Soylent and Proposition 65

Lots of people have been gleefully reposting links to a PR Newswire press release from a group who are suing the makers of Soylent for failing to comply with California’s Proposition 65. Test results commissioned by As You Sow, conducted by an independent laboratory, show that one serving of Soylent 1.5 can expose a consumer to a concentration of lead that is 12 to 25 times above California’s Safe Harbor level for reproductive health, and a concentration of cadmium that is at least 4 times greater than the Safe Harbor level for cadmium.

Health Kick: 1 year update

A year ago, in the wake of Christmas over-indulgence and an 88kg body mass, I started my 2014 Health Kick. This is my one year update. My weight today was 76.3kg. I decided to post an update after a year because the statistics on weight loss are pretty stark: only around 21% of overweight people can lose 10% of their body weight and then keep the weight off for a year.

In which I try Soylent

So, I ordered a batch of Soylent, and it finally shipped to me. Before I talk about my experiences, though, I feel like I should head off a few common criticisms. “Why do you hate food?” I don’t hate food. I love food in almost all its varieties. I love salads, curries of all nations from India to Thailand, pizza, pasta, stir fry, tacos, bread, omelets, flatbreads, hummus, all kinds of foods.

Health Kick: Diet is hard, let’s go shopping

Here are the basic rules I set out to follow when food shopping, in roughly descending order of importance: Aim for under 28g of sugar per day, excluding sugar in raw fruits and vegetables. Whole grain everything. Try to increase my fat intake towards the upper end of the recommended daily amount, so that food would taste better without sugar, have a lower glycemic load, and cut my hunger for longer.

Health Kick: Ten simple improvements

Well, notionally simple. Actually having the willpower, well, that’s a whole separate discussion. But here are some tricks to start with. 1. Stop drinking soda The first thing I did after deciding I needed to lose weight, was to cut my soda intake to zero. There is absolutely nothing good about soda. A single can of Coke contains more than a day’s sugar. Soda has no nutrient value aside from the glucose which makes up half the sugar, and it will often leave you thirstier.

Food labeling news

I’ve noticed some recent discussion and news coverage of the idea of labeling foods with red, amber or green labels, based on how healthy they are. It’s known as the ‘traffic light’ system. This isn’t actually a new idea. It was proposed in 2006 in the UK, but didn’t happen then because of objections from the processed food industry. Studies had examined the effect of the traffic light labels on people’s eating, compared to US-style ‘recommended daily intake‘ labels.

Bromeliad adventures

We went to Whole Foods to get a few grocery items. In particular, we needed fresh coffee, and they had coffee which was so freshly roasted that it was still warm. They also had a small stand with free samples of pineapple. I like pineapple, so I tried some. It was delicious–quite the sweetest, most delightful bit of pineapple I’d tasted in a long time. I looked at the sign. For under $5, an entire pineapple could be mine.

Let them eat cake!

Last week I found myself in Cissi’s Wine Bar on South Congress. If you know me, you might be thinking that I’m not really the wine bar type. It’s true, and I think it was the first time I’d ever been in one. However, they were having a special event which involved free desserts, and that is my vice. Belgian Ale Doughnuts are awesome, especially when dipped in caramel sauce.

Dangerously convenient Thai food

A couple of weeks ago I saw a new Thai place had opened up a few blocks from our house. Today I was bored of my usual lunch fare, and decided to check it out. It’s called _thai_fresh and is at 909 West Mary, in the same block as Café Caffeine. One wall is occupied by Thai groceries. Opposite that is the kitchen area, and in front is a cabinet with the dishes on offer.

Fourth of July

A friend from New Zealand celebrated her first 4th of July as a new US Citizen by throwing a big “white trash” themed 4th of July barbecue. Having completed 10 years of US residence in January, I’d been considering throwing a red, white and blue stars-and-stripes overkill party, but events had conspired against it. So when the invite to the barbecue arrived, we said “Hell yeah!”