Oh I have SO done this!! But baggies are a pain. I discovered when my kids were infants that those little formula measuring plastic containers were perfect for holding the right serving of protein powder and they’re made for pouring into bottles!
Clandestine labs. Secret testing. Underground smuggling rings. But this crystalline powder wasn’t being sold on a street corner but rather at Wal-Mart, GNC and other mainstream retailers. And yet Craze – deemed supplement of the year by BodyBuilding.com – may have more in common with street-corner meth than with the protein powders and vitamins it currently shares a shelf with. At the end of last year Japanese scientists announced the discovery of a “methamphetamine-like compound”, N,alpha-diethylphenylethylamine (NADEP), in the hugely popular workout supplement and scientists in four other countries confirmed it in their own tests. (And now we know why it’s so highly rated! Speeeeeeed! Whee!) The company has temporarily stopped production to look into the claims.
Unicorns obviously have very healthy gut bacteria.
Hospitals with their life, death, and strange-smell zeitgeist have been the setting for several major revelations in my life (not the least of which is that nutritionists consider Malt-o-Meal a “solid food” but Jell-O is a “liquid”) and this time it was no different. My 3rd son, just nine months old at the time, hung limply in my arms as nurses and doctors buzzed around us. There was no waiting for us in the the waiting room when I brought my baby in, nearly unconscious with a fever of 107. The triage nurse took one look at my son and half the night staff descended on us. Weirdly all I could think about was the beginning of that Nicholas Cage/Meg Ryan flick City of Angels where the least sexy angel ever, Seth (Cage), escorts a little girl in yellow footie pajamas to heaven after she dies of a fever. The opening sequence ends with the anguished wail of her mother. To this day I hate that movie. (Although Meg Ryan was adorable. I miss that Meg Ryan.)
Cannot even tell you how many times I’ve either given a baggie like this or gotten one. And it makes me giggle. Every. Time. (My fave was when Deb the Smoothie Girl sent me a whole package of baggies of different white powders! I can only imagine what FedEx thought. But I still love xantham gum to this day so thank you, Deb!)
“Nope, never tried it. But I bet Charlotte has!” Turbo Jennie waved at me over her shoulder, still talking to the girl in the tank top about some supplement or another.
“Tried what?” I asked, before realizing that her answer didn’t really matter. It didn’t matter because the sad truth – and in truth I really am sad about this – is that I probably have tried it. Illegal drugs hold no interest for me. Legal drugs terrify me. But call it a vitamin or slap a “proven by research” label on it and I’m a serious sucker.
Accosted at Costco. That’s either the best name of a new novel or the worst way to spend a Saturday. I think you can guess which direction this is going. After a sweaty Turbokick class I was feeling blitzed so I suggested to my husband that we take the kids to Costco for what I call “the walking lunch.” (Confession: I actually wanted to go to Costco because my friend told me they had tutus on sale there and you know I have a tutu addiction. So what if they only come in sizes 3T-7? Elastic is stretchy, right??) See, on Saturdays Costco deploys their fleet of taste testers – generally sweet elderly people who give my kids two of everything – and by the time we’ve walked up and down all the aisles the kids have had lunch and I’ve got my shopping done. I know, I’m a parenting genius. (Or lazy.)
Repeat after me: I will not take medical advice from celebrities whose claim to fame is a Playboy spread. I’m not saying Jenny McCarthy isn’t funny, talented and gorgeous but the only medical tips I’m taking from her here on out are those regarding my bikini line. (Side note: as a child, I always thought “bikini line” meant hair on your belly, along the waistband of the bikini. It horrified me that puberty was apparently going to give me a furry tummy. When it didn’t I felt all superior to those poor women who had to wax their bellybutton every week just to wear short shorts. It took years and a very blunt woman with a graphic postcard in Spain before I learned the truth.)
Pay no attention to the fact I’m posting this at 12:30 a.m. …
Heartbreak is a toddler denied her treat. Hilarity is watching her try to get her contraband treat by gnawing through a cardboard box only to discover it filled with grassy powder. Wait, what, I’m not allowed to laugh? Eight hours of labor says otherwise, I think. This little melodrama played out this past week in the aisles of our grocery store as Jelly Bean watched me load up on one of my fave treats of the season: peppermint herbal tea from Celestial Seasonings. I’d just tossed four boxes into the cart when the whining started. “I want a candy cane!”
“No,” I patiently explained, “I know there are candy canes on the box but there are no candy canes inside it. It’s a drink.” (Side note: What must she have thought when we bought baby food with the happy baby on the front?)
“Dwink? I want a candy cane dwink!” she insisted, trying to open a box.
A little less patiently I answered, “Well the drink’s not actually in the box. And you can’t have any right now.”
Eighteen deaths may not sound like a lot, especially in a world where millions of energy drinks are sold and consumed each year, an $8.9 billion-dollar industry. But that’s still 18 people whose lives were possibly cut short thanks to, well, a short cut. And if the death toll isn’t shocking enough, how about this stat: a federal report found over 13,000 emergency room visits linked to energy drinks in 2009.
I have been in the latter group and, depending on who you ask, I was nearly in the former.
I feel sick just remembering it. The funny thing is that I was so sick, I don’t remember much of the experience but the one thing I remember most was how horribly awful I felt. In 2010 I ran a local 10-mile race. No biggie, I’d run more than twice that distance in the past and my friends and I had signed up for it just to have an excuse to put on tutus, run and laugh together. It was supposed to just be a fun run. But because of my super perfectionist drive (and because I’d just had a baby and was trying to prove that I was back in black), I’d gotten it in my mind that I was going to try for a PR (personal record, in running parlance). Never mind that I hadn’t trained for a PR. Never mind that I still wasn’t fully recovered from childbirth. Never mind that I knew, deep down, that even if did run my socks off it still wouldn’t make me enough. Because no matter what I did, I never felt like was enough in those days. I hadn’t learned yet how to separate who I am from what I do.
From now on I’m sticking to sugar as my pre-race pep. Jelly beans are happy pills indeed.
Bad news bodybuilders: dimethylamylamine (DMAA) may be responsible for the deaths of two soldiers, according to the U.S. Army. Eh, just another day and another story about a sports supplement gone wrong? Not for me. This story hit me hard. Probably because I have some DMAA in my cabinet as we speak.
You may not recognize DMAA by acronym alone but it’s also known as Asian geranium extract and it’s found in some of the most popular – and most effective – supplements on the market like J3cked (pronounced “jacked” in case you don’t want to look like an idiot in front of the GNC salesman like I did) and OxyElite Pro. I’ve taken both. While I hate J3cked and steer clear of it – it was part of the cocktail I took that, forgive me – jacked me up, and made me puke my way through a ten-mile race a year and a half ago – OxyElite Pro is a different story.
I think vitamin D is the least of this guy’s worries in the sun… At first I thought his nipples were stickers.
If my life were perfect I’d live near the equator and get plenty of sunshine every day that my body would then naturally use to produce all the vitamin D it needs to be happy, healthy and less insane. Of course, that would also mean the mice that live in my kitchen would sing while cleaning it instead of pooping out a litter of mewling baby mice under my sink that scared me so badly I still get all twitchy every time I reach for the dish soap. (Don’t worry, my husband “disposed” of the disgusting nest before he mocked me for screaming and jumping on a chair. I’m not proud.) But life isn’t perfect and so while I would prefer to get all my nutrients from food and nature, reality precludes this and so I take supplements.
YES IT WILL. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Don’t disillusion me.
Remember that kid in your class who ate dirt or licked the inside of the freezer or sucked down paste? Well it turns out that he may not have been one pinto bean shy of a bingo like we all thought. Pica – the intense desire to eat non-food items – is now thought to be the result of an iron or other mineral deficiency. Who knew? Get the kid a steak and he might have been class president. Or maybe his blood was fine and he just really liked the taste. See, that’s the tricky thing about our bodies – figuring out what is actually going on inside them takes a weird mash-up of science, voodoo, ESP and cosmic luck. One of my greatest fantasies (you ready to find out how truly geeky I am?) is to have a computer screen attached somehow to my brain that would tell me exactly what is going on inside my body.