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6475 Belding Rd. NE Rockford, MI 49341

8 Weeks to REAL FOOD Week 2: sugar

~~8 Weeks to REAL FOOD   week 2: SUGAR~~

The average American consumes 130lbs of sugar a year.
                      3lbs of sugar a week
        Average adult: 22 teaspoons a day
      Average child: 32 teaspoons a day
Over an entire lifetime, that is enough sugar to fill an Industrial sized dumpster.

Highest consumption of sugar is found in soda/pop.
  2nd is regular sugars and candy
 3rd is cakes, cookies, pies
  4th is fruit drinks
In the average American diet, sugar accounts for an added
 500 calories a day.

refined sugar to avoid:
• White sugar
• High fructose corn syrup
• Artificial sweeteners
• Powdered sugar
• Brown sugar
   Is linked to:   obesity     hypertension   high blood pressure   depression
       Headaches      fatigue diabetes     acne    violent behavior     ect…..
Why worry about sugar?:

Sugar is consumed in large quantities by the average American. This increased the risk of obesity and diabetes which can lead to risks in heart disease and cholesterol problems.

 There is no nutritional value to processed sugar

According to the WHO, increased sugar intake replaces protein consumption and thus significantly dilutes iron, zinc, and thiamine intake. As seen at the beginning of this newsletter, the average American child consumes more sugar than adults. These children are at risk for low levels of vital nutrients and even deficiencies. This can and does affect children’s energy production, growth development, and lowers immunity.

And that is why this week we are focusing on this. Next time you go shopping take a look at the ingredients and spot the sugar. The problem with refined sugar, is that it is created by washing, boiling, centrifuging, filtering and drying the cane or beets to the point where there is no nutritional value. To produce the white sugar, the refined sugar is then put through bleaching agents and such items as lime and carbon dioxide are added. But all is not lost:

Sugars To Add:
• Raw Local Honey ---most of the stuff in Meijer is crap. It’s processed to the point of losing all nutritional value. Find a local source, I buy mine through Heffron Farms. I’m sure there are other local places as well.
• Maple syrup
• Coconut sugar
• Sucanat
• Dates

This is probably going to be one of the hardest weeks  to follow.
1. Start small. Start with baby steps. Don’t look to remove all the sugar from your diet. But first try to substitute out the bad for the good. This means you need to get cooking. The best way to start using the good sugars is to make your own treats. Bake some at the beginning of the week to grab as needed. I bake with honey a lot. I make muffins, cookies, regular bread, granola bars/bites, ect. You will be amazed at how it doesn’t change the taste all that much, and you grow accustomed to it.  My girls and I regularly eat Raw Local Honey on our pancakes or in our muffins, or off the knife!
2. Once you feel comfortable to sub out bad sugars in your baked goods, start reading the packages on the food. You will be amazed what you find sugar in. Look through the labels on yogurt, breakfast bars, snack products, crackers, processed meals, and especially those designed for kids. Make yourself a list of what is good/bad. These first shopping trips are going to take longer, so make sure you give yourself extra time. It will be frustrating once you realize how much sugar is in everyday products.
3. When restocking items, READ THE LABELS. Try to eliminate purchasing any products with the bad sugars and look for products with the good sugars. If you can’t find an alternative or if it’s too pricey decide if you really need it. Remember, with this system, you are going to change the way you eat. You will find that you no longer eat X but instead eat Y. And it’s going to take time. Give yourself time.
4. Start replacing all of your favorite recipes with real sugars.

TIP: don’t forget to look at your Organic processed products as well. They still contain sugars and can be unhealthy in that regard.

Don’t think you will have to toss all your favorite or family heirloom recipes. Instead, you will learn how to substitute in REAL FOOD to create dishes that are wonderful in taste as well as extremely nutritious.


Granola Bites
 (ok, this is my own recipe, and I will give you amounts, but they are estimates, I just throw some things together till I like the taste)
         ½ cup dates ( you will need to pit them)
         1 cup granola
         1 tbs cinnamon
         1 tsp vanilla
         Anything and everything. Above is my basic recipe but I love to add what I have: sunflower seeds, flax seeds, dried cranberries, dried apples
 Cacao chips, peanut butter, almonds, peacans, ect. Just about anything!!!
   Pit the dates and place them in bowl with at least a cup of water and let them sit overnight. This will soften them up.
 Place dates in food processor (blenders never worked for me, and I have a Blendtec). Add water (from soaking the dates) a little at a time
      Until you get a nice paste. Toss in vanilla.
 In another bowl combine everything with the date paste. Add more seasoning or ingrediants as you want. I use my hands to mix. You want 
    You want to add enough dry ingrediants so you can mold/shape balls.
 Place balls on cookie sheet and place them in your oven on the lowest setting. Check them regularly to see when they are dry enough. You
    Are only putting them in the oven to dry them, not bake them. You want them dry enough to store in a container.
 How many will it make? Unknown. Depends on how much dry ingrediants you use, how big you make your balls.     

 6 oz of dark chocolate (min 70% cacao)
 1/3 cup organic butter
 1 c whole wheat flour
 1 c sucanat
 3 eggs 
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 1 tsp baking poweder
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or place a bowl over a pot of simmering water). Make sure no water gets in your chocolate
Stir in the sucanat, eggs, and vanilla. Remove from heat and add the dry ingrediants until combined. At this point you can add any extra nuts if you want
Spread batter in greased (I love to grease with my organic butter) 8x8 pan and bake at 350 for 45 min.

Applesauce Cinnamon Oat Muffin (my girls devoured these!)
 1 ½ c quick cooking oats
 1 ¼ c flour
 ½ c sucanat
 1 tsp baking poweder
 ¾ tsp baking soda
 ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
 ½ tsp salt
 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
 ½ c milk (I used almond milk since we are lactose intolerant)
 3 tb oil (I love to use coconut oil)
 1 egg white
1. Large bowl, combine first  seven ingrediants. In another bowl combine the applesauce, milk, oil, egg white. Stir into dry ingredients until just moist.
2. Fill greased muffin cups about ¾ full
3. Bake at 400 for 16-18 min or till a toothpick comes out clean.

What I like to do with all muffins is to make a double batch in mixed sizes (regular muffins and mini muffins) and freeze the extra. They are easy to pull out for breakfast or lunch.  

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or place a bowl over a pot of simmering water). Make sure no water gets in your chocolate
Stir in the sucanat, eggs, and vanilla. Remove from heat and add the dry ingrediants until combined. At this point you can add any extra nuts if you want
Spread batter in greased (I love to grease with my organic butter) 8x8 pan and bake at 350 for 45 min.

Reading Food Labels:

Here is where it all begins. By reading the ingredient label, instead of the looking at the amount of carbs, sugars, proteins and how many grams of each there are, you can get a basic idea of how the product is composed of different ingredients.
        Ingredients are listed in order of relative amount in the product. If sugar is first, then you know there is more sugar in the product than any other ingredient. In a perfect, wonderful, we all wouldn’t buy products with more than 5 ingredients. However, this is a hard thing to do….especially now. So the easiest way to go about this is to pick up a product and look at the ingredient list. You can see instantly where sugar ranks in the ingredient hierarchy and what type of sugar it is. This will help you make a more informed decision.

Different sweeteners: The Bad  and The Better:
Glycemic index is a rating of how carbohydrate containing food affects your blood sugar. Higher the glycemic index, the more it affects your blood sugar and the greater your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke, depression, chronic kidney disease, formation of gall stones, neural tube defects, formation of uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and pancreas
Low GI Medium GI High GI
0-55 56-69 70 or greater

• Table Sugar
The regular sugar found in most people's kitchens is called sucrose. The GI of table sugar is 60, on average, which makes it a medium-GI sugar
Dextrose or Glucose
Pure glucose is used as a reference when testing the glycemic index value of most foods. Glucose has a very high glycemic index, ranked at 100. Many processed foods contain dextrose as part of their ingredients.
Maltodextrin is a sweetener that you probably don't have in your cupboards, but that is commonly added in many processed foods. Avoid foods with this ingredient in the ingredient list because of its very high glycemic index of 150.
Corn Syrup
Corn syrup has a GI value of 75, which falls in the high GI category. The glycemic index of high-fructose corn syrup hasn't been evaluated and may vary, depending on its proportion of fructose to glucose, which varies with the type of high-fructose corn syrup used

The Better
Coconut Palm Sugar
Coconut palm sugar is made from the sap of the coconut palm tree, which is boiled and then processed into small granules. This sugar has a low GI value of 35.
Cane (dehydrated) Juice
Sugar cane juice has a GI of 43, and evaporated cane juice has a GI of 55, which are both considered low GI values.  These sweeteners are less refined than most sugar and often marketed as healthy sugars but still have to undergo a few processes to be produced. Like all sugars, they should be consumed in moderation.
Brown Rice Syrup
This sweetener is syrupy just like corn syrup. Organic is a must. It is made when cooked rice is cultured with enzymes, which break down the starch in the rice. The resulting liquid is cooked down to a thick syrup, which is about half as sweet as white sugar and has a mild butterscotch flavor. It is composed of about 50% complex carbohydrates, which break down more slowly in the bloodstream than simple carbohydrates, resulting in a less dramatic spike in blood glucose levels.t has a low GI value of 25.
Honey is 25% sweeter than white sugar and it contains vitamins and minerals. It also contains healthy antioxidants. It is a combination of different types of sugars, so it can give you a quick release of glucose as well as a slow release into the blood stream. It is best to find local RAW honey that has not been processed. The local honey has pollen from local plant species and when used regularly, can help with seasonal allergies.
Maple Syrup
Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees, which is collected, filtered, and boiled down to an extremely sweet syrup with a distinctive flavor. It contains fewer calories and a higher concentration of minerals (like manganese and zinc) than honey. You can find it in bulk in some natural foods stores, but don’t be fooled by fake maple syrups, which are cheaper and more readily available at the grocery store. "Maple-flavored syrups" are imitations of real maple syrup. To easily tell the difference, read the ingredients list on the nutrition label. True maple syrup contains nothing but “maple syrup.” Imitation syrups are primarily made of high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and/or artificial sweeteners, and contain 3 percent maple syrup (or less).
Molasses is a by-product of sugar production. Backstrap molasses comes from the third processing stage, which means that it has the greatest source of nutrients that were stripped from refined white sugar. If it is not organic, it will also contain the greatest concentration of contaminants, including pesticides.
Stevia is a herb that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is also reputed to help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Stevia has a glycemic index of 0)
Turbinado Sugar
is often confused with sucanat, but the two are different. After the sugarcane is pressed to extract the juice, the juice is then boiled, cooled, and allowed to crystallize into granules . Next, these granules are refined to a light tan color by washing them in a centrifuge to remove impurities and surface molasses. Turbinado is lighter in color and contains less molasses than both rapadura and sucanat. A popular brand-name of turbinado sugar is Sugar in the Raw, which can be found in most natural food stores, and even in single-serve packets at coffee shops
Sucanat  is made by mechanically extracting sugarcane juice, which is then heated and cooled until tiny brown (thanks to the molasses content) crystals form. It has a granular texture, like dirt, and is still full of all the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals found in sugar cane. It contains potassium, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, chromium, and phosphorus. IT has a naturally low glycemic index

The bottom line is that sugar is sugar. Too much sugar—whether it’s marketed as “natural” or not—can harm your health.  Even sweeteners touted as natural or nutritious, like the ones discussed here, don’t typically add a significant source of vitamins or minerals to your diet. But in moderation, there’s nothing wrong with the sweetness that a little sugar adds to life. So if you’re going to eat it, eat the good stuff...just not too much of it.

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