This is a guest post by Marla Meridith
A Love Affair:
I have always loved the taste of sweet but it does not love me as much. My body is super sensitive to refined sugars & starches. I did not understand that until a few years ago. Put something sweet in front of me and I gobble it all up. I am not a taster, I like my treats in abundance. The problem is, abundance does not love us back especially when it comes to refined sweets. My goal was to learn how to enjoy treats without over indulging. I want each and every bite to taste great & count towards daily nutritional goals. Deprivation-no way. Daily high energy allowances-bring it!
Team Body & Mind:
Ever notice how your tummy might be telling you one thing and your brain another? Tummy says: “Feed me something really yummy, I want a huge slice of Carrot Cake and throw in a few chocolate chip cookies on the side.” Your mind knows better and responds: ” Sure, that would be really tasty but you are gonna feel really icky when you are done.”
Ahhh, the battle of body and mind. How about we assist them to get on the same team? We can if we implement some basics.
It became very apparent to me after I had my kids that I had no time to have energy crashes from poor food choices. I was working hard at the gym, but I was not seeing the results I desired. Things needed to change and I was determined to make that change. As soon as I get a bit hungry, it turns to extremely hungry, shaky, nervous and agitated. My mind looses focus and the urge to pig out rears it’s ugly head. I get hypoglycemic ridiculously fast. What’s the worst thing to do when this happens? Grab refined, processed sweets and convenience foods. It just sets us up for a worse crash later. For my family and myself those foods are not an option.
I have developed many recipes that are fruit sweetened and I sometimes use pure maple syrup, honey and agave. My go-to sweetener is stevia. A little stevia goes a long way and it always satisfies the sweet cravings in our home. I never buy pre-sweetened yogurt, cereals, breads, drinks, etc. I add a touch of sweet with stevia. From cookies to shakes to pancakes, a little sweetness from fruit and stevia go a long way. I have felt and seen no adverse impact on my body and mind when I eat this way. Different brands of stevia taste very different from one another. You need to experiment and find the one that best suits your taste buds.
Keep it Real:
They say everything in moderation, right? Simple concept, not such an easy thing to practice. Food should taste great and we should never feel deprived. Deprivation leads to disaster. Mindless eating leads to bad habits and poor health. Not only does food nourish us, it fuels desire & temptation. We will not deprive, we will replace the bad with the good choices.
Even though we prepare our breakfasts, desserts and treats with whole grains and natural sugars we still need to be mindful of portion control. Too many calories in and not enough burned will cause excess body fat no matter what. What works best for us day to day is to prepare our sweets and treats at home and eat them with regard to portion control. Since we want to enjoy & experience life to it’s fullest, we enjoy traditional baked goods and sweets from time to time. When we do, it is preferably not on an empty stomach so the sugar rush and crash is not as harsh.
All photos & food styling by Marla Meridith
All recipes are original creations by Marla.
About Marla: Marla Meridith believes in a combination of healthy eating and daily exercise to stay mentally sharp and physically fit. She loves whole foods that are full of flavor, and embraces letting organic, natural ingredients speak for themselves. Her goal is to motivate families to get in the kitchen to create meals filled with flavor. This mom of two small kids has been compared to the “Energizer Bunny” and labeled as a high energy healthy lifestyle cheerleader. Her blog is called Family Fresh Cooking. She can also be found updating tweets (@MarlaMeridith) and Facebook regularly.