Posts Tagged ‘wheat free’

Sugar Detox Day 8: Quash Your Cravings

Cravings are the worst part of sugar detoxes. Some of the time, you don’t even crave the taste, just the snack or the full feeling sugar can help give you. So the idea is to replace that with other food and other strategies.

1. Have citrus on hand. For some reason, citrus tends to eliminate sugar cravings for me, and others have confirmed this works for them as well. I haven’t done the research yet to find out why it works, but when I’d do anything for some chocolate, I don’t care.

2. Work out. When you’re suffering from cravings, shifting your focus helps a lot, especially if you’re doing an activity that doesn’t allow you to eat. If possible, go to the gym to help your body feel good, your Don't panicmood improve, and your resolve strengthen.

3. Change your routine. Do you usually follow a certain routine at work? First deal with emails, then work on a project, next make some calls, then have a meeting, etc. I know I tend to do the same old, same old at the office, and that makes my cravings worse, especially since my body has become used to expecting some sugar at a certain time of the day and at a certain point in my routine. If possible, break your routine. Reverse your order of doing things or take a lunch break you normally wouldn’t. Switching things up can help distract you (and your body) from cravings.

4. Go talk to someone. Seriously. If you feel a sudden craving come on and it’s hard to control, get up from your desk and go talk to someone. You’ll most likely get lost in conversation and forget about your cravings, or at least they’ll have a chance to pass. Even better if you have a friend or coworker who knows about your detox so you can talk to them about it. The buddy system works even if the other person isn’t doing a detox – just having someone who understands or knows about it helps.

5. Have tea, coffee, or juice. Drink something flavorful that you really like. Some coffees have such wonderful flavors, they’re like eating a dessert. Teas like green tea taste so extremely different from sugar that they can change your tastebuds’ concentration on getting something sweet. Juices can act as a pretty good replacement to having something sugary because they have such full flavor and can also be naturally sweet.

If all else fails, drink a lot of water quickly so your stomach will get full fast. This can help you feel like you simply can’t handle any food at all, even the yummy stuff.

Do you have different strategies for eradicating your sugar cravings?

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Sugar Detox Day 6: Dessert Time!

Okay, you’ve gone through five grueling days of sugar detox with no desserts. You deserve an awesome dessert recipe that will taste like you’re eating sugar. And because I’ve been desperate for a sugary-tasting but still detox-focused dessert, I came up with a really simple one.

Sautéed bananas.

Sounds weird, right? If you’ve been off of sugar and high glycemic fruits for 5 days, bananas are like eating sugar. Coat them in shredded unsweetened coconut and/or plain cocoa and you’ll enter a world of joyous sweetness you didn’t know you could have without sugar or at least major effort.

If your detox includes staying off of high glycemic fruits altogether (mine is staying off refined sugars and having a small treat per week of high glycemic fruit if I want), you can just do the cocoa and leave out the coconut. It actually tastes like you’re eating real chocolate, so you’re not missing anything!

In case you’re wondering, bananas do count as a low glycemic fruit, and the less ripe they are, the lower the glycemic index. Check out Livestrong for details. I used an in-between banana for this recipe – just a smattering of brown spots, still pretty firm. You could also use an underripe banana to keep the glycemic level as low as possible. Don’t use a really ripe banana because it’s going to turn a little mushy anyway. A super ripe banana will probably fall apart.

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Peel the banana and cut it into 1/4 inch slices.

Sliced bananas with coconut and cocoa

Take 1/3 of the slices and coat them in the cocoa powder so that the slices are covered on all sides. Do the same with 1/3 of the slices in the coconut. Mix the leftover cocoa and coconut together well, then coat the remaining slices in that mix. You will probably need to pat it on because the cocoa sticks better than the coconut when mixed together.

Cocoa covered banana slices

Coat a sauté pan with your choice of oil (I used virgin coconut oil to add a little flavor) and turn the stove to low-medium heat. When the oil is hot, put the banana slices in. The cocoa will spread a bit, so the banana slices coated in just coconut should be kept separate.

Sautéing bananas

Flip the slices over in about 2 minutes and let them cook for another 2 minutes. When you take them out, do it gently; the slices will now be a little delicate. Put them on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil.

Banana slices three ways

Voila! There you have it. A recipe that’s really easy and will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Let me know if you try this recipe, and also let me know if you have any sugar detox desserts you love.

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Sugar Detox Day 4: Veggies, Sweet Veggies

Most people don’t think of veggies as being sweet per se, but some of them are. They can help satisfy your sweet tooth during your meal so that you crave sweets afterward less. Here are some ways to sweeten your meals:

Caramelized onions are quite sweet, and my favorite way to eat them is in salad. A good, sweet salad will help curb those refined sugar cravings.

To make the onions, just sauté them in a pan with some olive oil. If you like balsamic vinegar, sauté the onions in it to add to their already wonderful flavor. Refrigerate.beets

To make the salad, just tear up your preferred lettuce, chop up apples and/or pears, add your favorite salad veggies (carrots would go nicely in this), include any meat you have on hand (roast/grilled chicken or sliced steak work particularly well) and then add the caramelized onions. I’m a fan of balsamic and white balsamic vinegars, so I suggest sprinkling a dash of salt, a sprinkle of olive oil, and at least a tablespoon of balsamic or white balsamic vinegar. The measurements are up for interpretation – I generally like my salads with heavier vinegar than most people, so I use more than a tablespoon of it. Toss the salad well.

You can also make an orange dressing with just salt, olive oil, freshly squeezed orange juice, and a small bit of lemon juice.

Fresh loose multi-colored carrots are extremely helpful for sugar cravings as the different colors are sweeter than orange. Purple is the sweetest of all. Of course baby carrots are very sweet as well. I snack on multi-colored carrots or baby carrots when I get a craving. Of course it doesn’t replace chocolate, but it definitely helps to have something sweet to nosh on.

Roasted beets are often ignored as something you can make at home, but they’re actually very easy! Just wash them, wrap them in two layers of aluminum foil, roast them until they’re soft (about 40 minutes), let them cool, then peel them. This works for both red and gold beets, and they’re both extremely sweet. In fact, when I include them in smoothies, I have to be very careful about how much I include because their taste and sweetness easily overwhelm the whole smoothie. They’re great on salads, as their own salads (salt, pepper, olive oil, dill!), or just as a little snack. If you doubt whether beets can replace sugar, just remember that some companies use beet sugar instead of refined sugar for their sodas and chocolates.

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Do you agree that veggies can help lessen cravings for sweets? Which ones do you eat to replace sugars?

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Sugar Detox Day 3: Reinvent Your Sugary Drinks

A lot of people miss sodas and juices and seasonal drinks (read: fall) on their sugar detox. And what do I always say when it comes to missing things? Never eliminate, always replace! Here are some really awesome replacements that will do the trick.

Use seltzer inventions to quench your soda cravings:
– squeeze orange juice straight from the orange into a glass of plain (unflavored) seltzer for a replacement orange soda. Experiment with the ratio of seltzer to juice – everyone’s preferences are different. This will not be as sugary as orange soda, but it’s a good substitute, plus the sweeter the orange, the better the replacement! So be sure to look for very orange oranges – in my experience, they’re usually the sweetest.
– squeeze half a lemon into your glass of seltzer. It can be a bit sour, but it can also kill the sugar craving!
– squeeze half a lime into your glass of seltzer. Lime tastes AMAZING all by itself in seltzer. And if you want to try something a little different, try this recipe for Zingy Salted Lime Soda!
– any combination of the above!

Homemade fruit waters happen to be popular right now:
Don’t even bother with the bottled stuff; it almost always has some kind of sweetener in it. Instead, make a quick batch of fruit water in a jar or even a pitcher to last you longer! Here are some great ideas collected on Buzzfeed, complete with recipes.IMG_1080

Break out your juicer:
Now is the time to juice it up, especially with things that will satisfy that sweet tooth. My favorite is baby carrots. The juice is so incredibly sweet, you’ll swear there’s sugar in there somewhere.

Buy stuff:
– Whole Foods carries loads of fresh juices with no sweeteners in them. In fact, you have your pick of raw, cold pressed, lightly pasteurized, organic, GMO-free…I could go on and on.
– some restaurants and upscale grocery stores now have juice bars! Need I elaborate?

Partake in holiday drinks:
Since fall is here and we’re all very excited to have some apple cider, DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF! You can still have apple cider without sugar – and it tastes just as good! Believe it or not, apple juice with nothing in it tastes much better than the stuff typically ingested in your youth like Motts.
– make sure the apple juice you choose has no other ingredients and is not from concentrate. In my opinion, the best apple juice of all time is Whole Foods brand Organic Honeycrisp Apple Juice. It tastes like there’s sugar in it because honey crisp apples are so sweet!
– get a package of RW Knudsen Organic Mulling Spices. They come in a box and within the box are a bunch of tea bags with apple cider spices!
– stick your apple juice in the microwave for as long as you’d put tea or coffee water in. Then steep a bag of the mulling spices in the hot apple juice. In just a few minutes, you have incredible preservative free, sugar free, organic apple cider!

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So you see? It’s definitely doable! What do you use to replace sugary drinks when you detox?

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Sugar Detox Day 2: Potatoes Are My BFF

It may sound crazy, but when my stomach feels like it’s running on empty and I’m craving sweets, eating a baked potato (or a sweet sweet potato if you can’t have regular potatoes) with sea salt actually helps a lot. Especially a big potato. The starch helps fill me up, and somehow the sea salt distracts me from my need for sugar. In fact, I sometimes end up wanting more potato just for the salt on my tongue! I have an easier time resisting salt than sugar, so that works out just fine for me.

You can do this at the office if there’s a microwave. Be lazy. Stick the potato a few times with a fork, throw it in the microwave for a few minutes, put some salt on the flesh, and dig in! If you have the patience to do it in the oven, go for it.

Fun potato ideas – mix and match:

- sea salt
– olive oil (this can taste and feel a little like butter sometimes)
– cayenne pepperpotatoes
– tumeric (good for detox anyway)
– chili pepper
– scallions
– garlic (!!)

Get fancy – fresh home fries/hash browns:

- grate the potato or buy pre-cut shredded potatoes, ready for hash browns
– sauté onions, garlic, and pepper in a pan
– add the shredded potatoes and salt and pepper. Cook until browned.

Fake yourself out – pseudo loaded potato:

- make a baked potato
– sprinkle it with garlic
– mash up the flesh a bit without hurting the skins
– quick sauté scallions, garlic, crumbled bacon (check there’s no cane sugar in the ingredients), and even broccoli in a pan
– gently mix them into the potato
– if you can have sour cream, butter, or cheese – or a substititute for any of those – feel free to use it, but just make sure there’s no sugar (or even fake/natural sugar) hidden in there

Of course you can also make homemade fries (baked or fried) and potato chips and add fun seasonings to them, too.

Do you have any potato recipes or tricks you like to use to distract yourself from less healthy options?

Keep on living the wheat free life!

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!

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!

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