The Bitter Side of Sweet: Diabetes & Artificial Sweeteners

Diabetes – such common a condition in today’s society that I doubt it even needs an introduction.

In a nutshell, diabetes is the mismanagement of the body’s ability to control blood sugar. In most cases this can occur in one of two ways – or “types”:

Type 1 – an autoimmune condition
-The body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin
-NO method of prevention
-NOT brought on by lifestyle

Type 2 – a metabolic disorder
-The body’s inability to use the insulin it produces
-CAN BE preventable
-CAN BE brought on by lifestyle

For type 2 diabetics, the cells of the body are not responding to insulin – otherwise known as insulin resistance. The role of insulin is to lower blood sugar levels by regulating the rate in which glucose is taken up by the cells of the body. Insulin resistance can develop over time when the body is exposed to high levels of sugar in the diet that it just simply cannot keep up.

So naturally one might think that by replacing sugar with zero calorie man made chemically sweetened toxic crap such as Splenda or Aspartame, one may be better equipped to manage their blood sugar, right?

Wrong.

Our brain is hardwired to associate sweet with calories. When the calories don’t show up, our inherent biological reaction is to go and find them- so in other words, our brain quite literally sends us on a hunt for sugar (i.e. cravings!).

This reaction (and subsequent junk food feast) directly contributes to insulin imbalance and resulting blood sugar fluctuations, all the while increasing fat storage. Yep, you heard that right – WEIGHT GAIN. Another function of insulin is to control fat storage, so if your insulin levels are high, it is also likely you will have an easier time gaining weight and a much more difficult time losing it.

So the next time you think that you are doing yourself a favour by reaching for that zero-calorie food or drink, remember that even though they may not technically contain sugar, they can still have the same effect on blood sugar that actual sugar does, or worse. These charming chemicals can also tend to come with a whole slew of additional gnarly side effects including nausea, headaches, breakouts and mood disorders.

Not so sweet now, huh?

 

Guest post by Alex Nucci

3 Nutritionist Approved Fast Foods

Ok folks, here is it, the question that I know you are dying to have the answer for- ‘where can I get healthy(ish) fast food?”

Before I answer, I feel compelled to preface my suggestions with this:
• fast food is ‘fast’ for a reason… just stew on that for a minute
• you can’t control the quality of ingredients in these products, so if you are the type who really cares about this, like I do, buyer beware.
• Nothing and I mean NOTHING, can replace home cooked meals…so with that said, here are 3 go-to fast foods you could grab in a pinch…key word here is ‘pinch’.

1. Starbucks Protein Bistro Box. I like this because it is simple. Hard boiled eggs, cheese, fruit and a pita. It’s nothing fancy or overly processed; it’s effortless ingredients for a quick and easy snack.

2. Opa! If you haven’t jumped on the Greek train than I highly recommend you start now. The Mediterranean flavours will whisk away your taste buds to warmer climates- hopefully inspiring you to cook more of these flavours at home. For now, Greek fast food restaurants are easily found in every town. Choose a chicken or lamb, rice and a beautiful Greek salad and enjoy knowing you have kept French fries and nuggets off your waistline.

3. Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad. My suggestion here is to skip the dried cranberries (and the pecans if you are up to it) and only use one of the two packs of dressings they give you. What is left? Fresh salad, chicken, blue cheese and apple; quick and easy for those on the road or crunched for time

Remember, fast food can pack on the pounds or if chosen smartly can be a quick go-to once in awhile. The trick is to not let yourself get too hungry, otherwise you will end up making a poor choice out of desperation.

So if you are like me and want to learn some mad skills in nutrition or want to lose some of that unwanted fat, check out my new book Your Weight Loss G-Spot!

Water, What You Need To Know

When we think of a healthy lifestyle two key factors often come to mind: good nutrition and exercise! There is no debate that these are crucial components in overall health and well-being. But if it’s so easy, how come so many of us still feel sick, have low energy, and are overweight?

Unfortunately there is no “one” answer. Healthy eating is often viewed as a confusing and scary concept for a lot of people. In today’s world of pesticides, over-processing and tricky marketing, even the people with the best of intentions have a tough time making healthy choices. The good news is, every small change helps. Education is power and the more we learn, the more we can do to become the healthiest version of ourselves.

But what if I told you there is a key element of nutrition that is often overlooked? It’s extremely easy to implement, accessible almost everywhere, and best of allcompletely free!

WATER

H2-Woah!

One of the easiest changes to adapt into a healthy lifestyle is to ensure we are adequately hydrated.
For many people, the simple act of drinking enough water is not viewed as enough of a priority.

But what makes water so important? Let us count the ways!

You ARE water!

Our blood is made up of mostly, you guessed it, water! Your brain is nearly 90% water, and every single cell of your body is made up of water! It’s no wonder we need the stuff to function properly!

It keeps you quick!

Since your brain is mostly water, keeping it hydrated helps improve concentration and alertness, improving energy and reducing fatigue.

Don’t forget to flush!

Water helps flush out wastes and toxins through urination (and sweat) which helps the immune system stay strong and ward off illness!

It helps you poop!

Water aids in the digestive process as well as keeps stools lubricated and easy to pass! Come on, everybody loves a good poop!

It helps keep you beautiful

Water keeps the skin hydrated keeping it soft and smooth and wards off unwanted blemishes and wrinkles – you don’t want to dry up and turn into a prune!

This is just a short lists of the benefits of adequate water consumption. The benefits of water are truly endless.

Of course, nobody wants to keep a running tally on how many cups they drink in a day (who has time for that?) I find the easiest way to keep track is to purchase a 1L water bottle and aim to finish it at least once to start, gradually working your way up to one or two refills per day.

Plain old water too boring? Spice it up with a squeeze of lemon, some fresh mint, cucumber slices or fresh berries!

Drink up my friends!

– Guest blogger Alex Nucci (nutritionist)

And to that, I say, stay hydrated!

Read about Alex’s other post on Breakfast Fuel here

Picture source

July Crunch Challenge 2015

Remember this contest from last year? The July Crunch Challenge is back! From July 1 to 30, please join me in completing this challenge, just in time for that summer body! I dare you!

crunch challenge

To qualify, please complete the amount of crunches stated in the picture above every day, and report back DAILY by either:

  • Commenting under this blog post,
  • Using the hashtags #JulyCrunchChallenge, #OakvilleNut, #StrongNut and stating that you’ve completed the amount per day on any of these pages:
    • https://www.facebook.com/OakvilleNutritionist
    • https://www.facebook.com/StrongNutritionandWeightloss
    • https://twitter.com/oakvillenut
    • https://twitter.com/strongnutt

Winner will get two free 60 minutes consultation for nutritional advice with me, can be on phone or in person! (worth $200 total)

Doesn’t cost anything to join, so let’s do it! :)

Cranberry Smoothie

Cranberry smoothie – perfect for the holidays

Cranberry Smoothie picture

modified from All Recipes 
Serves 1

Ingredients:
½ cup almond milk (unsweetened)
½ banana
¼ cup frozen mixed berries
¼ cup fresh cranberries
1 scoop unflavoured protein powder
½ cup water (or more, if desired)
¼ cup spinach

Directions:
Blend almond milk, banana, mixed berries, and cranberries in a blender until smooth; refrigerate for an hour to chill.