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.

photo cred Cat So there I was the other day, sitting at my dinning room table with my Muma.  We were figuring out what to eat for lunch.  I had 5 ripe avocados so instantly thought of my Avocado Fiesta Salad and promptly started to make it. But the avocados jogged my Muma's memory of the delicious vitaminas she and my Grandpa would drink when they lived in Brazil.  Vitaminas, which means vitamins in English, is a word used to describe a wide variety of juices and smoothies. Some use fruits, or a fruit and vegetable mix.  And what's even cooler, in Brazil, they have street vendors all over the place that make them. (p.s. I've booked a one-way ticket to Brazil.  I'll send you a postcard). Here's a recipe for more of a dessert smoothie. Vitamina de Abacate (Avocado Smoothie) 1 cup fresh avocado 1-2  tbsp honey (or desired amount of stevia/xylitol sweetener) 6 ice cubes 1 cup nut milk (add more nut milk or water if trouble blending, but it should be thick) squirt of fresh lime (optional) Blend together until smooth. Listen to "The Girl from Ipanema" and chill out for a bit. Adiós