30 Days to healthy living : Day 21

As you have seen, this wasn’t a sequential 30 days. My apologies for that. I was derailed by the holidays compounded with life. Can I get a witness??

So how are you? I hope your holidays went well and that you got to enjoy all the things and then celebrate the New Year. Are you ready to pick up again? I am! I have had my fill of sugar and I am ready to roll!

Last night I finished reading “A year of no sugar” by Eve Schaub and I have a new mission.  AVOID SUGAR. The problem? Its in EVERYTHING! Really, EVERYTHING.

I started reading labels looking for sugar (I already look for sources of gluten) and WOW. I took my kids to Sweet Frog and got no sugar added frozen yogurt. So after I ate it I asked what it was sweetened with instead. The answer: Sorbitol. Do you know what sorbitol is? Its a sugar alcohol, made from sugar that is not calorie free (it has 2.6kcal/g) and guess what? It turns back into sugar in your body once it gets to your large intestines where it also acts as a laxative. Ahem. It sure does. <cough>  UGH.

On Friday I read labels at Target and couldn’t buy any condiments except for maybe mustard. I couldn’t buy a single brand of deli meat except an organic salami. Salami is yummy but is NOT a health food but it doesn’t contain sugar per se, it contains dextrose.  Today I found that Wegman’s brand organic deli turkey and roast beef do not contain any sugar. Yay! But most store bought bread, gluten free or not, contain sugar. Ugh. Have I mentioned that I don’t bake?

What has shocked me the most is that I thought I was doing pretty well avoiding added sugars. I’ve lost 10+ pounds this summer watching what I was eating and (I thought) avoiding sugar. I did not, however, make all of my own food from scratch and thus after going through my pantry I realize that I have most definitely been eating added sugars. Everyday. Less than I was previously and between less sugar, less snacking and more exercise, I’ve lost weight anyway. I am still concerned with the amount of sugar that I am still ingesting though and even more concerned about my kids. How is there so much sugar in everything?

EAsy answer: Its a cheap filler (like gluten) especially when you’ve made so many products low fat because we (wrongly) thought all fat was the cause of heart disease and obesity. It’s cheap AND it tastes good. Most processed foods need a hefty dose of sugar and/or salt to taste good after its been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long before you buy it. It’s also a great preservative when many of us want to avoid preservatives. Basically, people buy food that tastes good and sugar fits that bill, so that’s what manufacturers use. They are after profit after all. You can’t blame them for that. They make what we buy and ask for and if we don’t they make sure to tell us why we should be buying and asking for what they have to offer. Good old capitalism.

What do we do? Lets start with a homework assignment:

Go through your cabinets and pantry and fridge. Read the labels. Tell me how many products you currently have in your house that do not list any of the following as ingredients: sugar, cane sugar, organic cane sugar, honey, maple syrup, sorghum, molasses, brown sugar, agave, sorbitol, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated apple or pear or grape or any other kind of fruit juice, fruit juice or barley malt/syrup. Good luck and report back.

Next up will be a discussion of what kinds of sugar there are and what kinds to avoid (hint: see the above paragraph) as well as what is actually ok to consume regularly.

Until then, stay sweet!


ps: someone commented on my last post with a recommendation for a website run by docs who give information on both the keto diet and intermittent fasting. I am all for intermittent fasting. Not 100% sold on keto. the site is called Diet Doctor. Check it out and let me know what you think. (not an affiliate link and I didn’t pay for anything on the site. )

30 Days to healthy living: Day 15

Todays topic: What I read

I love books. I mean, I LOVE books. I love to read. I love to learn. The library is my happy place. Book stores rock too but libraries? Its all FREE knowledge and knowledge is POWER!

My typical haul from the library is at least an arms length. Thankfully they have online renewals because I don’t have a lot of time to read and I usually have to renew once or twice before I can get through them. My 2 favorite topics to read about is healthy (duh) and food. I also enjoy reading about philosophy, especially stoicism and the warrior mind and I am not above enjoying the Outlander series although my default is nonfiction. So I thought I would gather a list of books that I have read about diet and health that I think are worth recommending to other people to read.

I do not necessarily subscribe to everything in the following recommendations but I have found the information helpful and reliable. Some of these I have read cover to cover, some I have skimmed. If your library is like mine, you can look them up and reserve them online. I have linked them to Amazon if you want a copy in your hands to read that you can also take notes in and highlight. I do buy books I find worth referencing regularly. The Amazon links are affiliate links. So if you purchase through the link I might finally make a dime or two off of this blog but it won’t cost you a penny. I always recommend checking the library first though. Consider it my Christmas gift to you 😉

10 Good references on healthy eating:

  1. The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. Ok, I haven’t read this one. It was recommended by a friend and I am waiting on it from interlibrary loan. He also wrote The Diabetes Code and The complete guide to intermittent fasting. He is a physician and all 2 discuss the benefits of intermittent fasting. Really looking forward to reading these.
  2. The End of Dieting by Dr Joel Furman. Dr Furman believes in a “nutritarian” diet which focuses on eating foods that are mostly plant based for good health and weight loss and avoiding the dieting yo-yo. I am currently reading this one. Nothing weird here. Plant foods are good for you. Eat more of them!
  3. The gluten free Mediterranean diet cookbook. This is a short read with, you guessed it, gluten free mediterranean recipes in it as well as a brief overview of how to eat this way. I am a big fan of a Mediterranean diet and this one I own.
  4. The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr Mark Hyman. He has many related books as well. Mainly its about eating whole foods but this one is good for those prone to diabetes. If there is one disease that scares the crap out of me it’s diabetes. Your blood sugar messes with EVERYTHING else in your body. Get it under control!
  5. Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Love this book. It is seriously cerebral though. If you want to easier to read version, try reading his book Why we get fat and what to do about it instead. Basically, what we were told about carbohydrates and fat were false and low fat diets make us fat.
  6. The Gut Balance Revolution. Information about your microbiome and probiotics. All the gut health info right here.
  7. 100 Days of Real Food: On a Budget  Good all around healthy diet for families and those looking to eat well on a budget. Nothing fancy. Most of us can eat healthy no matter our income.
  8. Nourishing Traditions This one is different. It talks about the research of Weston Price who was actually a dentist. He found that people around the world who eat traditional foods, especially soaked grains and fermented foods had better teeth and bone structure. Interesting. I don’t have time for soaked grains. I will happily eat fermented foods. I love fat. But no way am I eating fermented cod liver oil and you shouldn’t either. ew.
  9. Trim Healthy Mama Plan by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison. I own this one plus the cookbook that accompanies it. Love the recipes and most of them are gluten free. Separating out carbs and fats is hard and I tend to prefer their “S” recipes. Read it to find out what that means. I use this frequently and they have a great recipe to make tomato soup without sugar.
  10. Anything by MFK Fisher. She wrote about food in such an elegant and intriguing way. While there are some recipes she did not generally write cookbooks. Her style of writing is my favorite although I can’t name it. Read MFK to fall in love with good food cooked well and enjoy! I own at least 10 titles she had written. LOVE her.

I have several actual cookbooks I reference all the time but it is time for bed. So Bonne Nuit and I will see see you tomorrow!