miss, and as we reminisced, my mom mentioned, Nanimo Bars. Nanimo Bars are a layered dessert cake that feature a base layer, a layer of custard, topped with a layer of chocolate. The legend has it that the dessert was created by a housewife from Nanimo, British Columbia who decided to name it after the town. How true that is or not, I don’t know, but in any case, it’s kind of a well known dessert in Western Canada.

Well my mom, pulled out her recipe book from Canada from which she used to make the recipe and I decided to make a photo copy of it and thought I would see if I could make a sugar-free version of it to be complaint with Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program. And it presented some interesting challenges. A couple of the ingredients were going to present a challenge, but I was up for the challenge.

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My First Official ABBA T-Shirts

ABBA T-shirtsI just purchased my very first “official” ABBA T-Shirts. Sure I’ve had a couple of t-shirts promoting the ABBAMAIL website I used to write columns for and have a couple of unofficial shirts here and there, but now I have legitimate and real ABBA T-shirts that even have official ABBA tags in the collar. How cool is that?

I ordered the shirts from ABBA’s official website at ABBAsite.com and the webshop there is really a specialty shop with fulfillment handled by a great Swedish music retailer, Bengans.se. I’ve ordered tons of music from them over the years and they’re a great shop. So acting as ABBA’s official store, they have in addition to the ability to purchase music CDs and DVDs, they have some merchandise. They’ve had merchandise in their webshop for a couple of years now, but I’ve never ordered any because let’s face it, they didn’t make T-shirts in my size. Well that was before I started losing weight with Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program.

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A Failed Batch Of Cookies Made From Shreddies

Failed CookiesAs many know, I’ve been making my own cookies in compliance with the Belly Fat Cure program by Jorge Cruise. And today I attempted another batch, but this time I was getting a little creative with the recipe. And unfortunately, this time the cookies ended up being a failure of mass proportions. But a very delicious failure to say the least.

This time I decided I wanted to try and mix in some of the Shreddies, I had gotten in my order from GoCanuck.com. Shreddies is a popular breakfast cereal made by Post in Canada. Since their sugar content is a little over what I’m technically allowed on the Belly Fat Cure program, I thought I’d try and find some additional uses for the cereal that would allow me to enjoy them but with fewer of them in a serving so that I can keep the cereal compliant with the program. So as I pulled out all my supplies for making cookies, I thought, maybe I should try using the cereal instead of the Soy flour I had and so I smashed up about 2 cups worth of Shreddies to replace the 2 cups of of flour called for in the recipe.

And then I also chopped up some Macadamia nuts and threw in a bag of the Hershey’s Sugar Free Chocolate chips, and for good measure, added a bit of cinnamon to the mix. And of course I was using Xylitol and a little bit of Sugar Free Maple Syrup to sweeten the mixture so that the only sugar in the dough was what was already inside the Shreddies cereal. Well when all the ingredients were added together, the dough was very much like the regular dough from when I’ve made cookies before. It was thick so I spooned it all out on the cookie sheets and threw the cookies in the oven to bake.

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Lose Weight By Eating Cookies? Yes, It’s Possible

Smart For Live Cookie MonsterAs someone who works in the middle of the night and am subjected to whatever is on the televisions in the breakroom at work, I am often subject to some of the more annoying commercials and informercials that plague the television landscape during those late night hours. One of the most annoying commercials as of late is for the “Smart For Life” diet program where all the people in the commercial proclaim according to the old children’s song that they have stolen a cookie from the cookie jar and have lost a lot of weight in the process. Which of course begs the question, is it really possible to eat cookies and lose weight?

The answer is definitely yes, as I have been doing exactly that, but NOT with the Smart For Life program. The commercials alone as annoying as they are have pretty much guaranteed I’ll never try the product. Upon further inspection of the program it seems that you are supposed to eat six of these cookies as meal replacements during the day and have a meal with a lot of protein and about 5 cups worth of vegetables. Not quite sure how well the program works for maintaining your weight once you reach your goal weight and come off the cookies, since programs with special food are inherently flawed by the fact you eventually come off the program and have to replace the special foods. But it does seem the testimonial cases in the commercial have done well with the program.

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Groceries & A Doctor’s Visit All In One?

Photo from the San Diego Union-Tribune For the last week I’ve had a sore throat and for the last couple of days it has blown into quite a painful experience. After deciding I’ve tried to ride it out long enough, I sought the best way to seek some medical attention. I didn’t feel like making an appointment with a doctor’s office that would take days before the doctor would have time to see me, and I didn’t feel it urgent enough to visit a hospital or urgent care center, so I thought I should check online to see what could be a step down from Urgent care that I could get in to see rather quickly.

In my search online I came across the Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) care group and a section of their website indicating they had a couple of retail based clinics operating inside a couple of local San Diego county Albertsons stores, called PPH Expresscare. They operate as a small clinic inside the grocery store as a way to bring more a-la-carte care to the community for both the insured and the uninsured at reasonable prices and more convenient hours than a traditional doctor’s office. As the clinic is part of the PPH group, if the care required for any services needs to be more involved than can be provided in the clinic, the patients can be referred to urgent care or hospital services elsewhere in the group.

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Death By Sugar Documentary Trailer Featuring Ryan Cameron

Death By Sugar - A Documentary By Jorge CruiseJorge Cruise recently posted to YouTube a trailer for his upcoming “Death By Sugar” documentary. The footage that’s included in the trailer is from the sugar experiments that I helped Jorge out with on July 16th. As opposed to the other YouTube clips that were shot on Jorge Cruise’s iPhone, this footage is from the professionally filmed footage taken by Jared Davis.

The short four minute clip provides a good overview of the blood analysis that Dr. Stefan Bajon conducted on my blood both before and after consuming 200 grams of sugar. The initial analysis showed I had very healthy blood featuring individualized cells which help produce energy and carry oxygen throughout my body. In the words of Dr. Bajon, “That is about as healthy a picture of blood as I could ever see.” Definitely a great encouraging thing to see and hear when being checked out by the doctor.

We then followed that up with the consumption of about 200 grams of sugar, which included a large banana, a cup of yogurt, two low-fat Strawberry Pop Tarts, as well as a glass of Orange Juice and a 20 oz. Pepsi. Overall not a lot of food, but easily what a lot of people would consume as a breakfast and maybe an additional snack too. These are all things commonly found in just about any kitchen.

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The Tube Of Nestlé Smarties Finally Reach The End After Three Months

SmartiesMy good friend Liesbeth was very kind to bring me back a tube of Nestlé Smarties from the Netherlands when she attended the International ABBA Fan Club’s Annual ABBA Day in Roosendaal back in April. I was unable to attend myself this year, and I had asked if she would be so kind as to bring me back some Smarties from her trip. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, sometimes it’s good to get a little bit of the goodies you grew up on, but aren’t available in the area you currently live. In this case, a tube of Smarties candies which are available in several countries, just not the United States.

As Liesbeth returned and presented me with the tube of Smarties, I was within my first couple of weeks on the Belly Fat Cure program by Jorge Cruise. So I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy the whole tube in a single sitting or even spreading it out to two or three sittings. I wasn’t sure of the exact sugar content as the Dutch nutrition labeling didn’t quite give me the information I was looking for, so I peeked at Nestlé’s website in Canada to see what the Canadian version of Smarties had for sugar content and basically, in order to enjoy this tube of Smarties, I was going to have to limit myself to about five pieces a day. Which I was perfectly willing to do in order to enjoy my Smarties and be compliant with the Belly Fat Cure program.

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Death By Sugar – Two Experiments For Jorge Cruise’s Upcoming Documentary

Death By Sugar - A Documentary By Jorge CruiseOn Wednesday morning I received an early morning call from Jorge Cruise who wanted to know if I’d be willing to participate in a little experiment for his documentary that’s tentatively being called “Death By Sugar.” After he explained what he was looking to achieve, I was definitely willing to participate, albeit a little hesitant about consuming a high quantity of sugar for the experiment.

The tests were going to involve some blood draws and in order to get a pure sample Jorge called me early to ensure he caught before I had any food for the day. So I agreed to have nothing but water between then and the noon meeting time at the office of Dr. James Novak in Pacific Beach. When I got to Dr. Novak’s clinic, Jorge was already there waiting for me. I was introduced to Jared Davis who was here to film the experiment and Kelly Wiggin, a nurse in Dr. Novak’s office, who like me had been through Jorge’s Belly Fat Cure Program and lost weight. Kelly had been in an earlier test case group and she will be featured in the final version of the Belly Fat Cure book so be sure to look for her testimonial when the book comes out! Kelly was going to be in charge of taking my blood draws.

The initial experiment was going to consist of a blood draw to show what my blood looks like with no food in my system for over 14 hours. So basically blood in a fasted state. Then I was to consume approximately 300 grams of sugar, and then we would do three additional blood draws, one at ten minutes following the sugar, one at thirty minutes following the sugar, and then again at one hour following the sugar. Now keep in mind, I’ve been on Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program for the last 12 weeks and I’ve had no more than 15 grams of sugar per day in those 12 week, most of the time I’ve averaged about 7 to 10 grams of sugar per day. So a meal consisting of 300 grams of sugar was going to be more sugar in one sitting than I’ve had in the last 30 days combined.

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