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.

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CourseMap

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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.

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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 🙂

 

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.

Sugar makes you overeat

PAncake stack (blog)

If you have been following this blog for a while you probably already know that fructose isn’t good. New research presented yesterday at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology shows that all sugar isn’t all the same when it comes to hunger and feeling full. This research investigated the differences between fructose and glucose by showing images of food to volunteers whilst they were having a fMRI scan of their brain.

The results indicated that*:

  • Eating or drinking fructose triggers the reward circuits in your brain and makes you want to eat when you see something desirable (such as cake), even if it’s just an ad on TV or a picture (I’m sure marketeers are aware of this, perhaps without understanding the reasons!).
  • Fructose does not make you feel very full.
  • Glucose, on the other hand, makes you feel more sated and hence you don’t feel like overeating.

So, what does this mean for you?

This makes all the difference in the world if you want to loose weight or just be healthy. Be aware, however, that most table sugar and sugar added to processed foods are made up of a combination of fructose and glucose. Choose your sugars wisely. If you cook and bake, swap fructose for glucose. Glucose is the body’s primary source of energy and the sole energy source for the brain.

This doesn’t mean that you should start overindulging in glucose Don’t eat more than you normally would  of fructose rich foods. But, if you want a healthy life style, you can start by swapping sugars, then slowly reduce your intake and you will notice that your taste-buds all of a sudden become less sweet. You then don’t want to eat as many sweet things and if you carry on, eventually you don’t want sweet things at all. No willpower needed to resist the sweets, just your cleansed body telling you what you need.

You can also use alternative sweeteners (non-sugars). If you want to know more, please follow my blog.

Follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

*I use the word indicate as the sample size was  only 24 people.

 

 

Healthy chocolate peanut butter snack bars (no-bake, super easy)

Main (blog)

Your biggest problem if you make these? To keep yourself/your partner/family from devouring them too fast!!! I have to hide these and only bring out a portion everyday for them not to be inhaled (we use them as lunch box / work treats, well, and other other time we find an excuse to eat them). Now, how to make them….

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

Ingredients:

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)

40 gram of glucose

2 1/2 tbsp smooth peanut butter (runny)

100 grams of my granola, smashed up into smaller pieces

Directions:

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).

Whilst the chocolate is melting, measure out your granola, glucose and peanut butter. When the chocolate is completely melted pour it into a bowl.

First steps

Add glucose and peanut butter. Mix well. (If you are using cocoa powder, sift that into the glucose first, mix well, then add the melted cocoa butter and peanut butter).

Next steps

Add your granola and mix until all the chocolate is evenly distributed.

Last steps

Now all you gotta do is scoop it into a container lined with baking paper, press it down until it’s nice and firm and pop in the fridge or freezer (15-30 minutes) to set. Boom – ready to eat!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

Snack nuts – salted, spicy and sweet

These roasted savoury and sweet nuts are great to prep in advance and keeps really well in an airtight container. perfect for work (or school) snacks!

PicMonkey Collage - for blog 2

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

Ingredients:

Salted nut mix

200 grams raw mixed nuts (I used almonds, cashews and brazil nuts)

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Spicy cashews

200 grams raw cashew nuts (but you can use any nuts)

1 tsp olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp onion (or garlic) powder

1/4 tsp chili powder (or more or less depending on your taste buds – this is mild to medium spicyness I’d say)

Sweet roasted almonds

200 grams raw almonds

1 tsp vanilla essence

20-40 grams sugar-free white chocolate (optional, the vanilla spiced roasted almonds by themselves are delicious), unsweetened chocolate or if in a pinch, Lindt 90% only has 6.7% sugar in it.

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 175C (165C fan bake / 350F).

Measure out your nuts. For the two savoury recipes, add the oil on top of the nuts and stir with a spoon until they are completely covered, then drizzle you salt or spices over and stir again. For the sweet roasted almonds, add your vanilla essence to the almonds and stir.

PicMonkey Collage - cashews blog

Now, spread the coated nuts on a baking sheet and pop  in the oven for approximately 6-10 minutes (in my oven it took 8 minutes). Let the savoury nuts cool down and box/bag them. They will last for quite a while (longer if kept in the fridge).

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If you don’t want to add chocolate you just finish and bag them too. If you want to add the extra part, melt your chocolate, let it cool to the thickness you prefer. Then you just pour it over the almonds in a bowl, mix and spread them back on a baking sheet and let them solidify (or stick them in the fridge/freezer for a short period if you are in a hurry).

Done! Ready to enjoy whenever you feel like it.

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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