WOW where has the first week of August gone?!
I am so excited and rapt to report the first week of August has flown by without a square of chocolate, crumb of biscuit or lick of ice cream. The Kettlebells and Cookies Junk Food Free August challenge so far has shown me that although I dont eat junk food often, I probably ate it far more frequently than I thought I did because I’m feeling fantastic and sleeping a lot better. It’s also shown how readily available junk food is at work/home as I have turned down offers of sugar laden treats daily since the 1st August. Others Kettlebells and Cookies team members have experienced reduced cravings, more energy, looser pants and other euphoric symptoms since cutting out junk food.
So as we approach the 1 week milestone of the challenge I recon it’s about time we start to look at some clean, lean, real food alternatives to nasty sugar filled, processed junk food.
I have asked the gorgeous, real food guru Emma Kay to prepare a few tasty, nutritional treats for us. She is the creator for the famous Snicker Balls and other glorious morsels Jane and I regularly make when we need something simple and sweet. Head over to her website Embracing It to find plenty of inspiration for healthy meals and delicious snacks. All of her recipes are SUPER easy to throw together and use only a few ingredients most of you will already have in your cupboard.
Put down that spoonful of sugar
We all crave sugar, why?! Because it’s a quick energy booster and sweet things tastes soooo damn good. But if we want to look after our bodies, we need to ease back on our intake!
I for one favour sweet foods, especially dessert on a cold winter evening. Did you know that when you eat sugar it stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel pleasure. The brain recognises and likes this feeling and begins to crave more, as dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters involved in reward seeking behaviour. In fact, morphine and sugar stimulate the same receptors in your brain and the dangers aren’t just to your waistline. Part of the problem with sugar is that the satiety centre in your brain isn’t activated so you just keep eating it (source: Dr. Libby). I’m evidence of this, as often when I have one piece of something sweet, I can’t stop. Which is what I’m focusing on conquering throughout this challenge!
So all of you amazing people participating in Kettlebells and Cookies Junk Food Free August are doing wonders for your overall health and waistline by significantly reducing your intake. Even if it does make you a grumpier and sadder person to start with. Don’t worry these feelings won’t last, by staying strong and practicing self-control you will come out the other end with more energy, as you won’t be relying on sugar to get through the day.
Times will be tough though, you’ll want that fix. But luckily, there are healthier sweet treats that you can turn when those cravings hit. Today I’m sharing with you 8 easy clean sweet treats.
Raw brownie balls
- ½ cup of cashew nuts
- ½ cup of walnuts
- ½ cup of hazelnuts
- 1 cup of dates (soaked for 10minutes)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 1/3 cup of cacao/cocoa powder
- Blend nuts in food processor (not too fine)
- Add dates and cocoa
- Roll into small balls and leave in refrigerator to set (this will take 2-3 hours)
- Keep in an air tight container in the fridge.
Chia seed pudding
This stuff is actually amazing and super easy to make!!!
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup desiccated or shredded coconut
- 4 tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- You mix it all in a glass bowl/jar and leave in the fridge overnight! All ready for you to add some fresh fruit in the morning.
Orange and almond chia seed muffins
- 4 large mandarins (peeled)
- 1 and ½ cups of almond flour
- ½ cup of LSA
- ¼ cup of chia seeds
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup of honey/maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- Mix ingredients in your food processor and bake at 180 for 30-35 minutes.
- Serve upside down with a spoonful of fresh yoghurt.
Clean banana ice cream
- 3 Bananas, large, ripe, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup of thick Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
- 2 tablespoons of honey (optional)
- Place bananas in a dish lined with baking paper and freeze overnight or at least 8 hours until frozen hard.
- Thaw bananas for 5 minutes (this will make it easier to blitz) and place in food processor with yoghurt, vanilla and honey. Process until smooth and the consistency of ice-cream.
- Serve immediately or return to freezer until ready to serve.
Protein mug cake
- 1 serving of protein powder (I use nuzest chocolate flavour)
- 1 egg
- 1/cup of water
- Generous spoon of peanut butter
- Mix all ingredients together and microwave for 2 minutes.
Peanut butter and apple
Super simple – Slice a fresh apple and spread peanut butter on each piece.
Thaw frozen berries in the microwave for a few minutes and place a piece of Vogel’s toast (not white) in the toaster. When the berries are warm they’ll be of a perfect consistency to mash on the toast – just like jam!!
On the go snacks
- Baby food!!! I know you’re thinking whaaaat? But once you’ve tried it and had the convenience, you will never go back. Only Organic have a great range of flavours and don’t add sugar. Be warned, you may receive some strange looks from your friends and colleagues.
- Raw nuts, seeds and dried fruit. I make up my own with a selection from the pick and mix section at the supermarket. By doing this I can have exactly what I can want and don’t go overboard on the dried fruit (as this can be high in sugar).
I have lots of other great free from refined sugar recipes on my blog, including home-made protein bars, protein pancakes, clean fruit crumble, clean cookies and much more so be sure to check it out for ideas.
My best piece of advice is if you know you want something sweet mid-afternoon or for dessert, have these healthier ‘go to’ snacks on hand so that you don’t reach for chocolate or a bag of lollies. It’s easy to keep a few frozen bananas in your freezer!
By the end of this challenge, your cravings will diminish and you won’t be missing sugar at all! Especially when you can turn to these easy to make clean sweet treats!!
Love your body by fuelling it with the good stuff.