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Tony’s Take on: SweetLeaf Stevia


Tony’s CowboyStar Rating on SweetLeaf Stevia:

Welcome to the latest installment in an ongoing review series I call “Tony’s Take on…” where I review all kinds of “stuff” because we all of us use “stuff” and we either like the “stuff” or we hate the “stuff” and we love to talk about “stuff…”

Today I’m yackin’ ’bout SweetLeaf Stevia.  For those folks who want the “stars” and nutin’ but da “stars” well, here they are!

4.5 stars from TxCowboyDancer

4.5 CowboyStars!
Tah-DAH!

Introducing, my good friend, “Stevia” — da Plant!

Stevia-rebaudiana-totalSince Wikipedia says it VERY well, I’m just gonna let them talk for a bit:

Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana.

The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycosides, which have up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar, are heat-stable, pH-stable, and not fermentable.

[Stevia has] …a negligible effect on blood glucose, which makes stevia attractive to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.

Stevia’s taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, and some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.

I love Wikipedia! 🙂

Tony’s Translation:

steviaStevia is a dieter’s and diabetic’s best friend

  • Basically Stevia is used in place of sugar.
  • It is a LOT sweeter to the tongue so a teeny-tiny bit goes a looooooonnnng way.
  • It is the ground up leaves of a plant – 100% all natural.
  • It is ZERO CALORIE!  Did-cha-get-that?  !!!!  ZERO! as in zip, nadda, NUTHIN!
  • You can cook with it.
  • You can put it in your coffee (which is my main way of using it).
  • And for those who are diabetic…. [drumroll please] It has a ZERO Glycemic response!

Some info about who uses this stuff and where it came from:

  • The stevia plant is from South America and has been used as a sweetener for over 1,500 years!
  • Japan is crazy about the stuff! It has been commercially available there since the 1970’s.  Japan currently consumes more stevia than any other country, with stevia accounting for 40% of the Japanese sweetener market.
  • It is approved for use as a food additive in both the USA and in the European Union.

I figure that if people in South America have been using this stuff for 1500 years AND if Japan, a major industrialized nation and one of the most safety aware nations on the planet, has had no issues with this stuff for decades, and they use TONS of the stuff, then hey, I can use it it in my morning coffee with no worries!

Woot!  Uh-huh!  Doin’ a happy dance!

Why I like SweetLeaf Stevia

SweetleafpacketsI have tried several different brands of stevia.  SweetLeaf Stevia is my favorite.  And the Packets are my favorite variety.

I used to use a brand called NuStevia, made by NuNaturals, (which is a good brand).

But to get it, I had to go to one of those specialty “Healthfood / Vitamin Stores” that smell funny when you walk into them and they have all these New Age kinda flyers about cleansing your body and yoga under the moon and… well you get the idea.

Just to be clear: neither the smell nor the New Age bits bothered me…

Nope. The PRICE bothered me!  NuStevia was $10 a box!  And the fact that I had to make a special trip to this store to get ONE item.  Sheeeesh!

Then I ran across SweetLeaf Stevia and I’ve never used anything since.  Here is why I like SweetLeaf Stevia. Read the rest of this entry

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Buyer Beware! or… “Why isn’t anything ever easy?”


Ok… all together now…

Snake Oil SalesmanSiiiiiiiiiiigggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh

There.  Feel better?  I do!

Why can’t companies just leave their products alone when there is nothing wrong with them?  Hmmmm?

Why do they have to go and fiddle with it when it ain’t broke?  Hmmmm?

Why?   SIGH  Wondering why I’m carrying on about?  Well I’m glad ya asked!

Whole Foods = Whole Paycheck

I know, it’s an old joke but there is an element of truth in it.  I used to shop at Whole Foods for just about everything back when I was working 40 hours a week as a librarian.

But now, living on a fixed income plus whatever bits and scrapings I can pull in from doing surveys, and micro-tasking and, selling my graphic designs online and writing and…Whole Foods Stevia Extract

Well, you get the idea.  I can’ afford to shop at Whole Foods.  I like Whole Foods but I can’t afford to shop there.

However… there was one item for which I’ve been going to Whole foods to buy once a month: Stevia Extract, the 365 Brand which is Whole Foods “store brand.”

But as I said in the title “Why isn’t anything ever easy?”

Those Pesky Additives

I’d never really looked at the ingredients of the Stevia I bought from Whole Foods closely but this week I did and I was SHOCKED: Read the rest of this entry

My Progress So Far and “Focusing on the Positive”


Setting the stage…

255495_10151087373259886_835419023_nOn June 1st, I kicked off a renewed effort to get in shape and loose weight because my body was (and is) literally hurting when I do simple routine things around the house.

And let me tell you friends, neighbors and the two people who are actually reading this blog, that when shaving, showering, and putting on your  clothes and shoes makes you grunt and wheeze and get out of breath, then it is time to do something.

Another indicator is all the drivers for your local Domino Pizza joint have your gate code memorized and the counter staff know you by first name when you drop in to get a Pick Up order.  *sigh*

We won’t even talk about the weight induced knee injury back in Jan which still bugs me from time to time.   *SIGH*

Let’s Hear it for the Boy!  / Week in Review

Last Monday I set out my goals for the week.  Let’s see how I did:

  • scale-tape-measureWeigh in daily
    • — Yeppers, I mostly got this one.  I missed one day, but the rest I did.
      ….
  • No diet coke.  None.  Zip.  Nada.
    • — Yeppers!!  I want a BIG round of applause please!!!!!!  I did not HAVE A SINGLE SOLITARY DIET COKE ALL WEEK!!!!!!!! Not a single diet coke.
      ….
  • Iced Tea (CC)Switch to green tea in the evenings / limit of 3 cups coffee in the AM
    • — Yeppers, I did this.  I actually bought some lemon and ginseng Lipton Tea bags, intending to brew my own and sweeten it with Stevia, but… the Arizona Diet Ginseng Green Tea jugs were on sale and I grabbed four of them at the same time.  I’ve not gone through all the Arizona Tea yet.  When I do, then I’ll try my hand at brewing my own tea at home, which will be cheaper than buying it pre-made and I’ll feel better about doing my bit for the planet by not throwing away those big plastic jugs the tea comes in.  It should also be noted that Read the rest of this entry

Ugh… My body hates me.


Jus tha’ facts…  Jus tha’ facts…

c2013 TxCowboyDancer DesignsI just woke up about an hour ago.  That would be 11:30 CST.  Ugh.  I went to bed last night at 12:30ish so I was probably asleep by 1am.  Ok, campers, lets do the math.  [drum roll please]  That works out to roughly 10 and 1/2 hours of sleep!!!!!! 

My body hates me.

Ok, ok, it really doesn’t hate me but it is being VERY demanding:

Me:  I’m going to get you into shape.  Here’s the work out plan.

Body: Excuse me?  Are you serious?  You’re nuts

Me:  Yes I’m serious about this.  We are going to get into shape.

Body: Fine.  But have you heard about this thing called “payback?”  heh heh heh

Me: Payback?

Body: Yes!  Go ahead, do something like dance for four and a half hours of practice and classes, and then drive a standard truck for another 2 hours commuting and then haul groceries up stairs and stretch and lift, go ahead and just try it boyo!  ‘Cause if you do, I’m going to make you SLEEP! I’m gonna make you REST!  But not until I make you ache and your muscles burn.  I’ve got friends ya know…  My buddies, who you know as the arches in your feet, are a nice set of twins who will make you regret all that dancing!

Me:  Do your worst…Ssssnnnnnnzzzzzzzzzz

*SIGH*

All kidding aside, it is horrible how much “recovery” time my body demands at this stage of the game.  And it is horrible how

Read the rest of this entry

We’ve struck an Iceberg in an ocean of Green Tea…


Ice Dispenser (CC)People are slobs.  I should know because both my roommate and I are both bachelors.  We.  Are.  Guys.  Do the math.

I prefer, however to view the situation at home as “having my priorities in order.”   After all, when the great tally at the end of life is done and folks are standing around with little cups of punch balancing small plates of snacks, I don’t think that “He kept a clean house” will be an epitaph by which I’d care to be remembered.

So, what does this have to do with the tea in China?  Actually it does have to do with tea.  As in the Green Tea that I’ve switched to now that I’ve mostly given up Diet Coke.  I’ve only had two (maybe three?–can’t remember for sure) glasses of Diet Coke over the past 2-3 weeks.  Yay Me!  Go Team Tony!  Uh-huh Uh-huh Uh-huh!

So.. I’ve been working on getting everything in place so  that can drink Green Tea at work instead of Diet Coke:

  • Buy four jugs of Organic Green Unsweetened Tea from Whole Foods —  Check!
  • Take half of my supply of Stevia from home to work.  — Check!
  • Snag a handful of individual packets of lemon juice from QT.  — Check!
  • Feel ever so slightly guilty at snagging the aforementioned lemon juice then getting over it quickly.  — Totally Check!
  • Remember to buy an extra “souvenir” spill proof container from Disney World while I was on vacation to use as my “Tea Glass” for work with lots of fun Disney Characters on it to make me smile when drinking tea.  — Check!
  • Take all those items to work.  — Check!

Awesome!  I so rock!  Woo Hoo!  You *can* tell this is going too easy right?

Read the rest of this entry

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