The Great Agave Debate

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Mornin’!

Ugh, I DID end up opening up the bills last night…and almost puked when I scanned our energy bill. Get ready for this…

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$176.26?! For just Ben and me?! In the Spring/Fall, our energy bills are normally around $60. $70 MAX. I know two people who will be a wee bit more chilly in the upcoming months, because that heater is going dooooooooown. Downtown, baby. What do you keep your heat at in the winter? We’d been living in the lap of luxury – 71 degrees – until last night when I opened this puppy up. 67 from now on. Ok, 68 if I’m feeling crazy. ;)

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In happier news, I packed an awesome sampler style breakfast this morning! And on such a bright and cheery placemat!

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We’ve got everybody’s favorite – Cheerios.  

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A Cashew Cookie Larabar. Look at the ingredient list – cracks me up!

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And a beautiful Pink Lady Apple. So dense and crispy. It’s love.

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I am hauling a HUGE salad for lunch today! 

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In the mix:

  • Mixed greens
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Baby carrots
  • Sliced almonds
  • Dried cranberries

Seriously, this thing weighs a ton and will take forever to eat. I like when I can take my time and make a big salad last. You know?

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Oh and a Strawberry Banana Chobani Greek Yogurt. 

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I wanted to tell you about the strawberry flavor I had the other day. Seriously delicious – and you know how I was concerned about the mushy chunks of strawberries? Well, I’m happy to tell you that the strawberry chunks were small and random sized. Really nice! I only almost gagged twice. But if you don’t mind chunks, this would blow your mind!

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In other news…

The Great Agave Debate

As you may know, I recently got a bottle of Agave Nectar from iHerb.com. I had been hearing about it for months on the different blogs I read and was super curious to try it out for myself. After some research, I pulled the trigger and ordered. The verdict? I absolutely love it. It’s so versatile, tasty and since it’s in a liquid form, it can easily go in and on most anything you want sweetened.

Just an FYI – agave nectar is a sweetener produced from the agave plant and, while it has around the same amount of calories as regular table sugar, it’s about 2x as sweet so you’re able to use less. Agave nectar also has a low glycemic index which means it won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar, leading to a “sugar crash” later on. Sounds awesome, right?

Well, yesterday I read an article that states agave nectar is 90 percent fructose – the sugar found naturally in fruit – which, according to the article, when concentrated and made into a sweetener is the worst thing since sliced white bread. Highly concentrated fructose is said to cause insulin resistance and significantly raises triglycerides which is a risk for heart disease.

While the risks of high, fructose consumption are real, I have to point out a few key phrases in the article that really got my eyes rolling:

“…results in a syrup that has a fructose content that is at best 57 percent and, much more commonly, as high as 90 percent.”

  • Much more commonly? So not every time, every bottle and every brand?

“…rats given high, fructose diets…”

  • I am not a rat, I am a human, and squeezing some agave nectar in my smoothie is hardly contributing to a diet high in fructose.

“…fructose…when consumed at higher doses….”

  • Again, I hardly consider 1/2 a Tablespoon of agave nectar a day a high dose of fructose.

I guess, when I read articles like this I have to shake my head and shrug my shoulders. I am not a rat and I do not chug agave nectar. Therefore, as with most other things in this world, in moderation I think it’s fine.

If you do a simple search on the Internet, among the negative agave nectar talk, you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of articles blasting table sugar, stevia, high fructose corn syrup, splenda (which I really DO think is not good), etc. In this day and age, there are downsides to a good amount of the things we eat, so it’s really about making the best decision for yourself.

Anyways, that’s where I weigh in on the great agave debate. These are strictly my unprofessional and personal opinions. I’m going to keep using agave nectar because I don’t think the amount I eat will harm me in any way. And I like the way it tastes. :)

What do you think?

~~~~~

In other news – it’s Three Question Thursday! It’s been awhile, no?! Here we go!

1. What’s your natural hair color and texture?

2. What’s your favorite non-water beverage?

3. What/where is one of your most favorite places in the world?

My answers:

1. Dark brown and PIN straight. My hair literally could not hold a curl if my life depended on it!

2. Diet Mt. Dew. Aspartame and all – I love it!

3. My parent’s house where I grew up. There’s something about the house you grew up in, you know? I love the fact that I always sleep like a ROCK when I’m in my own bed there too. Which doesn’t happen often since I live ~.25 miles away!!! :D

ps I added some fellow bloggers to the 40 Day Fitness Challenge page!

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Comments

  1. becca 02.18.2010

    1. What’s your natural hair color and texture?

    between brown and blonde, when I bought a new car two years ago one of the things I cut out to afford it was coloring my hair. It is now back to natural and looking great. My hair is very thick, if it doesn’t get cut into then it is so heavy and tends to be on the frizzy side. I always thought I was destined to have bad hair until I met Amy my amazing, talented, trained stylist. I think if your stylist is great and you get an $60 haircut it can make all the difference when it comes to low maintenance styling.

    2. What’s your favorite non-water beverage?

    Canada Dry Diet Ginger-ale -because it isn’t caffeinated and usually I want this at night. My other option is to make a singles packet of crystal light in 2 ltrs of water so that the flavor is really diluted. I don’t like how strong most drink crystals make a beverage.

    3. What/where is one of your most favorite places in the world?

    On the Italian coast there is a small string of towns called the Cinque Terra. It’s gorgeous and so scenic, the houses and shops are built into the cliffs and the streets are windy. There is a coastal path you can take to walk between all 5 towns. The transportation allowed in the town is regulated, only vehicles with permits are allowed. Basically your transportation choices are: train, feet or horseback. It’s really beautiful and I hope to get back there one day.

    • Amy 02.18.2010

      I love that part of Italy! It’s gorgeous!

  2. jad18 02.18.2010

    1. My hair used to be like yours, but in the last year or so has started to have a weird wavy quality to it. It is annoying because I used to know how to style my hair and now I feel like I am styling someone else’s in the morning.

    2. Diet Mountain Dew or Diet Dr. Pepper

    3. Paris. I’ve been twice and it is so magical to me.

    Our energy bill was larger this month than usual. We got in the habit of keeping our heat set at 66 during the day while we are at work and then have it programmed to jump to 68 about an hour before we usually get home. We then have it set back at 65 at bedtime with it programmed to jump to 68 about an hour before we wake up.

  3. I can’t have high fructose corn syrup, splend or refined sugar so I’ll stick to agave. It doesn’t make my stomach hurt and I use it sparingly. I only used 1/2 cup in the cookies I made recently and I only eat max of one a day. Not too bad in my book.

  4. Sarah 02.18.2010

    1 – Medium brown, and getting darker as I get older, wavy texture
    2 – Mountain Dew, Orange Juice, Caramel Macchiatos…or Cherry Pepsi :)
    3. The Outer Banks of North Carolina!

    • Lauryn 02.18.2010

      I agree Sarah! I live in Charlotte, NC and yes, NC does have some beautiful beaches!!

  5. Jamie 02.18.2010

    1. Thin sandy brown hair
    2. COFFEE
    3. Watching fireworks on the 4th of July on Lake Michgan; that’s tough to beat!

  6. Lauryn 02.18.2010

    1. My natural hair is wavy and a mousy blondish brown. I choose to get highlights.
    2. Fave drink would have to be diet coke or diet dr. pep.
    3. Fave place in the world: well, Iam small town and havent really been anywhere. But Id have to say my honeymoon destination, Gatlinburg, TN!! The Great Smoky Mountains are absoutley breathtaking (esp in fall)!

  7. Lindsey 02.18.2010

    I’m so glad you broke it down and thought before you hopped on the agave bandwagon- I’m so guilty of doing that too often! but yeah, I’m down for it in the simple fact that it doesn’t spike your blood sugar like honey. and it DOES taste mighty good!

    What’s your natural hair color and texture?- light blonde and ridiculously straight.

    2. What’s your favorite non-water beverage? coffee and diet coke tie in my heart.

    3. What/where is one of your most favorite places in the world?
    my old hometown in Sioux City. what a great place to grow up!

  8. Julie 02.18.2010

    Hey your salads always look SO yummy! What dressing do you usually put on it?
    Also, I love the idea of the 40 day challenge, but I am so not motivated to work out! You think I would be since I had a baby 7 months ago. I have tried to work out in the AM but I never can do it two days in a row. It makes me sad. I have a hard time going to bed early so I can get up early but then again I don’t like exercising at night because I like to relax. Any suggestions? How do you get up so early?
    Thanks,
    Julie

  9. I think anything eaten in large quantities can be bad for you – even healthy foods! Personally, I love agave and I’m happy to be eating that, rather than white sugar. Of course, I am sure to practice moderation whenever I can!

    1. My natural haircolour is dark brown and it’s very, very thick. I wish it was wavy, but it’s not. :-(

    2. My favourite non-water beverage is probably tea (or is that considered water?) or a diet coke – once in a while. Once in a blue moon I get a craving and drink a glass, but I’m definitely a water girl. Or coconut water after long, intense workouts.

    3. My most favourite place is San Francisco … I think it’s beautiful, the food is amazing, the weather is perfect (for a Canadian like me), and I can’t wait to go there again. Of course, my house has to be another favourite place … wherever I can be with my puppies and husband is great. :-)

    K

  10. Midgetkeeper 02.18.2010

    1. What’s your natural hair color and texture?
    Medium brown, with a bit of a natural wave.

    2. What’s your favorite non-water beverage?
    I love my coffee, caramel machiatto please.

    3. What/where is one of your most favorite places in the world?

    Austin, TX. I consider it my home town, my family lives there and I just love the culture, food, and scenery.

    By the way I love your blog, my Husband is from IA so it caught my eye and I really like it.

  11. Oh, and I wanted to make a note on your energy bill … try $306.00. That’s how much our last bill was. :-)

    Of course, when it’s summer here (which is only about 3-4 months in Alberta) we turn the furnace completely off and rarely use the AC. It all tends to balance out in the end.

    K

  12. Machelle 02.18.2010

    Thats just about what my bill was too. But that’s ok…I have the money & I refuse to be cold in my own home! My former house had gas heat & the bill would have been much higher, so this, I can live with! Questions:1) dish water blonde & fairly thin & straight. 2) Mt. Dew 3) anywhere with lots of trees. LOVE that woodsy forest smell!

  13. Amy 02.18.2010

    1. Dark brown, but slightly lighter since we moved to Okinawa and I get sunshine. Super thick and wavy – often frizzy with the constant humidity on the island. Anyone with good anti-frizz tips? I think I’ve tried every product.
    2. Coke Zero – but I’m down to 1 a week.
    3. Santa Fe River in Florida – the springs are stunning.

  14. Tyler 02.18.2010

    honestly, i think that agave syrup is an expensive version of high fructose corn syrup. they try to make it market it as natural, but its very processed. although in the end, whether its agave syrup, HFCS, organic cane juice, etc. its essentially just sugar. and like you said, everything in moderation… you have a very healthy diet, so a little agave (or other kind of sugar) won’t hurt you!

    fun questions this week!
    1. My hair is naturally light brown….I’ve done highlights, and I’ve gone darker, but I think I like my natural best :). My hair used to be super curly, but it has straightened out a lot in the past couple years…so I guess it’s just wavy now.
    2. Non-water beverage = wine! easy :)
    3. Favorite location = anywhere there is a beach!!

  15. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by iowagirleats: The Great Agave Debate http://tinyurl.com/ylgsgd6

  16. BroccoliHut 02.18.2010

    Ooh! Thanks for the heads up on the new Chobani flavor!

  17. Hey, from the scientist point of view I will definitely take my agave! Fructose isn’t necessarily a bad thing and think it has received such a bad wrap because of high fructose corn syrup, but really aren’t all fruits loaded with fructose. Again moderation is key! If you eat 10 oranges at once you’re be in just as much trouble from the amount of fructose. I’m curious if that article came from a peer reviewed source, if not I wouldn’t really give it any credit.

  18. […] Comments « The Great Agave Debate […]

  19. Jenny 02.18.2010

    1. WAVY – KINKY – CURLY (Yet somehow it can be blow dried straight w/o too much trouble.
    2. SANGRIA!!!! (Or green tea w/ mint)
    3. Riviera Maya, Mexico – site of my honeymoon – and all inclusive resort :)

  20. Molly 02.18.2010

    1.Funny you should ask- It’s the first time since about 7th grade that I’ve seen my natural roots…now I know why- dirty dishwater blonde. boo. texture would have to be fine and almost stick straight…but still needs to be straightened to look presentable.

    2. Oh, I loveeeee coffee, but if it had to be a pop- I’d say Diet Sierra Mist, but I can’t remember the last time I had pop!!!!

    3. Fav. place would be at our cabin that we sadly had to sell when I was in high school :( sad day.

  21. Cari 02.18.2010

    1. Dirty blond, fine, and STRAIGHT. I color it though so it’s more blond (and to hide the surprising number of gray hairs that have appeared even though I’m not even 30 yet!)

    2. Coffee. Black. Strong.

    3. Minnesota’s North Shore. Beautiful any time of year, though I prefer to be there in the summer or fall.

  22. Leena 02.18.2010

    1. super duper thick, wavy, dark brown with natural redish highlights
    2. i love green tea and black coffee! i also LOVE fuze’s… have you ever tried them? they’re so good! my favorite flavor’s tropical punch :)
    3. my favorite place in this world is playa del carmen, mexico. it’s so beautiful there.. and i love the beach!

  23. Amber 02.18.2010

    Yikes! $176 power bill! That IS high!! I keep my heat pretty low, between 65-67 depending on if I’m home or not. I like it a little chilly ;)

  24. Aimee 02.19.2010

    I would kill (not really) for a $176 energy bill. We paid 300 bucks to heat are huge drafty house last month, and it’s just the two of us! Oh, and I really like your blog. No offense to KERF, but I think yours is better. I can only take so much super healthy eating and exercise. Sometimes I just want blueberry pancakes for dinner. Keep rockin’!

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