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sugar in our diet–and what we drink.

Choosing what we drink is sometimes an afterthought in the American diet.

Have we really thought of the number of empty calories and the sugar content that we consume?

4 grams of sugar is 1 teaspoon.

The American Heart Association recommends adult women have no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of sugar and men no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams). The list below shows the amount of sugar in grams then teaspoons and the amount of calories in a 12 oz. serving of a few popular sodas. Keep in mind that in the fast food world, a medium size drink is 21 oz and a large is 30! So in essence, double and triple the numbers below!!! ouch.

How much sugar is in that Soda?

Mt. Dew comes in at 65 grams of sugar equal to 17 teaspoons.

Pepsi is 58 grams at 15 teaspoons, and Orange is 49 grams at 12 teaspoons.

Coke, 7 Up and Gingerale are 39, 38 and 32 grams respectively at 10 and 8 teaspoons.

  1. Energy drink  38 grams             10 teaspoons         
  2. Gatorade*        34 grams              9 teaspoons           *20 oz. bottle
  3. Sports drink   20 grams              5 teaspoons            
  4. Fruit drink        42 grams             11 teaspoons   

Hey–what about zero sugar or sugar free beverages?

They must be better….well…A 2015 study in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found that diet soda has a direct effect on abdominal obesity in adults over 65.1
(2015, Fowler,Sharon P.G., Williams, Ken MS, Hazuda, Helen P, Phd, Journal of American Geriatrics Society.)

Homemade kombucha has even less sugar with a longer ferment.

Image by Melanie Rodriguez from Pixabay

So, I’ll have a vitamin water, or kombucha.

The sugar content of these drinks is still pretty high. See the list below.

Vitamin water (20 oz)            32 grams            8 teaspoons

Kombucha (homemade)  18 grams             5 teaspoons

KeVita ginger                 16 grams              4 teaspoons

KeVita lime, mint, coconut 4 grams 1 teaspoon

Humm Hopped grapefruit 13 grams 3 teaspoons

Humm Ginger juniper 5 grams 1 teaspoon

What are the effects of sugar on the body?

The amount of sugar found in one soda can inhibit your immune system for a minimum of 5 hours. It depletes vitamins and minerals that are needed for immune function such as vitamin C.

Too much sugar leads to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, a shorter lifespan, and early puberty in girls.

Diabetes mellitus is caused by a lack of insulin which is made in the pancreas.  Insulin is responsible for the absorption of glucose into the liver.  Type 2 diabetes most of the time occurs over the age of 40 with those that are overweight.

What can we do to curb sugar consumption?

Choose water over soda, by swapping out one soda for water or another sparkly zero-calorie drink, can lower sugar consumption by 25% a day.

Natural sugars from fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose) are still sugar, but healthier than added sugars.  Remember that honey and agave are still sugar.

Mix ½ sweetened drink with ½ unsweetened.

Sip a smoothie in the afternoon instead of that afternoon latte.

Herbs such as lemon balm, any mint such as peppermint, or spearmint is a wonderful refreshing beverage in the summer.

Fruit and herbs are a natural vitamin water.

The next few blogs I will talk more about diabetes and sugar, and alternatives.

Be safe,


“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.”

Proverbs 25:21
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Thieves blend

I wanted to write a blog post a few weeks ago about Thieves blend, because everyone started getting sick with Covid and the flu and whatever else was in the air. Seemed like a good idea…. then I got busy and even I didn’t feel all that great. Time goes by and there are tons of posts everywhere…from Pappas on Facebook etc., about the blend. So, I am thinking, why bother. He’s the expert, and I will defer to him. The only problem with that is the fact that it is so technical…. just takes the joy out of it. He said “This drop may weigh more than that drop”….I personally can’t be that challenged.

A word about the blend though…I hate the aroma of clove. To me, it overpowers everything else. Cinnamon, I love, and the other oils, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary, in the blend are ok…. but this is not my favorite blend.

Let’s look at the oils

Clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata)

Dating back to the third century, cloves were one of the first spices noted in history. The evergreen tree, in the Myrtaceae family, that produces the flower buds is the Syzygium aromaticum. In the oil of clove, the main constituent, eugenol is 73-97% depending on if the bud or leaf essential oil is used. Rubbing a whole clove on the gum near an infected tooth or for a toothache will numb the area–that is the analgesic effect of the spice.

Robert Tisserand’s 2nd edition on Essential Oil Safety has 3-4 pages written on the safety of Eugenol.  In clove bud @ 74-97% and clove leaf @ 77-88%, it is important to know how to safely use clove essential oils.

Lemon, (Citrus limon) used a lot in aromatherapy for cleaning surfaces. I wrote an extensive piece on lemon in my ezine for summer. Check it out in the products page.

Cinnamon which I love but again is overpowering like clove oil. Cinnamon bark oil can be “hot” so it is very important to dilute it properly. Start low and slow.

Eucalyptus and rosemary have the active ingredient 1,8-cineole which is why I don’t use thieves so much….the constituent is not safe for asthmatics.

According to review in Frontiers in Plant Science, Pandemics and Traditional Plant-Based Remedies. A Historical-Botanical Review in the Era of COVID19–
“A remedy named “the four thieves vinegar” was very popular: it consisted in several herbs, such as angelica (Angelica archangelica), camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), cloves (Syzygium aromaticum), garlic (Allium sativum), marjoram (Origanum majorana), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), and sage (Salvia officinalis), brewed in vinegar (Gattefosse, 1937). Before going out, people should apply it on hands and face for avoiding to contract the plague.”

In 2009, oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) a drug derived from the species Ilicium verum (star anise, from family Schisandraceae) was also crucial to treat most severe cases, although the production of this compound is limited by the low productivity of the tree, and synthetic derivatives are being developed (Macip, 2020).

One historical reference has people eating more onions for cold and flu, look up an oxymel: apple cider vinegar, honey and garlic.

Remember to wash your hands!

Happy blending,