Why is sugar so bad for us?

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 Hello my dear readers!

Today I’m writing about a very commune topic, as you saw in the title, about SUGAR.

Everybody knows sugar is bad for us, but if you ask them why is so bad for our health people have just one answer: it makes us fat. Well it’s a little more than that…. So just pay a little attention and read 🙂

 First of all what is sugar?

When we talk about sugar we are mainly referring to refined sugars. The well known, granulated white sugar comes mainly from sugar cane or sugar beet plant.

In its raw state, cane sugar is a dark coloured, thick syrup known as black molasses. It is this syrup which is refined to produce the clean looking granulated form we all know. So from plant to granular form involves several chemical processes. Going through this chemical process the final product, the table sugar, has NO NUTRIENTS, NO PROTEIN, NO HEALTHY FATS, NO ENZYMES, NO VITAMINS, NO MINERALS. Contains just some empty and quickly digested calories, which actually pull minerals from the body during digestion.

Here is a short list of why sugar is bad for you:

Sugar is Highly Addictive

Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain. The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release… much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature. The “everything in moderation” message may be a bad idea for people who are addicted to junk food, because the only thing that works for true addiction is abstinence.

Not the fat, BUT the SUGAR is that raises your cholesterol and gives you heart disease

For many decades, people have blamed saturated fat for heart disease, which is the #1 killer in the world. However new studies are showing that saturated fat is harmless.  Studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise triglyceride and raise blood glucose and insulin levels and also increase abdominal obesity.

 Sugar suppresses the immune system

When you eat a big dose of sugar, like a bottle of Coke or a candy bar, you temporarily tamp down your immune system’s ability to respond to challenges. The effect lasts for several hours, so if you eat sweets several times a day, your immune system may be perpetually operating at a distinct disadvantage

 Sugar raises insulin levels

An influx of sugar into your body will have a fairly predictable result: Your blood sugar levels will rise up.  Shortly after, your pancreas will release a bunch of insulin to help clear sugar from your blood into your cells. As blood sugar levels go down, insulin levels return to normal. But when you eat a lot of sugar, you’re constantly calling for insulin. Over time, it takes more and more insulin to get the job done. Eventually, your pancreas may just stop responding to the call. So you become an insulin-dependent diabetic. And along the way, exposing your cells and organs to chronically high insulin levels accelerates the ageing process

 Sugar promotes inflammation

Eating sugar foods can fuel excessive, inappropriate inflammation that serves no useful purpose and actually promotes ageing and disease. Cutting back on sugary foods will help you avoid excess inflammation

Stresses the Liver

When we eat fructose, it goes to the liver. If liver glycogen is low, such as after a run, the fructose will be used to replenish it. However, most people aren’t consuming fructose after a long workout and their livers are already full of glycogen. When this happens, the liver turns the fructose into fat. Some of the fat gets shipped out, but part of it remains in the liver. The fat can build up over time and ultimately lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Sugar contains no essential nutrients and is bad for your teeth

You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but it’s worth repeating.

Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain lots of calories with NO essential nutrients.

For this reason, they are called “empty” calories.

When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar, this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies.

Sugar is also very bad for the teeth, because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth.

The list could go on and on…..

So, what the scientist recommend?

We all know it’s hard to totally cut out sugar. What they are recommending is to be aware of the amount of sugar you are putting into our body.

Eat real or whole foods, like vegetables, meat, seafood, fruit and nuts. This ensures there are no hidden sugars.

Minimize your intake of processed or fast foods.

If you have to buy processed foods, read the food label!!

Don’t forget!!!!! SUGAR is everywhere

  • Bread
  • Pastry
  • Fruit juices
  • Milk shakes
  • Yoghurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Peanut butter
  • Ketchup
  • Cereals
  • Salad dressings and so on!

But it is not enough that there is sugar in everything, we also like to add sugar to our tea, coffee, top our fruit in sugar and cream, soups, pancakes etc.

Try to eliminate processed sugar from your diet, if not, than try to replace them with natural sweeteners, like natural raw honey, natural stevia, raw, black molasses or natural maple syrup.

Remember!!

When you consume sugar, your body has two options on how to deal with it:

  • Burn it for energy
  • Convert to fat and store it in your fat cells

Depending on your genetic predisposition, your body might be better equipped to process sugar as energy, or you might be more likely to store it as fat.

Hope I gave you some new information on this addictive sweet “substance” called SUGAR 🙂

Have a great night  :*

 

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Raw and healthy Raffaello bonbons

raw faello1Hey guys!

Today I have something sweet to share with you. I think everybody knows the famous Raffaello bonbons from Ferrero, yeah I think so. I adore them, but as you know they are not the healthiest sweets on the planet.

These bonbons I made is a recipe from a friend of mine, it is a raw vegan dessert with coconut and almonds. Delicious is an understatement! And guess what they’re ready in only 10 minutes?! 🙂

These coconut bonbons have the exact same taste as the originals!! Seriously!!! It’s amazing how some basic ingredients can make such a delicious, guilt-free, HEALTHY dessert.

Here is what you need for 15 bonbons:

  • 4 Tablespoons raw coconut butter [creamy – leave it at room temperature for a couple of minutes]
  • 1 cup raw coconut flakes + 4 more Tbsps for coating 
  • 2 Tbsps of raw cashews
  • 15 raw almonds [preferably peeled ones]
  • 2 Tbsp healthy sweetener of choice [I used honey, but you can use  maple syrup or what you like]
  • 1/2 Teasp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender, except almonds, and blend well until creamy.
  2. Put the 4 Tbsps of coconut flakes in a small dish.
  3. Make the bonbons. Use 1 tsp of cream per bonbon. Add one almond in each one of them and coat them in raw coconut flakes.
  4. Put in fridge or eat right away, if you’re impatient like me :))

So that’s it! Try this recipe and Let me know how they turned out!

Have a wonderful day! :*

7 things that slow down your metabolism

sittingAccording to the dictionary, metabolism is a chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that is necessary for the maintenance of life.

We all know people who can eat all day and not gain a single pound. These people have good — or fast — metabolisms. Then there are the people that have one unhealthy meal and have to run for a week straight to burn it all off. These are people that tend to have a slower metabolic rate.

The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn. And just like there are ways to speed it up—by working out, for instance—certain habits can also slow it down.

Metabolic rate is also affected by several factors including age, weight, and genetics.

If losing weight is your goal, avoid these metabolism-slowing mistakes:

1. Eating too late in the morning

Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for weight loss since it causes your metabolism to slow down. When you don’t eat, the brain sends a message to the rest of the body to conserve energy, signaling it to hold onto the stored fat that you’re trying to get rid of. Eating within an hour of waking sparks the metabolic process called thermo genesis that turns the food you eat into energy. So choose a high-protein breakfast. Make sure to eat throughout the day to maintain blood sugar levels since any drops can cause the body to burn muscle for fuel.

2. Not eating enough

It is important to snack often and never miss a main meal. As stated before, getting your body in a proper eating schedule is critical for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Also, when you skip out on meals, your body puts itself into “starvation mode”, which slows your metabolic rate to conserve any of the energy it has. This is why people who try to lose weight by not eating don’t have very much success.

3. Not exercising

Research shows that you continue burning calories up to 24 hours after working out, and studies also show that morning exercises burn more calories than those who work out during other times of the day. If you’re planning on exercising anyway, for maximum calorie burn, your best bet is to get it done in the a.m. Include high intensity cardio intervals

4. Sitting Too Long

It takes only 20 minutes in any fixed position to inhibit your metabolism, according to Carrie Schmitz, an ergonomic research manager. A new study has discovered that sitting for long periods increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death regardless of physical activity.

5. Dehydration

All of your body’s cellular processes, including metabolism, depend on water. If you’re dehydrated, you could burn up to 2 percent fewer calories, according to researchers.

6. A Weird Eating Schedule

Researchers suspect that eating at the same times every day trains the body to burn more calories between meals. So eat frequent, consistently sized meals.

7. Not getting enough sleep

People who sleep less move less the next day, which means they burn fewer calories. Sleep deprivation actually reduces the amount of energy your body uses at rest. Stay away from alcohol, fatty foods, coffee and chocolate at least 2 hours before bedtime.

So here are 7 things that you should avoid, if you want to loose weight, or if you just want to maintain your healthy weight.

Everybody can fall out of the wagon once or twice, by not sleeping enough or, sitting to much at the office because of work. So just try to compensate it, if you are sitting all day, you really need to work out after the office hours. I really think I am blessed with a great metabolism, I can eat a lot 🙂 BUT I also work out 5 times a week, and I try to eat healthy!

 Have a nice day my dears! :*

Eggplant pizza

eggplant 1Hey everybody!

Today I have for you a recipe that is so full of flavour and freshness that it will take your breath away! It’s actually a delicious Italian recipe, that I “stole” from a friend of mine. As you know me Italian cuisine is my favourite, full of flavour and taste, and when I talk about Italian cuisine I do not mean spaghetti Bolognese and meatballs!

This dish is actually completely vegetarian, but don’t be scared it will satisfy your hunger and taste for something special in no time!

So let’s get started!

eggplantingreYou’ll Need:

1 eggplant, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
2 + 1/2 teaspoons Italian herb mix
2 tsp olive oil for brushing
toppings as needed
1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella
Slice the eggplant and sprinkle with some salt on each side. Set aside for thirty minutes, then rinse and pat dry. This will take some of the bitterness out of the eggplant, especially if you’re using a larger/older fruit.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Brush each side of the eggplant slices with olive oil, then sprinkle both sides 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Place the eggplants on a cooling rack that’s on a baking sheet, and bake until they are softened and a little brown, about six minutes

Meanwhile, let’s make the sauce. Finely chop or crush the garlic and add to the heated oil.  Stir often, don’t let the garlic burn. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian herb mix and the oregano.  Stir to toast the herbs. Add in the tomatoes and stir to combine.  Keep on low heat and cook until needed.

When the eggplant comes out of the oven, top each slice with a generous amount of sauce.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of each slice. I’m sure you know how to make pizza! 🙂

Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for another five minutes, until the cheese is melted. And that’s it!!!!

It’s addictive!  So delicious you can’t stop eating!

Don’t say I haven’t warned you! :)))

How to get back in shape after the winter holidays

Hello my dear readers!

I want to wish you again a very Happy New Year! May all your wishes come true, I really can’t wish you more than this! 🙂

I hope everybody is ok, in a good health full of positivity and energy!

Christmas and New Years are by far the best holidays of the year! You eat and drink lots, you get gifts, and you have tons of fun. For most, the last thing on our minds is putting on weight. Once all the festivities are over however, getting back physically to where you were before the holiday period can be a difficult task.

So, please!!!! Don’t feel guilty about the over indulging- you have to let your self go some time. If you’ve put a little weight on, don’t worry! Be positive and go hard!

I was on vacation for 2 weeks, so for me today is the first work day of the year! I really love the holidays, staying all days with friends, sleeping till noon, travelling, but somehow I’m glad to be back on track!

Today I am going to write about a very common subject that you guys and my clients and friends ask me all the time. How to get back in shape after the Christmas holiday?

Here are some tips that will help you get that little excess fat off you in no time. 🙂

Drink lots of water!

Drinking large quantities of alcohol is bad for your health. Alcohol contains many calories and also causes dehydration. To make up for your holiday alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water. Your skin, kidneys and many others organs will benefit. What’s more, drinking water makes you feel fuller:  if you drink more, you will eat less!

Drinking more water flushes out excess sodium to help you quickly de-bloat, and it get things moving in your digestive system. Aim for 2 to 2.5 litres a day (about 8 to 10 cups).

Start Eating on Schedule

Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and eat again every 3 to 5 hours. Starting your day with a healthy meal and enjoying evenly spaced meals will maximize your metabolism; regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels. Please DON’T starve yourself because it won’t get you anywhere! Eating too little forces your body to switch into conservation mode and burn fewer calories. Under eating can cause your body to break down muscle mass for fuel, which also causes a metabolic slow down. Eating enough and at regular times is key.

Cut back on carbs, but DON’T cut them out completely!

Eliminating carbs completely can force your body to burn protein for fuel instead of using it to support and maintain your calorie-burning muscle. So instead of cutting carbs out, just cut back.

So replace the refined carbs with veggies and complex carbs! Refined carbs like white rice, white bread, sugar, pasta) will get stored in your body as fat if you do not use them as energy right away! For example instead of eating beef with white rice you should choose broccoli instead of rice.

Get plenty of sleep, relax, and don’t forget to exercise

It’s time to get back on track. Treat yourself to a good night’s sleep. You’ll feel rested and have more energy to take on the new challenges of the New Year. Avoid unnecessary stress and find ways to relax (yoga, meditation or just going out to the movies!). Gradually start to exercise again. Physical activity will bring balance and energy back into your life.

Do some cardio!

Running, bicycling, walking, swimming…anything that gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time is what will really start melting away at those extra pounds. Circuit training and high intensity training is also great because it can involve lighter weights but keeps you constantly moving.

Be consistent!

If physical fitness is a lifestyle it has to be just as important as brushing your teeth every morning.  You will have days where you are tired, worked late at the office but these are not reasons to stop with your program.  It’s all about mindset; do not give yourself a way out.

Never Quit!

It’s just that simple.  Never, ever, under any circumstance quit.  It’s not an option!!!  Success is your only possible outcome.

 So these are my 7 simple tips to get back in shape! Hope you enjoyed it, now let’s get started!!!

 Have a great day everybody! :*