The last few weeks Ben and I decided to forego sugar. This wasn’t for Lent, or even for any specific health reasons, other than the fact that lately, we just had been eating a lot of it and we just thought we should scale back.
Especially me. Like, embarrassing amounts. Somewhere between having a baby and feeling like I could finally indulge in something sweet without thinking I was giving my unborn child diabetes, and Christmas, and having a bit of extra baby weight and knowing I could sneak in a few extra treats without them really making a huge difference, I got into the habit of eating sweets every.single.day.
We could probably call the first few months of 2014 “The Winter of the Cinnamon Bun”. And yes, it was every bit as awesome as it sounds. Nothing is quite as nice after being up in the middle of the night with a newborn, than sitting down with a hot cup of coffee and a home made cinnamon bun the next morning. But all good things must come to an end, and so, a few weeks ago, Ben and I decided to take a week off of sugar.
I’m not going to lie – on days one and two, I snuck a handful of chocolate chips. And I could not BELIEVE how hungry I was. Isn’t that ridiculous? It took my body like 3 full days to come off the need for sugar. It didn’t seem to matter what I put in my body -it just kept saying “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WHERE IS MY CINNAMON BUN, LADY??” But I persevered, and finally, around day four, I felt like I could eat normal amounts of food and not feel so hungry all of the time for sugar.
I am so glad we did it, and we actually extended it for another week, just because we felt like we could. (To be clear, we didn’t eliminate ALL sugar…it’s not like I looked on the back of things like ketchup at the ingredients, and banned them from my diet…it was just straight up sweets (and pop, and things like that) that we eliminated).
The nice thing about being conscientious of what you’re eating is that you make more of an effort to eat healthy, and I really enjoyed coming up with some healthier snacks that I could eat when my body was on a hunger strike. I figured I would share those snacks with you guys, in case they are of interest, or helpful to build your repertoire of healthy alternatives. Don’t worry – someday, I’ll do us all a favour and also post my mom’s cinnamon bun recipe as well….because let’s call it like it is – I LOVE me some cinnamon buns.
First, these cookies have been a go-to of mine for quite a few years now. They are completely sugar free (Well, unless you add chocolate chips, like I do….but they don’t really count now do they?) and the texture and taste are both so great. Because of what’s in them, you can eat them for as an on-the-go breakfast (Which I would do), or just enjoy them with a mid-morning coffee (which I would ALSO do). And because they are so healthy, I knew I could give them to Ellie guilt-free as well.
You can find the recipe that I used here.
Second: Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas. You can find lots of recipes for these online, and I’m pretty sure I just Googled it and followed a recipe that I found. These are SUPER easy to make, (bring 1 can of drained chickpeas and a cup of white or apple cider vinegar to a boil, and then remove from heat and let sit for 20 mins…then toss in olive oil and salt, and bake for 30 mins or so at 425) and they do a pretty good job of filling the craving for a salty snack. I am still perfecting the roasting time so that they are come out nice and crunchy (but not overly so), but overall, they are a great alternative for around 4 pm when I am starting to make supper and also think it’s the perfect time to graze through my kitchen and EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT.
I made them mostly for Ben, who likes spicy wings with blue cheese dipping sauce and thought these could be a healthy alternative to a Friday night movie snack. The verdict? Not bad at all! We actually really liked them, and for me, who doesn’t love anything too spicy, they were still ok and really, you could just alter the recipe to use whatever sauce you wanted. (Much like they do with wings). I will definitely make these again – they are easy to do and really did make a great snack! Find the recipe I used here.
Ok, so there you have it – three go-to’s that have been filling my kitchen this week! Let me know if you try any of them out!