Feelin' Chalky

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sweet Tooth

Back in the saddle again today!  I am testing out some new recipes this coming week and I am hopeful that I will have some good ones to share!

In the meantime lets talk about sugar...

We all love sweet stuff - some more than others.  I think I am abnormally drawn to anything resembling candy, chocolate, cookies, you get the point.  I have had to revamp my options since I started this journey and especially since I started WW.  Most of us know that sugar is bad for us partly because it is in EVERYTHING and we in turn eat (and drink) mass quantities of it!  So...what do you do?  I mean, plain oatmeal just SOUNDS unappealing and boring, right?  Here are some of my favorite alternatives these days (please chime in if you have tried any others that I have not listed!)

1. Maple Syrup - I love it on sweet potatoes, oatmeal, pancakes/waffles, etc.  We get a large bottle (32 oz) at Sam's Club for only $13...if you have ever looked at the price in regular grocery stores, then you know this is a good deal!

2. Stevia - I like this natural (not chemical) sweetener in things like tea or in my fav. Coca-Cola product: Vitamin Water Zero.  I think it is a great substitute when I want something other than plain water, but some people think it has an aftertaste...so that brings us to...

3. Agave Nectar - it looks like maple syrup and even tastes slightly like a cross between maple syrup and honey.  I have tried it in tea - yum, oatmeal - yum, and I even tried it plain just to get a feel for its taste and texture.  I really like it.  It is pretty versatile and can be used in anything from cocktail drinks to baked goods.  You can find it most anywhere: Wal-mart, Kroger, Meijer, Marsh, and Sunspot has a huge selection!  Thank you to my friend Jaime for turning me onto it...and double bonus is that it is low on the glycemic index, so instead of having a spike in sugar and then a crash, your body burns it more slowly and keeps your blood sugar more stable.  (Jaim - I hope I explained it right)

4. Honey - I love honey.  Let's all just say hooray for honey!

5. Pure Cane Sugar/Turbinado Sugar - This is the RAW form of the white sugar we are used to.  It is a light brown color and a little more coarse.  That is because white sugar is refined, this is not.  (By the way, did you know that they use charred animal bones in the sugar refining process...me neither...kinda nasty...just another reason to get hip and try better options!)  I buy "Florida Crystals" and I mainly use it for baking.  I think it is miles better in comparison to white sugar...why did they refine it to start with??  Anyone really know?

There are many other options you can find at health food and specialty stores.  I have seen brown rice syrup in lots of things lately...

By the way...I think you probably noticed that I didn't mention Splenda or Nutrasweet or Sweet n' Low or Aspartame...there is a reason.  They are CRAP!  Most of them leaked into products before they were even tested or approved by the FDA.  They are bad news for your body all the way around and can actually make you crave sugar and sugary foods more!

"How sweet it is to be loved by you..."  Sing it James...

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