My August newsletter just went out and it has lots of info about exciting changes, my upcoming cooking class (sign up and join us!) and…. salads. Yum. Thought I’d share with you here. If you like what you see, join my mailing list and I’ll send you more helpful articles and delicious recipes.
Monthly Archives: August 2010
I realize that how I answer this question has the potential to make me wildly unpopular. And I’m OK with that. I’m sure that’s clear from this headline. The comparison to the devil may sound a tad extreme, but I say that because diet soda makes you do things that you didn’t intend to do in the first place. It tricks you. Confuses you. And sets you up to fail. I’ll explain…
Artificial sweeteners trick the body into thinking that sugar is on the way. Even just the thought of sweetness triggers a whole set of hormonal and metabolic reactions to get the body ready for incoming sugar. But what happens when the sugar isn’t delivered? And instead, what’s incoming is just this foreign substance that to your taste buds tastes like sugar, but that your body doesn’t know what to do with? Dr. Hyman talks about it in more detail in his blog post and compares what happens to Pavlov’s dog experiment. He trained dogs to connect the ringing of a bell with food. By the end the dogs were salivating just at the sound of the bell in anticipation of being fed. So here, the artificial sweetener (aspartame, saccharin…) is the bell. The body prepares itself for incoming calories … but there are none. The body goes, “Where’s the sugar?!?!?!” It’s gotten all ready for it. And just like Pavlov’s dog’s, now it wants it. And there in lies the connection between diet soda and weight gain. You see, because it makes you do bad things like eat an entire bag of cookies. Because you’re looking for that sugar.
Studies show that the chemical reactions these sweeteners create in the body actually stimulate appetite and can cause you to eat more food overall. Studies done on rats also show a drop in core body temperate meaning their metabolism slowed down (Eek!). So, yes, you might be saving a few calories in that one soda, but the important thing is – what is it making you do later?
My point here is not to ruin your day. I’m really sorry if I did. It’s just to echo what Dr. Hyman says at the end of his post: go ahead and have a little sugar. One packet of sugar is about 10 calories. If you need a little sweet, just use that instead of the yellow one. Stop tricking your body. It’s mean. That’s all.
I made this raspberry walnut quinoa-meal a few weeks ago for breakfast and since then it’s all I’ve wanted for breakfast. I’ve tried it several ways now reheating leftover quinoa with a little almond milk over the stove or in the microwave and then adding whatever is around that sounds good. I’ll add berries if I’ve got them. Or just stick with the more reliable stuff like walnuts, raisins, unsweetened coconut like in the picture here. Add a little cinnamon. Drizzle some honey over the top and OMG you’ve got something that looks way too fancy for the weekday. But you just made it in about two minutes in your kitchen. It doesn’t get any better than that right there. It’s Wednesday, go for the gourmet! Take the two minutes and splurge. It might be your only shot all day (yikes), so take it. Start it off better than everybody else. And enjoy it.
Cook some quinoa early in the week and make enough so you’ll have leftovers.
Spoon some leftovers in a cereal bowl. Add enough almond milk (soy, coconut or cow’s milk works too) to moisten the grains and heat in the microwave for a minute, or until its warm. Add fruit, nuts, raisins, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg… go crazy. Whatever sounds good to you will be delicious. Drizzle honey or agave nectar on top or sprinkle on a little sugar. The one below was with red quinoa. It tastes the same, but the grains turn out a little bigger and less mushy than the white kind.