Health & Nutrition

Are Natural Sweeteners Better For You

Are Natural Sweeteners Really Any Better For You?

All foods in nature exist as a “complex,” meaning they come packaged together with many pieces, like vitamins and minerals. Your body uses these vitamins and minerals along with enzymes to digest the sugar. So, when you eat a natural sweetener, the need for enzymes and nutrients is filled by what’s in the sweetener, so your own stores stay intact. Your digestion of sugars is supported by what’s in these unprocessed sweet treats!

But when we refine these foods, the way we do with many sweeteners, we strip away all of the beneficial nutrients until we’re left with just the sugar. Without those vitamins and minerals, you are left depleted when you eat it since your body is forced to it’s own stores to aid digestion.

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Oven Roasted Whole Cauliflower Head (aka “Roasted Brains!”)

Oven Roasted Whole Cauliflower Head (aka “Roasted Brains!”)

Cauliflower has so many health benefits: it can help fight cancer, improve heart health, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, improves digestion… the list goes on and on! But, it can get kind of boring when you’re just steaming it. Bland and boring veggies are never exciting to see on the dinner table!

Being inspired by Halloween, I decided to try a new take on cauliflower with my “roasted brains” recipe!

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3 No-Bake Paleo Chocolate Treats Your Friends Will Love

3 No-Bake Paleo Chocolate Treats Your Friends Will Love

You’ll love them, your friends will love them, your kids will love them, your parents will love them. Seriously, everyone will love these 3 no-bake chocolate treats! They are SO simple. And get this, you don’t even have to turn on your stove!

For me, these have become the perfect midday snack when I’m craving something sweet. Easy, quick, and delicious! What more could a girl ask for?!

Try them out, experiment with taking your own twist on each of them, and let me know what you think!

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What You Need to Know About S.A.D.

Do you ever notice that you start to feel blue around the same time each year? Right around the time when the days start getting shorter and the sun starts setting earlier. That’s due to a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, (how aptly named, right?). Over 3 million people experience S.A.D each year—it’s become so common that it’s now recognized by the DSM and is defined as “recurrent depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern.”

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Super Simple Homemade Salted Maple Almond Butter Cups

Just like everyone else, I love my nut butters. And chocolate? Don’t even get me started! So when I discovered how freakin’ simple it was to make homemade nut butter cups, you can bet I was addicted. Since then, I’ve started experimenting with new flavors and I’ve definitely found a winner with this one: salted maple almond butter cups.

The sweet and salty (but not too salty) combination is pure perfection. And the way the maple and almond flavors work together is just heavenly. Oh, and then cover it all in chocolate? Yeah. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!

Before you get started though… this is a perfect use for homemade almond butter! Have you tried making your own nut butters yet? If not, check out the instructions here. Again, super simple!

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Vegan & Paleo-Friendly Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

I have such fond memories of first discovering Nutella, I was travelling abroad and my host had a jar of this chocolatey goodness in their kitchen. One taste, and I was overcome with emotion—I was angry, because why had no ever revealed this greatness to me before?! And I was exquisitely happy, because, of course, Nutella is amazing!

Fast forward 15 years to having a greater awareness of how bad refined sugar is for you, (not to mention the refined oils found in the regular stuff), and I found myself yearning for that Nutella experience. But I was at a loss as to how to make my dreams come true without the negative side effects of the real deal.

Enter: Paleo Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, a.k.a “better than Nutella”.

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5 Dessert Ingredients That AREN'T Paleo and Perfect Swaps

5 Dessert Ingredients That AREN’T Paleo and Perfect Swaps

I love dessert (who doesn’t really?), but the problem that I run into is that even many homemade desserts call for ingredients that aren’t paleo-friendly! There’s NO WAY I’m going without dessert though. So, I had to find my way around it… even if it meant getting a little creative in the kitchen.

I was flipping through The Joy of Cooking looking for recipe inspiration, trying to find traditional recipes and then “paleo-fy” them. While browsing recipes, I found that there are 5 common non-paleo ingredients in most traditional desserts, and I thought I’d share my favorite paleo-friendly swaps for each one!

So, the next time you come across one of these ingredients in a recipe, you’ll know exactly what you can use instead!

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