TESTIMONIES OF THE DAY
30 Day Accelerated Testimony: “Hi Maria, I just wanted to let you know I passed the 20 lb. mark today! Yippee!! Thx to the advanced keto 7-day plan for getting the weight loss going again. 14 to go!” – Lisa
Phone Client Testimony: “Hi Maria, Things are going well. Down 6 pounds in about 2.5 weeks! Only 8 pounds to my first weight goal of 135. Even more excited, muscle definition is finally starting to come back!
Photo Testimony of the Day: “I wanted to email you regarding how much your information and site has helped to change our lives. My husband has struggled with his weight all of his life. Of course, we have tried everything…from Weight Watchers to Nutri System. I have come to learn he had carbohydrate poisoning. In 2010 at age 49 he had triple bypass surgery. I have included a picture of the weight gain after his surgery in July 2012. And again in 2014 after almost 2 years of the keto diet (65 lbs lighter). And I even lost 25 lbs. I love to cook and was so upset about having to learn everything new. But Maria, you have made it such an adventure and I love learning new things everyday. I own an organic food buying club…The Joy of Organics, and soon I will be teaching cooking classes. I only wish I would have learned all of this sooner. My brother died at 69 of carb poisoning. He suffered heart disease, diabetes and more.
I am also including a strawberry shortcake I made with your luscious cake recipe. I have so many more. Thanks so much for all you do. You have taught me so much!” – Joy
Coconut sugar is a sweetener that has become very popular in the past few years. Man, I get a million questions about this sweetener. This sugar is derived from the coconut palm tree and is hyped as being more nutritious and lower on the glycemic index than sugar. Coconut sugar is made in a two-step process:
1. A cut is made on the flower of the coconut palm, and the liquid sap is collected into containers.
2. The sap is placed under heat until most of the water in it has evaporated.
Coconut sugar does maintain some of the nutrients found in the coconut palm. It is difficult to find exact data on this, but according to the Philippine Department of Agriculture, coconut sugar contains several nutrients. Most notable of these are the minerals iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, along with some polyphenols and antioxidants that may also provide some health benefits. The reason it is lower on the glycemic index is that it also contains a fiber called inulin, which may slow glucose absorption.
Even though coconut sugar does contain some nutrients, you’d have to eat a ridiculous amount of it to really get any benefits from these nutrients. You would get a lot more from non-sweet foods. Coconut sugar has the same amount of empty calories as table sugar.
One of the big contributors to the aging process and development and perpetuation of degenerative diseases is Advanced Glycation End Product (AGEs) glycation. Glycation is where a chemical reaction occurs between proteins and either sugars, lipid peroxidation products (free radicals from oxidative damage), or the breakdown products of sugar. So sugar plays a big role in glycation as does oxidative damage (think PUFA oils and sugar inflammation). Glycation is the forming of sort of a crust around our cells. Many different studies have shown that this crust contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, asthma, stroke, cataracts, glaucoma, PCOS, autoimmune disease and much more. So what role does fructose play here? Studies have shown that fructose enables glycation reactions ten times more rapidly than glucose!
So again, you may be thinking, “OK Maria, if I want to sweeten something a little, I will use coconut sugar since it seems less harmless than honey.” No! Let me surprise you with a tidbit: even though I see claims all over the web that coconut sugar is commendably fructose-free, 70 to 80% of it is made of sucrose, which is half fructose (and half glucose)! This essentially means that coconut sugar supplies the same amount of fructose as regular sugar, gram for gram.
Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver; glucose, on the other hand, can be metabolized by every cell in the body. Fructose raises triglycerides (blood fats) like no other food. Fructose bypasses the enzyme phosphofructokinase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme for glucose metabolism. Fructose is shunted past the sugar-regulating pathways and into the fat-formation pathway. The liver converts this fructose to fat, which, unfortunately, remains in the liver = FATTY LIVER DISEASE. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat! This is why I see so many children with fatty liver disease…they aren’t drinking alcohol, they are drinking sodas, juices and consuming too much fructose!
As long as you understand just how detrimental fructose is not only to your waistline but also to the overall health of your cells and liver, you see that coconut sugar should be avoided.
The liver governs how efficiently we lose weight as well as governs our moods. It can become congested from not only the fructose and sugar you eat but all of the make-up and soaps you use on your skin! I had one client who had her liver enzymes go back to normal once she ditched all of the lotions and make-up products she was using! It is important to look at what you are putting on your skin too! It all gets absorbed by the liver.
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Thank you all for your love and support!
3/4 cup coconut oil or butter, softened
1 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 TBS ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1.5 tsp stevia glycerite (omit if using Swerve)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (or coconut cream if dairy allergy)
3/4 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
2-3 TBS vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup erythritol (or Confectioners Swerve)
1 tsp stevia glycerite (omit if using Swerve)
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cake pans or line cupcake pan with liners. In a large bowl, mix coconut flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. In another bowl (or food processor…see photo), beat together butter and sweetener with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in sour cream and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add coconut flour mixture and blend until batter is just smooth. Spoon batter evenly into pans (or cupcake liners) to about 2/3 full. Bake until pale golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edge of pans, then invert racks over pans and reinvert cakes onto racks to cool completely.
Make the frosting: Beat together cream cheese, butter, and almond milk in a bowl with clean beaters at medium-high speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in sweetener and beat at medium-high speed until frosting is smooth.
Assemble and frost cake: Halve each cake layer horizontally with a long serrated knife using a gentle sawing motion. Put 1 layer, cut side up, on a cake stand or large plate and spread with about 3/4 cup frosting. Stack remaining cake layers, spreading about 3/4 cup frosting on each layer and ending with top cake layer cut side down. Spread top and side of cake with remaining frosting. Serves 24.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Traditional Spice Cake = 325 calories, 20.6 carbs, trace fiber, 4.7 g protein
“Healthified” Spice Cake = 282 calories, 26.6g fat, 5.6g protein, 4.7g carbs, 2g fiber (85% fat, 8% protein, 7% carbs)
More recipes and tips like this can be found in: The Art of Healthy Eating: Sweets. Thanks SO much for your support!
TO ASSEMBLE CAKE POPS: Crumble cake into a large bowl. Add 1/3 cup frosting and mix completely. Tip: If you don’t mind getting a little messy, push up your sleeves and use your hands to mix the cake and filling! Be careful not to add too much frosting. You want the consistency to be sticky, not soggy.
Roll the mixture into balls and place on cookie sheet.
Dip the ends of the lollipop sticks into “healthified” melting chocolate (click HERE to find) and insert it into the balls. stick the handle/pop stick into the chocolate and then into the ball and place in freezer for 5-10 minutes till chilled. Then you bring the pops back out and dip them in the chocolate and then place them in styrofoam to set or can put in freezer/fridge for faster cooling/set.
Chill the pops in the freezer for 15 minutes.