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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Watermelon Lemonade

We had a ton of leftover watermelon from the 80th birthday party last weekend, so what could we possibly do with it?  Watermelon Lemonade of course!

Watermelon Lemonade
Makes approx. 2 glassfuls with ice

1/3 c fresh lemon juice
1/2 c fresh watermelon puree, strained through a coarse strainer to remove seeds
3 tsp stevia powder (or to taste)
3/4 c filtered cold water

Stir it all together and serve over ice.  Instant relaxation in a glass!

Would also be great using lime instead of lemon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Check out the Healing Cuisine store!

I've added a few more books to my Amazon.com Store.  Check everything out at the "Store" tab on the menu bar.  I'm regularly adding new items, whether it be cooking, health or "living green" related.  Everything I list are things I use every day or resources I have utilized and highly recommend to everyone!  Have questions on something, just ask!  I'll let you know why I love that item and how it helps you live a healthier life!  :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chicken Strawberry Spinach Salad

It's time for a classic, Chicken Strawberry Spinach Salad:

2 tsp coconut oil
2 chicken breasts, washed and dried
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbsp Healing Cuisine Mayonnaise
Fresh juice of one lime
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp almond milk
3 cup fresh spinach, stems removed
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
3 Tbsp slivered almonds or pecans
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
Fresh pepper and sea salt to taste

1.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Place chicken in skillet, season with garlic powder and cook 10 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.  Set aside.  [You can of course also grill the chicken.]

2. In a bowl, mix mayo, lime juice, ginger and almond milk with a fork.

3. Arrange spinach on serving plates.  Top with sliced chicken, onion, avocado and strawberries, sprinkle with almonds and drizzle with dressing. Season and serve!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tips When Dining with Family & Friends

Hi all!  Hope you have something fun planned for the weekend.  We are heading out to Wisconsin to celebrate Dave's grandma's 80th birthday, which made me think to bring up the topic of "Dining with Family."  Our families aren't quite "there" yet.  Do you know what I mean?  Maybe you're in the same boat?  It's a step by step process introducing The Chiropractic Principle and the other 4 Essentials of Health to the ones you love.  Dave and I are often met with apprehension and have barely skimmed the surface with most of our family.

It gets tough going home for holidays and parties when the people around you don't eat or live the same way as you.  Value systems are different.  But don't be discouraged!  It helps to realize that their paradigm is different from yours.  They are still in the medical paradigm of health and can't help but feel the lifestyle choices they make and the food they choose to eat is right.  If you are IN on Maximized Living and follow the 5 Essentials, your paradigm has switched over to the chiropracTIC paradigm of health, or in other words PREVENTATIVE health.  Your mindset and value system has completely flipped.

All you can do is keep loving your family members and friends for who they are and understand where they are coming from.  But never back down from your truth and sharing the knowledge that you have.  When the time is right, they will come to you for help, just keep sharing.

Some tips for family gatherings when the food isn't ML Nutrition Plan or Healing Cuisine approved:

-  Always offer to bring a dish or two to share, this guarantees you something you can eat. (And don't be afraid to eat lots of it!)

-  Let the host know in advance that you are no-grain, no-sugar, etc.  Family especially will respect your diet sensitivities (we even tell them we are allergic to sugar and gluten) and will be sure to provide a side dish you can enjoy.  This also opens the door for you to explain the ML Nutrition Plans and your reasoning.  We remind family ever Christmas -- you never know if this year will be the year they hop on the bandwagon!

-  Eat before attending the party, something we'll be doing this weekend.  We'll often eat a hefty breakfast or have a protein shake before going to the party so that we're not as hungry and won't want to eat very much party food.

-  If the urge to have a dinner roll or spoonful of Jell-o salad arises, stick to your guns!  Have an affirmation or two prepared and repeat it over and over in your head until you are strong enough to pass up the temptation.  As long as you have told the host in advance, politely pass on the dishes you know you shouldn't eat.

-  Every so often, it's okay to have a "vacation day."  It's not going to kill you to eat a little sugar for dessert or have commercially raised grilled chicken for one meal, just keep your intake moderate and be prepared for possible detox side effects.  Your body has been healing since you've been getting adjusted and eating clean, and will now recognize chemicals, additives, grains and sugars as toxins.  Common side effects could be diarrhea, upset stomach, head ache, bloating, fatigue, cramping, heart burn, and skin rash.  As long as you're prepared for the possible side effects, enjoy a few "vacation" snacks, but get your body detoxing again by staring your Nutrition Plan tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Raw Banana-Avocado Pudding Pie

I'm on a raw pie kick this month it seems!  Another delicious, healthy way to conquer those sweet cravings.. :)

Raw Banana-Avocado Pudding Pie

1 c almonds
1/3 c raisins, soaked for 5 minutes
1 Tbsp coconut oil

3 bananas
1 avocado
1-2 tsp powdered stevia
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp fresh ground flax
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1.) THE CRUST   Grind almonds and raisins in a food processor until almost smooth.  With fork, blend in coconut oil.  Form crust into a 9" pie shell or spring form pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.

2.)  THE PUDDING  Blend all pudding ingredients in blender until smooth.

3.)  Pour the pudding into the crust and chill in freezer about 1-2 hours before serving.  I suggest topping with fresh berries for added color and texture!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gluten FREE Strawberry Cream Pie

It's so good, it's so good!  You have to try this!  Light and fluffy, creamy, dense all at once!  This is how a Strawberry Cream Pie should be!  Raw, dairy free, sugar free, delish!

The key to a great, non-crumbly crust is grinding the nuts into a fine crumb, almost a powder (but not into a paste).  Use a fork when mixing in the coconut oil!  I used a spring-form pan, but you could easily use a regular pie dish, too.

Strawberry Cream Pie
Makes 8 servings

The Crust:

1/2 c ground raw pecans or walnuts
1/3 c ground raw almonds
1/4 c organic unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

The Filling:

2 c fresh organic strawberries
1 c raw cashews
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp stevia powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 c coconut oil, melted

1.)  Blend pecans, almonds and coconut in food processor until very fine.  Pour into bowl and blend in coconut oil.  Press very firmly into bottom of a 9 inch pie plate.  Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

2.)  Place all filling ingredients into blender and blend on High until smooth and creamy.  You may need to scrape down sides a couple times to achieve this.  Carefully pour on top of crust and refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fresh Breakfast Casserole

For the past year or more, Dave and I have stayed away from breakfast casseroles mainly because of how they made us feel.  Minutes after finishing our plates, we became sluggish and wanted to crawl back into bed.  Those casseroles were Standard American; loaded with refined starchy white potatoes, couldn't get enough of the potatoes!, not to mention the non-organic bacon, sausage, cheese, eggs...  So one Saturday morning (when we didn't feel like our usual morning smoothies) I revisited our old friend, the breakfast casserole, cleaned it up and made it Healing Cuisine!

Fresh Breakfast Casserole
Makes 8 Servings

1 lb uncured turkey bacon, diced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
8 free range eggs, lightly beaten
2 c shredded red skin new potatoes (leave the skin on to preserve the fiber and potassium!)
3 c organic spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry
2 c shredded raw cheddar cheese
1 c organic cottage cheese
1 c shredded organic (raw if you can find it) swiss cheese

1.)  Heat coconut oil in large skillet over Medium heat.  Cook turkey bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain.  In a bowl, fold together the remaining ingredients; stir in bacon mixture.  Transfer to a coconut oil-greased 13x9" baking dish.

2.)  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set and bubbly.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.  SO GOOD!  You could also throw in some shredded zucchini or asparagus, which I would have done had we had some in the fridge, add about 1 cup shredded.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baked Salmon with Dill Mustard Sauce

When cooking salmon, the biggest mistake most people make is to over cook it.  Resist the temptation to cook until it "flakes."  Flaking indicates the salmon is becoming dry and overcooked.  Salmon is fully cooked when the color turns from translucent to opaque.  The FDA suggests cooking to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

Dill Mustard Sauce

1/2 cup Healing Cuisine Mayonnaise
1/2 cup organic sour cream
2 Tbsp organic Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp minced fresh dill weed
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

In a small bowl mix together all ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Baked Dill Salmon
4   6 ounce salmon fillets
2-4 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2  Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1/2  tsp sea salt
1/4  tsp fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Rinse and dry the salmon.  Place fish on a baking sheet lightly coated with coconut oil.  Brush fish with coconut oil.  Sprinkle fish with dill, salt, and pepper.  Bake for 10 minutes or until opaque in color.  Serve with Dill Mustard Sauce and lemon wedges.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Questions Answered: Sugar, Honey, Agave, Stevia - #2

On to round two, Sweeteners I DO Recommend, why, and [probably most importantly] how to use them!  :)  I have come to learn that cooking and baking in an unconventional way is a bit of an art form!  With that said, it also becomes easier the more you do it.  Practice makes perfect!  I barely think about how to substitute anymore these days.  It has become second nature, so hang in there, you'll get it, too!

Sweeteners I DO Recommend, Why, and HOW to Use 'Em:


What is stevia and why is it creating such a buzz lately?  Stevia Rebaudiana is an natural herb in the Chrysanthemum family which grows in parts of Paraguay and Brazil.  The steviosides (steviol glycosides, or sugar molecules) in its leaves account for its incredible sweetness, making it unique among the nearly 300 different species of Stevia plants.  The sweet steviosides have been extracted and used as sweetener in South America since 1887, the earliest time it was recorded.  Today, stevia is widely used in South America, Asia, Israel, Spain and other parts of Europe.  It is becoming more main stream in the U.S., but has seen resistance from the FDA as they try to protect their money flow coming from artificial sweeteners.

Twenty+ years worth of studies have been done on stevia consumption (that's more than what most prescription drugs go thru before they hit your mouth) and stevia has been found completely non-toxic and safely consumed in massive quantities by many different nations.

Cooking With Stevia

HOW to cook and bake with stevia comes with a learning curve, so be prepared if you're new to this!  Stevia is much sweeter than sugar but has none of sugar's unhealthy drawbacks.  The refined extracts of Stevia (steviosides) are zero calories and 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar.  This is why you use much less volume in a recipe than you would sugar.  Here is the conversion chart I use.  It's got all your stevia options on there (pure powder, blended powder or liquid).  It's a wonderful resource, share with your friends!  Print it out and tape to the inside cupboard door that you often do your baking near.  You'll never have to guess at stevia again!

There are two drawbacks of cooking with stevia.  One (and it's a pet peeve of mine) is that it doesn't caramelize like sugar or honey, so often I'll throw in a teaspoon of honey here and there, like on a sweet chicken dish or grilled foods to get a rich color and flavor.

The second is the loss of volume, which is extremely important when baking.  You'll need to follow the conversion chart along with one other adjustment.  In order to make up for the volume lost through replacing a cup of sugar with only 1 1/2 teaspoons of Pure Stevia Liquid, you need to add something to keep the right consistency.  I will usually add a bit of honey or unsweetened apple fiber.
To make unsweetened apple fiber place unsweetened applesauce in a strainer lined with cheesecloth.  Place the strainer in a bowl and let sit overnight in your refrigerator.  In the morning you will have apple fiber in the strainer and apple juice in the bowl.  [Make your own raw apple sauce by pureeing Granny Smith apple chunks until smooth and proceed from there with straining.]
Replace each cup of sugar in your recipe with 1 cup of apple fiber, as well as 1 1/2 teaspoons of Stevia Liquid.  This will replace both the sweetness and the volume.  An additional benefit to using this method is that you can reduce the oil content in your baking, as the apple fiber will create a more moist finished product.

I personally love the Stevita brand stevia.  I have been using their brand solely for two years now and never have any problems with a bitter aftertaste!  Stevita uses 95% minimum pure steviosides.  Other brands you find at your grocery store aren't as pure (some only use 85% or even 50% steviosides and the rest is filler) and that is why you get that bitter aftertaste.  So make sure whatever brand you are using is certified pure, and the only ingredient in pure stevia should be stevia.  Watch out for brands that are adding Dextrose (a chemically altered sugar) to the mix.  I've also enjoyed using Stevita's "Stevia Supreme" which is a blend of stevia and xylitol.  It's a much more user friendly stevia product, converting becomes quick and easy.  And the xylitol rounds out the sweetness as stevia is a bit harsh and upfront sweetness level.  But again, no after taste with that product either.  Love it!

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener used as a sugar substitute.  It is a naturally occurring 5-carbon sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables.  Xylitol is also produced naturally in our bodies from the foods we eat.  Our bodies produce up to 15 grams of xylitol from other food sources using established energy pathways.  You can purchase processed xylitol as a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar.  This is made from either CORN or BIRCH TREES.  Which do you think is the better option?  :)

A tip of the hat to my ancestral home land, Finland, which is where xylitol extraction was first discovered and where the term comes from.  Xylitol was first derived from birch trees in Finland in the late 19th century and was popularized in Europe as a safe sweetener for people with diabetes that would not impact insulin levels.  Since it has a low Glycemic Index, xylitol is absorbed more slowly than sugar, so it does not contribute to high blood sugar levels or the resulting hyperglycemia caused by insufficient insulin response.  It can also be extracted from the fibers of many fruits and vegetables (berries, lettuce, corn husks, oats, mushrooms) but is most commonly taken from corn  here in the U.S., which is something to watch out for when purchasing xylitol.  You need to make sure it is certified birch xylitol and that it is steam processed, not nickel processed.

There are other great oral/dental and sinus/nasal health benefits linked to xylitol, but that's a complete subject on its own.  Try Googling the subject or read more on Mercola.com.  It's best to find a natural toothpaste that uses xylitol rather than sugar to sweeten the taste.  Same goes for mouthwash, gum, mints or candy.

Xylitol has no known toxicity in humans.  If it's your first time using xylitol, keep in mind that like most sugar alcohols, it has a laxative effect because sugar alcohols are not fully broken down during digestion.  Normal symptoms following your first consumption include bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence, but your body will adapt and learn how to process this more complex form of sweetener.  Moderation is key to avoid these symptoms!  As a rule of thumb, I recommend no more than 1/4-1/3 cup of sugar alcohol in one day for an adult.  And, children under 2 years should not be given xylitol or any sugar alcohols because their digestive system cannot break them down yet.

Cooking With Xylitol

You'll be happy to know that xylitol's ratio to sugar is about an equal 1:1 (that ratio may vary slightly from tasty recipe to tasty recipe)Xylitol is roughly as sweet as sucrose (sugar) with about two-thirds the food energy (1 teaspoon contains 9.5 calories vs 15 calories in a tsp of sugar).  There are two points to keep in mind when cooking or baking: 1) xylitol absorbs moisture like you wouldn't believe, so you may need to adjust cookie/cake recipes accordingly, 2) xylitol won’t help you like sugar does when trying to get something to raise using yeast because it doesn't feed the yeast.

You'll notice in most of my recipes I use (Stevita brand) stevia and not xylitol.  That is due directly to the cost of xylitol (it's about $7.00 for a 1lb bag = 2cups = 3-5 recipes depending).  On our student budget, stevia is much more frugal as you can buy it in bulk and a little goes a very long way (about $20 for a 1lb blend container = 2cups = 96 tsp = around 35-40 recipes depending). But if you can afford xylitol, definitely use it as it's so much easier to use ratio wise and has numerous added health benefits!  Also, xylitol has virtually no aftertaste, which you often have the problem with when using a less potent brand of stevia.  Overall, xylitol is the most user friendly sweetener choice for cooking and baking on the Advanced Plan.


Personally, I like to use honey when baking just to keep a similar texture to cakes, cookies and pies that use cane sugar. You may have noticed in many of my desserts sugar is taken out and replaced mostly with stevia but I still throw in a small portion of honey.  I do that for two reasons: 1) to round out the flavor as stevia can come off harsh, 2) to keep a light texture to the baked goods.  Honey is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture.  This ability helps cakes/baked goods turn out more moist than when using sugar or when using stevia/xylitol alone.

I recommend using artisanal raw honey (from a small, local farm).  Choosing local implies that great care was taken to make the product with minimal, if any, use of chemicals, making it organic.  However, be careful because organic does not always mean artisanal and vice versa.  Local honey also means that pollen from local plants and flowers was used to make the honey -- this helps you avoid any allergic reactions in case you didn't know you were allergic to a foreign flower.  Raw honey is honey that has not been heated or filtered, as is typical of the mass produced honey you find in grocery stores which damages the nutritional and healing properties of the honey.  Mass produced clover honeys have been shown to contain heavy metals and chemicals passed on by the processing process.

The main benefits of raw honey are its natural taste and
lower glycemic index compared to sugar.  You will digest the honey slower and won’t experience that typical sugar high and crash. Honey also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, making it a more nutritious choice compared to sugar, which has no nutritional benefits.  But yes, honey is still sugar, so don't gorge yourself on honey just because it isn't white sugar.  It can still compromise your immune system, and if you are fighting an illness or on the Advanced Plan, I do not recommend it.

Cooking With Honey

Honey is sweeter than sugar, so you'll want to use less of it when substituting.  The honey to sugar conversion I recommend is 3/4 cup honey to 1 cup sugar.  Especially when baking, you need to remember that honey is about 17% water (while sugar is 0% water), so for each cup of sugar you replace with honey, you'll need to remove about 8 teaspoons of liquid from the recipe.  Also, baking with honey doesn't allow for as long a shelf life as sugar, so store food in the fridge for up to 3 days.  As honey draws in moisture from the air, your baked goods will turn mushy fast which will make them rot more quickly.

Other baking tips:  Lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees F when baking with honey to prevent over-browning. For baked goods, it also helps to add and extra 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey.


In some cases, it's easiest to just use fruit as the sweetener in a recipes.  A common example is using apple sauce in place of sugar.  You can also puree berries or other fruits and use in cakes/brownies.  If you have a juicer at home, make fresh fruit juice and use in place of sugar.  Other common examples are using berries in smoothies and shakes or grinding up dried fruits for use in pie crusts.  I also like to make frosting using bananas or avocados instead of powdered sugar.

If you are on the Advanced Plan, consuming fruit is not recommended for a period of time, so you need to be careful, but fruit is a better choice than sugar as it will take a little longer for the body to break it down.  On the Advanced Plan, I recommend using Stevia or Xylitol over honey or fruit to allow the inflammation to fully decrease and let your body HEAL.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Questions Answered: Sugar, Honey, Agave, Stevia - #1

A few questions have been trickling in lately on sugar substitution, what to use and more specifically HOW to substitute with the right amounts.  So I'm going to break a bunch of this down for you.  This is Post #1 on Sweeteners: Sweeteners I DO NOT Recommend & Why.

The overall WHY factor is simple.  The basic principle to follow is to eat Foods by God and not Foods by Man.  Artificial sweeteners are 100% Foods by Man and will toxify your body.  Did you know that common white and brown sugars are chemically altered by Man to be made in the cheapest possible form so Man can make more money?  These chemically created man made sweeteners not only toxify the body, but damage the cells and cell membranes leading to increased inflammation throughout the body.  Research has proven that inflammation is the precursor to every disease of the body, including heart disease and cancer.

When sugar travels thru your bloodstream it's like glass shards.  It tears away from the arterial walls as it passes thru.  Imagine those little glass shards causing little nix and scratches as your body tries to break them down and pass them thru.  Just like when you get a cut on your skin, the inside of your body becomes inflamed as it tries to heal from the sugar shards passing thru.  This is what leads to not only local inflammation, but inflammation across the entire body (your gut, heart, nervous system, and even your brain have to work harder).  This all leads to an increased risk of developing early disease, so save your body the extra work and risk of abnormal cell development and just cut out the sugar.

Sweeteners I DO NOT Recommend & Why:

Sugar (white, brown, powdered, whatever)

The primary reason that I don't use white or brown sugar  is because they are highly processed, at very high temperatures and with the use of chemicals, that render them absolutely useless for nutrition of any kind.  While sugar might taste really good on your tongue, it wrecks havoc internally.  Check out this simple list of 124 Reasons Sugar is Bad. Sugar not only doesn't offer any nutrients, but it also skyrockets blood sugar [which then drops significantly after, leaving you with a greater desire for sweets and carbs, and ultimately creates a vicious cycle of unstable blood sugar levels], temporarily stuns the immune system so that it is not effective in fighting illness, uses our body's precious nutrients and energy to digest and deal with the sugar (such as Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Chromium, Zinc and possibly others) and gives no new nutrients in return.

I don't think I need to beat too hard on sugar, so I'll leave it at this.  We all know it's bad for us.  Here's an article from Mike Adams the Health Ranger on some effects of sugar.

On a side note, did you know that unless brown sugar is specifically labeled as "raw," it is nothing more than white sugar with a bit of molasses added back in for color?  So even if you think you're buying a healthier sugar by going brown, it's actually just the chemically processed white stuff with even more processed sugar molasses included.  Sad! 

Agave Nectar

Mercola.com recently posted an article on Agave.  I've also been reading a lot of other blogs and research articles about it (my friend Allison Goofy Mama posted this one, it's great!).  The more I learn about agave, the less enthused I am about the product.  I've completely stopped using it myself, not that we used it much before, and no longer recommend anyone use it.  Agave nectar is not raw, not natural, and not good for us.  It's sad that those words can even appear on the label, which misleads us.  I recommend reading the entire Food Renegade article, but what made it a clear decision for me was this excerpt:

According to one popular agave nectar manufacturer, “Agave nectar is a newly created sweetener, having been developed in the 1990s.”   In a recent article now posted on the Weston A. Price foundation’s website, Ramiel Nagel and Sally Fallon Morell write,
Agave “nectar” is not made from the sap of the yucca or agave plant but from the starch of the giant pineapple-like, root bulb.  The principal constituent of the agave root is starch, similar to the starch in corn or rice, and a complex carbohydrate called inulin, which is made up of chains of fructose molecules. Technically a highly indigestible fiber, inulin, which does not taste sweet, comprises about half of the carbohydrate content of agave. The process by which agave glucose and inulin are converted into “nectar” is similar to the process by which corn starch is converted into HFCS.  The agave starch is subject to an enzymatic and chemical process that converts the starch into a fructose-rich syrup—anywhere from 70 percent fructose and higher according to the agave nectar chemical profiles posted on agave nectar websites.
Compare that to the typical fructose content of high fructose corn syrup (55%)!  If we're working so hard to cut out the HFCS crap from our body, why should we put in something that is worse for us and still causes disease??  So on Agave, you now know my opinion and I've done research for myself.  If you are still confused, go out and research for yourself and make an educated decision.

Splenda, Sweet-n-Low, Equal or any other Dextrose / Aspartame / Sucralose-Based Substitute

If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend checking out Sweet Deception by Dr. Mercola.  I'm astonished that aspartame is even allowed on the market!  Here is just a bit of research on the Splenda/Sucralose subject.  This article calls the introduction of Splenda to the market as "the public experiment" -- SO TRUE!  The FDA has no definition for "natural", and this article breaks down how Splenda was termed as "natural" so the FDA approved it.   Did you know that Splenda was “discovered” accidentally in a lab while trying to create a new insecticide??  One of the main components of Splenda is Chlorine.  Chlorine!?!

Here are 14 Reasons to stay away from aspartame and more info from Mercola on Artificial Sweeteners.  And if these few articles weren't enough to convince you, did you know Sweet N Low is banned in Canada (since 1977)?  Why hasn't America gotten the message?  Also, check your brand of stevia at home for a "secret ingredient" called Dextrose.  This is a Man Made "sugar" that is merely chemicals.  Throw it out and always look for a pure stevia: the only ingredient should be stevia!

Other Liquid Sweeteners
Amasake, Barley Malt, Brown Rice Syrup, Concentrated Fruit Sweetener, Corn Syrup, Date Sugar, Fructose, Fruit Juice Concentrate, Fruit Juice Sweeteners, Glucose, Honey, Maple Syrup, Sucanet

This is a list of all the other refined sweeteners I could think of.  There are probably more.  All of these, as well as cane sugar, present the same problems: high glycemic index & high glycemic load (both measures of the relative impact foods have on your blood sugar).  When blood sugar rises quickly, it triggers the release of the hormone insulin.  Excessive release of insulin and chronically high blood sugar levels are linked to Metabolic Syndrome, which is a complex of health disorders.  Associated ailments include insulin resistance and type II diabetes, abdominal weight gain, obesity, problems with blood lipids (raised triglycerides/cholesterol) and high blood pressure.  On your Maximized Living Nutrition Plan, you want to avoid these forms of sugar to avoid spiking your blood sugar.  In time, stable blood sugar allows your cells (and disease) to heal.

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