Q&A on 'Sneaky Sugar' with Marcelle Dubruel of Roots To Vitality

(18 Posts)
LocalEditorMerton Sat 26-Dec-15 08:45:53

Hi, my name is Marcelle and I would love to talk about how SUGAR affects health.

I believe that when we have an abundance of energy, feel fabulous, and weigh the weight we want to be, we step into the realm of unlimited living. I have watched my clients transform before my eyes and that trans-formation ripples into all areas of their lives. A greater awareness of where sugar sneaks into everyday foods, and introducing small changes, “a little more of this and a little less of that”, together with coaching tools to help let go of old habits and create new healthier habits, ensures a sustainable, effective approach which gets long lasting results.

On Wednesday January 6th 2016 I am holding a Free Seminar (open to everyone): Sneaky Sugar. I am going to be sharing the complete sugar family story. Including all there is to know about “GOOD” and “Bad” sugars, “HONEST” and “DISHONEST” sugars, FREE sugars etc. With your new sugar clarity, you can start a 'New Year New You' spring clean from the inside out.

Do you know that you and your children could easily be consuming 40tsps of sugar daily from everyday foods? Sugar has been in the press spotlight recently: Jamie Oliver is calling for a sugar tax, WHO (World Health Organisation) is recommending no more than 6tsps of free sugars per day, Jeremy Hunt is calling for new measures to tackle childhood obesity, recent BBC programme "Doctor in the House" demonstrated that significant health benefits can be achieved through lifestyle and dietary changes.

Join me on Wednesday 6th January and learn our three simple steps that can get you feeling energised, reduce food cravings and shed some unwanted pounds. Click here to sign up and claim your free place. But hurry as there are limited spaces available.

I would love to know what your sugar concerns are around you and your children's health, moods, energy levels, and favourite foods. Please post your questions on this Mumsnet Merton & Wimbledon thread and I will do my best to respond to your queries.



MitchamBelle Sun 27-Dec-15 02:23:25

I'd like to know your views on artificial sweeteners and also find out how to implement a gradual change effectively in a resistant family, please. Thanks!

HaydonWomble Sun 27-Dec-15 20:48:24

We were strict with the children when they were younger about sugar etc.., but now that they're a teen and tween, they've run riot with wanting carbonated drinks every time we go out for a meal (the tween spurred on by the teen of course!). DC1 (who is 15) is also a typical teen boy who comes home from school having consumed a whole big bar of chocolate en route home. They are neither of them in the least bit overweight so one can't argue the case for sugar = obesity easily. How does one get them to understand that sugars are unhealthy and retrain them to not go for an easy sugar fix'? It's not easy when they live in the here and now and cannot begin to understand the long-term damage that a sugar-laden diet can do?

AngelaGB Mon 04-Jan-16 15:06:54

Hi Marcelle I am a primary school teacher always rushing during the day with not much time for getting lunch ready or eating it! Nuts are banned! Please could you give me some quick and easy lunch/snacks ideas? Many thanks Frankie

marcelled Mon 04-Jan-16 16:06:51

Hi Haydon, one of the ways to engage teens on healthier choices is to help them make the connection that their food choices can influence how they feel. When I ask teens to submit their food related questions to me, I get questions relating to skin and hair, sport performance, moods, tiredness, concentration, and hormones. As you say we (parents) don't have as much influence as they get older and the drive to make healthier choices has to come from them. At home I make sure the snack cupboard and fridge is full of healthier choices so that when my 15yr old is rummaging around she has choices. For example, she likes the Tesco chilli seed mix and loves hummus. I also think a balanced approach is important and while we don't have fizzy drinks at home she can have one from time to time. When we are out, we all enjoy fizzy water and that seems to be acceptable. Start slow and get the conversations going.

marcelled Mon 04-Jan-16 16:17:23

Hi Angela, pick up a few containers in which you can pack some nut free finger snacks to help keep your blood sugar levels stable, for steady energy:
Olives, cherry tomatoes and few squares of feta cheese
Crudities like cucumber, carrot, peppers, & mushrooms, with cottage cheese / hummus / taramasalata. (works well in two section containers)
Two plain oat cakes with cream cheese
Hard boiled egg and baby spinach leaves
I tend to assemble snacks while I am making dinner so that I can grab them on my way out in the morning. Hope that gives you some ideas.

marcelled Mon 04-Jan-16 16:25:07

Hi Belle, I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners, however, I understand that there are times when only a sweetened coffee or tea will do! I prefer to use xylitol when I am in the need for something sweet. Xylitol has a low glycaemic score, does not raise blood sugar and makes a good alternative to sugar. Even dentists approve!

marcelled Tue 05-Jan-16 13:30:09

I have a few spaces available on my Free Seminar "Sneaky Sugar" taking place tomorrow at Gooseberry Bush Café. Contact me at: marcelle@rootstovitality.com / phone: 07710234282 for more information.
This is a practical seminar and I will share with you our three easy steps to being the right weight for you and increasing your energy. Bring your "sugar" questions.

SoapsandScents Sun 10-Jan-16 12:28:41

We often use honey or maple syrup as natural sweeteners (in porridge, in yoghurt) because they also actually add a lovely flavour. What are your cautions (if any) for these products? And can you recommend others like these two?

marcelled Sun 10-Jan-16 18:40:41

Regarding the question about natural sweeteners, honey and maple syrup. Both of these have a high glycaemic score meaning that they contribute to raising blood sugar quickly. A little in porridge at the beginning of the day (more likely to be active and use the energy) is ok. I would perhaps add in some crushed nuts and /or seeds for some added protein. I enjoy a chopped pear in my porridge and find that adds enough sweetness. Always about balance and whether there is a lot of other sugars coming into the diet over a typical day. My clients who need to balance their blood sugar for their overall health are advised to avoid the foods which have a high GL score.

LocalEditorMerton Mon 18-Jan-16 06:34:42

Hi Marcelle

Do you get withdrawal symptoms from massively reducing your 'sneaky sugar' intake in a short space of time? If so how do you suggest doing it in a controlled way to reduce a sugar 'cold turkey' scenario?



SandersteadMum Mon 18-Jan-16 11:52:01

Is it too late to ask a question?
I need to change my diet. I believe my meals are OK but I eat far too much unhealthy food between meals. I know that the obvious answer is to substitute the chocolate/crisps that I eat with nutritious snacks but for some reason I can't break the bad habits. I end up still eating the bad stuff in addition to the healthy food.
Is there a way to get over this hurdle?

marcelled Mon 18-Jan-16 14:00:07

Hi Kate, regarding reducing ones sugar intake, and possible detox effect. Every-one is different and my clients report back a wide range of experiences. One popular "side effect" is reduced body fat! The best way forward is to listen to you body and introduce change slowly. For example if you are a 5 coffee a day person, in week 1, move to 4 a day and test out alternative hot drinks for example fresh root ginger and hot water. If you always add sugar to your tea, add less and phase out slowly. The most effective way to reduce sugar in your diet is to eat in a way that keeps your blood sugar balanced and avoids the highs and lows. This way your cravings for sugar / sweet foods / crisps / chocolate starts to fade away. Really they do! This week I have two guest passes for the Wednesday class. Come along and meet like minded women who are phasing put sugar from their and their families diets. marcelle@rootstovitality.com

marcelled Mon 18-Jan-16 14:44:50

Hi Sandersteadmum, you are not alone and many of my clients follow healthy diets, believe that eating healthy foods is important and even enjoy cooking and baking for their families. BUT they find it really hard to sustain healthy choices which will get them to the weight they want to be, and give them the energy they would love to have. In between meal snacking and needing that something sweet after meals can be caused by blood sugar levels rising too quickly after meals. Then when they drop too low your body sends signals that your blood sugar needs picking up and we oblige by going for that muffin / kitkat / raisins / banana depending on the day. One thing you can start trying right away is to have some protein with all your meals and snacks. Protein foods don't digest into glucose (sugar) and can slow down the digestion of a fast releasing glucose carbohydrate. For example dark chocolate (less sugar) with a few nuts (protein) is a better blood sugar balancing snack choice. The important connection to make is that this is not about willpower this is about your physiology and the more you balance your blood sugar the more in control you will feel. I have two guest passes this Wednesday - day 12.30 to 14:00 and evening 20.00 to 21:30 if you would like to observe a class. An opportunity to get a better feel of which are the great blood sugar balancing snacks that hit that sweet spot! Contact me on: 07710234282 if you would the guest pass.

Silenenutans Tue 19-Jan-16 00:06:08

Hello Marcelle,

I grew up in the era of 'fat is the enemy' and remember trying Rosemary Conley's Hip and Thigh Diet (cut out fat - inspired by her experience of gallstones) as a teenager. Carbs were fine, though I think plenty of fibre and protein were advocated.

I'm generally active, at times in my life I've been very fit, running a lot and eating plenty of carbs to sustain that.

Altogether, the diet I consider healthy - and find suits me personally - is high in vegetables and complex carbs, with enough but not masses of protein and quite low fat. I feel good and function well with that. Fat makes me feel grotty easily, whereas the odd bit of simple, sugary carb can make me feel quite happy. I enjoy the occasional sugar rush, just as I do the effects of caffeine and alcohol.

While I recognise that lots of people eat far too much sugar - carbonated drinks, sweets and puddings daily, lots of processed food etc - so a general push towards reduction must be a good thing, I do wonder whether sugar is becoming the latest fashionable demon, attracting hyperbole and distracting from other, more balanced, dietary considerations.

What's your view on that? Is sugar evil, or should it be eaten in sensible moderation? You give the impression above of being in the 'sensible, everything in moderation' camp, in which case, what is your view on the currently prevalent 'sugar is evil' attitude? Do you have any concerns about its implications, perhaps of a backlash or change of fashion in time?


marcelled Tue 19-Jan-16 12:27:32

Hi Silenutans, thank you for a great question and your insights. Being a typical pear shape I loved the high and thigh era and still have a couple of Rosemary's books and DVD's. You have zoomed in on the area of personalised nutrition and are spot on with "listening" to your body and eating accordingly. Nutritional therapists (amongst others) recognise that every-one has a different genetic make-up, metabolises food differently, take into account lifestyle needs, and physiological changes taking place as we go through different life stages. I have colleagues who do brilliantly on a vegan or paleo diet while others feel depleted on more extreme diets. Some of my clients feel energised on a higher carb diet and lose weight. I have a client with ME who is doing really well on a ketogenic diet, higher fat, but in her case the sources of fat tend to be vegetarian rather than meat and saturated fat. We are all different and my approach is about balance and then adjusting the balance to work for the individual. Back to your "is all sugar harmful and is this an in trend fashion?" All the current research indicates that too much sugar too quickly sets off the insulin cycle and too much insulin causes inflammation and negatively impacts long term health. When I reflect back to how I ate as a child and how my parents ate when they were kids, we simply did not have as much hidden sugar sneaking into our every day foods as there can be today. Less ready meals, less ready sauces, less flavoured yogurts, and I don't think I had even heard of a smoothie until I was an adult. The food industry has experienced tremendous change, along with our lifestyles, and most people are consuming way to much glucose without realising it. YES sugar in it's natural form in moderation is not going to set off the insulin and blood sugar roller coaster. YES people who have an active lifestyle and use glucose for energy is great. When the tennis players munch on a banana in their breaks it is because their bodies are desparate for the sugar energy needed to keep moving. It will be interesting to see how the sugar story plays out. I sometimes ponder about the sugar alternatives. I remember when soya was popular and suddenly a wide range of soya products hit the shelves. But of course not in the same fermented form that the Japanese eat (for example) but in a very processed form. I look at a bag of almond flour and ponder how many whole almond nuts would I have to eat? Is overloading our bodies going to set off intolerances? Along with the word "balance" I like "variety". My view is eating a wide range of foods, with the balance of proteins, fats and carbs that you feel best on is the way to go. Apologies for the rambling response. A great topic x

Silenenutans Tue 26-Jan-16 12:10:12

Thanks Marcelle, that's interesting.

The idea of insulin-fuelled inflammation being harmful takes my mind wandering down a different path concerning inflammation - about stress and allergies. My own experience is that, when very stressed, I can have allergic-type responses to things I wouldn't normally react to. Probably not very healthy (that's pretty obvious from the way it feels!). Makes me wonder if there are different types of inflammatory reaction and if some are more harmful than others - or all similar physiologically. I should probably look that up!

I found the point above about natural sugars interesting too. I see quite a few 'healthy' recipes that use maple syrup or even agave in place of sugar and can't help feeling it's a bit spurious. I like the taste of maple syrup and use it for that reason, as a bit of a treat, in some things. I can't help thinking though that, environmentally, it's probably a much better idea to get most of our sugar from good old British sugar beet (as converted into white granulated by Tate and Lyle etc) than by shipping maple and agave half way round the world.

SandersteadMum Fri 29-Jan-16 11:50:19

Just thought I'd update.

My morning snack today was one chunk of dark chocolate and 30g of almonds. Hopefully this is what I should be doing. I tend to have A LOT of snacks each day. Yesterday I barely stopped! Will be interesting to see if that snack can help my willpower.

I am going to have a chicken salad for lunch - so protein again.

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