Agave is Worse for You than High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): Please Stay Away From the Stuff!

Agave_syrup1 In recent years, health-minded people and health food restaurants have been excitedly ingesting and switching to the supposed, “safe, “all natural” sweetener agave or agave nectar.

Time and time again, since 2003, four years before my book Sugar Shock! was published in December 2006, I’ve been warning people that agave is not safe. In fact, I’ve been telling people, it may be worse for you than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Again, for some seven years now, whenever people have asked me if agave is a good idea to use, my answer has always been the same:

“Stay away from agave, because it’s very high in fructose and may have more fructose than high fructose corn syrup.”

(more…)

Clever Book Marketing: “Be the Media” Author David Mathison’s Seeks to Squash Al Gore’s Record

Gore 6a00d83454bd8569e20120a94aca3a970b-800wi As an author (SUGAR SHOCK!), I'm often awed and intrigued by the brilliant marketing moves of fellow authors.

To pay homage to my fellow Author-Preneurs (a word I coined to convey or entrepreneurial stance) — and to help these authors build a buzz — I plan to periodically feature the clever marketing gimmicks of savvy authors in a new feature here, on my Sugar Shock Blog.

Today, I invite you to learn about David Mathison, author of the hot-selling book, Be The Media, who has launched an outrageous campaign to beat former Vice President Al Gore's book sales record at a particular northern California bookstore.

BeTheMedia_Cover_Animation3.jpg Currently, Gore holds the record for book sales at an author event at the popular Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera, California. But this Sunday, March 28, 2010, Mathison is setting his sights on breaking Gore's record. 

"If George Bush could beat him, so can I," declares a confident Mathison, who self-published Be The Media in 2009 to help teach the secrets of independent media to authors, musicians, filmmakers, bloggers, TV/radio hosts and vloggers so that they can inexpensively and widely distribute their message.

To create a buzz for just one book signing by seeking to rival a celebrity's turnout is brilliant book marketing in action. Because, let's face it, many authors dread or fret about book signings, because they never know how many fans will show up.

What's especially clever about Mathison's marketing ploy is that he's also encouraging fans based outside of California to help. He invites anyone — from around the world — to buy Be the Media right at his website. He even promises to personally autograph each book. And if you buy a bunch of copies of Be the Media (i.e., be a contributing donor), you can even win lunch with the author, take a photo with a life-size Al Gore, or discuss the invention of the Internet.

According to Mathison, "Diehard Be The Media activists and special guests will rally from noon to 4 pm outside the bookstore. From 4 to 5 pm, Mathison will deliver the same keynotes he gave in December 2009 and January 2010 to the United Nations."

As if that wasn't original enough, Mathison is now live streaming the pre-book-signing goings-on at his website, BeTheMedia.org, so supporters from across the globe can cheer him on and support his cause. The author even "promises to eat, drink, sleep, talk, and filibuster until he beats Gore." He even confidently proclaims: "Once Gore sees me closing in on the record," he says, "I'm sure he'll concede."

Mathison's book signing — and pre-book signing activities — will be held at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. in Corte Madera, California. (415) 927-0960 or (800) 999-7909. For press info, email Andrzej Sienko at andrzej@BeTheMedia.com or call him at (646) 707-9145. Fellow authors, we can learn from this savvy book marketing. Good luck, David! 

BEA 6a00d834520ed269e201156fc2430f970c-320wi While I'm on the subject of book marketing, I might as well share the most outrageous thing I've ever done.

Last year at BEA (Book Expo America) — where I ran into Mathison — I staged a zany, sandwich board publicity stunt in which I poked fun of my unmarried status to drum up publisher interest in my next book, which, at the time, was called the Better Habits Diet. (Instead, my next book — for which I will soon be seeking a publisher — is Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction in 5 Weeks.)

My fun-loving gimmick at BEA last year was intended to show to would-be publishers (the "suitors" I was seeking) that I have the chutzpah, promotional panache and marketing creativity that's needed in these trying times.

While my BEA marketing ploy drew lots of chuckles and some publisher interest, it didn't go over well with one publishing insider, who doubted my writing abilities (ouch!). She even blasted me in her blog post, which had the condescending title, "Authorpreneurs, my stinky foot."

Now that last year's tactic is a fun memory, you can now read a press release I wrote about it here.

And you can get a thoughts about last year's BEA from Shelf-Awareness.

Do you know of any Clever Book Marketing Gimmicks? Please let me know, and I'll consider featuring it on this blog. The topic of the author's book can cover anything from health and wellness to romance to business. I'll post whatever I deem to be worthy of mentioning.)

Meatless Monday: Will You Join Us?

Meatless Monday Tomorrow, I’m joining the important Meatless Monday campaign.

I now pledge to do my part in 2010 to help reduce meat consumption by 15 percent “in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

Will you, too, join this important, healthy, fast growing movement, which is a non-profit initiative sponsored in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health?

Of course, you smart, astute, health-conscious readers will have questions. Get answers and learn important information below how going meatless on Monday can improve your health, save gasoline and much more.

Get some history about this important program.

Why go Meatless?

Why Monday?

Learn about Movers & Shakers going Meatless.

Michael Pollan quote about Meatless Monday

And find out about Top Meatless Monday Moments in 2009 involving Michael Pollan, the movie Food, Inc., Al Gore, Lou Dobbs, Glen Beck, Laura Ingraham, Kathy Freston and Paul McCartney.

Make Meatless Monday one of your New Year’s resolutions, too.

Let’s get down to basics now. What can you eat if you skip the meat?

It’s very easy to go meatless on Monday. Instead of having chicken, beef or pork,
just get your protein (2 to 3 servings) from beans, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds instead.

Naturally, you’ll want to eat ample vegetables (5 to 5 servings) and fruits (2 to 3 servings), as well as, whole grains (if you choose) and small portions of quality fats (2 to 3 tablespoons).

Plus, I’m excited to learn, the Meatless Monday folks encourage you to limit sweets, sweetened beverages, fried foods, salty snacks and foods with hydrogenated oils. Of course, as readers of this Sugar Shock Blog and my book SUGAR SHOCK! know,  I highly recommend cutting out or at least cutting back on sugary foods and drinks for the sake of your health, moods and relationships.

Get some tips on easy substitutions to eat here.

Now get answers on your nutritional quandaries.

Learn about Seasonal Picks.

Join the Movement now.

Learn about Meatless Monday in the Media. 

Listen to what the experts are saying.

Al Gore quote about Meatless Monday

Get some Monday Recipe Videos, too.

You can even get cool ideas for foods to try on the Meatless Monday site. Learn now about magnificent almonds. and get a recipe for Almond Butter Cups. (I’m not sure if the chocolate chips are sugar-free. I hope so.)

Are you a blogger. Join Bloggers on Board to promote Meatless Monday to our readers.

Special thanks to Joshua Rosenthal, founder and executive director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, for inspiring me to join Meatless Monday. It was this article, which I learned about on Facebook, which inspired me to action.

Find out about IIN this Thursday, Jan. 7 from 3 pm to 3:30 pm EST, when I’m interviewed for a teleseminar/webinar. Sign up now.

Speed Shrinking is the Hot, New Trend

Check out this cool interview all about the new wave of Speed Shrinking, a trend that’s been created, thanks to my friend Susan Shapiro, author of the entertaining, new novel Speed Shrinking, which offers a humorous account about how a self-help guru (a sugar-addiction specialist, no less) going on a shrink shopping spree, seeing 8 in 8 days to help stop her cupcake binging right before a major TV appearance.

See the fun news story that ran about it. As you’ll see, I was one of the “Speed Shrinkers.”

My Zany Publicity Stunt at Book Expo America

As they say, each picture is worth 1,000 words. So I'll just let these photos show you what I was doing this past weekend at Book Expo America in New York City to drum up interest in my next book, The Weight-Loss Habits of Highly Successful Losers. (It was formerly called The White-Out Diet and The Better Habits Diet.).

Suffice it to say that it was one amazing weekend, and things are looking quite promising for my next book. I'm eager to get this book into your hands so it can help you..

Read the press release about my zany publicity stunt here.

Sandwich Board 5-31-09 001

Sandwich Board 5-31-09 012

Lakers’ Lamar Odom: Is His Candy Habit Triggering His Uneven Performance on the Basketball Court?

Lamar Odom 34519670 Why does the Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom have an uneven performance on the basketball court such as this flagrant foul?

In a blog post, entitled “The Lakers’ Lamar Odom, Sweet Tooth and Erratic Play,” Dr. Daniel Amen, a Lakers fan since a child, presents a compelling theory — the basketball player’s compulsive candy
habit is to blame.

After interviewing hundreds of experts for my book SUGAR SHOCK! and suffering my own horrific, sugar-induced nightmare, the physician’s concept makes perfect sense.

Dr. Amen, author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and Magnificent Mind at Any Age, writes that Odom “is
unbelievably talented, but often acts like a space cadet during games.

“He can play great, and be worth his
14 million-dollar salary, or he can act like he is `missing in action.'”

Indeed, acting like a space cadet or have brain fog is clearly a manifestation of low blood sugar, which can be triggered by eating too many sweets.

Kudos to Dr. Amen for pointing out that “Odom’s massive consumption of candy leads to a
sugar high and then a crash, evidence of which can be seen on the
basketball court.”

Dr. Amen writes: “I’ve been telling my patients for years that sugar acts like a drug in
the brain. It causes blood sugar levels to spike and then crash,
leaving you feeling tired, irritable, foggy, and stupid. Eating too
much sugar impairs cognitive function, which may explain why Odom
doesn’t always make the smartest decisions on the court.”

Do you think Dr. Amen’s theory is hogwash? Bet you’ll change your mind after watching the Candy Confessions of the 6’10” Lakers forward, as revealed in this ESPN video, dubbed, “Lamar Odom: The Candy Man.”

My head is shaking in both sympathy and worry upon learning about Odom’s sweet tooth, which has to be called a sugar addiction.

“I’m the supplier of candy on that team. If you need that candy fix, I’ve got it,” he admits.

Why doesn’t his doctor alert him to the dangers of his candy ways? And why does it take a doctor who’s a fan to warn him?

Clearly, Odom doesn’t realize that his obsessive candy habit could pave the way not only to fuzzy thinking and brain fog, but to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and much more. Even though he’s doing lots of exercise on the basketball court, he still can be setting himself up for ailments galore.

Folks, let’s help him! Someone who says, “I’m like a chocolate freak at night,” needs our support.

My heart goes out to him when he admits, “It’s bad. We all got our vices, and sugar is just one of mine.”

Oh my goodness, no offense meant, but Odom, you need HELP now! Your sugar habit could do you in!

Sounds like you could benefit from both my book SUGAR SHOCK!, as well as from Dr. Amen’s books, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and Magnificent Mind at Any Age.

Special thanks to Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Penner for sharing this candy concept.

FYI, in deference to my sugar-addict fans and because I’m dedicated to helping people break free of their sugar addiction so that they can concentrate better, lose weight, relieve depression, boost their libido and more, I’m deliberately not naming Odom’s many candy preferences by name.

My Author Friend & I Are Going Zany During Book Expo America This Week

For this important week in publishing — during which Book Expo America takes place — my fun author friend Dr. Diana Kirschner and I are playfully going out on a limb to drum up interest in our books. Here's a press release that's now going out to the media today.

Authors Develop Zany, Outrageous Marketing Gimmicks to Nab Publishers & Fans in this Uncertain Economic Climate:

Author Connie Bennett Playfully Wears Sandwich Board Asking, “Are You ‘The One?’” at Book Expo America

                CONTACT: Connie Bennett, connie@sugarshock.com, (866) 542-5784 

(May 28, 2009) NEW YORK—As authors vie for publishers’ and readers’ attention in this uncertain economic climate, some innovative, pro-active authors are developing over-the-top, outrageous, humorous marketing gimmicks.

“It’s time to become an out-of-the-box-thinking author-preneur, who creates captivating messages and publicity stunts that nab the attention of readers and publishers,” claims author Connie Bennett, who is laughingly walking around Book Expo America on Friday and Saturday sporting a provocative, 24”-by-30” sandwich board that says, “Are You ‘The One’?”

The amiable author’s “Are You `The One?’” message—which looks like a single’s personal ad—pokes fun of the fact that Bennett is available as a single woman and as an author with a Big Platform. Her sandwich board goal: A “committed relationship” with a “compatible publisher” to release her second book.

“I wanted to playfully show that I have the guts, initiative and ingenuity to be a successful author no matter what the economic climate,” adds Bennett, an experienced journalist, certified health counselor, self-described “Ex-Sugar Shrew!,” the Better Habits Coach™ and author of the book SUGAR SHOCK! (Berkley Books) (www.SugarShock.com).

SUGAR SHOCK! (Berkeley Books)—a bestseller on Amazon—has a foreword by Dr. Nicholas Perricone and has been endorsed by Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Christiane Northrup and film mogul Harvey Weinstein. The book’s contributing author is cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra.

Bennett’s second book—for which she’s publisher hunting—is a fun, friendly, compassionate, diet book,
The Better Habits Diet: Slim Down, Boost Energy, Rev Up Your Libido & Be Happier in Only 21 Days. Fans of Bennett already are signing up in advance to buy it at the blog, www.BetterHabitsDiet.com.

The single author facetiously promises on her sandwich board, “Will put out on first date!!”—meaning that she’ll be happy to share information about her new book with interested publishers. Admittedly, Bennett is “embarrassed” by her bold sign. To that end, she’s even offering passers-by nuts to underscore the nuttiness of her marketing campaign. The author also promises to meet publishing suitors—not at the Empire State Building like “Sleepless in Seattle”—but at “Booth 3534 at the Top of Every Hour.”

Another author using out-of-the-box marketing techniques is psychologist and relationship expert Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., who, in March began starring with her 4-pound Pomerian, Madison, in a series of zany, dating-advice videos posted on YouTube to drum up sales for her new book, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love (Center Street).

In Dr. Diana’s “Simply Irresistible Flirting Moves” webisode series (www.YouTube.com/lovein90days), she humorously illustrates flirting techniques with her adorable pooch, who “plays” a hot guy. In one month, the series has had 40,000 views. Dr. Dianas videos, which she launched without publisher support, also have attracted more than 56,000 friends, over 81,000 viewers and nearly 3,000 new subscribers to her YouTube channel. The author’s zany marketing gimmick has been so successful that YouTube—which links directly to the Amazon sales page for her book—has granted Dr. Diana partner status, driving even more traffic to her website. (www.lovein90days.com).

With the publishing industry at a crossroads, Bennett and Dr. Diana are part of an emerging trend of pro-active author-preneurs, who are building their platforms and driving book sales through creative PR stunts that also bring laughter into the equation.           # #  #

Michelangelo’s David Returns to Italy After Touring the U.S.

This clever, fictional visual spoof — posted by a variety of bloggers such as the Director Blue Blog, the Democratic Underground and British reporter Daniel Hannan (The Telegraph) — aptly portrays the terribly tragic, ever-widening, health-harming effect that certain American food companies have on the waistlines of people living or visiting here.

This satiric photo essay is sad but also funny, isn’t it?

Now, read the brief commentary that goes with this satiric transformation.

“After a two-year loan to the Smithsonian Museum in the United States, Michelangelo’s David has returned to Italy.”

Where did David’s vava-voom appeal go? Well, just look at the fictional sponsors.

“The visit was generously funded by:


 

What a brilliant, but horribly depressing commentary on our epidemic of obesity.

What do you think of this clever commentary? Share your thoughts.

Bloggers: Learn How to Nab Eyeballs & Peacefully Win the “War” from a Pro, the “Copyblogger”

If you're a fellow blogger, you always yearn for more traffic, right?

To garner more fans and followers, I heartily urge you to read this fabulous post from Copyblogger, "Your Blog vs. The World: 7 Steps to Winning the War for Attention."

Blogger Jonathan Morrow eloquently presents the plight facing us bloggers.

We're waging four battles at once, including "against anything that distracts your reader from making it all the way through your content," Jonathan explains.

"Here, you’re at war against the world. You’re up
against the child that knocked over her apple juice onto the rug, the
dog barking to go outside, the phone ringing at work, and the e-mail
that just arrived in their inbox."

Read the Copyblogger's thoughtful eight-pronged solution so you can win the blogging battle and get your posts read from start to finish.

This post sure provoked me to thought — and to action. For instance, I need to think about a strategic content plan. Dear readers, let's hope it does the same with you!

Did you like this post? If so, please spread the word by clicking on one of the orange links below. 

Smile & Then Spread Grins Galore By Sharing This Great Video!

You will feel so exhilarated and happy after seeing this "Validation" video!

Thanks you so much, Warren Whitlock (follow him here on Twitter), for mentioning it last night on the Twitter Tuesday program with Phil Johncock (follow his tweets, too).

And thanks ever so much to the Rich Prosperity and Success Blog, too for sharing this joy-spreading video!

Watch it now and smile! It'll make your day. Then share this with your friends, family members and fans, too to bring them good cheer, too.