Thursday, January 22, 2015

Baby Step #2: Sayonara Sugar & Farewell (Bad) Fats

Okay brothers and sisters. It's time for Step 2!

IF you're following the game plan so far, the GMOs should be gone (or almost gone) from your kitchen. I'm super proud of you! Hopefully, you've noticed more energy and maybe some change on the scale? If not, don't worry. It will come!

This week we'll remove the refined sugars and fats.

I used to love cream and sugar in my java. My husband pointed out to me exactly how many extra calories that was. Now, I use stevia because it's a natural alternative sweetener. I have learned to enjoy it but it isn't for everyone.

If you reach for a bag of sweetener, remember to read the label and avoid maltodextrin!! Some good natural sweeteners include honey, agave, and maple syrup.

As for baking, there are options. If you bake with yeast, you'll need a form of real sugar to feed the yeast. Honey, maple syrup, and agave are all good options. If you're craving quick breads or cookies or any other batter-based baked good, then check out fruit purées like pumpkin, banana, or unsweetened applesauce. Some mashed fruits and veggies can also be used to replace fats, too.

Clean and lean usually, though not always, go together. Good fats are good for you! Fat helps to regulate hormones and lubricate joints. This becomes more important as we age. When eating super lean, adding a little extra virgin olive oil to chicken and rice (and some spices) can help to make it more exciting! You can learn more about the benefits of fats here.

Shortening is not advised. There are some non-hydrogenated versions but they can be pricey. My favorite fats include extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. If you've never tried coconut oil, rest assured it has very little taste to speak of so your dishes won't taste or smell like the tropics. Coconut oil can handle a little bit higher heat than olive oil.

Avocado is a good replacement for butter and cheese. Next time you're jonesing for cheese on your taco, try a dollop of mashed avocado! I've seen, but haven't yet tried, brownies with avocado in place of the butter that's usually called for.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments. Stay tuned for Step 3 and don’t worry about counting calories yet. That's coming.

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