Chocolate Tasting Party

The Well Duh! Report

Just about everything I read in research journals and in the news makes me say, my “Well, duh!” Henceforth I’ll be providing my “Well Duh! Report.”

To think of the millions of dollars wasted on researchers going back and forth with these gems:

1. Dark chocolate is good for you. That’s good to know but why is it some say dark chocolate is good, but yet others say apples are bad? Whatever happened to common sense? The truth is, dark chocolate in its natural state is good, i.e. no added sugar. Turn it into a confection and you’ve got a different animal.

For fun, go to or hold your own chocolate tasting party. Chocolate lovers are just as discriminating as wine experts.

Learn more about chocolate at the Chocophile blog, check out EGullet for tips on getting a chocolate tasting kit, and drop by SeventyPercent to learn all about chocolate.

Naturally all that reading about chocolate might make you a bit hungry, so don’t forgot the EFT. EFT helps you learn to eat chocolate like a pro! I love chocolate and have it frequently, but I rarely eat a whole bag of anything and one or two pieces (depending on size) is just about perfect.

Walmart to Sell Splenda Next, The World!

In their quest to take over everything, Walmart has managed to secure the raw materials to produce their own variety of Splenda, despite Splenda being trademarked by Britain’s Tate & Lyle.

Now, it’s fine to develop as similar sweetener but where it gets sticky (no pun intended) is calling it “Walmart’s brand of Splenda.” That clearly implies they are selling a product that’s the same as Splenda, but doing so infringes on Splenda’s trademark since the public would be confused thinking they are getting the same thing. at least that’s the way I’d interpret it.

Time will tell what the court’s say or don’t on the issue. Walmart intends to roll out their version of Splenda in their version called “Altern.” What kind of a dopey name is Altern? Oh, I get it; alternative.

Zsweet: New No Calorie Natural Sweetener

I received my samples of ZSweet(TM), and I’m impressed.

This stuff looks and feels, and most importantly tastes the most like real sugar than any other alternative sweetener, yet it has zero calories. Keep in mind, whenever you’re told something has zero calories they mean “per serving.” If you eat enough, you’ll get some calories, so it’s not a free-for-all. Instead think of reducing calories in your baked goods for instance.

Rule No. 1 is you still eat the same amount, so if you would have eaten two pieces of pie before, you still eat two pieces of pie now but now you’re getting half the calories you used to waste on just the sugar. That’s cool. If you use “low calorie” or “no calorie” on the label as an excuse to pig out, then sorry, that’s not going to work.

I wrote briefly about my discovery of ZSweet(TM) and spoke with Tim Avila, creator of Zsweet(TM)? and chief executive officer of Ventana Health Inc. Avila explained that ZSweet(TM) is different from other alternative sweeteners in that it does not chemically alter ingredients (Splenda is chemically altered), and does not use any herbal extracts, dietary supplements or other fillers. Their website states: “Zsweet(TM) is a blend of Erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol, and food extracts commonly found in fruits and vegetables.”

ZSweet(TM) more closely resembles sugar and tastes sweeter, with no weird after taste or chemically taste some experience with Splenda and other sweeteners. Avila also brought up an interesting, yet still unproven side effect: Zsweet(TM) reduces appetite! Clinical studies are ongoing, but that would be very exciting indeed, since most alternative sweeteners are associated with an increased appetite. Stay tuned for more on that!

I’m going to get more as soon as it comes to market and start switching out half my sugar for ZSweet. For more information or to order a sample, visit

Chocolate Cheese: Does Asia Needs More Heart Disease

Okay, at first I thought yuck, and then I realized, wait a minute! I love cheesecake and how’s that different than this new chocolate cheese product? The New Zealand dairy company, Fonterra, has a mission to “re-define cheese.” Uh, okay.

They are presently targeting Asia as there isn’t enough heart disease there as of yet I suppose. They suggest cheese is a good source of protein but they don’t mention the calories, fat or whatever else this swell new snack food contains. I searched and couldn’t find an ingredient list, so I don’t know if they sweeten Chesdale chocolate cheese slices, but I’d be willing to bet they do, else they’d taste horrible.

I don’t see any way to get a sample so can’t say for sure. If you’ve tried Chesdale Chocolate Cheese, please let me know.

Here’s one news report from Nutra USA talking about Chesdale Chocolate Cheese.

Sugar Advertising: Are Alternative Sweetners a Threat?

It’s Sweet, Just Like Nature!

I’ve been hearing adverts for sugar on the radio on my daily drive to Portland. They start out talking about how things smell, “oooh, smell that aroma of fresh baked peach cobbler,” says one. First, that’s dumb. You can’t get fresh peaches this time of year so invoking the sense to think of peach cobbles is like creating an itch that can’t be scratched. Whatever.

Then they go on about the smells, yummy, yummy, and finally they get to the point. Sugar! They baked something with real sugar! It’s natural, the ads say, and it’s sweet, just like nature. Okay, so what?

So I’m wondering does anyone who’s innocently driving along suddenly hear one of these ads and go, “Well, maybe I should try that sugar sometime. Think I’ll pop off to my local Safeway and grab a bag to surprise the kids.” Nah, I doubt it.

I can only assume they are trying to make up for lost sales to sweetener alternatives such as Splenda (TM), the lesser known Stevia, Lo Han (haven’t tried the latter myself as of yet), and the newly introduced ZSweet(TM), but they haven’t quite figured out how to say what they think; that sugar is better. I can’t see how they’d have anything to worry about since sugar is in everything from toothpaste to ketchup to cleaning products.

Here’s an article with the short and snappy title, “Sugar: Leaving a Legacy of Dental Decay, Obesity, and Dysfunctional Immune Systems for our Children.” I like his mention that a breakfast cereal with 50% sugar is not cereal but candy. I agree totally on that count. That’s why when I eat cake for breakfast and people look at me funny I say, “You ever eat Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks?” For the record, they changed the name to remove the word “sugar.” Wonder why they did that? Maybe one day we’ll see Sugar-Free Smacks.

Check into ZSweet(TM) when it comes to the market early 2006. It promises to really shake of the sugar industry.

Farmer’s Market Diet

Eat More Locally Grow Food

The Farmer’s Market Diet means eating more fresh produce, preferably what is grown locally. Common sense tells me that a carrot pulled from the ground and eaten within hours would be more nutritious than one harvested and shipped halfway around the world.

Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., director of the nutritional science program at the University of Washington, in Seattle said, “I see every cancer specialist in Seattle at the farmer’s market each week. That should tell you something.”

Here in Vancouver, Washington we have a very nice Farmers Market, which recently opened their indoor market. Check if your town has a farmers market and then go on down and visit. It’s fun, you get fresh air and free smiles.

In other words, fresh food is healthy food. One way to experiment is with baby vegetables. These are not different varieties, rather they are picked before they are fully mature, meaning they are sweeter and less fibrous in texture than their full-grown counterparts, besides, they’re just plain cute. If you’ve seen baby corn, you know what I mean.

Try some of these baby vegetables, or if you have a small garden space, grow your own miniature vegetable garden.