register for updates and specials from shokuiku

Monday, January 30, 2012

alternative to sugar. thought on agave syrup

Most people know that consuming a lot of refined sugar is not good for your well being. there are many reasons why

By Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.


1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.
7. Sugar reduces high density lipoproteins.
8. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.
9 Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries.
10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
11. Sugar causes copper deficiency.
12. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
13. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
14. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
15. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
16. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.
17. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.
18. Sugar malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.
19. Sugar can cause premature aging.
20. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
21. Sugar can cause tooth decay.
22. Sugar contributes to obesity
23. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.
24. Sugar can cause changes frequently found in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
25. Sugar can cause arthritis.
26. Sugar can cause asthma.
27. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).
28. Sugar can cause gallstones.
29. Sugar can cause heart disease.
30. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
31. Sugar can cause multiple sclerosis.
32. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.
33. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
34. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
35. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
36. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
37. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
38. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
39. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol in the blood.
40. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
41. Sugar can increase cholesterol.
42. Sugar can increase the systolic blood pressure.
43. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
44. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein)
45. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.
46. Sugar causes food allergies.
47. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
48. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
49. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
50. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
51. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA
52. Sugar can change the structure of protein.
53. Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
54. Sugar can cause cataracts.
55. Sugar can cause emphysema.
56. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
57. Sugar can promote an elevation of low density lipoproteins (LDL).
58. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.
59. Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.
60. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.
61. Sugar can cause a permanent altering the way the proteins act in the body.
62. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.
63. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.
64. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
65. Sugar can damage the pancreas.
66. Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.
67. Sugar is enemy #1 of the bowel movement.
68. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
69. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
70. Sugar can make the tendons more brittle.
71. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.
72. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.
73. Sugar can adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders..
74. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves.
75. Sugar can cause depression.
76. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.
77. Sugar and cause dyspepsia (indigestion).
78. Sugar can increase your risk of getting gout.
79. Sugar can increase the levels of glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test over the ingestion of complex carbohydrates.
80. Sugar can increase the insulin responses in humans consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.
81 High refined sugar diet reduces learning capacity.
82. Sugar can cause less effective functioning of two blood proteins, albumin, and lipoproteins, which may reduce the body’s ability to handle fat and cholesterol.
83. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
84. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness.
85. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become underactive and others become overactive.
86. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
87. Sugar can lead to the hypothalamus to become highly sensitive to a large variety of stimuli.
88. Sugar can lead to dizziness.
89. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.
90. High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.
91. High sugar diet can lead to biliary tract cancer.
92. Sugar feeds cancer.
93. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.
94. High sugar consumption can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration among adolescents.
95. Sugar slows food's travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.
96. Sugar increases the concentration of bile acids in stools and bacterial enzymes in the colon. This can modify bile to produce cancer-causing compounds and colon cancer.
97. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.
98. Sugar combines and destroys phosphatase, an enzyme, which makes the process of digestion more difficult.
99. Sugar can be a risk factor of gallbladder cancer.
100. Sugar is an addictive substance.
101. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.
102. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.
103. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.
104. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.
105. The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.
106. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
107. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
108. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.
109. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.
110. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.
111.. I.Vs (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to the brain.
112. High sucrose intake could be an important risk factor in lung cancer.
113. Sugar increases the risk of polio.
114. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.
115. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.
116. In Intensive Care Units, limiting sugar saves lives.
117. Sugar may induce cell death.
118. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat.
119. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44% drop in antisocial behavior.
120. Sugar can lead to prostrate cancer.
121. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
122. Sugar increases the estradiol in young men.
123. Sugar can cause low birth weight babies.
124. Greater consumption of refined sugar is associated with a worse outcome of schizophrenia
125. Sugar can raise homocysteine levels in the blood stream.
126. Sweet food items increase the risk of breast cancer.
127. Sugar is a risk factor in cancer of the small intestine.
128. Sugar may cause laryngeal cancer.
129. Sugar induces salt and water retention.
130. Sugar may contribute to mild memory loss.
131. As sugar increases in the diet of 10 years olds, there is a linear decrease in the intake of many essential nutrients.
132. Sugar can increase the total amount of food consumed.
133. Exposing a newborn to sugar results in a heightened preference for sucrose relative to water at 6 months and 2 years of age.
134. Sugar causes constipation.
135. Sugar causes varicous veins.
136. Sugar can cause brain decay in prediabetic and diabetic women.
137. Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
138. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.
139. Sugar ingestion by pregnant women increases neural tube defects in embryos.
140. Sugar can be a factor in asthma.
141. The higher the sugar consumption the more chances of getting irritable bowel syndrome.
142. Sugar could affect central reward systems.
143. Sugar can cause cancer of the rectum.
144. Sugar can cause endometrial cancer.
145. Sugar can cause renal (kidney) cell carcinoma.
146. Sugar can cause liver tumors.


I am not saying all the sweet flavours are bad for us. Sometimes it is nice to have something sweet. It could just be a refreshing fresh fruit to satisfy that simple desire. Sometimes you desire something a bit more concentrated.
So what are the alternative to sugar that you can use?

Artificial Sweeteners- I don't recommend it at all. I stay away form them all as I believe they are toxic and actually promotes more sugar craving.
Stevia- 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar. derived from a herb with no calories at all. GI of less than 1
Xylitol -GI of 7. sugar alcohol found in the fibres of fruits and vegetables. can cause bloating, diarrhoea and flatulence.
Agave Nectar - syrup made from the Agave plant. mainly fructose (70-75%) and dextrose (20-26%).
Fructose -GI of 17, Fructose is linked to heart disease as it raises triglycerides and cholesterol. It is devoid of nutrition.
Brown Rice Syrup - Gi level of 85. sweetness comes from maltose
Raw Honey -is said to contain antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients, raw, unprocessed honey is considered a superfood by many alternative health care practitioners and a remedy.
Coconut Palm Sugar- Gi of 35. made from the sugary sap of palm , the date palm or sugar date palm (Phoenix sylvestris). It's also made from the sap of coconut palms. With a relatively low glycemic index,
Apple Juice concentrate - it is better to eat a whole fresh apple! concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar that fresh apple juice
Barley Malt Syrup - Gi of 42. Barley malt syrup is considered to be one of the healthiest sweeteners in the natural food industry. Barley malt is made by soaking and sprouting barley to make malt, then combining it with more barley and cooking this mixture until the starch is converted to sugar. The mash is then strained and cooked down to syrup or dried into powder.
Amasake - GI level of 43. sweetener that is made from cultured brown or white rice. it is probiotic and fermented so easy to digest.
Sugar Cane Juice - Sugar cane juice has many nutrients and other beneficial properties and is said by some health practitioners to be almost as medicinal as raw honey.
Organic Sugar - GI level of 47. Organic sugar comes from sugar cane grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. It is usually darker than traditional white sugar because it contains some molasses. (It has not been processed to the degree white sugar is processed).
Maple Syrup - GI of 54. Maple syrup is made by boiling sap collected from natural growth maple tree.
Evaporated Cane Juice - GI level of 55.evaporating refines further than juicing.
Black Strap Molasses - GI level of 55. Black strap molasses is all the nutrition that was taken away form white refined table sugar cane. It is important that to be organic as toxins you find from non-organic will be concentrated. Molasses provides iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. It is also alkalising.
Raw sugar - Gi level of 65. It is processed, though not as refined as common white table sugar
Corn Syrup - GI level of 75. Corn syrup has very little nutrition and should be avoided.
Pasteurized Honey - GI of 75. There is no nutrition left and fructose corn syrup can be added.The nutrition is gone, and there is often high fructose corn syrup added to processed honey.
High Fructose Corn Syrup- GI level of 87. see corn syrup
Glucose (AKA Dextrose) - GI level of 100. It is used as an energy source in most organisms
Maltodextrin - GI level of 150. Used as food additive. usually made from rice, corn or potato. can cause some side effects such as food craving.

I eat the way I do for many reasons. One of course is for my health. Including lots of raw food was natural answer to my desire to be healthy and have more energy. In lots of raw recipes agave syrup comes up. It is raw and relatively cheap. The flavour is mild so easier to use in many dishes.
From my own research I try to stay away from it. It is too high in fructose which is known to create many negative effects in your body, especially in liver.
I try to use other sweeteners, or using fresh or dried fruits depending on what is for and other ingredients that I am using with.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

raw dessert tasting event after thought

what a day I had!
The raw dessert tasting event was a success, thanks to all the people who helped me and who came to the event on Saturday afternoon.

I have planned for this for a long time and made 11 different dishes.

Summer apricot parfait
Layer of vanilla cream and apricot mousse with chocolate crust, topped with chocolate shave

Banana Ice Cream Tart
Simple but creamy banana filling topped with carob caramel in coconut crust

Chocolate chewie
chewy chocolate biscuits with coconut

Double chocolate cake
Classic chocolate cake with chocolate mousse,

Cherry Shortcake
Crusty outside and moist and chewy on the inside, topped with cherry conserve

Chocolate and Orange Torte
Very decadent bitter sweet chocolate torte served with refreshing citrus cream

Chocolate truffles
Ultimate chocolate experience

Cinnamon and nutmeg roll served with caramel sauce
Semi soft cinnamon and nutmeg roll filled with hazelnut and goji berry

Plum bread
Sprouted buckwheat and sunflower seeds mixed with maca and natural fruits make the healthy on the go snack or breakfast

Triple berry cheesecake
Indulging yet refreshing cheesecake with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries on a smooth coconut base

I know, I have been busy!

I was lucky enough to be able to use the beautiful venue called "Monkey Bar " in Fitzroy North. With all the people who helped me, including my mum, who is here temporary from Japan, my daughter, a good friend of mine, Naoko and Greg who is a professional photographer who takes amazing photos for me the day went so well.

Events like this make people come together. The vibe was truly amazing and the energy from people who spared their busy time to come was something that I would have for a long time.

It was extra special for me because my mum was here with me. Through my life journey my parents have always been very supportive, especially some tough times that I had the last couple of years. I wanted to show my mum what I do and share this part of my life with her. Even though I was busy during the event I knew she was feeling the vibe with me, watching the people enjoying what I made, having a part of my passion and dream and taking them in.

The last couple of years I had many times doubted my ability. When I was told by a person who was closed to me that I was not good enough in many different ways over time I started to lose confidence in what I can do and who I was. Even though I emotionally responded and sometimes aggressively denied I know now that I started believing what was said. Now that I am not in that situation anymore and have lots of positive people around me I am regaining my confidence. But now and then I can still go back to my old way of thinking.
During the event today I found myself worrying if people are really enjoying the dishes I made even though I had overwhelming amount of positive responses. I suppose it is not bad, bad thing because that makes me want to try harder...

Thanks again
Can't wait to load up the Greg's photos to share!

Friday, January 13, 2012

raw dessert tasting event

Just an update on the raw dessert tasting event because I am so excited!

There are many people who are interested in coming and It will be a great opportunity for us to meet and connect with each other.

Here are the list of desserts that I will be making. (may change...)
*Summer apricot torte with vanilla cream
*Banana Ice cream tart with chocolate ganache
*Orange infused chocolate cake bar
*cherry shortcake
*double chocolate cake filled with mousse filling
*Plum biscotti
*chocolate chewies
*cinnamon and nutmeg roll with sticky caramel sauce
*chocolate filed with coconut mint / plum conserve

organic ingredients and made with wholesome products (using other sweeteners instead of agave as much as possible)

I can't wait to this day!!!!

The venue is confirmed

Monkey Bar
181 st georges road
fitzroy North

sponsoring a child with ActionAid

my daughter's table display......

This is so exciting...
Over the christmas period My daughter and I were talking about this world... She is 8 years old and I suppose she is coming to realise that it's not always happiness and joy in this world. The war, fighting, environmental problems, poverty, child labour, animal abuse ... there are so many things that are filled with sadness and fear.
Why does this happen? How did this happen? and why don't we do something? It's so stupid! She says..

We can do something, even a little bit, to make this place a bit better.
picking up someone else's rubbish
turning the light off when you are not using it
simply smile at someone you don't know and say hello.

But it was Christmas we decided to do something a bit more than that.
There are organisations that you can sponsor a child through. We chose Action aid

A couple days ago we received a photo and details about the girl we are sponsoring. Her name is Gloria. Gloria is from Uganda with three siblings. Our money goes to her education, basic living needs and also her family and village.
I am far away from wealthy. In fact I am a single mum who has to juggle work and family life somehow. But from knowing that this money will make more difference in Gloria and her family's life than my life is incredible.

I am not here saying that this is what everyone has to do. But we can all make a difference in this world in our own ways. And for me that gives me more happiness than anything else.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

raw zucchini pasta and cashew cheese stack

I usually have something fresh and simple for my meals. but I love taking time to create a bit more labour intensive meals.
these are my recent favourites.

raw coconut flour pastry topped with two layer cashew cheese

zucchini pasta with creamy hemp seed, sun-dried tomato and currant sauce

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

dragon year of 2012

happy New year!
2012 is the year of dragon.
A person who was born in a year of dragon is said to be a "doer"- they do things and achieve power by getting things done.
Also as a dragon can breath out fire so they can be hot headed.However the dragon has a soft underbelly so under this chinese zodiac sign, they also have a soft spot to them. they show great compassion to people in need.

What would you like this year to be like? Do you have a goal this year? Is there anything that you'd like to do differently from last year? I have a few... it is exciting and also scary. Hopefully I can share this soon with you...

I have been fortunate enough to supply private home delivery service to a few people last year.
both raw and macrobiotic
here are some images.