Paul Hollywood’s Classic Victoria Sandwich

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It’s funny, each time I am searching for my next British Baking Show recipe, I always favor Mary Berry. It’s here name, and her recipe that I search for. When I typed in google, “Victoria Sandwich,” I tacked her name at the beginning, “Mary Berry’s Victoria Sandwich.”  I did the same thing when I looked for a Swiss Roll. Both times, however, I ended up making Paul’s recipes.

I knew when I started this challenge that I wanted to start with the Victoria Sandwich. The Victoria Sandwich is what convinced me that I should bake all the recipes from the masterclass. I didn’t know the difference between the types of sponges. To me, they were all “cake.” Though this recipe is not part of the masterclass, The Victoria Sandwich in my mind is such a classic, a simple, elemental version of a tea cake that it had to be a part of my endeavor.

This cake is delicate, flavorful, and simple. It is also the easiest cake I have ever made. Rest assured, it is easy, but it does not look easy. It is still a cake to make your guests “oo” and “aa” and marvel at the incredible talent you possess as a baker. The sponge is very sweet on its own and can be filled with just jam, whipped cream, or buttercream. I chose buttercream because I was serving it as a dessert in the late evening. But I do think this would be great filled with whipped cream which would bring down the sugar content a notch.  Be warned, this cake is very sweet. I thought a small slice was plenty, and luckily, my friends crushed the rest before I could have a second.

I followed Paul’s recipe simply because he used all-purpose flour instead of self-rising flour, as Mary Berry’s recipe did. Self-rising flour is challenging to find in the US but you can make it at home which I will show you in my post about my chocolate raspberry Swiss Roll. This recipe also uses caster sugar which I have never even seen in the US. I made this myself too with a little help from google (once I learned what the heck it was). 

Paul describes his steps much better than I could, so if you are wanting to make this yourself, I suggest you go to his site here.

To start this recipe, make sure you have softened butter and your eggs sitting at room temperature. Then make your caster sugar.


How to Make Caster Sugar

From what I have learned, caster sugar is ground granulated sugar and has a texture in between granulated and powdered sugar. Please, someone correct me if I am wrong, this is what I have learned. You can try to alter ingredients of recipes to use granulated sugar or you can make caster sugar yourself at home. Simply replacing caster sugar with granulated sugar will result in a different texture and a different flavor, I would not recommend this.

To make it, all you do is place granulated sugar in a food processor and process until it becomes fine. Aim for a sugar texture that was directly in the middle of powdered and granulated. Be careful to watch the sugar so that you don’t end up with powdered sugar. I made a large batch and kept it in a mason jar to use in other recipes.


Making the Victoria Sandwich

I started my Victoria sponge with a clean bowl, added the flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. It was strange adding everything all in once. I had to trust that I was doing the right thing and double checked it several times. But it’s right, just throw it all in the bowl. The best thing about this recipe is that all ingredients are equal parts. It also only required one bowl and less than an hour.

That’s a huge win for me!

While I whisked my sponge ingredients together, my husband lined two cake pans with parchment paper and butter. I used two 9 inch pans, but I would have preferred to use 8 inch pans if I had them. I measured the batter into each of the cake pans to make sure they were even and then baked them in the oven for 25 minutes.

I cooled them in the fridge, as we were short on time, while I made the buttercream. Once the cakes were cooled, I choose the one that looked the best and save it for the top. On the other, I spread raspberry jam and then piped circles of buttercream across the cake. Then, I topped it with the prettier cake.

And vuala, your done.

I am looking forward to trying to make this cake gluten free and filled with coconut whipped cream. Yum. 

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Baking My Way Through The Great British Baking Show


If you have watched the Great British Baking Show, then you know that watching 10 brits bake endless amounts of pastry, cakes, biscuits, and [insert fancy words I can’t say] makes you want to curl up with an entire chocolate cake, leave your job behind, book the first flight to the UK, and try to roll a Swiss Roll with Mary.

After a couple of episodes, my husband’s repetition of the phrase, “you should make that” got to me. Then, when we started watching The Great British Baking Show Masterclass, I realized that baking my way through the masterclass was a tangible and fun way to bake my way through the show.

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I had several thoughts against this. The first being, do I really want all this butter, white sugar, and flour flowing through my house in tempting displays of sugary morsels? The second being that I don’t have the time. The third being that I couldn’t, I advocate health for god-sake. Then I realized that I have a husband and dozens of friends and neighbors that will happily take on the challenge of eating the baked foods, I do have the time (I can take as much time as I want), that living a healthy lifestyle does not exclude the baking of cakes, they can be incorporated with pleasure (though I will have to watch how much of them I eat), and that understanding how to bake a “Victoria sponge” will make me better at creating new, healthier versions of cakes.


My excuses were eradicated and I was left with a list of reasons that I want to bake my way through the show.



I absolutely love cooking. Spending time in the kitchen with my shoes off, music going, my hair in a top not, and a glass of wine is therapy for me, just like it is, I’m sure, for many of you. But as I have been seeing clients, researching nutrition topics (I wrote a couple of huge research papers about nutrition and the media and the nutrition content of local food), as well as creating meal plans, I have watched that spark I have for the kitchen slowly fad. I have wondered why night after night, I don’t seem to even want to cook dinner. I have been hoping that my husband will offer or I have been throwing out the idea of oatmeal for dinner more times than I like to admit.


Above all, I love baking the most. When I am stressed, happy, excited, lonely, frustrated, you name it, I bake. But I have also watched my baking go from elaborate new creations, to simple chocolate chip cookies. Since I don’t plan on stopping my work in nutrition any time soon, I still have clients to see and a semester left at university, I need to do something to enliven my ambition in the kitchen.

What better way than a challenge?!



As we watched show after show, I was shocked that I had never heard of 99% of the baked goods, let alone made them. In my decade of baking, I have been focused so much on trying to master gluten-free, paleo, grain-free, vegan goods that I have skipped many of the foundational recipes that most people start with. I mean, why make simple chocolate chip cookies when you can make almond flour, cranberry, pistachio, chocolate chip cookies.

Am I right?

It wasn’t until this year that I made toll house chocolate chip cookies as a thank you gift to a friend. I don’t believe you need to make toll-house chocolate chip cookies. You absolutely do not. You could go your whole life making healthy versions of cookies and you would probably fair better. However, baking comes down to chemistry, and as someone who prides themselves in understanding baking science, I realized that I have missed out on understanding an entire foundation of basic principles.


I learn through action (kinesthetic learner here) so my goal with baking my way through these British recipes is that it will challenge me to reach out of my normal bubble and expand my baking potential. It will also serve as a guide to understanding new techniques and the scientific reactions that are happening between ingredients depending on the order, techniques, and style of baking. Are you with me? Exciting huh? Nerdy? Definitely.


I am excited to learn these techniques to make me a better health-nut baker. I am all for being creative, but to truly make great unconventional goods, you must know the basics. It’s like in the gym, in order to go off on your own or go hard in a crossfit workout, you need to know the proper form and you should probably know how to squat, deadlift, and lunge properly before you try to snatch.



I am currently studying food and nutrition through an Anthropological lens. The connection that we have to food culture and to tradition is not spoken of enough. Our culture dictates our food choices and our health to a large extent. My ancestors are from the UK, Britain, Ireland, and a bit of Scotland from what I have figured out. Connecting with these traditions is important to me. It is also important to me to note that these “traditions” are only a couple of hundred years old, some are only one hundred years old. I would also like to work backwards through cakes and jam, to potatoes and tea, then to sourdough wheat bread, oatmeal, goats milk, Guinee fowl, sauerkraut, etc. to understand the holistic picture of my evolution with food.


I don’t have a deadline. I don’t see the need to bake one recipe a day or anything crazy. I am simply going to make a recipe each chance I get. So if your family, get ready for treats…

Last night, we went to a friends house for dinner and they asked us to bring dessert.


I decided to start with the most classic recipe of all (at least in my mind), the Victoria Sandwich.


I won’t post the recipe on my blog because I followed Paul’s exactly. For the most part, I will be following their recipes, but I have never been good at following recipes. If I change anything, I will post my version, but aside from that, I will link to the recipes I used. You can read about my experience with the Victoria Sandwich here.

I will leave you with (hopefully) a dash of inspiration, and a sprinkle of gusto.

On your marks, get set, baaake! 

Fresh Start, New Coaching Program & My Purpose in Nutrition

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I must have had a great cup of coffee before I went to the gym this morning, not because my workout was intense (it wasn’t), but because my mind was on fire. My thoughts were like a sail boat, grazing along smooth water, with a bright clear horizon and a crisp clarity to the air.

I had one major thought that shifted something inside of me. I need to start fresh with my nutrition services.

As I mentioned over on the Instagram, I stepped away from the clinic that I have been working at since I graduated from Bauman College.

If you don’t know, let me just fill you in on that real quick:

I worked at Alignment Natural Medicine, a functional medicine clinic and chiropractic office. Over the course of my time there I taught nutrition group classes, spoke at events, and wrote articles but I mostly worked with the patients of Alignment one-on-one. There were three doctors who I worked with, whose patients became my clients. It was my job to transform their health through their food habits and lifestyles. I did my best to help support the conditions that the functional medicine doctors would find in their blood work while trying to reach the clients goals.

Let. me. tell. you, this work was extensive, intense, emotional, beautiful, and challenging. My clients through Alignment have been wonderful people and it has been an amazing opportunity. Right out of school, I was tested regularly. From cancer, autoimmunity, hashimoto’s thyroiditis, hormone imbalances, food allergies/sensitivities, IBS, downs syndrome, MS, diabetes, PCOS, fibromyalgia, eczema, acne, lymes disease, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, eating disorders… the list goes on, I had the opportunity to work with a diverse set of conditions.

I suddenly came to the conclusion that, now that I am not working there:

  • I can focus on what I do best.
  • I am now able to set my own pricing.
  • I get to create my own programs.
  • I can now create a program with the accountability that is necessary for great change.
  • I can make it accessible to all of you.


But this morning, while I was working out, I heard one sentence on the barbell shrugged podcast that seemed to flip a switch. “you are good at one thing, just do that really well.”

I am great at sports nutrition.

This has always been my niche. It was on a run ten years ago that I became overwhelmingly passionate about food. It was through training that I developed the desire to change my health and the health of the people around me. I am inspired by human performance. I started my degree in Sport Science (& outdoor recreation) and it has been this love for fitness that continues to drive me to this day.

I am grateful that I feel competent to handle clinical/therapeutic nutrition. I now want to take this knowledge that I gained through nutrition school and through Alignment into the world of sports nutrition.

In the fitness world, I don’t see a nutrition coach that combines holistic health with performance (except Emily Schromm, I see you girl, you crush!) If you know of anyone else, please let me know (I want to be their best friend).

If I have learned one thing (though really, I have learned a boat-load), it’s that to change your nutrition, you need contact with a coach.

If you want success in nutrition, you need to treat yourself like an athlete. You must set goals, you must have desire, you must have a plan, and you must have the perseverance to see it through, and you need a coach to call you out on your bullshit, get you on the right track, and hold you accountable.

We often think that performance and health are at odds. That maybe, to succeed at a sport, we must sacrifice health or vice versa. Or we just don’t know! Well I think they are linked.

In order to lose the weight that you want to lose (or gain it), in order to recover well, and in order to perform well you MUST have balanced hormones, a functional liver, and a healthy digestion to get the nutrients you need to recover. You can’t just choose your “macros” and be done or go vegan or go keto and get the body that you want. Sorry, it doesn’t work like that (but I am happy to help you recover your adrenals after you try it).

Having peak performance as an athlete, overall health as a human, and vitality in our life requires that we support the functions of our body.


So, long story short, here’s the information that you need to know:

  • I am changing my services,
  • I am offering one type of coaching program,
  • it will be more accessible (financially and through virtual coaching),
  • it will be focused on continuous support and accountability,
  • It will ask that you treat yourself like an athlete (even if you are not one),
  • & it will be centered around helping you do more physically than you ever thought possible
  • while we work on supporting your overall health.


I know so many of you that are already great athletes, yogis, and climbers. I know that you have thought about improving your nutrition (but you are waiting for whatever reason). I know that you are interested. I know that you have big goals and I want to help you see them through. I am designing this program for you. But I only have a limited number of sports, so hop on it.

My new coaching program will be launching on Monday, August 13th.
Details, pricing, etc. are up on my services page.
Check it out, shoot me an e-mail, an Instagram DM, or fill out my form on my contact page.

10 Key Tips for Eating Well on a Budget

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One of the most common questions that I get is “how do you eat well on a budget?”


If I being honest, it comes out from clients sounding more like: “We have a limited budget” (insinuating that they don’t have enough money for food), “ or “I can’t buy organic,” or “I wish I could, but I just don’t have the money,” or “good food is just SOOOooo expensive.”


I am here to tell you that organic food is not too expensive. You can afford it.

You can afford to buy high quality meat, in season produce from the farmers market, and an abundance of healthy, nourishing food. How do I know this? My own experience! I have been making this one of my life focuses for over six years.


My husband worked for a non-profit for several years. During this time, we both made less than $10,000 a year. We were below the poverty line for years. Then, after that, we both took time off to get married, go rock climbing for half of a summer and then build our tiny house on wheels. Not only were we not making money, but we were spending quite a bit of money. After a short re-cooperation period, my husband went to graduate school for two years and I went back to school for a degree I had started previously. We were again, below the poverty line and in debt and have accumulated several responsibilities, including a mortgage. Throughout all of this, we refused to compromise on food choices. And we always made it work.


It would have been easy to say that we couldn’t afford organic, or that we couldn’t even step foot in the farmer’s market because it was too expensive. We didn’t make these excuses. We still shopped at whole foods on occasion, spent money on supplements, bought quality meat, and bought a lot of whole fruits and vegetables. All while making ridiculously low incomes.


I say all of this because I want to show that it is possible. The first, and most important step is to believe that you can. I also want to show you how. It is not as easy as going to king soopers, or whatever large grocery store you go to, and switching to higher quality, organic, and less processed foods. This probably would be more expensive.


There are a few key mindset shifts involved, a couple of lifestyle adjustments (that I promise will add MORE value to your life), and a little bit of know-how. When these things click, you realize that organic can be cheaper than conventional. And I mean your actual grocery bill, not just the amount of money you save from less medications.


Organic is the poor man’s food.


Have I convinced you yet?


I hope so.


The following are the ten key tricks for buying real food on a budget. These are the practices that I have found to work the best for keeping our grocery bill down and the nutrient properties of our food the highest.


1.     Cook your own


Added oils, fillers, flavorings, salt, and sugar are added to pre-packaged foods. Cooking your own food will not only save you money, but it will taste better, feel better, and you will get more nutrients at each meal. This step is essential in order to make the rest of them work.


2.     Make a meal plan and shopping list


Always go in with a plan. Focus your eating goals and your menu ideas. Plan cheaper meals centered around beans, rice, and vegetables. By going into the grocery store prepared, you will eat better all week and avoid filling your cart with unnecessary and costly items.


3.     Get back to the basics


Just like cooking your own food, getting back to real, simple ingredients and basic meals will help you save money while meeting your nutrient needs. It is much cheaper to eat rice, beans, and vegetables than complicated dishes with lots of specialty ingredients. I think we often get it into our heads that eating healthy has to involved a lot of new ingredients and superfoods. It doesn’t. We have evolved as a species to nourish our bodies with the basics.


4.     Buy in Bulk


Buying in bulk will often grant you a discount. Purchasing foods with less packaging is also better or the environment and your health. For example. Two-three cups of canned beans is about $1.00 (or more) whereas a pound of dried beans is the same price and amounts to a lot more! Plastics are one of the largest contributors of xenoestrogens, compounds that mimic estrogen in our bodies and throw off our hormonal balance (leading to weight gain and other unwanted symptoms). Reducing the time your food spends in plastic is a simple step towards reducing xenoestrogens impact on your health.


5.     Grow/Harvest your own.


 By purchasing and cultivating seeds, you can an entire summers worth of kale for the same price as one bundle from the grocery store. You don’t need a huge garden. A couple of pots on the patio will do. Honestly, this is the number one way that we have been able to save money and make it work. We have always had a garden.


6.     Participate in a CSA


For the average price of $40 a week, you can get a box of high quality local food delivered to you and for most people, this covers a large portion of food for the week. Some farms let you volunteer in exchange for a CSA. If vegetable CSAs just don’t seem to work for you, a meat CSA is a great way to support a positive and ethical food system while saving you money.


7.     Know your farmer


This is key! Develop a relationship with your local farmers. Spend time at the farmers market and let the farmers know that you are passionate about real food (they will love that!). This can lead to satisfying relationships and opportunity but can also lead to deals (it does for us!). Visit the farmers market towards the end and ask for seconds of produce. (seconds = reduced price, bruised or less beautiful produce).


8.     Choose your foundation:


This tip goes back to keeping it simple and buying in bulk. Choose a cheap foundation (like rice and beans, potatoes, or ½ of an animal if you eat a lot of meat). Keep this the same for most meals and vary the vegetables each week.


9.     Supplement Wisely


You don’t need a lot of supplements. In fact, scrap them completely but do make sure you are eating fruits, pastured meats, and vegetables if you do get rid of supplements completely. But once you have a foundation of a healthy, simple diet, choose one or two supplements that are most important. This might be a B12 supplement or a fish oil supplement. You could also choose one superfood at a time, like flax-seeds or chlorella, and then cycle through the supplements instead of consuming them all at once. Which can require a big down payment.


10.  Prioritize


Remember that it is the big picture that matters. When buying real food on a budget, you will not be able to eat all the foods you would like to all the time, so prioritize the ones that you can afford that offer the most nutrition.


When prioritizing foods, remember that the darker the food is, generally the most nutrients it has. When shopping at the store, I always spend the most money on high quality oils and meats, then I make sure to buy organic dark leafy greens, colorful cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli), and some fruit. Then the rest can be whatever.


There are several other tricks, like the dirty dozen, shop-hopping, etc. but these are the ten that I have found that have made the biggest impact on our wallets. It’s not about penny pinching, or buying cheaper options. It’s about shopping wisely and knowing how to get all of the nutrients that your body needs. 

Nutrition is a Journey of Self-Development

Talking you into nutrition is really talking you into a journey of self-discovery. It is talking you into re-evaluating your life, asking yourself hard (but beautiful) questions about who you want to be, what your goals are, and how you want to show up to the world. I am asking you to re-think the way that you spend your time, to look at your priorities and shift them. I want you to add, not just your nutrition to the top of the list, but your health entirely.

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Hi, I’m Adina and I want to challenge you. I want you to go beyond “okay” or “fairly healthy.” I am asking you to pursue the person that you were created to be. I want you to come alive.


I have been interested in food from a young age, but passionate about nutrition since I was 14 years old. That has made for over a decade (11 years to be exact) of immersion study about the way that we eat, the “why” behind we eat, and the “how” of how what we eat impacts our health, our athletic performance, and our happiness.


I was not born with passion. I was born with a desire. A desire to seek truth and beauty in the world. By following this desire, I was blessed with passion along the way. More passion than I sometimes know what to do with. Some people call me an “energizer,” some people call me an “inspirer.” Either way, I generally have no filter, which has made me feel that I am here to put energy behind the people that I touch in my life.


This blog is meant to be an expression of that. I deleted everything I have previously written. Firstly, because I love fresh starts. I love new years and I especially love mornings. Secondly, because I am impulsive. I think that the best way to help others with nutrition is to share the raw reality of what it means to live a lifestyle in pursuit of proper nourishment. This means that you are not always perfect. It means that you make “poor” food choices sometimes for the love of the people around you. It also means that you work hard every day to become a better person. It is not a linear line, it is not always about the food. There is no off the wagon. This is a journey we are on and we choose how we want to show up.


In our culture, most of us have such a hard time putting ourselves first. This is at least true for the people that I know and for most of the clients that I work with. Our culture has somehow intertwined the definitions of self-sacrifice and service. We think when we are in service to others, we must humbly sacrifice our own needs. Further still, we believe this to be noble. This action may have noble intentions, but self-sacrifice should not be confused with service of others. Gradually, we become disconnected with our intuitive knowledge, our bodies signals, and we disrupt the delicate balance of the functions of our bodies. No one wants to be a drain on the system.


It may seem hard to shift your priorities around. You may feel like you don’t have time for nutrition. You may think that you eat fairly “healthy” already and see no need to put more energy into what you eat. You may think you only have time for a 30 minute workout a few times a week and 20 minutes to cook dinner at night. You may think that you don’t have time for yourself at all, that if you take time for yourself, you are taking away time that you could have spent giving to others.

I ask you to challenge these beliefs.


When we realize that prioritizing our health is the first step to achieving the rest of our priorities (in the best way that we can), taking care of ourselves becomes easy. It becomes necessary. It is necessary. We can then serve in a way that exponentially makes the world a better place.


Know that taking care of yourself is taking care of others.
To be honest, we are the only person that we can take care of.


If I could press upon you one thing, okay, make that two, it is that:

1) by being healthy, happy and thriving, we are serving the world with our gifts. We are responsible for that expression. This is not selfish

2) That eating healthy is not easy. Living healthy takes work. There is no quick fix. But I promise that it is a wonderful journey and that you are important and deserve to take yourself on that journey.


I am asking you to come with me. 

Guide to Sugar and Free Download

I get questions about sugar frequently. What “natural” sugar should I choose? How much is too much? Does fruit have too much sugar? Sugar and talk about sugar is everywhere! With industrial food products and literally hundreds of names for sugar, it is sometimes hard to know what you are eating, so I created this free guide for my clients and I thought I would share it here for all of you too. To download it, scroll down to the bottom. 

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I believe there are healthy ways to enjoy treats, and higher glycemic carbohydrates as part of a healthy lifestyle. If I told you, I never ate sugar, it would be a lie. In fact, yesterday, I made these Gluten Free Apple Cider Doughnuts from @agirl_defloured and they are incredible.

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But because sugar is highly addictive, it is easy to go from zero to one hundred. For athletes, sugars can be used strategically for performance and recovery. Even for a recreational athlete who enjoys activities like strength training, recreational racing (like running, cycling, or triathlons), or outdoor sports. Higher glycemic carbohydrates are sometimes necessary to help shuttle amino acids quickly back into muscle.

What is Sugar?

Not all sugar is made equal. “Sugar” is used as a term for all of the following:

1.     The molecule, glucose, that is the body’s preferred source of fuel
2.     Whole foods (carbohydrates) that are converted to or contain carbohydrate molecules *as seen below
3.     Refined Sugars

Sugars are Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are made from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. (1C, 2H, 2H2O). They are a quick source of energy that is necessary to achieve higher outputs of energy and intense activities. Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for producing ATP (how we make energy). They are required for proper protein and fat metabolism, and are important in times of stress and muscle development. However, not all sugar is beneficial. We need carbohydrates for overall health. We do not need simple, refined sugars or the chemicals and GMOs that often come with it.


Carbohydrates come in three forms:

  1. Monosaccharides (simple sugar)

    1. Glucose (blood sugar, table sugar, and the form of sugar most protein and carbohydrate is converted to)

    2. Fructose (Many fruits, honeys, and vegetables

      1. There are two kinds of fructose – refined and unrefine

    3. Galactose (found in milk)

  2. Disaccharides (also simple sugar)

  3. Polysaccharides (complex sugars that consist of 3 or more monosaccharides)

Quality and Type of Carbohydrate Matter, we do not digest all sugars the same. Some (like refined fructose from corn syrup) are processed rapidly in the liver (not healthy), increase inflammation, and oxidative stress. These kinds of sugars can also deplete nutrients and increase our overall feeling of fatigue and stress. Other kinds of sugar (whole foods sugars) are accompanied by essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, help improve gut health, support adrenal health, and are metabolized as a healthy form of energy. Polysaccharides from whole food sources like beans, have even been found to decrease glycemic response in diabetics and increase insulin sensitivity. Everyone has a different carbohydrate tolerance and our needs vary greatly depending on activity level.


Dangers of Refined Sugar

  • -       Depletes nutrients like Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Calcium
  • -       leads to increased insulin,
  • -       Increases inflammation,
  • -       Chemicals are used in the process of refining sugars which are then ingested
  • -       Many are genetically modified (especially beet sugar and corn).
  • -       Can weaken the endocrine system,
  • -       Overworks the Pancreas,
  • -       Stresses liver,
  • -       Contributes to pH imbalances by increasing the body’s acidity,
  • -       Its addictive: Increases dopamine and initiates the conversion of tryptophan into our feel good hormone, serotonin.


What Can We Do

Understanding sugar and the many names for hidden sugar is one way we can take responsibility for the type of products we vote for with our purchasing. There are Several different names for sugar, many of which are hard to recognize, making it easy for sugar to sneak into “healthy” or “paleo” treats on the shelves. Knowing what contains sugar and understanding the different types gives us the power to choose what we put into our bodies. A great deal of this starts with honoring our boundaries and making treats at home. When we eat sugar, it should be our own choice and not someone else’s and the types of sugar we put into our body should be in our control too.

Stick to Whole Food Sugars

When in doubt, I bring things back to the basics. I stick to higher glycemic foods that have vitamins and minerals along with the simple carbohydrates (like honey and maple syrup).

The Following are on my go-to list for baking, sweetening coffee, and making other treats:

Maple Syrup,
Coconut sugar,
Date Sugar,
& Agave (limit)



The Following are on my rarely or absolutely never list:

most common names.

Brown sugar
Cane Crystals
Cane Sugar
Evaporated Cane Juice
Fruit Juice Concentrates
Malt Syrup
White Sugar
Table Sugar
Raw Sugar
Malted barley
Ribose rice syrup,
Rice malt
Rice syrup solids,
Beet sugar (often GM)


Anydrous dextrose
Crystal dextrose,
Fructose sweetener,
Liquid Fructose,


(Highly GM crop)Corn Sweetener
Corn Syrup
Corn Syrup Solids
High Fructose Corn Syrup


Luo Han Guo fruit extracts,
Sweet n low, 


Hydrogenated starch,  

There are so many different names for sugar molecules, it can get overwhelming. When in doubt, I always stick to the basics. Is it a whole food? no? Then I general stay clear. Is it a delicious cocktail on a special night? Is there crappy sugar? Yes? I'm usually all for that cocktail.