Sugar Detox Day 1: Fruit Assist

The first day of sugar detox is brutal. Even as an experienced detoxer, my body fights me, making it feel like I haven’t eaten anything all day no matter how much I’ve eaten. I don’t get as many cravings because I’m used to going without sugar for long periods of time, but it’s the gnawing hunger I can’t shake. So I turn to fruit, which is a great snack to have throughout the day and a good sweet substitute.

Here’s my list of fruits I allow myself to eat on the first day of detox:

- any variety of apples
– any variety of citrus
– pears or pear juice
– berries (optional)

On the first day, I don’t allow myself things like bananas, dates, mangos, and pineapples because they’re high glycemic – I want a clean break from heavy sugars. Stone fruits have to be in season, so I ignore them most of the time.

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I’m your best friend right now.

Eat your fruits like so:

- raw
– baked with spices (apples and pears)
– juiced
– added to water (especially large doses of lemon)
– smoothies
– “nice cream” (homemade ice cream replacement, can be done with home-frozen fruits other than bananas)
– in salads
– with a nut butter
– in oatmeal

Fruit or not, you’ll probably be a bit grumpy the first day because it’s hard to fill that sugar void, but know you’re not alone in your bad moods! They’re a common side effect of sugar detox since sugar is an addictive substance.

Do you eat the same fruits when you detox? Do you prepare them the same ways, or do you have some other suggestions?

I’ll be back with more sugar detox fabulousness tomorrow.

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Sugar Detox Hell

Sugar is addictive – we all know that. But it’s also sneaky. And it snuck into my diet far too much in the past few weeks. I got a tiny rash this week and couldn’t figure out what it was from until I realized that two years ago I had a similar rash that disappeared after I quit refined sugar. I couldn’t believe it. Until I started thinking about my eating habits lately:

- sugar in the dressing for the Panera salads I’ve eaten more often in the past couple of months than in the past couple of years
– sugar in a stir fry sauce I make every week
– sugar in a gluten free baking mix I’ve been gorging myself on
– sugar in two sorbets I absolutely love
– sugar in the massive amount of chocolate I’ve been consuming

Etc.

Somehow I just hadn’t noticed the massive increase, only the sudden feeling of freedom in being able to eat more and bake less. And now I’m paying the price.

I immediately went off sugar and only two days later, the rash is gone. I’m very fortunate it went away so fast – probably because my diet is so clean other than that – but still, I realized that I need to really pay attention to what I’m eating and how often in order to stay healthy. Not everyone gets rashes from eating too much sugar. Some people gain weight, break out in hives/acne, muscles tense up, are tired, fatigued or need more sleep…the list goes on and on because everyone’s reactions are different.

I’m going back to my refined sugar-free diet and keeping the high glycemic foods and fruits low for now. Chocolate is out for a while (although I might still post some recipes for you that have chocolate in them), and when it comes back into my diet, I’m going to control it like I used to. If you didn’t know already, chocolate is my major weakness. Anything else is easy for me to drop, but chocolate…do I really need to explain? I think not. Some things transcend words.

In the meantime, this sugar detox is HELL. It’s making me feel hungry all the time, like a bottomless pit. I just got back from the store with bags and bags of fruit (fruit doesn’t bother me in terms of sugar, but I’m still being safe and steering clear of high glycemics). Apples, oranges, grapefruits, I’m depending on you! Don’t let me down!

After these couple of days and maybe a couple more, I may add something back in so that I can make replacement desserts, which always helps me so much. If I add a small amount of dates in, I can make carrot cupcakes with no frosting and dates instead of honey. If I have one or two dates in a recipe like that, those dates get spread throughout all 12 cupcakes, which means I’m not eating much per day if I have only one cupcake in a day – and I usually eat one every other day anyway. I’ll also be making a fair amount of banana nice cream to help me out. Banana nice cream is my sugar savior.

I’ll post the recipes I make that are completely free of sweetener so you can join me if you want – as in PLEASE JOIN ME! 😅

ANYWAY, have you ever done a sugar detox? How did you make it through? Do you have any recipes to share or that you’d like me to try out?

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Lazy One-Serving Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

I have no patience for pasta dishes from scratch. They may taste amazing, but I rarely take the time to prepare them except on weekends…maybe.

Well, this weekend I didn’t feel like making anything from scratch, but I did feel like a nice bowl of pasta with marinara sauce. So I looked in my pantry and found the only two ingredients I needed: pre-measured pasta and red sauce.

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This corn pasta is tied into small single serving batches. If you want pasta for one, make one batch. If you want pasta for two, throw two batches into the pot, etc. I got these at my local Asian supermarket. Check yours out – even if they don’t have this exact product, they have loads of two ingredient rice noodles and other types of noodles that work for people who want simple foods. You can also make this into a DIY by taking your favorite gluten free spaghetti and tying it into small one-serving batches, then storing the batches together in a jar or a bag.

With single serving pasta, you even get to use a smaller pot to boil water in.

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Throw a large pinch of sea salt (or any type of salt) into the water and boil it. Then put one batch of noodles into the water.  Once they’re fully submerged, stir them to make sure they don’t stick together. Let them boil for about 5-7 minutes until they’re just underdone. Put them in a strainer and rinse briefly with cold water.

In a small saucepan, add your sauce of choice. Mine is Hoboken Farms’ Big Red Marinara Sauce, which I discovered at the Gluten Free Expo this year. You can buy it at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

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It’s gluten free, has no preservatives, and has very few ingredients – just what’s necessary to make a great sauce.

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Put about a cup of that at medium heat (on the same burner to save energy), and once it’s bubbling just a little bit, add the pasta and stir it in well. Let the mix of pasta and sauce cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice.

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Pour into a bowl and serve.

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And there you have it! A great pasta dish the laziest way possible – you don’t even have to measure the spaghetti out.

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Gluten Free Ener-G Cinnamon Cookies

Health Values: Gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free

One of my favorite homemade cookies is a recipe given to me by an English friend. It’s a cinnamon sugar shortbread cookie that you form into small oblong shapes, bake, then let cool just to the point that you can roll them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. If you didn’t wait long enough and the cookies were too hot, the mixture would melt onto the cookie; wait too long, and the cookies were too cool to hold the cinnamon-sugar wouldn’t adhere.

Needless to say, between forming dozens upon dozens of small oblong shapes, getting the timing right for the cinnamon-sugar immersion, and then rolling them quickly enough (yet thoroughly enough) so that all two dozen or so pieces are immersed and coated at the same point of cooling – it could be a somewhat hectic and stressful affair.

I haven’t had time to make those cookies in years, but now it seems I don’t have to, because Ener-G has these wonderful cinnamon cookies that taste so close to those English shortbread-cinnamon-sugar cookies that I can get that delightful flavor without all the work. And without all the butter (there was a lot!) or flour either.
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Ener-G’s cookies are light and crisp, absolutely perfect with a cup of tea. They have just enough cinnamon flavor so it’s not overwhelming but carries all the way through, not just in the first bite. And I just love that delicate cookie crunch!

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They’re a little high in calories – 160 calories in two cookies – but still well worth it. You can also crush them and use them as pie crust; the Ener-G website has a few recipes for that.

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Gluten Free Expo at the Meadowlands and Amy Fothergill

WOW, what a weekend! On Saturday I went with a friend (and met up with a few others) to the Gluten Free Expo at the Meadowlands. It’s a big event with loads of vendors ranging from well known to just starting out, and they have stands around the expo center that give out samples, talk to you about their products, have some for sale, hand out coupons, and provide take-home info on their products and company.

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They even had classes and lectures on gluten free living, baking, hidden sources, etc. We went to the one on gluten free cooking and general tips, given by the author of the cookbook The Warm Kitchen, Amy Fothergill. She was so personable and charismatic, and she was able to answer lots of baking and cooking questions from the audience. There was even a proposal between a gluten free couple, and the guy gave his girlfriend a ring, flowers, and a giant gluten free cupcake! The whole event was extremely successful and loads of fun. I came back with a haul like you wouldn’t believe!

Yours truly on the right with two great gluten free friends

Yours truly on the right with two great gluten free friends

I’m going to post reviews on the samples and products I came home with, so stay tuned for everything from noodles to flours to makeup! Can’t wait to share it all with you!

Keep on living the wheat free life!

French Consulate Dog and Summer Fruit Obsession

This week my colleague from France needed a ride to the French consulate to get his passport. Apparently there’s one right around where we work. I figured it would be just like the DMV: frustrating, crowded, and slooooowwww. Like most government-related things. Never was I wronger.

First of all, it was a house instead of the usual government building!

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And a lovely, big house at that. It’s bigger than I could fit in the picture from my car. When you walk inside, it’s literally someone’s house – they live there and people go in and out all day to get their passports and whatever else consulates do.

When we got out of the car, we were greeted right away by the friendliest dog on the planet (besides my own, of course).

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He was a little camera shy, but he let me snap his profile once he got to know me.

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We met him even before we met his owner! I wanted to know his name, but I don’t speak French very well and my colleague forgot to ask, so he will henceforth be known as Francois.

The inside of the house was beautiful with a sweeping staircase and antique furniture and knick knacks galore. I couldn’t take pictures in there since it was actually someone’s home, but believe me, it was a pleasant surprise! So much more welcoming than I expected. And we were in and out in 5 minutes. Francois was completely distracted by another dog when we came back outside. That’s probably why he passed up his chance to come home with me.

On a cooking note, I’ve been taking advantage of summer fruits while I still can, so I haven’t baked this week. My dessert has been organic watermelon and organic black figs.

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And they are so sweet and satisfying! I’ll be baking again soon, and when I do…well, let’s just say I bought a new binder to fit all my upcoming recipes. :)

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Gluten Free Wegman’s Organic Hummus

Health Values: Gluten free, organic, vegan, dairy free.

I love hummus, but I don’t love all hummus. If any one flavor is too overpowering or if I don’t care for the spices in the jazzed-up versions, I’ll pass on it. I’m not a one-size-fits-all hummus consumer, but I really love having some in the fridge for snacking.

Wegman’s had a $1.00 coupon on their organic hummus, and since the 7 oz. container is only $2.49 to start with, I was more than willing to give it a try at $1.49.

Wegman's gluten free hummus

I’m SO glad I did! I chose the original hummus, without anything extra in it, to see what the basic recipe tastes like.

I was so pleasantly surprised when, unlike some other brands I’ve tried, neither the lemon juice nor the sea salt were used in overpowering amounts. The flavor is good and on the neutral side (though not bland), so if you like a more lemony flavor, you can add lemon juice; if you like cumin or other spices in your hummus, you can add them without fear of them clashing with existing flavors.

Wegman's gluten free hummus

The consistency was perfect – creamy but not loose. I tried it by itself first, then I went for gold and put it on Mary’s Gone Crackers Onion crackers, which went so well with this hummus.Wegman's hummus on Mary's Gone Crackers

This is definitely at the top of my list as a go-to hummus I can buy when I don’t have time to make my own.

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