Get Tips to Help Your Ailing Parents on Gab with the Gurus

p>Jacqueline MarcellAre you a caregiver — full-time or part-time for your ailing parents or grandparents, who are behaving angrily or erratically and may be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?

If so, I encourage you to catch my most recent Gab with the Gurus Show with Jacqueline Marcell, who is now on a mission to provide solutions and hope to caregivers, help improve eldercare laws, show healthcare professionals how to better help families, encourage Alzheimer’s research funding, bring attention to early diagnosis, prevent elder abuse, and bring attention to funding for Adult Day Care Services, which “saved” her parents’ lives ad well as her own.

Jacqueline will give you 6 tips to help you through this challenging time of standing by your loved one(s).

Listen to the show here. And spread the word to your friends also caring for their ailing parents.

More Health Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Gab With the Gurus on BlogTalkRadio

And make sure to catch next week’s Gab with the Gurus Show with renowned neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, who talks about the phenomenon of what he dubs Grain Brain.


My Most Popular Blog Posts: What Did I Forget?

Here’s a list of my some of my most popular posts on this Sugar Shock Blog. Please check back, because I’m still adding to this list. (It’s taking a while to compile all the hot posts since I founded this Sugar Shock Blog in early June 2005,.

What did I forget? Please let me know some of your favorites.

Weight Loss Assistance

Musings and Commentary

Holiday Help

The Sour Scoop About Sugar

The Fallacy of Diet Foods

Tips to Let Go of Sugar or Pile off the Pounds

Humorous Takes on the News

Help to Shop

Social Media

Woo-Hoo, Feel-Good Tunes

Listen to Guests on My Gab with the Gurus Shows

Other Health Posts


Did I leave out your favorite posts? Let me know which one(s) to include.


Connie Bennett is a former sugar-addicted journalist and the author of two bestselling books, Beyond Sugar Shock and Sugar Shock,  Connie’s sour-to-sweet story began in 1998, when she quit sugar on doctor’s orders. Her doctor blamed all 44 of her strange ailments (baffling brain fog, ferocious fatigue, horrible headaches, embarrassing mood swings, severe PMS, etc.) on her habit of eating hard candies, red licorice, refined crackers, and other quickie carbs. While releasing her sugar and carb addiction, Connie created many simple tactics to make letting go of sweets an easy, exciting adventure.

Since 2001, Connie has been helping thousands of sugar addicts worldwide through her Sugar Freedom Now Course, speaking, and coaching (she is a certified life coach, certified health coach and EFT practitioner). She founded this Sugar Shock Blog on June 7, 2005.

Subscribe now to this Sugar Shock Blog to get juicy tidbits, tips, and musings on healh, wellness, personal empowerment, social media, and more.

 Please let me know if I left out some of your favorites.

Facebook Disabled My Account: Too Friendly too Fast?

Lindsay Lohan Facebook has disabled both my account,, and my public page,

(Although I can’t post to the latter fan page, I believe you can still join and post comments to previous posts.)

Suffice it to say that I was quite disappointed upon being told:

Your account has been disabled by an administrator. If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page here.

I finally discovered the error of my ways — my “violation” after carefully reviewing Facebook’s Warnings.

I also absorbed such helpful blog posts as “13 Reasons Your Facebook Acount Will be Disabled” Facebook from Thor Muller of Get Satisfaction and “Facebook Account Deactivation — Can It Be Avoided” from Facebook guru Mari Smith.

Apparently, my offense was this: I wrote too quickly to people who’d
requested to be my friends before accepting them. At the same time, I did what thought was a smart time-saving move — I simply cut and pasted innocuous messages such as “Wow! Lots of friends in common. Look forward to your posts.”

GuyTo put on my playful attitude (you have to in a case like this!), a fun way to describe my Facebook violation is this: I was too friendly too fast for Facebook! That, combined with cutting and pasting messages, was interpreted as being potentially “annoying or abusive.”

As best as I can guess, Facebook erroneously assumed that I was a spamming machine instead of a health-oriented, flesh-and-blood lady, who often encourages people to get on the social networking site, which had 250 million followers as of July 15, 2009, according to CEO/founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook, I’ve now learned, limits the number of times a user can send the same
message or make the same post. (I’ve learned my lesson! So much for saving time!)

Clearly, Facebook needs to set limits to protect users from spam, but unfortunately in its zeal to do so, many of us innocents are wrongly tossed out of the site. If you’re on Facebook, I would strongly advise reading all of Rights & Responsibilities so you don’t suffer similarly. Anyhow, I hope to be back on Facebook soon to connect with you, but in the meantime, here’s what I discovered about the unsettling experience of being booted off the social networking place to be.

Every day, about 6,000 people are banned for a variety of reasons, according a site that helps people, whose accounts have been disabled. (The Facebook Disabled site is not affiliated with Facebook.)

Although I can’t vouch for these figures (trying to reach a Facebook rep to ask questions for a story), if you get on Google to do a search for “Facebook Robert_Scoble_(cropped) account disabled,” you turn up a whopping 38,100,000 hits (as of today).

Among those who’ve been disabled are the renowned Internet marketers/social media gurus/authors Robert Scoble (to your left here) and Guy Kawasaki (above left), as well as actress Lindsay Lohan, who vented about her mistaken identity on MySpace.

You also can read about the travails of Jo-Anne Vandermeulen, author of Conquer All Obstacles, and artist Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio, as well as reporter Craig Daitch of Advertising Age.

Meanwhile, you can get enlightened by Computer World,  (“Disgruntled Facebook Users Look to Get Disabled Accounts Reactivated”). In addition, you can learn from the articles on TechCrunch “Facebook-Stirring Up Anger for Disabling Accounts”) and the Sydney Morning Herald (“Facebook-Giveth, Facebook Taketh Away.”)

Moving over to YouTube, you can watch Dark Angel, whose account was shut down twice because he wasn’t using his real name, according to Facebook, that is. (He had his name legally changed.) You can even watch a parody from Internet strategist  Erin Blaskie. (See video below.)

Despite my challenges of being disabled, I’m still a huge fan of Facebook, which is why I invite you to still be active on it but be careful. Listen now to my radio show about Facebook with the following experts:

Karel Baloun 1265907798a4656712569ml Special thanks to Karel (left), a former Facebook engineeer, for being so nice to me since my account was disabled. Greg was also helpful.

Stay tuned for an upcoming Gab With the Gurus Radio Show –– date is being determined — that will teach you about Facebook’s rules and regulations and help you avoid my fate and NOT to be disabled from the site.

But first listen to the fun Facebook radio show with all the experts cited above. Meanwhile, if you’re a journalist, here’s another great radio show about Facebook with Sree Sreenivasan, Dean of Student Affairs and Columbia University digital media professor.

Now, get entertained by Erin Blaskie’s parody, “I was Banned From Facebook — Game Show Parody.”

Artificial Sweeteners: Do We Need Yet Another Fake Sugar Product?

Aren't there enough artificial sweeteners already on the market to potentially harm you?

Now Ajinomoto is seeking FDA approval for Advantame, a new sweetener that's derived from the same amino acids as aspartame and vanillin.

Oh goodness, why do we need another aspartame-like sweetener?

Before you ingest ANY aspartame or aspartame look-alike, I urge you to do some research.

Find out about its 92 reported side effects of aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure).

Read about aspartame's controversial approval process.

Find out how one health authority calls it the most dangerous substance on the market today.

Learn about angry people, who claim aspartame is poison.

Are you one of those dependent on artificial sweeteners? Tell us why you use this stuff. Would you like to break free?

By the way, for much of this week, I've been suffering from an awful reaction to mannitol, which was apparently slipped into a supplement I've been taking. Unfortunately, it took sleuthing on my part to figure out why I'd been so sick (severe, doubled-over-in-pain cramps; running to you-know-where often; bloating; etc.)

I'm so angry! Why would a company (or companies) sneakily add an artificial sweetener into its supplement? Although I'm a lot better, I'm still having some issues and trying to figure out which producdt is not listing its sugar alchol content. I suspect that mannitol or another sugar alcohol is included in another of my supplements but, unfortunately, it's not labeled!

More Kids Taking Drugs to Combat Obesity-Related Illnesses, Analyses Say

From Jennifer Moore for SUGAR SHOCK! Blog

This SUGAR SHOCK! Blog recently posted on the startling new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics that kids as young as eight be treated with statins to control high cholesterol.

Now, Stephanie Saul of the New York Times tells us of data from three organizations showing that the number of children taking drugs intended for adults is on the rise.

Childhood obesity accounts for much of this unfortunate phenomenon. For example, according to an analysis by Medco Solutions, a pharmacy benefit management firm, the number of American kids taking oral diabetes medications spiked an amazing 150% between 2001 and 2007. (Goodness, that’s awful.)

Times reporter Saul also reports that pharmacy benefit management company Express Scripts finds an increase of 15% of drugs to reduce cholesterol and other blood fat levels in children, while health care data company Verispan reveals a 13% increase in high blood pressure drug prescriptions in youth under 19 from 2005 to 2007.

The thought of children taking adult drugs to fight conditions due to obesity both alarms and saddens me. For starters, how do we know that these powerful medications are even safe for such young bodies? Sounds outrageous.

But an anecdote in Saul’s story told by Francine Kaufman, M.D., of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to a recent Senate subcommittee hearing on childhood obesity makes the impulse to resort to such measures more understandable. Dr. Kaufman told the tale of a 13-year-old girl whose weight exploded to 267 pounds.

“To control her high blood sugar level, her high blood pressure, and her high cholesterol, this young girl left my office with five medications,” Dr. Kaufman said, according to Saul.

Dr. Kaufman also said that lifestyle changes are the first line of defense but don’t always work; some of her patients live in poor areas without access to healthy foods in grocery stores and many attend schools that don’t provide physical education for their students.

This all points out how critical it is that we work our hardest to prevent childhood obesity. This also illustrates how badly we’ve failed to do that so far. Adults everywhere, from parents up to the highest levels of government need to wake up now, because our kids are paying a very high price for that failure.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: FDA Says It’s Natural

Gerry Pugliese for the SUGAR SHOCK! Blog

If you milk an ear of corn, high fructose corn syrup comes out. Apparently the Food and Drug Administration believes this to be true, because they’ve announced that HFCS is natural.

The decision, written in a correspondence to the Corn Refiners Association, is a backtrack by the FDA, reports Laura Crowley of Food Navigator-USA.

In April, an FDA regulator stated that HFCS could not be considered “natural” because high fructose corn syrup is manufactured using a synthetic fixing agent, Crowley pointed out.

However, the FDA now says that if the synthetic agents—called glutaraldehyde—do not come into contact with the high-dextrose corn starch, they can be considered natural.

This is a big win for the Corn Refiners Association, but this will undoubtedly confuse consumers.

No matter what you call it, high fructose is not natural. What’s more, research shows that it can be quite unhealthy. Need reasons why?

You can also read about HFCS in Connie’s book, SUGAR SHOCK! For instance, she discusses some of the recent, eye-opening studies about it.

Personally, I avoid HFCS like the plague. And if I see it on a food label, I don’t buy the stuff.

Gerry Pugliese

Diet Soda Danger: Chicago Tribune Cites SUGAR SHOCK!

Chicago tribuneThanks to Chicago Tribune columnist Julie Deardorff for drawing attention in Sunday’s paper (March 9, 2008) to the dangers of diet soda and offering some valuable tips to people on how to kick the beverage.

Her much-needed column, “Stop! Don’t Reach for that Diet Soda,” also included some quotes and remarks from me.

Bear in mind, as I also mentioned to Julie for this companion piece, artifically sweetened foods and drinks can be just as dangerous as sugar, and recent research — which I’ve written about here previously — shows that these “diet substances” can actually trigger carb cravings and weight gain.

So if you’re going to cut out or phase back on sugar and refined carbs, it can be quite counter-productive to then swap sugar for diet foods and drinks. Rather, it can be more helpful to get in touch with your true taste buds.

“Diet Foods & Drinks” With Artificial Sweeteners: Can They Make You Gain Rather Than Lose Weight? Another Study Says Yes

Yet another medical study suggests that "diet" drinks and foods just aren’t an effective weight loss tool.

More specifically, this new study —  from researchers at Purdue University — reveal that artificially sweetened foods may make you gain — rather than lose — weight. What’s more, you could pack on body fat to boot.

Not only that, but these fake sugar substitutes many cause more weight gain than sugar.

Pretty compelling findings, right?

But don’t take this as license to ditch the sugar substitutes and go for the sugar instead. (As readers of SUGAR SHOCK! know, I’m not a fan of large quantities of sugar or artificial sweeteners.)

The new study — which can be read in the current issue of the American Psychological Association’s Behavioral Neuroscience — found that rats fed yogurt sweetened with the artificial sweetener saccharin gained body weight and body fat.

In fact, the researchers conclude their data indicate that "consumption of products containing artificial sweeteners may lead to increased body weight and obesity by interfering with fundamental homeostatic, physiological processes."

SwithersdavidsonloThis isn’t the first time we’ve heard such artificial-sweeteners-can-make-you-gain-weight conclusions from study co-authors Susan E. Swithers, Ph.D., an associate professor, and Terry Davidson, a professor, both in the psychological services department at Purdue University.

Back in April 2004, in a paper called, "A Pavlovian Approach to the Problem of Obesity," which appeared in the International Journal of Obesity — she and colleague Terry Davidson discussed two more studies showing that artificial sweeteners may disrupt the body’s natural ability to "count" calories based on foods’ sweetness.

Interestingly, these studies rely on the idea that like Pavlov’s dogs, which salivated at the sound of a bell (because they expected food even if none was in sight), these rats fed artificial sweeteners tend to anticipate lots of calories when they taste something sweet.

So, with the new study, when the rats ate saccharin-sweetened food containing no calories, the rats ate more and gained weight nonetheless.

"The animals that had the artificial sweetener appear to have a different anticipatory response," Dr. Swithers told Alice Park of TIME magazine.


National School Lunch Week

Our nutrition-savvy friends at Better School Food, which is run by the hard-working Dr. Susan Rubin, inform us that this is National School Lunch Week (from Oct. 15 to 29).

Basically, National School Lunch Week is an initiative sponsored by the School Nutrition Association, which, as you can learn here, is a national, nonprofit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members providing high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.

Wondering how you can help out? Just join Dr. Rubin (one of Two Angry Moms), as well as other health-food supporters for a "Lunch-In" and take take your child to lunch in the school cafeteria.


Sugarfree Doesn’t Mean Safe or Healthy: The Myth About Artificially Sweetened Candies, Cookies, Drinks, Etc.

Granted, I’m alarmed about the dangers of sugars and refined carbs and how the typical American’s over consumption of them can lead to a host of ailments, including heart disease, cancer, depression and early aging, but why do companies and people automatically assume that chemically produced, made-in-the-lab, "fake" sweeteners are any better than sugar?

Please, folks, research the subject before you inject foods with Splenda, aspartame, ace-K, sugar alcohols, etc. up. Bear in mind that these products don’t come from Mother Nature — they’re made in a lab.

If you’re thinking about kicking or cutting back on sugar and refined carbs and want to replace them with artificial sweeteners, please read the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section of my book SUGAR SHOCK! first, where I answer popular queries about artificial sweeteners, thanks to the help of several artificial sweeteners experts and medical studies.