Sugar high- part 3

After reading Part 1 and 2 of this article, you have probably noticed that sugar is everywhere. And I mean everywhere. One of my clients who is drastically changing her diet and kicking some serious boo-tay at it, said to me " Sugar is in everything! I could not believe when I started to take it out of my diet how it was showing up everywhere." And this is so true. Once you make the commitment to leave sugar behind, you will see, like any good drug with a masterful dealer like the commercialized food industry, they will not let you go quietly into the night. It will whisper to you in the forms you would not suspect: rice, soup, pasta sauce, peanut butter. I mean does peanut butter really need to be sweeter than it already is?

Let's do a little experiment. Go to your pantry right now and grab three packaged items...I will wait. Ok, do you have them? Now turn them over and read the list of ingredients. My guess is at least 1 out of the 3 have some sort of sugar in it. And more likely it is 2 out of 3. Not sure of the other names sugar hides behind? Here is a list : Aspartame, corn starch, crystalline carbohydrate dextrin, dextrose, disaccharides, galactose, glucose, levulose, malts of any kind, maltitol, maltodextrin, maltose (malt sugar), manitol, mannitol, mono-saccharides, sucrose, Nutrasweet, polydextrose, polysaccharides, ribose, saccharin, sorghum, suamiel, succanant, xylitol.

So here are my top 5 steps to leaving sugar behind: 

1. Stop eating out of a box and/or a can

2. Stop eating out of a box and/ or a can

3. Stop eating out of a box and/ or a can

4. Stop eating out of a box and/or a can

5. ...( you get the picture) 

I know this seems redundant to say and probably most of you are like "duh" but it is a lot harder than it seems. Most people have very full lives and unfortunately meal planning and cooking from scratch does not a make the cut. But this has got to change. In order for us to live the lives we so desire, feeling the way we want to feel, we have got to take back control of the food that we eat. Period. And the best way to do that is at the grocery store and in the kitchen.

Here really are my steps to  leaving sugar behind: 

1. Stop eating out of a box and/or a can

2. Make a meal plan (check out my post here for a step by step guide to start this transformative practice)  so eating at home is a breeze

3. Eat by the 80/20 rule where 80 % of your food is whole foods free of all sugars (minus fruit)

4. Always eat vegetables with your starches

5. When you do choose sweet treats, make sure they are made with the best possible sugar choices (see below) 

Now that you have a good foundation on what sugar really is, how it effects your metabolism and how to reduce it, lets get you up to speed on the best sugars to consume when baking and cooking.

One of the easiest ways to release the sugar from your day or at least reduce it , is to choose sweet treats that contain only natural sugars like honey, maple, molasses, coconut sugar, dates, date sugar, fruit and stevia.  You may notice agave is not on my approved sugar list. Yes, I do not believe agave is a healthy sugar. After years of research around the production of agave, my opinion is it contains more fructose than even high fructose corn syrup. And fructose is not the kind of of sugar we want to ingest on the regular, remember why? But if you need more than my word for it, check out this article by Dr. Mercola.

Here is a great recipe for a seasonal pumpkin bread that is delicious and made without refined sugar, gluten and dairy! And you can feel good about eating it and giving it to your kids. 

Spiced pumpkin bread

Adapted from Mind Body Green 

2 1/2 cup Pamela's gluten free baking mix

2/3 cup date (or coconut) sugar

2 tablespoons tapioca flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon guar gum

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

15 ounces of organic pureed pumpkin

1 cup fresh ginger tea, warm not hot

*if you do not know how to make fresh ginger tea, peel fresh ginger and add about an inch to 1 cup of water. Let it come to a boil, turn off heat and cover for 10 minutes. Strain the ginger and use the tea for the recipe.

1/3 cup melted coconut or grapeseed oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Optional: 1/2 cup nuts or cacao nibs ( I like a combo of both!)

 

  • Preheat oven to 350ยบ and grease a loaf pan with coconut or grapeseed oil . 
  • In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together and pass through a sieve. If you do not have a sieve , mix with a hand mixer or whisk.
  • In another small bowl, mix all wet ingredients together and add the dry ingredients in thirds to the wet, combining as you go. If you are adding the nuts or cacao, go ahead and add them.
  • Pour into your prepared loaf pan and set on the middle rack in your oven. Bake bread for about 50 minutes to an hour. cook until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let rest in pan for 10-15 minutes then enjoy! 

 

And remember, sign up for my newsletter below for a chance to win a tin of homemade holiday cookies made by me! Winner will be chosen by December 1st!


 

 

 

Superfood Granola

I think one of the most frequent store bought products for people is granola. It is such a filling and quick breakfast or snack and with so many choices, some of them healthy, why not pick it up at your local health food store?

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Even the most conscious of brands like Udi's use an ingredient that I choose not to eat. The usual suspects are refined sugar and canola oil. I want neither of these ingredients in my life on a regular basis. And if I am choosing to have refined sugar, it has to be worth it and for me that would be a chocolate souffle or a lemon cake. Something so decadent that when I am eating it, my whole body knows what a treat it is. Granola is not on the list.

And neither are most packaged foods. I rarely buy anything in a package but if you start to read labels on even the foods you think are "healthy" for you, you will have a food awakening. Most packaged foods use sugar, an omega 6 oil like canola, which by the way is the worst possible oil to use in my opinion, (more on that in a future post) or an unknown ingredient like 'natural flavoring'.  And if by some slim chance none of these are in your healthy packaged food, check the sodium content. I bet it is through the roof!

At this point some of you are thinking, "Is she crazy? I do not have the time to scratch cook everything!?!" I know it feels this way sometimes. And the easiest thing to do is go to Whole Foods and grab a dinner from something in a box that seems healthy. But you can manage your time to allow for good food. Check out this and this post to help keep you organized and support you to make the best food choices possible for you.

Do not be fooled; the choices out there for processed foods are mostly horrible for you and in a lot of cases the environment. The large manufactures of 'food like products' are making "food" in laboratories, using ingredients that are addicting and in some cases causing major disease to manifest in the body. The best choice you can make for your health is to begin to eat a plant based whole food diet rich in superfoods and superherbs. I am a conscious meat eater so I am not advocating a sprout only diet. Most things in moderation is how I live. But I do not eat meat from unknown sources. I choose to eat eggs and meat from local farms that have sustainable humane practices. If you do not know much about this way of conscious meat eating, check out the film Food, Inc. and in particular the way Joel Salatin farms. The way he farms is the criteria I use when purchasing meat from farms for my family.  It is sustainable, humane and it heals the earth that factory farming destroyed.

Even if you have until this point, chosen prepackaged granola or a boxed cereal, starting with this easy shift into scratch made food will make a difference to your health and your wallet. In the cleanse I lead yearly with Cher Aslor, Nourish, we teach you how to make the staples you usually buy at the store. Moving away from processed foods into whole food living is how you will continue to be healthy or move into health in a deeper way for yourself and the ones you love. You are worth it.

Superfood Granola

Makes 6 cups

2 cups of gluten free rolled oats

1 cup of raw buckwheat

1/2 cup of raw walnuts ( or any nut you prefer, like brazil or almond) soaked overnight in pure water, then drained and lightly crushed

2 tbs raw whole sesame seeds

2 tbs raw whole flax seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

4 tbs raw seed or nut butter

4 tbs coconut nectar or real maple syrup

3/4 cup dried superfood berries like goji berries, mulberries or golden berries

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add the nut or seed butter and coconut nectar or maple and mix thoroughly until the butter-sweetener mixture is evenly distributed. This may take a heavy hand but it will mix.

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To keep this raw, place in a dehydrator on 100 degrees for 8 hours or until your desired crispness.

If you do not have a dehydrator or care to keep it raw, preheat your oven to 325. Place granola on a parchment lined baking sheet in an even layer. Cook for 20-22 minutes shaking the tray throughout to make sure the edges are not burning. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until cooled, add in your dried berries.

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Curious about a whole food lifestyle and want to learn more? If you are local to Colorado, join us for this year's nutritional and lifestyle cleanse, Nourish: A Way to Radiant Living starting May 1st. RSVP to the free informational session on April 8th, here. Of if you know you want to want to make these changes and would love the support of a rich community and years of education in nutrition, movement therapy and lifestyle, register here.  You will have to set up a profile on mind body if you do not have one already. Cannot wait to see you this May!