Plant Based Sweeteners

Posted on March 01

When it comes to reducing sugar intake, plant-based sweeteners have become the latest nutrition buzzword, and for a good reason! Not only can they be used as a safe alternative to sugar, but some also have health benefits! 

 
Sweet Plant-Based Sweeteners


Stevia. One of the most well-known plant-based sweeteners comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, known as stevia. This zero-calorie sweetener is about 300 times sweeter than table sugar and does not raise blood sugar levels.
  • How to use: A pinch of stevia can sweeten beverages such as coffee, tea, or lemonade, as well as in hot or cold cereals, smoothies, and unsweetened yogurt. While some brands do say you can bake with stevia, it does leave a strong aftertaste.
  • What’s to love: Stevia has been found to help reduce high blood pressure in people with hypertension by 6–14% and lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  • Be aware: It does have a bitter aftertaste, and using too much can cause bloating or an upset stomach.
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classify sweeteners made from high-purity steviol glycosides to be “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS.

Erythritol. Erythritol naturally occurs in many fruits and is also made during the fermentation of some foods and beverages. However, It contains 0.24 calories per gram and is approximately 70% the sweetness of sugar.
  • How to use: Erythritol can be found in powdered format and is used to sweeten and thicken low calorie or sugar-free foods.
  • What’s to love: It doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin levels and appears to be better tolerated than most sugar alcohols. It has a mild aftertaste, which is why many people prefer it over other plant-based sweeteners.
  • Be aware: Taken in large amounts, it can cause digestive distress.
  • While erythritol is a new sugar alcohol, it was approved by the FDA in 2001.

Xylitol. Sugar alcohol has a similar sweetness level as sugar and contains about 2.4 calories per gram, compared to the four calories per gram of sugar.
  • How to use: Xylitol can be used as a sugar replacement with a 1:1 ratio. It is used to sweeten coffee and teas as well as in some baking. It is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gums, candies, diabetes-friendly foods, and oral-care products.
  • What’s to love: Xylitol has been associated with improved dental health, reducing the risk of cavities and dental decay. It also doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels.
  • Be aware: It can cause digestive side effects such as bloating, gas and diarrhea when taken in high doses.
  • While it is safe for humans, keep away from dogs as xylitol is highly toxic for them.

Swerve. Swerve is a natural, non glycemic sweetener made from a blend of erythritol and oligosaccharides.
  • How to use: Because of its unique blend, Swerve is excellent for baking. It measures cup-for-cup like sugar!
  • What’s to love: Minimal aftertaste or digestive discomfort. Like other plant-based sweeteners, Swerve sweetener will not impact your blood sugar and is loved by low carb bakers.
  • Be aware: Similar to other plant-based sweeteners, overeating can cause digestive discomfort and distress.
Up and Coming Plant-Based Sweetener: Monk Fruit 


Monk Fruit (Lou Han Guo) - Monk fruit is a small fruit native to southern China. The seeds and skin are removed, and the monk fruit juice is extracted to use as a sweetener. Monk fruit sweeteners are 150 - 200 times sweeter than sugar, which means only a small amount is needed to add a little sweetness! 
  • How to use: Similar to other plant-based sweeteners, monk fruit is used to sweeten beverages, hot or cold cereal, and smoothies. When it comes to baking, monk fruit will require a little more trial and error because the amount needed is smaller than traditional sugar. 
  • What’s to love: For years, it has been used to treat a sore throat or cold by traditional Chinese medicine! 
  • Be aware: There are more challenges involved with growing monk fruit, making it more expensive than other plant-based sweeteners. 
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers monk fruit sweeteners to be generally regarded as safe (GRAS). There appears to be no evidence that monk fruit sweeteners cause harmful side effects.

 
Featured Recipe
Eat Fit King Cake in a Mug 



Ingredients: 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour 
  • small pinch of salt 
  • 2 tbsp almond milk, unsweetened 
  • One egg 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 tsp Swerve sweetener 
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  •  

Cream Cheese Icing 
  • 1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt, plain 
  • 2 Tbsp low-fat cream cheese 
  • 1 tsp Swerve sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  •  

Instructions

Mix spices, coconut flour, salt, almond milk, egg, vanilla, swerve and xanthan gum, and then add baking powder. Pour into a microwave-safe mug and microwave for 1 -1 1/2 minutes. (Time may vary depending on the microwave). Combine remaining ingredients to make the icing, stir until evenly blended. Spoon cream cheese icing on top of the cake and enjoy.

Nutrition: 260 calories, 12 g fat, 410 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, (19 grams of net carbs), 16 g protein
 

“Nature has given us all the pieces required to achieve exceptional wellness and health, but has left it to us to put these pieces together.”—Diane McLare

FAST BAR .... looking forward to trying this new whole food snack bar ...

Posted on February 25

Mushrooms....

Posted on February 23
Looking for a way to add protein and boost your immune system? Try adding in mushrooms as a side dish or as the entree. You can use a variety of mushrooms to saute or grill a large portabella as the main dish.
 
Mushrooms: 200 calories for 28 grams of protein
Filet: 200 calories for 19 grams of protein
 
Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms
Serves 4
 
Ingredients:
12 to 16 ounces fresh mushrooms (preferably assorted varieties but you can use your favorite type)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced (depending on how garlicky you want it)
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup dry white wine
Fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
 
Instructions:
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent garlic from burning. Once garlic is fragrant (about 45 to 60 seconds), add the mushrooms and dried thyme. Increase the heat slightly to medium-high, drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms for about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. [Note: Keep an eye on the pan and add more olive oil (about 1 tablespoon at a time) as the mushrooms absorb the liquid. If you pan is dry, the mushrooms will stick and burn. Add it slowly though as you don’t want to over saturate your mushrooms.]
Once your mushrooms begin to soften, add black pepper and stir to combine. Sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine (be sure heat is at medium-high) and allow to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until white wine is reduced by about half.
mushrooms

mberry

Posted on February 16
Still craving sugar? Still want sweets every night for comfort or relaxation?
 
This unique berry will rock your world and your sense of taste due to its ability to alter your taste buds.
 
Let one tablet dissolve in your mouth, do not chew or swallow whole.
 
Grab a slice of lemon or lime and bite into it.... it will taste sweet!
 
The protein in the fruit will change bitter, sour or bland foods to a sweet treat!
mberry

The Healing of Eating Colorful Foods

Posted on February 09

Eating a rainbow of colorful foods allows our bodies to absorb nutrients from a variety of foods. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, legumes, and nuts are composed of thousands of different phytonutrients that serve an array of functions in the human body. As we strive for balance in food colors and recognize when certain colors may be imbalanced regarding food intake, we can boost our overall health and well-being!

Red—Immune system: Red-colored foods tend to be high in vitamin C, which supports adrenal health and immunity. Red-colored foods, such as tomatoes, strawberries, and red beets, have also been shown to be anti-inflammatory.

Orange—Reproductive health: Eating orange-colored foods abundant in carotenoids like beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin may help lower the risk of reproductive issues like endometriosis or even delay ovarian decline. Carotenoids are also found within the ovaries and the sperm to support fertility.

Yellow—Digestion: Eating too many of the processed yellow foods, like breads, baked goods, and processed cereals from, can extinguish our digestive fire and increase our risk for metabolic syndrome and even type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, eating acidic, warming, yellow foods, like lemons, ginger, and grapefruit, can help us burn brightly and rev our metabolism.

Green—Cardiovascular health: Green foods like leafy greens are rich in nutrients such as folate, vitamin K, and naturally-occurring nitrates that make them healing and expansive for the heart and blood vessels.

Blue-Green—Thyroid health: Blue-green foods like algae, sea plants, and even spirulina contain minerals such as iodine and selenium, which nourish and support the function of the thyroid gland.

Blue-Purple—Cognition and mood: Blue-purple foods like berries and grapes have been shown to help with better brain function like learning and memory, as well as improving mood and calmness.

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NEW: Gluten Free-Grain Free-Low Carb Piza ;)

Posted on February 04

Chocolate!

Posted on February 02
Beyond simply tasting delicious, a dose of dark chocolate adds a variety of health perks that are sure to have your body (and taste buds) thanking you! The good-for-you properties actually come from the minerals and antioxidants found in the cocoa, hence why the darker the chocolate (think 70% or higher), the better for your health.

With Valentine’s right around the corner, today’s the perfect time to clarify the confusion mixed in with cupid's favorite treat!
Beyond a Sweet Treat: 7 Perks of Dark Chocolate

  1. Enhances Brain Function. Yup, it’s true - a small dose of dark chocolate may help you think better. Dark chocolate is naturally rich in the stimulants caffeine and theobromine, two compounds that can add a short term boost to overall brain function. Theobromine has been found to improve focus, concentration, and visual processing of information. Dark chocolate may also improve blood flow to the brain.
  2. Rich in Antioxidants including Polyphenols, Flavanols, and Catechins. The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidant power, which means the more perks for your health!
  3. Decreases Cancer Risk. The antioxidants found in dark chocolate have been found to neutralize free radicals that increase the risk of cancer. Therefore, enjoying a dose of dark chocolate can help decrease cancer risk.
  4. Improved Heart Health. Researchers have linked the flavonols in cocoa to decreasing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and arterial plaque.
  5. Lowers Blood Pressure. The flavanols in chocolate have been found to support the production of nitric oxide, which in turn helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow.
  6. Mood-Boosting. This one comes as no surprise, but there is scientific evidence that supports the fact that dark chocolate really does make people happier. Not only does it add a sweet treat, but it will help boost endorphins, lifting your mood.
  7. Bonus Nutrients. While dark chocolate doesn't provide a significant amount of essential nutrients, it is rich in iron, fiber, copper, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.
A Few More Truths About Chocolate



  • At 150 - 170 calories per ounce, dark chocolate is high in calories and can contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess. However, chocolate can induce satiety (the state of feeling satisfied), so a small amount can hold one over!
  • For maximum health benefits, choose 70% dark chocolate or higher. A higher percentage of cocoa solids means less added sugar, but also a more bitter flavor.
  • The higher the percentage of the dark chocolate also means the higher the caffeine content. However, in comparison to coffee, the caffeine content of chocolate is minimal.
  • You will not reap the same health benefits from milk or white chocolate as you do from dark chocolate.
  • Buying organic chocolate means the chocolate is free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and GMOs.
  • Chocolate labeled as “Fair-Trade” means it has been manufactured at a fair wage and with the exclusion of child labor.
Featured Recipe
Almond Butter Banana Energy Rolls with Cacao Nibs




Ingredient Spotlight: Cacao nibs are antioxidant-rich unprocessed cacao beans that have been shelled, dried, fermented, and ground up. They lend a nutty, super-chocolate-y crunch to these delicious rolls. Look for them in health-food groceries and in many supermarkets.

Ingredients
  • 2 Low-Carb Tortillas, Flour, Soft Taco Size
  • 4 tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut, lightly toasted
  • 1 small banana
  • 2 tablespoons honey (you can skip the honey to save sugar calories)
  •  

Directions
Lay tortillas on a clean work surface. Spread evenly with almond butter. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs and coconut. Thinly slice bananas crosswise, and layer on tortillas. Roll up. Cut into pinwheels, if desired.

 
 
 

OWYN RTDs

Posted on January 26
35 grams of plant protein
0 grams of sugar
no artificial sweeteners
owyn-high protein-no sugar RTD

Wild vs Farmed Raised Fish

Posted on January 21
Adults with high a marker for Type 1 diabetes and low omega-3 levels have a more than fourfold higher risk of autoimmune diabetes.
 
Individuals who ate one or more servings of fatty fish per week have a 49% reduced risk of diabetes.
 
Only fatty, cold-water fish contain significant amounts of omega-3 fats. Examples include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel and herring. Farmed salmon is among the most toxic foods available and is best avoided.
 
Farmed salmon also has the nutritional drawbacks of containing only half the omega-3 of wild salmon and four to eight times less vitamin D, while having more than 5.5 times the amount of harmful omega-6.
 
Processed vegetable oils are primary source of omega-6 linoleic acid (LA), but animal foods such as farmed salmon also contain high amounts of it, thanks to the fact that the animals are fed LA-rich grains. Excessive amounts of LA play a role in most chronic diseases, especially heart disease.
Sa

There are so many healthy options out today, I enjoy sharing new finds from my clients....

Posted on January 19

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