Posts Tagged ‘food hangover’

9:50 am - Posted by Gregg

Nutrition guru Joy Bauer has always been someone who inspires me. And lucky for us Just Stoppers, she’s allowed me to feature one of the delicious recipes from her new best selling book, From Junk Food to Joy Food, here. This Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups recipe takes all the guilt out of a decadent treat and is a blast to make. And the best part? We don’t have to “go off” of our diets or healthy eating plans to make and enjoy it. Joy also uses all natural ingredients in the recipe, which is always a big plus.

From Junk Food to Joy Food is loaded with these kinds of recipe makeovers — the kind that take everyday favorites (usually loaded with calories, salt, etc.) and swaps them out for brand new, healthier versions of the recipes (each of which guarantees the same amount of flavor and satisfaction — but without the food hangover). And no, this is not a paid endorsement. Although I’d happily bribe Joy for being gracious enough to let me share this recipe.

For more information on From Junk Food to Joy Food, click here. And for more recipes and tips from Joy herself, you can click to her website. In the meantime, if you try the recipe below, please be sure to invite me over!

Junk Food version (before): 290 calories
Joy Food version (after): 165 calories

1 ripe banana
¼ cup creamy nut or seed butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed, etc.)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup dark chocolate chips, or 3-ounce dark chocolate bar
¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

In a small bowl, mix together the banana, nut butter, and vanilla. Mash everything together well and set aside.

Place 6 liners in a muffin tin and spray the liners liberally with nonstick oil spray. Silicone muffin liners work best, as it’s easier to remove the chocolate when it’s time to eat. Set the muffin tin aside.

In a saucepan, melt the chocolate and almond milk on medium heat, stirring constantly.

Once the chocolate is smooth, add a generous tablespoon of the mixture to the bottom of each muffin liner. Then stick the muffin tin in the freezer to firm up the chocolate (about 10 minutes).

Once the chocolate is firm, distribute the banana filling evenly among the muffin cups and spread the filling out with your fingers. Then split the remaining chocolate among the cups, using your fingers to spread each layer evenly.

Place the tin back in the freezer for at least 4 hours (overnight works best).

When you’re ready to eat, pop each cup out of its liner and serve immediately!

(Makes 6 servings.)

Photo Source: Joy Bauer 

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September 5, 2012

Small change, big results

9:33 am - Posted by Gregg

Photo Source: Personal Money Network

Did you know that there’s one small change you can make to your daily regimen that could have a profound effect on both your overall health and your body weight? That change is simple: Cut soda out of your life. All of it. Immediately. Period. (Yes, all soda!)

Trust me when I tell you that years ago (when gaining excess weight and eventually maintaining a body weight of over 450 pounds), I was keeping the soda makers in business. Diet soda makers, to be precise. I would begin every day with several cans of Diet Coke (since I usually woke up “stuffed” with a “Food hangover” from the previous night’s binge). I would then continue to drink Diet Coke throughout the day – often going through up to 12 cans during one day’s time. Just one look at Diet Coke’s ingredients tells us how potentially worthless this 12-ounces of soda is to our bodies.

But that was then. And this is now. And when I started on the path to permanent change and better health – eventually reducing my size by taking off over 250 excess pounds, I cut out soda from the moment I began that journey – yes, even the so-called “diet” kind that touted itself as having virtually no calories. And I’ve never looked back. And boy, does my body continually thank me for that decision.

A quick check-in with the Nutrition Research Center lets us know what happens to our bodies within an hour of drinking regular soda. And no, none of it’s beneficial. The Nutrition Research Center reports that within the first 10 minutes, 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system (which happens to be 100% of your daily recommended intake). After 20 minutes, blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Within 45 minutes the body increases its dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain (the same exact way heroin works, by the way – so who says soda isn’t addicting?). Within 60 minutes, the sugar crash begins. For the full article on what happens to our bodies when we drink soda, click here.

Based on the above – and based on my own personal experience – in my opinion, there is absolutely no value to canned soda whatsoever. The ingredients are questionable at best and offer nothing nutritious that you can’t get (in a more natural way) from a piece of fruit or other “clean” and “whole” foods.

Water is not only a great thirst quencher, but is also what our body needs – not only for hydration, but also to keep our vital organs functioning (this includes the liver, which helps us to “detox” in natural ways). Add the money you’d save from no longer buying soda and the fact that drinking water would be better for you across the board, and you have every reason to make this “One small change” that could affect your life in so many positive ways.

And water doesn’t have to be boring. Often, I’ll drink sparkling water throughout the day. You can add a slice of lemon, lime or orange to jazz it up, of course. You can also try keeping a pitcher of filtered water in the fridge with added slices of cucumber and lemon to give it a “spa like” quality. You’ll be surprised how refreshing this is. Sure, it might take a few days to change your taste buds, which might be used to the sugar and chemicals found in your go-to soda of choice. But trust me, getting through the change is worth the effort. And, if you’re like me, after a while you’ll never crave (or want) soda again.

Soda makers know people like me are speaking out against them. That’s why their marketing efforts are more pervasive than ever. Take the recent article in The Atlantic, which reports that in the most extensive analysis of the marketing of sugary drinks to kids ever conducted, the Rudd Center has discovered that marketing of these types of drinks to teens and kids is as strong as it’s ever been.

This insightful article goes onto list many of the reasons that canned soda is one of nutrition’s worst enemies:

  • Sodas are the single greatest source of added sugar in the American diet and add little or no nutrition
  • The body does not seem to recognize calories very well when they are delivered via liquids, hence sugary drinks appear to fool the body’s feelings of being full
  • There is very clear evidence linking consumption of these beverages with elevated risk for obesity and diabetes

The Atlantic also reports that the health consequences of consuming sugary drinks are well known. It is not surprising, therefore, that groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other groups have said that soda consumption is too high and needs to be reduced.

Need more reasons to stop drinking soda? Check out the list of 22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda on The helpful list includes the following reasons:

  • The out-of-pocket cost of drinking soda adds up
  • The long-term health consequences lead to high medical expenses
  • Soda increases your blood pressure
  • Soda destroys your teeth
  • Soda contains an ingredient banned in over 100 countries (Brominated Vegetable Oil, which is also banned by the World Health Organization)
  • Soda makes you fat
  • Soda may lead to diabetes
  • Soda may lead to heart disease

The list goes on. For the full list of all 22 reasons (with additional explanations), click here.

Need even more reasons to abandon your soda addiction once and for all? You can find an alarming slide show on 9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda presented by by clicking here.

Sure, cutting out soda might seem like a big thing to do. But it’s really a small thing. One small change, to be exact – and one that can have maximum impact on your body, your health, your life – without having to change anything else (at least not at this time – LOL!). Come on! You can do it! Join me in leaving soda behind – and off of your daily menu – once and for all.

Photo Source: Fresh Healthy Vending

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