Packaged/processed cereals can be replaced by homemade or raw muesli made from oats, bran, seeds and psyllium with small amounts of dried fruit or barley or oats (not instant). To replace white bread or bagels, use pumpernickel or stone-ground wheat. To replace the easy-to-find white or wheat flour cracker, use stone ground or vita-wheat crackers. Use sweet potatoes, or whole grain pasta or long grain brown rice, or legumes or soybeans. For refined sugar use xylitol or stevia. The latter two can be used without raising insulin levels — a perfect substitute for diabetics. Stevia has been used for 200 years in Brazil and Paraguay for lowering blood-sugar levels in diabetics. Another benefit of stevia and xylitol is that they cause neither tooth decay nor cavities! To lower the GI of foods, add a twist of lemon; splash on olive oil or flax seed oil to slow the absorption of carbohydrates when eaten. Add fiber to dishes to slow carbohydrate absorption — quelling insulin surges. Adding at least three different types of vegetables to instant dishes when in a hurry — to pizza, soups, sandwiches and pasta dishes, brings that necessary source of fiber. Adding two or three times more vegetables than meat can be an easy way to balance the meal. It takes a little work to make the necessary changes, but the payoff can be a healthier, slimmer you. Start with a little guidance, from reference material or your favorite nutritionist. Information is key. You will never look at a white potato the same again.

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