Thursday, 2 January 2014

A Sugar Free Saviour + Pilates Update

Hello! Happy New Year! I can't believe yet another Christmas and NYE has come and gone but then again, I say that every year. This one was pretty good - caught up with all the fam and my brother got engaged. Made an AMAZING pavlova for Christmas lunch. Yep, it was full of sugar. I wasn't ready to cut out sugar over Christmas so I gave in. I don't regret it as it's an indulgent time of year and I was only 5 days into quitting sugar.

It brought home again how much one taste of sugar - when you're a sugar addict - just makes you want more and more. I experienced that for a few days, just eating with abandon (still grain and gluten free but all the sugar I wanted). But then - instead of waiting until the new year again, I realised I was sick of being stuck in the eat-eat-eat cycle and back to binge eating again so 5 days ago I went cold turkey. The only sugar I eat is in one piece of fruit per day. I'm proud to say it has been a really good 5 days! I'm feeling good! I know it will take a couple more weeks at least (I'm aiming for 21 days straight) before I get rid of my sugar addiction, or at least vastly increase my sensitivity to the taste of sweets. I was offered a chocolate from a box of Gillian sea shells yesterday and I declined, and as I sat there afterwards I thought about what would have happened if I had had one. I just knew that one wouldn't have been enough. I would have wanted another and been anxious about when I could politely ask for another. And another. It would consume my thoughts. That tells me I am definitely not ready.

But going cold turkey has worked surprisingly well for me. I'm not worried to have 1 piece of fruit per day because the fibre in fruit slows the rate of absorption of glucose into the blood stream. Plus they are good for you.

So - onto my sugar free saviour. I've been using all the tricks in my arsenal such as drinking herbal teas but I stumbled across this recipe from Mark's Daily Apple: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/make-your-own-primal-energy-bars-in-10-easy-steps/#axzz2pEaUu1aI

It's hard to find sugar free recipes that are actually sugar free. As in, no stevia, no rice malt syrup, no artificial sweeteners, no fruit juice. But these energy bars use dried fruit to sweeten them, as well as cinnamon and vanilla extract. Now, I don't mind that because dried fruit has fibre in it and cinnamon is good for lowering blood sugar. They are also full of satisfying fat and protein from nuts and coconut oil. I made a few slight modifications:

- I used dried apple instead of dried berries
- I added 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- I used 1/8 cup flaxmeal and 1/8 cup almond meal instead of 1/4 cup almond meal
- I added 1 tsp chia seeds
- I froze them for an hour or two before cutting them up and storing them in a fridge.

They didn't crumble and they taste really good. A subtle sweetness and they are quite more-ish actually. Next time I would like to add some protein powder to them. I have been using these as a snack at work or at home when I don't want a big meal, or with a cup of tea. Yum yum in my tum.

I also made something else - Paleo Cauliflower Fried "Rice". Tastes as good as the real thing, as tried and tested by my Dad! Recipe and picture to come.

Now for my pilates update. I have moved onto the Intermediate Series from "Pilates for Dummies". Yes it is harder on the tummy! I am looking forward to doing it again and also doing the side kick series again to work on my butt and thighs. I have been playing "Just Dance" on Wii as well! That game is so fun! You're exercising while actually HAVING FUN! Shock. Horror. For me anyway. Exercise is usually not something I would refer to as "fun". But I have always enjoyed dancing.

Okay I am out for now!