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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Heroes, as I’ve approached my mid-forties I’ve struggled more and more with diet and exercise. When I had my fantastic knee injury on the bunny hill skiing in 2010 I was at a weight and shape that made me happy. Since then, not so much. I’ve tried all sorts of combinations of calorie counting, exercise, attention to proteins and carbs, even massive dietary adjustment….and I’m stuck at the same place, essentially. Lots of the remedies people offer are in pill form, and I’m not really excited about that.

Well, to be honest, I don’t have the mental capacity to remember to take the silly things with any regularity. Let’s face it: pills aren’t fun or tasty, so why would I? Perhaps if I was seeing some results. But I’m not.

So I’ve settled instead for making my diet as healthy as I can; I plan to continue to remove the processed foods and sugars and add in the more natural options. If nothing else, I’m making good choices for my body even if I’m not seeing the results on the scale the way I’d like.

When I was asked to review Pure Yacon syrup, made by Quality Encapsulations, I was skeptical. But hey, it sounded interesting. So why not?

I received an 8 oz. bottle of the syrup. It looks like molasses, and smells a bit the same.

I have made gingerbread houses with molasses, and eaten molasses cookies. Generally speaking though, I haven’t had much of it. I wasn’t sure exactly how I’d incorporate the yacon anywhere. Part of the review included a request to submit a recipe using yacon syrup to contest. Again, no idea where to begin. So, I started researching.

It turns out that yacon has some great health benefits. I don’t watch any daytime TV here, so I wasn’t aware until my research that Dr. Oz did a test with yacon syrup. He had 60 women take a teaspoon of the syrup with meals for 28 days. 40 women completed the test, and on average each woman lost 3 pounds. That’s something. I’d rather lose about 20 in that time period, but I’m at the “I’ll take what I can get!” point in life.

Yacon is rich with prebiotics, and helps your body burn off fat stores. It contains inulin and is rich in fructooligosaccaride, a compound that is hard to spell but is known for its probiotic support. Let’s call it FOS for short. I’m not going to review all of the studies for you; suffice to say that I was convinced that it could be a good thing. The fact that it can be substituted in for sugar in recipes seemed like a helpful healthy factor too.

You can see some of the recipes people have already submitted to the yacon recipe contest going on. I was really not sure what I’d do. I do cook quite a bit, but that’s from recipes that generally exist. Changing something out was going to require some serious thought. Plus, I wasn’t so sure of the syrup in the first place.

It sat on my counter for a few days, then I did the research. If Dr. Oz could get women to drink the stuff, then the least I could do was try it. I poured a tiny bit out on a spoon, then dumped most of it back into the bottle. If it was truly awful, I was going to limit my exposure. I was expecting that sulphur-y overwhelming taste that I’d come to associate with straight molasses.

Heroes, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yacon syrup tastes mostly like raisins and brown sugar, and I LOVE it. Love, love, love, love love. Sooooo tasty. This is a treat for me, and I allow myself a single teaspoon at mealtime. Have I lost any weight? Well, I did drop a couple of pounds but then picked them back up this weekend. So after a week, no. But I do need to increase my exercise, and I did enjoy a couple of cookies this weekend. So that may be part of my problem. And I definitely haven’t spent much time on the experiment yet.

Either way, I really enjoy the taste of it and will quite likely continue using it. I don’t know that I’d switch over to the pill form…different companies are claiming that it helps with much faster weight loss. That’s all well and good, but I like my yacon treat! Also, I did come up with a recipe for the contest. Enjoy!

FTC Disclosure: I received a free bottle of yacon syrup in order to complete this review. I love it. Yummmmm.