365 Sugar-Free Days

almond cookie My Raw Fusion Resolution

And a raw vegan sugar free dessert, too!

For 2013 I have made a commitment to eliminate any refined sugar from my diet.  As a high raw (75-85%) for years, sugar never entered much into the equation, but as I evolved to a more Raw Fusion lifestyle, little by little it started sneaking back in.

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Starting with sharing a spoon or two of someone’s dessert and then relaxing some of my former sugar prohibitions, it eventually became apparent that it was time to declare sugar  “non-negotiable” — a technique I teach to my students and clients to help them detach from unhealthy foods and habits.

What’s wrong with a little sugar, you may ask?  Well, most of what is labeled sugar is a laboratory created blend of evaporated cane juice and genetically modified sugar beets.  From what I have been researching on GMO’s they are not something I prefer to consciously include in my diet.  Sugar also increases inflammation, stimulates fat cell production and messes up with one’s endocrine (glandular) system.  Furthermore, I have battled with candida albicans for over 15 years, an overgrowth of yeast, which can cause any number of health issues from respiratory allergies to digestive disorders.  Many people across the US suffer from this condition, but unfortunately most mainstream physicians in the US are not trained in how much foods impact our health.

My sugar moratorium is designed to be permanent but I am taking it one year at a time.  No refined sugar means being aware of all of the hidden places that it is used in our sweet-obsessed culture, from bottled salad dressings to flavored corn chips to juices, which are often enhanced with sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  It means preparing fresh as much as possible, reading labels (if sugar in any of its incarnations) appears in the first 5 ingredients, it is going to spike your blood sugar, which leads to fat cell production.

There are great alternatives and I’ll include them in my next no-sugar blog as this one is getting quite long; I have no intentions of denying my sweet tooth or going into the deprivation mode that inevitably leads to a pendulum swing in the opposite direction.  So I started my New Year with two sensibly sweetened snacks — Almond Cookies and some Chocolate Caramel Turtles (recipe for these will be in the next blog – they are pictured on the right.  I will also be sharing my sugar-free solutions on our Raw Fusion Living Facebook Fan Page.

Would you like to ease into a healthier lifestyle?

Check out our ALKALINITY CHALLENGE 2013, a two week guided group experience for getting on track with your health and fitness goals starting Monday, January 14th! Includes RECIPES, MENU PLANNERS, DAILY MOTIVATION MESSAGES, GROUP SUPPORT, A BOOK WITH 150 RECIPES AND A HYPNOTHERAPEUTIC MODULE TO HELP YOU STAY ON TRACK!

Almond Cookies

(Adapted from Living Cuisine by Renee Loux Underkoffler)

Ingredients:
2 cups almonds plus around 20 extra for garnishing
1 cup pitted dates
1 TB. raw almond butter
1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch sea salt

Directions:  Soak the almonds at least 6 hours (or overnight).  Drain and rinse.  Peel the 20 extra almonds and carefully separate into halves (easier if you start at the point) and set those aside.  Soak the dates in 1 cup filtered water for about 20 minutes.  Place the almonds in the food processor bowl and grind into a fine powder, adding dates (retain soak water in case you need to make the dough more pliable) almond butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, almond extract (optional) and blend into a smooth puree, adding a few TB. of the date soak water if needed.

almond biscotti 12-12

Forming the cookies:

Divide the dough into approximately 24-30 balls (about 2 TB. worth each).  Have 2 teflex sheets ready on top of screens and dehydrator trays (you can try to make these in a low temperature oven by lining a cookie sheet with parchment paper — they may not be fully “raw” but they will still taste good and be good for you!)

Using the bottom of a drinking glass, first moisten with water — it’s good to keep some water nearby in a bowl — and press down.  This makes the uniform and attractive rounds you see above.  You will need to wipe the bottom of the glass and re-moisten after each cookie.  Press a half of the peeled almond into the center of each cookie.

Dehydrate at about 110 degrees for 12-20 hours — the cookie should be fairly dry but it will not be crispy.  Turn over onto screens and dry the other side for a few hours.  You can store these in the fridge or freezer.  Totally wonderful with a cup of hot tea or coffee!\

Would you like to ease into a healthier lifestyle?

Check out our ALKALINITY CHALLENGE 2013, a two week guided group experience for getting on track with your health and fitness goals starting Monday, January 14th! Includes RECIPES, MENU PLANNERS, DAILY MOTIVATION MESSAGES, GROUP SUPPORT, A BOOK WITH 150 RECIPES AND A HYPNOTHERAPEUTIC MODULE TO HELP YOU STAY ON TRACK!

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Author, therapist, raw foods chef, natural wellness expert, and creator of Worksite Wellness and Heart Healthy Living, Dr. Rose has over 25 years of experience as a hypnotherapist. She has published numerous books and has appeared on Daytime TV and over 75 eHow videos. Most recently, she has pioneered an affordable online Holistic Health & Life Coaching program and S-Tox™: A Smarter Way to Detox.

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