Wednesday, September 29, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Last week, I was invited to sit in on a panel discussion hosted by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) and Mom Central regarding High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). With all the negative press HFCS has received in the past year or so, the CRA apparently is trying to do some damage control.  They recently petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to start calling the ingredient “corn sugar,” arguing that a name change is the only way to clear up consumer confusion about the product.

Prior to the conference call, Mom Central asked us to raid our pantries looking for ~

  • Agave
  • Brown sugar or granulated white sugar
  • Cane juice, cane syrup, and cane juice crystals
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Corn sweeteners and corn syrup
  • Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Lactose, Maltose, or Sucrose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Stevia
  • Syrup 

I didn't even want to raid my kitchen because I know there is a high amount of sugar items.  A great site to get an idea of how much sugars you are consuming is Sugar Stacks.  Another site that helped when raiding the pantry was  

Back to the conference call.  When I first signed on, I was super excited to learn the truth about High Fructose Corn Syrup.  I will be honest, I somehow missed the part that the teleconference was being sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association.  There were some doctors and a couple of dietitians in attendance.   There job was to explain and convince the audience (consisting of mommy bloggers) that HFCS is no worse for you than any other type of sugar.  In fact, some other forms of sugar are even sweeter than HFCS.  On their website, they write,“Sugar is sugar whether it comes from corn, cane, beets, or bees. All are safe and natural. Your body can’t tell the difference between them.”

A desire to pinpoint causes of our country's obesity problems and a lot of misrepresented science has created a perfect storm for this sweetener. The Corn Refiners Association has launched a campaign to educate the public about HFCS and to dispel common myths that stem from the misperception that HFCS is high in fructose. They want to help us moderate our daily sugar intake and that of our families, and also help us become aware of the overall amount of sugar we consume each day.  

We got to see molecular diagrams, charts, and scientific reasoning, and more.  It even all sounded quite convincing. I was never totally in the No HFCS camp prior to the call, but I definately was working on cutting them out.  (I found it really really hard though).  They gave a lot of information during the hour+ phone conference, that I took with a grain of salt.  I wish that there was more research/studies/proof from someone that is not making money from the sales of HFCS, Sugar, Vitamins or Magic Pills to help us lose weight, etc.  It seems everyone has a different opinion, and it is hard figuring out the truth.  
I am willing to consider the idea that HFCS might not be the total evil we have been led to believe that it is.  A good piont being made in a lot of resources I have been reading, including at the conference that we are generally eating more sugars then ever before.

Regardless of how you feel about Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup, I highly recommend raiding your pantry.  Check out your ketchup, tomato sauce, salad dressing, jellies, powdered breakfast drinks, etc.  For ways to reduce your overall sugar intake, the Mayo Clinic has a great article.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of the Corn Refiners Association. I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nancy Drew Adventure Series DVD Games

Nancy Drew was created in a book series back in the 1930's.  Can you believe it has been that long?  What a role model she was back then for girls.  Such a well written character, she has stayed popular with young girls to adult women.  Not only is she in books, but movies and even computer games!

I was sent 2 of her computer games to review a little while back.  Both my girls were really excited when I opened this package up.  I was a bit suprised because my oldest does not like reading, and my youngest hasn't quite gotten into the Nancy Drew Mystery books yet.  My oldest did read the The Nutcracker Ballet Mystery (Nancy Drew No. 110) since it involved her favorite ballet, The Nutcracker.  

Anyways, I was sent 

Secrets Can Kill remastered with new ending

Investigate clues to unlock a killer's secret.

The game that started it all. Number 1 in the series! "As a tribute to Nancy Drew's 80th Anniversary, Her Interactive is remastering the first game that launched the award-winning adventure series. With completely updated graphics and new puzzles, this special edition will appeal to old and new mystery game fans alike!"
Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill REMASTERED is a fun adventure game that can be found at major retailers."

In this game the goal is to help Nancy, who is undercover, find clues to solver the murder of a fellow high school student, Jake. There are three primary locations - the school, the diner and her aunt's home. You are equipped with a journal, cell phone and journal. You also make choices in the game - what questions to interactively ask others that you run into, which area to try and find clues, etc.   You get to search through confidential files, dust for fingerprints and even pick from 2 different settings (Jr, Sr Detective)

Trail of the Twister

Apprehend a Saboteur Stirring up Turbulent Trouble!

"$100,000,000 is at stake in this competition to discover a formula to predict tornado touchdowns. But when equipment starts failing and crew members are injured, you as Nancy Drew, must join the team to keep them in the competition. Is it just bad luck that's plaguing the storm chasers or is someone sabotaging their chances of winning in the action adventure Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister?"
Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister is a single player point-and-click adventure for play on either the PC or Mac computer platforms. Based on the Nancy Drew novel, The Mystery of Tornado Alley, the game tasks the player to solve the mystery behind a string of accidents surrounding a $100 million competition involving tornado storm tracking. The game features classic Nancy Drew investigative gameplay, multiple non-player characters and a wealth in-game items to interact with, meteorological tools and theory, puzzle-solving gameplay and varying difficulty levels.

I myself have played both games and really enjoyed them.  My 9 & almost 13 year old have played as well.  They both seem to like the first one better.  The Trail of the Twister seems more geared towards in my opinion.  
At $19.99
, this is an affordable pc game and would make great gifts! With 23 games in the series, there is also plenty to select from. Outside the PC games there are also certain versions available for the WiiNintendo DS, DVD Video and Mac.
Thank you to Family Review Network for this review opportunity. I did not receive any compensation for this post but I did receive 2 games for review purposes. 

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Balloonatiks: The Collector's Set Review & Giveaway

I was recently sent Balloonatiks: The Collector's Set Dvd to watch and review.  This was our first experience with the Balloonatik's, but they actually have a series of comics, books and games. 

So who exactly are the Balloonatiks?  The Balloonatiks are five normal kids who were accidentally "gooped" in a science experiment, that wentawry at the Hot Air City Fair, and they wound up with stretchy, bouncy, rubbery qualities that make their lives, zany, wild and balloony. Now, all their problems from squabbling siblings to schoolyard rivalries are given an added twist. On top of all their previous concerns about fitting in, making friends and establishing their own identities, their lives are complicated by the fact that they are no longer typical kids. They have odd and unexpected abilities. Now they have rubbery ways of tackling any challenge that is presented to them. Sometimes these abilities help them solve problems with ease; sometimes they only complicate things even more. And they have one problem they never had before – how do you blend in with all the other kids when you’re a Balloonatik? 

The dvd has 2 episodes on it.  My girls got a kick out of it, even at the older age.  This dvd has something for the young and old.  My only complaint was it was too short.  I hope more from the series will come!

One reader will win their own copy of “The Balloonatiks: The Collector’s Set” DVD.
To Enter:
Visit Balloonatiks and tell me which character you like best and why.
Bonus Entries:
  1. Subscribe to my blog by email. (2 entries)
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  3. Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect.
  4. Blog about the giveaway and leave me the link.
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  6. Tweet the giveaway. You can tweet once per day. (Leave me the link)
  7. Stumble this post
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  9. Link this giveaway to any Mr. Linky (leave a link please)
  10. Vote for this blog at Picket Fences

Contest will end on October 10th

* I was sent the dvd for review purposes only.  No monetary compensation was received, nor was I forced to post my review.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beso 10 Favorites Contest - Sponsored Post

Win $1000 on a shopping splurge.. Enter this contest now >>

Shox Scooter

  I was able to review the Shred Sled Shox Scooter over the summer thanks to Team Mom.

The first is the new Shox Scooter®, the first-ever active shock absorber scooter that allows riders to perform higher, faster, more awesome tricks! Unlike traditional scooters, the Shox Scooter’s supreme shocks increase a rider’s speed and air-time, making stunts bigger and better.

The Shox Scooter will be available for an approximate retail price of $59.99 and is appropriate for ages 5 and up.

My kids loved the Shox Scooter.  They both fought over using it, even though they both received brand new scooters last July :)  A shock absorbing spring allows you to propel yourself farther and faster than ever before.  Catching air and doing tricks.

Additional advantages: locking adjustment system, lightweight, durable foldable aluminium body, flexible fiber spring providing enhanced thrills and allowing smoother riding.

Great ride on toy to get your kids outside.  I think boys would really have a blast with the Shox Scooter!  My girls were a little unsure on how to do tricks, lol.

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***  I was sent a Shox Scooter for review purposes.  Opinions are my own.  Thanks to Team Mom and The Shred Sled for the opportunity to review this fun outdoor toy!

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