Sugar Free Christmas….?

Chocolate Mousse8

So it hasn’t been as hard as I thought.  I’m in week 7 at the moment (so badly timed for Christmas!) but I really haven’t felt like I’ve missed out.  I have made ‘sweet’ treats to get me through and chamomile tea has become a savior!    Of course I have had moments where I’ve craved a treat, especially at 3.30pm, but have had to separate needing a treat and it being something sweet in my head.  Avocado on a rice cracker, a spoon of peanut butter, raw almonds, a chai tea, sparkling water…anything but sugar or (worse) fake sugar.

Tomorrow is going to be interesting – but as always preparation is the key.  We are having a traditional Aussie Christmas – salads and meats on the BBQ with family…and then deserts.  I will be making something for desert that is sugar free to ensure I don’t fall at the last hurdle!

My latest favorite treat is Chocolate Mouse – and it is so easy!  Even if you are not a cook – try it, super quick and really tasty – promise!

 Chocolate Mousse

Get Buying!

400ml can of coconut cream
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup of rice malt syrup
1/4 cup of chia seeds

Whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.  Pour into 4-6 glasses and chill in the fridge for 3 hours – enjoy!

Research the internet to find where you can buy these things and get going!  Make one small change until it becomes habit or normal routine – then change another thing.  

Next week is the last week of the ‘I Quit Sugar’ plan.  (Maybe check it out for the new year to see the health benefits yourself?) I won’t go back to eating sugar, but will introduce some fruits back into my diet and keep sugar to lower than 5g per 100g in everything I eat.  I’ve lost weight, seen my skin improve, it is easier to get out of bed in the mornings (hoorah!) and I’ve had fewer headaches.  My ‘I Quit Sugar’ friend at work used to suffer from excruciating acid reflux and this cleared up pretty much as soon as she started the plan with me – years of tablets from the doctor hasn’t had the effect that quitting sugar has had on her health!

Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy the break – don’t eat yourselves sick, allow yourself a treat or two and make 2014 your healthiest yet.

Jo xx

 

 

Operation Eat Fat

Healthy fatsWe all know sugar is bad for us, but I had to get my head around fat being good for me. I think they should start a new marketing campaign and call good fats something different….yummos?! Health blocks?! Maybe….whatever they do, we need a shift in our thinking.

For the past three weeks I have been consciously eating minimal sugar and fructose. I didn’t think I had a big sweet tooth but as usual, a little well informed research highlighted to me that I was wrong. I gave up fruit as an experiment to see if my body improved. It has.

I have observed that for me, fruit seems to bloat me and cause some discomfort. Discovering that a banana has 55% fructose (sugar) was an eye opener! I ate one a day usually. My sisters will tell you that for years it was the only thing I would eat for breakfast. My daily sugar hit! I know this topic is controversial and fruit has a lot of health benefits, but for me cutting it out has made me feel healthier.

On Monday I start Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar’ detox. Cutting back on my sugar intake has been the first step and I am now following her 8 week plan. It’s not forever (yes mum, I will eat fruit again!) but I want to give my body a taste of what is normal without sugar overload. I am expecting that weight loss, more energy, better skin and healing will be the reward.

I don’t want my energy zapped by my body having to process what it doesn’t like – I want to be free to live life to the full.

Sarah recommends ‘crowding out’ the sugar cravings with good fats and satisfying foods – I love this idea! I firmly believe that operation eat fat will prove to me once and for all that healthy fats, avocado, coconut, nuts and seeds etc are SO GOOD for us and necessary for a healthy body.

As always, make small steps towards your own health. Eat more veggies, good fats (health blocks!!), cut down on sugar….whatever resonates with you. Do just one thing at a time and observe your body. What it is telling you? Cut out dairy and you don’t see an improvement? Reintroduce it and you’re no worse? Great! Eat dairy! Try something else, observe how it effects you. Once I found a new health focus became normal and part of my routine, I would introduce something new. Don’t be a superhero and try it all at once. Be kind to yourself.

Remember it is all about small steps to a healthier you.

PS check out Sarah Wilson’s website http://www.iquitsugar.com

Back to the start: big changes needed

imageAlright, alright….I’ll write a blog! First things first, I needed to get my head around how you write a blog….think I’ve mastered that….maybe!

Three years ago I was teaching teenagers in a busy department and was extremely stressed out. My body was trying to communicate with me, but I didn’t read the signs. I was constantly sick, felt like I was running empty, couldn’t handle lots of noise, had poor memory, had severe abdominal bloating, referred pain in my wrists, back sensitivity and exhaustion. Things had to change.

In February 2011 I landed on Sydney’s Northern Beaches feeling overwhelmed but much less stressed! The Aussie way of life really challenged the way I thought about food, diet and lifestyle in general. Although I had been on a wheat free and mostly dairy free diet for years, I realised that it did not make my eating healthy by any stretch and I was addicted to diet coke, carbs and sugar….uh oh.

I started by taking advantage of the outdoor lifestyle and swam in the rock pools and walked the beaches every evening after my temp job. My weight improved and I gave my size 16 jeans to the guy we lived with to use as rags to polish his motorbike! I was determined not to go back.

Exercise was my main focus for a while, but living with a healthy Aussie family made me realise just how many carbs I was eating. I did my research and discovered that one baked potato converts to the same molecular structure as a tablespoon of sugar in my system…..hmmmm. And here was me thinking I didn’t have a sweet tooth!

I will never be a no carb girl, but the aim is for once a day and less in the evening. This was hard to break an English habit of a lifetime. But I started connecting that when I’d had a day lighter on carbs, I felt lighter the next day.

This was my first small change. Simply observing how food made me feel the next day was an encouragement to try to be healthy again. Maybe this could be your small change too? How do you feel after eating certain foods? We are all different, but the first step in my journey was listening to my body.

What’s your body saying to you?