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Sweeteners - Take a Closer Look! I DARE you!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

First of all, I love, love LOVE this website:

Jane's Healthy Kitchen: Re-Inventing Food for a Delicious Life!
Janes Healthy Kitchen

...Jane is well-researched, easily read, and she *gets it*

("Gets what," you ask? Most of our 'modern' food is killing us, so how do we find our way back to food which is sincerely and truly nutritious, while continuing to push the envelope to produce food which is also entertaining... because let's face it, there is a social aspect to food that may not be in our best interests to abandon completely... but that doesn't mean we can't do it better for all of our sake!)


I don't talk about it much, but there are days when I find this journey to the best health possible very disheartening.

There, I said it.

Dis-heart-ening... my heart just isn't in it.

Searching out the best possible sources for our food exhausts me.

There are the moments (especially) when I've been humming along thinking I'm getting it right... only to find out it's still wrong, or that the hill before me is more like a mountain.

(Anyone else know that the type/breed of milk cow can matter sigificantly if your gut is compromised? Yeah, me neither. SIGH).

I find it overwheming at times... feeding yourself so that you don't suffer in some way as a result shouldn't be this hard.

Frankly, unless I'm willing to buy land and raise every scrap of food myself (I'm not... though I am willing to bake EVERYTHING from scratch, make my own yogurt, cheese, kefir, pickles, sauerkraut, canned fish/meat, candy, jerky, salad dressings, ghee, ice cream), we are walking through a nutritional minefield.

(...And this is not just about us 'sensitive' types whose bodies scream the truth whether we like it or not... it is about ALL OF US... it is POLITICALLY MOTIVATED and ECONOMICALLY DRIVEN.... If you want to know if your food is good for you, follow the power and the money... though I'm at the point where I can actually understand why the vast majority of people would just rather not know. Until people are generally and specifically no longer willing to accept that it is reasonable for anyone to make a living, regardless of how much that living compromises our health and well-being, this is going to remain very hard, indeed.)

...But that's not what this blog is about...

(...though, actually, that is what every blog relating to food is about...)

This blog is about SWEETENERS!
(...not at all controversial, LOL!)

The third biggest challenge in my world these days (after clean milk sources and acceptable, practical, easily applicable flour-like substances) is how to retain some minimal 'dessert' aspects in our diet.

Someone who I trusted, and who was aware of our challenges, recommended xylitol to me, so I decided to try it. It was lovely... sweet, but not too... no aftertaste... easy to use - very like sugar... SCORE!

...until several hours later, and for the next 24, while my and the Divine Miss O's systems did their very best to rid us of the noxious substance as quickly and uncomfortably as possible.

WTH!!!! Could it really have been the xylitol?!?
(even though every other last ingredient had already been proven consumable)

(My Mr. kept pointing out that it said right on the package 'harmful to dogs' and I kept insisting it had to be just like chocolate... everyone knows chocolate is GOOD, it's just that dogs can't digest it)

So, I had to go searching and digging... only to discover that it could very well indeed have been the xylitol; and based on what I read upon further investigation, the bag went straight into the garbage.

...and THIS is why we are Paleo (trying to be Primal)... you can't get into trouble eating WHOLE, unprocessed, REAL (produced by nature naturally, arriving to the table looking as God intended) food.

...and why I will continue to research, source, leave no stone unturned to find pure food sources for my family (even on the days when it's the last thing I want to do).

...and why I will vote with my dollars.

...and why I will continue to write blogs like this one (no matter how much they may annoy some readers).

...because you can kid yourself only so far... while you may not react in any obvious way (or at least in no way obvious to you... though if you're overweight, or have any chronic ailment, you might want to think more about this next statement), if my body reacts violently to a food or food-like substance, it's likely not good for you, either.

So, here are some helpful articles to assist us all in the discernment of sweeteners. Honestly, unless you're eating a cup of it a day, regular table sugar isn't the worst thing you can consume (though I DO believe there are better options).

Right now, when we want a little extra sweetness, our go-to is local, unpasterized, raw honey. A little goes a long way to satisfy our sweet tooth, and honey has a number of elements that contribute to health.

In the meantime, my own search for a return to the Garden goes on...

300 Sweeteners – Which is Best?

PDF Comparison Chart of 300 Sweeteners

“Natural” Sweeteners – A Closer Look

Best Natural Sweeteners

What are the Best Paleo Sweeteners?

(the next sweetener I'm going to try... seems to have A LOT to recommend it health-wise)

(if you have trouble seeing the articles, try changing your browser... I can't view them in Explorer, but had no trouble in Mozilla Firefox)

A couple of articles for my own purpose!

9 Secret Weapons for Gluten Intolerance

What are the best healthy thickeners?

...Because you can only kid yourself so far!



'BEFORE' Pictures (May 31, 2009 - September, 2011) & Continuing PROGRESS (February 2012)! Next pictures DECEMBER 1, 2012!

(I'm now keeping these right under my nose... in addition to being part of every blog I post, they are printed off and taped to my bedroom mirror... and I update whenever I feel the need - likely early February, 2013... to either see for myself what feel like significant changes, or to encourage myself to keep the faith when I feel no change at all despite my efforts)

Measurements, Musings & Motivation to MOVE!

(UPDATED/rewritten: JUNE, 2012)

I've Reached My Goal Weight!!!!!!!

NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!
(Tom Venuto)

UNTIL. (My 'Just Do It' blog)

DONE Girl Love...

(the footsteps into which I place my own feet)

Leaving NORMAL... In Pursuit of Happiness

Why I'm STILL here... my SparkJourney Saga


Words CAN Be Enough... page 3

Paleo... Do you really know what you're talking about?

Breakfast is Served! (RECIPES)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • RENATA144
    Dear Ramona, emoticon for you very informative article !!!
    1432 days ago
  • BERRY4
    Thanks for being honest w/ the struggle to discover good-for-you foods. I sometimes wonder how to sort through the "mine-field" of additives and miscellaneous?!?! LOL

    I tend to stick w/ honey in small amounts. (And yes, we do have some busy bees.)
    Thank you for the resources to check out! -- I had found previously that those sugar alcohols were NOT helpful.

    1886 days ago
    Wow, you have a lot of valuable information here. So I will take this all in again, this time slowly--hope I will be a sponge. thank you for sharing your wisdom plus caring so much about we, your spark friends.
    1887 days ago
    That is a lot of info!
    1889 days ago
    Some great information Ramona, thanks for doing all that reseach.
    Strangly Xylitol has been a God send for my DH- it's stopped him getting mouth ulcers and was suggested as safe for his diabetes!

    You live and learn LOL

    Have a good day, love to you and the divine Miss O emoticon
    1889 days ago
    emoticon emoticon for Jane, yummy recipes and, as always, new information.

    Sending you, the divine Miss O and the dear Mr. love, continued happiness & contentment .

    Thank you especially for being the very best incredible you. Your light surrounds me. emoticon
    1889 days ago
    Muah, honey pie! (sweetened with pure, sunshine-y honey, of course!) haha
    I'm trying right now to cut excessive sugar out of my life ... for some reason, even though I didn't have a sweet tooth for the first 55 years of my life, it's all I want right now!!! Wicked! So this if my third day of carefully making hash marks on a little notepad in the kitchen, toting up those sugar grams. Although 25 grams is what's recommended per day, you have NO IDEA how hard it is to keep it at that!!! (At least it is for me.) Sugar is hidden everywhere. I applaud your experimenting with sweeteners and thanks for sharing -- especially Jane!

    Best to you, you SWEET thing!
    1889 days ago
    1889 days ago
    For the record, and because I don't know how many commentors will read the articles and PDF first, most stevia is 'industrial' and not good for you, and (in my opinion), the leaves (pure product) taste awful, LOL! I grew a stevia plant for the purpose of using it for sweetening years ago... it swiftly ended up sweetening the compost rather than our food, LOL!
    1889 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    Thanks for Jane's Healthy Kitchen - had not encountered that site yet. I have a feeling it will become a favorite! emoticon
    1889 days ago
    Great blog and information.

    Marketing schemes around sugar alternatives is just that, marketing. Real sugar has been given a bum rap. May be processed technically, but it does not have added chemicals or processed with chemicals that I am aware of (maybe I should have done research myself).
    1889 days ago
    All so true: and you might enjoy ROSEWAND's blog on scientifically engineered addictive foods (link to New York Times article . . . ).

    It's about profit. And I'm sticking to as much unprocessed foods of all kinds as possible . . .
    1889 days ago
  • -LINDA_S
    Thanks for shining a light on yet another subject! I'm sensitive to other sugar alcohols but not xylitol or eythritol (as far as I can tell). Mostly doing a little stevia these days, but that's kinda hard for baking...

    And thanks for Jane! She's one I didn't know about. I will thoroughly check her out. Let us know about Just Like Sugar, too!

    1889 days ago
    Hey Ramona,

    I sooooo appreciate you being the guinea pig and trying these things out. Xylitol has been on my "I might try that" list for awhile - also in a search for a lower carb sweetner. I will be waiting with baited breath your foray into "Just Like Sugar" - the ingredients list I found in an online search looks promising.

    Keep us informed - meanwhile, I will have a word with those folks who express annoyance at your blogs.


    1889 days ago
    Have you tried Stevia? Not the mixed stuff like truevia or purevia but the wisdom brand or Stevita brand 100% stevia?
    1889 days ago
    Disheartening, confusing, overwhelming..... you said it, I get so frustrated that I just give in and start eating whatever again. Then say even though I dont see a lot of diff when i eat primal, I know healthy clean has to be better. Sigh but not often do i stick.
    Got my apt with the naturopath march 11th mainly so she can help me with food sensitivities and suggestions on what to eat and such for my arthritis. I was recently led to the anti angiogenisis idea and had never heard of it. Makes sense too. Geesh.
    I eat no artificial sweetners if I can help it. My biggest thing to not find artifical now is gum, not often do i buy it but sometimes think hmm and they are all sorbiol, exyltiol etc. anway I would rather have sugar, honey or molasses than artifical chemcials.
    HUGS and your blogs are always great - not bothering me in the least !!!
    1889 days ago
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