It looks like the bug is on its’ way out, as Keenan is feeling a little better today (though, still a little hoarse) and my husband and I are almost feeling 100% again. I still have a little bit of a stuffy nose and a slight cough. Speaking of, I went to CrossFit last night and boy, was it hard! I felt so weak throughout the entire workout and it was hard to catch my breath (the coughing didn’t help either!). Working out after being sick is definitely no fun. I can’t wait until I am 100% again!
We stayed home again today, just to make sure Keenan is officially better before we venture out. To keep him busy, we did some painting for some upcoming birthdays in our family, as well as painting an Easter egg (to continue our tradition from last year). Even though it is our 5th day at home, it was a fun morning!
Anyhow, since it is Thursday, it’s time for another round of “Thursday Tidbits!”
Since we use a lot of Xylitol in our house, I thought I would talk a little bit about it and why we choose to consume it. We only use Xylitol and raw honey in our household, with the few exceptions of baking with real sugar around the holidays for family gatherings (but even for that, I primarily bake with Xylitol).
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that comes from woody plant material. It is usually extracted from corn cobs or hardwood, and looks and tastes like table sugar. Most fruits and vegetables also contain small amounts of it, but not enough for commercial extraction. In addition, our bodies all make Xylitol on a regular basis, in fact, around 15 grams everyday.
What are the health benefits?
Unlike sugar, Xylitol won’t harm your body, in fact, it can help improve it! The body doesn’t use insulin to metabolize Xylitol, thus it has very little effect on blood sugar levels, so it is great for diabetics. It is also a great cavity fighter, as well as helping to repair damaged tooth enamel, since it doesn’t ferment and cause acid by oral bacteria. In addition, Xylitol has been found to help clear nasal passages and prevent ear infections. When used as a nasal spray on a regular basis, it reduces the germs and irritants from adhering to the tissue inside your nose, thus reducing the amount of respiratory illnesses and allergies, as well as allowing you to breathe easier. Some studies have even shown that Xylitol has helped to increase while blood cell activity (boosting immunity) and lowering risk of ovarian cysts.
How do I use it?
I mostly use it for baking. Since Xylitol has the same sweetness as sugar, it is a 1:1 sugar substitute. It bakes the same as regular sugar, in fact, I’ve never had an issue substituting it for sugar in any recipe. I also sprinkle a teaspoon in my coffee in the mornings or in my Greek yogurt for added sweetness. I have a nasal spray that contains Xylitol, XClear, that I occasionally use when I have a cold (for maximum effectiveness, I should use it everyday!).
Why do I consume it?
After learning about Xylitol from our good friend’s father, who is a doctor, I was very intrigued. I did some research on my own and thought it would be a great alternative for us. My husband and I don’t have diabetes, nor does it run in our family, but we want to keep ourselves as healthy as possible, so why not consume it? I love that it is natural and contains so many wonderful benefits!
What kind of products contain Xylitol and where can you get it?
You can buy a bag of granulated Xylitol for cooking and baking at most grocery stores now, as well as health food stores or on amazon.com. In any natural/homeopathic aisle of a grocery store or pharmacy, you should find toothpaste, chewing gum, breath mints and nasal sprays that all contain it, too.
Well, that’s a wrap for today. It’s time to head to CrossFit! I hope I do better today!
Speaking of working out, here is the CrossFit Home or Travel WOD #5 for you! Have fun!
- What are your thoughts on sugar alternatives?
-Have you tried Xylitol? If so, how do you like it?