I've been on a mission lately to cut out refined sugar from my diet.
Now this is a tricky little endeavour as sugar has insidiously crept over the years into a lot of the things you would consume without giving a second thought to. For instance, I have recently discovered that my soymilk that comes in a box proclaiming it's organic goodness contains high fructose syrup!! (insert look of horror)
Despite people telling me I'm denying myself the simple pleasures of life if I cut out yummy biscuits, cakes and pastas, over the years I've realized that the simple pleasures of life ARE about nourishing my body with good food. When I am mindful about the things I put in my mouth, I feel better and I most definitely look better. I am reminded of this everytime I slip up and indulge in that family sized pizza. There is a devil in me, and it loves cheese:)
Our state of mind is influenced by what we eat, and this affects our attitudes towards our bodies and the people and things around us. This may sound cheesy, but I personally feel that eating locally grown, fresh organic produce is a priviledge that I allow myself to have because I love and value myself.
So anyway, because I found it a bit of a struggle to properly eliminate sugar while maintaining a standard diet, I've been slowly incorporating more raw recipes into my daily meal plans.
And it's been great! I've lost a few pounds, my skin is the best it's ever been without the help of synthetic hormones, and I have heaps more energy. Plus, I have opened up this whole new mouthwatering realm of raw desserts.
Here are a few tips on how to cut out sugar from your diet if you'd like to try it for yourself:
1) If it's white, it's BAD.
So I'm talking no white breads, rices, pastas etc. Instead, think buckwheat noodles, lentils, chickpeas and the lot. So much more nutrient packed than that bowl of white rice! White sugar can be replaced with agave nectar, maple syrup or honey. Trust me, it won't be missed!
2) Spend time reading the stuff written on the boxes your food comes in.
The more time I spend reading ingredients lists, the more determined I am to eat as much unprocessed food as possible. Some of the ingredient's listed read like a meth lab's shopping list and it really freaks me out. As I mentioned earlier, sugar is in almost everything these days, and come disguised with various names. I'm experiencing a brain block and can't think of an example right now, but google it and you'll be surprised with what comes up!
3) Get to cooking!
The best way to make sure you know whats going in your body is to prepare it yourself. If you can hop on the world wide web and find out home remedies for warts, you can find yourself a nice, yummy, easy to whip up dish.
Here's a little recipe to start you off with, inspired by the gorgeous, eternally young Mimi Kirk's Raw Chocolate Caramel Slice recipe. FYI, she is my inspiration everyday to eat the best I can!
Raw Chocolate Nut Bar
1 cup cacao powder
1 1/2 cup melted cacao butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (NOT essence)
Some stevia/agave to taste
Directions: Melt the cacao butter in a saucepan. In a big bowl, mix together melted cacao butter, cacao powder, vanilla extract and your choice of sweetener to taste. Add in a pinch of sea salt. Pour it into a small baking dish lined with clear wrap and chuck it in your freezer for 10 to 15 mins
1 cup of almonds
1/2 cup soaked pitted dates
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter
Directions: Pulse the almonds and drained dates in a food processor till fine with a little bit of crunchy chunk. In a bowl, mix the almonds, dates, coconut and cacao butter. Make sure it is a little sticky when pressed between your fingers. Spread this mixture on top of you chocolate layer, and chuck it back in the freezer for another 10 to 15 mins.
Before cutting it into slices, remove from freezer and let sit for about 5 to 10 mins (otherwise chocolate layer will crack). Just remove the entire cling wrap from your pan and up end it on a plate and get to slicing and eating!
Obviously my aptitude for food photography is close to nil (should've really wiped the plate down), but they are yummy! Trust!