Yesterday I posted a super yummy all natural Fresh Lemonade recipe using Honey instead of Sugar.  Some of you wondered…Why?

Here are the basics:
Refined Sugar: Also called Sucrose, table sugar, or saccharose.

Refined sugar often comes from sugar cane or sugar beet.  That’s the natural part.  It’s what happens after it’s been harvested.  It’s manufactured and processed until it has been stripped of all vitamins, minerals, and proteins; and you end up with refined sugar.  The sugar is empty, dead, naked…your body get’s absolutely nothing from it except for a spike in energy and insulin which is NOT a good thing. 

So what?  Why should you care about consuming these empty calories?  It’s the nutrients your body has to give up to metabolize it.  The sugar makes your body unstable, so your body has to give up precious minerals like potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium to restore balance.  Your body gives up calcium from your bones and teeth first which makes them weak and start to decay, hence tooth decay and osteoporosis.

Your liver stores refined sugar as glucose, but capacity is limited.  The glucose is released into your blood and is stored in your belly, thighs, breasts, and butt!  Once these places are full, it travels to your kidneys and heart where abnormal blood pressure begins.  Eventually your nervous, circulatory, & lymphatic systems are invaded, your white blood cells are elevated and your immune system becomes so comprimised your body has a hard time fighting off anything from a bug bite, to a serious infection.

It also causes your body to produce excess amounts of insulin.  Insulin encourages cellular growth, great for healthy cells, but not so good for abnormal and cancer cells.

The energy spike is very temporary and makes you crash which leaves you in a constatnt state of fatigue and wanting more.

It’s highly addictive!  The average American eats 2-3 pounds of sugar EVERY WEEK!

If you and your family are on a high-sugar diet, start weaning yourselves now!  You may feel ok now, but you will pay the price later.  Diseases like heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes don’t happen overnight…it takes YEARS for these illneses to build up.


I’m talking about raw natural honey, not the typical processed stuff you find in a cute little bear at the local grocery store.  That stuff is not much better than refined sugar.  Generally the darker the honey the more antioxidents it has do don’t be afraid to go with something darker.

Honey is superior to refined sugar in that it has nutrients your body can actually use and absorb.  It has antioxidants, enzymes, 22 amino acids, and studies show it to increase your bodies ability to effectively process glucose (the exact opposite of sugar).  Because of the anti-bacterial properties of honey it can help to improve the digestive system.

It has lots of ancient healing properties which I will not get into here, but it’s been around for thousands of years and has been used as an antiseptic, cleanser, and anti-inflammatory to name a few.

It is calorie dense, so beware of how much you are using.  You will need less honey than refined sugar as honey is sweeter. If honey is your only sugar intake (and it most likely is not) 3-5 tablespoons per day is more than enough.

Disclaimer:  Do not give honey to children less than 1 year!!!

Conclusion:  Raw Honey is a better sweetening choice than refined sugar.  However, you should aim to use all sweeteners sparingly. 
Healthy Habits: Try to cut out a little at a time, and adjust your taste buds to tolerate food in it’s most natural form.  As a rule you should be getting less than 10% of your caloric intake from sugar.
Healthy Food for Kids
I get this all the time from parents, “Well, I WOULD feed my children more fruits and vegetables…but they won’t eat them.  To be honest, I cringe a little every time I hear that.

It’s not up to the kids.  It’s up to you.  What you decide to feed them now will shape what they will want to eat the rest of their lives. If you teach them the importance of healthy foods now they will automatically eat healthier when they go off on their own, and they will live a much healthier life. 

The statistics are grim.  If your child was born after the year 2000 they have a one in three chance of becoming diabetic, if you are a minority it’s 1 in 2.  Aside from that, kids will also live much shorter lives than we will.  This is mostly due to diet and lack of exercise.  Two things that you as a parent have complete control over.  I know you don’t want to be responsible for their poor health later, so you need to start paying attention today.

Ideally it should start young.  When they are first learning to eat.  It should be all vegetables and fruits with fish and lean meats, that you prepare! None of that jarred stuff.  The jarred stuff is processed with preservatives and it tastes nothing like what the actual veggie or fruit tastes like.  It’s so much easier than you think.

Hopefully they get slightly more vegetables than fruits.  When my girls started on solids I gave them only vegetables for the first 2 months then slowly gave them fruits.  Now at ages 1 and 3, they always eat their vegetables first.  Other parents gasp when they see that, “How did you get them to do that?”  They ask amazed.  The answer is easy, “They eat what you give them.”

If you didn’t start young there is still hope!  It’s a more gradual transition.  First they have to see you eating it and enjoying it.  Even if it’s not your favorite thing they have to see that you like it. But don’t over do it.  Like “MMMM this is soooo good!  Johnny you have to try it, YUM!”  Kid’s will see right through that. 

Start with one new food every week and make it a game.  Have them help you choose at the grocery store, then let them help you prepare it.  They will be more likely to try it if they helped make it.  If they flat out refuse to try it at dinner, do not make them something else.  If after 3 bites or so,  If they honestly don’t like it, then don’t force it, but do not make them something else.  Keep in mind it can take up to 12 times of introducing a new food before they decide they like it.

If they are not eating it to assert their independence let them know this is what is for dinner, breakfast, etc and you are not going to make them something else.  Also let them know there will not be any snacks after dinner.  And stick to it!  Don’t worry; you are not going to starve them.  The lesson here is so huge.  I can speak from experience with my 3 year old.  Every 4 months or so she will test us and will refuse to eat anything at dinner.  I can tell you she eats a very good breakfast.

I make sure my family gets 7 to 13 servings of healthy fruits and vegetables everyday so that we protect our health, avoid illness, and enjoy happy healthy lives.  You can too!

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