Yay for the weekend!
It’s been a bit of a doozy of a week for me. First week back after the holidays is never fun and to top that off with this Quitting Sugar business has made me feel quite relieved that the end has come.
Wait – should I be making doomsday-type jokes in this day and age?? What if I jinx things?
Well we’re all going to die anyways.
That didn’t help, did it??
Anyways, you might remember the following:
- My scariest new years resolution
- Why I’m quitting sugar & getting started
- What to do in the first two weeks of quitting sugar
- 2 weeks of easing into quitting sugar
- Quitting Sugar – week 3 is about getting it REALZ. Cold Turkey style.
So after a week of ditching the sweet stuff, it’s been an interesting ride. To be very honest, I’m not sure if I am doing it right because I haven’t felt much of the classic symptoms of withdrawal – headaches, cravings, mood swings etc.
I don’t know know whether it’s because I have been gorging myself on other food which hopefully doesn’t mean I’ve gone from being addicted to sugar to being addicted to coconut.
Because, I’ve been eating a lot of coconut.
I bought David Gillespi’s supplementary book to his Sweet Poison – the Sweet Poison Quit Plan which goes into detail about the HOW’s of actually making your life sugar a.k.a fructose free rather than the science-y stuff.
I liked the science-y stuff, but there was only so much I could take of revisiting my first year chemistry and biology notes.
Part of the book explains the effects of quitting sugar on our body, especially when we are in the midst of withdrawing from it. And the thing that stood out for me was the first stage where he mentioned he was ravenous.
All. The. Time.
I’ve been feeling like that over the last week – satisfied with my meals, but as soon as I am done – I’m thinking about food again. I’ve tried to curb it with copious amounts of green tea or rice crackers from the office kitchen which has done nothing except make me smile weakly at the manager whose office is right near the bathrooms and always seems to catch me going in there.
I swear he thinks I have a bladder problem. Or WORSE.
David explains that this is because we have been so conditioned to having had that sugar in our diet – this ‘hunger’ wasn’t really me being truly hungry – it was that slightly mild dissatisfied feeling that, in the past would have had me reaching for the chocolate to finish my meal ‘with something sweet’.
A sign of actual addiction. Kinda scary.
The good news is that my bloating is still so so much better, I haven’t had that “5-months-pregnant” look in a while and I kind of feel…lighter if that makes sense. I’ve also found that I don’t get that afternoon energy slump anymore, or that it has reduced quite a lot.
The biggest change?
Ordering a NORMAL FULL-FAT latte.
The first day I went to my usual place for my morning coffee - it always gives me a thrill that they know my order and have it going before I’ve even finished paying. (Disclaimer – that thrill has nothing to do with the Brazilian barista who…OMG – just realised the irony – but he calls me SUGAR instead of my full name. How’s that for karma or something equally as mystifying?!!) – I went to order my usual for the last eight years or so of “Skinny latte, no sugar”.
I had to stop myself, remembering the “no low-fat food rule” and ordered a normal latte.
I FELT normal.
(Only because I always feel really pretentious ordering coffee. Seriously – I’ve tried ordering a soy chai latte, hold the sugar, no cream on top before and I’ve been given the dirtiest looks).
This weekend, I was meant to head over to have another delightful dinner party with the girls, except Yogi, who was hosting fell quite sick. I had been in charge of bringing the dessert and after banishing thoughts of banoffee pie from my mind, I gave myself the challenge of creating a sugar-free/fructose-free dessert.
And here it is.
Sugar/Fructose-free Carrot Cake cupcakes with Cream-cheese frosting
(Can make as a whole cake or 12 cupcakes – adapted from here)
- 1 and 1/4 cup rice malt syrup (Rice malt syrup is a fructose free vegan alternative to honey, agave etc. Slightly less sweeter) **If don’t have this or not going sugar-free, use 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup Vegetable Oil (e.g. Canola etc. I didn’t have any so used macadamia oil instead)
- 3 Large Eggs (at least 59g each)
- Pinch Salt
- 3/4 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
- 2 cups Self Raising Flour (Can make this healthier by using whole wheat flour or gluten free by using GF flour. If using plain flour – add 2tsp baking powder for each cup of flour)
- 2 cups finely grated Carrot
- 1/2 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Dextrose* (Can use ~ 300g icing sugar instead if you like)
- 250g Cream Cheese, cold
- 100g Unsalted Butter softened (I put it in the microwave for ~30sec)
- Firstly, preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (or 350 F) and line or grease muffin/cupcake pan or cake tin.
- Mix the rice malt syrup and and oil with a whisk. Add 1 egg at a time and keep whisking until well mixed.
- Add the carrots, walnuts, spices, salt, bicarb and flour and fold through with a wooden spoon until all combine. Don’t overmix as it will reduce the air in the mixture which helps it to rise.
- Spoon out batter into the cake/loaf tin or muffin tin and bake for ~ 20minutes. I checked it then with a skewer and gave it about 5 minutes more until the skewer came out clean.Baking times might vary depending on your personal oven.
- Let cool in pan for 1o minutes and then remove onto wire tray or plate and let cool completely.
Meanwhile….for the frosting… (I used my stand mixer, can use a stick mixer or your own two hands to do this. I just felt like being fancy.)
- In a bowl, add cream cheese and softened butter and mix until completely combined.
- In batches, add the dextrose/sugar and mix until just combined. You can keep adding the dextrose/sugar here until you get to the sweetness level and texture you like. Adding more will result in a more stiffer type of frosting.
- Cover cupcakes with frosting and EAT!
*Dextrose is basically powdered glucose, found in the home-brewing section of your supermarket. I actually remembered we had a home-brewing store near us.
Great 1:1 sugar substitute, however those who are still eating fructose need to be a bit wary with using too much of this. Because it’s pure glucose, it will spike up your blood sugar and increase your insulin production which is not good due to the effects of fructose in your body already. Also while dextrose is fructose-free, it doesn’t mean it’s calorie free. But you don’t really need as much of it as sugar.
4g dextrose = 15 calories
Each cupcake (without frosting): 366 calories, 21g fat, 4.39g protein, 39g carbs (15g sugar – but fructose free!), 1.6 fibre
With frosting – it brings each cupcake to ~500 calories.
Not completely “healthy”, but I found I could only eat 1/2 a cupcake and it was enough for me. And that was before I calculated the calories! Also remember the majority of the fats from it are ‘good’ fats from the macadamia oil and walnuts.
Other thing was – I tested these on Evs who is NOT doing the IQS thing and he loved them! So you can feed these to your sugar-addicted loved ones without them thinking you’re making that ‘weird health food stuff’ again.
So don’t know what to make of that, except to say that I think this Quitting Sugar business is working.