7 Easy Ways to Cut Out Sugar

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

Research finds that the average American eats about 20 teaspoons of added sugar every day and that’s only added sugar! It’s sneaky because most sugars disguise themselves as ingredients you’ve never heard of or wouldn’t think would be the culprit, however this is exactly how staple pantry brands keep you wanting more, by providing calories with no real nutrients and craving more sugar! This can lead to scary addictive habits.  Consuming too much sugar can lead to unhealthy weight gain, bloating, headaches/migraines, lack of energy, acne, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

If you are ready to nix the addictive system, below are some of my winning tips on how to cut back on sneaky sugar and feel your best!

1. Don’t buy processed foods.

Not only are they filled with preservatives and chemicals to remain shelf-stable, but they are often filled with sugar and sodium a ton of other junk. Don’t be fooled by “health” brands either, they tend to be just as bad. Take a look at the ingredients on everything packaged that you buy, so many things on the shelves are loaded with sneaky added sugars so always check your labels. And keep it simple, the less ingredients, the better!


2. Eat Whole Foods.

Try as much as possible to grab the real deal fruit or vegetable and prepare it to your liking. A lot of those grab and go options, such as dried fruit, juices, or fruit that is prepared in sauces or individual cups usually have sugars added to boost flavor (and preservation). Also, if you are grabbing a baggie of dried fruit, chances are you are really eating 4 or 5 pieces of what was a whole piece of fruit and without all the awesome fiber :( We just don’t need that much in one sitting.

3. Avoid non-fat/fat-free or low-fat dairy items.

This may be hard to hear but it’s the truth: If all the fat is taken out of a dairy product, companies have to add in sugars and other unnatural chemicals, additives and binders to help with consistency and flavor. By getting the full-fat version, you will skip out on unnecessary hidden sugars and additives. If you are worried about switching to full-fat products because it sounds like taboo, try minimally processed non-milk alternatives or simply enjoy less of the full-fat version, adding fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, or homemade (low-sugar) granola!

4. Make your own sauces and dressing.

This one might sound like the most difficult one on the list -- that’s why we sandwiched it in the middle. Sauces, like tomato-based marinara, have added sugars to increase flavor, and usually more than you would think. And salad dressing...don’t get me started! They are usually filled with terrible hydrogenated vegetable oils that wreak havoc on your body, and filled with sugars and other emulsifiers and stabilizers to stay “good” for months… or years. Even those refrigerated ones often contain these things, so check the ingredients. This is the reason why we make our own salads and sauces in house, to ensure delicious flavor and maximum health. Making dressings at home is so easy, and you can tweak the proportions depending on how acidic you may like it. A blender or immersion blender are both great tools to make larger batches, but a simple mason jar with a lid will do just fine.

If making this things from scratch just isn’t your idea of fun or worth your time, then be sure to order your favorite Food Made Fresh salads and salad bowls each week, knowing that our dressings are made with love with all good ingredients!


Here’s a few simple dressing recipes:


Simple Vinaigrette:

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp sea salt

⅛ tsp black pepper

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil


Or dress it up with a little maple with this next one!


Maple Vinaigrette:

½ Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and pepper, to taste


Or add some citrus!


Zesty Vinaigrette:

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced, or grated

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and pepper, to taste


Add contents to mason jar and secure with lid. Shake and serve or keep for later.

5. If needed, try a natural sweetener.

My first go-to unrefined, natural sweeteners are raw (local) honey and pure maple syrup. Coconut sugar is lower glycemix index and therefore doens’t spike your blood sugar like regular sugars do. Xilitol or stevia are also good plant-based options- I prefer organic liquid stevia. 1 or 2 drops goes a long way.

The key is to start with less and check in with yourself if you really need to add more, or if you can allow your tastebuds to get used to less or none.

6. Have some dark chocolate on hand for those moments of weakness.

You heard me right, dark chocolate (preferably 70% and above) contain magnesium, and other minerals that are beneficial to your body. If you are going to need a sweet treat while trying to cut sugar, then this is a great alternative to diving into a cupcake or carton of ice cream

7. Ditch the soda, and never look back!

Made up of chemicals, weird syrups, mountains of sugars and toxic dyes, you don’t need this in your life. Diet “sugar free” soda is just as bad, so don’t switch to that either. Many artificial “non calorie” sweeteners loaded in diet drinks actually trigger diabetic responses and outcomes.

Instead, try sparkling water with a splash of pure 100% juice. Or my favorite it to zest up my sparkling water with drop of Young Living Essential Oils - you can buy them here. My favorites are: Lemon, Lime, Tangerine, Grapefruit, and Citrus Fresh - which has a touch of spearmint!

                                                                           Eat well & Be well,

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8 Time-Saving Habits You Need To Try

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

 

“There aren’t enough hours in the day!!” (*pulling hair out*)

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there, we’ve all said those words and probably more often than we’d like to admit! So many of us find ourselves with a to-do list longer than the hours in the day and maxing out our stress levels before the week even begins. No wonder why the Sunday blues are so real right? The hard truth is that we hardly have anyone to blame but ourselves. When we consistently set our day or week up for failure by overcommitting, saying “yes” to too many things, or lack the discipline to set a schedule that has balance and healthy boundaries, then we find ourselves hoping for a 25 hour day...or an indefinitely extended vacation!

 

But there is hope! Instead of wishing and waiting for the sun to stop for just a moment, here are some tried and true time-saving habits that help me stay on track and balance a productive week of content..and yes it’s possible ;)

8 Time-Saving Habits

1. Time-Chunking: Organize and tackle items by working in batches to get them done more efficiently. Essentially you are batching your specific types of to-do’s, like errands, emails, meetings, phone calls, etc. On my busiest weeks, I even time-chunk hanging out with friends and coffee dates to fall on the same day, and even back to back if I am really crunched! No one needs to know...just make your friend-dates are at different locations, but in the same area, if needed.

2. Meal Prepping: We’ve got you covered here! Take the guess work out of eating healthy and having meals ready to go on the fly, by ordering Food Made Fresh prepared meals, delivered weekly! Or if you love cooking, then plan your meals, make one grocery store trip, and devote one day to prep your meals! You might even love cooking and have every good intention of meal prepping, but then before you know it, you end up putting if off and eating out every meal because of it. If that sounds like you, maybe consider outsourcing the cooking for for a while or at least for some meals, to be sure you have options when you need them. We offer al la carte options especially for the person who raises their hand to this one.  

3. Have clean and organized surroundings: A cluttered mind and a cluttered space go hand in hand! You will be more efficient and work better with less distraction and clutter around your space. Take some time at the beginning of the week to do some light tidying to cultivate a peaceful work environment. Trust me, it will be worth it!

4. Be realistic about time and your expectations: Stop scheduling or shooting to get 10 tasks done before you have to leave for that meeting in an hour. Set realistic expectations and focus on completing one or two. Setting yourself up for failure isn’t good for confidence and will further affect your productivity. Better to leave for that meeting feeling accomplished for finishing one project than leaving 10 projects disorganized and incomplete.

5. Wake up 15-30 minutes earlier than you normally do:  Before you go out and pour out and work hard for others, take some time to pay attention to your needs. Even getting out of bed 15 minutes earlier will make a difference in the week to add some self-care time ie: get a quick workout in, go for a brisk walk to wake up, meditate/pray, sit with your healthy morning beverage and NOT feel rushed, or actually enjoy breakfast at the table instead of on the road. These small moments of “me time” really add up to your overall contentment throughout the week.

6. Schedule social media/Internet use: Did you know that every time you switch gears from one task to another you waste at least 5 minutes of your mental concentration? That means every time you become distracted and check your phone you are not only losing the time of actual work but also the transitional time from task to task. That’s a lot of lost productivity! Instead of living in a constant world of distraction, schedule your time to scroll and double-tap, and then honor the time you are suppose to devote to work.

7. Set a weekly “mind dump” session: At the beginning of your week, it’s helpful to “mind dump” all of your to-do’s for the week on a blank sheet of paper. Then you can really see all that you have to do, and take a proactive approach by assigning a day of the week to each task, and even prioritize them as necessary. There, now you aren’t so overwhelmed! You might even notice that a few to-do’s aren’t even necessary to complete this week, but they have been taking up valuable real estate in your brain. As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail.

8. Determine which tasks and activities you normally do are vital and which are optional: This will help you schedule the vital tasks first and then you can decide to fill it with the optional ones. It’s best to tackle the vital & important tasks first each day, while you are fresh and focused. If you do optional or non important tasks first, you can easily think you are making progress when you are really avoiding what actually needs to be done. I’m often totally guilty of this one, but constantly working on it.

Take an honest assessment and really ask yourself, which ones do you need help improving on? Which ones are you already a master at?

We’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment below if you’d like to share any other time-saving habits that work!

 


Eat well & Be Well,

 

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Natural Energy with Raw Avocado Maca Truffles

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

These Raw Tangerine Maca Truffles will satisfy your sweet tooth, boost your natural energy, pack your body with vital nutrients, essential amino acids and minerals, and leave your soul satisfied after enjoying one or two. These little truffles have the trifecta of superfoods: avocado, cacao, maca.
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8 Healthy Food Swaps You Need to Try!

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

In a world of yo-yo dieting, trendy food fads, and so many people with unhealthy relationships with food, we aim to bring lasting change to this health crisis.

Our mission is to educate you beautiful people on the importance of eating whole + real foods, through supplying our San Diego locals with delicious meals, nutrient-dense recipes, and a community of support to help guide you into balance, living well, and true thriving!

Now, here are the Top 8 Healthy Food Swaps that you need to try ASAP!

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7 Common Food Cravings & What They Mean

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

Have you ever experienced annoying food cravings that you can’t seem to shake? You aren’t alone. Most people experience food cravings, some even daily! These cravings have a wide range and can be attributed to either poor self-control or as a result of eliminating certain foods out of a diet (i.e. detoxing symptoms). But this isn’t always the case and you’ll see why.


The human body is so amazing (take a second here to thank your body for it’s hard work!). It’s an intricate system of balances and signals that help things function properly and keep things regulated. Food cravings are simply another way for the body to signal what it needs so we have the chance to fulfill that need.

How many times do you find yourself craving certain foods or sweets (ummm chocolate…)? Maybe you don’t realize when you are fighting or entertaining a craving, but I think most would agree, the struggle is real! How many times have you shoved that donut into your mouth or inhaled that plate of french fries? The only problem is that eating these foods doesn’t seem to end the cravings. Major bummer. At the very least we should be satisfied, but in reality we just get more ravenous for that thing.

 

Well, what’s to blame? Bad habits, poor discipline, faulting the “sugar tooth”?

The answer might surprise you...

 

Science has shown us that these cravings can come from vital mineral deficiencies in our bodies. This is good news, because when we acquire the minerals our bodies need from natural sources, we are also able to best absorb the nutrients that we require to function and feel well balanced.

 

So what do these cravings really mean?! Here are the top cravings paired with their mineral counterpart!

 

1. Hunger | H20

    Water! Plain old water! Often times we think we are hungry, when really we are dehydrated. We then easily confuse thirst with hunger. Always drink a big glass of water when you feel a craving or intense hunger cravings come on, and then check in with your body after 20 minutes to see if you really are hungry.

    2. Caffeine | Iron, Vitamin C, Salt, Sulfur, Phosphorous (Adrenal Fatigue)

      If you find yourself craving caffeine or needing it before you can function in he morning, try switching to decaf, and then to coffee alternatives (like Teccino, green tea, or herbal tea). Eat more whole foods and get quality sleep! Caffeine cravings can also be attributed to Adrenal Fatigue, so seek help from your naturopath, doctor, or health coach to help re-balance your adrenals.

       

      3. Chocolate | Magnesium

      Magnesium promotes relaxation, and helps aid in good digestion. Instead of caving by eating a whole chocolate bar, you can find excellent sources of magnesium in dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts, fish, legumes and blackstrap molasses. You can also get it in supplement form, we love Natural Vitality’s Calm - killer price on Vitacost.com. THEN you can have a bite of dark chocolate (72%), it is a superfood after all.

       

      4. Sugary foods | Chromium, Carbon, Phosphorus, Sulfur and Tryptophan

      Chromium helps to regulate blood sugar levels, carbon is an element of the makeup of sugar, phosphorus helps the body produce energy (which is why we tend to lean on sugar when we are feeling tired), sulfur helps remove toxins (which our body is always working to do), tryptophan is a Serotonin (“feel good” hormone) regulator.

      These important minerals can be found in animal proteins and vegetarian sources like from lentils, whole grains, black beans, cheese/dairy, and also from a variety of vegetables, like sweet potatoes and cruciferous veggies.

      Also, consuming more healthy fats, more high-fiber foods, and probiotic rich foods, help to decrease hunger cravings, help you feel more satiated, keep your blood sugar regulated, and also help keep your gut thriving with good bacteria that aid in efficient digestion and absorption.

       

      5. Refined Carbohydrates | Nitrogen

      Dreaming you could carbo-load at every meal? You might be deficient in Nitrogen, an essential mineral found in fresh fruits & veggies. Time to throw out those processed fruit cups and bite into a real apple.

       

      6. Oily/ Fatty Foods | Calcium

      Sometimes we just want that juicy hamburger and fries. If you feel this craving more often than not then up your intake of calcium! Sources of calcium dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, broccoli, white beans, and of course dairy, preferably organic and raw (if tolerated).

       

      7. Salty foods | Chloride &  Zinc

      Add more fish, goat cheese, (real) sea salt, nuts and seeds to your diet! This should help bring balance back and remineralize your body with what it needs most.

       

       

      Eat Well & Be Well,

      Sources: Integrative Nutrition - 8 causes of cravings; Dr. Axe; Wise Mind Healthy Body, and Cooking For Balance website
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