What if I told you there was one little secret to outsmarting your sweet tooth? One technique for avoiding weight gain, enjoying steady energy levels, focus, and a positive outlook. And what if I told you that you can do all of that, AND enjoy a mouth-watering dessert on top it all? It can all be summed up in four little words. Drumroll please…
Balance your blood sugar!
We often associate the idea of “balancing blood sugar” with diabetes. But healthy blood sugar levels are a key concept for all of us. Here’s why:
Food, and the types of foods we eat, trigger the sugar, or glucose, in our blood. And when our blood sugar levels rise or fall too dramatically or too frequently over the course of the day, we’re suddenly stuck in a vicious cycle. Our energy levels are quickly depleted, we become prone to fuzzy thinking, and we start to crave sugary foods. We reach for those foods, get a quick sugar boost, and suddenly it all begins again.
Most of us have a vague idea about insulin. We know it’s got something to do with how our bodies process sugar, and that’s of particular concern to people living with diabetes. But it’s vital for all of us, regardless of our age or fitness levels, to have a deeper understanding of the insulin process.
Here’s an intro to insulin:
When we eat carbohydrates – grains, cereals, pastas, fruit and of course desert – our digestive systems start to break them down into glucose, the simple sugar found in our body’s tissue. Glucose rushes through the bloodstream, which signals insulin, the hormone produced in the pancreas, to kick in. Insulin’s job is to sweep in and distribute that glucose to various cells in our organs, muscles and brains. Those cells, in turn, turn the glucose into energy. The more often we put our bodies through this roller coaster, the more insulin we have to produce to keep blood sugar balanced. That issue is what’s known as insulin resistance.
This process varies depending on our own genetic makeup (which is why people with diabetes often have to manage their insulin levels through medication), but it also depends on the makeup of our meals. The type of food we eat determines whether our insulin levels stay nice and balanced, or whether they skyrocket too quickly, creating that infamous blood sugar “spike” we should try and avoid. That spike leads to a crash in energy quickly afterward, leaving us groggy and often craving more sugar.
It’s also important to strength train in order to maintain your blood sugar levels, because more muscle mass strongly correlates with improved insulin sensitivity. This means you have better glucose control so you can handle sugar and carbohydrates better and reduce your risk for diabetes. By increasing the amount of two different types of muscle fibers in your body, you can more easily manage your blood sugar levels.
So, relax and indulge in this recipe from the Cal-A-Vie Living Gourmet Spa Cuisine. It tastes every bit as divine as it looks, and with the added protein from the tofu and yogurt, it won’t spike your blood sugar like other desserts!
And, don’t forget to add some strength training to your weekly routine! Picking up the weights twice a week will do wonders for body, mind, and blood sugar.
2 Tbsp. Kahlua
1 Tbsp. Instant coffee granules (optional)
2 (12-oz.) packages of light extra-firm silken tofu
1/2 C. baking cocoa
1/2 C. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Heat the Kahlua in a small saucepan. Add the coffee granules and stir to dissolve completely. Combine the tofu with the baking cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon in a food processor fitted wit ha metal blade.
- Add the coffee fixture and process for 7-10 minutes or until thickened and smooth. Spoon into a bowl and chill for 20 minutes or longer. Garnish with raspberries and fresh mint.
- For a nice presentation, alternate layers of the mousse with Siggi’s fat-free greek vanilla yogurt.
Yields 6 servings.
It’s important to strength train in order to maintain your blood sugar levels!
- Staying Strong:
Reset your body with four 15-minute workouts. This target-training DVD sculpts your arms, legs, glutes and core while using light weights. The progression of exercises are designed to give you maximum results in record time. Designed for all fitness levels with modifications to suite your modifications or needs.
- Lift Weights To Lose Weight:
Lifting weights adds lean muscle to boost your metabolism and helps you burn more calories all day long! Grab some weights and get started with three 20-minute strength-training routines to tone and sculpt a lean lower body, toned upper body, and a strong core.
- Barre Body Lift:
Defy gravity with Barre Body Lift, a unique combination of dance-inspired exercises to lift, tighten and sculpt your hard-to-reach muscles and give you the strength, energy, and shape that you’ve always wanted. This DVD is split up into four 15-minute sections that will show you how to trim inches and tone muscles using a series of small, concentrated movements, and create long, beautiful lines with deep stretches. Sculpt a sleek, younger-looking you in no time!