Top 10 Gentle Sweeteners

 

 

My Top 10 Favorite Sweeteners 

All sweeteners are still a form of sugar (except Stevia) and should be used sparingly, but we all need a little sweetness in life. Use responsibly 😉 

 

decorative stevia plan for an angle of a page, white background square image.Stevia

This leafy herb has been used for centuries by native South Americans. The extract from stevia is 100 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar. It can be used in cooking, baking and beverages, does not affect blood sugar levels and has zero calories. Stevia is available in a powder or liquid form. Try to look for green or brown liquids or powders, the white and clear versions are more refined but are also more readily available.  a jar of honey against white background.

Raw Organic Honey

One of the oldest natural sweeteners, honey is sweeter than sugar. Depending on the plant source, honey can have a range of flavors, from dark and strongly flavored to light and mildly flavored. Raw honey contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins. Some vegans choose not to eat honey, as it is a byproduct of bees.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is made from boiled-down maple tree sap and contains many minerals. 40 gallons of sap are needed to make one gallon of maple syrup. It adds a pleasant flavor to foods and is great for baking. Be sure to buy 100% pure maple syrup and not maple-flavored corn syrup. 

Coconut Sugar

A cut is made on the flower of the coconut palm and the liquid sap is collected into containers.The sap is then placed under heat until most of the water has evaporated.The minerals Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants are maintained in this process and has some health benefits. It also contains a fiber called inulin, which may slow glucose absorption and explain why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular table sugar.

Molasses

Organic molasses is probably the most nutritious sweetener derived from sugar cane or sugar beet, and is made by a process of clarifying and blending the extracted juices. The longer the juice is boiled, the less sweet, more nutritious and darker the product is. Molasses imparts a very distinct flavor to food. Blackstrap molasses, the most nutritious variety, is a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Brown Rice Syrup

This product consists of brown rice that has been ground and cooked, converting the starches to maltose. Brown rice syrup tastes like moderately sweet butterscotch and is quite delicious. In recipes, you may have to use up to 50% more brown rice syrup than sugar and reduce the amount of other liquids. 

Date Sugar

Date sugar consists of finely ground, dehydrated dates, utilizing this fruit’s vitamin, mineral and fiber content. If you like the taste of dates, this will definitely appeal to you. Date sugar can be used as a direct replacement for sugar and comes in a granulated form.

Medjool Dates

It has been said that eating just 3 dates a day, being loaded with fiber can improve your digestion and their  high levels of iron can also help prevent and treat anemia. Dates also contain magnesium, manganese, and selenium which has been shown to help reduce your risk of cancer and keep your bones and blood strong. Dates provide a natural energy boost and provide enough potassium to help lower cholesterol. Plus, they taste great! 

Birch Sugar

Also referred to as xylitol, this natural sugar substitute can be made from tree fiber or corncobs and occurs naturally in many fruits and mushrooms. Birch sugar is sweet, yet low on the glycemic index and can be used by those with diabetes and hypoglycemia. It has 40% fewer calories than sugar, prevents tooth decay and repairs tooth enamel. 

Sucanat

Short for Sugar Cane Natural, this brand-name product consists of evaporated organic cane juice made through a mechanical rather than a chemical process, and thus less refined, retaining many of sugarcane’s original vitamins and minerals. It has a grainy texture and can be used in place of white sugar.

You don’t need to buy them all, just pick a couple you like. Get used to using them in your desserts and you will enjoy them even more! 

What does Your Mirror Say

Girl sits in front of a mirror in which it is reflected, and on the table are lit candles
To quote an old Grateful Dead song…” What a long strange trip it’s been“!
 
I have been a health coach for nine years and although I have loved every minute of it, some of the hard lessons I could have done without. 
 
I think it’s like having children. Often times I think that our children are our biggest mirrors, we learn so much about ourselves by looking at them. 
 
Like the time my little two year old stormed across the floor saying; “sh#*, sh#*, sh#*!” I would have told anyone that I didn’t curse, up until that day. Pretty sure I was the only one she was mimicking. 
 
Our businesses are like our kids in much the same way, as they are also mirrors.
 
The biggest thing that I learned about myself through the journey of creating my business was that sometimes I am not balanced. I spend so much time in “give mode”, that when I charge my clients I start feeling like I need to do more. On it’s own this would be a good thing, because I give 100% but it doesn’t always build your bank account. 
 
The other thing that I learned about myself was that I am too creative for my own good. I tend to go from one thing to another, never staying rooted in one project long enough to see it bloom. 
 
It’s great to create, but you have to then shift to promotion mode. While promoting you must shelve all creating of other projects or you will never get anywhere.
 
Let me repeat that, you must do nothing else but promote after creating.
 
If you feel like an octopus going in all different directions at once, it’s probably because you are switching back and forth between create and promote. You have to be in one place or the other…PERIOD!
 
It’s hard to digest that our career and how we handle it is a reflection of our inner selves. 
 
Maybe you keep changing directions, always trying to figure out how you contribute to the world and then never seeing anything to completion.
 
The truth is your career is not separate from the rest of your life, it’s a part of your life. We all want to make a difference in the world, we want to spread love and understanding. The sticky part can be when you feel this passion, but haven’t a clue how to get your message out to the world.
 
We need to check in with ourselves and see where our resistance is. If you are hiding a low self esteem you may not think your work is good enough. Or maybe you have always had a money struggle so now you don’t know how to charge. 
 
Your career is meant to connect with your passion, but business is business. So many health coaches just don’t know the steps. They have more passion than business going on and this is keeping them in lack.  
 
You need a system to follow, like a road map that brings you to success!
 
It’s really important to have a system and stick with it. In my new training that launches very soon, we will uncover this. Like I said, I learned the hard way what to do and not do when it comes to promoting your business. 
 
Lately, I must say that it’s like the clouds parted and I can see straight to the sun. I can’t remember the last time I have been this focused and charged about my work.  I want that for you also, crystal clarity. I don’t want you to have to go through years of struggle to see the sun. 
 
In the next few weeks, I will unveil the new training program. It’s hard to not jump the gun and let the cat out of the bag. It feels like hiding presents, you can’t stop thinking about it and you want to share!
 
I do believe that each and everyone of us is put on this earth for a reason. Deep down I know you believe it too, but you may be trying to quiet that voice in your head. You may be going through the motions of working but not feeling fulfilled.
 
Before we speak again, write down a list of what you love, what you’re passionate about. It doesn’t have to be about work but it will help. Then write down where you are now? 
 
Do you love what you do, but you are just not making enough money at it?  Or are you feeling stuck and in a rut? 
 
I think work should look like a yoga pose. You learn how to find your edge, we call it “gentle discomfort.”  You won’t progress unless you are pushing just a little past your edge. Oh and then you breathe..
 
Stay tuned to unwrap the present. I seriously can’t wait!
 
 
 

Turning the corner

As you know last week I made a very consious choice to move away from some things in my life that were causing me to be overwhelmed.
 
I think we all do it, take on more than we should. Even those who I know are really good at saying NO and taking care of themselves, fall into this trap from time to time. That’s why even though I admitted my crash I am also admitting that I am grateful for it.
 
There were sirens going off in my head and all things were pointing to disaster. I was having trouble sleeping, going to bed too late but still getting up before the birds, and then too tired to exercise. My eating was off, meaning I really didn’t care, and my energy was suffering from this. I could feel the garbage in my brain was building.
 
God knows YOU would never have a day like this, right? 
 
I only share this with you to let you know that if this should ever happen to you that you are not crazy. It happens to all of us. 
 
It’s ironic that at times like this, when life gets the better of you, the better things are the first things we let go of. The very things you need to be doing are the things you avoid. Like sleep, healthy food, exercise and quiet time in reflection. 
 
Instead we usually overindulge by eating junk, having another glass of wine, not working out…anything to lick the wounds. 
 
The crash brought about the lightbulb moment to listen to my own advice, “What you put in your mind becomes greater.” Garbage in, garbage out.
 
When I turned the corner it was because I buckled down, dropped things off my schedule and streamlined my day. I remembered that my body is a TEMPLE and I need to honor it.
 
I now begin every day with reflection and positive reading, I got back on my meal plans having them pre-written for the week, and went back to getting a walk in every day. I started getting more sleep by changing my bedtime ritual, in bed by 10 pm with no electronics, only an uplifting book. 
 
Even if you’re not in the middle of a drama, most of us live very fast paced lives. Piling stressful thoughts and unhealthy fuel into our bodies only makes us feel more frazzled. We want to eat healthier, but with our schedules don’t seem to fit it in. We have all “good intentions” of cooking healthier but then we default to the same ol’e recipes.
 
I often hear from people that they fantasize if they had a healthy chef come to their home and do the cooking, they would be more than willing to eat that way.
 
The secret is really so simple you don’t need a chef, you just need a plan. That is why I have dropped everything else in my career, to focus only on the cooking classes. These are not just any cooking classes though, they are classes to Certify you to teach healthy cooking classes! 
 
Stay tuned for more exciting details coming soon! I can’t wait to share it with you.

The Raw Truth Uncovered

This morning I crashed, no, not a car crash but an inner crash. It was pretty raw. Crashing is never pretty, but then pretty is fleeting and hard to hold onto.

Nine years of HARD work to help people change their lives. Trying relentlessly to fill classes both in cooking, yoga and my coaching practice. The struggle is real, the marketing is never ending and the trying to look perfect is unforgiving.

I used to fill classes easily. Why so hard now? Am I missing something?

When you keep praying to God to give you answers you better be willing to listen.

I’ve heard that the definition of insanity is, doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. That has been me, in so many areas of my life.

Apparently I don’t like change, but it is the one thing that will ALWAYS happen. There is no avoiding change.

The trick is to navigate change in a way that brings us to a place that we chose to be.

When you have grown up in drama you live by default accepting pittance from people and sometimes even yourself.

We are all wonderful creations from God and need to remember that.

Crashing will remind you of this if you are willing to deal with the pain and then let it help you rebuild.

This morning no one showed up for yoga. I have actually been teaching for 12 years but lately not very well.

How can you teach when you are losing yourself? Yoga is a journey of self-exploration, but if me as the teacher is not willing to go there I am not teaching. For the last couple of weeks my inner self has been hurting my classes.

There has been so much family drama since the beginning of this year. When my stepfather of 48 years died it was a tremendous loss. I will spare you the details, but losing someone you felt was your father only to later find out that you were not considered blood but the rest of your family was, creates a second level of pain. It creates a whole new level of loss that I have not navigated well.

Adding this to the fact that only three years earlier my biological father had a stroke and handed all his worldly goods to a friend of his and doesn’t really speak to my brother or I now.

I questioned what it all meant. I felt small and unimportant in life. I felt like an orphan.

I still don’t have the answers but I do know that maybe it was what I needed to bring about the crash. I probably needed this to bring about the change and the shedding of what is not serving me any longer.

I am sure my students felt it. To be a great teacher or leader of anything you don’t need to be perfect, but you do need to be real. I was trying to push through and teach anyway. What I needed was to take a hiatus. You can’t give what you don’t have.

Now the raw exploring begins…Am I doing my clients any service? Not really. Over the years I just kept adding services but never letting anything go.

Apparently, I think I have some kind of magical time clock, which gives me more hours than anyone else.

In reality to have a life of balance and a business that I can enjoy again, I need to let go and move on.

That said, I will no longer be coaching clients, my current clients are being referred to my colleague.

For now we will still have yoga at 9am on Thursday’s. If you want to do a power class or do chanting you should go to another studio, but if you want to go on a journey of change, being able to define who you are, think more clearly and over all feel better then come share the time with me.

In the meantime I will be solely focusing on putting together my new coaches certification cooking course. It has been something that I have been putting together on the side. Many of you have already purchased some of my Done-for-You programs and watched webinars. The unveiling of the new curriculum will be coming soon.

RAW is ugly but it is real. Now I can move onto my work that is in alignment with where I am today.

The coaching that I did in the past was enjoyable. I loved hearing from people that I helped change their lives. I was trying to hold onto that.

Don’t be a mental packrat. Let go, grow and develop into all you are meant to be today. Just because you let something go doesn’t mean you are failing it means you have mastered and are moving up.

I feel freer and lighter already. Talk soon.

 

Sherri

 

 

 

Farro Salad with Mushrooms, Asparagus and Spring Greens

Winner of "Best Plate" Flavors 2013 at the Palm Beach Equestrian Center

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. Farro
  •   5 cups salted water
  •   1 bunch of asparagus, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Small pint mushrooms (any type)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic

•   2 cups chopped fresh spring greens (watercress, arugula)

•   1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

•   1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

  •   1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dress with Mushroom and Sage oil from “Olive you More” Store (optional) 

Directions

  1. Cook farro in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 25-30 minutes. Drain, and rinse in colander under cold water.
  2. Saute in this order; onions, carrots, celery, asparagus, mushrooms and garlic
  3. Combine farro with sauted veggies.
  4. Add greens, oil and vinegar.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, dress with oil
  6. Garnish with shaved ricotta salata cheese  (optional) 

Teaching Cooking Classes

Want to teach Healthy Cooking Classes. This is a way to share your love of health and have more fun at work than you ever thought possible!
 
All of the classes in this 5 week series are available in done-for-you templates that get you out the door and working in record time. Maybe you could use a little cash on the side. Check out our Budget Done-for-You class here
 
Eating on a Budget Cooking Class
I have been having a blast these last few years teaching and now you can too!
Some of you will be quitting your job by summertime! Some of you will be loving your job more because you will have more energy for life by eating healthier. Either way that you decide to use the class it will be amazing. Don’t let this pass you by.
 
Even if you are a chef or have been teaching cooking classes for awhile, this template will help you get more organized and make more money! 
 
You will receive everything you need to get out the door running. There are brand-able handouts, recipes, flyers and even back office documents to keep you organized. 
 
Handout images and recipe documents are locked for aesthetics. It can be tricky getting recipes and images to align well and look inviting. You will add your contact information and logo as if you created them yourself.
 
This gives you a polished look from day one! If you would like special changes all you have do to is ask. We are user friendly!  
Eating Healthy on a Budget
 
Have more fun at work than you ever dreamed you could.
Take a peek inside a few classes.
 

Join now and get your on line training for this class Tuesday, April 5th at 1pm EST. 

See you in training 🙂 Grab your class template here 

Don’t forget to grab your savings of 20% off until 4/11/16

Consuelo said, Sherri Mraz, The Cookin’ Yogi has helped me in many ways: Her success system gave me the ability to focus on my demonstration and move forward from where I was previously stuck.  She gave me excellent sample invitations with appealing graphics and words that build interest and excitement.  I can now book my events and present with confidence. 

The Best RECIPE Apps

salad_prep_7Cooking has generally been a necessary activity, and it can also be a very enjoyable one. If you follow my advice you know the way to good health is through the kitchen. The more you cook at home the more control you have over your ingredients.

Traditionally, cooks have used a reference book containing recipes, or a box of recipe index cards. These recipe cards can be heirlooms that get passed down through a family over the years.

Finding new recipes can be done in a variety of ways, including instructional cooking shows on TV, cooking classes, flipping through magazines devoted to cooking, and surfing social media’s countless photos and articles devoted to the many aspects of cooking and dining. 

Today there are many smartphone apps that strive to make the old, traditional methods of recipe storage and cooking instruction obsolete. However, with so many apps on the market, it can be difficult to find the right one for you.

Some of these apps focus on the celebrities of cooking shows and their recipes, while others are devoted to suggesting ingredient substitutions for cooking alternatively. Think gluten free or low sodium, for example. Many are devoted to specific dietary styles such as vegetarian or vegan, or are tailored for weight loss or diabetic dieting.

However, once you find the one that works best for you, the features are endless. Some recipe apps take your ingredients into consideration and then suggest meals based on those choices. Another great bonus that certain apps provide is allowing you to scan and store your own recipes.

Obviously, the app choices are nearly infinite, and constantly changing. Whether you are a professional, or just cook at home for your family, there is a smartphone app that will deliver a solution. It can be both fun and informative to take advantage of this fascinating technology.

If you are interested in using a recipe app, no matter your culinary skill level, Reviews.com spent several weeks reviewing and testing apps on the market. You can check out their full resource on choosing the right recipe app for you here: http://www.reviews.com/recipe-app/

Hope you find this helpful. Happy Cookin’

Sherri_signature

Why I became a Health Coach

Love your Career I’d like to share with you the story of how I became a health counselor and how the Institute for Integrative Nutrition completely transformed my life. May this inspire you to take a leap towards your dreams.

Before becoming a health counselor, my life was drastically different. Although I was happy with my career teaching yoga I was struggling to find balance. I was offering nutrition advice here and there but, I was not being compensated very well for it. I wanted to direct my passion and energy towards a higher purpose, while I also had an income that would support me.

I knew I had so much to contribute to the world, but I just didn’t know how to put it all together.

Being well aware that the food choices I made would affect my health I still lacked energy in the middle of the day. What I thought was healthy was not actually working for me. I had inconsistent moods and energy levels.

Teenage girl surrounded by School books looking frustrated

It was at this point that I became interested in exploring a more holistic approach to food and lifestyle. The IIN school taught me to make food and lifestyle choices to nourish body and mind. It helped me get clear about my life purpose.

One of the major benefits this school provided was valuable tools to help launch my business-including marketing training, business cards and a website. Within a year, I was well on my way to a beautiful new path!

It has been nine years now and I couldn’t image doing anything else. My business has shifted over the years but the core value of helping people live healthier lives has remained the same.

If my story resonates with you, or if you are interested in pursuing your passion for health and nutrition, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition might be a good fit.

The school is a long distance Learning program which makes it super convenient for even the busiest people. Students can learn from anywhere across the country and world.

Even though I graduated in 2008 I loved the experience so much that I have continued on with them as a mentor to current students. This allows me to offer special discounts to my circle of connections.

Personalhealth250x250

If you are interested you can find out more here

Whether you know this or not I can assure you that your career affects your health. You spend most of your life at work, shouldn’t you love what you do? It may be time 🙂