Nutrition, Uncategorized

My 6-week Sugar Detox Summary

May 19, 2015

Hey everyone, sorry I have been a bit quiet on cyberspace. I’ve been cooking, lots of cooking. I got Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Book after hearing great recommendations from friends. So Jan 4th I took the plunge and started my sugar detox. (mind you, it is now May and I am finally publishing this post! ;-))

Week 1.

I started with the activated nuts + granola. It took ages to do and the activated nuts smelled funky in the oven but the outcome was amazing. I loved the granola! I was not able to find malt rice syrup and got barley rice syrup which will be a favorite in the cupboard once I am allowed to incorporate a little sugar back into the diet.

I had a headache on the 3rd day in and woke up with it in the morning. It was not fun. I persisted with drinking water, herbal teas, and no pain-killers.

I also been making bone broth every week, so I continue drinking that whenever possible.

The rest of the week, I was more conscious of my sugar intake and started a food journal to keep track. I ate the same amount of veggies as my normal days (3-8 a day) and fruit BUT I did up my protein intake.

 

Week 2.

I made meffy muffins. I, of course being a food experimenter and hacker, made an italian sausage recipe. I made the recipe without brown sugar, and it was AMAZING. I made enough to store in the freezer for the following week.

The other recipe I made was the kale sausage stir-fry. I was a bit bleh on the the beets-not really my favorite veg unless its masked in baked goods. I also added a bit of red onion for a bit in my stir-fry.

Here is the link to the recipe:

Sausage( I omitted the brown sugar this time): Click here

Kale sausage stir-fry. I loved it but added red onion into it to give it a bit of a bite.

 

Week 3.

leeksoup

Oh my!…Leek fennel soup. A favorite. A hint of veggie sweetness and fennel seeds, did i mention you put bacon into it? Yum.

Recipe fail? The sweet potato lentil soup. I didn’t like the combination of spices and sweet potato.

So far so good, the detox is going well, and I find my snacking has stopped. I’ve had very little desire to grab something like chips (crisps) or chocolate.

This week was also the “Quitting” week. It was no fruit, no jam, honey, chocolate, dried fruit. Nada. Surprising I followed the book and stayed on course.

 

Week 4.

I had a teeny set-back this week as I had to go to a charity afternoon tea. I couldn’t resist the amazing meal and teeny desserts. The headache followed shortly after. Migraines are not fun. I drank load of water to flush it out immediately.

I made the courgette cheesecake. Nice, very cheesy, I would recommend adding the dill to your taste. I did 3 instead of her recommended 4.

I made the fennel leek soup again, love it, gotta have it.

I also found and made the most amazing Italian tomato sauce because this girl has to have Italian food once a week! Here is the recipe. Click here.

I also made the Spinach and Fennel Smoothie. That was a recipe fail for me because it was too much cucumber, it overpowered the smoothie and I even added coconut water but still found it difficult to drink.

Then, I had another slight fall back this week, I have a handful, okay..okay TWO handfuls of dark chocolate chips because well, once a month I have a moment where I just need the hit of chocolate. Ladies, you should know what day I am referring to. And I then, had an orange because I bloody miss my fruit!  The headache that soon followed was not nice. It lasted 8 hrs, I tried drinking water and bone broth but finally had to take a pain killer =( to get rid of it. Lesson of the day? Stay on the detox =no crazy headaches.

 

Week 5

mishmashsoupI made the Cheesy green misc-mash soup. I thought the whole lemon provided too much acid for the soup so I edited it and put in only 1/5 of the lemon and a bit more cheese. It turned out really nice. I am looking forward to eating it with my lunches this week. I made enough for 5 days and enough leftover to stick in the freezer for lazy weeks when I am too tired to cook.

I also took some more activated nuts I store in the freezer from week one and made some Tamari soy sauce with Salsa en Polvo ( a lemon and chili spice from Picado, this amazing Mexican store in Dublin. Just to make sure I am sorted on snacks, I used the same spices to make chickpea snacks in the oven with lime juice. It came out brilliantly.

chickpeas

I am also planning on making something not in the book as I have been craving carbs since doing this detox. I made garlic cheesy zucchini bread to go with the soup.

Here is the link. Click here.

When I was craving something sweet at night, I made myself some Chai tea with coconut milk or just hot coconut milk from the stove with a pinch of cinnamon and sea salt.

Week 6.

This was the week to add back some sweetness but as it was Valantine’s Day I also made some sweets for my sweetie and used honey to make him some matcha white chocolates with a white chocolate hemp macadamia nut filling. I also made some protein nut balls with a dash of honey. The recipes will be in my cookbook.

I made some raspberry ripple, I found it to be super tasty and hit the spot.

I made loads of soup this week. This time I used my friend recipe of bone broth, kombu, lemongrass, onion, ginger, chili flakes. It was so nice and I topped it with crabmeat. Definitely a keeper.

I also noticed that on this detox I have consumed an insane amount of cheese and cheese products, not a bad thing since I love cheese.

The one recipe fail this week was the breakfast casserole with turnips and sausage. The turnip was a bit much for me in the am. Although I like turnips, this recipe has turned me off of them for a while. The only saving grace was, it was fun picking out the sausages to eat with my toddler.

Week 7.

I made sausage stir-fry dish again, and made less beetroot. I used the garlicky kale I saved in the freezer.

I noticed I have been using my freezer more efficiently with extra stored meals and pre-cooked ingredients.

Week 8.

Oh its been almost 60 days! Things I’ve noticed: less snacking and more conscious eating. I find myself full faster and don’t push myself to breaking point where it hurts to stand up after eating.  I have had a few lapses and noticed after that, I usually crave more of the sweet stuff. I am pretty able to talk myself off that cliff, but sometimes we all need a little something sweet. But I do try to make it a healthier option.

Lastly, about this detox and diets in general. We grab the stuff we shouldn’t eat because subconsciously we don’t want to miss out. People don’t like missing out on an opportunity. We think this might be the end all be all of brownies, biscuit, chocolate, cake, ice-cream, etc. But in reality, there are always opportunities to eat sweets, remember that and it may save you from a snack attack.

 

Here are some pics from my 8 week cooking journey.
PicCollage 2PicCollagePicCollage 3

Smoothie Wednesday

Vegan Espresso Super Green Smoothie

February 24, 2015

It seems I’ve been on a bit of an espresso kick since my husband got an espresso machine. Today’s smoothie is a perfect meal replacement for those days on the go.

I love it because it gives a hint of natural sweetness from the dates, a bit of salt from the peanut butter, and the tofu adds to the creaminess & thickness of the smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box of non GMO firm tofu
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2 T of Meriden peanut butter
  • 1 shot espresso
  • 1 t of Ultimate Green Powder (optional)
  • 1/2 t of Nua Vanilla Powder
  • 5 dates
  • 1 huge handful of ice

Blend in a high power blender or a good stick blender. Enjoy!

 

Smoothie Wednesday, Uncategorized

Espresso Smoothie

February 19, 2015

IMG_1716

Sorry I’m late with Wednesday smoothie, I was busy prepping for a vegetarian Chinese New Year dinner tonight.

But here is my new favorite smoothie, I got hubby’s thumb’s up for this too! And he’s a picky customer. 😉 He’s not typically a fan of my green smoothies.

Espresso 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 5 dates, pitted(I like to soak them over-night in the espresso for flavor and to soften them up a bit)
  • 1 t of Chia Seeds
  • 1 Cup of Coconut milk
  • handful of ice cubes

Blend for a nice treat!


 

Here is my second “greener version”

Green Caffeine Machine

  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 5 dates, pitted(pre-soaked in the espresso)
  • 1 t of raw cocoa powder(I used Nua)
  • 1/2 t of cinnamon(I threw the cinnamon & cocoa powder in with the espresso and dates to pre-soak overnight)
  • 1 t of Chia seeds
  • 1.5 C of Coconut Milk
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 t of Ultimate Green Powder
  • handful of ice

Blend! You should still find the taste of espresso with everything healthy masked under it. Hubby didn’t even know it was good for him!

Recipes, Smoothie Wednesday

Nutty Green Smoothie

February 4, 2015

This morning after an hour of kettle bell swings, pistol squat foundation, and Animal Flow, I really needed a smoothie with substance.

Ingredients:

  • A bunch of kale(pre-washed, and in the freezer)
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 5 ml chia seeds
  • 5 ml raw cocoa powder
  • 5 ml green powder
  • 2.5 ml matcha powder
  • 30ml of Meriden peanut butter
  • 2.0 ml of vanilla powder
  • coconut milk

Blend til smooth. Serves 2.

 

image1

 

Featured, Nutrition, Recipes, Smoothie Wednesday

Reposted by demand: Juicing for Pregnancy and Beyond

February 1, 2015

Reprinted from my Fitnessbump blog.

During pregnancy, we are told to eat many different foods to help grow a healthy baby.

Although many of us think we are eating healthy, we may not be telling ourselves the truth. Think about this, what did you eat in your last meal? Did it contain a fish high in omega 3s? Something that had vitamin c? Or vitamin d? Did you have any vegetables and iceberg lettuce does not count as it contains little nutritional value. Did you have bread that was rich in fiber and was wholegrain?

Continue Reading…

breakfast, Featured, Recipes

Warm Gingery Oatmeal 

January 27, 2015
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Yields: 3 people
Ingredients:

2 cups water
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup goji berries
2 teaspoons grated ginger(or to taste)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon natural sweeteners(honey, malted rice syrup, maple syrup, malted barley syrup)

Directions:
  1. Bring water to boil.
  2. Add oats, raisins, goji berries, ginger and a pinch of salt.
  3. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Cook until water is absorbed and oats become creamy (about 7 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat and add sunflower seeds and agave nectar.
Notes:
  • To make oatmeal creamier try using rice, soy, coconut, or nut milk instead of water.
Nutrition

Chew Yourself to a New Body

January 9, 2015

When it comes to maximizing health, it’s not just what we eat, but how we eat.  Digestion actually begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food.  But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we’re putting in our mouths.  We eat while distracted — working, reading, talking and watching television — and swallow our food practically whole.  On average, we chew each bite only eight times. It’s no wonder that many people have digestive problems.

There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food.

Continue Reading…

Featured, Fitness

Power of the Breath

January 8, 2015

Life is often stressful enough. Sometimes a glass of wine does the trick, or a bit of chocolate. But sometimes even that doesn’t do it. SO what can you do to relax?

Breathe…

Breathing not only helps you to calm your mind form your possibly hectic schedule or stressed out day, but for an expecting mum, it can help connect to your body and your baby.

Here are a few breathing exercises:

Continue Reading…
Featured, Fitness

Your New Year Resolution Here.

January 7, 2015
How to pick a trainer

January is one of the busiest day for gyms, it’s the day many start their New Year resolution to get healthier, skinnier, stronger for the year. Many can jump onto it carelessly and end up injuring themselves. The best way is to start slow and not burn out if you have never consistently maintained a fitness regime. Also consider hiring a personal trainer whether it’s just for a few sessions or a few months. A trainer can show tell you if you have any imbalances in your body, what your weaknesses are, and how to hit your goals.

How to pick a trainer? The majority will pick trainers by sex, physical appearance, personality, and price. Other factors you should be aware of when choosing a trainer; are they knowledgeable of the anatomy, the functionality of muscles, and joints? Are they passionate about what they do? What do they specialized in, and is that in line with what you are looking for? If they are training you at your home, are they insured? Are they punctual?

Once you find a trainer you like, try a session and test them out. The trainer should go over your medical history, help you determine your goals and give you a plan on how they plan on helping you achieve it.

Be wary of trainers that are just drill sergeants because you can jeopardize yourself and get seriously injured. Look for a trainer that motivates you, and pushes you to try harder without the injuries. For those that are unconditioned and haven’t seen the inside of the gym since last summer, it’s the slow and steady that will prevent injuries.