Friday, March 23, 2012

The Naked Face Project: Week 3 & 4 - Makeup

In doing my research about makeup this week, I came across an interesting thread that was actually started by a man. He started it with: "As a guy, I'd like to know why women wear makeup? I don't mean any disrespect and I'm here to learn from you but I just don't understand why women are obsessed with products that are filled with hormone disrupting, cancer causing chemicals (according to several studies)."

Some reasons the women commenters gave for why they wear makeup:

  1. To look pretty
  2. Self-confidence boost
  3. It's fun; it's a hobby
  4. Society expects it; it's part of being a woman
  5. Look my best
  6. I like it
  7. It's one thing I can do for me; my own little paradise
  8. To define myself
  9. Accentuate my natural beauty
  10. To hide imperfections (like Rosacea)
  11. To go from plain to stunning
  12. I'm insecure; I feel naked without it
  13. It motivates me to get stuff done and not laying around all day
  14. It makes me happy
The original poster summed up my thoughts exactly: "I've always wondered if women are really that liberated. Everything about the modern woman is fake: fake hair, color, fake boobs, fake nails, fake tan, fake lips, fake eyelashes, fake skin, etc...You still feel the need to paint your faces in order to feel presentable to the world. Women aren't liberated, they're slaves to the cosmetics industry who makes billions of dollars off of women's insecurities...Women are naturally beautiful. If men don't need makeup than neither do women. It's all social brainwashing."
I also found this comment interesting: "I'm spilling the beans here and telling you ladies that yes men like to look at women like Kim Kardashian and Megan Fox but they don't respect them. They find these women attractive in a superficial sense...they see them as women who are desperate for male attention and can be easily manipulated. When we look at women who are all dolled up, it screams INSECURITY and EASY. We see that they don't find themselves pretty enough to be confident about their natural looks."
Here's the deal: This guy got pummeled in the thread. Other commenters were saying he was being disrespectful and had a low opinion of women. They also took his comments to mean that he believed women only wore makeup to please men or get men's attention. (there were other comments he made that I disagree with and were also a big reason why he got pummeled).


Here's my commentary about this subject:

In reading the reasons that these particular women gave for wearing makeup, it makes me sad. Ninety-percent of those reasons reflected a dissatisfaction with self or a compliance with society. Now, obviously, not every women wears makeup for these reasons, feels insecure without it, etc. But, I think it's safe to say that majority of women fall into these two categories and that makes me sad. Why do we (not just women, but men too) feel like what God made us to be, without all the exterior boosts, isn't enough? Our "prettiness", "self-confidence", "womanhood", "security", "motivation" and "happiness" should come from who we are in Christ! He finds us stunning, beautiful and perfect just the way we are and that should be enough. 

Remember the way we came into this world? Naked! No clothes, no make-up, no jewelry, no hair dye, etc. Somewhere along the way, we felt like that wasn't enough anymore and we needed to "accentuate" a few things. (obviously, we have to wear clothing or we'd get thrown in jail for indecent exposure!)

I've always liked this analogy...if Picasso brought you his best work and gave it to you as a gift, would you say, "This is great, Picasso, but I think I'll just add a few colors here and there to make it even better!" Picasso would be offended! Yet, this is what we do with God's creation; with ourselves. God created those eyes. God created that skin. God created that hair color. God perfected you! You don't need to accentuate anything! You are perfect, just the way you are!
Now, in regards to the gentleman's comment about Kim Kardashian and Megan Fox, it's a sad and alarming (and yes, somewhat offensive) comment. But, most men (not all) would tell you that it's true. They have very little respect for women who have very little respect for themselves. Women who wear clothes leaving them half-naked, appear to have no respect for themselves. Women who feel they can only leave the house with a full face of makeup, the nicest clothing on, their nails done, teeth whitened, hair curled, etc, do sometimes come across as insecure. 

The bigger issue here is this... what are you projecting by the clothes you wear and the makeup you use? Fact: Men are visual creatures. They were made to be visual creatures. It's difficult for a "real" woman to compete for the attention of the man when there are "made up" women and airbrushed women everywhere you turn. Our society is an over-sexualized one. Everything is about sex, attracting the opposite sex, having the best sex, making sure you are sexy. When did sexy overtake beauty? 

Here's the key that we need to be teaching our young girls: do you want a man to like you because of your exterior appearance or do you want a man to love you for you? Do you want to attract a man that only wants to sleep with you or a man that finds you beautiful and adores you, as a person? 
Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with wearing a little makeup here and there, IF your motivation for it is in the right place. A few of the commenters get this. They wear makeup: 
  1. because it's fun and a hobby
  2. it's something that they can do for their-self, their own little paradise
  3. it motivates them to get stuff done and not lay around the house
As a stay at home mom, I can attest to these last two reasons. When you're a mom (not just a stay at home mom) you tend to put yourself last. You give everything to your husband, your kids, the dog even. You think that you'll get to yourself some other time. But, I can tell you, unfortunately from personal experience, that this is a dangerous road. Before you know it, you've defined yourself by your kids, your laundry, your clean house, your dishes, etc. You lose your self. Who you are. Who God created you to be. And what God has called you to do with your life. Life becomes mundane and can lead to depression for some. If getting ready in the morning, putting on a nice outfit, curling your hair, wearing a little makeup, etc, makes you feel like you've taken care of yourself first so that you can take care of others, then I am all for it! (this is where exercise and eating healthy come into play for me!)

I do believe that there is a way to teach our young girls that they can wear clothing to "accentuate" their body without being slutty or trashy; without exposing everything they've got. Besides, the element of surprise is half the fun for men! Modest is more sexy than baring it all.
Modestly Sexy!

I do believe that there is a way to "accentuate" your features without feeling the need to look like that airbrushed model in the magazine. That, my friend, is an unattainable goal. A computer made her, after all.
If wearing makeup is something fun for you, by golly, do it!

For me, I don't feel the need to wear makeup every day. In fact, I rarely wear it anymore. Mainly because I simply don't have the extra 15 minutes it takes to put on. If I do wear it, I wear very little. If I'm going out, I tend to do the full makeup and the nice outfit. Again, I'm a stay at home mom, so I don't go out very often. It's a fun treat for me and I feel like a million bucks when I get to go do something fun! I simply want my exterior to reflect what my interior is feeling.

But, if you're wearing makeup because you think it makes you pretty, or not "plain" looking anymore, because it defines you or because society says you have to, then I beg you, please don't wear it. Please take on The Naked Face Project. Please let Jesus into those places of your heart that feel that way. Please let Him reveal the truth to you about who you really are.

One last thing, if you are going to wear makeup, please be smart about the products that you are using. It is true that most cosmetic products are filled with "hormone disrupting, cancer causing chemicals." Don't put these products on your body! Don't let your little girls put these products on their bodies! If you'd like to know if the products you're using are harmful or what products are least harmful, please check out Skin Deep. It is a cosmetic database who's "staff of scientists compare the ingredients on personal care product labels and websites to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases. [It] provides you with easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market."

I feel the need to write a disclaimer about this week's Naked Face Project post. This post uses a lot of generalizations and may not be talking directly about you or someone you know. It, does, however, present material that is sort of "in your face" (no pun intended) and is controversial and may stir some things up in you. Before you comment, I ask that you first take some time and figure out why it fires you up. And if/when you choose to comment, I ask that you be respectful to me and to the other commenters. Thanks, Amy

Monday, March 19, 2012


Many people have asked me how I keep my faith with all my health conditions.

If I'm honest, it's tough. It's not always easy. I do question. I do get angry. I do not understand.

But, the answer is quite simple. Hope.

If I do not have hope in something greater than this world (remember this world has told me my illnesses are incurable), hope in something greater than my sicknesses, hope in something greater than my understanding...then it would be all too easy to curl up in a ball and call it quits.

This is hard for me to write today, as tears stream down my face, as the last few days have been tough for me.

See, about once a month I get into a "funk". I let the depression take over and I allow myself to have my own little pity party. I don't get out of bed for awhile. I self-loath. Woe is me.

While I do think, to some degree, it's therapeutic to allow yourself to feel these feelings from time to time, it's crucial to assure that you don't stay there.

I know it would be so much easier to stay there. Stay in my bed where I can't fight with my husband, yell at my kids, make poor choices for my health. Easier, but not fulfilling. And not fair to the world and to the people who need me, who need what I have to offer.

And no, I usually can't peel myself out of my bed. I need Jesus. I need the hope that He promises.

He's been pulling at me for the past few days. Weeks. Months even. But sometimes I turn my head and pretend I can't hear Him. Easier, right?

But now I'm ready. I'm ready to get out of this rut. I'm ready to get back to who He says I am. I'm ready for His strength and His hope to pull me through.

So, how, you ask? How do I know He's pulling at me?

First, a church service two weeks ago, titled, "Confident in Doubt." The pastor pointed out that many times people walk away from Jesus for the following reasons:

  • He doesn't answer our prayer how and when we want
  • He offends us and/or 
  • He doesn't meet our expectations. 
When we come face-to-face with our doubt or a tough situation, are we going to bail on Him? When we hit our barrier, are we going to stay or try to find the answers out in this world somehow? Cause the answers aren't out there. Trust me. I've looked. It's okay to doubt. But the question we should ask during difficult times is, "To whom will I go?" just as the disciples did in John 6:66-69.

Second, I've been reading a Joseph Prince one-year devotional on YouVersion. There was one from this week and the verse was from Matthew 6:27 - And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? A few of the key points from Joseph Prince's commentary on this:

  • Worrying robs you of sleep, health and many good years.
  • When you worry, you are actually believing that the devil has the power to make inroads into your life and that God can not protect you.
  • In the face of health issues claim, "Jesus is my healer. I receive my healing. I am healed. I rest in God completely."
  • When you refused to worry, but choose to rest in the finished work of Christ, you will see the manifestation of your blessing. You will see your miracle!
Third, last Christmas, my beloved friend Janelle hosted a Christmas tea for the All Things New team. She made these beautiful cards which were uniquely decorated on the outside and on the inside contained a love note from God taken from the devotional by Sheri Rose Shepherd, "His Princess: Love Letters From Your King." The card I grabbed was red with three beautiful hearts on the outside. The verse was from Deuteronomy 20:4 NIV, "For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory." Key points from the love letter:
  • You are brave and courageous.
  • I (God) don't want you to exhaust yourself fighting in your own strength.
  • As long as you stand behind Me (God) and let Me fight for you, there is nothing that can or will overtake you.
See? God's been pulling. And I'll bet He's been pulling at you, too. Have you been listening? Do you recognize His voice?

Dear Holy God,
I confess, I have not been living as the person who you have said that I am. I confess that I have been looking at my circumstances, instead of at You. I confess that I have, yet again, let the pain of my situation get the best of Me. Please forgive me, Lord. I will not walk away from You. My hope is in You, Jesus. Holy Spirit, help me to not worry about my health problems anymore. Help me to prepare and live my life as though my miracle of total healing has taken place today, this very moment! Jesus, you are my healer. I receive my healing. I am healed. I am healthy. I am whole, in you, Lord! I am ready for my miracle, just as you healed the woman in Mark 5:25-34!!! You said, God, in Jeremiah 30:17 that You will restore me to health and heal my wounds. I believe you, Lord, for You are the One who healed my marriage, healed my infertility and You can heal this, too! Thank you, God; thank you, for making me brave and courageous in You. I'm tired and exhausted from fighting in my own strength, yet once again. I lay it all down at the foot of the cross, Jesus. Thank you for fighting for me. Thank you for believing that I am worth fighting for.
Your Forever Servant,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Top 10 Workout Songs For February

Awhile back I was contacted by Chris Lawhorn from Run Hundred. Chris' website is an online workout music database. People vote on the top workout songs each month and Chris compiles the top 10 for the current month. I'll be featuring each month's top 10 here on my blog for you! Enjoy and Get Active!!!


The Top 10 Workout Songs For February

This month's top 10 is full of little surprises.  Jay Sean and Nicki Minaj's "2012" actually came out months ago.  But, the new year (and an apt title) have given it a second wind.  Also, Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera got a hip-hop makeover, courtesy of Mac Miller.  Outasight got their first taste of chart success.  And, Adele turned in a performance so forceful that most folks didn't seem to mind that the song's more of a ballad than a traditional workout jam. Here's the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred--the web's most popular workout music site.

To find more songs--and hear next month's contenders—you can check out Run Hundred's database of workout songs. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine. 

-Chris Lawhorn, Run Hundred

Please note that by featuring these songs I am not condoning anything the song lyrics may promote. These are posted for you to decipher appropriateness  for yourself and to hopefully motivate and inspire you to get active! Thanks, Amy

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homemade Goodies

There's nothing like homemade goodies.

You can have your favorites, because you've made them using healthier ingredients. For me it's kind of like a riddle to solve, "How can I make this healthier? How can I use ingredients that I can have without sacrificing flavor?"

Sometimes, I don't have to do the guess work, because I find an amazing recipe that already has been made healthy by a fellow food blogger. Like these amazing homemade tortilla chips!

Paleo 'Tortilla' Chips
These chips are crispy like a tortilla chip but the consistency of a cracker like a Wheat Thin. They also have quite a spicy kick to them, but you can play around with different kinds of spices. You could maybe even make "sweet" crackers using cinnamon and stevia?

Changes I made to the recipe:
instead of ground annato --> nutmeg and pepper
omit --> ground dried orange peel (forgot to add it)
omit --> onion powder (didn't have any)


A great way to use these chips is on a taco salad.

Taco Salad
This is a kid-friendly taco salad and really fast and easy to assemble. You could even get your kids involved! 
Serves 1

1/3 c brown rice
2-3 oz ground turkey
2 T cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2-3/4 c shredded lettuce
1 oz raw sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
crushed up Paleo 'Tortilla' Chips (see above for recipe)
plain greek yogurt (as dressing)

Layer ingredients in the order listed above and enjoy! Serve with milk and grapes for a complete meal.


Perhaps you're craving something sweet?

Coconut Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
This recipe knocked my socks off! It was my first time ever using coconut flour and I was pleasantly surprised. Reminds me of eating homemade banana chocolate chip bread! Yum!

Changes I made to the recipe:
instead of maple syrup --> raw yacon syrup
instead of 3 mashed bananas --> 2 mashed bananas


Or maybe you love your sweet coffee treats, but don't want to pay for them around the waistline or the pocketbook. You can make your own! And get creative with them, too!

Cinnamon Caramel Dolce Latte
I was craving both a Cinnamon Dolce Latte and a Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks. So, I decided to come up with my own drink blending the two and using healthier ingredients.

approx 1.5 cups freshly brewed coffee
approx 1 cup almond milk
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
1/2-t T raw yacon syrup

While your coffee is brewing, warm the milk in the microwave. Add cinnamon to the milk and whisk until frothy and well blended. Add the yacon syrup and whisk again until well blended. Add your coffee. Sprinkle a bit more cinnamon on the top (for garnish) and enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kids Culinary Adventure: Meatballs

We're always looking for fun and free stuff to do with the kids, so you can imagine my excitement when my husband told me about a Kids Culinary Adventure that our local restaurant puts on.

The 2nd Monday evening of every month, The Machine Shed of Woodbury puts on a free event called "Kids Culinary Adventure". The chef picks the food and walks the kids through how to make it.

We have always had so much fun with this and it's a highlight of my daughter's month! So, I thought I'd capture what we do each month in a series here on my blog. (They'll all be collected in one place under a tab called, "Kids Culinary Adventure"). That way, you can maybe start doing this at home with your own kids!

Have fun with this!


Materials Needed:
*I can't remember all the ingredients that were used nor do I know exact amounts, so you might want to find a good recipe to use.
-Recipe Ingredients
-Plastic Gloves
-Prepared Spaghetti
-Prepared Spaghetti Sauce
-Parmesan (optional)
-Garlic Bread

Once you've gathered all your ingredients, have the kids dump each ingredient into a large mixing bowl. Then put on your gloves and let them go to town, mixing all the ingredients with their gloves. The kids loved this part!

Then bake the meatballs, and assemble your plate.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Candida and Hormone Balance

Well, today is usually the day that I post something about what I've learned on The Naked Face Project this week. However, I have nothing for you as of now. The topic that I've been working on this week is make-up, but I haven't formulated my thoughts yet. So, instead you get a seemingly random post about Candida and Balancing your Hormones.


For the past month I've been having really strange symptoms, such as: random dizzy spells, increased brain fog, extreme tiredness (no amount of sleep makes it go away) and for the past two weeks I've had a constant metal taste in my mouth.

Since having Baby A, I joke that when I gave birth, I must have given birth to my will power, too, because I keep having uncontrollable sugar and carb cravings, which I never experienced when pregnant. But in all reality, I know this isn't a "will power" or "mind over matter" issue. I am an extremely strong woman and succeed whenever I put my mind to something. This was instead a biological issue going on within my body, I just didn't know exactly what.

I was trying to control all my health issues without a care provider, because the two Dr's I had been seeing didn't seem to match my needs.

My natural Dr: treated the problem not the symptoms (which is a good thing), muscle tested my body for proper dosages and supplements, focused on healing my body with food/diet (which you know I love!) and stayed away from the use of medication. However, he never did blood testing and I felt he was "shooting in the dark" when it came to my hormones and how to balance them.

My endometriosis Dr: lives in another state, treated the problem not the symptoms (again a good thing), did blood testing and adjusted my medication based on the numbers. However, he only used medication, never natural forms of healing like diet and supplements.

Enter Dr Larson.

My much-trusted friends attended a free seminar given by Dr Larson titled, "Mastering Hormone Balance for Women". What they learned, they were so excited about that they just couldn't wait to share it with me. Everything he taught was things I'd apparently dealt with. And he appeared to be a the perfect marriage between my two Dr's; Dr Larson treats the problem not the symptoms. He does all kinds of tests to find the problem as well as see if the supplements are working, such as: muscle tests, blood tests, urine tests and saliva tests. His initial consultation is free. His tests are at cost. And his supplements will vary, but his ultimate goal is to eventually get your body working optimally so he can get you off the supplements.

I liked what I was hearing and figured I couldn't lose anything if I went in for my free consultation. He made a lot of sense during that hour and I felt like he could really help me. Plus, his pricing for everything seemed to be about half of what I was paying currently. So, I pulled the trigger on starting to work with him.

Here's my current game plan: gather information. We need to know what's going on with my body, as a whole picture, so the first step is to run lots and lots of tests. Here are the tests I'll be doing:

1. Blood Test - This is a 12-hr fasting blood test done at my local hospital's lab. He will be testing the following: ALT, AST, Cholesterol, Triglyceride, Direct Measure HDL, LDL, Glucose, Creatinine, Estimated GFR, Blood Urea Nitrogen, Hemoglobin, Serum Iron, Hemoglobin A1C, CRP Inflammation, 25 OH Vitamin D, Serum Ferritin, ESR, T3 Free, Thyroxine Free, TSH, Thyr Peroxidase Aby, Reverse T3, Thyroglobulin Antibody and Anti-Candida Antibody.

2. Expanded Female Hormone Saliva Panel - This you do at home over the course of a full female cycle, then you mail in the saliva tubes and pay the lab directly.

3. Thyroid Test - This is another at home test that you do by taking your temperature for 10 days.

4. Candida Yeast Test - This is another at home test. You test your spit in water. Pretty simple. (keep reading for the complete test!)

5. Heavy Metal Test - I have yet to do this one, but it's scheduled for during my next office visit, after all the above tests have been done.

Once all the tests have been completed and we have a picture of my health as a whole we'll know how to treat each issue.


When I met with Dr Larson, there was some suspicion that I may have a Heavy Metal Toxicity, due to the metal taste in my mouth. There was also a suspicion that I was suffering from Candida.

Candida is very common among women with endometriosis, but I've never been tested for it before. Dr Larson explained that I was absolutely right in saying that my uncontrollable sugar and carb cravings were something going on within my body. Hence, why he suspected Candida.

So, this morning I took the test. And I totally failed it.

Are you suffering from Candida? 

Here's the test! Check yourself!


Might I have a problem with Candida Yeast?
You can try this simple test to find out.

First thing in the morning, before you put ANYTHING in your mouth, fill a clear glass with room temperature Bottled Water.

Work up a bit of saliva, then spit it into the glass of water. Check the water every 15 minutes or so for up to one hour.

If you have a potential problem, you will see strings (like legs) traveling down into the water from the saliva floating on the top, or "cloudy" saliva will sink to the bottom of the glass, or cloudy specks will seem to be suspended in the water.

[image source]
If there are no strings and the saliva is still floating after at least one hour, you probably have Candida under control, and have nothing to worry about. Congratulations.

What can I do if the test shows positive?
Talk this over with your health care provider, as soon as possible.

Be aware that a Candida Yeast problem can be pretty difficult to deal with, especially after it has had enough time to get established and be causing you problems.

It may not be easy, and it may take awhile to impact the situation, be patient, and work on it everyday.

Your good health is at stake!

Common symptoms of Candida that I have been experiencing are as follows: abdominal gas and bloating, headaches and migraines, excessive fatigue, anxiety, cravings for sweets, inability to think clearly and poor memory, mood swings and irritability, diarrhea or constipation, acne, depression, PMS, dizziness, indigestion and acid reflux


If you live in the Minnesota area and are interested in attending one of Dr Larson's free Mastering Hormone Balance for Women seminars, here is the information below...

Mastering Hormone Balance for Women
Join Dr. John W. Larson, DC as he shares his years of experience as an expert in nutrition, natural health and hormone balance. You will learn:

  • How to stop suffering with the symptoms of menopause, or uncomfortable monthly cycles
  • How your female hormone imbalance may be the cause of your thyroid problems or slow metabolism
  • How one simple nutrient could reduce the rates of breast cancer by 50% or more
  • Why bio-identical hormones may not be the best answer for you to achieve hormone balance
  • The effect of diet, stress and toxins on hormones
  • And much of the best seminars you will ever attend on female hormone balance!

Seminar Dates and Times:
Thursday, March 22: 6:30pm-8:00pm
Tuesday, April 3: 6:30pm-8:00pm
Saturday, April 21: 9:00am-10:30am

Join one of the 3 seminar dates listed above. Attendance is FREE but seating is limited. Call today to reserve your seat at: 763-241-5436. Healing Choices Natural Healthcare.

What others are saying about this seminar:
"This is information that every woman should know!" ~K.S., St. Francis, MN

"You can apply this information to your own life." ~A.H., MN

"I learned what factors contribute to hormone imbalances." ~R.C., Elk River, MN

"It was excellent! The information is essential for good health. Very interesting and informative." ~J.E., Princeton, MN

"Great info that Dr's don't have time in a typical Dr's visit to discuss with patients." ~J.T., Zimmerman, MN

"I really enjoyed the information and laid back, almost conversational format." ~K.F., Cedar, MN

"It takes the mystery out of the hormone confusion." ~S.V., Anoka, MN

"Life Changing!" ~S.F., Nowthen, MN

Stop letting your hormones control you...and take back control of your body with effective natural approaches to improve hormone balance!

Please leave questions in the comment section if you have any. I know this is a topic that most, if not all, of us women deal with.

All information provided in this post was courtesy of Healing Choices Natural Healthcare out of Elk River, MN. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Adventures of SOCCA

So, before we get into the adventures with my gluten-free bread making, I promised on Facebook to share a new MIAG recipe!

Carob Fudge Blueberry MIAG

1 c non-dairy milk
1/4 c blueberries
1 T raw honey
1/4 c brown rice flour
1 T toasted carob powder
1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Wheatgrass
1 tsp Premier Research Lab Greens Mix
1 serving chocolate or neutral-flavored protein powder
1/2 tsp sugar-free vanilla extract
1/2 tsp stevia powder
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp sea salt

Blend all in a blender & enjoy with a straw! Yum!


In an effort to eat more like the endo-diet, I decided it would be a good idea to try to make my own gluten-free breads this week. It was a tall order, since our meal plans included: bread, tortillas, chips, bagels, etc.

Last night, I attempted the bread. I found these recipes on Pinterest. I decided to try the "Multi-Grain Bread" recipe. However, I had to adjust the ingredients a little bit, so here is my version below.

Multi-Grain Gluten-Free Bread

2 and 2/3 c brown rice flour
1/3 c chickpea flour
2/3 c arrowroot powder
3 tsp guar gum
1 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
3 tsp poppy seeds
3 tsp sesame seeds
3 tsp flax seeds
4 tsp sunflower seeds
2 and 1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 c warm water
1/3 c coconut oil (warmed to a liquid state)
3 eggs
1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp organic apple cider vinegar

Sift and combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the water until frothy. (I used my electric mixer on a low-medium setting). Add remaining wet ingredients. (You have to work quickly once you add the coconut oil, or it will start to harden). Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix slowly. (I used a spatula). When combined beat on high until batter is smooth, adding more water slowly, if required. (I used my electric mixer for this and did end up needing a bit more warm water). Spoon into a greased loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 hr. (I was doing other cooking, so I put mine on my stove while I did my other cooking). Remove plastic wrap and baked at 375 F for 40 minutes.

Notes: My bread didn't rise, so while it won't work as a sandwich bread, it's great for things like toast w/pb, making french toast, bread w/butter to accompany a soup or salad, etc. It does contain a strong chickpea flour taste, so if you don't like that, you probably won't care for the flavor of this bread. The original recipe had another method where you add the yeast and water together first and let the yeast proof first before adding it, so I think next time, I'll try doing it that way and see if I can get it to rise a bit more.


Also last night, I started to prep the dough for the gluten-free tortillas that I also found on Pinterest. I rolled them into balls and covered them with plastic wrap and left them in the fridge to roll out and cook for today's snack.

However, this proved to be a frustrating and tedious task. I couldn't use the rolling pin because despite using lots of flour, it kept sticking to the nonstick pin. So, I resorted to using a ton of flour (on the dish, on my hands, everywhere!) and started pushing them out with my hands and fingers, but they still kept sticking and I'd have to start all over again.

I finally got one done! And it looked so pretty! And tasted good, too!

But, then all the others were just as frustrating to roll/push out and started to look like this...

I finally threw in the towel after making three, but I didn't want the batter to go to waste, so I decided to improvise and try to make this Socca recipe. Sooo much easier and so much bigger! Check out the difference (socca on left, tortilla on right).

Because I was adding ingredients from my already-made tortilla batter, I had to improvise. So, below is what I did:

Socca Tortillas
Yields: 4
1 c gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 c chickpea flour
1.5 tsp guar gum
a few pinches stevia powder
1 tsp sea salt + a few dashes
2 c warm water, divided
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2.5 T extra virgin olive oil + extra for cooking

Add dry ingredients (except cumin) to a bowl and mix throughly with your hands. Add 1 c warm water and mix throughly again with your hands. Squish it all up until all the dry ingredients are no longer dry. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave in your fridge overnight. When you're ready to cook them, heat your broiler, and drizzle some olive oil in a 9" or 10" pan that can go in the oven and heat the pan in your oven. While your pan is heating, add another 1 c warm water to the batter, a few more dashes of sea salt, the cumin & 2.5 T extra virgin olive oil. Mix up well with your electric mixer on low. Batter will be liquidy. Once the pan and oven are blazing hot, pour enough batter in the pan to cover the bottom, then pop it in the oven. Bake until the socca starts to bubble and spots on it start to blister and brown. The exact time will vary by your broiler. Mine took about 10-15 minutes each socca. 

Slide the socca out of the pan onto a cutting board to cool while you cook your next one. Cook each socca in the same way. Store in a air-tight container, once soccas have cooled.

Notes: My recipe is complicated, but it gave them this corn-tortilla type-textured. I've never had socca before, so I don't know what the texture is supposed to be like, but the pictures I've seen appear to be harder, almost like tortilla chips. So, if you want that texture, I'd recommend trying the original recipe.

Socca Cheeserito
For lunch, I decide to try these out. I sprinkled a socca with some mozzarella cheese (throw in the microwave quick to melt) , added a few drops of Frank's Original Cayenne Hot Sauce and a dollop or two of sour cream (you could also substitute plain greek yogurt). 

As you can see from the picture, when you fold these in half, they don't stay closed; they tend to start breaking. So, they might not be the best option to try to use as a soft shell for tacos or things of that sort. But, they would make an excellent pizza crust, cut into flatbread/chips with hummus, etc.

Tomorrow, I will attempt gluten-free bagels!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


It's been awhile since I've actually posted some new recipes. I have tons of recipes that I've made with lots of matching beautiful photos, I just can't seem to find the time to post them. It's my get caught up!

For now, I thought I'd post recipes from a book that I've been reading lately on Leptin. It's called, The Rosedale Diet: Turn Off Your HUNGER SWITCH! by Dr Rosedale, M.D. and Carol Colman.

Leptin is a pretty complex issue, but in short, it's the hormone responsible for telling your body that you're full and to stop eating. (among other functions, too)

Chapter Two is titled, "Are You Leptin Resistant? Take This Quiz." They are "yes"/"no" questions and are as follows:

1. What you go on a weight loss diet, do you have trouble losing fat, that is, do you lose pounds but still remain flabby?
2. Do you have trouble keeping weight off after dieting?
3. Are you constantly hungry?
4. Do you crave sweets?
5. Do you wake up hungry at night?
6. Do you have a "spare tire" or an apple shape?
7. Are you losing muscle mass despite the fact that you are exercising?
8. Do you fee stressed out?
9. Have you been diagnosed with high triglyceride levels?
10. Do you have high blood pressure?
11. Have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you are likely to be suffering the symptoms of leptin resistance and could benefit by checking out Dr Rosedale's book.

I borrowed the book from my local library because I was experiencing many of the symptoms and also have read that there may be a link between increased leptin levels and endometriosis.

I, admittedly, only scanned the book and haven't read it in full myself, but it looks to be pretty interesting. I decided to try out some of the recipes from the 28-day meal plan ideas included in the book.

Here are my family's favorites from the book...

This is a healthy version of granola, which is normally laden with carbs and bad fat. Warm spiced nuts, plump sweet blueberries, and cream are a delectable combination and make a fabulous breakfast or snack.

Serves 2
1/2 c sliced almonds
1/2 c hazelnuts, skinless
1/2 c cashews
1/2 c chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of powdered ginger
1 T ghee (clarified butter), melted

1 c blueberries
1/2 c cream

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Mix the nuts, spices & ghee in a medium bowl.
3. Spread the nut mixture on baking sheets & roast for 10-15 mins.
4. Serve warm in bowls, topped w/1/4 c blueberries per person & 1 touch of cream.

Substitutions: We used regular unsalted butter.
To Endo-ize: Use dairy-free/soy-free butter in place of the ghee & dairy-free milk in place of the cream.


Chai Nuts
Grab a handful of these between meals.

2 c cashews
1/2 tsp cardamom
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ginger
2 c walnuts, dry-roasted in cast-iron pan

1. Make in batches to last for the week
2. Preheat oven to 400 F
3. Mix the nuts and spices
4. Roast on a baking sheet in the oven for 10-20 mins
5. Cool and store in the fridge, to avoid rancid oils

Notes: I dry-roasted these on my stovetop over low-medium heat in a nonstick pan, instead of roasting them in the oven. The reason being: I tried the above method with the next recipe (Pumpkin Pecans) and burned the heck out of the nuts at only 10 mins in the oven. I figured this was just easier, since I had to dry-roast the walnuts anyway. Everything turned out perfectly!


Pumpkin Pecans

Grab a handful of these between meals.

2 c pecans
1 tsp melted ghee (clarified butter)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Notes: Sorry I don't have a picture! Again, the method was to roast these, but like I said above, I burned them using that method. Instead, the 2nd time I made them, I just left them raw, threw them in a plastic ziplock bag, added the melted butter (I used regular unsalted butter, to endo-ize use dairy-free/soy-free butter) and pumpkin pie spice, closed the bag and shook it all up! They were delicious!


Mung Dal Soup
The combination of warming spices and filling beans make this a hearty soup for a chilly day. Mung beans are the beans used for bean sprouts, and they are sold at health stores and many supermarkets. Ghee, or clarified butter, is also sold at health food stores. Garam masala is an Indian spice that is available at Asian markets, many gourmet shops, and health food stores.

1 c mung beans
3 T ghee (clarified butter)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2.5 c water
pinch of turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 c chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne

1. Wash the beans well in a colander.
2. Melt the ghee in a large saucepan, add the garlic and ginger, and saute for 2 mins.
3. Add the water, beans, turmeric, and garam masala, and simmer for 1 hr.
4. Add the parsley, salt, and cayenne, puree half the soup, return to the pot, and serve with Mesclun Salad and Basil Vinaigrette (see below for recipe).

Notes: Locally, the only store we could find mung beans at was Fresh & Natural Foods. Again, I used unsalted regular butter, but to endo-ize you'll want to use soy-free/dairy-free butter. This smells amazing when you're cooking it! Oh, and I didn't have fresh parsley, so I substituted 1/4 c dried parsley, which seemed to work just fine. My husband raved about this soup. I, on the other hand, wasn't too keen. It was pretty bland for my liking. I think I would've added more turmeric, garam masala and/or cayenne. Maybe more salt, too. And perhaps fresh parsley would've given it more flavor.


Mesclun Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Serves 2

2 c mesclun greens
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 green apple, thinly sliced
1/4 c chopped almonds
2 tsp grated Parmesan

Basil Vinaigrette:
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 c chopped fresh basil
stevia extract powder to taste
salt to taste

1. Mix the vinaigrette in a blender
2. Add mesclun greens, avocado, apple, almonds, and Parmesan to a salad bowl.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss well and serve.

Note: I had to do a lot of substitutions. My mesclun greens were bad, so I used a combination of romaine and green cabbage. I wouldn't recommend the cabbage, but the romaine worked just fine. For the Vinaigrette, I was out of fresh basil, so again I substituted 1/4 c dried. As you can tell from the photo, this did not work! Next time, I will for sure need to use fresh basil. I used a dash or two of sea salt and about 2 pinches of stevia, which was perfect.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Naked Face Project: Week 2 - Body Hair

This week I focused on body hair. Why do we have it? Does it have a purpose? Is it purely aesthetic?

The location and amount of hair is related to the level of androgens (male hormones) in the individual. Due to a normally higher level of androgen, men tend to have more body hair than women.

*Are key to making faces recognizable.
*Help to identify your feelings. Ex: Raising both eyebrows signifies surprise.
*Reveals your age! Ex: Bushy, gnarly, salt-and-pepper brows: older alpha males. Thin, graceful arcs: young, stylish women. Sparse, light brows: youth. Waxed and tweezed, the brow can advertise good grooming.
*Main function is to prevent sweat, rain & other debris from falling down into the eye socket. The arch shape diverts the rain or sweat around the face. The purpose is so that we can see better and so that our eyes don't get irritated.
*In caveman times, they helped save lives by being able to find shelter or outrun a predator without things getting their eyes to slow them down.
*Shade the eyes from sunlight.
Conclusion: Eyebrows were a vital part of our ancestors lives. However, today they don't as significantly effect us in the same way. You need eyebrows today mainly to make your face recognizable and to help people identify your feelings by your facial expressions. For me, I'll probably continue to pluck my eyebrows, but probably just to have a "clean" look. It's just my personal preference.

Armpit Hair
*Helps prevent chafing
*Retains glandular secretions that are a powerful aphrodisiac, aiding in sexual selection
Conclusion: There really wasn't concrete reasons when I did my research and the above is just speculation. I have shaved my armpits since puberty and haven't had a problem with chafing. Therefore, as a personal preference, I will continue to shave my armpit hair.

Leg Hair
*Are often shaved (primarily by women) because the culture norm perceives it as a sign of youth and beauty.
*Athletes, however, shave to reduce friction, highlight muscular development or to make it easier to get into and out of skin tight clothing.
*Was originally there to help keep humans warm in the winter, but clothing now fulfills that purpose.
Conclusion: It drives me insane that most women spend the time and hassle shaving their legs primarily because they are buying into the cultures "norm" saying it's a sign of beauty. Nonsense. However, I can relate to the reasons for wanting to shave it if you are athlete. Often times, it pulls on the pants. And I like being able to see that I'm defining my muscles. For those reasons, I will continue to shave my legs. Though probably less often in the winter.

Pubic Hair
*Signals sexual maturity or protect the skin from chafing during intercourse
*Retains glandular secretions that are a powerful aphrodisiac, aiding in sexual selection
*Has really interesting and significant uses in ancient times. You can read more about it here.
*Some arguments for modification: Fashion, Personal Hygiene, Religion, Sexual Practice, Tactile Sensation and Tradition.
Conclusion: Pubic hair is a very personal matter and I will therefore not discuss my choices on my blog.

Feet, Navel, Face
*Are more prominent in men than women.
Conclusion: A side effect of PCOS is hair growth, due to hormone levels being out of balance. I, as a PCOSer, have experienced this side effect on various places of my body. When I see it, it serves me as a reminder that my body is suffering from this condition and that there is no cure. It can instantly get me down, if I let it. I don't want any reminders that my body is working less than optimally to God's original creation. Therefore, I shave or pluck all of these hairs.

Information in this post was taken from various sources: Psychology Today, Wikipedia, How Stuff Works, Straight Dope

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Healthiest Options for Sweeteners

Are you so confused by all the variations of sugar out there? I was too. That's why I did my research and created this quick reference list!


Ideally, sugar should be cut completely out of your diet. It feeds Candida, increases menstrual cramping, suppresses the immune system and causes hormone imbalance. Not to mention, is one of the root causes of diabetes and elevated blood sugars.

However, it's highly unlikely that you'll never eat sugar again, so let's find out what the best forms of sugar are. This is not a comprehensive list, though I tried to do my best.

If you have PCOS, you also need to keep in mind that your body doesn't break down sugar like a normal persons body. You have increased insulin resistance and your body will convert sugar straight into fat (usually around your middle) instead of breaking down into energy. Use caution when eating sugar of any kind!

You will see a number after each sweetener's description with the letters GI in front of it. This stands for that particular sugars glycemic index number. The glycemic index is a comparative measurement of the amount of glucose released by a particular food over a 2-3 hour period. Foods that rapidly release glucose rate high on the glycemic index (GI). Foods that slowly release glucose are low on the glycemic index. Ideally, you'll want to keep your glucose level low, so it is slowly released. High glucose levels lead to diabetes and other health issues. Just to give you an idea, a best practice is to keep your total glycemic load under 100 per day.


Natural sweeteners are closer to their whole form than refined sugar and sweeteners. They contain flavors that are deeper and richer than their refined counterparts so your recipes will turn out much better.


  • Agave Nectar - is naturally extracted from the Americana Agave, a cactus-like plant native to Mexico. To produce agave nectar, the leaves are cut off the plant after it has aged 7-14 years. Then the juice is expressed from the core of the agave. The juice is filtered, then heated into a concentrated syrupy liquid, slightly thinner than honey. The color of the syrup depends upon the degree of processing. The clearer the liquid, the less it was processed. Therefore, clear agave nectar is as close to raw and unprocessed and you can get and is preferable to a darker "raw" agave nectar, which is not raw at all. Also be warned that there are few quality controls in place to monitor production, as most agave is coming from Mexico. Also, all natural enzymes are removed to prevent fermenting. All agave nectars dissolve easily and can replace honey, maple syrup or other liquid sweeteners cup for cup. GI: 15-30
  • Barley Malt Syrup - is made by soaking and sprouting barley to make malt, then combining it with more barley and cooking this mixture until the starch is converted to sugar. The mash is then strained and cooked down to syrup or dried into powder. GI: 42
  • Blackstrap Molasses - is a dark, thick syrup made as a by-product of making refined sugar. It contains all of the minerals from the cane juice in a concentrated syrup. Rich in iron and other minerals, molasses has a strong, deep flavor and can be added to breads and muffins or drizzled on top of hot cereal. Look for "unsulphured molasses" which indicates that no sulphur was used in the extraction processes. Also make sure that it's organic! GI: 55
  • Brown Rice Syrup - made from brown rice that has been soaked, sprouted, and cooked with an enzyme that breaks the starches into maltose (aka: malt sugar, which is known to cause spikes in blood sugar). It has a light, mild flavor and a similar appearance to honey, though less sweet. Rice syrup can be substituted one for one for honey or maple syrup. Lundberg Brown Rice Syrup is gluten-free. GI: 85
  • Colas  (and most other sodas) - though cola has a lower GI ranking then some might expect, there are many other reasons to avoid cola, or any type of soda. There is nothing beneficial to the human body inside a can of soda (not the mention we should avoid drinking out of aluminum cans!) GI: 70
  • Frozen Fruit Juice Concentrate - can be used to sweeten fruit pies, crisps, or other desserts - simply thaw and use. Concentrated fruit juices are closer to refined sugar, however. GI: 40
  • Honey - a sweet substance made from plant nectar and acid secretions by the honey bee. About 40% of the sugar in honey is fructose. The source of the nectar determines the color, flavor, and texture of honey. Alfalfa and clover honey are the most common types, though other types can be found also. Honey is sold in liquid or crystallized form, and is available raw or pasteurized. Commercial honey is heated to 150 to 160 degrees F to prevent crystallization and yeast formation. Organic or raw honey has not been heat-treated. With antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and phytonutrients, raw, unprocessed honey is considered a superfood by many alternative health care practitioners and a remedy for many health ailments. Choose your honey wisely. There is nothing beneficial about processed honey. Honey is sweeter than other liquid sweeteners but can be substituted cup for cup for any of them. GI: 30 (refined honey has no nutritional value and has a GI of 75!)
  • Maple Syrup - is made from the boiled sap of sugar maple trees. Forty gallons of sap is needed to make one gallon of syrup. Maple syrup comes in two grapes, A and B. Grade A is lighter and more refined. Grade B is darker, richer and least refined, containing more minerals, such as manganese and zinc. Though it is much more nutritious then refined table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, there are still better choices. GI: 54
  • Sorghum - is a thick, dark syrup similar in flavor to molasses. It comes from the sweet sorghum plant, a grain related to millet that is similar in appearance to corn. The juice is extracted from the plant and then boiled down to a syrup. GI: 50
  • Yacon - is popular for its gentle sweetening quality. Yacon is a distant relative of the sunflower with edible tubers and leaves. It is both naturally low in calories and low in sugars that elevate blood sugar levels. Every part of the plant has been used to help those with blood-sugar disorders. As a prebiotic, yacon is good for digestion, stimulates positive colon health, and helps with the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Yacon helps to regulate friendly intestinal flora, and especially improves the growth of certain probiotics, thus helping to reduce constipation. Yacon root contains significant quantities of potassium and antixoidants. Because of its high antioxidant value, yacon is beneficial in reducing free-radical damage in the body, especially in the colon. It is processed similarly to maple syrup. It tastes similarly to molasses or caramel. GI: 1


  • Amasake - This is an ancient, Oriental whole grain sweetener made from cultured brown rice. It has a thick, pudding-like consistency. It's not easy to find in the U.S. GI: 43
  • Whole Cane Sugar - also called Dried Cane Juice, is made from the dried juice of the sugar cane plant. Many of the minerals from the plant are still present which helps to digest the sugars. Dried cane juice resembles brown sugar in appearance and taste, though is less sweet. It can be substituted for white sugar cup for cup in baked goods. Trade names for this type of sugar are Rapadura and Sucanat, Rapadura being the least refined. GI: 43
  • Coconut Palm Sugar - naturally sweet, nutrient-rich juice that is tapped from the coconut tree and secretes from the coconut blossoms. This sap is low glycemic, diabetic-friendly, contains 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has nearly neutral pH. Raw coconut palm sugar is minimally evaporated at low temperatures for 90 minutes to remove excess moisture and allow for crystallization. Sap nectar is only 16% sucrose. Aka: Coconut Nectar Sugar or Coconut Sugar. GI: 35
  • Date Sugar - is made from ground dehydrated dates. It has similar taste and appearance to brown sugar, but the taste is slightly less sweet. It is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals but doesn't dissolve in liquids. It can be substituted cup for cup in baked goods. Note: date sugar is usually not gluten-free due to the adding of oat flour during processing. GI: 62
  • Evaporated Cane Juice - is often considered unrefined sugar, but juicing is a refining process, and evaporating refines further. Though better than turbinado, cane juice (unevaporated) is a better choice as a sweetener. GI: 55
  • Lucuma -is an exotic fruit once known as the "Gold of the Inca." Lucuma has been honored for its healing, spiritual and flavorful qualities since ancient times. It is low in acid, low in sugar, and contains an excellent source of carbs, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Lucuma has an abundant supply of beta-carotene, niacin and iron, with significant amounts of calcium and phosphorus. Its low sugar content makes it a healthy alternative to sugar for people who have diabetes and other illnesses. It has a sweet and creamy maple-like taste. GI: 25
  • Maple Sugar - is what remains after the sap of the sugar maple is boiled for longer than is needed to create maple syrup. Once almost all the water has been boiled off, all that is left is a solid sugar. By composition, this sugar is about 90% sucrose, the remainder consisting of variable amounts of glucose and fructose. GI: 68
  • Organic Sugar - comes from sugar cane grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. It is usually darker than traditional white sugar because it contains some molasses. It has not been processed to the degree white sugar is processed. GI: 47
  • Turbinado - is sometimes called Raw Sugar but it's not actually raw. It is processed, though not as refined as common white table sugar. Therefore, given a choice between raw and white, choose raw. GI: 65

  • Erythritol - is a naturally derived sweetener that is virtually free of calories and occurs in plants. It is approximately 70% as sweet as table sugar. Usually made from plant sugars mixed with water and then fermented with a natural culture into erthritol. The unique characteristic, not seen in other natural sugars including xylitol, is that erythritol is absorbed directly by the body and is less prone to causing gastric distress or a laxative effect. Studies show that erythritol's strong antioxidant activity may even protect the vascular health of diabetes. GI: 0
  • Maltitol, Maltitol Syrup, Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol, Lactitol, Isomalt - examples of sugar alcohols. They occur naturally in plants, but are usually manufactured from sugars and starches. Sugar alcohols have fewer calories than sugars because they are not completely absorbed by the body. They can ferment in the intestines and cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Xylitol GI: 7
  • Stevia - is derived from the leaves of a South American shrub, Stevia rebaudiana. Stevia is about 300 times sweeter than cane sugar, or sucrose. Stevia is not absorbed through the digestive tract, and therefore has no calories. Stevia does not affect blood sugar levels and is therefore acceptable for people with diabetes or hyperglycemia. Stevia can be found in either the natural sweetener or dietary supplement section of your local co-op or health food store. It comes in several forms: dried leaf, liquid extract, or a powdered extract. GI: 0

Dried Fruit
Make sure that dried fruit has not been preserved with sulfur dioxide or sweetened with sugar or juice. Better yet, dehydrate your own fresh fruit. It takes about five pounds of fresh fruit to equal one pound of dried fruit. When purchasing dried fruit, always choose organic! Store dried fruit in tightly covered glass jars in your pantry. Dried fruits are great as a snack (when paired with a protein like nuts), added to salads/stews/rice/breads/etc or to make nutritious raw desserts or snacks.

  • Medjool Dates (GI: 62)
  • Raisins (GI: 54)
  • Zante currants (GI: 57)
  • Dried Cranberries (GI: 17)
  • Dried Cherries
  • Dried Apricots (GI: 30)
  • Dried Apples (GI: 29)
  • Dried Pears (GI: 63)
  • Dried Figs (GI: 61)
  • Dried Plums (GI: 29)
  • Goji Berries (GI: 29)

Refined sugar has most or all of its natural vitamins and minerals removed during the refining process. These vitamins and minerals are the very nutrients that help to metabolize the sugar you consume. Many health advocated believe that refined sugar is one of the two leading causes of nearly every health ailment known to man. Not only does it have a high GI ranking, but it also is extremely acidic to the body causing calcium and other mineral depeltion from bones and organs. Conclusion: Remove all refined sugars and sweeteners from your pantry and diet!

  • Sucrose/Sugar Cane/Sugar Beets/Table Sugar/White Sugar (GI: 80)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup/Corn Syrup (GI: 75-87)
  • Glucose aka White Bread (GI: 100!)
  • Maltodextrin (GI:150!)

All artificial chemical sweeteners are toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain. Some have been linked to brain tumors in animal studies. When stored at warm temperatures or for long periods of time, they can turn into a known carcinogen. If too much is consumed in a short period of time they can cause symptoms such as nervousness, sweating, feelings of fear, migraines, heart palpitations and a myriad of other symptoms. GI: n/a

  • Aspartame
  • Equal
  • NutriSweet
  • Splenda
  • Sweet 'n Low
  • Truvia
  • Etc

In Conclusion...

For myself (your conclusion may be different based on your health issues) based on how it was processed, the health benefits it offers and its glycemic index number, I'll be sticking to the following sweeteners:

Organic/Raw Unprocessed Honey - use to replace: refined honey
Yacon - use to replace: maple syrup, molasses and agave nectar

Raw Coconut Palm Sugar - use to replace: white and brown sugar
Lucuma - use to replace: maple/butterscotch/toffee flavor, coffee/tea creamers

Stevia - best and should be used before any other sweeteners listed above!

Note: Because Stevia is 300 times sweeter than traditional sugar, you'll want to use the following conversion chart:

1 Tsp Stevia (powered)=1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Stevia=1 Tbsp Sugar
A pinch of Stevia=1 Tsp sugar
1 Tsp Stevia (liquid)=1 Cup Sugar
6 Drops liquid Stevia=1 Tbsp Sugar
2 drops liquid stevia=1 Tsp sugar