Muffy's Blog

Journey to Natural Health!


Day 23

Posted by buffmuffy on July 8, 2009

154am (<.<)

Just got home from work … I had a “pizza” there … I just put tomatoes and cheese on flatbread.  ~300 calories more.  Before work I had a larabar and also snacked on some cheese.  That brought me around 1600 cals for the day, which is great.

IMG_3235GetAttachmentWork was pretty good tonight.

I got tons of hits on my site today compared to normal but still not many comments!  I hope more people continue to visit me 🙂

See you in the morning!

-Muffy

****

337pm

Okay so I had a quick snack prerun since I didn’t go until about 230p of turkey pita and a few crackers.  It was about 300 calories…

IMG_3232

And now I’m having a double snack of the most amazing thing I have ever tasted and a green monster in a bowl.

First up, dessert!  LOL!  I have mixed the remaining of my fage, a small spoon of coconut butter, the rest of my goji berries, and a few dark chocolate chips.  OMG is this ever yummy!  About 200 – 250 calories.

IMG_3234

And my green monster bowl (since i didn’t have one this morning – for shame!) had huge amount of spinach, a big huge dollop of dark chocolate dreams pb, a cup of almond milk, a dollop of greek yogurt, and 1 tbsp flax.  Oh, and lots of ice.  About 300 calories.

IMG_3233

It is very light tasting.  Not very sweet.  I like it!  Especially after that sweet surprise I just ate.  Nice and peanut buttery.

On my run, I went about 3 miles I’d guess.  I got nice and sweaty and ran for a lot of the distance!  I am super proud of myself.  I had lots of energy today, but if I had water I would have had more.

There are a couple things I would like to get… They are currently on my christmas list (hey, you can never start too early!):

*Garmin Forerunner 305 with footpod

*Camelbak hydration pack

Oh if only I had the money!

I’m feeling really energized after that run, and I also got the trash out, the rabbit cage clean, and the dishes circulated.  Hopefully this energy lasts throughout the night!

Now, for a daily calorie total.  I don’t normally count my calories, and if I do it’s to make sure I’m not undereating.  Breakfast was about 200 because I only ate half, mini prerun lunch was about 300, and then my double snack was about 550 we’ll say.  This brings me to a total of 1050. This is a good amount for me since I only have about one more meal left to eat, or two smaller snacks.  I work at 8pm, so I’ll either eat beforehand, or have a snack before and during.  I’m doubting I’ll be hungry beforehand because this green monster bowl is filling me up!  I may end up only eating a luna bar or larabar for the rest of the day.

Anyway, I’m hoping someone starts a discussion on the article I reviewed!  I am interested in hearing everyone’s take on it.

I’ll update one more time today after work!  It will be late!

-Muffy

*****

1113am

Good morning ladies!  I woke up to a loud BOOM CRACK!  And then it seemed like the storm was over, so I missed it!  It is sunny now, so I can definitely go running today, woo hoo!

I’m going to start off this post with an article I was sent from my boyfriend’s cousin on Agave.  I will summarize it and give little snipets.  This article is credited to Dr. Mercola.

Basically what he has found is that the only reason Agave is so popular, is because of its marketing.  Now, I have to admit I was skeptical upon hearing this – I mean, sugar is sugar and we all know that.  But reading further into this article made me start to cringe.  I kept seeing Agave being related to my enemy: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

So beyond the fact that the marketing for agave is good, and that it is sugar, I come to the way that it is harvested.  Dr. Mercola explains, “When an agave plant is about seven to 10 years old, the leaves are removed to expose the core, or pina, of the plant. The harvested pina looks like a large pineapple and can weigh anywhere from 50 to 150 pounds.  Sap is removed from the pina, filtered, and heated to break down the carbohydrates into sugars.”  This is unnerving in itself!  There is a process to get this agave out.  Now there are “raw” versions of agave, and the processing temperature of this agave nectar is said to be relatively low (~118 F).  The fact that this is a very slim connection to being raw is a little unnerving, but something I can live with.

Something I cannot live comfortably with, however, is the research behind agave and just how healthy it is.  Dr. Mercola explains that agave is almost all fructose, with the same amount of calories per tsp as sugar.  It is much sweeter than sugar, so less is needed.  The amount of fructose in agave is dependent on how much heat is used.  The more heat used, the higher the percentage of fructose that is in the agave.  This is where buying raw comes in handy – it keeps the agave lower on the glycemic index scale.  Unfortuantely most product labels do not tell you just how raw or concentrated each syrup may be.  Compared to High Fructose Corn syrup, the higher percentage fructose Agave syrups are very similar!  For diabetics this is a big problem.  For normal people like me, this makes me cringe.  It is still very unhealthy for blood sugar to spike so fast, causing a larger chance of crashing later or raising triglyceride levels.  And since fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production, it is harder to regulate the appetite and how much one should actually be eating.  Dr. Mercola sums it all up, saying “Agave syrup is not a whole food — it is fractionated and processed. The sap is sepa rated from the plant and treated with heat, similar to how maple sap is made into maple syrup. Agave nectar is devoid of many of the nutrients contained in the original, whole plant.  Agave syrup is not a live food. The natural enzymes are removed to prevent agave syrup from fermenting and turning into tequila in your food pantry or cabi net.  Agave is, for all intents and purposes, highly concentrated sugar. Sugar and sweet eners wreak havoc on your health and are highly addictive.”

Lastly, agave is very new in the market and there are not many quality controls in place to monitor production.  Dr. Mercola states, “Nearly all agave sold in the U.S. comes from Mexico. Industry insiders are concerned agave distributors are using lesser, even toxic, agave plants due to a shortage of blue agave.  There are also concerns that some distributors are cutting agave syrup with corn syrup — how often and to what extent is anyone’s guess. In addition, the FDA has refused shipments of agave syrup due to excessive pesticide residues.”

So in summarization, agave may not be as healthy as it is marketed to be.  It is similar to high fructose corn syrup, it is processed, and it is misleading.  I would personally recommend only purchasing agave if it is guaranteed to be organic, raw, and low glycemic as it is supposed to be.  What do we use, then?  Stevia is Dr. Mercola’s recommendation.  Other artificial sweeteners are more healthy damaging than regular sugar, and keep you addicted to sugar.  Stevia is simply a sweet herb (much sweeter than sugar but with no calories) that is safe and nautral.  The best way to get stevia is in as pure leaf form that you can find.  The best source would be the actually sweet leaf plant, and you can crush up the dried leaves or simply add in the leaves themselves.  The next best option would be liquid stevia that is brown in color.  It is a concentrated form of the leaves in water.  There is also a clear type for baking which is almost as good.  The powdered form is not bad, it is just not as pure and natural a form of stevia.

****

I hope this information is interesting to everyone!  I would love to hear feedback on what Dr. Mercola has to say about agave. So here is the question of the day!

Do you think he is right?  Do you think that there are healthy agave options out there somewhere?  Is stevia the best sweetener available?

****

Now on to me!  Hey, I have to be greedy sometimes!

I’m starving, so I’m having a bowl of pumpkin oats.

IMG_3228In it I have 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup of water (these two heated for a minute), a mashed banana, 1/3 cup pumpkin (and then heated again for a minute), topped with a big dollop of greek yogurt and pumpkin flax granola.  It isn’t AMAZING because I ran out of strawberries and they would have made this bowl perfect.  It is very large, and probably 350-400 calories.  I’ll have some iced lemon and white tea when I’m done 🙂  I think I’m going to only eat part of it though, and throw the rest away.  It is huge and I am already full.  I probably ate about half, maybe less.

After breakfast, I’m going to clean out my rabbits cage and take out the trash.  And then I’ll go for a run!  I may have to let this huge breakfast digest for a bit before I do that though.  I need to wash my dog, too, but I don’t have any dog shampoo.  Shucks.  I’ll have to get some … I’m off tomorrow so I may just do it then.

Not looking forward to work tonight.  😦

I’ll update later!

-Muffy

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9 Responses to “Day 23”

  1. SOOOO loving the Fage with Goji Berries… seriously one of my favorite snacks! 🙂

    That’s definitely some interesting info on the Agave. I have to say that I’m not a fan of sweeteners, but I do have a bottle of organic raw agave nectar in my fridge. I think there are definitely advantages to using it over most of the other sweeteners out there, although any added sugars should be consumed in moderation. Thanks for sharing!!

    xxoo
    Heather

    • buffmuffy said

      Omg it was sooooo amazing.
      Yeah… I don’t know if I’ll rule out Agave just yet, but I’ll keep looking at articles and research thats for sure!

  2. April (Foods of April) said

    I’ve been trying to stay away from pumpkin so that I can enjoy it in the fall but I think I’m going to have to bust into the can pretty soon here.. your oats are too tempting!

    http://ajangel25.wordpress.com

  3. peanutbutterprerogative said

    thanks for stopping by my blog, muffy! that’s funny that you just posted something about agave because my mom had sent me that article recently. i’m not really sure who to believe! i’ll use the bottle in my cabinet to the last drop and then maybe i’ll make my decision!

  4. foodnfit said

    Wow! That definitely makes me think twice about Agave! I know someone who just went Vegan and she relies heavily on Agave Nector and was telling me that I should try it. Hmmm I don’t know…

    • buffmuffy said

      Yeah – it isn’t as great as we think, but it doesn’t seem like it is as bad as hfcs either. ah well, i’ll stick to sucanat for now, and your friend should as well. honey is also good!

  5. Sarah E. Clark said

    I can tell you one thing Muffy, after eating some of the agave and checking my blood sugars I spike so high I couldn’t get them down. But you remember as you were there! =) After reading your Crystalline Fructose article you sent me I am hesitant about something that is a high fructose now. Coconut sugar is a great alternative, it has a low-glycemic index of 35 compared to sugars 100. It has a wonderful almost graham taste to it I think.

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