Tag Archives: healthy

The Dangers of Sugar

How Soft Drinks Impact Your Health


I have a feeling many of you who read my site most likely don’t have a
problem with drinking sodas. But perhaps every now and then you enjoy
one as a cheat meal? Even next to burgers, pizza and beer I would say opt
for those, or pretty much anything, instead of sugary drinks and devilish
addicting sodas.

Whether or not you fall victim to a soda every now and then, there are still thousands millions of people that drink one or more of these cans daily. It’s a disgusting nasty habit and can steal your life just like cigarettes, drunk driving and drugs. In fact sugar is indeed a drug. It’s addictive and habit forming.

This week at my school, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, we’ve been focusing on the “sugar blues” and what sugar really does to you and just how terrible it is for your body. For my sake and yours, I want to document a few interesting facts that you can share with others on the danger of sodas and sugar.

Let’s begin with something you probably think is fairly okay to enjoy on occasions. Aspartame. The following symptoms have been associated with its consumption:
headaches
nausea
dizziness
hearing loss
tinnitus
insomnia
blurred vision
eye problems
hallucinations
memory loss
slurred speech
mild to suicidal depression
personality changes
violent episodes
mood changes
anxiety attacks
hyperactivity
heart arrhythmia
edema or swelling
gastrointestinal disorders
seizures
skin lesions
muscle cramps
joint pains
fatigue
PMS
menstrual irregularities
chest pain
increased appetite
numbness and tingling of extremities

Oh yeah, no big deal.
I’m not saying that I avoid aspartame 24/7. I’m simply saying that right now the FDA isn’t doing too well at regulating America’s health if a product that is so entirely dangers is in SO MUCH of what people buy. Another reason to eat clean, unpackaged, natural foods:)

Another option is Stevia or Truvia. This is what I use for my morning coffee and sometimes on my protein pancakes. It’s a natural sweetener, made from a leaf, and tastes even better (in my opinion) than any artificial sweeteners.

Right now, sugar is a hot topic for the government. Not only are they starting to realize it’s severity on the human body but they are starting to consider regulating sugar consumption. This enough should be a heads up for the folks that still rely on sugar to get through the day. The government is placing is next to tobacco and alcohol. Yup, that twinkie is not as innocent as it looks, y’all. Read this article here to get more insight on the matter.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

This is pretty long segment but if you get an extra minute please watch it. Tweet it, Facebook it, pin it, email it- do what you can to spread the word about the dangers of sugar in this awesome, informative seminar.

Fun facts I learned from this video in just the first few minutes:

  • We have an epidemic of obese 6 month old babies.
  • Every single age and gender is eating MORE than any previous year.
  • All the extra fat we’re consuming is coming from bad carbs and sugar.
  • We’ve reduced fat intake and increased carb intake. As the fats went down, the obesity rates increased. It’s not the FAT we should be avoiding, people. When fat goes down in foods, the sugar increases to make up for the “taste.”
  • High fructose corn syrup and sucrose are equally as harmful.
  • Soda goes WAY BEYOND empty calories. It’s a poison to your body.

I could keep going but I want to post this meow.

I hope if you haven’t already detoxed your body from sugar, you strongly consider it. For your heart, for your friends and family, and for your overall well-being. Invest in this book and get on the right track!

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WIAW & Another Sweet Egg Scramble

Time to talk about food and my Wednesday treats! I’ve noticed that lately I have been eating so many more greens than ever before. Since I don’t have rice and oats to fill up half my plate, I focus more on my protein as well as lots of veggies and of course complex carbs/healthy fats.

Meal one- Nectarines, cooked in coconut oil, sweet eggs (scrambled eggs with stevia and cinnamon), topped with melted blueberries, cinnamon and nutmeg. This is an AWESOME sweet egg concoction!

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Post workout- 1.5 scoop whey and small white potatoes.

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Meal 3- 5 oz chicken breast, 5 oz japanese yams and Brussels Sprouts.

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Meal 4- 1/2 cup quinoa, 4 oz chicken, 1/2 avocado and sauteed veggies.

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Meal 5- Steak salad with mixed greens, broccoli, bell peppers and cucumber.

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Meal 6- Low carb protein pancake (1 scoop whey, 1/2 cup egg whites, dash of almond milk)

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It looks pretty dry but it wasn’t with the almond milk. I topped it with a little almond butter too:)

Still think you can’t eat paleo? It’s the freaking bomb. Just saying. Delicousness all day.

What’s on your WIAW menu?? Happy hump day! πŸ™‚

New Obsessions

I can’t get over the fact that it’s possible to combine two of my favourite things. Edward Scissorhands and clean eating.

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I laugh every time.

Today, I worked out my back and biceps, or in other words, it was a “pull day.” I think I had one of the best back pumps I’ve had in a very long time. Nothing too crazy but when you lift heavy for EVERY set and control every rep, you really feel the burn.
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And yes, I have a new food obsession. As always. If you’ve been keeping up with my instagram then you know I’ve been making sweet egg concoctions. “Sweet eggs” are just eggs seasoned with cinnamon and stevia. And then I mix it with whatever is on my mind and in my fridge. Yesterday I made fried apples (apples in the skillet with coconut oil) and mixed them with my eggs and almond butter and it was surprisingly awesome.
269246_569999206352469_275501035_nThe pictures of these meals never turn out to be the most beautiful but don’t knock it till you try it! You may surprise yourself and really love the concept of mixing eggs with…uhhh..just about…everything. Or maybe I just love it because I’m a little weird:)

Okay, that’s all for today. Tomorrow I should have a WIAW up so stay tuned!

Butternut Squash Quinoa

butternutsquashquinoa

It’s both St. Patrick’s Day AND leg day. So that just means one thing. Breakfast must be big….and kinda green. I woke up not really knowing what my paleo-loving tummy was in the mood for so I reached for a couple of my favourite carbs and one of my favourite proteins to create this fast dish (this is lower in protein so feel free to add more eggs!).

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butternut squash (I’ve been using frozen Archer Farms squash from Target for convenience)
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 egg
Spinach or kale
Garlic or garlic powder (I used both)
Paprika
Cumin (cause I’m weird)
Salt/Pepper

Directions:
Heat up or cook the butternut squash (skillet would probably be best but I used the microwave since mine was frozen a bag) and the quinoa. At the same time, saute the spinach or kale in a nonstick skillet with garlic and either olive oil or water (I prefer water when I saute my greens). Once spinach is done, set aside and fry your egg in the pan. Again, I don’t use any kinds of oils, I just make sure the pan is coated with nonstick spray. When the butternut squash is done, put it on a plate and spice it up with whatever you like! I used paprika, cumin, pepper and a little bit of salt. Once the quinoa is prepared, put it on top of the butternut squash and layer on the spinach as well. Season more to your liking and then top with a delicious runny egg!

Other awesome ideas for toppings would be: walnuts, avocado and/or shallots. YUM!

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I’ve been feeding myself pretty well the past few days. Lots of taters, veggies, eggs and protein. A few trips here and there to Whole Foods as well, considering it’s across from a music venue and that’s the place to be during SXSW. Yesterday, Ra Ra Riot was playing a show and I could hear them from Whole Foods, sitting under the sun while chowing on a turkey and kale salad. Mmmmm.

Time to catch up on all the school work I neglected over spring break. Happy Paddy’s Day y’all!

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Butternut Squash Spinach Salad

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How many of you are obsessed with the grill station at Whole Foods? One of my all time favourite go-to meals is their prepared salmon, sweet potato fries and broccoli. It’s so fresh and delicious…but during the winter, there’s a new side in town that knocks all the other ones OUT of the water. Have you ever had their butternut squash salad with spinach and craisins? I don’t know if it’s just me but I literally crave this combination now that I’ve had it a few times. I finally decided to make it myself before the winter squashes are totally “last season.” It was surprisingly easy once I learned the proper way to slice and dice those blasted butternut squashes.
2013-03-02 02.19.42Peel first, next cut, then scoop out the seeds. I saved half of it for a future “butternut porridge” I want to create but the rest of it I cubed up.
2013-03-02 02.33.42Drizzle them up with a little olive oil and maple syrup. You can also add some spices but I just couldn’t think of what to use for this already-so-flavorful dish!
2013-03-02 02.55.11Craisins. The ever popular cranberry raisin. Good for you? Heck I don’t know. But I do know I love them. And that’s what matters here- right?

Anyways, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:
1//2 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1/2 cup craisins
2 cups spinach
2 T olive oil
1 T pure maple syrup

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once you’ve peeled, de-seeded and diced your butternut squash, disperse them on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil and maple syrup on top of the butternut squash cubes and place the dish inside of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until soft. Add the craisins in the dish and stick it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Saute the spinach in a skillet (or heat it in the microwave if you so desire) and mix it into the butternut squash once it’s done. Serve hot with dinner or enjoy it after it’s been chilled in the fridge for a few hours! Either way I guarantee it’s going to please your pallet! πŸ™‚
2013-03-02 03.09.44MMMMMMM. So easy but so delicious.

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And yes, I almost created my Whole Foods go-to meal. Everything but the broccoli…which is fine by me. It was only 3:30…too early for broccoli, duh. Rosemary salmon and butternut squash hits the spot, every time.

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WIAW and Getting LASIK!

Happy Wednesday everybody! Chances are right now as you’re reading this, I’m either in the midst of getting my LASIK surgery or I’m at home, face down on the bed sleeping away the post-op eye irritation. I’m writing this Tuesday night, filled with lots of excitement, anxiety and curiosity. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the procedure, but I’ve also had to sign a million consent forms and listen to a ton of “there are no guarantees” speeches. But hey- this is my LAST day of my entire life to have -8.5 vision…..that’s 11 years of contacts and 19 years of glasses DONE. I’m so excited and couldn’t be more grateful to my awesome parents for providing me with this glorious graduation present!

In other news- lots of great things have been going on in my life the past few days. I am now a member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, I may be getting sponsored, I have seen GREAT improvements in my muscle growth, I think I’ll be attending PaleoFX after all (as a volunteer!) and of course I’m getting perfect vision (I can’t stop saying it!!) It’s funny because literally just yesterday morning I kept dwelling on all the bad things going on in my life and now I’m realizing I have nothing to complain about. Though school is stressing me out to no end, it will pass and I will soon be done and DONE. While I was rolling around in my own self-pity I decided to venture over to Pinterest to look at the quote board….I always do this when I’m in the dumps and seriously it’s always helped me.
I’m pleased to say that the very first picture I saw is the one I needed to see the most.
ab9499bf1766f1adb8b4a366b4c6e2c9Sometimes, like everybody else, I have a hard time moving on from things. So often I try to avoid change because I fear what is coming next. I fear it won’t be as amazing as what I previously had….and that there’s no way it could possibly be better. I’m scared to let go of the experiences I had, the goals I once achieved, the memories I made because the future is so unclear. Memories are great because we can look back and smile on things, but we can’t do that with the future because it hasn’t happened yet. This is where I have to learn to trust and have faith. Wherever I am in life is exactly where God wants me to be. Whatever great things I have lived through, I WILL experience again…and EVEN BETTER! It’s hard to believe it, but life does go on and great things constantly happen without having to force them. And that’s a beautiful thing. So I’m learning to relax, let go and get ready for whatever lies in the future…trusting that it will be great:)

Anyways, back to the less inspirational segment but something slightly more fun FOOD! Here are my WIAW eats! **warning….pictures aren’t the best quality this time around!

Preworkout– pear slices, 3 hard-boiled eggs and 1 Applegate chicken sausage

image-31PWOSweet Potato Pancake with sugar free syrup and a dollop of almond butter! (pancake made with 6 oz sweet potato, 1/2 cup egg whites, 1 scoop vanilla whey, 1 tsp baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and stevia)
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Meal 3– Crumbled turkey burger, orange bell peppers, mushrooms, 1/2 avocado, spinach and balsamic vinegar!

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Meal 4– A random concoction of egg whites, 1/2 cup beef, mushrooms, bell peppers (sauteed in coconut oil) and seasoned with paprika, pepper and cumin!
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Meal 5– This was out of character for me because I usually don’t eat carbs at night, especially bananas, but I was CRAVING one like crazy. So I made another protein pancake, but this one just with 1 bananas, egg whites and whey. Super simple but delicious! Also another side of chicken sausage:))
image-33It’s slightly burnt but I’m one of those weird people that like the taste of lightly burnt food.

Meal 6– I wasn’t feeling very creative so I just munched on a can of salmon in water with a little Dijon mustard:))

And just as an added bonus here is my back/bis workout for tuesday- it KILLED ME! Doesn’t look like much but honestly, when you decrease the rep range from 12 to 8 and increase the weights by at LEAST 10 pounds….it’s intense. I did a total of 25 reps of 55 lb barbell curls, 8 with a 60 and 4 with 65. I was so proud:)
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“Ripped Cream” Review

How many of you guys love to start your day off with a warm mug (or two) of coffee? Or drink coffee before your workout for that extra energy? I know most of you love your a.m cup of joe but can’t get used to drinking it black, or have a hard time parting with your coffee creamer. Unfortunately, the calories from coffee creamer add up throughout the day, plus it’s fat AND sugar loaded. Many are flavored unnaturally and contain absolutely no health benefits, but yet it’s so hard to shake the nasty habit. Well well well. There’s FINALLY an answer to this nagging problem.RIPPED CREAM….get RIPPED by drinking coffee!
2013-02-17 23.17.59*All Natural
*5 grams of protein
*11 Amino Acids
*50% RDI Vitamin D3
*Gluten Free
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I was lucky enough to get to review this coffee creamer and I have nothing but good things to say! For those of you that don’t have an easy time eating a lot of protein for breakfast, this “cream” is a great way to get in that extra dose in. It’s convenient, fast, and it provides immediate protein for your muscles first thing in the morning. Though it’s only 5 grams of protein per serving (2 tbs), you could consume it several times throughout the day and your daily protein consumption will easily increase. It contains 10 grams of carbs per serving as well, which I actually like because my carb intake isΒ  lower now (because I no longer eat grains) and this is another way to get some extra energy. Even if you’re on a low carb diet, this product should not inhibit any results. Not only is it a ridiculously smart solution to so many coffee cream lovers, but it also tastes delicious. The chocolate is really subtle but gives my morning coffee the flavor of one of those Starbucks mocha-java-frapps minus the fat and sugar. Totally guilt free and it actually helps you work towards your goals. The vanilla makes a wonderful combination with my medium roast coffee because it tastes so much lighter and fresh. I absolutely love vanilla so I was SO excited to be able to drink it in the mornings!
The coffee creamer comes in a little pouch perfect for traveling or keeping it in an office desk. I was wondering what else I could put this stuff in…protein shakes? Bars? Egg whites? Protein pancakes? The possibilities are endless. Anyways, I’m so excited to have this now instead of always having to drink my coffee black! Follow @RippedCream on Twitter and check out their products here!

What did I enjoy my protein coffee creamer with this morning, you ask?
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Oh you know, just a coconut pancake loaded with BACON. Well turkey bacon but it was bacon nonetheless. New coconut protein pancake recipe will be posted soon too. This may be my favourite protein pancake recipe yet and it’s grain-free and totally paleo;)