No I didn’t go to Vegas and accidentally acquire Mike Tyson’s Tiger, or get my face tattooed in Bangkok. Something far worse…I had a birthday and decided to relax the sugar ban. Too soon I’m afraid. I should have waited till after the 8 weeks for true sugar freedom. Now I have crashed and it really does muck things up.
I didn’t over indulge, and I’m pleased to say that after 6 weeks I wasn’t able to be a ‘sugar fiend.’ But the simple carbohydrates, bread, pasta and rice were rather easy to ingest.
So I get back to normal life and try to resume but we were not organised this week and therefore the shopping and cooking went out of the window. That was mistake number one.
Mistake number two, my taste buds were again sugar coated and the bland dinner I managed to cobble together needed a bread roll to entice me.
Mistake number three. I finally get my act together but I am so hungover, (that’s from insulin spikes not alcohol,) and tired, that I forget my prepared lunch to take to work and have to grab a sandwich anyway.
If I had had a wild night in Vegas, I would be over it by now.
So now I find myself here at the end of the week with a complete fail. Amazing how a weekend of debauchery can line the whole week up for a big fat fail. So here’s a tip. If you do find that there is an unavoidable occasion in your 8 week lead up to sugar freedom, do some prep work for it to be easier to get back to business afterwards. Honestly after the 8 weeks it should feel like second nature and you won’t want to fall back. It should be your lifestyle and the recipes I have given you up to now should become part of your staple shopping list. Sure you will be able to socialise, go to family events and visit a winery for your birthday, but eat the healthy way you and your body want’s, when you’re back to normality. Reality.
In the 8 weeks to sugar freedom, we also need to get this idea out of our heads that a cake, a glass of wine or even a jam croissant is a treat. We have been rewarded with sweet things as a treat since a very young age. When nana came to visit, she won your affections with a chocolate bar. When you were a good girl at ballet class, you got to have a lolly. When you lost 5kgs at ‘Fat Busters,’ you let your treat be a piece of chocolate cake (all be it counted within the calories for the day,) but still??? It’s a mind-set that we need to break.
As I am writing these words, I realise how lame this sounds, but stop and think about it. Shouldn’t the reward be that we are healthy enough to go and do an activity? Can’t just being healthy and happy be the treat? What a treat to be well enough to spend time with family, friends or just be happy enough in your own body.
So without further ado, busy people need some easy tasty recipes to make sure they don’t slip as I did.
These ones are quick enough to make, however there will be a couple of tools required. As sugar freedom is a lifestyle change and not an 8 week challenge, it would be worth your while to invest in a couple of these appliances.
A little chopping machine. It would need to be smaller than a food processor. Something that keeps your ingredients contained as the herbs and spices need chopping finely. I use this CusineArt machine which has a few attachments.
The other tool you’ll need for today’s recipes, is a Vegetable Spiralizer. I got one just a couple of months ago, and what a great little tool it is. I can imagine that this would be a great way of making things like courgettes (zucchinis,) and carrots more interesting to children too. It works for me.
Helen’s Bang Bang Chicken.
I stole most of this recipe off Master Chef judge Mark Wallbank when we stumbled across this new restaurant in Ponsonby called the Blue Breeze Inn. It’s a Chinese Pacifica fusion restaurant he co-owns with Chef Barrington. We had just flown into Auckland and what a cracking discovery. I drank coconut water straight out of the coconut and we dined on Bang Bang Chicken.
You will need
- 2 free range chicken breast, chopped up.
- 2 red chillies, chopped in chunks. Don’t deseed.
- A huge bunch of coriander. Separate the leaves from the stalks
- 2 – 3 thumb size pieces of fresh ginger. Peel and chop half into smaller chunks.
- Sesame seed oil.
- Tamari Sauce, (less sugar than Soy Sauce.)
Sometimes I chuck in some garlic and spring onion if I don’t have quite enough ginger and coriander.
- Put in your mini processor the chillies, the coriander stalks, the chopped part of the ginger, the garlic cloves, the spring onions if you’re using and whizz up.
- Add a bit of sesame seed oil and tamari sauce and just mix a little with a spoon scraping all the bits from the sides of the bowl.
- With the remainder of your ginger, chop into really thin match sticks. I have an awesome Jamie Oliver garlic crusher with a shredder. So I just push it through that then chop lengthways into match sticks.
- Put some sesame seed oil in your wok and add your chicken.
- Pour over your chilli mixture and stir fry.
- When the chicken is just about done, put your ginger match sticks in and half of your coriander leaves.
- Take off the heat when your chicken is done.
If you want to beef up the dish with veg, go for gold but you may want to stir fry them separately as they water down the punch of the Bang Bang Chicken.
For your noodles.
- 3 carrots. Peeled and topped and bottomed.
- A pack of mung beans (bean sprouts.)
- Use your vegi spiralizer to make your carrots into noodles. When you get towards the end of the carrot, stab the end with a fork and use this to twist through.
- Add some sesame seed oil to a new pan and pop in your mung beans. I cover with a lid just to steam them down a bit.
- Then add some tamari sauce and chuck in your carrot noodles.
- Stir fry a couple of minutes and you’re done.
When you serve this dish, I would have the noodles and veg separate to the Bang Bang Chicken so the flavour isn’t watered down. And then cover in the rest of your coriander leaves. YUM!
I can’t claim to have invented this one either as it’s just carbonara except you’re using courgettie instead of spaghetti, which makes it even easier. I would recommend you make your carbonara sauce though as the shop bought ones I’m sure will have sugar added and can be quite bland. We’re searching for flavour when our taste buds are on a sugar detox.
- 3 Courgettes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 100g streaky bacon chopped
- Olive oil
- 100g mushrooms sliced
- Fresh oregano finely chopped (do try to use fresh. Remember you taste buds are in search of flavour.)
For the sauce
- ½ a cup of single cream at room temperature.
- 2 egg yolks separated at room temperature.
- 1 full egg at room temperature.
- 50g parmesan cheese finely grated. And grate some more to serve.
- Cracked black pepper.
- Chop off the top and bottom of your courgettes and twist them through your vegi spiralizer. To get the last part through the twister, stab the end with a fork and use the fork to turn your courgette.
- Fry up your bacon and mushrooms in a little olive oil. Set aside.
- Whisk up your sauce ingredients.
- Melt a little butter in a medium to large frying pan.
- Sauté your courgettes in the butter and crush the garlic cloves over straight away. Sauté for two minutes more then take off the heat.
- Put your bacon and mushrooms into your corugettie pan.
- Pour over your carbonara sauce and with some tongs, toss through.
Be sure to do the last part off the heat so as not to curdle your sauce.
Serve on a couple of warmed plates and have the rest of your parmesan cheese in a little bowl to use.
I hope the tools haven’t put you off making these dishes. Flavour is so important when you take the sugar out of food and I have found that all the chopping is just a bit much when you’re a busy person. So treat yourself to a few gadgets and I promise you’ll use them when you have changed your lifestyle for the long term.
Talk to you next week.
Skin Treatment Therapist.