Can a Holistic Nutritionist Sell Maple Syrup Without Selling Out Her Ideals?

After recently moving from Denver to Austin, I needed a job and quick.  I, however, didn’t want to take just any job because I’ve had the corporate career, having worked my way up from the bottom to achieve a middle management position as a well-paid director in clinical research.  I moved to Austin to start my own holistic nutrition business and therefore don’t want to be bogged down by a full-time, nine to five position unless it’s of my own making.

Right away, I answered an ad placed in the non-traditional job hunting space for the NextDoor app in my new neighborhood.  The ad was for a Farmers Market Manager, handling maple syrup.  You might ask, “maple syrup in Austin, TX?”, as many customers do and yes, the product is collected and processed in Michigan, shipped to Austin where it is then packaged.

I decided rather quickly that this would be a fine opportunity to work outdoors, meet loads of people and perhaps even get a few clients by handing out my business card while they are slurping the sweet, sticky maple syrup samples that I’m beckoning them to try.

As a nutritionist, how can I stand behind a product that is high in simple sugars, something I recommend most people to stay away from?  It is a naturally occurring sugar similar to honey and it does have some nutrients and antioxidants.  Manganese is one mineral that is found rather abundantly in maple syrup.  In the human body, manganese is needed for healthy nerves, a healthy immune system and blood sugar regulation.  Did you get that?  Blood sugar regulation by a product that raises blood sugar.  Now that’s what I call nature’s balancing act.  After all holistic nutrition is about balance.

Those in the Paleo Diet world recommend maple syrup to sweeten a variety of foods.  Many Paleo recipes call for maple syrup which I dutifully bring to my customers’ attention.  Salmon sweetened with maple syrup or what about sweet potatoes?  Carrots?  Bacon or sausage.  Oh, yes, and coffee.

I have to admit oatmeal with maple syrup sounds so yummy and cozy though not very Paleo.  But then again I live in Austin and not in Denver anymore, so get real, cozy isn’t something I’m looking for on most of our spring days while eating breakfast.

So there you have it.  I’ve reconciled the fact that maple syrup is a natural sweetener, when used sparingly, can be a part of a healthy, holistic diet.