Friday, May 29, 2009

Memorial Day and the zoo

On Memorial Day Mark, Bill and Jeff went up to our house
 to finish the roofing over the dining room. They got it done in a few short hours and
we headed off to meet everyone else at the zoo.

Yilly! and Keira

This is Oliver holding his first Cheeto

The aftermath of the cheeto...

Grandpa tickling Oliver

Smashed pennies! I wonder how many we have from the Milwaukee Co. Zoo alone

This was hysterical! There was a test to see how strong you were in comparison to a gorilla.
The girls didn't do very well, so the boys tried and all three got the top strength (I think 100 lbs)...
Afterwards they stood around and watched other men try and fail. There chests were just a little puffed out for the rest of the day.

Oliver was leaning in for a hug:)

Mold-A-Rama! Another favorite.
Oliver got a gorilla.

We had a fun day and very busy weekend. If finally caught up to the guys on the way home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Weekend

On Sunday afternoon we got together with Mark's Family to have a picnic. 

Look at that arm!

It was so windy. After the food was done being grilled we went to Grams House to eat.


Little Lilly, and Adrianne. Love the hat!

Aaron and Grams

He's not terribly fond of swings

Holly, Keira and Baby #2

Our acrobat nephews


and Cole

Car-wash Mayhem

Mark's car was horribly dirty so we decided to drive through the car-wash, thinking that Oliver would enjoy it. Wrong-o!

This picture was taken about 7.5 seconds before he started screaming and crying. We felt terrible. I'm sure he'll like them more once he's older and can understand that our car isn't being bombed.


The wall cabinets are officially done!

We love watermelon........

Our family loves watermelon! On average we get two a week while they're in season.
I have a methodical way of cutting it each time and neatly putting the pieces (that I don't eat while I'm cutting) in containers.....half an hour later they're empty.
I thought it so appropriate when I cut into one recently to reveal this heart.
Incase anyone is interested I found a watermelon diet that I've posted below:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

For those of you still eating Splenda...shame on you.

Mark did some investigating after having an adverse reaction to Splenda and Sucralose on several different occasions. This is what he found.
The Potential Dangers of Sucralose (Splenda)

Is Splenda Really As Safe As They Claim It to Be?

As of 2006, only six human trials have been published on Splenda (sucralose). Of these six trials, only two of the trials were completed and published before the FDA approved sucralose for human consumption. The two published trials had a grand total of 36 total human subjects.

36 people sure doesn"t sound like many, but wait, it gets worse, only 23 total were actually given sucralose for testing and here is the real killer:

The longest trial at this time had lasted only four days and looked at sucralose in relation to tooth decay, not human tolerance.

Why Do You Need to Know About Splenda?

Splenda, best known for its marketing logo, "made from sugar so it tastes like sugar," has taken the sweetener industry by storm. Splenda has become the nations number one selling artificial sweetener in a very short period of time.

Between 2000 and 2004, the percentage of US households using Splenda products jumped from 3 to 20 percent. In a one year period, Splenda sales topped $177 million compared with $62 million spent on aspartame-based Equal and $52 million on saccharin-based Sweet "N Low.

McNeil Nutritionals, in their marketing pitch for Splenda emphasizes that Splenda has endured some of the most rigorous testing to date for any food additive. Enough so to convince the average consumer that it is in fact safe. They claim that over 100 studies have been conducted on Splenda. What they don"t tell you is that most of the studies are on animals.

Additional Concerns About Splenda Studies

There have been no long-term human toxicity studies published until after the FDA approved sucralose for human consumption. Following FDA approval a human toxicity trial was conducted, but lasted only three months, hardly the length of time most Splenda users plan to consume sucralose. No studies have ever been done on children or pregnant women.

Much of the controversy surrounding Splenda does not focus just on its safety, but rather on its false advertising claims. The competition among sweeteners is anything but sweet. The sugar industry is currently suing McNeil Nutritionals for implying that Splenda is a natural form of sugar with no calories.

Is It REALLY Sugar?

There is no question that sucralose starts off as a sugar molecule, it is what goes on in the factory that is concerning. Sucralose is a synthetic chemical that was originally cooked up in a laboratory. In the five step patented process of making sucralose, three chlorine molecules are added to a sucrose or sugar molecule. A sucrose molecule is a disaccharide that contains two single sugars bound together; glucose and fructose.

The chemical process to make sucralose alters the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a fructo-galactose molecule. This type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it. As a result of this "unique" biochemical make-up, McNeil Nutritionals makes it"s claim that Splenda is not digested or metabolized by the body, making it have zero calories.

It is not that Splenda is naturally zero calories. If your body had the capacity to metabolize it then it would no longer has zero calories.

How Much Splenda is Left In Your Body After You Eat It?

If you look at the research (which is primarily extrapolated form animal studies) you will see that in fact 15% of sucralose is absorbed into your digestive system and ultimately is stored in your body. To reach a number such as 15% means some people absorb more and some people absorb less. In one human study, one of the eight participants did not excrete any sucralose even after 3 days. Clearly his body was absorbing and metabolizing this chemical. That is what our bodies are supposed to do.

The bottom line is that we all have our own unique biochemical make-up. Some of you will absorb and metabolize more than others. If you are healthy and your digestive system works well, you may be at higher risk for breaking down this product in your stomach and intestines. Please understand that it is impossible for the manufacturers of Splenda to make any guarantees based on their limited animal data.

If you feel that Splenda affects you adversely, it is valid. Don"t let someone convince you that it is all in your head. You know your body better than anyone else.

How to Determine if Splenda is Harming You

The best way to determine if Splenda or sucralose is affecting you is to perform an elimination/challenge with it. First eliminate it and other artificial sweeteners from your diet completely for a period of one to two weeks. After this period reintroduce it in sufficient quantity.

For example, use it in your beverage in the morning, and eat at least two sucralose containing products the remainder of the day. On this day, avoid other artificial sweeteners so that you are able to differentiate which one may be causing a problem for you. Do this for a period of one to three days. Take notice of how your body is feeling, particularly if it feels different than when you were artificial sweetener free.

Splenda May Still Be Harming You

If you complete the elimination/challenge trial described above and do not notice any changes then it appears you are able to tolerate Splenda acutely. However, please understand that you are not out of the woods yet.

The entire issue of long-term safety has never been established. Let"s look at the facts again:

  • There have only been six human trials to date

  • The longest trial lasted three months

  • At LEAST 15% of Splenda is not excreted from your body in a timely manner

Considering that Splenda bears more chemical similarity to DDT than it does to sugar, are you willing to bet your health on this data? Remember that fat soluble substances, such as DDT, can remain in your fat for decades and devastate your health.

If the above facts don"t concern because you believe the FDA would not ever allow a toxic substance into the market then read on.

Grant Park

My Grandma Suzie is visiting for the next week or two, so her, my mom, and the kids (minus Pat) came up to the house to visit. 
We went to Grant Park near our house. It's awesome! It's right by the lake (but we didn't go that far this particular day).
Rumor is that it's haunted.

Oliver has only played in sand a couple times, but he already loves it. Surprisingly, he has only tried to eat it once.

This part of the park has several different tools and activity tables just for sand. Brooke was not supposed to be sitting in the bowl.

I just want to make a note regarding this picture: I had been painting all morning, hadn't done my hair or makeup and it was windy.

"She flies through the air with the greatest of ease. Look at the girl on the flying trapeze..." 

Perhaps I'm a little out of touch with the sudden advances in Park architecture, but I've never seen anything like the ground/floor here. It's a recycled rubber mat covering the grounds. After about 2 minutes of being there one of the kids fell and bounced right back on his feet.

What a fun way to spend our afternoon! Thanks for coming to visit guys!