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Posts Tagged ‘vickie dickson’

Food For Thought: A look into the effects of sugar

Thursday, April 2, 2015 @ 11:04 AM
posted by admin

By Vickie Dickson

The devil looks like white powder and he is hiding in your cupboards. I’m not talking about cocaine, or any other street drug. What I’m talking about is sugar. AKA white death.

Do I have your attention? I hope so. The root cause of most disease is inflammation. Sugar is an inflammatory substance.

You may be thinking, “Well, I don’t eat sugar. “

Really? I wouldn’t be so sure. Sugar is hidden in so many packaged foods. Even the so-called “healthy” alternatives are sometimes laden with sugar.

When you’re reading the labels (which I hope you’re doing) 4 grams of sugar = 1 tsp. Check your ‘healthy’ cereal. One brand has 12 tsp of sugar per serving! And it’s supposed to be a healthy choice?

We’ve been duped.

Do you want to get really fired up? Check the “juice” your children are drinking. See? I told you!

It’s time for a revolt and it won’t be easy. Removing sugar from the diet causes horrible withdrawal symptoms but it’s worth it. You’ll feel really, really ill for about 3 days. After that, you’ll start to improve. Within 2 weeks, you will feel better than you’ve ever felt in your life.   I promise. If you can stick with it, you will be glad you did.

Now, I don’t recommend going crazy and removing fruit from your diet. Yes, fruit does contain sugar. The “diet” that I believe in is based on eating whole, natural foods. This type of food is not packaged and sold in the middle aisles of the grocery store.   You’ll find it all around the perimeter. Maybe hit the organic section or the health food store for your nuts and seeds, hearty flours, beans, etc.

Speaking of fruit, smoothies have become quite a craze these days – and for good reason. Smoothies are a great way to make a nutrient dense snack on the go. The trouble is that many of us are drinking a fruit smoothie to start our days, which can lead to a sugar rush and crash, all before noon. I encourage my clients to have a veggie-rich smoothie. Focus on getting as many vegetables as you can into the blender and add a bit of fruit to taste.

What’s in my smoothie? Any combination of the following:

– a raw beet
– 1/2 cucumber
– 2 handfuls of leafy greens
– 2 pitted dates
– 1 banana
– 1/2 c frozen berries of choice
– 1/2 avocado
– slice of fresh pineapple
– 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
– 1 tbsp nuts of choice (avoid peanuts)
– 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

My smoothie always contains 1 tbsp of coconut oil and some sea vegetables or spirulina.

Now that’s a great start to the day! I challenge you to try this. You will be balancing the effects of the sugar by adding many other nutrients AND you’ll have had about 4 servings of veggies in one place. You can’t go wrong.

Back to sugar.   Even if you’re not ready or willing to give it up entirely, simply by reducing it you will really benefit your body. You could eat only whole foods one day and then fall back on your packaged foods every second day. This alone will reduce your consumption by 50%! If you sit down to have a granola bar, eat just half with some veggie sticks or an apple. Voila! You cut it again.

You can win this battle – and it is a battle. It’s a battle for your health and for your dollars. Those boxes of packaged foods are not cheap. If you’d like to learn how to make your own granola bars and snacks, follow my blog, where I add new recipes often. A couple hours of preparation can set you on the right track for the entire week.

One more thought I’d like to leave you with is this: Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and behaviour problems are on the rise in our children. Is anyone considering it’s because of what we’re feeding them? In many cases, they go from a sugary breakfast (often unintentionally) to a sugar snack (perhaps a fruit cup – laden with sugar – and a granola bar) to a sugary lunch (Lunchables anyone?) and on and on.

How can we fill these little bodies with sugar all day long and expect their brains to function well? It just doesn’t make any sense.

It’s Food For Thought.

Vickie Dickson is a Holistic Nutrition Student at CSNN. Follow her at vickiedickson.com

Is chocolate a health food?

Sunday, February 1, 2015 @ 11:02 AM
posted by admin

By Vickie Dickson

Chocolate is a Health Food.

Do I have your attention?

While researching for this article, I came across this set of instructions for eating chocolate:

When tasting chocolate, let it sit in your mouth to release the primary flavours and aromas. Then, chew it a few times to release the secondary aromas. Let it rest against the roof of your mouth to get the full flavour.

Can you taste it? I can! Time to hit the local Health Food Store for some dark, rich, “therapeutic” chocolate.

To be clear, the chocolate that I’m speaking of is dark- the darker, the better. While it may not have the smooth, creamy texture that makes milk chocolate so popular, it lacks the high sugar content. Also, unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate has not been stripped of its beneficial nutrients. It is an acquired taste, but within a short period of time, your palette will adapt and be completely satisfied with a small serving of dark chocolate. I promise.

There are many health benefits that come from eating dark chocolate, some of which are listed below.

  • It is rich in antioxidants and natural compounds that are good for cardiovascular health. The darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidants (milk chocolate has few, if any, antioxidants).
  • Bacteria in the gut will break down and ferment components in the dark chocolate, turning them into absorbable, anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Like aspirin, dark chocolate has a biochemical effect that reduces the excessive accumulation of platelets, which can cause harmful blood clots.
  • The flavonoids in dark chocolate may help the brain after a stroke by increasing cellular signals that shield nerve cells from damage
  • Raw, dark chocolate prevents oxidative damage to blood vessel linings, which effectively relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
  • The fat (cocoa butter) found in raw, dark chocolate is a healthy fat and as such, helps to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream.

Clearly, we are not talking about your mass produced candy bars here. Please leave the Kit-Kats, the Mars Bars and the Oh Henry’s on the shelf.   The chocolate that boasts the most health benefits is the kind that is closest to the natural, raw state of the cocoa bean. The closer to the raw state, the higher the health benefits (like most foods)!

When purchasing raw, dark chocolate, you will find it on the shelf of your local Health Food Store. To receive the greatest health benefits, look for chocolate that is:

  • fair trade
  • organic
  • non GMO
  • high cocoa content
  • low sugar content
  • not artificially sweetened

As with all things, moderation is key.  Two squares of raw, dark chocolate is a serving, not the whole bar!

Happy Valentines Day!

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Posts Tagged ‘vickie dickson’

Food For Thought: A look into the effects of sugar

Thursday, April 2, 2015 @ 11:04 AM
posted by admin

By Vickie Dickson

The devil looks like white powder and he is hiding in your cupboards. I’m not talking about cocaine, or any other street drug. What I’m talking about is sugar. AKA white death.

Do I have your attention? I hope so. The root cause of most disease is inflammation. Sugar is an inflammatory substance.

You may be thinking, “Well, I don’t eat sugar. “

Really? I wouldn’t be so sure. Sugar is hidden in so many packaged foods. Even the so-called “healthy” alternatives are sometimes laden with sugar.

When you’re reading the labels (which I hope you’re doing) 4 grams of sugar = 1 tsp. Check your ‘healthy’ cereal. One brand has 12 tsp of sugar per serving! And it’s supposed to be a healthy choice?

We’ve been duped.

Do you want to get really fired up? Check the “juice” your children are drinking. See? I told you!

It’s time for a revolt and it won’t be easy. Removing sugar from the diet causes horrible withdrawal symptoms but it’s worth it. You’ll feel really, really ill for about 3 days. After that, you’ll start to improve. Within 2 weeks, you will feel better than you’ve ever felt in your life.   I promise. If you can stick with it, you will be glad you did.

Now, I don’t recommend going crazy and removing fruit from your diet. Yes, fruit does contain sugar. The “diet” that I believe in is based on eating whole, natural foods. This type of food is not packaged and sold in the middle aisles of the grocery store.   You’ll find it all around the perimeter. Maybe hit the organic section or the health food store for your nuts and seeds, hearty flours, beans, etc.

Speaking of fruit, smoothies have become quite a craze these days – and for good reason. Smoothies are a great way to make a nutrient dense snack on the go. The trouble is that many of us are drinking a fruit smoothie to start our days, which can lead to a sugar rush and crash, all before noon. I encourage my clients to have a veggie-rich smoothie. Focus on getting as many vegetables as you can into the blender and add a bit of fruit to taste.

What’s in my smoothie? Any combination of the following:

– a raw beet
– 1/2 cucumber
– 2 handfuls of leafy greens
– 2 pitted dates
– 1 banana
– 1/2 c frozen berries of choice
– 1/2 avocado
– slice of fresh pineapple
– 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
– 1 tbsp nuts of choice (avoid peanuts)
– 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

My smoothie always contains 1 tbsp of coconut oil and some sea vegetables or spirulina.

Now that’s a great start to the day! I challenge you to try this. You will be balancing the effects of the sugar by adding many other nutrients AND you’ll have had about 4 servings of veggies in one place. You can’t go wrong.

Back to sugar.   Even if you’re not ready or willing to give it up entirely, simply by reducing it you will really benefit your body. You could eat only whole foods one day and then fall back on your packaged foods every second day. This alone will reduce your consumption by 50%! If you sit down to have a granola bar, eat just half with some veggie sticks or an apple. Voila! You cut it again.

You can win this battle – and it is a battle. It’s a battle for your health and for your dollars. Those boxes of packaged foods are not cheap. If you’d like to learn how to make your own granola bars and snacks, follow my blog, where I add new recipes often. A couple hours of preparation can set you on the right track for the entire week.

One more thought I’d like to leave you with is this: Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and behaviour problems are on the rise in our children. Is anyone considering it’s because of what we’re feeding them? In many cases, they go from a sugary breakfast (often unintentionally) to a sugar snack (perhaps a fruit cup – laden with sugar – and a granola bar) to a sugary lunch (Lunchables anyone?) and on and on.

How can we fill these little bodies with sugar all day long and expect their brains to function well? It just doesn’t make any sense.

It’s Food For Thought.

Vickie Dickson is a Holistic Nutrition Student at CSNN. Follow her at vickiedickson.com

Is chocolate a health food?

Sunday, February 1, 2015 @ 11:02 AM
posted by admin

By Vickie Dickson

Chocolate is a Health Food.

Do I have your attention?

While researching for this article, I came across this set of instructions for eating chocolate:

When tasting chocolate, let it sit in your mouth to release the primary flavours and aromas. Then, chew it a few times to release the secondary aromas. Let it rest against the roof of your mouth to get the full flavour.

Can you taste it? I can! Time to hit the local Health Food Store for some dark, rich, “therapeutic” chocolate.

To be clear, the chocolate that I’m speaking of is dark- the darker, the better. While it may not have the smooth, creamy texture that makes milk chocolate so popular, it lacks the high sugar content. Also, unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate has not been stripped of its beneficial nutrients. It is an acquired taste, but within a short period of time, your palette will adapt and be completely satisfied with a small serving of dark chocolate. I promise.

There are many health benefits that come from eating dark chocolate, some of which are listed below.

  • It is rich in antioxidants and natural compounds that are good for cardiovascular health. The darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidants (milk chocolate has few, if any, antioxidants).
  • Bacteria in the gut will break down and ferment components in the dark chocolate, turning them into absorbable, anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Like aspirin, dark chocolate has a biochemical effect that reduces the excessive accumulation of platelets, which can cause harmful blood clots.
  • The flavonoids in dark chocolate may help the brain after a stroke by increasing cellular signals that shield nerve cells from damage
  • Raw, dark chocolate prevents oxidative damage to blood vessel linings, which effectively relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
  • The fat (cocoa butter) found in raw, dark chocolate is a healthy fat and as such, helps to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream.

Clearly, we are not talking about your mass produced candy bars here. Please leave the Kit-Kats, the Mars Bars and the Oh Henry’s on the shelf.   The chocolate that boasts the most health benefits is the kind that is closest to the natural, raw state of the cocoa bean. The closer to the raw state, the higher the health benefits (like most foods)!

When purchasing raw, dark chocolate, you will find it on the shelf of your local Health Food Store. To receive the greatest health benefits, look for chocolate that is:

  • fair trade
  • organic
  • non GMO
  • high cocoa content
  • low sugar content
  • not artificially sweetened

As with all things, moderation is key.  Two squares of raw, dark chocolate is a serving, not the whole bar!

Happy Valentines Day!

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