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Fruit: friend or foe?

After last week’s post I got a lot of questions about fruit, sugar and the whole fructose content.

Should you avoid fruits to lower your sugar consumption? It all depends, if I am working with clients that want to see results (not only in their waist but also on their energy levels and moods) I come up with a plan that eliminates fruits, and then re-incorporates them in a way that works for them and their metabolism. For other clients, cutting down on processed sugars is all they need to see a difference in their bodies and minds.

I personally love fruits, I think that when consumed right they are a perfect food. Read closely, when consumed right is the key here.

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Fruits are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, anti-carcinogenics and the list could go on for a while. Some fruits are even considered super foods, like goji-berries, cacao and aloe (to name a few); they pack so much nutritional power that they exceed what other fruits provide. So yes, I love fruits. Especially for kids, teens and elders. People who suffer from candidiasis, diabetes and other specific conditions should pay close attention to the amounts and types of fruits they consume.

Fruits have cleansing properties too, when you eat them on an empty stomach (the only way fruit should be eaten) they are digested in less than 30min moving through the intestines and taking a lot of toxins and waste with them.

So go ahead have a piece of fruit on an empty stomach. The best thing is to have them upon rising, or after 3 hours of eating any other food. Want to learn more on how to incorporate fruit into your diet and without letting it become a “sugar hazard” e-mail me, I can help you come up with a plan that will work wonders for you.

image from here

 

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Sugar should be called Fat

Sugar. So sweet, can make anything taste batter. We crave it, I crave it. It is in almost everything we eat. It hides anywhere from fruit juices, to sauces and even in processed meats.

In the 80’s the craze was eating Fat-free. The fat was taken out of almost everything and sugar was added for flavor and texture. We were left with processed foods that had not fat, no flavor and really high levels of sugar.

So I wonder, if there is no fat in a lot of our food, if people eat low fat diets; Why is there an obesity epidemic in our country, which is leaking into the rest of the world? Why?

The answer is simple… yet we don’t seem to grasp it.

What is making us fat?

Sugar

In all its forms: refined sugars, fructose, sucrose, lactose, white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, fruit juices and high-fructose corn syrup. And agave, which lately has been praised for its low-glycemic index, but is almost 85% fructose. Not only that agave is also highly processed.

The problem with highly-processed sugars, is not only their high fructose content, but also that they are so far from how they are found in nature that the body doesn’t recognize them, and doesn’t know what to do with them.

What is fructose? I know I keep mentioning fructose, isn’t fructose found in fruit? Why is it bad then? Well fructose is found in fruits, in some fruits there can even be more fructose that what you should be having. The difference between the eating a piece of fruit, with lets say 10grms of sugar and a piece of candy with the same amount is this: the benefits of eating a piece of fruit (all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, water content) surpass the disadvantages of the high fructose content. Also all the fiber in the fruit slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

When you eat a piece of candy (or any processed cake, pastry, cookie, chocolate) there is nothing more than sugar. That’s it; there are no vitamins, no minerals, no enzymes, and the sugar content rushes into your bloodstream. Our bodies don’t use fructose immediately. It is converted into FATTY ACIDS and stored as fat (in the other hand glucose is used by every cell in our body, so it is never stored).

As I said it before sugar is making us fat. Plain and simple.

I know it can be hard to say Good-bye to sugar for good. Instead of going cold turkey (which I recommend to many of my clients, and after the first 3 days they gain control of their sugar addiction) try cutting down on all your processed sugars and only consume natural sugars like fruits, dates, honey and maple syrup. This will not only cut your sugar consumption, but add some great nutritional value to your meals.

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Guava to the rescue

To many of us Guava is new, you might even been asking Guava-What? If you have been anywhere South of the border  most likely you have heard of it. Guava or guayaba has been used in desserts in Mexico and South America for ages, you can find it in jellies, preserves, candy and even ice-creams. But have you ever tried it just from the tree, ripe, un-processed and fresh. Well my friend you are in for a treat.

guava Guava is deliciously-sweet and aromatic (wait until your place fresh guavas in your kitchen counter waiting for it to ripen, your whole house will be invaded with it’s fragant smell). But hold on Guava is not only about taste and smell, this sweet little fruit is a actually a super-fruit.

New research demonstrates that Guava deserves a place among the antioxidant elite, beating strawberries, spinach and broccoli. But the most important reason to consume Guava is Lycopene.

Guava has the highest concentration of carotenoid Lycopene than any other fruit and vegetable. Why should you care? Lycopene my friend has been found to provide massive amounts of protection against free-radicals. Not only that research also suggests Lycopene has been found to prevent prostate and breast cancer.

One cup of Guava fruit gives you 63% more potassium than a banana! People who eat potassium-rich diet have lower chances of developing heart disease, stroke, high-blood pressure.

Guava is also high in fiber (9 g/1 cup) and Vitamin C and folate, which boost the immune system. Which is a great plus this time of the year. Add some Guava to your smoothies, and homemade raw ice-creams or raw desserts. Remember the less processed you consume the fruit the more benefits you will get.

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Say HELLO to an old friend

     I remember when I was little having freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast. It was delish, (not properly combine I know, fruits juice, cereal, milk, toast, eggs… but it was good). Time went by and the homemade version was replaced with a store-bought one.

    For years we drank that orange juice, in hope of getting some vitamins and nutrients in the morning. Hoping that the pasteurized version would bring all the benefits the home-made had, we drank it after working out, when feeling we were coming down with a bug…. but how wrong we were.

     Even though manufacturers claim that the store-bought version of your favorite OJ has all the benefits of the fresh one, I can tell you they are lying. Once a juice (or any food for that matter) has been heated over 120F it starts to lose its nutritional power. So basically when you drink a store-bought juice you are not even getting half of the goodness.

     After learning that, and realizing how much sugar a glass or the fake OJ had I stop drinking it at all.

    But yesterday I came across this great info-graphic and I remember my oh-so forgotten friend the Orange, and how much goodness is packed into that little orange ball.

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Consuming an orange daily will

  • alkalinize your body, even though oranges are acid to taste once in the body all the nutrients bring balance to the PH chaos inside.
  • help with constipation, they are filled with fiber
  • your immune system gets a BIG boost all the vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and this improves it.
  • hesperidin, one of the most important flavanoids in oranges are known to lower LDL cholesterol
  • anti-flamatory properties help relieve from arthritis and stiffness in the muscles
  • filled with folate  and folic acid which are great for brain development (specially in kids)
  • antioxidants in oranges help protect your skin from free radicals

and most importantly they taste GREAT

So from now on keep oranges on your must have list, and remember you can get this benefits from freshly squeezed juice or the whole fruit. Peeled oranges are a great snack, I love them cut with some Himalayan pink salt sprinkled on them, or some cayenne pepper.

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More on Water

Let’s talk water….

 Our body is 75% Water!
Our brain is 85% Water!

Fascinating, right?!? There are a lot of differing opinions on water. Everyone is different and has different needs.

It is recommended to get 8-10 glasses of water a day. Sometimes more and i believe never  less. If you are on a raw food diet, you will need less water than someone who does not eat hydrating foods. If you work out in the sun all day long, you will certainly need more water than someone who works in an office. Common sense should reign here.

As I mentioned last week if you are thirsty, it probably means you have waited too long and you are dehydrated. So, drink before you are thirsty.

Let’s get personal here, a great indicator of whether you are needing more water is to check when you go to the bathroom (number 1), clear is good, cloudy means you need more water. Knowing how much water you need is pretty easy. It is selecting the type of water to drink that gets a little tricky.

Soda, coffee, tea, Kool-Aid are NOT water. By adding something to the water we are taking away the hydrating quality, so don’t count that can of soda or juice glass as one of your eight glasses of waters, it may actually increase your need for water.

Tap water

Comes out of the faucets and has been treated, processed and disinfected. It is purified with chlorine and has added fluoride.

Distilled water

Vaporized and collected, all of the minerals are taken out of distilled water.

Bottled water

Not as clean as they advertise. Plastic bottles are poison, especially when hot. Most lack minerals.

Reverse osmosis

Forced through filters that remove larger particles, pollutants and minerals. Most water is alkaline, reverse osmosis is not.

Deionized water

Ionized impurities and minerals removed, bacteria or pathogens remain.

Spring water

Clean, natural and pure, it has minerals, magnesium, potassium and sodium.

It would be very difficult to obtain all of our minerals from water. We just can’t drink that much in a day. We should rely primarily on foods for these nutrients.

 David Wolfe says “spring water only”.

“Almost all-municipal water in is of high quality and very drinkable. The best source of specific information about the water quality in your area is your local water supplier. Water suppliers are required to send their customer an annual water quality report. Contact your water supplier to get a copy, or see if your report is posted on line. “ Dr. Batmanghelidj of The Water Cure.

Although bottled water is very handy, there is a lot of concern about bpa’s in the bottles, especially in bottles that have been in the heat. I think of all the bottles I drank from after carrying them in my car on 105 degree days…

While there is debate on what is and isn’t the best water to drink, it is undeniable that water is a necessity of life and we should be drinking plenty of it.

 

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Great way to lose weight and fight fatigue

     The best way to lose weight and fight fatigue, catchy tittle? You want the answer? It is simple, and you might just think no this again. But because it is simple concept we tend to forget it. Or even worse let it go by without remembering how important it is. The answer

hydrate—H2O–water

     Yes I know, you have heard it before and you know about it, but then why don’t you drink more water. I know we all forget, we all think I will have some later, or I am not really thirsty. You know that when thirst strikes you have already started the dehydration process. In a perfect world our body should be refueled with water little by little during the day. Most of us spend many hours without a sip of water and we start to feel thirsty we just gulp down a glass of two, which is better than none but not the perfect scenario. And not only that many people believe that the water in soups, juices, teas and fruits also count as your “water intake”, which is true to some degree (if you are in the desert and have a juice piece of watermelon of course it will rehydrate you.

     But look at it this way, water helps our bodies flush toxins out, it activates our digestion, it stimulates our metabolism. It basically cleanses our body. Imagine cleaning your floors with tea, or washing your dishes with juice, it will rinse some of the grime on them, but it will still leave some kind of residue on them. It is the same with our bodies. If we want water to really help us rid of all unwanted toxins, fat, and waste mater then we need to drink clean pure water. When your body has all the clean water it needs, then your systems (digestive, lymphatic etc) can do all the work smoothly, no extra energy is needed and that means less fatigue. So from now on keep a water bottle (glass is always better) with you during the day, keep drinking clean water, and you will start looking and feeling amazing.

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