Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Refined Sugar? No Thank You!

What are We up against with Refined Sugar?  

There are many reasons to avoid white table sugar, which is our enemy and is waging war on our health. White sugar is highly processed and refined and, therefore, has no nutritional value whatsoever and is a whopping 80 on the glycemic index--and, these are arguably its better features!! If you want to read more about the numerous negatives that come from refined sugar such as damage to organs, depletion of vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals, diabetes, hypoglycemia and more, then read what The Macrobiotic Guide has to say about the subject: http://www.macrobiotics.co.uk/sugar.htm. Pretty intense and enough to make anyone serious about their weight, health and well-being want to eliminate or dramatically curtail their consumption of refined sugar.



A big part of the problem is that many times we don't realize the massive amounts of sugar hidden in our foods. For example, let's consider a staple in the American diet--ketchup.

Did you know that when we add traditional ketchup to our plate, we are ingesting hidden sugars? High-fructose corn syrup (generally the second ingredient in Ketchup) and corn syrup (usually the forth ingredient) are detrimental to our health and are called "added sugars".

Types of "added sugars" include fructose (linked to heart disease because it raises triglycerides and cholesterol and is completely devoid of any nutrition), corn syrup (with a high glycemic index of 75 and very little nutritional value), high fructose corn syrup (with a glycemic index of 87 and believed by many health advocates to be, along with refined sugar, the biggest contributor to health ailments) and glucose (AKA dextrose) which holds the infamous distinction of a glycemic rating of 100! Believe it or not, the average American throws down 350-475 calories of added sugars a day! And that's in addition to the other sugars that they might know they are consuming. 

"Sugar Free" the Right Way 

Artificial and alcohol-based sweeteners have many negatives. We should avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame and all of the alcohol sugars such as maltitol and xylitol (sweeteners which always end in the letters "tol") because they are chemicals, not foods. Without going further into that subject here, please let me be clear on one point: You will never find refined sugar or artificial or alcohol-based sweeteners in any of the recipes in my cookbook, Delightfully Free. (I will cover what I do use to sweeten my recipes in my next post.)

Another point to be aware of is that some natural sweeteners can change as you cook or bake them, causing their glycemic index to rise. For instance, raw honey has a glycemic index of 30-40. But when honey is processed, it is heated to a high heat, causing its glycemic index to rise to 55-80. For this reason, in the few instances that I use raw honey in Delightfully Free, it is only in recipes that are not cooked or baked after the raw honey has been added.

Yes, the American diet needs some big changes when it comes to sugar. But, we're not your average Americans, are we?  No, No. Because we know the secrets of stevia and  coconut palm sugar, which are healthy, happy, natural, low glycemic sweeteners, we make baked goods and confections into amazingly delicious and surprisingly nutritious treats! So, please look for my next post which will cover the natural sweeteners in my cookbook.

Wishing you happy AND healthy eating,

~ Tracy

About Delightfully Free: Delightfully Free is a gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free cookbook of 141 recipes. It includes delicious resources for autism, Celiac disease, diabetes, lactose intolerance, obesity and just plain healthy living. It contains 114 color photographs, 114 vegetarian or vegetarian compatible recipes, and 103 vegan or vegan compatible recipes.



 

Friday, October 17, 2014

St. Louis Rams Wellness Week

What does a cookbook have to do with an NFL football team?

A lot, when the cookbook is filled with recipes that promote better health, strength & endurance, a more stable glycemic level & lots of nutrition-boosting energy derived from lean proteins, complex carbs & the important, good fats. 

I wouldn't have guessed that I would have the opportunity to present my cookbook, Delightfully Free, to the staff & coaches' wives of the St. Louis Rams, but that is exactly what happened! I was invited to Rams Park to be a part of the Rams' Health Fair being put on by Jody in HR last week. The goal was to promote healthy eating. In the process I met lots of great people & made so many new friends.

 



My first day at the Health Fair I met lots of really nice Rams' employees as I offered samples of my Cafe Nuts (page 125), Crunchy Snack Mix (page 125), Hummus, both plain & peperoncini, with my Gluten-Free, Corn Free Baked Tortilla Chips (page 123) & my Black Bean Brownies (p. 135).  It was rewarding to see their enthusiasm for the recipes they were tasting. I never get tired of seeing people's responses to delicious food that is surprisingly clean, healthy & guilt free! Many happy people went home with signed copies of my cookbook.

My husband Bri (who denies he was envious of my visit), said I should have been given the game ball, which I should have then had signed extensively & given to him. Oops. But what I did get was some great memories and a tour of the Rams Camp. I will tell you about what happened in day 2 (the Lunch & Learn) & day 3 (the luncheon we threw for the coach's wives) in future posts, but here are a few photos from my first day: 



The view out my window of the Rams on their practice field
At my table with my samples



 
 I borrowed some equipment from All-Pro Robert Quinn. When I got home, I got to see how it fits him, as he wore it on Monday night football!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Your Reviews of the Book

I have had some "formal" reviews of the book, but the ones I enjoy the most come from you, the people who have bought or been gifted the book and tell me about your experiences with the recipes. I thought it would be fun to share a few. And, who knows, it may even encourage any of you who still haven't bought the book to do it now.

I think the Chocolate Cake is a good place to start since it appears on the cover of Delightfully Free:

 
Here's what I just heard from Angela about the recipe:

 "I purchased your cookbook roughly a month ago and today I used it for the first time to make the  Chocolate Cake recipe. All I can say is WOW! I have tried just about every GF cake recipe and nothing comes close to yours."

Jen from Phoenix wrote me about the Black Bean Brownies:

"I've longed for brownies that tasted chocolatey and fudgey like what I was used to having in the past. I was hesitant, due to the main ingredient, the black beans, but they came out so amazingly good! My boyfriend, who can eat anything, thinks they're great as well."


It was especially flattering to get this email from "Chris' Mom":

"I made my Starbuck's pumpkin bread addicted son a loaf of YOUR Pumpkin Bread. He thinks it is even better than your brownies(which were off the chart excellent). He said this is now his favorite dessert, 100% better than Starbucks. Coming from a dessert expert like Chris, that is a huge compliment."



And finally, lest you think that Delightfully Free is only desserts and baked goods, here's what Amber said a main course and a side dish:

" I just had a birthday dinner and my family made me the pesto pasta (Creamy Pesto Fettuccini with Chicken & Artichokes) and Asparagus with Cauliflower Cream Sauce. It was delicious! Everyone loved both the main dish and the side!"




Here's the Table of Contents to Delightfully Free which shows just how many different categories of recipes you have to choose from:



I will post more in the future and maybe it will be from someone reading this now who decides to get Delightfully Free to experience some of the 141 recipes that are not only GF, DF, SF, but are delicious and nutritious.

~Tracy

About Delightfully Free: Delightfully Free is a gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free cookbook of 141 recipes. It includes delicious resources for autism, Celiac disease, diabetes, lactose intolerance, obesity and just plain healthy living. It contains 114 color photographs, 114 vegetarian or vegetarian compatible recipes, and 103 vegan or vegan compatible recipes.



Monday, June 9, 2014

My Visits to Bastyr University

Last summer, I visited Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington to introduce my gluten, dairy, and refined sugar-free cookbook, Delightfully Free. I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful campus and visiting with Marty Peterson from the University Bookstore where Delightfully Free is now carried:

Bastyr's beautiful 51 acre main campus in Kenmore, WA

Bastyr University is one of the most respected, premier schools for naturopathic medicine and an established jewel in the world of integrative health care. Located about 10 miles northeast of Seattle, Washington, Bastyr offers a picturesque, inviting atmosphere for its students to study and grow. I know first hand about the quality of Bastyr grads as I have talked with many of them in the course of introducing Delightfully Free as a resource for them to offer their patients. It gives me great satisfaction that Delightfully Free is now carried by over 150 integrative medical practices across the country.

I was excited to learn about the newly opened California campus located in San Diego.  Just last week, almost a year to the day after visiting the main campus in Kenmore, I visited the San Diego campus which is located about 15 miles north of downtown San Diego and a 5 minute drive from La Jolla, a beautiful coastal community with dramatic ocean views and wonderful restaurants and shops. It is home to many well know people such as Theodor Geisel who lived there until his recent death. Not familiar with Mr. Geisel? Bet you are once I tell you his more widely know name: Dr. Seuss!

Bastyr San Diego Campus

My visit to Bastyr's new San Diego campus was arranged by Alison Scott, the Associate Director of Admissions and Student Services. Once on campus, Jennifer Ruiz guided me to where I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know many of the students who will be the inaugural graduating class of 2016 and second graduating class of  2017. I so enjoyed the time I had with them! I am impressed with how knowledgeable and caring they are. We chatted and shared some Black Bean Brownies, which they loved :) and many of them were eager to have signed copies of Delightfully Free.  

Bastyr San Diego is bringing in 60 new students this fall and another 60 next year who will become the classes of 2018 and 2019. I hope to come back and visit with them.

If you are considering a degree in naturopathic medicine, Bastyr is a great choice! At the San Diego Campus, they currently offer only a program leading to a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. At the Kenmore campus, which has been around since 1996, they offer many different programs and dual degree options. I can see that we have a brighter future of increased wellness because of these promising students who will shortly be doctors of naturopathic medicine!

~Tracy

About Delightfully Free: Delightfully Free is a gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free cookbook of 141 recipes. It includes delicious resources for autism, Celiac disease, diabetes, lactose intolerance, obesity and just plain healthy living. It contains 114 color photographs, 114 vegetarian or vegetarian compatible recipes, and 103 vegan or vegan compatible recipes.