We take a look into our current sugar obsession, and how to use naturally derived electrolytes and other natural sources of energy to replenish your body’s minerals and maintain energy — without developing a sweet tooth.
I have come a long way. As a teenage girl, I could not get enough of chocolate, and as a young adult my addiction was refined carbs. However, after plenty of struggles and revelations, I can now say I am the one in control — not those delicious pastries or freshly baked breads that I can drizzle honey and almond butter on with a cup of tea. But why the sudden change of mind?
I faced the truth about sugar and what it was doing to me
When I was 19, I decided to go on a journey of self-discovery. Three years into that journey came a fascination with the concept that my body is my temple. I did a lot of reading about all sorts of things, and sugar became a fascinating topic. Sugar is toxic and has no value to our health whatsoever. Not all sugars, of course; food that naturally contains sugar also holds the necessary proteins, vitamins and minerals to metabolise all carbohydrates, so there is no excess left over in the body. However, sugar causes an incomplete carbohydrate metabolization, leaving toxic by-products. This interferes with the respiration of cells, meaning they cannot function efficiently. On top of that, sugar creates an acidic environment within the body, and there is ever-growing research into the links between cancer and acidic pH levels within the body. The more sugar we eat, the more acidic we become, and the deeper our bodies have to go to get the minerals to rectify the balance. It not only creates an ideal space for diseases such as cancer; it also robs our bodies of vital minerals that we rely on to survive. For me, those were the biggest highlights among many reasons why sugar should be avoided. Minerals are essential to our normal functioning, and I did not want to carry on being a willing participant in a less-than-ideal state of health. Enough was enough.
Keep yourself going with an active lifestyle
I was living with my friend and his family for a few months. He and his father were avid cyclists and, being on the natural path, I would enquire about their sources of hydration and energy during races and training. I was taken aback to hear of the sports drinks, jelly packs and bars that they were consuming. I myself am pretty active through yoga, hiking, skating and pretty much any outdoor activity, so I decided to check these products out. To my dismay, they were loaded with sugar, caffeine and ingredients I didn’t even understand. I personally try to stay away from product labels with a long ingredient list. The simpler, the healthier.
Where do naturally derived electrolytes fit in?
After my discovery of what was in these products, I looked into ways of supporting my body (and those of my extended family) the natural way. After a lot of reading and research about energy gels and supplements, I decided that naturally derived electrolytes, dried fruits and nuts would be best, especially for endurance activities such as cycling and hiking. It’s getting energy the old-fashioned way! Naturally derived electrolytes, such as those offered by elete Holistic Hydrate, not only provide the four major minerals required for the body to function optimally; they also trace minerals that high-sugar diets leach from us. elete Holistic Hydrate drops can be used in your water, or to make your own electrolyte-packed smoothies and drinks. It’s easy to use, includes no sugar, and is naturally sourced from the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Alongside your amazing, healthy hydration drink, you can include healthy snacks such as homemade date balls and packs of mixed nuts. I now use this combo for hiking and even when I go travelling, knowing that I will be outside and using up lots of energy. Date balls are fantastic snacks for energy. As a vegan they fuel my day, but also my sweet tooth. Taking them on long hikes has been a life-changer. They are compact in size but deliver the energy I need, and at the same time I can throw a bunch of natural ingredients in there that are also good for me.
An easy, on-the-go hydration drink recipe
- 1l mineral water
- 2. 5ml elete Hydration drops
- Fresh lemon juice, depending on the size of your hydration drink – half to a whole lemon (lemon is a great addition to your lifestyle. It has natural sugars and carbohydrates)
- Chia seeds (A superfood of the Peruvians for long distance treks, they are exceptionally high in protein, fibre and good fats.)
- A drop of honey to taste – a great source of healthy carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Sourcing local, sustainably produced honey is a good way to go, due to the dwindling honeybee population.
Note: 2.5ml of elete Hydration added to 1lt of mineral water makes a litre of isotonic hydration fuelled drink. You can add the above ingredients to your full litre or make half or quarter sizes of the isotonic water and add the above ingredients to your taste.
My super-easy date ball recipe
- elete HH Hydration drops – a drop per ball would be sufficient (elete’s HH Hydration drops are a great add, not only for their hydrating and mineral properties, but they also act as a natural flavour enhancer!)
- Pitted dates
- Raw cacao powder (packed with magnesium)
- Raw shelled hemp seeds (a great source of protein and omegas)
- Crushed almonds (for protein and good fats)
- Desiccated coconut (for dietary fibre, manganese, copper and selenium).
Add the dates, elete HH Hydration drops and cacao powder into a blender and whizz until the consistency you prefer. Add the rest of the ingredients together and make balls. I usually add this or that as I go along. No one batch has ever been the same. At the end I roll them in cacao powder and/or dessicated coconut to coat them so they not too sticky. Feel free to add any other superfoods such as goji berries, maca powder, chia seeds, spirulina, hemp powder, or brown rice powder to your date balls for an extra punch. There is no single recipe, other than what your imagination can create. I find that when I seal and refrigerate my date balls, they can last up to 2 weeks depending on your ingredients. You could even make a bunch of different ones, pack them up, and freeze them for when you’re ready to use them. Happy Hydrating!