How to get rid of the sugar cravings // Weekend recipes

I know I keep reinforcing what sugar does to you, so I’ll just skip the whole song about the poisonous aspects, and get straight onto how you can stop this mean little inflammation-causing substance from ruining your body.

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1. Go cold turkey. Just quit it all. I know it sounds hard and whatnot, but you will soon realize how willpower can control anything. If you want to, you can do it.

2. Challenge yourself to last an entire week without any sugar. Once you’ve managed that you’ll be able to think ‘why not try another week?’.

3. Eat fruit. Eat nuts. Eat dried fruit. Drink smoothies. Eat enough for every meal. Find alternative snacks. Try slicing fruit and dipping it in 100% nutbutter or in pb2 chocolate. When you think you want a chocolate, grab a piece of fruit. Just do it, seriously. A chocolate bar may only be 100 calories, but so is a banana. And the banana has heaps of nutritional value.

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4. Once you notice that the cravings do go away, you can always bring in the candy-Saturday and have whatever you want on that day. What you do now and then isn’t as important as what you do every day.

And in case anyone wants to know how great I look in my pink gear, walking home after an hour of cardio…

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I think we’ve all established that I’m no chef, and that my meals rarely look too interesting. BUT for some reason, you guys keep telling me that you try my recipes anyway. So I thought I’d tell you about lasagna. This one works either vegetarian (use chickpeas, beans, mushrooms etc) or with meat (extra lean mince of any kind), and is probably even better the day after. And yes it does have dairy products, once in a while isn’t killing me. Though the ricotta/cottage cheese can be replaced by parmesan cheese.

Fry extra lean mince with garlic, fresh ginger, onion and chill. Add a box of canned, chopped tomatoes and let simmer. Add mushrooms, capsicum and any other desired vegetables. Use sweet potato and zucchini as layers instead of pasta plates. Put one layer of sweet potato, one layer of the meat-mixture and one layer of ricotta/cottage cheese, then go again but use sliced zucchini for the next “pasta”-layer. Repeat until all ingredients are used, and top with parmesan cheese. Put in the oven for about 30-40 minutes on 180-200 degrees. That has sort of been my dinner the past… 3 days.

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Yeah yeah ignore my very boring improvised salad on the side

I started today with a swim in the pool, and then I’ve spent the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself. So I decided to make a treat. I have a thing for coconut, so I’ve given making my own Bounty a try. Great success. And if anyone is wondering how clean and nice it looks when I cook…

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Yeah, wife-material.

Anyway. Give it a chance:

5 dl shredded coconut (not sweetened), 1 box coconut cream (not milk), 3 tbs of melted coconut oil. Vanilla stevia drops if you have that (optional). Sugar-free chocolate or 70-80% dark chocolate + some more melted coconut oil.

Mix the coconut oil with the shredded coconut in a bowl, add the coconut cream and about 4 drops of stevia vanilla (I hate the artificial taste sweeteners give, so I put in as little as possible) and mix. Put it in a container lined with baking paper and leave in the freezer for about an hour. Cut into pieces and leave in the fridge until properly set.

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Melt the chocolate with some coconut oil and cover the coconut pieces in the mixture. Leave in the fridge until set. EAT AS MANY AS YOU CAN, and watch 30 episodes of the Kardashians. Cure to stop feeling sorry for yourself.

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Protein-heaven

I have periods where I eat the same food over and over again, only to get sick of it and not eat it for months. That’s how I got fed up with broccoli last summer (still can’t really eat it cooked), and that’s how I got sick of protein-cakes. Just as if I have cheese in the house, I will make all my food with that cheese until it’s empty and my body says stop.

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Well, I have just re-discovered protein-brownies. When I was living on campus last year, a girl made us nutella-mug-cakes when we were drunk, and it is kind of the same concept. Except healthier. I just had a instant craving for it one night, and was forced to borrow protein powder from one of my housemates. I’ve ditched the protein powders because of all the added chemicals and artificial sugar, but to make a proper protein-brownie you need protein of some kind, and I’m not exactly gonna put chicken in it, am I? (Yes I know you can make it with chickpeas or beans, but that doesn’t go well in the microwave). So I went food shopping (sad to admit, but it is my favourite kind of shopping) and found the perfect option. It has three ingredients; whey protein, raw cocoa and xylitol. 45grams of protein per serving too. My old protein powder has about 200 ingredients that I’ve never heard the name of, it tastes so horrible, and I’ve only been using it when I’ve been out of other options. I will probably never go back to drinking protein shakes after gym sessions (that yucky cardboard taste is not for me), but if I can have it in a cake with pb2 on top, and fruit next to it, I am in.

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So how do you make one?

1 egg, 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder, 1 scoop of crushed oats, 1 scoop of almond flour (or any other flour), a tiny bit of baking soda, as much raw cocoa powder as you prefer, 3-4 drops of liquid Stevia chocolate (optional), and a little bit of water/milk of desire (I use unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk). Mix it until it looks like cake batter of some kind, and put it in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Mix two tablespoons of pb2 peanut/chocolate with one tablespoon of water, and use as icing on the warm brownie. PERFECTION.

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When I bought my protein powder, they also had some yummy-looking things on the counter and I had to grab one. Didn’t read the ingredients, but asked the lady if they were sugar-free and she said yes. I came home, and what do I see? Oh yes, first ingredient; Agave Syrup. Good thing it is Saturday tomorrow, hey! I won’t be going as crazy as I did last weekend with my cheat-day, though. I actually still feel quite sick thinking about it, and my body has just gone back to looking normal again. I sort of also think they recommend having a cheat-meal, rather than a whole day of eating junk.

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My physio has given me the go to slowly start running intervals again, and even though I have to start at 50% of what I used to, it means my ankle has been healing the way I hoped. I have for once been listening to his advice, and even done what I’ve been told. It works. Happy Marita. Particularly because we are going to Noosa in about a week, and the beach body prep should’ve started ages ago. Okay, I don’t prep for beach season, I aim for a body I can live in all year around.

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Also, a big thank you to my previous roomie, Ina, for photoshopping my new header, and a big thanks to Mari for doing the photoshoot with me.

Zero calories equals healthy.. or?

I am a stalker of nature, and it should not come as a surprise that I read any fitness blog I can possibly find. I’m also very easy to influence and even easier to sell things to. So when all these fitness bloggers are praising the Walden Farms series that iHerb sells, it should come as no surprise that I had to buy their products.

Chocolate, dips, mayo, sauces, syrups. AND ALL WITH ZERO CALORIES. ‘Yum’, they all say. So tasty, so healthy, and such a great replacement for whenever you’re craving sweets.

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Yeah, they lied. What do you think Walden Farms puts in their products when they are calorie-free? Certainly not anything that your body will recognize. And unless you really really REALLY love the taste of fake and artificial food, Walden Farms tastes like crap. In fact, it tasted so horrible that I had to throw it all out.

Here in Australia everything is practically gluten-free and fat-free. Buy a bag of normal lollies and it’ll say 99% fat-free, and buy a bag of sugar-free lollies and it’ll mention something about 70% less calories. 70% less than what, may I ask? And so what if the candy is fat-free, it is still packed with sugar and other artificial stuff.

The only way to create so-called “pseudo-foods” (as in food tricking you to thinking it is actually..food, when in reality it is only a bunch of artificial makeup) is to add tons of chemicals. Adding chemicals results in depriving the food of its nutritional value, hence leaving it calorie-free. Does that mean we should be eating it everyday? N to the O, we shouldn’t. I’ve quit crap food, sugar and candy for a reason – I want to take care of my health.

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I have friends who substitute their daily chocolate with sugar-free chocolate, “healthy” protein-bars etc. Doesn’t that sort of defeat the purpose? Yes, I stocked up on sugar-free chocolate when I was back home, but that doesn’t mean I justify eating it on a daily basis just cause I’m craving things and they qualify as “healthy”.

Eat the real food, and keep the chocolate (no matter if it is sugar-free, healthy, calorie-free or normal) for where it belongs – the weekends.

Chocolate muffins for the chocolate lovers, with..zucchini?

I am a cake person. And a chips person. But bake a cake in front of me, and I am sold. Whenever I’m craving things, I tend to go through recipes online or in my clean-eating cookbooks, and pick things that I want to bake. Now, Line and I have tried several low-carb recipes, but we aaaalways fail. It smells nice. It looks good. But tastes horrible. And it is so disappointing.

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Green Kitchen Stories does, however, never fail. Everything I’ve tried (even though I alter the recipes a tad) has been a success, and it has even been approved by the sugar-monsters in my house. The same goes for the chocolate muffins I baked yesterday. 

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I get that many people are scared when they see vegetables as ingredients in cakes, but think of a carrot cake and how delicious that is! You can’t taste the zucchini, it’s only there for the moisture of the muffins (not to mention it does come with health benefits).

I followed this recipe, but instead of maple syrup (which I consider to be sugar), I used five fresh medjool-dates. I know a lot of people are hesitant towards using dates (or dried figs for that matter) in food because they “don’t like them”, but when used as a sugar/syrup replacement, it becomes more like a caramel-y, sweet syrup, and the “date-flavor” disappears. I cut the dates in little pieces and melted them in a pot with three tbs of coconut milk.

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Oh, can anyone tell me what the difference between baking soda and baking powder is? I’ve always thought it was the same..

I didn’t have spelt flour, so I used almond flour, and the butter can be replaced with coconut oil. I didn’t really have all the spices or nuts either, but I put in heaps of cardamom, cinnamon and raw cocoa powder, and used almonds, peanuts and cashews instead of walnuts. 

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If I had remembered to buy soy cream cheese, I obviously would have made the frosting too – which I think would have made them absolutely perfect. 

Line enjoyed her muffin with a class of milk, Danny (my other housemate) enjoyed it with a big “YUM” and I enjoyed mine with some sugar-free chocolate on top. We’ve had a little photoshoot today (I am exhausted) to change the design of this blog, and I brought some muffins and power-bars to bribe the allergic-to-everything-photographer and chocolate-loving-assistant, and they both wanted to make it again at home. Warms my little health-freak-heart.

I spent my friday afternoon with my lovely physio, playing with balance boards and what-not, and my ankle is luckily heading in the direction we want it to. I can’t run or jump yet (though I might have done that during the shoot today..), but I am finally allowed to slowly include my all-time favorite leg day! I did a full body-workout this morning and boy are my legs sore.. I’m assuming my 70kg hip-thrusts are gonna be somewhat reduced when I attempt that again. Oh well, baby steps.

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