Refined Sweetness

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I used to eat sugar cubes by the handful. I have since learned the effects of sugar and now I make sure to have good quality sweetnes whenever I can.

There are so many alternatives to white sugar and I am wondering how they are made and what the differences are.  Here is the first of series of sweet posts.

Since studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition I have become increasingly curious about how food ends up on the shelves at the super market, and which products are the best for my body.  So let’s start with what nearly every American consumes daily:

domino-sugar

Refined White Sugar:

It begins with sugar cane (or the roots of sugar beets).   The tall grasses have stalks filled with cane juice.  The  juice is released and then there is the boiling, filtering, evaporating, crystallizing, separating from the molasses, washing, and de-coloring process that produces the fine white sugar crystal that we all know and sometimes love (or hate that we love).

All the trace minerals and nutrients are stripped away during this process.  You end up with a powder that spikes your blood sugar and leaves you hungry for more sweetness once you crash, and the crash is inevitable.  This is why sugar is so incredibly addicting.

Enter big gulps, and bite sized candy that you can never just have one of.  I do my best to stay away from sugary processed foods, because otherwise a fun size bag of kit-kats will be gone in one afternoon.

Now I wonder what goes into making brown sugar, sucanat, turbindo, stevia, coconut sugar, or agave and if they are any better.

Stay tuned.  There is tremendous power in being informed.

 

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Moving On

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Once I graduated college I started teaching.  I became a NYC Teaching Fellow and found a job teaching dance in a public elementary school in Washington Heights.  I then taught in Italy, Washington D.C., and back in NYC.  June was a month filled with incredible excitement as the end of the school year grew near.  It was comparable to Christmas.

This June is different since I have been on maternity leave since January.  Next June will be different as well since I decided to not return in the fall.

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I loved teaching dance in the schools.  It was a very special job.  I loved making up dances with the kids, nurturing their creativity, making tiny things (like a little turtle) super special, and moving my body every day.  But right now my priorities have shifted and my interests are evolving.

Now I am a Mom.  I want to spend time with Luca.  I want to work on my business when I want to.  I want flexibility.  I want to curate charm and magic through.  I want to teach yoga, host workshops, make mini malas, and work with clients.

Shifting into this new phase has taken a lot of time figuring out what it is I want. Giving up my identify as a teacher might have been the hardest thing.  I was so attached to it.  It was comfortable and safe.  I will always be strongly connected to teachers, and I am looking forward to supporting them in some way because I know first hand how freaking hard they work.

So for now I will be dancing with my itty bitty student, Luca, and continue to make tiny things super special.

I’d love to hear what is next for you.

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Mini Yoga Flow *3

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You will need a little space for this standing warrior sequence as you strengthen the legs while opening through the upper body. Just 5 minutes to stretch + open + ground and you don’t even need a yoga mat or yoga clothes!

Does your body want more? Try:  [ Mini Yoga Flow *1 ]   [ Mini Yoga Flow *2 ]

 

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What You Focus On Expands

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“It is gratitude that expands my ability to receive beauty in my life.” – Oriah

When I focus on all the wonder in my life I am significantly happier. Life seems easier and sparklier when I write mini gratitude lists or jot down the magic that exists in my days.

Example: I am grateful for morning runs, Luca naps, muesli with chocolate, and quiet mornings.  I’m grateful for rain showers, loud booms of thunder, and the picture of a rainbow my brother sent me via What’s App.  I’m thankful for unicorn stickers, handmade stamps, fresh lavender, and homemade cookies.

Result: Ahhhhhh……

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Sometimes I forget this super simple practice and my life then reflects it.

When I have a clear space to write down highlights from the day life gets even sweeter.

Find a place where you can keep a growing list of all things that are awesome. Moleskines rock.  I love my gratitude journal.  And I’m starting a magic log in a mini-notebook.

Start with the basics.  Let it ramble.  Let the words tumble out.

Write in the morning.  Write at the end of the day.  Find a time and just write anyway.

 

 

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