NOTE: Be sure to read the update toward the bottom of this page!
I'm pre-diabetic. I've known this for about two years now.
I was addicted to sugar - so I faithfully took the medication my doctor ordered, but continued to eat some sugary foods and lots of carbs. I showed a bit more restraint than in the past, but not much.
In mid-January, the Lord convicted me - hard - that I was not only poisoning my body, but abusing it.
Thus began the journey of learning to live mostly without sugar. To eat meals in specific ways so that the carbs wouldn't collide with the fats, which would cause more weight gain.
Easy to give up sweets and homemade pasta?
How about organic maple syrup? Or raw honey?
Um, no. Especially when I started using stevia to sweeten desserts and treats in our home. Ick.
But the Lord works in mysterious ways. In November and December 2012, a couple of months before switching to this new eating lifestyle, I won two - yes, that's TWO! - blog giveaways for NuNaturals Stevia products. I didn't even know about the new Trim Healthy Mama book at the time.
I couldn't believe it! Wow. Two giveaways? You've got to be kidding. In mid-December, I learned about Trim Healthy Mama, the type of lifestyle eating I'll do for the rest of my life. The timing was perfect, and definitely God-ordained.
Unfortunately, I greatly disliked the taste of stevia when we first started THM. I was pretty much a downer about it. Shame on me.
And when the only thing I knew how to use to safely sweeten my foods was stevia, I was pretty upset about it. I mean, I wanted to have my cake and eat it, too!
(Whatever that weird phrase means.)
In addition, we began to need things less sweet since we weren't stuffing our faces with sugary foods anymore. Less sweet meant less stevia in the foods/beverages, which made them taste even better!
I'd say that if you have truly given NuNaturals Pure Stevia Extract a solid go over a period of a few months, and you still find that you really dislike it, switch to using erythritol. The chance of tummy/intestinal upset is minimal, and it tastes sweeter. It will have a kind of "cooling" effect to the taste, but if you can combine erythritol in a clean coffee grinder along with the NuStevia Pure Extract Powder, in the right amounts, I think you'll begin to feel differently about stevia and alternative sweeteners that are healthy for us.
Xylitol is another healthy sweetener. I know of dentists who recommend their patients use some xylitol every day for optimum tooth health. The downside to xylitol is that even the smallest amount of a food containing xylitol is deadly to dogs. Also, many people have intestinal upset from xylitol and can't tolerate it. That's me and my family; we tried xylitol in small amounts over about six months' time, and finally gave up on it because our gut just couldn't get used to it. Even if we had been able to adjust to xylitol, our guests visiting us for meals and snacks would have had problems with it, so we no longer use xylitol.
I've had a few people mention to me that they don't feel comfortable with using stevia (an herb extract) or erythritol or xylitol in their foods because they prefer to use sugar, knowing what it will do to their bodies.
My reaction to this line of reasoning? I do know what sugar was doing to my body, and what it would continue to do if I kept on eating it. I would die from diabetes-related health problems. That's an easy answer. Sugar and unhealthy carb combinations were literally poisoning my body.
I prefer to buy erythritol made from non-GMO corn and other plants, like this version from NOW.
I'd also recommend buying the tiny sized measuring spoons that measure "dash", "pinch", etc., and label them according to actual size:
If you're still finding it difficult to use powdered stevia, you could use some of the recipes fromHealthyIndulgences.net, where she specifically tells (in most recipes) exactly how much NuNaturals Powdered Stevia Extract to use in the recipes.
I think you'll find your foods tasting a lot better by using smaller amounts of stevia, and also by combining alternative sweeteners for a more well-rounded sugary taste. Also keep in mind that chocolate desserts and treats are the hardest to get sweetened with stevia so that they'll taste yummy. If you have questions about using stevia in your baking and cooking, let me know, and I'll try my best to answer them!
UPDATE: Unfortunately, the NuNaturals Pure White Stevia Extract has changed its formulation as of April 2013. The new version is not as sweet, and it is very difficult to avoid the bitter aftertaste. We literally couldn't stand the taste of the "new" NuNaturals Stevia Extract, so we switched to Truvia - for the short term. Trim Healthy Mama now sells their new THM Pure Stevia Extract, THM Sweet Blend (blend of their pure stevia extract and erythritol), and THM Erythritol, and that's what our family enjoys using now!
Feel free to take a look at my Trim Healthy VISUAL SHOPPING LIST to get a better idea of some of the quicker food options available in your stores!
In the interest of full disclosure, some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I receive an affiliate commission. I only recommend products I use personally. Your purchases through these links help support Joy In Our Journey. I humbly thank you for your support.
5/27/2013 08:54:35 pm
Thank you for sharing about using stevia, erythritol, and zylotol; about how much to use, and the idea of using the smaller measuring spoons!
5/28/2013 02:32:29 am
Oh, yay! I bought some of the tiny spoons, but couldn't remember which site gave recipes to use them with. SUCH a great post! Thank you!
5/28/2013 06:36:01 am
I love that little chart! And I love how easily you explained the switch to stevia. I agree with you 100%. I don't understand the hesitation with stevia, but instead they will gorge on sugar? Makes no sense.
5/28/2013 09:55:34 am
Thanks, this is very useful information. I think many of us view sugar as "from a plant = natural" and stevia as "from a package = processed" like Splenda, etc. That's my guess anyway. Well, plus, the whole change is hard thing!
5/31/2013 03:06:34 am
This is an excellent article. We're not stevia fans. Fortunately, we don't eat sweets much at all, and most of us don't even like exceptionally sweet foods. I say "most." ;) We're waiting for our nunaturals sample to arrive in the mail, but I like your approach better--winning it! :) Thanks for the great post! Pinning.
11/14/2013 01:10:14 am
Hi! I found your post about the nunaturals stevia and I used to love their stevia...until the change. :( Has the new stevia that you mentioned come out yet and if so, where can I purchase it? Does it taste as good as the original nunaturals stevia? Thank you!
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