Tag Archives: sugar-free

Healthy Food Swap Ideas!

19 Nov

One of the most common comments I hear when discussing healthy eating, particularly when giving up sugar is “Sugar is in everything! What would I eat?” Most people feel that it’s way too hard to avoid sugar so why bother. I am sure I probably thought this as well.

More often than not, making changes  in our lives comes with huge resistance. In fact it’s something I always tell people to expect. Normally around week 3-5 of giving up sugar or making healthy changes the resistance creeps in with a vengeance. I remember around this time I got sick with a virus and I seemed to be feeling really unwell all the time. So of course I whined and  thought ‘What’s the point I am eating healthy and I still get sick”. I wanted to throw in the towel because I expected that my body’s immune system would automatically be revved up after just a few weeks of eating healthy! It can take years to erase many years of poor eating! Not to mention the detox process you’re body goes through, so expect some funky days!

In regards to the “sugar is in everything” suggestion. Sure it is, but there is also plenty of things you can be eating without it. If you look at your diet and say that sugar is in everything it would indicate to me that you are living off processed foods so that would be the first thing to cut down on.

We have become so accustomed to eating poorly that we don’t even recognise the faults in our diets! We can’t even see that we are so limited in nutrients and we have become so lazy that our excuse for eating processed foods is always that we don’t have time to cook. I can assure you there is time. Cooking a nice piece of meat or fish only takes 10-15 mins and you can team this with steam veggies (even microwave ones of you like) or cut up some raw broccoli while your meat is cooking.

If giving up sugar is too extreme than why not just make small changes. You don’t have to give it up completely just reduce the amount you are consuming and be aware of what you’re eating. The less sugar and processed food we eat the more our taste buds come alive! You will really learn to enjoy every bite of your meal!

Here are a few simple changes you can make to reduce your sugar intake

Breakfast

 You’ve been eating

Toast with jam/jelly or honey,  commercial cereal, yoghurt and chocolate milk  ( E.g milo, ovaltine, sustagen)

Swap with

Pancakes (egg, banana and almond meal) with coconut butter and cinnamon or natural peanut butter, greek yoghurt (no sugar) organic oats with chia seeds, coconut shreds, cinnamon and banana or eggs on spelt toast, raw cacao in rice/almond milk

Lunch

You’ve been eating

Microwave meals, white bread sandwiches, Fast food burgers, fish and chips, pies, pizza, quiche, Cesar salad

Swap with

Large salads, spelt or rye bread with salad and meat fillings, brown rice with tuna and veggies, brown rice sushi rolls, grilled fish and salad, leftovers of healthy dinners

Dinner

You’ve been eating

Microwave meals, steak and chips,  creamy pasta,

Swap with

Grilled fish/meat with veggies, Quinoa and vegetables, zucchini pasta with veggie’s garlic and crushed tomatoes, home made burgers (egg plant buns, turkey, lean meat or veggie patties), vegetable lasagna

Snacks

You’ve been eating

Chips, Chocolate, Cake, Cookies, muesli bars, protein bars

Swap with

Natural popcorn, 85% organic dark chocolate, dates, fruit, veggie sticks with humus, natural peanut butter, home-made sugar-free (stevia) cakes, bars, cookies, raw nuts – there is so many things you can make!

When cooking swap Sugar with stevia, date paste, coconut sugar, organic maple syrup, raw organic cacao, apple sauce and fruit! Some of these still contain fructose so if you are totally fructose free stick with stevia.

These are all just very basic suggestions and I am happy to put meal plans together for anyone that need a little help. The point of  showing the examples is to demonstrate that there are plenty of things to choose from if you really think about it and make better choices! First step is to cut down on the obvious like soda and sweets as well as packaged meals and snacks.

I probably eat more now than ever and find there are so many choices.  Take a look at my recipe page for lots of suggestions!

Raspberry Streusel Bars

12 Nov

 

Crust:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour (I use Almond Meal)
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Pulse ingredients together in a food processor until dough forms a ball
  2. Press dough into an 8×8 inch Pyrex baking dish
  3. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes

Filling:

  • 1 cup raspberry fruit spread (look for one with no added sugar or low in sugar)

Streusel Topping:

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons xylitol or stevia
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  1. Pulse oil, almond flour, xylitol and salt together in a food processor until creamy
  2. Briefly pulse in walnuts and coconut, so they are left coarse, not pulverized
  3. Set streusel aside
  4. Spread raspberry fruit spread over warm crust
  5. Sprinkle streusel topping over raspberry fruit spread
  6. Bake at 350° (160 C) for 15 minutes
  7. Cool for 10 minutes, then refrigerate for 2 hours to set up
  8. Serve

Makes 16 bars

This is another great recipe from my favourite gluten-free website Elana’s Pantry

My Favourite Sweet Treats! (Yep they are Sugar-Free)

11 Nov

It’s a beautiful spring day here in Sydney and I have spent my afternoon basking in the sun at Bronte beach and walking the coastal walk from Clovelly to Bondi beach. Days like this I feel very blessed to live where I do! For those reading this from the other side of the world I hope to keep you connected to summer over the next few months! It’s always summer somewhere!

How cool is this cemetery overlooking ocean! Don’t think I am weird but I love hanging out here!

This will be my first summer without sugar and I have to admit I started to crave it this afternoon. Everywhere I looked there was people enjoying their slurpies or ice-cold cans of soft-drink! Couple’s hand in hand eating ice-cream made me feel jealous! Not to be part of a couple – just for the ice-cream! I have started to wonder how I will get through the summer without having an ice-cream at the beach. I don’t want you to think you have to deprive yourself. If I want a sugary treat I will have one, and I tend to have a cheat meal/snack a week. But in saying that you have to be careful that your cheat meals don’t become too regular because before you know it your having an ice-cream/sugary drink every day. I know that’s how I would be. I am an all or nothing kind of girl so it’s easier for me to totally avoid it!

The good news is that there lots of things you CAN have when you feel an attack of sweetness coming on. When I got home I turned to my favourite thing in the world – watermelon!! I also had a nice sugar-free hot chocolate with raw organic cacao and rice milk. seriously you won’t even know that this isn’t sugar!

So here are a my top foods that you can try to satisfy your sweet craving before you cave in.

Anything with raw, organic cacao – hot chocolate, cacao mixed with coconut oil and stevia make great chocolates; cacao, avocado and dates make an awesome pudding and cacao, quinoa and rice milk for breakfast, snack or desert.

Cinnamon – I love to sweeten my oats with cinnamon, sprinkle it on toast with coconut butter and even add it to my savoury dishes! At one stage I carried it in my handbag! It was my saviour when I first gave up sugar.

Dates – Dates are super dooper sweet. Sometimes too sweet. These are my go to snack, especially at work when I am bored and need something to sweeten up my date.

Fruit ice-blocks (popsicle or whatever you call them) – I have fond memories of making ice-blocks out of Mr Men moulds when I was little. Why not bring out the child in you and buy ice-block moulds and fill them with fruit concoctions. I like to throw a few different fruits into a blender and then pour into the moulds. They aren’t always on hand at the beach, but at least you have them at home.

Ice-magic – Remember this as a kid? Another great memory. I don’t think I even really loved the actual chocolate just the novelty of pouring chocolate on my ice-cream and then seeing it go hard! You can make your own my melting coconut butter, mixing in cacao and a little stevia then pour onto frozen fruit ice-cream! It will solidify when it sits on the ice-cream!

Fruit ice-cream – Frozen bananas make amazing ice-cream. Just throw them into a food processor or blender and there you have whipped ice-cream. You may like to add cacao or vanilla or other fruits.

Banana pancakes – this is new obsession! All you need is 2 eggs and 1 mashed banana. That’s it! You may like to add extras. Sometimes I add in 1-2 tablespoons of almond or flaxseed meal. Top it off with some coconut butter and cinnamon and it’s a delicious breakfast or snack. Some people add protein powder but if you do make sure it’s natural with no additives.

When you discover the alternatives to sugar you realise you don’t really need those foods you crave. make you’re own sweet treats and your body will thank you. They are delicious and nutritious!

I finished my spring day with a lovely summer salad. I posted this on FB a few days ago but for those that missed it – you need to try it!
The strawberries and chicken combo are sensational. And this is really high in protein so good for gym lovers!

Chicken (I grilled in morocon spice and coconut oil)
Quiona, Kale, Strawberries, Cucumber, Almonds, Balsamic Vingear (and anything else you would like to add)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and here’s to a sensational week!

Lyn xx

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Clean Eating Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Pumpkin Frosting

3 Nov

Loving these Chocolate cupcakes from The Gracious Pantry. They aren’t totally fructose-free but they are a much better choice than a regular cupcake.

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
1 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, just pure pumpkin)
1/2 c. almond milk
2 egg whites
1/2 c. safflower oil (or any light-flavored oil)
1/2 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

For the frosting:
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake tins with cupcake papers or grease the tin itself. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your pumpkin, almond milk, egg whites, safflower oil, honey and vanilla extract. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Whisk the flour mixture into the liquid mixture and blend well. If your batter is too thick, add a little extra almond milk (about 1/4 c. at a time until you reach a thick, yet runny consistency). Pour into tins, and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

For the frosting:
Place all ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and whisk until well blended. Remove cupcakes from oven, allow to cool and spread frosting over the tops.

Makes about 16 cupcakes.

Rasberry Almond Cake

25 Oct

Hello Lovelies!

I am on Day 6 of weight-free living and to be honest I am starting to get cranky! The joy of withdrawing! I am surprised as I have been off junk food for so long now I didn’t think I would get like this!

Yesterday I felt terrible and I could see Lasagna and Spaghetti every where I went! In fact I was withdrawing so much I ate a large serving of fries with my chicken and salad to try to satisfy the urge to drown myself in pasta! Slap on wrist!

I also had one of the worst IBS Days I have had in a while (maybe the fries?) and my stomach blew up so much that I had hypochondriac thoughts that I had a tumour or I was pregnant! It was really uncomfortable and it made me think that maybe wheat isn’t my problem. However I will pursue with wheat-free and see if it makes a difference. It might take a while to get out of my system.

I have another wheat recipe for you today. I LOVE cake and this is delicious and gluten-free with low fructose. If you prefer it to be totally fructose-free I would substitute the honey with stevia.

Enjoy!

  • 6 cups almond flour ( I used Honeyville)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cups ghee, or oil of our choice
  • 3/4 cups honey
  • 2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9inch non stick bundt pan.

Combine dry ingredients into a bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl then add to dry ingredients until a smooth batter has formed.

Gently fold in raspberries into batter and pour into greased pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle. After 30 minutes of baking place a sheet of tin foil over pan to prevent the cake from getting to brown (almond flour browns very easily).

Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for at least 45 minutes. Flip cake onto a cake stand or plate and drizzle with glaze.

Coconut Butter Glaze

  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 1 TBS honey

Combine honey and coconut butter into a bowl. Place into the warm oven until the coconut butter soften significantly. Once it has softened to a pourable consistency drizzle over cooled cake and serve.

 

This recipe is from another cool gluten-free website called Roost

 

P.S I will try not to bore you with too much wheat-free talk. It’s just all I can think of this week! 🙂

Lyn xx

Stop Counting Calories and Lose Weight!

19 Oct

I have always wondered how beautiful intelligent women, who kick arse in their careers and can jungle families, friends and everything else – can be so darn stupid when it comes to their health and weight loss!

Are we so brainwashed that we don’t know what’s right or wrong anymore? OR are we so desperate to fit into the mould that society built for us, that we would jeopardise everything for a quick fix?

During the week I heard a group of women discussing the calorie intake of a Paddle Pop. A Paddle Pop is a chocolate ice-cream popsicle (ice-block – whatever you call them in your hood) which supposedly only contains 79 calories. One girl who obviously watches her weight, was tossing up whether she should have one and she proclaimed “why not, it has fewer calories than an apple”.

I am not saying you shouldn’t eat  something like a chocolate Paddle Pop. In fact if you are craving ice-cream it’s probably a better choice than a Magnum BUT it shocks me when people think it’s ok to eat this due to its low-calorie content and Not eat an apple or piece of fruit because it has more calories.

An apple may contain more calories and fructose, but an apple also contains Fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C , Folate, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin and Vitamin B6. It’s nutritious sweet goodness!

A Paddle Pop despite its low calories contains the following highly processed concoction.

 Reconstituted skim milk (and/or reconstituted buttermilk) (70%), cane sugar, glucose syrup (from wheat, contains preservative 220), vegetable oil (and/or milk fat), milk solids (from milk, whey) cocoa, halal gelatine, emulsifiers (471, soy bean lecithin), flavours, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, vegetable gums (410, 401, 407, 412, 415), maltodextrin. may contain colours (120, 100, 160b, 141, 162) and malt extract (from barley)

So tell me how a Paddle Pop is a better choice than an apple if you are watching your weight?

Do you want to be skinny or do you want to be healthy?

Our bodies struggle so hard to break down so many of these ingredients that over the long-term in can play havoc with our health.

I always think it must be exhausting to count calories of everything you put in your mouth! I also have often wondered why so many people who do watch their calorie intake never seem to lose weight or are always up and down with their diets and weight.

If I could really promote one message to women  it would be to STOP COUNTING CALORIES and wise up!

Calories are not create equal. For instance a can  of coke has 140 calories and an avocado has 276 calories. Does that mean a can of coke is better for your health and your weight than an avocado? NO! Our bodies need the good fats and the vitamins and minerals in an avocado. A can of coke has not one good thing in it!!

The same can be said for diet products and  protein weight loss shakes.  Replacing meals with protein shakes make help you lose weight short-term but it’s not really doing a lot for your long-term weight and health. Wouldn’t you rather have a delicious healthy meal AND lose weight than have a protein shake for breakfast and lunch?!

So many products on the market are just marketing gimmicks and the reason they exist is to make money from your struggles! You can’t make the same money for promoting healthy eating as you can from marketing the latest Kim Kardashian weight loss shake or protein bar.

You are intelligent, beautiful, talented and unique! You deserve an abundance of good health and energy! Let’s all stop believing and falling for the lies of the diet industry. Nurture yourself because you deserve it! Forget about calories, you will lose weight this way!

Healthy Hummus and Roast Vegetable Pizza

15 Oct

Every now and a girl just craves Pizza, right? Living a Clean and Lean Lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to miss out.

Try this tasty healthier version of a Pizza for your next DVD night in!

Ingredients

1 soft tortilla shell
Handful of your favorite veggies (try spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini)
Hummus (pls check the sugar & preservative content if buying store-bought)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crumbled goat cheese

Directions

1. Roast veggies for about 20 minutes at 350°F with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

2. Top your favorite type of tortilla with hummus (store-bought or homemade), add the roasted veggies and some goat cheese, then bake for 10 minutes at 350°F.

3. Slice and enjoy!

This recipe comes from Fitness Magazine

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