Monday, February 22, 2010

Splenda: Not So Splendid.... :(

Hi All! I am SO excited about Today's blog, because I didn't write it! :) I asked my good friend Jen to write about her learnings from the Boot Camp Nutiritional Seminar becuase I had gotten so much out of it a few months back and could use a refresher! Take it away Jen-

As some of you know, I decided to submit myself to the torture of a bootcamp class that Chelsea had told me about to get in shape for my upcoming wedding this September. A part of the bootcamp is a nutrition seminar and a grocery shopping trip to Vons and Trader Joes. I thought I already ate pretty healthy, but our instructor (Jessica) opened my eyes up to so many bad things I hadn't realized I was putting into my body!

One thing I learned is to treat your body like it deserves to be treated. If you put crap in your body, it is going to run like crap. If you put good things in your body, it is going to run smoothly and you are going to feel great. I didn't realize how true this was until looking at my food journal and keeping track of how I felt throughout the day after eating certain things.

My first sad moment was when I asked Jessica about splenda and my Coffee Mate Sugar Free-Vanilla Creamer that I use as a staple every single morning in my coffee. Apparently "splenda" is the trade name for "sucralose". SAD! Splenda is basically sugar modified by adding chlorine atoms. The Coffee Mate on the other hand had corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil as well as a bunch of other things I couldn't pronounce. Moral of the story: don't buy things that have ingredients you are unfamiliar with or that have fake sugars. :( So sad....The good news is, there are alternatives without making your coffee too miserable. At Henry's or Whole Foods they sell coconut milk creamers (hazelnut and regular). Not the same as my beloved coffee mate, but make my coffee milky. I use stevia packets now instead in my coffee as well.

On the same topic of splenda was my favorite way to make myself consume more water: crystal light to go packets. Found out that this is another no no in the land of eating clean. My instructor had a great alternative though that I have switched to and continue to get my eight glasses a day. Cut up fresh lemons at the beginning of each week and put them in a tupperware. Put three to four lemon wedges in your water bottle along with six to eight drops of the stevia that is in liquid form. It tastes like lemonade and is zero calories!! The liquid stevia can be purchased at Henrys or Whole Foods and comes in a dropper bottle.

Yogurt was another one of the things that was shot down by my instructor. If you look at the sugar content or ingedients in any of the light yogurts (Light N Fit, Vons brand light, eating right, etc.) there are many grams of sugar as well as things like aspartame. Switch to Greek Yogurt which is full of protein (sometimes up to 20 grams a serving depending on what brand you buy!) and add some berries and agave nectar (which tastes like honey) to sweeten it up a little bit. Fake sugars make you crave more fake sugars and also increase your desire for salty foods believe it or not!? Who would have thought.... During my first couple days of cutting out my light yogurt, splenda, and coffee mate I really did notice that I wasn't wanting my afternoon salty snacks...
I could go on forever with everything that I learned, but so I don't end up writing a novel I will list my top ten favorite pieces of advice I have picked up on:
1) Try to grocery shop the same time every week and at least one to two times a week at that. Go on a day where you know you can get home, wash and chop all of your fruits and veggies, and prepare a few meals for the week. I make a big batch of steel cut oatmeal now at the beginning of the week and put my individual servings in little tupperwares topped with frozen berries so that every morning I can grab one, nuke it for 1 minute in the microwave and BAM! Healthy breakfast done.
2) Pack a cooler if you are going to be gone all day. Then you will be less tempted to stop at the drive thru on your way home from work
3) NEVER grocery shop hungry. Eat something before you go so you don't spend too much mula
4) Breakfast should be 25% of your daily calories believe it or not. Dinner should be your smallest meal and try to keep it around 300 calories. Do not eat within three hours of going to bed if you can help it
5) Best bread/tortillas to buy are Ezekial brand or Sonoma Tortillas from Trader Joes. Ezekial brand is all natural and contains many good nutrients for your body.
6) Buy clear containers and stock them with pantry essentials like almonds, roasted vegetable chips, steel cut oats, ezekial pasta, kashi cereal, etc. Then tape the label with nutrition content on the side. You can easily see what you need to stock up on at the grocery store the next time, and place the proper measuring device into the container so it is a no brainer. For example; a serving of almonds is 1/4 cup and is 160 calories. I keep a 1/4cup measuring cup in the bin with them and know I can do one scoop into a ziplock and I am good to put it in my lunch box.
7) Best veggie burger I have found: Dr Praegers (Found at trader joes). Put on a sandwhich thin with a piece of low fat cheese and it reminds me of a mcdonalds cheeseburger!! Yum!
8) Buy organic everything you can afford, but most importantly things you bit into: berries, apples, bell peppers, pears, etc. Okay to skip organic prices and get regular if has outer layer such as oranges, bananas, grapefruits, etc.
9) Instead of soy milk, buy almond milk. My favorite is the unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze brand by Blue Diamond. 1 cup has only 40 calories!! So delicious mixed with kashi cereal. Found usually in the baking aisle at grocery stores.
10) Try to eat as clean as possible. Fill your day with in season fruits and vegetables and feel more energized and slender within weeks! Costco sells 100 calorie packs of hummus now which is great to throw in a lunch box with some cucumber slices. Pack an apple and a tbsp of almond butter. Smart and Final sells to go ramikins (like what you put your salsa in at Rubios....) and i use them daily now to put salad dressing, serving of almonds, tbsp of almond butter, my special coconut milk creamer, etc. so i have no excuses when I am at work to not use my healthy alternatives.
I'm doing my best to switch to anything organic that I can afford and do away with my old habits of just throwing a lean cuisine in my work bag and calling it a meal. Preparing your meals on Sundays before your week begins really makes a huge difference and you will find that you have more time to spend with your friends or honey if you have prepared, pre-portioned meals at your fingertips. I have already lost five pounds in four weeks and feel better than ever. You can too!

No comments:

Post a Comment