Monday, May 7, 2012
Sugar: Bye, Bye, Bye!
Yeah I'm thinking of that NSYNC song. Go ahead and sing it to your white, refined sugar as you pour it in the trashcan! Everyone knows it is bad for you, but it is very difficult to do without it. Just thinking that I "need" sugar, or that my body craves something that is SOOO bad for me, makes me want to be rid of it. I believe we can all be liberated from sugar. Even I will still get it in my coffee at Starbucks every once in a while, like I said, it is a gradual change and I think I've come a long way. I don't bake with it anymore. We don't ever use it in our home...and I don't miss it. I used it in my coffee the other day because we were about out of honey and I could feel it on my run, yuck! Let's chat about refined sugar first. I found this great article about agave nectar and other bad sugars in this article : www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/
First of all, anything that is refined usually means it has gone through a chemical process depleting it of any minerals, enzymes, and nutrients essential to our bodies in order to digest it. The more processed something is, the further it gets from its most raw, natural form. Humans are meant to eat the most natural, raw foods. We were never meant to eat "chemically enhanced" food. It simply is not good for us. Refined sugar = empty calories. What is the big deal if they are empty? Well because it is "empty," refined sugar lacks the nutrients your body needs to digest it, so then, it robs what is needs from your body. Therefore your body, responds to it as a toxin. Isn't it a little backwards that we would put something in our bodies that takes nourishment from our body rather than supplies nourishment for it? Yikes! If that didn't get your attention, this will. Your body stores sugar as fat, and guess where is stores it? In the most inactive places in your body: the breasts, thighs, and belly! I strongly believe that if you remove refined sugar from your diet, you'll drop weight. You will give your body a break from digesting it so it can burn off the sugar/fat it has stored. Just because you are getting rid of that white stuff doesn't mean you can't have sweet stuff!
Let me introduce you to my new, much more nutritious sweet friends: Pure Raw Honey (again, refined honey is depleted of nutrients) and Real Maple Syrup. These things work great in baking recipes. I made blueberry muffins with 1/4 cup maple syrup instead of all the sugar and they were delicious! Honey works well in coffee also. I also just started using Coconut Palm Sugar. It is really good, and it minimally processed. It is a little pricey, but I think it's worth it--especially if you just want to use it to sweeten coffee and tea. I recommend committing to going without refined sugars for 2 weeks (and of course beyond that). You will feel a difference and lose weight. That means no baked goods with sugar, no ketchup (you can find unsweetened ketchup and sweeten it with honey), no white sugar, no sucralose (splenda) Just Honey, Maple Syrup, and try Coconut Palm Sugar. To really form a habit, or get out of a bad habit, I believe it takes at least 2 weeks. You will thank me for it. And just google refined sugar...There are tons of articles on why it's so bad for us. This is your first step. Please comment any questions/hang ups or even a "bye bye bye sugar!" to let me know you are with me :) Oh and before I forget, let me share some recipes to satisfy a sweet tooth. I know my pictures are silly!
Food Renegade's Mudslide Cookies...oh. my. gosh. AMAZING and EASY!
Blueberry Muffins! My Favorite:)
(don't worry just yet about soaking grains and buying different flours yet...we will cover grains next time, just sub in all purpose flour)
My Favorite: Toasted Ezekiel Bread (sprouted bread, or whole wheat bread) with almond butter, cut up bananas drizzled with pure raw honey! YUM!