I don’t do Splenda.
There was a time when I had bought into the “made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar” hype.
But then I found out the truth…
I found out that Splenda was actually discovered in the chemistry department of Queen Elizabeth College in London back in 1975. That’s when a grad student, Shashikant Phadnis, and his advisor, Leslie Hough, were attempting to create new insecticides by adding a highly poisonous chemical (sulfuryl chloride) to a sugar solution.
Hough asked Phadnis to test it, but the student misheard and “tasted it”.
The prospective insecticide turned out to be surprisingly sweet. Soon after, Hough and Phadnis began working with a British sugar company to create the ultimate chlorinated sugar molecule.
They called it sucralose. We call it Splenda.
Then I learned that Splenda’s chemical structure contains 3 chlorine molecules — no, not the chloride naturally found in food and salt, but the toxic chlorine found in swimming pools — and consuming it actually delivers this chlorine directly to the cells. Yikes.
Splenda is classified as an organochlorine — just like DDT (banned insecticide), Aldrin (banned pesticide), PCBs (banned electrical insulator), chloroform (banned), phosgene (banned), and other toxic nastiness.
Banned. Banned. Banned. Banned. Banned.
Splenda. Safe for human consumption.
I have a confession.
No, it’s not quite the worst thing in the world. But as a health blogger and podcaster, it’s certainly not one of my prouder moments.
I’d let myself go.
I can make all the excuses in the world — the holidays, football weekends with the guys, the stress of buying my first home, whatever.
The truth is that I had simply fallen off the wagon.
When it came time to start filming for The Thyroid Sessions, I took a look at myself in the mirror and freaked out.
My face was bloated. My belly was pushing through my t-shirt. And I discovered these “rolly things” growing just outside of my lower back.
When the first edits for my Thyroid interviews came back, I was pretty disgusted to witness what I had done to myself.
Even worse, I was left to wonder if any viewers would notice that the typically lean Underground Wellness guy had become a chunkier version of himself.
Motivated to whip myself back into shape like never before, I got back to JERFing (Just Eating Real Food), hit the gym, and actually started using the yoga membership I had been paying for.
Yoga made a huge difference. Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, I made sure I was in Marisa P’s introductory hot yoga class.
“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first.”
Seldom does a day go by that I don’t remind myself of those wise words imparted by farmer Joel Salatin on our podcast in 2012.
Human beings have the tendency to expect greatness on their first attempt at something new.
Then, when faced with the reality of false, unmet expectations, we abandon everything we know about “trial and error” and “practice making perfect”.
Mr. Salatin’s words are applicable to every aspect of our lives — love, work, friendships, etc. — but the kitchen is where we tend to take our failures most personally.
I’m sure Julia Child burned her first cake, but that didn’t stop her from trying again.
And my first attempt at preparing pork belly didn’t turn out perfectly last week (learn more below), but last night’s attempt was about five-percent better.
I’ll keep trying, because learning how to cook my own delicious meals is certainly worth doing.
Last Thursday, George Bryant and Juli Bauer — co-authors of The Paleo Kitchen — stopped by the podcast to share why you don’t have to be born wearing over mitts to become an incredible cook.
Here are my notes!
Change doesn’t come easy.
Even the best intentions to alter the course of our diets and lifestyles can be thwarted by our internal auto-pilots taking the helm and navigating us back to more familiar trajectories.
Seemingly wired for sabotage, the human body (and mind) prefers steady and gradual over sudden and abrupt.
Thus your umpteenth attempt to “start on Monday”, only to find yourself in the throes of a donut binge by Friday afternoon.
Baby steps, my friend.
This week on Underground Wellness Radio, Samantha Gladish, author The Qualitarian Life: A 21-Day Solution to a Lighter, Happier, and Healthier You, outlined a more reality-rooted approach to locking in your health habits while keeping your auto-pilot asleep at the wheel.
Here are my notes!
The Thyroid Sessions are changing the world!
As of this writing, a whopping 105.5K people have registered to attend the event and over 2000 comments have been posted on the presentation pages.
Many of those comments have been questions for our experts.
To ensure that you get the answers you’re looking for, I’m hosting 3 LIVE Q&A sessions on the UW podcast. The first session went down last Thursday, when Reed Davis, Ben Greenfield, Christa Orecchio, and Andrea Nakayama joined me for the hour.
Here’s what our callers asked and our experts answered:
3:38 – My TSH is normal but my antibodies are sky high. AND I have nodules. What should I do?
8:32 – I’m extremely gluten sensitive. Can gluten antibodies attack the thyroid enough to cause nodules? And what kind of dietary modifications should I make if I’ve had my thyroid removed?
12:50 – I have Graves’ disease and have had my thyroid irradiated. But I’m still experiencing weight gain and mood symptoms. What can I do?
20:09 – I have major digestive problems and have gone gluten-free. My thyroid scores are abnormal. I was told to investigate my gut, liver, and possible LPS toxicity. And thoughts?
23:24 – I have alopecia, an autoimmune disorder. Is there a connection to thyroid problems?
25:55 – Is there any connection between the MTHFR genetic mutation and Hashimoto’s?
28:07 – I am hypothyroid and gluten sensitive and have been diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. What can I do to go deeper? Should I try juicing or colon cleansing? I’d like to put the antibodies in remission.