Okay, so I am one week into my second round of the 21 Day Sugar Detox, feel free to read about my first experience here. This time I did very little planning, this is because I knew exactly what I was getting into, and because I am almost already 100% gluten free (I say almost because there are times that you just can't be sure) and I ate mostly paleo meals, not to say I am paleo, I am not, but I knew that level 3 would be easier this time around than before.
So far so good, not planning things is nice, makes things feel more sustainable, but I still have cravings, mostly for fruit, strawberries in particular. Also, I went to the fair, and truth be told I didn't exactly follow the detox, and realized how fast I can slip into the world of sweets.
I find that I lack self control if I am not being conscious about it, so I need to be more conscious about that. One thing I wanted was a quick snack, high in fat and protein, low in carbohydrates and more interesting then just plain nuts. I created this sugar-free no-fuss paleo "granola."
It is sort of pumpkin-ish, it tastes nothing like pumpkin, but I used gingerbread spice and a scoop or two of pumpkin puree, so it is sort of pumpkin, I am not sure, it all made sense when I was making it.
This turned out crispy and flavourful, not sweet at all (be mindful, granola traditionally is just oats masquerading as candy, this granola has ZERO sweetness, you were warned), but I am excited about the possibilities. I plan on using bananas or apple sauce in the future to add to the mix (but I didn't want to waste my daily fruit option on granola), and potentially add in some raisins after cooking to make it just a touch sweet without a sweetener. It makes a yummy topping to a chia pudding (chia seeds + nut milk) or as a cereal substitute, I think it will look cute on top of a smoothie as well for photo purposes.
Sugar-Free Pumpkin "Granola"
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 cups nuts* (I used hazelnuts and walnuts)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 egg white, whisked
1 tbsp gingerbread spice blend
2 tbsp pure pumpkin puree (I used canned, nothing added)
Have you done a sugar detox? What would be the most challenging thing for you to have to give up?
Since starting at CSNN one thing I know for sure that I have learned is that we can all use more probiotics! If you have ever taken a second to check out supplemental probiotics at a health food store, or even at the grocery store, you are probably shocked at the price! I started brewing Kombucha, a sparkling fermented probiotics tea after learning how simple (and tasty!) the outcome is.
I drink about 8oz each day, and on days where I miss it, I can feel a difference. Kombucha is a tonic and has therapeutic properties. If you’re not used to it, please start out drinking around 3 or 4oz and work your way up, there’s not much need to be consuming far more than 8oz a day, but do what works for your body, as always.
Here are my ratios:
8 cups of water = 4 tea bags = 1 cup of starter tea
Basic steps for Brewing Kombucha (for information on how much water/tea/sugar to use, refer to this site, it is manning!)
1. Boil your filtered water and add in sugar. Mix to dissolve. Add in tea, let steep for 10 minutes, or over night (watch out for bitterness).
2. Let your sweetened tea fully cool. Hot water/tea will kill the SCOBY.
3. Add the SCOBY, starter tea, and cooled sweetened tea to your large glass jar.
4. Fasten on your cover with the rubber band.
5. Let this sit at room temperature undisturbed for 5-10 days, tasting occasionally to determine your desired level of sweetness/sourness, I usually go for 7-10 days.
I use a combination of black and green tea, I buy organic brands online or from Costco. I also use organic white cane sugar, it works best and it is what I recommended. For more information on the kinds of teas and sugar that can and cannot be used to brew kombucha, check out this site!
Once you finish brewing your Kombucha, you can add flavours to it and make it fizzy! More on that in a future post, for now, go brew kombucha!
Do you brew your own kombucha? Would you give it a try, or is the SCOBY just too creepy?
One thing that I have become very interested in and passionate about is seasonal and local eating. There are many great reasons to start eating local and supporting local farmers!
All photos in this post are from my dads garden, we plant all kinds of things, and the more I learn about health, nutrition and the benefits of growing your own foods, the more things we put into the ground!
Why Eat Local?
Eating locally is more natural, your body wants to eat foods that are locally grown, they are in season and your body moves through the seasons too. The minerals and soil that are found locally nourish your body more accurately, helping you be more in-tune with yourself and the environment
Eating local foods means you are supporting local farmers, we need to be supporting local farmers to help keep Ontario agriculture thriving, support those people who grow food, and avoid buying imported foods (especially the ones we can and do grown in Ontario)
Eating local food is more nutritious, this is because it has significantly less travel time to get to your table. Foods lose nutrients when they travel because nutrients are depleted with time, light and heat, all major factors when we ship foods from far away
It helps the environment. Shipping foods from far away is extremely hard on the environment, and eating local means that the food is fresher and usually requires less pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, the foods is picked and eaten much faster, meaning it don’t have to be freakishly modified in order to stay good and fresh before we eat it!
All great reasons, but now for tips to eating local foods!
Remember that when you see local produce and it seems more expensive than non-local foods, you are paying the price in other ways, like putting local farmers out of business, eating less nutritious foods, and negatively affecting the environment
One person can make a difference, remember that each dollar you spend is a vote for what you think is important! Also, check out some charts around that say what foods are (or should be) locally available near you, and then start looking for those foods. I am not asking you to stop eating avocados because they don't grow in Canada, but I am asking that you look for local apples, because apples are truly a southwestern Ontario fruit!
Check you the Foodland Ontario website or more information on eating locally! There you can find information on what produce is in season, recipes to try, information on farmer’s markets and more!
Do you think buying local and supporting local farmers is important? Do you shop the farmer’s markets?
Amanda is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist out of Southwest Middlesex, and London ON. She works with clients to help them achieve their health and wellness goals!
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