20130516-130446.jpg It kind of feels like being in a foreign country where you don't speak the language when first heading down the real food road. The fact is most grocery stores are packed to the rafters with fake and imitation foods and you can't get most of the delicious and healthy alternatives available to you so it's expected that you won't know what to look for. But guess what... there are other places to buy your food. Yes it's true! I actually don't go to grocery stores at all... what!? Since many of you are busy people the easiest and least scary place to start is online when looking for those alien ingredients. Upaya Naturals has high quality products, they're really lovely people and it's an Ontario owned and operated company. They ship most stuff within a few days and for free if you spend $100. If you live in the West end of Toronto check out our Organic on a Budget post. And if you're looking for other real food stores around the city see BlogTO's best of. Or if can't find something in particular drop us a line, I'm sure we can help.  

www.dreamstime.com So ever heard of Xylitol?  It is a natural, non-fermentable sweetener derived from hardwood with the craziest name ever.  It sounds more to me like a planet from another galaxy but clearly I wasn't asked for my input when the stuff was being named. Re-discovered in Finland back in WW2 during a sugar shortage, this sugar alternative comes with a history of controversy too. But let's start with the good. It's pretty awesome stuff. It neutralises the pH balance in your mouth so reduces plaque and can help prevent oral disease. It taste like sugar and is used spoon for spoon like sugar but is a 7 on the Glycemic Index where white sugar is a 68. It is naturally occurring in many of the fruits and vegetables we eat on a daily basis, and it naturally stabilizes insulin, so doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar which is very helpful for diabetics. The ugly? As with all goods things, there is always someone that wants to profit from it.  Some are mass producing it by using corn, which ain't that great for you and the sad part is the packaging doesn't say anything, so please, please make sure you buy your Xylitol from a reputable supplier. Try Upaya, they're awesome and they deliver! p.s. It's also a no-no for the little furry guys in your household, so keep it for human consumption only please.