Vegan Bytes #15: Breaking the Sugar-Alternative Seduction

Welcome to the newsletter that focuses on helping you learn more about veganism and how to apply it to your daily life. The Vegan Bytes Newsletter is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with the world of food, and answering your vegan nutrition questions.

In this issue...

*Thoughts: Dangers of Sucralose
*Ebook Sale: "A Fresh New Vegan You" 25% Off!
*Your questions: Foods New Vegans Miss or Crave
*Recipe of the Month: Pasta la Caprese
*Your Chance to Win: Enter our July Contest

I love this time of year. Farmers' markets are just starting to sell tomatoes, blackberries, blueberries, and corn. My meals are full of fresh fruits and vegetables and are often eaten out in the sun. Even my little struggling balcony tomato plants are starting to look promising.

I hope you are enjoying the warm weather and fresh produce as much as I am.

Don't forget that I write this newsletter and produce Vegan-Nutritionista to help you, so if you ever have a suggestion for a topic you want covered in the newsletter, please let me know.

Know somebody who would like to read this?

I really hope you enjoy reading this newsletter and that my website is helping you to be the best you can be. If you think your friends might be interested in taking a look, please do me a huge favor and forward this email to them.

Speaking of which, did a friend forward this issue to you? If so, and you want more, then visit the Vegan Bytes newsletter page to subscribe for free.

Dangers of Sucralose and Splenda

I got an email from a friend a few weeks ago asking what I thought about Splenda. She has been having joint pain and major stiffness for a few years, and had been tested for many different serious illnesses, none of which resulted in a positive diagnosis.

After waking up with a particularly nasty case of a wrist she couldn't bend, fingers frozen in place, and other pain, she started to wonder if her diet had anything to do with her pain. She typically drinks about 2 Coke Zeros and tons of Crystal Light each day. When she diets, she replaces all regular sugar with Splenda, thinking that because it doesn't have calories, it's better for her.

The morning of the frozen wrist, she googled "Splenda and joint pain" and found numerous examples of other people with the exact same symptoms as her.

So what do I think about Splenda?...

I hate it.

I've been anti-sucralose for a few years, ever since I google-diagnosed my sister's intense headaches as an addiction to Splenda. It took her some time to break the addiction, but she no longer uses Splenda and feels better.

I am uneasy when I see anyone adding it to drinks or drinking and eating things that already have Splenda in them. In an effort not to preach about everything food related, I try not to bring up my distaste for Splenda unless asked.

In this case, I was asked. Let's pretend like you asked as well...

What is sucralose?

Splenda is made from sucralose, a sugar substitute that is 600 times sweeter than sugar. It doesn't have calories, so it's marketed as a diet substitute for sugar. People love sucralose as a sugar substitute because it tastes like sugar and has no aftertaste.

However, numerous side effects have been reported from eating and drinking foods made with Splenda such as skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, swelling, muscle aches, join pain and swelling, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. Those people also report that once they discontinue eating those products, the symptoms subside.

Do you eat foods with sugar alternatives in them or know people who do? Read the rest of the warning about sucralose.

Shop for all-natural products at

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The following pages are created just for Vegan Bytes Insiders... they are special hidden pages that only you can see, and it's my way of thanking you for reading each month.

The following pages are password-protected and will require a password from you. This password will change occasionally and you will always find the most current password in the most current Vegan Bytes Newsletter.

p.s. case sensitive

Vegan Chemical-Free Gas Remedies
The one negative drawback to eating a vegan diet is that you often eat more fiber than the typical person. Doesn't sound negative, right? Well, it can be for your digestive system. Never fear though... I have researched and found several amazing, natural, chemical-free gas remedies.

Take A Fruit Bouquet Workshop
Fruit Bouquets are a creative way to show someone you care, without having to cut flowers or buy chocolates. Take this workshop to learn how to make your own fruit baskets, including pineapple daisies, chocolate-covered strawberries, and grape tulips.

Learn All About Nut Cheeses
Vegan cheeses are abundant in grocery stores across the world, but most of them are still lacking something. Tree nut cheeses are the fabulous and new (somewhat) addition to the vegan world, and their flavor is unparalleled.

A Fresh New Vegan You

Ebook cover for newsletter

A Fresh New Vegan You got great feedback from the early readers. Even experienced vegans said it was a helpful resource that they would refer to often. You can learn more about it here.

I wrote A Fresh New Vegan You because I kept hearing the same types of questions about veganism. People wanted to know what it could do for their health, for their weight loss goals, and for their children. I often had questions about getting proper nutrition on a vegan diet, especially on protein and calcium, and balancing meals. Some people wondered about vegan pregnancy and being an athlete on a vegan diet.

There are just so many books about each one of those topics that I wanted to simplify it and put everything in one easy place. Nobody has time to spend researching everything, and we all need streamlined information where we can easily find answers in one place.

I would love to know what you think of A Fresh New Vegan You and if you have any ideas for other helpful books. You can submit comments or feedback to me directly by using my contact form.

21 sale

ONE DAY SPECIAL: I am running a one-day special for newsletter subscribers. Today only, take $6 off... a discount of 25%! If you already have your own copy, get one now for a friend who's on the fence about going vegan.

Questions about Downloading:

The two biggest questions I've gotten about the eBook so far are about 1). buying a hard copy edition and about 2). paying without using PayPal.

1). Right now there are no plans to release a hard cover copy of A Fresh New Vegan You. That doesn't mean we'll never have one, but for the time being we like having it available online. You can always download it and print it out, which would make it similar to a hard copy. If you really, really want a hard cover, make sure to let me know so I can weigh that option.

2). As for payment options, you can order directly from the source rather than using PayPal. On the payment page, click on the left side where is says "enter your credit card information now." If you have a PayPal account and have logged into it recently, your computer may not allow this option.

In that case, all you have to do is to log out of internet explorer, clear your cookies, and then log back in. Now you should have no trouble ordering your copy. If you have any problems, please let me know.

Foods You Missed As a New Vegan

Dear Cathleen,

I'm having a good time being vegan so far, but there are a lot of things I miss. Are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches vegan?

I also miss the taste of fish... is there a way to make a tofu salad that tastes like tuna salad? This is going to sound strange, but I just want to get more creative with my tofu.

Another thing, I've heard so many things about processed foods, isn't it a lot more expensive to buy organic? Also, what are the drawbacks of drinking soy milk, almond milk or any other kind of shelf milk? Also, what brand of vegan condiments like vegan cheese do you recommend and where can I get them from? I hate the veggie cheese at's not vegan at all because it has casein in!


Hi Belle,

Congratulations on going vegan! I hope you are loving it so far! You have a bunch of great questions, so let me try to answer each of them.

PB&J should be vegan, but it depends on your ingredients-- just check to make sure there isn't anything hidden in your bread and jelly. For peanut butter I always just go with freshly ground peanuts, which usually are cheaper than the cans anyway, and it's always vegan. There are also tons of non-peanut nut butters available in markets nowadays, if you want to mix it up.

There are a bunch of really good chickpea "tuna" sandwiches out there. It's pretty easy to make actually. You just smash the chickpeas, add a little kelp powder and then add anything you normally put into tuna sandwiches.

Read the rest of the answer to Belle's question here.

The biggest thing I missed as a new vegan was cheese. What about you? Have you found a substitute or do you still miss it? Submit your vegan questions here. When you ask and help answer other people's questions, others learn as well.

Recipe of the Month

Pasta la Caprese

This vegan pasta is the quintessentail summer dish for me. It's made with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, hot peppers, olive oil, and pasta. I love it!

My mom used to make each of her kids their favorite meal for their birthday. For me, it was always Pasta la Caprese. I am a summer baby and I feel like I must have been connected to summer vegetables from birth. And garlic, of course!

My mom insists that she shouldn't get credit for this dish and that she found it in some magazine years ago. I've never seen this mysterious recipe clipping, and I know she free-hands the dish, so I really think it's her dish. The "la Caprese" in the name comes from the island of Capri, outside of Naples, Italy.

Check out how to make this simple, utterly delicious, pasta dish!

Enter the Contest

For the entire month of July, we are holding a contest for your easiest and tastiest vegan recipes and photos. At the end of the month, the best recipe will be picked and the winner will receive a fabulous gift pack of three cookbooks valued over $50:

  • Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
  • Lick It! by Cathe Olson
  • A Fresh New Vegan You by me, Cathleen Woods

All you have to do to enter is upload a picture of one of your favorite vegan recipes and give us tips about the dish. You are welcome to include the entire recipe if you like. You can also enter as many vegan recipes as you choose. Don't be intimidated, even if you are brand new at veganism.

Good Luck!!

Like many websites, Vegan Nutritionista is constantly growing and changing, and if you signed up for this newsletter a long time ago, you might not have read our new information. Our blog page keeps you up-to-date with new articles on the site.

Click here to go to our blog for updates on the site.

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That's all for this month!! I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Comments? Feedback? Ideas? I'd love to hear from you. My website is here to help you, and I love to hear feedback on how to better do so. Just use my contact page and let me know what you think.

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Have a great month!


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