Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In this journal I often bear my soul. Maybe sometimes I bear more than I should. Today is one of those days; so I'm being completely honest. I'm having an incredibly bad codependent day today. Probably one of the worst I've had in awhile. I guess it's the "waiting game" that's getting to me. Like I'm sitting watching a bomb tick-tick-tick away, just wondering when it's going to explode in my face.

I had another hectic day at work today, and for some reason I feel very alone.

I'm aware that this behavior is destructive. I know what Melody Beattie would say. I know what this is--it's called codependence. It's why I write this journal. And, no one out there can fix this problem. It's just something I've got to deal with, because it's all self inflicted, and it's all in my head. It's just been a rough day, that's all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Whole Bag For $8.99!

Today I was mentioning to a coworker that I needed to buy a decent sized quantity of hot dogs for a party at work. She told me where I could go to buy the amount I needed. She also mentioned that this same store had really big bags of frozen chicken breasts on sale. She said they were super huge chicken breasts and you could get a whole bag of them for $8.99.

I couldn't help but think about that chicken who's legs wouldn't hold him up anymore. Maybe it was his gargantuan breasts in that bag? Either way, I just couldn't get that bloated chicken incident out of my mind, so of course I decided against buying a bag. This got me thinking...I'll eat hot dogs, but not the giant chicken?? So where am I really on this food journey? Particularly the meat part.

Six months ago: 100% of the meat consumed in my household came from the supermarket. With the exception of the occasional packet of Laura's Lean beef, all of it came from mass producing farms.
Today: About 50% of the meat I consume comes from Farmer Packard's Farm. About 25% comes from the supermarket but is relatively healthy (Laura's Lean beef, frozen fish filets, ground bison). And the other 25% is everything else, including mass produced meat in the form of hot dogs, bacon, etc. Included in this category; food from restaurants, which means basically from an unknown source). I have not yet found a good source of chicken. Farmer Packard does not yet raise chickens, except for eggs.

So I realize for me, it's baby steps. I'm not where I want to be, but I've made big strides. 75% improvement. Good, but I'm striving for 100%. I'm not about to give up; I'm just getting started. This mission is too important. Cheap and Convenient is killing us.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Do You Really Support The Cause? REALLY?

I'll bet I'd be hard pressed to find one reader who hasn't donated to breast cancer research. I'd go as far as to say some have even participated in walks or other fund raising events. Ladies wear pink to the Kentucky Oaks to raise awareness. Yes, we're all quick to wear our pink ribbons and support the cause. But right now I want each and every reader to think about two questions, and answer them both with complete HONESTY. When was the last time you had a mammogram? When was the last time you had a pap test?

This subject came up in conversation with some women I was with the other day and I was very shocked to hear that many of them do not have regular tests performed. Some had not had either test performed in several years. I had to step back for a minute on that one. Is it because they are scared of the procedures? Is it because they are lazy? Maybe they just think cancer will never happen to them? A woman I used to work with, who's sister had died of breast cancer once told me she was afraid the tests might find something and she'd just "rather not know". Seriously???

You owe it to yourself and to the people that love you to be responsible for your own health and well being. If you are overdue for either of these tests, please make it a priority to call for an appointment today!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crazy Dreams

Wednesday night I had the most bizarre dream. Everyone thought I was crazy so I was living in an apartment complex for crazy people. My husband had divorced me, remarried, changed his name, and wouldn't allow me to see my kids. I learned that information from my father, who seemed to be on my husband's side and who hung up on me after relaying the information by telephone. Everyone in my life had cut me off because I was crazy. There was one older woman, a resident of my complex who had befriended me. In the dream I was thinking that she was the only person in the world who would even speak to me and if she were to decide to cut me off I would die....literally. One evening the lady invited me to a party in our building. When I walked in everyone stopped talking and stared at me. I tried to be as still and quiet as I could, but I could tell everyone there hated me. I went to sit down on the couch and the dream ended, with me frozen on the couch trying to be invisible, and everyone glaring at me.

I've always been fascinated with dreams. I guess that's only natural, considering my huge fascination with human behavior. I've read at least three books about dreams, and recently read an article about a new one that I want to buy.

When we sleep, our conscious mind shuts down, and our unconscious mind goes to work to sort out all the bits of information we received during the day. That's why we often wake up in the middle of the night and remember something we tried to think of all day long. Our unconscious mind figured it out for us.

Dreams are a combination of our fears, our emotions, our problems, and anything else we may need to sort out, mixed with images of things we've thought about or seen throughout the day. That's why we may dream we are running from a tornado and we see a character from our favorite movie walking around calmly doing something. We've mixed a fear of something that is threatening us with an image from our day.

But to me, the strangest aspect of dreams are when they appear to be a little psychic. For instance, you have a dream about someone you haven't seen in years, and a few days later they call you. Or, you come up with an idea in your dream, and the next day someone else tells you they've been planning this same idea for weeks. We've all done it. Did we tap into someone else's mind? Thursday morning, when I told my husband about the strange dream I'd had about being crazy, he started looking shocked. You see, that same night my husband had a dream that he ran into an old friend of his he hadn't seen in years. The friend had lost his mind and was now living in some type of apartment building for crazy people.

While dreams may sometimes seem extremely complicated, they usually aren't. I think the dream I described above came from being audited at work that day and knowing I had been under a microscope all day with my office, my staff, and all my work being looked (or stared) at. I was nervous and had said a few things to the auditor that I later thought sounded silly. Thus, later worrying she probably thought I was crazy.

We'll talk more about dreams in the weeks to come. I believe it's very important, because if we understand what our unconscious mind is telling us and pay attention to our dreams, they may just help us work out our problems.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Hero of the Week

O'Neal Hampton had a very bad week. First, he injured his knee during a challenge, and had to be taken to the hospital. Upon his return to the Biggest Loser ranch, he learned his older brother had died from cancer. Yes, it was a very bad week.

O'Neal age 51, told trainer Jillian Michaels that in the past, he would have dealt with the enormous flood of emotions he was feeling by medicating himself with food. Not this time. O'Neal cried, he peddled the spin bike like a madman, and punched the shit of of a punching bag. O'Neal decided he was there to change his life, not give in to stress and temptation. Happily, he had a 10 pound weight loss for the week, taking him one step closer to the final four. Unfortunately, the only photos I can find of O'Neal are at the beginning of his weight loss journey. He looks a little different 119 pounds lighter.

Way to go, O'Neal. You have no idea how much you inspired me this week!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fantasy Jobs

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Forget practical and realistic, just think about the ultimate dream job for you. That's the question posed by Mystical. I love it.

If I could have any job in the world, it would be celebrity photographer. Not flash bulb popping sir. I'm talking on an Annie Liebovitz level. I'm talking about shooting the likes of Keith Richards, Steven Tyler, Fergie, Elton John, Robert Plant, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, and Johnny Depp just to name a few. I'm talking about capturing that perfect expression. Creating timeless photos of people that will live on even after they are gone. This photograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono was taken by Liebovitz just hours before John was murdered.

This job combines two of my favorite things; looking at photographs of beautiful faces and hanging out with rock legends. I can't imagine there could be a better job!

That's my fantasy job. If you'd like to share yours, send it to me!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Please Allow Me To Hop On My Soap Box For A Moment

I'm going to hop on my soap box here for a minute, so if you're not in the mood to hear me ramble, or to think for a minute, switch on over to some other mindless website now.

Yesterday after work I stopped by the Tuesday farmer's market a couple of blocks from my office. I'm becoming friends with the family who owns the farm that will be supplying my produce later this season. They are a wonderful couple, and in addition to crops, they also raise several types of livestock and sell meat at the market each week. I've been buying meat from them for a few months now.

So the farmers have been spreading the word about an upcoming event at their church. They are having a pot luck and will be viewing the 2010 Academy Award winning film for best documentary,"Food, Inc.". "Food Inc." is the film that was being discussed on Oprah a few months back. The one that showed the steroid-filled chickens who were unable to walk due to their enormous, hormone induced weight. They just lay there on their backs, unable to move. The film that ultimately drove me to seek out the farmers in the first place.

Conversation at the market between Farmer Packard and a consumer, obviously someone he knew, at least a little:
Consumer: "I just don't think I want to see the movie.
Farmer: "You need to see it. Everyone needs to see it."
Consumer: "I'm afraid I'll cry."
Farmer: "I cried."
Consumer: "What? I just don't think I want to see it."
Farmer: "If you are going to continue to purchase mass produced meat from the grocery store, you owe it to yourself to watch the film. You need to see how that meat gets to your super market. If anything is going to change, everyone needs to see this film."

Mind you, the burly farmer didn't cry because he's an animal activist or a vegetarian. He's quite the carnivore. He raises animals and sends them to market; but he does it the right way. He was emotional because the methods used to grow and process meat at the mega farms responsible for the majority of meat in America are almost unbelievable. He wants people to see the film because he believes the two men who made it can make a difference if they are able to reach enough people. The idea isn't to stop people from eating meat, it's to change the way meat gets to your plate.

After I mentioned this film here in "Detach" a few months back, my friend and faithful reader Sally went out and bought a copy, and viewed it with her two children. It has changed the way they buy meat; particularly pork. I haven't gotten the nerve to watch the film yet, but I've decided to put it in my Netflix queue and will watch it very soon. If anyone feels brave enough to watch it with me, come on over. Or, I'll let you borrow it to watch with your own families. I challenge all my readers and all my friends to watch this film. Then, form your own opinion.

While I'm on this subject, please take a moment to learn about Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution; a program to get fat, unhealthy, chemical filled processed foods out of American schools and replace them with healthy, fresh foods like we had in our school cafeterias back in the day. Real food, prepared fresh. For those of you who don't currently have kids in school, are you aware that our American schools have kitchens full of wonderful cooking equipment that the cooks are no longer permitted to use? I ask every one of you to sign Jamie Oliver's petition to the U.S. Congress. This is another very large, but reversible problem that needs immediate attention.

Okay....hoping down now. If you managed to made it this far, thanks for listening.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Mom

It was two years ago today that my mother passed away. Instead of thinking about that day or dwelling on being sad, I think I'll share another story about her life.

You already know my mother was fiesty. But as she got older, pretty much any thought that came in to her mind came right out of her mouth. She was brutally honest; sometimes to the point of being a little embarrassing. So one day a few years ago, my mother was having a conversation with her youngest sister, Joan during a visit. Here's how it went down:

Joan: Honestly, I can't believe how time flies. Sometimes when I look in the mirror and see all these wrinkles I feel so old! I wish there was something I could do about them.
Mom: Pauses. You'd better stop worrying about those wrinkles and see what you can do about all that fat on your butt.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Late April Syndrome (LAS)

At this same time last year I remember writing about several stressful things attacking me all at once. Well, here we are at that same time of year and those same things seem to be staring me in the face again. I've decided to call it LAS, Late April Syndrome.

Last year at this time, my son graduated from 5th grade. You remember....I cried so hard I couldn't see? I was hyperventilating all the way to Dr. Eve's office afterward. My Dad later told me it was the saddest day of his life. We had a hard time understanding why we were so upset that day. I wrote some more journal entries about it. Dr. Eve concluded we were not expecting how bad we would miss my mother's presence at that ceremony. She adored my son. Also, it was a major turning point for my son. He has changed so much since that day, I can't even begin to process it, let alone write about it. I knew it would happen; the transition to middle school is huge for boys. Well anyway, here it is one year later and my daughter is in the same place. She is about to graduate 5th grade and will be changing schools in the fall. This time we'll be saying goodbye to our beloved little elementary school. It will be strange not going there anymore. It's the same one I attended as a child, and my kids had some really great years there. As I did last year, I feel a lot of anxiety and some sadness about this transition. At least I can prepare myself for the ceremony this time. I won't let that part blindside me!

This Tuesday will mark the two year anniversary of the death of my mother. I know she wouldn't want me to be sad, and she wouldn't want her death to be a milestone. She would want us to remember the good times. Well, I've been trying to do that, but I can't help but think about that week. Parts of it are a blur, but certain other parts haunt me. The day we buried my mother was hands down, the worst day of my entire life thus far. One day, when the time is right, I'll write about it. Today is not that day.

Last night our city celebrated the official kick off to Derby. I don't even know what to say about that. I've beaten that horse to death and quite frankly I'm sick of even talking or thinking about it. The worst part is not knowing what to expect. The last few years haven't been that bad, but it's just fear of the unknown.
As Sharon Osbourne put it...fear of which version of my husband will walk through that door at night. The bad one hasn't shown his face in a long time, but no matter how many books I read or how much healthy thinking I embrace, the fear that he will return is always there. I can push her down, but my codependent side is never, ever very far beneath the surface.

Finally, it's audit time at work again. The end of April and the end of October mark audit time. My office usually gets a decent grade, but knowing someone is going to be going over all your work with a fine tooth comb (and I do mean a FINE TOOTH COMB) for two days is very stressful. I'll be glad when it's over.

So basically I'm experiencing my Late April Syndrome. This will be the last child I have to send to middle school, so I won't have school stress for a couple of years after this. Not until high school rolls around in a couple of years! But the other things just won't change. The anniversary of my mother's death is always going to coincide with Derby, and for now anyway, the audit.

My first instincts are to medicate myself, either with Xanax or my drug of choice the past few days, food. Neither are healthy for me. Stress eating will knock down my first domino faster than anything. Stress eating makes me feel guilty and like I have no will power. Then I get depressed and don't want to exercise or do my chores. No, I've got to find another way to deal with this.

I decided that all of these things are going to happen one way or the other. Worrying won't stop them; eating won't stop them. I've got to stay focused on exercise (the best stress reducer of all) and eating right. I've got to focus on the things I have control over. If I don't, those damn dominos I've been working so hard to set up are going to take a big, fat tumble. Healthy mind. Healthy body.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Idea Is To Keep The Dominos Upright

It's always funny to me how things work out. In "Neat Little Boxes" I used the term "a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind". A couple of days after I wrote that entry, financial guru Suze Orman made an appearance on my favorite show, "The Biggest Loser". The point made was that often weight isn't the only aspect of the contestants lives that is out of control.

Most of the contestants admitted they had nearly as much trouble managing their budget as their weight. Last season when Orman visited the show, she predicted a winner based on credit scores, and her pick, Danny Cahill, turned out to be a record-setting champion. Danny admitted his budgeting was out of control and he was $45,000 in debt. Surprisingly, out of all the contestants, he had the best credit score!

Suze had picked Koli to win this season, but when Koli confessed to not keeping count of his calories, Suze changed her prediction for this year from him to Sunshine. It will be interesting to see if she is correct again this season.

My husband and I had a long talk about this subject last night. We agreed, everything in life is about staying balanced. We all know that when one domino gets knocked over, they all fall down eventually. And it seems like there's always something there to flick the first one down. But how do we strike that perfect balance? Life is stressful. And it's not just here at my house, right? There's a lot coming at us all every single day.

What knocks my domino down may not be the same thing that knocks yours down. But in almost all cases, being caught off guard is the key. We all have to keep focused and not lose sight of our goals. We have to plan ahead. We have to know our triggers. We have to avoid dangerous situations; whatever those may be for us as individuals. We have to de-clutter our homes, our minds, and our bodies. When there's less clutter in all of these areas, your dominos have a much better chance at staying put.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Hero of the Week

Danny Cahill lost 239 pounds to win last season's "Biggest Loser". This week he made an appearance on the show and worked out with this season's contestants. He still looks fantastic. Danny seems to have his weight under control, his mind in a healthy place, and has managed to get his finances under control as well.

Way to go Danny. It was great seeing you again!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Neat Little Boxes

I remember Dr. Eve telling me that when a task seems too overwhelming, to put a "box" around one part of it, and then when that is complete, move on to the next part. I'm not having much success at that. Often, tasks still seem so huge to me that I surrender and retreat, accomplishing nothing.

I think if I could concentrate on doing one thing at a time, and then FINISHING IT, I'd be doing alright! It's very hard for me to stay focused on something for long. Not that I have Attention Deficit Disorder or anything like that, but I just seem to have too many things going on in my head at once.

Also, I feel like there's never enough time to do everything. I don't think I'm a very good time manager. I wish I could take a few lessons from Miss Pamela in this area. Once she starts a task she sees it through. Miss Pamela never seems to misplace anything, and rarely forgets a detail. Maybe this is because she has no clutter. I'm not sure how that happens. Clutter consumes our house. Keeping it contained even a little, seems like a monumental, if not impossible task to me.

In my mind I always think, "One day when I don't have to work, I'll finally get my house organized the way I want it". What a silly, silly way to think!

I've read that a cluttered desk (room, or home) is a sign of a cluttered mind. I believe this to be very true. There are so many thoughts in my head at any one given time, that there's no way to give my full attention to just one. To get the idea, imagine you are trying to read a book. Now someone turns on the radio. Next, someone flips on the television. Now, someone starts trying to ask you something, then another person, and another...all at the same time. Often, that's how my thoughts race; even when I'm completely alone and quiet. Welcome to my head.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fantastic Foods

At first glance, you may think a freezer full of food is not healthy...but take a closer look and think again. I'm not talking about frozen pizza, pot pies, or dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. I'm talking about frozen vegetables....the next best thing to garden fresh. Frozen vegetables are so great because unlike canned vegetables, they have no artificial ingredients, no preservatives and no sodium. Nothing but fresh picked veggies, frozen within hours of being picked, locking in all that wholesome goodness. This means frozen vegetables can potentially contain more nutrients than fresh produce you buy at the market; particularly if the produce has been shipped a long distance and is several days old by the time it reaches your grocery.

Often frozen vegetables are very affordable, making them great for healthy eating on a budget. Since they have a very long shelf life, you can stock up when you find a great sale. Most frozen veggies go straight from freezer to steamer so they are perfect for a hectic lifestyle.

Right now my freezer contains frozen green beans, snap peas, asparagus, peas, broccoli, spinach, lima beans, and stir fry mix. With frozen veggies you have more control over portions. If you only want to make enough for one or two people, you can. The rest can stay in the freezer until you want them. Nothing is going to spoil because you didn't get around to cooking it.

Frozen vegetables are a great staple. Stock up your freezer and enjoy this Fantastic Food!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Quotes I Like

Last night my husband and I were flipping channels and somehow ended up watching a few minutes of the film "Top Gun". During that time my husband made the comment that Tom Cruise looks better now than he did then (1986). After taking a good look I, he's right. Of course I thought Tom was hot when I first saw the movie, but he DOES look even better now. He's leaner and healthier looking. His face is more chiseled and less boyish.

His love interest in the movie however, is a different story. Time has not been kind to Kelly McGillis. Looking at these recent photos, I can't imagine the two of them making a romantic film together today! Ewwww.....I hope to hell there's no "Top Gun II"!

This reminded me of a quote I love:

"A man has every season while a woman only has the right to spring. That disgusts me."

-Jane Fonda

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Hero of the Week

"I have set a goal to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight,"

I am so thrilled about Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign. Childhood obesity in America is a crisis that can no longer be ignored. I support her 100% in her efforts. Oh...and I'd love to have a salad from the organic vegetable garden she's planted at the White House!

To learn more:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quotes I Like

“I’m so f$#&ing co-dependent,
when I die someone else's life is gonna flash before my eyes”.

-Del Shores, "Southern Baptist Sissies"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Thoughts

What a lovely Easter weekend I've had so far. Other than a short little rain shower that moved through Saturday morning, the weather has been perfect. Scarlett came by for awhile yesterday and we had a great visit. She helped me with my carrot cake project, we had a couple of cocktails, and had some good girl time. After that, the family and I loaded up for Kitty's house where we had a fabulous meal and a most relaxing evening. Everyone was happy and in a good mood, and the evening was just perfect.

This Easter morning, it's quiet. All my family members are home and sleeping. The sun is shining and I'm looking forward to another great day with family. My Dad will come for dinner today, and also my wonderful mother-in-law, Cher.

I've used a great number of adjectives in this piece, but I feel particularly happy today. I guess I'm getting more and more like Cher when I say this, but I just love it when we can all be together. It's a simple statement, and we poke fun at Cher sometimes for saying it, but the older I get the more I can appreciate it when everyone is healthy and happy.

I send love today to some people who are on mind:

My sister won't be able to be here today since she is in rehab, recuperating from some surgery. She just needs to focus on getting well so she can be here for the next family get together.

I've been praying for someone else's sister, who needs to dig deep inside and find some motivation to get well and to change her life. I hope she will find the inspiration she needs and will get some help.

And for the numerous other friends, and friends of friends who are battling cancer and other illnesses, I pray for healing for some, and freedom from pain for others.

Happy Easter to all. Be thankful for your blessings.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I'll Just By Bottled Water!

This piece turned out much longer than I'd planned, but I think it's very interesting, and will wind up our series on drinking water. Grab a glass and take a few moments to read.

Bottled water is convenient and it tastes good. But is it any healthier or does it taste any better than tap water? We've all seen the ads showing billions of bottles of water circling the globe a hundred times, so we all know how much waste is produced by drinking bottled water. We also know plastic water bottles contain BPA and we should never reuse or freeze them as this may release the harmful chemical into your water.

So where does it come from? Some bottled water comes from a spring. Some bottled water is distilled, meaning it's had all the impurities removed from it. Bottled water sometimes comes from a municipal source, which means it is straight tap water.

Recently I watched a story on television about people in one community who were all sick and dying and blamed it on the tap water. While I do believe the story was true, I do not believe it is the norm. Most large cities, including ours, have very clean tap water. I have a friend who works for the Health Department in our town who tells me our tap water is among the finest in the nation and it is actually bottled and sold.

So let's get some facts.

From The Consumerist:
Bottled water isn't any safer than tap water, and could actually be more dangerous, according to a report from the Government Accounting Office. The big difference lies in the government regulator: tap water is covered by the Safe Water Drinking Act, administered by the aggressive and powerful Environmental Protection Agency, while bottled water falls under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act overseen by the powerless anything-goes industry-lovers over at the Food and Drug Administration.

This piece is from John Stossel, ABC News:
It started with Perrier. Somehow, a French company convinced people it's cool to buy bottled water. Today, Evian has surpassed Perrier in sales and now it's the chic French water of choice. Why? It costs about 5 bucks a gallon! Why do people pay so much for something they can get virtually free?

Many people say they buy bottled waters because they taste better. We spoke with people in New York City, asking them why they liked bottled better than tap water.

"I drink Dasani. It tastes good, it tastes crisp, like -- natural," one girl said.

"I think tap water kind of tastes like sewer," said another.

People also say they drink bottled water because they believe it's safer than tap water.

One man told me he's the only one "who's brave enough" to drink tap water at home. His family's afraid to drink tap water because of germs, he said.

At recent Earth Day celebrations, a lot of people told us they believe tap water is unhealthy. "As a parent I feel more comfortable giving her bottled water," one father told us.

Bottled water, we were told, is cleaner, safer, healthier.

Watching bottled water ads, you'd think that tap water might not be healthy. But it's not true.

"20/20" took five bottles of national brands of bottled water and a sample of tap water from a drinking fountain in the middle of New York City and sent them to microbiologist Aaron Margolin of the University of New Hampshire to test for bacteria that can make you sick, like e. coli.

"There was actually no difference between the New York City tap water and the bottled waters that we evaluated," he said.

Many scientists have run tests like that and have consistently found that tap water is as good for you as bottled waters that cost 500 times more.

Even Yale University School of Medicine's Dr. Stephen Edberg, the person whom the International Bottled Water Association told "20/20" to talk to, agreed that bottled water is no better for you. "No, I wouldn't argue it's safer or not safer."

"Healthy is a funny definition," he said.

"I wouldn't say it's healthier than tap water. I mean, they both provide water," Edberg added.

Maybe a taste difference justifies spending more money?

"I can definitely taste the difference between like a Fiji water and an Evian and a Poland Spring," one woman said. Many brands -- Aquafina, Deer Park and Dasani -- had loyal fans.

The labels of the bottled waters do suggest they're special. Some show mountains or polar bears or glaciers. You have to look at the fine print to find out Everest Water is not from Mount Everest. It's from Corpus Christi, Texas. Glacier Clear Water is not from a glacier in Alaska. Its source is tap water from Greeneville, Tenn.

Big-selling Dasani and Aquafina are also just reprocessed tap water from cities around the country. One of Aquafina's sources is the Detroit River! At least the popular French water, Evian, does come from France.

But does that make it taste better?

That's what people say, but is it true?

We ran a taste test, offering people New York City tap water and five other bottled waters, Evian, the top-selling bottled water Aquafina, Poland Spring, Iceland Spring (which comes all the way from Iceland), and American Fare, a discount brand from Kmart, which sells for less than half the price of Evian.

Would people be able to tell the difference when they didn't know what they were drinking? Would they still prefer their favorites?

Many who took our taste test were bottled water drinkers. They pay for it, they say, because tap water just doesn't taste as good.

It tastes flat and flavorless, they said.

Would the taste test show that?

We asked people to rate the waters as bad, average or great. Lots of people said one of the waters was particularly bad. Was that the tap water? No. Tap water did pretty well. Even people who said they don't like it, liked it on the blind test.

The "20/20" taste test was just one unscientific test, but lots of tests keep finding that people like tap water.

I suspect many people who buy the fancy waters are getting suckered by the ads or the labels.

In our test of bottled waters, Kmart's American Fare -- the cheapest brand -- won. Big-seller Aquafina came in second.

Iceland Spring tied the ordinary tap water for third place. Fifth place went to Poland Spring, and in last place, by far, with almost half the testers saying it tasted bad, was the most expensive water -- the fancy French stuff, Evian.

"It tasted like toilet water," one man said.

Evian had no comment about that review.

Bottom line, if you buy bottled water because you think it's healthier than tap, test after test shows no evidence of that. And if you buy fancy brands because you think they taste better, you're probably just buying the hype.

From TreeHuggers:
1.5 million barrels of oil in the US alone are used to make water bottles from polyethylene terephthalate, 86% of which are landfilled or incinerated. Often it is shipped long distances, like the 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water sent 4,300 kilometers (2,700 miles) to Saudi Arabia, or the popular Fiji water found in the US and Canada. ''Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing--producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy,'' said researcher Emily Arnold. ''Although in the industrial world bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, it can cost up to 10,000 times more.'' Tap water comes to us through an energy-efficient infrastructure whereas bottled water must be transported long distances--and nearly one-fourth of it across national borders--by boat, train, airplane, and truck. This ''involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels,'' Arnold said. Its time to buy a Nalgene and refill it rather than tossing empties.

Finally.....Mary's Opinion:
Bottled water...few and far between. Nice to have on hand but shouldn't be your main source. Know your city's tap water quality, fill up your Nalgene bottle, KEEP IT CLEAN EVERY DAY, and drink up!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'll Put My Water In A Bottle!

Nalgene is a company that produces water bottles. Up until 2008, those water bottles contained a chemical known as BPA, one of the most widely used synthetic chemicals in the industry.

With more than 6 million pounds produced in the United States each year, bisphenol A (BPA) is found in dental sealants, baby bottles, the liners of food cans, CDs and DVDs, eyeglasses and hundreds of household goods, including (you guessed it) bottled water. The chemical has been linked to neurological and behavioral problems in infants and babies, along with certain cancers, diabetes and obesity.

Despite claims from the manufacturer that it's safe, Nalgene decided to stop using the chemical in it's bottles, which are now labeled BPA free.

There's no doubt, reusable bottles are much friendlier to the environment that waste from bottled water.

The biggest danger with Nalgene or any other reusable water bottle, is bacteria. As mentioned in last night's article, water that contains little or no chlorine cannot do much to prevent the spread of bacteria. Therefore, bacteria begins to grow in filtered water very quickly. Failure to wash the bottle and the lid with very hot, soapy water every day could make you sick.

Mary's Opinion....I love my Nalgene bottles. I have two. One at work, one at home. I like lots of ice in my water, so the big mouth on the bottles is ideal. I can fill it with as much ice as I like. I admit I have been lazy about washing my bottles properly on a daily basis, but I commit to be more diligent.