Archive for no sugar

Daily Dose of dense nutrition!

Day 22 – No Sugar

I DID IT! I made it through another weekend with no sugar. It’s not as hard as it was in the beginning. I’m pretty much past the learning curve of knowing what I can eat & what I can’t. This makes life much easier. I loaded up on good things like roasted  acorn squash, salmon & fresh cherries! Yum. I did want a treat!….. late on Sunday night. So my hubby took the fresh cherries & froze them. Once frozen solid he added them to my sugar free coconut milk & Shakeology. IT WAS SO GOOD! Especially since he froze the cherries & didn’t add ice. This made the taste much richer.Cherries shakeology

I want to talk to you about why I am doing this in the first place. I want to be healthy & I didn’t realize how bad sugar was until I started this journey. I just knew you shouldn’t eat it…… but I didn’t really know why! So I did my research.

Added sugars (not naturally occurring sugars) contains a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. You have heard them called empty calories. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar. This is why eating empty calories can cause nutrient deficiencies.

Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars… glucose and fructose.

  • Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it.
  • Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it.

Every cell in the body can use glucose, the liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose in significant amounts.

This is not a problem if we eat a little bit (such as from fruit) or we just finished an exercise session. In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it. However, if the liver is already full of glycogen, eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat.

When people eat a diet that is high in calories and high in fructose, the liver gets overloaded.

I’m not referring to fructose found in fruit here. Fruits aren’t just watery bags of fructose, they are real foods with a low energy density and lots of fiber.

They’re hard to overeat on and you’d have to eat ridiculous amounts to reach harmful levels of fructose. In general, fruit is a minor source of fructose in the diet compared to added sugars.

Sugar dehydrates the body which makes it difficult to lose weight. It disrupts your hormonal system and without balances hormones maintaining a healthy weight is near-impossible. It also lowers your body’s absorption of nutrients which means you don’t get any metabolic benefits of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, etc. It also slows down the absorption rate of your food in your digestion system which causing bloating.Sugar causes your body to overproduce insulin which causes you to store all food intake as fat.

The list goes on & on. I have no delusions that I will make it through the rest of my life not eating sugar! I love food way too much. However I now have a healthy respect for what I put in my body. I am more aware of what’s going in. I know this will help me to limit & make better choices.

 

Spiced Cucumbers

This one is so easy & so good! OH….. & NO SUGAR!!!

Peel half the cucumber for added decoration. Cut in circles. Douse with lime juice & chili powder. You can also use Old Bay seasoning.

YUMM!!!!

Cucumbers 2

 

Day 19 – No SUGAR

So the food companie think their slick! Change the name & we won’t know the difference. Sugar has over 200 different names & forms. It is difficult to identify all the sugars all the time, but it is possible. Once you get past the learning curve it becomes easier & easier. The main thing to remember is anything that comes in a box or can is usually bad. If you stick with whole foods….. fruits, veggies & fresh meats you can steer clear easily.

Today I wanted you to see the names of sugar and it’s counterparts. I can not take credit for this list, except for the beautiful presentation of course! I got this list from Rips & Curves. Check out her facebook page. Amazing information all the time. https://www.facebook.com/RipsandCurves

I am back on track. The weekend is here & I am determined to stay focused. Check back in on Monday to see how I do?!

 

Sugar part 1

 

sugar part 2

Day 17 – No Sugar

To touch on Monday’s post just a little more. If you have one bite, you start over. Now I am a firm believer in TREAT MEALS! I just don’t want you to fool yourself into believing it’s not going to have an affect on you at all! The last few days have been a battle. I had to go through the detoxing process all over again. The cravings, headache & grumpiness all came back. So no, one bad meal does not make a bad diet just know you are going to pay the price & it will be more than for a few moments.I had my treat on Saturday night, it is now Wednesday & I am just starting to feel “clean” again. Everyones body is different & you may not have the same drastic experience as I do. I have been eating mostly clean for years now do to food allergies. So I know my body well & can identify easily when something is wrong do to food I eat. If you have been eating processed food your body is numb so to speak. Until you clean it out you will not be as sensitive. Once you start feeding yourself whole & natural foods on a regular basis you will notice a drastic difference. Only you can decide….. Was it WORTH it???

XylitolLet’s talk Xylitol! I am extremely happy I decided to try this naturally occurring alcohol despite it’s crazy name. It is found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. It can also be extracted from birch wood to make medicine. It is known for killing bacteria in the body as well as a medicine to prevent middle ear infections (otitis media) in young children, & as a sugar substitute for people with diabetes. WARNING TO ANIMAL LOVERS……..Xylitol is deadly to dogs even in small amounts.

As far as the taste goes….. I like this much better than the Stevia. I tried Stevia for a little over a week & I just can’t get past the after taste. It so strong on the pallet in my opinion. The Xylitol is not as sweet which I’m OK with since I am not eating sugar. It does not have a taste at all, again in my opinion. Everyones tastes are different but I highly recommend giving this a try. I don’t believe I will go back to using the raw sugar in my coffee once this is all over. I drink a lot of coffee! This is one of my biggest areas of opportunity to make a healthy change.

Let me know what questions you may have or if there is something you would like me to write about. I am not a professional dietitian or nutritionist. I am just an everyday person sharing my experiences with you. Thank you for visiting & your feedback is welcome!

Don’t just let your tomorrow just happen, Design your own Destiny!

Day 15 – No Sugar

Don't Stress

It is really hard for me to admit this but I fell off the no sugar wagon this weekend. It’s scary to admit to the whole world your faults. Especially when you are in a position of leading others on their fitness journey. I’m still just a human, like you I have to say no to my cravings & get back up when I fall. Failing is inevitable, it’s part of the process to success. How else would we learn? I believe my success is not based on “IF” I get back up, but solely on “HOW QUICK” I can get back to my feet. Weather or not to get back up is no longer an option because I have committed myself to an extraordinary life! When I do fall back into average behavior, the question becomes; “how long will I stay there in my mediocrity”? That is the test against which I measure myself.  I’m back in the saddle today. I don’t promise you perfection but….. I promise to keep it real.

Here is where the breakdown happened. While going to get my nails done with a girlfriend on Saturday I could smell the aroma of fresh bundt cakes from the bakery next door. In an effort not to tempt you I will not give you any further details about the decadence that I ate…. but let me just say it was WORTH it. Meaning this wasn’t just some day old dried up bundt cake. I reasoned with myself….. this is a great way to see how this will make me feel tomorrow?! Well it made me feel horrible…. but it didn’t even take until tomorrow…… it took all of about 30 minutes & I hit a brick wall! Yep, the sugar made me crash. Within 30 minutes I was so tired I could barely stand.  I also started to feel like I had a head cold. Scratchy throat, stuffy nose, my eyes began to water. I couldn’t believe what a quick & drastic reaction I was having.

The next morning was just as I suspected. Achy muscles, still a scratchy throat, watery eyes & a stopped up nose. I know this feeling all too well & I know how to handle it….. WATER & EXERCISE! Lots of water & sweat will flush the sugar right out of your system.  Today I am still not 100%. The lethargy is still hanging around & I could only make it through about 15 minutes of my work out.

success really looks like 1

It’s amazing how sensitive your body becomes when you clean it out. It was not made to run on sugar that is one thing I know for sure. If you are on this journey & you have fallen off, don’t beat yourself up. The great thing is you can start fresh every moment. One good decision can lead to the next. The most important thing is you get back up. Don’t let one little set back cause you to quit.

If you are on this journey or thinking of trying it…. I would love to hear from you! Your questions/concerns are welcome. Send me an email jessica@destinydesigner.be

 

Homemade Salad Dressing

Don’t ruin your healthy salad with bad dressing. Make your own so you know what’s in there.

Day 10 – No Sugar

Yep!…. I thought that picture might get your attention. Day 10 & I wanted to share a short statement & picture I found from another blogger……. I couldn’t say it any better than this! Plus my friend Jacquie Kerzman said all my pretty pictures are making her crave sugar…. so I decided to change it up a bit. This ones for you lady!

“Please understand that feeding this garbage to your children is only killing them slowly. Aspartame is poisonous and white sugar actually breaks down in the body like cocaine. It is literally a drug. It gives no life and no sustenance, just a high, followed by a deep crash. Artificial coloring and dyes have long term effects like rendering the liver and kidney inept. EAT REAL FOOD! This means that if it doesn’t grow on a tree, vine, from the sea floor, or have seeds, it is NOT food. If you cannot readily identify the ingredients on the labels, this may not be the best thing to feed your children or yourself.” You can visit the original article here: http://veganwasted.blogspot.com/2012_06_01_archive.html

 

inside-happy-dance

So why am I doing the happy dance you ask?!…… I am excited to report that I have lost 11 lbs in 10 days. I wish I had some before & after pictures for you but I did not think this would be so drastic. So, you’re gonna have to take my word for it.

It was not my intention to lose weight on this journey.  I only wanted to be healthier. My beginning weight was 137 & I am now 126. I have not done any exercise in the last 11 days. I wanted to know for sure how the sugar free diet would affect my body.

Typically my abdomen is very swollen even with good diet & exercise. I used to get so mad because no matter how many crunches I did you couldn’t see my abs.  Over the past few days i have noticed my tummy is completely flat! How exciting for me! I didn’t realize how much sugar affects my body. Amazing how it’s killing me slowly & keeping me from so many goals.

 

The lethargy is leaving along with the brain fog in the afternoon & getting up in the morning is much easier. If I feel this good on day 10 I can only imagine how good day 30 will be. It’s amazing how we will eat what we want for 5 minutes of pleasure even though we are going to incur a lifetime of pain.

 

Day 8 – No Sugar

Candy-Sweet-Wallpaper

 

My weekend was EVENTFUL & INFORMATIVE! Now to share what I have learned.

SUGAR is in EVERYTHING!!! I think I already said that a few times…. but it’s in like everything. Unless you are going meats, veggies & fruits there is going to be sugars. I am really focusing on eliminating added sugars. Natural sugars occur in fruit, honey, coconut & lists of other natural foods. So my main focus has become eliminating the ADDED SUGAR.

The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which amounts to an extra 350 calories. Most added sugar comes from processed and prepared foods.  Sugar-sweetened beverages and breakfast cereals are two of the most serious offenders.

The AHA suggests an added-sugar limit of no more than 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of sugar) for most women and no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar) for most men.

There’s no nutritional need or benefit that comes from eating added sugar.

One of the fastest & easiest ways to cut out some added sugar…. Watch What You Drink!

The average can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories, almost all of them from added sugar!!! Usually high-fructose corn syrup. That’s the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of table sugar.

 

So how am I feeling?! I wish I could say I have the discipline to live a sugar free life forever….. but I know better! I feel fantastic! I gauge how I feel based on what is happening in my body first thing in the morning. Usually I wake up tired….. after 7 – 8 hours sleep. My eyes water in the morning & my muscles ache depending on exactly what I ate the day before. So eliminating the sugar has made a HUGE change in how I feel! The biggest is I keep waking up before the alarm goes off. I feel rested & ready to start my day. I am SO EXCITED for this change. I believe in the long run I will switch to honey in my coffee. I have been using Stevia for the past week & I just can not get used to the after taste. This week I am going to try a product called Xylitol.

Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar (five carbon atoms in the molecule) unlike most other sugars, which have six. This subtle difference means it helps prevent the growth of bacteria. It’s a healthier alternative.

Xylitol

 

More info here: Planet Organic Xylitol Natural Sweetener, £3.19, www.planetorganic.com

I have included a few links where I found some info, if you would like to read more.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/added-sugar-in-the-diet/

 

Coconut Cream Chicken

 1 Whole Chicken Breast

1 13 oz Can Coconut Milk

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 Sweet Onion, minced

2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

2 tsps Coconut flour

2 tbsp Cornstarch

4 Leaves fresh Basil or ½ tsp dried

¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon

¼ tsp Turmeric

½ tsp Salt Divided

Pinch of white pepper

 

1. In a large skillet on med high heat, saute the onion & garlic in the coconut oil.

2. Cut chicken into one inch chunks. Toss with flour, ¼ tsp salt & the pepper.

3. Add chicken to the skillet, cook on med-low heat 15 minutes or so depending on the thickness of your chicken chunks.

4. Add cornstarch to the coconut milk, stir until completely smooth. (You sauce will come out gummy if you miss this step)

5. Add cornstarch mixture, basil, cinnamon, turmeric & remainder of salt to skillet. Let simmer another 3 -5 minutes.

Serve over rice. Yield 4 – 5 healthy portions.

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I found my inspiration from Mother Thyme.

http://www.motherthyme.com/2013/01/coconut-chicken.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+motherthyme/BYjd+(Mother+Thyme)