Following on from our article; Curb Your Sugar Addiction, we are educating you on the man made toxic, chemical, sugars used in low sugar foods and drinks. Get educated on their names so that you can avoid.

Synthetic Sugar Free Replacements to Avoid:

  • Aspartame aka Amino Sweet
  • Splenda
  • Sweet n Low
  • Saccharin
  • Canderel
  • Hermesetas

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Working with clients suffering from sugar cravings, energy slumps, carbohydrate addiction, weight gain, poor sleep quality, unhealthy looking skin and digestive disturbances we see only too often how an over consumption and addiction to the sweet stuff links to escalating health symptoms and increasing states of disease.

aMost people are so confused about what sugars are healthy, which are okay in moderation and which should be totally avoided. Most people have literally no idea where added sugar is hidden and therefore how much they are consuming day to day.

You may be someone who struggles to make it through the day without the sugary cereal or jam loaded toasted, the mid morning biscuits dunked into your cuppa and that afternoon chocolate bar or piece of cake to see through until tea time.

Parents worry over the quantity of sweets their children consume without the knowledge that most shop brought breads contain added sugar above and beyond that needed for baking purposes.
We buy are diet coke and sugar free desserts with no idea of the consequences the synthetic sugar replacements contained within are causing to our bodymind.

In nature fruit and vegetables provide valuable energy to the body in the form of glucose (sugar). They come with health promoting vitamins, minerals and enzymes which allow the glucose to be used appropriately. They naturally contain their own fibre, fats and proteins, which help the body to regulate the level of glucose in the blood so that sustained and consistent energy is achieved for both body and mind. Carbohydrates such as fruit and vegetables are essential for the growth and development of the human body and provide a natural sweetness to our diet. Their sweetness indicates their natural state of ripeness and peak nutrient density.

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Natural Health Promoting Sweeteners include:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh fruit puree such as apple
  • Fresh vegetables such as sweet potato, carrot and parsnip
  • Organic dried fruit such as dates
  • Date syrup
  • Black strap molasses
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut Palm Nectar /Sugar
  • Raw organic honey
  • Yacon root syrup

These sugars provide nutrients and macro nutrients along with natural sugars.

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In stark contrast, refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar are stripped of their nutritional status. Grains in general break down into simple sugars in the body and are hard to digest creating inflammation. If you are eating a high refined carbohydrate and/or grain diet such as cereal, bread and pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner you will certainly be depleted in many vitamins and minerals and in turn will have impaired organ and gland function. These types of carbohydrates take more energy out of the body to digest and assimilate than they actually provide, and are known as empty calories. Eating these foods creates a huge burst of glucose into the blood stream which by the laws of science can only fall again. This is the time when most people reach for the cake or coffee to rev them back up again. These peaks and troughs cause an enormous amount of strain on the hormonal system, pancreas, liver, adrenals and thyroid gland and can lead to obesity, chronic fatigue, depression, exhaustion and behavioral problems such as ADHD.

bRefined sugar such as white or even brown table sugar, originates from sugar beet or sugar cane. Once refined and processed the sugar is stripped of its naturally high amounts of B vitamins, magnesium and chromium. The body no longer reaches nutritional satiety when eating the sugar and so simply craves more and more sugar in a bid to sustain its nutritional needs. This type of sugar and in fact grain consumption can be linked to the increasing epidemic of Type ll Diabetes and obesity. Obesity and excess stored fat arises due to the liver’s limited capacity to store glucose as glycogen. A daily diet rich in simple sugar will soon fill up the liver’s stores and is then shuttled out to the body’s cells via the blood stream, to be stored as fatty acids in the buttocks, breasts, belly and hips.

‘Natural’ Sugars to Avoid:

  • Agave syrup
  • Brown sugar / cane sugar
  • Stevia
  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol
  • Tate and Lyle Light at Heart

These so called natural sugar provide empty calories with little to no added health benefits.

Top Tips for Curbing Your Sugar Consumption
1. Read the label of any packaged foods you buy. Avoid those that contain synthetic sweeteners and any added sugar (words ending in ose)
2. Throw out all sugars that you add to foods and drinks that are not in the Natural sugar list
3. Swap sweets, baked goods and chocolates for fresh fruits
4. Begin to reduce and cut out all added sugar in drinks, swapping soda drinks for sparkling water with freshly squeezed citrus i.e. lemon and sports drinks for homemade smoothies
5. Ensure you are have some form of saturated fat and good quality protein with each meal, this will help stabilise your blood sugar reducing the onset of a sugar craving attack

So you are spending money on free range / organic food. You filter your water and you avoid processed junk food. But did you know that your cookware could be leaching poisonous and toxic residues into your beautifully cooked healthy meals? Non stick Teflon coating which is literally used in every type of cooking vessel and utensil leaches residues into your food when cooking at high temperatures i.e. when frying and sautéing, and most of us like to cook quick and fast NOT low and slow! Teflon, made by DuPont, has been sued for hundreds of millions of dollars as the chemicals have been linked to birth defects. So what is safe and what should you buy?

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1 – My favourite brand is salad master, made from surgical stainless and coming with a life time warranty, these pans are the Ferrari of the cookware world. needless to say the price tag reflects the quality! http://www.saladmaster.com

2 – My second favourite would be Xtrema it is completely Non Toxic. Xtrema Cookware is made from a special Patented Ceramic, derived from 100% inorganic natural minerals and water. Utilizing a revolutionary natural non scratch cooking surface called Nano-Glaze, Xtrema Cookware is non-reactive, meaning that no gasses, toxins or chemicals are ever produced during cooking. http://www.ceramcor.com

3 – You could also look into cast iron cookware such as Le Creuset which is free from teflon.

4 – Green Pan is a brand that very much looks and feels like conventional lightweight non stick pans but without the carcinogenic teflon coating!

5 – Next up we have natural earth ware, unglazed ceramic pots. you know the types of pots used to make Moroccan tagines.

6 – Finally for everyday roasting why not opt for glass Pyrex type dishes, they are economical and easy to source.

 

I hope you like this recipe, it is one taken from my new Adult Acne Cook Book launching this summer. This is an authentic Thai spicy salad also enjoyed in Vietnam where I first came across it over 10 years ago, there is is served with the local delicacy, sticky rice. This version is made with turkey mince and is best enjoyed with cauliflower rice or a simple side salad.

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Ingredients Serve 4

Prep time: 10min                             Cook time: 15min

½ mug warm filtered water
250g aprox organic turkey mince
2 tbsp fresh lemongrass, finely sliced
3-4 organic shallots, finely sliced
2-3 tbsp organic arrow root flour
Small handful fresh organic coriander, finely shredded
Aprox 10 fresh organic mint leaves
Juice of 1 organic lime
1-2 tbsp organic fish sauce
1-2 tsp organic chilli flakes
½ tsp organic raw coconut sugar

1.    Using a large work or deep sided frying pan/skillet heat the water on a medium heat, once simmering add the turkey mince, stir until the mince has separated and is cooked through, around 10 minutes. Turn the heat off
2.    Next add each of the ingredients in the ingredients list, in the order given. Stirring a few times before each new addition
3.    Serve with my cauliflower rice

Have you ever noticed how you often reach for that piece of cake, cookie or chocolate bar when you aren’t really hungry? Do you wonder why you can never say no to that second helping at dinner time. Perhaps it is a mystery to you, why you are still hungry after a big meal. Do you regularly experience shame and guilt about the food choices that you make?

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One of the things we notice in our own personal transformations and with working with our clients is that food is rarely just a means to fueling the mind and physical body.

Food is intertwined in an intimate relationship with self and is a huge part of our social and cultural beliefs, habits and traditions. More often than not these relationships create addictive, binge and secret eating habits that not only damage the physical body but shun our minds into the darkest recesses of shame and guilt.

One of the simplest way to explain the emotional connection to food and the addictive, binge and secret eating patterns that can ensue is this. Food is a form of Safe Love. When you are feeling:
•    Tired
•    Lonely
•    Angry
•    Hurt
•    Unhappy
•    Frightened
•    Overwhelmed
Food is often the companion of choice to comfort and restore some sense of calm, happiness, security and love. For some this relationship can mount until it reaches obesity, eating disorders, chronic lying and ailing health. For others it is an odd occurrence that is deemed to be under control. Either way the common theme is the same. We eat sugar filled processed foods, chocolate, crisps, huge portions and more than we need, to fulfill an unmet need. When the feeding frenzy is done we realize that the unmet need has still not been met and now we feel ashamed of our behavior and guilty about the damage done!

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We totally understand this shaming cycle that can occur over and over. We have both been there. I can remember a specific time when I stuffed myself with a whole box of cookies in an attempt to feel something other than the emotional pain I was in. I sat in the car park hiding them on the passenger seat next to me, afraid someone would catch me out! Justifying it to myself by saying; “They are organic and gluten free, it’s okay you deserve it.” By the time I was half way through I had already had enough but pushed through knowing I had to finish the box, because hey if I was going to feel crappy and guilty afterwards it had to be worthwhile right? I barely even tasted the cookies as I drove home munching through the rest of the box in some kind of Cookie Monster craze!
I am pleased to say that we both now have coping mechanisms in place that allow us to look for that sense of Love and Connection from a truly nourishing source. It doesn’t work every time, BUT when things go wrong we now understand why and have some simple steps in place to help us better manage the situation without perpetuating a downward food fest of binge eating.

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Here are our favorite fail safe’s for avoiding addictive, binge and secret eating:
1.    Keep your Go To binge foods out of the house, it will be much easier to steer clear
2.    Always have a fall back person who you can contact when you are feeling vulnerable, someone you trust and who will not make your feel judged or ashamed
3.    Stop and ask yourself these questions: Is it serving my health? Why do I want this food right now? do I 100% want to eat this food right now?
4.    Shift your state by doing something else, movement is a great energy shift and being in nature is hugely nourishing
5.    Sit to eat, eating on the go does not engage your digestive system nor does it create any kind of respect for your food
6.    Be present with your meals, really taste, smell and feel the food in your mouth. Often we are not present with our food. We chew little and swallow huge mouthfuls. It’s no wonder the body is not sure if it has actually eaten or not!
7.    Opt for high quality ingredients cooked from scratch, having a high sense of worth for your food often transcends into a high sense of worth for self
8.    If you do slide into old patterns try journaling the reasons, triggers and emotions you experienced in the run up and during the event, this will help you to navigate past the vulnerable spots in the future
9.    Don’t become a member of the food police. Have fun, eat things that excite you, taste great and serve your soul once a week, call it an amnesty day. You will be much less likely to binge
10.    Be honest with yourself. Hiding foods away and being secretive about your eating habits only serves to fuel the feelings of shame which will drive you further into the addictive eating patterns
If you need help and support to overcome your food addictions, binge and secretive eating habits from coaches who have been there and brought the T Shirt over and over, BUT are now in control and living healthily with foods, then drop us an email.

This time of year we are all dutifully abstaining from the sweet treats after a Christmas/.New Year overload. However sometimes we just need that little bit of comfort food without the guilt. Enjoy this healthy, grain free, chocolaty banana bread as a little treat to banish those winter blues.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes        Cooking Time: 35 minutes

4 very ripe large organic bananas
4 large organic eggs
140 g organic coconut oil, melted
4 tbsp organic ghee
75g organic coconut flour, sifted
1 large bar organic 80% dark chocolate
1 tbsp organic cinnamon powder
1 tsp organic GF baking powder
1 tsp organic GF bicarbonate soda powder
1 tsp organic vanilla essence
Pinch of sea salt

1.    Preheat your oven to 175°C, 350°F
2.    Blend your  bananas, eggs, coconut oil and ghee in a food processor until a smooth batter is formed.
3.    With the motor running add the coconut flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt and blend until combined.
4.    Stir the pecans in by hand.
5.    Grease a small loaf tin with coconut oil or ghee then pour the batter in spreading evenly across the pan.
6.    Bake for 30-35 minutes. It should be cooked through buy still moist so do not overcook.
7.    Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack and leave to set.
8.    NOTE this tastes amazing after resting overnight, the flavours intensify and the consistency becomes more sticky, Yum!

For more great tasting recipes visit http://www.endibsnaturally.com or http://www.facebook.com/mealsthathealuk

Or join Karen on one of her Gluten, Grain and dairy Free cookery workshops: http://www.purebodybalanceshop.co.uk

Overcoming the Winter Blues Naturally
In the UK it has become a bit of standing joke to talk about the weather. I am sure we are known in other countries as the country who incessantly moans about the weather ;) Now unless you are planning to up sticks and move to a different country the general pattern for our weather is not likely to change drastically anytime soon. Winter brings with it, shorter daylight hours, colder temperature, grey skies and plenty of wind and rain.

This time of year particularly January and February can also feel depressing after all of the fun and frivolities of the festive season so how do we combat the winter blues so that we don’t drive everyone around us crazy with our depressed and lethargic demeanor?

Well getting clear on how you are actually feeling is step one. Stop; take a minute and truly feel your feelings and think your thoughts… sounds weird right? BUT it really works. Once you have felt and thought, joy down what you have noticed. Are you experiencing:

  • Lethargy
  • Low mood / apathy
  •  Low libido
  • Increased hunger Cravings for carb based foods
  • Withdrawal from friends and family / social situations
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Difficulty waking and getting up in the morning

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Most of will have a ticked a couple of these, no matter what time of year it is, however if you have ticked most of them, or notice a marked difference in how you feel in the summer months to the winter months then you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or a big, black, cloud shaped dose of the Winter Blues.

SAD defined:
A combination of a change in seasonal light, our hectic lifestyles and the periods of darker days and poorer weather, can result in dramatic effects on our circadian rhythms. These factors have diminished the body’s natural ability to regulate the body clock and this work/life change has resulted in a dramatic increase in light deficiency symptoms.
Historically we only ever worked outdoors; two hundred years ago 75% of the population worked outdoors now less than 10% of the population work in natural outdoor light. Whilst this is fine in the Summer months when there are longer daylight hours, in the Winter months, people tend to go to work in the dark and go home in the dark and don’t get to enough natural daylight.
Like many mammals in the natural world, the human body responds to light. As a result our bodies are tuned in to the daylight hours in order to maintain our circadian rhythms. These rhythms regulate many important bodily functions and if you do not receive the correct daylight signals at the correct time this can have significant affects on your well being. Circadian Rhythms help to regulate and control; food digestion, appetite for food, energy levels, sleep quality and length, and mood. Your Circadian Rhythm are effectively your body’s internal clock and if these rhythms are disrupted it can result in you suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (excerpt taken from http://www.sad.org.uk )

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Combating the Winter Blues Tips:
1.    Get to bed on time and create consistency. The ideal time is 10:30pm, with 8 hours minimum being shown as the bare minimum we should be looking to get for optimal health
2.    Get out in nature every day for at least 15minutes. A simple walk around the block is better than nothing
3.    Purchase a lumi lamp to help regulate and balance hormone levels http://www.lumi.com
4.    Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar consumption as it will only make your peaks and troughs in mood and energy worse and disrupt your sleep further
5.    Join some type of social activity that you find fun, engaging and inspiring. We have just started Salsa classes with some friends, we are terrible at it but it is incredibly good fun and releases a big dose of feel good hormones as we laugh off our poorly timed dance steps!

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