It seems as though the holiday season has become synonymous with sugar. Everywhere we look there seems to be a reason to eat more sugar. However, sugar wreaks havoc on the body. Sugar is highly addictive, high in calories and low in nutrition.
When one consumes simple carbohydrates such as sugar or any other refined white wheat product, blood sugar goes up and the pancreas responds by producing insulin, which makes the blood sugar go down. When we eat too much sugar, the pancreas floods the bloodstream with insulin and other hormones to bring the blood sugar down to normal levels. In this way, sugar also wreaks havoc on the body’s immune, endocrine, and nervous system:
- As insulin levels go up, growth hormones are prevented from being released, which subsequently weakens the immune system.
- In addition, when the pancreas gets tired of producing insulin, a condition called insulin resistance arises, and more and more insulin is needed to make blood sugar go down. Eventually, this can lead to type II diabetes.
- On the other hand, when there is too much insulin, it can lower the blood sugar below what is required for health, which results in hypoglycemia—low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can create fatigue, restlessness, irritability, confusion and poor memory, as well as hunger, dizziness, and “brain fog.”
- Fluctuations in blood sugar also affect the brain. It can cause hyperactivity and restlessness, lack of concentration, mood swings, low energy, depression, and violent tendencies.
- Because sugar affects the endocrine system which is where our hormones reside, too much fructose and glucose in the diet may disable the body’s ability to regulate testosterone and estrogen levels.
Some good sugars to use for your baking and cooking needs are:
- Maple syrup and sugar
- Date sugar
- Brown Rice Syrup
- Barley Malk
- Rapadura—dehydrated cane juice
“Be yourself; everyone else is taken” —Oscar Wilde
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With the holiday season upon us, it is so simple to get caught up in the whirlwind of activities that we think we need to accomplish. During this holiday season, don’t forget to take some time for yourself or just hang out with your family. One of our favorite things to do is watch movies so here is my Top-10 list of Foodie Movies:
- Like Water for Chocolate
- The Scent of Green Papaya
- Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
- Big Night
- Babette’s Feast
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Tortilla Soup
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I am the mother of four daughters and a Certified Health Counselor, as well as a passionate advocate of organic and local food and a healthy lifestyle. I decided to become a health counselor to fulfill my passion of working with children and parents to improve their health and family life. Learn more about me at healthytiffin.net/about.html
In this issue:
I love this healthy, nourishing version of sweet potato pie. I also like to make this with banana instead of sweet potato.
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 Tbsp. rum
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 lb. sweet potato, cooked and mashed
- 3 large eggs
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup maple or date sugar
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 Tbsp. maple or date sugar
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 Fº. Butter a 9" pie dish.
- Mix raisins and rum in a small bowl.
- Whisk flour, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
- Add eggs to mashed sweet potatoes. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add coconut milk, 1 cup sugar and butter. Beat until combined.
- Stir in flour mixture. Mix well.
- Stir in raisins and remaining rum.
- Spread batter in pan.
- Combine shredded coconut, 2 Tbsp. sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of cake.
- Bake cake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
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