Eat 58% Sugar and Live to Tell About It

On this journey to become what I eat I am always looking for ways to get away with eating sugar. Back in the day I could easily eat an entire row of Oreo’s with a glass of milk, or a carton of double chocolate fudge Bryer’s and live to tell about it.

It’s different now for several reasons. The first is that my metabolism doesn’t behave as it did 20, or even 10 years ago. The second is that when you know better, you [should] do better.

In the morning I usually have a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk, peanut butter, and a handful of raisins. The macro nutrients fill me up, and I get my sugar fix. Lately though I’ve been feeling guilty about eating raisins, and I’m not sure if I should. So, I thought I’d do some research.

Raisins are dried grapes with a high concentration of sugar (30% fructose and 28% glucose). Don’t let that scare you though. Raisins are nutritious as they are rich in fiber, vitamins, and nutrients. They are low in fat and have been recommended as a snack for weight control, digestive health, and regulating blood pressure.

There is so much debate online though. Dentists preach against them because they stick to your teeth. Since they contain fructose (and it’s supposedly toxic) some people stay away from them.

What I get from everything I’ve read is that they are to be enjoyed in small amounts. If I have to choose between raisins and cookies, I’ll choose raisins–unless my other choice is an oatmeal raisin cookie…then what am I to do?!

 

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You Say Potato, I Say Potato

I’ve always loved potatoes. Hash browns. Fries. Mashed. I can literally find a reason to eat a potato at every meal. I remember being at a buffet, looking down at my plate, and to my own chagrin I had fries, mashed potatoes, AND potato salad on my plate. OMG!

On this journey to become what I eat I’ve been reading up on tons of foods, but I’m still having trouble with the potato. For a while I stopped eating white potatoes, substituting the sweet potato instead. I remember my former pastor telling me, it’s not the potato that’s the problem, it’s the cheese and sour cream and butter that you put on TOP of the potato!

So, let’s talk about the potato. The potato has essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and potassium (when you leave the skin on). We know the potato for it’s carb content, which is why we are afraid of it (or is it just me?). Because the starchy potato is resistant to digestion enzymes in the stomach and small intestine, it may have the same physiological effects and health benefits as fiber (yippe!). Additionally, “it provides bulk, offers protection against colon cancer, improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, lowers plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations, increases satiety, and possibly even reduces fat storage” (according to Wikipedia).

Where do we go wrong with the potato? The problem lies in our storage and preparation. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your potatoes in a dark, well ventilated area
  • When potatoes start to sprout, cut off the sprouts BEFORE preparing them for your meal
  • Eat baked potatoes topped with chives and broccoli
  • Make fries by cutting potatoes into thin strips, brushing on a bit of olive oil, and baking
  • Chop potatoes and saute them with onions and peppers

Don’t let the potato scare you like it did me! What are some of your favorite health conscious potato recipes? Post them below.

Sugar Withdrawal

I have a horrible headache, and I know why. I remember having this feeling the first few days into the Daniel Fast back in January. I haven’t had processed sugar since Monday, and I’m going through sugar withdrawal. One of the “symptoms” of withdrawal is the dreaded headache. sugar-spoon

I remember one night in graduate school I tried weaning myself from sugar. I had a craving so bad I woke up in the middle of the night, juiced 5 apples, and chugged the juice faster than you can say criss cross apple sauce! My headache/craving went away instantly. Yes, the sugar was natural (from apples), but the fact of the matter is sugar is just as addictive as drugs! Did someone say dopamine?

I’m writing this post because if I don’t I will truly go in the kitchen and make myself a bowl of Coco Puffs to “cure” my headache. If you know me, you know how I feel about Coco Puffs.

Have you successfully given up processed sugar? Leave me some tips!

Doritos.

I had an interesting conversation with a family member last night about Doritos. We are both trying to limit the amount of processed food we intake. Well, one of us is trying harder than the other…but I digress.4f0711bd624601325863357_blog

This family member made the argument that Doritos, specifically Cool Ranch Doritos, are “good for you”, and asked about having some after we had eaten a healthy and satisfying dinner. I begged to differ, so we examined the nutrition label.

I began with the calorie count: 12 chips = 150 calories. “Well, how many calories was our dinner? I can have up to 2,000 calories a day.” My issue is not how many calories, but the type of calories. 150 calories of buttermilk, sugar, and cheddar cheese is not the same as 150 calories of fiber and protein. (Check out this article from Women’s Health on The Difference Between Good and Bad Calories.)

I went on to read the ingredients and had a hard time pronouncing a few of them outside of cheese, milk, and corn. “Those are just preservatives.” Guess what? Preservatives can be harmful for several reasons. They reduce heart health, increase your risk of cancer and may cause breathing difficulty. Don’t believe me? Read this and this.

The moral of the story is that there’s more to food than counting calories, but if you still want to go that route here’s a list of snacks at 150 calories or less that are good for you. You’ll have to do a little work to make these snacks, but it’ll be worth it. Stay away from the Doritos if you can.

  1. Chocolate Almond Smoothie
  2. Baked tortilla chips and salsa
  3. Sliced cucumbers and cream cheese
  4. Cocolate and Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas
  5. Avocado with rice & bean chips
  6. 1 banana and a square of dark chocolate
  7. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Protein Balls
  8. Air popped popcorn (2 cups)
  9. Oatmeal with honey and blueberries (follow the serving size!)
  10. Chocolate Almond Coconut Protein Balls

See what I did there?