Tagged: sugar alternatives

Healthy Balanced Dieting Tips

Summer is around the corner and the temperatures have been heating up across the country, so now is a great time to tell you about metabolic stimulators and how they can be used to safely help you achieve the weight that is perfect for you. Personally I am not into diet pills, fads, silver bullets and promises because they don’t work in giving you the long range benefits you truly desire. So I will not waste my time and if you are looking for a quick fix don’t continue reading. But, if you are truly interested in health read on because what I have to share with you will be educational, informative and entertaining.

We all think we need to look better, it is a chronic condition, thinking we are not ok just the way we are. I want to start this post re-affirming the essential truth that you are perfect. This completely goes against all the marketing strategies that I’ve learned and is taught. Basically I should be telling you that you are in a state of lack, that a piece of you is missing and if you buy these products you will find the fulfillment that you are looking for. Truth is that is a whopping, huge big fat lie if there ever was one but it sells products and leaves you feeling chronically dissatisfied with yourself. Because the fact is nothing outside of you can ever bring you real true fulfillment, you may feel good for a while but that fades quickly.

If you just remember this you will not fall victim to such shenanigans.

Because the nature of this blog is about health products we will now take an exploration of such products and I will also add some lifestyle suggestions in as well. Because adjusting your lifestyle will lead to results taking a foothold. 

Sugar Balance

In terms of lifestyle adjustments you need to get serious about addressing your sugar intake, this is a fact that cannot be overlooked. There are NO two ways around this, sober up to this fact and you will  start to see the health results you dream of. Apologies for the buzz kill but you need to hear this and take it in as a fact. You need to greatly reduce your sugar consumption and if possible totally eliminate it from your diet. Don’t take my advice try it out for a two weeks and see how great you feel. This will have a positive impact on your hormones. When you are off the blood sugar Yo Yo ride your energy level will normalize and your stress hormones will drop, you will love it I guaranteed. I understand this can be difficult to hear and difficult to do but persevere and you will be many steps ahead in the game of health. To learn more about this visit the blog Agave, Stevia and The Glycemic Index.

Metabolics

There are some substances out there called metabolic stimulators, which as the name suggestions, stimulate metabolism. These products could give you the extra edge you need to carry you through to your weight loss goals. These are NOT a substitute for true changes in you diet and level of physical activity, these are adjuncts which will support the process of weight loss. Two very common and well know metabolic stimulators are Yerba Mate and Brown Seaweed Extract.

Yerba Mate

I like Yerba Mate and I think you will as well, it is a clean tasting herbal tea which contains caffeine, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. It is a filling, stimulating and nourishing beverage from South America. Yerba Mate is a well known appetite suppressant as well as metabolic stimulator. Consider adding Yerba Mate to your diet, drink it in the mornings or afternoon, you will soon see why it is a preferred healthy stimulant compared to coffee. Yerba Mate has been studied for its benefit on fat metabolism and studies indicate it has a positive effect on cholesterol levels, reducing LDL and increasing HDL.* Yerba Mate has a mild taste similar to green tea and bit more herbaceous, it is pleasant to drink and satisfying cold as well as hot. 

Brown Seaweed Extract and Licorice

Brown Seaweed Extract has been touted a silver bullet with some sources claiming it will reduce your belly fat. Well there is a compound in Brown Seaweed Extract that increase fat metabolism and reduce glucose levels in the blood, two good ways to help you loose weight. That substance is called fucoxanthin.  

Reports also indicate that when combined with licorice root extract, the weight loss properties of brown seaweed is greatly enhanced and we’ve sourced a real potent extract from a very ethical company. Licorice root has been used since ancient times, across many cultures as
food and as medicine. In Chinese medicine, Licorice is an ingredient in
nearly all herbal formulas for the traditional purpose of “harmonizing”
the separate herbs involved. This important tonic herb is often called
“the grandfather of herbs.”

To just talk about this one compound would not be doing this amazing product justice. Modifilan Brown Seaweed Extract is a true gift from the sea and with this gift comes a huge number of minerals. Actually 72 trace minerals that are needed for proper functioning and health of the body. Chief among them is iodine which is extremely important to the regulation of the thyroid, the master gland which is in charge of metabolism and weight management. The abundance of organic, ionic iodine found in this Brown Seaweed Extract enhance the function of the endocrine system. And, results are that your metabolism functions better and your body uses calories more efficiently. You need to use this product for a few weeks to a few months to gain the maximum health benefits. 

Dietary Adjustments

Now lets get back to reality, you need to make significant dietary changes to achieve the health and weight loss goals you are after. I am not going to tell you what to eat but you need to know that if you continue to eat what you eat now do not expect your weight or health to change. In order to change You need to change, you need to do a wholesale change. 

My suggestion in general is to increase you consumption of protein, especially in the mornings. Skip the sugary breakfast, the grains, the cereal, pancakes, waffles etc . . . Try eating more veggies in the morning I know this is not very American but you just might like it. Try some miso soup with veggies and two eggs add a few flax crackers and you will be off to a good start. 

If you are in a rush and need to make something easy to take on the go we have the perfect protein supplement for you. It is called Lean Body Whey Protein, nice name wouldn’t you say? This company makes some real ethical products and this one is up there with the rest. 

Statements from the manufacturer
 Lean-Body Whey™ Protein Blend is a one-of-a-kind, premier quality,
advanced organic protein drink that delivers a comprehensive array of
immune-boosting nutrients without toxic tag-alongs.

Finally, a great protein drink for the whole family that is 100% health-promoting (no compromises), and tastes luscious.

Our Lean-Body drink delivers every nutrient essential for life and in
its most bio-available form producing “The Quantum Effect.” The Lean-
Body Whey Protein drink supports 5 key nutrient categories:
1) a broad range of world-class antioxidants,
2) easy-to-digest nontoxic whey protein,
3) complex carbohydrates,
4) essential fatty acids and
5) world class state-of-the-art immune-boosting fiber.

Start out your day with a Lean-Body drink to help enhance strength,
boost the immune response, protect cells, minimize the aging process and
promote a wonderful sense of well-being.* It’s great for every member
of the whole family — just add water or juice and stir. Take with you on
trips. And to get that winning edge, take a Lean-Body drink an hour or
so before exercise or competition meets.

Quantum Ingredients:

Whey Protein, cane juice, Blueberry fruit, pine pollen, calcium
pyruvate, barley grass concentrate, wheat grass concentrate, oat grass
concentrate, blue green algae, chlorella (whole), Noni arabinogalactan
Extract, conjugated linoleic acid, vanilla, guar gum, FOS, No artificial
colors, flavors or preservatives.

Emotional Eating 

Yup this the big one I have been holding off on mentioning, food has a major emotional connection and we often overeat due to emotions and stress rather than a dietary need. And, them we punish ourselves for overeating and it can become a viscous cycle. Sugar, sweets and junk foods have a strong emotional attraction and freeing yourself from the grips will be a boon to your body as well as your soul. Emotions are what fuel us, the power contained in emotions cannot be underestimated and not being run by our emotions will help us immensely. 
Besides writing this blog and sharing what I know about health and nutrition, I, Mark D’Aquila am also a flower essence therapist. Meaning I help people find greater levels of emotional freedom and expression through the use of flower essences.  Flower essences are tools that help us manage our emotions and develop a healthy relationship with them. And, they can help you with emotional eating, the formula I am about to tell you about will support you in gaining the upper hand on emotional eating. Being that flower essences are one of my specialty I run a website dedicated entirely to Bach Flower Remedies and at the end of this post I will tell you how you can get this formula.

The Emotional Eating Support Formula:

This formula contains the following four flower essences.
Cherry Plum
Crab Apple
Chestnut Bud
Pine
Walnut 
This combination has been specially designed to address the range of emotions related to emotional eating. When used on a regular basis it will help you to curb this pattern and re-gain a healthy relationship to food. 

To learn more about this formula visit www.essencealchemy.com.


Where there you have it folks, we’ve managed to cover a lot of angles to the whole weight loss challenge. As a wholistic health practitioner I feet it was vital to address the part of eating that is tied to our  emotions because emotions drive our behavior. 

Enjoy your summer,

ZEBRA ORGANICS  

*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19694438

Agave, Stevia and the Glycemic Index

Agave Nectar

Ah, Agave a sweet and tasty nectar straight from the fields of Mexico. We feature both dark and light fairly traded and organic agave in 12 ounces jars from Essential Living Foods.
 

Agave Nectar Dark, 12 fl oz glass bottle, Essential Living Foods

The Agave plant is a succulent that grows in the arid regions of Southern Mexico, where traditionally the nectar has been fermented to make Tequila. The un-fermented nectar makes a sweet, raw sugar substitute, that is suitable for most diets and widely enjoyed by those who use it.

Dark Agave is the perfect alternative to brown sugar or maple syrup, sweetening with 25% fewer calories. Sweetening your life with Agave is easy, as it is similar in sweetness to sugar yet it has a much lower glycemic index level. It is great in tea, coffee, smoothies and can be used deserts and drinks. Agave rates 30 on the Glycemic Index Scale.

THE GLYCEMIC INDEX AND WHY YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO IT

The Glycemic index is a rating scale that measures the way carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels after being consumed. The index runs form 0 to 100, foods rated 55 or lower are considered to be low glycemic index foods. Foods from 56 to 69 are medium and from 69-100 are high glycemic index foods; white sugar and many processed junk foods fall into the high glycemic index category. There are many factors that determine how you react to sugars. So consider use this index as a reference guide because a variety of factors affect your blood sugar response.

In general foods with a lower glycemic index produce less of a blood sugar spike than foods with a higher glycemic index. So why is this important? With a large sugar load comes a spike and this large spike leads to a large crash and when this pattern becomes habit it can lead to a health crisis. But if we can avoid this by choosing foods that have a low glycemic load we can prevent the Spike/Crash/Crisis scenario. 

Out of balance blood sugar leads to a Yo Yo effect on your body’s glandular system particularly the pancreas and adrenals.  

Here’s how it goes: you consume sugar with a high glycemic load, your blood sugar spikes, your body secretes insulin to draw the sugar out of your blood stream and into your cells. It does this because too much sugar in the blood is dangerous. But them what happens is your blood sugar gets low and your body starts to secrete the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and you eventually start to crave more sugar which continues the cycle. Now folks this is very simplified, mainly because I don’t want to go into the technical jargon. But what is important is that you understand the cycle, lets review again.

1.) You Eat Food with a High Glycemic Index
2.) This causes a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels
3.) To counter this your pancreas secretes insulin to draw the sugar from the blood into the cells
4.) This leads to a drop in blood sugar and a. . .
5.) Desire for more sweets

How many people are trapped in this cycle? We do what we need to do to survive but if we don’t consciously intervene and stop this cycle it will continue and lead to a crisis.  And, don’t just listen to me, I encourage you to try it yourself. Watch what happens when you eat high sugar foods, watch the cycle see how it feels in your body, pay attention.

These spikes and peaks and valleys also cause a massive increase in the release of stress hormones in the body, such as cortisol and adrenaline. This leads to a host of other issues with weight gain and insulin resistance being two of the main outcomes. 

SWEETNESS AND HEALTH

Take your sweetness and health one step further, consider using Stevia, a naturally sweet substance that rates ZERO on the Glycemic Index. Meaning it will not affect your blood sugar in any way. We have a variety of Stevia options for you to choose from making it easy for you to start using it in a number of different ways. 

Packets and Liquid

Tuck a few of the packets into your purse, pocket or backpack for use on the go. Or pick up a dropper bottle which also conveniently fits into a purse or backpack.


But, no matter how you choose to sweeten your life beware of the dangers,options and choices involved. Because over time your body will suffer from an overload of sugar. The body is resilient and with proper care and attention it will be there to serve and support you to live a healthy balanced life.

This piece was written and compiled for Zebra Organics by Mark D’Aquila, flower essence practitioner, www.essencealchemy.com

Is Sugar Toxic?

Is sugar toxic?  Well, that is for you to decide and based upon the recent news and what we already know, too much of the white stuff is not good for you. The nutritional value of sugar is paltry and considering the calories it adds and mineral and hormones used by the body to process sugar, you end up with a negative equation. Basically, it takes more for the body to process sugar than it adds to the body.

Sugar Alternatives


Stevia: This sugar alternative has gained in popularity since it was first introduced years ago, though is has been used for centuries by the natives of Paraguay. Europeans first learned about in the sixteenth century and today Stevia is used by millions of people all around the world.
NuNaturals NuStevia is a superior Stevia extract without the bitter taste that has been traditionally associated with Stevia. Through an all-natural process, the bitter-tasting components are removed. In addition, natural flavors further enhance the taste of the extract, providing you with the best-tasting Stevia products available. NuNaturals Stevia products will not raise blood sugar levels and therefore are safe for diabetics. Available in packets or in liquid.

Coconut Palm Sugar: This is a relatively new comer to the sugar alternative scene. It is a delicately sweet, natural plant sugar and the perfect substitute for white or brown sugar.  Coconut sugar begins by tapping the nectar from the flower buds hanging from the heart of coconut trees which is traditionally hand-harvested in the canopy of Indonesian coconut groves. Where farmers have harvested the nectar from coconut palm trees for herbal medicine and food for centuries. Coconut sugar is unrefined and has a low glycemic index


Agave:  is a natural sweetener extracted from the heart of the agave plant. It is produced at a low temperature and has a full sweet flavor with subtle molasses tones. Agave is a low glycemic sweetener, so it is slowly absorbed into the body preventing spikes in blood sugar. Currently we stock a wide variety of Agave products from the clear light agave to the darker richer more molasses like agave. We offer you a range for your health, our clear agave nectar is extra special. Visit our Agave page.

How to Use:
Many of the sugar alternatives listed above can be used like you would regular sugar. The three listed in this post are all very different from each other and offer a wide range of sweet choices. Coconut Palm Sugar is the closet to brown sugar and has that malty sweet taste. Agave is as sweet as sugar and depending on the variety you choose it can range from mild to malty, the clearer and lighter the agave the less malty it is.  And with stevia because it is so unique you will have to use your own taste to determine what level you will use it at.

And, once you get used to these alternatives you will be happy you did and you will never look back knowing that you are not sacrificing health for taste.