Q. What is your favorite kind/brand of peanut butter? I am surprised that you have natural and Jif. I used to eat Jif, but now that I get natural (or make my own), I find that Jif is WAY too sweet, plus I don't want the added oil. Have you tried all the other kind of nut and seed butters? I LOVE sunflower seed butter, but I can't keep out of it, so I try to avoid it!
A. I don't think I've ever come across a peanut butter brand that I didn't like! I do have favorites, though. My absolute favorite is the Smucker's Natural Creamy peanut butter. I use this on toast, on oatmeal, and by itself. I buy the Jif (or, more likely, the store brand) peanut butter to always have on hand for making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or for baking. There is a natural brand called Krema that is also really good (my second favorite)--this kind has the same texture as Jif, so if you're new to natural peanut butter, it may be the way to go. (If cost was no issue, I would buy the Krema over the Jif).
I really love the flavored peanut butters, but I have to be really careful about what I have in the house, because I will binge on them. Peanut Butter & Co. makes a White Chocolate Wonderful pb, and it's AMAZING. Hands-down, my favorite flavored pb. I love to top oat bran with it! Their chocolate one is good, and their Cinnamon Raisin one is awesome on Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread.
I love almond butter almost as much as peanut butter. My favorite brand of almond butter is Kettle creamy. Maranatha makes a dark chocolate almond spread that is SO GOOD (too good!). I tried Barney Butter, too--you can read about the difference between Barney Butter and Kettle on a post I wrote.
I've also tried cashew butter (yum, but super expensive); sunflower seed butter; Cookie Butter; coconut butter; some sort of peanut butter spread from the Amish; hazelnut butter; and walnut butter. I don't think I've ever disliked one! :)
|These were all in my house at one time ;)|
Q. I'm a coffee drinker, mostly because I am a busy mom. I work full-time outside the home on top of being a mom. I need my coffee in the morning because I feel like its the only thing that can give me the jolt I need! I used to drink tea and that was fine, but now I guess I need something stronger? What are your reasons for quitting coffee and how did you do it?
But I had a horrible headache for about three days when I stopped drinking it--I didn't realize it at first, but I'm sure it was the caffeine withdrawal that caused the headache. That headache was so bad that I realized I had been addicted to coffee, and I decided that I wasn't going to resume drinking it after the show. I felt a million times better without the coffee (and once my headache went away). My anxiety (on a daily basis, something I struggle with) was much better.
Ty recently sent me a link to an blog post about coffee that I found really interesting. It basically says that your body adapts to the caffeine--so if I was to drink a cup of coffee right now, I would get tons of energy, because my body isn't used to it. But for you, that coffee wouldn't have the same effect. For people that have coffee on a daily basis, it becomes "the norm" in their bodies. But drinking coffee only very occasionally (when you really need a little pick-me-up), that coffee is going to give you more than "normal" energy. Very hard to explain, but here is the link to the post.
I also read a very creative way to give up coffee, and it almost made me wish I was still drinking coffee so that I could do it ;) You can read about that on this blog post. But if you're happy drinking coffee, and it's not negatively impacting your health in any way (like it was with my anxiety) then there probably isn't a reason to quit drinking it, as far as I can see.
Q. I come from a family of over weight people, and then Atkins came out and they all lost a bunch of weight (and most gained it back). My question is this, do you worry about your carb count on a daily basis or just calorie intake? I have had success with low calorie diets in the past, but I think my family has brainwashed me because I keep counting carbs too!
|One of my favorite "carb" meals:|
pasta, peas, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
A. I always say that it totally depends on the person, and you should experiment to see how your body is happiest. But that said, I don't give carbs a second thought! I love carbs, and the majority of my calories come from carbs. I had success (obviously) losing weight while eating a lot of carbs. I counted calories and I tried to eat a variety of foods. I also gradually switched over to whole grain carbs--brown rice, whole grain pasta, etc. I've never been a huge fan of meat, so my protein comes from carb sources as well--beans and lentils.
The reason for this is that from the very beginning, I KNEW I would not be happy eating a low-carb diet. I decided this time around to make changes that I was willing to live with forever--and counting carbs, or worrying about carbs, was not a change I was willing to make. So I focused on calories, and foods that made me happy and my body feel good. I knew if I wasn't happy with what I was eating, I was never going to stick it out long enough to lose the weight.
A lot of people have told me "You eat too many carbs", "You don't eat enough protein", "You don't eat enough vegetables" and all the other things they believe are "wrong" about my diet. I'm not perfect! But I eat in a way that makes me happy, and my body feel good. Some people actually feel better eating a lot of protein and few carbs, but I am not one of them. So I think it's best to experiment to see how you feel best, and what works best for you as an individual.