Monday, February 28, 2011

My New Healthy Obsession

A friend of mine introduced me to these wonderfully weird but quite tasty bars, and now I am obsessed with them! Here's the cool thing: they are 100% natural -- no dyes, preservatives, HFÇS or anything else bad for you! They are also vegan, gluten free, soy free, dairy free and kosher.

So what is in them? The first one I ate had three ingredients: unsweetened cherries, almonds and dates. Its like you took a blender and tossed in the ingredients until it made a paste and then shaped it into a bar. Sounds gross, I know, and they even smell a little bit weird, but they actually taste really good!

I thought it might make my stomach hurt, with all those raw ingredients, but it didn't, which surprised me since I have a sensitive stomach. They come in all kinds of flavors, I've only tried three, but I plan to buy more and see which ones are best. The apple pie and peanut butter cookie ones are good, as well as the cherry pie which I already mentioned. Each bar has around 200 calories and 8 to 12 grams of fat. Cherry had the lowest fat content, and apple was the lowest in calories.

I'm thinking this is a good thing to keep one or two of in your purse for those times when you feel like reaching for a candy bar or bag of chips. These are satisfying and good for you :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Breaking my Sugar Addiction

I love sugar. Well, not sugar so much as foods that have sugar in them. Doughnuts, cake, brownies, chocolate, all of it. But the more I learn about this sweet stuff, the more I am convinced that I need to break my addiction to it. So for the past week or so, I have been seriously cutting back on the amount of sugar I allow into my body. It's really HARD! I knew I loved sugar, but I didn't realize how seriously addicted I was to it. Here are some reasons why I feel the need to ease up (alot) on the sweet stuff.

* Sugar gives you a temporary "high" or burst of energy, but leaves you feeling depleted and lethargic when it wears off.

* Sugar can cause wide swings in your blood sugar levels which can lead to anxiety.

* Too much sugar can lead to vitamin B deficiencies, which leads to depression.

* Too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, and ultimately diabetes.

* Sugar suppresses the immune system which makes it harder for your body to fight off infections.

* A drop in blood sugar after a sugar "high" can cause neck, shoulder and head muscles to spasm which leads to tension headaches and migraines.

* Too much sugar causes yeast overgrowth which can lead to sinus infections.

Here are some easy ways to start cutting back on the amount of sugar in your diet:

* Check the label. If high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, glucose or sugar are one of the first three ingredients, put it back on the shelf! (Make sure you check everything, even salad dressings and whole wheat breads can have tons of sugar in them.

* Have healthy snacks that you actually like on hand. This will keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day and you'll be less likely to grab for that doughnut.

* Include a carbohydrate, a protein and a fat in every meal, and lots and lots of vegetables. Protein and healthy fats give you sustained energy, whole grain carbs help you feel full, and vegies add fiber which helps with digestion.

* If you are craving sugar, allow yourself one or two bites of your favorite treat instead of eating the whole thing.