Tag Archives: Sugar

Tasty Tuesday: Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Side note: I will have a recipe today, so as not to satisfy a terrorists hunger to be the center of attention. But, please see the bottom of this post for my thoughts…

And now, on to the frosting! Mike is out of town for a couple of weeks šŸ˜¦ so I have been ultra productive in his absence. It’s amazing how a lack of company will get me motivated. So I made a chocolate fudge cake and had no idea what to use as frosting. The packaged stuff is so full of sugar that it makes me nauseas. So I made my own! And holy bajolies it is delicious.

When warm, it’s melt on your tongue chocolatey goodness. When cold, it hardens into pure chocolate bliss on top of your cake. Also, because I use coconut sugar, it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Sweet!

ChocolateFrosting-published Continue reading

Thriving Thursday: Grocery Shopping Guide

In talking to people all over my community, I’ve discovered that very few of them know how to grocery shop. We have SO many options. When you’re trying to get healthy, what’s the right brand of healthy to buy? This is a simple beginner’s guide to healthy grocery shopping.

So here is a set of rules to help you navigate more quickly through the maze of choices.

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1. Always start with the whole foods. Start in the produce section and let yourself salivate over the deep orangeĀ bell peppersĀ or in-season strawberries. If your store has them, move on to the bulk seeds and nuts. Then peruse the other sections, skipping processed foods whenever possible. Ā Focus your efforts where you can find the most nutrients: in whole foods!

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2. Check the INGREDIENTS not the nutrition panel.Ā Only buy processed food that you can’t find in a whole food form. We have been trained to look at the nutrition panel on all packaged foods. How many calories, how much fat, and sodium, etc. But new research and my personal observation shows that it’s the ingredients that matter, not the nutritional breakdown. The fewer ingredients the better and make sure you can recognize the name of everything in the processed food you’re eating.

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3. Avoid sugar like the plague. When you start looking at ingredients in processed food, you’ll notice that sugar is added to EVERYTHING. Check out this post for why sugar is bad. Aside from the obvious “sugar,” Anything ending in “-ose” is sugar including sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Any “gum” is considered sugar including lecithin gum and xanthan gum. And any kind of “syrup” is sugar including brown rice sugar. And finally, ASPARTAME IS EVIL. It’s a neurotoxin. Check the post mentioned above for more info.

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4. NEVER buy “low-fat” or “reduced fat” or “1%” fat or any product from which they’ve removed the fat. This includes milk. Buy whole milk! when manufacturers remove the fat, the concentration of sugar in the substance is even higher. They even add sugar sometimes (!) because the product tastes so bad without its natural fat. Seriously. So it has higher sugar content but a lot of those fats are actually very good for you. They are necessary for your bodies proper function. So just keep the fat in!

There are only a few guiding principles to the beginner’s healthy shopping but man they are whoppers. Budget double the time it normally takes you to shop, at least until you can find the brands you like. Once you’re adjusted you’ll zoom through the grocery store once again!

I hope you’re all having fantabulous days. Love and a big smile šŸ™‚ – Ash

Thriving Thursday: Whatchu Know About Sugar?

The people in the Wellness industry (including myself) have been battling America’s sugar overload almost like it’s the plague. Unfortunately, our addition of sugar to EVERYTHING processed means that it kills almost as many people. However, surprisingly enough, there is a time and a place for sugar. Let me explain . . .

SugarGranules

Every kind of sugar that enters your mouth, including carbohydrates, needs to be turned into glucose in order for your body to use it. GLUCOSE. This is the kind of “-ose” we’re going for here. Remember it. Unfortunately, there are very few food sources that contain pure glucose. Some examples of them are: glucose syrup (found in some of the good sports supplements), plant fiber (indigestible to humans), and amylose (plant starch). Plant starch sounds like the best options here and can be found in potatoes, wheat, and oats but with these forms of glucose our body absorbs itĀ in chains of molecules and those chains must be broken down before we can absorb the glucose itself.

Keep up with me here!

There are TONS of other forms of sugar that containĀ glucose but they inevitably come with another kind of “-ose.” Because I try to eat food closest to its original form, I’m going to focus on sugar that has been through very little processing. Let’s see what’s in some of the most natural sugars:

  • raw cane sugar = glucose + fructose
  • honey = glucose + fructose + up to 22 other kinds of “-ose”
  • agave = glucose + fructose
  • fruit = sucrose =Ā glucose + fructose
  • plant starch = pure glucose = dextrose (yes dextrose is 100% glucose)

It’s important to note that, although most of these natural sweeteners are made up of glucose and fructose, they are all combined differently. Some are found in molecular chains, some are just floating around, some are a combo of chains and floaters. I’m not going to dive into what combos are better but I can help you figure the correct time and place for eating sugar. Yay!

So clearly, if you’re consuming the forms of sugar listed above, you’re going to be eating glucose and fructose. But what does your body do with all that? Glucose, once our bodies break it from whatever chain it’s in, goes straight to our muscles and liver to be stored. If we don’t use it quickly enough, it turns into fat. FructoseĀ has to be processed and goes to your liver. Some of it turns into glucose and joins the other glucose in the muscles OR stays in the liver. From the liver it turns into fat which, unless burned immediately, stays fat and makes you fat!

Basically, unless you burn the glucose in your muscles and the fructoseĀ in your liver before it turns to fat, you’re going to get fat! The only way to burn those sugars is through physical exercise. You knew it was coming!

Strength Training (anaerobic): during the workout your body breaks down your muscles and then, over the next 48 hours, it uses all kinds of energy (and protein) to build them back up again. The muscle-building energy comes from the glucose and fructose. Muscle building keeps those things from turning into fat and, if you train hard enough, it will use some of your fat as energy too. That’s how people burn fat!

Cardio Training (aerobic): after a certain period of time, your body is just continuously burning energy. This energy must be replenished DURING the workout in the form of glucoseĀ (and inevitably fructose).

Action steps:

  • If you’re happy with your weight: sugar is ok! But only during a cardio workout over an hour-long or within an hour after an intense strength training workout. These amounts of time are heavily debated but this is what I believe.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight: no sugar is better. If you avoid sugar then your body will burn fat as fuel. Just monitor how you feel. If you start to get dizzy, light-headed, or shaky, eat half a banana and allow your body 10 minutes rest to stabilize.

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Some good forms of sugar as fuel during and after your workout:

  • honey
  • brown rice or quinoa
  • bananas
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes

Bad forms of sugar. Really bad, don’t EVER eat them, they are neurotoxic. As in toxic for your brain:

  • Nutrinova (acesulfame potassium)
  • Nutrasweet or Equal (aspartame)
  • Twinsweet (salt of aspartame)
  • Nutrasweet (neotame)
  • Sweet N’ Low (saccharin)
  • Splenda (sucralose)

Some good news for high intensity athletes:

Skratch

If you’re looking for a fantastic, delicious, and quick powder to mix in your workout drink, try Skratch. It’s made by my new friend, Allen Lim, and combines cane sugar and dextrose. Dextrose, if you remember from above is 100% glucose. Perfect! It doesn’t have all the crappy sugar and other additives that most exercise drinks (like Gatorade) have. I’ve tasted raspberry and he gave me a sample of lemon-lime on Sunday which I drank during my workout last night. Oh-my-goodness it tastes SO good. No disgusting after taste and you can drink it for hours without getting that slimy feeling in your mouth. It’s delicious.

Have any questions or comments? Let me hear them!

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Tuesday Recipe: Halloween Treats?

Halloween can be a daunting time for us “healthy ones.” Luckily I don’t have to worry about taking kids trick-or-treating this year but a lot of our patients and a lot of my readers do so here’s a quick guide to help limit the sugar in your kids’ systems:

Set an example by handing out “healthy candy.” However, DO NOT be the house on the block that gives out carrots or raisins. Some ideas for treats most kids love:

^Popcorn Balls – you do have to cook for this one but it’s really easy and they’re delicious.

^ Fruit strips – made of dried fruit and a replacement for fruit roll ups, they can be bought at pretty much any grocery store.

^Cocomels – from JJ Sweets, they are healthy and yummy. A bit expensive maybe to give to all the kids but a great idea for your own or even for Christmas gifts.

^ String cheese – what kid doesn’t love string cheese.

^ Natural Gummies – Surf Sweets sells a great version of natural gummy treats in the shape of spiders! But any natural gummi treat will do. I know this was one of my favorites when I scored on these as a kid.

^ Trail Mix – make your own with your choice of almonds, raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. Be sure to throw some chocolate in there (dark is best) so the kids don’t feel like they’re totally deprived!

^Crispy Rice Treats – click the link to find a great recipe from a fellow blogger. However, I highly encourage you to use healthy marshmallows with less sugar and cereal without any kind of ingredient with -ose on the end (ie. fructose, sucrose, etc).

Note: If you’re making the treats yourself, include a note to the kids parent’s of the ingredients so they don’t think it’s spiked.

Now, it’s inevitable that your kids get your hands on a fair amount of candy this time of year but how do you keep them from riding that sugar high for 12 weeks afterwards? I do not have kids so I really have NO IDEA, but I do have a couple of suggestions!

1. Give them a vacation night. Let them eat the candy. Let them work themselves into a sugar-induced coma. But while they’re there, ask them how they are feeling. Make them realize that the candy is making them sluggish, over-full, and cranky with a headache. Don’t harp on them, but for 5 minutes just try to help them realize the effect of the candy.

2. After their coma, give them incentives to “trade” the candy. For every 10 pieces, they don’t have to do their chore for the day. Something like that.

3. Ask them if they’d rather spend some time with you, cooking something else delicious that won’t make them feel like crap. Then proceed to make an awesome, fun desert (like the popcorn balls or crispy rice treats listed above) to make them feel that this is so much better.

Ok those are a few suggestions from a child-less 24 year-old. I hope they help a little bit! And I hope you all have an awesome Halloween!

What will you and/or your kids be dressing up as?