💔 Break up with Sugar + What Happens

Perhaps you’re popping the last bonbons or chocolates of Valentine’s Day into your mouth as you read this. “Okay, yeah, I know sugar isn’t good for me but how bad is it really? Isn’t it just extra calories?”

How Sugar Harms our Health

Unfortunately, added sugars in our diets are way more deleterious to our health than just giving us extra calories. They can actually cause nutrient depletion, contribute to excess body fat and weight gain, cause a blood-sugar rollercoaster ride, low mood, energy bursts + slumps, disruption of a healthy gut microbiome, feed abnormal cells (e.g. cancer), and so much more.

How to Reduce Sugar in our Diets

Every meaningful change starts with awareness.

  • Learn about how much added sugar the average American and you eat (don’t be fooled – one of our vegan clients ate mostly healthy food but also managed to get in 117g of added sugar into a single day!)
  • Educate yourself about how the body processes sugar and its detrimental effects.
  • Figure out how to identify the many names for sugar in the ingredients lists of the foods you eat.
  • Check your foods (and your children’s and pets’) for hidden sugars.
  • Get guidance from a nutrition expert who can help you break your addiction to sugar and support you on your wellness journey.
  • Tools & Resources to Reduce Added Sugar Consumption

    We understand how hard it is to break up with sugar – it was one of our first loves! After deep-dives into educating ourselves and seeing the effects of poor diets, including too much added sugar, in hospitals and clinical practice, we committed to taking control of our own sugar intake and helping others do the same. It’s not easy but it is doable.

    Fortunately, we have two options to further both your education + implementation around breaking ties with sugar and gaining better body composition, weight loss, digestion, heart health, better skin, naturally elevated energy levels and more!

      1. Join our Sugar Busters Masterclass on Thursday

      1. The ’25’ Sugar Detox Challenge is where we have 25g or less of added sugar for 25 days. We have group and individual sessions to help you achieve your best results. Starts on Sunday!

    What Happens when you Stop Eating Added Sugar?

    A variety of good things! Here’s what some people have experienced through our programs and work together:

    “I was already eating well but having a layer of junk food on top of it! By paying attention to sugar intake and assistance in reducing it, I have lost 18.6 lbs in two months!” – Bobbie A., Columbus, OH

    “Fall 2018: While eating my second to last of an entire package of cookies (chocolate macadamia nut I believe they were) and calling it lunch, the thought that I love sugar a little too much once again crossed my mind. Those tasty treats also reminded me of my life-long turbulent love affair with sugar… remember when my dear love sugar gave me diabetes for an anniversary present about 10 years ago! While eating that last cookie, I pulled up an article that listed the characteristics of a sugar addict and I think I nailed 5 out of 6! Maybe… maybe now is the time I can do something to gain control over what looks more and more like a real addiction….

    Spring 2019: So there I was… standing on a digital scale in my closet looking down at a weight I haven’t seen since the 10th grade (that’s 37 years ago if you’re curious)!” – Steven (full success story here)

    “The individual calls focused on one area and the chance to ask questions one-on-one. This helped me feel accountable and made me think before I ate something. Despite the fact I could have put more effort into it, I did see improvements and lost 7lbs!” – Jane V., Columbus, OH

    “Weight loss of 5lbs, pants feel better! I’m in control and am seeing results.” – Erin D., Columbus, OH

    “There are so many sources of hidden sugar in the foods than I ever knew! I would recommend this program to everyone, especially moms.” – L.B., Columbus, OH

    “I started the challenge because of all the sugar I eat (I love candy). I have had none during this challenge and my whole body feels better. I feel more alert and love seeing how little sugar I can eat. Even more than losing weight, I love the mental focus & overall better health that I’m experiencing during this detox”- Jan R., Columbus, OH

    There are only a few questions to ask yourself at this point:

      1. What’s your current sugar consumption and health like? What will happen if you don’t make any changes and continue on this path?

      1. What do you believe is possible for yourself – how you’d feel, look, focus and produce – if you broke up with added sugar?

    You can change the trajectory of your life right now, with your very next meal or snack. Start with reducing added sugars to win big!

    💍 My Precious: Pomegranate

    If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, you probably got the movie reference from the title and ring emoji alone. Gollum, a rather unfortunate-looking character, is so completely obsessed with the Ring that he calls it “my precious”.

    Unlike Gollum, we are less passionate about rings than we are about the ruby-red pomegranate seeds that become available this time of year. The fruit is supremely scrumptious and it offers a whole host of benefits to your body. Let’s explore:

    When are Pomegranates available?

    The pomegranates in the United States tend to come from the warmer parts, such as California. The fruits need the hot, hot heat (not the band) in order to grow well. The delectable fruit becomes available to us starting in late September and extends through November. Fortunately, because pomegranates do well in storage, you should still seem them available in December and possibly into early January. In summary, it’s available now so run and get yourself some!

    Nutritional aspects of Pomegranates

    These juicy fruits pack a flavor and nutritional punch! They are a great source of fiber, which can help with constipation, weight loss, and balancing blood sugar.

    Pomegranates have vitamins and minerals, including: calcium, phosphorus, folate, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. This fruit also has antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties which can help the brain and urinary tract, boost physical performance, benefit the cardiovascular and digestive systems, and assist in disease prevention.

    What ice cream can’t do, pomegranates can!

    How to use and eat Pomegranate

    You could eat the seeds themselves as a meal or a snack. We like to have it as a breakfast on its own, with nondairy yogurt, or with the Amaranth for Breakfast recipe (subbing the fruit in for the strawberries).

    Pomegranate pancakes are also really good and they have a bit more crunch than blueberry pancakes.

    For lunch or dinner, some like pomegranate in their salads or in a rice pilaf.

    For dessert, we’ve even put pomegranate seeds on vegan cheesecake and made a syrup out of it.

    You are only limited by your imagination.

    Let us know – after having fresh pomegranate seeds are you too calling them “my precious”? How do you like to eat yours?

    4 Beverages for Cozy Weather

    The weather here in the Midwest likes to engage in a bit of trickery. Last week, it was sunny and in the 70s and this week, well, it feels like winter. It’s time to pull out the hats and coats as well as the ingredients for making some warming, cozy beverages. Here are some recipes to fit the season:

  • Our Dairy-free Hot Chocolate was a staple recipe nearly every evening last winter. Whether we were reading a favorite book or magazine or watching holiday movies and the Great British Baking Show, hot chocolate was by our side.
  • For those who don’t want to have to choose between hot chocolate and coffee, we have a most excellent collaboration between the two: 5-spice Hot Choffee (choffee being a portmanteau of hot chocolate and coffee)
  • Celebrate with some Peppermint Eggnog! The egg-less, vegan version is included too.
  • Make yourself the Perfect Cup of Tea and head over to cuddle up on the couch. Increase your knowledge of teas and check in with yourself about which one you need.
  • Whichever beverage you choose to warm yourself up or celebrate with, enjoy!

    10 Healthy, Plant-based Fall Snacks 🍂

    Maybe it’s all the autumn activities or just the season of our lives, but we’re probably not alone in feeling like a squirrel on a sugar-high. Scattered. Busy. Trying to maintain a mental map of the yards where we hid our nuts. Okay, maybe not the last one.

    Still, the increase in activity, even if just shopping on Early Prime Days, tends to lend itself to eating more snacks. And that’s okay. Let’s try to have some that land on the healthier side of the spectrum. Here are healthy, plant-based fall snacks that run the gamut from no-bake and about 10 minutes to delicious, baked goods that might have you salivating at the ding of the timer after 45 minutes of somewhat patiently waiting at the oven door.

    Gold Mine Pudding

    Celebrity Couple! Choco-cado Cookies

    The Anytime Warm Apple Crisp

    Gluten-free Cashew Coconut Bread

    10TV Recipe: Cocoa-Maca Energy Balls

    Just another Mochi Monday

    Chocolate Chunk Tahini Cookies

    ‘Nacho’ Average Nachos

    Death-by-Chocolate Zucchini Bread

    Roasted Root Vegetables

    Enjoy!

    Fancy in 5 Steps! 🥂 Charcuterie Board

    The inspiration for this came from a 3 and 6-year-old. We were to host a small, casual gathering and we sought to satisfy everyone without killing ourselves. Aha! A charcuterie board is like fancy buffet but far simpler to build. We used two cutting boards that Mr. Chef made, but you don’t need custom end-grain cutting boards to accomplish this festival of food. The cutting board could come from IKEA, or use serving tray. Have a bit of fun with your imagination and what you already have in your cabinets. Presto!

    In hosting, as in life, we prefer balance and elegant simplicity, and fun with perhaps a *sprinkle* of fancy. It’s okay to throw something together and even bring in a bit of whimsy.

    So, to keep things classic and chill, the idea of having a variety and simple foods- a smorgasbord- stood out. Call it that, a Hungarian cold plate or “Hidegál”, or, because it sounds so nice to say, charcuterie board (the way we like to remember to pronounce it: “shar(k)-coo-ter-ee”; say it fast enough and the “k” glides you right through the word). Other reasons we love this:

    Unstuffy – at its heart, a charcuterie board is very finger-friendly and is even great for kids

    Healthy – we went mostly for organic produce & gluten-free items but also had quality meat products for omnivorous types.

    Visually appealing – because we all ‘eat’ with our eyes first, we really wanted to provide a cheery, colorful palette of foods from which to choose.

    The Steps

    1. Think about your guests – do they have dietary restrictions or allergies? Food preferences? Will children be present?
    2. Plan your board(s) – think of food groups (healthier versions of fat, protein, carbohydates) and accessories (dips that go well with chips, carrots, and celery for example). This helps provide a balanced and light meal. Bonus: make a ‘rainbow’. Get creative and perhaps offer a fruit and vegetable option for each color – such as orange bell peppers and orange slices.
    3. Go shopping and prep the produce. Here are some items you might want for your custom board(s): vegetables (bell pepper, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes), fruits (orange and apple slices, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, grapes – dried fruit is also an option!), cheeses, deli meats (salami, turkey, ham or chicken), crackers and/or bread, dips (hummus, Ranch, herb-infused olive oil), olives, pickles, seeds (pumpkin and sunflower), chips, and chocolate.
    4. Decorate your boards! Use little bowls for dips, dishes or plates, cutting boards, and utensils to design a beautiful, curated offering to your guests.
    5. Relax, eat and enjoy!

    Royal Coco-cacao Smoothie Bowl

    Did you know that purple is one of the colors of representing royalty? What better way to start your day than to treat yourself like the queen or king you are! This beautiful bowl, with toppings like coconut and cacao, will leave you feeling full and energized. Ready to eat? Here’s the recipe:

    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Servings: 1-2

    Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.

    Ingredients

    4 large strawberries

    1/2 cup blueberries

    1 cup non-dairy milk (we used hazelnut milk from Elmhurst)

    2 tbsp hemp seeds

    2 tbsp cacao nibs

    2 tbsp shredded coconut

    1/2 tbsp chia seeds

    Instructions

    Blend all ingredients, except shredded coconut and cacao nibs, until desired texture is achieved. Top with shredded coconut and cacao nibs or other favorites.

    Chocolate & Banana Nice Cream 🍨

    My guilty pleasure recently has been Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough” our early morning client mentioned. “I think I need to break up with it though. I love the flavor but I don’t like how it makes me feel afterwards.”

    We get it. Sometimes the foods we love taste good on the tongue and then hit us a bit later with a painful stomachache or bloating. Since we are on Team Ice Cream, we have learned to find, and make, better options.

    It may be late summer, but it’s never too late for ice cream, in our humble opinion. What’s even better is when the ice cream loves you back – and for clients with lactose-intolerance or dairy protein sensitivity, or those who just want a healthier option, this is a recipe for you.

    Oh, and for those of you who remember Smucker’s Magic Shell – you can have your own chocolate syrup that transforms into a crispy topping. Ready, set, let’s make!

    Ingredients

    1.5 bananas (ripe bananas are sweeter)

    1/4 cup cashews

    1/2 tbsp of maple syrup (optional)

    3/4 ounce of chocolate (a few squares, depending on the brand)

    Dash of sea salt

    Instructions

    Peel the ripe bananas and stick them in a bag and into the freezer. It will take about 12 hours for it to fully freeze, so this will either have to be planned in advance or keep a nice stock of peeled bananas for when the craving strikes. Stick chocolate pieces in a double boiler to melt down. When the bananas are frozen, put them into the blender along with cashews, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth, crystalline consistency. Transfer to a bowl and carefully pour melted chocolate on top. Sprinkle a dash of sea salt and enjoy this decadent dessert!

    Chocolate Maca Smoothie

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    Caffeine and chocolate fiends, unite! This smoothie is the perfect wake-me-up for summer. Here’s the recipe we made today along with ideas for modifications:

    Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission.

    Yields: 2-4 servings

    Ingredients

    1/2 banana
    1 pint blackberries (or blueberries)
    3 tbsp cacao nibs
    5 tbsp cacao powder
    3 tbsp shredded coconut
    2 cups swiss chard leaves
    2 cups non-dairy milk (we used hazelnut milk from Elmhurst)
    2 cups water
    1 cup coffee
    1 tsp maca powder
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp ashwagandha powder (optional)

    This recipe is meant to be healthy and full of veg! If it’s not sweet enough for you, consider adding your favorite form of sweetness (e.g. more fruit, stevia, dates, etc). Looking for more greens-based smoothies that are lower in sugar? Check out the Green Smoothie Challenge eBook! It has recipes, grocery lists, along with tips and tricks for making smoothies part of your life.

    Instructions
    You know what to do here – load all ingredients into the high-speed blender, cover, and blend to desired consistency. Enjoy!

    Recipe: Amaranth for Breakfast

    amaranthbreakfast

    Move over, porridge! We have a higher-protein option that also provides minerals such as iron, manganese and phosphorus. This delicious seed, not a grain, is called amaranth and there’s a rather sordid history which explains why we haven’t heard much about it until recent times. Marry it with chocolate and your taste buds will have a party!

    Ingredients

    1 cup water
    1/2 cup amaranth
    1/2 cup chopped strawberries
    1/4 cup almonds (or choice of nuts; macadamia pairs well here too)
    2 squares dark chocolate (we like 85% and 90% cacao versions)
    2 tbsp shredded coconut
    2 tbsp cacao nibs
    1 tbsp cacao powder (optional)

    Instructions

    Bring water and amaranth to boil, cover, and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Amaranth is done when liquid has been absorbed. Carefully transfer into your breakfast bowl and add nuts, dark chocolate, coconut, cacao nibs and cacao powder. We often add maca or ashwagandha powder and a drizzle of honey in the case of the latter (as it is aptly called in Sanskrit “the smell of a horse”). Enjoy this power-packed breakfast!

    The Mother’s Day Hangover

    mothersdayforallmothers

    Image source: found on Pinterest and Facebook, artist/origin unknown

    Despite what Facebook and Instagram would have you believe, Mother’s Day is not all balloons, flowers, cards, love and chocolates. For many, the hangover following this holiday is in full effect. Around Mother’s Day, there can be difficult conversations and experiences that are often not acknowledged.

    This graphic is the perfect illustration for some of the feelings experienced by those who didn’t have the societally-normalized Mother’s Day.

    Starting from the top left – mothers who have lost children. How difficult this day is for those who lost a child or children. Perhaps it was a child they never met alive, one who was miscarried or stillborn. Or a child who died after spending a few years on earth. It can be very challenging to celebrate your special day when the child who made you a mother is no longer here….or never came to be.

    Those who have lost their mothers have Mother’s Day as a reminder of how much they may miss them. It’s not an easy day celebrating the memory of your mother without being able to hug or talk to her anymore.

    Have a strained relationship with your mother? A mother’s day Facebook feed of people who call their moms their best friends could be difficult to see when you and your mother have historically butted heads or not seen eye-to-eye. You may wish it were different and that you too could fully celebrate your relationship with your mother. Vice versa, maybe you’re a mom who has not been able to fully connect with your own son or daughter in a way you had always hoped. This day can be a reminder of that disappointment.

    It’s not a popular decision but there are women (and men) who chose not to have children. Incomprehensible though it may be to some in society, it’s still a valid, though often not validated, choice. These people, women in particular – who choose not to have kids- have their own battles. Their decisions are questioned by others, especially around Mother’s Day.

    On the other side of that same coin are women who are desperate to have children. They’ve been through painful egg retrievals, suffered the side effects of Clomid and other fertility drugs, IVF, and at the very sign of their cycle starting, realize their efforts were all in vain. They grieve the glimmer of the dream they temporarily had, hoping that this time, the pregnancy would stick. They feel betrayed by their bodies and wonder ‘why me?’. They find it difficult see babies or pregnant women in public, and to celebrate others’ baby showers, though they do.

    Beyond the above illustration, there are mothers who didn’t necessarily want to become mothers, or who had a very different idea of what raising children would be like. Their sense of fulfillment is lacking and they feel that there is no one to whom it would be safe to vocalize these feelings.

    Though the causes may differ, what all these women have in common is their pain around mothers and motherhood.

    As with any other hangover, there are things that help it along, like water and easy-to-digest food or taking a nap. For the mother’s day hangover, perhaps treat yourself to some quiet, recuperative time. Indulge in a face mask and hair treatment. Take a nice warm bath. Be gentle with yourself about your feelings; acknowledge them without judgment. Talk with a confidante about your frustrations as a mom, with your mom, or with attempting to become a mother.

    Sometimes the best way to get out of a sad mood is to help another. Imagine the sorrow of the divorced mother whose ex-husband kept the children with him and their new step-mom during the Mother’s Day holiday. Maybe suggest a walk or bike ride together in a beautiful park. Support a friend who you know struggles with her complicated relationship with her mother….or one whose mother has died.

    Whether you were or weren’t treated with a bouquet of roses or breakfast in bed, your joy or pain is valid, your story is important and it matters.