Sugar-free challenge – DAY 3

How are you doing? Still going strong?

Day 3 (blog) 2

TODAY’S CHALLENGE. If you are not struggling with cravings already, they will start kicking in hard soon (well, depending on how much sugar you used to consume and how much you have been cutting back these last couple of days). I’ll write more about how to deal with that tomorrow. For now, hopefully your swaps from sugar-high to sugar-low is working well. However, you need something else which will sustain you and curb those cravings. One good thing you could make are these protein bars I just put up. They taste like crunchy chocolate bars and are full of good fats and protein. Give it a go, make these  today so you have them at hand for the rest of the week. If you don’t have time or the ingredients – just eat something full of protein or healthy fat (e.g fatty cuts of meat, fatty fish like salmon, eggs, nuts, avocados and low-sugar dark chocolate!). These will help with your cravings and are good for you.

Main photo with text I can't believe it's not good for me cups

What else?

Do email me on contact@exsugarholic.com. I would love to hear your story, what you eat, why you are on this journey and how I can help you. Fire away 🙂

CLICK HERE FOR -DAY 4- OF THE CHALLENGE

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Best ever chocolate protein energy bar

Oh, my, goodness. I can’t believe I actually made these. They are so amazing and will rock your world if you are into physical activity, missing delicious treats, just need something to get you through the day or want a dessert! Yes, this is the all around awesomeness recipe!

Main photo with text

Make them with glucose and they will serve you as a fantastic workout / hiking energy bar and with zylitol for a snack on a regular day. If you are withdrawing from sugar the high level of protein and fats will curb your sugar cravings!

And…. drum roll… You can also turn them into this delicious treat inspired by Aloha and Naked Treaties (via Sara Wilson). Now, how to make these amazing little things…

I can't believe it's not good for me cups

DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE – DIABETIC FRIENDLY

Ingredients:

Chocolate mix (makes one square block approx 15x15x3cm):

50 grams of unsweetened chocolate (If you cant find it easily where you live, you can use 40 grams of cacao/cocoa powder and 40 grams of cocoa butter – It just doesn’t taste as decadent. Alternatively, use Lindts 90% – from memory it only has around 6-7% sugar)

20 grams of Zylitol (diabetic friendly natural sweetener)

Seed and nut mix (makes approx 700 grams in total – you only need 100g for the amount of chocolate above, I just always make a large portion while I’m at it because I use it for other things too. If you only want to make 1 portion – just divide the measures below with 7, but really it ain’t worth it ;))

2 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (chunky or smooth, to your liking)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup linseeds

1/2 cup chia seeds

2 cups of chopped nuts (I use a mix of hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews and almonds)

1 cup of large coconut chips

3 tbsp oil (coconut or other healthy oil – this is only to make the cacao powder stick)

1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder

1-2 cups of puffed rice, oats or similar

EXTRA: If you are using it as a workout snack, instead of Zylitol, add 40 grams of glucose (or more depending on how hard your activity is). This way you will get energy release at different speeds and keep your energy levels up all the way. I had 2x2cm square every 20 minutes on my recent bush hike/run and was still energetic at the end 🙂

TOP TIP: Including hazelnuts will give the bars a taste of Nutella!!! The more you use, the more of the flavour you will get. Yes, just try roasted hazelnuts in the oven, your house will smell like Nutella…. mmmmm…… Nutella….(okay I will stop saying Nutella now).

Directions:

Turn your oven to 160C (320F) so it heats up whilst you prepare your nut/seed mix.

Get a medium/large bowl and chuck in all your seeds, nuts and coconut in it.

Nuts n seeds (watermark)

 

Add the oil to the mix, stir it around so it covers nicely. Add your chocolate and cinnamon powder. Give it another good stir so that you get an even coating and spread on a baking paper and chuck it in the oven for 6-10 minutes (depending on how finely you chopped your nuts and what your oven is like. Let it sit to cool it for a bit.

Seed mix, spices, oven (watermark)

Melt your chocolate in a water-bath (same method as in this recipe) or in the microwave (just be careful not to nuke it – stop when half of it is melted, take out and stir and leave the other half to melt slowly on the kitchen bench, still in the same container). Add your glucose or zylitol (they look very alike, it’s zylitol in the photo below). Stir. Add peanut butter and stir again.

chocolate mass (watermark)

Add 100g of the seed/nut mix and mix until all of it is evenly distributed.

Now line a container with cling film, then add linseeds so that the finished bar will have seeds on the bottom and top (great for workouts and hikes where you don’t want the heat of your fingers to melt and get chocolate on your fingers). Add your chocolate / seed mix. Drizzle more seeds on top. Wrap the cling film to keep the shape you want the bars to take and put it in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.

Boxig it up (watermark)

Boom – ready to eat!

Or…… Turn them into a delicious blueberry-coconut-cream treat:

See the recipe for the coconut cream filling here (i used Zylitol instead of rice syrup and cocoa butter, less as it goes harder when cold, instead of coconut oil) but roughly it looks something like this (just made with the flesh from one coconut (about 3/4 cup)):

coconut mass (watermark)

And then you just pipe it into my protein bar cups and top with a blueberry. Scrumptious!

Finishing the cups (Watermark)

If you would like to see more gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes like this you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

Sugar-free challenge – DAY 2

First day was probably a bit of challenge, but not too hard? Keep the swaps in mind at all times during the day and evening when you are most likely to reach for a snack or your go-too drink.

Food journal - text

TODAYS CHALLENGE. Now is a good time to start a food journal. From today and for the rest of the week, start writing down what you eat and drink throughout the day and how you feel. You will be surprised when you look back at it and see how many sugary things you eat and drink every day. Make sure you write it down right away (whether it be in a paper diary at the back, a sheet on your fridge or in an app on your phone).

What else?

Do email me on contact@exsugarholic.com. I would love to hear your story, what you eat, why you are on this journey and how I can help you. Fire away :).

CLICK HERE FOR -DAY 3- OF THE CHALLENGE

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Sugar-free challenge – DAY 1!

If you are reading this, you might have already decided to go sugar-free. You might have tried and failed before or just looking for tips. Either way – welcome to this weeks challenge! Scroll down to see today’s challenge.

Sugar-free challenge - day 1

Before diving into it – if you need a reminder of why you would want to become an ex-sugarholic, here are the highlights below:

Sugar vs sugar-free 2

For more information on why sugar (fructose) is bad check it out here, here and here.

Let’s get started! So, how do you attack this? Cold turkey? Slowly decreasing amounts of sugar? This really depends on your personality. You will know this yourself. You do see the biggest changes when quitting hard out (especially weight loss) but this doesn’t work for all personalities. Slowly but surely might win the race. Remember, sugar is an addiction, just like cocaine and tobacco. Sugar masks you true needs and makes you feel constant cravings and false hunger. Your body is able to tell you exactly how much to eat and what, but sugar overrides this natural ability and make you overeat and choose foods and drinks with high sugar content to get your kick. The more you eat, the more you need to consume to get your fix.

I will go through the slow and steady route on this challenge.

TODAYS CHALLENGE. When you read this, you might be on a break at work, at home or out and about. Regardless, you will have trusty routines and habits. So, from today, try to swap out a couple of the main refined and processed foods that you eat. The obvious ones like soda, cake, cookies, sweets, sugary drinks etc.

Swaps you can make today:

Day 1 - swaps

What else?

Do email me on contact@exsugarholic.com. I would love to hear your story, what you eat, why you are on this journey and how I can help you. Fire away 🙂

CLICK HERE FOR -DAY 2- OF THE CHALLENGE

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

10km race through lush New Zealand bush – epic!

Get out of your comfort zone and try just one new fitness activity this month!

Karekare race collage (blog)

What an awesome run yesterday. I saw some of the most beautiful nature and had the best company in our super power girl team of 5. My leg muscles have to get used to all this steep bush running (different muscles from running on flat ground) but I was totally stoked having extra energy at the end the race and not feel broken the next day. I totally believe it was the protein bars!!! (a 3 layered combo of fast, medium and slow energy release). I will share the recipe one of the next couple of days when I get it written down 🙂

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

 

Ready, set, go!

Tomorrow I have to be up at 5:30am to get ready for the famous Karekare Human Beach Races. Human, you say, what else is there? Well, these famous races are traditionally done by our equine friends. For 20 years, horses have raced the black sands of Karekare beach, and for the first time ever, humans get to join in as well.

Other than eating healthy, I want to get more out in our beautiful nature, this race is just perfect.

The course goes through some of the most beautiful nature just outside Auckland… past waterfalls, through bush, steep inclines and beautiful coastline, ending on KareKare beach.

P1070355 (1)

CourseMap

Elevation-1024x88

For the race, I whipped together some super powered energy protein bars crammed full of nuts, seeds and chia. Some chocolate and peanut butter to keep it all together (okay and make it taste ridiculously good). I also made two versions, one with glucose for high energy during the race and one batch with zylitol for energy on a regular day.

Text

 

I had a final look of the map, and now I better go to bed 🙂

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

1 second help please?

1 second please? I would love to know a bit more about you – please take 1 second to click the statement in this poll which best describes you. THANK YOU 🙂

 

Want to be sugar-free? Take my challenge and go SUGAR-FREE for a week!

Woman kicking unhealthy food - 1 week sugarfree challenge TEXT

On Monday, I dare you to be sugar-free for the week and tell me how you go, successes and issues. How you take part… You need to

1) Sign-up on the right hand sign corner to follow my blog via email or hit ‘follow’ if you’re a fellow WordPress user (if you’re already signed up, all good. Only followers will get the info for the challenge.

2) Email me on contact@exsugarholic.com to introduce yourself and share how you are doing and I will help you through the week.

Good luck!

A couple of random things I learned from my travels

Chocolate can be bought in 1.2kg bars. Yes YOU HEARD RIGHT! I purchased one single piece of chocolate, pure (sugar-free) cacao weighing in at a whopping 1.2 kilo in the UK! In my excitement I didn’t take the time to do a decent photo, but the photo belowIMG_8523 - Copy should give you an idea of the size (although it broke in half in the mail). I cooked up a storm of sugar-free chocolate treats for Christmas… chocolate covered marzipan and nougat treats. Strawberries in chocolate sauce…. yum! Now I’m pondering in which other ways I can use this delicious chocolate…. I’m open for suggestions 🙂

Other interesting things…

When it comes to gluten-free products in Denmark, I had a hard time finding anything (although GF bread in supermarkets and one bakery was achievable). I’m not sure if it’s because not many are intolerant or just don’t know it, but they were far more concerned with products being whole grain or not, quite interesting. However, they have embraced sugar free products far more than NZ and the UK. Some supermarkets have even run offers like “buy a sugar free product and pay no GST” (which in Denmark is 25%, quite a significant saving). It’s also really easy to find both dairy alternatives and loads of lactose-free dairy options.

Okay, that was it. Mainly, I just wanted to share the giant chocolate bar 😉 If you want to see my top tips for travelling sugar (dairy/gluten) free, please check out my last post here.

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

Top 5 tips for travelling sugar-free

The last couple of months I have been visiting Europe to see family and friends. And let me tell you, it isn’t easy eating sugar, gluten and dairy free on the go in another country!

veg car

This is what worked for us:

1. Make a mobile pantry. If you are only staying in the same spot for a day or two, making your own stuff really isn’t feasible. However, having rented a car, I found that stocking up on items which didn’t need refrigeration worked well (such as fruit, nuts, low-sugar cereal, gluten-free bread).

2. Let your lifestyle be known if you are staying at someone’s house. If you are visiting good friends and family, they will understand and appreciate what your dietary needs are, especially if you are staying at their house. As a host, it’s a bummer to cook a nice meal for your guests only to find out at a later stage that it made them sick. We were very conscious about not being a pain, so we would tell them not to worry about buying anything they wouldn’t normally get, but if they could avoid meals with loads of sugar, gluten and dairy that would be fantastic. Other times, I would offer to cook them a meal in their house – that way you can treat them and your body will thank you at the same time.

3. If only catching up with someone briefly, meet at a cafe. This way you can select something from the menu which suits you (stay away from all the desserts, cakes and any sweet drinks).

3. Don’t sweat the little things. If you want to eat and not starve to death, you will find it easier to eat the occasional sugar/gluten/dairy. Other times, a treat is worth the consequence (I was re-living  a few childhood memories, you may just want to experience something new and exciting – if it only happens very rarely, for me, it’s been 4 years, why not? As long as the ‘occasional’ doesn’t happen weekly).

4. If travelling in Europe, use the new allergen info panels. I must say, the new European rules for allergens were just in time for my arrival in the UK. EVERY cafe, bar, stall and hot dog stand I went to had allergen information readily available. It doesn’t include sugar (I wish) but for my gluten and dairy intolerance, this was awesome. It also appears to have made staff much more aware of what’s in their products which is a bonus, so, quite often this means raised awareness of sugar content, yay.

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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