Make 2015 Your Play-Thing

Hey! You! Happy new year!

Hope you’ve welcomed 2015 with optimism and positivity.
Got goals? Resolutions?  You got this!

image

No, it won’t happen overnight (where’s the fun in that?) but you’ve got a whole year, if you start today.

Get up now.  Do something to take step closer to achieving that goal.  Do it often enough and you’re sorted.

It’s the 2nd here, and I’m 2 days into my sugar-ditching diet overhaul. 
How is it?  I’ll cut you for chocolate – covered almonds. 
I. Will. Cut. You.
But, I haven’t caved.  Baby steps because change takes time.

IQS: How I’m Snacking

When all you want is a piece of delicious, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, there isn’t a lot that will fill the void.

This fact messes with your head even more than the initial craving and – if you don’t cave – it can send your enjoyment of the evening plummeting downward until it crashes and burns somewhere between Gimmiechipsville and Stuffitimgoingtobedopolis. ¬†The further you can get from the first one, the better you’re doing.

But what if you don’t want to just give up or give in?

This evening I was faced with this exact situation.  I had a nice peppermint tea in hand, ready to settle down for the evening and bang I wanted chocolate and nothing else.  Straight away I hit Google to find me some nice recipes to use the 100% cocoa powder  I had in the cupboard.  Straight away I found hundreds of thousands of recipes.  Some of them even fit within the plan Рmaking the most of stevia and coconut creams.  But none of them were quite what I wanted.

What was it then? ¬†What exactly was I after if it wasn’t a cocoa-based recipe?

The familiar comfort of melting a piece of creamy chocolate in my mouth.  I wanted to be able to melt it across my tongue so it was heavy and thick, until I was ready to swallow and get my next piece.

I wanted the habit.  The ritual of eating a piece of chocolate.  Not necessarily the chocolate itself. 

So how could I replicate that feeling, that process, the ritual without a piece of chocolate?

I had no freaking clue until I was standing in front of my pantry, scanning the shelves as if chocolate would magically appear and all my thinking was over. ¬†Thankfully, no chocolate was spotted (because I would’ve broken down and scoffed the lot!).

Instead, I found the next best thing.  Almond butter.  

This stuff is perfect. ¬†It’s thick. ¬†It’s creamy. ¬†It’s got a rich taste that leaves you savouring it as it works its way across your tongue.

As an added emotional bonus, this stuff is ridiculously expensive here – so it has the feeling of luxury, too.

IMG_3675

Paired up with some appropriate crackers, or with a bit of cheese, it makes a great dessert. ¬†If you want it a little earlier in the day, dip into it with carrot sticks or celery. ¬†If you’re not cutting out all fructose, then pair it with a crisp green apple and be prepared for your tastebuds to weep at the sheer perfection of the combination.

Peanut butter’s tasty. ¬†But almond butter makes me squeal.

What’s your favourite ‘go-to’ snack when you’re about to fall off the sugar-crazed wagon?

Fluffy Pumpkin and Chia Muffins

IMG_1119Baking without sugar is something that take a little experimenting with to get right.

If you have Sarah’s ‘I Quit Sugar’ book, you may have already tried her Fluffy Pumpkin and Chia Muffins. ¬† I made them this afternoon, while the weather was deciding what it was going to do. ¬†It was the best decision I could have made because these were delicious.

The muffins are quite dense, even though they’re referred to as ‘fluffy’. ¬†The eggs add a fluffy-touch, but these things could still break windows if thrown hard enough (but nothing like Lucy Liu’s Chinese Fighting Muffins)

IMG_1120The best thing about these babies is that they’re made from¬†real ingredients. ¬†I have absolutely no issue putting any one of the ingredients into my body. ¬†Even the sweetener is natural (stevia), and not manufactured in a test tube.

While I can’t replicate the recipe here, you¬†can¬†find a copy of Sarah’s recipe over here.

If you’re interested in giving them a go, please do. ¬†You’ll be glad that you did (even if it’s so that you know you don’t like them).

These beauties are quick to make, tasty, portable for a breakfast on the run, and I’ve been assured that they freeze well. ¬†I’m certainly looking forward to munching on these over the next few days!

Yum, yum!

IMG_1118

IQS: Week Five – Over Half Way!

It’s the start of the fifth week – fifth week out of eight. ¬†That’s good progress – and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.

I half expected myself to have quit by now, but I’m so glad that I haven’t! ¬†This programme has¬†made so much sense along the way that there’s been no point quitting.

Buuuuuut I have taken liberties at times. ¬†I haven’t completely ruled out artificial sweeteners from my diet. ¬†There have been times when I’ve turned to them when I’ve felt the emotional desperation and longing¬†for sugar.

I consider these liberties to be human.  Getting to grips with my body.  Knowing my limits.

It’s not the same as going off the rails.

This week is about keeping up the progress.  Which, according to Sarah, means more detoxing!  Yay!

“Do this: distract yourself with alternative sweetness”

Sugar is a treat, yes? ¬†So why not treat ourselves in other ways? ¬†When we take that approach, we get the mental benefit of rewarding ourselves, without doing it with sugar. ¬†No more nasty cycles of eating badly to feel good, but only feeling down on ourselves for eating badly, so we eat more to make ourselves feel better, but we feel worse, so we eat more… you know how it goes. ¬†Emotional eating 101.

Right now, I’m treating myself with fancy-pants tea. ¬†Limited calories, maximum taste. ¬†And expensive, so it feels fancy and luxurious.

Plus, I get to spill my soul to you guys which is always a treat! ¬†Too much? ¬†Yeah, sorry, it even felt cheesy on my fingertips as I typed. ¬†Oh well, no taking it back now. ¬†(Besides, I’m quite comfortable using the word ‘vagina’ in my personal Facebook status, so you know I’m not a person with boundaries… or shame).

Moral of the story?  Positivity, positivity, positivity.  
I’m going to be a total Chatty-Cathy until the withdrawals hit… then I’ll go hide under a rock.
A nauseous, dizzy, (apparently constipated) rock.

So much to look forward to!