Guin

Ditching Sugar But Still "Need" Sweet?

A short discussion about less-known all-natural diabetic-friendly sweeteners like eurythritol, stevia, monk fruit, and xylitol along with a few others.

Sugar SubstitutesSo you've decided, smartly, to give up sugar, but you've still got a yen for something sweet? Say no more. We Sugar Police were in the same boat. The good news is there are a wide variety of all-natural, non-caloric sweeteners available. And just by the way, all of the sugar substitutes mentioned here are diabetic-friendly, plus they can all be added to any drinks or foods. Furthermore, they're all good for baking.

The first, and my personal favorite, is eurythritol, also known as eurithritol. A sugar alcohol derived from plants, eurythritol is a safe and natural sweetener widely used in Europe. The best things about eurythritol are the taste -- which is very close to sugar -- and the safety. Also, no ill side effects like you can get with other sugar alcohols, namely malitol which is known to result in gastric distress, i.e., gas, bloating, diarrhea, etc. The only cons are that eurythritol's not quite as sweet as sugar (about 80% as sweet) which means you have to use more to get the same level of sweetness you're used to, and it can be a tad pricey. I expect the price to go down because more and more sweetener producers are incorporating eurythritol, often blending it with other sugar substitutes. Now Foods makes good, well-priced eurythritol crystals, or you can just do a search on Amazon for eurythritol -- you'll find lots of options.

My next favorite non-caloric sweetener is stevia. Stevia is an all-natural plant extract, and like eurythritol, has no known side effects. Unlike eurythritol, stevia is VERY sweet -- in its pure form, about 10 to 15 times sweeter than sugar. One thing to note about stevia is, depending on the source and brand, it can have a slightly bitter aftertaste. Most stevia is not pure, so it's usually not that sweet, but even then, it is usually still much sweeter than sugar, a plus since you don't need to use very much.

TIP: Truvia, which you can purchase at most any grocery or health food store, is a blend of eurythritol and stevia. It takes advantage of the best qualities of these two good non-caloric sweeteners and combines them in, what is to me anyway, the best-tasting sugar-substitute on the market currently...and I've pretty much tried them ALL. Seriously...I have.

Another somewhat new natural sweetener on the market (in the U.S. anyway) is monk fruit extract. Monk fruit is a Japanese fruit that is very sweet, much sweeter than sugar. Brands include Nutresse (crystals), Monk Fruit In the Raw (powder), EZ Sweet (drops), and SkinnyGirl (liquid) which are good options, but EZ Sweet is my personal favorite because it has ZERO aftertaste and is very easy to dose out, although it's a little expensive and harder to find. Those who prefer the taste of natural or brown sugar should try Lankato's sweetener which is a monk fruit extract-eurythritol blend -- it's not as sweet as sugar, so again, you have to use more to achieve the same sweetness, but it's really good especially when you want that carmel-y taste that natural and brown sugar imparts.

Some new-to-market sweetener brands to be aware of... First is Just Like Sugar. This one is great because it truly is sugar-free. The ingredients are chicory root fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and natural flavors from the peel of oranges. To me, Just Like Sugar is not as sweet as sugar, but very close. Personally, I find JLS has a bit of an aftertaste, but that's just me. Note there are both baked-goods and table-top versions, so be sure to get the right one when purchasing. Next up is Sin Free Sugar which, according to their website is a blend of a non-caloric sugar called Xylose, brown seaweed extract and eurythritol. I've tried it, and I like it. The powder is very fine and dissolves easily. The only drawback is that, although they say it's as sweet as sugar, I tend to disagree. In my opinion, it takes a bit more Sin Free Sugar to equal sugar's sweetness.

One other sweetener worth mentioning is xylitol. Like its cousin, eurythritol, xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from plants. Safe and equally as sweet as sugar, xylitol has the distinction of being a known cavity-fighter. In fact, a lot of toothpastes -- especially the natural, health-food-store ones -- use xylitol instead of or in addition to fluoride to keep cavities at bay. One note about xylitol: it's not non-caloric. There are about 10 calories in a teaspoon, so if weight-loss is a priority, xylitol might not be the best option for you.

I haven't addressed the more widely available commercial sugar substitutes, namely the pink stuff, the blue stuff and the yellow stuff you find on most restaurants table-tops and in grocery stores. I may do a follow-up post about them depending on interest, so let me know if you're interested.

Anyway until the next post, y'all stay sweet! ;-)

Jed

New Food Paradigm

You are addicted to taste.

Sweet tastes. Greasy, creamy, fatty fried-food tastes. All served up with globs of bread-bread-bread. All packed with chemicals and compounds and things you can't even pronounce.

That's not food. But then you know that.

I'm sure, if you're like me, you crave of all these tastes. You've probably had a life-long love affair with "your foods and drinks," and the cool little places you go to get them. It's part of who you are. You would even defend getting to have them all till death! Not to mention, everybody you know eats and loves all the same foods ...

But that doesn't mean it's food, real food.

Real food is as simple as lean meats like baked chicken or fish, steamed, baked or even sauteed in a teaspoon of olive oil. Plus all the fruit and veggies you want. THAT'S FOOD.

Start eating real food and the weight you thought was impossible to lose, the weight several MULTI-BILLION dollar Industries have spent BILLIONS trying to convince us all that the only way we can lose that weight is by buying their products ... that very same weight will start magically dropping off. It's just that simple. Your body will start repairing itself instantly. Isn't that nice?

The truth is, It's time for you to finally take control of what and how you eat, and how that food is prepared. And that doesn't mean you're going to have to become a chef or spend a fortune on food. But it will take some effort and determination. But what doesn't?

It's time to say bye to junk. And don't forget; you can find junk at the finest restaurants at $300 bucks a plate. If it was fat cooked in fat, with sugar and bread - it's still junk, no matter how nice or charming the ambiance. Or how prestigious the Chef (they know what keeps you coming back.)

So who am I to say all this? I'm just your average 53 year old guy, who, after struggling my entire life, trying to lose a few lbs, lost 55 lbs over the past sixteen months by simply changing my views on what food really is. Plus, I worked out ... some. That's who.

And my wife (Guin) made this paradigm shift in food with me (she lost 20 lbs even though she didn't really have any to lose.) You'll be hearing tips from her as well.

So that's what this blog will be about - simply changing your definition of food, quick, smart ways to cook it and even faster, smarter ways to shop for it. Plus, helping you once and for all, tame that HUNGER BEAST of yours. It's been in control far too long.

For now, stop eating sugar. Do that one thing - I dare ya. I triple-dawg dare ya (if that's what it takes.) See what happens.

You'll become addicted to something new - how great you look and feel.

And then you'll want more. So you'll start researching and learning what "super foods" are how green teas can help you control your appetite. Soon your old waiters, bar-tenders and baristas will forget who you are, or at least not recognize you the next time they see you. And soon, that person with the chubby cheeks, the one looking back at you in the mirror, will start looking younger and leaner by the month, Try that on for size. It's better than eating a platter of freshly baked brownies or entire double-stuffed pizza - it just is. And soon, those "late night, foods ya gotta have" commercials ya see on TV - it will all cease looking like food. And more like what it really is - crap.

Cheers and we look forward to having you back. We just kicked this blog off with the new year, so new posts filled with tips on how we made the adjustment are soon to follow

~ Jed & Guin - the Sugar Police.

Jed

Freeze!

Alright see, drop the doughnut and back slowly away from the caramel latte with sprinkles and whipped-cream -  you're busted!

OK, so I'm not REALLY the Sugar Police. But if I were ....

I'd say STOP - EATING - SUGAR - NOW!  It's killing you. And while we're at it; the same goes for fried foods, bread and processed foods and most any other food, drink or snack that you've come to love and consider a major part of your life. And that's part of the problem ...

"We define ourselves by what we eat and drink, where we eat and drink. And even how much."

We, as Americans, take pride in just how much we can cram down our face. We even have National Holidays, contests and TV shows for it. But ya know what ...? It's just not cute anymore. And we're all getting fatter and sicker.

But don't get me wrong - I still LOVE TO EAT! So does my wife. We're certified chow hounds! But we've FINALLY learned "how" to eat. And "what" to eat. And even how to shop and cook. And it's all so much faster and easier now that we finally have a method.

And once you've made the adjustment - old foods just won't look the same anymore. They'll lose their power and maybe even gross you out a little, once you realize that what you were eating wasn't really even food - it was just, well ... crap. And just because we all eat it, don't mean it's OK.

Now that we've made the adjustment, my cravings and mood swings and the giant HUNGER BEAST that ruled my life are under control for the FIRST - TIME - in my life! (that's huge!) And it feels amazing. I FEEL amazing and look so much younger and healthier. Same for me wife (Guin) we both do. And speaking for myself, it's so nice to not have to fear the mirror anymore, or shopping for new clothes, or summer time. (I know you know what I mean ;)

As I write this, I've lost 55 lbs. And I'm a 53 year old married guy who spends most of my day behind a computer. And my wife (who didn't really have any to lose) lost 20 lbs. And we did it all without pills or surgeries or diet plans or specially packaged foods or bootcamp-style workout regimes or shakes or health bars or health food (which generally isn't healthy at all) ... Or anything else the weight-loss, health, fitness, medical, and several other BILLION DOLLAR industries try to force upon us.

You won't lose the weight and get fit just by working out. Not unless you're training for marathons or something extreme like that. Your diet has to change as well. And for us, adjusting our diet played an even bigger part in losing weight.

So go ahead and subscribe, bookmark us and get ready to do "the impossible." To finally lose the weight that you thought you'd never lose. Your life depends on it. One thing you can do for now is start cutting back on SUGAR!!!

Start reading labels (especially health-food labels) and you'll see how many grams of sugar are being snuck in here and there. And boy, it ads up. And don't freak if you've got a sweet-tooth. There are plenty of all-natural sugar substitutes out there with little to no calories. Take charge of your "eating" life, for once and for all. Know what's going into your body and start avoiding products with label that read like rat-poison.

Seek out "super foods" and healthier alternatives to everything you eat and drink. And move more. Have fun. Walk, dance, run, play, hulla-hoop, play tennis, do ALL the stuff you used to love to do.And if you have to start out by doing just a little at a time, even five or ten minutes worth, a few times a week ...? Big deal! You gotta start somewhere, right? Just remember - don't over do the fitness stuff. Especially now. It can cause you to be even hungrier, which means you'll eat more and gain even more weight. And you don't need that.

It's time for you to become your own food and fitness guru, and personal chef - just like the stars have. And we'll show you how to do it all. And it's all FAR EASIER than you think. That's enough for now. I think you can see there won't be anything radical about what we're doing (unless you consider giving up sugar radical.) It's just all common sense. Steps to take now:

  1. Cut back on sugar
  2. - Fried foods
  3. - Fatty meats
  4. - Breads and processed foods
  5. - all dairy

So what are suppose to eat?

  1. Lean meats like chicken and fish (only 4 to 5 oz per meal)
  2. All the fresh fruit and veggies you want
  3. When the cravings come, snack on airpopped popcorn, with a little olive oil sprayed on. That and drink plenty of green tea or mate. (look it up)

Do this and you'll you'll start losing weight immediately. It's that simple.

Shoot for losing no more than 1 to 2 lbs a week. And if you're up for it, find a calorie or food tracking app for your phone, or find a great web site you like, and start tracking what you eat. Why ...? Because you'll be shocked to know you're probably consuming as many calories a day as a professional athlete might need. And chances are - you ain't no pro athlete. So WHY eat like one? Take care, have fun, research and learn more about super foods, start moving more and come back and tell us about it. We'll be putting up new articles all the time.

Welcome to the new, smarter, leaner you.

Cheers! Jed & Guin - The Sugar Police