Category Archives: Sugar

Address The Mess

Wow, I feel like it’s been ages since we’ve had a blogpost here. I’ve missed you!

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. And I hope your Memorial Day was chock full of memorable events that left you feeling happy, recharged, relaxed, and reconnected to the people and things that you love most.

I happened to do quite a bit of cleaning this past weekend. In fact, every kind of cleaning up. From laundry, to house, to diet, to dog grooming, to relationships…suffice it to say, it was a weekend for tending to some messes.

While it feels good to get some things in order, there is always more work to be done. So with that, I want to share with you my favorite ways to address the mess.

1. For the Spirit
Meditation is my answer to tidying up the internal stuff. Take some time to get centered. We’ll revisit meditation again in another post. But for now, I recommend starting by downloading the Relax and Rest app for $.99.

2. For the Body
My favorite soap hands down is Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap. Smells amazing. Feels tingly. Fair trade. Organic. Only $9.99 at Trader Joe’s for a big ol’ bottle. Awesome.

3. For the Face
I love, love, love Be Natural Organics Rose Hip Seed Facial Cleanser. It works so well. It gets makeup off. It gets the face clean. And it only has a few ingredients, none of which are harmful to you. Yay.

4. For the House
The husband, while wonderful in so many, many ways, hates the smell of vinegar. I have to be very careful about how I use it. But when I do get away with it, it is a wonderful cleaning product. Click here to get recipes for all different surfaces and needs. Works great to clean and disinfect while being safe.

5. For the Diet
Get back on track. For me, that meant getting more protein this weekend. If it means eating less sugar or drinking more water, do it. If it means getting more fiber or less protein, do it. Listen to your body. It tells you what it needs.

6. For Relationships
Communicate. Listen. Love. Respect.
Be patient. Be grateful. Be understanding.
Be able to admit when you are wrong.

7. For Your Heart
Take a moment to get out of your routine. It only has to be a minute or two of your time, but it should be a minute that makes you happy.
Kiss your dog (she did just get groomed, after all!)
Pump up the jams and bust a move
Make someone laugh
Do a quick flip through that magazine you haven’t gotten to read yet

So there you have it. Keep your house tidy. And by house, I mean your life.

Here’s what I heard over the weekend:
“To solve any problem, you must always begin with yourself. Be open to changing and learning. Be grateful for your life – for your illness, for your conflicts and your resolutions, for everything. Be grateful for the light days and the dark days. They teach you who you are.”

Question of the Day:
What was memorable for you this past weekend?

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Filed under Meditation, Products, Sugar, Tips and Tricks, Water

More on Soda

My post “Getting Down to Basics” covered a lot of info in one place. One of my readers asked for me to elaborate on why soda is bad for you. I want to emphasize here that I will absolutely go into more depth on any topic in a separate post. All you have to do is ask!

Soda. Whether diet or regular, soda is a beverage of chemicals. There is no nutritional value to drinking soda.

We know regular soda contains chemicals and sugar. And we know sugar is bad for us (see my post on sugar). But what about diet soda?

Diet sodas contain the following: aspartame, artificial colors and preservatives, and phosphoric acid.

Aspartame is one nasty artificial sweetener, folks. The easy explanation here is that “artificial” just isn’t food. But beyond that, why is it so bad? In short, aspartame is linked to approximately 92 different health problems. I won’t go into it all here, but you might be interested to know that in addition to nearly any problem you can think of – anxiety, depression, insomnia, eye damage…the list goes on – aspartame is linked to weight gain.

Say what?!

That’s right. Diet food is causing weight gain because the body doesn’t know how to process all of the fake ingredients, like aspartame and other artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. As a result, your body stores the unknown ingredients as toxins in fat cells to protect you. Fat, as much as we hate it, is there to protect us. So lose the toxins, lose the weight. Eat real food that your body knows how to digest. Aspartame is also known to cause unstable blood sugar and sweet cravings, which also lead to weight gain. You can read more about aspartame from Dr. Mercola, Dr. Hull, and The Health Ranger.

Phosphoric acid is a chemical that is added to keep your soda bubbly but is linked to lower bone density. When we consume phosphoric acid, calcium is released from your bones and teeth to balance the levels of phosphorus. When the body excretes phosphoric acid, the calcium goes right along with it. This contributes to our risk for osteoporosis.

Did you know that most of the world does not consume dairy products and their rates of osteoporosis are much lower than ours? This means that despite our high consumption of dairy, which is a great source of calcium, we’re still not protected. The Health Ranger has some good info on this one, too.

So, in summary, soda, whether diet or regular, is best avoided as much as possible. Water should be your drink of choice. Look for a post about water coming soon!

Always feel free to send me questions. Health Coach Jillian is here to help!

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Filed under Artificial, Artificial Flavors, Dairy, Diet, Sugar, Water

Give Up The Agave

Stay away from agave nectar, folks. There is a major misconception that agave is a healthy sweetener. It’s not. It’s actually quite unhealthy.

For one thing, it is not low-glycemic, so it’s really not any different from sugar. It’s just sugar masquerading as a health food. Take off that mask, agave! You won’t fool us!

Second, it’s highly unregulated. So we really don’t know what’s in it or how it’s made – some even contain corn syrup. Yuck. Healthy is knowing what goes into our bodies.

As an alternative, cook/bake with coconut nectar or coconut crystals which are a low-glycemic option. The nectar is like syrup and the crystals are closer in texture to sugar. And if you don’t like coconut, don’t worry – these sweeteners don’t actually taste like coconut. Not at all. The Coconut Secret brand is organic, raw, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and GMO-free. Yay! Buy online or look for them at Whole Foods or your local health food store.

So make sure to read labels to see if the “health” food you’re about to buy has agave in it. And if a recipe calls for agave, sub in coconut nectar instead and you’re good to go. If I tweet or pin a recipe that contains agave, I’m only endorsing the rest of the recipe as healthy and assuming that you will sub out the agave. Glad we cleared that up!

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Filed under Agave, Coconut, Gluten-free, GMO-free, Low-glycemic, Organic, Raw, Sugar, Tips and Tricks, Vegan

Sugar Ain’t So Sweet

You may be starting to hear that sugar is the cocaine of food. That’s because it’s just that addictive. And the manufacturers know it. That’s why they’re sneaking it into our food with all different names – evaporated cane sugar, fructose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, malt syrup, cane crystals, corn sweetener, dextrose, fruit juice concentrates, lactose, maltose, molasses, honey, and agave nectar. And this isn’t the entire list. So watch out for these names and any others that sound a little suspicious. And check the grams of sugar on the labels. The lower the better. Your jaw would drop to know how much sugar you’re actually consuming, without even realizing it.

Sugar, in all of its many forms…

  • is associated with a whole host of health problems ranging from anxiety to high cholesterol
  • makes you tired
  • makes your body cling to those extra pounds
  • and makes you crave…more sugar!

It might be hard to kick it completely, so I’m recommending cutting back whenever and wherever you can. Start small, my friends. Remember the baby steps I talked about in my last post? Gradually reduce here and there by cutting down on sugary drinks, cutting back on those white carbs (the body processes white carbs and sugar the same way), skipping dessert whenever you don’t really need it, and saving those baked goods for only the most special occasions!

Let’s hear what baby steps you’ve started to take!

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Filed under Baby Steps, Sugar