It may not seem like it but when it comes to food products and certainly supplements I am a huge skeptic. Clients often email me photos of food products or links to articles and often my reply is “I wouldn’t bother.” Over them summer I received the following email
Hi Lauren,
Hope you’re enjoying your summer. I loved Little Book of Thin and have been following the 10 Steps to Svelte, broke up with sweeteners etc. I also started taking saffron supplements and I’m curious if they’re green lighted.  Maybe a good YOSA topic for the blog?
IF you’re not familiar with YOSA it’s our acronym for “yay or step away”.  After some digging I saw there was some research behind saffron and I have a soft spot for spices as I feel they have been used for so long. So I also ordered these capsules but didn’t expect much.
Saffron is that super expensive reddish spice that comes in threads and is most commonly used in paella. Saffron is actually from the stigma of a flower called Crocus sativus L (such a shame nobody plays trivial pursuit anymore). Saffron has centuries of use as a remedy in Indian and Chinese cultures but these saffron capsules contain much more saffron than the spice itself.
Saffron’s potential benefits are appetite reduction, mood improvement (thought many of the studies have been small) and one of the constituents of saffron, crocetin, shows potential in terms of cancerprevention and treatment. Saffron is absolutely not something I would recommend for pregnant women as it can cause uterine contractions or in dosages above five grams per day.
Here’s the part where I start to sound like an infomercial. I took the saffron as directed before lunch and dinner. I noticed the biggest difference at restaurant meals where portions are larger. I was pushing away plates left and right. And the few times I noticed I had that typical urge to pick or graze I had forgotten my saffron. Now, nothing is going to help if your basics aren’t in order. But if you’re like the reader above who is doing your basics or “10 Steps to Svelte” and feel your portions are too large or your appetite tremendous, this is worth a try. In terms of YOSA criteria I’m going to say “YAY”.
If you’re not a capsule person or don’t tend toward ginormous portions. I also love saffron tea. It’s a Moroccan tradition. I boil water and combine green tea and about ½ tsp. saffron. I let this steep for 5 minutes, strain the leaves/threads and add a little sweetener (Nustevia or honey).
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Do you saffron? How do you use it in cooking? What are your favorite spices? Have you heard of the saffron/appetite connection? Anything you’d like us to consider for YOSA?

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