Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Bit of Sweetness

In addition to be a Carb Addict, I have a Sweet-capital T-ooth.  And I love to bake. This addiction doesn't make hot yoga any easier.  As I sweat in class, I feel especially light-headed and queazy on days I eat too much processed sugar.  Should we add "processed sugar" to the list?  I believe so.

So yeah.  There's that problem. 

Oh and - 

I love, love, love nut butters!  Especially almond butter!  I love a teaspoon in my oatmeal or dipping fruit and carrots in them!  Yet, is this a problem, too?  Studies show that it is not.  Almond butter has become extremely popular over the past few years with health food bloggers, especially.  Known as one of the "healthy nuts," almonds have proven to lower cholesterol and contain protein, calcium, fiber, magnesium, folic acid, potassium, and vitamin E.

Therefore, raw almonds as snacks 2 hours before hot yoga or almond butter in my breakfast oatmeal does my body good.  The natural sweetness also tames the Sweet Tooth!  So far, hot yoga has tamed it somewhat, but I need little tricks, and almond butter is one of them.  My Sweet Tooth used to be a size 16, I'd say now it's more of a size 10 or 12?  (Women's, not Juniors)  Though, I still love to bake as a hobby.  It's very meditative and relaxing for me.  And, your house smells so good!  I give a lot of my baked goods to yogi friends so I don't eat them all ;-p  One can get carried away with nut butters, so I try to only have only 1-2 teaspoons a day if I am in need of duh buttah.

I recently purchased MaraNatha's new Dark Chocolate Almond Spread since I am a huge fan of Nutella  (uh, who isn't).  Whereas Nutella is very sweet and made with hazelnuts, this AB/Chocolate spread has very subtle hints of cocoa that isn't too overbearing on the palette.  It tastes more like almond butter ("AB") than a chocolate spread.  I also like coconut-based spreads like Artisina's Cacao Bliss.  This stuff goes for around $8/jar, but it is well worth the money.  If you are craving a piece of chocolate, just have a teaspoon of this stuff and you'll get not only the health benefits of almonds, but also satisfy your sweet tooth!

p.s. Another trick for Sweet Tooths is to keep a huge supply of different sweet teas around.  After supper is usually when I want something sweet.  All those years of habit - opening the freezer to select what flavor of ice cream is still with me.  Instead, you open your pantry door to see a vast selection of yummy teas!  Just a splash of cream, and it really does fight off the sugar demons!  These teas have no nutritional value, but are obviously way better to consume than cookies or cake.  Anything that can slay the sugar beast for me is worth the few extra calories.  Plus, it's kind of fun to have a cup after supper.  I understand now why tea time is so important in other cultures.  It can be very relaxing.

Here are some of Celestial Seasonings favorites:


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