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In re: the jelly beans, it's the maltitol. Tastes so good, makes you so sick.

I went on Atkins once. I was so happy that I found sugar free (no effective carb) jelly beans. They were at Trader Joe's. I did a lot more than you - I ate most of a small bag.

Then they hit me.


It's called "malitol."

They replace sugar with sugar alcohol which is not processed by the body the same way as sugar. Most notably, it doesn't raise your blood sugar levels and doesn't cause an insulin spike. Therefore, it's subtracted from "net carbs" in low carb plans and is technically, sugar-free.

And, yes, if you go nuts with anything containing malitol, you'll do maybe not extreme damage, but you'll do some extreme time in the bathroom. :)


LOL! I had the same experience with the Werther's a couple years ago. Let us say I was chained to the bathroom for AN ENTIRE DAY. I know (now) they have a warning on the package, but considering the consequences I think it could be a little more prominent.

I use the word "diet." It means "the food I eat, particularly in regards to achieving a specific purpose." Bodybuilders have a diet. Runners have a diet. People with diabetes have a diet. We can have one too - but I tend to say things like "my diet includes a lot of vegetables" versus "I'm ON a diet." Different concept entirely. Let's take back the word!

I know what you mean about the Sopranos. I'm always thrilled when I see a non-standard person portrayed on television as just another character, no emphasis on their differentness. The first time I remember that was a movie with Ted Danson? (the guy from Cheers) called When the Bough Breaks, and he was a detective or whatnot and his friend was gay, and there was absolutely no discussion of it, no preaching, no nothing. He just was gay. Very refreshing.


Well, add me to the malitol-sensitive crowd. Can we just say "ugh?"

Nicole, I teach a drawing class at a women's prison, and they are so surprised when the hour is up. They've been concentrating so hard on their work and are so absorbed by the task at hand that they completely forget where they are and why they're there.

Which is why I wanted to teach drawing in the first place.


What you said in #2 is very interesting. I feel I'm finally at the point where I just eat healthy (most of the time). I used to count calories but who's going to do that forever? Not me. I think you'll find this a good read:


I agree about the sugar-free "incident." I accidently bought some sugar free jelly beans on the sale rack and spent most of Tuesday in the bathroom and cramping horribly. I finally figured it out after about 1/4 of the bag was gone and threw those suckers out so fast. UGH. It was awful.


I imagine it must contain Sorbitol or one of the other "tols". I can't eat anything with it--including gum. On a recent episode of House a man came in because of horrible, uhem, bathroom issues, and he mentioned that he'd just quit smoking and was chewing a lot of gum. It made me wonder if the problem was the Sorbitol--and in fact, it was. My husband has also experienced the distress--we just don't go sugarless because it's hard to find anything sugarless that doesn't have it in it these days!


I actually wrote a little post about how maltitol is of the devil. Seriously, they can't find another artificial sweetener that makes sugar-free candy taste decent without the icky side effects?


Debbi's comment is right on about drawing. I took a graphic design class in college and it was so soothing and meditative to spend the morning of my 4-hour studio class just sitting quietly and drawing. The time vanishes. I just wish I didn't have to get up at 8am to do it.

As for question 3, someone on my blog sort of asked me that, but in a rude, judgemental way so I didn't bother answering them. Even though I have a goal weight, secretly I've always thought that whenever I get to a point where I'm eating like I do and exercising like I do and my weight stabilizes - that will be my "real" goal weight. The way I'm living right now reflects the amount of time and effort I'm willing to put into food preparation and exercise, so whenever everything equalizes I'll be happy with that. If that's 160, cool, but if it's 170 or even my current weight of 184, that's cool too.


I forgot to answer the main question. I protest whenever anyone thinks I'm on a diet. I say, "No, I've just learned to eat healthier, I've not been on a diet at all."

Sorry it lacks the nouniness we're all looking for, but it works for me. :)

As for sugar-free, part of eating healthy for me has been to eat real food. That means nothing "sugar-free" or "fat-free" or anything like that. If I want ice cream, I have some ice cream. If I wnat Jelly Beans, I have some Jelly Beans (but not so many that I have to regret it, which, BTW, is also few enough that it really wouldn't matter if they were sugar-free to begin with.)

Look what happens when you try to eat "sugar-free!" People somehow feel like it's OK to eat the whole bag! It goes back to one of the concepts in the Mindless Eating book--the Halo effect. If it's Sugar-free, it must be good and more must be better.

Eat real food was the most significant addition to my "healthy eating."


If someone asked me if I was on a diet, I would probably scream "No!!" I have the skinny friends who play food police. If I tell people I'm on a diet, I won't get invited to s night out because it involves dessert, or I'll only be served "special food" at a friend's house & I just don't want the pressure, either, if I'm not losing weight as fast as people would "expect" from a "dieter."

Oh- I'm sure you will be on your guard now, but if you're sensitive, you may want to know that sugar alcohol is an ingredient in NON sugar free food sometimes, too. For example, I've seen it in chocolate chip ice cream.

One more comment about the confusing issue with goal weights, etc. When I weighed 168, I was size XL. You are fitting into size "S," so where is there to go for you? XS? Amazing. That will never be me. Probably not even if I got down to the 130s. I bet I'd be a nice comfortable M. And I'm 5'3"!! So anyway, I support not caving in to someone else's opinion of what your goal weight should be. Everyone has such vastly different shapes & body compositions.

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