Posts tagged sugar free

We all know we should be eating less sugar for optimal health. But for many of us with legit sugar additions (the struggle is real!), that’s easier said than done. Lowering your sugar intake doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or feel deprived from your favorite foods. In this post, you’ll learn some savvy swaps and health hacks so you can start detoxing from sugar, recalibrating your taste buds and controlling your cravings.

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10 Best Snacks for Stress Eaters

I want to get something clear right off the bat - there is nothing wrong with stress eating and you should not feel guilty or shameful for having a craving to munch when you're stressed. It's actually quite normal. Instead of judging yourself for your stress-induced cravings, I recommend investigating your trigger by stopping yourself en route to the pantry to ask the question: “what do I really need in this moment?” You may find that what your body truly needs is not food at all. Rather, it is some form of self-care, like a walk outside, a nap, a hot shower or a chat with your mom. These acts of self care all serve as ways to reduce stress that don’t involve putting something in your mouth. But if you decide that you don't need any of these things and consciously choose to satisfy your craving with food, click the button below for my tips to make satisfying your craving a calm and relaxed experience, along with the 10 best snacks to nosh on. 

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Steering Clear of Hidden Sugar

Sugar is almost impossible to avoid. It's in everything from fruit to yogurt to salad dressings. But there is a distinction to be made between the two forms sugar comes in. It's either naturally-occuring sugar, such as in fruits, starchy veggies, grains, and beans, or refined/added sugar which is hidden in the majority of packaged food products - juice, sports drinks, yogurt, cereal, salad dressings, etc. 

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Superfood Hot Chocolate

Ok team, I've got a warming, sweet-tooth satisfying, anti-inflammatory and deeeelicious recipe for you today.....SUPERFOOD HOT CHOCOLATE! This is a recipe I make often in the winter, either as a mid-morning pick-me-up or an after-lunch treat. It's chock full of superfood nutrients and is home run for satisfying sugar cravings. 

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Autumn Paleo Porridge

I love a nice warm bowl o' oats for my brekkie in the Fall. Oats make for a satisfying and cheap breakfast while doing great things for your heart and digestive health. Some people can't or choose not to eat grains as perhaps they have an autoimmune disease, or they're following a Candida diet or Paleo / Primal eating approach. For my grain-free folks - guess what? Grain free doesn't have to mean porridge-free! By swapping out the oats for apple and coconut, you can achieve a porridge-like consistency. I wanted to give this bowl an Autumn spin so I added in butternut squash puree, ginger and some turmeric for all it's immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory goodness. The result is a rich, creamy, satisfying, grain-free, Paleo porridge that should definitely make it on your breakfast rotation this season.

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Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip)

I love an afternoon snack of veggie crudites (celery sticks, baby carrots, cucumbers) with hummus. It's a great way to deliciously satisfy hunger between lunch and dinner while loading up on vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and healthy fats. As much as I enjoy hummus, I can get a bit tired of it and am always looking for ways to mix it up, i.e. adding sweet potatoes and chipotle in for a Mexican twist, or swapping out the chickpeas for zucchini -- that kind of stuff. That's all good, but I really wanted to expand my horizons. This dip - called muhammara - answered my prayers. 

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Naughty Salad Dressing Turned Nice

Last weekend, I visited my yoga-camp-roomie and dear friend, Michelle, in San Diego. We met in Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand last February during our month-long 200-hour yoga teacher training. You can read more about that incredible experience here. We got along like a house on fire from the moment we realized we were bunkin' up in the same 400-square-foot room and have been great friends since. I went to visit her in San Diego to celebrate our one-year yoga anniversary (just kidding, sort of). I was keen to catch up with Michelle, check out SD and spend the weekend at the beach to mix it up from my usual weekends in the mountains.

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5 Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods + Spicy Kimchi Recipe

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said disease begins in the gut. True, and so does health. There is growing research showing that the state of your gut health impacts everything from your immune system to the glow of your skin. We know that having lots of good bacteria taking up residence in your gut leaves little room for the bad bacteria (i.e. candida) to proliferate. All this healthy gut flora inoculates your intestinal tract keeping you happy, healthy, balanced and beautiful. 

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Fresh is always better? Think again! + Green Detox Soup Recipe

As a nutrition coach, I always trying to get my clients to eat more vegetables. I follow a general approach of teaching my clients to 'crowd out' the junk by adding in lots of nutrient-dense foods, especially veggies. One of the common hurdles on the road to a plant-based diet is that fresh produce often entails a lot of prep work (washing, peeling, chopping) and that takes time! Time that most people don't have! So what do I tell them?? Eat frozen veggies. When it comes out of my mouth, a tiny part of me cringes a little because few things make me happier than coming home from the farmers market / grocery store and stocking my shelves and fridge with heaps of fresh fruits and veggies, and I want my clients to share in a similar (probably not quite so enthusiastic) joy. BUT I would much rather them eat all frozen produce than put the idea of eating vegetables in the "too hard basket" in view of the time factor. That said, I decided to do a little bit of research around the nutritional value of fresh versus frozen vegetables and I was pleasantly surprised and humbled. The science gave me the humbling I needed to shut down that little cringer when I promote frozen produce to my clients. 

There is no denying the convenience of frozen produce, but let's check the science on whether we are sacrificing micronutrient and antioxidant value for the sake of luxury...

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Go-To Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

I love this meal.  Any time of day, it hits the spot beautifully. I have no qualms about eating breakfast foods for dinner or lunch foods for breakfast.  You'll often find me having a bowl of porridge for dinner or a piece of salmon for breakfast.  I don't categorize foods or meals as only appropriate for certain times of day.  If it's delicious and healthy, I'm down.  

Eggs are, in my mind, the perfect food, not only for their nutritional profile but also because of their versatility for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They are chock full of high-quality protein, healthy fats, as well as being an awesome source of antioxidants, Vitamin A, D, potassium, folate and calcium.  

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Strawberry Chia Mousse with Cashew Coconut Cream

I reckon I love coconut more than anyone I know.  I eat it every single day without fail in one form or another. There are so many variations of the beloved coconut and I love all of them just about equally.  The following are constantly being replenished in my house: coconut oil, milk, cream, yogurt, kefir, ice cream, dried cubes, flakes, dessicated, shredded and, of course, whole fresh young coconuts with their delectable soft flesh and sweet water. Delicious! Just writing about it makes me want to rush out to the shops and get one.  Alas, I won't, but I will continue to bang on about my love affair. One of the best things about coconut is the fact that it is has a beautifully sweet taste (without fructose) so it nips sugar cravings in their tracks. It contains saturated fat which is really good for you and fills you up so you don't need heaps of it to feel good and satisfied.  Another awesome thing about coconut is that you can go either savory or sweet with your coconut creations. It works well for both! As for savory, I cook all my veggies in coconut oil.  I love adding a bit of coconut milk or cream to soups and curries in winter, and often just sprinkle some shredded or flaked coconut over any lunch or dinner meal. As much as I love coconut added to savory recipes, coconut combined with sweet flavors is where the real magic happens! Coconut milk is the liquid base for most of my smoothies.  I eat coconut yogurt with muesli / granola many mornings and coconut ice cream on the reg for dessert. You'll often find me sipping on a baby coconut and then digging in to get the fresh out for a snack.  Sometimes I even eat the flakes in handfuls right out of the bag. As I mentioned before, I rarely let a day pass without a dose of coconut-something and I don't see this coconut-love fading any time soon.  

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Asian Fusion Chicken and Raw Veggie Noodle Salad

I absolutely adore clean, fresh and vibrant Asian flavors.  My first exposure to, and subsequent adoration of, Asian cuisine was during my first visit to Asia four years ago with two of my best mates, Anna and Alexandra.  "The Asian Crew," to which we are often referred (which is funny, but more strange, considering we went to high school and college together too - not just Asia - ha), backpacked around the southeastern countries of Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Singapore) for two months after graduating from UVa.  In addition to visiting temples, getting scuba-certified, hiking through jungles, rafting down rivers in inner-tubes, and drinking vodka from buckets (as you do when you're 22), we embraced each country's slightly different cuisine and were even 'cultured' enough to take a cooking class in Cambodia! While none of us had much of a cooking background, we had such exciting experience learning about and experimenting with all the Asian ingredients which were so foreign to us at the time.  I remember being so inspired to get home and cook up for our parents all the recipes we learned during our class.  Unfortunately that plan never eventuated (maybe because we couldn't find banana leaves in Richmond?), but hopefully the recipe notes are still somewhere at home that I can dig up now that my Asian food passion has made a resurgence. 

When I say I love Asian food, what I mean is that I enjoy certain flavors and styles of cooking, rather than any particular country's cuisine.  If I had to choose, though, I would say I favor Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese the most, over Chinese, Malaysian or Indonesian. When you consider that many of these Asian countries share borders, and inevitably, common ingredients, it's no wonder Asian Fusion cuisine, which is just combining flavors from different countries, has become so popular. 

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Work Lunch + Quinoa and Chicken San Choi Bow Recipe

Wanna know the secret to cutting the office afternoon snack attack?

Eat an amazing lunch!

So simple, but so crucial.  

When we eat the same ol' unsatisfying meal day after day, or simply don't eat enough, for lunch, it's no wonder we find ourselves raiding the kitchen in the break room or, worse, the vending machine come 3 o'clock. Instead, if you make your mid-day meal delicious and satiating by including some good fats and protein, those heavy eyelids and uncontrollable sugar cravings will become distant memories. 

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How to Turbo-Charge your Smoothie

So you’ve warmed up to the idea of adding greens into your smoothies, but then you think, ‘what’s next?’  Enter superfoods and other nutrition boosters! It can be overwhelming perusing the aisles of the health food store and not knowing what’s what with all those potions and powders, some of which you may have heard of but know neither their health benefits nor their taste! Let’s break it down.

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Rhubarb and Oat Porridge

Usually rhubarb is inextricable from sugar. Because of it's strong, tart taste, most people try to balance, or mask, this taste with sweetness in the form of white sugar (gasp!), or other sugar alternatives such as honey or maple syrup, when making jams or cooking pies and other desserts. I personally love the tart taste and don't find that this recipe needs sugaring of any kind.  See how you go.  You can also add a little upon serving, if you feel so inclined.

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Gung-ho Green Smoothie

As implied by the title, this smoothie is not for the faint of heart.  If you're just getting into making smoothies, experimenting with superfoods, and toying with the idea of adding vegetables to your breakfast, then perhaps you should hold off on giving this one a go, just for now.  Better to ease your way in...and I don't want to be the one responsible for scaring you away. For those of you seasoned smoothie-makers, this green smoothie is particularly awesome because it's fruit-free (meaning, minimal fructose) but still tastes great.

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'Shroom Soup

I try to get to the farmer's market every Saturday morning.  There is this guy there whose stall is always piled high with all these crazy looking mushrooms.  I usually saunter over and have a bit of a gas bag, for no other reason than the fact that I like to tick the box on getting some face time in with the Fungi Man.  I often walk away with maybe a handful of white buttons or perhaps some Swiss browns, without delving too far into the array of exotics he has on offer.  This was primarily because I had no idea what to do with them...until it dawned on me that I could chuck them in a soup and not have to worry about the optimal cooking method for each variety.  So, this past Saturday I got Mr. Mushroom to pack me a brown bag full of a little bit of everything and thus spawned this creamy and delicious mushroom soup.

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Creamy Avocado and Cacao Smoothie

This is a smoothie I made on the weekend and put up for all my (50! Getting there...slowly but surely!) 'gram followers.  I love experimenting with smoothie ingredients, and Saturday and Sunday mornings are really my only time as it can take a couple of blends to get the right combo.  My kitchen cupboard is seriously overflowing with superfoods - every time I read about a  new one I have to buy it - so it's just a matter of pairing the right ones together so that the end result doesn't turn into some revolting shade of green-y brown.  This one is a winner.

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Winter Remedies + Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Whether you're a snow bunny or a sun worshiper, we all feel the effects of the cold, heavy, damp, cloudy weather during winter in our bodies and minds.  We spend less time outside getting sun on our skin and more time curled up under blankets in hibernation mode.  This is completely natural considering the days are shorter and everything in winter slows down, including our bodies.  As a particularly cold and dry person myself, I have to take extra care in winter to avoid further aggravation of these qualities and maintain my health.  Even if you find that your body responds well to the colder temps outside, everyone can benefit from keeping an eye on these qualities to prevent colds, flu, sore throats, congestion, and other respiratory problems.  The key to health in winter is ensuring the body’s lymphatic and circulatory systems are working efficiently.  If you’re feeling a little less-than-awesome, try one or some of these winter remedies:

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