What’s Your Summertime Indulgence?
What is it about summertime and ice cream? They seem to go together like bread and butter. Even though I am aware of the calories, the fat, the lack of nutrition ~ I still am drawn to it. At the lake this last week I actually indulged in frozen Snicker Bars! Very addictive!
I do enjoy beginning my day with a creamy shake. I choose one that has at least 24 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. It’s actually very satisfying and helps me from getting those “sugar blues” and “blahs”! If I chose just juice (for example the traditional orange juice for breakfast) it has no fiber, my blood sugar spikes and shortly thereafter dips. This is not the case with my fiber-packed blended drink.
Soluble fiber in particular slows the body’s absorption of sugar which steadies the body’s insulin levels and prevents those ups and downs that make us so ravenously hungry. Fiber in beverages, by contrast, can actually make you feel fuller than you would otherwise, a recent study found, as fibrous foods continue to expand in your stomach. The more fiber in the food, the less you will need to feel full. A 2009 study found that people who ate an apple before lunch ate 15% fewer calories than those who had applesauce or drank apple juice. Did you know that studies show that the addition of high levels of fiber to the diet is as effective as diabetes medication in lowering blood sugar, without any of the side effects? Apparently our Paleolithic ancestors ate 50-100 grams of fiber per day. We now eat fewer than 15 grams per day (many of us eat a refined, processed diet out of boxes, packages, or cans which typically have less fiber than from whole, real foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and beans).
Here is a great recipe for a summertime drink: 2 Scoops of Vanilla Life Energizing Shake™ , 1/4 cup sliced strawberries, ½ cup plain greek yogurt, 1 cup milk of choice, Ice as desired (I prefer mine really cold and icy) Directions: Mix all ingredients in a blender. Blend until well blended and frothy. Garnish with the strawberry slice.
In the afternoon when I am needing a pick-me-up I drink an energy tea made from white, red and Matcha green tea sweetened with pomegrante. It really satisfies my sweet tooth as well, without added sugar. I have also found fruit to be extremely more satisfying when I have not consumed sugary foods. Instead of the added sugars overwhelming my taste buds, the naturally sweet flavor of the fruit comes alive.
Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, claims that what’s at stake in our eating choices is not only our own and our children’s health, but the health of the environment that sustains life on earth. He calls the things disguised as food in our supermarkets and fast-food restaurants as “edible food-like substances (EFLS for short) and warns us:
- not to eat anything our great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
- not to eat anything with more than five ingredients or better yet, with ingredients you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce, and
- not to eat anything containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS ).
Well I guess if I would have followed those 3 rules I would not have indulged in that frozen Snicker Bar!
Want to know about the fruits with the most vitamins and fiber? (VIP = Very Important Produce) Try papaya, cantaloupe, strawberries, oranges, tangerines, kiwi, mango, persimmons, apricots, watermelon, raspberries and grapefruit. For vegetables choose sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, collard greens, red pepper, kale, dandelion greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts and baked potatoes with skin. And we all know that beans are low in sodium, and a great source of fiber, minerals, vitamins and protein.
One great advantage of summer is the availability of fresh local produce; in fact I just found out we are just minutes away from a farmer’s market here in Southern Village where we just recently moved so I will be sure and check it out. I am going to really make an effort to pick foods with lots of fiber to satisfy my indulgences!
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