Thursday 10 September 2015

Cut the Crack #3

Since I know at least one person who is doing the 21 day detox in September – no sugar and no bread, and since I encouraged you all to try it here, I thought a useful post, round about now, 10 days in to this challenge would be some ideas for stuff you actually can eat. It’s a pleasure, I know – brilliant idea.

But before we get there – spare a thought. I gave up sugar shortly after giving up salt for good, and trying to cut down on cholesterol too (which meant all those fatty foods I love so much). So I tried to find the non-sugar options which didn’t contradict this, either. That was hard. When giving up salt, my go to’s in the late afternoon were dried fruit (high sugar), a piece of toast with sweet chilli cream cheese (lowest salt content – check it out), but that contradicts the bread rule, and sweet chilli starts with sweet – can’t be low sugar, can it?

Don’t even get me started on the breakfasts. If you can’t have sweetened cereals, fruit juice and muffins, what do you grab on the way to the car?

Well, here are some ideas, split into breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Some of them will take some foresight and planning, but hey, you are probably so focused on food right now, and what you cannot eat, that it won’t be a problem to spend a bit of time on what you can eat, will it?

Breakfast ideas:

1.     Smoothies – with a difference. My children have strawberry, banana and yoghurt smoothies every morning. Depending if your definition of sugar includes fruit, that may or may not be a problem. Still a healthy choice. But why not try a green smoothie?
There are so many recipes, but I like putting celery, cucumber, a few spinach leaves, fennel bulb (fennel grows wild in my garden, so that’s not a problem for me!) into a blender. Rocket, coriander and mint add flavor, as does a splash of lemon juice. Add ice and blend. Yum. Make a lot, and then put into sealable cups in your fridge door to grab on your way to the car. For those who want the original recipe, and more if you search this site, it’s here.

2.      Chia pudding. Yip, it does sound better if you say pudding. It’s not really, but almost. Chia seeds are wonderful little healthy things that if you put them into liquid and stand for at least 8 hours (overnight, for those of you who sleep), they swell and get a jelly like consistency around them (like granadilla seeds), and thicken the liquid they stand in. I started adding them to coconut milk or cream, but then reverted to normal milk – I prefer the taste. Add sugar – joking, of course not! Add cinnamon, vanilla extract (tiny drop), and that does taste like pudding to me. Again, door of your fridge to grab on the way in the car.

3.      Egg muffins. I still claim that eggs and vegetables are one of the healthiest ways to start your day. When you have vegies about to go in the fridge, chop them up and put a spoonful into a muffin tin that you have sprayed with non-stick spray. Beat the eggs – you can add a little milk, cream or mascarpone and black pepper, and pour in over the vegetables. Bake for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees.  The best vegies to add to this for flavor are onions, peppers, basil or chives. I have made these with everything – including leeks, butternut, mushrooms, marrows and tomatoes. Be creative. And you can freeze these, if you like.

Lunch ideas

1.      Soups – try broccoli soup – it really tastes so much better than you think, butternut/pumpkin (does anyone else find it weird that you are allowed pumpkin on Banting, but not butternut? Seriously?) or mushroom soup. Use your own home made chicken/vegie stock. It’s much nicer. These are all thick enough, you don’t even miss the bread.

2.     Vegies with cream cheese – sticks of celery, asparagus, cucumber, with a layer of cream cheese on a rice cake. Sprinkle with spring onions, chives, and season.

3.      Chicken salad. I learned to dry fry a chicken breast. It was one of the best tricks ever. Cut a chicken breast into little pieces, and use a non stick pan, sprayed with oil. Fry until brown. Arrange lettuce leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, avo and spring onions on a plate. Add the chicken. And some non-sugar salad dressing.

Dinner ideas

1.      You have to try my lamb korma recipe, if you haven’t already. Yum. Ditch the bread and rice and have it with cauli-rice, instead.

2.      Make spaghetti bolognaise, but use zucchini (baby marrows) as the spaghetti. Or don’t – use pasta! Don’t bother trying to cut the baby marrows – Woollies do a prepackaged version. So jolly easy.

3.      Fish and vegies is our favourite quick and healthy dinner option. Buy a good cut of fish – if you can, spoil yourself with salmon, or else a fresh piece of hake. Bake in olive oil and lemon juice, or just fry with a little olive oil, and roast the vegies – cauliflower, marrows, broccoli, onions, peppers, whatever you feel like.

Don't give up - you are halfway there. You can do it. What a waste to have come this far and not finish your 21 days. Good luck.

Links to other food posts and recipes here.


nataliesimmons said...

A tip for people trying to lower sugar or adjust palates is buy a normal fruity (sweetened) yoghurt and a plain one, then simply mix or dish up half-half. For an even healthier super quick version buy a 500ml tub of plain yoghurt (full fat if you're banting) and add a packet of WW frozen berries et voila!

Bev Bouwer said...

Totally agree, Natalie. Good idea. Yoghurt with fruit for breakfast is great. And if I have that, I don't have the 11 am hunger pangs that I get if I have toast. Funny that.