Friday, June 29, 2012


That quote was from dear old C.S Lewis. I can totally relate - subsitituting "tea" for "coffee", anyway. Did you ever see the film about him - Shadowlands? Anthony Hopkins plays the lead and did it so powerfully (as he always does) that I was left blubbering like a baby. Please. Watch. It.
Anyway, back to the books. I've got an armful of new titles I had been lusting over for some time and I thought I'd share them with you:

Fifty Shades of Grey - E L James - This book needs no introduction. Many people are raving about it, others are panning it. A few pages in and I am already rolling my eyes. I'll give it a chance anyway, in case there's something brilliant that I'll miss out on if I give up so soon.

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn -  Paula Joye of Lifestyled tells us this page turner is one you need in your life. This is meant to be THE Summer Thriller: boy meets girl, boy marries girl, girl goes missing. It's meant to be compulsively readable and utterly unforgettable. I can't wait to get stuck in. 

On the Floor - Aifric Campbell - I'm a sucker for any fictional book that deals with the darker side of the financial world. Think: The Privileges, The Darlings... Like Cristina Alger (author of The Darlings), Campbell has worked in the world she writes about  - the hope is that this makes her characters and story believable. This one was also longlisted for the Orange Prize this year, so I sense some promise with this one.

Capital - John Lanchester - Ooh! The Credit Crunch of 2008! I do love a good GFC tale. This novel was described by The Telegraph (London) as "a brainy state-of-the-nation-novel set on a single street in South London". They also gave it five stars. Need I say more?

What are you reading? Any page turners you're simply desperate to share?


...of pink flowers around the home. Such an easy way to liven any space. If I could, I'd have a vase on ever surface - even the bathroom bench. Heck - especially the bathroom bench!

I love looking for vases while I'm on my travels. I've found that dollar stores have a huge selection of vases in all shapes and sizes. A good tip is to get vases that are smaller at the rim so you don't need as many to make it appear "full". This will save you precious dollars because constantly having flowers around the house certainly isn't cheap!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Yes, that's right folks. I'm now a tumblr-er (?!)
I find it much easier to get lost on other people's Tumblr pages than on Pinterest. Anyone else find that too?
Anyway, check me out at And if you've got a tumblr page (or blog) that you'd like to share with me, post your links to the comments field below!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


So I busted out today and bought the product that everyone's talking about - Cleansing Oil. Some say it's one of the reasons many Asian people have such fantastic skin - legend has it that in ancient Japan, geishas had great difficulty removing their makeup before soybean oil was introduced into their routine. This 'Asian' method of cleansing is know as double cleansing - the oil dissolves makeup (even waterproof stuff); the cream or foam soap afterwards mops up remaining residue for a thorough clean. 
This type of cleansing makes perfect sense to me. I have been known at times to grab for hair oil when trying to remove long-wearing lip shades. My favourite eye makeup remover is - you guessed it - oil based. 

As well as removing makeup with unbeatable efficacy, cleansing oils don't strip the skin's natural oils. Many cleansers do, but this sends the skin into panic mode, trying to replace the sebum that has been stripped from it, causing clogged pores, pimples and blackheads. Oil cleansing is basic solubility - like dissolves like. With cleansing oil, you're taking away the dirty, icky oil and replacing it with clean, skin-loving stuff. Different oils will boast different benefits and my purchase today - jojoba oil - is said to be the most similar in structure to human sebum - it equilibrates sebum production so it's ideal for all skin types. You can read more about the benefits of jojoba oil here.

My choice today was Jojoba Balancing Cleansing Oil from The Jojoba Company. Their jojoba oil is 100% Australian and their company 100% Sustainable and Carbon Negative. Other ingredients in their products are selected from the most premium, natural and organic sources around the globe. Along with today's purchase,  I was lucky enough to have a few samples thrown in for good measure! I'm looking forward to cleansing tonight and will write a post script when I wake up to let you know the verdict.

So, along with my Cleansing oil purchase ($34.95), I got a sample-sized Hydrating Day Cream; Intense Overnight Renewal Cream; and 100% Natural Australian Jojoba Oil.

Do you use a Cleansing Oil as part of your routine? Have you tried any of The Jojoba Company's Products? 

****Update: So I used the cleansing oil last night, dried off then rubbed in the cleansing oil followed by the night cream. With all that oil on my skin, I really thought I would break out - creams at night have a tendency to do that to me. Guess what? Nothing! Not a pimple in sight! And baby-soft skin like never before! I was so excited I couldn't wait to jump in the shower and use the cleansing oil again. I really think that this is going to be a permanent product for me and hopefully will keep my skin youthful for years to come! As always, this is NOT a sponsored post, it's just me giving you the heads up on products I choose to purchase :-) 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


In anticipation for my next big night out (namely my little sister's ENGAGEMENT PARTY!!!), I made a few purchases to give me the chance to create a perfect black and gold smoky eye look on the night.
I've already got a perfect black eyeshadow for the base but needed to hop online and choose a blow-your-mind gold shadow for on top. As I didn't have the luxury of a tester, I googled swatches online but couldn't make the choice between MAC's Goldmine (pressed) and Old Gold (loose). I got both, naturally.
As if pure gold eyeshadow wasn't glitzy enough, I also invested in Bloom's Glitter Eyeliner in Rising Star (a black and gold sparkly one). Can you picture it? Black and gold eyeshadow, a winged liner topped with a sparkly glaze then finished with big bangin' lashes... I'm excited!

...I'm quite taken with all of these items and haven't a hint of buyer's remorse! With all the beauty blogs and swatches online, you can get a fairly accurate idea of what to expect before you make an online purchase. When I was searching for these shadows I stumbled upon Goldmine first but when I compared it to Old Gold I realised the former might be better suited to daytime wear. For nights, Old Gold is pure, dripping, 24 karat perfection - it's unbeatable! What do you think of these beauty buys? Do you reckon I can pull off such a glitzy look come party time?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


You may or may not know that my actual first name is Josephine. For anyone who attended class with me, you'll recall the teacher calling out Josephine at roll call and me sheepishly responding "I go by Anna, actually". I never actually went by Josephine; my parents started calling me Jo-Anna from birth, with the 'Jo' dropping off at kindergarten. Apparently the kindergarten teacher asked me my name, I told her it was Anna and she mentioned this strange occurrence to my mother when she came to pick me up that day. I still recall the conversation that took place: my mother, considerate as she is, asked me if I would prefer to be called Anna. I remember not being too fussed but said yes, for whatever reason. And it stuck. This afternoon, after a little blowout at Napoleon, I think the Josephine in me has made an appearance. You see, Empress Josephine (Napoleon Bonaparte's first wife) was a brunette, notorious spendthrift and had a love of roses. I think today I tick all three of those boxes.

Today's buys included my very favourite skin primer Auto Pilot ($55.00); Mosaic Powder in Gleamer - perfect as a highlighter - ($60.00); and the silky, light and wonderful Sheer Genius Liquid Foundation - I got Look #2 for my natural, un-tanned skin - ($69.00).You can get all these fantastic products in Napoleon stores or online

If you're a Napoleon cosmetics lover like myself, let me know what your favourite products are. Are there any 'must haves' that I'm missing out on?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


This month marked my first lust have it! delivery since the company took over beauty box company Glossybox recently. I opened my package this afternoon to find a royal purple makeup bag inside. With such regal packaging, I wondered what I would find when I opened the zipper... 

Along with two variations of Marc Jabobs Daisy perfume and a Batiste Dry Shampoo sample, I found some rather princess-ly treats in the shape of two 24K Gold Facial Masks and a super sparkly Bloom Liquid Eyeliner!

All in all, I'm fairly pleased with this month's lust have it box. The Bloom and Lon Vitalite products don't come cheap, so I feel as if I've got my money's worth. I mean, the facial mask contains real gold, for crying out loud!

I already own Daisy, but the Eau so Fresh is a sweet spin on the original fragrance. I've posted a few times about my love for Batiste dry shampoo and because it has a tendency to run out fast, I don't complain any time it comes my way! As for the sparkly eyeliner - we'll see if I'm game enough to give it a whirl. I'm thinking a smoky eye using black and purple tones could complement this liner really well. If done right, I think it could be a cracker!

If you'd like to get your hands on goodies like these every month, check out Lust Have It! They've got a number of great brand partners and subscription costs $14.95 per month (you can save $20 a year if you make an annual subscription). 

...What did you think of this month's Lust Have It! box? 

Saturday, June 16, 2012


1. Dressing up. I wore this dress to the cinema on 'date night' - I teamed it with black and silver gladiator sandals and a thin black and silver belt. It's been ages since I've dressed up as I'm Little Miss 'Comfort Over Style' lately...

2. Fingernail polish. Pastel shades are safe for this girl who only feels comfortable wearing polish on her toes. This one's Fink Friday by OPI:

 3. Music. Very therapeutic. I'm a Pulp fan from way back and they're on repeat these days - my iPhone hooks up to our speakers via bluetooth. Genius!

4. Magazines with benefits: Not only is Marie Claire here in Australia running a HUGE campaign in support of marriage equality, they're also giving away Napoleon Perdis lip gloss with every issue:

Friday, June 15, 2012


This month's theme was Winter Escape, with products to enliven your skin and hair, nail art to give your look a little cheering up, plus lozenges for immune support and, finally, a dash of fragrance (you're going to want this regardless of the season).

Benefit Porefessional Pro Balm - designed to minimise the appearance of pores for a flawless base, this silky smooth concoction is a welcome addition to my makeup routine. My skin feels like a baby and my makeup glides on with ease!

Pure Fiji Body Butter in Frangipani Infusion - I love frangipani fragrances and my skin has a tendency to dry out in the colder months. This is a tremendous moisturiser that not only hydrates skin, it leaves a lovely fresh fragrance too!

Kiss Dress Nails - Do I dare use these? I rarely polish my fingernails so I mightn't have the audacity to sport zebra stripes but the kit also includes toenail-sized stickers. Apparently they're easy to apply and last up to a week. We'll see...

Nak Diamond Hair Polish - This product really does it all. It fights frizz, smoothes and moisturises the hair and protects your tresses from heat stylers. This is the one I am most excited about! It retails at around $22.95 (win!) but I welcome any protective and frizz fighting treatment that comes my way! It smells magnificent and this is coming from Ms. Bloodhound herself!

Fan Di Fendi fragrance - I sampled this one today and while it's nice, I'm not going to rush out the door to buy it. This will likely be a fragrance for those who enjoy something light and inoffensive but I'm the girl who walks out the door reeking of strong fragrances like Chanel Chance or Dolce & Gabbana The One.

Facial Fresh Cloth Facial Treatment Masks - I'm new to beauty masks but have used them recently and loved the way my skin felt afterwards. These easy-to-apply masks boast cleansing and detoxifying benefits and contain a blend of clinically proven antioxidants, vitamins and botanicals to enhance the skin's appearance. I love tea tree products for skin so this mask will be a welcome treat for my face! 

Olea Olive Leaf Drops - Olive leaf products contain 400% more antioxidant power than the equivalent amount of Vitamin C, approximately double the power of Green Tea and Grape Seed extract and 30 times more antioxidants than olive oil. I'm sold on healthy products so this one was rather pleasing. My palate enjoyed them too - they taste like butter menthols only healthier!

All in all, bellabox is really improving and I'm so looking forward to the next box! If you're interested in subscribing, check them out here. Membership is $15.00 a month and it's definitely money well-spent if you love to get your hands on top notch new products!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


noun (plural yuppies)
informal, derogatory
        a well-paid young middle-class professional who works in a city job and has a luxurious lifestyle: [as modifier]: a yuppie type from the bank

Is this you? It’s me. Well, kind of. If I had a paying job. But that isn’t really the point. In this day and age, I think a yuppie lifestyle is likely to include all the latest gadgetry (computers, smartphones); the ability to dine out frequently or an interest in cooking meals worthy of MasterChef; a vibrant social life and membership to a whiz-bang gym that can allow them to shred and tone every square inch of their bodies. The yuppie might even participate in the odd sponsored marathon once or twice a year.

Yuppies that I know attend the gym more times in a week than any other subset of the human race (excepting maybe athletes or bodybuilders). They frequently detox and even more frequently agonise about the shape they’re in. I’ve been there before: I’ve had an office job, attended the works drinks, made up for my excesses in the gym on a Monday and shrieked and squealed when my work clothes started to get progressively tighter. I felt like I was always chasing my perfect body, or at least running from the threat of increases in my overall body fat as a result of my “great” lifestyle.

The yuppie lifestyle is good, better than most of the world’s population. Maybe even a little too good. I’m going to share with you, my fellow yuppies, the key to keeping healthy and in shape Yuppie Style:

Chairs, Couch Potatoes and Calories

If you’re an office worker, I’m going to bet that you sit in your chair in excess of eight hours a day. How many of those hours do you spend moving? I’ll bet you go for a walk only to get lunch or coffee, and you might factor in a one-hour trip to gym on some of those days. I’ve got a tip for you: Reconsider your lunch. When you were a child, you’d have been panting red-faced and breathless at lunchtime and probably earned the sandwich/meat pie/packet of crisps you ate for lunch that day. Opt for a salad instead – hold the creamy dressings or croutons. Remember: “noodle” or “pasta” salads are simply cold versions of meals you’re best avoiding - salads are meant to be primarily made of vegetables.

What do you do when you get home? Sit some more? I get it, you’re tired from all the work you’ve been doing and deserve a break. But exercise could technically be considered a break from sitting at a desk all day, don’t you think? Plus, exercise is one of the most energising things you can do – you’ve just got to start the habit. I won’t lie to you, motivating yourself to exercise is a tricky task but rather than dwell on it, say to yourself “it’s just something I’ve got to do” and remember that you’ll feel 100% better after doing it than if you didn’t at all.
If you can’t muster the energy to go for at least a 30-45 minute walk when you get home, try scheduling it in the morning before work. If you have the time to fix yourself a generous dinner, to sit on the couch or at the computer, I’m going to ask you whether you agree that that time could be better spent? Try and factor in some movement: sit-ups, push-ups and burpees on the living room floor if you can’t make it outside.

The yuppie: a social being

How do you socialise? Do you enjoy Friday night drinks with workmates? Restaurant visits with a date or friends on the weekend?  I know for a fact that yuppies in Sydney like to go out for BIG breakfasts on a Saturday or Sunday morning. If you do all of those things, I’m going to have to break it to you: you are probably consuming a whole lot of excess calories. But this kind of eating and drinking regime seems normal to you, right? A couple of decades ago, gourmet eating, latte gulping and long breakfast rendezvous barely existed! We are absolutely saturated with choices nowadays and it feels like we actually have to make a choice – from what new restaurant to try to whether we’re going to stick to Vodka this Friday night or throw caution to the wind and try an array of delicious cocktails with the girls. There’s other ways to socialise that don’t involve eating and drinking to excess (and no, I am not referring to Tapas). Try scheduling a walk or a trip to the gym as part of your social activities with friends. But don’t look at it as part of a new diet or health kick you’re on: focus on the social aspect of it. I love long walks with friends because we don’t think about the exercise as we’re doing it – we’re too busy chatting away and catching up on life. In fact, I hate scheduling a time limit around it because it is always the case that our conversations could last all day and we don’t mind continuing the walk just so we can talk some more! Your mood will lift, as socialising has a tendency to do, and with the added endorphins from the exercise it makes for a seriously happy yuppie!

You won’t be surprised when I say it’s probably wise to bid farewell to your once, twice, thrice weekly (or even nightly - gasp!) restaurant or takeaway meals. Most menus don’t come with nutritional information but if they did, you’d keel over in shock! We’ve got to get used to the fact that most restaurant meals taste so much better than what we can make ourselves because if we were to attempt it at home, we might stop and question the sheer amount of fattening substances that get thrown in to make it taste as good as it does!

By assembling your food at home, you see exactly what is going into it. Fresh and home-prepared foods might be boring at first, but our tastebuds are getting way too used to the “good” stuff. Take tastebuds out of the equation and start listening to your body. Your stomach is probably the size of your fist and food portions need to be no bigger than this for you to register fullness. Your belly is likely to be overstretched, but you can reel it back in if you shave down portion sizes. The result? You’ll need less food to stave off hunger. If you listen to your body and not your tastebuds, you’re likely to make choices that will benefit your body and it’s functioning. It sounds clichéd, but don’t “live to eat”. Eat with an aim to live longer and to stave off dietary deficiency and disease. With that as your impetus, you’ll find it far easier to say no to the foods, drinks and lifestyle choices you used to revel in.

Yuppies: Informed and Curious

To get to our comfortable lifestyle, most yuppies spent in excess of three years at university. In the very first year, the yuppie to be was taught the skill of critical thinking. Regurgitating information without asking questions wouldn’t cut it when it came time to handing in essays at the end of the semester, in fact in some cases it might even constitute plagiarism, stalling the future prospects of the yuppie-to-be. With these skills surely under your belt by the time you graduate and land a decent job, it makes sense to exercise said skills when it comes to all the information that surrounds you.  Some questions you might ask yourself may include:

  • Is the nice lady who owns the sandwich bar really concerned about my dietary needs as she assembles my baguette using wilted lettuce, reheated meat and processed cheese? Or is she laughing all the way to the bank, pocketing between $8.00 and $12.00 for something I could have made for one fifth of the price?
  • Why is this advertisement on TV? Could the manufacturer be responding to poor sales? Do they care more about my health or the bottom line?
  • Does the advertising campaign for its latest packaged food appeal to my hopes, dreams and insecurities in order for me to believe in its product? Think about the phrasing, the models and actors used, the music, and generally how the advertisement makes you feel.
  • Do the vitamins/minerals added to this product appear naturally in less processed foods? If so, would I not be better off eating the latter?
Boredom is a dirty word

What do we do with ourselves when we are bored? For me, I like to engage my mind with films and books. I enjoy putting on my trainers and getting out into nature, breathing in fresh air and taking in sights I don’t get to see when I’m cooped up in my office or at home. When I was working a desk job, I used to fill my hours doing both of those things but I also developed an interest in sampling new restaurants and cafes. In hindsight, I’d even call it a hobby. Now that’s where the yuppie treads into dangerous territory. Food should satiate physical hunger and not be used as a means of distraction when one is bored or hungry for entertainment or mental stimulation.

A few years ago, I found myself needing to see what all the fuss was about when I saw a favourable restaurant review in the food/entertainment liftouts in newspapers. With more and more eateries popping up across the city, I had a huge list of places I felt compelled to go and visit. Eating a home-prepared meal became boring for me, and I know many yuppies that share this feeling. Add to this the increasing number of television shows centred around gourmet food and cooking and you can see a phenomenon begin to emerge. How did I turn this around? It happened serendipitously. I fell in love with a lovely gentleman. We literally couldn’t stop talking – to the extent that going to a restaurant lost its appeal because to shovel food in our mouths to chew meant the loss of precious talking time. Even a trip to the cinema was tough – we’d miss most of the movie because all we wanted to do was continue our conversation, much to the dismay of our fellow movie-goers. I’d say that the nourishment and intellectual stimulation I get from being with my partner makes my life interesting – I never feel bored and consequently don’t feel like I have to fill my time with activities in order to pass the time. Now I’m not saying you all need to go out in search of your soulmate, but I am saying that for the health-conscious yuppie, it might be worth questioning whether your food and lifestyle choices are influenced by boredom. Writing this blog post has kept me so busy I haven’t had time to think about food, but I know that when I am not engaged in other tasks, I can wander to the pantry when I’m not physically hungry.  

If, like me, you enjoy curling up and reading a book in your spare time, I’d say it’s well worth your while borrowing or buying books about health, in place of the latest bestseller. I mentioned before that the yuppie normally possesses the skills of information-seeking and critical reasoning, so it’s good to keep informed about matters of health and lifestyle. I’d recommend Eat to Live, or In Defense of Food as a start. I never used to spend any time in the health section at the bookstore but with every book I read, I find myself wanting to read more and implement into my life the things that make most sense to me.

The Internet: Friend or Foe?

Thanks to digital media, ten percent of photographs taken by humankind took place in the last twelve months. What does that mean for us Instagrammers/ Facebookers/Bloggers/Pinners? It means that there is an increased likelihood that photographs of you will be swirling around the Internet for all your friends (and even strangers) to see! Many of us are familiar with the dreadful feeling we get when we look at photos in family albums of our “awkward stage” in high school but luckily, we shut the album and assign it back into the cupboard at mum and dads where it rightfully belongs. But that isn’t quite so easy to do when any number of your friends and acquaintances can upload a picture of you to their facebook page. Sure, you can un-tag or politely ask them to remove the offending image or you can decrease the likelihood of cringing at photos of yourself if you motivate yourself to look and feel the best you possibly can.

The net is a bit of a double edged sword. We spend too much leisure time on it when we could be moving our bodies and breaking a sweat but, conversely, the internet is a minefield of free information and motivational tools that we can utilise to change our lives. Are you paying for a personal trainer? You don’t necessarily need to when there are thousands of fitness trainers uploading workout tutorials on their own websites and YouTube. I am a fan of but I also like to key phrases like “abdominal circuit” or “butt workout” into YouTube.  Stuff like this costs nothing, you don’t need to waste time or money going to the gym and you fast run out of excuses as to why you can’t make your fitness goals a reality.

Similarly, there is no excuse for not knowing how to eat healthily or prepare healthy foods. There are plenty of articles and online recipes to help you learn better ways to look after your own health. Of course, if you have any kind of illness or disease, I wouldn’t recommend the internet as a replacement for the advice of a trained medical professional, so speak to them before you make any changes to your health and lifestyle.

Slow down, you’re getting fat!

What I’m about to tell you might be contrary to everything you’ve ever thought about stress. Breakups, work deadlines, grief or illness can have the tendency to turn the plumpest of us into skeletons in record time but when we experience stress or anxiety on a daily basis (i.e. through the demands of our busy lives) the body actually reacts in such a way that we end up storing fat around our abdomen. Let me tell you how it works:

In times of prolonged stress, the body continuously releases adrenaline and cortisol (known as both “the stress hormone” and “the death hormone”) into the bloodstream. Adrenaline disappears when the anxiety lowers, but cortisol lingers in the body, increasing our desire for carbohydrates to compensate for physical exertion. Our ancestors used to fight stress and danger with physical exertion (such as chasing and hunting wild animals) but because our stressors don’t generally require us to literally and physically fight or flee, we end up satiating our carbohydrate cravings without being able to adequately burn them off. Weight gain from this physical response generally ends up around our bellies as stomach cells are more sensitive to cortisol and very adept at storing energy! I won’t even begin to get stuck into the wide ranging health issues that can occur as a result of storing body fat around the belly, but I will tell you how to lower your cortisol levels naturally:
  • Exercise regularly: this will ensure you burn the extra blood sugar levels that arise as a consequence of increased cortisol levels. But only do exercise you enjoy – torturing yourself with exercise you hate increases cortisol levels and is hard to stick with anyway.
  • Switch off and sleep more! The body requires less cortisol when it is asleep. Turn off your phone and television, draw the curtains and aim to get to bed at a reasonable time. Eating too close to bedtime or having coffee late in the day interferes with your sleep cycle, so if you must have a coffee, have it in the morning and make sure your dinner is light and consumed at least three hours before bed.
  • Don’t crash diet! Dieting is stressful and boosts cortisol levels. Aim to eat a few healthy meals and a couple of snacks throughout the day. Breakfast is hugely important: aim to eat breakfast between 6 and 8am to meet the “Cortisol Crest”.
  • Find hobbies that enable you to relax: strange as it sounds, things like knitting or gardening can be empowering as they enable you to feel a sense of control over a small aspect of your life. This is important in reducing anxiety levels. If you enjoy yoga or meditation, attend a couple of classes each week. If that isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps listening to your favourite music, going a walk or reading a good book is. You’ll know what relaxes you – try to make time for these activities. 
Final words...
By now I probably don’t need to convince you that adding late nights or extra responsibilities to your hectic work life isn’t the path to good health. Embracing simplicity in your eating habits and spare time as is the best antidote to the ill effects of the over-stimulation and over-consumption that hallmarks a Yuppie lifestyle. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. As always, I’m open to your opinions. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments field below.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


We've been hearing a lot about sugar lately. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on a controversial mission to limit the size of sodas that can be sold in restaurants, cinemas and delis across the city. In Australia, 60 Minutes ran a story on it just this week, likening sugar to illicit drugs in its addictiveness. I know the less I eat sweets, the less I crave them. In my case, keeping chocolate in the house is a trap - stopping at just one square is far too big a test to my willpower!

The experts are in a tizz, however, debating in the press and on TV about whether sugar is indeed an enemy from which we need to steer clear. Some say it's singlehandedly to blame for growing obesity rates - that in embracing the low-fat revolution, we've fallen into the trap of eating foods that might appear healthy but are indeed loaded with hidden sugars. Others aren't so quick to point the finger at the sweet stuff but argue that a number of factors (poor diet choices, increasingly sedentary lifestyles) have gotten us to the sick and sorry state we're in. In less extreme cases - such as folk whose health and fitness are up to scratch but have trouble shifting a couple of kilos - I'd argue that getting back to basics and cutting out 'hidden' sugars might just be the key to shaving those last couple of inches off their waistlines.

One thing is for certain, though, lifting the lid on sugar (even seemingly benign ones like fructose) makes for compelling reading. I stepped out and got myself a couple of books from the highly influential David Gillespie. He's garnered quite a following since the release of his book Sweet Poison: Why Sugar Makes us Fat and has since followed up with an exposé of the diet industry in general, Big Fat Lies: How the Diet Industry is Making you Sick, Fat and Poor. I haven't read these two books just yet but I'm keen to read the arguments in detail. 

Where do you stand on the sugar argument? Have you made a conscious decision to quit? If so, with what results? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one...