Sunday, August 14, 2011

I don't sugar-coat things.

That statement applies to me in two different ways.  Firstly, I really am an honest person.  I don't believe in euphemisms and white lies -- I tell it like it is (and I'd prefer that people told ME things as they are, too.  If I can dish it, I can take it)!  Any of my friends could tell you that.  Sure, being a nice person is always on my list of priorities...however...if you ask me a question -- any question -- I'm going to say what I think, no matter what.  And it might not always be the answer for which you were looking.

Secondly...I am one of the many people out there who is saying goodbye to that white, grainy stuff and trying to find something healthier to dump in my coffee/cereal every morning!  Okay, okay, I am most definitely not on a sugar-free diet.  Chocolate is one of my absolute favorite foods, and, on a very regular basis, I visit my favorite cafe downtown and order my favorite coffee drink, a tin roof latte.  This drink consists of coffee, milk, chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, and a heck of a lot of sugar.  So yeah, glucose is all good in my world.

However, over the past few years, I have been exploring healthier alternatives.  Why?  Well, there are several different reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is that I am hypoglycemic.  Most of you probably already know what that is, but in case you don't...when someone is hypoglycemic, they need to consume complex carbohydrates every few hours in order to prevent a "sugar attack" (at least, that's what I've always referred to them as).  During a sugar attack, they might get shaky, dizzy, even nauseous.  If I let one go on for long enough,  my muscle coordination and motor skills get kinda effed up.  Oh, and I fell flat on my face once.  That wasn't fun.

These attacks are triggered by two different things:  a)  not eating for a long period of time, or b) consuming simple carbohydrates, such as white, processed grains guessed it, SUGAR.  But hey, I can still eat all the sugary crap I want.  I just need to be armed with a glucose tablet, a piece of fruit, or...something involving whole grains...when the attack comes an hour or so later. 

I've tried various sugar substitutes.  They all suck.  Yes, all of them.  Nearly every single kind I tried was, essentially, a packet of crystallized, sickeningly sweet chemicals with a downright nasty aftertaste.  My most recent sugar-free adventure involved cooking a few things with stevia.  Stevia...well, it definitely doesn't taste good.  It just tastes slightly less awful than all the other sugar substitutes out there! 

Honestly, I prefer healthier forms of sugar.  While refined sugars will give me an attack and sugar substitutes won't do crap for me (and taste disgusting), complex sugars, such as honey, maple syrup, fruit, and agave syrup, actually help me.  And they help you, too.  Since complex sugars take longer for your body to break down, they fuel you for a longer period of time.  In other words, they give you legit energy, unlike white sugar.  I love putting honey in my coffee and tea, and mixing fruit with yogurt, cereal, etc.  Recently, I tried chai tea sweetened with agave syrup, and it was heavenly. 

Seriously, there are so many more alternatives to sugar than that icky stevia!

[stay tuned for some nom-tastic, no-added-sugar recipes!]

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