As the dawning of a New Year draws closer, many people think over the last year and try to make some resolutions for setting and fulfilling goals for a better life in the coming months. If you’re curious about my goals, you can find them here: 2015 New Years Resolutions.
A lot of New Years resolutions revolve around the idea of being healthier. On January 1st, millions of goal-setters all around the world will embark on journey to better health by joining a gym, exercising, running, and eating healthier. There will be paleo diets, cleanses and detoxes, and cuts made to personal eating plans. One of the biggest changes may be cutting sugar from your diet.
A lot of us have a love/hate relationship with sugar. I know that we are realizing more and more each day how the side effects of sugar consumption are wearing on our health. Calories from sugar are driving an epidemic of obesity and chronic disease. You might already know a lot of the reasons why sugar is bringing you down, but if not, here is an article from an evidence-based website on nutrition.
But…. sugar is delicious.
I have noticed a huge spike in my sweet tooth since becoming pregnant, and it hasn’t left me yet. Because of the risk of gestational diabetes in my family, and also because too much sugar (especially refined sugar from sugar beets) is just plain unhealthy for developing fetuses, I tried my best to limit my sugar intake during pregnancy. Craving pop, I switched the can of cola for carbonated water with a splash of apple juice – and learned to love it!
After my babe was born, she soon developed a case of thrush in her mouth. Her tongue was completely white with yeast buildup, and I tried a wide array of things to help cure the annoying ailment. Our long battle with thrush is another post for another day. In the end, it seemed to be time and my babe’s natural immunity development that helped to rid us of the thrush, but there was one thing that I tried that I noticed a huge improvement from.
I cut out sugar.
Having gone on a bit of a sweet-tooth bender after baby was out and I was feeling sorry for myself, cooped up with a problematic caesarean recovery and rejoicing over the fact that my baby was on the outside now, I forgot that what I was eating was still going to affect my now out-of-the-womb breastfeeding child. Oops. I really feel that the spike in sugar-intake, combined with the antibiotics necessary when you have a C-section, created our predicament with thrush.
So trying everything to make my baby’s tongue turn pink again, I abolished sugar from my diet. I noticed a difference just in a matter of days in how white my little one’s mouth was. You see, yeast feeds on sugar. And sugar is everywhere, making it hard to stop the thrush-ball rolling once it starts.
Alright, so you know the benefits of cutting sugar from your diet. But again, sugar is delicious. I love sweets. I crave them, I want them, and I don’t want to live a life devoid of sweet tastiness. That’s why I was so excited to be offered the chance to try out a wide array of natural stevia products – NuStevia from NuNaturals. In exchange for trying out these products – with no strings attached – I received a fantastic package of flavoured stevia liquids, syrups, powdered stevia and more.
Now, I’m always a bit skeptical when trying sugar-free alternatives. A lot of the options, like aspartame, end up being much worse for you than if you had just gone for the refined sugar. I ran the stevia option by my naturopath when wondering where else to turn for sweet treats, and he gave me the A-Okay to include this natural plant leaf extract in my diet.
The great thing about NuStevia products is that they are completely free of MSG, soy, gluten, milk, sugar, synthetics, artificial colours and flavours, saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, GMO, or artificial sweeteners. The natural flavours (vanilla, orange, lemon, peppermint and cherry) are from pure plant extracts. There are zero calories, zero fat, they’re not bitter like many stevia products out there, and if it’s not on the label, it’s not in the product. Exactly the kind of replacement I was looking for, that I feel is a healthy choice.
So how do you use these sugar-free finds?
As you may already know, I’m not exactly brimming with domestic talents. I can bake, but experience has taught me that if I actually bake something I like, I eat the whole batch within the day. Perhaps not the best habit (even if it’s sugar-free), so I have been leaving the baking alone for the most part. Instead, I’ve been using the Flavoured Stevia Liquids to add some tastiness in simple ways.
One of these ways has been to add some drops of Flavoured Stevia Liquid to whipping cream before whipping it up. I used the Pure Liquid Vanilla Nustevia to sweeten up and flavour the cupcakes for my daughter’s first birthday celebration (which turned out terrible due to my lacking domestic skills and improper recipe following). The sugar-free and tasty whipped cream was definitely the best part about those cupcakes.
My favourite method of using the Pure Liquid NuStevia flavours is to add them to plain yogurt. Having had multiple medical professionals suggest I include more high-fat dairy into my daughter’s diet, I’ve started feeding her 11% milk fat greek yogurt – packed full of protein. All of the yogurts at my supermarket include aspartame, sucralose, or refined sugar in their ingredients. I started eating it with her, and wanted to add something to it to give it some flavour and a bit of sweetness, so I started adding a few drops of the liquid stevia and voila! Delicious sugar-free yogurt! We both eat it all up quickly. My favourite flavour for this is the orange (hands down!), closely followed by the vanilla and cherry-vanilla.
Alright, so this NuStevia stuff is delicious and a healthy choice, but where do you get it?
Well, just for you readers, I have gotten together a fantastic giveaway! The great people at NuNaturals are offering four of you fabulous folk a chance to win a prize pack of NuStevia product. Each of the four (4) prize packs will include ( 1 ) one bottle of the Cherry Vanilla Stevia Liquids, a 50 packet box of our NuStevia White Stevia Powder packets, PLUS a bottle of NEW COCOA SYRUP, & a bottle of the NEW MINT COCOA SYRUP – a retail value of $ 54.00! As if that package isn’t enough, NuNaturals will also throw in a FREE BONUS PRODUCT!
Because you read it here, you will receive a 15% DISCOUNT on all orders placed on the NuNaturals website: www.nunaturals.com . To redeem, enter the DISCOUNT CODE : BLG0615 at the checkout page and receive – 15% off your entire order (excluding other discounts – EFFECTIVE UNTIL JUNE 30, 2015) . Visit the website or the NuNaturals Facebook page for more information about finding and ordering products.
Also, if you’re in the continental US, you get free shipping on any order over $35.
So am I sugar-free now? No, I cannot honestly say that I am. I’ve fallen back onto the sugar-wagon (I’ll never understand how that saying actually works or how to properly use it). But I do what I can to make healthy choices, wherever I can (this year’s holiday treats completely aside).
*Contest open WORLDWIDE. Cannot ship to PO boxes.*