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wolf in sweet clothes?

wolf in sweet clothes?

The Sugar Series wolf in sweet clothes? If you’re like me, when you hear the words ‘high fructose corn syrup’ mental images of medieval gluttonous feasts pop in your head. HFCS has gotten a bad rap in the health business, but I haven’t really done any research about why. I know the negative impact sugar has on my body, and avoid that with conscious intention. I avoid HFCS not because I know it’s bad for a fact, but because I’ve been told it’s unhealthy – even worse than sugar. And I believed it. How dopey is that? I mean, maybe it isn’t bad for me at all. So I gathered my 3X5 index cards, highlighter and notebook, walked to the library and started browsing the card catalog. Not really. I sat on my couch in yoga pants and a t-shirt and googled it. As if. A video from the American Chemical Society made things both more clear and confusing in a way only science and math can. Bottom line, although HFCS is processed very differently, the composition is similar to sugar. Here’s how it’s made: 1.     Corn is broken down into corn starch. 2.     Corn starch is broken down into corn syrup. 3.     Corn syrup is sweetened by alternating the proportions of glucose and fructose. Both sugar and HFCS are made up of fructose and glucose, but the proportions we see in products containing HFCS can vary depending on the product – if the soft drink wants to be sweeter, mess with the fructose and glucose levels. By contrast, sugar is made of equal amounts of glucose and fructose. Both substances work the same way in our bodies by sending the glucose and fructose into our blood stream. Glucose energizes our cells, while fructose is involved in cholesterol and glycogen (energy storage) production in our livers.    When comparing sugar and HFCS, the video states “The scientific consensus is that there’s almost no nutritional difference between the two.” All sweets affect metabolism and confuse our brains by crossing signals responsible for feelings of hunger and fullness. Additionally, high levels of fructose, no matter if from sugar or HFCS, are responsible for liver damage, obesity, diabetes and heart disease, among other things. Because it’s only been around 40 years or so, long term effects of HFCS aren’t yet known. But here’s why it’s getting a bad rap; many folks believe, whether led or assumed, that HFCS is the safe alternative to sugar when in fact the impact on bodies is at least the same.  It’s still fructose and glucose, and it’s not safe at all. And, my research also turned up dozens of sites claiming that HFCS was not processed the same as sugar and is actually more damaging. Like Monica says, sugar is the devil. No matter if it’s dressed up, split apart, given a fancy name or funded by the government, it does damage to our bodies in ways science is only beginning to understand. HFCS isn’t a wolf in sweet or sheep clothes. It’s just a wolf.
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soy ginger tuna served over riced cauliflower

soy ginger tuna served over riced cauliflower

soy ginger tuna served over riced cauliflower 2 handfuls of freshly chopped cilantro 1/2 chopped jalapeno (more if you like it spicy) 1 tsp of freshly grated ginger juice from 2 limes 2 T low sodium soy sauce 1 tiny pinch of sugar sea salt and freshly ground pepper 4 T olive oil 2 six ounce pieces of ahi tuna 1/2 ripe avocado sliced riced cauliflower (see recipe on website) combine the first 8 ingredients together in a mixing bowl adding 2 of your tablespoons of olive oil.  set aside. season the tuna steaks generously with salt and pepper on both sides. heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. make sure the olive oil is hot and sear the tuna on each side for about a minute to form a slight crust. pour half of the soy ginger sauce over the tuna in the skillet, then remove from the skillet and top with remaining sauce and top with sliced avocado.  Serve over a bed of riced cauliflower for a complete, low carb meal!
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eating more

eating more

Eating more When I think of my time with Monica, there’s a before and an after. Here’s what it looks like: Before – Mini vacation to Chicago includes me not eating anything until around 11:00, at which time I become famished and eat a keg of caramel corn. After – I’m considering buying stock in protein bars. I’m still not hungry, but they are the one thing I can actually eat in the morning without my body telling me to go to hell. Before – I thought a big salad was 90% lettuce topped with 10% cheese. If I had a tomato handy, bonus. After – Cheese is gone, lettuce is less, protein added, and nutritious veggies dominate. As I detail in my Sick of Salads post, I’ve had so many salads I now consider myself the Dali Lama of roughage. Before – Wait….what’s protein? After – Every time I eat I make sure I’m getting some protein (sorry Monica, I’m just not always as sure as you are exactly how much that’s supposed to be….yet). The biggest, most profound change, though, is the quantity of food I eat. Like so many of us, I was under eating – which, can I just say, is so counter intuitive I keep researching it to make sure it’s right. But it is. Somehow, by some crazy genetic  evolutionary mishap, not eating enough can make you weigh more. Gwyneth Paltrow must have some hand in this. I had a hint of this when my daughter was born 12 years ago. During a brief stint with Weight Watchers I began paying attention to what I ate. Within a few days I realized it was impossible for me to both eat enough points and eat the right kind of food. It felt like juggling with water balloons. Let me say, to clear the slate, that this girl can hit a calorie goal. Being the over-achieving, please-others Catholic girl I am, if someone in authority tells me to eat 1200 calories, I’ll make sure I hit that number on the head and ask for the gold star afterwards. My problem isn’t that I don’t like food or to eat. My issue is I’m just not hungry, or recognizing I’m hungry, enough.  So by the time I do get hungry, or understand I am, I’m not simply interested in food but ravished and in NEED of food, any food, the quicker and cheesier the better. This was my eating MO. Eventually these peaks and valleys cost me – weight gain, stomach pain, aches, crankiness. And so by the time I went to the doctor(s) last summer to figure out what was going on, I already had a love-hate relationship with food and eating. After being made to feel helpless, I pulled way back and began eating even less. By the time I came to Monica, I was probably only hitting 1000 calories a day. Monica’s guidance set me free in a way that seems to make little sense on paper but makes huge differences in reality. Before, I ate when I felt it, which was way after I needed it. Now, I eat with intention. I put food in my body because the purpose of that is to nourish and replenish – so even if I’m not quiet ‘feeling’ hungry, I know I have to fuel up. Other tips from Monica that save me: *Always keep something handy – Apples, power bars, nuts, and water come with me everywhere, just like my driver’s license and Target debit card. *Eat food that counts – Not as in counting calories, but as in will give my body what it needs. I need energy in small packages, so for me, that means planning out my day in a way that accounts for exercise, stress, or other needs. *I’m not a nun – although I briefly considered it in second grade. I know Diet Pepsi isn’t the greatest for me, but if drinking one every now and then rewards me in some way, then okay. I definitely have foods to avoid – like sugar and dairy – but other staple no-no’s are really controllable go-aheads. *It’s an (expletive) process – I’m not going to feel better in one week, or all at once, or all the time. I’m not going to up my miles or reps and wake up the next morning ripped. The measure isn’t how fast it comes, but how much better I feel, day by day. Like everything worthwhile, eating as much food as I need has a learning curve. I still struggle to balance my day so I’m not looking at chugging 500 calories at 9 pm. But my eye is on it, and slowly I’m finding that the more I eat, the healthier I become. And the crazy part, that I’m actually getting fitter and not fatter, doesn’t have to make sense to me. I can hold it in the same place I hold quantum physics and teenage girls – I see what’s happening, but can’t begin to describe why. Luckily, other people, like Monica and Neil deGrasse Tyson, can.
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klean cauliflower wraps

klean cauliflower wraps

1 head organic cauliflower 1/4 cup psyllium husk (whole flakes) or ground gg's 2 eggs 1/2 cup nutritional yeast 1/4 cup water salt, pepper and any herbs you like 1.  preheat oven to 375 2. line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. 3. pulse cauliflower in food processor until you achieve a rice like texture. 4. place riced cauliflower in microwave safe bowl, add water and cook for 8-10 minutes, until soft. 5. let it cool, then place in a dishtowel and squeeze as much water out as you can. be aggressive with this or you will have soggy wraps. 6. transfer back to bowl, add whisked eggs and all other ingredients. 7. take a small handful of mixture, place on parchment and form into a circle. make sure it's thin, but not so thin that you can see through the dough. 8. bake for about 15-20 minutes or until they start to brown. store in ziplock. you can reheat in a lightly sprayed skillet for a crispier version!
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coconut breakfast porridge - low carb

coconut breakfast porridge - low carb "oatmeal"

Coconut Breakfast Porridge [low carb “oatmeal”]Prep Time: 2 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Servings: 1 Ingredients: ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut1 scoop protein1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk2 teaspoons coconut flour or ground flaxseeddash of sea salt and vanilla extract Directions: 1. place coconut in the pot over medium high heat 2. cook until coconut is slightly toasted, but watch carefully as it burns easily 3. add protein powder to the almond milk and shake. add to pot. 4. continuing to stir, add coconut flour or ground flaxseed, and stir until mixture begins to thicken (about 5-8 minutes)
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klean risotto

klean risotto

  1 cup riced cauliflower 1 cup chicken stock 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flavor God seasoning to taste 1/2 cup shredded chicken microwave riced cauliflower with chicken stock for about 8 minutes in your microwavemix in nutritional yeast, seasoning to taste and roasted chicken
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riced cauliflower

riced cauliflower

see how easy it is to make a low carb, healthy alternative to rice.
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baked eggs in ham or turkey cups

baked eggs in ham or turkey cups

difficulty: easy cook time: bake for 15 minutes, every oven cooks differently. makes: 12 Ingredients:eggsham or turkeyany veg, spinach, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, whatever! Directions: preheat oven 400 spray muffin tins place a slice of ham or turkey in pan you can either crack an egg in each cup or scramble. if you scramble, you can mix all other ingredients. bake for 15-18 minutes.
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broccoli soup

broccoli soup

2 tbs evoo 1 diced yellow onion 4 cloves minced garlic 6 cups brocoli florets 4 cups low sodium chicken broth 2 cups raw spinach 1 avocado  2 tbs lime juice salt and pepper to taste heat oil and cook onion and garlic on medium heat until onion is translucent. add broccoli and broth, bring to boil. cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. add spinach to pot. cut avocado in half, remove pit, pour lemon juice over, then mash in pot. use immersion blender or vitamix, blend until smooth.
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