Wednesday, February 22, 2012

French Friends and Another Product

Here you have a "trick" picture to tease you into my fascinating story. . .
Some time ago I wrote a blog about the people who make life a daily pleasure. They're the ones, like my pharmacist friend, Christine, who assure a mundane pharmacie visit for aspirin or more Avène spritz-y water is fun and gossipy.

In different ways the necessary though boring chores like taking shoes in to be repaired, buying milk, picking up a cereal baguette, running out to get obscenely delicious (waaaay too much cream, Monsieur Duflos is from Normandy) Pommes Dauphinoises for a dinner party or grabbing the latest magazines are always, always a pleasure, an adventure waiting to happen.

Another of "my" completely natural, life-changing (!) products. Seriously.
However, in my post about "relationships," which is what we have with all of these people; I forgot to mention Rachel. Rachel and her family own a fascinating health food epicerie where we do lots of our shopping for eggs, cereal, almond milk (dee-li-cious if you've never tried it) and luscious jams without sweeteners of any kind for example.

My-Reason-For-Living-In-France and I have just started a diet and on it we are allowed to have fructose as the sugar of choice. Thinking Rachel would have a pure product of some kind, we turned to her for our sugar substitute. Although she carries fructose she refused to sell it to us and instead recommended/insisted we try Xylitol.
Who knew we could eat birch bark?
If you're not familiar with it, let me just say: It's brilliant. It looks like sugar, tastes like sugar, you can cook with it, it can be consumed by diabetics, it's completely natural -- wait until I tell you what it's made out of -- and has 50 percent fewer calories than the real deal.

Yep, I'm pushing another product, but remember I'm running a not for profit organization in this space. Every time I find something new -- at least to me -- I have an overwhelming urge to rush home to my computer to tell you.

Xylitol is made from the "ecorce de bouleau" or the bark of birch trees. I highly recommend it. And that one side effect you might discover if you Google it? Rachel assured me that she cannot imagine anyone consuming enough of the stuff to be "bothered" by the possible "laxative effect," which is clearly, though minutely mentioned on the label: "Une consommation excessive peu avoir des effet laxatifs."

Voila.

17 comments:

The enchanted home said...

Interesting...you are the keeper of all kinds of great secrets!! What was the face cream you swore by a few weeks ago? I remember wanting to go out and get it, and now I forgot! Enjoy your day....

Bea said...

Products from birch trees have many advantages. Birch tree oil is great to fight cellulites. Tea from birch tree leaves are used as a detox tea. It's rich in vitamin c and has diuretic effects.
Birch tree "juice/syrup" is very rich in calcium and magnesium and was traditionally used as a vitamin shot after the long Nordic winters, given to both humans and farm animals.

I am thrilled to see that birch can be used as a sweetner too - have to try it!

Rebecca said...

We have a birch tree alongside our front porch! Who knew?!?

Joni said...

I've never used a Xylitol sweetener but I've had it in my toothpaste and chewing gum. I'll now have to check if my health food store carries it in granulated form.

helen tilston said...

Hi Tish

I do not have a sweet tooth. A strict mother who did not allow candies except on Sunday. I do, however, love fruit and chips or potato crisps.

I shall tell my friend of this, she is a stevia supporter.

Always lovely to read of your new discoveries.

Helen xx

Villette said...

Don't hold back on your new discoveries: any ideas as brilliant as your tip on Eucerin are received with gratitude.

déjà pseu said...

I think sugarless gum here is sweetened with Xylitol. (Not that I chew gum, mind you...) Didn't know you could just buy it on its own. You're a wealth of information, Tish!

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I wonder if xylitol is available in that form here in Canada. Your pharmacist friend is a wealth of knowledge and thank you for sharing these secrets!

kathy peck said...

Will be looking out for it also. I wonder about the glycemic index of it? Yes, I got the book!

Anonymous said...

I've had xyitol in mints; I'm hypersensitive and two breath mints within one day will have me dashing to the bathroom. Luckily I prefer savory things because any of those natural sugar substitutes wreaks havoc on my GI system.

Anonymous said...

Do be careful--many of us who tried the South Beach diet years ago have bad memories of consuming 'sugar free' candy made with xylitol--and wishing we had only eaten one or two pieces, after several trips to the bathroom!

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Sounds fantastic, but is it OK for people with allergies to birch trees - one of the most common plant allergies in Melbourne.
Warm regards

Tish Jett said...

Allergies to birch trees???? Good question. It wasn't mentioned in the Google scan I made.

Merci for the xylitol warnings. Life is complicated enough without that. . .

Clarissa said...

Xylitol is widely available in health food stores and on the Web. There is some laxative effect initially, but you can acclimate in a week or less. I really find it useful--mix it with cinnamon and sometimes cocoa for a topping on my Dukan oat pancake. Be very careful; it is highly toxic to dogs.

Laurie said...

Please be careful - xylitol can be fatal to dogs if ingested.

http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/vet-views/story/2011/02/Vets-view-Xylitol-can-be-deadly-to-dogs-/43576818/1

Also, xylitol is not exclusively made from birch tree bark It can also be made from corn and other natural sources. Even with these caveats it is great for your oral health - prevents tartar from adhering to your teeth.

Tish Jett said...

Thank you, thank you for the dog warning.

Carol said...

l've heard that Xylitol is good for dental health too..
l didn't realise it was toxic for dogs.

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