Stay Sweet by Eating the Right Kind of Sugar

Written by: Annie McCabe

As a Dietetics student, the topic of sugar has come to the table many times.  Sugar and its use is a controversial topic.  Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that is converted by the body into glucose and then used for energy.  However, not all sugar is created equally.  It is important to learn about and identify the different types of sugar.   Then examine your diet and check ingredient labels for natural sugars and added sugars.

So, what is the difference between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar?  

Natural Sugars

Naturally occurring sugar is found in two forms, lactose which is found in milk and fructose, which is found in fruit.  Consuming natural sugars is crucial because they are found in whole foods, which are key from a nutritional standpoint.  Consuming whole foods provides you with nutrients such as Vitamin D, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber.  These nutrients are hard to find in foods with added sugars.  

Added Sugars

Added sugar is sugar removed from their original source and added to food and drink.  It can be added for many reasons including flavor, fermentation, and to avoid spoilage.  It is important to note that natural sugars, such as fructose can be used as an added sugar.  For example, the sugar you add to your coffee is also added sugar.  Food manufacturers are not mandated to separate naturally occurring sugars and added sugars on a food label.  However, by knowing what to look for on an ingredient list you can reduce your added sugar intake.  Doing so helps with overall health and wellbeing.  Keep an eye out for words such as, but not limited to, agave syrup, cane syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, molasses, and fruit juice concentrates.  

Why this matters?

The body metabolizes natural sugar differently than it processes added sugar.  Added sugar is broken down rapidly causing a spike in both insulin and blood sugar levels. Natural sugars, which contain fiber, slows down metabolism thereby decreasing the spike in insulin and blood sugar levels and leading to a full feeling.

Next time you’re out at the grocery store, #DoMore , and look at food labels.  Familiarize yourself with the different names for added sugars and work on taking baby steps to decreasing your added sugar intake.  

What does it mean to #DOMORE? from #TeamRBar Climber Tanner Mack

What does it mean to #DOMORE?

A question that has so many answers, some simple and some not. It seems I find myself asking this question a lot.

What does it mean to #DOMORE? It can mean waking up sore and tired but putting on your shoes and going for a run. After that going to school for hours, then going to the gym for 3 or 4 hours. Pushing yourself to a limit that is impossible. Breaking down day after day, only to wake up and do it again. That’s just the simple answer.

Wanting to #DOMORE is so much more than that. Every morning I wake up, I feel like I will never be good enough. I will never accomplish my goals, I will never amount to anything, all of my hard work is for nothing. Pushing through that is a daily war that wages within myself. Every day I fight and expect something better of myself because if I don’t, then the little voice telling me I can’t, won.

That’s what it means #DOMORE. Everyday you fight, not just the pain and the fatigue, but that little voice. Inspire others with your hard work and effort. That little voice may never stop saying you are worthless, but waking up and putting in the effort is one step closer to quieting it.

What does it mean for you to #DOMORE?

Novice to Elite – How Athletes #DoMore by Fueling Up 

Novice athletes often struggle with under-fueling their workouts, particularly when taking on a new challenge or athletic endeavor. So, I recently sat down with three members of the University of Arizona’s TriCats, to find out about how they go about consuming a healthy number of nutrients before, during and after their training.
Andrea Nunez-Smith explained that before a workout she typically consumes carbs, a bit of protein, and healthy fat, such as a banana with peanut butter.  If Andrea has an extended workout, she will eat during her training session. This might include a gel or simple bar. Following workouts, she focuses on rehydrating while once again, consuming protein, healthy carbs and fats.
Andrea enjoys RBars because, “They provide a lot of great nutrients to keep one going through a workout and are great snacks to have on-the-go. I like the flavors they have to offer to their clients [customers] and they have very natural ingredients”.  She continued explaining, “They help replenish lost fuel during and after workouts and help keep me going.”  
I was curious as to how Andrea pushes herself to #DoMore and she said, “I #DoMore by pushing myself each day to be a better version of myself and by fueling my body smartly.”
Conrad has similar eating habits before, during, and after training, typically eating something easy and full of energy that does not upset his stomach. During training, he stays away from food such as rice cakes because, “They tend to fall apart on the rough roads here in Tucson [cycling]. Which is why RBars work perfectly during workouts; they’re quick and easy to consume with natural ingredients.”
  Conrad explained, “The first thing I check before ingesting a food is what the ingredients are. The less the better, so of course, RBars fit right into that mold”. Along with being easy on the stomach, Conrad said that RBars are “bursting with flavor” and “provide energy when feeling sluggish”.  As a member of the Tucson community, Conrad said, “One major perk is that my purchase of RBars benefits a local company!”
Before a workout, Kelly typically eats whole wheat toast with peanut butter, but does not eat during workouts. One exception includes a long endurance ride, in which she’ll eat a bar with natural ingredients.  Following a workout, Kelly typically eats a smoothie or a veggie scramble. While choosing what foods to eat, she considers the ingredients list, always looking for a short list with natural ingredients, because eating heavily processed foods makes Kelly feel lethargic.
As a vegetarian, Kelly appreciates that RBar accommodates her lifestyle by offering vegan products. She explained, “RBars are a great go-to energy source because, they're easy to throw in my backpack on days when I have workouts and classes back to back!”  
Lastly, I asked Kelly “How do you #DOMORE?”
She responded by saying, “I do more by trying to spend as much time outdoors as possible with other people. I try to be super productive at work and school so I can hit the trails or pool with friends or teammates!”
These three students are great examples of how nutrition impacts one’s ability to perform, train, and improve. It’s important to listen to your body and to explore new, healthy avenues of getting the nutrients that you need!
Let us know how you #DOMORE in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

So, what is Pickleball?

 Are you behind on the latest sports craze? Well it’s time to get in-the-know. Pickleball is taking over the US, so here’s lowdown about this new tennis-type game.

   Pickleball is currently the #1 fastest growing sport for adults 40 and over. It’s been a life changer for a lot of people who've played tennis or racquet ball, but can no longer can play those games due to knee, elbow and shoulder injuries. Pickleball has been a great game to resort to and stay active.

   "In my mind, this is going to be the game that keeps older people going. When you get older, you still want to be active, but your friends may not play anymore, or you don’t want to be the oldest one out there, and you want to be able to carry your weight; pickle ball is perfect for this," claims Sandy Don from the Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club.

   It’s drop-in, so you just kind of show up and play with whoever is there. Now you can still plan and arrange your own games; that’s always available. The game is so neat because you can play with such a wide variety of people. On certain days we hold round robin tournaments, where you’ll have a chance to play with everyone who shows up. The various types of games give you different options and something to strive for.

  "We have young people from their mid twenties to thirties to a 92-year-old who plays with us regularly," says Sandy. "It’s become a bond, a family, you know a pickle ball family!"


How does Pickleball differ from tennis and racquetball?

   First off, you play with a wiffle ball; it’s got holes in it and it's larger than tennis and racquet balls. The paddles are like the ones that you use in racquetball: composite paddles.

Secondly, the court size is much smaller. One tennis court houses four pickleball courts. Two per half to give you four. Generally speaking you play doubles, so it’s easier on the knees. We’re finding that young people enjoy playing singles and are extremely competitive. So it’s cool that there’s such a range, and it’s a game that you can play for so long into your years because it’s not as demanding as tennis.

   "It has been around awhile, but yes it’s just blowing up within the past 5 years," Sandy says. 

How did Pickleball get it's name?

"The story goes: there was a gentleman playing somewhere in the midwest and he had a dog named pickles, so when the ball went off the court, he said pickles go get the ball!" claims Sandy.

 After doing a bit of research, I found that the dog Pickles did exist, but only after the game was created. The following was found in an article "The Doggone Lies About Pickleball", written by Tristan Baurick, January 16, 2009. 

"Frank Pritchard, another of Joel Pritchard’s kids, said the name may have come from his mother, Joan, who was a competitive rower on the island. She sometimes referred to the ‘pickle boat,’ the slowest vessel in a race.

   So, just come out and try it! It’s an extremely fun sport and the fact that it’s drop in give you so many options about how long you wanna play, along with getting to meet so many people that you would have never met before. You will get addicted, I promise.

How to Stick with Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions

By Annie McCabe

   New Year, New You! 2017 is YOUR year to #DOMORE.

   I am a full time college student, an avid runner and ACE certified group fitness instructor who is always looking for new motivation and principles to workout, challenge and improve myself.  These simple tips will help you stick to your exercise goals and get results in 2017!

Make a Schedule
Add workouts to your calendar.  Identify the dates and times you want to work out, the type of workout you want to accomplish and the duration of your workout.  Plan for it. Make time for it.  This simple step will ensure that you have no excuse not to workout.



Mix it up

Try new types of workouts regularly in order to keep you on your feet, to work different muscle groups, and to avoid becoming bored with the same daily workout routine.  If running is your modus operandi, sign up for a hip-hop dance class, attend a yoga class, or get moving in a spin class.  There are so many different types of workouts, so why not try them all?


Set a Date Specific Goal

By setting a specific and attainable goal, you will be motivated to continue working out in order to reach that goal.  Step outside of your comfort zone and register for a race or competition and mark it on your calendar.


Workout with Friends

Make your workout a social event.  By doing so it will be something to which you look forward.  By working out with friends or in a group, you are more likely to stick with it.  Join a workout group, local running club, or fitness class.


   Thank you all for taking a few minutes out of your day to hear me out! I hope it helps. Put any questions or comments in the section down below. Best of luck on your fitness ventures and I hope you have the chance to get out there and #DOMORE today! 

Where to Buy Tucson-Local Gifts

Do you want to see what you can do to support our local economy this holiday season? Check out this list of local manufactures and businesses that you may not even know about! 

Local Food & Beverage (Products):
Oat Mama (Lactation granola bars) 
Native Seeds (seed company/gardening) 
RBar Energy (fruit and nut snack bars)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Local Shops:
Zia Records (entertainment and collectable items)
Yikes Toys (toy's for ages 2-adult, including games, toys, novelty items, gag gifts, local art, coloring books, notebooks, puzzles, books)
Qmulative (online clothing) 
Heros and Villains (comic books) 
Xpanded Universe (toy store, art gallery)
Amazing Discoveries  (Table top gaming)                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Local Outdoor/recreation:
Rocks and Ropes (Indoor Climbing Gym) 
Summit Hut - (hiking, camping & travel gear)
XeroCraft (Tucson's local hackerspace and makerspace)
Tucson Clay Co-op (Clay/pottery classes/studio/workspace)                                                                                                                                                                                              
Local Brewery:
Dragoon Brewing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Local Entertainment:
Old Tucson                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
99.1 Downtown Radio                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Key area's for interesting Local Shops:
4th Ave
Mercado San Augustine
Main Gate Square                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
For more local business information please visit Local First Arizona's Tucson business page. If you have anything to add please share your ideas in the comments below! We love you Tucson! Keep rocking out and doing more!
#domore #thisistucson 

7 Ways to Make the Most of Every Day

By Ari Antilla

   Have you ever had a day go by so quickly and when you try to think about what you’ve accomplished you draw a blank and realize nothing got done? As humans, we all have days like that but not every day has to be like that. We can avoid these days and make our days amazing and get the most out of them by following a few simple steps.

1.   Rise early

Early mornings are quiet, peaceful, productive, and energizing. Rising early and success go hand-in-hand. If you wake up earlier you have more time to accomplish everything you need to do for the day or even have extra time in the day for personal time. What could you accomplish with an extra hour or two in the morning?


2.   Start your day off with exercise

Reuben Jackson Cohen, Tucson, AZ

People who start off their day with exercise tend to not only have more energy throughout the day but also have a more positive outlook which are both necessary to be the most productive you can during your day. In addition, exercising first thing in the morning ensures you get it done first thing so you don’t have to worry about making time for it later.


3.   Eat right and don’t skip breakfast

Eating anything for breakfast puts you ahead of many people. However, eating a healthy breakfast opens the door for a more productive day, helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, and tends to lead to eating less over the course of the day. More so, food is the fuel for our bodies and mind. Be mindful that you are fueling yourself with the right kinds of nutritious foods at every meal. Eating real, healthy foods gives your body consistent energy and helps you concentrate better and longer on your daily tasks


  • 4.   Focus on what’s important
  • We have a tendency to try to tackle all the tasks that come our way. First off, it’s not realistic to get everything on your to-do list done in one day and secondly, that’s most likely not how we want to spend our day. Thus, it’s crucial to identify the most important tasks and projects for that particular day and focus on those. Identify the biggest, most important task and do it first. If you finish, move on to the next. While you won’t accomplish every task that life throws at you, you will finish the most important stuff which makes all the difference.


  • 5.   Be present
  • Be present in all that you do. Put away any distractions, such as your cellphone, so that you can put all your focus on your tasks and being engaged with others. Being fully focused in activities throughout your day makes you more likely to be productive and efficient. For instance, if you put your phone in your backpack during the school day and pay attention in class, you won’t have to waste time going back over the same information later on. Additionally, when surrounded by others, put down your smart phone and give your full attention to those you are around to not only be polite but also to be fully engaged which can help strengthen relationships.


  • 6.   Do one thing you love each day
  • Logan Heiman, Virginia Beach, VA

    Apart from the requirements of every day life, you should take time to take part in one activity or hobby that you absolutely love. By doing something that brightens your day and nurtures your soul every single day it will not only keep you happy but it will be uplifting and keep your mindset in the right place.  


    7.    Finish strong

    A half hour before you are planning to go to bed, separate yourself from all technology. Spend a few minutes and reflect back on your day, the progress you made, and any changes that could be made for a better day tomorrow. Then, plan out the next day’s schedule and to-do list so you become aware of the tasks at hand and time available to accomplish them. Finally, read a few pages of a favorite book to end the night. This is a great way to finish your busy day and prepares you for a clean start tomorrow.

    RBar Infographic

    What's our favorite flavor, you ask?

    Well, what are you in need of? Each of our individual bars offer their own unique benefits, from post work out regeneration to brain power enhancement. 

    Try each flavor and give us your feedback in the comments below!

    Eating Less, More Often

    Written by Ari Antila                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
     Eating three square meals a day is drilled into our heads early on in our lives. However, in today’s world of driving instead of walking and desk jobs that don’t demand much more physical activity other than typing on a keyboard, eating three large meals just doesn’t seem to make sense. The excess calories that come with eating big meals won’t be utilized right away which in turn, will cause them to be stored as fat. To adjust to the current lifestyles, consuming 5 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day makes more sense and will help stabilize your blood sugar levels to curb cravings and give you sustainable energy throughout the day.
                                                                                                                                                                         Within a few hours after your last bite to eat, your blood sugar levels start to decrease which leads to hunger and cravings. We all know how easy it is for your hunger to get the best of you and tempt you to stop by the nearest vending machine for a sugary soda or unhealthy snack. However, if you’re eating smaller meals more frequently then your blood sugar levels stay higher and consistent which assists in preventing those unhealthy cravings. On another note, it’s very easy to get caught up in a busy life and not realize you haven’t eaten for long hours. Eventually, the calorie-deficiency will catch up to you and besides just feeling tired, you have a greater tendency to binge eat and consume an abundance of calories when the chance to eat does come around.
                                                                                                                                                                         Not only do long intervals between meals make cravings and binge-eating more likely to occur, but they also cause your energy levels to drop and make you feel fatigued. In order to keep energy levels high, fueling your body with smaller amounts of nutritious foods every 3-4 hours will do the trick. While eating large meals until you’re stuffed can lead to laziness and inactivity. We have all experienced a situation like this; think about a time when you overloaded on pasta, vegetables, a bread roll, mashed potatoes, and or just about anything you can get your hands on. Does going on a 2 mile run after that heavy meal sound appealing? Probably not. Sitting back on the couch and resting sounds a lot more tempting. On the contrary, if you eat small, spaced out meals then you are more likely to be more active during the day which can help with weight loss and just assist in living a healthy lifestyle in general.
                                                                                                                                                                        So, as crazy as it may sound, eating more frequently can often lead to eating less. The key to the best results is to make smaller meals throughout the day that consist of nutritious foods including a variety that allows you to hit all the food groups. The quality of food being eaten is also important. The benefits of healthy eating in smaller quantities throughout the day could help boost your health and weight loss goals. Remember exercise and physical activity will only add to the beneficial effect of small, nutritious meals so eat smaller servings, eat often, stay healthy, and stay happy.

    Breathing Techniques for Awareness, Energy, & Relaxation

    By: Kalena Shoman
    How many times a day do you find yourself overwhelmed from either sitting in an office with 10 tabs open, trying to finish three things at once to dealing with 5 wonderful, screaming children as you try to maintain a healthy household? There are so many variables in life that require the most from us, so we have all found different ways to get us through these demanding times. Whether it be an energy drink to speed us up, or a cup of tea to calm us down. But what if I told you that by focusing on your breathing, you can quickly change your mental/physical state? 
    Tucson local rock climber, Adrea Richmond, gave me some great tips on how to gain control over your present moment with just 3 simple techniques.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let’s start with Conscious Breathing or "Belly Breathing"
     Most of us primarily use reverse breathing on a normal basis. As we inhale our stomach shrinks, when it should be expanding. This can affect our nervous system, blood pressure and energy levels making it more difficult to exercise, causing painful shoulder and neck issues, as well as becoming more susceptible to chronic injuries.                                                                         
     “It actually took me a few months to train myself to breathe correctly,” Adrea claims. So don’t get too frustrated when learning these techniques as the adverse performance is learned at a very young age.                                                                                                          
     Take a moment to read through the next paragraph, and visualize it as you read. Once you understand the practice, give it a try, allowing yourself to mess up several times before you actually feel the difference. 
    • To begin, first, focus on a stable sitting posture. Assure that your spine is straight and that your rib cage is slightly lifted, with your shoulders resting comfortably at your side. Soften your facial muscles and interlace your hands into your lap or hands rested on your knees, palms up towards the sky.
    • Inhale through your nose, and as you do, notice the base of the stomach expanding. As you continue to breathe in, it will proceed to the top of the stomach, up to the center of your chest. 
    • Once your chest begins to rise, close your eyes and focus as the air climbs up through your throat to the top of your head. Then reverse this process as you slowly exhale.
    • Repeat this process as often as you can, for as long as you can to gain muscle memory. 
     When using this technique, you increase oxygen intake which will benefit your body in many aspects. You brain, heart and muscles all depend upon a healthy amount of oxygen to achieve top performance.
                                                                                                                                                                  The next technique is called Kapalabhati.
    Adrea uses this technique in the morning to help wake up. It increases your heart rate and warms your body right up. This is a great breathing exercise to rid  your lungs of stale air. 
    • Again, check  your posture and sitting position.This breathing technique is a continuous active exhalation followed by passive inhalation.
    • As you exhale, your stomach should abruptly squeeze or contract all of the air out very quickly several times (10-20). 
    • The inhale will happen automatically, it’s an involuntary response to the atmospheric pressures of the earth.  As you breathe, the abdomen should be the only thing you're actively moving in your body. 
    • Try to focus your entire energy on the forceful exhalation, but remember to not rush yourself.
     Kapalabhati aka shining skull breath has many benefits for the body other than a quick spurt of energy. This technique also strengthens the heart and lungs, oxidizes your blood, purifies your liver, and strengthens the nervous system. 
             The final technique that we’ll go over today is called Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing).

    This technique is great for calming your mind and body and preparing yourself for a good night’s sleep. Adrea uses this technique to connect her pranayama breathing routines together, balance the left and right brain hemispheres, and calm down before bed. 

    •  To begin, figure out which nostril is more open. Let’s say it’s your left.
    • Close your right nostril and breathe in through your left, then hold your breath as you switch sides, exhaling from your right. 
    • You’ll begin the process again by, now, breathing in through your right nostril and exhaling from your left. 
    • That is considered one round. What you do to one side of the body should then be done on the other.


      I hope that we've provided you some helpful tips on ways to control your breathing that you can use in your day-to-day life. If you have any questions, tips to add, or would like to be interviewed for a blog post please email me at  

      Stay tuned for more from #TeamRBar :)


      “While attending a yoga session at your favorite studio, you may hear the teacher prompt you to move with your breath, but what does that mean? Think of when you bend down to pick something up. Exhale when you go down and inhale as you stand back up towards the sky." 

        "When rock climbing, there have been times when I tell my friends that I need a "moment". I’ll get in a good stance, soften my grip, to just stand there and let go of the world around me. This is that moment what every climber is infatuated with. It is the present moment. I take a deep breath in, take a step, exhale, move up, and then do it again.” 

        "When we give ourselves time to breathe, we give ourselves time to feel. Put your body and mind in balance and you may have a better response to stress, no matter it physical or emotional stress."

      Shoman K. (2016, October 25) Personal Interview with Adrea R.