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Friday, June 8, 2012

Sugar Free Love for Mums

As a mum, mothers-group catch ups are essential for sanity. In essence I guess, their  purpose is to introduce the youngins to other youngins to develop their little youngin social skills.

However, these catch ups soon become pretty important to the mums (and maybe the dads) too. They provide a regular opportunity to whinge and whine (or maybe brag, if you must) about your little ones' recent frustrating behaviors and then of course, round off the conversation with a grimacing face and the often used phrase: "oh but I DO love them.....". 

I've always loved my weekly catch up with my mothers group. On top of the casual form of counseling, I relish the opportunity for us to share a delicious mid morning snack of cake, slice or biscuits.

Going sugar-free kind of wholloped that in the butt.

When I told my fellow mums I was going sugar free, the plates on offer (and I'm ever so grateful for them supporting me) soon changed from caramel slice and Anzac biscuits to plain old cheese and crackers.

I attempted a number of sugar free muffins (going against my grain and rather than follow a recipe I just let my creative juices flow....). It was a pretty dismal outcome. A half-muffin left on the side of the plate kind of outcome.

So when Sarah Wilson (and folks that have been following me on here, know that she has been my catalyst for diet change) released her I Quit Sugar Recipe E-book I couldn't hit the pre-order button quick enough.

So today it was my turn to host mother's group... I flipped through the pages of my book (sorry Mother earth, I'm a touchy-feely person and had to print it out) and decided that the Almond Butter Bark would surely impress. Impress it did. For me firstly. It's a one-bowl kind of creation. It's a 25 minute kind of creation. It involves nearly no cooking, no cooling, no cutting. Mix, melt, freeze and snap. 

And here's the result:

I'm pretty sure it impressed my guests as well (either that, or they were just glad it wasn't another one of my muffin creations). The whole plate of "bark" cleared pretty quickly, so that has to be a good thing.

Later the same afternoon, feeling a little chilly, exhausted (TGIF), and proud of my morning's achievement, I decided to treat myself to another one of Sarah's Recipes. This time the Chocolate Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa. 

Hot chocolate without sugar? Get out! GET IN! My Lord, this is the ultimate smother-me-in-love kind of hot chocolate. It's thick and luscious. It's divine. It was a "kids-don't-bother-mum-I'm-in-my-own-world" kind of cup

It takes some prep work (especially because I prepared my own almond and coconut milk) but it's worth the wait. It does have some dried ginger root in there, which provided an unexpected but warming taste. Next time I might try it with out, as chewing my way through a hot choc felt a bit wrong. In any case, I'll be mixing this up again when I need a pick me up.

Can't wait to try a few other recipes from the e-book collection. It's good bye cheese and crackers for a while !

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sleepiness, sickness and celebations

Hi there - you haven't heard from me in while. Because things in my sugarfree land have been going relatively swimmingly. And as much as I love to talk about myself, I'm sure there's only so many times I can write that I'm feeling fab and going sugarfree has changed my life.

But this post is about falling of the wagon.

This post highlights the reality of sugar addiction.

As I said, I've been feeling fab and confident that I had my sugar addiction pretty much licked, for choice of a better term.

But two weeks ago I started planning for my son's 5th birthday. I arranged these fabulous (easy peasy, but cute and decorative) choc dipped marshmellows on sticks. I also planned chocolate spoons sprinkled with various sweet jewels. I made a heavenly rich chocolate slice. I thought I'd be able to cope handing such treats out to the guests and keep myself in control.I thought I'd be able to keep myself dignified and cool.

But I didn't. Not by a long shot. 

There was spoon licking, taste testing and leftover gorging galore. I had allowed myself permission to celebrate my son's birthday, but that permission stretched for the remainder of the week, smack bang into my daughter's 3rd birthday. Where equally decadent treats were to be had. And oh how I had them.

In amongst this I was hit with a strange bug that zapped all my energy and left me feeling sorry for myself. 

As I write this post I have a belly full of left over marshmellows.

I've flicked that switch on in my mind that says "oh just a little bit won't hurt". The same way that a gambling addict might say - "just a few dollars won't stretch the budget", or an alcoholic who says "I could have just one drink" or a reformed smoker that declaring to "just smoke when I drink."

Being addicted to sugar is real. 

I'm weak when I'm tired, sick or celebrating. Individually I'm strong enough to sail past each of these obstacles. I've proven that in the past. But as I have learned over this past week, bundle them altogether and I'm in strife.

So, I've written this post as a reminder to myself that I'm no super hero against the clutches of sugar. I've also written as a little warning to anyone who is an addict like me - that's it's just like any other addiction. It's easy to fall and it's easy to fall fast. Lastly, I've written this a bit of a contract to myself. To forgive myself for and allow myself to move on.