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How Do You Like Your Peanut Butter?

peanut butter

So I dropped the ball and missed my National Peanut Butter Day post. However, in my opinion I think peanut butter deserves a lot more attention than one day anyways.

I’ll be the first admit I’m a total sucker for peanut butter… specifically chunky peanut butter. There could be worse obsessions right? I love it in everything from yogurt to chicken.  It offers a great source of protein and is just plain tasty.  What’s even better is it fits into any time of day.  Despite what you have heard peanut butter is not bad for you and doesn’t “make you fat” if you know when, how, and how much to eat of it.

Here’s some great information on the benefits of eating peanut butter and better yet some suggestions of ways to make it extra tasty.  Check it out:

Benefits: Good protein source (7 grams per serving), full of healthy fats, full of potassium, fiber (2 grams per serving)

Tasty Ideas: spread on toast for breakfast, put a tbsp into your oatmeal or yogurt for a sweetened protein treat, mix with chicken to spice up a Thai recipe, mix into a protein shake, or spread on fruit for dessert

What’s your favorite use for peanut butter?

Now buyer beware… there is too much of a good thing ALWAYS, no matter how healthy an item is it still can pack a punch if you don’t watch out.  Generally PB runs you 200 calories for 2 tbsp so that doesn’t mean it’s bad just stick to one of two tbsp’s!  There are brands that are slightly altered versions of peanut butter that give you extra indulging space too like Better n Butter brand which offers 2 tbsp for 100 calories too but if you can act in moderation stick with the original.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/24/national-peanut-butter-day-healthy_n_1228291.html

Diet Pop, We’re No Longer BFF’s

English: Diet Coke Products

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock over the past few weeks you’ve probably read articles, seen on television or have heard others mention the recent findings on diet pop.  Outcome?  Not so wonderful.  For people who like drinking diet pop this is one of those one two punches where you kind of feel like everything they once told you was healthy was a lie so in trying to be healthy you were perhaps causing more harm to yourself.  Grrreeatt.

This deeply concerns me as everyone has a vice and this was my vice.  Some people smoke, others drink but live relatively healthy lives.  My vice was diet pop. I dedicate hours to exercise and eat a 90% clean diet but I enjoy my diet pop. The fizz, carbonation, the way it settles your stomach and fills that caffeine void…  guess that party is over.

So what kind of negatives you ask?  Well, turns out there are a few ugly sides to this story. Let’s look into the major issues:

1. Significant increase in your chances of type 2 diabetes. Ok, regular pop makes sense because of the sugar messing with the bodies levels, but now even sugar-free is causing harm?  What gives!  Even worse, Huffington Post found earlier this week that the percent was even higher for diet drinkers than regular pop drinkers! Alternative they suggest is 100% juice, which surprisingly does not – with all the sugar intact cause an increased risk.  Amazing! Only downfall for pop lovers is that juice and carbonated pop are far from equivalent in taste.  Not much we can do here…. moving on.

2. Increase craving for sugar.  Now here’s where it gets interesting.  Turns out in the study, women who consume diet pop also saw an increase in their cravings for sugar. Chocolate paczki anyone?  Makes me wonder if my super sweet tooth is natural or chemically induced!

3. Decrease in time that alcohol takes to make it to your bloodstream.  The reason for this is that with juices and other mixers used in mix drinks there is sugar present that the body needs to break down prior to making its way into your bloodstream. However since diet pop is sugar-free, when combined with alcohol it pretty much shoots straight into your bloodstream.

4.  Increased chance for weight gain.  Did you know trying to avoid weight gain drinking diet pop is NOT helping us? Now that we know it leads to a possible increase In sugar cravings that makes sense. However it’s not the diet pop itself that is causing the weight gain, it’s the mindset of those consuming the beverage. It’s a case of, “I saved 160 calories with this diet pop which means I can add cheese to my burger” concept.

Really the list of negatives goes on… increased right of heart disease, stroke…etc. I also failed to mention this is the case found with consuming merely one can a week! Who considers themselves a pop drinker with one can a week?

So to play my part in time for Lent I am giving up diet pop. My intention is to form a habit so that when Lent is over I can remain diet pop free. Wish me luck!

Source information: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/11/diet-soda-diabetes-risk-type-2-artificially-sweetened-sugar_n_2663247.html

Written by Kimberly Evans Kimberly Evans

Valentines Day Candy On A Leash

Sure V-day is that holiday that rolls around every year where we remember those we love and oh yea, eat some err…ok… a lot of chocolate! Ever wondered how much you just ate as you max out a box of mixed chocolate licking the remnants off your lips? Well I think its safe to assume a bit too much.

But you dont have to be a slave to the guilt ridden after factor with this handy reference sheet I found allowing you to still indulge without packing on pounds. Use this100 calorie candy guide to reference next week when your son brings home a grocery bag full of chocolate from school or a coworker conveniently decides to feel spirited and treat everyone to a breakroom stash of tempting chocolate. You can do it…one 100 calorie portion and walk away! This should fill the craving without expanding your waistlines. Good luck!

100-Calorie Pictures of Valentine’s Candy | Poster – http://www.fitsugar.com/100-Calorie-Pictures-Valentines-Candy-Poster-27241842