Bad for You, Good for You: The "Ols"

Hey boys and girls,

Ever have one of those weeks where you eat or ingest something, either because you think – or someone tells you – it might be a good idea, only to have your body tell you the truth later?

That happened to me earlier this week. And I thought, what better way to suggest to or warn my peeps than in my blog? Call it my public service for the week. This is probably for the “TMI” category, but here goes (no regrets) …

Maltitol is BAD. Cruising down the cookie aisle in a small store close to where I work, I had a hankerin’ for something sweet, but my nutritious conscience was harping at me for getting ready to stuff my mouth with something not good for me for the upteenth time. And then I came across Aunt Gussie’s Sugar-Free cookies. Hmmm, I thought. Sugar-free, hey? I’d seen them in the store before, and considered trying them, but never stopped long enough to consider it. That day, I thought, what the hell … why not?

I looked at the different types of cookies and biscotti … turned over the packages and tried comparing them with regular cookies … they had slightly less fat content … and they had no sugar. They did have something called maltitol, which is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetening substitute. I had heard that anything with maltitol, you had to be careful not to eattoo much because they have a laxative effect. But I’d had some cookies with maltitol in the past, with no problems.

So I bought a box of chocolate chip almond cookies – small and very flat – and shoved them in my desk. Too bad I didn’t exercise any caution the next day, when I ripped into them during a somewhat stressful afternoon at work and inhaled about six of them … Wikipedia offers up this important tidbit about maltitol (which I wish I’d read then, and not about five minutes before typing this up):

Due to its slow absorption, excessive consumption can have laxative effect (I knew this) and often can cause gas and/or bloating. Maltitol is particularly demonized regarding gastric side effects because it is so easy for food producers to use it in vast quantities (due to its amazingly sugar-like properties) so consumers often end up consuming far more than they could most other sugar alcohols.

Yeah … so I had so much gas for the next six or seven hours after that, my belly was looking a bit distended. I could’ve given a Goodyear blimp or a pasture-grazing cow a good run for their money. And the tooting was relentless. No amount of Beano could possibly have helped me.

Aunt Gussie’s? Sweet fancy Moses! Try Aunt GASSIE’S.

Moral of the story: Kids, if have to interact with someone you detest and you want to drive them as far away from you as possible, by all means, eat as many maltitol-laden goods as you can get before said interaction. If you want a cookie, just eat the real thing. If you can’t have sugar, just eat something else.

Oreganol is (surprisingly, kinda) GOOD. Okay, so I developed this horrible cold over the last week and before long, it was mid-week – The day AFTER the “Maltitol incident” – and I felt like complete crap, and strongly considered calling in sick for the rest of the week. That evening my mom suggested I take the latest wellness remedy she swears by. It’s called Oreganol – comprised of Midterranean oregano and wild spice, mixed in olive oil, and touted by manufacturer North American Herb and Spice (converted believers) as a germ-killer.

I’d resisted for months because the stuff just smells vile. But desperate times call for desperate measures. So before bedtime, my mom put four drops in a egg cup full of water and told me to down the stuff. Gah. It was nasty … but the next day I didn’t feel as much like crap as before. I still have the sniffles, though. Was it the Oreganol? I’m not completely sure. But it may have helped.

That’s it for now, kids. Posse out. Girlfriend’s got to find herself a Halloween costume for this weekend!

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