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Hello Everyone,

Welcome to The Quest, a newsletter intended to inspire and inform those interested in experiencing optimal well being in body, mind and spirit.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * March 2003

In this issue of The Quest:
1. The Quest Quote
2. The Quest Q & A – A safe sugar substitute?
3. Did You Know?
4. News: New publisher for “Quest”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 1. Quote:
Remember that beauty works from within, it cannot be put on and off like a garment, and it depends far more on the culture of the intellect, the tastes, sentiment, and affections of the soul than the color of the hair, eyes, or complexion.        

~Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902). Believed to be the driving force behind the 1848 Convention, Stanton played a leadership role in the women's rights movement for the next fifty years.

2. Question:
I have stopped using artificial sweeteners, but a friend told me that sucralose is supposed to be a natural sweetener made from sugar. Is this a safe alternative?

Thanks so much for your question. I have been asked it several times and since I am not a nutritionist, I've turned to the experts. Here is one opinion from Dr. Weil:
Sucralose was approved by the FDA in 1998 becoming the first sugar substitute to get the agency’s blessing in more than 10 years. It is made from sugar by substituting three chlorine molecules for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule. This change prevents sucralose from being metabolized by the human body, meaning that we can’t digest it and therefore can’t derive any calories from it. A little bit of sucralose goes a long, long way – it is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Unlike other sugar substitutes, sucralose (the brand name is Splenda) doesn’t have an after taste, another reason why it is more appealing than the alternatives.

Because it is made from sugar, it seems safe at this time. However, bear in mind that in terms of safety, most sweeteners have looked good when they were introduced only to later prove detrimental to health. Whether they truly serve the purpose for which they’re intended, is another story. Most people use sugar substitutes to avoid the calories in sugar, but we have no scientific evidence showing that anyone has lost weight as a result of using sucralose or any other sugar substitute. In fact, our national epidemic of obesity has continued unabated despite the introduction of an enormous number of beverages and foods sweetened with sugar substitutes over the past few decades.

If you are considering using a sugar substitute to sweeten your tea or coffee, you should be aware of how few calories you’re actually eliminating from your diet. A teaspoon of sugar contains only 15 calories, hardly enough to make a significant contribution to anyone’s weight problem when used in tea or coffee. If you’ve been getting along without sugar substitutes, I see no reason why you should reverse your course.

3. Did you know that exercise cuts breast cancer risk?
Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo recently found that women who get regular, strenuous activity throughout life have about half the risk of inactive women.

They asked women aged 40 to 85 to recall how often they participated in sports and exercise "long enough to work up a sweat" at various ages. Postmenopausal women who said they exercised on the average of just less than two hours a week had a lower breast cancer risk.

Among both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, those who were most active 20 years earlier were about half as likely to develop breast cancer as those who were consistently inactive. Results of the study were published in the February issue of Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise.

4. News
I have just received great news that the rights to my book have been purchased by a new publisher: Hyperion Books in New York. My book will be available for the next 3 months but then it will be unavailable until next January 2004. If you’d like to get a copy before these current copies run out, please let me know and I’d be happy to mail one to you!

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The Quest for Peace, Love & a 24-Inch Waist