Don’t suffer from a boring breakfast one more morning, or worse yet, skip it all together. This week I made my own Apple Pie Yogurt and guess what…it took less than 3 minutes. It is low in sugar, full of protein and quick. Here is the recipe:
Apple Pie Yogurt
recipe by eatlivefit.net
- 1/2 apple, cored and sliced into 1 inch chunks
- dash of cinnamon
- 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
Place apple in microwave safe dish and heat for 1 minute until soft but still crunchy. If you like your apple pie filling very soft add 20 second increments to cooking until soft enough. Sprinkle with dash of cinnamon while still hot. Top with 1 cup of Greek yogurt, and serve.
I gotta say, I feel slightly badly about posting this incredibly yummy picture of chocolate at the beginning here. It makes my mouth water just looking at it. Here is why I put it here, as a reminder that it nutrition is mind over taste buds:
Making you aware of the recent trends in the food industry has always been a priority of mine, especially when you may think they are a positive change that will help you with good nutrition. So the question here is: Does substituting the white pulp of the cocoa bean count as added sugar in your diet?
The following is an article from That Sugar Film Website, that discusses the positive and negatives of this new trend.
“As awareness around limiting added and free sugar intake increases, food manufacturers are innovating and testing alternatives to provide (what they believe to be) a better, yet still sweetly satisfying, option for consumers to delight in.
Nestlé has recently announced it will be using the white pulp of the cocoa pod — the fleshy part that surrounds the cocoa seeds or beans — in place of “refined sugar” in some confectionery products.
Sounds great, right?
Before we start reaching for these pulp-sweetened chocolates, let’s clear up the confusion around the term “refined sugars”.
In recent years, this term has been commonly used to differentiate between highly processed sugars, such as white table sugar, from those sugars or sweeteners some consider “healthier”, such as rice malt syrup or coconut sugar.
But to the body, freely available sugar will still be treated and processed as sugar. Sure, there are better versions than others, but let’s not trick ourselves into believing that because a sugar or syrup is considered less refined, we can glug back a tonne of it.
So, the removal of some “refined sugar” in a piece of Nestlé confectionery is irrelevant. It is what they replace it with we need to consider.
To our understanding, the cocoa pulp being used in place of stock standard sugar is processed into a dried fruit sugar product and maybe classified as free sugar.
This is because the powder is not an intrinsic sugar, the type of sugar found incorporated within the structure of intact or whole fruit and vegetables, or sugars from milk.1 Intrinsic sugars we are not concerned with (we absolutely endorse eating whole veg and fruit); it is the added and free sugars we need to keep an eye out for.
The original cocoa pulp, which contains intrinsic sugar, is dried and made into a powdered sugar alternative via a patented technique. It this processing that sees the sugars fall under the definition of free sugars, which includes those originally and naturally present in fruit and veg but processed into a powder, juice, concentrate, purees, and extruded veg and fruit products.2
Nestlé has stated that by using the powdered pulp, overall sugar content is reduced by 40%. That is a plus, along with claims Nestlé is using the cocoa pulp, among other initiatives across their food manufacturing processes, in an attempt to reduce food waste.
This is great from an environmental and business perspective as currently, a fair proportion of the pulp is wasted in the chocolate-making process.
But this doesn’t make the chocolate they make a ‘health food’ at the end of the day, and if you are going to have some, such products should be treated as a once-in-a-while food. And as with all other free and added sugars, consumption should still be limited to 6 teaspoons (25g) per day.”
Article By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med)
I am always looking for new products that support healthy, clean eating. I realize that sometimes that means options that are in the processed food isles. Here are the latest items added to my local store that, with a little tweaking, are great breakfast ideas:
I tell clients all the time that as we demand better products, the industry will respond. This cereal is an affordable way to get a balance of fruit, fiber and protein with limited sugar. To make it a powerhouse breakfast, add a handful of your favorite nuts and/or fresh berries and serve with milk or plain yogurt. Now you have boosted the protein content and it keep you fuller longer.
This is a great one for Sunday mornings with the family. These pancakes only require eggs and milk/water. They are also low in sugar and bake up fluffy and light. Add berries or sliced banana and a smear of peanut butter and you have a balanced meal.
This post is aimed at giving you new ideas to make vegetables interesting and tasty again. Whether it be for kids or your significant other, Asparagus is worth a second look. Here’s why:
a 1/2 cup serving delivers folate, vitamin C and iron. Plus 1/2 days worth of Vitamin K, which helps absorb Vitamin C.
Here are some ways to mix it up using asparagus:
- Steam until bright green and slightly crispy. Overcooking them makes them limp and bland green, much less tasty.
- Chop spears into bite sized pieces and add to a stir fry or fried rice recipe
- Dredge spears in flour, dip into beaten egg, then roll in breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden. Or throw coated spears in your air fryer until golden brown.
- Cut spears and cook in microwave for 3 minutes until slightly tender, then toss with rice or pasta, sprinkle with butter and shredded cheese.
- Include lightly steamed asparagus with greek yogurt dip as a veggie tray snack for events or while doing homework/work before dinner.
resource: 7 Foods Your Kid Doesn’t Like (yet), Parenting Magazine, May 2019 modified by eatlivefit.net
"Keep your spirit light,
Your booty tight,
Your goals in sight"
Several recent studies are looking into how sitting still for hours (ie. work) and combinations of lifestyle choices have on our bodies. Here is a great example of how the combination of more than one influence can have an impact on our overall health. This article was posted recently to That Sugar Film’s website and is worth the read.
“As tasty as they may be, any joy gleaned from drinking these beverages is momentary, with the impact to the body significant and enduring if you are knocking these back on a regular basis.
It is well documented that excess sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is correlated with weight gain,1 and a few sips provide a sugar high from which we soon come crashing down, only to crave more.
Beyond these, there are other impacts on the body we should be concerned about.
Sugary drinks and metabolic function
A recent review noted that one SSB a week, such as a can of soft drink, could raise blood pressure. Two cans increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This is because sugary drinks provide large doses of quickly accessed added sugars, such as fructose and glucose, which the body has to work hard to rapidly metabolise. This places immense strain on body organs and systems. Long-term, this may lead to various issues with health, including cardiometabolic diseases such as heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.
Individuals may experience metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms including high blood pressure, abdominal weight gain, increased blood triglycerides, decreased HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
To further add to this growing area of research, a recent trial undertaken by the Baker’s Institute2 studied the impact of sugary drinks on the metabolic function of the body in a ‘real world’ situation, where prolonged sitting with no activity and up to 750ml of soft drink consumed between meals each day is common.
The small, randomised control trial took 28 overweight and soft drink sipping participants, aged 19-30 years, and compared the impact two sugary drinks had on blood glucose and lipid metabolism with water consumption. The drinks were taken after breakfast and lunch at mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
The researchers found when sugary drink consumption was combined with 7-hours of sitting, circulating fatty acids and triglycerides levels were reduced, indicating suppressed lipid metabolism. Simultaneously, blood glucose and insulin levels were significantly elevated.
What does this mean for us?
“The acute metabolic effects outlined in this study are very worrying and suggest that young, overweight people who engage in this type of lifestyle are setting themselves on a path toward chronic cardiometabolic disease,” says senior study author Professor Bronwyn Kingwell.
“This highlights significant health implications both for individuals and our healthcare system.”3
The moral of this sweetened and seated story? Sugary drinks are not required in the human diet. Regular overconsumption of added sugars can increase the risk for weight gain and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, liver and heart disease.
So, sub them out for water (sparkling or plain, and maybe infused with fresh slices of fruit) and make sure you move regularly throughout each day to reduce the risk of some pretty serious health conditions.”
By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med.)
- World Health Organization 2015, Sugars intake for adults and children: Guideline, viewed 31 October 2018, <https://www.who.int/elena/titles/ssbs_adult_weight/en/>
- Varsamis, P et. al 2018, “Between-meal sucrose-sweetened beverage consumption impairs glycaemia and lipid metabolism during prolonged sitting: A randomized controlled trial,” Clinical Nutrition Journal, viewed 31 October 2018, <https://www.clinicalnutritionjournal.com/article/S0261-5614(18)32392-6/>
- Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute 2018, Study reveals the damaging metabolic effects for inactive, young, obese people who consume soft drink regularly, media release, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, 17 September, viewed 31 October 2018, <https://www.baker.edu.au/news/media-releases/soft-drink-metabolic>
Many of you set new goals as you began the new year and right about now, the newness is most likely wearing off. It may even feel too difficult to carry on. The comfort zone may be coming back to haunt you, teasing you to come back. Don’t let it creep back in! You started a new path and to see change, you need to keep keepin’ on!
Welcome back from the holidays! With 2019 knocking on the door, now is the best time to get working on getting back into shape and healthy. Found a great article about the value of gut health and it’s impact on your overall health. Read on..
“…I see a common theme among most of (my patients around the word)them: It’s becoming increasingly difficult to lose weight. And sadly, this is not just in my experience. The obesity epidemic continues to worsen; a shocking 38 percent of us are struggling with obesity and 33 percent of us are overweight! Those numbers are only expected to rise, so I”t’s clear that what we’re doing isn’t working. Despite having the most gyms, workout videos, diets, weight loss pills, and potions, we are the sickest, most overweight generation in human history.
So what’s the deal with weight gain?
I have previously written about the impact of stress, hormonal imbalances, toxins, viruses, poor diet, and inflammation on our weight, but one often overlooked factor is the microbiome. Essentially, the microbiome is a universe living inside of you, composed of trillions of bacteria. Sound gross? Well, you wouldn’t be alive without them. Your immune system, brain, and mood are all largely controlled by your microbiome, and we are constantly discovering more connections between gut health and weight. I, too, find that many patients are not able to lose weight until they deal with their underlying gut problems—so my goal is to get them healthy to lose weight rather than lose weight to get healthy. Here are the ways your gut can make it seem impossible to lose weight:
1. Bacterial imbalance
Think of your microbiome as a big city. The “microbiome metropolis” is filled with different “cities” or bacterial colonies. And strong diversity of your healthy probiotics is needed for optimal health and metabolism. Research has found that people who are overweight and obese have lower microbiome diversity. People with weight loss resistance also tend to have a lower amount of Bacteroides, Verrucomicrobia, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and a higher amount of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes.
2. Gut-sleep connection
Your sleepy-time hormone (melatonin) is made in the brain—but there’s also a lot of it in your gut! And the health of the bacteria in your gut is essential for healthy melatonin levels. In short, an unhealthy microbiome will mess up your sleep. The problem? Losing out on sleep can make fat cells 30 percent less able to deal with your fat-storing hormone, insulin.
3. Short-chain fatty acid levels
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) get made in your gut as a result of bacterial fermentation. In short, the bacteria also feed off of the food you eat and they make SCFAs, which are really important because they prevent gut problems like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Research is finding that our SCFAs also promote weight loss and the three types of SCFAs (acetate, propionate, and butyrate) all decrease cravings.
4. Leaky gut syndrome
Studies have shown that people with markers of leaky gut syndrome also had increased levels of fat and a larger waist circumference, which suggests that intestinal permeability can increase fat around our organs and contribute to metabolic syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome can also lead to increased blood-brain barrier permeability (leaky brain), and this low-grade brain inflammation can further complicate losing weight by messing up our hormone balance.
Your gut health game plan:
1. Consider gut labs
You don’t have to be experiencing gut symptoms to have an underlying gut problem. By running functional medicine labs to assess for leaky gut syndrome, SIBO, candida overgrowth, and short-chain fatty acids, we can find out what’s really going on in your gut.
2. Increase your bacterial diversity
Probiotics are a great tool to balance your microbiome, and a combination of bifidobacteria, enterococcus, and lactobacillus has been shown to have a positive effect on small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. I am also a fan of soil-based probiotics to further broaden the varieties of microbes in your gut. Probiotics work by influencing the balance of the microbiome and encouraging healthy bacterial populations. Eating a variety of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, kombucha, and coconut kefir also offer different bacterial strains, promoting healthy bacterial diversity.
3. Promote healthy short-chain fatty levels
SCFAs are made when you eat healthy prebiotic and high-fiber foods. Load up on nutrient-dense leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and watercress and other super plant foods! If you need to increase the fat-burning butyrate, I suggest bringing Hi-Maize Resistant Starch into your diet to boost butyrate in your large intestine. Hydroxymethyl butyrate can also be supplemented.”
– reference to Dr. Mirkin’s Ezine Newsletter 2018
Reach out if you are ready to learn more about gut bacteria or want to design a plan for your own healthy start to 2019 and the rest of your life. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fruit juices like grape juice and apple juice are touted to be healthy alternatives to eating the whole fruit. I have even seen fruit juice concentrates in more products lately as the food industry tries to keep up with our demands to eat healthier. Don’t be fooled, fruit juices are just NOT as “healthy” as you may think.
If you’re avoiding soda due to the astronomically high sugar content but replacing it with popular fruit juices, I have some bad news. Most fruit juices out there contain tons of sugar. While many of them boast “no added sugar,” drinking too much of even the most naturally sourced sugars can impact your health the same way drinking a can of Coke. Here’s an example, a cup of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice brings 36 grams of sugar, while 10 ounces of Minute Maid Apple Juice has 32 grams, each with more sugar than plenty of your favorite sweet treats, like a York Peppermint Pattie (26 grams) and a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar with Almonds, with 19 grams. Yes, the source of sugar is different than a spoonful of sugar, however, these drinks are missing the most important nutrients found in a regular orange, fiber and vitamins. So, before you reach for a fruit juice alternative or hand your child that sippy cup full of juice, be aware that a little is fine each day, but it needs to be consumed in moderation. Grab an apple or a handful of grapes instead.