Sugar Blues and Open Sky Discount

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Sugar is everywhere today.  Not only is it in soda, cake and ice cream but in more unlikely foods such as ketchup, canned food and salad dressings.  Sugar is often disguised in fancy language such as corn syrup, dextrose, fructose or maltose.  Many of us unknowingly consume 30 teaspoons of sugar each day, which is 3 times the USDA recommendation.

It is only natural that we crave sugar.  It is simply the body asking for energy.  When sugar is digested, it turns to glucose which fuels the body’s cells and helps restore energy levels.  But, before you hit the vending machine for an instant energy boost, note that all sweets are not created equal.

Refined sugar creates a roller-coaster effect–imagine a child’s birthday party.  The kids are calm in the beginning, but after cake time everyone is bouncing off the walls.  The sugar from the cake quickly enters the bloodstream and causes the blood sugar level to skyrocket causing excitability, hyperactivity and nervous tension.  Because this sugar is refined and does not have any minerals or vitamins to sustain energy, the hyperactivity will only last for a short period of time before the energy plummets and the kids become cranky and tired.  Ever wonder why these kids birthday parties last only a couple of hours?

Refined sugars not only lead to major mood swings but also take a tool on the body leading to health problems such as diabetes, weight gain and hypoglycemia.  Because the table sugar in your morning donuts is such a severe dose of energy, it causes your body’s glucose levels to spike up and then crash down.  When the body senses a high level of sugar it goes into panic mode and words hard to burn it up as quickly as possible.  In order for the body to absorb sugar properly, it uses its own minerals and enzymes creating a deficiency.  Refined sugars also create more cravings for more high-calorie, sweet foods as your body tries to replace lost nutrients.

For those of you who are sugar addicts, start slowly.  Rather than quitting ‘cold turkey’, try to incorporate sweeter veggies such as carrots and sweet potatoes into your day.  You may still experience energy dips in the early afternoon and then a couple of hours post lunch, however, this is only natural.  By incorporating more foods with naturally occurring sugars, the energy dips will not be as sever as if you were to eat a candy bar.  As you add more veggies, you will eventually crave less sugar and naturally crowd out the sweet snacks.

Sometimes your cravings go beyond hunger or the need for an energy boost.  The desire for something sweet may be the need for other forms of comfort in your life. When do you crave sweets the most? Is it in the late afternoon when you are bored at work or when you are home alone? Along with replacing simple sugars with sweet veggies, whole grains and fruits, try to incorporate more self-care into your life, whether it is though relationships, exercise or hobbies.  You may be surprised to learn that your desire for that bowl of ice cream is not as strong.

Here are a few of my facts and tips to help you navigate through your Sugar Blues:

  • Sugar is addicting; once we start…we cannot stop…we continue to crave sugar and want more and more!
  • Food changes everything; we take it in with our mouths and it becomes us..’you are what you eat’, so when we are eating too much sugar, we are very different than when we are eating leafy greens and good sources of protein
  • Willpower is not the problem, it’s the uncontrollable cravings
  • Sugar is the solution, not the problem
  • Why do we go for sugar? It gives us something-energy, feeling happy, satisfied, etc. and it’s an instantaneous solution to these problems. It will shoot our energy through the roof but we will crash later. So, sugar is our solution in the moment- our body is constantly trying to achieve homeostasis (balance).  We want balance.
  • So, if we wake up tired-we want coffee, donuts or sugar, which spikes us up then we crash
  • If we are eating too many salty foods (yang) such as meaty, salty grounding foods they will make us crave sugar (yin) foods.  For instance, bartenders put out peanuts so that people will continue to drink sweet alcohol.  The same goes for dining out–the food is always heavy on the salt so that we will want to order off the dessert menus.
  • When we are craving sugar we are not hungry, we are usually thirsty.  Most Americans are dehydrated, which causes migraine headaches and exhaustion.
  • When you get a craving; take a deep breath and drink water, look at your watch and wait 20 minutes for the craving to pass.
  • There is ALWAYS something behind your underlying causes of cravings.
  • Could be our lack of primary foods in our lives? By Primary Foods, I am referring to love, friends, relationships, work, spiritual practice, career, exercise, hobbies and anything that is a non-food source that heals your soul.  Are you bored? Are you lonely? Are you running away from something or someone? Many people use food to fill a void that food CANNOT fix. The freezer (ice cream) satisfies that need, but the ice cream does not solve anything, so you are off to find another quick fix.
  • Put a list on your fridge that will list non-food options called a ‘Nourishment Menu’; use this menu to feed your soul.  Work in the garden, call a friend, take a walk, get outside in nature, practice yoga, read a book, make a human connection with friends or family members.   Food cannot help our problems or make us feel as good as these options can.
  • Ask yourself, “Am I getting the nourishment that I want from my life?”  ” Am I looking to food to fill this void in my life?”
  • Sugar is not the problem; it is the solution and our body is always trying to come into balance. When we eat too many meat-based or grounding foods we are going to crave the opposite.
  • If we are dehydrated we will crave sugar.
  • Often times, food is not the issue.  We are looking for connection with spirit in our body.  Take a step back and analyze the situation.  You may be surprised to know that food is not the problem at all.
  • What is one thing that you learned about yourself with your relationships with food?  Be sure to look at everything you do for yourself that truly nourishes you.  True nourishment comes from non-food sources; mindless snacking is something we do to keep us busy.
  • If your sweet tooth is not satisfied with sweet vegetables or fruit, here are some of my favorite ‘Sweet’ Condiments, which are more natural alternatives to sugar.

Be sure to understand and comprehend each bullet point above.  Ask yourself if these scenarios relate to your life.  Do you realize the impact of sugar on your health and well-being?

Eat for quality, not quantity and savor each bite of food.

Open Sky Discount

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Product Review: Dave’s Killer Bread

A big thank you to the folks over at Dave’s Killer Bread for sending me a delicious loaf of KILLER bread.

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I have been eager to tell each of you about the delicious breads over at Dave’s Killer Bread.

Dave offers a vast array of delicious and healthy breads:

  • 21 Whole Grains Bread
  • Powderseed Bread
  • Good Seed Bread
  • Blues Bread
  • Good Seed Flourless Sprouted Wheat
  • Good Seed Spelt Bread
  • Peace Bomb Mini-Baguette
  • Cracked Wheat Bread
  • Nuts and Grains Bread
  • Rockin’ Rye Bread

Dave is busy working on numerous new products that are currently under development:

  • Organic Cinnamon Rolls
  • Sprouted Grain Cookies
  • Whole Grain White Bread
  • Omega Sprouted Wheat bread
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Robust Raisin
  • Blues Buns
  • Surviva Complete Protein Bread
  • Good Seed Love Bombs

My clients and I were lucky enough to sample Dave’s delicious breads; we were amazed by the fresh, chewy texture and nutritional content of each slice! This was by far the best bread I have ever tasted and my clients agreed 100%.   Last week, my clients and I sampled Dave’s bread and had a great time making sandwiches, baked croutons, meatballs and vegetarian bean burgers.  There are countless ways to enjoy Dave’s Killer Bread in your recipes; simply sub Dave’s bread for your bread crumbs, processed croutons and unhealthy breads void of fiber, loaded with additives and artificial flavors.

You haven’t tasted a REAL bread until you have a slice of Dave’s.  You’ll be saying goodbye to your store bought ‘fake fiber’ and ‘fake whole grain’ breads once you bite into Dave’s loaf.  As I have mentioned before, we must be cautious when shopping for whole grain breads-just because the package advertises ‘Whole Grains’ does not necessarily mean that the product contains the entire bran, germ and endosperm in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm.  Each part of the whole grain kernel contains many essential vitamins and nutrients from fiber to antixoidants, minerals, and protein found in the endosperm and germ.  We must be sure to carefully study the ingredients on each label–but no worries here, Dave’s got you covered with his all-star ingredients.

If you are in the market for a new bread or just ready to break out of your Wonder Bread routine, take a look at Dave’s website and order yourself a loaf or two of his unique bread creations.

As you can see from the above bread variety as well as the new products in development, Dave has created a KILLER Whole Grain business.  Each of Dave’s delicious breads is made from whole grain, which as we all know is far healthier than products made with refined grains.

Moreover, Dave’s breads contain no animal products, therefore every tasty loaf is vegan.    No artificial flavors, no preservatives, no corn syrup, no high fructose corn syrup! Now, that’s hard to beat!  Each loaf is sweetened with organic molasses, natural fruit juices and organic cane juice.

Thank you again to the kind folks over at Dave’s Killer Bread for sending me samples of their whole grain breads.  I know my clients are going to be ordering Dave’s bread for their childrens lunch sandwiches–it seems we’ve finally found a healthy fiber-ful bread that has a liking to the kids taste buds!  Now there’s a way to put whole grains into your families meals.

Fiber-ific!

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We’ve all heard, “Eat more Fiber”…for crying out loud…it’s in every health magazine article, mentioned in numerous commercials,the topic of convo at lunch, and advertised on thousands of food products we encounter every single day. So, what is all of this fuss about fiber?

Let me start by saying that FIBER is FABULOUS. I myself, eat about 30 grams of fiber per day and sometimes more!  “How?”, you ask…Simple…here’s the down low on fiber and why you should include more into your day.

There is only one way to get fiber- through plant foods such as vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits, which are quality carbohydrates loaded with fiber!  These plant foods deliver minerals, vitamins, fiber, and phytochemicals along with carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, veggies, and fruits.  Now, don’t get scared about the word carbohydrate because you cannot judge these foods without knowing its fiber content.

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Fiber is the edible part of plants or carbohydrates that humans can not digest.  Now, although this fiber is not absorbed, it does wonders for our bodies.  First off, fiber slows down the absorption of other nutrients eaten at the same meal, including carbohydrates.    This slowing process may help prevent spikes and dips in our blood sugar levels, which reduces our risk of Type 2 Diabetes.  Moreover, fibers found in beans, oats, and some fruits can help lower our blood cholesterol.  And the best part is that fiber helps people stay full and satisfied.  Who knew?

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However, most Americans do not know this.  Therefore, they spend their day eatingprocessed and refined “white” grains- bagels, buns, muffins, pizza, bread, white rice…I could go on forever.  A quick tip for your knowledge: the “whiter” the grain-based food, the lower the fiber. 

To increase your fiber intake, be sure to switch to whole grains at every meal and snack in such items as: pasta, tortilla wraps, chips, pretzels, bread, crackers, buns, rolls, and pizza.  The whole wheat/ whole grain variety of these products are available in most food stores.  Moreover, it is important to include beans and bean products as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables.  There are countless beans, veggies, and fruits-  experiment and taste a new fruit and veggie each day to see what your taste buds enjoy! The best part is you’ll know you’re doing your body good by giving it some much needed fiber.  In addition, these forms of fiber are unprocessed/ minimally processed whole foods, which contain natural sugar such as the fructose in fruit.

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There are two types of fiber; insoluble and soluble. 

Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol in the intestines and prevents it from being absorbed; which may cholesterol levels.  Moreover, this type of fiber is also thought to help minimize the rise in blood sugar levels after a meal (helpful for people with diabetes).

Good Sources of Soluble  Fiber (Dissolves in Water) include:

  • Oatmeal / Oat Bran
  • Citrus fruits, Strawberries, Apples, Pears, Mangoes, Plums, Blackberries, Raspberries, Peaches, Dried Apricots, Prunes, and Figs
  • Peas, Lentils, Beans
  • Rice Bran
  • Barley

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Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools, helps treat diarrhea and constipation and may reduce the risk of colon problems.  This fiber has been known to help people with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). 

Some sources of Insoluble Fiber (Does not Dissolve in Water) are:

  • Vegetables such as Cabbage, Beets, Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Celery and Carrots
  • Whole Wheat Breads, Cereals, and Wheat Bran
  • Whole Grains, such as Barley
  • Skins of Many Fruits and Vegetables

Now when looking at the nutrition facts, be sure to check the ingredient list to make sure the whole grain is the first or second ingredient on the list.  Surprisingly, products that claim, “100% wheat” or “multigrain” are NOT usually whole grain.

According to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, the daily needs of men and women for fiber differ and change as they age:

Age 50 and Younger:    Women: 25 Grams     Men: 38 Grams

Age 51 and Older:           Women: 21 Grams      Men: 30 Grams

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As for how to get those fiber numbers into your diet, here are a few easy tips that will get you loving fiber in no time!  Please note, however, to avoid stomach upset, increase your fiber by only a few grams each week over the course of several weeks.

  • Start your day off with a nutritious high-fiber breakfast such as a bowl of oatmeal or oat bran.  Be sure to top it off with fiber-rich foods such as blackberries and bananas instead of sugary syrup.
  • Enjoy a whole wheat sandwich spread with fiber-rich hummus instead of mayonnaise and filled with fiber-rich vegetables.
  • When reading labels, be sure to look for “rich in”/”high in” or “excellent source of” fiber–but be aware, you want the product to provide you with 5 grams of fiber per serving!
  • Snack time? Nosh on a homemade trail mix of seeds, nuts and dried fruit or reach for a fresh, crisp apple (be sure to keep the skin on)
  • Juicing is a great way to get your daily veggies, however, REMEMBER…when juicing, all the fiber is stripped from the veggies and fruits.

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How do you incorporate fiber into your day? What have you changed/added to your diet to “up” the fiber intake?