Tag Archives: sugar

All Or Nothing Behavior with Weight

When people feel frustrated with their weight or are faced with health issues that are worsen by their weight, they tend to make goals that are ‘all or nothing’.  Typically, this avenue of pursuit doesn’t end with you achieving your weight goal.

If you were making decisions involving a business, you would never decide to set goals that could not be attained; why do it with your weight?  

A more realistic, doable course of action for your weight is better.  

There are a lot of changes that can be made to improve your weight and health:

Ditch soda for quenching and refreshing choices

such as fruit/herb infused water, or brewed and chilled green tea.  I use lemon green tea, apple spice tea and dandelion tea (to soothe tummy troubles). I brew all three in a mug. Cool and add to 32 ounces of water. A squeeze of fresh lemon is wonderful as well.

Eat the foods you like, but tweak them over time toward lower salt, fat and sugar.  

This mindset allows you not to feel deprived and forced to eat foods you don’t like.  Portion control and frequency of consumption are important if you want to see your weight drop.  Over time, you will see your attraction to fried, over salted and sugary items reduce along with your weight.  

Eat at home more than you eat out.

Between the dreaded (but delicious) bread basket and not being in control of the ingredients or process of cooking, eating in restaurants can hinder your weight goals.  Cooking at home gives you the opportunity to try new recipes and to be in control of fats and ingredients.  

Take a cooking class, watch healthy cooking ideas on FoodNetwork, or visit my healthy food boards on Pinterest

Ignite a passion for flavorful, energizing foods. Many find using a healthy meal delivery service such as Hello Fresh delivers diet-conscious dinners for $11.50 per portion to your door for you to cook.

Make sure your plate is 1/2 full of veggies, 1/4 protein (non meat varieties work well), and 1/4 full of complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, etc.) at meals.  

Fresh fruit versus fruit juice is an easy change.

Snacking mid afternoon helps you avoid vending machines and drive thru windows.

I enjoy cottage cheese, 15 almonds with a string cheese, apples and a slice of sharp cheddar, Greek yogurt, or 2 hard boiled eggs and find them very satisfying.

Get your rest.

A lack of sleep can raise your cortisol levels (fight or flight hormone), which can lead to belly fat.  Evaluate your bedtime rituals if you have trouble falling asleep.

  • Disengage from electronics
  • educe stress with a bath or
  • reading all help signal that your brain needs to disengage and rest

Laughing and Gratitude

It may seem irrelevant, but laughing and being grateful can effect your weight. A constant state of stress and depression can keep you stuck at your weight. Look at what improves your mood, or ask for help if needed.

Being unhappy with your weight can be a vicious cycle of binge eating, rollercoaster weight loss and general unhappiness. Let’s work together to find a more permanent, health-oriented way.

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Sugar! Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?

Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?.pngI became more aware of the dangers of high sugar intake in American diets when I began blogging 6 years ago, and made diabetes a platform issue for my website, PaulasHealthyLiving.com. Our nation’s sugar habit is a driving force behind the diabetes and obesity epidemic in the US and it’s believed to be a contributing factor to cancer and Alzheimer’s according to The New York Times (January 1, 2017).

The questions is, if it takes three weeks to change a habit, could you go four weeks without added sweeteners?

I challenged myself with this concept after a doctor asked me to remove maladextrin, a sugar substitute, to help with stomach issues I was experiencing.  It’s a daunting task, but it could help you reset your sugar taste buds.

Sugar comes with many different names:

If you begin looking at ingredient lists, you may be shocked how frequently you will see these names within the first 3-4 names on ingredients lists. The higher they are on the lists, the more there is in the product.  See the level of sugar in commonly consumed drinks and products across the nation.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of sugar per day for women, and 36 grams per day for men.

A single 16-ounce bottle of Coke has 52 grams.

Could You Do A Month Without Sugar?You may find yourself reevaluating a lot of the ‘healthy’ foods you regularly consumed previously like

  • granola or packaged cereals which predominantly contain added sugars
  • processed orange juice
  • flavored yogurt
  • pizza sauce
  • sugar free snacks

One effort to assist in this challenge would be cooking, and therefore, controlling your own food.  

If you buy it from outside aisles of the grocery, instead of the inside aisles, it more likely to help you in your quest.

What you will find at the end of the experiment is the pure taste in things such as

  • honey crisp apples
  • oranges
  • sweet red peppers and
  • many other foods

I’m not an advocate of all-or-nothing diet plans, and a bit of 80% cocoa dark chocolate makes my heart sing in the afternoon sometimes, but you will realize a renewed, sensitive set of taste buds that have been dulled by processed foods.

It’s an awakening to the beauty and amazing nature of natural food items and improved health is a bonus!

Paul Maier, Contributing Editor for Indian Hill Connection Magazine

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Stevia, Monk Fruit Extract, or Aspartame- Are There Any Healthy Sweeteners?

We are all becoming more educated about reducing the total quantity of sugar in our diet for our better health, but are the sweetener -alternatives any better?  According to EatingWell.com, the artificial and sugar substitute industry is growing, topping $18 billion in 2019!  But do the artificial alternatives to sugar cause more sugar addiction and health problems?

You will find artificial sweeteners in the most inconspicuous packages products.  You expect them added to diet sodas, flavored yogurts, low calorie ice cream, and diet candies but would you expect them in fat free salad dressings, high fiber cereals, ketchup or breads? When you add it up in this product, that lunch, this snack; it turns out to accumulate.

It’s important to know the names that artificial sweeteners go by: aspartame, acesulfame potassium, saccharin, supra lose, neotame. The names of ‘natural’ sweeteners such as Stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract and sugar alcohols such as erythritol and xylitol.  When looking at the ingredient listing of a product, look for these ingredients.  All of these sweeteners have been FDA-approved, but there is some controversy from organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)which question the impact all these additives on a bodies’ long term health.

Do they help you lose weight or crave sugar more?  One study will prove that in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle they do help you reduce your overall sugar intake.  Then there are opposing studies that say that those who consume sugar substitutes aren’t leaner, and are sometimes heavier!  What’s the solution?  Many nutritionist recommend utilizing sugar for sweeter swaps moderately and include more whole, unprocessed foods to your diet.  Many people with gut sensitivity may increase their health symptoms if they consume aspartame, Sucralose or saccharin. I personally had an doctor recommend this to me to improve my chronic digestive symptoms.

According to Joyce Hendley, states that American ingest a staggering 140 pounds of sugar substitutes annually. Any effort to improve reducing that number is health-beneficial.

Paula Maier
www.paulashealthyliving.com

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Face-off Between America’s Favorite Vegetables

Getting kids to eat their vegetables in many households can be a challenge. The ageless favorites are corn and peas, but which is healthier? Continue reading

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Is Our Society Addicted to Sugar?

I am NOT one to sit in judgement on any ones’ issues with sugar.  I fight that battle every day, just with different products than the average American.   According to a revealing article in the August issue of National Geographic magazine, the average American eats 22.7 teaspoons of sugar per day.   You find sugar in people’s diets in obvious sources such as candy and soda,  but also in many processed foods such as beef and pork bologna (1.18 tsp), ketchup (3 tbsp, 1.77 tsp), and low fat fruit yogurt (8 oz- 6.16 tsp). Continue reading

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Are There Any Real Benefits In Buying Organic Produce?

The controversy continues over the nutritional and health supremacy of organic fruits and produce over conventionally grown.  

Every week a new ‘definition’ point of view is established.  

Paula Maier - OrganicThese are some facts to take into account.

It has been found that in about 60% of studies that organic food is higher in some nutrients than conventionally produced food.  

These statistics can be refuted by other studies, but you need to look if the studies that are being compared are done on the same physical area over-time.  Otherwise you are comparing apples to oranges because the soil being tested is not the same.

Polyphenols are antioxidants and may be one of the main reasons fruits and vegetables are healthy for us.  

One issue to consider is what the organic growing process filters versus conventional growing.  

Plants grown organically have to grow stronger from the start because they have to fend off a range of insects and growth disease on their own.  

This ‘defensive compound’ they create may help to keep us healthier according to Charles Benbrook, a researcher at Washington State University. He is with the National Academy of Sciences as chief science consultant for the Organic Center.  

He states. “If you keep putting on more and more nitrogen fertilizer the way conventional farms do, you drive yields up and produce bigger plants.  But, this dilutes the plants’ levels of vitamins, minerals and polyphenols.”

Shelf-life and sugar content

Apples, celery, pears, potatoes, strawberries, sweet bell peppers and sweet potatoes are higher in pesticides on the Dietary Risk Index (DRI), and lower on the Organic Risk Index (ORI).  This affects their shelf-life, and sugar content.  Also to be considered is if the plants are grown domestically (where they are subject to our mandates and regulations about growing procedures) or abroad.

Bottom Line?  Seek out the information in DRI from the EPA and other agencies, and imported vs. domestic statistics when you are making decisions about whether you want to buy organic or domestic fruits and vegetables.  

Make informed decisions with all of the facts.

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