Tag Archives: Stevia

Strawberry Sherbet, hCG Friendly

Here is a great recipe for hCG, hCG maintenance or anyone looking for a cool refreshing snack.  Enjoy!  Just in case you thought you couldn't enjoy "ice cream" on hCG.  

One of the keys to successfully doing hCG and staying on the program is not feeling cheated.

I've been helping people doing hCG for 7 years now.  For me, the answer to being 80 lbs over weight was hCG.  I had tried several options that didn't work before.   I gained weight as an adult having babies and just not eating right.  Then it really got out of hand with some health issues and medication.  No matter what I tried it would not budge.  I had adopted a very healthy life-style, exercised and decided I was healthy and overweight.  At that size - I just didn't feel good and was always looking for answers.  Along came hCG which solved 1 problem, getting rid of the weight.  The 2nd problem was keeping it off.  That has been my journey.  I've learned what foods I can and cannot have and I've learned it might take a couple of years to heal so that I can eat without gaining weight.  If you have thought about hCG, give us a call.  Our products and service are top notch and we support you all the way.

Add to Plan to Eat

Strawberry Sherbet, hCG Friendly

 

This is a great cool refresher for anyone.

Course: Dessert, Frozen

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 8 oz frozen strawberries
  • 8 drops vanilla Stevia extract
  • 14 cup water more or less as needed
  • ice as needed

Directions

  1. Place strawberries, water and stevia in blender and blend until smooth. You can add more or less water and ice to your liking. Can make about 2 cups.
  2. Optional, splash of lemon juice. Or use Orange stevia extract.
  3. When not on hCG you could use coconut cream, coconut milk, nut milks, or regular milk in place of the water.

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The Good, The Bad, and the Tasteless of Beverages Part 2

Healthy drinks. What makes something good or bad for you? In other words, what makes a beverage supporting for your body or not?  There are many drinks on the market “claiming” to be healthy for you.  Are they really?  Can you trust the labels?  No.   Beside I can't even pronounce most of the words on some of these commercial beverages.  Why would I want to drink a chemical storm?

Now here is where it gets a little tricky.  Don't believe everything you hear.  Always look at the ingredients. I can't name all the products for a couple reasons. First, there are just too many and second, I don't want those big fishes coming after me.  They hold fast to the right to claim nutritious and healthy.   This is a follow up article from my post Healthy Drinks Part 1.  So if you missed reading that, go check it out for some supporting beverages.

Sweeteners and Calories

First of all - zero is not really zero (remind you of algebra?).  If you are going to market electrolytes, which are salty tasting, you need to add sweeteners and flavors.  Many sweeteners don't even have to be listed in the ingredients.  You have your sugar which can come from genetically modified beets or any number of the artificial sweeteners by their many names.  A popular one is sucralose and it is an artificial sweetener.  They are not broken down by the body and all artificial sweeteners should be avoided.  You can’t have something for nothing – it doesn’t exist.  If you actually get something with a good healthy sweetener like stevia – you will pay a lot more for it and if you are not, then you are not getting just stevia.  Stevia is a healthy no calorie sweetener made from a plant in South America.  I actually grow the plant in my yard and those leaves are rather sweet and tasty.

Did you know aspartame, one of the many artificial sweeteners, has known side effects that include headaches, anxiety, abdominal pain, nausea, heart palpitations, and irritable bowel syndrome among other unpleasant things?  Fake sugars increase your cravings for carbs and do not benefit you in anyway – even if you have diabetes.  In fact, it is worse for you.

Natural Flavors

Then you have your natural flavorings which might make your head spin if you knew where they came from. Natural doesn't always mean it is good for you or that you would even want it. If you really want to know more Lemonade by savit keawtavee at FreeDigitalPhotosabout so called 'natural flavoring' check this article out.

Sports Drinks

Electrolyte drinks were designed to hydrate you.  Electrolytes keep your body functioning as it should.  Do you really need an electrolyte drink full of refined salt and sugar and food coloring?  No you don’t.  In my next post I’ll share some homemade electrolyte drinks that will outshine any commercial versions.  It takes a good 60 minutes of high intensity training to really even need to supplement with electrolytes.  If you're not going hard at marathon training, chances are you're just filling up on unnecessary sugars, carbs, and calories.  Looking at the label, most of them don't resemble healthy drinks at all.

Coconut Water is becoming very popular as an electrolyte drink.  It has more potassium than four bananas and is very hydrating.   It is called Mother Nature's Sports Drink because it is naturally full of electrolytes.  Most brands have not added artificial ingredients. But always check your labels.  You don’t need to spend your money on this on a regular basis.  Many packaged coconut waters are loaded with more sugar than you need and most don’t actually contain the amount of potassium listed on the label.

Fruit Juice

Fruit juice counts as a serving of fruit doesn’t it?  No…UNLESS you are juicing it yourself fresh.  The stuff you buy in the store is pasteurized and there isn’t much nutritional value left.  Many of them contain high fructose corn syrup, sugar and fake sugars.  No value here.  What about store bought OJ – a staple of breakfast?  Companies will often add chemicals and flavors back into OJ during the pasteurization process, just to make it that much more appealing to the taste buds. It all comes down to sugar: one study in 2008 found that drinking just one glass of orange juice per day increased a person's risk for diabetes by 24 percent.  You are not off the hook by buying sugar free juice either.

Sodas

Don’t even get me started here.  I can’t find one redeeming quality to soda.  Avoid diet sodas like the plague they are.  A recent study followed 2,500 New Yorkers for 10 years. Those who drank diet soda every day were more likely to have a stroke, a heart attack, or even die from a cardiovascular disease.  Another showed that people were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Powdered Drink Mixes

Powdered beverage mixes - you know those neat little packages.  Read the ingredients.  They are not what you think.  Many have an interesting blend of chemicals.  They get their bright colors from some unhealthy sources.  Food dyes are responsible for causing food sensitivities and hyperactivity and many other challenges.  I find it interesting when I visited Mexico and Europe that candy there is made with natural food dyes like beets and carrots.  Many countries recognize the risk and require regulations with food dyes.

Water Bottle by John Kasawa at FreeDigitalPhotosBottle Water

The only truly zero calorie beverage is water - filtered water.  All the bottled water I have tested is acidic and your body doesn't like that either.  Fiji Water is the only bottled water that is alkaline.  It has been in the news that you are paying a lot for bottled water that is no better than tap water.

The Good

Drink water and if that doesn’t quite do it for you, I’ll have some easy to make-at- home healthy drinks that will hydrate you and taste great in the next article.

If you really have to drink something on this list that isn’t good for you, well then make it an occasional thing like once in a blue moon.  I can’t even remember the last time I had a soda or some powdered Kally Efrosmix to drink.  There was a time I drank them all the time.  I know if I started up again, it would be easy to make it a regular habit.  But I care about my health way too much.  I have more energy than people half my age; I know I can live with that.

Do you have a regular drink you just have to have?  Leave a comment below if you would like me to make a suggestion for a healthier alternative.  If you have a good story to share about switching over to better beverages, share that with us as well so we can help each other.

Kally Efros
Indigo Mountain

Photos provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.net:  tivery lucky, John Kasawa, & savit keawtavee

Healthy Breakfast Ideas Part 2

Part 2 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Today in part 2 of our Healthy Breakfast Series we are going to talk about some basic building blocks of a healthy breakfast and what to keep in your kitchen.  In part 1 we talked about the importance of breakfast.  People are always asking me for recipes.  I have a few recipes that I use and they are like a guideline for making other meals.  I have a stocked kitchen and we make what we are craving or what is available depending on the amount of time we have.  For example, if you already know a great pancake recipe, it is easy to make pumpkin pancakes, apple pancakes, banana pancakes, etc.  If you are missing an ingredient, there is usually a substitute that will work.  Sometimes in my experimenting it has totally bombed.  For example, my son attempted to make homemade tortillas from oat flour using a recipe.  It didn’t work out at all.  Rather than throwing away that dough, the next morning we turned those unflattened tortilla balls into oat pancakes by adding some eggs and milk and applesauce.  They turned out great. 
 
It is unlikely that we all have the same ingredients on hand.  So instead of walking away from a recipe because it calls for honey, substitute it for something else.  
 
Learning to make quick and easy meals from what you have available is the key.   This allows you to harvest your garden, or someone else’s garden, and get what is on sale and be flexible in meal preparation.  Stock your kitchen with the basics and fill in the perishables.
 
In Part 3 of this series, I’m going to give you 20 Breakfast Ideas.  Imagine how many more ideas that could really become when you start getting creative.  Here’s your first creativity test. With each of those 20 ideas you’ll need to use a sweetener which I am not going to list specifically.  You need to use what you have and like to use.
 
Here’s some information on some choices you may have not considered before:
 
Sugar/Sweetener - Choose the best option for you.  If a recipe calls for honey and you put something like stevia in, you may need to add extra liquid.  So keep that in mind. 
  • I use Stevia (all natural, no calories, safe for all, lots of flavor choices, available in liquid or powder). Great for diabetics.  If you are trying to sweeten something that is bitter, the stevia may only make it bitterer (is that a word?).  So you might want to add a little honey and then some stevia.  I do that to cut back on the amount of honey, and the stevia extends the sweetness.  There are many different stevia brands out there.  I grow my own stevia plant and often use that.  I also like the liquid extract stevia from Sweet Leaf.  It tastes the best to me, and they have lots of flavors.  Powdered stevia tends to have more of an aftertaste.
  • I also use a lot of Coconut Sugar (fairly new product, low glycemic index and all natural).  Not as sweet as regular sugar and looks a little like brown sugar.
  • We use Raw Honey for the whole family (many who cannot tolerate sugar can use honey).  It is best to use honey from your local area.  When substituting for sugar, you will not need as much because honey is much sweeter.  When using honey, you may also need to cut back on liquids just a bit.
  • Agave (the jury is still out on this one, but when I do use agave, I choose raw and organic).
  • Maple Syrup (on the expensive side, but a little goes a long way and gives a nice flavor).
  • Raw Sugar (it is still sugar, but it is not as processed).
  • Fruit like Dates make a great sweetener (I use them a lot to sweeten smoothies or desserts).  Bananas are also good.

Milk and Cultured Milk Products
  • If you do use regular cow’s milk, opt for Organic if you can.
  • Nut milks are a wonderful substitution for cow’s milk. You can even make your own nut milk.  Save the pulp for muffins.  We choose unsweetened almond milk.
  • Coconut milk
  • Choose plain yogurt and add your own sweetener and fruit.  Even better if you can make your own yogurt.  Organic yogurts are often not much more than regular yogurt so read the labels.
  • Greek yogurt is an excellent thick product that I sweeten with flavored stevia and it is so yummy!  When everyone else is having ice cream, I have a little Greek Yogurt with Chocolate Raspberry Stevia and fresh raspberries. I win!
  • Kefir is so easy to make at home.  I use organic milk.  It really helps us through the cold and flu season. 

Grains are an important source of iron, B vitamins, fiber, minerals and protein.  Whole grains are best and taste much better than processed grain, which have lost most of their nutritional value.  Here is another great article on cereal verses whole grains and the benefits of grains.
 
There are many grains that do not contain the gluten found in wheat that causes sensitivities.  Popular varieties are:  Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Oats (if you are extra sensitive look for gluten free oats - they are often processed in the same facilities as wheat – Steel Cut Oats are even safer than Rolled Oats), Quinoa, Rice (all varieties from brown, white and wild), Sorghum or Milo, and Teff.  Here is a great article on gluten free grains and ideas for incorporating them into your diet or breakfast.   
 
Grains that contain the gluten similar to what can be found in wheat are:  Wheat, Barley, Kamut, or Spelt.

Nuts and Seeds should be raw for nutritional value.
  • Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Walnuts, Hazelnut, Macadamia, Pine Nut, Pistachio, and Coconut (unsweetened and not processed).
  • Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Sesame seeds, Flax, Hemp, and Chia.
Use to thicken breakfast puddings or syrups.
Keep these items in your kitchen and you’ll be set up for a great variety of meals for breakfast.  Of course, if you don’t use wheat or milk, don’t stock them.   Stock what you use.  Here’s my list of recommendations: 
  • A variety of fresh fruit.  I like to keep bananas and apples. They are easily available and the best value.  You can do so much with them. The fruit will change with the seasons.
  • Frozen fruit like strawberries, blueberries, peaches, mangos, bananas (great way to keep old bananas).
  • Variety of dried fruits like raisins and Craisins.
  • Nut butters
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Greens (either growing in the garden or purchased, can use for salads, stir fry and green smoothies)
  • Milk and yogurt
  • Kefir grains to make your own Kefir
  • Eggs
  • Variety of nuts and seeds
  • Oats
  • Other grains and rice
  • Sweeteners of choice
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, and/or butter
  • Cinnamon and other spices that you enjoy
  • Vanilla
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chocolate Chips or Carob Chips and Cocoa powder or Carob powder
  • Green chili (in the freezer)
  • Onions
  • Bread of choice
Watch for the next post that will have the 20 Breakfast Ideas.  With practice and planning you can provide a variety of quick and easy meals for you and your family that are full of nutrition and WILL SAVE YOU MONEY.  You’ll be feeding them and teaching them to eat healthy.  
 
Have a great breakfast!

Kally

Connect with me on Facebook for great ideas.  I am a happy, healthy mom of 7 that took my family from the sick lifestyle and we now enjoy great health.  Those beginnings were in learning to eat better.  My kids went from eating boxed cereal nearly everyday to eating the foods we are talking about.  We are much happier and healthier now.  I'm not a nutritionist.  I have studied healthy and nutrition for the past 15 years.  Please consult with your doctor before making changes to your diet as it could affect certain medications.
 
Images courtesy of dusky / FreeDigitalPhotos.net