If you love your body, kick these three things to the curb!
- Mel’s weekly food pick:
Gaia Golden Milk
- Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Homemade Golden Milk
In my last post (Nourish Guideline #5: Build imperfection into your day) I offered a little insight into why we human beings crave certain foods…even if we don’t regularly eat them. It’s actually by design!
But don’t stress out about it, because if you are really doing this whole healthy living thing right, it won’t be that often. If it’s every day, I challenge you to take a long hard look at your food choices. If you eat junk, you’ll crave junk. Period.
Let’s talk a little more about junk in the next guideline.
Nourish Guideline #6: Remove all refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats from your diet.
As you learned in Universal Truth #5: Some foods can harm you, sugar, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for your health.
If you feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of removing all of these substances– because let’s face it, they are in a TON of food products– let’s start with the biggest offenders. At the very least, I strongly advise you to kick artificial sweeteners and trans fats to the curb. To understand why, please read this post, to discover the ugly truth about these man made nightmares.
Now, if you are really motivated and want to take it a step further, consider gradually pushing added sugars out of your diet. Yes, I’m talking about white sugar, and the 60+ other cleverly disguised names for sugar.
Don’t get overwhelmed, get informed! Begin by reading food labels. If you spot any of the following ingredients, guess what? Yep…it stands for sugar!
- Agave nectar
- Barbados sugar
- Barley malt
- Barley malt syrup
- Beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane juice
- Cane juice crystals
- Cane sugar
- Carob syrup
- Castor sugar
- Coconut palm sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Corn syrup solids
- Date sugar
- Dehydrated cane juice
- Demerara sugar
- Evaporated cane juice
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose solids
- Golden sugar
- Golden syrup
- Grape sugar
- HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
- Icing sugar
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Palm sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Raw sugar
- Refiner’s syrup
- Rice syrup
- Sorghum Syrup
- Sugar (granulated)
- Sweet Sorghum
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar
Hold onto your head because it just might spin as you scan the labels of foods you commonly enjoy, like pasta sauce, yogurt, and barbecue sauce. Added sugar is most likely hiding out.
Is there ANY form of sugar that’s OK to eat Melanie?
Look, I get it. Sometimes you crave a little sweet! When I’m in the mood for a little treat, I whip up a batch of my Chocolate Peanut Butter “Pudding” or Almond Butter Buckeye Bites— both are made with raw honey. So, I’m totally cool with more natural forms of sugar such as pure maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, dates, coconut sugar, coconut nectar, or raw honey.
If you must add a little sweet, reach for one of these lower glycemic sweeteners and please keep your portions small (i.e. 1 teaspoon or less; 1 date). You could also sweeten your foods more naturally with a sprinkle of cinnamon or green leaf stevia powder.
As you continue putting more of the good stuff in your body (Earthfoods, Earthfoods, and more Earthfoods), you will notice a subtle shift in your palate and your preference for less sweet will become very evident.
I can’t wait to receive your email: “Hey Melanie, it’s been about three weeks since I eliminated added sugars from my diet. At first it was really tough and I didn’t think I could do it. The other day I broke down and helped myself to a chocolate chip cookie at work. Guess what? It was so sweet, I couldn’t even finish it! Never thought I’d see the day…” (actual email I received).
I’m waiting…because if you do the work, I guarantee it will happen. Your body knows what it needs and what it doesn’t. If you give it the golden opportunity, it will ALWAYS lovingly and eagerly adapt to what is best for you.
Listen, at the end of the day it is your choice to eat foods with artificial sweeteners, trans fats, and added sugars. No one is holding a gun to your head telling you to abstain. You have a choice. You have the freedom to eat it or to tap into your amazing ability to crave foods that will serve you for years to come.
Your choice, my love.
Mel’s weekly food pick:
Gaia Golden Milk
First, what exactly is Golden Milk?
Golden Milk is another name for “turmeric milk.” It is a highly anti-inflammatory combination of either fresh or dried turmeric, spices, and milk. The mixture is heated and sweetener is often added, although I enjoy mine without because the flavor alone is amazing.
I prefer to make my Golden Milk from scratch (see my recipe below). It takes only 15 minutes to prepare, saves money, and allows you to control what goes in it.
If you are pressed for time, I recommend Gaia Herbs Golden Milk. A convenient powder made from organic turmeric root, cardamom seed, ashwagandha root, vanilla bean, and black pepper. It’s sweetened with date palm fruit, which adds negligible sugar (less than 1 gram per serving). Mix one teaspoon with your favorite unsweetened warm milk. Enjoy!
Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
I’ve lost track of the number of people over the years who’ve shared just how little time they take for themselves. In fact, most take ZERO! Some wear it proudly like a badge of honor, while others are quite embarrassed. They tell me how many hours they work each week and the number of activities their children are involved in. One woman I spoke to the other day works two jobs and over 70 hours a week to make ends meet!
But when I ask about them— specifically “how do you take care of YOU?”— all I get is a blank stare, followed by a: “Time for me? Yeah right!”
If this sounds like you, I understand your reality might not change (i.e. you still have bills to pay and your children still need you), but you can choose to carve out a little time just for YOU.
That’s where Golden Milk comes in. This soothing tonic is filled with anti-inflammatory compounds found in fresh turmeric and ginger, with a hint of cinnamon and pepper. Remember, pepper serves to increase the absorption of curcumin, which is the main active ingredient in turmeric.
Set aside 10-15 minutes in the evening, pour yourself a cup of Golden Milk (treat it like a special occasion by using a special mug or tea cup), put your feet up and bask in the wonder of the present moment while you sip on this beautiful, healing orange beverage.
As you wind down from a hectic day, you deserve to do a little something good for your body. Don’t you think?
Remember, If you don’t make the time, you’ll never take the time.