The dirt on Diet Sodas

Diet sodas may confuse brain’s ‘calorie counter’
Sugar-free drinks may make sweet-detecting circuits numb to the real stuff
By Janet Raloff
July 14th, 2012; Vol.182 #1 (p. 14) 

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By baffling the brain, saccharin and other sugar-free sweeteners — key weapons in the war on obesity — may paradoxically foster overeating.
At some level, the brain can sense a difference between sugar and no-calorie sweeteners, several studies have demonstrated. Using brain imaging, San Diego researchers now show that the brain processes sweet flavors differently depending on whether a person regularly consumes diet soft drinks.
“This idea that there could be fundamental differences in how people respond to sweet tastes based on their experience with diet sodas is not something that has gotten much attention,” says Susan Swithers of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. A key finding, she says: Brains of diet soda drinkers “don’t differentiate very well between sucrose and saccharin.”
Erin Green and Claire Murphy of the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University recruited 24 healthy young adults for a battery of brain imaging tests. Half reported regularly drinking sugar-free beverages, usually at least once a day. The rest seldom if ever consumed such drinks. While the brain scans were underway, the researchers pumped small amounts of saccharin- or sugar-sweetened water in random order into each recruit’s mouth as the volunteer rated the tastes.
Both the diet soda drinkers and the nondrinkers rated each sweetener about equally pleasant and intense, Green and Murphy report in an upcoming Physiology & Behavior. But which brain regions lit up while making those judgments differed sharply based on who regularly consumed diet drinks.
Certain affected brain regions are associated with offering a pleasurable feedback or reward in response to desirable sensations. And compared with those who don’t drink diet soda, the diet soda drinkers “demonstrated more widespread activation to both saccharin and sucrose in reward processing brain regions,” the researchers say.
One of the strongest links seen was diminishing activation of an area known as the caudate head as a recruit’s diet soda consumption climbed. This area is associated with the food motivation and reward system. Green and Murphy also point out that decreased activation of this brain region has been linked with elevated risk of obesity.
The new findings may help explain an oft-observed association between diet soda consumption and weight gain, the researchers say. Once fooled, the brain’s sweet sensors can no longer provide a reliable gauge of energy consumption.
It’s something Swithers’ group demonstrated two years ago in rats. Animals that always received a saccharin-sweetened yogurt learned to modulate their food intake to account for the sweetener’s failure to deliver calories. But animals that alternately got saccharin- and sugar-sweetened yogurts blimped out, gaining substantially more body fat.
“The brain normally uses a learned relationship between sweet taste and the delivery of calories to help it regulate food intake,” Swithers explains. But when a sweet food unreliably delivers bonus calories, the brain “suddenly has no idea what to expect.” Confused, she says, this regulator of food intake learns to ignore sweet tastes in its predictions of a food’s energy content.

In the Gym September 24th

Power Endurance

10:00 walk/jog around the neighborhood
Wall squats 3×5
Goblet squats 3×8
Shoulder openers 2×10
Ball slams 2×15
Push ups 3×5

Then –
Outdoor “300”:
25 tire flips +
50 KB swings +
50m OH walking lunges with barbell +
50 push ups (on DB) +
50 split jumps (25/leg) +
50m bear crawl +
25 tire flips

Later – recovery endurance

Tire Flip

Athlete Training: Mark

The Ultimate Juicing Machine

The count:  It’s been 467 days since I’ve taken juicing by storm (or should I say, juicing has taken my kitchen by storm)…I have juiced approximately 205 liters of delicious, nutrient filled juice, for myself and my athletes.  I’ve experienced increased energy levels, quicker recovery times after workouts, and am generally feeling good!

There are several different types of juicers on the market, the most common being the centrifugal juicer and the masticating juicer. (  The centrifugal juicer first pulps any vegetables or fruit that you are juicing, and then spins the pulp at high RPMs, creating centrifugal force that pushes the juice through screens.  It’s the most prevalent juicer out there, also the most affordable, but has its downsides. Centrifugal juicers don’t yield very high amounts of juice from leafy greens or grasses, such as wheatgrass, parsley, kale, etc., and the pulp is fairly wet – meaning that a good amount of juice is left behind with the discarded plant fibers.  Another disadvantage of a centrifugal juicer is that the high speed of the spinning mechanism causes large amounts of oxygen to mix with the juice during the process, resulting in a quicker spoiling time of the juice.

The masticating juicer uses a mashing or chopping mechanism to crush the fruit and vegetable contents, resulting in more of the minerals, nutrients and vitamins to be pulled from the plant fibers.  The lower RPM of the crushing mechanism result in a longer shelf life compared to the centrifugal juicer, but they are typically a bit more expensive.  Some masticating juicers implement a second pressing stage, which presses juice from the crushed pulp and increases the overall efficiency of the juicing process.

I have the Norwalk Juicer Model 275, which implements a two-part process to pull every last speck of nutrients from the fruit and veggie fibers.  (See pic below)…

The first part uses a vortex triturator, which is a helical cutting and grinding mechanism that breaks the plant fibers down to the cellular level of raw foods.  The low RPMs of the mechanism minimize the amount of heat and air that the plant fibers are exposed to, thus improving the quality and shelf life of the juice and maximizing the extraction of nutrients during the second phase – pressing.  The Norwalk juicer uses a hydraulic press to squeeze the juice from the pulp. This pressing action separates the micro-nutrients, enzymes, trace minerals and vitamins that bind to the fruit and veggie fibers and wouldn’t be released by the other juicing methods.

The chart below shows the comparisons of nutrient-content in juice pulled from different types of machines.  Machine A is described as the leading centrifugal juicer, Machine B is a masticating juicer, and Machine N is the Norwalk…Clearly, the Norwalk wins 🙂

Storing juice in the correct manner is also extremely important — the more air you expose the juice to, the quicker it is to oxidize and lose its nutrient content and flavor.  I store my juice in sealed glass mason jars in the fridge, and it can last for a few days up to a week.  You can also freeze juice in ice-trays for up to 6-months (

Different vegetable blends obviously yield different nutrient contents, and depending on what you’re juicing for, you may want to focus your juicing efforts on specific nutrients.  More to come soon with regards to juice blends and nutrient levels!

Enjoy and happy juicing, I couldn’t encourage you more to add this to your life for health and athletic performace. I hope the information is helpful to all!

Don’t Bad Mouth Butter

Don’t Bad Mouth Butter


Here’s an interesting article on oils and cooking…you might just be surprised.

Oils for Cooking

In the Gym September 16th

Warm up 10:00
2 x 8 Shoulder Openers
3 x 5 Y’s Flys and Pull Downs
3 x 5 Bat Wings 5#
3 x 5 Wall Squats
2 x 15 Walking Lunge
2 x 15 OH walking lunge 8#

Work up to 1RM BSSU 55#
6 x 2 BSSU @ 90% 1RM

In between rounds complete 5 Perfect Push Ups.

Cool Down

Athletes Training: Sari and Elinor



Outside the Gym, Mt Sopris

4,100 vert from Thompson Lakes trailhead. 3hrs up, 2 hrs down. Great day, thank you Robbie Klimek, my big brother Alex Parker, Sheldon Kerr, for an amazing day and team.


In The Gym September 11th

Power Endurance
Warm up:
5:00 AD/jump rope
3×5 wall squats
2×10 shoulder openers
3×6 OHS+SOTS press w/PVC
3×15 ball slams
3×5 push ups
10x pull ups +
5x burpees +
2:00 step ups 2@20#KB in FR +
90 sec FLR
5 rounds no rest
5x lunge + 5x DB PP 2@15#/20# + 1:00 rest
3 rounds
Athlete Training: Rob, Carolyn, Sheldon

In The Gym September 9th

Warm up
10min C2 or Airdyne
Wall squats 3×5
Goblet squats 2×10
Shoulder openers 2×10
SOTS 3×5
Single Leg OTB 3×5
Then –
Work up to heavy TGU
4 @
3 @
2 @
1 @
1 @ ?
Then –
6×1 TGU
Then –
5 x 5 Bench Press, rest 1 min between sets
Athlete Training: Carolyn, Rob

In the Gym September 8th

Warm up 90min Climbing at Cdale Rec Center
Test: Pull Ups, Ring Push ups, Archers, Horizontal Row Two arms and Single Arm, Dip Hold – Rings

10 Pull Ups
20 Push Ups
30 Atomic Sit Ups
40 Box Jumps
50 Ball Slams 20#
60 Burpees
10 Pull Ups
rest 5:00
60sec Whip Smash +
20 cal Airdyne (all out keep times consistent)
60sec rest
x 5
Cool Down


Athlete training: Sheldon

Ripple Effect Open House September 5th


Roaring Fork Athletes,


Ripple Effect Training Center  just opened it’s doors in your cozy town. We’d like to introduce ourselves, talk about what we do, and invite you to our Open House, Friday September 5th 10am – 7pm. If you can’t make the open house, call/text 970-773-3317, or reply to this email and set up a time to visit.


What is Ripple Effect:


Founder, Head Instructor/Trainer Carolyn Parker


Gym Jones Disciple and Fully Certified Instructor; AMGA Certified Rock Guide, and Athlete Representative for Mammut, Julbo and 5.10.


She brings 27 years of experience: participating in, training for, guiding, training, and instructing others in the realms of mountain based sports including mtn biking, cycling, ski mountaineering, trail running, rock and ice climbing, and high altitude mountaineering.  In addition, the focus of her life’s work is to engage others in activities that create positive self change, to inspire, mentor, motivate, encourage and educate, she derives the greatest satisfaction from seeing others succeed.  Read more about Carolyn.


Sheldon Kerr, Trainer and Ripple Effect Instructor, has deeply committed to her training and work with Carolyn, subsequently experiencing sky rocketing athletic performance including passing her AMGA Aspirant Ski Guide Exam in Chamonix and most recently returned from Kilimanjaro, ready to train hard herself and encourage others to work hard alongside her in our journey toward strength, health and a life well lived.


Training with us:


Our training philosophy was born of the mountains, of high standards and hard work. No matter the athlete, our craft applies: wield the tools of a unique training environment to create a healthier, better, faster, stronger…more conscious human being. We have created an environment of support where honesty, character and integrity are paramount; and where motivation, instruction, and guidance are given to all those willing to do the work. We are all athletes, entry level to elite, an athlete is someone who is willing to dedicate themselves to their health and training, who seeks change and desires progress to become more than they are right now.


We emphasize, proper form, clear instruction, the importance of injury prevention, training intelligently building a strong foundation to launch from, and deeply commit to all our athletes. Read what our Athletes have experienced with Ripple Effect Training.


We train individual athletes or small groups. You can call to set up private sessions, group sessions can be joined at scheduled times  companies can set up group times for employees, you can bring a training group – cycling, running, ski specific, high school athletes, people in team sports, or just a bunch of friends and train together. All levels, all athletes can be trained and accommodated. Call 970-773-3317 for more information and to schedule.


Initial consultations are complimentary. Come see who we are and if it is a perfect fit.


Initial assessments are required before attending group sessions.


Come meet us at the Ripple Effect Open House, Friday September 5th 10am – 7pm. and talk about how we can help you achieve!