I love candy, cookies, chips… you name it! Many times after lunch or dinner, I took a small bite of something sweet to end off the meal, and during the afternoon, I’d grab a quick bite of chocolate or a cookie. The more sugar you eat, the more your body will crave it and I seemed to be getting into the trap with no way of coming out of it. It was going good for a while but then my body was trying to tell me: STOP! I had trouble getting up in the morning. I would literally have to pull myself out of bed each morning, but once the day moved on, I somehow got the energy I needed and I felt fine. At first, I told myself I must be lacking in some vitamins so I paid my doctor a visit and he sent me for blood work. When the results for that came out fine, I realized it must be the sugar. I finally listened to my body and got hold of myself. I told myself, NO MORE SUGAR! No if’s but’s or when’s. No means no!
That day, I went out to the store and bought food I would be able to eat and nosh on when I felt the urge to eat something. I bought popcorn, dried fruit (without the sugar!) nuts, whole wheat crackers… and of course whole wheat flour for all my cooking and healthy baking! The next day I didn’t eat any sugar and after a few days, I noticed a huge difference! When I cheated one day and ate some slices of white bread, I felt weak and shaky afterwards. Then I knew without a doubt that white flour and sugar is not good for me. Additionally, I felt refreshed when I woke up in the morning instead of feeling like I hadn’t slept all night. I had more energy in my day and I didn’t get tired after going to my aerobics and toning class. I knew exercise is meant to give your body energy and I never figured out why it always made me more tired. When I went to my aerobics class when I was off the sugar, I saw a huge improvement. I was so happy to see results and it gave me a drive to keep it up.
I also bought a sugar substitute; 100% natural cane sugar. I know it’s not the best out there but it did make things better. With this sugar and my whole wheat flour, I baked healthy muffins or cookies and I didn’t feel deprived of my goodies! I still had cookies to eat if I wanted, of course in moderation.
When I discussed this sugar topic with a nutritionist, she told me how white potatoes are also not that healthy. They have a high Glycemic Index number which means your body breaks down the starches in potatoes very quickly, resulting in a more rapid increase in the level of glucose in your bloodstream.
(Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/374813-rice-and-potatoes-on-the-glycemic-index/#ixzz2KcYYMzpZ.) Sweet potatoes are much healthier and they are so tasty! Instead of french fries, I make sweet potato fries. Instead of mashed potatoes, make mashed sweet potatoes with fried onions. I actually have a great recipe with sweet potatoes that is healthy too!
1 butternut squash peeled and cubed
2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
4 carrots peeled and sliced
Heat a little oil in a pot and place the vegetables in the pot. Cover the pot and let it simmer until the vegetables are soft and ready. You can add in a drop of water to the pot if necessary. Add in 1 spoon of honey, 1 spoon of brown sugar (or any sugar substitute) and salt to taste. Serve warm. This is a great side dish to any dinner especially in the winter.