Tag Archives: sugar

Helpful Article & A Healthy Mac N Cheese Recipe!

So after my bad experience with baking with honey, I found this article pretty helpful. It explains where the “natural” sweeteners come from and the process they go through till they reach the consumer. This article also is a little cheat sheet for when you are baking (adding liquid sugar vs granular WILL change the recipe.. you have to lessen another liquid to equal it out).. So enjoy this article and below it I will write out the recipes of which I made today ( I was on a baking/cooking SPREEEEEEE).. hahaha..

 

Sugarcane Sweeteners

Sugarcane is a tropical grass that has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years. Making what we know as table sugar from sugarcane can range from a relatively simple to a multistep process, and the final result varies depending on the specific steps in the process. Light and dark brown, powdered, and granulated white sugars are all highly refined, while others, like those listed below, are made with fewer steps on the processing chain. Fewer steps benefit the environment, because less processing means less environmental impact. It also means that more of the vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in sugarcane remain in the end product. All of these sugarcane sweeteners can be found in the baking aisle and/or bulk bins of natural foods stores.

  • Blackstrap molasses, unlike other sugarcane sweeteners, contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. “First” molasses is left over when sugarcane juice is boiled, cooled, and removed of its crystals. If this product is boiled again, the result is called second molasses. Blackstrap molasses is made from the third boiling of the sugar syrup and is the most nutritious molasses, containing substantial amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. When buying, consider choosing organic blackstrap molasses, as pesticides are more likely to be concentrated due to the production of molasses. Cooking notes: Blackstrap molasses has a very strong flavor, so it is best to just replace a small portion of sugar with molasses.
  • Rapadura is the Portuguese name for unrefined dried sugarcane juice. Probably the least refined of all sugarcane products, rapadura is made simply by cooking juice that has been pressed from sugarcane until it is very concentrated, and then drying and granulating it or, traditionally, pouring it into a mold to dry in brick form, which is then shaved. Because the only thing that has been removed from the original sugarcane juice is the water, rapadura contains all of the vitamins and minerals that are normally found in sugarcane juice, namely iron. A German company called Rapunzel is the main company that markets pure, organic rapadura in the U.S. Cooking notes: Rapadura replaces sugar 1:1 and adds a molasses flavor and dark color, so its great in baked goods like brownies, coffee and black tea, but it may not be desirable in something like lemonade.
  • Sucanat stands for sugar-cane-natural, and is very similar to rapadura. It is made by mechanically extracting sugarcane juice, which is then heated and cooled until tiny brown (thanks to the molasses content) crystals form. It contains less sucrose than table sugar (88 percent and 99 percent, respectively). Cooking notes: Sucanat replaces sugar 1:1 and is also an accepted substitute for traditional brown sugar. Use it as you would rapadura (see above).
  • Turbinado sugar is often confused with sucanat, but the two are different. After the sugarcane is pressed to extract the juice, the juice is then boiled, cooled, and allowed to crystallize into granules (like sucanat, above). Next, these granules are refined to a light tan color by washing them in a centrifuge to remove impurities and surface molasses. Turbinado is lighter in color and contains less molasses than both rapadura and sucanat. A popular brand-name of turbinado sugar is Sugar in the Raw, which can be found in most natural food stores, and even in single-serve packets at coffee shops. Cooking notes: Replaces sugar 1:1. Turbinado is a great substitute for brown sugar, too.
  • Evaporated cane juice is essentially a finer, lighter-colored version of turbinado sugar. Still less refined than table sugar, it also contains some trace nutrients (that regular sugar does not), including vitamin B2. In Europe, it’s known as “unrefined sugar.” Cooking notes: Replaces sugar 1:1. Can be used in a wide variety of foods and recipes without adversely affecting color or flavor.

Non-Sugarcane Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners are flooding the market these days. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common ones that are not made from sugarcane.

  • Agave nectar is produced from the juice of the core of the agave, a succulent plant native to Mexico. Far from a whole food, agave juice is extracted, filtered, heated and hydrolyzed into agave syrup. Vegans often use agave as a honey substitute, although its even sweeter and a little thinner than honey. It contains trace amounts of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Agave nectar syrup is available in the baking aisle at most natural foods stores. The fructose content of agave syrup is much higher than that of high fructose corn syrup, which is of concern since some research has linked high fructose intake to weight gain (especially around the abdominal area), high triglycerides, heart disease and insulin resistance. High fructose corn syrup contains 55% fructose while agave nectar syrup contains 90%. Despite this, it has a low glycemic index because of its low glucose content. Cooking notes: To replace 1 cup of sugar, use 2/3 cup of agave nectar, reduce the quantity of liquids slightly, and reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It also makes a good sweetener in cold liquids, such as iced tea.
  • Brown rice syrup is made when cooked rice is cultured with enzymes, which break down the starch in the rice. The resulting liquid is cooked down to a thick syrup, which is about half as sweet as white sugar and has a mild butterscotch flavor. It is composed of about 50% complex carbohydrates, which break down more slowly in the bloodstream than simple carbohydrates, resulting in a less dramatic spike in blood glucose levels. It’s worth noting that the name “brown rice syrup” describes the color of the syrup, not the rice it’s made from, which is white. Cooking notes: To replace one cup of sugar, use 1-1/3 cups brown rice syrup, and for each cup of rice syrup added, reduce liquid by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Brown rice syrup has the tendency to make food harder and crispier, so its great in crisps, granolas, and cookies. You may want to combine it with another sweetener for cakes and sweet breads.
  • Honey, made by bees from the nectar of flowers, is a ready-made sweetener that contains traces of nutrients. Cooking notes: To replace 1 cup sugar in baked goods, use about 3/4 cup of honey and lower the oven temperature 25 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce liquids by about 2 Tablespoons for each cup of honey.
  • Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees, which is collected, filtered, and boiled down to an extremely sweet syrup with a distinctive flavor. It contains fewer calories and a higher concentration of minerals (like manganese and zinc) than honey. You can find it in bulk in some natural foods stores, but don’t be fooled by fake maple syrups, which are cheaper and more readily available at the grocery store. “Maple-flavored syrups” are imitations of real maple syrup. To easily tell the difference, read the ingredients list on the nutrition label. True maple syrup contains nothing but “maple syrup.” Imitation syrups are primarily made of high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and/or artificial sweeteners, and contain 3 percent maple syrup (or less). Cooking notes: To replace 1 cup sugar in baking, use about 3/4 cup of maple syrup and lower the oven temperature 25 degrees Fahrenheit. For each cup of maple syrup, reduce liquids by about 2 tablespoons.

Mac and Cheese Lite

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
Salt
4 ounces whole wheat macaroni
1/2 cup onion-garlic puree (see “Rocco’s Secret Weapon,” below)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar
1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mist an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set it aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions, drain.
  3. Meanwhile, bring onion-garlic puree, mustard, and cayenne to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in cheddar until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in yogurt.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the macaroni with the cheese sauce. Season with salt to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle panko over the top. Top with Parmesan.
  5. Bake until Parmesan is melted and macaroni is hot throughout, about 10 minutes.

Nutrition facts per serving (about 2/3 cup): 237 calories, 17g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 7g fat (4g saturated), 3g fiber

Adapted from http://www.fitnessmagazine.com.. However… I didn’t add their garlic/onion mix, bread crumbs or parmesan. I also didn’t bake it.. I cooked the noodles, drained them, mixed cheese spices and yogurt, added noodles and served. Tasted A M A Z I N G…

.. I also cooked brown rice fettuccine noodles with ground turkey and a tomato sauce (that I swear cost like like $6.50.. lol.. the less ingredients the more expensive? Makes sense).
AAAANNNNDDDDDDDDDD I made coconut whipped cream. Fuck that nasty shit that has God only knows what ingredients in that store bought shit.. This tastes great.. fucking more than great., fucking fantastic and SUPER FUCKING SIMPLE!!!
 
Legit all you need is a can of full fat coconut milk (I also added a sweetener and a few dropped of vanilla). Alright so take the top off the FF c milk and leave (topless) in the fridge for 24 hours. Their should be a film on top that you just scoop off. Whisk with vanilla and sweetener (if you’d like) and ENJOY!!!! I recently got my order for my quest bars and I added a scoop on top of the strawberry cheesecake bar and I fell in love! Shit tasted like a strawberry shortcake. Fuck yes.

SO that is what I have been doing.. cooking/baking/sleeping and working out.. I had a kick ass arm workout tonight.. didn’t do much cardio but did a lot of active rests and plyo work to make up for it. I was sweating like a mad man.. and sort of uncomfortable hence why I didn’t do much cardio. I get like that sometimes, but at least I killed my arms 🙂

Post Work Out 1/2 Meal

&& My Protein Brownie Bars!

This has been my weekend haha.. I am going to finish up emails and PROOFREADING (yes.. you read that right) this entry and put a movie in and hopefully get to bed early so I can get a morning cardio sesh in… less than 4 weeks till my BIRFFFDAY!!!! Super excited.
 
Hope y’all enjoy everything!
 
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post Comp/ Weekend Recap

Well that sucked.

Lmfao. I don’t even know where to begin. I wrote a Thursday post but never posted it for some reason. I’ll start from there I suppose. So I had to wake up extra early to finish cardio before I had to pick up my bosses kids for school (yeah…. I know).. But regardless the day went as planned. After work I headed over to the nail place, got acrylics and my toe nails painted. This took about an hour, at which point I went directly to Taylor’s salon. We ended up doing an all over, an eggplant color. This took about 2 hours at which point, was already 930 at night, but still made it to the gym to do some cardio and sit in the sauna. After I finished with her I went right to the hotel and tried to unwind.

Friday morning wasn’t as hectic as I thought. I got up thinking that they had a fitness center in the hotel but they didn’t. No big deal I just went to X Sport down the street, finished cardio and on the way home stopped at Sunset foods (which is like a Whole Foods), and got a turkey and some sugar free cookies for after the show. I was running a little behind only because I called Taylor’s salon and she wasn’t there yet so I waited for her text to tell me to come by. We started my tanning process a little before noon. I was there till 3 fucking o’clock. This Jan Tana BULLSHIT was just that, bullshit. Turned me black and did NOT look good sprayed on. So after I left her salon looking like a fucking moron, I went back to the hotel. I wasn’t that upset because I still had time to get sprayed (she had another solution she wanted me to try), but I fell asleep for a couple hours. I woke up at about 630pm and Mike came over. We picked up Marley and headed over to Bridgeview, Il to check in at the gym over there. I was running so fucking late. Why I took a nap before check in is beyond me, but I literally made it with 5 minutes to spare. 5 minutes. 7:55pm no joke. After all this I went back to the hotel and we just chilled. Marley was being the biggest pain in the ass and I had no idea why but Mike left for a bit and I fell back asleep.

Taylor came over at midnight (after I kept falling asleep), and we started spraying another coat of this tan called Fake Bake (which she originally wanted to use prior to using the jan tana color) but I was hesitant because its not a competition spray.. I understand it may get someone dark but on stage is awhole nother story. You should be BLACK … lol.. she finished at about 2am. She left, mike came back and I laid upright in bed for 2 hours.  Got up at 5am, took a shower to wash off the excess solution, but the entire tan came off. So at 530 am on the morning of my comp, I was about as pale as they come. Awesome.

Well, Taylor came back at 530am, and wanted to just spray just this bronzer on me but I remembered we had another bottle of a different solution made by jan tana, so.. I got naked, stood in front of the mirror and we both started applying this solution. Well.. it looked better. I guess.. if better just means I looked….. uh different? lol.. I was streaky as fuck and just getting pissed. I needed to be out the door at 7am because I had a mandatory meeting at 830am in CHICAGO (which not to mention is FUCKING BULLSHIT! that and the whole checking in at USA gym.. just is so stupid and you would think they know that this whole thing is stressful enough).. whatever.. anywho…. so as I’m getting pissed.. hair is still curly as all hell.. and still had to finish my hair and put my make up on as my tan tried to dry. Ohhhhhhhh the time just flew by. Taylor was patient as shit with me (God bless her) and we finally got all our shit together and I was on the road at 730am.. traffic was a little bad at times because of some summit shit but I got to there within 45 minutes. Not like I really could of gave a shit.. but whatever.

So I got to the theater, found a semi decent parking spot and just sat there. It was raining… I had no umbrella or anything to cover my hair body or face with… so I just sat there for another 2 minutes ready to just book it. People were piling in, and vendors were setting up.. I waited for Taylor and we got some final touches done.. Bloated, streaky, hair frizzy, and bikini too small… I felt like shit.. especially seeing these beautiful ladies.. beautiful TANNED ladies… lmao.. ughhhhhhhhh…

Alright well it was what it was.. I really didn’t have time to take any pictures (it was so packed in the pump up room), and it was STICKY in there. This is a huge problem. My hair.. yeah.. unless you know me personally you’ll never understand. my hair is fucking crazy. I could feel it getting worse. I couldn’t stop touching it. I didn’t know what to do.. not to mention NO PONYTAIL HOLDER???? Really???????????????? Since when don’t I have a scrunchie? fuck me. Yup and then they called bikini tall. Lined up. Last one in line. Couldn’t stop grabbing my ass, complete wedgie. Why? forgot bikini bite. After hours of “preparation”… yes I borrowed some but I should of done it WAY earlier.. Oh so picture me.. fidgeting with my hair, my ass, and walking like I have something in my ass. OIL SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE PUMP UP ROOM.. Guys don’t care because they are bare foot, so they just drip that shit errrrrrywhere. Yes I just  want to bitch.. Well yeah so that was me. Even on stage. Most embarrassing 5 minutes of my life. Why? I KNEW I wasn’t ready and I was just doing this because I felt obligated. Yes I worked hard but I took this like it was just something I signed up for. I wasn’t ready. I knew it. I am upset with suitsyouswimwear, my bikini was not custom made.. I was holding water like it was nobodies business… My hands are still black from the original Jan Tana tan (my elbows? Oh yeah.. I look like a giraffe or a cow.. whatever.. oh yeah.. actually… a cow fits me PERFECTLY!) Seriously though, I apologize. I’m not fat per say, but I sure did feel it. I took pictures after I got home from breakfast that are currently uploading..

Okay back on track.. so yeah blahblahblah got my happy ass off stage real fast, gathered my shit up and went to breakfast. Please see below:

How AMAZING! Only finished half of each(okay more then half of my waffle… but that’s because we were there for awhile and I knew I wasn’t going to take home a waffle.. so I couldn’t help myself!) lol my stomach was hurting.. So after breakfast I went back to the hotel to actually check in for another night.. I had called and asked for a late check out (which was $10 per extra hour) but since the room was less then $60 it was just better to not have to worry about packing up and going home since my sister just arrived back from Minnesota… so I went back up to my room and chilled out for a bit, while I did my own photo shoot.. please don’t be offended, you should know by now but I take provocative pictures.. Please see below as well:

haha yeah.. so that was me bloated.. okay even MORE bloated after that wonderful waffle creation.  Lmfao.. also stopped at a “chocolate factory” haha.. it was a tiny chocolate store I saw on the way to breakfast.. Got cookie dough dipped in chocolate.. then finished my night with Buffalo Wild Wings.. my FAVE restaurant lol and ate part of my life away there too… Ordered whatever I wanted without a care in the world. Felt awesome. I don’t remember what time I feel asleep but I woke up Sunday, at 930am feeling fully charged.

I finished packing up my shit and checked out of the hotel at 1130am and headed home. Found my sister, or rather my sisters clothes EVERYWHERE.. sucks I don’t have my own room when she comes home because she steals shit. And thinks shes entitled to whatever she wants to do.. meaning all my shit is moved and whatever lose odds and ends I may have had lying around are misplaced or taken for ransom or until I find it in her purse a week later. I took a nap for a few hours, got up, got in a fight with my sister, and about an hour later I left to go meet up with mike so we could go to coldstone. yep. coldstone.. lol

Even though it sucked because I didn’t add in enough shit lol. So it was basically ice cream.. but it was still better then chicken and broccoli. Thatsferdamnsure.

Blahblahblah and now its Monday. Clean relaxed eating now.

Literally feel awesome. I don’t have to worry about anything anymore, except lifting big and eating big! I WANT TO GROW! I have SO much potential and it sucks I did something to “track” my progress KNOWING I wasn’t ready but I will continue to go strong. I am so excited to finally be allowed almost twice as many carbs as the last month, and using that energy to kick ass in the gym.. This show was a stepping stone for bigger and better things.. I am STOKED.. seriously fucking ecstatic. Game on.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 14 Officially 12 weeks till NPC bikini comp!

“In seeking happiness for others, you find it for yourself”


1022am I have been up since 8am. My mom and I were suppose to go to church but she’s dead asleep. So I starting writing an L-Carnitine blog and haven’t eaten yet. I really want to make another smoothie but my mother is still passed out downstairs for some reason, and I don’t want to wake her.

I have to study today.. it’s not even funny. That and I need to do my laundry FROM START TO FINISH. lol && I really want to  make those sugar cookies. Today’s blog is going to be boring. I feel good. I have no cravings and I’m not tempted by anything so far. I did finish the corn last night, which I think is a weird fucking craving. Before I wouldn’t let myself touch corn because its the veggie that doesn’t really count as a veggie to people. Actually.. lets do some research on corn shall we…

Awesome. First thing I read.

Many people make the mistake of considering corn a vegetable. It’s an easy error to make, since corn is often sold in the produce section of the grocery store, often side by side with cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, as well as other healthy foods. But corn is actually a grain, not a vegetable.

Awesome. Second thing I read.

Adding Corn to Your Flat Belly Diet

So, can you eat corn as part of a flat belly diet? As with all things, you should do so in moderation. Try to find a source for non-GMO corn in your local community, by going to a farmers’ market or asking a food co-op for assistance. When you do eat corn, be sure to count it out as a vegetable, but as a grain for your meal. So you will want to be aware of this as you plan your meals. If you eat corn with rice, for example, you are actually eating two grains per meal, which could slow your weight loss.

LOL. Ol’ well…. I’ll eat it as a snack or a dessert.. haha IN M O D E R A T I O N!

1130am and I finally finished my protein green smoothie. and I didn’t realize it has mushrooms in it.. haha.. oh man.. I was reading off the ingredients and my mom was pretty impressed.

I made all the meals yesterday so I’m glad she’s eating. It actually isn’t hard to make any of these recipes I’ve been making. I’m gonna BE A GREAT WIFE! haha.. actually I don’t mind cooking just the cleaning part.  So as soon as I get up, I’m going to find the sugar cookie recipe (and possibly this oatmeal raisin for my mom), clean, eat then head to the gym.

Oatmeal-Raisin Breakfast Cookies

(gluten-free!)

Also one of My Sugar-Free Recipes.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • scant 1/2 cup applesauce or over-ripe banana (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (I used salted pb)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 T raisins (or other dried fruit, or even chocolate chips)
  • pinch salt if desired (taste the dough to decide)
  • 1 packet stevia (or 1 tablespoon sugar. I actually omitted this altogether. If you have absolutely no sweet tooth, you can try it that way. And if you have a huge sweet tooth—or are used to “non-healthy-tasting” desserts—try adding 1/4 cup sugar. As I said above, don’t expect these to taste like your everyday oatmeal-raisin cookies. I’ll post a recipe for those soon!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mash the banana with the nut butter, then add all other ingredients and mix until well-combined. Shape into cookies and bake for around 14 minutes. (Alternatively, you can try pulverizing the raisins and oats before combining them with the banana mixture, if you want more sweetness.)

Click for the cookie Calories and Nutrition Facts.

This recipe probably yields around 10-12 cookies, but I had to guess… because I ate a considerable amount of the raw dough!

Except before the gym, I have to stop at the store and pick up applesauce, dates, spinach, tofu, and ground beef. I think the tofu will be for the frosting for the sugar cookies.

Healthy Sugar Cookies!

  • 3/4 cup ww pastry flour (or white or a gf mix like Arrowhead Mills)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (just under level)
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (or sucanat, coconut sugar, or evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons nondairy milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter sub, such as Earth Balance (Some readers say you can use coconut oil, but I haven’t tried it.)

Combine dry ingredients and mix very, very well. In a separate bowl, melt the vegan butter, then stir in vanilla and milk. Pour dry into wet and mix again. Form balls or roll out (not too thin), then use a cookie cutter to make shapes. If you want soft cookies, you’ll need to get the dough very cold. (So roll the balls first, then fridge until cold.)  Cook in a 325F preheated oven for 9 minutes. They will look very underdone when you take them out, but that’s ok!! Just let them cool for 5 minutes before touching. (I know it’s hard!)

 Pretty excited about these two recipes. Not sure what I’m going to do about the sugar part because I want to put agave syrup not white sugar….:( Ill figure it out..

*This is how my cookies turned out:

Oatmeal Raisin

Sugar (closest in the picture)

They turned out alright. The oatmeal ones needed a little more sugar (my mom doesn’t think so), but the sugar ones came out better then the oatmeal ones. Hmm I bet I can make both of them better. Next recipe of hers I’m going to try is the Chickpea Blondie’s

 =D

CHEST DAY TODAY! (yes, I usually do with shoulders, but I forgot. SO it gets a day to itself 😉

Chest work out will focus on Lying down chest press/ incline chest press flyes push ups and probably seated press and flyes. BTW I hate doing chest. Just like arms. Hate em. ugh. BTW!

OFFICIALLY 12 WEEKS OUT!

Super excited. I have to email Jennifer about my suit, and get everything written down for my sanity. I at least need an affirmative answer about the suit no more then a month out. I have the shoes, everything else just takes time and preparation! !!!!

SO it’s about 800pm Just got home from shopping with the madre and I ended up baking the oatmeal raisin and the sugar cookies as soon as we got home. We left at around 230- 3pm I want to say. She took me in the chocolate shop………mhm.. then we went to the gap and I found some really cool jean.. i got 3 different sizes, hopefully that will track my progress a little bit.. and here is a cool picture I took…

$45 later.. yeah all on freaking candles. and here is the lovely chocolate store:

It wasn’t even temping. Of course I saw some AMAZING things and my mouth watered as I read the labeled chocolate, but I didn’t feel anxious or a trigger what so ever, which is great. I just remind myself, I DO NOT EAT SUGAR/ PROCESSED FOODS anymore. It helps by saying it when I see something I used to binge on.. Anywho after the mall, I had to go to the store to get a few extra things to make the cookies (applesauce, dates, nut butter ext). & to think I walked into a target to get what I wanted, and walked out with just that is simply amazing, because I love target. I’m finishing up the blog and then studying my little heart out. I haven’t studied in years 😉

Goodnight ❤

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,