Mild little hike with my kids today.
700 ft. elevation gain
Pack Weight: 30 pounds
Honey is a great example of how the quality of what you purchase makes a big difference in nutritional value.
Since we are on a Carbohydrate Journey for the next couple of days, I thought this would be a good place to go. Honey is, well, sugar. It is natural, and if kept natural provides a wonderful array of nutritional and health benefits. It is my, personal, go to sweetener.
It can be a great energy source for athletes as well, the key is choosing wisely.
Two Different Honey's
No I'm not talking Clover Vs. Orange Blossom here. I am talking about the different types of honey you get from the different ways it is processed...or not processed.
1. Liquid - Pasteurized Honey: This is probably the most common form of honey you see on the shelves. In our big fear phase of anything with bacteria, we thought it would be a wonderful idea to remove all the floaty bits and heat it to death to create a "pure" substance. It the process we created a pure substance alright, a pure sugar with no nutritional value and health benefits.
2. Raw, Unfiltered Honey: This, my friends, is where the money is. This is GOLD! There is a reason (other than it tastes like heaven) that humans have hunted for honey throughout millenia. Raw honey retains all of its natural components and floaty bits. It provides additional nutrition as well as phytonutrients that have health benefits.
3. There is this really awful third option...it's not really honey so I couldn't put it under the topic heading. You have to be very careful these days as many products that say honey (especially small packages) are actually Honey FLAVORED High Fructose Corn Syrup. You have to read the fine print for that "flavored" component. Please don't eat this!
Propolis: the Bee's Knees
One of the biggest differences between pasteurized and raw is the presence of the propolis in raw honey.
Propolis is a type of resin created by bees. It serves a number of functions in the hive, part of which is to seal in the honey reserves and prevent them from spoiling. Propolis has been a prized therapeutic for millennia. It was written about by Aristotle and the Ancient Egyptians used it in their mummification rituals. It has been shown to contain over 300 different compounds that include antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, essential oils, and other compounds. All these phytonutrients help give Propolis it's superfood label.
There are Vitamins and Minerals in Honey
This is often very surprising to people. Honey is often seen as just another sugar, but in the raw and unpasteurized form, there is nutrition.
In addition to Glucose and Fructose, honey contains all of the following Vitamins and Minerals
Breakfast: Corn Grits; Arugula Fried Egg
Greens, greens, greens. Arugula is my favorite. It makes amazing salads, and it cooks really well!
Did you know that Arugula if rich in naturally occurring Nitrates. Now, we are not talking about the sodium Nitrates/Nitrites added to cured meats and are synthetic (a whole other conversation). We are talking about HEALTHY Nitrates (why is nutrition so complicated...am I right?) Naturally occurring Nitrates help to lower blood pressure, and also help maximize the oxygen in our bodies, thus reducing the amount needed during exercise and enhancing for athletic performance.
Lunch: Almond Butter and Honey Sandwich on Sprouted sourdough bread; CHOCOLATE Ice Cream
I promised an after hike snack for the girls. Well, that's what I told myself anyways.
Dinner: Roasted Chicken Thighs, Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans
Potatoes get a bad wrap, and are a great nutritional source for athletes. They are rich in electrolytes, and B Vitamins (like Folate, B3, B5, and B6). They also contain the starches that your body will convert into Hyaluronic Acid (remember that super cool joint lubricant).
Total Water Today: 10 cups