Sunday, September 11, 2011

Days #6 and #7 of Conscious Eating: Sugar

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I am happy to report that things are going quite well where making conscious choices to avoid refined sugar, wheat (and other gluten), and dairy go.  

I DO have my moments... stress, forgetfulness, habit, temptation, whatever...  but the moment passes with some deep breaths and affirmation.  We attended Church yesterday and stayed for their fellowship dinner.  I brought along a huge green salad with hemp seeds on top just in case had nothing else to eat... and there were THREE other big green salads, all slightly different, you know.  I allowed myself about a tablespoon-full of some sort of gluten (Adventists are famous for gluten/seitan) bits on my brown rice, and a small piece of crusty bread (maybe homemade garlic bread).  I made a conscious choice to avoid the desserts.

Today we are going to a Corn Roast which should be, in general, safe from too much temptation to stray.  There will be pastries there, no doubt (Adventists are famous for their cakes, cookies, etc.) but I will avoid them.  Notching it up a bit, I really need to start thinking (i.e., choosing consciously, being mindful) of the size of my portions of stuff like avocado and porridge, even though they don't contain processed sugars, etc., they are still calorically more dense than I likely need to maintain my nutrient base.

Talking of calories,  I came across an article on the many kinds of "alternate sweeteners" one could use besides highly processed sucrose and glucose.  I was not impressed that "Splenda" was the first alternative listed.   Splenda is sucralose... just another sucrose product trying to disguise as a "healthy" sweetener.  Rumors have it that Splenda has more chlorine in it than table salt.  There are many side effects listed here, and I think the most shocking one for anyone who has bought into the notion of using Splenda to cut calories is that it may actually stimulate a desire to eat more!  My favourite Low Glycemic (don't spike your blood sugar and bring on the Cortisol) sweeteners are: Stevia, Palm Sugar and sweet fruit (in smoothies for example).  You can go to your most trusted sites to look up what they have to say about each of these sweeteners.  I do know that stevia and palm sugar are, like other "alternative" organic foods a little pricey (well, a lot pricey).  And dried fruits like dates should be used judiciously by anyone who has blood sugar issues (people with borderline diabetes, for example).  I currently love palm sugar because just a little bit of it is necessary on my porridge to make it seem like I'm eating "brown sugar"-- and it has fewer calories plus it tastes like butterscotch!  Here are a few versions you can purchase from Amazon:

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