TGIF! As the weeks keep ticking off, Alex’s graduation date is getting closer and closer. I’m almost too excited for words. The other thing that’s exciting is that I just have one more Friday left of work and then I’m on vacation for three weeks! Woo-hoo! I can’t wait. I’ve never had three weeks off in a row. I’ve got some things planned during that time — including the often-talked-about trip to Missouri to give my Man Boy a hug — but the majority of the time off will be hanging out. I hope to get some extra Vitamin D (Can we store it up for the summer) and maybe get some yard work done, perhaps a little reading… but I digress as my mind wanders.
Friday Fun Fact:
So last Friday I didn’t include a Fun Fact because I was offering a special tribute to my late father-in-law. (You can read it here.) This week the Fun Fact is about my most dreaded subject… (enter scary music here) SUGAR! I’m not sure if it’s a dreaded subject, but perhaps a difficult food for me. I’ve talked about my sugar addiction, my battle with it and chocolate, and the fact that I’d been sugar free during the San Diego getaway and then for weeks afterwards (okay, maybe it was days rather than weeks — or maybe it was WEEK). I haven’t had anything dastardly sugary though. Gone are the cookies, the candy, the sweet treats forever. I haven’t had anything of the sort since before the end of June. So enough about me and my struggles and let’s get on to the facts.
In an article written by Dr. Fuhrman, he says that in 2009 the American Heart Association reported that on average, a typical American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, and teens 34 teaspoons each day. Now, I’m not sure what a “typical American” is, but even when I was eating at my worst, I don’t think I took in that much sugar. But who really knows. It’s not like I was measuring my sugar intake.
Humans like sweet foods. Primates are the only animals that can taste sweetness. And that would be fine if all we ate was fruit to satisfy our sweet tooth, but instead we turn to table sugar, honey, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, maple syrup … and the list goes on. You get the picture. Why don’t we just eat fruit then? Remember this Fun Fact that I shared about the dopamine effect?
Sugar lacks nutrient value and, through the body’s chemical reaction to process it, has been linked to different forms of cancer. Fruit is rich in nutrients and is health promoting. Berries promote brain health and have anti-aging effects. Apples have loads of fiber and fill you up. Citrus fruits decrease digestive tract cancer risk. These foods are all sweetened by nature and are good for us.
A little won’t hurt:
So I say, Shoot! I’m eating so much better than I ever have, so a little bit of sugar once in a while won’t hurt me right? That’s been my excuse previously for my once-a-week latte (which was reduced from a daily, sugar-sweetened chai tea lattes) that has at times slowly morphed into a daily decaf soy latte. And then I give them up for a while and the saga goes on. Over this last weekend, I was discussing my sugar dilemma with H³ and he shed great light on the subject. I just couldn’t reconcile in my mind what was wrong with my thinking. I don’t eat ice cream (dairy). I don’t eat chocolate bars & cookies (dairy & eggs). Why not have soy milk in my Teeccino or my cup of decaf coffee? What’s wrong with the occasional iced chai tea latte? Handsome Healthy Hubby turned the light bulb on in my head. I wouldn’t smoke just one cigarette a week. I know smoking is bad for me, causes cancer and is, in general, icky. I wouldn’t light up on a Saturday night when I’m out with friends just to relax and have a smoke, right? Why do I do something similar with a product that is in a lot of our foods? BECAUSE IT TASTES GOOD, I say!
So here I am again, on my sugar bandwagon. I’ve hopped on. From today on out, there will be no more sweetened soy milk in my latte. I will make my own almond or hemp milk at home, using dates to sweeten it. When we go out for our Sunday coffee date, it will be herbal tea, hot or iced. Can I let go of my nut butter & honey on toast for an occasional snack? Ugh! That might be harder. I think those are the last two sweet things that I need to put to rest. As I’m sitting here at the keyboard, I’m having an argument with myself that honey isn’t really a sugar. But didn’t I just, lines above ^^, write that it is? It has the same glycemic effect on our pancreas and is essentially a sugar, even though it is “natural.” Maybe it will be one thing at a time on this subject matter. I will have further discussion with myself about this later. For now, I’m making a commitment to no further sugar sweetened products. Just like I said no to meat and dairy, I’m saying no to sugar. Done. Now, that wasn’t so bad. Phewf!
Now, on to the recipe for today.
Hemp Almond Nutri-Milk:
<<insert almond hemp milk picture>>
(As an aside, I somehow either lost my picture of my homemade milk or never took one, but left a space for it when I wrote today’s post. The picture below was “borrowed” from the Dr. Fuhrman recipe index.)
Click on the picture to be taken to the recipe.
I made this yummy hemp & almond milk when I got back from San Diego after having it there at breakfast. In my effort to avoid sugar (it’s in most shelf-stable and refrigerated nut milks — even the plain varieties), I will make time to whip up some homemade milks. This particular recipe works well on oatmeal, as a topper to a thick green smoothie, and it even was good in my tea, though it isn’t strained so it’s thick and settled on the bottom of the cup. You don’t want to keep it too long in the fridge. Max is about three days. A great way to store nut milk is to put it in canning jars, leaving a little room at the top for expansion, and pop it in the freezer. It’s very tasty! And because you use dates to sweeten it, it’s healthy all around. Hemp seeds are full of your Omega 3s and you want to get a good dose of them (or chia and flax) each day, so why not get them in your milk?
Weekly Wrap Up:
Well, that’s it for the week. I hope you try something new this weekend. I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for me, but I’m sure it will be fun. Maybe another hike with Daddy Long Legs! We’ve got to take advantage of this great weather when it’s here. It doesn’t last too long in this part of the country. Thanks for joining me today and I’ll see you back here on Monday.