Ooeer missus a cheeky sausage moment and inadvertent better choices

On my way to meet a friend for coffee I notice a butcher has a sign outside for gluten free sausages. I pop in and ask if they are also sugar free and explain why. He looks sympathetic and says he’ll look into it. I say “I can’t imagine going a year without sausage” “I wouldn’t say that in public love” he replied. Oh my.

Anyway I would say I’m a healthy eater and have been for over a decade but like most people I have my moments. I like a bit of cake when I meet a friend, I enjoy a glass of wine at a social occasion, traveling as I am today and feeling tired I would have normally eaten a bar of chocolate or a mousse from one of the coffee shops at the station. I’d certainly have dessert any time I eat out.

Now of course I can’t have any of that stuff. In fact pretty much any thing that’s on the menu for me is a vegetable, fruit or protein based. For example at pret today I wanted the chocolate mousse and probably a hot chocolate, I had a banana, packet of nuts and green tea. This has happened a number of times now where I “would” have eaten one thing, usually sugary and yummy and instead have a far healthier alternative.

For example one the way back from Manchester for the train it wasn’t sandwiches I grabbed but a salad pot. I just leave the dressing off, I did however find an apparently refined sugar free cake at Filmore and Union, I asked them in 6 different ways (I was probably very annoying) and they assured me it was. Then on the train it tasted so nice and sweet I kinda freaked out and emailed them for nutritional info. No word as yet. But two cakes in the freezer for another day. It could well be refined sugar free, my taste buds are whacked right now. Cashew nuts taste sweet!!

Train food

Whether the absence of these small indulgences translates into any health benefits remains to be seen.

If you find anything of interest or use in my blog please consider sponsoring me and help work towards a cure for Cowden Syndrome. Thank you.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear

Birthday weekend

Long post ahead. Be warned, thankfully like the best books most of it’s pictures. Firstly an obligatory cake selfie. Thank heavens I didn’t catch light!

It was a very wild birthday weekend in the Kelly house this weekend. It started Saturday morning when Charlotte brought me sunflowers and a “best teacher” card. She really is such a sweet kid.

The hedonistic craziness continued with a trip to the gym before meeting the rest of the family (sans middle child at Aunt’s) at a vegan restaurant called Supernatural in Newcastle. They are great for us as a family as my mum is vegetarian and my daughter and I are gluten free and I am now of course sugar free too. They make their own food (doesn’t always happen in restaurants) so they know exactly what’s in it. Even the dog came with us as they are very dog friendly and even have a doggie menu.

Eldest son frequently known as (big lad, you can see why when he’s next to me) kindly paid for the whole thing. He is now a man of work and means!After this my husband, daughter and I headed to the cinema to see MIB the reboot. This was actually very funny and I’d very much recommend it.Now as it was my birthday out I wanted to have cinema snacks but of course not from the concession stand so brought sugar free chocolate and a date bar with me. Shhh don’t tell them, my drink of choice was jasmine green tea. Tea is my drink of choice everywhere at the moment.Sunday the actual day of my birthday, this has been my first birthday without my sons. One is at work and the other his aunt’s. I guess that’s growing up and all that goes with it. I had some lovely presents and cards which showed the rather eclectic nature of my tastes:- vans, a bmth bag, starlord jacket and ruby necklace. Hey even geeks like shiny things.

After presents it was a cooked breakfast (of which I only managed to eat half as my husband cooks like he is cooking for invading armies, both in excess and attempts to please) dog walk and gym (it’s a day ending in y so course gym) followed by a little trip to Warkworth. Here I continued my photo series I think I shall entitle “daughter in doors”

F

The day is to be finished with a trip to see Much Ado About Nothing at Hulne Priory which was apparently is fabulous. Just waiting right now for it to start.

Genuinely a wonderful birthday and not a glass of wine or sugar filled cake in sight.

Food in pictures and words

Friday

Breakfast

Corn crackers, avocado with paprika and chilli.

Lunch

Lentil and peppers and cheese

Dinner

Cream of broccoli soup, corn crackers and butter

Snacks

Dark chocolate

Saturday

Breakfast

Oats, apple, strawberries, semi skimmed milk

Lunch

Nut burger (I left the bread as it will have sugar in)Homemade coleslaw, potato wedges

Dinner

More oats, semi skimmed milk

Snacks

80% super milk (sugar free) from hotel Chocolat Oh so delicious – Aldi date bar (both with the film)Montezuma dark

Sunday

Breakfast

Cooked breakfast

Dinner

A table of cheese, fruit and refined sugar free cake. I especially like how the raw food cake turned out.

99 g of sugar on my birthday! All natural. I’m going to talk about that tomorrow.

If you find anything of interest or use in my blog please consider sponsoring me and help work towards a cure for Cowden Syndrome. Thank you.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear

No weigh! – time to measure up

I don’t weigh myself, I haven’t for years. I use to. But I don’t have a healthy relationship with scales. I had a number of friends in my teens/early 20s with eating disorders and as a result a number that I think I should weigh still exists in head. That number happens to be extremely clinically underweight. I hoovered around it for a number of years due to a combination of genes and poverty as a single parent (many years back) but as I got older that number as with many things became unimportant. I know however scales would give me a mind f**k so I don’t use them.

I do however feel totally ok with a tape measure, that’s my preferred guideline and at the start of my last challenge measured myself to see what impact the year of CrossFit would have on me. I’m going to continue to do so across this year again out of interest.

It’s also no coincidence that both the challenges I picked are health based. After my daughters illness I was a little chubby, that’s not a great example to her. Although it’s perfectly normal after massive stress. I want as part of these challenges not only to raise awareness and money for research but also to set an example to her. Not that I think living healthily will save her from her genes but we all know that a healthy lifestyle makes it easier to deal with a recover from illness and surgery. The healthier she is the better she’ll cope. The healthier I am the better I will look after both of her brothers (who have their own struggles) and her.

Anyway the waffle bit done here’s the measurements I started with at the beginning of my CrossFit challenge and now. I’ll keep an eye on them during this year also, I’m keeping calories the same as before the challenge. Between last year and today I’ve lost 17 inches (on the areas I measured). I wonder what a year of no sugar and booze will do…

If you find anything of interest or use in my blog please consider sponsoring me and help work towards a cure for Cowden Syndrome. Thank you.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear

Refined Sugar free birthday cakes

It’s my birthday on Sunday and like hell am I not celebrating, I do not believe for one second that joy and celebration comes from external factors whether that is sweet food, booze or drugs. I will have a fab time regardless. I do however want something fun to eat as well. Yesterday afternoon was spent having a go at making a few refined sugar free treats,

Here is my birthday shopping basket, it certainly looks healthier than the average birthday spread I’ve planned!

The first cake I made has no added anything it’s sweetness all comes from the bananas and the dates:-

Ingredients:

  • 250 g dates soaked overnight in 100 ml water
  • 2 bananas
  • 200 g walnuts chopped
  • 100 g polenta mixed with one tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs, separated

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Prepare loaf tin by greasing it or lining with grease proof paper.
  2. Blend the dates, liquid and bananas. Add the egg yolks, walnuts, lemon zest and spices.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the date and banana mix.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until you get soft peaks. Fold gently into the mixture.
  5. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 49 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

You can find the recipe here :-

Recipe: Gluten free and sugar free date and banana loaf

After that my own variation of date balls. Date balls are a really easy treat to make and store well in the fridge

These are cinamon balls and cocoa balls

The basic ingredients are 350g dates 200g oats. I then seperated the mixture out. To make the cinnamon balls I added cinnamon (obviously) and went wild and put in 40g of date syrup (the sugar free folk class this as ok so I’m allowing as a special occasion addition). For the cocoa I added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder and 50g coconut oil plus 30g cacoa nibs.

One of my other favourites is loosely based on a recipe in the first Deliciously Ella cookbook “Key lime pie”. I leave the lime out and use cocoa powder and orange oil to make it chocolate orange. I also prefer date syrup with the chocolate flavor.

Base

400g ground almonds

600g dates

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Middle

5 ripe avocados

Date syrup 100ml

4 tablespoons coconut milk

Orange oil

Cocoa powder

Base- blend it and squish into a cake tin

Middle- blend together spoon on top put in the freezer to set for about 90 mins

After its set I blend soaked cashew nuts with berries and a splash of coconut milk to make a second layer.

Honestly I can’t wait to try this on Sunday.

Not sure if I’m going to leave it at these three or make anymore. I don’t think anyone in my family outside of my daughter and I is willing to give the refined sugar free food a try so I don’t want to over prepare!

If you find anything of interest or use in my blog please consider sponsoring me and help work towards a cure for Cowden Syndrome. Thank you.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear

Day 25 – going sugar free (or cutting back) tips

We all know that sugar in excess is rubbish for our health, you don’t need me to sit here and witter on about why sugar is bad. It’s the primary cause of diabetes, it’s linked to obesity and cancer, it causes inflammation did you know it can even cause wrinkles! So let’s face it there are a thousand reasons to cut back on sugar even if you aren’t daft enough to give it up for fundraising.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the last 25 days:-

1. Read labels and generally assume most packet food isn’t going to happen. This isn’t actually a problem most of it is dreadful for us anyway.

2. If it sounds like sugar if probably is, and no there isn’t really any version of it that’s healthy. The sugar in fruit is healthy because it comes in the fruit, extract it from the fruit and it’s as lousy as the stuff in a mars bar.

3. Carry nuts, seriously carry nuts and nakd bars otherwise there will be occasions there is nothing to eat and you’ll verbally savage family members.

4. Cooking is not difficult, all the cooking shows and beautiful cookery books have made it seem like cooking is some kind of mystical art only achievable by alchemists. I mean who actually has saffron in their kitchen? A lot of the time cooking really comes down to simplistic meals, throw things in a slow cooker pretty much anything you throw into a slow cooker other than shoes will turn into food. Make salads with nuts, oils and fruits they are honestly really nice plus super quick. Pasta sauce is a simple as passatta with fresh basil, garlic and a little thickening.

5. Don’t be afraid of fat, right now mfp (my fitness Pal) regularly tells me daily my fat intake is too high. Because I’ve taken sugar out of my diet I’m eating more olives, olive oil and nuts/seeds. Plus if I feel like it adding creme Fraiche to fruit. I needed extra calories and they had to come from somewhere, olive oil, nuts and seeds all contain fats that are nothing but awesome for me. Recent science generally seems to exonorate fat generally in many of the health issues it had been implicated in. But that’s for someone else to explore and explain. I’m not about to start wolfing down lard with my salad anyway.

6. Your taste buds will change, within 2 to 3 weeks fruit will become ridiculously mouth wateringingly sweet, dates etc ridiculously so. I dare say by the end of this year actual sugar will be unpleasantly over sweet

7. People will look at you like you’ve 3 heads. That’s fine your health is your concern not their.

8. You’ll still sometimes want a slice a cake and if you aren’t doing a fundraiser year where you’ve commited to stopping altogether just have the cake. It’s not the one slice of cake that’s ruining people’s health it’s the 6 that come after it. If you can’t stop at one probably best to not have it in the first place, but if you do and you wake up in a sugar coma don’t worry about it just move on.

9. Cinnamon is amazing, blend it in milk, have it on oats in coffee, pretty much stick it anywhere.

10. Montezuma dark chocolate is also amazing, who’d have thought 100% dark could be a treat. But it is.

Today’s food in pictures and words

Breakfast

Banana, oats, cinnamon, milk

Lunch

Corn crackers, hummus, eggs, salad, olives, pomegranate seeds, sprouted pulses

Dinner

Falafels, salad leaves, olive oil, coleslaw

Snacks

2 date balls (more on those tomorrow)

Dark chocolate

Total sugars

If you found any part of this blog interesting or useful please consider sponsoring me and help find a cure for Cowden Syndrome

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear