Its been a rough month July. I know many of you were partaking in "Dry July" where you give up the evils of alcohol for a month. Well at my work, being healthy gym-goers and all that, we decided upon Sugar Free July.
I honestly thought it would be a bit of a doddle. I thought to myself, I don't eat much sugar so it won't be that hard. True, I don't snack on lollies/sweets only nibble at the cake crumbs usually and only 'test' the icing or frosting of my creations. I had ditched sugar in my coffee some time ago and artificial sweeteners have been long banished so I figured it wouldn't be hard at all. I was wrong!
The first week passed by pretty quickly and I was ok. I was still having fruit (and don't start on about fruit being full of fructose - I don't care ) I see fruit and sweeter veges such as sweet potato, pumpkin and carrot as natural whole foods and continued to incorporate them in my diet.
Week two came around and by day 10 I was about ready to gnaw my arm off for a bit of sugar. I guess I was hitting withdrawal. I would get up walk to the kitchen, open the cupboards and the fridge - mentally say NO then walk away. If absolutely desperate I would munch on an apple.
By week three I started to notice some interesting things. I wasn't walking to the kitchen 50,000 times a day and night looking for things to nibble. I was actually happy and full with my three meals a day. I noticed my skin was brighter - it seemed happier. I was still having a banana every morning with my brekky and about 2-3 very small apples throughout the day. I pretty much eliminated white bread (GF of course)- which I eat only very occasionally anyway, no rice or GF pasta. No dried fruits just good old fashioned normal meals cooked from scratch.
By week four I started to notice some other new things. I was far more even-tempered. I had no PMS, and strangely no PMS breakout on my chin. My energy levels were through the roof. I felt unbelievably alert - like the equivalent of several coffees alert. All this made me finally see what the fog of sugar addiction had done to me. It has cured my nighttime kitchen meanderings - long may it continue. I have now been prompted to delve further into RAW baking for personal reasons. I still like sweet things but I don't want to overload with processed or refined sugars.
I made a batch of Bliss Balls yesterday to celebrate leaving Sugar Free July behind. They contained no processed sugar or sweetener. They used only dried fruits to obtain their sweetness. I was a little nervous to try one. Mostly because I was worried it would spark the insatiable food monster from within and I would end up on an eating spree - but surprisingly not. I had my beautiful Bliss Ball last night. Ate my usual dinner and was happy. I think I have discovered a new way to eat and to regulate my foodie cravings. Everyone is unique and if you can control your sugar and food cravings - fair play to you - I know I have a tendency to s l i d e down the slippery slope. Im staying on track and gonna investigate this a little further. I may even read Sweet Poison and see what all the fuss is about.
Does that mean I won't be baking anymore ? No Fear!!! I have two wonderful cakes in production right now :-) Both due for next weekend. One is a 2-tier 21st cake with an underwater & beach theme. The other is Scrapbook Cake decorated with edible images. Very exciting stuff. Both are Choc Mud Cakes and GF. I have been busy creating underwater creatures for the cake our of fondant so its been a fun week.
Just so you don't feel cheated on the recipe front - here's my recipe for:
Sugar Free Nutty Bliss Balls
50g Almonds, 50g Ca
shews, 50g Macadamias, 25g Sunflower Kernels, 50g Prunes, 50g Figs, 100g soaked dates, 2Tbsp Virgin Coconut Oil and 4 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut.
If you are not using fresh dates you may want to place your dates in a bowl and just cover with boiling water and leave for about 10 minutes or so. Drain off most of the liquid then add to your mix.
Blitz in the food processor, roll in coconut and chill
= 110 Calories per ball & 2g Protein.
Made 18 Balls. Keep em in the fridge. Ration them !