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Refined Sugar 101

Hello friends!

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Apparently someone thinks they’re a princess.

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That’s right. He thinks he’s a princess. 

 

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But what a cute princess he is.

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And we can’t forget about Rude Rudy. Who actually isn’t as rude as the princess above ;)

Right, you’re here for the food pictures, aren’t you? I could easily become one of “those” dog owners :P

Speaking of which, The Princess busted into my room this morning without my realizing. I woke up at 8am spooning a poodle.

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Essentially the two eggs + two pieces of ezekiel bread of yesterday, but dipped in the eggs and french toasted today.

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The mandatory citrus. Scurvy watch!

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Dipped into sugar-free syrup. I actually prefer table syrup to maple syrup for dipping. Not as rich.

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Admittedly, the ezekiel was not ideal for french toast. I prefer fluffier breads for this. But it was still edible to say the least ;)

Declared it a rest day in order to make amends with my body. So I spent the morning catching up on blogs. Definitely not the type of Monday mornings I’m used to!

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Natural sugar + peanut butter. Nomnom. There may have been a couple bites of Queen Elizabeth cake, but there is no photographic evidence to prove this.

Lunch was another gargantuan salad.

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Massaged kale for the base, with some feta, tuna and watered down hummus for the dressing.

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Have you tried watered down hummus as a dressing yet?? It’s ohsooogoooood.

Was out running errands in my hometown today (I technically grew up across the river from where my mom lives now). Population 16,000. Ran into half a dozen people I know in a span of 30 minutes. Oh, and I hung out in my dad’s office for a bit – we made plans to go to a spin class together this week!

Afternoon snack:

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I need to make some homemade protein bars while I’m here – I’m missing them! This will make do in the meantime, a Kashi Seven Whole Grain Almond bar and four egg whites with Frank’s hot sauce. Egg whites make a really good snack!

I originally thought my mother was going to make dinner. We started talking about how to use up the chicken breasts and eggplant that were in the fridge. Then I said I’d get started on it because I was hungry. 45 minutes I was calling her upstairs to come eat while it was still hot. How did that happen?

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She definitely weasled her way out of this one.

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I chopped up the chicken breasts and fried them in one tablespoon olive oil, with some onions, mushrooms, green pepper and garlic.

I then added that to a pot with a can of diced tomatoes and tomato soup, with the chopped eggplant, few pinches of basil, few shakes of hot sauce and a few cranks of the pepper grinder. Served on top of whole wheat egg white noodles.

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My mother also took the pretty bowl. Thanks mom ;)

 

Refined Sugar 101

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to elaborate on refined sugars, what they are, and why I want to cut back the amount in my diet. It’s no secret I have a rabid sweet tooth. I can, and have, eaten sweets until I feel sick. I’m hoping by cutting back on refined sugars in particular, I can train my palette not to crave it, and hopefully do my body some good!

Refined sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. The refining process begins by extracting the sucrose through a number of cycles including boiling, putting through a centrifuge and filtering. The result is called “raw sugar,” contains 95% sucrose, and sold as turbinado sugar (the larger, brownish crystals).

Table sugar is raw sugar usually bleached with lime or carbon dioxide. Water is then added and it is further whitened by being put through an animal char filter, which also removes any leftover minerals, further refining it to a near complete sucrose state. Bone char by the way, is charred animal bones, and also often used to remove heavy metals from water. This is also why strict vegans don’t eat white sugar or salt (and why I didn’t when I was vegan).

Table sugar is about 99.9% sucrose, and contains virtually no vitamins or minerals for its high calorie content. It’s high on the glycemic index, meaning it quickly affects your blood sugar levels and your body’s reaction to regulate them.

Molasses is the by-product of the second extraction of the refining process, and blackstrap molasses is the by-product of the third extraction. Brown sugar is simply table sugar with added molasses, and powdered sugar is pulverized table sugar.

Some terms you may want to know:

Saccharose – aka sucrose
Oligosaccharides – short-chain carbohydrates found in things like beans and onions. Not very sweet.
Glucose – a sugar found in many plants, as well as in blood. Sweeter than sucrose.
Fructose – sugar in mostly fruits and honey, almost twice as sweet as sucrose.
Dextrose – another term for glucose
Lactose – the sugar found in milk
Maltose – the sugar found in malt and beer
Palm sugar – the saccharose/sucrose from dates

So, I’m attempting to get my sugars from real foods and using things like maple syrup and honey which are sugar solutions made with water. I also use stevia, which is a whole other post!!

As always, read the ingredients labels to see what foods have sugar, and what kind of sugar it is. It has a funny way of sneaking into diets ;)

Sources
http://www.becomehealthynow.com/article/carbs/1082/
http://www.ehow.com/about_5444701_refined-sugars.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_char
http://www.food-info.net/uk/products/sugar/types.htm

 

Pssst… don’t forget! I’m giving away a waffle maker!!

Goals For February

Erm, Happy Monday? Or Tuesday, if that’s when you’re reading this. Then I’m sorry, because Tuesdays suck more than Mondays. Is it Waffle Wednesday yet??

So I’m not 100% better today. My body is still producing snot at a high rate. But the rest of me feels okay, so I got up in the minus million celsius weather to go to spin class this morning. Not gonna lie, it was hard to do with a cold! There were a few other people blowing their noses and hacking up gross stuff along with me. I kinda felt like we had a secret hardcore bond, and felt each other’s pain after each brutal hill climb. I also burned 499 calories in 60 minutes. What’s up with that?

Showered at the gym and went straight to work. Got there at 7:50 am!! I kinda like the quiet hours before everyone arrives. I get to enjoy a quiet breakfast and take my time preparing for the day ahead.

Breakfast was another go at overnight oats. Well, kinda.

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  • 200g plain yogurt (3/4 cup?)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • lots and lots of cinnamon
  • raisins
  • 1/2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup coconut chia granola

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The applesauce helped and made the consistency much better! Still didn’t keep me full though.

 

Luckily, I had a PB&J homemade granola bar to keep me going till lunch.

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These are TAS-TEE. But the consistency is off. The jam added more moisture than I anticipated so they’re a little on the gooey side.

Lunch was as boring as boring gets.

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 Tuna salad (with capers) in a pita and a naval orange. Snore.

I was hungry again soon after and dug into my next snack early.

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Yoplait Source muesli yogurt cup and a Kashi blackberry cereal bar.

And a touch of snobbery.

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Although, I guess the classiness is brought down by the fact that I drank it out of a can.

This snack powered me through the next four hours! Not bad eh? I couldn’t help it, I got lost in the aisles of the grocery store after work. Happens every time. Came home to a quick dinner featuring this:

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Turned into this…

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I just mixed it with some tomato sauce, adzuki beans, broccoli, mushrooms and chili powder. Super simple, pretty tasty!

My evening snack was another bar (I try to limit myself to one a day), but I just had to try this new flavour!

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Okay, the Kashi Dark Mocha Almond chewy granola bar is a “new to me” flavour.

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I really liked it! I could smell the coffee flavour as soon as I opened the package (which is saying a lot, as I’m really stuffed up). It was still kinda bland like all the chewy bars are, but hey, you can never go wrong with chocolate and coffee. Except when there’s chocolate chips on top. They always fall off and melt in the most unfortunate of places.

I also just realized that of the six meals I ate today, only two of them didn’t contain oats. At least I’m getting lots of grains?

 

Goals For February

So this is something I used to do every month, but took January off. My goal for January was just to start my new job and “survive” the month. Besides a few close calls, I’d say I did that :) So what’s in store for February you ask??

1. Work out no more than 6 hours a week. You see, I have a bad habit of doing long ass workouts every single day. Then I get run down and sick and have to take a whole weekend off doing nothing to recover (ahemlastweekend). So my goal for this month is to find a balance between reaching my fitness goals and accidentally overtraining.

2. Say yes more. I’m awful for making up lame excuses to get out of doing things. This month, I’m going to say yes more when people ask me to do something. Hopefully I’ll get some new wonderful experiences out of it!

3. Make more leftovers. I have a tendency to make a lot of single-serving meals. Now that I have a microwave at work, it would be pretty sweet to just grab leftovers instead of making a big lunch every night.

4. Eat more fat. This is a big one and I’m going to dedicate a whole post to it tomorrow. A lot of people mentioned in my last post that they too need more fat in their diets. Well Emily and I have decided to initiate a little challenge to make it a Fatty February ;) Our hair and skin will all be shining by the end of it!

 

There ya go. Not really ground breaking goals compared to some of my old ones. But I know I can accomplish every single one of these. And they’re all important in making the next month not only run more seamlessly, but be more fun!!

 

Question of the Day: What are your goals for the month? Big or small, write them down. I’ll be checking in every Sunday!

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