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#4 The Sugary Woods

Sat, 26/09/2015 - 12:53 -- Name: helen

So how's everyone going?  I'd say that this is a wobbler week for me.  If you're not feeling wobbly about your journey to sugar freedom, then well done you.  If you have slipped, forget about that.  Jump back in, you'll do better this time.  And if you're teetering on having a wobble, don't think, just get one of your frozen wonders out really quick,  heat and eat.  As soon as you take your hunger away, you'll be fine and you should feel proud of your self.

It's really hard at around week 3 because you're not fully out of the sugary woods, but if a stressful situation arises you can easily give in and grab some of your well worn "treats/poison."  If you give in, it won't be as satisfying as you think it will be and then all you'll feel is bad that you let your taste buds down.  If you stick to it, long term, you will be more balanced when it comes to those times of stress.  Because there will be those times in your life of course, but your perception of pressure will be lower.  So, the great thing about that is, your adrenaline and cortisone levels (the hormones that kick in when we're stressed, angry or in danger,) won't kick in quite so often and those insulin spikes will be less, therefore you won't go searching for those sugary hits and simple carbs.  Anyway, you can read more about these hormones in previous blogs, Keep Calm and Carry On  and The Tiger that Trots Behind You

So, first recipe for this week, another great lunch or even breakfast option on the go.  Quinoa muffins.  This is a recipe I got from the wonderful 'My Petite Kitchen Cook Book.'  The beautiful Eleanor Ozich, (who is the picture of health,) started writing her blogs on nourishing wholesome food when her daughter Izabella had a severe skin condition.  No doctor or skin specialist could help her.  A naturopath diagnosed an imbalance of bad gut, and the whole family have embarked on a natural diet that has given them a new lease of life.  And the impact on Izabella and her skin have been unbelievable.

Cheddar and Quinoa Muffins with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil.

Cook 150g of rinsed quinoa in 375ml of vegetable stock, (lowest sugar content possible.)  Bring to a gentle boil then lower to a simmer and cover.  Take off the heat when the liquid is almost gone.  Let cool.

You could cook this a couple of days before, if you're faffing in the kitchen with something else.

  • 4 free range eggs, beaten.
  • 100g of grated cheddar cheese.
  • 2 large hand fulls of basil roughly chopped.
  • 40g (around 5 or 6,) sundried tomatoes finely chopped.

Pre heat your oven to 180°C

  • Line 6 muffin tin holes or 12 mini muffin tin holes with baking paper.
  • Mix all the ingredients together with the quinoa and a little cracked pepper.
  • Evenly divide the mixture into your muffin cases.
  • Put in the oven for 25 minutes.

These go down a storm, and there are plenty of other yummy recipes in the book so go buy it.  And if you get chance, go visit Eleanor's eatery 'Mondays' in Auckland.  YUM!

If you're sick of the stodgy wintery soups and stews, now that we're supposed to be heading into warmer climes, try this light but satisfying soup.  I don’t even feel like having bread with this one, so win win.

Cauliflower, Lemon and Almond Soup. 

I was first introduced this by a company called WorkerBe, and I could not get it out of my head.  WorkerBe are a fantastic company right here in Wellington New Zealand.   Perfect for us busy people trying to be healthy because guess what?.... They deliver healthy seasonal food right to your desk.  How about that!  Anna, Erin and Mac are "holistic gangstas" on a mission to feed you incredibly healthy food to make you feel good.  They're also involved in encouraging nutrient dense gardening practices in the community.  Read more about them here.

And here's the soup.

  • 1 large cauliflower.  Chop off the florets and slice the trunk.
  • 80g ground almonds/almond meal
  • 600ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped or crushed.
  • Thumb sized piece ginger chopped.
  • 1 litre vegetable stock.  Lowest sugar content possible.
  • 50g almonds, crushed
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt " pepper


  • Gently heat the olive oil in a heavy based saucepan, and add the onion, garlic, sliced cauliflower stalk, ginger, turmeric and ground ginger.
  • Cook gently until the onion softens. Add the ground almonds, make sure everything is well covered, and then add the stock.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, and then add the cauliflower florets. The cauliflower may not be completely covered at first.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the cauliflower has softened but is not mushy.
  • Take off the heat and add the almond milk.
  • Blitz in a blender (you will need to do this in 2 batches) until the soup is smooth. Season to taste.

Serve in a bowl with a small handful of crushed almonds sprinkled on top, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.

Also a good one to make a big batch and freeze.

Just a few more weeks guys.  Hang on in there.  Then you can go to your social engagements, the odd lunch and even a drinkipoos.   But you won't be able to gorge yourself and you'll feel, look, act and just BE GREAT!

Please, as always do get in contact if you have any questions about these sugar freedom blogs for busy people or indeed about your skin because that's what I'm good at.  And of course if you would like to share any recipes that you have found helpful on your sugar freedom journey,  write in.  Sharing is caring.

Till next week.


Skin Treatment Therapist.