About 15 years ago I completely changed how I eat. After months and months of feeling tired and having no energy, as well as having some tummy troubles, I knew I needed to do something. At the time my roommate was a sales rep for a large candy company. This meant our house was always full of sweets. Boxes of them everywhere. Now this was back in the day where we were being bombarded with the message that low fat eating was the way to go. And that was awesome, or so I thought, because you know what’s low in fat? Sugar. Delicious, sweet, addictive sugar. Surely that meant I could pop gummy bears and licorice like, well, candy. It’s not like I was living on candy. Overall I ate a fairly balanced diet. I was a healthy weight. I was carrying around an extra ten pounds I wasn’t crazy about but I wasn’t overweight. But, I wasn’t feeling all that healthy.
During that time a co-worker, and friend, of mine decided she wanted to lose weight. She had being talking about wanting to get rid of a few pounds for quite some time but never seemed to work up enough motivation to actually do it. But this time she seemed to have a fire lit under her. She’s a smart woman, and just happens to be a nurse as well. We started talking about sugar and carbs. There was a particular low carb (almost no carb) diet that was very popular at the time. We both agreed that it was too restrictive and impossible (and even unhealthy) to maintain long term. But some of the principles made sense. So together we decided to make some changes to our diet. I wasn’t really looking to loose weight, my motivation was to feel healthier, to stop feeling so sluggish and tired all the time, and hopefully do something about my stomach problems (the term IBS had been brought up by my doctor). But if I happen to shed those few extra pounds I was ok with that.
The first thing I did, we both did, was cut sugar out of our diet. And we also started to pay more attention to the other carbs we were consuming. We realized, first of all, that we were taking in far more than we actually needed. But a body does need some carbs (and so does the taste buds) so it was a matter of being more picky about those carbs that we did eat. For me the changes in my health were huge and they happened fairly quickly too. Within weeks my energy level was much higher. I didn’t feel so tired and run down. Within a couple of months those extra ten pounds were just gone. I want to add here that I was always a reasonably active person. I would never, ever promote weight loss without exercise. But the change in my diet, along with the activity I was already doing, was enough to easily drop those few pounds. And in this time by stomach troubles also disappeared. All it took was a few simple (and they really were simple) changes to how I ate to make some very large changes to my health. That was 15 years ago and I haven’t looked back since.
Once I cut the sugar out of my life I was surprised to find out that my sugary cravings mostly went with it. I’m not one to sit and eat a chocolate bar or a piece of cake but I still do like something with just a touch of sweetness from time to time. Since one of my favorite snacks is a handful of nuts I love this low sugar (or no sugar depending on your preference) spiced nut recipe. Nuts have so many health benefits and are full of protein, which is awesome for helping to keep blood sugar levels even. This recipe also contains cinnamon which is not just delicious but is also good and managing blood sugar levels (as well as some other healthy benefits).
These nuts make a great snack to have on hand for those sweet cravings. Packed full of protein and low in sugar they will satisfy those cravings without making you feel hungry and hour later.
Low (or no) Sugar Spiced Nuts
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups of your favorite nuts
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar OR your favorite sweetener (I use stevia)
- 1 tablespoon of Orange Naturals Vanilla ND Shake mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon OR 4 drops of Orange Naturals Cinnamon Tincture
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and lightly oil or spray with non stick cooking spray.
Beat the egg white by hand until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Put nuts in a bowl, pour the egg and vanilla mixture over the nuts and stir to coat. Add the sugar/sweetner, shake mix and cinnamon and mix well.
Spread the mixture on the cookie sheet. Bake for 1/2 hour, stirring half way through. Remove from oven and while still hot stir again and break any big clusters of nuts apart. Let cool completely and store in an air tight container.
Orange Naturals has a whole line up of supplements that can help you manage your blood sugar. With obesity and diabetes on the rise today it’s more important than ever that we watch our blood sugar. Being active and eating healthy play a huge part in that. And adding healthy supplements can also help. You can also visit the Orange Naturals Blog for more great advice as well as some healthy and delicious recipes! And if you have any questions or want to follow along with some healthy and informative questions, be sure to follow Orange Naturals on Twitter.