My thoughts on Sugar and My Super Food Breakfast Bowl

When I first started making major changes to my diet a couple of years ago…a diet that a lot of people would have already considered very healthy…my head was spinning!  There were so many products and ideas out there that I was trying to sort through…trying to figure out which changes were best for me and for my family…all the while trying to stick to a fairly tight budget! After reading some comments this week from some of our facebook followers I realized that a lot of other people feel overwhelmed just as I did…heck, just as I still do at times!
 
So, if you’re out there and you too are sorting through this thing called healthy eating…trying to figure out what’s best for YOU and possibly feeling a bit overwhelmed…I thought I’d put together a little list of a few changes that have made the biggest difference in my life, my health, and the overall way that I feel.
 
Now, anyone who knows me well…or, even sort of knows me…knows that I’m a long-winded gal and I love to chat healthy eating! ;)  So, I’m going to do us both a favor and break these tidbits of information up into a few posts. :)
 
I don’t, by any means, claim to have all of the answers…this is simply my way of sharing bits of information that have impacted my health in a positive way. And, please, feel free to comment and share any thoughts and ideas you have with us! After all, we HealthyMammas are on the same healthy eating journey that all of you are on! :)
 
  • Ditch the Sugar ~ I won’t bore you with all of the chemistry of it…but, it’s highly processed, it leaches vitamins & minerals from your blood & bones, it suppresses your immune system, it’s associated with cancer…need I say more?? When I eat sugar (I don’t claim to be perfect…I slip on occasion) I feel terrible the next day. It’s almost like a sugar hangover. I’m tired, grumpy, and the worst part of it…I CRAVE more sugar…which is proof to me that it’s like a drug and not good for my body! You may not even realize how bad sugar makes you feel…I never realized that it had this effect on me until I cut out ALL sugar for about a month…then I tried it again and was shocked at the way it made me feel! Try it…you might be surprised…and enlightened! Also, beware of sugar’s more appealing sounding cousins…Sucanat, Turbinado, Rapadura, Muscovado, Florida Crystals, milled cane…they all make you feel just as bad and are just as addictive.  Switch to natural sweeteners such as agave, maple syrup & one of my favorites, brown rice syrup. I use agave daily in my matcha tea & I cook & bake with both maple syrup and/or brown rice syrup in place of sugar. Oh, & artificial sweeteners…one word…ARTIFICIAL…enough said! ;)  
  • Up your Super foods ~ Multitasking “super foods” provide multiple disease-fighting nutrients, fill you up so you can enjoy plenty of food without excess calories, and are easy to include in everyday meals. One really easy and delicious way to do this…add quinoa to your diet. It’s so versatile because it’s works as a healthy breakfast or as a nutritious side for lunch or dinner…you can check out some of our yummy quinoa recipes in our recipage feature. I eat it at least 5 days a week! I make a big batch at the beginning of the week (2 cups quinoa in 4 cups water – bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook 15 to 20 min or until liquid is absorbed). I then keep it in an airtight container in the fridge so that all I have to do is pull a healthy serving out for breakfast, pour some fresh pressed (not from concentrate) apple juice on top to sweeten it and make it really moist (our favorite apple juice brand is Central Market Organics), zap it for 90 seconds to heat it up, sprinkle it with cinnamon, top it with fresh berries (another super food) and Viola! Super food breakfast bowl is served! And it only takes me about 2 minutes to make! Who ever said cooking and eating healthy is too time consuming?? Point them out to me…I’ll send them a bag of quinoa! ;)  
I’ll continue next week with more thoughts…but, right now I’m off to catch the local evening news. It’s crazy windy here in Central Texas today…and wind + EXTREME dry conditions = brush fires! There are currently brush fires burning all around Austin. My husband is a fire fighter and two of my very best friends (including HealthyMamma Kimmy) were evacuated from their NW Austin homes because of a huge brush fire in their neighborhood.  So, they are all on my mind right now. :(  Can somebody please do a rain dance?!?
 
Please have a fabulous, fun, and SAFE labor day!
Health and Hugs ~ Melissa

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About Melissa

I've been blessed with an amazing husband, Tyler and two amazing children, Mia who is 5yrs old and Luke who is 3yrs old. Our entire family has a passion for food. We see food as a means of nutrition, something wonderful to enjoy and indulge in, and meals...if we are doing them right...serve as a fun social experience too! Food definitely brings this family together!
Our family, as a whole, eats a mostly vegetarian diet...although we do consume meat and fish, on occasion. So, I'm always looking for and trying out new vegetarian and vegan recipes that hopefully all of us will enjoy.
Besides food, we are passionate about gardening. We have an organic veggie garden in our backyard that provides a good portion of the veggies that we consume. The kids love to jump in and get their hands dirty and it's crazy how much they already know about gardening! It makes my husband and me so happy to think that they will (hopefully) carry this experience and lifestyle into their futures.
I'm also passionate about learning new ways to lead a healthy lifestyle and provide one for my family...and, I love sharing these ideas with anyone who is interested in hearing about them! So, as I discover recipes and other healthy happy things I will share them...and when you discover some yourself...I'd love for you to share them with me! :)

Comments

  1. Shana Brannon says:

    I live in Austin, too (well actually Manchaca)! The fires have been terrifying for everyone, even those of us not directly affected. We’re all just a spark away from going up in flames. My heart goes out to everyone.

    I’ve been a big fan of The China Study and Forks Over Knives for a while now. My boyfriend and I have been vegetarian for a while and are transitioning into vegan-ism. The cheese craving is still too much for me sometimes, but the consequences of not feeling well are helping me to resist my urges. As a classically trained chef, I’m often curious and skeptical at the same time regarding vegan substitutions. I tend to stick with “whole foods” like veggies and whole grains. I know I’m missing out on some good stuff, but there are a lot of bad recipes out there, or they’re just too far away from my tastes.

    I look forward to trying out some of your recipes. I’m wondering if you know of any resources in the Austin area for someone who considers herself to be a “vegan newbie”? And yes, I found you through the FOK facebook page!

    Looking forward to the journey!
    Sincerely,
    Shana

    • Kim says:

      Shana, yes, it is all so sad (the fires). We are soo lucky we avoided the danger here in Steiner. I”ve been posting on the Engine 2 Diet’s page a lot and they said they have pot-lucks once a month – you should check out their page. (They are here in Austin.) Also, do you know about Casa de Luz? If not, RUN there – they have TONS of information, and the best food on the planet. I’m serious – it’s sooo good! Totally vegan and amazing community feel.

    • Melissa says:

      Shana, I absolutely agree with you on the vegan substitutions…I’m not a fan. I’ve tried vegan cheese and between the taste being terrible and all of the additives/oil…I’d rather just not have cheese! I too prefer to stick to whole plant foods. You might have already read it, but if not, the FOK companion book is a great resource for recipes and also the Engine 2 diet book…both based on whole food, plant based eating. Oh, and it’s probably an obvious answer…but, the flagship Whole Foods downtown is a great shopping resource! :)

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  1. [...] Pine Nut and Currant Collard Greens! September 6, 2011 by Melissa So continuing on from my last post where I talked about the dietary changes that have made the most impact on my well-being these last [...]

  2. [...] relaxed and not near as rushed as our weekday mornings. So, instead of a quick bowl of oatmeal or quinoa for breakfast, we get a little fancy and fun with one of our [...]

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