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I'm someone who's undergone a complete life/self overhaul. I'm now a professional in my dream job, balancing an amazing relationship, a healthy body, a healthy self image, my passions, my family and surrounding myself with good people. It's hard, not gonna lie. But I'm here to help, to inspire and say "you're not alone."

Me, today. 5.2.12. Loose Weight by Finding Hidden Sugar!

teachin last year’s kids!

2 awesometastic things happened today. I was confirmed a spot to teach JA in a Day – a Junior Achievement program where you volunteer substitute teach elementary kids for a day. I’ve done it before and man, it was one of the most memorable times of my life. If you ever want to feel an impact of what you do, try JA in a Day. The kids know it’s coming, they’re so excited, and you are given a complete lesson plan with fun games to teach the kids about real world skills. Has anyone else done JA in a Day or have a program similar to it? Want to try it out? share your stories or ask questions!

Deutsch: NASCAR Corona Series

Vrooom vroom

Perusing a few of my favorite “cheap things to do” sites that consist mostly of massages and facials I stumbled upon what could be one of THE greatest groupons ever! Nascar racing! Oh I bought that thing quicker than a lager turns to pee, called up the place and BAM, I’m racing this Sunday! I can’t wait to don a complete driving suit (that will proooobably be 7 sizes too big) and tighten my grip on the wheel of a racecar going 200 mph around a 1 mile D track. I’m gettin tingly just thinkin about it! Weee!

Yeaaaa, I might be a bit of an adrenaline junkie, getting a rush off of extreme activities. So it got me thinking about natural and induced highs. One that came to mind brought me back to a previous article about sugar. Sugar rushes. We get sugar highs and crashes all the time without knowing it! Why? Because there’s hidden sugar EVERYWHERE! These fluctuations in blood sugar are a big reason of why you feel exhausted at certain times in the day. That then in turn causes you to eat to wake up, or drink more caffeine with more sugar, and they cycle continues.

Spotting added sugar on the food label isn’t easy. Food and beverage manufacturers must list a product’s total amount of sugar per serving on the Nutrition Facts Panel. But they are not required to list how much of that sugar is added sugar. Doesn’t that just feel like lying? Man, irks me every time.

On a nutrition label all ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. So the relative position of sugar in an ingredients list can give you an idea of whether the food contains a lot of sugar or just a smidge. The AHA’s suggested added sugar threshold is no more than 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of sugar) for most women and no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar) for most men.

Loose weight simply by being aware of what you are eating!

Brown sugar crystals

Brown sugar crystals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are a few of the names for added sugar that show up on food labels and a little about how some are made. Empower your weight loss by knowledge!  Copy this list onto a text or note in your phone and refer back to it in the grocery store, avoiding foods with these in it – it’s that easy. (list adapted from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (1)):

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup is corn syrup that has undergone enzymatic processes and is then mixed with pure corn syrup to increase sweetness. High fructose corn syrup is almost pure fructose, averaging around 90 percent after processing is complete.
There has been some controversy surrounding high fructose corn syrup and its role in weight gain, diabetes and other health problems. According to Mayo Clinic, there is no conclusive evidence linking the substance to health problems, though moderation is advised.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is made from the starch of corn. It is largely composed of glucose and is distinct from high fructose corn syrup, which contains higher levels of fructose. Corn syrup is used as a sweetener, thickener and as a humectant to help retain moisture in foods.

Sucrose

Sucrose–also known as table sugar–is derived from glucose, the basic unit of energy, and is of low nutritional value. Table sugar has been linked to obesity, diabetes and other diseases and is a major cause of tooth decay. According to the Animated Teeth website, sucrose causes tooth decay by forming a sticky plaque that feeds Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which then produce lactic acid that eats away at the calcium in teeth. Sucrose, fructose, lactose and all other sugars are also capable of causing tooth decay.

Barley Malt

Made from sprouted barley, barley malt is a natural sweetener that’s about half as sweet as sucrose. Barley malt is processed into syrup through enzymatic processing and then added to food products as a natural sweetener.

Honey

Honey is a sweetener found in many health food products, like granola bars and cereal. Despite its natural origins, honey is high in both glucose and fructose and raises blood sugar levels in a similar manner to table sugar.

Molasses

Unlike other sweeteners, molasses contains several nutrients, such as iron, manganese and calcium. There are several types of molasses, of which the blackstrap variety is best known. It can be made from many sources, a few of which include grapes, dates, carob and pomegranates.

Mannitol

Named after the biblical food “manna,” mannitol is a sugar alcohol made from the flowering ash tree. Mannitol is often substituted for sugar in diabetic food products and has a number other uses in addition to its role as a sweetener.

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