4 Ways To Eat Less Sugar This Year

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OK, so did anyone besides me eat too much sugar during all the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s Day?

I never intended to, but it happened.  You see, sugar does not like me.  It gives me tingly fingers, numb toes, a foggy brain, and makes my left leg hurt  (to the point that I sometimes may limp if I’ve had too much).  Strange, huh?  I know.  These symptoms are signs that the cells in my body are being damaged by the sugar, and I therefore could end up with a disease of some sort if I’m not careful.  

I must confess that I’ve had a serious sugar addiction for a few years due to yeast overgrowth in my body (aka candida-more about that in another post), and I’ve done really, really well in breaking my addiction over the past few months…

Until Christmas.  And Christmas cookies.  Christmas is a time of sharing and showing love, so baking and delivering cookies is a big part of Christmas for me.  And baking and delivering cookies is what I did, along with lots of cookie dough samples and cookie tastings…

I can manage to avoid the dessert tables at church fellowships, and I even overlooked my mom’s amazing chocolate walnut bars at Thanksgiving, but cookie dough that I am actually stirring myself makes it near impossible not to taste.  I am one of those serious cookie bakers that has to make sure the dough tastes right and that the texture of the cookies is perfect-even after they’ve cooled.  And that one taste of cookie turns into a late night snack of cookies with milk after everyone has gone to bed and no one can scold me.  I’m pretty sure if one of my children had gotten up and found me snacking on those cookies last week, I would have tried to hide them under the table and make up some wild story of why I had chocolate chips on my face or something…

Sugar is addicting and delicious, and one bite of it can throw me right back into consuming it daily.

Am I alone here?  Does anyone else struggle with this crazy sugar addiction?  My body may be able to better handle sugar in the future on occasion, but right now it’s the last thing I need to eat.  And now that Christmas is over, I’m getting myself back on a low/no sugar diet….with God’s help.  :-)

4 Ways To Eat Less Sugar This Year

If you are like me and would like to consume less sugar this year and live a healthier more vibrant life, here are a few suggestions that I try to live by.

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1. Raw Honey

While raw honey is a form of sugar, it is much better for us than even cane sugar, and my body seems to handle it better.  It’s also a medicine in itself and full of so many great benefits!  I love finding recipes sweetened with honey, or substituting honey for sugar in recipes.  While it’s still not best for me to consume a whole lot of honey, I do have it on occasion.

Here are a few of my favorites:

2. Fruit Sweeteners

Fruit is full of natural sugars-it’s very sweet if you think about it.  We would do our bodies good if we trained ourselves to be satisfied with eating an orange rather than a plate of cookies-not that it’s terrible to eat a cookie now and then, but many of us crave unhealthy foods all the time.

Sometimes I will substitute applesauce for sugar or even honey (if I’m wanting to consume even less sugar) in muffin recipes.  This makes the muffin not very sweet at all, but I always try to add pecans or walnuts and some mashed bananas for added sweetness and flavor.  Here’s a muffin recipe inspired by Jillian Michaels that I’ve substituted applesauce for the honey-though the small amount of honey would be fine too.  We loved these muffins slathered with butter!  Butter makes everything taste awesome, right?

My one daughter who doesn’t always like my low/no sugar recipes, absolutely loved these!  That made my mama heart happy! :)

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Nut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 T. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Millk (raw, coconut, almond)
  • 1/4 Cup Applesauce
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Honey or Additional Applesauce
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Banana (Mashed (this is not necessary if you use honey instead of applesauce))
  • 1 Cup Walnuts (Chopped)

Directions

Step 1
Whisk dry ingredients in one bowl.
Step 2
Whisk together wet ingredients in another bowl.
Step 3
Stir dry and wet ingredients together.
Step 4
Fold in the nuts.
Step 5
Pour batter into muffin cups.
Step 6
Bake 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

3. Stevia

I hate to tell you this, but a lot of the stevia found at the common grocery story is not good for you.  It’s processed and full of added ingredients.  I know it’s frustrating to get excited about a natural healthy alternative to sugar, only to discover that what you are buying at your store isn’t good for you at all.  It’s just the way the ball rolls, my friends.  Companies are going to take advantage of any food fad and create inferior products that are not healthy or pure.  Stay educated and aware.

Only stevia really shouldn’t be a fad because it’s a plant that God created that is many more times sweeter than sugar, and it’s good for you-if eaten in the right natural form.  And that’s the way I consume it!

I like to buy Lilly’s Dark Chocolate Stevia Sweetened Chips.  Yes they are expensive for a mere bag of chips, but I don’t buy them all the time, and they help me avoid sugar when I have a craving.  I haven’t gotten very creative with these yet, but I do snack on them sometimes or stir them with peanut butter to create a taste similar to Reeses.

I also really like Sweet Leaf Stevia Flavored Drops.  The chocolate drops can be added to milk for a quick chocolate milk, or dropped on peanut butter toast for that yummy peanut butter and chocolate flavor.  You can add them to cereal, coffee, and pie.  You can get some yummy recipes from their website here.

Find the herb stevia here, which can be added to teas to sweeten, or crushed into a powder and added to baking goods.  It’s 30-300 times sweeter than sugar, so just a pinch will do!

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4. Having Healthy Cookbooks on Hand

I’m not one of those cooks that can create fabulous meals on my own-I need a recipe!  I may tweak recipes to make them healthier or more to my liking, but I at least need a recipe that someone else has come up with as a base.

That’s why I was thrilled when Sue Hooley contacted me about trying out a cookbook she carries in her store called Healthy Choices.  The recipes in this cookbook have no sugar, no white flour, and no artificial anything!

I already use the Daily Planner, preschool curriculum, as well as excellent character resources from her website, so I was sure that I would also greatly enjoy this cookbook as well!

And I was not disappointed!  This cookbook is full of so many fabulous, healthy recipes.  One of my goals this year is to continually move toward fixing more food that is real and as close to nature as possible.  That’s what this cookbook delivers.  No one can live a vibrant life eating foods that are pasteurized, homogenized, nutritionally dead, and full of chemicals.  Our bodies have living cells which requires living nutrients.  In this cookbook, you will find recipes with REAL food ingredients.  That’s very hard to find in cookbooks these days!

There are 440 pages of recipes in this cookbook, and each page has anywhere from 2-4 recipes on it- so if you do an estimate of math-that a TON of healthy recipes!

Recipes such as:

  • Syrupy Pancake Bake
  • Breakfast Burritos
  • Broccoli Cheese Souffle
  • Quick French Toast
  • World’s Best Waffles
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Honey Whole Wheat Bread
  • Baked Pumpkin Bread
  • Banana Nut Bread
  • Campfire Potatoes
  • Cheesy Broccoli Potatoes
  • Homemade Mayonnaise
  • Deep Dish Taco Squares
  • Taco Casserole
  • Vegetable Lasagna
  • Herb Pizza Crust
  • Spaghetti Pizza
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • Upside-Down Pizza

(Can you tell I love pizza?!)

  • Bean Burgers
  • Chicken & Biscuits
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Parmesan Chicken Strips
  • Apple Pie
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Apple Fritters
  • Pecan Pie
  • Basic Brownies
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Hot Cider
  • Hot Cocoa

Plus this cookbook has sections on home remedies, gardening, seasoning mixes, dips, sandwiches, soaps, cleaners, soups, sourdough, fermented foods, and cooking with herbs.

Let me remind you that all of these recipes are made with real, healthy ingredients, and there are hundreds of them – and none of them have those strange ingredients that you don’t know how to pronounce and cost a fortune to buy and a long car trip to find.  You don’t have to give up your comfort foods to eat healthy!

This cookbook is quickly becoming my very favorite ever!

View this cookbook as well as other excellent resources here at the Homemaker’s Depot.

What are some ways you satisfy your sweet tooth without using refined sugar?  Let me know in the comments below!

Gain More Confidence When Choosing Natural Remedies

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Don’t you wish you had affordable short-cuts to make healthy living easier? Are you tired of trying to make a healthy lifestyle work?

I get it. You want the best for your family. You want to raise healthy kids, have strong immune systems, be more fit and energetic, and be intentional about creating a natural home, but sometimes it just feels so hard.

There’s a lot to learn and the internet can be more than a little overwhelming at times.

I know what it’s like to feel that healthy living shouldn’t be this difficult, and it shouldn’t have to cost so much, either! Don’t you ever wish someone would just tell you exactly what you need to know and how to make these changes for less?

When you have the right info and tools at your fingertips, it all comes together so much more easily. You know what to cook for your family. You’re more confident in choosing natural alternatives. You can easily replace store-bought products with DIY options that really work. You feel better (and even look better, too). Healthy living becomes less stressful and more enjoyable.

You can learn how to gain more confidence when choosing natural remedies.

That’s why Stephanie and her team have put together the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle for the fourth year in a row. Each year, they’re amazed at how many families are saying “yes!” to their health and taking them up on this super short opportunity to get a complete collection of natural-living resources for a crazy low price.

You sort of need to see it to believe it, but the package includes over 90 digital products on topics like natural remedies, essential oils, real food recipes, paleo & allergy-friendly eating, fitness & weight loss and much more. All together, it’s worth over $1900!

Some of my favorite resources are:

  • Essential Oils for Families from Jessie at Vintage Remedies ($95.00)
  • How to Protect Your Family from Colds and Flu Using Essential Oils from Andrea at Aromahead Institute ($50.00)
  • Urban Farming for Kids from DaNelle at Weed’em & Reap ($24.95)
  • The Herbarium from Amber at Herbal Academy of New England ($45.00)

All of these are worth $214.95, and for the next 48 hours, you can have them (along with many other natural resources) at 97% off!

 


Plus, it comes with $175 worth of bonus products including:

  • GetKombucha – FREE 30 ml bottle of Kombucha Pro ($39.99 value)
  • ePantry – FREE hand soap + $8 credit on one shipment, FREE dish soap + $8 credit on the next shipment, AND 60-day VIP access with FREE shipping ($30 value)
  • Bloom Naturals – FREE SPOT treatment for acne & eczema OR a $15 gift certificate toward Bloom Naturals products ($15 value)
  • Perfect Supplements – $15 gift certificate toward any Perfect Brand product ($15 value)
  • Strawesome – $15 gift certificate toward the straws and accessories of your choice ($15 value)
  • TriLight Health – FREE 2-oz liquid herbal formula or $15 off larger bottles ($15 value)
  • Craftsy – 1 FREE online class ($44.99 value)

Besides being so incredibly helpful and inspiring, one of the things I like best about the bundle is the price. By offering the bundle for a short time only, they’re able to give you access to over $2000 worth of amazing products for a whopping 97% off!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit their website, take a quick look at all the goodness that comes in this package, then click “Get my copy now!” to go through their simple 3-step checkout process.
  2. You’ll receive an email with a login to their online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading your eBooks, signing up for your eCourses, and redeeming your free bonus products.
  3. Use their Getting Started Interactive Guides to pick the area you want to tackle first and start making healthy changes!

The most important detail, though, is that this bundle is back for just 2 days! After Tuesday night, December 29th, the sale ends for good and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

I’d hate for you to miss out, so click HERE to learn more or buy the bundle.

It’s even backed by a full 30-day guarantee, so you can know for sure that it’s right for you.

No one should have to put off a healthier lifestyle because it costs too much or they can’t get the help they need. Our family has felt so much better by making changes to the way we eat, the products we use, and how we take care of ourselves. It’s made all the difference in the world and I want the same for you and your family.

3 Benefits of Cleaning With Essential Oils

 Today we have a guest post from Kathleen at Tidy Cleaning.

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Cleaning our homes might be an unpleasant and tedious task to all of us, but it is necessary, and we can not skip it.

Have you ever thought about how much money, time, and energy you spend cleaning?  Going to the store, looking at all the different kinds and brands of cleaners, buying the expensive cleaning products because you think they will work better, then going home to start cleaning, only to spend hours scrubbing and washing.  Then you realize that the cleaning products you bought do not work as good as you hoped they would.  Plus, they are full of unsafe chemicals!

Forget about all those struggles and throw away your many cleaning products that are completely unnecessary.  Instead, make yourself some natural cleaning products.  All you need is some simple ingredients that can be found in any kitchen.  

The three main cleaning ingredients are:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water

Mixing these 3 ingredients can give you a great cleaning solution which will clean just as good or even better than the harsh chemical cleaners, and save you a lot of money.  They spare you that toxic smell as well!

If you don’t have any essential oils, now’s the time to get some!  Oh, the essential oils! They can do just about anything!  They are a must-have for any ‘green’ household. They are usually used for their aroma, but what you might not know is that they are also very beneficial when used in cleaning.

3 Benefits of Cleaning With Essential Oils

1. Great Aroma

Yes, a couple of drops from a lavender essential oil in your home-made cleaning solution will give it a nice fresh smell, but it will also help with repelling moths from your clothes-few drops in your drawer and you are set.  It is not accidental that all the store-bought cleaning products are scented with either lavender, pine, lemon or orange.  It is not because they just smell good, but also because they have positive effects when used in cleaning products. But the difference is that the store-bought cleaning products use artificial scents which will do nothing to help with your cleaning.  While the essential oils, on the other hand, can directly effect the surface you are cleaning.

LavendarEssentialOils660

Orange essential oil can be mixed with your laundry detergent.  And no matter which kind of essential oil is your favorite aroma, you can use it as a natural air freshener.  Put water in a spray bottle, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and shake every time before using it.  You will have a natural smell in your house that will linger longer than an artificial one.

2.  Natural Disinfectant

In addition to their great aroma, essential oils will also disinfect while you clean.  Tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils for example are both great disinfectants and can be used for any type of surface that needs to be cleaned and disinfected. Put a few drops of either of them in your cleaning product and clean your kitchen and bathroom. The tea tree essential oil has antimicrobial, bactericidal and anti-fungal properties that make it an excellent ingredient for your bathroom cleaning product.

Who does not want a perfectly cleaned and disinfected house with all-natural products? Not only are the essential oils great cleaners and have natural smell, but they will also do no harm to your home or your family’s health! What other benefits do you need from them?  They are the best – multi-functional, natural and with long lasting effects.

3. Save Money

Another very important benefit from using essential oils is saving money!  Yes, it is true.  They might not be the cheapest ingredient for your cleaning products, but all you need from them are a few drops.  A few drops will be more than enough to improve your cleaning and leave a nice scent for your home. One bottle of essential oil will last you for a long time and definitely saves money in the long run.

Do not waste more time – improve your cleaning and save yourself money while also protecting your health.  Get yourself some essential oils and enjoy their benefits.  {I (Jill) buy essential oils here}.

Do you use essential oils when you clean?  What are your favorite oils to use?

KathleenC  Kathleen is interested in topics related to home improvement, cleaning and green lifestyle. She often experiments with DIY natural recipes.  Visit her website at Tidy Cleaning.