How many names can one thing have?

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Image credit to women’s health magazine.

Have I already mentioned that this is a journey? I am not one to call myself an expert on this whole sugar free lifestyle because I am still figuring it out and I am FAR from an expert. I knew that there were a couple of different names for sugar in products at the store (like: dextrose, sucrose, and the obvious names.) I stumbled upon an article in Women’s heath (link above or can be found here.)

Here is the thing about sugar. It is highly addictive. It has been mentioned that sugar is even more addictive than cocaine (an illegal narcotic.) It puts your body through a high and leaves you wanting more once you go down from your “sugar high.”[READ MORE HEAR] As I have been shopping sugar free, it has been a little bit of a hassle because just about everything has sugar in it. One sugar free website claims that 80% of the items in the grocery story contains [added] sugar. Seems crazy, right? Foods that you wouldn’t even think would have sugar in them, do! Why? How? Food companies have been adding sugar into their product to help us to 1)satisfy our sugar withdraws and 2)encourage us to continue buying their products. It all comes down to the science of the food industry. The companies figured out certain “tricks” that trigger things in our brain to desire more. Chips make a certain noise, Doritos have the extra cheese powder, and so forth. In fact, Doritos have all of the flavoring in the chip but added the orange powder for looks. But that is a convo for another time. Food companies will do anything to get us to buy and eat their food.

Then everyone started figuring out about sugar not being so good for you. People started seeking out for sugar free foods or foods that had very little sugar. So what do the food companies do? To not have the ingredient “Sugar” at the top of the list of ingredients (most prevalent ingredient) they started using different terms to bring sugar lower on the list. Some of the names for sugar are legit and can be found in naturally occurring sugar in fruits. You however, need to be knowledgeable of what are good sugars and what are bad. If you are getting rid of added sugars, all sugars, or just being more conscience about your sugar intake, you need to be aware the names for sugar.

Do some research! I know that I after I made this discovery, I had to through more food away.

Breakfast on the Go

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Breakfast has literally been the most difficult meal for us when it comes to eating sugar free (any added sugar.) I generally just grab an apple or banana with a glass of ice water and I am on my way. I typically make my husband a nice big breakfast with eggs and what have you but I can’t make that for him every day for many reasons including time management. So I originally made granola for him to eat, which did last a bit but he really wanted something that he could eat like cereal. I went to my favorite source (Pinterest) for help and I came across the greatest thing ever! Over Night Oats. This is the greatest idea out there! It is very easy, time efficient, and absolutely delicious!

I have said it once and I will say it again- my husband is a VERY picky eater and I was originally apprehensive about making this for him but I gave it a shot. I grabbed two of our mason jars (does not have to be in jar), I first added 3/4 cup of old fashioned oats to the bottom. I then added a tsp of honey and in one I added cinnamon. Next I sliced up fruit and placed it in. One jar I sliced up berries like strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. In the jar that had the cinnamon, I sliced up an apple. Finally, I poured unsweetened almond milk. Then just placed in the refrigerator “over night”.

The next day was Sunday which is a super busy day for us and we just don’t have time to make breakfast. I offered it to my husband and he said he would try it. Mr. “I -don’t-like-oats” LOVED it! He said it was very similar to eating a parfait and then went on asking for different ways to make him some.

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Progress Report

My husband has lost approx. 10 pounds since we have started our life change and has gone down a pants size.
I have also gone down a pants size and have lost approx. 7 pounds.
We are both much more active and don’t eat as much as we used to AT ALL!

 

I had to have some sugar!

Sorry for the lack of posts these last couple of days. My husband and I went and visited family for about a week. It was hard to visit family members and follow our lifestyle while not inconveniencing them. So I packed some extra supplies to help us have snacks and some foods just in case. With all of the delicious foods sitting out, us being on vacation, I just couldn’t resist having just a little sugar.
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Everyone meet our newest member- Nora. Alright, so I didn’t have that kind of sugar but even if I had, it’s okay. It is hard giving up something that you have had your entire life. You will have urges and desires to have some of that delicious “forbidden fruit.” You might even give in and have one or tow bites but that is OKAY! Don’t give up on you! Just because you give in does NOT mean that you don’t have self control or that you don’t have the strength to continue on. Diet changes are hard, if they weren’t EVERYONE would be fit and healthy but that isn’t how it is. After you give in, you will more than likely notice 1) you don’t really enjoy that thing as much as you used to 2) that you are not satisfied with the outcome.

In fact, on our trip, my husband REALLY wanted some chocolate milk. He was having such a craving. So instead of shaming him, I encouraged him to try it. He took the first swig and his face said it all. After going 3 weeks with out any sugar, he could not handle the taste of the rich chocolate milk that he used to love so much. He was so frustrated at the fact that chocolate milk was ruined but he had an immediate taste preference change. We then stopped for him to have some water and regular milk. He is still going sugar free. Just because he gave into a craving doesn’t make him any less than people who don’t give in. If anything, it answered the question of whether or not he will miss the things he used to love so much.

Keep strong, my friends! Don’t give up on you! Don’t let sugar have the last say!

Sugar free on the road

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My husband and I have been blessed with a full week of vacation and we decided to spend it seeing family. Since both sets of parents live in different  states than us that means we have a lot of traveling. I don’t know about anyone else bout I drink A LOT on road trips and then my husband likes to have one meal on the trip.
Before we had cut out sugar, we drank sodas, chocolate mil, and sweet tea (my favorite.) A quick easy solution for drinks would be water but drinking lots of water seems to double our bathroom stops. What I have done is packed water bottles and if we stop to eat somewhere, I drink unsweetened tea. I am a huge tea lover and LOVE drinking any kind of tea- hot, cold, sweet, unsweetened, etc.. but if you aren’t a tea person- ask for some honey. Every place that we have stopped has had honey.
This morning we needed to do a quick breakfast stop so we stopped at Chic FIL A. I may be a little biased but this has always been one of my favorite breakfast spots.
I ordered their oatmeal and fruit breakfast (with unsweetened tea.) The oatmeal comes completely unsweetened but they give you packs of nuts, and brown sugar. I used neither since they both contained sugar. I dressed my oatmeal with the blueberries and strawberries from my fruit cup and added a little honey. Honestly that was my favorite way I have EVERY had oatmeal.

Sugar free living is not as difficult as many would make it. Anyone can do it. I encourage you all to take it upon yourselves to try a sugar free meal eating out. Study the ingredients and be a wise consumer. Much love!

EVERYTHING HAS SUGAR!!

The very words my husband posted on Facebook while out grabbing a quick dinner for the two of us.

“Everything has flipping sugar in it!!!”

He had just about given up finding a decent quick dinner. We typically don’t purchase frozen dinners but every now and then it is nice to not have to cook and enjoy a good dinner at home. Well, since we have made our sugar free life change, I have LITERALLY been making everything from scratch. As much as I love to cook, it gets a little tiring- the whole reason we needed a frozen dinner.

I stayed home to do some household chores and sent Chris on his merry way to the local grocery store. Poor fella was gone for almost half an hour. That is a big deal when your grocer is only a few blocks away. He finally returns with a bag of pasta mix. He explained how EVERYTHING that he wanted to grab had sugar in it. But he found a perfect dinner for two pasta mix that was simple to prepare (10 minutes), tasty and well proportioned. We just ate the pasta mix and nothing else and it was quite filling. In fact, we had some leftover for another time.
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It is has been pretty easy to be sugar free. There are short moments of sadness that we can’t have some of our old loved treats but those quickly replaced with the idea of the awesome new food that we get to have. To be honest, this life choice is “forcing” us to eat finer foods with better quality than what we were eating before. A big key to keep your head high and CHECK YOUR LABELS!

 

New Year – New You

Tonight we are eating all super awesome celebration foods and they are all sugar-free! There is no need to re invent the wheel when you go sugar free. Just find different brands of food, make it yourself, or use a substitute. My personal favorite sugar substitute is honey and unsweetened applesauce. However, most things I find it not necessary to use any kind of sugar substitute. Check out this link to find how to substitute sugar in your recipes.

Our main course tonight was buffalo chicken egg rolls. I found the recipe on a Facebook video but can’t find it anymore. I baked 2 chicken breasts and then cooled them and shredded the chicken. Mixed the chicken with hot sauce and a table spoon of ranch. I then place a dollop of the chicken in an egg roll with half of a mozzarella cheese stick. Wrap it and fry in olive oil. Repeat. My two chicken breasts made 12 egg rolls that had more than enough chicken. The egg rolls were delicious and definitely a recipe I am going to repeat. Below are pics of the products that I used and the end result.
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Finally for a sweet treat, I made peanut butter cheesecake. I found this recipe as well and did not follow it exactly but made my own substitutes. Here is the recipe to an amazing sugar free peanut butter cheesecake. Please enjoy it! Below are pictures of the ingredients and the end result. Again, another recipe that I will definitely do again!!
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All of the recipes that I make, I either just alter one that I already know or I find it on Pinterest. Seriously, Pinterest helps with trying something new. If you ever try a new lifestyle- check out Pinterest to see what others have done to do change successfully!

 

Happy New Year, y’all! So long 2015 and hello 2016!

Easy as Pie

We are bringing in the New Year tonight with several awesome treats and I would love to share a few with you! None of these recipes are earth shattering because being sugar free does not alter all foods. So brace yourselves for the simplest meals out there!

First off, we have a couple of snacks that we have laying around. We have homemade granola, zucchini chips, and banana pinwheels. All three very simple and super delicious!

I made our granola a couple of days ago. I made it with honey, vanilla extract, oats, and egg whites (for the clusters). I have coconut shreds, nuts, and raisins to mix in when wanted. You can cook them all together but Chris and I don’t agree on some foods so we just add in as we want. Here is a basic guide on how you can make your own granola.
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I also made the zucchini chip the other day as well. They are real flavorful and quite satisfying. The recipe that I found uses parmesan cheese and salt/pepper however I think it is possible to make multiple different kinds of chips with them.  I baked mine an additional 8 minutes to give them a little extra crispiness. If you like your chips super crispy wait until they are completely cool. I had a couple of zucchini slices left over so I just sautéed them in coconut oil with a little salt and pepper- very nice and accents the zucchini taste.  Here is the recipe that I found on zucchini chips. Very healthy and wonderfully delicious!
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Banana wheels are really REALLY simple and if you have never done this then… WOW… They are just two slices of banana with peanut butter in the middle. Super simple and really awesome! No recipe needed- just put some peanut butter on bananas, ya goof!
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