Well, today is the end of the sugar free challenge! Hard to believe it has been 10 days already!
Things I have learned:
1. Going sugar free was easier than I thought. I did prep for a week or so before the challenge, but I expected to really struggle through this. By preparing for this challenge, I had some foods around that I could snack on and that really helped me!
2. Peppermint tea is a great substitute for hot cocoa! My husband is the inspiration behind this! When he first suggested it, I didn’t even try it, because when is tea ever creamy and chocolaty? But, he was right! I never realized it, but I drink a lot of hot cocoa at work. The “packets” are readily available, and so many times in the afternoon I would crave hot chocolate! My husband gave me a box of peppermint tea, and that really helped! It is now my afternoon drink at work!
3. Unsweetened chocolate really isn’t that bad! These peanut butter cups really helped me through the challenge! I can’t tell you how just that little bit of chocolate would help me, especially when coming home from work!
4. Combining grain-free and sugar-free is a great combination for me. Part of my stomach problems, I believe, are from the combination of too many carbs and too much sugar. Muffins, breads, donuts, I would make so many of them and take them as “snacks” to work. I have substituted those with buckwheat bakes which really helped fill me up in the mornings!
5. Bringing unsweetened almond milk to work helped me not use the powdered creamer in my coffee. Duh! This should be a no-brainer. I know how bad that stuff is! And it has sugar in it! But, I constantly am using it anyways. I started bringing a container with almond milk in it, and have been using that for my coffee. Perfect, as that is what I love in my coffee!
6. It is still possible to overeat, even when eating sugar free, “healthy” foods. This is something I still have to work on. My problem with food is mainly over eating – keeping on eating when I am full! Cutting out sugar did help this to an extent, but there were still times when I would over eat. Definitely something I still need to work on!
I would say the sugar-free challenge was definitely a success for me. I want to continue with this style of eating – but not as strict. If I am eating something that has some sugar in it, I’m not going to worry about it. I have found many of my recipes are fine without sugar in them, or I can substitute a banana for a miniscule amount of sugar. I definitely am going to continue eating grain free, at least until the end of 2011. This has been a challenge for me – especially with my love of baking. Gluten free flours are abundant, but cutting out all grains makes baking a little more challenging! I am proud of my McRib-less burgers that are grain free, and the dishes I have been making with quinoa. Cutting out my beloved oats has also been difficult!
If you are still reading this, congratulations! I made another chocolate cup recipe that turned out delicious!
Chocolate Lemon Coconut Cups
Lemon Date Bars found here
Coconut Cream found here
1 cup almonds, ground fine
10 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 lemon, zested and juiced
.4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
In a food processor, grind up the almonds until fine. Add the dates and process until it forms a ball. Add ginger powder, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix well. Set aside.
Prepare the coconut cream. In a bowl, combine the coconut flour and almond milk. Mix well. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine the unsweetened chocolate and coconut oil. Melt slowly.
In a mini muffin tin, place a mini muffin liner in each well. When the chocolate is melted, spoon chocolate in bottom of each liner. Place in the freezer 10 minutes to firm up.
Next layer – lemon date mixture. Press about 1 tsp on top of the layer of chocolate. Place in the freezer 10 minutes to firm up.
Next layer – chocolate! Spoon melted chocolate on top of the lemon date mixture to cover it. Place back in the freezer 10 minutes.
Next layer – coconut cream. Press about 1 tsp on top of the chocolate layer. Again, place in the freezer 10 minutes to firm up.
Last layer – chocolate! Place back in freezer.
You will have enough of the lemon date mixture to make many more, and enough coconut cream to make about 24 chocolate cups.
YUM! I do think these are best left in the freezer, and taken out shortly before you plan to enjoy them! The coconut cream gets all frosty and delicious! mmmm
Thank you, Alex, for hosting the sugar free challenge!
If you have ever decided to do a sugar detox, what was the hardest thing for you?