First, xanthan and guar gum.
What are they? They are gums. They are used as thickening agents. Mostly in gluten free baking. However more and more, many people are using them in smoothies to achieve a more milkshake like consistency.
Are they safe? Yes. They come from natural sources. However, guar can cause stomach aches for some people if it's used in high quantities.
Why would I want it? Well, as mentioned, if you are a gluten-free baker. I am not. I am, however, drinking more and more smoothies these days. There is definitely a noticeable difference in texture between a gummed and ungummed smoothie. I have also noticed that the thickened smoothie keeps me fuller for longer.
Do I need both? No, I don't think so. I have read that when used together they create a more desirable texture but I still think one on it's own would be fine. Guar is cheaper but I would recommend Xanthan because of the aforementioned possible stomach issues Guar can cause.
How much does it cost and where can I find it? The first place I found Xanthan was at Whole Foods. The brand was Bob's Red Mill and since it was organic it was expensive... $12. The Guar gum was $8. I decided NOT to purchase from there. (What can I say? I'm cheap.)
I instead got my gums from iHerb.com. I used a $5 off promo code. The two gums AND shipping came out to about $9.
If you don't care if it's organic and you don't want to order online I'll say that I also saw Xanthan gum in a bulk bin at my local Winco.
I know for a fact that you could find them at any vitamin store.
I think $7-8 is a reasonable price for Xanthan gum. $5-6 for the Guar.
Anything else? Yup. They are both high in fiber! Yay fiber!! Also a container of this stuff will last you forever. And... while it isn't life-changing, it is a definite difference in terms of texture.
Okay. Gummy smoothies aside.
There are about as many diet strategies and tips out there as there are dieters it seems like. What works? What doesn't? It's hard to say. And I realize, that I have very limited experience. I simply do what has been working for me so far.
But I often wonder... is there a better way? Is there a more effective way? Can I be happier?
And so I've decided that each week I'm going to challenge myself to implement a new "strategy". Some strategies will be big. Raw foods. Vegetarian or vegan eating. Low-carb. Some will be small. No artificial sweeteners. No refined grains.
This week I'm challenging myself to eat breakfast. A BIG breakfast. Every day for a week.
Breakfast is something I've always struggled with. It's simply not my favorite meal. A lot of times I completely skip it.
But now I'm going to put the theory to the test.
I'll summarize the challenge like this.
Breakfast like a king. Lunch like a prince. Dinner like a pauper.