Ahhh Sugar Sugar

Agave, Stevia, Dates, Molasses

I have always been confused about what sugar and or sugar alternative is best for you. I have heard many different opinions but one thing I know for sure…refined white sugar is terrible. Sugar has been known to cause acidity among other things in your body and an acidic body promotes disease. I want to keep this post as simple as possible and just give you a brief description of the different types of sweeteners out there you can try as an alternative to white refined sugar. It is my personal belief that the closer we get to a natural food source as a sweetener, the better. For example when making a smoothie and you want it to be sweeter, drop in banana, a pitted date, or some grapes. You will get all the nutrients/fiber and the sweetness you want.

Sugar Alternatives:

Agave Nectar – a natural liquid sweetener made from the juice of the agave cactus. It’s 1.4 times sweeter than regular sugar but does not create a sugar rush and does not disturb blood sugar levels as much as refined white sugar.*I have used agave nectar lightly drizzled on pancakes or waffles and in various baking recipes or hot breakfast cereals. A little goes a long way.

Date Sugar or Date Syrup – Date sugar is made by finely grinding up dehydrated dates. Date syrup is made by soaking pitted dates in water, then blending them with water to create a syrup. This can be easily done at home and in my opinion is one of the best alternatives because you are utilizing the fruit’s vitamin, mineral, and fiber content and they are fairly inexpensive.

Brown Rice Syrup – brown rice is ground up and cooked, converting it to maltose. Tastes a bit like butterscotch. You may need to use up to 50% more brown rice syrup than the regular amount of sugar you would use in a recipe and reduce other liquids.

Honey – honey is sweeter than sugar and is one of the oldest natural sweeteners. It can have a variety of flavors depending on the plant source from dark and strong to light and mildly flavored. Raw honey contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. This is not considered to be vegan as it is a byproduct of bees.

Maple Syrup – is made from boiled down maple tree sap and contains many minerals. It has a pleasant flavor and is great for baking and of course…good old pancakes. Make sure to purchase 100% pure maple syrup, not maple-flavored syrups that are really just corn syrup.

Molasses – It is made from sugar cane or sugar beet that is made by clarifying and blending the extracted juices and then boiling them. It has a very distinct flavor. Blackstrap molasses  contains a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium,, and potassium.

Rapidura – This is a brand-name product made by extracting juices from the sugarcane plant then evaporating the water from the juice and then grinding the mix in to a powdery texture. It is unrefined  and contains vitamins and minerals.

Stevia – comes from a  leafy herb that has been used for centuries by Native South Americans. The extract is 100 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar and can be used in baking, cooking, and beverages. It does not affect blood sugars which is great for diabetics and has zero calories. It is available in powdered and liquid form but be sure to purchase the green or brown liquids or powders because the white and clear versions are highly refined.

Sucanat – is short for Sugar Cane Natural. It is made by evaporating organic cane juice mechanically instead of chemically. It is less refined and retains much of the sugarcane’s original vitamins and minerals. It has a grainy texture and can be used in place of white sugar.

Vegetable Glycerin –  is derived from coconut and palm oils. It is a very sweet colorless and odorless liquid. It is ideal for candida patients because it does not contain sucrose.

Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda should be avoided like the black plague. Sucralose was discovered by British scientists whom were attempting to make a pesticide and substituted  chlorine atoms for hydrogen-oxygen atoms which is the basis for the highly toxic pesticide DDT, and can accumulate in fat cells. It does NOT occur in nature therefore your body can’t metabolize it which is why it contains no calories.

Aspartame is another artificial sweetener that should have you running for the hills. It’s a neurotoxin which means it causes brain cells to excite and then they die. I would honestly prefer for you to consume refined white sugar over these unnatural freaks called sweeteners. Beware, many packaged, processed foods and most chewing gum contain these sugars. If you see products labeled “sugar-free” they are an indicator that they are sweetened with toxic artificial sweeteners. READ your labels!

Lastly, switching from white refined sugar to brown or turbinado sugar also does a disservice to your body since these alternatives are not much different in sucrose content.  You can find agave, maple syrup, and molasses just about anywhere now but other sugars like unprocessed stevia and sucanat will most likely be found in health food stores. I personally use dates, sucanat, and agave regularly and enjoy them. Test some of these alternatives out and let me know what you think!


When You Need Some Sugar Therapy


I just recently had a job interview and to be honest, it’s been a while since I have had one. Even though I prepared myself as best as I could by reviewing answers to possible questions related to my skills. I brought extra copies of my resume, I skimmed over the company website which I thought was definitely a selling point for me because I am capable of doing web updates and well….they are definitely in need of one 🙂 So I arrive 15 minutes early full of confidence and a bit cocky now that I think of it. It kind of reminded me of the movie “One Week With Marilyn” when the main character was so adamant on leaving with the job in film that he stayed in their office….literally until they gave him one. I actually considered this…but of course I came to my realistic senses and besides, that would be completely out of my character to be THAT stubborn. 😉

So, my interviewer comes to greet me and I immediately felt comfortable. He was a nice guy that seems like he would be fun to hang out with. He asked me to tell him about myself so I did and I thought I did pretty well. THEN he caught me off guard with some tests. Tests? But I didn’t study! Haha…good thing they were super easy tests BUT I was so focused on the word “test”. A test means I am going to be graded on my abilities and every answer/mistake I make would be analyzed then compared to other candidates! So….I freaked. I immediately became a giggly school girl and it was so noticeable that I was having a hard time containing my nervousness. So I began the first part of the test which included scheduling 10- 2 hour classes on a calendar. The guidelines were that the classes could be scheduled between 9am-7pm and had to be end no later than 8pm, Mon-Saturday only. That seems easy enough. I was TOTALLY over-thinking it. I was trying to put the classes in to categories and according to category I would schedule that set of 3 classes in one week leaving me with one left over which I slapped on the last week. Then I thought well…that seems funny to fill 3 weeks of classes and the last week of the month leave it with only one class. Can you see where I am going with this?! I almost felt like asking him for more guidelines but then realized, maybe he just wants to see if I can slap these classes on a calendar and nothing more. I have come to realize that when you start to guess about what the other person in thinking…you are in trouble.

I became MORE nervous as I see him looking over the calendar in front of me and by this point I am trying to answer a series of questions that I REALLY can’t think clearly enough to answer. I started to over analyze the questions and my answers and then I felt like my answers were too “fussy” for lack of a better word and not professional enough. Was my spelling all correct? No clue. Then the last part of the test included recreating a document in MW. I just about froze in fear after I realized that the paper he handed me was not the paper I had to recreate. I WAS RECREATING THE DIRECTIONS SHEET! I wanted to just throw my hands up in the air and call myself an idiot. When he handed me the paper I didn’t realize the document he wanted me to recreate was UNDER the directions sheet. I recreated the document pretty well but the entire time I was consumed nervous thoughts of self-doubt. Lets just say…all the confidence was gone at this point. I pulled myself together and thanked him for the opportunity but not until after I apologized for my nervousness. Who does that?! I completely admitted I was nervous! Is that bad? I guess I just didn’t want pity. I pictured an interview with a lot more talking and definitely no testing. I came home consumed with self doubt for a position that I want SO BAD and thought that I had in the bag. I wanted more of a chance to sell myself and well…those tests definitely weren’t my best work and at 4am I am awake because I couldn’t stop thinking about that damn calendar and how I may have completely screwed that up.

Sugar was my therapy. This was one of those days that called for indulgence. This brings me to a healthy recipe for tropical ice cream. I could probably eat a gallon of this at this point but at least this won’t give you the guilt afterward of it going straight to your tush. :O) It’s easy and can be interchangeable with flavors of your choice. Enjoy!


Lily’s I Bombed An Interview So I Need Some Tropical Ice Cream That Wont Go Straight To My Tush Recipe:

1 frozen banana

1/4 to 1/2 cup pineapple

2 Tbs unsweet coconut

A few dashes of plant milk or pineapple juice


Put all ingredients in to a blender and blend until smooth. You may have to stop and mix it a few times depending on how powerful your blender. You also may need to add more plant milk to get it going. Garnish with coconut or anything else your heart desires. You cant go wrong with making your own ice cream. I like to change it up by adding cocoa powder and peanut butter (to taste) for a more chocolaty flavor or you can add a dash of vanilla extract and strawberries. Frozen bananas are a great base.